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New CPU, GPU, RAM and Mobo for a cold and quiet budget gaming PC

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August 22, 2012 6:17:00 PM

Approximate Purchase Date:

Next week or two

Budget Range:

$500CAD maximum after HST in-store purchase

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

Playing video games, watching movies, surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor:

No. I have a 22" @ 1680x1050 LCD

Parts to Upgrade:

CPU, GPU, RAM, Motherboard. I have the 600W eXtreme Plus PSU by Cooler Master.

Do you need to buy OS:

No.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

CanadaComputers is the website, but I will be buying everything in-person from the store. Also, even if you can't find a particular part on their website they might have it in stock in the store.

Location:

Toronto, Canada.

The only two stores I can buy from are North York and/or Toronto Downtown locations.


Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to upgrade to Intel CPU)

I would like to upgrade my Intel CPU.
I would like to upgrade from NVIDIA to ATI/AMD Radeon
I would like to upgrade from 2GB DDR2 to 4GB DDR3 RAM
I would like to upgrade to a new 1155 motherboard.

Overclocking:

NO

SLI or Crossfire:

NO

Your Monitor Resolution:

I have 1680x1050. That's more than enough for me.

Additional Comments:

Short:

I want to upgrade to a budget gaming PC without any fancy USB 3.0/PCI 3.0, Crossfire/SLI, and as least amount of fans as possible. The only parts I need to upgrade are CPU, GPU, RAM and motherboard. I have the rest.

Long:

I want to upgrade from:

Intel Core 2 Duo @2.66GHz
NVIDIA 8800GT OC 512MB
2GB DDR2 sub-800MHz RAM
EVGA nForce 780i 3-SLI motherboard

... to something more powerful under a budget of $500CAD maximum.

I would like to have a quiet PC. I will be playing Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2, and Grand Theft Auto V mostly.
I would like to be able to play these games on High(doesn't have to be Ultra) settings with minimum of 30FPS @ 1680x1050.

I'm not an enthusiast. I don't overclock at all. I don't use SLI/Crossfire. All I would like is a budget gaming PC upgrade that would stay cool and quiet under load. I would like to avoid getting any OC editions of anything, since that would just up the heat and lessen the lifespan of my parts.

Problem with my current build is that it's too hot yet too outdated.

Most of my parts stay around 38C on idle, but my motherboard and video card are big exceptions.

My motherboard has a very hot northrbridge/southbridge(which it seems to be know for very well). It came with a little 60mm fan(annoyingly loud) that needs to be mounted on top of the northbridge's/southbridge's heatsink. Besides that, my motherboard has a triple SLI PCI-Ex16 2.0 slots. I never SLI or Crossfire, but for some reason I had to listen to that guy in the store that worked for commission(TigerDirect). Never again...

My video card is also very hot. Staying at 70C idle it is the hottest part in my computer(unless I up the GPU's fan to around 25%, then the temp will drop to around 63-65C but it starts to get loud). I pretty much pray whenever I play any game post-2005 on medium for it not to crash(suddenly my monitor will have random bright colors jumping around, game textures mess up, and then the freeze comes), but it does after various amounts of time. The motherboard fan also blows all of its hot air right into the back of my video card therefore helping with the overheating.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:

To end up with a budget gaming PC whose:

CPU will be good enough to play the above games on High at the said resolution with minimum of 30FPS.
GPU that will stay reasonable quiet and cool under load, and won't have a little 60mm fan or 3 huge fans to cool it.
RAM that will simply do the job. 1333MHz is plenty enough.
Simple motherboard that won't have overheating/hot parts(like northbridge/southbridge), no fans at all of any kind on it, as little and small heatsinks as possible, and no SLI/Crossfire or 6 slots of RAM. I feel indifferent for the new gen stuff such as USB3.0, PCI-Ex16 3.0, Haswell and etc. USB2.0, PCI-Ex16 2.0 and Sandy/Ivy bridge are good enough AFAIK.
a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 6:28:03 PM

if you need some more advice, you can walk into a ncix store yourself. the technicians are pretty helpful.

there is a ncix store at midland and finch i think. there is also one at 14th ave but thats a showroom/warehouse.

you can probably keep your psu.
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 6:28:04 PM

dude, ever heard of NCIX? they have good prices, excellent customer service, and can build your system for 50 bucks

your fans are supposed to be above 25% under loads. thats normal

here you go. according to a reviewer, the 7770 doesnt go above 55c in his test
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/flMM
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Related resources
a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 6:31:00 PM

final thing is that tonight, ncix has a sale so you might want to check out the deals.
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August 22, 2012 6:32:47 PM

TheBigTroll said:
final thing is that tonight, ncix has a sale so you might want to check out the deals.

