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First Build in 10 years, Budget $1300-. Keep, or make revisions?

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May 23, 2012 4:19:15 AM

I've been out of the loop for so long I had to read and read as to what was up to date and quality components. I've already purchased everything from Newegg and it's on it's way to me. But I'm second guessing myself as to whether I need the components I purchased. Any input from those of you who know more than I do will greatly be appreciated.

I want to be able to play games on High settings, fluid HD, speed all around. No Overclocking, but plan to have computer on for 12 hours at a time.

Approximate Purchase Date: Already purchased but can return very easily.

Budget Range: No more than $1300.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, HD Video streaming, stock trading and business.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, Windows 7.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: US

Overclocking: NO

Monitor Resolution: 1900 X 1200
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Processor : Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W $239.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Computer Case: SilverStone Fortress Series FT03B Black MicroATX $164.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Gene LGA 1155 Intel Z77 Micro ATX Intel $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory $97.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fans: 2X - COUGAR CF-V12HP Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing (Fluid) 300,000 $32.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is $1036.

I need a video card.
Did I go overboard with motherboard since I won't be overclocking?
Is that RAM good? I figured it would be somewhat future proof at DDR3 2400?

Cheers!

May 23, 2012 4:47:07 AM

For gaming, the critical component is the graphics card.
For your budget, I think I would look at a GTX670.
Here is one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any Z77 based motherboard will preserve the option for at least a conservative overclock, say to 4.0.
If you are looking at pushing the OC limits, then an expensive motherboard might be appropriate. Here, I think not.
Here is a less expensive ASus motherboard that will do you just as well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Look at ASROCK and Gigabyte also.

The current Intel cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.

Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.

Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.

Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.
Read this Anandtech article on memory scaling:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
---------------bottom line------------

DDR3 1600 is the sweet spot.
Here would be a good kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is there something you particularly like about the FT03?
I needed a more compact(shorter) case and bought the Silverstone TJ-08E.
It is silent, and no extra fans are needed. I highly recommend it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Take the time now to download and read the manuals for the case and the motherboard.
Many questions will be answered, and perhaps a few raised.

-----good luck------------
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May 23, 2012 4:59:38 AM

I like your build. You clearly have done your research for someone who has not build for 10 years haha. Ok, now down to business...

You pretty much have left $300 for a video card, which is quite a good amount. Sadly, however, this leave the GTX 680 out of the question which can be purchased for $500 from Newegg, and would futureproof your graphics for at least 5 years, and allow for some SLI action after this.

So, under these circumstances we can take two approaches:

1. The GTX 570 "Fermi". This comes with two options, a 1280mb amount of VRAM - approx. $270 on Newegg, or a 2560mb VRAM - $340. Now, whether the jump in price is worth it to you, I would personally take the cheaper option. This card is very appealing, and shall allow you to run most games on high settings, with the AA turned down a wee bit.

2. The Radeon HD 6950. This card comes with 2GB of VRAM, and at only $229 from XFX on Newegg + a free copy of Dirt 3. Now, here comes the good bit. This card can be 'flashed' to perform at the exact same rate as the 6970, a card which costs about $100 more, and competes and even in some cases is superior to the GTX 570. This flashing is simple, so don't be turned off, and can be done on the second BIOS switch as to not render your card useless in the event of some catastrophe. The reasons behind this are vague, however it is believed that AMD simply rendered part of their 6970 useless, as to sell a lower quality card. This workaround is fantastic!

So, these choices should leave you somewhere to go, and good luck!
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May 23, 2012 6:14:52 AM

First off, thanks for your replies. I love these tomshardware forums. Just overflowing with computing knowledge.

Geofelt:

That is a beast of a graphics card, perhaps I can see if a memorial day sale is coming up on this card.

As for the motherboard, the biggest difference that is applicable to me was the SupremeIII audio and Intel Gb lan on the maximus V micro. Do you find RealTek on the P8Z77-M PRO to be just as good?

After reading that anandtech article I see what you mean about synthetic and real world differences. However, I see that was based on Sandy Bridge cpu, would Ivy Bridge see benefit? If not, I'll go with the 1600 kit you pointed out.

