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~$1,000 Best Value Gaming & Coding PC

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August 5, 2012 6:32:10 AM

Seeking advice on my nearly complete build picks.
This is my first build ever by the way; very limited hardware knowledge. Mostly just picked based on PassMark benchmarks, Tom's Hardware's Reviews & Forums, and 4+/5 customer ratings.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week month.

Budget Range: $1,000 (or a little over) Before Rebates and After Shipping. (Excluding monitor.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Coding.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, but later.

Parts to Upgrade: Everything - First build ever.

Do you need to buy OS: No.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com, microcenter.com.

Location: Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: CPU: Intel; GPU: nvidia. Whichever brand is: 1. The most reliable and 2. Gives best value for the money.

Overclocking: Maybe, but only when really desperate... just before that next upgrade.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but same condition as overclocking. (Not now.)

Your Monitor Resolution: The best HD gaming/HTPC monitor for the money.

Additional Comments: Just want the best reliability/longevity and performance for the money.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: GPU to run current games on max like SR3, GTA IV, BF3, Crysis 2, Shogun 2 and upcoming games like GTA V, Black Ops II, and maybe Unreal-based Games. Decrease large code compile / 3D content rendering time (e.g.: compiling Google Chrome or UDK Game). Increase productivity with fast SSD.

Hopefully the parts will last me around 5+ years or until I can't run my favorite games on low settings with at least 30 FPS or can't compile huge 10GB+ (e.g.: Google Chrome) code within an hour.



My picks:

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 Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.49 @ B&H)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $968.42
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-05 02:02 EDT-0400)



Purchasing later: Monitor, 1 TB Storage HDD, Optical Drive.

Need additional advice:
1. Power supply: Is this enough & a reliable buy:
Seasonic M12II-750 BRONZE ATX 750 Power Supply ($119)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00607JN1E/

2a. Is stock i5-3570k not far behind than stock i7-3930k and the better value, especially when just mostly maxed to game/compile huge code?
2b. I'm not going to overclock in a few years, do I still need aftermarket cooler... now? If so, is my pick good?

3a. Should I buy 2-1TB instead of 1-2TB for reliability?
3b. Seagate and Samsung HDDs are cheaper than Western Digital, but, from buyer reviews, look like they're way more unreliable than Western Digital. Or are they really all the same? Which should I buy for most reliability.

4. Monitor: Is the Asus VH236H 23.0" good enough for the budget & games I mentioned?

5. Instead of wasting almost $20 on a brand new DVD drive I'll almost never use, can I buy IDE to SATA converter cable and use it to plug in either of my 2 good old drives from an 8 year old Sony PCV-RS520 that still works?

If so, can you give a link on a good IDE to SATA converter that will work with my mobo?

Here are the drive specs from http://www.docs.sony.com/release/specs/PCVRS520_mksp.pdf:
Drive 1:
DVD±RW
-RW (4X max. write / 2X max. rewrite / 2X max. read)
+RW (4X max. write / 2.4X max. rewrite / 2.4X max. read)
CD-RW (16X max. write / 10X max. rewrite / 32X max. read)

Drive 2:
DVD-ROM
16X max. DVD-ROM Read / 40X max. CDROM read



Thanks.

More about : 000 gaming coding

August 5, 2012 6:58:42 AM

Quote:

1. Power supply: Is this enough & a reliable buy:
Seasonic M12II-750 BRONZE ATX 750 Power Supply ($119)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00607JN1E/


Yes - Seasonic makes some of the best in the industry.

Quote:
2a. Is stock i5-3570k not far behind than stock i7-3930k and the better value, especially when just mostly maxed to game/compile huge code?


You're comparing a Chevy Malibu to an Aston Martin DB5. They're completely different CPUs for completely different uses.

Quote:
2b. I'm not going to overclock in a few years, do I still need aftermarket cooler... now? If so, is my pick good?


You can run the stock cooler and be fine. You don't even need an unlocked CPU for that.

