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$1500 Complete Build - ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 - GTX570 - i7 2700K

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March 4, 2012 1:16:24 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Looking to have selections sorted out this week to purchase by next weekend.

Budget Range: Flexible $1500.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Everyday computer tasks, Microsoft Office (Power Point Presentations), Web Browsing (AOL,Youtube Uploading), Multimedia - Simple Video Editing (Windows Movie Maker) with HD Video editing in mind for the near future, Photo Editing (Adobe Photoshop), Music Playback, I'd like to try out some gaming (very light to start).

Parts Not Required: I need a complete new system - new monitors, mouse, and keyboard - new everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com, newegg.com, open to suggestions.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:
Cases: Corsair, Cooler Master, and then open to any other. I like simple cases.
PSU: Corsair AX Series, Seasonic X Series, and open to any other 80 Plus Gold Certified Modular units.
Mother Board: Any ASRock Z68 Motherboard but none higher than the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen 3.
CPU: i7 2600K, i5 2500K.
RAM: Ripjaws X, Corsair Vengeance. Low Profile RAM to avoid clearance issues with the CPU Cooler.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+/EVO, Noctua NH-C12P SE14, Noctua NH-D14, or any other Noctua Cooler.
GPU: EVGA GTX Series, MSI GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr II, I prefer enclosed cards that blow air out of the case.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, WD Caviar Black 1TB.
SSD: Crucial M4 64GB or 128GB.
Optical Drive: DVD Burner w/ LightScribe.
Monitors: 1920x1080 minimum resolution. Looking into Asus. 24” or 27” monitors.
Keyboard: I need a wired usb keyboard with a built in usb hub/dock.
Mouse: Open to any.

Overclocking: Maybe (Probably Eventually).

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future (Not Likely)


This is my new initial proposed build:

Case: Corsair 300r $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Seasonic X Series X650 $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16GB (4 x 4GB) $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: EVGA GTX 550 Ti $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor: Asus 27" 1080p VE276Q $280
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard: Adesso USB Keyboard w/ USB Hub $14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse: Adesso USB 3 Button Mouse $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1480

Note - Everything is linked to newegg.com (for convenience) but I will purchase from amazon.com.

---

Concerns:

PSU: Amazon doesn't carry the Seasonic X650 they have the X660 and Newegg doesn’t carry the X660 so I linked the X650. Is one of the websites mislabeled? I went to Seasonic.com and they listed both the 650 & 660. What is the difference between the two?

MoBo: Amazon carries the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 but is constantly out of stock and 3rd party sellers offer it for 200 plus dollars. Amazon also has the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 (NON Gen3) available. Is the non gen3 board a good choice for me? I am interested in finding the lowest priced motherboard with onboard usb 3.0 headers.

HDD: Amazon doesn't currently have the Samsung Spinpoint F3 - 3rd party sellers have it for 200 plus dollars. Amazon does have the WD Caviar Black 1TB. Is this a good choice for me? Are HDD prices ever coming back down?

RAM/CPU Cooler: Do low profile sticks perform as well as sticks with heat spreaders? I chose 16GB to fill all four slots from the start. I chose low profile to avoid any clearance issues with the Hyper 212 EVO. I am interested in the regular Corsair Vengeance or Ripjaws X (Heat Spreaders).

GPU/PSU: I selected what I deem an entry level card. Does the Seasonic X660 have enough juice to power this build? How about with a GTX 560 or 570 in the future?

I am very interested to hear your opinions and suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
CSK222

Best solution

March 4, 2012 1:25:34 AM

Quote:


Case: Corsair 300r $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811139011
PSU: Seasonic X Series X650 $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151088
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157264
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16GB (4 x 4GB) $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820233197
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103099
GPU: EVGA GTX 550 Ti $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130625
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148528
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106335
Monitor: Asus 27" 1080p VE276Q $280
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824236091
Keyboard: Adesso USB Keyboard w/ USB Hub $14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6823166115
Mouse: Adesso USB 3 Button Mouse $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6826152027

Total = $1480


That's an excellent build to start with. I'd cut the monitor down to a 22 - 24", cut the RAM to 8GB, and put the difference into upgrading your GPU to an EVGA 560TI - the 550TI is a horrible choice in the $150 range - if you're going with that, get a 6850.

