Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Final thoughts on build

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 15, 2012 3:39:28 PM

Hey everyone, I'm building a PC for my girlfriend, mechanical engineering student and she's on a tight budget of 870$ (Canadian Dollars). I've come up with this build for her, and we're going to be buying next week.

I really included every piece of the build here.

I made it so that every piece could support an upgrade if ever she needed to upgrade (+SSD/HDD, +CPU Overclock, +better workstation graphics, eventually)

Usage: Office, CAD (AutoCAD, SolidWorks), Surfing the web, Movies, Music.

Case/PSU: APEVIA X-ALIEN MX-ALIEN-BK/500

CPU: INTEL I5-2500K (because i7-2600K is +109$)

CPU HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-M PRO

RAM: Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500G 3.5" SATA 6GB/S

Optical: LG GH24NS90 24X SATA DVDRW BLK

Keyboard/Mouse: LOGITECH MK120 USB COMBO

Monitor: LG W2243T-PF 22" 16:9 WIDE 30000:1 BLK

TP-LINK TL-WN951N WIRELESS PCI N ADAPTER

Total: 830$

As you guys will notice, there is no video card in the build. She will be using one of my old BFG 8800GTS 320MB. Also, OS (Win7 x64) not needed.

Thoughts? Comments? I'm all ears!

More about : final thoughts build

February 15, 2012 3:48:45 PM

Looks good with the exception of the memory as they are 1.65v. Look for 1.5v modules.

MEM - Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 - $20 after MIR

Also consider swapping the Hyper 212+ for the newer Hyper 212 EVO. It boasts better cooling, however either will handle a good overclock.
February 15, 2012 3:49:52 PM

Ditch the case - Apevia is a terrible brand. I've used a lot of cases and the Apevia one I used was one of the worst bar none - the USB ports shattered, the LED lights fell off, and eventually the door broke. They're like Raidmax, Xion, etc. They make flashy cases but they're pretty much toys compared to the stuff that Corsair, Cooler Master, Antec, and even Rosewill make.

I'd go for something like the Cooler Master HAF 912, Rosewill Challenger, Antec 300, or Corsair 300.

Try these:

- HAF 912: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec 300 Illusion: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Rosewill Challenger: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only other thing I'd say is don't get a Micro ATX board either - especially if you plan to add another GPU in the future. Limited expansion options will be incredibly frustrating in the long run. Try one of these instead in the same price range:

- Asrock Extreme 3 Gen 3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Asus P8Z68-V LE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Intel BOXDZ68DB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd also agree about the RAM, 1.65V and Sandy Bridge do not mix well. This would be better: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise everything else looks good.
Related resources
February 15, 2012 4:03:06 PM

sadams04 said:
Looks good with the exception of the memory as they are 1.65v. Look for 1.5v modules.

MEM - Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 - $20 after MIR

Also consider swapping the Hyper 212+ for the newer Hyper 212 EVO. It boasts better cooling, however either will handle a good overclock.


Thanks for the info sadams and g-unit1111

The Hyper 212 EVO wasn't available from the store, so I already bought the 212+ because they had only one left. I bought Arctic Silver 5 as well, and apparently if you do a good job with the thermal paste there will be almost no difference in temps :D 

Also, why is 1.65V not good for a Sandy Bridge CPU?

For the case, I know it's not particularly amazing, but all I wanted is a big, cheap case with lots of ventilation. The power supply will last as long as it can and we'll upgrade whenever it lets go, but for now the bang for buck is pretty good! I have an Apevia case myself and yes it's a bit flimsy plastic (had to glue some back lol!) but the chassis is nice.

For the MicroATX board, I completely agree, but I liked ASUS and I heard that the GIGABYTE z68 boards weren't very good. Also, the ASRock boards are not carried by my supplier...

What motherboard would you choose?
Does anyone know the difference between the ASUS P8Z68-M PRO, P8Z68-V LX and the GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3?

Thank you so much for the help! :) 
February 15, 2012 4:07:41 PM

quicksand10 said:
Also, why is 1.65V not good for a Sandy Bridge CPU?


It is more of a best practice thing with me. 1.65v is "safe" but is considered to be "on the edge". Just no need to walk the line if you don't have to...

More info => http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289741-30-sandy-bridg...
February 15, 2012 4:45:05 PM

The HyperX Blu will be fine.
February 15, 2012 4:49:39 PM

Excellent. Thanks for the advice.

