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First new build in 15 years: Would you kindly tell me what you think?

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April 22, 2012 4:00:02 PM

Hey Gang.

I've been out the system building business for about 15 years now. I think the last custom system I built had a Pentium 90 in it -- that's how long it's been. After many months of begging and cajoling, the wife's finally allowing me to build my dream PC. Happy days!

I'm ready to get back into PC gaming, and I've been looking to build a system in the $1,500 range. I've been playing around with difference configurations over at Newegg, and this is what I've come up with so far. My gaming tastes range from first-person shooters (CoD and L4D series) to games like Skyrim and the much anticipated Diablo III. (I'm not a Starcraft player -- I've seen that asked in other threads.) What I'm really looking for in this build is the ability to overclock in the future (although I'm not planning on doing it at the outset, which is why you don't see an aftermarket CPU heat sink in my build) and run some of the newer games coming down the pike. I also want the system to look nice (yes, I'm one of those OCD types!).

One more thing -- I recently picked up a Dell U2412M monitor, so gaming will ideally take place in its native 1920 x 1200 resolution. I'm not sure if that will change the GPU recommendation, but I wanted to throw that out there.

Without further ado, here it is:

Case: Antec P280 Black ATX Mid Tower (Love the look of this case)
PSU: CORSAIR AX750 Gold
MB: ASUS Sabertooth Z77 (5 year warranty and looks of this board are attractive to me)
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K (Not opposed to going to i5 2500K if you think it's comparable)
GPU: ASUS GTX 570 DCU II (Not married to this, but it seemed like a decent card)
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) Low Profile (DDR3 1600 / PC3 12800)
HDD: WD Caviar Black (6.0Gb/s / 64MB Cache)
SSD: [None at this point, but I'm open to suggestions.]
ODD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST

Let me know what you think. I'm not really brand loyal, just looking to get the most bang out of the buck. I also want to make sure I pick up quality components as I'll have this system for the next couple of years at least.

Thanks in advance for the critiques/recommendations!

More about : build years kindly

April 22, 2012 5:10:24 PM

"downgrade" to i5-2500k, wait for some GTX 680 go available. Spend the saved money in this.

The PSU you selected shall enable you to do GTX 680 in the future btw..
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:11:09 PM

Welcome back to the fold, EmuBite.

First off, since you are OCD, get an 8 pin extension so you can route the auxillary power line behind the motherboard. How is that for paying an inordinate amount of attention to details?

Next, I agree with recon-uk - the i5 2500k maxes you out for gaming, and is still unlocked for overclocking. Also agree on the GPU - Tom's is recommending the Radeon 7870 over the GTX 570 to save you $50.

A 750W Power supply is too much, even for overclocking. Components consume less these days - 500 to 600 watts is ample. Sorry my Newegg connection is down, or would recommend something here. In addition to Corsair, look at Seasonic, Antec, Cougar, XFX even some Cooler Master's these days or anything recommended by JonnyGuru.

Live near a MicroCenter? In-store combo price for an i5-2500 and the Sabertooth is $380, which is worth some gas money to get there.

Now for storage - HDD sellers are gouging the market because a flood wiped out significant manufacturing capacity late last year. Prices are slowly coming down, but are still inflated. Think about an SSD to get you by for 6 months or whenever a TB comes back to $50. Check out this 128 GB model out for $90 plus tax.

Finally, you probably already know most of this, but I always like to share Tecmo's and shortstuff_MT's advice:

Step by step guide to build a pc

Solutions to common build problems

Enjoy!



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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:12:48 PM

as recon said,2500k>all for gaming.it provides the best performance for money.7870 performs head to head with a gtx 580 and with it's great overclocking potential,you can beat a 580!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:13:57 PM

vitornob said:
"downgrade" to i5-2500k,

downgrade????? or a wise choice :lol: 
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April 22, 2012 5:16:34 PM

I agree that the i5-2500K is a better fit for me, and it saves me nearly $100. I'm definitely going to make this change. I'm also hoping that the prices drop even further with Ivy Bridge rumored to hit the streets this week.

