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New Budget Gaming Build-Input Plz?

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September 9, 2012 5:17:08 PM

I would appreciate y'alls input on a build meeting the following specs:
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Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime in the next week or two, just depends on finding/getting compelling build

Budget Range: Approx. $1100 +/- (I have some breathing room on the amount, if it's for something that will make a considerable difference in performance and/or upgrade-ability)

System Usage: Primarily for Gaming, SysAdmin work, some Graphics, Website Building, everyday computing

Country: USA

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No pref.

Parts-NOT Required: Monitor, Speakers, SSD (nice-to-have, if w/other HDD), OS (if included, then Windows 7 Pro 64bit)

Parts-Preferred:
Leaning towards ASRock Z77 Extreme6, but open to similar mobo's
Prefer Water Cooled Rig

Parts-REQUIRED:
Intel CPU (i5 maybe or similar, w/upgrade-ablility)
nVidia GPU
USB 3.0 (2+ ports, w/at least 1 front facing)
Case w/bottom mount for PSU
8GB Memory (2 x 4GB)
Quiet, Relatively speaking as this will be in my office

Overclocking: Nice-to-have, not required

SLI or Crossfire: Not now, but would like option for the future

If recommending something other than items I've listed specifically, please give reasoning other than "that's what everyone seems to be using/getting/buying, etc."

**What do y'all think? So far, I've put this together: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gZcH **

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September 9, 2012 8:25:39 PM

I have no huge problems with your proposed build, subject to a couple of observations.

The ASRock Extreme 6 is feature rich, but doesn't offer much over the Extreme 4, to justify the additional cost.
Personally I quite like closed loop liquid coolers, although I know plenty will disagree. The performance of the H60 is quite good, but you might find the fan a bit noisy when working hard. Probably it a case of try it and see, but you might find yourself having to buy a quieter fan.
Would prefer Samsung 830's, or Crucial M4's for SSD.
Why the 700W OCZ PSU. Unless you are planning to add 2nd card for SLi, in near future, it is way too much. 500W, or at most 550W, is better. Ideally use Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX. Much better.
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September 9, 2012 9:43:37 PM

I'm hoping to end up with a system that doesn't have to be upgraded for awhile. That's really the only reason I'm leaning toward the Extreme6 over the 4, & the same could be said for the higher wattage PSU. Although not going with SLI at this point, I'm looking for the flexibility to be able too, so a 650+W PSU is in the mix.

What is the advantage of the Samsung 830's, or Crucial M4's for SSD (the one I selected was based solely on price for an OS SSD, I honestly don't know much about the differences).

I'm glad you mentioned the fan noise level, as I'd like as quiet of a system as possible (without breaking the bank, OR sacrificing too many features). For combination sound level/performance, can you suggest an alternate option? I do live in a Hot and Dry climate, so cooling will be imperative.

Thanks for your feedback!
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September 9, 2012 10:22:08 PM

In a hot climate, there are only three ideal solutions:
1) Don't overclock
2) Use a custom water cooling system
3) Use PC in air conditioned room.

The best COMPROMISE is to only overclock modestly (unless you are happy to do none), and to use a high performance liquid cooler, than you can run at a reduced (quieter) level, most of the time. You could use the higher capacity H100 cooler, but that needs to be roof mounted (you would need to check your case will take it). You would then have the radiator in the exhaust air stream, which still works OK, and helps to keep case cool, as well (or, at least doesn't make it worse). You could use a high performance air cooler, but that dumps the heat into the case, so you have to increase case ventilation, to compensate. Short story is, there is no "nice" solution in hot environment.

To answer your other points, Samsung 830, and Crucial M4, are generally regarded as having the best mix of performance and reliability. Certainly 99% or recommendations here would be for one or other.

If you are happy to pay for what the extreme 6 offers, that's fine. There's nothing WRONG with it. If there is a real likelihood of SLi, stick with 700W. It would still be worth using Seasonic, Corsair, or XFX. Better quality and reliability.
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September 10, 2012 4:58:36 AM

It's not a deal-breaker to not overclock, so I'll plan on trying to avoid that.

I looked at the H100, and I think it will work with the case I selected: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r.... So, maybe I'll go that route.

Thank you for the info on the SSD, I'll check those out and see what I can come up with. On the PSU, I'll check out a similar wattage on those, and see how the price compares. If I can't get something comparable, maybe I'll have to plan to upgrade the PSU if/when I go with an SLI setup.
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September 10, 2012 6:16:14 AM

How small, realistically, could I go on the SSD for the OS? I want plenty of room, but not wasted space, since that's all I intend to use it for...

Unless, should I install my MMORPG games on it? Would I get a benefit in the games yet cause OS issues...? Hmmm... now I'm not sure what I should do! lol

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September 10, 2012 11:28:50 AM

hccomptr said:
It's not a deal-breaker to not overclock, so I'll plan on trying to avoid that.

I looked at the H100, and I think it will work with the case I selected: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r.... So, maybe I'll go that route.

Thank you for the info on the SSD, I'll check those out and see what I can come up with. On the PSU, I'll check out a similar wattage on those, and see how the price compares. If I can't get something comparable, maybe I'll have to plan to upgrade the PSU if/when I go with an SLI setup.

Unless you are interested in the overclocking itself, in a hot climate, it does make some sense not to bother with overclocking, and perhaps use a factory overclocked GPU, which tend to have better ventilation. You can then save a fair bit of money, in terms of motherboard, and cooling solutions, not to mention less hassle. You would be able to get away with the supplied CPU cooler, although it may still be worthwhile getting a basic aftermarket cooler, to enable it to work less hard, and thus quieter. You may find you need to, perhaps, upgrade at least one of the case fans to give more, quieter, case vent. Don't cheap out on case. Get one with good ventilation (and the ability to fit side fan, if you are thinking about SLi). If you pick one you LIKE, we can always confirm it's suitable.
Re SSD. If you only want to put OS, and maybe a couple of games, on it, 64GB is perfectly adequate, it's just that the 128's are better value. Most games don't gain a lot, from SSD, in game, unless they are accessing fresh data.
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September 12, 2012 10:11:15 PM

Best answer selected by hccomptr.
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