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~$1400 Gamer build for purchase over next few weeks

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April 26, 2012 1:47:53 AM

Edit 5/14/12: Some items now purchased with a few changes due to hardware availability - any new recommendations for remainder (CPU cooling, mobo, etc)?

Parts I've purchased so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K $244 - $20 promo = $224
GPU: EVGA SuperClocked GTX 670 2GB $419

Question 1 - Should I address recent articles about the small increase in heat generation for Ivy Bridge OC? If so I'm thinking I should get this instead of CM Hyper 212 EVO:
Corsair H80 $99.99

Question 2 - Now that I scooped up a 670 instead of 680, I might have to go SLI in the future when I upgrade to higher rez than 1920x1080 (even though recent Toms review has the cards pretty close to each other)... is 750W PSU ok for 670 SLI?

For the remaining items I was planning on using those described just a few lines below in my last post edit.
New Total (w/H80): ~$1,265

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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Edit 4/26/12: Revised build based upon recent advice

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K $220
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO $35
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 $143
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $60
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB (or whichever vendor is available) $508
SSD: OCZ Vertex II 120gb (free - received as gift)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $102
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R $100
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80PLUS Silver $100
CD/DVD: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner $17

Revised Total: $1,285

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Original Post

Approximate Purchase Date: Over next few weeks / as new releases are restocked
Budget Range: ~$1400
System Usage: Gaming
Parts Not Required: OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse, SSD
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon Prime, Newegg
Country: USA
Overclocking: Yes
SLI: no
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 now, 2560x1440 with late year monitor upgrade
Additional Comments: Don't want LEDs in case or fans (studio apt and I like it dark at night, so I'd have to replace them if they came with a recommended case)

Initial build plan below. Some parts are out of stock (i5-2550k & gtx680) so I'll be watching availability during the day to grab them over the next few weeks.

CPU: i5-2550k $230
CPU Cooler: CORSAIR H80 $95
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H $199
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $60
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB $508
SSD: OCZ Vertex II 120gb (free - received as gift)
Storage: Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AUDX 500GB $96
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R $100
PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold $146
CD/DVD: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner $17
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $10

Total: $1,424

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
April 26, 2012 2:06:58 AM

Do you really need the high-priced mobo? Would an ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 be all right with you? It would save some money. Also, ASUS seems to be a favorite after the $150 mark.

RAM: Interesting.. you went with CAS 8. If you want it, take it. It won't offer all that much of an improvement, though.

GPU: Try an MSI Twin Frozr II OC... great performance.

Storage: I can't figure out the speed of this HDD, but it seems to be 5000. I'd go with a 7200rpm... won't be all that expensive. You can get a 1TB for like $110, and a 500GB for like $80.

Case: I'd really, really go with a 400R. Are you going for silence? It seems like you would with your atmosphere. Tell me if you are---I'll change some stuff. Also, the 400R has a switch for the LEDs... they don't have to stay on.

PSU: I'd get something more... like a PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W Silver Rated to allow for overclocking in the future. Or, you could go with a similar one (they have a 950W version, or you could go pure Seasonic or Corsair). Difference between silver and gold isn't HUGE... definitely not $40.

Thermal Paste: You know your cooler comes with some, right? Which leads me to..

The CPU Cooler: How are you going to overclock without a CPU cooler? Get the Hyper 212 Evo for $30, and you're set. Comes with thermal paste, although if you want that high-quality stuff, feel free.

Remember to tell me if you are going for silence! This build isn't loud, but it can get quieter!
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April 26, 2012 2:45:48 AM

Ddan, I can't believe you left out the processor. He should get the i5-2500k as IGP is helpful is diagnosing problems (unless he has another GPU he can diagnose with).
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April 26, 2012 3:07:04 AM

Knew I was forgetting something... just edited post to add the cooler i was originally considering and left out (H80).

That 400R looks like a solid replacement, thx. As for HDD I didn't realize it was so slow (just sorted by rating on newegg), but yeah generally looking for 500gb - 1tb in the ~$100 price range. Seeing as how hit or miss the 680 is I might just grab what becomes available but I'll definitely keep an eye out for the MSI.