As I said before, I'm not brand loyal, but I've never had an AMD GPU. I've heard (although I have no firsthand knowledge) that there can be issues with drivers around these cards. Any truth to that? If I decide to go the HD 7870 route, what manufacturer do you recommend? (Something tells me EVGA!)

It looks like you also have a Crucial M4 64GB SSD in your rig. Do you recommend an SSD? I've never used one before, but I know they can greatly improve system performance. Do you recommend a 64GB over a 128GB drive?

Thanks again for the recommendations.
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April 22, 2012 5:27:42 PM

Thanks for all the replies -- you guys are fast! When I refreshed last, I saw only recon-uk's, which is why I didn't quote him. All of this is great advice.

I think you have me convinced me to go i5-2500K, AMD HD 7870 (I'd love to hear which manufacturers you recommend), and an SSD (probably the Crucial M4 128GB since I have a little wiggle room on my budget).

The GTX 680 is tempting, but I can't find it anywhere! I don't think I'll need that much power anyway with the games I play. I think the AMD HD 7870 is my sweet spot.

I'll also probably change power PSUs since the Corsair is overkill for me. What PSUs do you recommend in the power range I'll need? I'm willing to pay a premium on PSUs as I've had buddies tell me not to skimp here. I definitely want something modular. The Corsairs and Seasonics look best to me, but I'd love to hear your recommendations.

BTW, I'll likely be ordering all of this at one time from Newegg. I'm going to wait a couple of days for Ivy Bridge to hit the streets. I'll probably skip Ivy Bridge, and my next build will be for Haswell.

Thanks again for all the great recommendations. This site is awesome.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:28:38 PM

EmuBite said:
I agree that the i5-2500K is a better fit for me, and it saves me nearly $100. I'm definitely going to make this change. I'm also hoping that the prices drop even further with Ivy Bridge rumored to hit the streets this week.

As I said before, I'm not brand loyal, but I've never had an AMD GPU. I've heard (although I have no firsthand knowledge) that there can be issues with drivers around these cards. Any truth to that? If I decide to go the HD 7870 route, what manufacturer do you recommend? (Something tells me EVGA!)

It looks like you also have a Crucial M4 64GB SSD in your rig. Do you recommend an SSD? I've never used one before, but I know they can greatly improve system performance. Do you recommend a 64GB over a 128GB drive?

Thanks again for the recommendations.


good decision for 2500k.and 7870(or any graphics card)i prefer msi twinfrozer iii,they have great cooling and more overclocking potential.SSD is a great 'utility'.it speeds up loading times but won't boost up your fps.a crucial m4 64gb for OS and 'main game' is a wise choice IMO.
BTW,that psu(AX750w)seems overpriced to me,you can get great performance and save some money by getting this xfx unit-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it has enough juice to run 680 SLi and overclocks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:36:57 PM

Quote:
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


silencer mk ii 950w silver certified unit for $130-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
handsdown!

Quote:
SAPPHIRE 11199-03-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

msi twinfrozer iii 7870 for $350-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
IB is not an upgrade from SB.

+1,it's just an 'update'
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:39:42 PM

Quote:
950watts for that price is a good deal.

The sapphire 7870 comes with dirt 3 and a better cooler.


both of them come with dirt 3 and how sapphire cooler is better than twinforzer iii????
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:40:33 PM

Hello

if you are going to game then i5 is what you needed. also wait for ive bridge.

Every this is compatible but you might get better bang for buck if you change few parts.

Intel i5 3570k
asrock z77 extreme4
corsair vengence low profile 2x4 gb ddr3 1600mhz ram
evga gtx 680 or if not then sapphire hd 7870
Pc power and cooling silencer mkii 950/750w 80+ silver.
Asus 24x dvd burner
crucial m4 128gb ssd
seagate baracuda 500gb 7200rpm hdd


Case of your choice but checkout cm haf and storm series as well as corsair carbide series
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April 22, 2012 5:43:55 PM

+1 on Sapphire 7870. I've had 2 Sapphire GPUs and both have been rock solid.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 5:57:55 PM

tweakdown link clearly states that twinfrozer iii is a great cooler.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:07:05 PM

i am sure the testing conditions are not same.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:16:45 PM

But its still better than sandybridge
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:23:58 PM

Reason why not
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April 22, 2012 6:32:32 PM

I think I'm actually going to go with the MSI card after reading both reviews, but both cards look fantastic.

