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Final System Check

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July 11, 2012 6:28:11 PM

Alright, as tomorrow I plan on placing the first major order for my new PC's parts, I figure I should seek some critique about what I've basically decided on, and to ascertain if I need to make any alterations. I've already ordered a few parts, and I'll list those as well. I'm not worried about an optical drive, I still have one in the old PC that I'll be using for now.

Already Purchased Parts:

SeaSonic 520w m12ii Bronze Certified PSU (to arrive tomorrow)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master CPU Cooler Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Parts to be Purchased:

Rosewill Future mid-tower Computer Case (I don't know what happened to the pics of the case. They were there yesterday.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill "Ares" 2x4GB DDR3 RAM 1600 RAM (8GB total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial M SATA III 128GB SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-3570k CPU & ASRock z77 Extreme4 motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Future purchases will include a Radeon 7850 video card and an HD monitor (with speakers), but for the moment, the plan is to utilize the onboard graphics until I can afford the video card. The CPU and Mobo combo will have to wait until next month (or I could get them tomorrow and leave the rest for next month, since altogether they're similarly priced). It's my intention to upgrade the PC slowly after I've managed to get the core components done, by adding a blu-ray drive, a fan controller, and a more powerful PSU in the long run. I'm really uncertain about how far the current PSU (the 520w SeaSonic) will go with the four case fans, a fan controller, the video card, and a blu-ray drive (not to mention everything else going into the PC), so I'd probably need something that can provide a bit more power overall, I think. I also plan to supplement the SSD with an older 250GB SATA HDD, which will eventually be replaced by something more modern (at the least, a 500GB HDD).

This PC is to be good for gaming with good quality at decent resolutions, and used for web browsing, light picture editing, and general use. I was thinking about overclocking a bit, but if I had to be honest, I'm a bit leery about that and wouldn't want to push the CPU too hard. I want this PC to last a while, after all.

More about : final system check

July 11, 2012 6:35:02 PM

Quote:
I'm really uncertain about how far the current PSU (the 520w SeaSonic) will go with the four case fans, a fan controller, the video card, and a blu-ray drive (not to mention everything else going into the PC),


First off you're spending quite a bit of money needlessly with the case fans, the fan controller and the thermal compound. I'd suggest reading this before you spend $100+ on cooling equipment: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...

Don't waste money on the thermal compound - the Hyper 212 includes MX-4 which is better than Silver 5.

The Seasonic will be good - fans don't use that much power. I wouldn't use an M4 without a 1 - 2TB hard drive for additional storage - with games taking anywhere from 7GB - 25GB, that won't last very long.

The Radeon 7850 is an excellent choice, and Intel HD 4000 video that's used on the 3570K can actually do more than just web browsing. However, you may need more than a 520W PSU if that's the GPU you plan to go with.
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July 11, 2012 6:38:30 PM

The fans come with the case itself, so I'm not purchasing new ones. It is good to know about the thermal compound though, thank you. I hadn't heard anything about the thermal compound that comes with the CPU cooler, so I'll take away that Silver 5 from the purchases. The fan controller isn't something that I plan to buy anytime soon, and may not purchase at all, really.

As for the hard drive, I can't afford to purchase another one at least until... September, at this rate. I still have my laptop, though, so I can hold off on installing too many things onto the SSD on the PC until I can afford to purchase another hard drive for the PC itself. The 250gb hard drive I'll be using from my old build will suffice until I can manage to buy the new HDD, though.
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July 11, 2012 6:47:24 PM

macgreen said:
The fans come with the case itself, so I'm not purchasing new ones. It is good to know about the thermal compound though, thank you. I hadn't heard anything about the thermal compound that comes with the CPU cooler, so I'll take away that Silver 5 from the purchases. The fan controller isn't something that I plan to buy anytime soon, and may not purchase at all, really.

As for the hard drive, I can't afford to purchase another one at least until... September, at this rate. I still have my laptop, though, so I can hold off on installing too many things onto the SSD on the PC until I can afford to purchase another hard drive for the PC itself. The 250gb hard drive I'll be using from my old build will suffice until I can manage to buy the new HDD, though.


If you have an old HD you can definitely reuse it.
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July 11, 2012 7:01:48 PM

if you want, you can a small 30gb SSD and use it as a cache for the hard drive. it makes system performance almost as good as a SSD without the huge price. 30gb ssds are usually 40-50 dollars. caching works up to a 64gb SSD
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July 11, 2012 7:03:30 PM

TheBigTroll said:
if you want, you can a small 30gb SSD and use it as a cache for the hard drive. it makes system performance almost as good as a SSD without the huge price. 30gb ssds are usually 40-50 dollars. caching works up to a 64gb SSD


Yeah but a 30GB SSD will barely hold Windows 7 after formatting.
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July 11, 2012 7:10:46 PM

cache.... not storage
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July 11, 2012 7:19:11 PM

I've heard about the SSD caching for a standard hdd. It sounds interesting, but that's definitely something to go for in the future, I think.

