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New Build, opinions concerning choices.

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February 4, 2012 3:07:40 PM

Well guys finally finished getting everything ordered and on the way for my new build. Started collecting parts that generally are not so time sensitive to tech changes about a year ago catching good sale prices when possible. Been about 6 years since my last build that still works great but definately has gotten a bit long in the tooth.

What I find I seem to do is try to build a good solid system that to an extent offers good value and performance for the dollar but at the same time will hold up for a few years performance wise.

Here is what I went with after spending quite a few hours researching builds and components on various forums and web sites. Speed of course is important but longevity and reliability are just as important as raw speed and also influence my choices.

Case- Cooler Master HAF932

PSU- Corsair TX850W

CPU- Intel i5-2500k

CPU Cooler- Cooler Master Hyper 212+

MB- ASROCK Z68 Fatal1ty prof gen 3

RAM- G Skill Ripjaws X 8gb (2x4gb)

GPU- EVGA GTX570HD 2.5 gb x2 (SLI)

SSD- Samsung 830 256gb sata3

HHD- WD 350GB BLACK (New, left over from previous build and never needed or used)

DVD Drive- Lite on 24X

Monitor- Samsung s24a350h 24" lcd

Keyboard- Logitech g-110

Mouse- Logitech mx518

Operating System- Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit


Basically I use my system for web surfing and playing some games. Other than the Games I download very, very little. I don't download or store music or movies and store a few pictures here and there. I know I could have gotten by with a smaller SSD but I wanted something that everytime I did download something or a new game that I would not have to worry so much as far as how much free space I had so the 256gb seemed like a better choice even though it was more of a cash outlay.

One of the biggest conflicts I faced seemed to be the choice in GPU. I really was leaning towards the GTX 580 in one aspect but the pricing point of the gtx 570hd was very attractive. I also have been running my old system with nvidea cards in SLI since it was built and have always been pleased with the performance. Also as I stated earlier certain parts have been bought over a period of time and the PSU was one of those items purchased on a shellshocker deal at a really good price. Being the PSU is only 850 watts going with a 580 now and adding a second one down the road for sli would also require a new psu purchase that brought me back to the 570 as the 850 watt psu should handle those okay and give give good performance as well.

Another concern was that I had read that some newer games were being a bit more demanding of the amount of vram being used and not knowing whether this would be a more common trend in the future I did opt for the higher priced 2.5 gb version cards as a just in case. If I had of decided to go the GTX580 route it would have been the 3gb version for the same reason. Also opted for the EVGA brand due to the lifetime warranty and them standing behind their products.

I will also add in that some of the choices I made when I came down to finalizing the choice the customer reviews and the percentage of "5" star or egg reviews did carry some influence. The motherboard was a classic example as although great features some I will never probably utilize the amount of high reviews percentage wise was by far eclipsing anything else I was looking at. I also know that reviews can be misleading depending on the technical knowledge of the reviewers but then again when 8 out of 10 basically give a product the highest rating that to me makes me feel that my chances of getting a good product is somewhat better than a product that receives a 4 out of 10 rating.

So anyway this is my build and a general explanation of some of my choices and what I use my system for. What do you think?





More about : build opinions choices

February 4, 2012 3:29:16 PM

I think you did well my self. The 850 watt will handle the 2 570's. I run SLI 560 ti's on a 750 and havnt had any trouble. So if a guy can run two 560 ti's on a 650. 2 570's can be run easy on a 850. Your Build looks solid. cant find a thing wrong. However. your case is big enough to where i recommend the A70 from corsair over the Hyper 212+
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February 4, 2012 4:22:09 PM

Again, bought the hyper 212+ on one of the really good sales at less than 20.00. The cooler was another place there is just so many options and I looked at even the 80.00- 90.00 noctua coolers as well that have some of the highest ratings.

I went with the case for the room and supposed good airflow. Also the case was one of my early purchases and bought it on sale for under a 100.00. If I was buying the case today I may consider one of the newer offerings from Cooler Master but at the price I paid for this case I am more than satisfied.

I plan to only overclock the cpu to about the 4.2 range no higher. Also I did buy the second fan to set up the push pull configuration as well. I figured that for the dollars that the 212+ had some pretty good reviews even against some coolers that were priced twice as high. Figured that I would give it a shot and check my temps and if it is not doing the needed job would then upgrade to something better.

