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$2K Gaming Build: need advice on chosen parts please (AUSTRALIA)

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August 18, 2012 9:37:32 AM

Hello! First time poster, part time lurker here, beginning my first build :D  Finally tired of gaming on my laptop and driven by jealousy of others builds that I have seen so far ;) 

I've come up with a $2000AUD budget (but could be persuaded to increase a few hundred if it's worth it) and only really want a gaming-focused rig. All else can take a back seat.

It needs to be taken into account that I live in the South West of Australia, a few hours away from Perth. I don't know of any parts stores anywhere near me sadly.

Parts chosen are as follows:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - $99

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard - $155

LG CH12LS28 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive - $55

Corsair CMT8GX3M2A1866C9 8GB (2x4GB) Dominator GT - $99 !CHANGED; SEE BELOW!

MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning 2GB - $699 !CHANGED; SEE BELOW!

OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD - $119

Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST1000DM003 - $89

Corsair AX650 Gold Power Supply - $185 !CHANGED; SEE BELOW!

CoolerMaster TPC 812 CPU Cooler - $75

Intel Core i5 3570K - $235

Fractal Design Arc Mid Tower - $119

ASUS Xonar DG - $32

TOTAL BUILD COST (excluding shipping): $1961
preferred site: http://www.pccasegear.com


I want to play with at least 1920x1080 res, with at least a few years future-proof. I DO plan to use SLI with another 680 later down the track, and also will be over clocking. I don't plan to go with SLI at least until a year after purchase of this system.

My questions are as follows:

1. Will the PSU be powerfull enough to support two 680s or should I just get a cheaper one now, then beef up with a new one when I progress down that pathway?

2. I'm not sure at all about my RAM choice. Is it compatible with my chosen MoBo? Will the heat fins interfere with the GPU/s? Is there a better choice for my system?

3. Any other compatibility issues anyone can see?

4. Should I opt for water cooling straight up? I have heard many people say that Ivy Bridge CPUs are hot little cookies :p  The reviews on my cooler suggest it is as good as a cheap-end water cooler, but I'd prefer the collective knowledge of people on here.

5. ...and finally, what do you think of the build or what changes would you make? Keep in mind I'm only going to use Intel and NVidia. If there's something I can skimp on to improve other areas, let me know of your ideas!


Thanks in advance :D 


EDIT: Revised price dropped to $1649

-Changed GPU to Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked 2GB - $469
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

-Changed RAM to Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB - $59
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

-Changed PSU to Corsair TX-750 V2 Power Supply - $143
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Best solution

August 18, 2012 9:56:48 AM

Change the cooler to this for better performance:
Nocture NH D14
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Definitely change the memory to something cheaper and low profile to avoid intefering with heatsink
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600 Mhz CAS 9 1.5V low profile
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

You need at least 750W PSU for SLI GTX 680
Corsair TX V2 750W Bronze (Non Modular)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

or

OCZ ZX 850W Gold Modular PSU
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Lastly, for video card, while that MSI Lightning GTX 680 is the current "king" of single GPU card, but I don't think its worth the extra premium over the other preoverclocked GTX 680 or GTX 670 for that matter. Since you intend to SLI, why not get the preoverclocked GTX 670 like this Gigabyte Windforce 3 one for a lot less money and SLI them later on Keep in mind that preoverclocked GTX 670 with custom cooler like the Gigabyte Windforce 3 can overclock higher than the normal GTX 680 and the performance difference is only couple fps, which is not noticable by your naked eyes anyway. If for some reason the games that you play is so graphical demanding that the oced preoverclocked GTX 670 can't handle smoothly, I bet that the overclocked GTX 680 with a couple fps advantage can fair any better.

Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3 Preoverclocked:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

If you must have a GTX 680, then get the Gigabyte GTX 680 Windforce 3 preoverclocked here and save 70 dollars
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...




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August 18, 2012 10:10:00 AM

Thanks for the suggestions :D 

I'll switch up to that cooler and RAM. So is it a no-go on the water cooler? Is it simply not worth it for this build?

