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First time PC builder, few questions ($1100 build)

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September 21, 2012 9:33:07 PM

Hey all, just got my parts together and getting ready to order them off of newegg.

Before I get them shipped I just wanted to ask the community if there are any compatibility issues (whether it be with the PSU or the MicroATX mobo). Feel free to point out any cost effective changes that will save me a buck or two for the same (or close) performance.

Approximate Purchase Date: This weekend

Budget Range: 1000-1100 dollars

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video/audio editing, web browsing


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Location: New England

Overclocking: Absolutely.

SLI or Crossfire: In the future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920, 1080

Additional Comments: Quick feedback is appreciated :D  I want to get this ordered this weekend because I've been putting it off for a couple of months now and I'm afraid the free Borderlands 2 promo will run out.

Images of the components and prices below. Total including shipping comes out to about $1050.





Thanks in advance. Feel free to point and laugh at the outdated mac OS in the screenshots. Any feedback is much appreciated, I need some peace of mind before I go ahead and get these parts shipped.
September 21, 2012 10:08:00 PM

If you live near Boston, you can go to Microcenter. The prices there are very low. Anyways:

Don't get Seagate. Ton of failures. Get Samsung or WD.
Don't get Rosewill PSUs. Get Corsair, Antec, PC Power and Cooling, et al.
Spend a few bucks more and get the Hyper 212 EVO. Slightly cooler, and better design.
Get a Crucial or Samsung SSD.
Get a 7950 instead of a 660Ti. Both are really good, but the 7950 is a bit cheaper, and outperforms it somewhat.
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Best solution

September 21, 2012 10:23:03 PM

^+1 for micro center. Check if there are near you, they sell very cheap CPUs.
I've had every brand of hard drive fail on me. And samsung doesn't make drives anymore, they just rebrand seagate drives... That said, WD drives fail less. Also single platter drives fail less than multi platter drives.

The vertex 4 is a good ssd. It uses INDILINX, not sandforce. Also, it's a good price.

And yeah, the 7950 is better unless you have a nvidia preference.



As for the rest:

Do you need to go with a micro atx board? Not recommended unless you have some space requirements. And that chassis will fit an atx board so you're not saving any space anyway.
Look at these two options:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
The second one will run an sli config better.

That PSU isn't great look at
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also, you will need a 600W+ PSU for sli (each 660ti needs 2x6pin PCIE connectors)

That ram is fine except for the heat spreaders. They can get in the way of bigger CPU coolers should you decide to upgrade. I recommend:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you want to save some money, you can grab a cheaper case.
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September 21, 2012 10:26:49 PM

EDIT: Just saw your post, Slicedtoad, thank you for the quick response. As for the hard drive, I took the previous posters advice and got the WD blue 7200 64 cache 6.0 for an extra 5 bucks.

Regarding the Power supply, the one you posted is most certainly an upgrade to the rosewill, but i can't justify spending 15 extra dollars including shipping. I'm going to continue looking, the consensus seems to be to stay away from Rosewill PSUs. I saw an antec that is at the same pricepoint as the rosewill. Can anyone attest to it? I know that you shouldn't skimp on the PSU but I'm really heartset on the cpu/gpu/ram/case so i'm going to need to compromise somewhere.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think i'm going to stay with the GTX 660 ti, i really want the free Borderlands 2 :na: 

I will think hard about upgrading on the mobo too. I've been told MSI motherboards are superior to ASrocks.

EDIT 2: I took your recommendation on the RAM, and saved a very valuable 3 dollars ;) 
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September 21, 2012 10:43:02 PM

I live/go to university in Connecticut so unfortunately traveling to Boston isn't an option.
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September 21, 2012 10:56:24 PM

The quality of a PSU is based on the model, not the brand (though some brands only sell good PSUs). Rosewill makes both good and bad PSUs.
I just looked up some professional reviews on the rosewill one and it's actually not bad, it will run the system just fine. The antec one you linked is slightly better (seasonic made).

ASRock currently makes very good (budget) motherboards. About the same quality as Asus (used to be the same company) but with less features (fewer USB slots etc) and cheaper. Personally, I'd trust them more than MSI boards (that's just me though). They're quite good for OCing too. And micro atx boards are bad unless you need one.