Funny as when you start thinking of doing a build you seem to sort of have a total budget figure in mind that you want to spend but once you start researching to get what you would like to have that poor old original budget gets left in the wind, in my case anyway.

I have found that by stretching purchases on items that really do not get totally obsolete over a period of time that I was able to save several hundred dollars by shopping promotions and big sales on the items I wanted to purchase. It really did help to be able to build a better system without going over budget too bad comparing to normal everyday pricing.

I will keep your cooler recommendation in mind though in the event I need to make a change. thanks for the feedback!
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February 4, 2012 5:28:17 PM

Nice build. Looks good to me :) 
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February 4, 2012 6:45:49 PM

The only thing I can take issue with.....

1. Ya on ya own with the MoBo warranty after two years, every other major manufacturer gives at least 3. Whether that turns out to be a good or bad decision will depend as much upon luck of the draw as anything else.

2. I wouldn't put a big OC on those 570's. The "reference" 570's have earned a bit of a "fragile" reputation due to the number of fried VRM's that have resulted. Granted, most users brought this in themselves by exceeding manufacturer's published voltage limits but ya can crank the crap outta the 560's with no ill effects. Many manufacturers (Asus, Palit, Gainward, etc) went to an 8 phase (6+2) VRM design which eliminated the problem. To my knowledge, EVGA and MSI are still using the reference VRM.

http://www.overclock.net/t/929152/have-you-killed-a-570...
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February 4, 2012 8:55:28 PM

Some thoughts:
1) Is there some feature of ultimate you need? Home premium will do for most home users.

2) I would not go with sli out of the chute when a single good card will do the job. A single card will avoid any microstuttering issues and be more consistent.
In this case, a single GTX580 may not shine in synthetic benchmarks, but will perform very well on a single monitor. If you are into triple monitor gaming, that is another issue.
Or, why not get a 7970? It is cheaper than two GTX570 cards and is a beast:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The GTX580 needs only a 600w psu, and the 7970 needs only a 500w psu.

3) If you go with a single good card, you can avoid the expense of high end sli capable enthusiast motherboards.
Future upgrade?? there will be duac gpu versions of the 7970, and who knows what nvidia will offer with their 28nm cards?

4) Good choice on the ssd.
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February 5, 2012 5:24:14 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
The only thing I can take issue with.....

1. Ya on ya own with the MoBo warranty after two years, every other major manufacturer gives at least 3. Whether that turns out to be a good or bad decision will depend as much upon luck of the draw as anything else.

2. I wouldn't put a big OC on those 570's. The "reference" 570's have earned a bit of a "fragile" reputation due to the number of fried VRM's that have resulted. Granted, most users brought this in themselves by exceeding manufacturer's published voltage limits but ya can crank the crap outta the 560's with no ill effects. Many manufacturers (Asus, Palit, Gainward, etc) went to an 8 phase (6+2) VRM design which eliminated the problem. To my knowledge, EVGA and MSI are still using the reference VRM.

http://www.overclock.net/t/929152/have-you-killed-a-570...



The two year warranty does not really give me a lot of concern versus a three year warranty. Generally I have found in my experiences that most electronics that fail from a defect do so within the first few months to a year but as you stated luck of the draw means a lot.

One thing that attracted me to this board was the spacing on the pci slots that actually give room between the cards so in SLI the video cards have a bit of room between them so they can breathe and aid in cooling the cards.

I have read about the fried vrms on the 570's. At the present time I am not sure whether I will overclock the cards at all or not. If I do decide to overclock them I will probably use the factory overclocked cards as a reference point and not exceed those limits to play it safe.



geofelt said:
Some thoughts:
1) Is there some feature of ultimate you need? Home premium will do for most home users.

2) I would not go with sli out of the chute when a single good card will do the job. A single card will avoid any microstuttering issues and be more consistent.
In this case, a single GTX580 may not shine in synthetic benchmarks, but will perform very well on a single monitor. If you are into triple monitor gaming, that is another issue.
Or, why not get a 7970? It is cheaper than two GTX570 cards and is a beast:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The GTX580 needs only a 600w psu, and the 7970 needs only a 500w psu.

3) If you go with a single good card, you can avoid the expense of high end sli capable enthusiast motherboards.
Future upgrade?? there will be duac gpu versions of the 7970, and who knows what nvidia will offer with their 28nm cards?

4) Good choice on the ssd.



