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First Time Builder - Gaming Rig

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May 4, 2012 3:42:57 PM

I'm currently at school just waiting for exams to be over, and I've been doing a lot of research into building my own computer the past few weeks. I'm an engineering major and I've wanted to build a strong rig for a while. I've got a prospective build, and I just wanted some feedback. Just a few things to note.

I wanted to get some feedback and determine if there were any flaws in my design or if there were parts that were better for the $. Here was my design criteria:

1. Incredible Gaming Experience
2. Strong platform for engineering programs (like auto-cad)
3. Possible SLI in the future
4. Possible overclock in the future
5. A lasting design that will allow for future upgrades

Here are the parts:

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: EVGA Z68 SLI 130-SB-E685-KR LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133

HDD:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: Logitech G9x
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: (Currently sold out but something similar would suffice)
Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23" 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Opt Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Approximate cost is ~ $1500 (would like to trim it up if possible).

Also note, for speakers, I have A bose companion 3 series already.

I really appreciate your time. I have found this sight to be incredibly helpful over the past few weeks, and it helps separate my mundane study schedule. Please provide some feedback about design problems, cost-efficient substitutes, or any other suggestions you might have for a first time builder. :) 

TheMo
a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 4:00:24 PM

The Antec CP-850 is not compatible with the Antec Nine Hundred.
If you want to keep the CP-850 then you will have to chose one of the following:
Twelve Hundred / Twelve Hundred V3
Dark Fleet DF-85
P183
P193
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 4:17:22 PM

You do not need 2133 ram. Try these instead:

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory = 46.99

That MOBO will most likely require a bios update to work with the 3rd gen ivy processors. I would suggest switching it out with a newer Z77 board like this:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 189.99

or

ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 169.99

Your PSU is not compatable with that case. Try one of these:

Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W = 119.99

or

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W = 109.99
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May 4, 2012 4:47:23 PM

Pezcore27 said:
You do not need 2133 ram. Try these instead:

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory = 46.99

That MOBO will most likely require a bios update to work with the 3rd gen ivy processors. I would suggest switching it out with a newer Z77 board like this:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 189.99

or

ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 169.99

Your PSU is not compatable with that case. Try one of these:

Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W = 119.99

or

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W = 109.99



tHiS ^
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May 4, 2012 4:59:30 PM

Thank you for all the feedback fellas! :D  I wasn't aware of the issue with the PSU, thank you for pointing that out. I checked out the Mobos, and the Gigabyte one looks great with the antec platinum psu.
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May 4, 2012 5:04:03 PM

If you want to overclock, then you need a 'K' processor...the i5-3570K should be the one you go for. If overclocking isn't so important to you, then stick with the one you have. Just bear in mind that non-K CPUs don't really overclock at all.

Is your preference Nvidia for a GPU? If not, I'd suggest looking at either the AMD 7850 or 7870. If so, wait until Nvidia release their Kepler mid-range GPUs (which will compete with the afore-mentioned AMD GPUs). The GTX 570 is an older card and, whilst great, you want to put components which are as new as possible into a new build.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 5:04:57 PM

You also will not need the sound card as the 8 channel sound that comes with the Motherboard will be more than sufficient, unless you're doing a DJ type production with it, you will not notice any real difference with the onboard sound.

So that will help to offset the higher price from the Motherboard ;) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 5:12:52 PM

Whether you do it now or later, you need an aftermarket CPU cooler before you start playing with overclocking. If you wait, make sure your case has a cutout behind the motherboard to allow you to put a backplate on without removing the motherboard.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 5:45:06 PM

The Asrock Z77 I listed has everything the Gigabyte has for $50 less.
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May 4, 2012 5:56:03 PM

diellur said:
If you want to overclock, then you need a 'K' processor...the i5-3570K should be the one you go for. If overclocking isn't so important to you, then stick with the one you have. Just bear in mind that non-K CPUs don't really overclock at all.

Is your preference Nvidia for a GPU? If not, I'd suggest looking at either the AMD 7850 or 7870. If so, wait until Nvidia release their Kepler mid-range GPUs (which will compete with the afore-mentioned AMD GPUs). The GTX 570 is an older card and, whilst great, you want to put components which are as new as possible into a new build.


