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[New Build] Need Critique on my build, please

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February 18, 2012 4:50:15 AM

So I've had my Best Buy laptop for the past 4 years, and you know what? I'm sick of it barely able to run ANY game let alone get some good fps numbers. So I'm gonna try to build a custom desktop for once. My budget is $1000 equivalent in CNY

Mostly, I'd like to play some MMORPG's and MMOFPS on maxed settings (1920x1080 or higher resolution) maintaining a decent framerate 40 - 60. Every now and then I'd play the newest single player games (Skyrim, Crysis 1 & 2, Left 4 Dead, Dragon Age 2, etc...)

I'm not up to date with all the new hardware out.. I mean I've read reviews and discussions about certain hardware but I would like to know what is best in my situation.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $1000 USD MAX

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Home Entertainment (Movies/Music), Surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, OS **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None. There is a computer shop near me which will (probably) have all the parts.

Country: China

Parts Preferences: Nvidia, Intel

Overclocking: Maybe (I've never OC'd but I'd like to try it..)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 on a 21.5"

Additional Comments: I'd like to be able to play current and future games at 1080p with maxed out settings, AA, etc..

Current planned setup:

**updated**
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($105)

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)

RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($125)

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($20)

**updated**
Case: RNZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($40)

**updated**
Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($70)

Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

Total cost: $1000

I have decided to go with just a 1TB HDD instead of the 64GB SSD + 500GB HDD as it puts me directly at $1000.
Is everything compatible? Is there anything that I can downgrade without suffering too much performance?

I'd appreciate any input, suggestions, critique..

More about : build critique build

February 18, 2012 5:04:48 AM

Quote:
So I've had my Best Buy laptop for the past 4 years, and you know what? I'm sick of it barely able to run ANY game let alone get some good fps numbers. So I'm gonna try to build a custom desktop for once. My budget is $1000 equivalent in CNY


Most of the computers they sell at Best Buy are flat-out junk anymore. They're made from manufacturers who use proprietary and outdated components and can't even remotely handle what's out there now with the DIY market.

Quote:
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230) I was also considering the AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz($200) or even perhaps AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz ($260) but I read it's not that great for gaming? :x


Zambezi isn't that great for anything, get the 2500K - you get an upgrade path to Ivy where AM3 is the end of the line for FX.

Quote:
Motherboard: Need help with this


This is the one I recommend on a ~$1K build and it works great (I use the similar UD3P model): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Video Card: I can't decide between the EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB ($140) and EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)


560 easily. With the new Radeons, the new Kepler series about to be released - the 550TI is pretty much a moot point anymore.

Quote:
Hard Drive: Why do people an SSD along with a normal HDD? Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($140)


I generally try to keep OS and data separate and the SSD will provide a huge performance boost to your system and if you pair it with a 1 - 2 TB HD you can enable Intel's smart SSD caching system.

Quote:
Case: Need help with this


That depends on how much you want to spend. On a ~$1K build I generally recommend anywhere from a $60 case to a $100 case. It's mainly a matter of personal preference but the best brands are generally Cooler Master, Antec, Fractal Design, Rosewill, and Corsair. The brands you want to avoid are Apevia, Xclio, Xion, and Diablotek.

Quote:
Power Supply: Need help with this


Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 18, 2012 5:18:05 AM

Quote:
Most of the computers they sell at Best Buy are flat-out junk anymore. They're made from manufacturers who use proprietary and outdated components and can't even remotely handle what's out there now with the DIY market.

That is exactly why I'm looking to build a custom desktop.

Quote:
Zambezi isn't that great for anything, get the 2500K - you get an upgrade path to Ivy where AM3 is the end of the line for FX.


Ahh, thanks. What exactly is this "upgrade path to Ivy"?

Quote:
This is the one I recommend on a ~$1K build and it works great (I use the similar UD3P model): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Is there a cheaper one? I'll still add it to my list of considerations.

Quote:
I generally try to keep OS and data separate and the SSD will provide a huge performance boost to your system and if you pair it with a 1 - 2 TB HD you can enable Intel's smart SSD caching system.

So then you would recommend buying a SSD as well with my current setup? If so what size? I'd like to keep it as small as possible to reduce the extra cost.

