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First Gaming Rig Suggestions and Input needed

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May 22, 2012 2:57:46 AM

Been debating for the past couple days whether to get CM690-II Advanced or CM HAF-XM or Fractal Define R3 Black Pearl.
Making my first gaming PC for less than $1000 and having an all black theme or black/gold theme.
Planning to OC to 4.0 GHz (or better suggestion)
Im in the US so parts shouldnt be too hard to find and ive been looking thru newegg and amazon atm. Other sites could be of help others i kno of is tigerdirect. Please list some more if you know of a reliable one thanks.
I will not use SLI now but mayb for future build.

So far
CASE: CM690-II Advanced
CM HAF-XM
Fractal Define R3 Black Pearl

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus or Coolermaster's Hyper 212 Evo (which would you suggest?)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002G1YPH0/cupcr... 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Evo

Memory: Kingston Hyper X X1 Black Series 8GB or G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KG43M0/ref=olp_pro... Kingston
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... G.Skill


Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 or ASRock Z77 Extreme4(is it worth it?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Z77

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Te...

SSD: Crucial M4 128 GB (maybe? give me some options or setup)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004W2JKZI/ref=d...

HDD:Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM or Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM (make some more suggestions if any)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Samsung
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD Caviar Black

I've been doing research lol so these are what I have come up with. Please any suggestions and setup will be helpful. Also, I was going to do a push pull configuration so what kind of fans would you suggest if I was looking for a quiet but has high cfm. Ive heard of Akasa 120mm Apache(http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10345/fan-675/Akasa_1...), Scythe GT etc. but what would be the best setup to obtain the greatest performance.
May 22, 2012 3:04:48 AM

How quiet would you like this? Anyway, this is a pretty unbalanced build. I'm going to assume that you'd be fine with a Corsair 400R case (since that's a great case).

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.90 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($67.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $1009.66
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-21 23:02 EDT-0400)

That GPU will completely DESTROY the 6850... just annihilate it. A 60GB boot drive should be fine for OS and some games. You can get a Crucial M4 (128GB if you need it) SSD instead. The case is really nice. However, if you're trying for silence, then the Fractal R3 isn't a bad idea (it's what I'm getting for my build... but mine needs to be quiet). For good fans, I'm getting Cougar 140mm fans. 140mm is better because they're quieter while moving the same amount of air. Noctua is nice but pricey.
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May 22, 2012 3:18:41 AM

Just comboo to save your self money to use on other parts

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

and at a budget of 1k, i feel as if you are jipping youself out of a good gpu since my build holds a 7850 when i was on a budget of ~730$ at the time(830ish if you add on OS). personally i think the gain of an ssd compared to a 7200 rpm hdd is minimal, and really is only used for loading large games quicker. Also, if you dont plan to sli/crossfire but will overclock, then a 550-600w psu should suffice. a healthy sli/crossfire psu would be closer to 750w on high end gpus.


be sure to combo a dvd drive along with whatever hdd you pick thats applicable to minimize cost(dvd drive with hdd is 5$ more on the hdd only instead of paying the full 18ish$)

edit: you are definately overpaying 110$ psu for 650w
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May 22, 2012 4:07:36 AM

Actually I was thinking of dropping the budget to $800-850 :/  so with that budget. I actually started this build to be at around 800ish range. Its only a mid range gaming pc but like the top notch stuff is what i researched. I was thinking of changing the SSD to like 90 gb.

My concerns are for the push/pull config and types of fan i should get. Oh and the case as well lol i dont really want the corsair, but from the ones i posted what do you guys think of each. As for the PSU dudewitbow what would you suggest?

How bout the mobo? Is it worth paying extra for Z77 instead of a Z68?
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May 22, 2012 4:16:54 AM

blackle00 said:
Actually I was thinking of dropping the budget to $800-850 :/  so with that budget. I actually started this build to be at around 800ish range. Its only a mid range gaming pc but like the top notch stuff is what i researched. I was thinking of changing the SSD to like 90 gb.

My concerns are for the push/pull config and types of fan i should get. Oh and the case as well lol i dont really want the corsair, but from the ones i posted what do you guys think of each. As for the PSU dudewitbow what would you suggest?

