Advise on my first ever build?

Hey guys... I was finalizing my plans for my first ever pc build, and thought I would ask for the knowledgeable advise of you people. I am building this PC for college to serve as my gaming rig for several years to come. As such, I want power, but also need things somewhat quiet for my dorm. Anyways, here's the build:

Approximate Purchase Date: Next Two Weeks

Budget Range: About $1300 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video Watching, Homework, Engineering Software, Mathematics Packages

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Optical Drive, Speakers, Monitors, Mouse... Really just building the tower

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: MicroCenter has seemed to have the best prices

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Most definitely nVidia and Intel... other than that I have no strong opinions

Overclocking: YES (but never done it before)

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Monitor Resolution: dual @ 1920 x 1080


What I have so far:

Intel i5-3570k - $190
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388577

Cooler Master V8 Universal CPU Cooler - $48
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0299478

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Z77 - $170
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0386887

Thermaltake SMART 850W Modular PSU - $100
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0383022

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8 GB PC3-12800 1600mhz -$50
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0366817

ASUS - nVidia GTX 570 CUII - 1280MB - $280
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0373061

1 TB - 7200 rpm - 32MB buffer - 6.o GB/s -$100
120 GB SSD - $110


I do plan on OC'ing the CPU and possibly even the GPU. Never actually OC'ed anything before but I'll figure it out. I figured that for less than $70, my CPU cooler was pretty decent to play with moderate OCs.

Also, I don't have any great ideas for a mid-sized case for the build. If anyone has any thoughts, that'd be great. I think I want a window on the side, but I'm not really sure. If you've worked with anything in the $100 range that you liked, I'd love to hear about it.

So... Any thoughts on how to improve this system? Did I do a good job or does something need work? Thanks
19 answers Last reply
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  1. I would ditch the thermaltake power supply, they arent very good. You should get a Corsair, Antec, OCZ, XFX, or Seasonic. With one of these quality psu's you can drop the wattage down to 550-600 watts. (unless you plan to sli in the future, then you need 800 watts)
    As for a case, i recently bought a Zalman Z9+, and was quite impressed. It comes with 4 fans, keeps everything nice and cool, and is very quiet.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811235027
  2. Here's my thoughts:
    * CPU is a good one, should do well for the $.
    * Not sure on the CPU HSF, but THIS one is a popular one for ~$35.
    * Mobo should be fine, but there are other options that are cheaper that should do the job well too.
    * PSU is okay, but I prefer PSU's made by Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, & PCP&C.
    * RAM looks good (good idea to have low profile heat spreaders, so you can fit in just about any aftermarket CPU HSF).
    * GPU looks good.
    * HD should be fine also (I'm assuming a Seagate one?).
    * Which SSD did you select?
    * DVD Burner or BluRay drive??
    * I like Cooler Master 912 HAF at the minimum for this build.

    Where are you finding these prices on these items?? They are quite cheap from what I could find?
  3. Yeah that 212 EVO cooler keeps coming up a lot... I'm willing to spend up to $70-$80 on a cooler if it means I can run cooler and/or get higher OCs. Still not sure what the best route for that is.

    I'll change my PSU to one of the suggested brands... Definitely don't want a crappy PSU. Thanks for the advise.

    On the GPU... That's a 3-slot model there by ASUS. Didn't know if that's a good or bad idea. From what I gather, I should be able to run it cooler and quieter because of all the extra heatsink that extra slot affords. I probably won't ever go SLI, but I guess I'd like to leave the option open. I think I'd be more likely to upgrade to a different single GPU. With that in mind, I may consider a smaller PSU (really wasn't sure what size).

    Haven't selected specific HDD or SDD, just priced somewhere in that range. The idea of course is to use the SDD for OS and maybe some core apps. I've heard about using a small (60 GB) SSD for a cache with the Z77 chipset so I may look into that as well.

    I will have a BluRay drive (already own it though).

