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First New PC Build - $1200

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July 7, 2012 7:38:03 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Month
Budget Range: $1200 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: productivity suites (mainly Adobe), gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg
Country: United States
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: I’d like to keep options open for future upgrades, but do not need to utilize it this build
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Looking to build a quiet, yet very capable machine. As an added challenge, I’ve been restricting myself to a “black theme”, including the mobo, ram, fans, case, etc. It’s not a strict requirement, just for pleasure. Any LEDs, windows, etc. are unnecessary. If I had to define the “genre” of this PC, it would best fit under “Gamer” because I’m looking for quality parts but with price being a factor. I don’t want to max out everything, I just want it to be reliable and then handle what I usually toss at it. (Most gamer builds on TH are plenty enough to satisfy my own needs for games & apps, so I’m looking for that plus maybe a little extra.)

I’ve built many systems based off of the TH System Builder Marathons (gamer’s only) for use as workstations, but this build is going to include many firsts for me: my first personal build, my first customized (not following other builds) build, my first desktop in about ten years (I travelled a lot, so laptop-only), my first build that I intend to overclock, and probably a few other firsts I can’t identify yet. So while I’m not a complete novice at this, I’m no scientist and my biggest issues are determining what parts are compatible with each other. I’ve picked out what I believe to be parts that are easy to pair with others and tend to be quite common with builders (based on reading reviews and the sheer amount of them). Since this is going to be my “baby”, I want to be very careful about the configuration. I’d also like it to be upgradeable and somewhat future-proof. Let me know if I’ve achieved this. I anyone has other recommendations than what I’ve chosen, please give me your suggestions. If I’m an idiot and got everything wrong, tell me that too! Looking forward to this build, thanks everyone.
:hello: 
Here's my current list: Newegg Public Wishlist

OR here (maybe a little TMI, but oh well):

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge) 3.3GHz - 3.7GHz, LGA 1155, 95W, Quad-Core BX80623I52500K
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155, Intel Z68, HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
Graphics: GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) ECS NGTX560TI-1GPI-F1 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800), 8GB (2 x 4GB), 240-Pin
System Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 128GB, SATA III SSD
Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache, SATA 6.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS 24x DVD±R, 12x DVD±R DL
Power: Corsair TX650M (650W) ATX12V v2.31, EPS12V v2.92, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi Modular
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1

This current build is up to $1125, so I've got $75 of wiggle room for changes. My main concerns are: whether PSU is adequate for this build and future expansion, whether mobo is advanced enough to support current tech and some future, whether my memory timings (9-9-9-24) are appropriate, and the GPU: I can change this to just about any other card if someone thinks what I've chosen is lacking for the money. I've used lots of Sapphire Radeon HD's in the past and been happy with them too. Thanks again.

More about : build 1200

Anonymous
July 7, 2012 7:54:15 PM

1. the PSU is perfect. - unless you think you will need more than two PCI power connections in the future

2. most memory is CL9 so you're fine with what you have.

3. use the extra &50 to upgrade that GPU you will not regret getting

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB $309.99
294.99 after mail-in rebate card $7.56 Shipping

even if that means spending $10 less by getting a
Antec Three Hundred Illusion $69.99

but that is just my opinion on the case.
Related resources
July 7, 2012 8:00:51 PM

Anonymous said:
1. the PSU is perfect. - unless you think you will need more than two PCI power connections in the future

2. most memory is CL9 so you're fine with what you have.

3. use the extra &50 to upgrade that GPU you will not regret getting

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB $309.99
294.99 after mail-in rebate card $7.56 Shipping

even if that means spending $10 less by getting a
Antec Three Hundred Illusion $69.99

but that is just my opinion on the case.
+1 This is also a very good idea reason why uses less power than 570 and you could run two 7870 off a 650watt no problem allot of people think the 7850 is compared to570 but they don't know what they are talking about The 7870 is more or less identical to the GTX 570 in terms of performance but not the 7850. Not stock vs stock or max OC vs max OC.at least not according to these benchmarks http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/...
July 7, 2012 8:32:27 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.98 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Amazon)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: NZXT 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1229.88
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
$1199.88 with MIR on PSU.
July 7, 2012 8:34:08 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys. So, it seems the biggest issue to deal with is the GPU. I could handle a little upgrade from what I posted, so I like the comment about the GTX 570 instead of 560. I'm not yet prepared to give up my case, looniam (gotta have my 3.0's on the front!), but that GPU does look sexy to me. I'll consider that too, even if I go a bit over-budget. As for the PSU, bigcyco1, is the PC P&C as reliable as the Corsair? I like getting more bang for buck as long as the quality remains. (And this is my weakest area, so I'm very easily persuaded.) I appreciate everyone's comments, thanks again!
July 7, 2012 8:36:02 PM

