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November 10, 2012 1:44:36 AM

Hey everyone, I am hoping to build a new gaming PC after college exams (in about a week and a half's time) as my current rig is a core 2 Duo on socket 775 with 4 gigs of ram and not really cutting it anymore (low frame rates, some games wont run properly at all). I am buying in Australia, so that adds about $200-300 more than in the US, but I plan to spend about $1800 on the tower including the OS. I wont be getting a monitor now, but i will later down the track as well as a mech keyboard probably.

Could you please give any feedback on the parts i have chosen and suggest improvements or notify me of any incompatibilities?



Preferred Website(s) for Parts: PC Case Gear (Melbourne, Australia)


Parts Preferences:
CPU: Intel core i7 3770K

CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D14

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 extreme 6

Graphics Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660Ti

Memory: GSkill RipjawsX 16gb (4x4) F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

SSD: Intel 330 series 180Gb SSD

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB

PSU: Corsair HX750 v2

Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout 2

OS: Windows 8 64 Bit

Other: Will also be adding a cheap DVD drive, as well as 2 or 3 extra fans as the Storm Scout only includes 1 rear exhaust fan.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (later down the track when i add a new monitor)

Your Monitor Resolution: hope to upgrade later to the ASUS PB278Q running at 2560 x 1440 when i get a second graphics card

Additional Comments: It will be mainly be used for gaming (Battlefield 3, Total War series, Company of Heroes 2) but also for video encoding and light video editing.

Thanks in Advance! :) 

More about : gaming build

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:05:49 AM

Another Aussie, a lot more of us here recently :D .

The rig is pretty good, mainly just brand-swapping at this point.

Get the Samsung 830 128GB SSD. While you do lose some capacity, this drive is much faster and 128GB is plenty IMO (mine is only half full).
Samsung 820 128GB. $95
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Swap to this RAM kit. Its Low Profile (wont conflict with that large Noctua heatsink) and is dual channel so less strain on the CPU and slightly better performance (which will probably be lost to the higher timings, but eh). Better upgrade path to 32GB if you wanted as well.
G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) 1600Mhz CL10 1.5v. $82
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Corsair is a great brand, and thats why you should avoid them down here in Australia. Being such a well known and respected brand means they can charge more for them.
This equivalent Silverstone unit costs $25 less and is fully modular instead of semi, with no loss of quality either.
Silverstone Gold Evolution 750W, 80+ Gold fully modular. $175.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Though I would go with this supply, 80+ silver instead of Gold (but from reviews I'v read, its only just misses a Gold rating). I use this in my rig.
Silverstone Strider Plus 750W, 80+ Silver fully modular. $145
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

The HD7950 is a good competitor to the GTX660Ti, especially given the 12.11 driver updates and the Never Settle deal that comes with it. Would advise looking into it if your going to get that large resolution monitor, as the extra VRAM and wider memory bus will help there.
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November 10, 2012 2:11:15 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE 60.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($90.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($163.34 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($188.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master SGC-2100-GWN1 ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($155.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $1821.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 23:10 EST-0500)

Can't find that website on PCPartPicker, yet you should find similar prices there. Left a good amount of room for you own keyboard/mouse and monitor since they are personal preferences.
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Related resources
November 10, 2012 2:12:41 AM

StormOfRazors said:
Hey everyone, I am hoping to build a new gaming PC after college exams (in about a week and a half's time) as my current rig is a core 2 Duo on socket 775 with 4 gigs of ram and not really cutting it anymore (low frame rates, some games wont run properly at all). I am buying in Australia, so that adds about $200-300 more than in the US, but I plan to spend about $1800 on the tower including the OS. I wont be getting a monitor now, but i will later down the track as well as a mech keyboard probably.

Could you please give any feedback on the parts i have chosen and suggest improvements or notify me of any incompatibilities?



