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New build feedback, sub 2,500

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Last response: in Systems
November 4, 2012 1:41:13 AM

First a small intro. I last built a PC in 2005, and in 2008 I defected to Mac. Well I have been getting the itch to get back to the PC world and have decided to defect back to PC. I am not a technical genius, and my knowledge is probably not as current as I would like it. So I wanted to get some feedback on my new build and hopefully make it better. I have spent the last month researching all the latest tech, and generally brushing up on my knowledge. With no further ado.


Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: within two to three weeks, definitely by the end on November

Budget Range: 2,500. But I am flexible on the top end.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, future audio production, video editing.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Build from scratch

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, was planning on utilizing Windows 8

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: Tempe, Arizona, U.S.

Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia

Overclocking: Most likely not until the build is a year old

SLI or Crossfire: SLI for sure, but probably not until next summer

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: As far as bling goes, I am not overly concerned. Commonly used programs will be (gaming) MMO and FPS, (other) Pro Tool, Cubase.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I need a fresh and current machine that is fairly future proofed, with plenty of room for expansion in the future.

And for the parts list. From case to mouse

Case - Thermaltake Level 10 GTS Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fans -
Cooler Master Megaflow 200MM (Times two)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master R4 120MM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink - Cooler Master Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO - ASUS Sabertooth Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5 GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16Gb (2x8Gb) 240 Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card - EVGA GTX 670 2Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - WD Black 2Tb 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - Crucial M4 256Gb SATAIII
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Corsair HX Series 750W SLI Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive - ASUS 24x DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - Samsung B350 Series 27" 2MS HDMI LED 1000:1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard - Logitech G510 Wired
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse - Logitech G500 Wired 5700 dpi
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers - Logitech Z506 75 Watts RMS 5.1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Headset - RAZER Carcharias Circumaural
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - Windows 8 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any advice on areas of improvement, incompatibility, or "That product is generally junk" would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time to look this build over and give me feedback.

More about : build feedback 500

November 4, 2012 2:00:37 AM

Can i ask how much this totals now? (cost)
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November 4, 2012 2:03:42 AM

Give or take rebates and shipping, right around 2.500. Money isn't a deal breaker for me, been saving for a toy for myself for a while now. But I would like to keep it under 2,500 for posterity's sake. Apologies for not posting the total dollar amount in the OP.
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Best solution

November 4, 2012 2:16:05 AM

It depends how much you use the video editing, but if it is only minor, then a i5-3570k s just as good for alot less. The advantages of the i7 only really show when you are doing heavy graphics and video work/design. So, if you dont really use it that much, then i recommend the 3570k (in terms of gaming, it is almost identical).

RAM, again, depending on how much video editing you do, you could cut back on that to 8Gb (2x4Gb) and then possibly upgrade again in the future if you needed it. Although the one ou have is good, im not 100% sure, but i think that that RAM might be too high for the CPU cooler, so you might need a low profile RAM. Someone else will have to confirm if that Ram fits. I would suggest maybe the G.Skill Ares ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ).

If you want to make those cutbacks, then i suggest getting another GTX670 and putting it in SLI. That would realy boost the framerate. To take advantage of that framerate boost, maybe look at a 120Hz monitor. I know they arent as bg, but they are a lo smoother. Ultimately though, monitor size is up to you.

In terms of the case, even though its personal preference, i think you can do better for that much money. Also, you shouldnt really need all those extra fans. Im happy to give some case suggestions if you want.

Other than that, everything else looks really great.

EDIT: dont worry about the RAM issue, i just checked and it will fit, you just might have to turn the CPU cooler fan to hang out the other way so i doesnt interfere with the RAM slots.

Hopefully that has given you something to think about.
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November 4, 2012 2:23:36 AM

The sabertooth from what i hear actually keeps heat in as opposed to repelling it...


-Jeff
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November 4, 2012 2:26:29 AM

Tankata,

It certainly has, like I said it has been a few years since I have been really "into" the latest PC tech. My concern with this initial build idea was that I was going slightly overkill. And I had planned on investing in a second GTX 670 sometime within the next year to SLI. If I went with the i5-3750K would I still need an aftermarket heatsink? My prime reason for getting one was that I have read the the i7's can run a tad on the hotter side and I wanted to be safer than sorry. So money saved on the CPU would help me get to the second GTX 670.

Do you have any suggestions on monitors? The 27" isn't "mandatory" for my build, and realistically I would be just as content with a 24".

I would love to hear any suggestions you have about cases as well. That aspect and the monitor were two of my least confident points of the build.

Thanks for your feedback!
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November 4, 2012 2:29:55 AM

J3TW4V3 said:
The sabertooth from what i hear actually keeps heat in as opposed to repelling it...


