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Custom Build Review

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June 10, 2012 2:47:07 PM

So I'm about to throw down about $2500 on a new build. My four-year-old build just isn't cutting it when it comes to the new games that are out. I'd like some feedback on my build (compatibility, things I missed, etc...).

CPU - i7 3770k

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-3770K-processor-BX8063...

Mobo - GA-Z77-D3H LGA 1155

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mem - DDR3 1600 4x8gb

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - GTX 670

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - 560W

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - 1 boot drive and x2 (raid0) for programs

Boot Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Raid0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have a PCI sound card (Claro II) and a huge Notcua heatsink, which is why I need the low profile RAM. I have a PCI Wifi adapter, but I think I might purchase a PCIe dual band Wifi adapter so I don't need so many PCI slots.

I'm pretty set on what I want except for the case and Mobo. I want all, or most, of the internal connectors of the Mobo to work with the case.

Any feedback is much appreciated.

More about : custom build review

June 10, 2012 4:06:35 PM

I would only get 8GB RAM. WWith anything more than that, you're just wasting your money that could be spent on a second GPU or better peripherals, etc.

Why not get the stock 670 and just OC it yourself (what I'm gonna do with mine)? I would understand paying maybe $10 extra to have it stock OCed, but not $80.

Your case and mobo are fine. That board has been setting the Ivy Bridge OC records lately ;) 

I would just get two SSDs rather than RAIDing 2 of them. I don't think you are going to physically see much of a difference. Also the 256GB M4s are around $200 these days.

What sort of peripherals do you have? Have you considered investing in a good keyboard, mouse, or monitor if you don't have any already?
June 10, 2012 4:10:15 PM

for the gpu, i would get the evga ftw 670. comes preoverclocked and uses a 680 stock cooler. it is much better than the one that you have. also, 4gb of v ram is useless unless you run multi-monitor or 2560x1600
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June 10, 2012 4:23:38 PM

I would opt for just one or 2 larger SSD's (same brand Kinston or Crucial M4) and skip the Raid 0. in raid 0 you loose Trim, though most SSD's have native garbage collection, Win 7 currently doesn't support TRIM for Raid.
nice discussion on SSD's in Raid 0:
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1625...

another an important note on having 3 SSD; is that the MB you chose only has 2 x SATA 6G connections. running one of your chosen SDD's at 3G will bottle neck it 2 in raid 0 definitely will.

I look at raid 0 as having twice the chance of failure, not twice the speed. I don't really even think you would notice the performance gain of SSD's in Raid 0 under normal use and gaming.

Putting that much $ into a system an not leaving yourself a SLI upgrade path to extend it life is folly, I could see it on a budget system, but not on $2500.

I suggest a different MB to solve the above
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a more powerful PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

32GB of Ram is over kill and you will need WIN 7 PRO/ULT to utilize it
June 11, 2012 7:39:34 PM

Some great replies. Thank you for the input.

I don't want to watercool. I've never done it, plus I just bought that huge Noctua fan, which is pretty sweet and quiet. Using it on my current AMD build, and I really like it. I do run multiple monitors, both at 1080p, so the 4gb will be nice for that.

So I switched up my mobo and case.

I went with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... & http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

The mobo has more SATAIII connections, thank you for pointing that out, and more PCIex16 3.0 if I ever want to SLI. The case... I don't remember why I changed that up. I think I just like that one better.

I have Win 7 Ultimate, so 32GB of ram still might be overkill, but it's f'n awesome overkill.

I dont' know much about SSDs, but after reading some of what you linked, it does appear that I do not want to RAID with them, so I may return the two M4s and order a bigger drive, though I doubt I'll need much bigger. It'll only be for programs, and I'll have WOW, D3, SC2, GW2, CS5.5, Nero 11 Plat, Office pro, etc.. Not much, so I may not need a bigger one, but I may just return one and order a 3TB or larger SATAIII, or two, for all my music/movies/etc...

As for peripherals, I'm set. I have the Logitech G9x, Microsoft Swindlerx (or w/e it is), webcam/mic. Old speakers, which I may replace, especially since I have a decent sound card now (Claro II).

I'm so excited! Mainly because I'll be able to play GW2.
June 11, 2012 8:00:44 PM

Quote:
I don't want to watercool. I've never done it, plus I just bought that huge Noctua fan, which is pretty sweet and quiet. Using it on my current AMD build, and I really like it. I do run multiple monitors, both at 1080p, so the 4gb will be nice for that.

If you haven't WCed before, I wouldn't recommend doing it right when you build a new PC. There's a lot of stuff to learn, and it'll be a month or two before you actually decide on and buy parts.

