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New Build $1500ish Gaming System

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August 3, 2012 7:16:51 AM

Any issues with this build? Main points of question are the motherboard, memory (faster?), power supply (should I drop down from the HX to TX). The majority of my reseach has been on the motherboard, would like to stay with the Z77 and ASUS if possible. I looked at everything from ASROCK xtreme 4 to the top of the line Giga and every ASUS inbetween. The Pro has alot of the features I like, Wifi, numerous USB 3/2, fan xpert, SLI for future proof, Intel Lan conroller, decent overclock caps. I know there are better boards but I can't justify a $400 MB.

I already have the M4, and I am dead set on the HAF XM.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($207.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($102.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($404.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.06 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($136.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1445.95
August 3, 2012 7:17:20 AM

No need for a Caviar Black with an SSD. Get the Samsung Green drives 2TB.
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August 3, 2012 7:25:27 AM

Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter) Just wondering, are you using the SSD strictly for the OS? If so a 30GB should suffice.



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($86.63 @ Amazon)
Storage: Corsair Nova Series 2 30GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($136.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($88.73 @ Amazon)
Total: $1463.24
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-03 03:25 EDT-0400)

Got that build for $20 more, but you can save if you have a monitor already.
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August 3, 2012 7:27:58 AM

You'v hit the nail on the head, its pretty much perfect.
Only things I can suggest to make that better is to swap the Corsair Vengeance RAM with a low profile kit. The Vengeance's have massive heat-fins on them which can get in the way of aftermarket cooling. While for now it wont be a problem, if you want to add more in later it will be a problem.

I recommend either of these kits.
G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) blue 1600mhz CL9 1.5v. $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Low Profile blue, same specs. $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

At this point I can only criticize why you got a case with a red fan and a blue theme through it all!
The HAF-XM can support 4 of these (if you replace the front red one). I recommend at least getting one and putting it on the side panel, so there's more intake than exhaust.
Coolermaster Megaflow 200mm fan blue LED. $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm sure you could find a 140mm blue LED fan to replace the one at the back if you wanted to.
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August 3, 2012 7:38:40 AM


No need for a Caviar Black with an SSD. Get the Samsung Green drives 2TB. (Ok, makes sense, more capacity better price performance).


Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter) Just wondering, are you using the SSD strictly for the OS? If so a 30GB should suffice. (SSD will be used for games/OS, already have it so no changes here. I am going to keep an old Dell 24" so no need for a new monitor. Already have an OS Win 7 64. Understand the blue vrs red theme on the XM vrs 932. Nice build though!)


You'v hit the nail on the head, its pretty much perfect.
Only things I can suggest to make that better is to swap the Corsair Vengeance RAM with a low profile kit. (Excellent point, I should have caught this, will make the swap to low profile. Understand the blue vrs red theme! I have the HAF X on the current build and it has a side exhaust, didn't see the XM didn't have this.)

Thank you for the honest/prompt feedback!
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August 3, 2012 7:48:25 AM

Green drives perform slower than a standard 7200RPM drive. While its true that HDD speeds don't matter as much when you have a boot drive SSD, there is no reason to get slower performance. For some strange reason, often green drives cost more than their faster equivalents, despite its decreased performance and negligible power savings.

I suggest Seagate Barracuda's, they'r faster than the Caviar Blacks and cost less at the same time. Without doubt faster than Green Drives.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB cache. $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or the 2TB model if you want the capacity. $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 3, 2012 7:51:17 AM

Most green drives are cheaper by a little bit. I guess now that HDD prices are dropping, 7200rpm is good to get I suppose. Get the 1.5TB Seagate drive on newegg for $89.99.
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August 3, 2012 8:58:44 AM

josh21 said:
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter) Just wondering, are you using the SSD strictly for the OS? If so a 30GB should suffice.



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($86.63 @ Amazon)
Storage: Corsair Nova Series 2 30GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($136.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($88.73 @ Amazon)
Total: $1463.24
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-03 03:25 EDT-0400)

Got that build for $20 more, but you can save if you have a monitor already.
It's a decent build but his is already better so there no need to switch his build and the SSD you picked is rather small 64GB would be the minimal he should get ;) 
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August 3, 2012 9:26:24 AM