There are actually several Crucial M4 128GB drives to choose from on Newegg, all with slightly different prices. Which one do I need for my build? I'm thinking this one, but I'm not positive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:39:38 PM

Please note down those points neatly so that everyone can get a look of it
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:45:51 PM

Let me generalize the good point of ive bridge.

22 nm architecture which means cooler less power consuming and a bit faster. also as it runs cooler you can oc greater making it more faster.

3d trans gate or whatever its called make rendering faster.

Due to ive bridge pci 3.0 will be enabled so nf 300 chip will be usable.

The rise of hd 4000 integrated graphics which will be as fast ar faster than an hd 5450...
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:52:39 PM

Prove it
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 6:54:12 PM

Quote:

Ivy runs hotter and cannot OC as far as SB.


WTF? :heink: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 7:04:50 PM

oh crap!!!! :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch: 
man i really didn't knew that!!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 10:39:50 PM

Um, OK if I interrupt for a sec?

I think I am going to buy this for myself: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W. It's $50 if you purchase by Wednesday. CM PSU's might not have the best reputation, but JonnyGuru gave this unit a 9, even with a low score related to its high price three years ago. At this price it is hard to ignore.

....OK folks....back to the battle of Ivy Bridge -vs- Sandy Bridge, or was it PCI 3.0 -vs- 2.0 at resolution 11520 by 2160 running quad GTX 680s in SLI, hacked because nVidia has some conspiricy or other....

btw, IMHO i5 2500k, Z68 is discounted at the moment, and three years from now nobody is going to care if you paid a premium for the absolute latest and greatest technology....I say go for the value in a generation behind.


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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 10:55:24 PM

Thanks for the upvote, recon.

In all honesty, I have not built a machine in awhile, and came here this weekend to catch up on the latest technology.

Tom's never disappoints, and I have thouroughly enjoyed this thread and all its tangents. I had the same reaction as hellfire :o 
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April 23, 2012 12:20:56 AM

Quote:
The one linked comes with a transfer kit...
The other 128GB is cheaper due to it not having that.


If I'm planning on doing a clean install of Windows 7, I don't need the transfer kit, right?
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April 23, 2012 12:29:54 AM

eloric said:
btw, IMHO i5 2500k, Z68 is discounted at the moment, and three years from now nobody is going to care if you paid a premium for the absolute latest and greatest technology....I say go for the value in a generation behind.


This is really good point. I know the Gen3 Z68 boards are pretty solid. If I decided to go this route, which board do you recommend? I didn't see an Asus Sabertooth Z68 model. Keep in mind I'm not planning to CrossFireX my GPUs, but I would like a board that is stable in overclocking, which I may do down the road.
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April 23, 2012 12:32:32 AM

Quote:
Not at all :) 


One more question for you -- I feel like I'm peppering you with them! I actually have an eSATA external HD (a 1TB WD Caviar Black) where I keep most of my data. I wonder if I should consider dropping the 1TB HDD and upping the SSD to 256GB? In all honesty, I've never maxed out my data greater than 100GBs, but since I'm getting back into gaming (mainly through Steam), I may end up surpassing that threshold rather quickly.

Let me know your thoughts. This is fun!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 1:05:58 AM

Case / PSU - Only failing I have w/ the P280 is it don't fit the CP-850. I'd suggest the P183 w/ CP-850 as a step up in both categories.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


Read how hey work in conjuction w/ Antec cases here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

MoBo / CPU - I highly concur on the Sabertooth choice....it's a great board. But I'd wait 7 days and get an Ivy Bridge i5-3570

RAM - Corsair low profile is also my choice ... also low voltage
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD Seagate, single platter, 7200 rpm 64 MB cahe for $90 is real tuff to beat
$10 off w/ promo code EMCNFJA22, ends 4/25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - this is easy.....Tier 3 SSD w/ Thigh endurance premium 3Xnm Toshiba Toggle Mode Flash at $140 ... again real tuff to beat
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-review-benchmar...
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4328/mushkin_chronos_d...