Preferred Website(s) for Parts: PC Case Gear (Melbourne, Australia)


Parts Preferences:
CPU: Intel core i7 3770K

CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D14

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 extreme 6

Graphics Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660Ti

Memory: GSkill RipjawsX 16gb (4x4) F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

SSD: Intel 330 series 180Gb SSD

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB

PSU: Corsair HX750 v2

Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout 2

OS: Windows 8 64 Bit

Other: Will also be adding a cheap DVD drive, as well as 2 or 3 extra fans as the Storm Scout only includes 1 rear exhaust fan.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (later down the track when i add a new monitor)

Your Monitor Resolution: hope to upgrade later to the ASUS PB278Q running at 2560 x 1440 when i get a second graphics card

Additional Comments: It will be mainly be used for gaming (Battlefield 3, Total War series, Company of Heroes 2) but also for video encoding and light video editing.

Thanks in Advance! :) 


Lol @ that 660ti. Has a 192 bit bus which is SLOW. For that price get the 7950. Otherwise, go with my 7970 :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:17:18 AM

Some thoughts:

1) I think you plan on too much cpu, and not enough gpu.
Few games use more than 2-3 cores, making the hyperthreads of the 3770K largely irrelevant.
It is good for video encoding though.
If gaming is your primary usage,
Take the $100 you save by using a 3570K and add it to your graphics budget to gat a GTX670, or perhaps even GTX680.
When you go 2560 x 1440, you can use all the graphics power you can get.

2) No game, by itself will use more than 2-3gb. 8gb is enough.
But, if you want 16gb, that's ok. Ram is cheap.
But get a 2 x 8gb kit. It is easier for the motherboard to manage.
Get low profile to clear your cpu cooler.
3) Love the intel 330 180gb and noctua cooler.

4) Here is my canned rant on planning for dual cards:
-----------------------------Start of rant----------------------------------------------------
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX650/ti or 7770 can give you good performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX660 or 7850 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX660 needs a 430w psu, even a GTX680 only needs a 550w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 620w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
-------------------------------End of rant-----------------------------------------------------------

5) Have you heard about catleap 2560 x 1440 monitors?
They cost half as much as the name brands and seem to have a good following.
They are sold on ebay. Google "catleap forum" for some discussions from actual users.

6) I think I would pass on windows 8. There are always some issues with a new release.
faster boot times are not an issue with a ssd.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:17:30 AM

Poltregeist said:
Can't find that website on PCPartPicker, yet you should find similar prices there.


:lol: 
This is Australian prices were talking about, it aint gonna be similarly priced.

This is the cheapest 7970 Ghz on the site, +$40
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Also XFX dont seem to exist in Australia.

That Corsair Supply you linked, +$55
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

That ASUS mobo. +$120
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Thats just the start.
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November 10, 2012 2:58:52 AM

manofchalk said:
Another Aussie, a lot more of us here recently :D .

The rig is pretty good, mainly just brand-swapping at this point.

Get the Samsung 830 128GB SSD. While you do lose some capacity, this drive is much faster and 128GB is plenty IMO (mine is only half full).
Samsung 820 128GB. $95
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Swap to this RAM kit. Its Low Profile (wont conflict with that large Noctua heatsink) and is dual channel so less strain on the CPU and slightly better performance (which will probably be lost to the higher timings, but eh). Better upgrade path to 32GB if you wanted as well.
G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) 1600Mhz CL10 1.5v. $82
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Corsair is a great brand, and thats why you should avoid them down here in Australia. Being such a well known and respected brand means they can charge more for them.
This equivalent Silverstone unit costs $25 less and is fully modular instead of semi, with no loss of quality either.
Silverstone Gold Evolution 750W, 80+ Gold fully modular. $175.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Though I would go with this supply, 80+ silver instead of Gold (but from reviews I'v read, its only just misses a Gold rating). I use this in my rig.
Silverstone Strider Plus 750W, 80+ Silver fully modular. $145
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

The HD7950 is a good competitor to the GTX660Ti, especially given the 12.11 driver updates and the Never Settle deal that comes with it. Would advise looking into it if your going to get that large resolution monitor, as the extra VRAM and wider memory bus will help there.