NCIX is not an option since all of their stores are too far away for me.
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August 22, 2012 6:38:17 PM


Quote:
here you go. according to a reviewer, the 7770 doesnt go above 55c in his test


But, does it stay quiet under load?
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August 22, 2012 6:41:53 PM

How high of a load are we talking about?
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August 22, 2012 6:44:29 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750...

Some power usage benchmarks. The lower the power usage, the less the fans have to work to keep it cool, the quieter the card.

If you want a quiet card, get one with a large heatsink and no fan (generally billed as "Silent"), or one with several large fans. (The Sapphire 7770 Vapor-X dual fan solution would work well in this case. ) The small fans tend to sound not unlike small jets on takeoff. Alternatively, install a water cooling system or aftermarket air cooling block.

The case is more important than anything in noise suppression. I personally have the Fractal Designs R3. It has noise suppression material on all the side panels as well as direction vents to dampen the noise for the user. Even with a 4870, gaming on high, generally the only thing I hear is my PSU fan spinning.

Whenever possible go for larger fans. They move more air more efficiently than small ones. A large fan spinning slower and quietly will move more air than a small fan running full tilt.

I would seriously reconsider your stance on NCIX being "too far" They were my preferred parts dealer when I lived in Canada. Order online if you have to. They have fantastic deals and great service IMO.

An overkill copper CPU heatsink with a 120mm fan would substantially cut down on noise over the jet engine that comes boxed with standard Intel cores.


All in all, i'd reccomend

Intel 2120 i3 CPU
Dual fan 7770 GPU (Your choice of brand, avoid Visiontek and Diamond IMO, but it's all the same card with a fancy heatsink and different warranty)
1155 Asus MOBO
8GB kit of ram from a reputable manufacturer (G.SKILL comes to mind)
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August 22, 2012 6:45:00 PM

azeem40 said:
How high of a load are we talking about?

Above games at 1680x1050 on High with minimum 30FPS.
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 6:46:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvMDEYsqiu4

look at the video. the price is wrong though since it was a long time ago and that hes from the states

if you cant get things picked up at ncix, you could just get them to deliver it to your house. once in a while, they have a item that lets you have free shipping for the entire order. check tonights sale to find them
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August 22, 2012 6:47:14 PM

internetlad said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750...

Some power usage benchmarks. The lower the power usage, the less the fans have to work to keep it cool, the quieter the card.

If you want a quiet card, get one with a large heatsink and no fan (generally billed as "Silent"), or one with several large fans. (The Sapphire 7770 Vapor-X dual fan solution would work well in this case. ) The small fans tend to sound not unlike small jets on takeoff. Alternatively, install a water cooling system or aftermarket air cooling block.

The case is more important than anything in noise suppression. I personally have the Fractal Designs R3. It has noise suppression material on all the side panels as well as direction vents to dampen the noise for the user. Even with a 4870, gaming on high, generally the only thing I hear is my PSU fan spinning.

Whenever possible go for larger fans. They move more air more efficiently than small ones. A large fan spinning slower and quietly will move more air than a small fan running full tilt.

I would seriously reconsider your stance on NCIX being "too far" They were my preferred parts dealer when I lived in Canada. Order online if you have to. They have fantastic deals and great service IMO.


Then this build it is?

Also, I consider water-cooling being an enthusiast thing.
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August 22, 2012 6:52:03 PM

TheBigTroll said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvMDEYsqiu4

look at the video. the price is wrong though since it was a long time ago and that hes from the states

if you cant get things picked up at ncix, you could just get them to deliver it to your house. once in a while, they have a item that lets you have free shipping for the entire order. check tonights sale to find them


I don't know man. I'm for 7770 as long as it will handle the games I mentioned at the said resolution with said framerate on said settings. But the XFX is Super Overclocked edition, which worries my, since I have an OC card and look how bad it turned out to be at keeping it quiet and cool.

Quote:
they have a item that lets you have free shipping for the entire order

You mean, if one of the items I order online has a free shipping then the free shipping applies to any other items I have ordered with it?
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August 22, 2012 6:54:16 PM

Board and chip - 220

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73581&vpn=i3%202120%2...

7770 Dual Fan from XFX- 130 before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=68526&vpn=FX777AZDF4&...


Mushkin RAM, 43 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=55544&vpn=996770&manu...

There's your whole kit from NCIX for about 400 bucks. with 50 in rebates. Use the excess on a good heatsink and case, or an SSD (no noise, less power and better performance.

Options i'd reccomend.


Antec sonata noise dampening case -95 bucks
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=35968&vpn=SONATA%20EL...


Zalman copper heatsink with large fan -40 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=54274&vpn=CNPS9500A%2...

128 GB Crucial M4- 110 bucks

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60445&vpn=CT128M4SSD2...

Pick and choose from those for your quiet, fast machine! Have fun!