Radeon 6850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EVGA 560TI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
RAM/CPU Cooler: Do low profile sticks perform as well as sticks with heat spreaders? I chose 16GB to fill all four slots from the start. I chose low profile to avoid any clearance issues with the Hyper 212 EVO. I am interested in the regular Corsair Vengeance or Ripjaws X (Heat Spreaders).


That doesn't matter - the heat sinks are just for looks - they don't really add or subtract anything performance wise, I try to minimize the clearance as I have used several different coolers with mixed results.

You could also pay the extra $10 difference and upgrade to the Carbide 400R - you'll get a lot more space for bigger coolers and PSUs and more drive bays: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And get this for your motherboard instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


And it's also a very wise decision not to blow $100+ on expensive peripherals - you can always get those later.
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March 4, 2012 1:33:46 AM

I cringe seeing that 550ti. If you plan on buying a GPU with that budget, make sure you get the a good one.

Minimum you should get is a 6870.
A 560ti is pretty good too.
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March 4, 2012 3:00:16 AM

cutebeans said:
I cringe seeing that 550ti. If you plan on buying a GPU with that budget, make sure you get the a good one.

Minimum you should get is a 6870.
A 560ti is pretty good too.


I have 2 550TIs running in SLI - it's decent performance but I notice it *REALLY* lags in Skyrim. I'm upgrading to the 7950 as soon as the price drops - probably in 3 - 4 months.
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March 4, 2012 3:27:24 AM

Thanks for the responses.

What is so bad about the 550 Ti? I wanted it to be minimal just to take the load off of the Intel CPU graphics. I'm concerned with keeping the system cool and not having a hot graphics card running at all times (gaming is a side thing - not the main thing I'd like to do). Does the 560 Ti run hot when not gaming?

Why did you choose that particular Gigabyte motherboard over the ASRock? For now I'm still listing the ASRock as my motherboard.

I downgraded to a 24" Asus monitor. I'd like some recommendations in this area.

I downgraded to 8GB RAM.

I upgraded to the Corsair 400r.

How does this look:

Case: Corsair 400r $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Seasonic X Series X650 $130
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K $225
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2 x 4GB) $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35
GPU: EVGA GTX 560 Ti $ 250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $140
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $105
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $26
Monitor: Asus 24" 1080p VS248H $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard: Adesso USB Keyboard w/ USB Hub $14
Mouse: Adesso USB 3 Button Mouse $10

Total: $1480

Thanks.
CSK222
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March 4, 2012 3:31:54 AM

Quote:
What is so bad about the 550 Ti? I wanted it to be minimal just to take the load off of the Intel CPU graphics. I'm concerned with keeping the system cool and not having a hot graphics card running at all times (gaming is a side thing - not the main thing I'd like to do). Does the 560 Ti run hot when not gaming?


It's just not a good choice. Being concerned about heat is one thing I get that but if you set up the air flow in your case properly you will not have to worry about that. My workstation runs a huge Sapphire 5830 and my system temps idle at 26'C - 33'C on full use. Read this about setting up good air cooling:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...
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March 5, 2012 1:01:44 AM

Thanks for the read, I now have a better understanding about good air cooling schemes. It looks like I won't have any problems venting hot air out, but I still would like to know if the EVGA GTX 560 Ti runs hot all of the time or only when gaming. If it constantly runs hot what would be an alternative card? I'd like to stick with nvidia cards.

Does this look just about right or are there any areas that need improvement?

