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New Gaming PC Build $1500 range

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October 10, 2012 1:56:48 AM

Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm also new to building PCs, I'm looking to build my first gaming PC, details below:

Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 months

Budget Range: $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Operating System

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel CPUs and Nvidia graphics cards.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (Single 21.5 inch monitor)

Here are the parts I've picked out:
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus HF1 Mid Tower ATX
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570k 3.4GHz
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Formula LGA1155
RAM: Patriot Viper 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti Direct CUII OC 2GB
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD (For OS & Games) / Western Digital WD Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM (For storage)
Power Supply: Corsair Gaming Series GS700 V2 ATX Power Supply

Some other details and questions:
1) Basically I'm upgrading from a shitty HP laptop to a custom gaming PC build so I can play my games on max settings with less overheat and less lag.

2) Games I'll be playing will mostly be Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, Dark Souls and Diablo 3.

3) I'm going for a black with red LEDs color scheme which is why I picked that particular case so looks are going to be important to me.

3) I read up the power requirement on the GTX 660 Ti and it say it requires a minimum of 450W, will a 700W power supply do fine if I plan to overclock to at least 3.8-4GHz?

4) In terms of the cooling system, I did some research on the H80 and H100 and it seems that the H100 is more superior however it does not fit in the case I chose, will the H80 still be efficient if I plan to overclock to at least 3.8-4 GHz?

5) I'm getting a free copy of Windows 8 from work and I plan on using that as my OS instead of spending to get a Windows 7, how does Windows 8 fare on gaming?

Let me know what guys think of this overall build and if there are any suggestions you guys have for me, thanks very much and any help will be much appreciated! :) 

More about : gaming build 1500 range

October 10, 2012 3:31:52 AM

The preconfigured closed loop systems (like the corsair h80 and h100) are about as good as a good air cooler, so it is not worth the extra money. As for your case, it is fine, but looks a little cramped. I personally would go for a Switch 810. It is roomy and known for its cooling capabilities. It is a really good case for airflow, but has plenty of space for custom water cooling loops. Based off of your budget and that you don't know if you are going to overclock, I would suggest getting the Switch 810 with an air cooled radiator and some red led fans. If you ever decide to do some extreme overclocking, then you also have a case compatible for custom water cooling (which will cool better than the air radiator).

As for the build itself:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jT95
Total Price: $1388.65
Leaving you $111.35 under budget.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 4:45:27 AM

If you want to do overclock to 3.8-4.00, you won't need watercooling. In fact, those particular systems are not that great, and the higher end air coolers will do better. The best air cooler you can buy is arguably the thermalright silver arrow. However it is incredibly huge and more difficult to install than other coolers. If you think you are up to the task then I would get it.

This build includes a 212 EVO, which is a very capable cooler, and would not have any issues getting to 4.0. (I couldn't find the silver arrow on a Canadian site.)
You can just go on frozencpu.com, and they have it on there. I'm not sure what the shipping would be like thoug


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/jTzI
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/jTzI/by_merchant/


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.03 @ DirectCanada)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Canada Computers)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.50 @ DirectCanada)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.47 @ DirectCanada)

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($459.99 @ Canada Computers)

Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($89.79 @ DirectCanada)


Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Canada Computers)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ DirectCanada)

Total: $1258.5
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
It is about $1300 before rebates.
The case comes with two fans, one 200mm and one is 120mm, but it has room for 7 more fans.
The 670 top edition is basically the best graphics card you can buy as far as price/value for high end machines.
The motherboard and the PSU will allow you to SLI in the future if you ever want to.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 4:45:35 AM

550w would be more than enough for anything you'll do with your system.
700w would be wayy overkill.

Windows 8 has met a lot of criticisms so far, so I'd think about that.

+1 to above about the Corsair water cooler.