The reason for going with ultimate was for the virtual xp mode as I have some older games I still play at times and not sure whether they would run on the newer operating system.

The video card choices and application is something that I have wrestled with and even though I went the route I did still wonder if I made the right choice. I like nvidea cards and EVGA's no hassle warranty. I went back and forth between a single gtx580 and the SLI 570's and the two 570's will outperform the single 580 and to go sli 580's of course would be more money and my psu would have to be upgraded further as well.

So when I tossed it all around the sli 570's 2.5gb would run about 310.00 less than sli 580's 3.0gb plus my psu did not need the upgrade. May not be the right or even best choice but one I became comfortable with overall and should give good solid performance.

I have been running a sli setup for the last 6 years and have been pleased with the results they have given me. I hope the new sli setup treats me as well.

The ssd will be my first and from what I have read although the 830 may not be the fastest it is one of the most reliable and that is important as well. Made my day when I went to order at the end of last week and they were running it at a decent sale price as well.
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February 5, 2012 5:45:34 AM

You can use Win 7 Professional 64 bit instead of Ultimate. Both have the XP Mode. I use the Win 7 Pro 64 bit for the same reason :)  Ultimate mainly gives you multi-language support.
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February 5, 2012 4:37:35 PM

Unless a game was build in 16 bit dos architecture, like civ2, it should run on windows 7.

If you installed home premium, and decided that you needed pro or ultimate, I think you can do an online purchase and activate those options after initial install.

Don't know if the pricing is attractive.
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February 5, 2012 6:07:15 PM

vollman1 said:
You can use Win 7 Professional 64 bit instead of Ultimate. Both have the XP Mode. I use the Win 7 Pro 64 bit for the same reason :)  Ultimate mainly gives you multi-language support.


I did make a mistake, it was professional that I purchased instead of ultimate. Remember the language thing and that I had no need for. I appreciate your comments!
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February 5, 2012 6:16:22 PM

geofelt said:
Unless a game was build in 16 bit dos architecture, like civ2, it should run on windows 7.

If you installed home premium, and decided that you needed pro or ultimate, I think you can do an online purchase and activate those options after initial install.

Don't know if the pricing is attractive.



I purchased the pro on sale and it was like 30.00 more than the home premium at its sale price point. I play some old games at times like Balders Gate which came out in the late 90's and was not sure if they would run on 7 although they do run fine on xp.

Figured for the slight difference in price that having the capability to backtrack if needed was not a bad option. This will be my first windows 7 experience as my two current systems are still on xp.

I am not one that upgrades very often so I try to cover my bases a bit when I do. They will probably be on windows 9 and getting ready to come out with windows 10 on my next major build. lol!
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February 5, 2012 6:38:50 PM

vfourmax said:
I purchased the pro on sale and it was like 30.00 more than the home premium at its sale price point. I play some old games at times like Balders Gate which came out in the late 90's and was not sure if they would run on 7 although they do run fine on xp.

Figured for the slight difference in price that having the capability to backtrack if needed was not a bad option. This will be my first windows 7 experience as my two current systems are still on xp.

I am not one that upgrades very often so I try to cover my bases a bit when I do. They will probably be on windows 9 and getting ready to come out with windows 10 on my next major build. lol!


If it runs on xp, it will run on windows 7.
The games that will not run on a 64 bit version of xp or windows 7 are, in general the dos based 16 bit games.
I tried virtual xp on the early beta of windows 7, and while civ2 ran, the performance was miserable.
I ended up building a cheap xp 32 bit pc just for that game, one of my favorites.

For what it is worth, I see no advantage currently for windows 8 over 7 for the desktop gamer.
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February 6, 2012 8:28:24 PM

vfourmax said:
I purchased the pro on sale and it was like 30.00 more than the home premium at its sale price point. I play some old games at times like Balders Gate which came out in the late 90's and was not sure if they would run on 7 although they do run fine on xp.

Figured for the slight difference in price that having the capability to backtrack if needed was not a bad option. This will be my first windows 7 experience as my two current systems are still on xp.

I am not one that upgrades very often so I try to cover my bases a bit when I do. They will probably be on windows 9 and getting ready to come out with windows 10 on my next major build. lol!


There are two different primary methods to enable compatibility for older or legacy applications within Windows 7. The first and perhaps the easiest way is to run Microsoft Windows XP within Windows7 is through Windows XP Mode and Virtual PC just as another member of this thread pointed out. Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC, available on Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, allow you to run multiple Windows environments, such as Windows XP Mode, from your Windows 7 desktop.