    Most of these prices are from MicroCenter with the help of some rebates... I was pleasantly surprised myself!
  4. And I like both of those cases... that Z9 especially. Quiet enough to sleep with (and not bother dorm mate)?
  5. Hey i like the phantom 410 also hyper 212 evo is alot better than the v8 and cheaper but for 70-80 dollers on cooler go with thermalright or nactua also i would recommend differant psu thermaltake is garbage corsair or ocz or pc P&c
  6. simmy2109 said:
    And I like both of those cases... that Z9 especially. Quiet enough to sleep with (and not bother dorm mate)?

    you should follow the rules by filling this form so that we can help in a better and shorter way-
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice
  7. hollylvwood said:
    Hey i like the phantom 410 also hyper 212 evo is alot better than the v8 and cheaper but for 70-80 dollers on cooler go with thermalright or nactua also i would recommend differant psu thermaltake is garbage corsair or ocz or pc P&c


    Okay... You may have no appreciation for punctuation my friend, but I like your taste in cases. NZXT's whole lineup is pretty sick.

    hellfire24 said:
    you should follow the rules by filling this form so that we can help in a better and shorter way-
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice


    Sorry... I fixed the post now. Hope that helps!
  8. simmy2109 said:
    Okay... You may have no appreciation for punctuation my friend, but I like your taste in cases. NZXT's whole lineup is pretty sick.


    Sorry... I fixed the post now. Hope that helps!



    yea i hate puncuation we are fighting currently lol
  9. simmy2109 said:
    Hey guys... I was finalizing my plans for my first ever pc build, and thought I would ask for the knowledgeable advise of you people. I am building this PC for college to serve as my gaming rig for several years to come. As such, I want power, but also need things somewhat quiet for my dorm. Anyways, here's the build:

    Approximate Purchase Date: Next Two Weeks

    Budget Range: About $1300 after rebates

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video Watching, Homework, Engineering Software, Mathematics Packages

    Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Optical Drive, Speakers, Monitors, Mouse... Really just building the tower

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: MicroCenter has seemed to have the best prices

    Country: USA

    Parts Preferences: Most definitely nVidia and Intel... other than that I have no strong opinions

    Overclocking: YES (but never done it before)

    SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

    Monitor Resolution: dual @ 1920 x 1080


    What I have so far:

    Intel i5-3570k - $190
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388577

    Cooler Master V8 Universal CPU Cooler - $48
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0299478

    ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Z77 - $170
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0386887

    Thermaltake SMART 850W Modular PSU - $100
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0383022

    Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8 GB PC3-12800 1600mhz -$50
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0366817

    ASUS - nVidia GTX 570 CUII - 1280MB - $280
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0373061

    1 TB - 7200 rpm - 32MB buffer - 6.o GB/s -$100
    120 GB SSD - $110


    I do plan on OC'ing the CPU and possibly even the GPU. Never actually OC'ed anything before but I'll figure it out. I figured that for less than $70, my CPU cooler was pretty decent to play with moderate OCs.


    Also, I don't have any great ideas for a mid-sized case for the build. If anyone has any thoughts, that'd be great. I think I want a window on the side, but I'm not really sure. If you've worked with anything in the $100 range that you liked, I'd love to hear about it.

    So... Any thoughts on how to improve this system? Did I do a good job or does something need work? Thanks


    don't go with V8(becomes loud and annoying),thermaltake psu and gtx 570.i would suggest the following changes-
    for power supply, go with Antec HCG 750w.it has enough power to run 2x 78xx cards and overclocks,and for $80 after rebates,it's a great deal.
    for cooler,my vote goes to CM Hyper 612 PWM.it's a quiet(PWM),high performance cooler.
    hd 7850 and 570 are similar in performance at stock speeds-
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-review-benchmark,3148.html
    but 7850 consumes less power,makes less noise,less power consumption and less heat too.overall 7850 is a better card and with some overclocking(it overclocks like a dream)it will beat 570.
    sapphire 7850 for $250 is a great deal-
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102986
    other parts are absolutely perfect and i won't suggest any change.enjoy ;)
  10. Okay... That cooler looks pretty nice from looking at reviews and benchmarks. Quick question though (about to sound ignorant)... What exactly is the difference in these PWM coolers. I know what PWM is (I like to play with electronics), but are other coolers not controlled in a PWM fashion? How are other cooling fans controlled then? Regardless, I like the look of this cooler, and I think I'll make that swap.

