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A first time build for decent gaming

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August 28, 2012 12:52:39 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm from Denmark and I'm doing my first ever build, and I would appreciate any feedback, comments, criticisms etc. before I order the parts...

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP! :)  :bounce: 

Budget Range: 8000 Danish Kroner (DKK) (approx USD 1346/-), 1 DKK = 0.168245 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, office applications, surfing the internet, some 2D/3D CAD applications, some math simulations

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.computersalg.dk/ (unfortunately in Danish only, very sorry about that!)

Country: Denmark

Parts Preferences: Intel 3rd gen CPU, nVidia GPU

Overclocking: Yes (but not extreme)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: A balance between low cost, good performance in gaming and everyday usage, good cooling and some OC possibility.

Components selected but not purchased:

CPU: Core i5-3450 quadcore, 3.1GHz, 6MB, 77W TDP
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/767011/intel-core-i5...

CPU cooler: Xigmatek Gaia SD1283
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/816296/xigmatek-gaia...

Motherboard: ASRock z77 Pro3
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/926205/asrock-z77-pr...

RAM: Corsair DDR3, PC1600, CL9, 1.5V, 2 x 4GB (9-9-9-24)
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/797845/corsair-ddr3-...

Graphics: Club 3D GTX 560 Ti 1024 MB Green Edition, 160W TDP
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/684156/club-3d-gefor...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB WD5000AAKX, 7200 rpm, 16 GB, SATA-600
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/880316/hd-caviar-blu...

CD/DVD burner: Samsung SH222BB, SATA-300
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/756886/samsung-sh222...

PSU: Thermaltake Smart M650W, Modular, 80+ Bronze
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/902362/thermaltake-s...

Chassis: Bitfenix Shinobi Non-windowed (single 120mm read fan included)
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/844430/bitfenix-shin...

Chassis fans: 4 in total -
2 x Akasa Apache black 140 mm (top)
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/867413/akasa-apache-...
AND
2 x SilverStone FM121 120mm black (bottom and front)
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/157798/silverstone-f...

Monitor: BenQ RL2450HT 1920 X 1080 5ms/2ms(GTG)
http://www.computersalg.dk/produkt/701797/benq-rl2450ht...

Thank you very much in advance !!

- Danny
August 28, 2012 12:55:51 PM

Get the i5 3570K since your OCing.
Have to say no to that PSU. Get one from Corsair, Antec, XFX, Seasonic, Silverstone.
August 28, 2012 2:01:58 PM

Drop the thermaltake PSU. I'd recommend Seasonic, Corsair, PC Power&Cooling; 600W+ is more than enough. Here's a good list of PSUs: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

As Nw333 said, get the 3570k for OC'ing; only K models are overclockable, the rest are locked. 2500k are also worth looking at, I think Sandy Bridge had a little more overclock potential (I'm not big into OC'ing though, so it's best to confirm).

If you can afford the latest generation of graphics cards they are worth the upgrade, this generation was a pretty big step in performance.
Related resources
August 28, 2012 2:05:17 PM

djscribbles said:

As Nw333 said, get the 3570k for OC'ing; only K models are overclockable, the rest are locked. 2500k are also worth looking at, I think Sandy Bridge had a little more overclock potential (I'm not big into OC'ing though, so it's best to confirm).

Sandy Bridge does have better OC potential as they run cooler. :D 
August 28, 2012 4:44:39 PM

djscribbles said:
Drop the thermaltake PSU. I'd recommend Seasonic, Corsair, PC Power&Cooling; 600W+ is more than enough. Here's a good list of PSUs: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx


Even if the Thermaltake PSU has 80+ Bronze certification? Why exactly is it bad?

djscribbles said:
As Nw333 said, get the 3570k for OC'ing; only K models are overclockable, the rest are locked. 2500k are also worth looking at, I think Sandy Bridge had a little more overclock potential (I'm not big into OC'ing though, so it's best to confirm).


Interesting, I read from ASRock's website that the Z77 Pro3 (http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Pro3/) can overclock even non-K models...

Quote:
Overclocking is no longer for K-series CPU users only, for those CPUs that aren’t K-series, ASRock No-K OC can unleash your CPU’s power by boosting its frequency with just one click.
August 28, 2012 4:58:25 PM

danishbizkit said:
Even if the Thermaltake PSU has 80+ Bronze certification? Why exactly is it bad?


Its not a top end brand, there is a list of top tier PSU makers and thermaltake is not near the top. Stick to corsair, antec, cooler master and OCZ. You want quality power coming into your new system with those parts. Dont skimp on PSU.

