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Custom PC: Does it go together/Would you change anything?

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June 27, 2012 1:57:48 PM

Hello everyone of Tom's Hardware Forums! I am currently building (Well, I'm about to start purchasing the components) a custom PC and would like to ask everyone if all my hardware will cooperate together, and would you change anything about the build. So here it goes...

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor

Motherboard: EVGA Z77 FTW

RAM: Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 MHz Desktop Memory XMP T1 Series Model

Hard Drive: Kingston HyperX 120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive

Graphics Cards: 2 EVGA GeForce GTX 670 4GB Superclocked+ w/Backplate (SLI)

PSU: SILVERSTONE ST1500 1500W ATX 12V 2.3

OP: Windows 7

AND FINALLY

Case: Thermaltake Element V NVIDIA Edition

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I know its a lot of research to do if you don't know about some of the parts, but i really want to make sure everything is compatible before I spend $4000 on a computer. And NO, I'm not rich AT ALL! I've been saving all of my money for about 3 years. Keep in mind I JUST turned 14, so I got a summer job, and that's where the last thousand is coming from.

ALSO! I would like to know anything and everything about water cooling. I know its best to have water cooling with dual graphics cards.


More about : custom change

June 27, 2012 2:04:02 PM

Do you really need the hyper-threading of the core i7? Go core i5 3570k if not. Also look into Mushkin RAM, American quality & performance.

You going to get a HDD to? What do you want out of your rig? 120GB SSD not much storage in the long run.
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June 27, 2012 2:06:35 PM

Personally, the Motherboard seems a little bit of an overkill.... I mean if you dont care about saving money go ahead.

Id go with a Antec after reading those case reviews... but damn that thing looks cool.

Lastly, the GTX 660 was just announced as I read and will be here very soon. It has the same GK104-400 as the GTX 680... Again, if your looking to save a few hundred bucks, I would wait to see what that card is going to be like, but then again its your money.

Overall awesome build, but you can save money in certain areas if you wish to. goodluck!



EDIT: I hope your not going to spend $4000 on this build. Id take a look at certain areas where you can save money, Is this your first build? I can personally add these parts up for you or even make a few adjustments to save you a hell of a lot of money.
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June 27, 2012 2:09:22 PM

You currently don't have a CPU heatsink. While that's fine if you have no plans of overclocking and can tolerate the stock cooler, I'd suggest something cheap but good, like CM 212 Evo.

EDIT: I highly suggest you do not spend all your $4000 on a PC. The difference between my $2000 and your $4000 will not be much in real life, as the last $2000 tends to go towards aesthetics and non-critical components, which you can frankly pull off without spending $2000.
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June 27, 2012 3:06:37 PM

eddieroolz said:
You currently don't have a CPU heatsink. While that's fine if you have no plans of overclocking and can tolerate the stock cooler, I'd suggest something cheap but good, like CM 212 Evo.

EDIT: I highly suggest you do not spend all your $4000 on a PC. The difference between my $2000 and your $4000 will not be much in real life, as the last $2000 tends to go towards aesthetics and non-critical components, which you can frankly pull off without spending $2000.


Agreed with Eddie, I can build a PC for around $1500 that can run with the same setup your spending on for $4000. You need to remember in A year to 2 years all these parts are considered "Outdated" and your going to want to upgrade but you spent $4000 on the setup.
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June 27, 2012 4:40:04 PM

I'll agree with the above about saving. 1k will do. 1.5k will do very well. 2k no need to go past unless the PC is helping you make money...
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Best solution

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 5:15:24 PM

Compatible, but crazy.
Some thoughts:

1) What will you use for a monitor?
Only if you will be doing triple monitor gaming would sli be necessare, and perhaps not even then.
With your budget, I would first spend $800-1200 on a 2560 x 1440 or 2560 x 1600 monitor. That, you can keep for a long time.

2) I would stick with a single GTX670, or even GTX680. It will run any single monitor well. 4gb cards are not worth it either, at least not for the price premium.
By the end of the year, we should see even stronger single cards. At that time, just sell the GTX670 in favor of the next best thing.
If you insist on the best graphics, just buy a single GTX690.

3) Few games use more than 2 or 3 cores, making the hyperthreads of the more expensive 3770K largely useless. A 3570K is as good as it gets for gaming today.

4) No game I know of uses more than 2-3gb of ram. 8gb is more than you need.
The current Intel cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.

The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.

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

Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.

In fact tall heat spreaders are a negative because they can impact some cpu coolers.
Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.

Read this Anandtech article on memory scaling:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
---------------bottom line------------

DDR3 1600 is the sweet spot considering the marginal cost delta over 1333.

5) a 1500w psu is not needed, sli gtx would be happy with a 850w psu, perhaps less.
Future high end cards will use even less power, not more.

6) High end motherboards are for record seeking overclockers. Buy a Z77 motherboard with the features you actually need for half the price of the EVGA Z77 FTW

7) Unless you will be primarily playing just a couple of games, 120gb is not that much. I suggest 180gb or 240gb.
My preferred brand would be Intel 520 or Samsung 830. They seem to be more reliable.

8) Liquid cooling is not needed. A great air cooler like the noctua NH-D14 is as good as it gets in a well cooled case.

