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Critique my $1300 gaming build

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May 3, 2012 4:25:16 AM

Hey there. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new system and would love a quick sanity check from the Interwebs.

My goal is to have a fairly quiet system and be able to play current games at a fairly high resolution with all details.

I have a HDD already that I'll use for extra storage.

* My main questions and areas of concern:

Will this case work well with the components selected? Large enough?

Given that I will probably go for a mild overclock, and don't need integrated graphics, would I be better off with Sandy Bridge and an older motherboard... it would probably save me $100. Then again, SB runs hotter, and with the small case... not sure.

Feedback on the motherboard and/or graphics card selection

Am I missing any weird cables? (I think I might need an HDMI cable, otherwise, I don't see anything that jumps out at me.)

* Newegg saved wishlist:

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

* Components listed out:

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

GPU
XFX Double D FX-785A-CDFC Radeon HD 7850 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

SSD
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Optical Drive
ASUS 24X DVD Burner DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Case
Antec Sonata Series SOLO II Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Power Supply
SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Monitor
ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks in advance.

-- Bob
May 3, 2012 5:00:46 AM

rramstad said:
Hey there. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new system and would love a quick sanity check from the Interwebs.

My goal is to have a fairly quiet system and be able to play current games at a fairly high resolution with all details.


Given that I will probably go for a mild overclock, and don't need integrated graphics, would I be better off with Sandy Bridge and an older motherboard... it would probably save me $100. Then again, SB runs hotter, and with the small case... not sure.


Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks in advance.

-- Bob

Actually, IB runs hotter OC'd
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ivy-bridge-overclockin...
weird huh...
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May 3, 2012 5:29:51 AM

Hey, I am about to order a quiet gaming system as well. My build is almost identical to yours. A slight change in the case, I am going with the Corsair 500D. And a couple different options of PSU's. Both are cheaper then yours if you want to take a look. They have both been suggested to me numerous times and are suppose to be pretty quiet.

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 3, 2012 5:45:29 AM

I would get a 7870 and cheap on something else =)
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May 3, 2012 5:52:31 AM

I would use that fan as a second fan for the Hyper 212 EVO.
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May 3, 2012 5:53:15 AM

The sonata is a nice case , but if you read the Anandtech review you will see it compromises cooling to achieve low noise

I'd recommend the P280 instead if you want silence and performance . Add a couple of quiet fans to the fron and the cooling is excellent
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May 3, 2012 5:54:22 AM

Outlander_04 said:
The sonata is a nice case , but if you read the Anandtech review you will see it compromises cooling to achieve low noise

I'd recommend the P280 instead if you want silence and performance . Add a couple of quiet fans to the fron and the cooling is excellent


hopz said:
Here's the rest of my build btw.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

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May 3, 2012 6:04:43 AM

Actually all three are good PSU but the SeaSonic gold has the wattage advantage - single +12V rail @ 54 amps for a total of 648W available just from the 12V alone the other single rail, the Corsair Builder provides 40 amps on the +12V rail for a total of 480W. The SeaSonic bronze is 2 rail at 24Amps per rail for a total of 288W per rail for a total of 576W available to the 12V.
I'm not trying to push any one PSU over another just want to point out the differences (which explains $$$ difference also). The quiet aspect though is that the greater the 'headroom' on the +12V rail, the cooler (and quieter - is that a word?) the PSU should run.
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May 3, 2012 7:03:46 AM

http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Series-80PLUS-Performance-com... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
OCZ ZS Series 750W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $374.98
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX806237I53570K

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $369.99 - $349.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 5% off w/ promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card

http://www.overclockers.com/msi-r7870-twin-frozr <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99
GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-radeon-hd-7870-o... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Gigabyte 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Asus 7870
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May 3, 2012 3:07:06 PM

The comments so far have been great, very helpful.

I think like many folks I'm really torn between Ivy Bridge with Z77 and Sandy Bridge with Z68. I am not using the integrated graphics of IB, plan to do a mild overclock (which SB does better), and don't see a huge difference in features between the two... I can save about $100 by going with a Z68 MB and an SB processor. I suppose I could also knock off $30ish by going with a processor that doesn't overclock.

The comments on the case are well taken. I've heard good things about the P183 so the suggestion of the P280 is on point. Thanks.

I wanted to "future proof" the power supply and case, so getting those right is important.

(I suppose that would be the biggest argument towards going with a Z77 motherboard, that it is probably more "future proof", but it sounds like the next rev from Intel will use a new socket, or at least that's what I had heard, I think, so the motherboard may be short lived anyway.)

Is a 7870 going to represent a significant upgrade to the 7850 given that I'm only gaming at 1920 x 1080 as that's my maximum monitor resolution?

(Basically what I did was look at the guides here, started at the most expensive cards, went down until I found the cheapest card that said "Great performance at 1920 x 1080" and picked that one.)

Super helpful so far. Thanks in advance for further thoughts!
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May 3, 2012 4:33:03 PM

I'm definitely going with the P280.

Also considering swapping the Samsung 830 for a Crucial m4. $170 vs $125. I like the Samsung having more consistent write performance, but that's a pretty good chunk of change.

I would love an opinion (or three) on Ivy Bridge with Z77 vs Sandy Bridge with Z68.

I would also love an opinion (or three) on 7870 vs 7850 given gaming at 1920 x 1080.

Is there any point in having 16 GB of memory vs. the 8 GB I currently have? From my recent experience, having 4 GB in the system I use right now, I'm never even remotely filling that up with processes, so 8 GB seems like a lot.
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May 4, 2012 2:18:30 AM

I made some changes, wishlist here

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I upgraded to

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H (was UD3H)
Antec P280 (was Solo II)
MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 (was 7850)

and changed up (slight downgrade) to

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SSD (was Samsung 830)

Added a cheap mouse and keyboard. With the savings on the downgrade, and a $25 combo for motherboard and processor, the upgrades and adding keyboard and mouse only increased the cost about $150. (I'm at $1595 without shipping, previous revision was $1459.)

Any further thoughts very welcome... probably pulling the trigger in a few hours here. I'm hoping this will be relatively future proof while also giving me something that'll run great and quietly now. Thanks!
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May 4, 2012 4:43:41 PM

For the curious, I ordered everything, and will post again on this thread with my impressions once I get the computer built... best guess is I'll have everything Wed or Thu and build it over next weekend.

(I can tell from the activity on the forum that there are a lot of people doing new builds right now, figure some impressions might be useful.)
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