Please note that Windows XP Mode is a virtualized environment and is not recommended for graphically intense applications.

The second method would be to test the application in compatibility mode first, prior to resorting to a virtual environment. A great web page to learn more about compatibility mode is "Make older programs run in this version of Windows."

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro
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February 12, 2012 2:32:41 AM

Well as an update I got all of my parts in and have assembled the new build. Still in the process of getting everything done and sorted, tweaked but I will say that as of the writing of this it has been a flawless, painless operation that went smooth as butter.

The only hitch I had, which really was not a hitch was before I got windows and my drivers loaded the USB keyboard was not really responding well but a ps2 keyboard hooked up took care of that until I could get to a point to load the correct drivers.

I was a little worried about installing windows 7 as so much I had read on different forums people were talking about installation problems and hang ups with the installs not completing that I went in expecting the worse.

I had gone into the bios and set set everything up for the ssd and all my installed hardware showed correctly prior to attempting installing windows and honestly the windows install probably took about 30 minutes or less and never once even had a hiccup.

Still getting all the software installed but so far things are looking good. I even went in after everything was up and running and had all of my nvidia sli setup and running went into the bios and did a easy overclock to 4.2 on the CPU and again so far things running smooth and so far not one hang up or freeze or crash. I am one happy camper at this point.

I appreciate all the input and comments that you guys put forth. I will say as of now I would have no problem recommending any of the componants as a package that I used. For me anyway they all played very nicely with each other. Early indications give the Asrock Fatal1ty board a big thumbs up with easy to navigate bios and everything working and doing as it should.

I really love the spacing between the two video cards which should help keeping the cards temps under control. The haf 932 has tons of room and nowhere did I feel that I wish this or that would have been designed different and cable management is a breeze with the room between the motherboard panel and the right side case cover even using a non modular PSU.

I did mount an extra 120mm sickle flow fan on the backside of the hard drive cage with the airflow blowing over the video cards for a little extra cooling in that department and mounted two fans on the 212+ in a push pull arrangement also as a little extra insurance. Otherwise just using the stock fans that came with the case.

But so far all in all I could not have ask for the build to go any smoother than it has gone thusfar. Thanks again for your comments.

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February 13, 2012 4:28:13 PM

vfourmax said:
Well as an update I got all of my parts in and have assembled the new build. Still in the process of getting everything done and sorted, tweaked but I will say that as of the writing of this it has been a flawless, painless operation that went smooth as butter.

The only hitch I had, which really was not a hitch was before I got windows and my drivers loaded the USB keyboard was not really responding well but a ps2 keyboard hooked up took care of that until I could get to a point to load the correct drivers.

I was a little worried about installing windows 7 as so much I had read on different forums people were talking about installation problems and hang ups with the installs not completing that I went in expecting the worse.

I had gone into the bios and set set everything up for the ssd and all my installed hardware showed correctly prior to attempting installing windows and honestly the windows install probably took about 30 minutes or less and never once even had a hiccup.

Still getting all the software installed but so far things are looking good. I even went in after everything was up and running and had all of my nvidia sli setup and running went into the bios and did a easy overclock to 4.2 on the CPU and again so far things running smooth and so far not one hang up or freeze or crash. I am one happy camper at this point.

I appreciate all the input and comments that you guys put forth. I will say as of now I would have no problem recommending any of the componants as a package that I used. For me anyway they all played very nicely with each other. Early indications give the Asrock Fatal1ty board a big thumbs up with easy to navigate bios and everything working and doing as it should.

I really love the spacing between the two video cards which should help keeping the cards temps under control. The haf 932 has tons of room and nowhere did I feel that I wish this or that would have been designed different and cable management is a breeze with the room between the motherboard panel and the right side case cover even using a non modular PSU.

I did mount an extra 120mm sickle flow fan on the backside of the hard drive cage with the airflow blowing over the video cards for a little extra cooling in that department and mounted two fans on the 212+ in a push pull arrangement also as a little extra insurance. Otherwise just using the stock fans that came with the case.

But so far all in all I could not have ask for the build to go any smoother than it has gone thusfar. Thanks again for your comments.


Let us know how the application compatibility testing goes! Keep us posted.

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team -- IT Pro
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