CSK222 PC:

Case: Corsair 400r $100
PSU: Seasonic X Series X650 $130
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K $225
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2 x 4GB) $50
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35
GPU: EVGA GTX 560 Ti $ 250
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $140
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $105
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $26
Monitor: Asus 24" 1080p VS248H $200
Keyboard: Adesso USB Keyboard w/ USB Hub $14
Mouse: Adesso USB 3 Button Mouse $10

Total: $1480

Any and all are welcome to chime in with thoughts and opinions.

Thanks.
CSK222
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March 5, 2012 1:10:04 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the read, I now have a better understanding about good air cooling schemes. It looks like I won't have any problems venting hot air out, but I still would like to know if the EVGA GTX 560 Ti runs hot all of the time or only when gaming. If it constantly runs hot what would be an alternative card? I'd like to stick with nvidia cards.


It doesn't - most manufacturers are pretty wise to heat issues and build their products accordingly. EVGA is a performance enthusiast manufacturer and they build their products with that in mind.

Quote:

Case: Corsair 400r $100
PSU: Seasonic X Series X650 $130
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K $225
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2 x 4GB) $50
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35
GPU: EVGA GTX 560 Ti $ 250
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $140
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $105
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $26
Monitor: Asus 24" 1080p VS248H $200
Keyboard: Adesso USB Keyboard w/ USB Hub $14
Mouse: Adesso USB 3 Button Mouse $10


That looks like it will be an amazing build - and the Carbide is an excellent case selection. The only thing I'd swap this for your motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 5, 2012 1:14:27 AM

Everything seems really good, so no comment at that although you may want to get the 128GB of the M4 since 60GB and below is more suitable for caching and not installing your OS and programs. Try checking out the bitfenix raider at ncix.com. It's a really well ventilated chassis. It's just a suggestion btw. And I do prefer the gigabyte board that g-unit suggested rather than the asrock board
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March 5, 2012 1:48:14 AM

GTX 560 Ti - Done deal.

I asked:
"Why did you choose that particular Gigabyte motherboard over the ASRock? For now I'm still listing the ASRock as my motherboard.

I downgraded to a 24" Asus monitor. I'd like some recommendations in this area."

---

I just reviewed the Gigabyte motherboard and the current feedback is not looking too good. The difference between the two boards is that the Gigabyte has 4 more usb 2.0 ports and the ASRock has 1 E Sata port.

I have read people state that after the full Windows 7 install they have 15 or so GBs left on a 64GB SSD. I plan to be very strict to keeping that particular SSD as solely a Windows boot drive. I don't want to run into any future problems since I'm basically going to be my own "Tech Support".
Which leads me to asking this.
(Just asking) Would it be possible to get another 64GB SSD to install programs on that? (ie. Music/DJ Programs, Photoshop/Image Editing Programs, Video Editing Programs). The next question would be - Is it a good idea?

I'll consider upgrading to the 128GB Crucial M4 at checkout. I'd like to hear more about this.

I'm set with the Corsair cases.

Thanks for the continued help and input.
CSK222
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March 5, 2012 2:05:29 AM

You can install your programs later on the new 64GB drive, but as you said that after installing win7, you're only left with 15GB left. You always need to make sure to have around 15% space left on your drive
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March 5, 2012 2:21:49 AM

EzioAs said:
You can install your programs later on the new 64GB drive, but as you said that after installing win7, you're only left with 15GB left. You always need to make sure to have around 15% space left on your drive


Look at it this way - formatting takes 10% of a drive. A full Windows install takes ~16GB. On a 64GB use it for main programs only - run your Steam drive and everything else on your secondary.

Quote:
I just reviewed the Gigabyte motherboard and the current feedback is not looking too good. The difference between the two boards is that the Gigabyte has 4 more usb 2.0 ports and the ASRock has 1 E Sata port.


