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First time build

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September 27, 2012 4:53:47 PM

Hi,
I am a first time prospective PC builder and was hoping to buy my parts all at once, but some are on sale now and I am thinking I might want to buy the CPU, mobo, and case at the very least now because they are not likely to get any cheaper in the time I plan to do this. I have never built before, but I have modified an old desktop I had in college some years ago (my last) and am a grad student in science, so I figure this shouldn’t be too awfully hard for me. I’ve done a fair amount of research on this but I figure I could use a few people who know what they are doing looking over my plan before I pull the trigger. I can’t buy all the parts now (I am counting on a paycheck on the 1st and a bit of birthday money on the 5th), but… maybe I shouldn’t miss the current newegg 72 hour deals…
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Next couple of weeks
Budget Range: ~1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: games, photo editing, possibly ArcMap10
Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: My intended configuration:
I7-3770k (on sale at Newegg for 309.99)
^Yes, I know all about the i5. I’ve agonized over it and… now the i7 is on sale
CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer (On sale I THINK for 76.50 at newegg (89.99-15%))
^Chosen primarily for its removable HD cage (to accommodate video card) and apparent good build quality/value. USB3 is nice, too.
ASRock z77 Extreme6 + 8GB 1600 RAM on newegg now for 189.99
^I think the current deal makes this preferable over the slightly less featured Extreme4
Samsung 24x optical drive for 17.99
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970 for 399.99
RAIDMAX Blackstone RX-700AC (700W, 80+ certified), 64.99
CoolerMaster Megaflow 200 21.99
^for top of case
Antec Kuhler H2O 620 59.99
^chosen over CoolerMaster air based fan so as not to create RAM clearance issues in the future
128GB OCZ Vertex 4 99.99
^I have 3tb of external mass storage already
Acer 23” monitor 1080p, 139.99
Gigabyte Force K3, 27.99
ROCCAT Kova+, 49.99
^This thing looks so nice. I originally intended to save money on a mouse (I have an old terrible one) but as soon as I saw a picture of this I wanted it...
Windows 7: 99.99
TOTAL: 1559.99

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg
Location: Carbondale, IL, USA

Parts Preferences: AMD GPU due to being enough of a fanboi for that but not their processors, plus historically playing better with creative assembly titles of which I am a huge fan
Overclocking: Maybe (probably but only a conservative OC… I’ve never done it before)

SLI or Crossfire: crossfire (for the future)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I have not had a nice desktop for a while. My laptop is serviceable but old and does not run games and software I want anymore. Building looks like fun and saves money. I want it soon so that I can play Crusader Kings 2 with my gf, Tribes: Ascend, and probably some newer Total War titles… an XCom… XCom looks awesome. Does anyone remember the original? It was pretty much the greatest thing ever back then…

Also: If I have a fan on the top blowing up, would it make sense for me to have the rear mounted liquid cooling fan blow in instead of out? I understand this is more effective for the CPU in any case and unless I have air blowing DOWN I expect I would otherwise be starving the CPU cooler of air. I just don't want to heat everything else up too bad but convection would be working with me...

Thanks!

More about : time build

September 27, 2012 4:59:49 PM

The storm enforcer doesn't have any side cooling to my knowledge and that could come into play if you ever decide to add another one of those cards. Also I would be sizing up on my psu.
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September 27, 2012 5:47:55 PM

I have seen this case configured with multiple GPUs before online and have not heard of heat issues. There are intakes on the bottom. Do you think these would be inadequate? I looked at some Corsair cases at similar prices but found most of them not to have the GPU clearance of this case with some of the drive cages removed. Do you know of a better case that is similar in price?
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September 27, 2012 5:50:45 PM

Also what kind of wattage would I need for this build?
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September 27, 2012 5:54:38 PM

Thing_of_Things said:
I have seen this case configured with multiple GPUs before online and have not heard of heat issues. There are intakes on the bottom. Do you think these would be inadequate? I looked at some Corsair cases at similar prices but found most of them not to have the GPU clearance of this case with some of the drive cages removed. Do you know of a better case that is similar in price?