This is just a quick compilation, you can save a bit by choosing Open box, factoring in rebates, or possibly combining parts.
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August 22, 2012 6:58:45 PM

Hard_81 said:
I have an OC card and look how bad it turned out to be at keeping it quiet and cool.


It's less about the card and all about the heatsink, power efficiency and the load.

If you're running an ATI power hog with a reference heatsink, it will be loud as all get out, but the 7770 sips power, not chugs. Combine that with a good heatsink (either aftermarket that you put on, or just non-reference) and it will be cool and quiet.

EDIT: LOL Just read that you have an 8800 GT overclocked. Although NVIDIA cards have better (reference) heatsinks, I guarantee you will be able to do more with a 7770 while generating less heat.

http://www.hwcompare.com/12009/geforce-8800-gts-g92-vs-...

According to HWCompare, the 7770 uses 80 watts under load, the 8800 uses 135. Big difference.
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August 22, 2012 7:01:20 PM

internetlad said:
Board and chip - 220

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73581&vpn=i3%202120%2...

7770 Dual Fan from XFX- 130 before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=68526&vpn=FX777AZDF4&...


Mushkin RAM, 43 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=55544&vpn=996770&manu...

There's your whole kit from NCIX for about 400 bucks. with 50 in rebates. Use the excess on a good heatsink and case, or an SSD (no noise, less power and better performance.

Options i'd reccomend.


Antec sonata noise dampening case -95 bucks
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=35968&vpn=SONATA%20EL...


Zalman copper heatsink with large fan -40 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=54274&vpn=CNPS9500A%2...

128 GB Crucial M4- 110 bucks

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60445&vpn=CT128M4SSD2...

Pick and choose from those for your quiet, fast machine! Have fun!



Looks pretty good. Is the motherboard decent though? No trouble with it?

As for the case and SSD I already have the parts.

Will this build be what I want with stock cooling only and no overclocking? I only have two 900RPM 120mm case fans, will that be enough?
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August 22, 2012 7:04:54 PM

Hard_81 said:
Looks pretty good. Is the motherboard decent though? No trouble with it?


We use the same board at my place of work for mid-level builds. It's an ivy bridge chipset board, and good for price/performance. Admittedly i'm not crazy about the gigabyte brand, but this board is a solid performer.

Allay your fears by checking reviews from Newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4/5 eggs from 8 reviewers.

EDIT: In response to your edit. If you're running only an SSD, and the parts listed, 2 fans, set up in a push/pull configuration should be PLENTY even under load. Have one fan on the front pulling in, one on the back exhausting and the Zalman CPU cooler in the middle pulling air from front to back (forego side panel, top panel cooling if you have it) to get maximum airflow. Bonus points if your PSU draws air from the bottom of the case and exhausts straight out the back.

If you set up the fan control in the bios/GPU software to scale properly, you can easily maintain a whisper-quiet machine that should be able to amply handle most any game thrown at it with reasonable settings. (You might not max Crysis Ultra with 60FPS, but the 7770 should perform substantially better than your 8800.)
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August 22, 2012 7:08:45 PM

internetlad said:
We use the same board at my place of work for mid-level builds. It's an ivy bridge chipset board, and good for price/performance. Admittedly i'm not crazy about the gigabyte brand, but this board is a solid performer.

Allay your fears by checking reviews from Newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4/5 eggs from 8 reviewers.


I notice it has PCI-E 2.0 running at x4. Wouldn't that cut my performance alot compared to x16 2.0 slot?
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August 22, 2012 7:10:10 PM

Hard_81 said:
I notice it has PCI-E 2.0 running at x4. Wouldn't that cut my performance alot compared to x16 2.0 slot?


Where did you see that? it's a B75 board, and on NCIX's site it's listed as running PCI 3.0 on the x16 slot.

EDIT: Ah, the bottom slot is slower. We're not crossfiring so it's a moot point.
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August 22, 2012 7:14:30 PM

Quote:
EDIT: In response to your edit. If you're running only an SSD, and the parts listed, 2 fans, set up in a push/pull configuration should be PLENTY even under load. Have one fan on the front pulling in, one on the back exhausting and the Zalman CPU cooler in the middle pulling air from front to back (forego side panel, top panel cooling if you have it) to get maximum airflow. Bonus points if your PSU draws air from the bottom of the case and exhausts straight out the back.


No, I have an HDD. I don't really want to deal with SSD. I can cope with HDD noise since mine is silent.
As for the fans: I have em setup one on the sidepanel(intake) and one in the rear(exhaust). Also my PSU seems to blow air from outside into my case, so seems like it acts as an intake fan. Nothing on the front panel though. Think I should be alright?

Also, could I do without the Zalman cooler? I've always used stock collers and am fine with their noise levels and performance given I don't overclock.

EDIT:


Quote:
Where did you see that? it's a B75 board, and on NCIX's site it's listed as running PCI 3.0 on the x16 slot.

