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Advice and Double Checking for New System

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January 29, 2012 5:18:09 PM

Hello all,

I'm putting together a new computer, preferably within the next few weeks, and I was looking for a second set of eyes to look over what I've got and make recommendations. The cost is pretty fluid, and though 1500-1600 would be best I can throw in another two or three hundred with a good argument. After my last build (going on 5 years old) noise reduction influenced some of my choices with a much more expensive closed water cooler for the CPU, the MSI Frozr card, and finding out the case I liked also had some dampening additions was also a plus. Anyway, moving on!

Approximate Purchase Date: Roughly 2-3weeks, if not sooner.

Budget Range: ~$1600 with possible increase to $1800 with good reason. Rebates are not required.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, General internet browsing, Watching movies, and then waaaaaaay back in the back “anything work related”.

Parts Not Required: Sound Card and a wireless NIC will be re-used from my current machine, as well the keyboard/mouse/speakers/headset. Two monitors also already in use: HP w2207 and LG Flatron w2246. Already ordered an OEM copy of Windows 7 Pro 64-bit when newegg had it on sale a few weeks back.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com – Past outstanding service is worth an additional few bucks here and there rather than buying piecemeal from cheapest sites.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: No particular preference, though I am admittedly, by past purchases, a bit of a Nvidia fanboy...

Overclocking: Definitely

SLI or Crossfire: Might be interested in it in the future, unless a pair of cards now is highly recommended.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 and higher.

Additional Comments: As stated above I'd like to lean towards a quieter PC and have made some of my choices based on this.

~*~*~*~*~

Revised Listing Further into the Topic

Current Choices: Roughly $1,550 before Tax

Case: IN WIN Dragon Rider Black 1.0 - 0.8mm SECC Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
--Open to changing for strong recommendations; big fan of side windows though.

MoBo:ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
--Open to other recommendations, but this seemed like a great bang-for-buck choice.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

CPU Cooler: CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

GPU: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
--Why yes, 16GB is overkill.

SSD Primary Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III

Additional HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0
--Willing to go with a 500GB until prices start coming back down.

PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD

DVD Driver/Burner: DVD Driver/Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner


Thanks in advance for anyone that takes the time to review and advise.
--Renyerd
January 29, 2012 5:30:40 PM

If you are dead set on 16gb get two 8gb sticks. Also, those kinds of coolers are no better than air coolers. Save the money and get the hyper 212 evo. It is even quieter.
OCZ SSDs are not reliable. GET crucial m4.
January 29, 2012 5:40:09 PM

Any reason you're going with that cooler? Biggest bang for your buck is air. That one is useful if you have a small case where you need a low profile cooler and something like a Scythe Shuriken would cover your RAM slots.

That 650W should be enough for a single graphics card, but if you intend on beefing up yours system at a later date it might be worthwhile to spring for something a little more powerful

Is 16GB overkill for a gaming system? Maybe...
One thing that I intend to try with my build once I finish it is to set up a ramdisk with dataram's ramdisk software (limited to 4GB in size. It's $15 to take away that limit, but I'd have to see if that is worthwhile) and then install my games there and have it set to automatically back up and restore the image. Basically it'll be an experiment to see how short I can make loading screens....
Related resources
January 29, 2012 6:14:48 PM

1) If you love the case buy it. Cases are a personal thing, so get the case you lust after. Spend more if you need to.
I might like this lian li Lancool PC-K63 a bit better, it is less expensive too:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are looking for a quiet pc, reconsider the side window. They transmit noise. For quiet, look at the Antec solo II. Here is a review:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1218-page1.html

2) 2500K and Z68 mobo is as good as it gets for gaming today; good pick there.

3) I am not a fan of most oem gpu coolers. They do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but they then just dump it back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That raises both the gpu AND cpu temperatures when the card is installed in a case vs an open testbed.
As an alternative how a EVGS GTX570 superclocked? It has a direct exhaust cooler, is clocked higher, and is cheaper?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) I like the 4 x 4gb 16gb kit pick. A kit of 2 x 8gb would be 2x more expensive, but allow you a future upgrade to 32gb.