Quote:
3a. Should I buy 2-1TB instead of 1-2TB for reliability?


Better would be to get an SSD and a 2TB 5400 RPM hard drive.

Quote:

3b. Seagate and Samsung HDDs are cheaper than Western Digital, but, from buyer reviews, look like they're way more unreliable than Western Digital. Or are they really all the same? Which should I buy for most reliability.


Samsung HDDs are very reliable, I have a Spinpoint F3 and it works great. It's *ALWAYS* - repeat - *ALWAYS* a bad idea to rely on buyer reviews for product advice. 90% of the time they're completely baseless or fanboyism.

Quote:
4. Monitor: Is the Asus VH236H 23.0" good enough for the budget & games I mentioned?


Asus makes excellent monitors - they have great black levels and color concentration.

Quote:

5. Instead of wasting almost $20 on a brand new DVD drive I'll almost never use, can I buy IDE to SATA converter cable and use it to plug in either of my 2 good old drives from an 8 year old Sony PCV-RS520 that still works?


Those converters are almost the same price as a new drive - you might as well just get the new drive.
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August 5, 2012 6:32:52 PM

p5p said:
Need additional advice:
1. Power supply: Is this enough & a reliable buy:
Seasonic M12II-750 BRONZE ATX 750 Power Supply ($119)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00607JN1E/

It's more than enough, even if you do SLI in the future. Frankly I think that if SLI is a really remote possibility you might as well just get a really good 500W PSU.

However these are all better buys than the Seasonic M12II Bronze 750W, because they are more efficient and quieter:
Rosewill CAPSTONE-750M ($120 @ Newegg / $5 shipping)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-caps...

XFX ProSeries 750W XXX Edition P1-750X-XXB9 ($125 @ Newegg / $10 rebate)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1750bnlg...
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Related resources
August 5, 2012 6:34:19 PM

Silvune said:
It's more than enough, even if you do SLI in the future. Frankly I think that if SLI is a really remote possibility you might as well just get a really good 500W PSU.

However these are all better buys than the Seasonic M12II Bronze 750W, because they are more efficient and quieter:
Rosewill CAPSTONE-750M ($120 @ Newegg / $5 shipping)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-caps...

XFX ProSeries 750W XXX Edition ($125 @ Newegg / $10 rebate)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1750bnlg...


That XFX power supply is actually a rebranded Seasonic.
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August 5, 2012 6:42:38 PM

The Seasonic M12II Bronze 750w uses the Seasonic SS-750AM platform, the XFX uses the Seasonic SS-750HT / M12D design, which is older, but it is more efficient.
The fan has a lower idle speed (600RPM vs 1000RPM), it is also larger; 13.5cm vs 12cm, so like I said is quieter.
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August 5, 2012 10:38:38 PM

Thanks for the responses guys!

g-unit1111 said:

Quote:
2a. Is stock i5-3570k not far behind than stock i7-3930k and the better value, especially when just mostly maxed to game/compile huge code?


You're comparing a Chevy Malibu to an Aston Martin DB5. They're completely different CPUs for completely different uses.


Ok, I'm gonna be more specific with my uses/needs:

CPU:
I want to make sure my CPU will be able to compile large code like ~10GB Chromium (that will reside in my OS/App SSD)--using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010--as close as possible to the mentioned minimum of 10 minutes.

Basically, also anything done in Computer Science, including--but not limited to--algorithm/code analysis & Artificial Intelligence experiments.

So, I think I may need more additional Cache and Hyperthreading... which means I should probably buy Sandy instead of Ivy Bridge? Also, will a highly overclocked (4+ GHz) Sandy Bridge (with aftermarket cooling) make much of a difference in compiling/running loads of code (e.g.: about how much faster?)--and well worth the additional ~$100+ for the unlocked version and a good aftermarket cooler?

Better 3D Game/Animation Rendering power is a plus, but not required.

Looks like I need to change to a LGA2011 motherboard as well for a Sandy Bridge, right?



