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MAINGEAR Custom PC Help

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April 29, 2012 7:22:49 PM

I am considering purchasing a PC from MAINGEAR.com to replace my currently woefully outdated and dead gaming pc. I was wondering if any could give me more insight and tell whether this is a good build for $2500 and if they have had good experience with the site in the past. I am not going to build it myself as buying it is better for me because of the 3 year warranty, tax write-off, less hassle, etc. It is primarily a gaming pc that I will not be overclocking that I would prefer not to upgrade for 5 or so years. Any help you give would be most appreciated thanks in advance.

Chassis: Potenza with VRTX Cooling Technology

Motherboard: Asus® P8Z77-I Deluxe Featuring USB 3.0, SATA 6G, 802.11n/Bluetooth, Lucid Virtu MVP
*Is this a good motherboard?
Processor: Intel® CoreT i7 3770 3.4GHz/3.8GHz Turbo 8MB L3 Cache HD 4000
*I know its the new ivy bridge but is it worth it compared to other models, do I need the 3770k

Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler

Memory: 16GB Corsair® VengeanceT DDR3-1600 1.5V (2x8GB)
*Too much RAM?
Power Supply: 450W Silverstone ST45SF 80 Plus Bronze Certified PSU
*This is their only option is it enough power?
Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: NVIDIA® GeForceT GTX 680 2GB GDDR5 w/PhysX [ENTHUSIAST]

Hard Drive Bay One: 240GB Corsair® Force GT SSD SATA 6G (w/ TRIM) [555MB/s Reads]

Optical Drive One: 24X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive w/ LightScribe Technology

Display: 27" Asus® VE276Q FullHD 1080p LCD

More about : maingear custom

April 29, 2012 7:29:09 PM

Are you overclocking?

Also, that is NOT enough power.
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April 29, 2012 8:16:45 PM

ddan49 said:
Are you overclocking?

Also, that is NOT enough power.


No to overclocking, I believe 750W is about average right? They only offer 450W as an option so I'll check.
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April 29, 2012 8:33:20 PM

I'm no expert on maingear pcs, but I'll just build one on their website for your budget (with the same display) and post the specs here. Also, why are you going with the Potenza? Do you want it to be small? I'll go with that, too, since I'm assuming you know what you're doing with the chassis:

Default for everything up to the CPU.

CPU: i5-3550
You don't need i7 because it doesn't benefit gaming, and it's more expensive just for HT, which you're not going to use. You don't need a "k" processor since it's for overclocking.

I'm assuming Redline OCing is better than the Intel Turbo Boost? I don't really know, though. It's free, and I'm assuming they won't do all that much. They can't overclock anything too far past Turbo since it's not a "k" processor.

Everything at stock until RAM.
8GB DDR3-1600 RAM... you don't need 16GB unless you're editing a lot of video or using a lot of Photoshop.

GPU: 680

SSD caching: ARE THEY CRAZY? That's almost as overpriced as Apple! I'm sure you could add in an SSD by yourself while saving $60. $2/gb my foot... you can cache with a regular SSD. Also, I'd just get an SSD for boot/games.

HDD/SSD: 1TB Seagate 7200rpm (the one that's $30 more)
SSD: Don't. These are SO overpriced. Just add in an SSD by yourself when you get the case (assuming they don't take out unused drive bays. That would be cheap).
When you get it, just buy a Crucial M4 64GB or 128GB SSD for like $80 and $125, respectively.

Don't get the Microsoft Security Essentials... it's so worthless, it's almost bloatware.

With the monitor, total comes out to $2100. If they can run that off of 450W, I'm surprised. I honestly do not like maingear now. They overpriced it a lot, and obviously cheaped out on the PSU. Don't get just an SSD, get a 7200rpm HDD and add in an SSD yourself (it's really easy, unless they take out the drive bays that they didn't use. I'd be surprised if they did, but sometimes companies are really unpleasant).

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April 29, 2012 8:47:37 PM

Thanks yea I'm trying to go for a smaller pc, I wasn't sure which processor or on the rest for gaming purposes I needed so thanks. If you have any other suggestions for good gaming pc websites I would appreciate. I don't really need a large hard drive because I have an external already for my larger files/videos.
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April 29, 2012 9:00:59 PM

$2500 for that seems way too expensive. Sourcing the parts yourself and putting them together would be much cheaper.
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April 30, 2012 1:13:05 AM

I know. I was going to say that, but he said he really wanted it...

Try Cyberpower and Alienware. I mean, both are overpriced, but they have more selection.