It's funny the Silverstone TJ-08E was in my cart when I was piecing it all together. The TB03 just had an unconventional sexier look to it. But I do love the fact that the TJ-08E is silent. If the TB03 proves too loud, I'll go with TJ-08E.

I never even thought to read the manuals now. That is a great idea! I'll definitely be reading up on all components. Thanks for these thought provoking comments.


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May 23, 2012 6:32:52 AM

Thrallsman:

Thanks for the comment. I was seriously clueless 2 weeks ago about all the new things that have happened in computing. Those graphics cards are definitely within my price range. It's difficult for me to choose between Nvidia and AMD. This war between Nvidia and AMD have been going on since last time I built a pc, over 10 years ago.

I like the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit. But I'm going to look up benchmarks between the 570 320-bit and 6970. Thanks for pointing out those options.
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May 23, 2012 1:03:05 PM

no get the gtx 670. its much better than both 6970 or 580. also, 160 dollars is too much for a micro-atx case
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May 23, 2012 1:04:37 PM

17thCenturyBoy said:
Thrallsman:

Thanks for the comment. I was seriously clueless 2 weeks ago about all the new things that have happened in computing. Those graphics cards are definitely within my price range. It's difficult for me to choose between Nvidia and AMD. This war between Nvidia and AMD have been going on since last time I built a pc, over 10 years ago.

I like the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit. But I'm going to look up benchmarks between the 570 320-bit and 6970. Thanks for pointing out those options.



if you are getting a 570, dont get the 2560mb version. there isnt much of a performance improvement with the extra vram unless you are running at something like 2560x1440
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May 23, 2012 2:07:50 PM

I can not say from direct experience but that Noctua is going to be a terrible fit for that motherboard, I've seen the cooler and I have owned micro boards in the past I see a problem here, Corrections anyone ???


Here is a thought with that big case of yours

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 23, 2012 2:08:09 PM

I would suggest getting a 1-2TB HDD for all of your downloads.

for your SSD I suggest only keeping the bare minimum on there such as your games and windows 7 and thats it.

Even for your games I would only put the high load time games on there. a game such as Diablo 3 doesn't require SSD to see any performance improvement for example.
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May 23, 2012 2:18:03 PM

17thCenturyBoy said:
First off, thanks for your replies. I love these tomshardware forums. Just overflowing with computing knowledge.

Geofelt:

That is a beast of a graphics card, perhaps I can see if a memorial day sale is coming up on this card.

As for the motherboard, the biggest difference that is applicable to me was the SupremeIII audio and Intel Gb lan on the maximus V micro. Do you find RealTek on the P8Z77-M PRO to be just as good?

After reading that anandtech article I see what you mean about synthetic and real world differences. However, I see that was based on Sandy Bridge cpu, would Ivy Bridge see benefit? If not, I'll go with the 1600 kit you pointed out.

It's funny the Silverstone TJ-08E was in my cart when I was piecing it all together. The TB03 just had an unconventional sexier look to it. But I do love the fact that the TJ-08E is silent. If the TB03 proves too loud, I'll go with TJ-08E.

I never even thought to read the manuals now. That is a great idea! I'll definitely be reading up on all components. Thanks for these thought provoking comments.


I doubt that you will find the GTX670 on sale anytime soon.
It is a newer gen card built on 28nm process that isruns cooler ,quieter, and more efficiently.
With the savings on case, motherboard, ram, and extra fans,you will be well within your budget.
For gaming, spend your budget on the best graphics card you feel comfortable paying for. Even a GTX680 if you can find one.

A lower cost cm hiper212 cooler($20) will be almost as good as the Noctua NH-D14. If you go with the FT03, do some research to verify that either cooler will fit; it may not. I know that either will fit the TJ-08E.

All Z77 motherboards will have gigabit lan. I think the implementing chip, intel or whatever is not important.

Today, the stock HD sound on motherboards is quite good, at least to my tin ear. I would try it first. You can always add a discrete sound card later.

