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Help on New Gaming PC

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August 10, 2012 9:25:46 PM

Hi All,

I am planning to get a custom build gaming PC within the next 4 weeks. It's the 1st time not getting a "stock model" so I would like to get some feedback if it all makes sense. Most advise is needed in sound / screen area .... i think.

Thanks for any help!!

I am in Sydney, Australia. Planning to buy from mwave.com.au, have them assemble the machine for me and pick up from their store. Budget is somewhat flexible below/ around 2.5k AUD. Look for solid performance, but not latest / greatest.

Mainly used for gaming (80%), rest is browsing, excel/ word, basic photo editing, watching a movie or two. I don't play competitively, meaning i do NOT look to go find a minuscule advantage over other players when discussing things like screen size, refresh rate, directional sound etc. It all about the immersion / "artistic" experience.

In case it does matter, I played games like Assassin's Creed, Batman AC, ME2&3 (ME3 MultiPlayer), Fallout NV, Dragon Age Origins (DA2 big letdown), DX:HR, JC2, Guildwars. Looking forward to BL2 and GW2.

Current PC is 3 yrs old and starts to show its age. It's a dell 435MT and seems very difficult to upgrade. Low power PSU, no space for 2x slot GPU etc

Not planning to overclock atm
Not planning on SLI/x-fire atm
Should be reasonable quite system.
Ok with current keyboard / mouse


Case
Fractal Design Define R3 USB 3.0 Mid Tower Case
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-16011512-Fractal_Design_Def...

R4 model is scheduled to be avail in Sept, so might get that then.


CPU
Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core 3rd Gen Processor - Socket LGA1155 - 3.4GHz
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-19010246-Intel_Core_i5_3570...


CPU cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-18020624-Cooler_Master_Hype...

Any additional cooling required for in this system??


MoBo
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-28023703-ASUS_P8Z77_V_PRO_M...


RAM
Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit - DIMM 240-pin - DDR3 1600MHz / PC3-12800 - Latency 9-9-9-24 ( CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)
http://www.mwave.com.au/listCombo.asp?CartID=mAU@8LCEVN...

Does the BIOS need to be changed when using 1600 MHz on the above MoBo??


GPU
ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-42051162-ASUS_GeForce_GTX_6...

I used ati in the past. However, i liked some of the PhysX demos I saw.


PSU
Corsair TX-750M 750W Enthusiast Series Modular
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-34040777-Corsair_TX-750M_75...

enough power for system? good brand?


SSD
never used 1 before, seems to be standard today. This is where Windows OS goes??
Is this a good model?
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22140637-OCZ_Vertex_4_2_5_q...


HD
Western Digital WD Blue 3.5" 1TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 7200RPM
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22040495-Western_Digital_WD...



Sound
Now it gets tricky. would say currently I use 70% speaker 30% headset (all crap). 1st thing I did when reading up was re-positioning my stereo speakers. I have a AD700 headset on order. Besides that I am open to suggestions. I currently tend to Asus Xonor DX
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-40110012-ASUS_Xonar_DX_PCIe...

This headset / card combo gets positive feedback, but I see all sorts of preferences / comments:
x-fi better for gaming, horrible drivers; DH> CMSS, CMSS<DH, front jack no good, dont slot soundcard next to GPU, ...

Enough space on MoBo / Case to run this PCIe card with the 2x slot GPU??

Speakers: no idea. I have a separate room for my PC, but I am horrible with cabling so installing a 5.1 surround mounted on walls / ceiling is not an option. Any suggestions / options?



Screen
Undecided here. currently have a 2screen set-up. 3yr old 23in dell running 1920x1080 as main and an older screen running at 1280x1024. Would like to keep a 2 screen set-up for the non-gaming work. also will keep the 23in for that.

so 1 new screen. 24 to max 27in
found the below, but unsure if it's worth it. reviews are good, but i also hear opinions 120hz are not noticeable .... only noticeable when running +90fps ... not worth it.

BenQ XL2420T 24" 3D Full HD Widescreen LED Backlight
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-27140222-BenQ_XL2420T_24%22...

Other ideas / suggestions / comments?


CD/DVD
basic low cost nurner.
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-17040390-Samsung_SH_222BB_B...

Blue Ray worth it? needed?

