New to Custom Builds

I recently purchased parts to build a custom build. I have never built a desktop computer before, but I know where everything goes and how to put it together.

Even though I want to be able to play games on high quality settings, I didn't invest any money on a cooler, so overclocking won't be an option until I can save up for the Corsair H100.

The components I purchased are as follows:

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z77
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 2 x 4GB
Storage: Crucial m4 SDD 128GB
Graphics: ASUS GeForce GTX 560Ti
Power: OCZ ZS Series 850W
Chassis: Corsair Carbide 400R

Are there any tweaks that I could pull off without a cooler. For example, is it possible to do a small amount of overclocking? Also, are there are additional parts that I should invest in such as sound card, wireless card, extra hard drive, etc...?

Any tips for a beginner I would appreciate.
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  1. Your rig is fairly unbalanced. You'v got an expensive motherboard, overkill PSU and a low end GPU. The biggest performance increase you can get is a better GPU. If possible, see if you can refund the 560Ti back and get a HD7850, on Newegg at least they are around same price.

    A Corsair H100 wont increase performance and you can get similar cooling for a lot less. A Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO is all you should need unless you want big overclocks or overly care about how it looks.

    You could do very mild overclocks on the stock heatsink, but I wouldn't trust it. Maybe up to 3.7Ghz is as far as I'd take it on stock. Definetly overclock the graphics card though.

    A sound card is pointless on modern motherboards unless you music edit or have an extensive surround system. Wireless depends if you need it, a wired connection is faster. If your only storage is the Crucial M4, get a mechanical HDD. 128GB wont go far once you install the OS, programs and games.
  2. The Geforce GTX 560 Ti isn't a low end GPU. It can play Crysis 2 on Extreme settings with an average frame rate of 40/s. Moreover, it can play a game like Skyrim on High settings with more than 50fps. I do see what you mean though, but for now I'll stick with it. The next graphics upgrade I would want use SLI or Crossfire.

    The reason I overkilled the PSU was because I don't want to continually upgrade that component as other parts are upgraded. If I were to use SLI, a decent power supply would be needed plus overclocking requires extra power anyway. I was tempted to go for a low budget PSU, but I thought I would regret it in the future.

    I haven't researched enough about coolers yet, so I'll look into the Coolermaster. I do know that the Corsair coolers are good though, especially for high performance tasks.

    The only reason I would consider a sound card is for a surround sound set-up, but again, that would be in the future. The ASUS Xonar Essence is what I'm considering, coupled with a Logitech 5.1 surround sound system. Thoughts?

    As for storage, the SSD would do for initial set up, but I see what you mean by programs, OS, etc... Any reputable brands worth mentioning? Seagate Barracuda perhaps?

    Thanks for your prompt reply.
  3. i have that mb and combo video card..just make sure you use the usb flashback at put the mb bios updates on it in order. check your old bios virsy to see if it 801 or 901 bios if it 901 then install the 10x bios next then 12xx and the last one that came out on asus web page. make sure you go in and reset the bios to factory default f5 between flashes. after the last one go in and under ai tweeker set your ram speed to xmp profile. the system you built is a good rig for todays games and if you want to upgrade it.
    i would use an air cooler and not a hydro one..if the water one fails and leaks...good by gaming rig. if fan fails on a air cooler run hotter but you be able to shut down and replace the fan. i would also wait for the 660ti it be 100.00 more then the 560ti. but the 660 is going to be faster then the 580 for less money. a wireless card is nice so that you dont have a 10-20 foot wire going from the back of your pc to your cable modem. it also nice to use it for printers that are wifi too. if you have a home sound system close you can run a wire from the sound card to the sound system. if not pick up a good set of gaming head phones. good speakers are nice too...but at 2am frag fest with headphones your not going to wake anyone up..(hehe i live i a at 2am with loud audio system and shooting game.) how many people you can get yelling out there sliders at you :)
    oen thing i would also toss in if you have a lot of a fan controller. there nice to slow your case fans down to keep them silent. on the asus mb under the fan profile in the bios set the backup fans to man and allow them to be turned off. if not there going to be turning at 4000rpm and they sound like small electric shavers :) also tweek the c1 power states and the boot bios setings for a very fast post boot and max speed. with windows 8 and this mb and no gui boot and just the efi bios on and no asus splash screen take about 11 sec from cold off to im in windows. the c1 power...if your just webbing around with the new ib they turn of all the cores and slow down the main one. right now with open hardware monitor cpu running at 1.6 with 20 percent load on the working core...gpu at 51....with one percent load on it. and i cant hear anything in the case. my ssd is a intel 520 unit.. not as fast as yours. i went with a brand name. if you want the case to light up there are few can buy pre made molex 4 pin to 3-10 led wired together. run about 3-10 online and on ebay.
    there ok if you want one color and have them on like a night light. or they have a new system from nxt.
    it let you have more then one color led and you can turn them off or how bright the led strip is.
  4. Its low end compared to what is available now. For the same price a HD7850 will perform better, consume less power and produce less heat.

    850W is overkill for even a dual SLI, overclocked setup, and OCZ isnt the brand to pick. Seasonic, Corsair, XFX and Silverstone are the ones to get.

    This is the sound card?
    I personally don't see the point of Sound cards (unless for reasons I detailed), onboard sound is fine and the $200 can be spent in much better places. A good set of headphones is perfect for me and doesn't require a card.

    The Seagate Barracuda is pretty good. Just make sure to get the 64MB cache version.
  5. Thanks for the BIOS update instructions, I had no idea about that.

    I like your suggestion about an air-based cooler rather than liquid-based. I know the Corsair H100 is hydro, but I know it is a very reliable cooler as well. Still something to consider though.

    I knew the 660 Ti would be better, but I'm already $100 over budget. Later when I upgrade I will consider that, or Radeon.

    Headphones are great, but surround sound is better I think. For now I use Sennheiser in-ear, great for bass in games.

    The wireless card would be good for the whole home network thing. Especially for remote control of the motherboard and graphics card.

    Thanks for your reply.
  6. manofchalk said:
    The Seagate Barracuda is pretty good. Just make sure to get the 64MB cache version.

    Alright, I'll look into it. What is the advantage of a higher cache version, not familiar with that? Is it a compatibility thing or performance?
  7. The 32Mb and 64Mb are the same price on Newegg, so no point in getting the smaller one. Its for performance, its kind of the in-between of the OS and the HDD platter. Data is read off the platter and into the cache, which is then used by the OS. A larger cache means that more can be stored there.
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