EDIT: Ah, the bottom slot is slower. We're not crossfiring so it's a moot point.


So, are you saying that the 3.0 slots will act as 2.0 slot @ x16?

EDIT2:

Seems like the video card seems to have some driver crashes. Has it been fixed by now? Also, will it be easy to clean the card?

EDIT3:


Seems like my CPU is Sandy Bridge therefore it won't work with PCI-E 3.0x16.
Will this affect the video card's performance? Or am I just confused and wrong?
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August 22, 2012 7:38:15 PM

Hard_81 said:
So, are you saying that the 3.0 slots will act as 2.0 slot @ x16?


The top slot is 3.0 x16, the bottom slot is 2.0 x16, but apparently on a x4 bus instead of a true x16 bus.

If you crossfired, then yes both cards would scale down to the lower speed and be running x4. Since we're not you should get the full speed of the top slot.

As far as the SSD, I Highly suggest you reconsider. There are so many benifits to an SSD in your build. Programs load faster, everything is more responsive, windows starts and shuts down faster. Games start and levels load faster. Everything is butter smooth. Since it has no moving parts, it makes no noise itself and generates less heat, meaning the fans don't have to compensate for the excess heat, and the other parts will be cooler as well. Yes, you have to cope with the downsides of reduced storage space (Not really an issue here you could put your old hard drive in as a cold storage drive and then just grab pics/music off of it.) and the costs are higher but they are coming down substantially.

It would be a real shame to be running modern hardware like a midrange i3 and 8GB RAM and then plop in an old WD Caviar Blue and call it a day. If you don't have the money now, start socking it away. I bought an Agility III about a year ago when they were more than twice as expensive as they are now, and I still think it was worth every penny. Let me tell you, there is a huge difference.

As far as the Zalman cooler, there are 3 main benefits in my mind of using an aftermarket (this unit specifically) cooler.

1. Since it has a bigger fan on copper heatfins, the fan can run slower and still dissipate more heat. This not only improves cooling, but improves the life of the fan itself since it doesn't have to work as hard.

2. The intel boxed cooler blows air from the side onto the chip, meaning that the stream of airflow is disrupted from front to back as the air will flow out in all directions. The zalman cooler will keep that flow of air from front to back, and actually improve the flow, enchancing cooling.

3. The zalman coolers use higher quality fans that should run quieter even at the same load, lowering noise.


TL;DR: No, you don't need an SSD or a aftermarket heatsink, but then again, you don't REALLY need to to any of the upgrades that you're looking to do. If we're on a cash crunch I can understand if you put off or forego the SSD, but for the extra 40 (30 after rebate) bucks, that zalman cooler is a steal. It does exactly what you want, lowering noise and improving cooling for a low cost.
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August 22, 2012 7:45:12 PM

In response to your concerns.

1. I remember reading an article a few weeks back about the real difference between PCI 2 and 3. and it was totally nominal. 2 or 3 FPS tops. I wouldn't worry about it. The alternative is springing for an Ivy Bridge i5 core. Not a bad idea, but extra expense.

2. As with most releases, the 7K series had driver issues around release. This has been long dealt with. If you have concerns, google "7770 driver issues" or something similar. Just bear in mind that no card will have 100 percent perfect drivers. I have not heard, in recent months, of any inherent 7K driver issues

3. The fact that your PSU would be drawing in from the back and exhausting into the case makes no sense. I would double check that. PC cooling is always done front to back. It should be drawing air from the fan on the inside/bottom of the PSU and exhausting out of the back. If you could post the model of your PSU i could double check this, but I have never seen a PSU that did not follow the front to back principle.
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August 22, 2012 7:46:18 PM

internetlad said:
The top slot is 3.0 x16, the bottom slot is 2.0 x16, but apparently on a x4 bus instead of a true x16 bus.

If you crossfired, then yes both cards would scale down to the lower speed and be running x4. Since we're not you should get the full speed of the top slot.

As far as the SSD, I Highly suggest you reconsider. There are so many benifits to an SSD in your build. Programs load faster, everything is more responsive, windows starts and shuts down faster. Games start and levels load faster. Everything is butter smooth. Since it has no moving parts, it makes no noise itself and generates less heat, meaning the fans don't have to compensate for the excess heat, and the other parts will be cooler as well. Yes, you have to cope with the downsides of reduced storage space (Not really an issue here you could put your old hard drive in as a cold storage drive and then just grab pics/music off of it.) and the costs are higher but they are coming down substantially.

It would be a real shame to be running modern hardware like a midrange i3 and 8GB RAM and then plop in an old WD Caviar Blue and call it a day. If you don't have the money now, start socking it away. I bought an Agility III about a year ago when they were more than twice as expensive as they are now, and I still think it was worth every penny. Let me tell you, there is a huge difference.

As far as the Zalman cooler, there are 3 main benefits in my mind of using an aftermarket (this unit specifically) cooler.