As for noise, my neighborhood can get loud at night occasionally, so I actually turn my air purifier on a higher setting for white noise anyways. I'd still like to keep it generally on the quieter side as I might be moving to a larger spot in 6 months, hence my thinking of liquid cooling for the CPU.
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April 26, 2012 3:07:42 AM

Argh! He had a 2550k, didn't he? (Yes, he did, I checked). I'm gonna go to sleep.

Yes, get the 2500k. The IGP is worth it as a diagnostic
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April 26, 2012 3:14:22 AM

I'm not really sure about the mobo, I'm new to overclocking and figured that board's described extra heat dissipation / enhanced voltage management would be best.

That PSU looks great, but 750 seems like a lot power? (Beyond the hungry 680 how much more do I need for OC?)

Good call with 2500k and IGP, I didn't think about that and won't have tech support to call for any GPU problems as it's a home build :p 
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April 26, 2012 3:20:18 AM

He assumed you will CF/SLI in the future. Since you're not, your original PSU is just fine.. The GTX 680 is far from power hungry. It beats the Radeon 7970 in load and idle temps and wattage.
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April 26, 2012 3:23:47 AM

I have to agree with the Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler, save yourself $50... You can still OC to 4.4Ghz on the 212 and especially if your new to it, your not gonna go hardcore anyways. It's also a silent cooler.

Definitely check the hard drive is 7200 RPM.

I agree also that you don't an expensive mobo for just 1 video card, you could even get a cheap Z68 board, like the Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 like ddan said. I have the Extreme4 and it's a great board.
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April 26, 2012 4:04:25 PM

Please see my revised build edited into original post, taking most rec's including larger PSU for future SLI. Thanks ddan, azeem, and pezonator!

A few questions:

1 - I heard from someone that Z77 mobo needs IB CPU to have memory run at 1600 or it will be reduced... is that true?
2 - Any reason to not go with z77 mobo as they seem comparably priced to z68 for decent ones?
3 - Are those protrusions on the memory going to get in the way of my CPU cooler?
4 - Should I replace any fans in the 400R with something better/quieter or are they good to go?
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April 26, 2012 4:18:34 PM

1) The memory controller on the 2500K will default to the 1333mhz speed, but this can easily be changed in the bios.
2) No reason not too. Pick the MB that has the features you are looking for and suits your price range. The Z77 or the Z68 will work perfectly fine for the 2500K.
3) Yes, they probably will. The 4th review of that board (from oldest to newest), a user states that the 212 blocked the first RAM slot on the MB, so you will have to use slots B1 and B2.
4) The fans in the 400R are pretty decent fans. Replacing them is purely your call, but they should suffice for cooling your system, unless you are wanting to build a more silent system, in which case I'd upgrade them to Scythe fans.
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April 26, 2012 6:37:10 PM

Good stuff, thx for the answers. I'm guessing no problem / speed difference with using mem slots B1 & B2? So probably not going to change anything.
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April 26, 2012 6:39:54 PM

Shouldn't be any difference at all. Dual channel ram is designed to operate in pairs, so either in slots A1/A2 or in B1/B2.
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April 26, 2012 9:40:20 PM

^I agree with everything Pezcore27 said.

The build looks great. Just keep in mind that the PSU isn't modular... although that's definitely not a problem with the Corsair 400R
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May 14, 2012 8:58:28 PM

Please see my latest update that I edited into original post - almost at the finish line here - thanks again for the help.
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May 14, 2012 9:15:01 PM

extramako said:
Please see my latest update that I edited into original post - almost at the finish line here - thanks again for the help.

The asrock z77 extreme4 is going for $130 and free shipping on newegg. Get the new and revised Seagate 1TB. That's the one with 64MB of cache and combo it with a dvd/cd writer to save around $15 which means you get that writer for almost free. If you get the 400R off of amazon you save another $10 (free shipping), and you still get that mail in rebate.
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May 15, 2012 12:42:26 AM

I agree with all of that^

Also, the CM Evo actually cools better than liquid cooling. It's built into physics, but basically, air cooling can cool up to 10C better than pre-built liquid cooling. If you really want to upgrade it, get the Noctua D-14, but make sure the case you choose (400R is fine) has enough room for it.
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May 15, 2012 1:24:44 PM

All good stuff, thank you both. Hopping on those deals now, and going for the noctua as well (although man that thing is beastly big). I also just realized that you had already mentioned that 750w psu was fine for sli as well, so looks like I'm ready to start getting fragged by kids half my age, holler.
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