Figure I may as well ask. How important is an air filter underneath the PSU? Unfortunately, the Rosewill Future case doesn't seem to have on built on. Originally, I had been considering the HAF-912, but I changed to the Rosewill instead (USB 3.0 on the front panel, good amount of fans pre-installed, etc).

If it helps, and thanks to the removal of the thermal paste, I can afford to get a somewhat more expensive computer case. Something up to... let's see. I think I can afford up to an $80-85 computer case (with S&H included). I'd prefer a USB 3.0 port on the front if at all possible, and at least three fans inside as well. I'm just starting to look up the different cases within that price range now, but if anyone here has a suggestion, let me know.
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July 11, 2012 7:25:25 PM

macgreen said:
I've heard about the SSD caching for a standard hdd. It sounds interesting, but that's definitely something to go for in the future, I think.

Figure I may as well ask. How important is an air filter underneath the PSU? Unfortunately, the Rosewill Future case doesn't seem to have on built on. Originally, I had been considering the HAF-912, but I changed to the Rosewill instead (USB 3.0 on the front panel, good amount of fans pre-installed, etc).

If it helps, and thanks to the removal of the thermal paste, I can afford to get a somewhat more expensive computer case. Something up to... let's see. I think I can afford up to an $80-85 computer case (with S&H included). I'd prefer a USB 3.0 port on the front if at all possible, and at least three fans inside as well. I'm just starting to look up the different cases within that price range now, but if anyone here has a suggestion, let me know.


I'd suggest these:

- Corsair 300R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec Eleven Hundred http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Fractal Design Core 3000 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- NZXT Phantom 410 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 11, 2012 7:59:11 PM

Of the bunch, I'd say the Corsair is the best deal for me. I can't afford much more than $85 on the case overall, so $79.99 on newegg with free shipping is about perfect. It doesn't have all the fans I'd wanted, but it has the two where it's most important. One thing I wonder about is how I could install another fan on the top for exhausting the hot air inside the case once the motherboard is installed. The CPU cooler might be a bit too big to work around once it's installed.

On the other hand (and much cheaper), there's the Rosewill Challenger U3, which pretty much has what I was hoping for. Add to that the fact that there's a promo going on that reduces the price by 15% and free S&H, I think I'll go with that rather than the Future or the Corsair 300R. Thanks for those suggestions though, I hadn't seen those before.
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July 11, 2012 8:06:59 PM

macgreen said:
Of the bunch, I'd say the Corsair is the best deal for me. I can't afford much more than $85 on the case overall, so $79.99 on newegg with free shipping is about perfect. It doesn't have all the fans I'd wanted, but it has the two where it's most important. One thing I wonder about is how I could install another fan on the top for exhausting the hot air inside the case once the motherboard is installed. The CPU cooler might be a bit too big to work around once it's installed.

On the other hand (and much cheaper), there's the Rosewill Challenger U3, which pretty much has what I was hoping for. Add to that the fact that there's a promo going on that reduces the price by 15% and free S&H, I think I'll go with that rather than the Future or the Corsair 300R. Thanks for those suggestions though, I hadn't seen those before.


I personally like the Corsair because it has front USB 3.0 and great cable management features.

As far as the CPU cooler - it's easier to install that outside your case rather than in. Yeah it will be difficult to work around once you get it installed but that's what low profile RAM is for.
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July 11, 2012 8:28:24 PM

I can understand what you mean- I just read a bit on how much space is available on the 'hidden' side of the Corsair 300R case, and that's quite a bit of room. However, I'll stick with the Challenger-U3. I'm getting a $69 case for $50 thanks to the instant rebate and promo, and although it doesn't have quite as much airflow capabilities because the Corsair has more mounts for fans (on the top, at least), I think I'd prefer the three fans from the get-go that the Challenger-U3 provides, since I don't have to purchase additional fans before putting everything together, as a result.

The Corsair does look great though, I gotta give it that. But I'm on a bit of a budget and want to have the PC up and running by sometime in August, which means I have to be at least a little frugal with my money.
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July 11, 2012 8:34:25 PM

id get a antec 302 case instead. has usb3 and around 1.5inch of space in the back for cables.
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July 12, 2012 5:34:07 AM

I can see why it has that much space, too. Until that 302, I'd never seen a side panel fan on that side of the mobo before. Interesting. However, I think I'll stick with the Challenger U3. I like the look better, it has the fans I was looking for, and the USB 3.0 ports on the front panel like I'd hoped to find. Toss in the fact that it's also just $5 more than the previous case I was considering and that's just more money I can put toward the last components to purchase next month- the cpu and mobo. I shouldn't need a whole lot of cable management, since I'm going to install a modular PSU, but what there is I'm sure that the Challenger-U3 will be able to handle.

