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A Baby Boomer's Last Computer Build--Need Evaluation Please

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June 5, 2012 5:31:27 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: (today, or this week)
Budget Range FOR REMAINING PARTS: ($500-$550 - US) Before/After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, video editing, watching NetFlix streaming movies, etc.)
Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers) -- SOME, I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED.**See my complete list, below.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com)
Country: (U.S.A.)
Parts Preferences: **See my complete list, below.
Overclocking: Maybe
Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: (up to 1920x1080)
Additional Comments: (Need components with great manufacturing quality, performance, and reliability)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Baby Boomer's Last Computer Build--Need Evaluation Please
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This computer will most likely be the last one I will build, due to my age. Therefore, I'm hoping for real expert opinions on the components I've selected. I'm interested mainly in the compatibility between ALL the components. I've tried, in most instances, to choose parts I've read about on THG, and tried to avoid parts which received numerous negative comments on Newegg. There are many!

Some of the parts I've chosen are rather "low-end" out of necessity for the time being, due to budget restraints. But, I'm hoping they will suffice long enough for me to put everything together and test all the components before the 30-day return period ends with Newegg. I've already lost a couple of weeks while reading THG, shopping for price-savings, etc. A couple of the "low-end" parts are the video card and the CPU cooler. I'm also going to stay with the default case fans, for now.

======================
Parts I have already purchased:
======================

- CASE:
LIAN LI PC-A70F USB3.0 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- CPU:
Intel Core i5 2500K

- OS
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

- Internal HDD - Bought it at Amazon.com
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB, SATA/32MB Cache
(Model: WD5002AALX-00J37A0)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-D...

- External HDD
Western Digital Elements SE 500GB Portable Hard Drive
(Model: WDBABV5000ABK-NESN)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Artic Silver Compound

=================
Parts I still need to buy:
=================

- MOTHERBOARD: (Tom's Hardware Approved Award)
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- SYSTEM RAM:
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C8D-8GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- PSU:
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*** QUESTION ABOUT THIS PSU: It says "SLI Ready". Does that mean that I cannot use two video cards in CrossFireX? I don't want nVidia cards; I want Radeon.

- CPU COOLER:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- GPU (Video Card)
HIS H675F1GD Radeon HD 6750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*** NOTE: This video card is "CrossFireX" --- will there be a compatibility issue between it and the PSU? I'm confused.

============================
Need recommendation on the following:
============================
-- CD/DVD RW BURNER - Looking for excellent quality, yet inexpensive!

-- And, anything else that would be considered essential.

I'm looking forward to any help you can offer.
June 5, 2012 6:29:48 PM

Hello sir,

Since you already bought a Sandy Bridge CPU, I would suggest you get a z68 MoBo. Z77 + Sandy bridge will not really net you performance/feature gains as compared to z68 + Sandy Bridge. I would suggest this MoBo: Asrock z68 Extreme 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It also has the added benefit of being cheaper. :) 

The PSU you chose is great. However, it is pricey and cramping your budget. You can get the Corsair tx750 or xfx core edition 750W. Both of these are good quality and reliable. You can even get a 650W PSU since your GPU choice is lower in power consumption. xfx core edition pro 650W or Seasonic M12II or Corsair TX750.

With the price cuts, you can get this GPU: Radeon 7770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It will be significantly better performing especially for gaming.

For a DVD Burner, I would get an Asus DRW. Its pretty cheap but good quality.

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June 5, 2012 8:24:05 PM


My opinion is you are all turned around --- you have spent too much on your CPU/mobo and not enough on your GPU.

If your primary objective is gaming, there are some really great cards for $200-$250, the $199 HD69502GB, the GTX570 for $240, or probably your best choice, the HD7850 for around $250.

Drop down to an i3/Z68, or PhII Quad/AM3+ if you can, and at least double your video card investment.





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Related resources
June 5, 2012 8:45:40 PM

Look for the longest possible manufacturer's warranties. For example, I chose an Asus Sabertooth for my last build because, like you, I don't anticipate building another primary rig for a long time. Heck, with the economy circling the drain, who knows if I'll be able to? Anyway, that's the only line of boards I've found with a five year warranty.
Your PSU is bigger than you need, though is of the quality you want. The 650W version is still a little oversized, but that likely buys you the longevity you want.
A HD6750 is pretty weak, though it depends on the games you play. I suspect you'd be happier with something between a HD7770 or GTX560 and a HD7850 or GTX670.
I'd get a quad core CPU rather than a hyperthreaded dual core. You say "maybe" to overclocking, which is just as well; I keep my own overclocks fairly mild so as not to stress components. If you want to save money, I don't think you'll regret getting an i5-2400.
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June 5, 2012 8:53:20 PM

Kreelor said:

- PSU:
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*** QUESTION ABOUT THIS PSU: It says "SLI Ready". Does that mean that I cannot use two video cards in CrossFireX? I don't want nVidia cards; I want Radeon.


There is nothing in a PSU that is video card specific. If the PSU is labeled as "SLI Ready" it simply means that it has been tested by Nvidia to be certified in a SLI environment. It will also work in a Crossfirex environment, AMD has simply not tested it to meet their requirements. I would not hesitate to use Nvidia cards with a PSU that is only "CrossfireX ready" or Radeon cards with a"SLI Ready" PSU, as long as the PSU is a quality unit.

On a personal note, I have the Seasonic X750 PSU in my current build and am using a Radeon card with absolutely no problems.
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June 5, 2012 9:11:51 PM

You don't need that extreme6, not only because it's a Z77 board, but it has more features than you are likely to ever use. Try one of these boards on for size:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Both will give you the opportunity to CF/SLI in the future and are cheaper.

For the PSU, the one you selected is excellent, albeit bigger than you need. You could save some money here if you needed/wanted to. If you do intend to use this PC for a very long time, you would probably benefit from the 80+ Gold.

If you are gaming a lot I would definitely bump that GPU up. Go to at least a 7850. If you want to go any higher, I would go up to a GTX670. A 7850 is a great card that has a ton of OC potential. One of the best performance to cost ratio cards on the market for gaming.

ETA: Have you thought about an SSD at all?
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June 5, 2012 9:20:51 PM

Quote:

SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151087
*** QUESTION ABOUT THIS PSU: It says "SLI Ready". Does that mean that I cannot use two video cards in CrossFireX? I don't want nVidia cards; I want Radeon.