I do have a preference for Nvidia. I wasn't aware the new Nvidia cards were set for a release soon, so I will probably wait since I will be in school for another two weeks anyway.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 5:59:02 PM

Except the onboard Power, Reset, and clear CMOS, no daul LAN, not to mention being narrower than a standard ATX, so the ram is closer to the CPU Cooler.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 6:58:02 PM

Pezcore27 said:
Except the onboard Power, Reset, and clear CMOS, no daul LAN, not to mention being narrower than a standard ATX, so the ram is closer to the CPU Cooler.


Oh that's definitely worth $50, so you can push a button, and no dual LAN, OMG, and narrower??? The horror of the thought....
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2012 7:01:25 PM

I never said it was worth 50 more, you just said it had everything the gigabyte board does... I was just pointing out that it didnt :p 

Personally I have that gigabyte board, thats why I reccommended it. It is a very well made, very durable, very quality board. The new bios are amazingly simple to work with, and everything fits perfectly secure, yet assembled easily. I would re-buy it again and would reccommend it to anyone who wants a really quality board.
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May 4, 2012 7:51:19 PM

I built with the 2011 socket anticipating that as the new format, and allows you to upgrade the CPU as they come out over time. Thats just my 2 cents.

And if you are OCing, definitely aftermarket cooler, might I suggest the Cooler Master, it allows 2x80mm fans on either side, very quiet too:http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6741
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May 4, 2012 8:01:42 PM

I would strongly suggest looking into an ssd as well. Depending on how much Auto Cad your doing. If you have large files that ='s lots of pieces. Lots of pieces ='s lots of data to pull.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2012 3:13:45 PM

Pezcore27 said:
I never said it was worth 50 more, you just said it had everything the gigabyte board does... I was just pointing out that it didnt :p 

Personally I have that gigabyte board, thats why I reccommended it. It is a very well made, very durable, very quality board. The new bios are amazingly simple to work with, and everything fits perfectly secure, yet assembled easily. I would re-buy it again and would reccommend it to anyone who wants a really quality board.


That's great, but the Asrock is very well made, very durable and high quality too, it also has the same warranty and they are also a top 3 mobo manufacturer.

I used to be a big Giga fan too, but when I was in the market for a mobo, Gigabyte didn't even have UEFI bios yet, they were way behind the times, Asrock did and that's why I went with them. I've now used about a dozen of them and they are my new fav, and less expensive than the other brands.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2012 3:17:52 PM

geekapproved said:
Any reason for not going Z77?

I recommend this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have a very good reason.. 3 words.. Cougar Point recall.. Let someone else be the Guinea Pig on the new Intel chipsets. I personally would stick with the z68.. its known to be good.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2012 4:50:27 PM

I tend to agree. Remember i815? Remember the p55 socket burning issues? Remember the P67 Sata recall?

Intel has a history of shoddy mobo QC that's for sure. I tend to only buy what's tried and true too, but in this case it's not going to keep me from recommending a z77.

Afterall, they do have a warranty and they do replace for free.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2012 7:50:13 PM

True they do have a warranty, but damn if I wouldn't be pissed if I had to rip my computer apart and have to send my motherboard off and not have my computer for a week or two. (been there done that with my Gigabyte board that was in this build originally) Notice in my sig a Gigabyte board didn't get put back in here.... Thats entirely based on the tech support or lackthereof I got from them when I called, but I digress. :kaola: 
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May 5, 2012 8:43:41 PM

Pezcore27 said:
You do not need 2133 ram. Try these instead:

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory = 46.99

That MOBO will most likely require a bios update to work with the 3rd gen ivy processors. I would suggest switching it out with a newer Z77 board like this:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 189.99

or

ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = 169.99

Your PSU is not compatable with that case. Try one of these:

Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W = 119.99

or

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W = 109.99


If I upgraded my CPU to a i5-3570k andwanted to OC and and possibly SLI in the future (depending on when I buy and evaluating costs for cards after the release of Nvidia's new line), would 650W PSU be sufficient? or should I future proof and add more wattage?
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May 13, 2012 2:19:16 AM

Best answer selected by TheMo.
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