GPU:
I'm starting to think the GTX 670 may be overkill+overpriced for my gaming needs. (Although looks like the Gigabyte OC version I picked is the most popular and way more powerful than its reference card, and may be well worth it.)

The most important thing is: As long as I can run latest, most graphics-intensive FPS/RTS/Sandbox/Simulation current & near-future games (like those I mentioned in my original post) with at least a steady 30 fps at 1080p with all ultra settings, no anti-aliasing, I'm going to be pretty satisfied. Otherwise, I'm also willing to first overclock my GPU to its max to satisfy that goal (only if got something with very good built-in cooling like the Gigabyte GTX 670 OC, though).

So, will a ~$200 SLI/CF-capable GPU fit my needs for at least 2 years? (e.g.: GTX 570, GTX 560 Ti, etc.)

I figured the $400 GTX 670 may only last a little over 4 years anyway. By then, can't I just SLI my (originally $200) GPU with probably its $100 equivalent, and satisfy my needs mentioned above for another 2+ years? I'll save $100 or more!

... or maybe should I look at AMD's GPUs to more easily achieve that goal?

BUT! If it turns out I don't need to invest more in CPU, I'm fine with investing more on the GTX 670.

Please advise me further on this GPU & CPU stuff:



GPU- / CPU+?:
If a $200 GPU is enough for me, should I throw that into a more powerful Sandy Bridge CPU and a matching LGA2011 motherboard? Again, only if I will gain obvious benefits in compiling large code, etc. as stated.


Power Supply:
Silvune said:

Frankly I think that if SLI is a really remote possibility you might as well just get a really good 500W PSU.


Well, that GTX 670 I picked said Minimum 550W PSU (Newegg Details Tab).

Silvune said:
The Seasonic M12II Bronze 750w uses the Seasonic SS-750AM platform, the XFX uses the Seasonic SS-750HT / M12D design, which is older, but it is more efficient.
The fan has a lower idle speed (600RPM vs 1000RPM), it is also larger; 13.5cm vs 12cm, so like I said is quieter.


Ok, I'm gonna pick that XFX if I should stick with the GTX 670.

---Otherwise---:
Please advise on a cheaper GPU that fits my needs and saves me a lot of money, along with a lower-watt PSU but with high quality.

In general, I want the power supply to withstand at least 10 years/2 full builds? I'm just most scared if a power supply might blow up--and damage all my other parts--lolz.



Thanks again!

P.S.: I'm not gonna order with Microcenter since I'll get 8% sales tax (Philadelphia) & 4 hours travel back and forth, anyway.
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August 7, 2012 5:36:59 PM

Can anyone help me out with my needs detailed on my previous post, immediately above this?
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August 7, 2012 5:50:54 PM

Quote:

I want to make sure my CPU will be able to compile large code like ~10GB Chromium (that will reside in my OS/App SSD)--using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010--as close as possible to the mentioned minimum of 10 minutes.


Basically, also anything done in Computer Science, including--but not limited to--algorithm/code analysis & Artificial Intelligence experiments.


Yeah but what I'm getting at is on a $1000 budget, a $500 CPU is not going to be obtainable. The 3930K is nice but there's no way it can be done without sacrificing critical components.

Quote:
So, I think I may need more additional Cache and Hyperthreading... which means I should probably buy Sandy instead of Ivy Bridge? Also, will a highly overclocked (4+ GHz) Sandy Bridge (with aftermarket cooling) make much of a difference in compiling/running loads of code (e.g.: about how much faster?)--and well worth the additional ~$100+ for the unlocked version and a good aftermarket cooler?


Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge share a lot of the same technologies. The 3770K will be a better CPU in that price range for what you need. If you're running intensive calculation programs that might be the way to go.

Quote:
GPU:
I'm starting to think the GTX 670 may be overkill+overpriced for my gaming needs. (Although looks like the Gigabyte OC version I picked is the most popular and way more powerful than its reference card, and may be well worth it.)