August 28, 2012 5:12:26 PM

Good build:

1. New PSU. Good brands have been mentioned
2. 3570k - little more expensive, MUCH better overclocking potential.
3. Case: Pls consider Coolermaster HAF 912. Large, thrifty, and has room for anything you might add.

Good Luck !
August 28, 2012 6:15:47 PM

danishbizkit said:
Even if the Thermaltake PSU has 80+ Bronze certification? Why exactly is it bad?


I cannot speak for that particular Thermaltake PSU, but I've never seen anything that makes thermaltake look like a good choice, the article I linked shows a compiled list of different PSUs, but if you go to the sites they listed like jonnyguru and hardware secrets, you can see the degree at which PSUs are evaluated for their design and build quality.
I personally have been been bit a handful of times by bad power supplies, and took me a long time to learn that it's a very important component choice, and even longer to figure out how to determine good from bad. A bad power supply can cause numerous 'weird' issues, destroy components, lead to premature failure, or if you are lucky, simply not work.


Regarding ASRocks No-K overclocking feature:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277900-29-3550-asrock

There's a good explanation of what it does. Pretty shady marketing on their part, however if the above description is all you are looking for, then you certainly don't need to pay extra for the unlocked k version.
August 28, 2012 6:20:35 PM

First of all, a big thanks to everyone that replied!

For the PSU, I have narrowed it down to the Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular TX650M or the Professional Series TX650W. The main differences between the two as I see it are -

TX650M: 140mm fan, 2 x PCIE connectors, 5 yrs. warranty

HX650W: 120mm fan, 4 x PCIE connectors, 7 yrs. warranty

And the price difference is just USD 1.33.... I am not planning for dual graphics (well, not yet) and I believe the bigger 140mm fan can compensate for the 2yr. difference in warranties. Any suggestions?

For the CPU, the 3570K takes me over my budget....what could be the lifetime for the K model, given that the next generation CPUs will come out sometime next year?
August 28, 2012 6:25:20 PM

oops, I mean the Professional Series HX650W...not TX650W....sorry about that!
August 28, 2012 6:30:47 PM

Would dropping one or two of the case fans bring you back into budget?

No sense having all that cooling if you've got nothing to generate heat in the first place :)  and it's much easier to add a fan or two later than it is to swap your CPU.

edit: Regarding the PSU, either would be fine. The 140mm fan should make the TX a bit quieter, but the HX is modular and has 4xPCIE. It's really a tossup, but I'd probably go for the HX myself.
August 28, 2012 8:20:51 PM

djscribbles said:
Would dropping one or two of the case fans bring you back into budget?

No sense having all that cooling if you've got nothing to generate heat in the first place :)  and it's much easier to add a fan or two later than it is to swap your CPU.

edit: Regarding the PSU, either would be fine. The 140mm fan should make the TX a bit quieter, but the HX is modular and has 4xPCIE. It's really a tossup, but I'd probably go for the HX myself.


I decided to go for the i5-3570K in the hopes that it won't get too old too quickly as compared to the i5-3450.

However, I am now looking at the GTX 660 Ti (choices choices...) but if I'm going to game at the monitor's native resolution of 1920 x 1080, is the 660 Ti an overkill?
August 28, 2012 9:39:33 PM

Overkill today will be longevity tomorrow :)  All things considered, it comes down to your budget, if you can afford to keep the 660TI I wouldn't worry about it being overkill, especially if you want to use it for 4 or 5 years; if you were getting a GT 680, then that would be a different story, but a 660Ti is probably going to be a solid card for quite a long while, but I wouldn't call it overkill.
August 28, 2012 11:31:12 PM

So, I finally decided to take the plunge and push my budget a bit and upgrade to the i5-3570K, a Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti OC 2GB and the Corsair HX650W PSU :p 

Here is the final system config after ordering:

CPU: Core i5-3570K

CPU cooler: Xigmatek Gaia SD1283

Motherboard: ASRock z77 Pro3

RAM: Corsair DDR3, PC1600, CL9, 1.5V, 2 x 4GB (9-9-9-24)

Graphics: Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti OC 2GB

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB WD5000AAKX, 7200 rpm, 16 GB, SATA-600

CD/DVD burner: Samsung SH222BB, SATA-300

PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX650W, Modular, 80+ Bronze

Chassis: Bitfenix Shinobi Non-windowed (single 120mm rear fan included)

Chassis fans: 2 in total -
1 x Akasa Apache black 140 mm (top)
1 x SilverStone FM121 120mm black (front)

Monitor: BenQ RL2450HT 1920 X 1080 5ms/2ms(GTG)

Thanks DjScribbles and everyone else!! :)  :) 

Can't wait to get my hands on it :bounce: 

Danny
!