Correction to the above though, the 670 is the best NVIDIA card you can buy in terms of performance vs price ratio.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 5:01:17 AM

i would get a 7970 GHz, but if you are planning on playing 3D(not that great) then go with 670.

for BL2 Physx can be turned on with AMD(just stresses it a bit more than a Nvidia)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ CompUSA)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($432.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.93 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1345.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

just replace the 7970 GHz if you really want Nvidia parts that much.

the H100 is a good choice but is still overpriced from the performance it does, unless you are getting 4 Fans for push and pull i would stick with these ones instead

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhd14
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/phanteks-cpu-cooler-phtc14... (comes in different colors, looks better than Noctua's IMO)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zalman-cpu-cooler-cnps12x
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zalman-cpu-cooler-cnps9900... (comes with a Red or Blue LED, can make a nice looking Zalman build)
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 5:05:12 AM

oh i am sorry about that did not see the CA
will change right now
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 5:10:59 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.03 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($429.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.04 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1202.58
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

the Ram will not get in the way unless you are going to upgrade the ram to get all 4 slots
you can upgrade it into these
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/gskill-memory-f31600c9d...
or these
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/corsair-memory-cml8gx3m...

whatever fits your tastes

if you want a different color scheme like a red black you can tell me to adjust it if you would like
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October 10, 2012 5:21:07 AM

Thanks for the suggestions guys :) 

So anyway I'm probably gonna be dropping the corsair h80 instead since a water cooler wouldn't be necessary anyway since I won't be overclocking a lot

In terms of an air cooler I'm thinking of either going with a:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Noctua NH-D14
Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R.

I kinda like the Zalman more because of the red LED and I still want the black/red color scheme but can anyone tell if any of the other 2 air coolers i listed perform way
better than the Zalman? Cuz I will definitely pick the one that performs the best.

Now for motherboards I decided to drop the Maximus V Formula for the 2 suggestions in this thread which are:
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

I'm leaning more towards ASRock because of its look and I'm not a big fan of the color blue in the Gigabyte mobo. But can anyone tell me the differences between the two and which is better?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 5:26:25 AM

Get the Zalman. Temp difference with the NH-D14 shouldn't be that big.

I would say the ASRock since it's cheaper but with more features.
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October 10, 2012 5:50:05 AM

ok Zalman it is then :) 

as for the ASRock, I saw that there was a higher end version which is the Extreme6 yet the price gap between the Extreme4 and Extreme6 is huge, what other differences or improvements are there aside from having more I/O ports in the back panel and an extra PCI slot?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 5:57:58 AM

jelo1611 said:
Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm also new to building PCs, I'm looking to build my first gaming PC, details below:

Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 months

Budget Range: $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Operating System

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel CPUs and Nvidia graphics cards.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (Single 21.5 inch monitor)

Here are the parts I've picked out:
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus HF1 Mid Tower ATX
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570k 3.4GHz
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Formula LGA1155
RAM: Patriot Viper 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti Direct CUII OC 2GB
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD (For OS & Games) / Western Digital WD Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM (For storage)
Power Supply: Corsair Gaming Series GS700 V2 ATX Power Supply

Some other details and questions:
1) Basically I'm upgrading from a shitty HP laptop to a custom gaming PC build so I can play my games on max settings with less overheat and less lag.

2) Games I'll be playing will mostly be Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, Dark Souls and Diablo 3.

3) I'm going for a black with red LEDs color scheme which is why I picked that particular case so looks are going to be important to me.

3) I read up the power requirement on the GTX 660 Ti and it say it requires a minimum of 450W, will a 700W power supply do fine if I plan to overclock to at least 3.8-4GHz?

4) In terms of the cooling system, I did some research on the H80 and H100 and it seems that the H100 is more superior however it does not fit in the case I chose, will the H80 still be efficient if I plan to overclock to at least 3.8-4 GHz?

5) I'm getting a free copy of Windows 8 from work and I plan on using that as my OS instead of spending to get a Windows 7, how does Windows 8 fare on gaming?

