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New Build - Trading/Gaming PC - $1700

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June 13, 2012 6:29:57 PM

Well, here we go... first ever post although I've been checking out Tom's for years on and off.


Approximate Purchase Date: In the next few weeks

Budget Range: Anything between $1500-$2000 is ok. I could do more but don't really see any advantage in doing so.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Trading, gaming, recording trading videos

Games Played: Skyrim, Arkham Asylum, Civ V. I don't play many FPS games and if I do never multi-player.

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I generally like Nvidia cards due to more solid drivers, but open to other options

Overclocking: Yes, but not much

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future I would add a second card but it's possible at that point another single card would be better. I do at least want the ability with my PSU/motherboard to do it if I choose to though.

Monitor Resolution: I have three 2048x1152 monitors for trading. I plan on just gaming on a single one as I don't really like the look of multiple monitors and the frames but I might at least try it out as I've never actually played multi-screen myself.

Additional Comments: This PC will be a major upgrade for me and primarily I will use it for my business as a full-time trader. To give you an idea how long it's been since I've put together a machine (and to probably give you a laugh too) I am still running an Athlon 64 3500+ on my now ancient machine. It was quite high-end in its time and amazingly with only a graphics card upgrade a couple years back I am still able to play Skyrim at medium settings on the old girl. But it's finally starting to make some unfortunate noises and I know she needs to be put to pasture soon. Not a single blue screen or crash in her life though so I think it is well earned.

So basically what is important for me is that this new build will be highly reliable as I use it for my business, and it would also be excellent if it was reasonably quiet as well. But since I am getting way behind in PC gaming I will definitely be using it for that too so it would be great to have high performance that should be solid for a few years at least.

So here's what I'm thinking - are the parts chosen solid and is everything compatible?


CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz BX80637I73770K $360
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 $30
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 P8Z77-V Pro $210
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Low Profile CML8GX3M2A1600C9 $55
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II RC-692-KKN2 $90
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750 CMPSU-750HX $145
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB 02G-P4-2680-KR $500
*Change* SSD: Crucial M4 256GB CT256M4SSD2 $215
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARX $120

Total: $1725


And here are some notes on why I chose what I did:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz BX80637I73770K $360
(I think the i7 would be appropriate over i5 since some trading applications are now starting to use HT. Also, I may make some videos and it would be helpful. I will likely do just a small overclock since stability and longevity are paramount.)

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 P8Z77-V Pro $210
(I've always been a fan of ASUS boards for reliability so this seems to be a good fit, but of course it has been many years since I last bought a board so maybe there are more appropriate options out there.)

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Low Profile CML8GX3M2A1600C9 $55
(I think I only need 8GB of RAM for now but would like the option to upgrade to 16GB in the future. My understanding is that some people have issues with the CM Hyper 212 and having it block out some slots so I thought this Low Profile RAM would be the best option to have some clearance.)

Case: Cooler Master CM690 II RC-692-KKN2 $90
(Having lots of trouble settling on a case. I would prefer if it wasn't huge, but most important is good airflow and this seems well recommended. I also don't really want something very flashy looking like so many "gamer" cases seem to be.)

PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750 CMPSU-750HX $145
(This may kind of be overkill but I want the ability to add a second graphics card down the road and my understanding is that 750W for two GTX 680s isn't a problem since I won't have much extra stuff in the machine.)

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB 02G-P4-2680-KR $500
(I have a friend who is selling me one of these for considerably under cost but I will throw it in here at regular price anyways so you understand what the final build will be.)

SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB SSDSC2CW120A310 $180 to Crucial M4 256GB CT256M4SSD2 $215
(I don't see any reason I need too big a SSD since I won't load many games on it or anything else that large outside the OS. I went with Intel because I want reliability as a priority.) Update: I've since become convinced that the Crucial M4 is a highly reliable drive that for a similar price point lets me upgrade to 256GB. As long as reliability is similar, I see no reason not to do so.

HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARX $120
(I won't be playing many games at any time so I figure they could be loaded on the SSD and this would just be storage. I don't need much performance, so I think the most important thing is getting a quiet drive. Perhaps there is something a bit better performing that is also very quiet?)

Best solution

June 13, 2012 7:19:11 PM

It looks pretty good to me you did a great job i just build a high end gaming rig for my buddy i used it for about a week while he was out of town he asked me to so i said why not lol anyways this is what i build him and it plays any game on ultra/max settings including the ones you mentioned i know for sure because i play them and many others for the week i had his rig i also had it overclocked at 4.6ghz 1.36v temps were 60C on full load lol PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($85.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($167.85 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($136.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1567.74
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-13 15:15 EDT-0400)
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June 13, 2012 8:10:41 PM

Well, your build does seem a lot different than mine so not sure about comparisons there, but I appreciate your input on what I've put together so far. It sounds like I am probably on the right track which is good considering the research I've done so far.