If you're not going to be gaming it makes no sense to purchase a GTX 670 - you could go a lot less on the GPU like maybe a Radeon 7750, and upgrade the CPU and other key areas for what you need to use your build for.

Quote:
I figured the $400 GTX 670 may only last a little over 4 years anyway. By then, can't I just SLI my (originally $200) GPU with probably its $100 equivalent, and satisfy my needs mentioned above for another 2+ years? I'll save $100 or more!


... or maybe should I look at AMD's GPUs to more easily achieve that goal?


That's debatable. A Radeon 7850 will handle all your needs and get some really good frame rates on top of that. The thing with SLI / Crossfire is that on the lower end it's usually a last resort.
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August 9, 2012 10:40:10 PM

Thanks for your continual advice, g-unit1111. You (and others) have been of so much help and making my build possible!

I'm getting closer to finalizing my build. Can you (or anyone else) please advise a bit further. Thanks so much again in advance!



CPU:

g-unit1111 said:
Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge share a lot of the same technologies. The 3770K will be a better CPU in that price range for what you need. If you're running intensive calculation programs that might be the way to go.


Ok, I've picked the 3770k. Since I'm not going to overclock it right away--and since my Case and CPU already come with fans--I'm not getting aftermarket cooler. Going to get it from TigerDirect today: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2372989&sku=I69-3770K. It's almost $20 cheaper ($299) there than the regular, locked 3770 price I found right now ($319.90)!

Thermal Paste/Compund:

I have no idea about this... but from what I heard, looks like I should get a thermal compound for satisfactory CPU temps? If so, what should I get? Arctic Silver 5? But I also heard ceramic-based is safer? So should I get Arctic Silver Ceramique? Please advise me to specifically get which brand/name.

GPU:

g-unit1111 said:
A Radeon 7850 will handle all your needs and get some really good frame rates on top of that.


Yeah, you're right, looks like the 7850 should satisfy my gaming needs, which means the ability to run current+some future games with at least 20-30 fps on 1080p with ultra/high settings.

However, looks like I can fit in my budget this 7870 that's on sale (that is even cheaper than some 7850s!):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150604

It's made by XFX, and that card got Lifetime Limited Warranty! The reviews aren't super-confirming, but hopefully it's still a stable card?

Not only is it on sale and includes 2 bonus games and rebates, but I can get it combo'd with the RL version of my picked G.Skill Ripjaw XL 8GB RAM and get $11 discount:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1037344

... for a total of $304.98.

PSU:

Since my new GPU pick lowers my PSU Wattage needs, please help me readjust my picks, and also because newegg got this Seasonic PSU sale going on.

Newegg Seasonic PSU Sales Ending 8/13: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description=Seasonic812&page=1&bop=And&Pagesize=50

If possible, I want my PSU to last me at least 2 builds/10 years. So should I still get around cheap 750W (80+ Bronze-) for future CrossFire/power-hungry cards--now?

... or should I invest in a more expensive, higher-quality (80+ Gold+) PSU (with usually lower max wattages) that satisfies my wattage needs now and just get another new high-quality PSU for 2nd+ builds?

Please advise on whichever is the best value for the future (out of those Seasonics on sale on newegg or whatever/anywhere else as reputable and cheaper).

2.5" to 3.5" SSD Adapter:
Do I need it? Looks like it's only for when people "upgrade" into their old cases. The case I'm ordering (COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer) got a 2.5" bay: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119240.

I thought the adapter is needed because the motherboard don't got 2.5" "jack." But looks like it's just a tray/"bay" that my case already has.

Please confirm this.

Thanks again!



My updated parts list so far:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($324.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($111.71 @ Amazon)
Other: CPU Thermal Compund/Paste? Arctic Silver? Ceramic?
Total: $1037.65
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-09 18:40 EDT-0400)
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August 10, 2012 4:09:53 PM

Bump.
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August 10, 2012 4:27:14 PM

Quote:

Thermal Paste/Compund:

I have no idea about this... but from what I heard, looks like I should get a thermal compound for satisfactory CPU temps? If so, what should I get? Arctic Silver 5? But I also heard ceramic-based is safer? So should I get Arctic Silver Ceramique? Please advise me to specifically get which brand/name.