Quote:
To sum it all up with a bow on top, you get amazing performance, extremely long service life and a hassle free low price point on a drive that literally has very little competition in the marketplace. The only problem I see is that we don't have a stack of them for RAID testing.


GFX - It's getting harder and harder to recommend the 5xx series with the 6xx about to break. The 570 has know weaknesses in overclocking due to a PCB with a rather weak VRM but the Asus mode;l has a custom PCB and 8 phase VRM which overcomes this deficiency. The Asus 560 Ti TOP however is a better overclocker and very affordable to buy 2 at about $440 .... but again, the 6xx will be better.
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April 23, 2012 1:33:34 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Case / PSU - Only failing I have w/ the P280 is it don't fit the CP-850. I'd suggest the P183 w/ CP-850 as a step up in both categories.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.




First, 850W is way more then he will ever need. Second, you link a test report that is almost 3 years old. Third, how is going from the P-280 to the P-183 a step up? The P-183 is in the era that Antec really started to lose their case building appeal. He could also save $60 by going with a 450-500W PSU from Antec and live happily ever after. Antec PSU's are usually rated to go 120% of their rated value anyways, so a 450 in theory could get you by with a 500W build.

As for the talk that Ivy Bridge is worse than Sandy Bridge, I loved the links to two forums and a blogger with no test results. Nothing makes me happier then a bunch of people who sit in their homes looking for something to complain about. Intel has been producing Ivy Bridge chips for almost 6 months now. Time will tell if there "production" is still hindered to the point that the chips can not operate at their proper voltage. Isn't the voltage regulator all done on the motherboard anyways?
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April 23, 2012 3:13:57 AM

IB is a really wait and see thing. It's possible that the physics of a smaller die with less SA for heat dissipation has caught up to the silicon engineers. That said, it's also possible that the BIOS vendors hadn't found the optimal voltage curve for the chip when those tests were conducted and we might see some better looking results when the official reviews go up.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 3:17:50 AM

I'm not going to read this whole thread. But the 7950 is 400$. A STEAL.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 3:36:42 AM

eloric said:
Um, OK if I interrupt for a sec?

I think I am going to buy this for myself: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W. It's $50 if you purchase by Wednesday. CM PSU's might not have the best reputation, but JonnyGuru gave this unit a 9, even with a low score related to its high price three years ago. At this price it is hard to ignore.


i know cooler master is not the best psu brand but 'silen pro' series is an exception.my brother runs a 2600k/580 setup on a silent pro gold 1kw unit and it works like a champ.and i trust johnyguru more than my eyes so if he recommended it then it's good for sure.good luck.
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April 23, 2012 1:45:38 PM

It looks like with my current build, I could spend another $100 or so and pick up an AMD HD 7970. Is this overkill? My main concerns with this card is heat and noise.

Also, if I decide to forgo Ivy Bridge and wait for Haswell, should I change my motherboard over to a Gen3 Z68 chipset? I'm thinking I could save a little money doing this. Which of these chipsets offers the most bang for the buck? The Asus P8Z68-V looks interesting here. Is there a compelling reason to get the Pro or Deluxe versions of this board if I decide to go with it instead of the Sabertooth Z77?

Thanks again for all the great advice. I'm going to pull the trigger and order this tomorrow (most likely).
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April 23, 2012 1:50:28 PM

That's what I thought, but I wanted to be sure.

What about the Z68 Gen3? Think I should save a little money and go for this board since I'm not really interested in Ivy Bridge?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 1:58:12 PM

@rekon,let me add the rest of the lines for your sig-
...... and insane heat with unbearable noise.
no offence just kidding,and i like the way you update your status!
:) 
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April 23, 2012 1:59:58 PM

If I decide to go with the Asus P8Z68-V, is there is good reason to bump up to the Pro board? I'm not seeing anything that compelling, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 2:10:42 PM

Well, CM is not the most reliable brand for PSUs. Enhance made the PSU, and they are reputable. So providing no capacitors have been swapped out to cheapen up the unit, it's a good deal.
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!