That's an excellent PSU but as was said you want to look for the longest warranties you can get. With that in mind, I'll recommend the same PSU I just got as it has a 7 year warranty and it's actually made by Seasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm also curious as to why you only want Radeon cards and why you chose a really low end one at that. Is it limited budget or do you not plan on doing a lot of gaming or any AV-heavy applications?

If you want a card with the longest warranty you can get - EVGA or XFX is your best bet with lifetime and double lifetime warranties.

Quote:
-- CD/DVD RW BURNER - Looking for excellent quality, yet inexpensive!


Get this one - it covers everything you need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 6, 2012 4:54:51 AM

Quote:
-- CD/DVD RW BURNER - Looking for excellent quality, yet inexpensive!

Quote:
Get this one - it covers everything you need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I ordered that one tonight (6/5/2012) since the Newegg "Free Shipping" ends on 6/6/2012. Saves $5 bucks or more! Thanks.

I looked at the PSU, but with a Silver rating, its efficiency is only 88%. I'd rather go 'gold.' Besides, if I do want to CrossFireX someday, I'd need a better PSU.

Video cards: Because of budget and time constraints, I chose the cheaper card because it will at least allow me to install my new OS, etc. I plan on upgrading after I know that the system is working. Besides, it's a better card than I've been using for many years (GeForce Radeon X1550 Pro - AGP 4X). It's not even an 8X, but I've been playing WoW since the first week it was released, and that ATI card plays the game beautifully. Right now, money and time are the issues.

The Radeon card I have been using is what sold me on the graphics, especially since I'm an Artist/Technical Illustrator. Years ago, I had a horrible time with nVidia and there so-called 'support.' I've owned several nVidia cards, but I like the Radeon much better.

Thank you for your suggestions!
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June 6, 2012 5:11:15 AM

Wisecracker said:
My opinion is you are all turned around --- you have spent too much on your CPU/mobo and not enough on your GPU.

If your primary objective is gaming, there are some really great cards for $200-$250, the $199 HD69502GB, the GTX570 for $240, or probably your best choice, the HD7850 for around $250.

Drop down to an i3/Z68, or PhII Quad/AM3+ if you can, and at least double your video card investment.


I think maybe you are turned around? In my original post, I stated clearly that I have already purchased my CPU. Why would you suggest that I purchase another one, like the i3 or the PhenomII, instead of the Core i5 2500K which I bought?

Ref the video card: I wrote...
Quote:
"Some of the parts I've chosen are rather "low-end" out of necessity for the time being, due to budget restraints. But, I'm hoping they will suffice long enough for me to put everything together and test all the components before the 30-day return period ends with Newegg."

I thought that made it clear as to why I chose that $100 card, instead of a $200 or $250 card, as you suggest.

Thanks for replying.
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June 6, 2012 5:38:51 AM

cranked said:
You don't need that extreme6, not only because it's a Z77 board, but it has more features than you are likely to ever use. Try one of these boards on for size:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Both will give you the opportunity to CF/SLI in the future and are cheaper.

For the PSU, the one you selected is excellent, albeit bigger than you need. You could save some money here if you needed/wanted to. If you do intend to use this PC for a very long time, you would probably benefit from the 80+ Gold.

If you are gaming a lot I would definitely bump that GPU up. Go to at least a 7850. If you want to go any higher, I would go up to a GTX670. A 7850 is a great card that has a ton of OC potential. One of the best performance to cost ratio cards on the market for gaming.

ETA: Have you thought about an SSD at all?


I looked again at both of those MB's you recommended. I've looked at them already several times during the last month, but lost confidence in both of them due to the -many pages- of dissatified, angry customer ratings with only 1 egg! Complaints and problems galore, in several categories. I do not want to get involved with that kind of RMA process.

Yes, I do plan to buy a better graphics card LATER, after I finish building and testing the other parts. I mentioned the reasons why, in my original post.

SSD: Yes. I would like to have one, at least 128GB's, but once again, cost factor prevents it now. I'm also wondering whether or not I can add an SSD later (and install Win7 OS on it) without Microsoft throwing a hissie-fit! Would I have to uninstall Win7 first, then reinstall it on the SSD as the Primary Boot-up drive? Or, can I add the SSD after Win7 has been installed, then "move" the OS over to it, somehow? Just wondering how I would go about it, if I buy one later on.

Thanks!
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June 6, 2012 5:41:05 AM

I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but I will say it. You don't need that thermal paste. The Hyper 212 EVO comes with MX-4, which is better than AS5.
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June 6, 2012 6:07:03 AM

l0v3rboi said:
Hello sir,

Since you already bought a Sandy Bridge CPU, I would suggest you get a z68 MoBo. Z77 + Sandy bridge will not really net you performance/feature gains as compared to z68 + Sandy Bridge. I would suggest this MoBo: Asrock z68 Extreme 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It also has the added benefit of being cheaper. :) 

The PSU you chose is great. However, it is pricey and cramping your budget. You can get the Corsair tx750 or xfx core edition 750W. Both of these are good quality and reliable. You can even get a 650W PSU since your GPU choice is lower in power consumption. xfx core edition pro 650W or Seasonic M12II or Corsair TX750.

With the price cuts, you can get this GPU: Radeon 7770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It will be significantly better performing especially for gaming.

For a DVD Burner, I would get an Asus DRW. Its pretty cheap but good quality.


Actually, my hope was to get a Z68 MB. But, after searching and reading customer's ratings and reviews on Newegg, I feared buying one. So far, I haven't found -any- company that has made one that doesn't have such a poor track record of DOA boards, faulty or inoperable Ports, bent pins from the factory, and horrible customer service! I've spent countless hours over a several month period reading the horror stories, and am wondering what happened to Integrity in Business? I'm not certain the Z77 board will turn out to be any better than the rest of them. It too has received quite a number of complaints.

That Asrock z68 Extreme 3 you mentioned is one of the products that has so many negative comments from people who purchased them, that I began looking at alternative boards. It's all a huge gamble, nowdays! But, hopefully, some of the reviews on Newegg from purchasers will help keep me from falling into the traps they encountered.

I wish I could get a Z68 without the associated issues surrounding it!

Thank you for your reply!
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June 6, 2012 6:11:16 AM

Newegg is not a good place to guage at whether a component is good or bad. Most have the minds of 5 yr olds.
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June 6, 2012 11:57:45 AM


Kreelor said:
I think maybe you are turned around? In my original post, I stated clearly that I have already purchased my CPU. Why would you suggest that I purchase another one, like the i3 or the PhenomII, instead of the Core i5 2500K which I bought?

