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Need evaluation/critique on my build.

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February 23, 2012 5:54:00 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

I've just put my build together, but i have cancelled my order due to some mistaken in the verifying process with New Egg. So i just want to make sure that everything i picked are good :) . Here is it:

All from Amazon (the first and the last purchase with new egg, terrible experiences :??:  )

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Processor 3.3GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 - $179.99 (this one from Micro Center actually, already bought it)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm - $24.27

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - $204.99

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 - $449.99

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) - $49.99

HDD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $169.99

Case: Cooler Master CM Storm Trooper (SGC-5000-KKN1) - $149.99

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Modular (CP-9020003-NA) - $114.49

Optical Drive: Asus 24x DVD±RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black) - $25.22

Wireless Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN722N 150Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter - $16.99

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit – $99.99

TOTAL: $1485.9

I will use this gig for gaming and some 3D rendering, but gaming is primary. I will overclock both the CPU and the Graphic Card. My budget is $1500.

Thank yo all! :hello: 
February 23, 2012 5:57:08 AM

Everything looks fine. Thats a great build. Just make sure you didnt get the tall heat sinks on your ram for it doesn't interfere with the CPU cooler. Other than that there absolutely nothing wrong.
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February 23, 2012 5:57:21 AM

Great build , don't change anything ( just RAM like @Neal0790 said). Good luck with your build and have fun.
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February 23, 2012 6:01:08 AM

Now that i did look at it again. I noticed you went with a USB wirless adapter. From personal experience i wouldnt reccomend one. A PCI wireless card is a better way to go. I had a USB at first and had a crappy signal, and it kept cutting off every once in a while. I brought it back and ordered this one off of new egg.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and it hasnt given me any problems.
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February 23, 2012 2:02:34 PM

Hi all, thank for your input. About the RAM, do you have any suggestions? The USB Wireless Adapter is that bad? Well, i was skeptical at first as i always used PCI Network Adapter, yeah so i'm gonna change that one, thank you.

About the Graphic Card, does Sapphire is a good brand? I've never used once before so i don't know. Thank you!
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February 23, 2012 2:51:28 PM

Your list is reasonable, but since you have a budget, I have a few suggestions.

1) Since your primary objective is gaming, why not go whole hog and get a 7970? Yes, I know it costs $100 or so more, so here are some ideas on saving a bit.

2) A 7970 is not ever going to need a cf upgrade, at least so long as you are not into 2560 x 1600 monitors , or triple monitor gaming.
When you might upgrade, there will be stronger replacement cards available.
Why then do you need a $200+ full atx motherboard? There are plenty of M-ATX Z68 motherboards at half the price.

3) A 7970 is 28nm, and more efficient than previous graphics cards. It only requires a 500w psu:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/79...
I have no problem with going stronger since the psu will loaf a bit, and be quieter.

Look for a quality psu with a 6 and a 6+2 pci-e connector, it should cost less. My short list of quality psu's would include Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, PC P&C, and XFX. This Antec 650 earthwatts is an example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I see little benefit from modular unless it is for a small form factor case. You will be using most of the leads on a properly sized psu anyway.

4) Cases are a personal thing. If you love the cm storm trooper, then buy it. If there is a case you lust after that costs more, buy it. You will be looking at your case for a long time. On the other hand, a $50 case will perform just as well. If you go the M-ATX route, I can recommend, from personal use, the Silverstone TJ-08E for $100 or so. It has great airflow, can handle taller cpu coolers, and is relatively compact:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) Nothing wrong with Corsair ram, but the fancy heat spreaders are not really necessary for 1.5 ram without crazy overclocks. Sandy bridge is not sensitive to ram speeds anyway. I have used Corsair, g.skil. patriot, and kingston, all without issue.

6) I love the 120gb ssd for the os and some games. If you ever outgrow it, you can get a second, or add a hard drive. But, today, the most reliable and trouble free brands are intel and samsung. If you can afford the intel 520 120gb ssd, look at that first. Other wise, look at samsung 830 series, or even intel 320 series.
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February 23, 2012 4:11:48 PM

sosofm said:
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire is a verry good brand.


hellfire24 said:
i am corsair guy for RAM.here's a good kit for ya-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX 750w is highly rated and cheaper.they are made by seasonic(best psu maker IMO)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it's cheaper too!!! ;) 
yeah! Sapphire is good brand.all the best you rig is rally good.


Thanks guy :D 

geofelt said:
Your list is reasonable, but since you have a budget, I have a few suggestions.

1) Since your primary objective is gaming, why not go whole hog and get a 7970? Yes, I know it costs $100 or so more, so here are some ideas on saving a bit.