1. Since it has a bigger fan on copper heatfins, the fan can run slower and still dissipate more heat. This not only improves cooling, but improves the life of the fan itself since it doesn't have to work as hard.

2. The intel boxed cooler blows air from the side onto the chip, meaning that the stream of airflow is disrupted from front to back as the air will flow out in all directions. The zalman cooler will keep that flow of air from front to back, and actually improve the flow, enchancing cooling.

3. The zalman coolers use higher quality fans that should run quieter even at the same load, lowering noise.


TL;DR: No, you don't need an SSD or a aftermarket heatsink, but then again, you don't REALLY need to to any of the upgrades that you're looking to do. If we're on a cash crunch I can understand if you put off or forego the SSD, but for the extra 40 (30 after rebate) bucks, that zalman cooler is a steal. It does exactly what you want, lowering noise and improving cooling for a low cost.


Alright, that seems to make sense. Although I don't particularly care for having to wait a couple of seconds longer to load a level in a game. Programs are responsive enough for me with my Core 2 Duo. There are a couple of other things, but I would like to stray away from SSD for the time being.

As for the Zalman, I might pick it up too. But my Motherboard and CPU are 1155 socket type yet the Zalman doesn't have it listed as one of the supported sockets.

EDIT:

Quote:
If you could post the model of your PSU i could double check this, but I have never seen a PSU that did not follow the front to back principle.


I have the model and link to its website listedn in my original post. It's Cooler Master 600w eXtreme Power Plus.
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 7:55:08 PM

you could get a hyper 212 evo instead of the zalman. they are pretty universal and is easy to install. just that its hard to fit in along with the hst and all that
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August 22, 2012 8:06:30 PM

TheBigTroll said:
you could get a hyper 212 evo instead of the zalman. they are pretty universal and is easy to install. just that its hard to fit in along with the hst and all that


Well, it's not about that. If Zalman fits 1155 then I have no problem with getting it too. Though I do hear everyone using Hyper, but they probably overclock.

While on the topic, it seems that GTA IV suffered from poor optimization issues and recommend to have at least 4 core CPU.
Since I still seem to stay within the budget(might be a little over the top), I'm thinking of getting an i5 3450 Ivy. What do you think? Will it work with the suggested motherboard?
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 8:10:23 PM

if you are getting a ivy bridge i5 3450, you will be spending 100 dollars more since the h61 boards arent good for it and that the i5 3450 just costs more. you should have went to the canada computer tech fair. they were selling them for 129.99.

the i3 2120 is more than enough to power through games
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 8:14:30 PM

the cooler is built for overclocking but that doesnt mean you cant use it on a chip that cant overclock. it just means that the cooler cools the cpu better and quieter than the stock fan
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August 22, 2012 8:14:42 PM

So, what about you, TheBigTroll?
You think that my PSU acting as an intake is weird/wrong? Should PSU fans blow air outside the case?
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August 22, 2012 8:15:06 PM

TheBigTroll said:
if you are getting a ivy bridge i5 3450, you will be spending 100 dollars more since the h61 boards arent good for it and that the i5 3450 just costs more. you should have went to the canada computer tech fair. they were selling them for 129.99.

the i3 2120 is more than enough to power through games


Alright. Totally agree on that.


EDIT:
Quote:
the h61 boards arent good for it

So I will be stuck with a motherboard that isn't good for quad cores or ivy bridge or both?
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 8:19:35 PM

the psu fan should usually be placed fan down so that the psu doesnt interfere with the overall airflow of the case. the psu should have its own dedicated vent at the bottom of the case so it could draw air in from the bottom and eject it out at the back


in the case of the fractal core 1000, the psu is top mounted but you should still install the psu with the fan down so that the case can use that fan as exhaust for the system heat
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August 22, 2012 8:25:58 PM

TheBigTroll said:
the psu fan should usually be placed fan down so that the psu doesnt interfere with the overall airflow of the case. the psu should have its own dedicated vent at the bottom of the case so it could draw air in from the bottom and eject it out at the back


in the case of the fractal core 1000, the psu is top mounted but you should still install the psu with the fan down so that the case can use that fan as exhaust for the system heat



Mmm. I might be wrong though. Maybe my PSU does exhaust the air from my case. I just feel some airflow getting into the case somehow on the other side of the fan. Same happened to my previous case fans. They were pretty poerfull and blew good amounts of air but were loud. When I hovered my hand where the fans were suppose to direct airflow to/exhaust there was strong airflow, but if I hovered my hand on the other side of the fan(intake part) I could also feel some airflow but slightly weaker.