    Power supply also looks pretty nice. I'll strongly consider it (haven't had time to re-visit PSUs yet). Definitely need the overhead for OCs though.

    Only thing I doubt you can convince me to do is move to Raedon. I am a loyal nVidia boy through and through, and it will take some strong convincing to change me. Don't see enough reason to change that now, so I'll stick with the 570. I may not really play with OC'ing the GPU... we'll just have to see how risky I feel.

    Thanks for the great advise though!
  11. you can set the fan speed from BIOS or by using any software like speedfan.PWM are quieter because they adjust the fan speed according to the temps.
    750w is enough for CF and other stuff.
    i don't get people saying 'I am nvidia boy' WTF? it is better to focus on performance instead of focusing on fanboyism.i agree AMD had driver issues but 7xxx cards harldy have any issues.a friend of mine is running 7950 CF setup and it's running flawless.
    7850>570 hands down.less power consumption,less heat,cheaper,more overclocking potential etc.
    BTW,it's your choice.i would suggest 7850.
  12. simmy2109 said:
    And I like both of those cases... that Z9 especially. Quiet enough to sleep with (and not bother dorm mate)?

    Yes, definately quiet enough to sleep around. I have it under a desk and can barely hear it sitting at the desk. From 10 feet across the room I have to see if the lights are on to tell if its running,and I added a fan to mine. I took the one off the side since I figured that one would be easiest to hear, and put it in the top. I also moved the rear one to the bottom, and put a CoolerMaster SickleFlow in its place. I ended up with 2 top, 1 front, 1 bottom, 1 rear for my fan configuration, and hooked the front and rear up to the fan controller that comes with the case (it will only run 2 fans). When I game I turn up the controller, and even at full blast its audible, but not loud
  13. Ah dang... I assumed that all CPU coolers would adjust based on temps. Silly me! I'll definitely be aiming to get a PWM cooler, even if it's not this one (but it looks pretty good).

    Haha... yeah I guess I don't get it either. When I was first getting into more serious PC gaming a few years back, I steered away from AMD mostly because, yeah, their drivers seemed to be a mess. I guess now I'm just so much more familiar with the nVidia components and know almost nothing about AMD. I'll definitely give the 7850 some more research. Brief look seems to me that nVidia and AMD might follow slightly different philosophies to performance. nVidia focuses on increasing the numbers of cores in their GPU's while AMD is more focussed on clock speeds. Maybe I have that all wrong, but comparing specs on the 7850 and the 570, that's what it looks like.

    Now I just have to figure out who to follow! Thanks for the advise.
  14. ^always welcome.
  15. simmy2109 said:
    And I like both of those cases... that Z9 especially. Quiet enough to sleep with (and not bother dorm mate)?


    it's not the case that makes noise it's the fans :pfff: you can easily make any case silent by adding silent fans.
  16. If you list the games you play, I can tell you which card is better for which game.
  17. hellfire24 said:
    it's not the case that makes noise it's the fans :pfff: you can easily make any case silent by adding silent fans.

    True, but I was letting the OP know that this case is quiet as is. He wouldnt need to spend additional cash for quiet fans, as the ones that come with this case are some of the quietest I've heard. Also, It may be a fan causing a vibration, but a shoddy case can vibrate or rattle as a result adding to the noise. The Zalman case also comes with rubber hard drive mounts to minimize vibration. Like I said above, my rig is almost inaudible, and half of the tiny bit of fan noise I do hear is probably coming from my graphics card and cpu cooler
  18. ^that is another story.some cases are equipped with so called 'sound proof' things LOL.
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