Ref the video card: I wrote...
Quote:
"Some of the parts I've chosen are rather "low-end" out of necessity for the time being, due to budget restraints. But, I'm hoping they will suffice long enough for me to put everything together and test all the components before the 30-day return period ends with Newegg."

I thought that made it clear as to why I chose that $100 card, instead of a $200 or $250 card, as you suggest.

Thanks for replying.


Your budget restraints were self-imposed due to your selection of CPU and motherboard -- don't blame me for pointing out the obvious when you request comment on your so-called budget gaming rig (in which you are going to purchase and then subsequently replace, a $100 video card).




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June 6, 2012 5:25:46 PM

azeem40 said:
Newegg is not a good place to guage at whether a component is good or bad. Most have the minds of 5 yr olds.


This ^

Those boards I listed are very popular. Look at almost every item on Newegg and you will see tons of people complaining. Every manufacturer is going to have some defective products, even the best ones. The two boards I listed are from reputable manufacturers and are only suggestions to save you money since you are building a "budget rig".
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June 6, 2012 6:33:46 PM

cranked said:
This ^

Those boards I listed are very popular. Look at almost every item on Newegg and you will see tons of people complaining. Every manufacturer is going to have some defective products, even the best ones. The two boards I listed are from reputable manufacturers and are only suggestions to save you money since you are building a "budget rig".


I don't know how you and others consider my proposed build as a "Budget Build"?

*** So far, I've spent $681.83 on certain parts, which I have in my possesion.
*** Even staying with the list of items STILL TO BUY in my original post, I'll be spending an additional $529.43.

*** The Total Cost will then be $1,211.26.

From what I've read on THG, a "Budget Build" is usually around the $500 mark.

By the way, I have NOT given up on purchasing items that you and others have recommended throughout this topic thread. I'm STILL looking, and have spent at least 5 hours today alone, reading everything I can.

"Popular" items can often exist for reasons such as low price, or desired product use. It doesn't necessarily mean they meet the criteria I listed in my original post. (See my "Additional Comments" line).

This is from my original post:
------------------------------------
Quote:
Approximate Purchase Date: (today, or this week)
Budget Range FOR REMAINING PARTS: ($500-$550 - US) Before/After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, video editing, watching NetFlix streaming movies, etc.)
Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers) -- SOME, I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED.**See my complete list, below.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com)
Country: (U.S.A.)
Parts Preferences: **See my complete list, below.
Overclocking: Maybe
Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: (up to 1920x1080)
Additional Comments: (Need components with great manufacturing quality, performance, and reliability)

Far too many people are receiving MB's that have severe (and unnecessary) problems caused by the manufacturer's NOT providing adequate Quality Control precedures. It is not always people who "have the minds of 5-year olds!" When you receive a board that is DOA, or "Fails to POST," etc., it doesn't matter if the purchaser is 5-years old, or my age --- the part is still useless. Some MB's have MANY more returns for specific, identical reasons, than others.

I do certainly appreciate your suggestions and the time you're spending replying to me!! I may not have explained things well enough in my original post, so it's helpful when people (like you) point out things that I need to clarify. I'm trying.
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June 6, 2012 6:58:44 PM

Quote:

Video cards: Because of budget and time constraints, I chose the cheaper card because it will at least allow me to install my new OS, etc. I plan on upgrading after I know that the system is working. Besides, it's a better card than I've been using for many years (GeForce Radeon X1550 Pro - AGP 4X). It's not even an 8X, but I've been playing WoW since the first week it was released, and that ATI card plays the game beautifully. Right now, money and time are the issues.

The Radeon card I have been using is what sold me on the graphics, especially since I'm an Artist/Technical Illustrator. Years ago, I had a horrible time with nVidia and there so-called 'support.' I've owned several nVidia cards, but I like the Radeon much better.


You should look at the Radeon 78XX series - particularly cards from XFX and Sapphire. Sapphire's warranties are a little short (3 years) when compared to XFX's double lifetime warranty. I have the Sapphire Radeon 7870 and it's been a really killer card, I love it so far. It's getting numbers that are better than the GTX 580 at the same price.

Quote:
Far too many people are receiving MB's that have severe (and unnecessary) problems caused by the manufacturer's NOT providing adequate Quality Control precedures. It is not always people who "have the minds of 5-year olds!" When you receive a board that is DOA, or "Fails to POST," etc., it doesn't matter if the purchaser is 5-years old, or my age --- the part is still useless. Some MB's have MANY more returns for specific, identical reasons, than others.


That's why people are suggesting that you should look around at multiple sources before judging whether or not a product is good. The thing is quality control is something that is sorely lacking these days and if people can find something to complain about - they'll complain about it. The classic rookie mistake that a lot of people make here is going to Newegg and making builds off only parts that have the highest customer reviews. That doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get a good product. I've been building / tweaking systems a long time and I've used a lot of crap hardware in that time. For instance the Asus bulk DVD burner is highly rated - I bought one, did the first test burn and the drive nearly melted the disc. On the flip side I bought a Gigabyte motherboard - the Z68XP-UD3P and while it was known to have boot loop issues, I took the time, installed correctly, been problem free. That's why I always suggest looking at multiple sources and professional reviews before buying a particular product.
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June 6, 2012 7:45:09 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:


That's why people are suggesting that you should look around at multiple sources before judging whether or not a product is good. The thing is quality control is something that is sorely lacking these days and if people can find something to complain about - they'll complain about it. The classic rookie mistake that a lot of people make here is going to Newegg and making builds off only parts that have the highest customer reviews. That doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get a good product. I've been building / tweaking systems a long time and I've used a lot of crap hardware in that time. For instance the Asus bulk DVD burner is highly rated - I bought one, did the first test burn and the drive nearly melted the disc. On the flip side I bought a Gigabyte motherboard - the Z68XP-UD3P and while it was known to have boot loop issues, I took the time, installed correctly, been problem free. That's why I always suggest looking at multiple sources and professional reviews before buying a particular product.


The main reason I started this topic on Tom's Hardware Guide is because it is known as a reputable "Hardware Guide!" And, most often, the THG Staff pro's who review products and build systems with products which are most often bought from Newegg, will encounter and (sometimes) address issues that are being reported on Newegg by people who bought those same products.