-Jeff


I had heard mixed reviews about the Sabertooth, mostly with DOA issues and bent pins, as well as the "Armor" not being worth the extra money, and the stock fans being really noisy. Alternately I had looked into getting an ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution MOBO - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you think that would be a more ideal choice? Or alternately do you have any suggestions?
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November 4, 2012 2:35:19 AM

Lose the Sabertooth. It's just an overpriced gimmick.
It's basically these two boards feature-wise, without the fancy armor that does more bad than good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest getting this SSD instead. Tom's did a review on it a few weeks ago and they were very impressed. It appears to have slightly higher read/write speeds as well. Also, fairly cheaper.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Forget about the extra case fans for now until you actually need it.

Like Tankata said, the Ripjaws X would fit though barely.
Really though, there's no performance loss or difference at all when using low profile RAM, there's no reason not to get it anymore. Tall heatspreaders are a thing of the past and are only ever useful when you're a hardcore enthusiast that *needs* to OC RAM even though you'll barely notice a performance increase.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA uses reference cooling and that won't really be too nice on high load since your GPU will run really warm.
I suggest this Gigabyte Windforce x3 instead. Much better temps and arguably performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seeing as you have a 256gb SSD, I don't think you'll need a Caviar Black and a 7200RPM HDD since it'll only serve as a storage drive. You can just get a 2TB Caviar Green.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=62047&vpn=WD20EARX&man...

Though if you want the 5-year warranty, the Black would be the way to go.
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November 4, 2012 2:52:50 AM

The Black HD is pretty good, but i agree in that it is a bit wasted when combined with an SSD. But i dont really like the Green (and im fairly sure i read some bad reviews of them). I think a far better option is the Seagate Barracuda. It has almost as good performance as the Black and is the same price as the WD Green.

As excella said, the G.Skill Ares RAM is pretty good. But again,just wondering if you need all 16Gb as no modern game uses more than about 5Gb (max). Any moterboard will also ontain 4 Memory slots, so there will be roo to upgrade if u get 2x4Gb.

As for the processor/heatsink question, no processor needs a heatsink. The only reason you add a custom cooler is if you want to overclock your processor (which is what the 'K' suffix at the end of the model number allows you to do.) So in answer to that question, the 3770k needs the custom cooler no more or less than the 3570k. The hotter temps are pretty much of no consequence. Unless you are realy into the video editing, i would say that the i5-3570k would be plenty. Then, you only would need the cpu cooler if you want to overclock it. This is now very safe and there are heaps of tutorials online that can help you.

So in summary, i'd go with the 3570k and the cooler that you listed is great. This will allow you to overclock a bit with no problems.

I'll get back to you on case and monitor suggestions.

Hope that cleared a bit up :) 
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November 4, 2012 3:14:51 AM

Only a semi-related note, are you sure you want windows 8. Not that i am trying to put you off or anything, but just because windows 8 is newer, it doesnt necessarily mean that it;s better for you. There is still nothing wrong with windows 7 and for the next few weeks/months at least, there will be a few driver/compatibility issues with windows 8.

If you want windows 8, then i will probably be recommending a touch screen (for obvious reasons), so let me know if you still want windows 8 and ill find you a touch screen monitor so you can make the most of 8.
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November 4, 2012 3:27:57 AM

For the monitor i would recommend benq xl2420t that thing rocks for gaming
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November 4, 2012 3:34:32 AM

Tankata said:
The Black HD is pretty good, but i agree in that it is a bit wasted when combined with an SSD. But i dont really like the Green (and im fairly sure i read some bad reviews of them). I think a far better option is the Seagate Barracuda. It has almost as good performance as the Black and is the same price as the WD Green.

As excella said, the G.Skill Ares RAM is pretty good. But again,just wondering if you need all 16Gb as no modern game uses more than about 5Gb (max). Any moterboard will also ontain 4 Memory slots, so there will be roo to upgrade if u get 2x4Gb.

As for the processor/heatsink question, no processor needs a heatsink. The only reason you add a custom cooler is if you want to overclock your processor (which is what the 'K' suffix at the end of the model number allows you to do.) So in answer to that question, the 3770k needs the custom cooler no more or less than the 3570k. The hotter temps are pretty much of no consequence. Unless you are realy into the video editing, i would say that the i5-3570k would be plenty. Then, you only would need the cpu cooler if you want to overclock it. This is now very safe and there are heaps of tutorials online that can help you.

So in summary, i'd go with the 3570k and the cooler that you listed is great. This will allow you to overclock a bit with no problems.

I'll get back to you on case and monitor suggestions.

Hope that cleared a bit up :) 


I originally was going to opt for the green 2TB, but I talked myself into the upgrade for the WD black. I will definitely check out the Seagate model you mentioned.