PC P&C is an excellent PSU company.
July 7, 2012 8:44:48 PM

uberchemist said:
Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys. So, it seems the biggest issue to deal with is the GPU. I could handle a little upgrade from what I posted, so I like the comment about the GTX 570 instead of 560. I'm not yet prepared to give up my case, looniam (gotta have my 3.0's on the front!), but that GPU does look sexy to me. I'll consider that too, even if I go a bit over-budget. As for the PSU, bigcyco1, is the PC P&C as reliable as the Corsair? I like getting more bang for buck as long as the quality remains. (And this is my weakest area, so I'm very easily persuaded.) I appreciate everyone's comments, thanks again!
The PC P&C is very reliable also silver plus rated Also it has a longer warranty.The corsair is very good as well it's made by seasonic.
July 8, 2012 2:32:50 AM

All right, so I'll make the switch to the 750W PSU, since I just can't beat that price. One question: is this jump up in wattage going to affect the PC's overall power consumption? My logic tells me no, but I thought I'd ask.

I am considering more the HD 7870 for my GPU. I LOVE how it looks, even though I'll never be looking at it. And it would seem easy to add a second one in the future and have my first attempt at a dual video card setup.

My only other question at this point is whether the mobo I've chosen has the USB 3.0 header slot available or not. I'm assuming I'm going to need this to utilize the 3.0 port that comes with the case, right? I've looked through descriptions of this board all over, but maybe there's another name for this type of port that I haven't figured out. I may also wish to add a card reader that utilizes this type of port, so two of these would be ideal, but one is still fine.
July 8, 2012 3:01:20 AM

No it won't effect the pc overall consumption i will let somebody else answer the other questions as i am off to work hate these night shifts lol
July 8, 2012 3:15:25 AM

For $15 less, get the NZXT Tempest 210. Great thermals.
Anonymous
July 8, 2012 3:42:45 AM

USB 2 x Etron EJ168 chips:

Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 on the back panel, 2 via the USB bracket connected to the internal USB header)
which is listed:
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
July 8, 2012 3:45:04 AM

Nvm.
July 8, 2012 3:57:59 AM

azeem40 said:
If that is for justifying the case, it is not enough considering the 300 has bad cable management.


I read in other reviews that the cable management wasn't THAT bad... and I just like the look of it. Any recommendations then? What I need is: ATX, 3.0 at front, black case (flat black preferred), no window, bottom-mounted PSU, and a basic style for around $75.
July 8, 2012 3:58:47 AM

The NZXT Tempest 210 has all of your requirements, and is $55.
July 8, 2012 4:22:39 AM

Anonymous said:
USB 2 x Etron EJ168 chips:

Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 on the back panel, 2 via the USB bracket connected to the internal USB header)
which is listed:
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

Thanks looniam, I checked that page but don't know how I missed that!

<-- Feeling like an idiot
July 10, 2012 5:19:13 AM

I'm making a small change to my build, going with Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin instead of the G.SKILL Sniper. I'm sure they're identical in just about every way; I just couldn't get past the cheesy "gun slide" heat spreader.

I've already started ordering parts from various websites to get the best prices. Sadly, Newegg often falls short when it comes to price and Amazon tends to beat the rest (plus I love the easy return system for defective items). Just today I got a cheap card reader in the mail and it just wouldn't work (not with my build, though). I marked it defective and prepared it to ship out, but Amazon gave the refund and said the item did not need to be returned! Ha, it seems all card readers are pretty poor in quality. But I digress...

I'm thinking of ordering a few extra 120mm fans to get some nice air flow though my machine. Any good suggestions on the setup? From what I've read, it seems the best way to go is to have fans pulling air at the front of the case, then pushing it out the back and top and sides. How about the bottom? It would seem to make sense to have that pulling air in (the coolest air would be on the ground... and I do plan to have my case on the floor, with some type of board to keep it off the carpet).

July 12, 2012 9:22:21 PM

by the way uberchemist, did you check out my build?
July 12, 2012 9:25:43 PM

UVB076 said:
by the way uberchemist, did you check out my build?