I fully expected, (but maybe I shouldn't have?) that THG would VERIFY whether or not the "claims" of faulty products were justified, or else how to circumvent/rectify those claims. To me, that's what a Hardware Guide should provide; conclusive evidence of a products' quality/performance, and manufacturer's marketing claims. I do not recall even once when THG had received a DOA MB, and had to suffer the horrible RMA process. Never once. Maybe they just don't mention such things in their reviews, or "Builder Marathons," etc.?

Therefore, the 2 main places I'm frequenting for expert conclusions and recommendations are: THG, and Newegg.

I know some people like to complain. I also believe that people have the right, and SHOULD complain when they discover inherent flaws in products. Marketeers in companies are often working harder than the Quality Control staff! I came here hoping to find the truth about things rather than relying on those "comments" made by people on Newegg. Of course, many of those comments made there, must have some merit. They are probably not all "wrong." There's just too many of them, for certain identical products, to dismiss.

You made some very interesting points, and I'm glad I got to read them. The video card, although it's a great one, costs $350 bucks. Too much for me, right now. I'm not a professional gamer, yet! LOL. As a matter of fact.... I don't even have a motherboard to plug it into, yet!! I keep looking at my beautiful Lian Li aluminum (EMPTY) case!

Thanks, g-unit1111 for your help! Much appreciated!
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June 6, 2012 8:19:10 PM

Quote:
I fully expected, (but maybe I shouldn't have?) that THG would VERIFY whether or not the "claims" of faulty products were justified, or else how to circumvent/rectify those claims. To me, that's what a Hardware Guide should provide; conclusive evidence of a products' quality/performance, and manufacturer's marketing claims. I do not recall even once when THG had received a DOA MB, and had to suffer the horrible RMA process. Never once. Maybe they just don't mention such things in their reviews, or "Builder Marathons," etc.?


You won't find that kind of comprehensive review and testing here. What I usually like to do before I make the purchase is to check the manufacturer's support website for any known issues with a particular product and if there's one that gets a lot of RMA's, or DOA / defective products then I know to stay away from it and look elsewhere. Of course that sometimes helps but then again it doesn't. It's a lot of trial and error - you get something that works or you don't, and if something is going to go wrong with a particular product it's going to happen in the first 60 days of owning it.

Most websites like this usually don't do a lot of long term testing, they really only do initial testing.

Quote:
I know some people like to complain. I also believe that people have the right, and SHOULD complain when they discover inherent flaws in products. Marketeers in companies are often working harder than the Quality Control staff! I came here hoping to find the truth about things rather than relying on those "comments" made by people on Newegg. Of course, many of those comments made there, must have some merit. They are probably not all "wrong." There's just too many of them, for certain identical products, to dismiss.


You'll find no argument here. :lol: 

Quote:
You made some very interesting points, and I'm glad I got to read them. The video card, although it's a great one, costs $350 bucks. Too much for me, right now. I'm not a professional gamer, yet! LOL. As a matter of fact.... I don't even have a motherboard to plug it into, yet!! I keep looking at my beautiful Lian Li aluminum (EMPTY) case!


Yeah that card is a bit pricey and not for everybody, I had to close my eyes when I hit the purchase button. :lol: 

Maybe try this one - it's a good price / performance mix: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 6, 2012 8:51:53 PM

Kreelor said:
I don't know how you and others consider my proposed build as a "Budget Build"?

*** So far, I've spent $681.83 on certain parts, which I have in my possesion.
*** Even staying with the list of items STILL TO BUY in my original post, I'll be spending an additional $529.43.

*** The Total Cost will then be $1,211.26.

From what I've read on THG, a "Budget Build" is usually around the $500 mark.

By the way, I have NOT given up on purchasing items that you and others have recommended throughout this topic thread. I'm STILL looking, and have spent at least 5 hours today alone, reading everything I can.

"Popular" items can often exist for reasons such as low price, or desired product use. It doesn't necessarily mean they meet the criteria I listed in my original post. (See my "Additional Comments" line).

This is from my original post:
------------------------------------
Quote:
Approximate Purchase Date: (today, or this week)
Budget Range FOR REMAINING PARTS: ($500-$550 - US) Before/After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, video editing, watching NetFlix streaming movies, etc.)
Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers) -- SOME, I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED.**See my complete list, below.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com)
Country: (U.S.A.)
Parts Preferences: **See my complete list, below.
Overclocking: Maybe
Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: (up to 1920x1080)
Additional Comments: (Need components with great manufacturing quality, performance, and reliability)

Far too many people are receiving MB's that have severe (and unnecessary) problems caused by the manufacturer's NOT providing adequate Quality Control precedures. It is not always people who "have the minds of 5-year olds!" When you receive a board that is DOA, or "Fails to POST," etc., it doesn't matter if the purchaser is 5-years old, or my age --- the part is still useless. Some MB's have MANY more returns for specific, identical reasons, than others.

I do certainly appreciate your suggestions and the time you're spending replying to me!! I may not have explained things well enough in my original post, so it's helpful when people (like you) point out things that I need to clarify. I'm trying.


I didn't re-read the thread when I put "budget rig", BUT you asked for help based on the parts you chose in your OP. You selected the Extreme6 and, originally, I said you should get a less expensive board and upgrade your GPU right from the get go. So, while you aren't building a "budget rig", my initial response still stands.

You most likely will never use or need all the extra features you are paying for on that extreme6. Why spend $100+ on a card now with an expensive mobo you probably don't need then have to shell out even more later for another GPU? That's all I was saying and it was just a suggestion. :) 

Azeem and I (and even G-unit mentioned it) were just stating that Newegg reviews are something you should be careful basing your opinions on. Don't forget, most people who leave reviews do so because they are mad about the product not working. For every bad review there are probably 20 people who are satisfied and never said a word. Every manufacturer has some defective products. Asrock and Gigabyte are known to be quality motherboard manufacturers, that's all I am saying.
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June 6, 2012 10:39:26 PM