Thank you everyone for your help :)  yea the pricing sucks in AUS, i need to pay to get it shipped to my state too which adds nearly another $100 :( 



Thanks, i did look at the samsung 830 (as well as the newer 840 series) SSD, the main reason i picked the intel 330 180Gb was its capacity, i believed it was what best suited my needs, i didnt think 120GB was enough, and i thought 240/256 was too much for my needs. Although, it does only add around $60 onto the build cost so i will look at it :)  it did have good reviews and performance though :) 

As for the RAM, your right, a 2x8 kit will probably be better, but does the motherboard still use 2 channels? i though all 4 slots had to be populated to get dual channel on lga1155? and according to noctuas website, the ripjawsX do not have a height clearance issue with the NH-D14 either so they should be good, they aren't as tall as corsairs vengeance/dominator series

I will look at other brands, but I'm content paying a little more on the PSU for corsair :) 

The main reason i went with Nvidia is physX, i couldnt stand playing certain titles knowing that something is missing using an AMD card, but yea the VRAM and memory would help alot with the monitor i am considering :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:11:28 AM

See if you can buy the case locally, as that is likely where most of the shipping cost is coming from. This search engine will find the cheapest price in your state.
http://www.staticice.com.au/advanced.html

The 4 RAM slots are on two separate channels to the CPU. Having a single stick on a channel is best as it has the full bandwidth of the channel to use. However there is nothing stopping you from having two sticks on a channel.

PhysX IMO isnt a big enough feature to be worried about.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:12:23 AM

You only need 2 sticks for dual channel operation. No worries there.

The g.skil ares series has the same specs and price and is lower profile.

Here is a nice chart of psu's organized by quality tiers.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
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November 10, 2012 3:13:07 AM

geofelt said:
Some thoughts:

1) I think you plan on too much cpu, and not enough gpu.
Few games use more than 2-3 cores, making the hyperthreads of the 3770K largely irrelevant.
It is good for video encoding though.
If gaming is your primary usage,
Take the $100 you save by using a 3570K and add it to your graphics budget to gat a GTX670, or perhaps even GTX680.
When you go 2560 x 1440, you can use all the graphics power you can get.

2) No game, by itself will use more than 2-3gb. 8gb is enough.
But, if you want 16gb, that's ok. Ram is cheap.
But get a 2 x 8gb kit. It is easier for the motherboard to manage.
Get low profile to clear your cpu cooler.
3) Love the intel 330 180gb and noctua cooler.

4) Here is my canned rant on planning for dual cards:
-----------------------------Start of rant----------------------------------------------------
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX650/ti or 7770 can give you good performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX660 or 7850 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX660 needs a 430w psu, even a GTX680 only needs a 550w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 620w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
-------------------------------End of rant-----------------------------------------------------------

5) Have you heard about catleap 2560 x 1440 monitors?
They cost half as much as the name brands and seem to have a good following.
They are sold on ebay. Google "catleap forum" for some discussions from actual users.

6) I think I would pass on windows 8. There are always some issues with a new release.
faster boot times are not an issue with a ssd.


Thanks for your reply Geofelt :) 

1: yea the 3570K would be the more balanced option i agree, but as i do other tasks like a lot of encoding and the occasional video editing, i though the i7 would be justified. That and the rig will likely have to do for another 4 years at least, possibly 5 with upgrades. Upgrading the CPU is harder that the graphics card, so i though i would get good one :) 

2: your right, no game uses that by itself, but realistically Windows 7 is using almost half (1.7GB) of my ram now at IDLE, and both the fact that it will have to do me for a while and it is cheap is why i went with 16GB. I know capacities such as 32GB is overkill, but at $85 16 gig is good :) 

3: Thanks :) 

4: you make a lot of good points, i wouldnt call it a rant :p  i thought it was necessary for when i upgraded to a 27 inch monitor running 2560x1440 though, a single 660ti won't handle high settings at that resolution i bet. I might consider a single 670, but from reviews i read wasn't it essentially just an overpriced 660ti with a bigger memory bus? i do want to stay with nvidia (physX etc) but i dont think the jump in performance is justifiable by its price adding another $100 onto the build. Your right, a single card is better that 2, i just think i cant justify a 680 right now :) 

5:I have heard of no name brand monitors from Asia that cost nearly half as much as ACER, ASUS, Dell, Samsung etc, but i didnt want to take the risk. Have you used one, are they good?