Anyone else have any suggestions on what might improve the build or just a comment if you think it fits well for what I want?
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June 13, 2012 8:25:11 PM

The only thing i think you could improve on is your SSD price vs performance it's not best choice but it is a good one just not worth $180 also do you really feel the 680 is worth a extra $100 when it only performs 5% better than 670 ?Other than those two things i don't see how you could do a better job your build is pretty solid. ;) 
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June 13, 2012 8:35:57 PM

bigcyco1 said:
The only thing i think you could improve on is your SSD price vs performance it's not best choice but it is a good one just not worth $180 also do you really feel the 680 is worth a extra $100 when it only performs 5% better than 670 ?Other than those two things i don't see how you could do a better job your build is pretty solid. ;) 


Well for me I was more concerned with the reliability than the performance on the SSD. That's why I wanted to go with Intel and I was willing to pay a small premium for the reliability factor. Do you have another suggestion that is equally reliable but better in terms of price vs performance?

As for the GTX 680, as I mentioned in the first post it is something I am getting from a friend for a cheaper price but I put it in on my list just to "complete" the build. He gets some cards for free and ended up with a GTX 690 so he is handing over the 680 to me for $300. I'm not even sure what company or model it is, but at that price point I guess I don't really care that much. :D 
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June 13, 2012 9:28:11 PM

bigcyco1 said:
Better http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and yeah for 300 i wouldn't care which 680 it is either lol nice!



Hmm, interesting. Can you give me any reasons why it's better? Is it basically just as reliable as Intel drives but quite a bit faster? I will try and do a bit of research to find out myself. Anyone else have some input on the SSD debate if reliability is the number one priority?

Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far, bigcyco. I appreciate it.
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June 13, 2012 10:21:34 PM

Basically just as reliable as Intel drives.If you want to weigh each model's performance gets a little trickier.When it comes to writes, the two drives perform similarly.When it comes to reads, the Crucial's drives are faster. But once you take into account that the m4 also offers a little more user-accessible space and a lower price, i think Crucial's drive is the clear victor.And,your very welcome it's my pleasure! :) 
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June 13, 2012 11:27:50 PM

Good to know. I did look at the Newegg reviews as well as NCIX and they seem very solid. I'll have to do a bit more digging in the Tom's forums and check the reviews here but it does seem a solid, reliable drive. Now you have me thinking that perhaps the way to go is to up the ante a bit and take the Crucial M4 but in the 256GB variety since it's fairly close to the cost of an Intel 128GB anyways. ;) 
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June 14, 2012 1:28:21 AM

Lol no problem your very welcome! ;) 
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June 14, 2012 7:54:45 AM

After some research and reading a few articles here and elsewhere, I've pretty much convinced myself that the Crucial M4 is a highly reliable SSD that is comparable to the Intel 520 in that respect. So I've made the change in the first post, but have gone with the larger 256GB drive instead since it is only $30 more than the 128GB Intel was.

So does anyone else have some opinions to share on this build? As I said it's been years since I put something together so the input is helpful. I'm actually kind of surprised only one person replied to this, but I'm thinking/hoping that means I have put together something quite solid so most don't have any major feedback or suggestions for me? Still, if you think everything checks out ok on the build let me know as I am looking to make the purchase as soon as I get a bit more confirmation that I've got things set up right for what I want/need.
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June 14, 2012 1:29:12 PM

Not sure why more have not reply either seems rather odd to me. Nevertheless I think you made all wise decisions. It's pretty obvious you did your homework. Just to reassure you in case nobody else reply's your build is solid and good to go take care and have a good one!
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June 14, 2012 2:18:16 PM

All right, thanks! I was thinking that because there wasn't much to change people just weren't too interested in adding their thoughts so it was probably about time to mark the thread Solved.

The only other thing that has been on my mind is the SLI/Crossfire plan. I was going to go with the 750W PSU because it would give me the ability down the road to add a second card if I wanted but the more I think about it the more it seems unneccessary. Since I'll have a high-end card anyways I will likely be fine for at least a couple years (especially if not playing many FPS multiplayer games or in multi-monitor mode). And by the time something comes along that makes me want to upgrade I doubt I would want the same card anyways and it would probably just make sense to go with a brand new high end single card.

I suppose there could be advantages in terms of cost if I could get another GTX 680 for quite cheap down the road but hard to say on that and the benefits of less driver issues, in-game problems, and improved heat/airflow management probably means sticking to a single card solution for later upgrades makes sense.

I know a 550W would be fine right now for the GTX 680 but perhaps it would make sense to go for a 650W in case a future card needs a bit more power (though it seems unlikely). So like I said, not 100% decided on that right now and mulling it over but otherwise I think I have enough of an idea to know where to go from here.

Appreciate the help.
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June 14, 2012 2:19:18 PM

Best answer selected by BrackenFX.
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