More about : gaming

August 10, 2012 10:37:27 PM

Quote:
CPU cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-18020624-Cooler_Master_Hype...

Any additional cooling required for in this system??


The 212 Evo is a great cooler.

Quote:
RAM
Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit - DIMM 240-pin - DDR3 1600MHz / PC3-12800 - Latency 9-9-9-24 ( CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)
http://www.mwave.com.au/listCombo.asp?CartID=mAU@8LCEVN...

Does the BIOS need to be changed when using 1600 MHz on the above MoBo??


The mobo should automatically detect and apply the correct XMP profile. Though some folks have to manually go into the BIOS to activate the XMP profile (which is easy).


Quote:
PSU
Corsair TX-750M 750W Enthusiast Series Modular
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-34040777-Corsair_TX-750M_75...

enough power for system? good brand?


This PSU has plenty of power for your current system and is quiet. Corsair has excellent build quality.


Quote:
SSD
never used 1 before, seems to be standard today. This is where Windows OS goes??
Is this a good model?
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22140637-OCZ_Vertex_4_2_5_q...


Yes, the OS will be installed here. As for this particular model, I'm not familiar with it's reliability. OCZ used to have major reliability issues with SandForce controllers but I haven't heard much about the Indilix controller. My favorite drive at the moment is the Samsung 830 due to it's reliability.

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a b 4 Gaming
August 10, 2012 11:03:33 PM

Some alternatives to look at.


http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-28023710-ASRock_Z77_Extreme... $145.00 inc. GST
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard


http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-42051160-Gigabyte_GeForce_G... $469.00 inc. GST
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked Video Card


http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22140628-Kingston_SSDNow_V+...(SSD)_SATA_III_(SVP200S3 $99.00 inc. GST
Kingston SSDNow V+200 2.5" 120GB Solid State Drive (SSD) - SATA III (SVP200S3/120G)

or...

http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22140690-Samsung_830_Series...(SSD)_SATA_III_520MB_s_Read $119.00 inc. GST
Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) - SATA III - 520MB/s Read & 320MB/s Write - 2xnm Toggle DDR NAND - 3-Core ARMv9 MCX Controller (MZ-7PC128B)
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August 11, 2012 1:48:19 AM

Thanks, I will look at these options. Anyone on the sound / screen?
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August 11, 2012 4:15:30 AM

Quote:
BenQ XL2420T 24" 3D Full HD Widescreen LED Backlight
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-27140222-BenQ_XL2420T_24%22...


I hear good things about this monitor. I have a 120Hz display and cannot imagine going back to 60Hz again. Everything just seems smoother and more natural and I'm not talking just about 3D games; even dragging windows around on the desktop is better. I highly recommend 120Hz monitors. Since you are buying a nvidia gpu this monitor is also compatible with the latest nvidia 3d vision technology.

Can't really help you on sound though, onboard audio is good enough for me. I'm definitely not an audiophile.
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August 11, 2012 8:37:58 PM

Thanks.

After some more research I

- changed the SSD to Intel 520 Series 120GB (SSD). the OCZ models seemed to have some serious issues in the past
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-22140607-Intel_520_Series_1..."_SATA_III_6Gb_s_25nm_MLC

- I changed the gpu to the suggestion above. seems to be similar in in quality / performance and saves 40 AUD
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-420511 [...] PU_Clocks_ $469.00 inc. GST
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked Video Card

- I looked at the suggested mobo option ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard. seems to be great value / feature. however I think I stay with the almost 100AUD more expensive ASUS P8Z77-V PRO for now. quality of these seems to be excellent.


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a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2012 8:57:40 PM

I would get 120Hz, but I am already set on IPS monitors. :p 
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Best solution

August 12, 2012 5:46:15 AM

That list is looking great, and I agree with your changes. I have that SSD... and have put them in many systems. SSD prices are moving around all over the place and there are cheaper models with similar performance eg Crucial M4 , Sandisk Extreme, Samsung 830... but if you are worried about reliability, then you can't question Intel's confidence in the product when they put a 5 year warranty on it.

I too used to feel a bit uncomfortable with AsRock VS Asus or Gigabyte etc. These days I don't really question it. They have the same warranty as Asus boards, virtually the same features and cost less. Its that simple.

You wouldn't build it yourself? You seem to know your stuff parts wise.