Yes, I saw it... so that's your alternative $1200 build? Just out of curiosity, why?
July 18, 2012 12:51:09 PM

What do you mean "why?"? I felt this build would offer more performance.
July 20, 2012 6:39:14 PM

Final price list, all-inclusive:



Photos of the completed system to follow!
July 23, 2012 11:02:40 AM

A few problems with that.
Non-modular PSU makes it a LOT harder to work with (trust me, I have one)
Arctic Silver 5 is kind of risky, there's better thermals pastes out there
128GB Vertex 4 is quite a bit slower than the others
Hyper 212 EVO would have given more performance
Sandy Bridge.
July 23, 2012 2:21:46 PM

UVB076 said:
A few problems with that.
Non-modular PSU makes it a LOT harder to work with (trust me, I have one)
Arctic Silver 5 is kind of risky, there's better thermals pastes out there
128GB Vertex 4 is quite a bit slower than the others
Hyper 212 EVO would have given more performance
Sandy Bridge.

Thanks for your thoughts... I am well aware of most of those issues you brought up (how is Arctic Silver 5 risky??). For the majority of those listed above, my cost restrictions had me limit the build from being the best of the best. Regardless, I'm totally psyched with how the machine has been performing: totally quiet, very cool running under load, and fast enough for anything I use it for. I've accomplished exactly what I set out to do. But again, thanks for all your comments!

The PSU is not modular, but the case I used gave me some wiggle room to hide unnecessary cables (and there were actually very few left to hide). It was a good exercise for me in cable management, something I've never really done before, aside from shoving all the extras into the empty 5.5" drive bays. I really took my time to make it work. I got the Plus instead of the EVO because at the time I was putting this together, I didn't even notice the difference. I guess price won out on that one too... and that clear plastic fan just looks trashy to me. I've maxed out all my other fan ports and they are all black; uniformity was another important issue for my build. The Vertex 4, with updated firmware, functions quite well. I'm really curious: why is Arctic Silver 5 risky? Is it known to give out, cause CPU overheating?? I've always used this stuff on other builds with no issues... how bad can it really be?
July 23, 2012 5:27:25 PM

AS5 requires 200 hrs of curing time before you see any good drops in temps. Get Shin Etsu as it is like 1/5th of the price of AS5 and has no curing.
August 12, 2012 7:14:58 PM

Last time I checked, AS5 is electrically conductive, so if you get any on your mobo it might cause a problem
August 12, 2012 7:55:58 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $149.98 save: $15.00 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $346.98 save: $18.00
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $32.39 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-ST2000DM001-Barracuda-3-5... $113.46 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200RPM 2 TB SATA 6 GB/s NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive

http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7PC1... $100.55 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PC128B/WW

http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-600/geforce-gtx-66... est. retail $300 and due for release August 16th.
NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 ti 2GB

Total: $1,141.34 *not including shipping & rebates


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/ <----- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <------ review of that board w/benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-express-ivy-bri... <------ another review of that board w/benchmarks


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $88.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9Q-16GAO
August 21, 2012 5:09:38 AM

All right, this is my machine at it's current stage (and more pictures to post soon):



I may be changing this a little at a time in the coming months, but for now, it is doing just fine. Perhaps a second HD 7870 is in the making if my wallet can spare it. I would like to add more memory too, but the fan on the cpu cooler blocks one of the ports (as they tend to do). I could always remove the heat sink on the memory. We'll see...
August 21, 2012 5:12:56 AM

I'd upgrade your monitor before upgrading to two 7870s. 1920x1200 isn't too demanding for one 7870.
August 21, 2012 2:13:39 PM

azeem40 said:
I'd upgrade your monitor before upgrading to two 7870s. 1920x1200 isn't too demanding for one 7870.

Not sure how I would "upgrade" my monitor. What would you suggest? Two monitors? A larger resolution? I'm very happy with my 1920x1200.

EDIT: Also, I have a flatscreen TV connected via HDMI just for watching videos. Due to issues with audio, I have it going to the onboard GPU, which still works just fine for my needs. I'm wondering if a second video card could help correct the audio issue? Specifically, if I plug the TV into the HDMI on my 7870, the audio still outputs to my speakers connected to the PC instead of the TV speakers. This wouldn't be an issue if the TV and PC were in the same room, but they aren't: it runs through the wall to the living room. I probably need to just get a receiver... :pfff: 
!