The WD blue drive is a good choice.
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September 21, 2012 11:12:21 PM

slicedtoad said:
The quality of a PSU is based on the model, not the brand (though some brands only sell good PSUs). Rosewill makes both good and bad PSUs.
I just looked up some professional reviews on the rosewill one and it's actually not bad, it will run the system just fine. The antec one you linked is slightly better (seasonic made).

ASRock currently makes very good (budget) motherboards. About the same quality as Asus (used to be the same company) but with less features (fewer USB slots etc) and cheaper. Personally, I'd trust them more than MSI boards (that's just me though). They're quite good for OCing too. And micro atx boards are bad unless you need one.

The WD blue drive is a good choice.


Again, thanks for the advice. You've been very helpful through this process. I think you've convinced me to stay away from Microatx, at least for this build.

I'm going to continue researching power supplies... Right now I'm leaning towards the Antec

Going to order them tonight, it's exciting to say the least. I've been looking forwards to this for a very long time.
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September 21, 2012 11:14:06 PM

I see a few flaws in that build. First off there will be zero chance of adding a second gtx 660 ti with that psu. Second flaw is those tall cake cutter heat spreaders on that RAM are going to impede the cpu's h/s. Those heat spreaders are a gimmick and serve no purpose other than they work can also be used as a hair comb. Also the CM EVO has a better mounting system along with adjustable fans and is well worth the extra $10 imo if your all about keeping your cpu cool.

This build will support two of those cards down below along with allowing you to over clock. Just add a case.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-... $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $336.98 save: $13.00
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $33.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $38.99 FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SH-222BB-BEBE-Internal-So... $16.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk without Software

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $92.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Cache-Desktop-Dri... $85.61 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Overvoltage-N660TI-PE-2GD5/dp... $309.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $299.99
MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card with Triple Overvoltage and Enhanced PWM Design (N660TI PE 2GD5/OC)

Total $1,040.88 *not including shipping & rebates


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/ <----- another look at that board

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.63 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Here's a cheaper option to have a look at. This Gigabyte card down below is factory over clocked to the max.

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-PCI-Express-Displayport-... $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/Displayport SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N660OC-2GD

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-R7870-Twin-Frozr-2GD5/dp/B007... $259.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $244.99
MSI Radeon HD7870, 2GB GDDR5, Mini DisplayPortx2, DVI-I, HDMI, PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-300R-Mid-Tower-Ga... $65.46 + $0.00 shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case
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September 21, 2012 11:18:03 PM

only thing more exciting than ordering is waiting for the parts to arrive.

There's no PSU on that build why_me...
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September 21, 2012 11:36:42 PM

slicedtoad said:
only thing more exciting than ordering is waiting for the parts to arrive.

There's no PSU on that build why_me...


Thanks for the heads up. :)  It's fixed.
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September 21, 2012 11:54:07 PM

Why_Me said:
I see a few flaws in that build. First off there will be zero chance of adding a second gtx 660 ti with that psu. Second flaw is those tall cake cutter heat spreaders on that RAM are going to impede the cpu's h/s. Those heat spreaders are a gimmick and serve no purpose other than they work can also be used as a hair comb. Also the CM EVO has a better mounting system along with adjustable fans and is well worth the extra $10 imo if your all about keeping your cpu cool.

This build will support two of those cards down below along with allowing you to over clock. Just add a case.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-... $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $336.98 save: $13.00
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $33.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $38.99 FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SH-222BB-BEBE-Internal-So... $16.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk without Software

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $92.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Cache-Desktop-Dri... $85.61 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Overvoltage-N660TI-PE-2GD5/dp... $309.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $299.99
MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card with Triple Overvoltage and Enhanced PWM Design (N660TI PE 2GD5/OC)

Total $1,040.88 *not including shipping & rebates



If I ever plan on running 660s in SLI it will be contingent on upgrading the PSU obviously. That won't be until the distant future, so for the time being I would like to spend a little less on the PSU than the cost of that Corsair. Like I said, i'm kind of heart set on the gpu/case. As for the Ram, i mentioned i switched to the Crucial Ballistix as per Slicedtoad's recommendation.

Switched to Hyper 212 EVO. it's hard not to make those little 5 dollar upgrades, but they really accumulate when you do it 5 times for 5 separate components.