An important thing to remember is that although some people writing bad reviews got a DOA or problem device, many got something they didn't know how to handle, install, and/or configure; or blew it out with a crap PSU-shaped object, or otherwise brought the grief on themselves.
Since I started actually building PCs at least twenty years ago, I have very rarely encountered DOA products or had to return things. Still, I will tell you there are a few companies I avoid:
1. Belkin. They built their reputation on quality network cables, but almost EVERY other Belkin product I ever bought (routers, even some spark plug wires) failed quickly after purchase.
2. Diamond. It's a long story, but involves incompetence at any level I encountered, from a bad product, to incompetent tech support, non-functioning web site, and other difficulties.
3. Coolermaster. I refer to them as Crappermaster. Quality issues aside, many of their PSUs have been found in competent technical reviews at HardwareSecrets to have liar labels and/or claim protection circuits that are in fact missing. That's dishonest. I used to buy their cases, but most if not all of them (on up to a RC-690) had minor (and fixable) quality issues including untapped screw holes, useless tool-free mounts, and misalignment. In any case, it is the dishonesty more than anything else that dropped them off my radar.
4. Apevia. In addition to making PSU-shaped objects, their cases are flimsy pieces of junk, with non-existent quality control. For example, an X-QPACK2 arrived with a screw run through the power switch wires.
5. Logisys PSU-shaped objects and cases. The current $1K SBM build used a Logisys case for reasons I'll probably never figure out; read the article for what a disaster that was.
I don't consider Biostar motherboards very reliable, having personally had 2/3 fail in less than two years. A former coworker who owned a computer business has frightened me away from MSI motherboards with many horror stories, although I'm starting to think they're a little dated. MSI video cards enjoy an excellent reputation. I've only owned one, but it gave me no trouble at all. OTOH, Asus makes great motherboards and is one of my preferred brands (the other is ASRock), but I have sworn off their video cards, having 2/4 that died within days or weeks of use. There, I like HIS, XFX, and Sapphire (for AMD) and MSI and EVGA (for nVidia).
I've never had to return a stick of G.Skill RAM, for any reason. I can't even say that about Mushkin, and some Corsair and Crucial I've gotten would not run at advertised timings.
I've had few if any hard drives die on me, but I have had a tendency to replace them anyway after 3-4 years from running out of space or getting updated interfaces (e.g. MFM -> IDE -> SATA 150 -> SATA 300 -> SATA 600). Even so, I'm nearly fanatical about backups, and now also run a RAID-1 for my data drives.
Anyway, there's another $0.02 from me on parts selections. Run well within their tolerances, I think most electronic components that survive the first week or so should live on for years.
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June 7, 2012 2:12:36 AM

cranked said:
I didn't re-read the thread when I put "budget rig", BUT you asked for help based on the parts you chose in your OP. You selected the Extreme6 and, originally, I said you should get a less expensive board and upgrade your GPU right from the get go. So, while you aren't building a "budget rig", my initial response still stands.

You most likely will never use or need all the extra features you are paying for on that extreme6. Why spend $100+ on a card now with an expensive mobo you probably don't need then have to shell out even more later for another GPU? That's all I was saying and it was just a suggestion. :) 

Azeem and I (and even G-unit mentioned it) were just stating that Newegg reviews are something you should be careful basing your opinions on. Don't forget, most people who leave reviews do so because they are mad about the product not working. For every bad review there are probably 20 people who are satisfied and never said a word. Every manufacturer has some defective products. Asrock and Gigabyte are known to be quality motherboard manufacturers, that's all I am saying.

Thanks for clarifying your view point. I understand it better now. You did say something that kinda' backs up the point I've been reiterating in almost every reply, and that was:

"Don't forget, most people who leave reviews do so because they are mad about the product not working."

The other side of that coin is that most people who are very happy with what they got NEVER go back and add comments. Some do, but I still don't see the 20-1 ratio you mentioned. Sorry.

I'll try one last time to explain why I have chosen to TEMPORARILY buy/use a cheap GPU. I need a video card to complete the build to find out if any parts are defective. I do NOT need to buy an expensive & better video card to do that -- RIGHT NOW! Budget is strained as it is. My BIGGEST CONCERN is getting everything put together and checking the system BEFORE my 30-day RMA period runs out very soon!

I'd rather sacrifice a hundred bucks on the video card, than potentially several hundred dollars on the other components. I doubt many will need RMA'ing, if any, but better safe than sorry. I'm striving to live on SS, and it's rough sometimes.

I have decided to roll the dice and gamble; I believe I will order one of the Z68 AsRock boards. That'll save a few bucks. And, I also forgot to add to my list a Sound card! Oh, well.
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June 7, 2012 3:09:36 AM

I hope you don't mind, but I'm adding my comments within your post (and editing out some portions to shorten the message a little).
Onus said:
An important thing to remember is that although some people writing bad reviews got a DOA or problem device, many got something they didn't know how to handle, install, and/or configure; or blew it out with a crap PSU-shaped object, or otherwise brought the grief on themselves.I'm fearful that I may soon be walking down that avenue, too! I have forgotten so much over the years and things have changed so much since I used to build computers, that my stress level is exceedingly high.
Quote:
Since I started actually building PCs at least twenty years ago, I have very rarely encountered DOA products or had to return things.

My experience is that things today aren't made with the same expertise and 'double-checking' that existed years ago, when I began. My first couple computers were a Timex Sinclair and a Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 Model-1. Those were BEFORE things like floppy disk drives, HDD's, color monitors, and the mouse existed. Yet, I loved them. My first Atari computers were fantastic. NONE of the dozens of computers I owned back then ever failed. Software was buggy sometimes, but usually got updated quickly. Today... everything is made as cheaply and as quickly as they can get them out the door -- working or not!
Quote:
Still, I will tell you there are a few companies I avoid: 2. Diamond. It's a long story, but involves incompetence at any level I encountered, from a bad product, to incompetent tech support, non-functioning web site, and other difficulties.

I owned a couple of Diamond video cards many years ago. After getting so angry about the utterly preposterous 'support,' I swore to never buy another of their products!

Quote:
OTOH, Asus makes great motherboards and is one of my preferred brands (the other is ASRock), but I have sworn off their video cards, having 2/4 that died within days or weeks of use. There, I like HIS, XFX, and Sapphire (for AMD) and MSI and EVGA (for nVidia).

I too have always bought ASUS MB's. I have one now in a computer I built decades ago! It's a Pentium-4 1.2GHz, overclocked to 2.6GHz: Model#: P4SGX-MX, with 2GB's RAM. It has NEVER FAILED in all these years. I'm still using it (as I'm writing this) and I play World of Warcraft Cataclysm with no real difficulties. Heh heh. But, here lately, I keep reading about the abysmal support from ASUS. That concerns me. And, they no longer offer IEEE 1394 FireWire Ports on MB's -- which I need for my camcorder. Hence, I'm looking at ASRock.
Quote:
I've never had to return a stick of G.Skill RAM, for any reason. I can't even say that about Mushkin, and some Corsair and Crucial I've gotten would not run at advertised timings.