What about the motherboard? Can anyone suggest a better ASUS or GIGABYTE full ATX Z68 motherboard for approximately the same price?

Does anyone know the difference between the ASUS P8Z68-M PRO, P8Z68-V LX and the GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3?
February 15, 2012 5:34:18 PM

I think we will be going with the Asus P8Z68-V LX motherboard finally...

Like g-unit1111 said, an ATX board is easier to upgrade than a MicroATX one especially in a full tower case.

Plus, ASUS is giving a 10CAD rebate for the board if you purchase in February.

Thanks for all the help. The build currently looks like this then:

Case/PSU: APEVIA X-ALIEN MX-ALIEN-BK/500
CPU: INTEL I5-2500K (because i7-2600K is +109$)
CPU HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ with Arctic Silver 5
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LX
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB 1600MHz 1.5v KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500G 3.5" SATA 6GB/S
Optical: LG GH24NS90 24X SATA DVDRW BLK
Keyboard/Mouse: LOGITECH MK120 USB COMBO
Monitor: LG W2243T-PF 22" 16:9 WIDE 30000:1 BLK
TP-LINK TL-WN951N WIRELESS PCI N ADAPTER

Is this better?
February 15, 2012 5:36:42 PM

sadams04 said:
The HyperX Blu will be fine.


It will be fine as long as you get 1.5V., the version the OP linked is 1.65V. A lot of Sandy Bridge motherboards will run into BSODs and that type of thing if you use the wrong voltage RAM.

Quote:
What about the motherboard? Can anyone suggest a better ASUS or GIGABYTE full ATX Z68 motherboard for approximately the same price?


Does anyone know the difference between the ASUS P8Z68-M PRO, P8Z68-V LX and the GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3?


If you stay in the price range, go with the Asus LX. For $20 more this is the board I use and it works great: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
For the case, I know it's not particularly amazing, but all I wanted is a big, cheap case with lots of ventilation. The power supply will last as long as it can and we'll upgrade whenever it lets go, but for now the bang for buck is pretty good! I have an Apevia case myself and yes it's a bit flimsy plastic (had to glue some back lol!) but the chassis is nice.


The HAF 912 meets all those requirements and it's a far safer bet than anything Apevia makes. The case I used for a long time just proved to be flat-out junk, I finally chucked it for the HAF 912 and I couldn't be more satisfied with that purchase.

Quote:
For the MicroATX board, I completely agree, but I liked ASUS and I heard that the GIGABYTE z68 boards weren't very good. Also, the ASRock boards are not carried by my supplier...


That depends on the model. Where the errors with Gigabyte boards come into play is if you rush the installation - if you really take your time, check your connectors and everything else, it will run smoothly. I use the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P and it has been running smoothly for nearly 6 months now with no problems whatsoever.
February 15, 2012 6:10:27 PM

Where are you purchasing this build? Best Direct and Direct Canada usually have great prices/shipping.
-Bruce
February 15, 2012 6:17:37 PM

There's a distributor in Montreal that gets pretty good deals. He beats tigerdirect.ca's prices and no shipping :p 
February 16, 2012 7:54:02 PM

I always used ncix.com for computer parts until I moved to the US and discovered Newegg ;) 

Also, I'm a mechanical engineer and I think your build looks great, at least for anything she would do in undergrad. Anything beyond what you've shown here should be paid for by her employer!

February 16, 2012 8:10:02 PM

sharkcicle said:
I always used ncix.com for computer parts until I moved to the US and discovered Newegg ;) 

Also, I'm a mechanical engineer and I think your build looks great, at least for anything she would do in undergrad. Anything beyond what you've shown here should be paid for by her employer!


For my first two builds, I used TigerDirect.ca which have pretty good prices. I checked NCIX.ca last week and their prices are similar/slightly higher than TigerDirect. Until I realized that my Ultra X-Finity 600w Power Supply was delivering insufficient power and I needed a stronger power supply very soon to avoid screwing anything up, I found a distributor close to me whose prices are slightly better than TigerDirect.ca and no shipping!

sharkcicle said:
Also, I'm a mechanical engineer and I think your build looks great, at least for anything she would do in undergrad. Anything beyond what you've shown here should be paid for by her employer!


Hahaha awesome, that's what I was thinking too. Worst case scenario, she only needs to upgrade her GPU from my old 8800GTS to something more... useful... and maybe get an SSD.

Thanks sharkcicle :p 
!