2) A 7970 is not ever going to need a cf upgrade, at least so long as you are not into 2560 x 1600 monitors , or triple monitor gaming.
When you might upgrade, there will be stronger replacement cards available.
Why then do you need a $200+ full atx motherboard? There are plenty of M-ATX Z68 motherboards at half the price.

3) A 7970 is 28nm, and more efficient than previous graphics cards. It only requires a 500w psu:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/79...
I have no problem with going stronger since the psu will loaf a bit, and be quieter.

Look for a quality psu with a 6 and a 6+2 pci-e connector, it should cost less. My short list of quality psu's would include Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, PC P&C, and XFX. This Antec 650 earthwatts is an example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I see little benefit from modular unless it is for a small form factor case. You will be using most of the leads on a properly sized psu anyway.

4) Cases are a personal thing. If you love the cm storm trooper, then buy it. If there is a case you lust after that costs more, buy it. You will be looking at your case for a long time. On the other hand, a $50 case will perform just as well. If you go the M-ATX route, I can recommend, from personal use, the Silverstone TJ-08E for $100 or so. It has great airflow, can handle taller cpu coolers, and is relatively compact:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) Nothing wrong with Corsair ram, but the fancy heat spreaders are not really necessary for 1.5 ram without crazy overclocks. Sandy bridge is not sensitive to ram speeds anyway. I have used Corsair, g.skil. patriot, and kingston, all without issue.

6) I love the 120gb ssd for the os and some games. If you ever outgrow it, you can get a second, or add a hard drive. But, today, the most reliable and trouble free brands are intel and samsung. If you can afford the intel 520 120gb ssd, look at that first. Other wise, look at samsung 830 series, or even intel 320 series.


Hi, thank for your suggestions, what do you said are true. However, i plan on using the Ivy Bridge CPU in the future with the PCI Ex 3.0, why buy a PCI Ex 3.0 card without the board to support it? I've been looking in to the ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 mobo ($121.99) but Amazon didn't sell it so either get the Asus now or wait for it a little bit. From what i read, the Asus i have chosen is a great mobo that will stand for at least 3 years from now on. About the Graphic Card, i don't know if i will switch to the HD 7970 cause i will probably overclock my graphic card, i just love to overclock you know :D . So my plan here: just get the 7950 for now, overclock it to the 7970 and get a additional for cross fire in 6 month. For now i will just get the SSD due to the inflated HHD price, i'm going to wait for it to come down a bit before get another HHD for storage, beside i still got a 1.5TB internal hard drive up and running along time ago.

Anyway your suggestions are valuable, i will think about that :)  Thanks.

i have the same mobo as you and use this RAM in my computer. Reliable and looks nice with the board. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [... said:
6820104173]i have the same mobo as you and use this RAM in my computer. Reliable and looks nice with the board. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820104173


Yeah, i've been thinking about the Kingston Ram, used it in the past, never disappointed. Thanks :) 
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February 23, 2012 5:05:51 PM

Leon Hart said:
Thanks guy :D 



Hi, thank for your suggestions, what do you said are true. However, i plan on using the Ivy Bridge CPU in the future with the PCI Ex 3.0, why buy a PCI Ex 3.0 card without the board to support it? I've been looking in to the ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 mobo ($121.99) but Amazon didn't sell it so either get the Asus now or wait for it a little bit. From what i read, the Asus i have chosen is a great mobo that will stand for at least 3 years from now on. About the Graphic Card, i don't know if i will switch to the HD 7970 cause i will probably overclock my graphic card, i just love to overclock you know :D . So my plan here: just get the 7950 for now, overclock it to the 7970 and get a additional for cross fire in 6 month. For now i will just get the SSD due to the inflated HHD price, i'm going to wait for it to come down a bit before get another HHD for storage, beside i still got a 1.5TB internal hard drive up and running along time ago.

Anyway your suggestions are valuable, i will think about that :)  Thanks.



Yeah, i've been thinking about the Kingston Ram, used it in the past, never disappointed. Thanks :) 


Re pci-e 3.0 vs 2.0:
Today, there is no performance benefit with pci-e 3.0 vs 2.0 for the 7970:
http://www.techpowerup.com/157253/PCI-Express-3.0-Has-Z...

The 7970 has more shaders than the 7950; you cant get more performance by overclocking out of what you don't have.
And, yes, you can still oc that 7970.
Also, graphics card vendors are wise to overclocking. They bin their chips, selecting the most overclockable chips to be used in their higher priced overclocked offerings. But, who knows, you might still get lucky an buy a standard chip with good oc potential. Just dont count too much on it, and you will not be disappointed.
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February 23, 2012 5:37:33 PM

geofelt said:
Re pci-e 3.0 vs 2.0:
Today, there is no performance benefit with pci-e 3.0 vs 2.0 for the 7970:
http://www.techpowerup.com/157253/PCI-Express-3.0-Has-Z...

