I want to build a gaming mATX computer. Projected parts (Bolded are in question, Itallics are already owned):
CPU Cooler: 212 EVO Mobo: Gigabyte G1 Sniper m3
I've read a ton of reviews and have flip flopped between this, a Gene V, Asrock Pro-m. I've also kicked around looking at cheaper models like the p8z77-m pro. Since I'm only modestly overclocking, what do you think is best for me? Graphics: Pilot GTX 680 Jetstream (I upgraded out of order due to a deal that could not be passed) RAM: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance Low profile
Does it matter?
Storage: 1 TB Western Digital Green, 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 PSU: BFG LS Series 680w
Case: Silverstone PS07 Fans: Amazon has a great deal on 120mm Cougar fans right now. Should I pick them up to upgrade the case fans? OS: x64 Windows 7 Ultimate
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: This month (will wait as long as Black Friday to get all the parts)
Budget Range: Flexible-I will pay as much as necessary to do what I NEED, extras don't interest me
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, media server, regular use
Are you buying a monitor: Yes--BUT I will probably wait until Black Friday because there tends to be deals on monitors
Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**
Do you need to buy OS: No-Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, microcenter (will be near to one over thanksgiving), amazon
Location: Bay Area, CA. (will be in LA for Thanksgiving--Tustin Microcenter is not too far)
Overclocking: Moderate probably 4 Ghz 24/7
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe but down the line so not a make or break
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Closed case so colors/looks of components don't matter. A quiet system is very important though.
Why Are You Upgrading: My 775 system isn't cutting it anymore
As a personal user of the Define Mini, there is no better mATX Case. With one case fan later down the road, MOUNTED ON THE SIDE, I have been keeping 22 C temps, which are on load. That is fantastic. It is also the quietest case I have EVER used, since about 10 years of building custom computers. A friend squeezed two 580's into his and he and I can barely hear their fans, even at 70%.
My motherboard choice, however, is different. I use the Maximus IV Gene, and it has one unique feature ( as I have tested both boards I would know ) the built in sound card is TERRIBLE on the G1 Sniper. The sound card on the Maximus however is stunning. I have a Creative Blaster sound card from last year and it was quite expensive ( ~$150 ) and the Maximus' Xi-Fi is amazing. Plus, I love the ASUS features, and have sort-of grown accustomed to them. You might call this biased, but it's up to you anyway.
I agree with above too, and in getting a better power supply would be worth it. Get a Corsair of your choice. Personally, since you are only mATX and probably wont SLI, a 500 watt power supply would do just fine. However, Newegg has some really good deals on the CX630 a bunch of the time, and I'd pick up one of those if I could. Antec is solid choice as well.
The RAM was a great choice, and I'd use the Low Profile Vengeance, as I use Vengeance myself. 8GBs is plenty for any modern machine, and 1600/1866 is the best speeds, as long as the timings are 9-9-9 (CL9) or below.
For the price, getting a Corsair H60 over the 212+ is worth it. I can hit 4.8 on my 2500k without bumping the voltage. Many call me lucky, but I can. Plus, the Define Mini has plenty of room for the H60.
the cx series are sub par compared to the xfx 550w made by seasonic
cheaper ram options = buy. i dont see any advantage going with corsair
nope. i wouldnt bother. closed loop coolers are not that effective until you hit the h100, which then means you are paying overboard for cooling. if you sir had a nh-d14 like me, you would reach much farther than that. but then i have ivy bridge which needs volts to get high.
oh and a 212 evo would perform better than a h60. yes water conducts heat more easily but that heat isnt going to be dissipated through that thin 120mm rad while the hyper 212 has double the heat dissipation area
Case: You can't search the ps07 without references to the Fractal mini and the TJ08 so I'm just going to have to pine over it a bit.
Motherboard: I primarily use headphones through a usb dac. I'm pretty sure this bypasses the sound card. Any other standout features that apply to me? I've read that the Gene has better power stages (?) but since I'm not planning to OC intensely, I assumed it would make little difference. With the current deal on the Sniper (125ish with MIR and current promo) it seems hard to beat.
PSU: I have a Thermaltake TR2 500w lying around. It's newer but I had assumed the 680w would be better. Will the Thermaltake be sufficient? If not, I'll likely wait until Black friday (or see what amazon throws up soon)
Cooler: The H60 costs 2x as much as the 212. I don't plan to push anywhere near 4.8, maybe 4.5 for kicks, and around 4 regularly. Can't seem to justify the cost. Will noise be reduced? I've read a lot about vibration with water cooling. With the difference in cost I could by a near silent fan for the 212.
Didn't realize the turbo feature. My current (only) experience comes from my current E6600 which I have at 3.2 (+.8 from stock). I just assumed that the increase to 4 would be a good medium. I need to do some more reading on the Ivy Processors.
I did a search on onboard audio but wasn't able to find much. High end audio was the first real electronic hobby I got into and I currently run an odac->headphone amp via usb. The difference with my current (albeit outdated) system is night and day. Consensus on AK and HeadFi is that a dac is the best way to use your computer as a digital music source. Not sure what the differences are, if any, when gaming.
Given that I plan to only modestly overclock, will I benefit from the features that make the gene better than the sniper?
Point taken on the PSU. I could use a newer, modular design with the smaller mATX cases
As for CPU cooling, I'm going to stick with air. I chose the 212 because it was significantly cheaper relative to other coolers on the SPCR recommended list. I'll start looking into a better cooler.