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Mid towers, full towers and cpu coolers.

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August 27, 2012 5:13:01 AM

I've been posting a bit too much lately asking for various opinions, but since my next build is going to cost me a substantial amount of money I just wanna make sure I got everything right, given how noob I am with all this computer building thing.

I was adding my last few items to the cart tonight and I started being unsure about case size and cpu coolers. See, I didn't intend to buy an aftermarket cooler right now as I won't be overclocking my i5 3570k before a while.. that being said, I'm wondering if I'm gonna need one right away anyway. Do you guys think the stock heatsink and fan would be enough to keep cool CPU temps under load without any OC ?

Also, the case I currently have in my cart is a NZXT Phantom 410 mid tower. I noticed the full tower design was just a few bucks more expensive and was wondering if I should go with that instead.

Here's the rig so far :

Core i5 3570k
Geforce 470
500GB HDD
120GB SSD
550W Corsair PSU
ASRock z77 extreme 4 mobo
a b ) Power supply
a c 109 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 5:29:41 AM

The stock cooler will be more than enough if you don't OC. However, I will recommend you to pick up a Hyper 212 EVO since you have selected an unlocked CPU + Great OCing board...you never know when you want to pull the trigger ;) 

Also as a small recommendation, you may want to get something more modern for your GPU...what is your budget for your rig? How much does it cost now? And what resolution is your monitor?

The NZXT Phantom 410 is very nice, by the way. However, the full tower may offer some more features (haven't looked at them so I don't remember) so it may be better to go with a Full Tower Phantom if the price difference is low.
a c 78 ) Power supply
a c 214 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 5:47:54 AM

The full tower is naturaly a bigger case and that means you can add more fans and they can be larger as well , all that means a cooler running inside of the case. The stock cooler will be fine for a non overclocked cpu as it is designed to cool the cpu under load , however overclocking changes things and adds more heat to the stock cooler to get rid of. If you have a fan on the side panel or add one there it will help the stock cooler with the cooling by provideing it with cooler air being blown directly onto the motherboard were the cpu is located.
A GTX 470 video card is a few years old now and while they are still being sold you can get better video cards to give you better gaming performance without overclocking the cpu.A 560Ti or a 570 would be better choices and if the budget can aford it a 660Ti would be the best option , but I don't know what your budget room is for a change from the 470.
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August 27, 2012 7:07:13 AM

Well, how could I say. The budget is a factor for me, but not an issue. I'm just concerned with not spending more than is reasonable, but there is no budget. I don't mind about the build ending up costing 2000$ if it gives me a reasonable increase in performance.

Would it changes things a lot PSU wise if I was to go with something like a 660ti, or even a 670 ? I was leaving the GPU question kind of open since I did not make my mind yet about this. I considered a GTX 470 since I had been offered one more or less for free by a friend who is also building his new system, but it is indeed rather old. Anyway, is 550W enough if I'm to go the 660ti route ?
a b ) Power supply
a c 109 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 7:11:36 AM

A quality branded 550w PSU will be enough for almost any modern GPU out on the market at the moment.

You will see a major performance gap if you go with a GTX660Ti intead of a GTX470 :) 

What is your intended use for this machine? I'm assuming it's gaming :)  I'll be more than happy to make you a parts list if you wished. Just tell me what your country is, and if you need an OS or not :) 

August 27, 2012 7:30:41 AM

I'm from Canada and yes, I will mostly use the new system for gaming, especially since my 60GB PS3 died his final death recently. I figured I would rather spend money on a good gaming computer than on another console... I think I've had my fill of those. Anyway !

I have a few parts figured out already, and since I always built/upgraded previous systems with Corsair PSUs I kinda developed a liking to them. I intended to buy a Corsair PSU between 550W and 750W depending on my needs, modular or semi modular if possible as cable management really drives me nuts. I hate seeing wires lying all over the case. As for memory well I don't know much about that so I thought I might go with corsair vengeance 1600 8GB. I heard good things about other manufacturers but I never heard about them :S

For the SSD someone on this forum suggested a Crucial M4 when I mentioned I wanted around 120GB, although like with memory this is one area I know nothing about. Last thing would be the case I guess. I read an article here on tom's about the Phantom 410 and it seemed like a decent enough case but that's pretty much it.