The 7970 has more shaders than the 7950; you cant get more performance by overclocking out of what you don't have.
And, yes, you can still oc that 7970.
Also, graphics card vendors are wise to overclocking. They bin their chips, selecting the most overclockable chips to be used in their higher priced overclocked offerings. But, who knows, you might still get lucky an buy a standard chip with good oc potential. Just dont count too much on it, and you will not be disappointed.


Hmm, i thought in order to run the card at PCI-e 3.0 you also have to run the gen3 CPU at the same time? And since the Ivy Bridge hasn't came out yet??? Well, i'm no geek so i woulnd't really know much :) )

So what 7970 would you recommend for me? I want one that run quietly and coolly also have great oc capacity, thanks :) 
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February 23, 2012 6:20:27 PM

Leon Hart said:
Hmm, i thought in order to run the card at PCI-e 3.0 you also have to run the gen3 CPU at the same time? And since the Ivy Bridge hasn't came out yet??? Well, i'm no geek so i woulnd't really know much :) )

So what 7970 would you recommend for me? I want one that run quietly and coolly also have great oc capacity, thanks :) 


I don't think it matters if pci-e 3.0 is implemented in the cpu or by a discrete chip. The result is the same.

Most of the work is done by the graphics chip. The results are passed back and forth via the pci-e interface, and, relatively speaking, that is a minor component of the work invilved. That is why pcie 2.0 and 3.0 are largely irrelevant today. pcie 2.0 and 3.0 are forward and backward compatible so that is no issue either.

All of the current 7970 offerings are using the same basic guts. Some vendors offer cooling options at extra cost. In general, the upscale cooling will do a better job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but also let a lot of that heat back in the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That heats up both the gpu and the air going to cool the cpu. Not good. If you have a good cooling case, then ok. Personally, I prefer the types of coolers that send most of the hot air directly out the back of the case. Regardless, the 28nm construction will not run as hot ac current 45nm offerings. Even then, graphics cards do run hot, but they are built to tolerate high temperatures. So long as your cpu is not impacted, I would not worry too much about it.

I see some mixed feedback on the 7970/7950 cards, but I attribute that to new driver issues. I see no intrinsic reason to favor one vendor over another. To differentiate, you might look at the individual support sites to see how well they handle issues.

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February 23, 2012 6:31:21 PM

Thank you for your information about how the cooling fan system work :) . And yeah i have been reading around and there is really now differences between branches except some of them have the pre OC version. I guess it just personal preferences. For me, i have several dead card with Gigabyte so i will pass them, XFX is cool, used once and it was awesome. I really want the MSI Twin Froz series as i used them before, but it seem nowhere to be found :) ). And since you're talking about good cooling case, do you think the CM Storm that i picked is a good one?
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February 23, 2012 7:02:21 PM

Leon Hart said:
Thank you for your information about how the cooling fan system work :) . And yeah i have been reading around and there is really now differences between branches except some of them have the pre OC version. I guess it just personal preferences. For me, i have several dead card with Gigabyte so i will pass them, XFX is cool, used once and it was awesome. I really want the MSI Twin Froz series as i used them before, but it seem nowhere to be found :) ). And since you're talking about good cooling case, do you think the CM Storm that i picked is a good one?


If a case has at least two 120mm intake fans or equivalent, and an equvalent exhaust area, then it will do an adequate job of cooling.

CM storm has that in spades.

I think it is a good looking case, but a bit large for my tastes.
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February 23, 2012 7:07:23 PM

Yeah, it's large and heavy, 12 kg without hardware :D , but i just love how it look. Anyway, i heard aluminum cases are best at cooling but it seem hard to find and most of the good case are steel and/or plastic.
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February 23, 2012 7:18:00 PM

Leon Hart said:
Yeah, it's large and heavy, 12 kg without hardware :D , but i just love how it look. Anyway, i heard aluminum cases are best at cooling but it seem hard to find and most of the good case are steel and/or plastic.


Looks matter. You will be looking at it for a long time.

Aluminum is not significant as a case cooling factor. Neither is case size It is the airflow that matters most.

Lian li makes some great quality aluminum cases, but they tend to be more expensive.
Here is one example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you go M-ATX, the silverstone TJ-08E I mentioned earlier cools equally well.
From lian li, look at the V354. If you can find a red one, the color is stunning:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 23, 2012 8:16:33 PM

Nice case, quite expensive though. I'll just get this CM Storm, let's see how it perform.
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February 26, 2012 5:00:07 PM

Best answer selected by Leon Hart.
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February 26, 2012 5:33:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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