You do not need to purchase extra thermal compound - especially if you're not going to be buying an aftermarket cooler right away. It just isn't necessary. And if you do wind up buying something like, say a Hyper 212 - it includes a good, non conductive MX-4 solution which is better than any Arctic Silver compound. If you're not going to overclock you don't even really need to purchase an unlocked CPU.

Quote:

Yeah, you're right, looks like the 7850 should satisfy my gaming needs, which means the ability to run current+some future games with at least 20-30 fps on 1080p with ultra/high settings.

However, looks like I can fit in my budget this 7870 that's on sale (that is even cheaper than some 7850s!):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's made by XFX, and that card got Lifetime Limited Warranty! The reviews aren't super-confirming, but hopefully it's still a stable card?


XFX is a good brand from what I hear. I've always used Sapphire cards but either one is good. The 7870 is great, I have the same GPU in my system and it's blazing fast for the price, and uses very little power. If you don't need the features of the i7-3770K, you could actually downgrade that to the i5-3570K and then upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 7950.

Quote:

Since my new GPU pick lowers my PSU Wattage needs, please help me readjust my picks, and also because newegg got this Seasonic PSU sale going on.

Newegg Seasonic PSU Sales Ending 8/13: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

If possible, I want my PSU to last me at least 2 builds/10 years. So should I still get around cheap 750W (80+ Bronze-) for future CrossFire/power-hungry cards--now?

... or should I invest in a more expensive, higher-quality (80+ Gold+) PSU (with usually lower max wattages) that satisfies my wattage needs now and just get another new high-quality PSU for 2nd+ builds?

Please advise on whichever is the best value for the future (out of those Seasonics on sale on newegg or whatever/anywhere else as reputable and cheaper).


The bad thing is Seasonic makes great PSUs, but if you want to get one in the 750W range it will cost you. Try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's actually a rebranded Seasonic PSU. I badly want to get an AX1200i (which is based on Corsair's own, brand new digital controlled platform) but I can't justify paying $350 for a PSU. :lol: 

The PSU I use in my build is silver rated - if you want to use a gold or platinum certified PSU, it will cost you, but really as long as it's certified bronze or better that's all you need. If it's not certified or rated - don't buy it.

Quote:

Do I need it? Looks like it's only for when people "upgrade" into their old cases. The case I'm ordering (COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer) got a 2.5" bay: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I thought the adapter is needed because the motherboard don't got 2.5" "jack." But looks like it's just a tray/"bay" that my case already has.


The 3.5" drive bay is meant for media card readers - it won't work with an SSD. If you go for something like the HAF 922 or HAF XM it will include a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter.
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August 10, 2012 6:28:42 PM

p5p said:
Power Supply:


Well, that GTX 670 I picked said Minimum 550W PSU (Newegg Details Tab).

In general, I want the power supply to withstand at least 10 years/2 full builds? I'm just most scared if a power supply might blow up--and damage all my other parts--lolz.

PSU wattage recommendations from GPU manufacturers are very much ball park figures to account for people having the most power hungry systems, or using poor quality PSUs.
If you know what you are doing then it is very often not a problem to go below the recommended wattage figure.
Systems with socket 1155 Sandy Bridge and 1155 Ivy Bridge CPUs and GTX 670s would do well to draw more than 350W under a heavy (torture) load. Maybe I should have said 500W +/- 50W.

p5p said:
PSU:

Since my new GPU pick lowers my PSU Wattage needs, please help me readjust my picks, and also because newegg got this Seasonic PSU sale going on.

Newegg Seasonic PSU Sales Ending 8/13: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description=Seasonic812&page=1&bop=And&Pagesize=50

If possible, I want my PSU to last me at least 2 builds/10 years. So should I still get around cheap 750W (80+ Bronze-) for future CrossFire/power-hungry cards--now?

