Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advice on a $950 Gaming PC (Have NVIDIA 680)

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 25, 2012 5:05:20 PM

I am finding parts for a friend and building a PC for him, he is getting a NVIDIA GTX 680 free from a friend, and he has $950 to spend. I already have a list of parts, but I am not sure on some, and just to let you know he won't be overclocking this PC. Please put any suggestions for better parts.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 3.3GHz

CPU Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus (maybe with a dual fan config?)

Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz

SSD (I wasn't sure what to pick): Samsung 128GB 830 Series SATA III SSD
Crucial M4 128GB SATA III SSD

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 64MB SATA III HDD

Case (I wasn't sure about this): Corsair Carbide 300R/400R
Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus / Coolermaster Storm Enforcer
Thermaltake Level 10 GTS
Sharkoon T28

PSU (I wasn't sure about this either): Raidmax Blackstone 700W 80Plus Bronze
Antec Earthwatts 650W 80Plus Bronze

Graphic Card: NVIDIA GTX 680

Thanks for your help!
April 25, 2012 5:26:51 PM

Looks good. My thoughts are below...

CPU Cooler - Look toward the Hyper 212 EVO as it replaced the 212+. Both good coolers, but the EVO is supposed to cool a bit better.

MEM - Be sure those are 1.5v modules and use any extra budget to lower the latency. I assume those are DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5v...

SSD - Those are the two to be choosing from in my opinion... You can't go wrong with either.

HD - No WD unless you are going Black or Velociraptor. Consider the Samsung F4 2TB or a Seagate offering.
Samsung F4 2TB ($110 after promo code - expires today) => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - If you are leaving the option open to run a second GTX 680 size your PSU at either 750w or 850w and look toward Antec, Corsair, XFX or Seasonic.
Corsair GS800 ($115 after rebate) => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b Î Nvidia
April 25, 2012 5:30:14 PM

Since you have good choices on other components, here are suggestions on PSU and Case

Cooler Master Storm Trooper. 150$ at newegg (Plus shipping)

PSU: Corsair TX/HX/AX 750 Watt power supply. TX 750 is the cheapest.
PSU: Cooler Master 750 or 850 for around the same price.
Related resources
April 25, 2012 5:39:30 PM

Don't get WD Green, they're for mass storage/back-up, they run fairly slower but have more memory/cache. Get WD Blue or Black if you can afford it.
April 25, 2012 5:40:37 PM

Get at least a Bronze Certified PSU, 750W minimum if your doing SLI. Get corsair TX, GS is lower range and isnt even bronze certified.
April 25, 2012 8:00:11 PM

Just to let you know it's a USA site that does international shipping, it is much cheaper than buying in the UK and delivery is cheap. He won't be doing SLI for a very long time, as I couldn't find any cards on the website, plus here in the UK the minimum for 1 is around £400. That's more than half his budget now, and he doesn't really need it either. It's a fantastic card.

New CPU Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo

New HDD: Western Digital 500GB Caviar Blue 500GB SATA III (this was only a couple dollars more)

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 650W 80Plus Bronze or a Corsair HX/TX V2 650W 80Plus Silver/Bronze

Just another thing, I will take the CM Storm Trooper into account, but if you had to pick which case to use which one would you pick, on features?
April 25, 2012 8:14:07 PM

Lieutenant Awesome said:
Don't get WD Green, they're for mass storage/back-up, they run fairly slower but have more memory/cache. Get WD Blue or Black if you can afford it.

There is zero point in getting anything but a Caviar Green if you have an SSD.
a b Î Nvidia
April 25, 2012 10:02:29 PM

Lieutenant Awesome said:
Don't get WD Green, they're for mass storage/back-up, they run fairly slower but have more memory/cache. Get WD Blue or Black if you can afford it.


Not necessary if you're running an M4 as your primary. You won't notice the difference and it's not worth the premium. That money is better spent elsewhere like on the case, PSU, or motherboard.
April 25, 2012 10:38:54 PM

How can you have a 128GB SSD as your primary, it'll run out eventually and you'll be stuck with a slow-ass Green. Half of the SSD already gets taken up by the OS.
a b Î Nvidia
April 25, 2012 10:41:18 PM

Lieutenant Awesome said:
How can you have a 128GB SSD as your primary, it'll run out eventually and you'll be stuck with a slow-ass Green. Half of the SSD already gets taken up by the OS.


No - the OS runs off the primary SSD and recognizes that as your boot drive. You can run programs like Steam and iTunes off the secondary but it still makes use and recognizes the SSD as your primary - one won't spill into the other, if that's what you're concerned about. You might want to read this about how the SSD / HD system works: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-upgrade-hdd-per...
April 25, 2012 10:44:40 PM

No... I just said that his SSD will get taken up fast and he'll need a decent HDD to save the rest of his crap on
a b Î Nvidia
April 25, 2012 10:45:49 PM

Lieutenant Awesome said:
No... I just said that his SSD will get taken up fast and he'll need a decent HDD to save the rest of his crap on


That it may be but the two drives run independent of each other - the M4 still functions as the C: drive, and Windows will recognize and calibrate it accordingly. You won't notice any performance lag storing your larger files on your secondary - that's what it's there for.
April 26, 2012 2:41:23 PM

Cold_War said:

Case (I wasn't sure about this): Corsair Carbide 300R/400R
Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus / Coolermaster Storm Enforcer
Thermaltake Level 10 GTS
Sharkoon T28


I'm in the final stages of my build too and I was looking at 5 of the 6 that you mentioned, so hopefully some more people pipe in about their opinions.


Here is my thoughts about them.

300R < 400R. 400R has rubberized grommets, extra hdd rack and side panels are 'dented' out to allow side fans and easier cable management. Newegg shows the price difference of $10 so it seems the added features would be worth the extra cost. For $40 extra, I still can't stop looking at the 500R.