Have a look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...

It's an older system but the principles are the same.
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August 12, 2012 10:55:58 AM

Formata said:
You wouldn't build it yourself? You seem to know your stuff parts wise.

Have a look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...

It's an older system but the principles are the same.


Hi Formata,

thanks for the link. Nice guide. Will decide on AsRock VS Asus b4 order. Wouldn't mind saving another 100$ if quality is fine.

This time I only did the online research on the parts. I used to build a few of my PCs in the 90s. I thought about it, bc it could be fun. However I know how much time it can take if something does not work 1st try. With job & family I am more than happy to pay an additional 100$ to the mwave guys - hope they know their stuff ;-) - and get

Build / Assemble customers customised PC configuration of Motherboard, PC Case, CPU, Memory, HDD etc...
Update motherboard’s BIOS version. (If needed)
Check motherboard reading of memory capacity.
Check for normal temperature reading in BIOS settings.
Ensure motherboard is correctly reading CPU/processor in BIOS settings.
Run Memory Test, CPU Test, Hard Drive Test & Video Card Test to scan for errors in manufacturing (Burn-in / Benchmark).
Install and secure motherboard bundle inside PC case.
Install and secure power supply to connect to system.
Complete installation of optical drives in PC case. (If purchased)
Install system hard drive(s). (If purchased)
Install system video cards (If purchased)
Tie off all wiring to aid with ventilation and spacing.
Install Base Operating System (OS) - Pre-load your hard drive with base level install of the OS.
Install drivers for purchased Motherboard. (chipset, audio, LAN, and others)
Install the drivers for video card and other devices. (drivers and software)
Check the system for errors, bugs, and physical defects (CPU, graphics, and memory will be stressed looking for errors).
If a incorrect item is purchased that will not work in the system, the customer will be notified to solve the issue with either replacing the item with one that will work, or removing it from the order completely.
Test optical drive(s) for reading and writing capabilities.
Final re-inspection of fully assembled product.
Safely pack up system neatly, if needed we will include padding INSIDE system to prevent damage during transit. (if needed)
Send out system fully assembled; ready to plug in and put to use.
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August 13, 2012 8:33:54 AM

Hehe. That does look like a lot for $100 bucks.

I often wonder if they perform any overclocking on a system like your list... a system that is obviously built for OCing??? In some ways I'd be suprised if they did, but if they don't, then are they ripping off people who have paid extra for all those parts made for OCing.

It's good that they list - burn in testing for CPU, Mem, HDDs and GPU. I'd probably do your own to be double sure incase you got a lazy builder.

With your case. If you like Fractal designs. Have you seen the ARC Midi. It's a newer model from them that is a good case. Same stylish aesthetics. Not a big fan of the R3.... I've never liked the whole 'door on the front' Mini- Bar Fridge look.

http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&category=2&...
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August 13, 2012 9:38:54 AM
August 14, 2012 1:44:46 AM

Thanks for all the feedback.

what is "burn in testing for CPU, Mem, HDDs and GPU" ?


I am not planning to overclock / SLI atm (at the moment). But I would like to have the option later on. The build should be future-proof and last me a couple of years. Hoping for 5 years considering a RAM upgrade and GPU up/add.

- add an other GPU - guess another 670 will cheap in a yr or 2 ?!
- overclock
- upgrade GPU
- upgrade RAM
...

Is the PSU sufficient for a 2nd GPU - eg GTX670?
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-34040777-Corsair_TX-750M_75...


So far I am tending to the
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard and the
suggested Gigabyte Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked Video Card
http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-42051160-Gigabyte_GeForce_G...

The suggested Palit GeForce GTX 670 JETSTREAM seems to be a 3 slot card and might block required upgrade space?!

re the mobo i found the below. Is that a problem???
"Though the extreme4 is one inch less wide than normal boards, thus most of the time hanging off the mobo brackets in your case." http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/314094-30-asrock-extr...