EDIT: i see the pro 4 only has 1 pci 3 port, still thinking restlessly about shelling out a little more or simply scrapping the SLI idea. Pretty hard not to gravitate towards the MSI microatx i listed earlier... Costs less AND has the 2 PCI express 3.0. If anyone has had experience using mATX mobo with an ATX case and PSU, don't hesitate to share.
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September 22, 2012 12:37:40 AM

the 2 pcie express slots on the MSI one are really close together and really not ideal for sli (the top one will run hot).
That said, the pro4 isn't ideal for sli either because the second slot is only pcie 2.0 @ x4 (you might loose ~10-20% of the performance gain from sli compared to two x8 slots).

Basically, keeping sli an option is kind of expensive. If you aren't planning to upgrade in the next 2 years, it will probably just be better to buy a new GPU then.

edit: there aren't any problems using micro atx in an atx case. Micro atx mobos are just worse in general. It will likely oc worse, has less features and be cramped.
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September 22, 2012 12:43:47 AM

slicedtoad said:
the 2 pcie express slots on the MSI one are really close together and really not ideal for sli (the top one will run a bit hot).
That said, the pro4 isn't ideal for sli either because the second slot is only pcie 2.0 @ x4.

Basically, keeping sli an option is kind of expensive. If you aren't planning to upgrade in the next 2 years, it will probably just be better to buy a new GPU then.

edit: there aren't any problems using micro atx in an atx case. Micro atx mobos are just worse in general. It will likely oc worse, has less features and be cramped.

The Asrock Pro4? If that's the board your talking about that board doesn't support SLI.
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September 22, 2012 12:47:19 AM

^It actually won't work with sli? or it doesn't officially support it?

either way, it's not recommended since the x4 slot kinda hurts performance.
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September 22, 2012 12:50:11 AM

slicedtoad said:
the 2 pcie express slots on the MSI one are really close together and really not ideal for sli.
That said, the pro4 isn't ideal for sli either because the second slot is only pcie 2.0 @ x4.

Basically, keeping sli an option is kind of expensive. If you aren't planning to upgrade in the next 2 years, it will probably just be better to buy a new GPU then.


Understood. The more I think about it the more evident it becomes that it just isn't feasible to plan an SLI configuration.

That said, would you still go with the ASrock pro 4 over the MSI microatx? Is there an even better option in the price range? I'm laboring over this decision, really don't want to make the wrong choice.
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September 22, 2012 12:57:24 AM

^ I would yes. Is there a better one for the same price? not that i'm aware of. Maybe why_me has a better recommendation.
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September 22, 2012 1:01:44 AM

rcollins923 said:
Understood. The more I think about it the more evident it becomes that it just isn't feasible to plan an SLI configuration.

That said, would you still go with the ASrock pro 4 over the MSI microatx? Is there an even better option in the price range? I'm laboring over this decision, really don't want to make the wrong choice.

If you don't plan on going with SLI then look at this board for an option.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Then combo the cpu with the RAM to save $11.00.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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September 22, 2012 1:06:56 AM

slicedtoad said:
^ I would yes. Is there a better one for the same price? not that i'm aware of. Maybe why_me has a better recommendation.


Well i scrolled up and down (i'm limited to the mobo's that can be put in a combo with the i5 3570k)

It comes down to the pro 4 and the ATX version of the MSI i posted, which is 10 dollars more expensive (but has a 10 dollar mail in rebate, which I plan on doing despite the inevitable headache). The thing is, at this point why not just go with the asrock e3.

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

Thanks for bearing with me and my indecisiveness.

EDIT: Also looked at the Pro 3, it seems to be pretty much the same as the pro 4 other than it has less Sata 6.0 ports. It seemed to have gotten a lot of bad reviews on newegg... A lot of DOA's.
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September 22, 2012 2:41:19 AM

Went with the MSI mobo linked above.

The Antec PSU

Hyper 212 EVO

128 gb Vertex 4 SSD

WD 1tb 7200 RPM 64 cache

MSI 660 ti 2gb

8 gb crucial ballistix

Fractal r4.

Thanks everyone.
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September 22, 2012 5:39:35 AM

ok, looks good.

that mobo is actually the atx version of a slightly different mobo. The atx version of your original is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

not much difference except the one you selected only has 1 pcie 3.0 slot and costs $10 less.

Anyway, have fun with your build.
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September 23, 2012 6:21:59 PM

Best answer selected by rcollins923.
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