5) The Seasonic X650 should be very good. I use the X750, and the fan never turns on.

6) I am not much of a fan of all in one liquid coolers. They are best mounted drawing cool air into the case, which I think is a problem. For the same price, I would use the noctua NH-D14 cooler. It will be simpler, quieter, and cool just as well as the H80. Really, a simple $30 cooler like the cm hyper212 will do just as well for any sane overclock.

7) I love the idea of a SSD for the os and the most important apps. But, I would look first to Intel or Samsung first, for reliability.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...

8) Why not defer your hard drive purchase right now? A 120gb ssd will hold the os and a handful of games. Get the hard drive for overflow later when you need to.
January 30, 2012 1:26:12 AM

Thank you all so far; I now have several good points I'll have to think on. I'll try to have a revised list up sometime in the next few days. In the meantime, some additional questions and comments.

For the cooler, I'll have to do so more research. One of the reviews I read (and ended up deciding on the cooler with) seems to have reported much lower noise levels and I never double checked what newegg had listed. Didn't even bother to read the reviews there now that I think about it... <toddles off to read. Comes back with a poker face.> So yeah, air coolers... I will look into that.

azeem: Is there still a noticeable difference between two sticks and four? It was the same rule back when I built my first system that two was generally better than 4, but I had really hoped new tech would have caught up by now. Sadface... maybe I'll just go with 8GB then.

jemm: Noted for future reference, thanks.

killersquirel: Any specific choices on the PSU? I was under the impression that a higher watt count wasn't necessarily better these days with the more efficient PSUs, so what might you recommend shooting for?

geofelt: I like the GPU you listed. Cheaper, faster, and a good point on the direct exhaust; this will most likely end up on my revised list.

Thanks again! I'll have some more work to do but at least it's good to have some extra advice to work with.
January 30, 2012 5:51:50 AM

Dual channel improves performence I believe and is cheaper.
January 30, 2012 9:25:06 PM

azeem40 said:
Dual channel improves performence I believe and is cheaper.


I'm pretty sure the dual-channel performance applies when you have any multiple of two slots populated (so having 2x or 4x would give you dual-channel performance, but having 1x or 3x wouldn't...)

Buying two 8GB sticks is definitely NOT cheaper than going with four 4GB sticks
February 1, 2012 12:33:26 AM

RevisedChoices: Roughly $1,400 before Tax

Case: IN WIN Dragon Rider Black 1.0 - 0.8mm SECC Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
--Still looking around.

MoBo:ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

CPU Cooler: Cooler MasterHyper 212 EVO
--Changed to the air cooler azeem mentioned.

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi)
--Taking geofelt's advise on the GPU.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
--Keeping the 16GB of RAM, <shrugs.>

SSD Primary Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III
--I am still debating the crucial m4 but I'm trusting anandtech.com here and am willing to try my hand at being on the better side of the statistics.

Additional HDD: Deferred due to market. I have a spare 120 HDD anyway that is currently my OS/primary app drive that can be repurposed for any future media acquisitions.

PSU: SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD
--Upgraded to the 750 version of the previous PSU; the 80+ Gold is a big plus for me (see what I did th- sorry, nevermind).

DVD Driver/Burner: DVD Driver/Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
February 1, 2012 1:11:51 AM

I'm going to stick with mine just to spite you, squirel... grrr.

<_____<;
February 1, 2012 1:26:28 AM

I have the H100 which is very similar to the H80 and I can tell you they cool better than air and are more quiet. They have three setting for the fans and low is a whisper. I OC'd my i5 to 4.5 @ 1.35v and I run cool at about 60'C at 100% load (on low setting).

I used air before and was at about 71'C with the same settings.

Edit:

If you are on a tight budget, air is a better value. But, if you want performance, I don't think that anyone can dispute that water is better than air.
!