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Tower-Computer-RC-9... $93.89 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 Ports (RC-922M-KKN3-GP)

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-MegaFlow-Computer-R... $14.32 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Cooler Master MegaFlow 200mm Red LED Computer Case Fan (R4-LUS-07AR-GP)

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-CC-9... $100.58 + $0.00 shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-Comp... $94.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

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September 27, 2012 6:03:49 PM

Thing_of_Things said:
Also what kind of wattage would I need for this build?

Just saw this. I would go 850w seeing how those cards use more wattage than the GTX 680's. And if you look at the reviews/benches for dual 7970's they all point towards 850w.

This psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are all XFX psu's.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-PRO850W-Supply-Certified-P185... $112.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $87.99
XFX PRO850W Core Edition Power Supply ATX 850 Energy Star Certified Power Supply P1850SNLB9
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Best solution

September 27, 2012 6:13:17 PM

This is your first ever rig? Are you kidding me? That looks bloody professional. I'm building almost the exact same rig right now!

I'll list out advantages and disadvantages piece by piece.

First, the mobo. To my knowledge, the ASRock Extreme6 is the best Z77 motherboard you can get in that price range. I've done extensive research on it, vs. the Asus P8Z77 V Pro and a few Gigabyte motherboards. The ASRock is hands-down the best, because they're all the same and it is much cheaper then the others. The company also has a very good rep., in case you are worried about that.

I would give you a lecture on the stupidity of the entire i7 series, but if it is on sale, then I suppose it is fine. It's price should only be 10% different from the i5 3750k, however; any more and you are being ripped off. Check both prices on newegg.

I suppose right now I should mention there is NO point getting anything with the -k suffix if you are not overclocking. -k means the processor is unlocked, so it can be overclocked or underclocked, as per you needs. If you want to overclock in the future, fine, but if you don't want to, you are wasting money on the -k.

The Storm Enforcer is a case that I am getting, and I think it is an excellent mid-tower case. There are two versions, one with a glass viewing panel on the side, the other with a slot for a fan on the side. If you don't mind, post the links to all the things you are getting. Oh, the top fan slot does not come with a 200mm fan or two 120mm fans, so you should get two yourself so that space isn't wasted. I'd recommend getting two Cooler Master XtraFlo Cooler 120mm, since they cool better then one 200mm ever could.

The Samsung is fine, as long as it is a rewritable drive, since discs do come in handy now and then.

The 7970 is a seriously good gaming card. I personally prefer Ncidia, and would go for a 680 in that kind of price range, but again, whatever you find better. You may find the following article informative:

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_6...

You should calculate how much power you will need with this website:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

By the way, a 200mm fan will always cool you case LESS then two 120mm fans. Instead of getting one megaflow, you should get two XtraFlo Cooler(s).

OCZ Vertex 4 is an excellent choice. Keep the warranty, though; sandforce SSD's can be temperamental.

Excellent if you already have a 3TB drive.

BTW, get Corsair Vengeance, 4GB x 2 RAM. It's the best RAM you can get, IMO.

Can't give any input about the mouse and keyboard; personally, I'm going with a Tt eSPORTS Challenger Gaming Keyboard (sorry, copy-pasted the whole name) and the SteelSeries KINZU Optical Mouse, but whatever you like is fine.

Oh, get this monitor:

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

That's it. Anything else?






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September 27, 2012 10:46:59 PM

Hmm even with several USB devices, oc'd cpu, 2 7970s, 4dimms of ram and 30% capacitor wear, I'm getting 735 watts... and that's way over my starting config. I can get it to recommend 755 with all this if I say I have a "high end" motherboard... would the Extreme6 count as such?

I think I will stick with the CoolerMaster case (it is the one with the window, I don't think the other is available with the same deal or at least I can't seem to find it). How many of your recommendations I will take is likely to depend on how rich I feel after I have all the money I can play with, but I think I will start with the PSU. If I can find an 80+ certified 800w model for a good price I will probably take it. Thanks for all the help!
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September 27, 2012 11:03:42 PM

A quick search finds a big jump in price between 750 watt psus and 800 watt psus. Perhaps 750 is enough? I've got a bit of time to look...
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September 27, 2012 11:10:38 PM

Reducing the number of USB devices to 2 makes it hard for me to exceed 750 watts.
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September 29, 2012 4:25:05 PM

Got my first parts. Went with an OCZ 750 Watt, which I think will meet my needs for a long time at the very least, has an LED that matches my case, and came with a free Liteon DVDRW with the same specs as the one I was looking at. Also got a crazy deal on one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also got the 17 and the case. More soon...
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September 29, 2012 4:31:27 PM