As far as the RAM goes, I was a little torn to get 2x4gb or the 2x8gb. On one hand with RAM cost being so cheap these days, I figured I could upgrade to 16gb/newer tech in a couple years if I went with the 2x4. But again I talked myself into 16gb. I will have to crunch some numbers on the RAM for sure.

I do plan on OC'ing the CPU around the one year mark, and the last time I OC'd a CPU was an Athlon 64 3800 back in 06, I had a liquid cooled system running for that. But that ended in disaster with a sensor going out and the CPU frying. So I wanted to get my toes wet a bit before I jumped right into OC. That was my prime reason for the heatsink, spend the money while I have it, and if necessary upgrade to LC down the road. And I had read that OC'ing is basically dummy proof at this point.

Also will reply to the monitor/OS question. Since I am coming from an almost 5 year hiatus from Microsoft, I really didn't put alot of thought into the OS question, and chose Windows 8 out of "This is the latest OS". The last Windows OS I really interacted with was Vista, and I really disliked it alot. Especially after using OS X. However I am ready to turn my back on the "keep it simple, stupid" style of OS X, so I would definitely love some feedback on Windows 7 vs 8. Touch screen isn't too big of a deal with me, if I don't have it I won't regret it, although if I had I would use it. I had heard good things about it from my friends who have used it though.

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November 4, 2012 3:38:45 AM

excella,

Thank you for the suggestions on alternate MOBO's and Vid Cards, that is exactly the reason I wanted to post this thread. To get quality feedback on alternate options. I will definitely look into your suggestions.
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November 4, 2012 3:39:45 AM

For the cases, these all have pretty similar sizes and features, so its mostly up to personal preference as to which one you like the look of.

Corsair Carbide 500r - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($109)

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($99)

BitFenix Raider - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($70) There is also a window version available for a bit more but i couldnt find it on newegg.

Currently, there is a great combo deal at newegg. It has the Carbide 500r Case and the Corsair HX1050w PSU, a really great PSU that would give you heaps of room for expansion later for only $300. Link is here - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

As Blitz said, the BenQ 2420T is definitely the best 24' gaming monitor going around http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Its on sale now for $390.

So check that out and see if you find something you like.
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November 4, 2012 3:46:41 AM

The OS question is ultimately up to you. If you want to try something really new and like the whole tablet style interface then i think 8 would be fine. Read a review or two and watch a video on youtube to see how how it works and decide if you want 7 or 8. Ultimately, windows 8 is really different to any of the other OS you would have used. It is a fact that there are heaps of people who really hate windows 8 so i would suggest looking into it.

For what it's worth, i would go with windows 7. Its alot more stable and does everything you need it too. The main advantages of windows 8 are for touchscreens and involve the cloud. If you dont really want/need those things, then i dont really think that there is any reason to get Win8, as the new UI is pretty confusing and by all accounts takes a long time to get used to.

Let me know what you think.
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November 4, 2012 4:02:23 AM

Please do yourself a favor and get a different headset. That one is just straight up crap. Take a look at this thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1014902/ocns-most-recommende...

Mobo wise, the Sabertooth isn't all that great. For the price, you're better off with a V-Pro or the equivalent from Gigabyte - the UP4
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November 4, 2012 4:17:49 AM

I have a personal bias against Seagate ever since the 7200.11 plague where they can't even stand behind their own product and admit to the firmware's mass failure.

The recent ones are fairly good though, admittedly. So it's your call really.

I agree with Tankata on getting Win 7. Windows 8 has gotten mostly negative feedback. It's presumed to be the next Vista. :lol: 
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November 4, 2012 4:26:49 AM

Yeah, the seagate's were initially a bit of a screw-up but they worked that out and got their act together and now they are probably the best valu/performance HDD you can get. There are no problems with them now though so dont worry. :) 
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November 4, 2012 6:03:06 AM

And if you're gonna pay $100 for a keyboard, get a mechanical one. It is one of the biggest upgrades you can possibly get. $100 for crappy membrane keys is a complete rip-off.
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November 4, 2012 7:18:08 PM

Well everyone thank you so much for all the feedback. Really got me digging into what I agree with you are better hardware and software for my build. I will post a refined list here later, thanks again. Especially to Tankata and excella.
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November 4, 2012 7:18:39 PM

Best answer selected by jmbaer70.
n
nI wish I could split it...
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November 4, 2012 7:49:25 PM

jmbaer70 said:
Well everyone thank you so much for all the feedback. Really got me digging into what I agree with you are better hardware and software for my build. I will post a refined list here later, thanks again. Especially to Tankata and excella.


Your welcome.

Hope you have some fun. :) 
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