Quote:
That depends on how much you want to spend. On a ~$1K build I generally recommend anywhere from a $60 case to a $100 case. It's mainly a matter of personal preference...

The cheapest and smallest that can hold everything and still have good air flow? What would you recommend?


Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($160)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230)
Video Card:EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($140)
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($21)
Case:
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($80)
Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

Total cost so far: $1041 :/ 
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February 18, 2012 5:27:57 AM

Quote:
Ahh, thanks. What exactly is this "upgrade path to Ivy"?


The upcoming Intel CPUs are based on a northbridge platform called "Ivy Bridge". Ivy Bridge CPUs will support existing Z68 and P67 motherboards so you will be safe for at least 2 - 3 years with your investment.

Quote:
Is there a cheaper one? I'll still add it to my list of considerations.


The only cheaper one I could recommend would be this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
So then you would recommend buying a SSD as well? If so what size? I'd like to keep it as small as possible to reduce the extra cost.


What I usually do is use a 64GB SSD as the boot drive and then store everything else on a secondary 1 - 2TB hard drive. It helps to have your OS separate from your data in case your Windows install gets screwed up or you have to reformat your primary HD. I just had to reformat my PC for Windows this week because of a messed up install and backing up everything on the secondary, and using my SSD for the primary made everything that much easier. The cheapest (and best) SSD right now is the Crucial M4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Quote:
The cheapest and smallest that can hold everything and still have good air flow? What would you recommend?


Try one of these:

- Cooler Master 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...

If you want to pay a bit more I suggest one of these:

- Fractal Design Arc MIDI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Corsair Carbide 400R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:


Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($160)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230)
Video Card:EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($140)
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($21)
Case:
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($80)
Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

Total cost so far: $1041 :/ 


You could certainly cut down on the HD and get a Caviar Blue 500GB and save $70. Then use that and get a good CPU cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212.
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February 18, 2012 5:42:38 AM
February 18, 2012 8:27:30 AM

**updated**
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($105)

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)

RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($125)

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($20)

**updated**
Case: RNZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($40)

**updated**
Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($70)

Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

Total cost: $1000

I have decided to go with just a 1TB HDD instead of the 64GB SSD + 500GB HDD as it puts me directly at $1000.
Is everything compatible? Is there anything that I can downgrade without suffering too much performance?
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Best solution

February 18, 2012 5:01:17 PM

genius94d said:
**updated**
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($105)

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($250)

RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($40)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s ($125)

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($20)

**updated**
Case: RNZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($40)

**updated**
Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($70)

Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

Total cost: $1000

I have decided to go with just a 1TB HDD instead of the 64GB SSD + 500GB HDD as it puts me directly at $1000.
Is everything compatible? Is there anything that I can downgrade without suffering too much performance?


That's an excellent build. The only changes I'd make would be to swap your RAM with this (1.65V does not mix with Sandy Bridge) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then if you wanted to downgrade anything, swap your GPU with this, you'll save about $100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And if you're not going to overclock, you could drop both the i5-2500K and the Hyper 212 and substitute the i5-2400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 18, 2012 5:04:02 PM

change ram to g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb 47$
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February 19, 2012 1:48:57 AM
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February 19, 2012 4:45:46 AM

**updated**
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($140)

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K ($230) (Overclocked in the future)

**new**
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus ($30)

Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti SuperClocked - 1GB ($230)

**updated**
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) ($45)
or
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) ($47)
Whichever is available. Both are SDRAM DDR3 1600 1.5V

Hard Drive: Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s ($120)

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc ($20)

Case: NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($40)

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($60)

Monitor: Acer 5ms 21.5" 1920x1080 ($120)

**new**
Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz ($30)

Total cost: $1065

I upgraded the Mobo, might as well get a good mobo.. I also added a CPU cooler because I game for 12 hours straight each day so I'd like for it to stay cool all the time, and also when I decide to overclock it in the future. And I added a sound card because it's cheap and provides much better quality audio than the onboard sound card. I think the extra $65 is definitely worth it for the extra upgrades.
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February 19, 2012 9:27:25 AM

Best answer selected by genius94d.
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