I'm glad you mentioned that. I wasn't certain which brand/type of RAM I'd need to get for a new MB.

Quote:
I've had few if any hard drives die on me........

I'm still using my 120GB Western Digital Caviar Black drive I purchased more years ago than I care to think about. It has never hiccupped even once in all this time.

Quote:
Anyway, there's another $0.02 from me on parts selections. Run well within their tolerances, I think most electronic components that survive the first week or so should live on for years.
[/QUOTE]
If I ever finish putting this new system together, it'll probably outlast me. Thank you for all your advice and experiences. It helps reduce some of my anxieties and also brings back some good memories.
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June 7, 2012 9:52:25 AM

You're right about some things being more cheaply made. I'm glad to see that most motherboard manufacturers ARE using better components (e.g. all-solid capacitors) on many of their boards. One reason I buy ASRock is that in the reviews I've read, even their low-end boards have better parts.
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June 7, 2012 12:44:52 PM

Kreelor said:

I have decided to roll the dice and gamble; I believe I will order one of the Z68 AsRock boards. That'll save a few bucks. And, I also forgot to add to my list a Sound card! Oh, well.


Good call on the Asrock MB. I have one and it's never given me a moments trouble.

As for the sound card, I'd recommend using the on-board audio. Unless you have audiophile speakers, and amps (and ears! :D  )

You won't be able to HEAR any difference between the on-board audio and a dedicated sound card. Unless you need other features of the sound card, it would be a waste of money.
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June 7, 2012 12:51:38 PM

Your CPU has an integrated GPU, don't waste your money on buying a cheap discrete one "for testing".
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June 7, 2012 3:09:09 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Your CPU has an integrated GPU, don't waste your money on buying a cheap discrete one "for testing".

Many good suggestions have been posted here, and I'm already following the advice of some of them. But, yours is one that really stands out! That temporary solution never dawned on me. Thank you! That tip may just save me enough to buy a sound card. :) 
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June 7, 2012 3:18:56 PM

clarkjd said:
Good call on the Asrock MB. I have one and it's never given me a moments trouble.

As for the sound card, I'd recommend using the on-board audio. Unless you have audiophile speakers, and amps (and ears! :D  )

You won't be able to HEAR any difference between the on-board audio and a dedicated sound card. Unless you need other features of the sound card, it would be a waste of money.

I often create my own movies (.wmv). Of course, I need a microphone to record narration, for editing of it later. The computer I'm on right now has an old SoundBlaster PCI card that has worked great for a long time. It even came with a built-in FireWire Port! Creative Labs and other companies no longer add such wonderfully, useful features. Too bad. I need such a Port to download data from my camcorder.
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June 7, 2012 3:25:26 PM

Kreelor said:
I often create my own movies (.wmv). Of course, I need a microphone to record narration, for editing of it later. The computer I'm on right now has an old SoundBlaster PCI card that has worked great for a long time. It even came with a built-in FireWire Port! Creative Labs and other companies no longer add such wonderfully, useful features. Too bad. I need such a Port to download data from my camcorder.

Check the motherboard manual... I beleive that the Asrock MB has a firewire connection on-board, as well as a "mike in" for recording audio.
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June 7, 2012 4:31:16 PM

clarkjd said:
Check the motherboard manual... I beleive that the Asrock MB has a firewire connection on-board, as well as a "mike in" for recording audio.

Yup I think so too. I recommend you try the built in features first before deciding on purchasing the add in card.
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June 7, 2012 4:52:05 PM

Okay. I just got back from ASRock's web site; I downloaded the User Manual pdf file. I noticed that this ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 motherboard does not support PCI Express 3.0 x16 unless users are using an Ivy Bridge processor. My CPU is Core i5 2500K (Sandy Bridge).

How will that impact my choosing a newer high-level video card (in the future)? Or, will GPU's that work with PCI-E 2.0 be "good enough" for high-end gaming graphics? Should I ignore PCI-E 3.0? Are there other Z68 MB's which -do- support PCI-E 3.0 without needing Ivy Bridge?
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June 7, 2012 4:58:53 PM

No, the limitations is with the CPU, not mobo.

Contemporary new gen GPUs work great on 2.0. Can't really say what's it going to be like 2 years from now. But if you're still interested in 2 years you'll want to start planning a bigger upgrade anyway.
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June 7, 2012 5:01:14 PM

clarkjd said:
Check the motherboard manual... I beleive that the Asrock MB has a firewire connection on-board, as well as a "mike in" for recording audio.

-- No IEEE 1394 FireWire Port.
-- But, it does have a microphone input.

I have ALWAYS checked every MB I looked at to see if they had on-board IEEE 1394 support. That's one thing that was (and still is) important to me. But, I suppose I can always buy a PCI FireWire card, and stick it into a slot. :( 
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June 7, 2012 6:17:51 PM

Kreelor said:
-- No IEEE 1394 FireWire Port.
-- But, it does have a microphone input.

I have ALWAYS checked every MB I looked at to see if they had on-board IEEE 1394 support. That's one thing that was (and still is) important to me. But, I suppose I can always buy a PCI FireWire card, and stick it into a slot. :( 

That would probably be cheaper than getting a dedicated sound card just to get the firewire port. My
Asrock MB is a P67 Exterme 4 (discontinued :cry:  ) & it has a firewire port, That's why I thought the one you got had firewire.
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June 7, 2012 6:26:54 PM