If 750 is the min for a single GTX 680, what PSU would I need to run 2? Or perhaps following your GPU advice, what would it take for two 670s?
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August 18, 2012 10:14:02 AM

visceral_vision said:
Thanks for the suggestions :D 

I'll switch up to that cooler and RAM. So is it a no-go on the water cooler? Is it simply not worth it for this build?

If 750 is the min for a single GTX 680, what PSU would I need to run 2? Or perhaps following your GPU advice, what would it take for two 670s?


750W is for dual GTX 680. Since you plan on SLI in the future, get a good quality 750W or higher now instead of buying a cheap one and buy another 750W in the future which costs you more.

Regarding watercooler, its not worth it at this level since it will be ultra expensive if you watercool the entire rig (CPU + 2 GPU). Watercooling the CPU alone at this budget is not worth it because it would yield marginal improvement over that Nocture NH D14. In order to get a substantial improvement in temperature, you would need to invest in a real watercooling gear which again costs a lot of money and go over your budget.
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August 18, 2012 10:20:13 AM

Will do.

With that I will make the switch down to the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked 2GB.

I think my ego was the driving force behind my choice of the 680. That, and my lack of knowledge on its real world performance.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 18, 2012 10:25:33 AM

jacknhut said:
Change the cooler to this for better performance:
Nocture NH D14
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Definitely change the memory to something cheaper and low profile to avoid intefering with heatsink
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600 Mhz CAS 9 1.5V low profile
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

You need at least 750W PSU for SLI GTX 680
Corsair TX V2 750W Bronze (Non Modular)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

or

OCZ ZX 850W Gold Modular PSU
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Lastly, for video card, while that MSI Lightning GTX 680 is the current "king" of single GPU card, but I don't think its worth the extra premium over the other preoverclocked GTX 680 or GTX 670 for that matter. Since you intend to SLI, why not get the preoverclocked GTX 670 like this Gigabyte Windforce 3 one for a lot less money and SLI them later on Keep in mind that preoverclocked GTX 670 with custom cooler like the Gigabyte Windforce 3 can overclock higher than the normal GTX 680 and the performance difference is only couple fps, which is not noticable by your naked eyes anyway. If for some reason the games that you play is so graphical demanding that the oced preoverclocked GTX 670 can't handle smoothly, I bet that the overclocked GTX 680 with a couple fps advantage can fair any better.

Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3 Preoverclocked:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

If you must have a GTX 680, then get the Gigabyte GTX 680 Windforce 3 preoverclocked here and save 70 dollars
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Agree with all the above suggestions other than the cpu cooler recommendation.

The review down below is of that CM cooler in the OP. It goes head to head with that Noctua and for cheaper. That review down below was done with a single fan configuration with the option to add another fan for a push - pull effect.

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=265... <----- review of that CM cpu h/s @ Frosty Tech

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm <----- that same CM cpu h/s on Frosty Tech's Top 5 list
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August 18, 2012 10:33:31 AM

visceral_vision said:
Will do.

With that I will make the switch down to the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Overclocked 2GB.

I think my ego was the driving force behind my choice of the 680. That, and my lack of knowledge on its real world performance.


The MSI Lightning GTX 680 advantage is that it is voltage unlocked, and that in order to break away from the other preoverclocked GTX 680, you would need to manually increase the voltage higher than recommended by Nvidia (which is currently capped at 1.175V). This may offer some addtional headroom for overclocking, but it also poses a risk to the GPU due to overvoltage and GPU degradation overtime.

At the moment, Nvidia put a hard cap to all of it's partner not to go over 1.175V for the GPU. Their reason behind this is unknown. Some speculate that it is for Nvidiato enforce the difference price level between tiers (GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670 and GTX 680) and some other speculation is that Nvidia detect higher failure rate at voltage higher than 1.175V and thus cap the voltage at that threshold. With that being said, the extra headroom to overclock the GPU may give you additional 50-100 Mhz max, and that will yield another 5-10% increase in fps, is that worth the extra price premium and risk of GPU overvoltage? Probably not.
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August 18, 2012 12:51:20 PM

Best answer selected by visceral_vision.
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