But honestly, if I were to buy those parts separately and put them together, it would cost about $1500... at the most. At the very most.
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April 30, 2012 2:18:19 AM

I got this when I tried to choose the parts myself/with a little help. I definitely don't need an i7 for gaming right? I'm going to buy the SSD and use my old hard drive. The silverstone case is because I want a SFF Pc unless you guys think there is a problem with that case in particular. If you have any suggestions it would help I am considering building it myself.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vmI
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vmI/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vmI/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Scythe SCKZT-1000 24.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.98 @ Mac Connection)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($56.99 @ Amazon)
Hard Drive: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($507.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case ($122.00 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Enermax 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3LT DVD/CD Writer ($28.11 @ Compuvest)
Monitor: Asus VE276Q 27.0" Monitor ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1953.56
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Best solution

April 30, 2012 2:41:15 AM

So still no overclocking? If so, then get rid of the CPU cooler (don't need it).

Still want a micro ATX board/case? Okay.

Anyway, here's what I would do:

Mobo: Wow, that's an expensive micro ATX motherboard. I'd just go with an ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M (make sure it says -M at the end)

RAM: Go with DDR3-1600... anything higher is really pointless. Make sure it's 1.5v and CAS9

SSD: Why the expensive one? Go with a Crucial M4... I'm pretty sure it's faster, and it's cheaper

GPU: I'd go with an MSI Twin Frozr II OC... really nice. However, a Gigabyte would be fine. Just try for at least two fans, or get aftermarket GPU cooling for like $80

Case: If you like it

PSU: I'd really, really go with the PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK II 750W Silver Rated PSU

Overall, looks fine.
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April 30, 2012 3:34:24 AM

Okay I think I modified it the way you said. Do you have a recommendation for the optical drive or any other parts that would be better than what I have I'm willing to go a couple or three hundred more for quality. I just want a smaller computer case so it takes up less room my current XPS case is huge.

In regards to the CPU cooler what should I change that to if anything? And for the motherboard does that one have on board blue tooth (can you recommend a good blue tooth card and wireless card)? Do I need a sound card? I am a little lost when it comes to computer parts.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vWb
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vWb/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7vWb/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Scythe SCKZT-1000 24.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($133.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($547.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case ($122.00 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3LT DVD/CD Writer ($28.11 @ Compuvest)
Monitor: Asus VE276Q 27.0" Monitor ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1713.44
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April 30, 2012 3:51:38 AM

ASUS is great.

What size is your XPS case? Meaning, is it full-ATX? If so, then the Corsair 400R is a good idea... it's smaller. I think you have a full ATX case, though.

Don't use a CPU cooler... Intel CPUs ship with a stock cooler that'll do fine on stock speeds. You're not overclocking.

Do you use bluetooth? I'd hook up the desktop to an ethernet cable, by the way (for which there is a port on the motherboard). But no, the motherboard doesn't have a bluetooth/wifi chip embedded. I'd get a wifi chip from the same company as your router, and I don't know about bluetooth. No, you don't need a sound card. The mobo has on-board.

If you DO decide to go with a mid-ATX tower (measure the Corsair 400R and compare it to your case. Measurements are on newegg), then switch the mobo to an actual Z77 Extreme4... not the micro ATX version.

Everything looks good, though! Have fun!
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April 30, 2012 4:36:37 AM

Thanks so much, yea its a full case its 9x22x22ish. I prefer the smaller case for easier movement and storage. There is no disadvantage to a smaller motherboard and case right? It looks like I have a good idea what I need then I'll either build it myself or perhaps go with cyperpower (I might be able to get a similar build for cheapish but I heard that people have problems with service/technical support).
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April 30, 2012 4:43:24 AM

You can never do SLI/Crossfire. I'd really, really go with a mid-tower and an ATX motherboard, though. It'll be smaller, yet still have good cooling. That's the biggest problem with small computers... airflow/temperatures. The case you selected is meant for being an HTPC... meaning barely running! You're overclocking!
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April 30, 2012 5:38:37 AM

ddan49 said:
You can never do SLI/Crossfire. I'd really, really go with a mid-tower and an ATX motherboard, though. It'll be smaller, yet still have good cooling. That's the biggest problem with small computers... airflow/temperatures. The case you selected is meant for being an HTPC... meaning barely running! You're overclocking!


Then I will definitely change the case, I think I'll try going with the tall case style in the F131 and Potenza from main gear since they are larger cases and are still reasonably small and movable or something a bit smaller than the Corsair Carbine 400.
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April 30, 2012 11:16:41 AM

300R is smaller, I think
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May 4, 2012 7:49:27 PM

chrismorley said:
To answer the concern about power:

http://maingearforums.com/showthread.php?5574-The-Poten...)

Also, non-K SKUs go four speed bins above turbo, FYI.


Thanks for your reply I've actually settled on getting the Super stock Z77 F131 from your company since you offer a three year warranty plus you are based in NJ where I live. I now just need to customize it and figure out which parts I need which can be pretty confusing for someone who has traditionally just bought stock dell computers.
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May 4, 2012 7:50:46 PM

Best answer selected by mmac.
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