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Please review $1500 gaming system

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May 26, 2012 6:38:12 AM

I updated the system according to your suggestions. It cut the price by ~300$ while arguably improving the quality of the system.

NEW DETAILS TOWARDS THE BOTTOM. THANKS!

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Hi,

I'm looking for some advice from seasoned builders on this gaming system.

Thank you for your time!


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Micro Center, Newegg, NCIX, Amazon.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Quality>Price>Looks

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Last PC I owned had crappy looking cables running all over the interior. Looked into cable management and lots of pictures have nice looking uniform cables. Is there a kit for that or do the parts come with better looking cables these days?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's what I have put together after roaming these forums for a couple of days now. How does it look?

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8TqX


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.90 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($285.00 @ B&H)

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ NCIX US)

Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 800W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($148.98 @ Amazon)

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1534.68
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-26 02:35 EDT-0400)

Thanks again for your help,
Levi
May 26, 2012 7:01:29 AM

The build looks great. A couple suggestions though.

-Could get a cheaper SSD thats just as reliable. Check out Mushkin and Crucial M4.

-Could look into the Corsair 500r, it has amazing cable management, fan control, ect.

-And you want to make sure you get low profile RAM so your heat sink will fit
May 26, 2012 7:54:27 AM

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-CC-9... $116.16 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.amazon.com/PC-Power-Cooling-Performance-comp... $106.85 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $89.99 if purchased with the i5 3570K processor
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $39.99
Crucial 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)
Related resources
May 26, 2012 10:22:33 AM

Save yourself 10 bucks and get the Seagate Barracuda 1tb 64mb cache drive instead of the Spinpoint. $10 less, double the cache size and a SATA 3 interface instead of 2.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Agree with above, can get cheaper SSD with no performance or reliability hit.

Get Low Profile RAM. Wont conflict with the Hyper 212 then.

Can get a much better brand of PSU, Coolermaster make great cases and fans, but only good power supply's once you get to the top of their range.

That case has inbuilt cable management, so not a big issue with that. If the colour of the cables is annoying just go over them in a pen. If you want a proper solution, something like this will help.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 26, 2012 7:16:42 PM

Following the suggestions I changed the system as follows...

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8UYL


CPU + MOBO combo as suggested by Why_Me ($280 @ Micro Center)

RAM:

I replaced the RAM with a slower version of the same brand. Why_Me, for now I kept the G.Skill as the reviews are excellent. I might reconsider and go with your suggestion if the low profile RAM (as suggested also by others) is necessary.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)


HDD and SSD:

I replaced the slower Samsung HHD with a faster and cheaper one from Western digital. Reviews of this drive are terrible on some sites with lots of DOA units shipped. I'll cross my fingers that I'll get a good one.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)

For the SSD, I decided to go with an 128GB instead of the 256GB as these drives are still expensive and prices are expected to drop.
I also looked into Hopz suggestion and found Crucial M4 to be an (almost?) equal performer while ~20$ cheaper.

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.00 @ B&H)


CASE:

I decided to cut down on the cost of the case. I'm hesitant between the one I chose and the Corsair 500R suggested by Why_Me. The LED lights on the 500R scare me. I'd rather go with a low profile case. The Fractal Design Arc seems to be sacrificing on air flow to reduce noise. Since I won't be OCing I though this wouldn't be an issue.

Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)

PSU:

Again Why_Me caught a great deal. I'm hesitant to switch to the PSU he suggested as it's not modular and I would like to keep the cables nicely tucked away. I'm curious to look into cable management with a non-modular PSU as this would save me easily $30. I did however shave off $15 by going with this PSU that was suggested by boulbox.

Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($134.99 @ Amazon)

Manofchalk, I might just go with your suggested HDD/DVDR combo as it would save another $18. If someone could reassure me that a Seagate Barracuda is just as bad as the Western Digital =).



Total: ~$1225

The new system is $300 cheaper and arguably better.

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-26 14:35 EDT-0400)

One last thing I'm wondering about is whether I really need the CPU cooler instead of the stock included with the processor. I wouldn't mind getting rid of it as it's pretty big and ugly. If I do need a CPU cooler other than the stock then I was wondering if a liquid cooling unit would be worth it. It's much nicer on the eye.