Let me know what guys think of this overall build and if there are any suggestions you guys have for me, thanks very much and any help will be much appreciated! :) 
Your build looks good i would change the 660 ti to a 670 and for a case get something better like Case:NZXT SWITCH 810 Matte Black CA-SW810-M1 Steel / Plastic ATX HYBIRD Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case:COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 6:12:05 AM

That's about it, really. And an onboard 1394.
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October 10, 2012 7:16:39 AM

Ok last few questions before i finalize my build:

For the case, I forgot to mention this earlier but I'm trying to avoid Full Tower cases mostly due to space issues on my desk and room so I'm only going for a mid-tower atx case. Therefore is the Zalman Z11 plus HF1 really not that good of a case? I happen to like the design alot :p 

If so, what do you guys think about the Cooler Master HAF XM? Also I don't really want white cases, I prefer black.

Last question, for the GPU, whats the best brand/version to get for the GTX 670?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 7:22:46 AM

jelo1611 said:
Ok last few questions before i finalize my build:

For the case, I forgot to mention this earlier but I'm trying to avoid Full Tower cases mostly due to space issues on my desk and room so I'm only going for a mid-tower atx case. Therefore is the Zalman Z11 plus HF1 really not that good of a case? I happen to like the design alot :p 

If so, what do you guys think about the Cooler Master HAF XM? Also I don't really want white cases, I prefer black.

Last question, for the GPU, whats the best brand/version to get for the GTX 670?
I would get the Haf XM and ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU II TOP if you can find it Quote :
Overall the ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU II is the best card I ever tested. I simply can't find anything wrong with it. ASUS has sucessfully addressed all the shortcomings of NVIDIA's reference design, yet asks only a moderate $20 price premium for their card. This means that you can get faster than GTX 680 performance at $420. And the card manages all that with a dual slot cooler, that just screams "put me in SLI". Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670...
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October 10, 2012 7:43:24 AM

Unfortunately I can't find the ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU II TOP version on either ncix.ca, amazon.ca, newegg.ca or at memoryexpress.com :( 

All I found is the non-TOP version is has a base clock of 915MHz and boost of 980MHz is that still pretty good for 420 bucks?

And well one of the reasons why I picked the ASUS 660 ti to begin with was cuz of the low price point and I've looked up reviews for it and the TOP version of the 660 ti can run skyrim and guild wars 2 at 60+ fps, diablo 3 at 100+ fps, both games at max settings 1920x1080 which is the resolution my monitor. These are mostly the games I will be playing. I won't be doing SLI or triple monitor setup due to lack of space. With that being said I feel like if I get a 670 it might be overkill.

So in this case is it still worth it to get a 670 for a single 21.5" monitor at 1920x1080 for games at max settings?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 7:45:35 AM

I would usually just leave the casing to the end user. It's really all a matter of preference, unless you're OCD about front I/O panels.

If you can afford the $420 ASUS 670, go grab it. It looks great.
If you want a cheaper alternative, get the Gigabyte Windforce x3.

Also, hun it's this one.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

It just doesn't say Direct CUII TOP on the name

A cheaper store:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

EDIT: Unless the "TOP" version is a different one?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 7:50:26 AM

excella1221 said:
I would usually just leave the casing to the end user. It's really all a matter of preference, unless you're OCD about front I/O panels.

If you can afford the $420 ASUS 670, go grab it. It looks great.
If you want a cheaper alternative, get the Gigabyte Windforce x3.

Also, hun it's this one.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

It just doesn't say Direct CUII TOP on the name
I don't know if that case supports his mobo choice is why i picked the Haf i should of checked both cases before i said get that though my bad :(  also the Top is different it uses specially higher binned chip non top does not.The Gigabyte Windforce x3 is a good choice as well.

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October 10, 2012 7:54:42 AM

excella1221 said:
I would usually just leave the casing to the end user. It's really all a matter of preference, unless you're OCD about front I/O panels.

If you can afford the $420 ASUS 670, go grab it. It looks great.
If you want a cheaper alternative, get the Gigabyte Windforce x3.