Coult be wrong again, though.
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 8:30:26 PM

the air is supposed to be ejected out of the side of the psu. its usually that grill looking thing. it houses where the power supply cable is to be plugged into the unit. it also should have a on off switch
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 8:30:44 PM

either way, the psu usually exhausts air. if it is intaking air, you are doing something wrong
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August 22, 2012 8:37:16 PM

I don't really understand how the PSU exhausting or intaking could be user error. if anything it's a manufacturing fault where some assembly line worker screwed a fan in backwards. If it's intentional, I don't understand it.

Also, the board he is looking at is B75 not H61 unless i'm mistaken.

EDIT: I suppose he could have severely negative pressure on the case and it could be sucking air in despite the fan.
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August 22, 2012 8:37:49 PM

TheBigTroll said:
either way, the psu usually exhausts air. if it is intaking air, you are doing something wrong


So, with currently suggested motherboard it wouldn't be a good idea to upgrade to quad-core Ivys?
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August 22, 2012 8:37:49 PM

internetlad said:
I don't really understand how the PSU exhausting or intaking could be user error. if anything it's a manufacturing fault where some assembly line worker screwed a fan in backwards. If it's intentional, I don't understand it.

Also, the board he is looking at is B75 not H61 unless i'm mistaken.

EDIT: I suppose he could have severely negative pressure on the case and it could be sucking air in despite the fan.


Again, I could be wrong. I will get to home now and check once again the PSU.

EDIT(before I go):

Just to give you an idea of how my airflow is setup...

I have Centurion 534Plus+ case. I have 900RPM 120mm case fan on the side panel(intake. right against GPU), and same one in the rear(exhaust). No fans on top of bottom(since I have no fan mountings there) and nothing in the front of the case. My GPU blow air into the bottom of the case and my motherboard's Northbridge 60mm fan blows air right into the GPU below it. That all.
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August 22, 2012 8:57:57 PM

Only 'cause you asked:

I got thru most of these comments. Here's my 2 cents:

-Intel I3
-Take a look at Tom's $500 build and delete what you don't want/need
-Stock intel cooler will work fine (CM 212 if you want cooler & quieter)
-Consider a 128 GB SSD (samsung 830, Crucial m4, or Intel 330) - i luv mine
- http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

Dump remaining funds into the best GPU you can afford. Above link is a benchmark and rough cost of GPU's. Your system FPS will be limited by your GPU.

GL !!
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August 22, 2012 9:23:02 PM

You can mount a fan in front of the HDD bays, as evidenced here

http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/detail...

and here

http://i.testfreaks.co.uk/images/products/600x400/26/co...

You can mount a fan on the front. The best cooling (as evidenced by BTX server boards) is achieved by a straight through flow of front to back. I prefer the Zalman because it's all copper for best heat disippation, but realistically any heatsink that would maintain the front to back airflow with a 90mm+ fan would please me.

If you insist on sticking with the stock HS, keep the fan on the side as an intake to cool the CPU. If you get an aftermarket heatsink that blows front to back, take the side panel fan off and mount it on the front, and find a way to cover up that hole. It will only short the flow of air and allow noise to escape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmWpukQWnR0 as an example.

EDIT: just read that you're assuming that the GPU Blows air into the case. Untrue. That fan on the heatsink is an intake, like all other components it should be exhausting out the back. Easiest way to tell is take a sheet of paper and stick it near the port. If it sucks it in, its an intake, if it blows it away. . . well you can figure out the rest.
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August 22, 2012 9:59:00 PM

Hard_81 said:
So I will be stuck with a motherboard that isn't good for quad cores or ivy bridge or both?


Not sure where this idea came from. It's a B75 chipset, that's Ivy Bridge compatible, and it will work fine with ANY modern intel CPU, from 1155 Celeron to i7 Ivy Bridge cores.

Only thing it doesn't have is overclocking and big ass heatsinks on the NB/SB which you stated aren't concerns.
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August 22, 2012 10:04:03 PM

internetlad said:
You can mount a fan in front of the HDD bays, as evidenced here

http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/detail...

and here

http://i.testfreaks.co.uk/images/products/600x400/26/co...

You can mount a fan on the front. The best cooling (as evidenced by BTX server boards) is achieved by a straight through flow of front to back. I prefer the Zalman because it's all copper for best heat disippation, but realistically any heatsink that would maintain the front to back airflow with a 90mm+ fan would please me.

If you insist on sticking with the stock HS, keep the fan on the side as an intake to cool the CPU. If you get an aftermarket heatsink that blows front to back, take the side panel fan off and mount it on the front, and find a way to cover up that hole. It will only short the flow of air and allow noise to escape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmWpukQWnR0 as an example.

EDIT: just read that you're assuming that the GPU Blows air into the case. Untrue. That is an intake, like all other components it should be exhausting out the back.


So it seems that my PSU does act as exhaust. The exhaust is hard to notice, though.

Reason I thought it was intake is because of the air the blades generated not the airflow itself. Air just bounces off the sides of the PSU fan. Hopefully you get the idea.