9) Save something for upgrading to the next best thing which will always come.
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June 27, 2012 9:17:05 PM

Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I'll be posting a revised list soon!
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June 27, 2012 9:53:50 PM

CPU: i5-3570K

CPU Heat sink: CM 212 Evo

Motherboard: EVGA Z77 FTW

RAM: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL10 DIMM HyperX Blu

Hard Drive: WD VelociRaptor/Hyper X 128GB SSDNow V200 SATA 3 2.5

Graphics Cards: 2 EVGA GeForce GTX 590

PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold 850-Watt

OP: Windows 7

AND FINALLY

Case: Thermaltake Element V NVIDIA Edition
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Total= $2500
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June 27, 2012 10:19:26 PM

Best answer selected by computernerd34.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 10:45:52 PM

Better, but I would not go witha older generation gtx590. They are very power hungry, and will need more than a 850w psu for sli.
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June 27, 2012 11:01:36 PM

Don't waste your time on a VelociRaptor. The Crucial M4 256GB SSD ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) is an absolute steal for the reliability and performance. Get that and any large capacity storage drive. If you want a higher performance storage drive get a Western Digital Caviar Black:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Also, if you want the best RAM available it is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 11:38:52 PM

I would echo some of the above sentiments, particularly Geofelt:


You can probably save a good chunk of change with a different Z77 board that will still have all the features you need.

Definitely go with the i5 vs the i7 if your main usage will be gaming. I didn't do my homework and made that mistake.

Don't get dual 590s. If you want absolutely bananas video performance for multiple monitors, get a single 690. If you're not going to be gaming across multiple screens, a single 670 will do you just fine. You could also get a single 670 now, and then add a second in SLI if that turns out to be inadequate for your purposes.

SSD prices just dropped pretty significantly. I recently saw the crucial 512GB on newegg for $350, which you could easily afford after dropping some of the unnecessary costs from your initial build. This will give you some headroom for the future, so that you don't have to micro manage your application installs.

Since you're getting an SSD, you should definitely skip the velociraptor and just get a standard 7200 RPM 1-2TB drive. The only thing you're going to be putting on this secondary drive is media and stuff that doesn't need crazy fast response times, so you're just shooting yourself in the foot by gimping the capacity if you get a high cost/low capacity 10k RPM velociraptor.

Make sure the RAM you're getting doesn't have tall heatspreaders. The CM 212 is a great HSF cooler, but it has pretty low clearance over the memory banks. Corsair and G.skill both have some low profile memory options. I'd agree that you probably don't need more than 8GB currently, HOWEVER with RAM being pretty dang cheap right now I'd say future-proofing with 16GB would also be just fine and not eat a big hole in your budget. The samsungs that Iknowhowtofix linked above are a great choice.

1500W is definitely way, way too much power. 850W is more than enough, and Corsair is a good brand. Seasonic is also a fine choice, as they actually make Corsair's PSUs for them.

Definitely put some consideration into peripherals, like what monitor(s) you're going to use.
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June 28, 2012 2:15:58 AM

CPU: i5-3570K $285

CPU Heat sink: CM 212 Evo $20

Motherboard: Biostar Z77 $150

RAM: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL10 DIMM HyperX Blu $70

Hard Drive: WD Caviar Black 1 TB $140

Graphics Cards: 2 EVGA GeForce GTX 590 $550

PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold 1000 watt $210

OP: Windows 7 $200
 
Monitors: 3 Asus 23 inch monitors $320

AND FINALLY 

Case: Thermaltake Element V NVIDIA Edition $220
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Total= $2165

P.S. If you find any places with these parts that are cheaper, let me know.

P.P.S. This is one of the final lists, keep posting and I'll keep updating with the new suggestions 

P.P.P.S. Ckholt83, if you check the nvidia website, the gtx 590 is better than all the other cards except for the 690. With two 590s I'm sure it will have superb preformance. Also, the gtx 690 is around $1000, while my TWO are around $550.
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June 28, 2012 2:23:58 AM

ALSO the SSD for $120, and a total of $2285, I forgot it in the list
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 5:00:45 AM

Intel i5-3570k on Newegg for $230:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Two better RAM choices for ~$50:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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


A GTX 590 is essentially two hobbled 580s in SLI on a single PCB, so if you're planning on getting TWO 590s you're basically looking at quad-SLI 580s. You're looking at some pretty massive power draw and heat generation in that case, and I'm frankly skeptical of the price you're quoting. Most places don't even carry the 590 any more, and unless you're buying from the black market, I don't think you're going to find em for $225 each / $550 for a pair. Even if you're talking about $550 per and $1100 for a pair, I'd say that's closer to a tossup considering that's more than a 690, which is two 680s almost fully enabled on the same board, with much lower temps and power draw. So not only would a 690 be cheaper out the gate, you won't have to invest in extra ridiculous cooling / 1000 W PSU, and it would be more than capable of giving you all the performance you can handle. In some benches, a 690 nearly doubles that of the 590.

I'd also still suggest a larger than $120 SSD unless you only play a couple games or don't mind having to juggle your active apps around.

It's your money though, do what you think is best. Just offering advice, it makes no matter to me either way.
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