Also, hun it's this one.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

It just doesn't say Direct CUII TOP on the name

A cheaper store:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

EDIT: Unless the "TOP" version is a different one?


The TOP version is factory overclocked with a base clock of 1058MHz and boost of 1137MHz
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 7:54:55 AM

Is it this one then?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-121-...

The overview says:
"The self-designed ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP brings NVIDIA 28nm “Kepler” GPU technology to a wider audience while maintaining extreme gaming performance."

It seems it got discontinued.
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October 10, 2012 7:56:45 AM

bigcyco1 said:
I don't know if that case supports his mobo choice is why i picked the Haf i should of checked both cases before i said get that though my bad :(  also the Top is different it uses specially higher binned chip non top does not.The Gigabyte Windforce x3 is a good choice as well.


Hmm I read up the specs of the CM HAF XM and it says it supports mATX, ATX and E-ATX and the ASRock mobo is ATX so I believe it should work
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 8:00:54 AM

excella1221 said:
Is it this one then?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-121-...

The overview says:
"The self-designed ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP brings NVIDIA 28nm “Kepler” GPU technology to a wider audience while maintaining extreme gaming performance."

It seems it got discontinued.
It's that one i found it here http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/ncixus/asus-video-card-gtx67... This product is available but currently we do not have stock. Order it today and we will ship when it's available.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 8:03:23 AM

jelo1611 said:
Hmm I read up the specs of the CM HAF XM and it says it supports mATX, ATX and E-ATX and the ASRock mobo is ATX so I believe it should work
o.k. as long as it will work and is compatible get the one you like ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 8:10:58 AM

He's from Canada though. I'm trying to help look for it on ncix.ca, but it's nowhere to be found.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 8:20:27 AM

^$5 less for EVGA reference cooling...? :p 
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a b 4 Gaming
October 10, 2012 8:26:50 AM

excella1221 said:
^$5 less for EVGA reference cooling...? :p 
:lol:  just saying it's the cheapest good one i would go with the asus 670 myself but the GIGABYTE is good it's up to OP just making suggestions ;) 
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October 11, 2012 3:56:26 AM

Hmm the Gigabyte GTX 670 is $10 cheaper than the ASUS GTX 670 and the ASUS one has a lower core and boost clock which is 915MHz and 980MHz, while the Gigabyte one has 980 core clock and 1058MHz boost clock.

IS there some sort of feature or reason why the ASUS one is more expensive?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 11, 2012 4:03:07 AM

None that i am aware of
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a b 4 Gaming
October 11, 2012 4:04:48 AM

None that I know of as well.
Though in my observation, anything ASUS is usually more expensive than Gigabyte, or most other brands for that matter.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 11, 2012 5:01:31 AM

you pretty much buy ASUS for its name just like their mobos. but they are still a good brand. its kind of like EVGA cards, people buy the reference ones just for the name even when the non reference are way better(at least now they are learning and making non reference cooling)
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October 11, 2012 5:34:50 AM

Alright then, well anyway here's the finalized list of parts than I will get soon.
Decided to go with the Gigabyte GTX670 instead for the cheaper price and its factory overclocked. Also ditched the Zalman CNPS9900MAX for the Cooler master Hyper 212 EVO for its lower price and good performance for its price. Besides the case I picked doesn't have a side window anyway so there's no point in getting LED lights lol

Case: Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570k 3.4GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1155
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 8GB DDR3 1600MHz - Venom Red
Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 670 Winforce x3 OC 2GB
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5in SATA3 SSD (For OS & Games) / Western Digital WD Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM (For storage)
Power Supply: XFX 650W PRO650W Core Edition ATX Power Supply

Anyway thanks for the suggestions guys, it really helped out alot! :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
October 11, 2012 6:01:14 AM

Your very welcome enjoy!
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a b 4 Gaming
October 11, 2012 6:51:29 AM

Great rig. Happy building!
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!