Onus said:
An important thing to remember is that although some people writing bad reviews got a DOA or problem device, many got something they didn't know how to handle, install, and/or configure; or blew it out with a crap PSU-shaped object, or otherwise brought the grief on themselves.
Since I started actually building PCs at least twenty years ago, I have very rarely encountered DOA products or had to return things. Still, I will tell you there are a few companies I avoid:
1. Belkin. They built their reputation on quality network cables, but almost EVERY other Belkin product I ever bought (routers, even some spark plug wires) failed quickly after purchase.
2. Diamond. It's a long story, but involves incompetence at any level I encountered, from a bad product, to incompetent tech support, non-functioning web site, and other difficulties.
3. Coolermaster. I refer to them as Crappermaster. Quality issues aside, many of their PSUs have been found in competent technical reviews at HardwareSecrets to have liar labels and/or claim protection circuits that are in fact missing. That's dishonest. I used to buy their cases, but most if not all of them (on up to a RC-690) had minor (and fixable) quality issues including untapped screw holes, useless tool-free mounts, and misalignment. In any case, it is the dishonesty more than anything else that dropped them off my radar.
4. Apevia. In addition to making PSU-shaped objects, their cases are flimsy pieces of junk, with non-existent quality control. For example, an X-QPACK2 arrived with a screw run through the power switch wires.
5. Logisys PSU-shaped objects and cases. The current $1K SBM build used a Logisys case for reasons I'll probably never figure out; read the article for what a disaster that was.
I don't consider Biostar motherboards very reliable, having personally had 2/3 fail in less than two years. A former coworker who owned a computer business has frightened me away from MSI motherboards with many horror stories, although I'm starting to think they're a little dated. MSI video cards enjoy an excellent reputation. I've only owned one, but it gave me no trouble at all. OTOH, Asus makes great motherboards and is one of my preferred brands (the other is ASRock), but I have sworn off their video cards, having 2/4 that died within days or weeks of use. There, I like HIS, XFX, and Sapphire (for AMD) and MSI and EVGA (for nVidia).
I've never had to return a stick of G.Skill RAM, for any reason. I can't even say that about Mushkin, and some Corsair and Crucial I've gotten would not run at advertised timings.
I've had few if any hard drives die on me, but I have had a tendency to replace them anyway after 3-4 years from running out of space or getting updated interfaces (e.g. MFM -> IDE -> SATA 150 -> SATA 300 -> SATA 600). Even so, I'm nearly fanatical about backups, and now also run a RAID-1 for my data drives.
Anyway, there's another $0.02 from me on parts selections. Run well within their tolerances, I think most electronic components that survive the first week or so should live on for years.


I definitely agree about most of those brands. Belkin sucks for the most part. Although I have a spare keyboard that I've been using to format systems and scroll lock for when the scroll lock on my Logitech set gets locked up.

2. Diamond is definitely not the brand they used to be - but the first piece of computer hardware I ever bought was a Diamond Voodoo 2.

3. I've had some mixed experieces with Cooler Master. Right now I'm using a HAF 912 and it's great. However in the past I've used a Centurion 5 (crap) and I've never used anything else.

4. I completely agree about Apevia - they suck.

5. I too could not for the life of me on the $1K build figure out why they used a crap Logisys case. Was it to gloat about how they could fit a 7970 into a $1K budget? I just don't get that one.

I also agree about Biostar and MSI - never had any good experiences with any of them. I'm also really iffy about Asrock as well after the experience I had with the Extreme 4.
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June 7, 2012 6:29:42 PM

Both Biostar and MSI have made a comeback with the Z77 boards.
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June 7, 2012 7:37:39 PM

Well, I finally "bit the bullet" and started ordering parts. I selected the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, but I wasn't certain which brandname and part# would be ideal for 8GB (2X4? or a single 8GM?) system RAM for use in this MB. Neweggs prices bounce up and down so quickly, I can no longer get the RAM suggested on THG for the price it was a couple of days ago! That suggested RAM was: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C8D-8GAB. Now, I'm looking for the best alternative to it, for a lower price. Can anybody recommend something superb for my gaming use, please?

EDITED THIS MESSAGE:
I also ordered the following parts:

-- PSU-- SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply.
** Note: I dropped down from the X750 Gold to this X650 Gold version to save a few bucks.

--PSU COOLER-- COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2

NOTE: If any of you find fault with these items, let me know asap so that I can cancel the order, then substitute something better!

Now, just waiting for suggestions for RAM, before I order it too.
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June 7, 2012 8:11:45 PM

Quote:
NOTE: If any of you find fault with these items, let me know asap so that I can cancel the order, then substitute something better!


Nope - Seasonic makes excellent PSUs and the Hyper 212 Evo is usually the go-to CPU cooler around here. I have the Hyper 212+ and it has yet to fail me.

Quote:
Well, I finally "bit the bullet" and started ordering parts. I selected the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, but I wasn't certain which brandname and part# would be ideal for 8GB (2X4? or a single 8GM?) system RAM for use in this MB. Neweggs prices bounce up and down so quickly, I can no longer get the RAM suggested on THG for the price it was a couple of days ago! That suggested RAM was: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C8D-8GAB. Now, I'm looking for the best alternative to it, for a lower price. Can anybody recommend something superb for my gaming use, please?


No you want 2 x 4GB or 2 x 8GB on a Sandy Bridge system, but ideally you want 2 x 4GB. Only on RAM intensive programs like After Effects do you want any more than 8GB. Here's a couple of kits that I'd recommend:

- Corsair Vengeance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- G.Skill Ares: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Crucial Ballistix: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Mushkin Blackline: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Kingston Hyper X: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Kingston Hyper X is premium RAM which is why it costs a bit more, but the Mushkin Blackline is highly recommended, as is the G.Skill Ares - you want something low profile if you're going to be working with a Hyper 212.
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June 7, 2012 9:32:33 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
NOTE: If any of you find fault with these items, let me know asap so that I can cancel the order, then substitute something better!


Nope - Seasonic makes excellent PSUs and the Hyper 212 Evo is usually the go-to CPU cooler around here. I have the Hyper 212+ and it has yet to fail me.

Quote:
Well, I finally "bit the bullet" and started ordering parts. I selected the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, but I wasn't certain which brandname and part# would be ideal for 8GB (2X4? or a single 8GM?) system RAM for use in this MB. Neweggs prices bounce up and down so quickly, I can no longer get the RAM suggested on THG for the price it was a couple of days ago! That suggested RAM was: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C8D-8GAB. Now, I'm looking for the best alternative to it, for a lower price. Can anybody recommend something superb for my gaming use, please?


No you want 2 x 4GB or 2 x 8GB on a Sandy Bridge system, but ideally you want 2 x 4GB. Only on RAM intensive programs like After Effects do you want any more than 8GB. Here's a couple of kits that I'd recommend:

- Corsair Vengeance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *** Latency: 9, Timing: 9-9-9-24
- G.Skill Ares: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *** This is the one I wanted to find a substitute for, due to price.
- Crucial Ballistix: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *** Latency: 9, no Timing shown
- Mushkin Blackline: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *** Latency: 8, Timing: 8-8-8-24
- Kingston Hyper X: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *** I'm looking for less expensive than this one.