Quote:
If you get an aftermarket heatsink that blows front to back

I'm going to get the Zalman cooler you suggested. Will it fit the 1155 socket? Because I didn't see it in the specs on NCIX's product page.

Quote:
and find a way to cover up that hole

Could I not do it? I don't care for the looks of my case. As long as everything works properly.


Also, I moved my HDD like in the attached image. Should I move it all back? As you can see there's only about half of the mesh for the air to come in available.
Also, I have ENERMAX UCTB12 T.B.Silence 120mm Case Fan, 900 RPM, 42.11 CFM, 11 dBA, and I read some reviews that like this one:

Quote:
I bought two of these for my rig and they have good CFM and pressure, but they problem I have with them is that if you try to mount them as intakes, the magnetic bearing will stick them to the mesh in the fan slot, making operation impossible unless the mesh is removed.
Other than that, they make good exhaust fans for negative pressure systems.


Is he making it up? Should I mount one in front anyways?

EDIT:

Quote:
Not sure where this idea came from. It's a B75 chipset, that's Ivy Bridge compatible, and it will work fine with ANY modern intel CPU, from 1155 Celeron to i7 Ivy Bridge cores.

Only thing it doesn't have is overclocking and big ass heatsinks on the NB/SB which you stated aren't concerns.


That's good.


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August 22, 2012 10:38:15 PM

Hard_81 said:

Could I not do it? I don't care for the looks of my case. As long as everything works properly.


It's not for looks, it's so that air doesn't flow in the side of the case rather than the front, essentially bypassing the whole "front to back" rule.

Do you HAVE to do it? No, I suppose not. There are lots of computers that leave the side mounts/top mounts uncovered, but it will help with airflow, cooling and noise supression. Your PC won't explode if you don't do it, though. I've seen instances where BTX cases (servers) have side, top or back vents. Upon covering the vents (Not the fan exhauts, but just where vents have been punched) with nothing more than packing tape (high tech, I know) you can see temperature decreases of 5-10 degrees. Sounds nuts but it's true.

Hard_81 said:

Is he making it up? Should I mount one in front anyways?


I've never heard of that happening before, but theoretically it makes sense. any MagLev fan works by suspending the fan inside a magnetic field (hence, magnetic levitation) to reduce friction. I suppose if the magnetic field was strong enough, it would pull the pin out of the hole and the fan would stick to the metal mesh.

Maglev fans are very easy to remove from the fan motor, but, To be honest, it sounds pretty farfetched. I think you'll be fine. Worst case scenario, you see the fan stick to the front of the case, and you order a ball bearing fan to put up there instead lol.

Again, this is optimization. You have the fan anyways, may as well use it. Will your computer burst into flame if you don't have a fan up there? Naw.


As far as the HDD goes, it should be fine there. Don't worry about it. Minimalist stuff.
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August 22, 2012 10:51:25 PM

internetlad said:
It's not for looks, it's so that air doesn't flow in the side of the case rather than the front, essentially bypassing the whole "front to back" rule.

Do you HAVE to do it? No, I suppose not. There are lots of computers that leave the side mounts/top mounts uncovered, but it will help with airflow, cooling and noise supression. Your PC won't explode if you don't do it, though. I've seen instances where BTX cases (servers) have side, top or back vents. Upon covering the vents (Not the fan exhauts, but just where vents have been punched) with nothing more than packing tape (high tech, I know) you can see temperature decreases of 5-10 degrees. Sounds nuts but it's true.



I've never heard of that happening before, but theoretically it makes sense. any MagLev fan works by suspending the fan inside a magnetic field (hence, magnetic levitation) to reduce friction. I suppose if the magnetic field was strong enough, it would pull the pin out of the hole and the fan would stick to the metal mesh.

Maglev fans are very easy to remove from the fan motor, but, To be honest, it sounds pretty farfetched. I think you'll be fine. Worst case scenario, you see the fan stick to the front of the case, and you order a ball bearing fan to put up there instead lol.

Again, this is optimization. You have the fan anyways, may as well use it. Will your computer burst into flame if you don't have a fan up there? Naw.


As far as the HDD goes, it should be fine there. Don't worry about it. Minimalist stuff.


Interesting.
One thing though. The case fans, although at 900rpm, don't seem to generate as much airflow compared to a 1900rpm fan. I barely feel the airflow from the fans, but its there. What I'm trying to say is that if I mount one fan in front instead of the side - the air the front fan will be pushing into the case will be barely noticeable by the middle of the case before it reached the rear fan, but it will be there. Is that okay?
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 10:54:51 PM

the faster the fan, the more air it moves and the louder it gets. applys to every fan out there. just that some fans are quieter than others at the same speed
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August 22, 2012 11:09:56 PM

What about that Zalman HSF? Will it fit 1155? As I mentioned it - the 1155 socket isn't listed as supported one on NCIX website.
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a b à CPUs
August 22, 2012 11:13:35 PM

does it say that it supports 1156? if it does, it works since 1156 mounts the same way the 1155 does
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August 22, 2012 11:15:33 PM
August 22, 2012 11:15:44 PM

The issue is less that it's not blowing the air all the way to the back of the case, and more that it's moving air from the front. Basically the fan on the front will make sure that we're getting it at the point furthest from the point of exhaust, theoretically grabbing the coolest air possible. You have to remember as well that while the front fan is pushing air back, the Zalman and the PSU, (Assuming you have the intake inside the PC and not on the bottom) GPU and rear fan will all be pulling air through.