6:yea windows 8, thats a tough one. I want to go with windows 7, but i like a few of windows 8 features (such as the new task manager) and i believe i can put up with the stupid metro interface. The price of Windows 8 is actually cheaper than windows 7 during the promotional period too
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:18:23 AM

StormOfRazors said:
I might consider a single 670, but from reviews i read wasn't it essentially just an overpriced 660ti with a bigger memory bus?


Other way around, the 660Ti is a cut down 670.

However, the 680 is just an overpriced 670. Exact same hardware under the hood (Its got a few more CUDA cores though) for $100 more. You can easily overclock a 670 to match and even surpass 680 performance.
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November 10, 2012 3:19:17 AM

manofchalk said:
See if you can buy the case locally, as that is likely where most of the shipping cost is coming from. This search engine will find the cheapest price in your state.
http://www.staticice.com.au/advanced.html

The 4 RAM slots are on two separate channels to the CPU. Having a single stick on a channel is best as it has the full bandwidth of the channel to use. However there is nothing stopping you from having two sticks on a channel.

PhysX IMO isnt a big enough feature to be worried about.


Unfortunatly i cant buy ANYTHING locally in Tasmania, we have like 3 PC shops in the entire state and they have little enthusiast/gaming grade stock, and what they have is more expensive than shopping interstate plus shipping :( 

Hmm ok, i dont have any PhysX titles, so yea its not a big issue, and i have used AMD in the past i havnt got anyhting against them. So the 7750 will be better than the 660ti for the monitor im getting?
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:20:44 AM

7950, a 660ti will cream the 7750 :lol: 
Yes, in fact I would say its better even if you were on a 1080p monitor.
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November 10, 2012 3:32:42 AM

manofchalk said:
7950, a 660ti will cream the 7750 :lol: 
Yes, in fact I would say its better even if you were on a 1080p monitor.


:D  sorry i meant 7950 :)  ok thank you for your suggestion i might get the 7950 now, as it is priced the same and i could benefit from the greater memory :)  So its as good/better roughly than the 660ti?

Oh so for the memory, if i get two sticks, do i get better performance plugging them both into the same channel (ie slots 1 and 3) or on different channels (slots 1 and 2)?
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:39:54 AM

Different channels. The mobo manual will tell you the optimal configuration, but it is often slot 1 and 3, or 2 and 4 (from the left).

This shows roughly where each card lays at your resolution. look at the 12.11 results rather than the others. The 7950 has about 6% better performance, though it may be better or worse depending on the game you are playing.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...

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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:41:29 AM

sadly a Noctua D-14 will not fit inside storm score 2(check some reviews on newegg)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Inwin Dragon Rider ATX Full Tower Case ($99.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($145.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1344.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-10 16:40 EST+1100)

uses a fairly large case(changeable to preference) uses a 7970 at a very nice price not to mention cheaper and better than a 670(besides a few nvidia based games)
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November 10, 2012 3:51:06 AM

boulbox said:
sadly a Noctua D-14 will not fit inside storm score 2(check some reviews on newegg)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Inwin Dragon Rider ATX Full Tower Case ($99.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($145.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1344.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-10 16:40 EST+1100)

uses a fairly large case(changeable to preference) uses a 7970 at a very nice price not to mention cheaper and better than a 670(besides a few nvidia based games)


the Nh-d14 does fit, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmWLKFTRsKE and skip to 2:30. im pretty sure thats a d14 ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 3:58:28 AM

hmm i guess i am wrong then but still case is mostly a preference. they are all almost the same the only difference between one and another is build quality, features, and air flow
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November 10, 2012 4:06:26 AM

boulbox said:
hmm i guess i am wrong then but still case is mostly a preference. they are all almost the same the only difference between one and another is build quality, features, and air flow


Sorry i kind of sounded uptight in my response to you :(  we all make mistakes, and thank you for your suggestion on the parts for my build :) 
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November 11, 2012 11:05:55 PM

Best answer selected by StormOfRazors.
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