Quote:
I have Win 7 Ultimate, so 32GB of ram still might be overkill, but it's f'n awesome overkill.

I just wanted to point out that it is literally going to be a waste, unless you run servers or virtual machines. I never use close to the 16GB I have; I had it mostly for codes I ran in college. I'm actually taking out 8GB for my brother's gaming rig.

Quote:
I dont' know much about SSDs, but after reading some of what you linked, it does appear that I do not want to RAID with them, so I may return the two M4s and order a bigger drive, though I doubt I'll need much bigger. It'll only be for programs, and I'll have WOW, D3, SC2, GW2, CS5.5, Nero 11 Plat, Office pro, etc.. Not much, so I may not need a bigger one, but I may just return one and order a 3TB or larger SATAIII, or two, for all my music/movies/etc...


I'd run a SSD + HDD combo for the work stuff. Mine runs very well since the OS tasks run off the SSD and all of my games/programs run off the HDD. Runs faster than everything on one disk.

Quote:
As for peripherals, I'm set. I have the Logitech G9x, Microsoft Swindlerx (or w/e it is), webcam/mic. Old speakers, which I may replace, especially since I have a decent sound card now (Claro II).

Sounds like you're probably good unless you want to upgrade to a mechanical keyboard. They're stellar, but not everybody's cup of tea.
June 11, 2012 8:10:07 PM

I do run virtual machines, sometimes. I haven't ran any labs in a long time, but I do plan to start practicing again for CCNA and other certifications some time in the future.

I just noticed, I don't think that Mobo, the newer one I picked out, will work with SLI... frak. "PCI Express 3.0 x16 - 3 (x16, x8, x4)"
June 11, 2012 8:13:16 PM

SLI will run with x16/x16, x16/x8 or x8/x8. It won't work with the x4 slot though. That board will be fine (the x16 vs. x8 isn't a big performance hit, and we're talking PCIe 3.0 vs 2.0)
June 11, 2012 8:27:47 PM

if you want to run tri-sli, you will need boards with a PLX chip. or you could go ghetto by using a msi z77a-gd65 board in 8x 4x 4x PCI-e 3 mode. it wont be approved by Nvidia but its worth trying
June 11, 2012 8:28:46 PM

Good to hear. Also, been checkin' out some mechanical keyboards. Good call! I want, no need, that feeling beneath my fingers again.
June 11, 2012 8:31:16 PM

check out rosewell. their keyboards use cherry switches so pick the switch that is right for you. i like the brown switches since they are silent
June 11, 2012 8:41:48 PM

I don't mind clicks, but I guess I would want something with a heavy actuation force. Would I want Cherry MX black, blue, red, w/e? Heavier the better. I have fat hands, and I press really hard.
June 11, 2012 8:43:42 PM

If you want a completely custom keyboard, I would recommend WASDKeyboards. I bought one from them back in March/April and absolutely love it. It's built extremely well, can be made entirely custom (colors, symbols, position of symbols). You can even change the font and size of the font (!). You can get them with Cherry MX Red/Black/Brown/Blue switches (basically all the ones that exist).

The only downsides are - no backlighting, and somewhat pricey (mine was about $160 with the wrist rest and shipping included). I got MX Blacks, and would probably go for the Reds if I didn't do any regular typing. Worth every penny though.


Reading materials on mech boards: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mechanical-switch-k...

My keyboard (went crazy on the colors for organization :D )


June 11, 2012 8:46:53 PM

It looks pretty cool. And thanks for the link and all the help. I'm going to say this inquiry is solved
June 11, 2012 8:48:15 PM

rannday said:
I don't mind clicks, but I guess I would want something with a heavy actuation force. Would I want Cherry MX black, blue, red, w/e? Heavier the better. I have fat hands, and I press really hard.


The Blacks and Blues/Browns have decent actuation force (exact numbers are in the link I posted); the real difference is in the way the switch actuates.

The Blacks/Reds are a linear actuation, so you push down until the key bottoms out - there is no "click" except when the key hits the body of the keyboard. The keys also don't have to return to the original position to repeat the keystroke, so you can rapidly tap the same keys repeatedly.

The Browns/Blues have a click about halfway through, which is great for people who do typing for long periods of time. However, if you spend most of your time gaming, the keys will have to come all the way up to reset unlike the Blacks/Reds, making double taps difficult.
June 12, 2012 12:12:02 PM

2629531,13,533864 said:

My keyboard (went crazy on the colors for organization :D )

I so can't let the old lady see this pic, or she will want one :lol: 
!