It is the integrated ram controller which was introduced with the nehalem cpu's, and carried on to the sandy bridge chips that keep the cpu fed with data so well. ivy bridge uses the same technique, and is really only a die shrink of sandy bridge. I think the anandtech article still applies to ivy bridge. More ram is better than faster ram. Windows will be able to keep more code in ram available for instant reuse. If you will run 64 bit enabled apps, then even 16gb might be good. Ram is cheap.
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May 23, 2012 2:28:00 PM

IMO... Too much of your budget is going to the case, motherboard, CPU cooler, and RAM. Not enough is being dedicated to the graphics.

I'd scale back the case to around $100, the motherboard to around $125, a CM hyper 212 EVo/+ for $35, and the RAM to around $50 (8Gb of 1600-18xxMhz)

The really highly clocked ram is not going to make your system run faster. You'd be better off getting 16GB of 1600MHZ than 8 Gb of really fast RAM.

There are lots of motherboards that will do the trick for you for a lot less $. The only reasons to get the super expensive boards is to 1) show off 2) OC just a tad bit more 3) Add SLI Xfire capability

With a push pull set-up the CM 212 will cool to within 1-2 degrees of the Noctua.

As far as suggestions on a case... That is a personal choice and depends on your taste.

This would increase the graphics budget to put you in the range of a GTX 670.
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May 23, 2012 2:35:46 PM

I like your build. Clearly high quality components with no skimping in areas. Figure I'd weigh in a little on the GPU discussion. Now, the important thing to remember with VRAM is that it will dictate the resolution you can play at. Now, if you intend on using 1900x1200 resolution I'd go for something over 1GB. In BF3 on Ultra @ 1080p w/ 4x MAA I get to about ~1200-1300 MB of VRAM usage. If you want to go with a multi-monitor setup (Eyefinity, NVidia Surround), you'll want to go with something more. Ideally more than 2GB. I'm not sure that I'd drop money on a 570 with newer generation cards at similar price points. I picked up 2 GTX 480's when they dropped down to $210, but they've since moved out of the price/performance sweet spot.
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May 23, 2012 3:19:14 PM

Wow, thank you all for contributing to this thread. It's unanimous, I spent too much on motherboard and ram.

TheBigTroll: I get a $10 gift card from Newegg, so I'll put that towards a gtx670.

SpentShells: Just the name liquid cooler scares me, I don't know enough about liquid cooling. I'm afraid the tubes will break or leak and splash everything.

PerkyNips: Thanks for that suggestion. I really don't download anything, but if space proves a burden I'll look to a traditional HDD like you suggested.

GeoFelt: I was going to go with the Cool Master 212 EVO, but I saw a decibel chart that showed the Noctua quieter. Probably not enough to justify a $50 price increase, but like you, I find system quietness at the top of the list.

Pacioli: Thanks for your input. You're right, along with the others. Too much was spent on components, not enough on video card. As far as the case, I just liked the different look that SilverStone had with the FT03. I'm getting older, so a tall tower with LED lights doesn't appeal to me. Unfortunately newegg made me pay shipping for the case, as if it wasn't expensive enough. But hopefully I find it pleasing to the eye.

Xenturion: Thanks for weighing in. Multi-monitor does sound pretty enticing, being able to play games on ultra does too. I see what you mean about the 570 being outdated, as the 670 is the newer kepler?

I wonder why the none of the 670's are 384-bit? Should I go with an EVGA or other?
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May 23, 2012 5:08:56 PM

17thCenturyBoy said:
Wow, thank you all for contributing to this thread. It's unanimous, I spent too much on motherboard and ram.

TheBigTroll: I get a $10 gift card from Newegg, so I'll put that towards a gtx670.

SpentShells: Just the name liquid cooler scares me, I don't know enough about liquid cooling. I'm afraid the tubes will break or leak and splash everything.

PerkyNips: Thanks for that suggestion. I really don't download anything, but if space proves a burden I'll look to a traditional HDD like you suggested.

GeoFelt: I was going to go with the Cool Master 212 EVO, but I saw a decibel chart that showed the Noctua quieter. Probably not enough to justify a $50 price increase, but like you, I find system quietness at the top of the list.

Pacioli: Thanks for your input. You're right, along with the others. Too much was spent on components, not enough on video card. As far as the case, I just liked the different look that SilverStone had with the FT03. I'm getting older, so a tall tower with LED lights doesn't appeal to me. Unfortunately newegg made me pay shipping for the case, as if it wasn't expensive enough. But hopefully I find it pleasing to the eye.