This is the part I hate the most about computer building. I trust myself enough to assemble it without making anything explode... but choosing and researching the parts, God is that a pain.

a b ) Power supply
a c 109 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 7:31:51 AM

Arthan said:
I'm from Canada and yes, I will mostly use the new system for gaming, especially since my 60GB PS3 died his final death recently. I figured I would rather spend money on a good gaming computer than on another console... I think I've had my fill of those. Anyway !

I have a few parts figured out already, and since I always built/upgraded previous systems with Corsair PSUs I kinda developed a liking to them. I intended to buy a Corsair PSU between 550W and 750W depending on my needs, modular or semi modular if possible as cable management really drives me nuts. I hate seeing wires lying all over the case. As for memory well I don't know much about that so I thought I might go with corsair vengeance 1600 8GB. I heard good things about other manufacturers but I never heard about them :S

For the SSD someone on this forum suggested a Crucial M4 when I mentioned I wanted around 120GB, although like with memory this is one area I know nothing about. Last thing would be the case I guess. I read an article here on tom's about the Phantom 410 and it seemed like a decent enough case but that's pretty much it.

This is the part I hate the most about computer building. I trust myself enough to assemble it without making anything explode... but choosing and researching the parts, God is that a pain.


I know what you mean...I'll get a build going with the Phantom 410 :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.53 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($294.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.69 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1251.82
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-27 03:35 EDT-0400)

There we go :) 

If you wanted a beefier GPU, you could always invest $100 more into a GTX670 :) 

However, the Radeon HD7950 is probably the best $300 card you can get at the moment considering its performance once OC'd...
August 27, 2012 7:48:57 AM

Thanks a lot for the recommendations :) 

I guess the next thing to do is going to choose between the 7950 and the GF 670. I'll look at a few benchmarks tomorrow and try to order this week. Oh and, I mentioned the ASRock Extreme 4 in my original post because I heard some good things about it but I'm not too familiar with that brand either. Back when I built my last PC Asus, MSI and Gigabyte were the 3 big trusted brands and I went with GB at that time. Are ASRock motherboards as reliable ?

Thanks again for all the help.
a b ) Power supply
a c 109 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 7:53:43 AM

You're very welcome!

Yes, ASRock boards are pretty good! And the Extreme4 Z77 has proven to be a very nice board for its price point.

Also, the GTX670 will absolutely destroy the HD7950 when it comes to most recent games... :lol:  There's a lot of cool features the GTX670 offers as well that the HD7950 lacks; Adaptive V-Sync being one of them. You could consider CUDA if you use programs that can benefit from it. I tend to leave PhysX out since most people don't really care for it. Generally speaking, you get lots more little trinkets a price increase of $100 (hmm now doesn't that sound familiar?)

On a completely different side note, I'm going to sleep now! Good luck and have fun :) 
August 28, 2012 3:10:31 AM

Decided to go with the GTX 670 in the end and I'll be getting the CPU Cooler in the same purchase. That being said, before closing this thread I was wondering if the addition of a cooler is going to mean a lot in terms of noise generated by the system. From what I understand coolers of this size are usually quiet, is this correct ?
a b ) Power supply
a c 109 à CPUs
August 28, 2012 3:22:32 AM

If you're referring to the Hyper 212 EVO, then yes, they are very quiet.

Great choice on the GTX670, btw the way :)  I should've incorporated that into the list from the start :lol: 

Good luck and have fun!
a c 78 ) Power supply
a c 214 à CPUs
August 28, 2012 3:57:48 AM

EVGA 04G-P4-2673-KR GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked+ w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$469.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Currently this model is out of stock and will be back in stock at some point but it is the 4 gb model and is factory overclocked. This would be a good card to get a hold of if you were able to wait or found it on another site.

EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$407.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you were not able to wait then this FTW (For The Win) model is usually a top model in whatever type of card that Evga makes.

If you get a cpu cooler and don't like the fan because it's noisy or doesn't push enough air you can easily change it to a fan of your choice.
!