Thanks again for all your input. I'm very happy with the changes. If you have any suggestions the initial budget was $1500 so there's room to upgrade if needed.
May 26, 2012 7:49:07 PM

they are both bad but all you need to do is update the HDD firmware to get better performance and less glitches for Seagate

they are both 7200 RPM meaning same disk speed and around the same performance

Seagate also comes with 64GB cache just think of it as a very slow SSD

while WD blue gives 16GB cache and black gives 32G
May 26, 2012 8:13:21 PM

levi78 said:
Following the suggestions I changed the system as follows...

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8UYL


CPU + MOBO combo as suggested by Why_Me ($280 @ Micro Center)

RAM:

I replaced the RAM with a slower version of the same brand. Why_Me, for now I kept the G.Skill as the reviews are excellent. I might reconsider and go with your suggestion if the low profile RAM (as suggested also by others) is necessary.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)


HDD and SSD:

I replaced the slower Samsung HHD with a faster and cheaper one from Western digital. Reviews of this drive are terrible on some sites with lots of DOA units shipped. I'll cross my fingers that I'll get a good one.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)

For the SSD, I decided to go with an 128GB instead of the 256GB as these drives are still expensive and prices are expected to drop.
I also looked into Hopz suggestion and found Crucial M4 to be an (almost?) equal performer while ~20$ cheaper.

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.00 @ B&H)


CASE:

I decided to cut down on the cost of the case. I'm hesitant between the one I chose and the Corsair 500R suggested by Why_Me. The LED lights on the 500R scare me. I'd rather go with a low profile case. The Fractal Design Arc seems to be sacrificing on air flow to reduce noise. Since I won't be OCing I though this wouldn't be an issue.

Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)

PSU:

Again Why_Me caught a great deal. I'm hesitant to switch to the PSU he suggested as it's not modular and I would like to keep the cables nicely tucked away. I'm curious to look into cable management with a non-modular PSU as this would save me easily $30. I did however shave off $15 by going with this PSU that was suggested by boulbox.

Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($134.99 @ Amazon)

Manofchalk, I might just go with your suggested HDD/DVDR combo as it would save another $18. If someone could reassure me that a Seagate Barracuda is just as bad as the Western Digital =).



Total: ~$1225

The new system is $300 cheaper and arguably better.

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-26 14:35 EDT-0400)

One last thing I'm wondering about is whether I really need the CPU cooler instead of the stock included with the processor. I wouldn't mind getting rid of it as it's pretty big and ugly. If I do need a CPU cooler other than the stock then I was wondering if a liquid cooling unit would be worth it. It's much nicer on the eye.

Thanks again for all your input. I'm very happy with the changes. If you have any suggestions the initial budget was $1500 so there's room to upgrade if needed.

As far as cases go the Corsair 500R has an "on / off switch" for those LED's. But the big thing with that case is it has a "multi channel fan controller" which is a super nice feature imo. That and the case isn't all that tall. It's a mid tower and one of Corsair''s latest cases to hit the market so it got all the latest goodies.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $259.98 save: $30.00 - $30.00 Mail In Rebates
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-500r-mid-tower-ca... <---- here's the specs on that case including the dimensions. And if you click "Reviews" on the left of that page it gives you links to professional reviews on that case done across the net.

May 27, 2012 12:35:39 AM

Thanks again for the suggestions.

I've been wondering whether I should get an Asus Z77 Sabertooth MB. Would it be worth paying >$100 extra to get that board instead of the AsRock 4?

I'll be keeping the system for a good 3-5 years with possibly adding another Nvidia 670 sometimes down the road. Afterward I'll give the system away to family or sell it off to a friend so I'd like it to last even longer than that.
May 27, 2012 12:45:56 AM

No. The 4 is just fine.
May 27, 2012 1:11:43 AM

Yeah the 500r has the LED light controller, so you can simply turn them off if you don't like them. It also has the 3 way fan controller, which is really nice.

I would stick with the Asrock extreme4
May 27, 2012 2:42:40 AM

Thanks for your help guys. I'm gonna go ahead and order the parts!
May 27, 2012 3:31:38 AM

Any time. Let us know how your build turns out.
!