Best answer selected by Thing_of_Things.
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September 30, 2012 1:40:32 PM

Sorry bout not responding, I couldn't find this thread. I think you may have screwed up on the PSU website, I'm going to do it for you. Check out this link:

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

I had to guess the liquid cooling unit becuase the one you chose was not listed. If the link isn't working, it is says minimum wattage 491 W and minimum recommended PSU 541 W. I have no idea how you managed to get 700, that's over-over-overkill. Seriously, what did you do? Ah well, it'll come in handy if you get another GPU, for SLI or Crossfire, and it'll protect your system very nicely.

If Newegg has a return policy, change the PSU to Seasonic or Corsair; OCZ has a track record of lying about PSU wattages. I profoundly apologize for not responding sooner, but I couldn't find this thread amongst the other 6 or so I've been chatting in recently. Sorry! Don't panic if you can't change it now;

KEEP THE WARRANTY! FOR EVER AND EVER! And have it's total wattage tested at a Home Depot are some other hardware shop near you, to see what the actual maximum wattage is. Sorry if I've scared you, I don't mean to.

Got the case, excellent. I assume you're in the process of putting it together, so good luck to you mate.

PM me if you need help or advice on components, and post pics once you've finished the build. Good luck!


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September 30, 2012 1:42:32 PM

P.S. You play Tribes Ascend? Awesome! Add me, my gamer name is ZaneKnight.
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September 30, 2012 3:15:30 PM

I added an extra GPU and a great deal of capacitor wear. Without it my numbers look a lot like yours. I want my system to be futureproof. Even if OCZ is less than honest about total wattage, it cost me $70 including rebate and the threw in a free optical drive so I think I'm ok. You've inspired me to do some research about airflow and casefans and you are absolutely correct about the superiority of 2x120mm on top. I will probably order a couple of CoolerMaster Sickleflows for it. It will keep everything underpressure even if I use the WC fan as an intake, which is nice. My Steam name is thing_of_things. I have kind of given up on Tribes Ascend on my current system, but will definitely be on when the new rig is up and running!
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September 30, 2012 3:38:46 PM

Also, for my watercooler I am choosing between these two:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The Antec unit I think performs slightly better and is cheaper, but the Corsair has a better warranty: they cover anything potentially damaged if it leaks. I realize that these deliver performance much like similarly priced or even cheaper air coolers, but the size of most air coolers makes me nervous about RAM clearance...
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September 30, 2012 6:48:10 PM

Go for the Corsair, for virtue of it being a corsair, meaning it'll be better quality. Plus, their liquid cooling systems get awesome reviews all around.

For the 120mm fan(s), get a noctua, on from the NF S12 series. They're the best 120mm fans you can get. I could do more research, but my gut is telling me I did this once and I remember Noctua's been coming out on top for the last few years, including this one.

Cooler Master is an excellent choice for 120mm's as well. Just do your research, and check out their airflow compared to other 120mm's.

The case (The CM Enforcer) is 229 x 484.5 x 523.5 mm (Width x Height x Length), the corsair cooler is 120mm x 152mm x 27mm (Width x Length x Height, I think). The Mobo will take up 2 inches from the edge of your case, the RAM sticks 1.5 inches more. So the mobo takes 6 cm and the RAM around 4. 100-ish mm for both combined.

All in all, it ought to fit perfectly. Don't take my word for it though; be sure to double check the actual size of your mobo and RAM.

Remember, the cooler doesn't ever touch the RAM itself, just the processor. The cables for the cooler don't need to pass over the RAM either; they go out the back. You've also got a ton of height to tie the cables down with, just in case. Plus, with all that length in the case, you'll have space to strech.

Chill, it'll fit.


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September 30, 2012 7:11:30 PM

hmm those seem to be ~55ft^3/min compared to CoolerMaster's cheaper ~70ft^3/min...

One more question: I am putting this computer somewhere it might be difficult to get a cat5 to. We currently have an admittedly not so great wireless router that does 54Mbps. I am thinking of getting a cheap 150Mbps wireless card as an alternative to dealing with a cable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=33-166-...
Do you think this will create issues with games? If I put in a Cat5 it would need to come out sometimes because it is going through doors that close and we are renting so I can't drill holes everywhere sadly...