I'd rather take the extra USB ports - I don't use Newegg as the sole basis for feedback on a particular product - that isn't the way to do it, I look at multiple sources (PC Magazine, Maximum PC, Tom's, Anandtech, and so on) and take everything into account before selecting the products I do. I have that same board and I was skeptical about buying it - but it's been completely problem free since I got it.

Quote:

(Just asking) Would it be possible to get another 64GB SSD to install programs on that? (ie. Music/DJ Programs, Photoshop/Image Editing Programs, Video Editing Programs). The next question would be - Is it a good idea?


You can always add or remove drives - the Corsair case you chose makes it incredibly easy to do so.

Quote:

I'll consider upgrading to the 128GB Crucial M4 at checkout. I'd like to hear more about this.

I'm set with the Corsair cases.


Both of those are excellent choices.
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March 5, 2012 2:36:07 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Look at it this way - formatting takes 10% of a drive. A full Windows install takes ~16GB. On a 64GB use it for main programs only - run your Steam drive and everything else on your secondary.

Quote:
I just reviewed the Gigabyte motherboard and the current feedback is not looking too good. The difference between the two boards is that the Gigabyte has 4 more usb 2.0 ports and the ASRock has 1 E Sata port.


I'd rather take the extra USB ports - I don't use Newegg as the sole basis for feedback on a particular product - that isn't the way to do it, I look at multiple sources (PC Magazine, Maximum PC, Tom's, Anandtech, and so on) and take everything into account before selecting the products I do. I have that same board and I was skeptical about buying it - but it's been completely problem free since I got it.



I agree that newegg is not the best site to know a product, it's mostly people's feedback. Do your own research, read reviews from other sites and make your choice afterwards
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March 5, 2012 3:15:33 AM

I also agree that newegg should not be the sole source to learn about a product. I do think that the information found on newegg is very important (specially if it is up to date), just like all of the information found here on tomshardware is very useful and important. I've done extensive research on motherboards and I found myself at the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3. I also considered ASUS motherboards with the Gigabyte motherboards coming in third. I own a Lacie 1TB External Hard Drive so I will benefit from the E SATA port. I appreciate your help and info about the motherboards.

SSD:
Here are some numbers:
15% of 64 = 9.6
10% of 64 = 6.4
64 - 6.4 = 57.6
15% of 57.6 = 8.64
57.6 - 16 = 41.6

30GB of free space looks like plenty of room.

While checking out the linked Gigabyte board, I watched the SRT (Cache) demonstration. They said the limit to cache was 40GB and the rest can be accessed as a drive. From my research 64GB SSDs have been recommended for boot drives with no problems. They even say stuff like "You can also install 2 or 3 games on there".

I will still consider the 128GB at checkout. Depending on how the Grand Total looks.

Is there anything else that needs to be addressed? I thought this was going to drag on all week but I feel ok at the moment with the selections. It paid off to do my homework to put together the initial proposed build to end up with just a few minor changes.

Everyone please let me know what you think. So this can be signed, sealed, delivered!

Thanks.
CSK222
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March 5, 2012 3:41:03 AM

I see no major issues atm. If you think it's fine then you're good to go. Good luck on the build
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March 5, 2012 12:37:23 PM

CSK222 PC:

Case: Corsair 300R $85
PSU: Corsair AX750 $145
MoBo: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 $185
CPU: Intel Core i7 2700K $335
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16GB (4 x 4GB) $100
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $25
GPU: EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked $315
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB $130
SDD: Crucial M4 64GB $90
Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW iHAS424-98 $25
OS: Windows 7 $100
Fan 1: 140mm Cooler Master (Front Case) $10
Fan 2: 120mm Cooler Master 4 Pack (2 Top - 2 Side) $13
Fan 3: 120mm Cooler Master PWM (Hyper 212+) $12
Cable 1: 3 Pin Fan Y Spliter $5 (x3) $15
Cable 2: 8 Pin Motherboard Extension $ 8
Total: $1593
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March 6, 2012 11:24:07 AM

Best answer selected by csk222.
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