Case:
I have chosen the R3 case purely based on reviews and I liked "noise absorbing material" and the placement of the USB ports on top of the case. I transfer quite a bit of photos via a card reader. USB3.0 should be faster than what I have now. R4 is not yet available in Australia, should arrive in September. Might wait until then ... although I am keen to order ... but ...


mWave Sydney
price wise they seem to be very reasonable - for AU standards that is. Also they answered all my email questions within hours. However hidden deep within their webpage I found the below and that's a big turn off:

Mwave Custom PC Systems will be warranty-sealed by our system builder to ensure that they are not tampered with
internally. Any breaking or tampering of the seal may void your 1 Year Return-To-Base Warranty.
http://www.mwave.com.au/system_terms.asp

and i dont think they OC anything besides the factory OC'd GPU

Modifications of the system, via hardware changes or software tweaks (OverClocking) may void your warranty. Mwave and
our manufacturer partners typically do not cover damage caused by improper use of hardware.
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August 14, 2012 1:21:37 PM

if you're gaming at 1080p an sli would b 2 much 4 that.. and the palit card is 3 slot card and wil it blockdepend on ur mb spacing..
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August 14, 2012 2:49:56 PM

750W is a good size for SLI gtx670. Going by the numbers it's more than enough for an OCed IB system with 2 x 670s... but I'd rather have it that way than running a system with the PSU close to the the wall for the sake of saving $20-$30. Just checking with the model you list there you're paying extra for modular. You can get a standard TX-750W for less if you don't care about modular.

Not entirely sure what that poster is talking about in regards to size of the AsRock Extreme4 Mobo. It's an ATX sized board and will mount to your case using the same holes all other ATX boards do. You can get the Extreme4 in a Micro ATX version. Maybe that's what they had??? Bring up a pic of the board layout and compare to Asus, Gigabyte, etc layouts and you will see the holes for mounting are all in the same place on each board.

Good call on the GPU. 3 Slotters worry me for that reason too. I have seen pictures and from looking at systems, you can see that most of the time you could fit 2 x 3 slot cards in a system, but definitely not ideal to my thinking. Bigger coolers = generally more noise... times that by 2 = lots of noise.

R3 is a popular case for sure, if your happy with it I'd go with that. Have you heard of any differences with the R4... externally it looks pretty similar hey

Regarding the MWave custom build disclaimer... I'll admit I'm quick to be cautious with retail outlet built systems, but not really for that reason. I'm pretty sure anywhere you get a system built will have some similar type of disclaimer. In some ways you can understand they have to protect their work by not honouring their 1 year build warranty if you monkey around inside a system they've built.

What you've got to remember is that all those quality parts chosen on your list have a manufacturer warranty and MWave must assist you with claiming/returning any part that is found to be faulty.

NOW... If you modify the hardware in any way (Overclocking) and something goes bad with the part. You are stuck with it. If something goes bad with an Overclocked part that had nothing to do with the fact it was overclocked... you are stuck with the part. It's the chance you take, and why smart builders Overclock carefully.

I wouldn't be put off by the disclaimer. As you put it in your earlier post, they are doing the job of building for you. Other than that I would do with it what ever you originally intended as if you had built it yourself. Overclocking or not, now or a year later it's up to you.
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August 15, 2012 12:38:32 AM

guess you are right re the sticker. if I remember correctly, the large companies like dell and acer etc stopped years ago with that. I think it was challenged in court in the EU at some time, but not sure.

Also I am confident this PC would run anything fine for the next year. So if I want to play it 100% safe I can just wait till I start "playing around" ;-)

Yes, I am also paranoid re the quality I will get. On the other hand, I am 10yrs out of the building game and most likely they will do a much better job than I would. Fingers crossed. It is quite amazing what has changed in that time. Any form of cable management and drive installation was a pain back then. Now most parts can be removed easily, bays just click in and out etc.


R3 vs R4
its all based on research and ppl who used both would obviously know more. However, I personally learnt my lesson and in most tech cases it is/ was much better to get a newer model especially if the price is similar/ same.

this is a +30min vid on the case: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/fracta...

• a three-setting fan control switch, a feature that was missing from the R3
• the drive cages are now removable. -> remove middle cage via the two screws to completely unobstruct the primary front intake fan
• a bit larger case: aller (by 22mm) and noticeably wider (by 25mmm) than the R3,
• front panel has an additional usb 3 port
• larger fans
• easier access to fans and filters
• 2 mounts for SSD drives on mobo tray … but it seems it requires the removal of the mobo when you want to get them out ...


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August 22, 2012 1:15:16 AM

Best answer selected by Solar AU.
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