It's the same reason we'd want to cover any other areas that air could enter through and bypass the front to back cooling method.

Like big troll said, You could move more air with a faster/bigger fan. I suppose that if you had a slower fan, it could theoretically bottleneck the system. With all the exhausts at the back, I would assume a faster ( 1200 RPM? ) 120mm fan on the front would be optimal, assuming it supports a 120 mm mount.

Scythe is renowned for solid, quiet fans.
http://www.ncix.com/search/?categoryid=0&q=scythe+120

At the end of the day, is it going to make a huge difference? Honestly, probably not. Maybe on paper if you measure with and without and with all the tweaks we would see a few degrees cooler, but it will run either way.
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August 22, 2012 11:18:40 PM

Sorry for basically ignoring the 101 times you have said the zalman doesn't have 1155 listed as a supported mount, i'll check that out and edit this.

EDIT: Yeah it lists 1156 as a mount, it'll work with 1155 just fine. They're the exact same mount.
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August 23, 2012 12:01:11 AM

Alright.

So then this is it[below]?
This will run the games I mentioned based on my demands as stated in the original post?

I mean, those games are not even out yet...

I want to make sure I'm set for the next 2-5 years and not end up with something that won't hold up to my presented expectations.

internetlad said:
Board and chip - 220

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73581&vpn=i3%202120%2...

7770 Dual Fan from XFX- 130 before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=68526&vpn=FX777AZDF4&...


Mushkin RAM, 43 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=55544&vpn=996770&manu...

There's your whole kit from NCIX for about 400 bucks. with 50 in rebates. Use the excess on a good heatsink and case, or an SSD (no noise, less power and better performance.

Options i'd reccomend.


Antec sonata noise dampening case -95 bucks
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=35968&vpn=SONATA%20EL...


Zalman copper heatsink with large fan -40 bucks before rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=54274&vpn=CNPS9500A%2...

128 GB Crucial M4- 110 bucks

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60445&vpn=CT128M4SSD2...


Pick and choose from those for your quiet, fast machine! Have fun!

This is just a quick compilation, you can save a bit by choosing Open box, factoring in rebates, or possibly combining parts.


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August 23, 2012 12:20:46 AM

TBH the only thing i'm at all concerned about is the video card. I was personally looking at the 7950 for futureproofing (It's a 350 dollar card, still working on my wife about that LOL)

GPU will be the most important part of gaming, as need4speeds said. If you're paranoid about it, lets go over the reccomended specs for each game.



http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=684&gam...

GW2
4 GB RAM
Core 2 Duo
Radeon 5670

http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=2252&ga...
Planetside 2 (Predicted)
2GB Ram
Pentium Dual Core (775)
Radeon 3850

http://www.gta4.net/news/4135/recommended-pc-specificat...
GTA 4 (Note: 4)

2 GB
Core 2 Quad 2.4
Radeon 3870


Now, ill take the word for the first 2, but there are no released specs for GTA V. Realistically there should be no reason it will be all that different from IV. They're both to be released for the PS3 and 360, which will inherently be the graphics bottleneck they're designed for, but hell, lets assume that you need even a 4870 instead of a 3870 to play it.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The 7770 comes in above the 4870 (Sad, as that's the card I'm using) by about 15%

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=69494&vpn=GV%2DR785OC...

If you really wanted to futureproof, the 7850 is an incredible value, but will also tack on about 80 dollars to the price of your build. Worth it? I'd say so. Necessary? Naw. You can always sell the 7770 on kijji or eBay (There is one used ending in an day that's at 90 dollars for bids) to recoup some losses and upgrade your card later.

At the end of the day it's your money and your choice.

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August 23, 2012 12:53:02 AM

Quote:
If you really wanted to futureproof, the 7850 is an incredible value, but will also tack on about 80 dollars to the price of your build


Hmm. Would i3 bottleneck it though? Seems like a nice card, though I found numerous problem some users had with it.
Otherwise I see no reason why not.

EDIT:

With 7850 I total up to ~580CAD after tax with shipping. In case anything breaks or is DOA do I go in-person to return the part(s)?

EDIT2:

Do I really need 8GB of RAM? I probably could save 20CAD by going with 4GB.
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