The Kingston Hyper X is premium RAM which is why it costs a bit more, but the Mushkin Blackline is highly recommended, as is the G.Skill Ares - you want something low profile if you're going to be working with a Hyper 212.

I added the Cas Latency values reported on Newegg into your quoted message (above). I haven't researched the intricasies of RAM specs, so I hope you don't mind 3 quick questions.

-- Is it more desirable to have a LOWER Cas Latency, or a HIGHER one?
-- And, what does it mean when some RAMs have the "24" at the end, and some others don't have it?
-- Which is the best choice for me, based upon your list and my questions? Then, I can order and have it arrive at just about the same time the MB arrives.

Thanks, again g-unit111. I appreciate your time.
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June 7, 2012 9:38:55 PM

Lower is considered better, but you won't really notice much, if any, difference. Any of those would be fine.
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June 8, 2012 12:02:37 AM

Kreelor said:
I added the Cas Latency values reported on Newegg into your quoted message (above). I haven't researched the intricasies of RAM specs, so I hope you don't mind 3 quick questions.

-- Is it more desirable to have a LOWER Cas Latency, or a HIGHER one?
-- And, what does it mean when some RAMs have the "24" at the end, and some others don't have it?
-- Which is the best choice for me, based upon your list and my questions? Then, I can order and have it arrive at just about the same time the MB arrives.

Thanks, again g-unit111. I appreciate your time.


The 24 has something to do with timing, I'm not entirely sure.

On the list I recommended any of those will work - they all match the motherboard's specifications and what an SB/IB build requires. Personally my recommended manufacturers are Crucial, Kingston, G.Skill and Mushkin - but any of those are good.
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June 21, 2012 3:49:30 PM

Here's the final build. I'm still trying to figure out some things, which I'm sure most of you would consider "basic," but I still need to ask for help in order to learn, and to end-up with a system that makes me happy. Still tryin'!!

================================
Parts I have already purchased and installed: NOTE: SEE MY "WARNINGS" (near bottom of this post)!
================================

- CASE:
LIAN LI PC-A70F USB3.0 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811112342

- CPU:
Intel Core i5 2500K

- OS
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

- Internal HDD - Bought it at Amazon.com
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB, SATA/32MB Cache
(Model: WD5002AALX-00J37A0)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digi [...] 816&sr=8-1

- External HDD
Western Digital Elements SE 500GB Portable Hard Drive
(Model: WDBABV5000ABK-NESN)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136804

- MOTHERBOARD:
ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen3

- SYSTEM RAM:
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C8D-8GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231548

- PSU:
SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151087
*** QUESTION ABOUT THIS PSU: It says "SLI Ready". Does that mean that I cannot use two video cards in CrossFireX? I don't want nVidia cards; I want Radeon.

- CPU COOLER:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103099

- GPU (Video Card)
Using built-in, Internal graphics

- SOUND CARD:
Using built-in, Internal sound.
================================

At this point, I want to thank everyone who replied to my original post. The information was valuable to me, and often interesting.

Now, I'm going to list my complaints, so that anyone else who chooses to use my list to build a computer, will be forewarned!

* The so-called "Installation Guides, Manuals, etc." are so badly written and illustrated, that they confuse more than help! They are pitiful, beyond description!

- They were written by idiots who never attempted to use their own manuals to install something, or to watch as a novice tries to follow the steps.
- They are written and translated into english very poorly, by people who are NOT native english language speakers.
- The technical illustrations are so done so poorly, and reduced in size down to a point of worthlessness, that they are meaningless, unless you use an electron microscope! -- I didn't have one available.
- The tiny little book from ASRock lasted only 2 minutes before the pages began falling out! But, since it was a useless book anyway, it doesn't matter that much.

NOW, about so-called Technical "support"!

EXAMPLE:
I wrote to Seasonic's Tech "support" person (he's in the USA dept., but he didn't understand or write english fluently), and he was arrogant and rude. In reply to my SIMPLE, WELL-STATED question to him about where a certain cable from the PSU was to be connected (since the Installation Guide was incomprehensible), he sent an email with NO WORDS, but had an attached .jpg image of an empty computer case with only a PSU sitting in the bottom and a tangled column of about 50 intertwined cables running up into a singe spot that the far-top right of the case, possibly a HDD cage?!!!! That's all he sent.

Every question I asked him after that (about 7 in total) to try to get an answer about my problem was answered by him with replies that had no relevance at all to the question I asked originally. He was either stupid, or just being an absolute a-hole! ------ The PSU "Brand/Model" may be good, BUT I WILL NEVER BUY NOR WILL I EVER RECOMMEND A SEASONIC PRODUCT AGAIN!

EVERY USER GUIDE/MANUAL I received with these products is horrible. None are complete, nor are they translated into english by someone who is a native english-speaking person with training as a Senior Technical Writer! It speaks loudly to me that those companies don't give a crap about their customers!

Phew! I got that off my chest, and I hope sincerely it will help potential (novice users like me) of these products to be prepared for an installation nightmare. Thank God for the nice people on Tom's Hardware Guide forums!!
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June 21, 2012 10:33:58 PM

First of all, if you are not going to be using a discrete graphics card, then a 750W PSU is extreme overkill. Even a 380W Antec Earthwatts is stronger than you need.
If you do plan to install a video card, that PSU (the X-750) will support a pair of AMD cards (i.e. Radeon) in Crossfire as easily as it will a pair of nVidia cards in SLI. For any single card, you still don't need 750W though; they have an 80+ Gold 560W unit that would be suitable, or 650W if you want even more headroom without lowering efficiency too badly (even an 80+ Gold PSU will lose efficiency rapidly as load drops below 20%).

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June 21, 2012 11:24:17 PM

Woops! I'm glad you drew my attention to the mistake I made. My PSU is actually a X650W one. Darn. If I can, I'll edit that post and change it. Thanks for your info. Also, I guess you missed it, but the list I presented in the previous post is for a build I've already completed. So, buying another PSU is out of the question. And, I will never buy another Seasonic product anyway.
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June 21, 2012 11:54:19 PM

That's too bad about your Customer Support experience with Seasonic. Their PSUs are probably the #1 or #2 best consumer products available (Delta would be in the other position). With the X650, you'll be able to add any single graphics card you'd like, and two of quite a few (such as the HD7850).
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