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September 30, 2012 7:15:44 PM

Mayyyyybe I can fit a Cat5 under the door...
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September 30, 2012 7:16:03 PM

I think I will try that... nevermind...
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October 1, 2012 10:45:29 PM

Hmm ok real question: There is a very tempting offer on Newegg for a combo of the Extreme4 and Windows 7:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
At least according to these guys, the 4 an 6 are virtually identical, and the 4 sometimes actually performs better:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asr...
It doesn't have the pretty heatsinks or quite as many ports, but... well... What made you go with the Extreme6 over the Extreme4?
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October 1, 2012 11:03:09 PM

I mean... somehow I doubt I will have a reason for a floppy drive or firewire...
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October 2, 2012 11:04:47 AM

I'm back.

1. Wireless card looks great. Remember that eight Mbps = one MBps (eight bits is one byte) so make sure the card will transmit data fast enough, and that it is compatible with your internet set up.

2. You're right, the extreme 4 and 6 are quite identical. Read this:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2803...!

Basically, the Extreme 6 has USB 3.0 support and an extra PCI slot. It also comes with newer features and stuff. You're only saving $15 on the combo, so I would get the extreme 6 for more money, but it's really your choice here.

3. [Continuation of the last point in your third Q] I chose the Extreme 6 primarily because it was newer, and had a ton of extra features that helped justify the price difference (like the 555 Extra Boost - read the article link), and because of the awesome heatsinks. But mainly, because the system I'm building will not br replaced for a loooong time, so I want to get the best I possibly can right now. And that means USB 3.0. I don't need the floppy, but someone must have asked ASRock to put it in, because they did. Never use firewire either.
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October 2, 2012 2:25:08 PM

I could be wrong but I think the Extreme4 has 555 tech:
http://www.asrock.com/feature/xfast/xfastusb/index.asp
Also, it seems to me that while (I think) the 6 has an included set of 2 usb3.0 ports you can physically stick in the front of your case, the number of usb3.0 headers is the same:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asr...
Hence, it supports as many USB 3.0 ports as are in the front of the Storm Enforcer. If you want four ports in the front with the 6 you will need to thread two from the back panel. Unless I am wrong. If I am, please let me know. I might pay ~$30 more for sexy heatsinks but $70 more seems a bit excessive, especially if I will have liquid cooling anyway. I could spend the difference on high performance fans...
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October 2, 2012 5:57:02 PM

Well $60 if you count the other sale. But still. I'm really on the fence about this...
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October 2, 2012 7:10:17 PM

Or... I could now get the ASUS P8Z77-V for the same price as the Extreme6. Unlike the Extreme6 it comes with a WiFi card...
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October 4, 2012 6:07:38 PM

Woah, if the price difference is $50 or higher, save your money! In India, everything is so overpriced that the price difference between the two is tiny (around $30ish), so I thought it would be the same where you live (clearly not). If the price difference is that large, go for the Extreme 4. And yeah, it supports USB 3.0:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.us.asp?Model=Z77%20Ex...

( Ctrl - f, type in USB 3.0, you'll see the specs).
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October 4, 2012 6:36:38 PM

That makes a lot of sense. I am not sure why, but apparently in the US the price difference between the two boards is much higher. The reason I was thinking about the Extreme6 to begin with was because for a while they were offering free RAM with it, making the real cost difference more along the lines of what you suggest. I missed the sale but that's probably ok because the RAM they were offering was a bit sketchy (1.65v Team Extreme or somesuch). I ended up finding a deal on 8gb of Patriot Extreme Master Edition RAM for $30 after rebate (most good 1.5v 1600 ram in the US such as Gskill, Corsair, or Patriot goes for $40 for 8gb).
I was scared for a moment yesterday when I accidentally went on the Canadian Newegg and found the Extreme4 to be $50 more than it had been earlier in the day (I quickly realized my mistake and found the old price still in the US site). I think I am pretty settled on what I am going to buy but might wait until the 5th to order my last parts and look for sales until then.
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October 4, 2012 6:40:26 PM

Hmm. I really want to believe those are isolated issues but... might have to do a bit more research. I will probably go with the Extreme4 unless I find a horrible flaw with it or I find an amazing price on something similar/better.
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