It looks like you did your homework because it's actually a solid build i only have one suggestion change your ram to low profile to avoid the chance of conflict with your aftermarket cooler any of these would be my recommendation RAM:G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I would also agree with manofchalk the HAF-XM doesn't really fit your whole theme build but if you don't care about looks then it's fine to leave it funky looking lol you could always change the fans to blue led ones but i think it might be cheaper and less hassle to buy a different just as good case IMO any of these cases would fit your over all theme better but i will leave that up to you to decide what's best as it's your build not mine and the case you picked is not a bad one anyway it's actually one of the best mid towers i have personally did a build in other than the Storm Sniper that case is a bit better IMO because it comes with dust filters and a few other features other than that your good to go bud. Case:COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Blue LED Fans-1x 230mm front fan, 1x 230mm top fan, 1x 230mm side fan, and 1x 140mm rear fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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August 3, 2012 9:38:09 AM

Get this ram currently on sale at Frys:
Crucial Balistix Tactical 8 GB DDR3 Low Profile (2x4 GB kit) 1866 Mhz CAS 9-9-9-27 1.5V for 39.99 bucks, if you don't have Fry's nearby, Shipping is 3.99 bucks, beats all other 1600 Mhz ram out there in terms of performance since it has low CAS timing, higher frequency while running at low 1.5V, not to mention its cheaper as well.

http://www.frys.com/product/7147542

or

Buy this low profile Samsung DDR3 8 GB kit (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CAS 11-11-11-28 1.35V for less than 50 bucks and go into bios and overclock it to 2133 Mhz CAS 9-9-9-27 at 1.45V. Google Samsung 30 nm DDR3 and you will see how good this memory is. Samsung underate the memory stock CAS timing and/or frequency since everyone who gets this memory successfully run it at 2133 Mhz CAS 9 under 1.5V.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I got the Samsung kit above and has been rocking 2133 Mhz CAS 9-9-9-24 1T 1.5V memtest stable even during stress testing for hours.
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August 3, 2012 3:34:39 PM

Thank you again for all the input. The main concern was the motherboard/power supply and no one has really discussed either.

Manochalk thank you for the follow up ref the green drive, I will take a look at the Seagate cuda when I get back today.
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August 3, 2012 4:16:20 PM

dpflyboy2 said:
Any issues with this build? Main points of question are the motherboard, memory (faster?), power supply (should I drop down from the HX to TX). The majority of my reseach has been on the motherboard, would like to stay with the Z77 and ASUS if possible. I looked at everything from ASROCK xtreme 4 to the top of the line Giga and every ASUS inbetween. The Pro has alot of the features I like, Wifi, numerous USB 3/2, fan xpert, SLI for future proof, Intel Lan conroller, decent overclock caps. I know there are better boards but I can't justify a $400 MB.

I already have the M4, and I am dead set on the HAF XM.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dDCZ/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($207.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($102.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($404.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.06 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($136.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1445.95

Solid looking build.
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August 3, 2012 4:46:15 PM

dpflyboy2 said:
Thank you again for all the input. The main concern was the motherboard/power supply and no one has really discussed either.

Manochalk thank you for the follow up ref the green drive, I will take a look at the Seagate cuda when I get back today.
The motherboard is top notch my cousin has it i have personally used it and the bios is simply amazing oc on very easy and i think you'll be very pleased you picked it as for your psu that is actually a very solid choice it's capable of handling over 900W and i wouldn't recommend you to switch it to the TX as it is better then the TX by far it wouldn't hurt any to switch it though the TX is a very decent psu if that's your question. :) 
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August 3, 2012 11:54:42 PM

We havent mentioned the motherboard and PSU because there is nothing wrong with them, they are great choices. I can vouch for the Extreme4's quality. If you need a bit of assurance, Tom found it to be one of the best mobo's you can get for less than $160.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-express-ivy-bri...

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August 4, 2012 4:28:21 AM

Bigcyco/Manofchalk, again many thanks. I will go ahead with the build with the Segate cudas and low profile memory. The build is for my wife and she doesn't have a problem with red on blue but does want a mid tower. I took a hard look (multi reviews) at the AsRock X4 and what I like is the price and the 898 on the X4 versus the 892 on the PRO. For $200 I can't believe ASUS doesn't upgrade the audio. Thank you for your assistance in validating this build.
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August 4, 2012 9:52:53 AM

dpflyboy2 said:
Bigcyco/Manofchalk, again many thanks. I will go ahead with the build with the Segate cudas and low profile memory. The build is for my wife and she doesn't have a problem with red on blue but does want a mid tower. I took a hard look (multi reviews) at the AsRock X4 and what I like is the price and the 898 on the X4 versus the 892 on the PRO. For $200 I can't believe ASUS doesn't upgrade the audio. Thank you for your assistance in validating this build.


898 vs 892? What are you refering to?
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