... or should I invest in a more expensive, higher-quality (80+ Gold+) PSU (with usually lower max wattages) that satisfies my wattage needs now and just get another new high-quality PSU for 2nd+ builds?

Please advise on whichever is the best value for the future (out of those Seasonics on sale on newegg or whatever/anywhere else as reputable and cheaper).

Out of those this is the most suitable for your build IMO, obviously if not SLI/CFing in the future:
Seasonic X-560 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are thinking about CF 7870 then you can easily lower the wattage to ~650.
Rosewill CAPSTONE-650M ($100 @ Newegg)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-caps...

The 450/550W versions of the Capstones would also be good choices for single card builds.

p5p said:
2.5" to 3.5" SSD Adapter:
Do I need it? Looks like it's only for when people "upgrade" into their old cases. The case I'm ordering (COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer) got a 2.5" bay: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119240.

I thought the adapter is needed because the motherboard don't got 2.5" "jack." But looks like it's just a tray/"bay" that my case already has.

2.5" SSDs use the same power and data connectors that 3.5" HDDs use; nothing special. The CM Storm Enforcer already has four locations to mount 2.5" drives, so no you don't need a 2.5" to 3.5" SSD Adapter.

g-unit1111 said:
And if you do wind up buying something like, say a Hyper 212 - it includes a good, non conductive MX-4 solution which is better than any Arctic Silver compound. If you're not going to overclock you don't even really need to purchase an unlocked CPU.

This is interesting if true. I would have thought CM included some of their own TIM with their coolers, rather than a competitors. If you have a link/anecdote/experience which confirms this I would be grateful to see/hear it.

g-unit1111 said:
The 2.5" drive bay is meant for media card readers...

Fairly sure media card readers fit into 3.5" external bays.
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August 10, 2012 6:33:06 PM

Quote:
This is interesting if true. I would have thought CM included some of their own TIM with their coolers, rather than a competitors. If you have a link/anecdote/experience which confirms this I would be grateful to see/hear it.


It is their own thermal compound but if you read more extensive reviews the compound included is based on MX-4 and from what I hear it's way better than Arctic Silver 5.

Quote:
Fairly sure media card readers fit into 3.5" external bays.


That was a typo. :lol: 
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August 10, 2012 8:43:27 PM

Thanks again for the replies.

Thermal Compound:
Quote:
You do not need to purchase extra thermal compound - especially if you're not going to be buying an aftermarket cooler right away. It just isn't necessary. And if you do wind up buying something like, say a Hyper 212 - it includes a good, non conductive MX-4 solution which is better than any Arctic Silver compound.


Alright then... I'll just see first how will the temps be with stock stuff, not overclocked.

But how about you, Sivune (or anyone else)? You think I can reach satisfactory temps (~80C when "tortured"/100%?) at stock clocks (up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo?)--while also not reducing its lifespan--without aftermarket thermal compound?

CPU:
Quote:
If you're not going to overclock you don't even really need to purchase an unlocked CPU.


I might, just not right away. Besides, I catched the 3770k from TigerDirect for just $299.99 (already ordered yesterday), which is even cheaper than stock prices of 3770 and 3770s! So why not, right?

GPU:
Quote:
The 7870 is great.


Yeah, great price-performance I have been looking for. How about the latest drivers from AMD? Has it improved the card's stability? Because I can see some recent results of black screen/sound loop complaints on the 7850/7870 by any sub-vendors.

How about your 7870? Never experienced those problems (recently)?

CPU+GPU Balance:
Quote:
If you don't need the features of the i7-3770K, you could actually downgrade that to the i5-3570K and then upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 7950.


Practically, I think I do need the 3770k's more cache, threads, and hyper-threading tech over 3570k's for compiling/running loads of code, and for $70 more at the price I bought, the 3770k, theoretically, moves up by 47 ranks over the 3570k on this benchmark.