Now, I was told before that the 520w SeaSonic could handle the 3570k, a couple fans, and a Radeon HD 7850 on these forums, and I'm hoping I wasn't told wrong about that. I'd hate to have to return it when it arrives tomorrow if it wouldn't work. From what I've read, the 7850s require a 500w minimum PSU, so I was originally hesitant to go with a 520w until someone told me it'd be fine, since the 520w is Bronze certified and a SeaSonic.
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July 12, 2012 5:44:41 AM

Fans barely use any power.
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July 12, 2012 5:47:58 AM

If it's the GPU that I should be worried about (especially if it and the CPU are under a load) when it comes to drawing power from the PSU, would it be prudent to consider a different GPU, like a 7770 or a 6850 instead? To be honest, I'm not really sure how to calculate the watt usage from the PSU with the parts I have. I should probably try a couple of calculators though, if I can find any.

The Newegg Calculator says 399w would be needed. The eXtreme PSU Wattage Calculator said 322w. Considering that the 520w is roughly 85% efficient at any given load, that's about 442w of actual power, so I think that it should be fine. However, since I'm not familiar with estimating power usage, I could be quite wrong. Would I be better off looking for something that can handle a bit more power, like a 600w PSU instead?
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July 12, 2012 11:04:21 AM

i dont even bother with the calculator.

single gpu with any usual chip: 500-550w
dual lower end sli/crossfire or dual GPu card: 650w
any 2 SLi / crossfire (new cards):750w
any 2 SLI/crossfire (older cards) 850w

and so on
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July 12, 2012 3:21:07 PM

Wound up with a fair amount of extra money this paycheck, so I'm gonna go with the Corsair Carbide 300r after all. Just need to find a good blue led fan for the front (gonna shift the fan already there to the top mount) now.

So it looks like I should be fine with a 7850 for a GPU with the 520w SeaSonic PSU I'm going to be receiving today. Good to know. Still, I'll see about upgrading the PSU sometime in the future.
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July 12, 2012 3:41:44 PM

bitfenix makes good led fans. check out the spectre pros

for the gpu, id get the asus 7850 or the xfx DD 7850
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July 12, 2012 4:14:58 PM

Decided to get the bitfenix fan, but only one for now. I can't tell if the connector will be long enough to reach the motherboard (I read in a review for a cooler master fan that the connector was barely long enough to reach a motherboard's fan header. So now I'm curious to see if this one will reach a shorter mobo's fan header, since the ASRock Extreme4 is 3cm shorter than the typical ATX mobo), so I'll just play it safe for now. Thanks for the recommendation on the fan.

As for the GPU, I was considering the XFX DD or the HIS IceQ (though that one seems a little too expensive at the moment.) 7850. Fortunately, the case can fit just about any graphics card, so I won't have any worries about the length of the video card. Is the 7850 kinda overkill for Star Wars: The Old Republic? That's the newest game I'd be playing with it (everything else I have is quite a bit older. As in, Mechwarrior 4, Civ 4, etc). Most of my older games probably wouldn't even support full HD resolutions, for that matter.
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July 12, 2012 6:04:57 PM

id get a asus board instead of the asrock. asrock from what i heard was cheaping out on their caps for the power delivery

good one is the p8z77- LK
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July 12, 2012 6:18:03 PM

Yeah, I've seen that one (and considered it as well). However, it's more expensive and doesn't have the same number of fan headers as the ASRock (3 instead of 4, respectively). I've read decent reviews of the Extreme4, so I'm willing to give that a shot.

If the board comes down in price by the time I'm ready to purchase the CPU & Mobo combo, I'll probably take another look at it. Both boards seem to have decent to good reviews (and I don't just mean the newegg reviews for them), and I was recommended the Extreme4 here by Nikorr, over in the Motherboards section of this forum.

Edit: I just double-checked the price of the ASUS p8z77-v lk & 3570k combo. Odd, but it's gone down in price since the last time I checked it. Since it does have 3 fan headers, and that's the number of fans I'll have on the Corsair 300r case, I don't see a problem (yet) with going that route. How could I add more fans in the future, like on the side panel or from the front, since the fan headers on the mobo would be filled?
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July 12, 2012 6:41:39 PM

You'd use the power supply.
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July 12, 2012 7:04:11 PM

Alright. So far, I'm not overly impressed with the ASUS board being somewhat more expensive than the ASRock board, but the fact that it's typically considered better quality is good. Granted, it does look as if it's much easier to overclock with it, though. The fact that it's a full size ATX board, unlike the ASRock one, is good as well, I wasn't exactly sure about why the ASRock board was smaller than the typical ATX mobo.

Still, if the price remains that low (or lower), I'd probably go ahead and get it. I do hope s&h becomes free by the time I'm ready to purchase it, but so long as it's at least as low as it is now, I can afford it.
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July 12, 2012 8:17:46 PM

asus is the way to go. if you need more fan headers, get a gigabyte z77x-d3h or ud3h
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July 15, 2012 10:43:18 PM

Well, I'll go with the ASUS z77 mobo with the i5-3570k combo, so long as it remains at a price that I can afford. If not, I'll wind up going back to the ASRock, or maybe a Gigabyte mobo (but the prices for the combos seem to be fairly consistent, so I'm not worried either way). Anyway, thanks for the help on this one.
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