How bout the mobo? Is it worth paying extra for Z77 instead of a Z68?


the differences are minimal and can be shrugged off assuming they are from the same price range and same line of mobos

i would sugest This psu or similar around its price and quality for single card builds that have room to both overclock cpu and overclock the gpu. if your going to sli, aim for the good quality 750w areas.
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May 22, 2012 4:25:39 AM

Okay thanks for the input maybe ill get a 750w to make my rig future proof but now it all lies on what case I should get lol.
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May 22, 2012 4:34:44 AM

blackle00 said:
Okay thanks for the input maybe ill get a 750w to make my rig future proof but now it all lies on what case I should get lol.



case all depends on preference, how many hdd/ssd will you have in the future, # of fans and room to put stuff in. its your choice, just aim for something at least 50$ usd worth or higher for decent casing. besure that its atx sized and not micro atx.
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May 22, 2012 12:26:21 PM

Great combo. Do you live by a MicroCenter?
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May 22, 2012 4:28:48 PM

I do live near a MicroCenter do they have some deals there? I havent really checked them out other than newegg.
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May 22, 2012 6:59:03 PM

Oh yes! Get the i5-2500k and Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 mobo deal. Together, it should cost you about $250 or so.
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May 22, 2012 10:22:44 PM

MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 (Intel Z68) or Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 mobo I was debating what would you say? Which would be better for gaming and overall performance of it I guess.
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May 22, 2012 10:31:54 PM

ASRock one is more proven and popular. The MSI is probably good, but I don't know anything about it. MSI is usually more expensive, but they should be about the same. When comparing, make sure you only compare stuff that's not supposed to be just for show... on both sides. Some "fancy" GPU enhancement probably won't do anything. Just look at the ease of BIOS for you personally. I do know that the ASRock Extreme3 is more popular, so there would be more info on overclocking/troubleshooting out there.
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May 23, 2012 12:35:39 AM

Ok i will stick with the ASRock Z68. As for cooling the CPU I was going to use the CM Hyper 212 EVO but I was wondering whats the best configuration? Ive read slightly about push/pull config. Also should I be adding additional fans if so what would you guys suggest if I want a quiet/with good cfm rating? Lol so many questions but ive seen configurations where the heat sink is vertical and another where it is horizontal. My question is does it make a big difference? Thanks again.
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May 23, 2012 2:24:14 AM

Only if your temps are bad. The stock on the Evo is pretty nice, but if you need more, feel free to add in a push/pull configuration. I don't think you'll need it, though. For fans, I like Cougar, but I specifically need quiet fans. Get 140mm fans. Usually the heatsink is vertical, but it depends on the build. Manuals will specifiy.
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May 23, 2012 3:33:14 AM

Okay thanks for that info really helped. So atm this is my list:

Part List


CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $199.99 FREE $199.99 @ NCIX

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $29.90 $29.90 @ NCIX US

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $121.99 $7.87 $129.86 @ Newegg

Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $47.99 FREE $47.99 @ Newegg

Video Card : Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $249.99 FREE $249.99 @ Amazon

Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99 -$20.00 FREE $59.99 @ Newegg
$20.00 mail-in rebate


Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $86.99 FREE $86.99 @ Newegg


Optical Drive: Lite-On LightScribe Drive one or the Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive?
Monitor: No idea what to get lol but i dont want a huge screen mayb 20'-21' max. Suggest some pls :D 


Total (before mail-in rebates): $824.71
Mail-in Rebates: $-20.00
Total: $804.71

Lowest Possible Total: $774.71 (View prices by merchant)



For cases I recently found Nexus Prominent R case to be pretty sweet looking but I havent seen alot of reviews and such on it. Does anyone have some input on this case? Lastly, I was planning to just use a 90 or 120 GB SSD instead of an HDD for now. What kinda brands are good? Ive heard of Crucial, OCZ, Mushkin but no idea which would be best and most reliable. Thanks again.
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May 23, 2012 3:38:39 AM

Don't get an OEM drive. I'd try for a Corsair 400R for the case. HAF 912 if it's a budget problem. I'd recommend a Crucial M4 SSD. Make sure you have enough room!
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May 23, 2012 5:12:44 AM

Yeah ive checked out the Corsair 400R and HALF 912 but wasnt really big fan of the look. Hence why I was debating on the cases:
CM 690 II Advanced
Fractal Define R3
Nexus Prominent R

At the moment Im leaning towards CM 690 II Advanced but I wasnt too sure whether or not the Nexus was reliable seeing that i havent seen to much reviews/youtube videos on them. As for the spacing, I checked around and believed that the cases I checked out can have the parts picked out. I just cant decide on a case :(  they all look good haha. Help me list the pros and cons maybe lol.