Meanwhile, the cheapest 7950 I found is $60 more than the cheapest 7870 I found, but is, theoretically, only 5 ranks above the 7870. Practically, the 7870 should have just as exceptional a performance as the 7950 running my mentioned games on 1080p with max settings, right? I don't think my graphics card should be too overkill or have poor price/value for my gaming needs and budget either. I'd rather overkill the CPU a little bit more since my coding tasks seem to be more CPU-intensive and more important than my gaming needs.

PSU:
Quote:
The bad thing is Seasonic makes great PSUs, but if you want to get one in the 750W range it will cost you.


Not anymore (right now)! I'm actually gonna get this:
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

...for just $119.99 with the newegg promo code. That X750 got reviewed as "flawless" too. Excellent buy, right?

Quote:
If you know what you are doing then it is very often not a problem to go below the recommended wattage figure.


I don't think I know what I'm doing with PSUs at all lolz... From hardware secrets articles, it said to measure with multimeter and all that, which I don't even have/use... I'm just more of a software guy. But I'm always open to learning anything computer-related.

Still, that Seasonic X750 Gold PSU I mentioned above is a very good deal, right?

SSD Adapter:
Quote:
no you don't need a 2.5" to 3.5" SSD Adapter


Thanks for the confirmation. Not buying one then.

Summary:
Ok, if no further changes, then this seems to be my complete build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($324.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1045.93 (Actually very close to exactly $1,000 or less when including my discounted buys earlier.)
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-10 16:43 EDT-0400)
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August 11, 2012 10:39:13 PM

Can anyone offer any more refining advice/comments on my completed build above before it's all final? Thanks so much!
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Best solution

August 11, 2012 11:09:44 PM

Quote:
I might, just not right away. Besides, I catched the 3770k from TigerDirect for just $299.99 (already ordered yesterday), which is even cheaper than stock prices of 3770 and 3770s! So why not, right?


With programming apps you might get the full use of the 3770 but I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.

Quote:

Yeah, great price-performance I have been looking for. How about the latest drivers from AMD? Has it improved the card's stability? Because I can see some recent results of black screen/sound loop complaints on the 7850/7870 by any sub-vendors.

How about your 7870? Never experienced those problems (recently)?


I can't imagine the GPU is what's causing those sound issues - that's probably more motherboard dependant.

I've never experienced anything with my 7870 yet.

Quote:

Not anymore (right now)! I'm actually gonna get this:
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

...for just $119.99 with the newegg promo code. That X750 got reviewed as "flawless" too. Excellent buy, right?


Again I'll say never to rely on stores for product information. 99% of the time the reviews are either baseless or based on fanboyism. That said that PSU is a good choice and it's a good deal. Here's a far more in depth review of it: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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August 23, 2012 12:54:01 AM

Best answer selected by p5p.
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August 23, 2012 12:54:29 AM

Thanks so much guys! Sorry haven't responded. I have finally completed my build, with exception of the monitor. Currently have to use onboard graphics because I don't got DVI cable to plug my current monitor to it.

I'm going to buy a new monitor under $200. Please offer your advice on it in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/65258-3-best-monitor-7870-card



Quote:
With programming apps you might get the full use of the 3770 but I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.


I do heavy multitasking too, and so far it looks worth it.

Quote:
I've never experienced anything with my 7870 yet.


Just to make sure, it's normal for the Asrock mobo I got to not send any video output to monitor if the monitor's plugged into the mobo, while nothing's plugged into the graphics card, right?

Quote:
Again I'll say never to rely on stores for product information. 99% of the time the reviews are either baseless or based on fanboyism. That said that PSU is a good choice and it's a good deal. Here's a far more in depth review of it: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
[/quotemsg]

Yeah, I was referring to the review by Hardware Secrets, not regular user/customer reviews, lolz. Since Hardware Secrets does intensive PSU reviews with multimeters, etc., I thought they're very reliable.

Thanks again!
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