HAF 912 - I've heard great things but the 912 doesn't have USB 3.0 and the others do. The only HAF I've seen with 3.0 is HAF X but it is out of my price range and I do not want a pass through USB 3.0 cord. HAF-XM is coming out soon, but the only way to change the PSU dust filter is by moving the PSU itself to get to it.

Storm Enforcer/GTS - both are good cases and I have to still look into them deeper.

Couple of other suggestions - Phantom 410 - some people like it some don't. I like the looks but I don't care much for doors covering the drive bays unless they are providing sound dampening. Which leads to my next suggestion...
Factal Design Define R3. Pretty sleek case. Minimalistic look I would say. Not much to it, but heard good reviews on temps and sound levels.


If you were to ask me, I honestly have no clue at this time as all of them match my wants. I'm kinda leaning towards the 400/500R or the Factal Design Define R3/XL.


EDIT: Here's a pretty good user comparison between the R3 and the 500R
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18330...
April 26, 2012 4:08:49 PM

The Corsair 500r is a great a case and what I'm currently using. The 400r is very similar and a good choice.

I like the Haf 912 a really good case for the money but I still would lean towards the Corsair.

The Antec Earthwatts is also a decent PSU and will be fine.
April 26, 2012 4:27:11 PM

romowens01 said:
I'm in the final stages of my build too and I was looking at 5 of the 6 that you mentioned, so hopefully some more people pipe in about their opinions.


Here is my thoughts about them.

300R < 400R. 400R has rubberized grommets, extra hdd rack and side panels are 'dented' out to allow side fans and easier cable management. Newegg shows the price difference of $10 so it seems the added features would be worth the extra cost. For $40 extra, I still can't stop looking at the 500R.

HAF 912 - I've heard great things but the 912 doesn't have USB 3.0 and the others do. The only HAF I've seen with 3.0 is HAF X but it is out of my price range and I do not want a pass through USB 3.0 cord. HAF-XM is coming out soon, but the only way to change the PSU dust filter is by moving the PSU itself to get to it.

Storm Enforcer/GTS - both are good cases and I have to still look into them deeper.

Couple of other suggestions - Phantom 410 - some people like it some don't. I like the looks but I don't care much for doors covering the drive bays unless they are providing sound dampening. Which leads to my next suggestion...
Factal Design Define R3. Pretty sleek case. Minimalistic look I would say. Not much to it, but heard good reviews on temps and sound levels.


If you were to ask me, I honestly have no clue at this time as all of them match my wants. I'm kinda leaning towards the 400/500R or the Factal Design Define R3/XL.


If he had the money for an NZXT Phantom, it's seriously expensive shipping for cases, its around $100 in the US but in the UK its £90. A bit too expensive, the Corsair is the most ATM, its £66 while I found the GTS to be £65.
a b Î Nvidia
April 26, 2012 5:04:29 PM

Quote:
300R < 400R. 400R has rubberized grommets, extra hdd rack and side panels are 'dented' out to allow side fans and easier cable management. Newegg shows the price difference of $10 so it seems the added features would be worth the extra cost. For $40 extra, I still can't stop looking at the 500R.


Corsair makes some truly great cases - that's why I usually recommend them - I love the Carbide 500R and my Graphite 600T.

Quote:
HAF 912 - I've heard great things but the 912 doesn't have USB 3.0 and the others do. The only HAF I've seen with 3.0 is HAF X but it is out of my price range and I do not want a pass through USB 3.0 cord. HAF-XM is coming out soon, but the only way to change the PSU dust filter is by moving the PSU itself to get to it.


My work computer uses a HAF 912 and for the price it has a lot of features and cable management that can't be matched in its' price range. True it doesn't have USB 3.0 but you can order a bracket if you need it from Cooler Master's website.
April 26, 2012 6:06:18 PM

Tman450 said:
I strongly, STRONGLY recommend mushkin for SSD's. just look at the prices :) 

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

550Mb's read, 515Mb/s write.

M4 has suckish write: 175Mb's write, 500Mb/s read.

the M4 is also 40 bucks more.


You might want to check out the "Best SSDs" article, or other research, before claiming the Sandforce controller is better. Please don't go by the marketing advertised speeds...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...
a b Î Nvidia
April 26, 2012 7:25:51 PM

sadams04 said:
You might want to check out the "Best SSDs" article, or other research, before claiming the Sandforce controller is better. Please don't go by the marketing advertised speeds...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...


I have a Sandforce drive (Intel 320) and have had nothing but problems with it. My work PC uses an M4 - never had a single issue with it. I'm thinking of swapping the Intel for an M4 when the price drops on the 128GB model.
April 26, 2012 7:36:24 PM

The Mushkin is higher up on the tiers and doesn't have sandforce controller issues, so I recommend it over the M4 anyday of the week.
April 27, 2012 12:18:35 AM

g-unit1111 said:
I have a Sandforce drive (Intel 320) and have had nothing but problems with it. My work PC uses an M4 - never had a single issue with it. I'm thinking of swapping the Intel for an M4 when the price drops on the 128GB model.


still 40 bucks cheaper for only 8 GB less is a better deal, regardless of speed. ALTHOUGH it is faster, and Mushkin gets great reviews.
April 27, 2012 12:20:19 AM

sadams04 said:
You might want to check out the "Best SSDs" article, or other research, before claiming the Sandforce controller is better. Please don't go by the marketing advertised speeds...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...


also i was not claiming the sandforce driver is better, i know there are issues with it. but the mushkin SSD's are better.
April 27, 2012 4:31:46 AM

They sure are. One month with my Mushkin SSD and no issues at all.
!