Also for the SSD and HDD Im starting to think I should just get an SSD later since it only affects load time by mere seconds. As for the HDD Ive checked out Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB and also WD Caviar Black and Blue 500GB. Or maybe a 1TB for either. Now my question is that which do you think is best for my system and mind explaining how RAIDing actually works? Thanks again
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May 23, 2012 5:42:38 AM

OEM drive just means it doesn't come with cables...
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May 23, 2012 6:06:31 AM

azeem40 said:
OEM drive just means it doesn't come with cables...

Thanks for the input ^^ but how bout the last comment any thoughts :D 
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May 23, 2012 6:08:09 AM

RAID 0 mirrors the drive, but if one drive dies, there is nothing left to mirror, so the data on the second HDD is also lost.
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May 23, 2012 7:06:58 AM

So whats the chances of the SSD/HDD failing at Raid0 and why would you do Raid if theres that chance of losing everything? I hear Raid 1 is good but im still confused as to why people raid.
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May 23, 2012 10:47:48 AM

RAID is usually used as a system of backup.

Anyway,I personally try to stay away from CoolerMaster when I can because of their ethics, but the case seems to be fine. You're looking for a minimalist case? What aesthetics are you really looking for? Lian-Li cases (although expensive) have the same look as the Fractal R3.
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May 23, 2012 4:12:14 PM

Yeah im some what of a minimalist so I'm not a big fan of the more futuristic/bulky cases. I like the simply but elegant look. I have checked out the Lian-Li cases but yeah as you said it is pretty expensive. As for aesthetics just something slick, clean and not too much point edges lol. The three ive been checking out were the CM 690 2 Advanced, Fractal R3 and Nexus Prominent R.Which would you choose given these 3 choices?
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May 23, 2012 10:19:24 PM

CM 690 if you're not concerned with silence. Silent cases have higher temps.
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May 24, 2012 1:42:52 AM

Okay I have decided to get the CM 690 2 Advanced for my case. Now I was wondering what type of fans should I add and how many to have the best performance and also a quiet one. I know it wont be extremely quiet but Im looking for a build where the noise of the fan isnt extremely bothersome because I dont like to game with a headset so I wouldnt want to hear the fans over the video/gaming sounds. I have checked out some fans like the Scythe GT 120mm, Be Quiet Silentwings USC 140mm, Thermalright X-Silent 120/140mm and Scythe Slipstream 120mm. But What would you guys suggest the configuration of the CM 690 fan placement?

The Case:
Front: 140 x 25mm blue LED fan x 1 / 1200RPM / 19dBA (stock)
Rear: 120mm fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 17dBA (stock)

Top: 140 x 25mm fanx1/1200RPM/19dBA(supports120/140mm fan x 2) (1 Stock)

Bottom: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)

Left side: 120/140mm fan x 2 (optional)

Right side: 80 x 15mm x 1 (optional)

HDD cage: 120mm fan x 1 (optional)



Currently I was thinking of adding another 140mm fan on the top and maybe 1 120mm at the bottom but how bout the rest should I add fans on the side panels etc? Sorry for my many questions lol I wanna get the right build and thanks for helping.
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May 24, 2012 2:51:18 AM

Hmm... okay, here's what I would do. I'd get some Noctua fans (pricey, but they're silent and have great airflow). Or some Cougars. I don't know much about Scythe, but they're VERY popular as well. Now, You've got a front intake and a rear exhaust. So what I would do is put in a top exhaust so your CPU stuff is taken out (yes... "stuff" :lol:  ... as in hot air), and put in a bottom intake (as you said). Just one question... will this be on a hard surface? 'Cause it'll be difficult to take in air when there's carpet blocking it. Side panel fans decrease temps, but they also make quite a bit of noise. You may want to play around with that. I'd probably add in another fan in the front, just for some extra intake. I'm assuming you won't be needing a lot of the HDD cage, so it'll just be more airflow.
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May 24, 2012 3:48:28 AM

So your saying have a push/pull config on my CM Hyper Evo and use the exhaust fan to expel the hot air while also having 2 140mm fans at the top to expel even more hot air. Then ill add 1 or 2 120m fan at the bottom to increase more cool air intake. Next is to add another 120mm fan on the HDD cage to increase the cooling intake?

I may add on side panel but will do that testing in the future. So atm i have to buy 1 140mm fan for the top and 2 120mm fan for the bottom and hdd cage maybe.
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May 24, 2012 7:07:04 AM

Yes, that is what he means.
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May 24, 2012 10:56:44 AM

Yeah. I'd go with 140mm everywhere you can, since it's quieter. Also, having two top exhaust fans may not be a great idea 'cause you want high pressure. I'd stick with one top exhaust (along with the stock back exhaust) and see how things go.
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