Xenturion: Thanks for weighing in. Multi-monitor does sound pretty enticing, being able to play games on ultra does too. I see what you mean about the 570 being outdated, as the 670 is the newer kepler?

I wonder why the none of the 670's are 384-bit? Should I go with an EVGA or other?


I wouldn't get one myself but you are getting that case with the radiator vents on the top so I figured you would not mind.

Have you seen that noctua cooler yet ?

If it really has been 10 years you will not believe your eyes when you see the size of it.
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May 23, 2012 7:23:37 PM

The 670s are what they are... Really powerful and priced to compete.

I'd get a CM Hyper 212 and add quiet fans for a nice cheap solution... And yes... the Noctua and the Hyper 212s are HUGE! Think of a solid volleyball sized object and then cut the round parts off until you end up with a cube... That is the fin array on the Noctua or the CM Hyper 212s... You still have an extra inch on the botom for the CPU contact surface. They barely fit in some cases. They also tend to cover the RAM slots and if you have RMA with tall heatsinks they won't fit... Make sure you get low profile RAM.

In all honesty you don't need an aftermarket cooling solution if you are not going to overclock it...

If I were building a PC for myself right now I would be getting this...

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.asp...
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May 23, 2012 8:55:19 PM

that noctua is 2 hyper 212's with a fan in the middle and on the edge it is massive and the volleyball statement is a bit much but not that far off bigger than a softball by a lot I worry about the space around your ram on th micro atx (clearence) but I have not see the ripjaw in person but they look tall I know it would not clear my patriot vipers and that is a full size atx board.
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May 23, 2012 9:16:30 PM

if you want some good silence, you can do either one of these

1: get a hyper 212 evo and slap on 2 fractal silent series fans for push pull( go with 2 because they arent very powerful but they are like 9 decibels each)
2: get a hyper 212 evo and throw in a nocuta nf-f12 fan.

both of these are around 45-50 bucks in total
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May 23, 2012 10:36:02 PM

spentshells said:
that noctua is 2 hyper 212's with a fan in the middle and on the edge it is massive and the volleyball statement is a bit much but not that far off bigger than a softball by a lot I worry about the space around your ram on th micro atx (clearence) but I have not see the ripjaw in person but they look tall I know it would not clear my patriot vipers and that is a full size atx board.


Actually... the volleyball comparison is making an underestimate as the Noctua is bigger than a volleyball sized object with 8 round slices taken off the edges...

A volleyball is 8 inches in diameter... 8/sqrt(2) ~ 5.6 inches per side..

The Noctua is 6.3 inches per side...

In other words if you superimposed a 3d model of a volleyball on a Noctua DH-14 you'd see a volleyball with 8 Noctua corners sticking out of it...

Basically... It is HUGE! And I know math!
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May 23, 2012 11:00:57 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.28 @ Mwave)
This is literally one of the best Z77 motherboards, feature wise, durability wise and it is a bit cheaper.

Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ NCIX US)
You get diminishing returns after DDR3-1600

Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Actually any 670 would do.

Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($148.99 @ NCIX US)
This is a tasteful case that also has many good features, as well as good build quality.

Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Really, really nice 80+ Gold modular PSU.

Total: $942.24
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-23 18:58 EDT-0400)

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May 24, 2012 12:17:24 AM

pacioli said:
Actually... the volleyball comparison is making an underestimate as the Noctua is bigger than a volleyball sized object with 8 round slices taken off the edges...

A volleyball is 8 inches in diameter... 8/sqrt(2) ~ 5.6 inches per side..

The Noctua is 6.3 inches per side...

In other words if you superimposed a 3d model of a volleyball on a Noctua DH-14 you'd see a volleyball with 8 Noctua corners sticking out of it...

Basically... It is HUGE! And I know math!



you must have smaller balls where your from....LOL
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May 24, 2012 12:58:32 AM

wow spentshells................................................. they probably do
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May 25, 2012 4:33:09 PM

All I know is that anything with balls and 8 inches is generally something to be proud of
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May 25, 2012 6:52:05 PM

perkynips said:
All I know is that anything with balls and 8 inches is generally something to be proud of


10/10 cheers
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