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Gaming and silent PC build ($1200)

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February 11, 2013 10:40:39 PM

Good everning everyone,

I need your advises on a possible purchase.
Basically I want to build a gamer PC that I could use for 5/6 years, and that would be quiet (I know, gaming and silence are not good match).
I have already created a build, but I need to know if I picked up the right peaces.

Approximate Purchase Date: probably in a week or two

Budget Range: around $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming/Movies/Internet/Photoshop

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Location: Toronto, Canada

Parts Preferences: (sorry, because I'm kind of a noob, I have just copy/past the names of the parts, perhaps this is too much information )
Processor : Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70541&promoid=1382 )

Motherboard : ASRock Z77 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA3 DVI HDMI USB3.0 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70902 )

Memory : G.SKILL TridentX F3-2400C10D-16GTX 16GB 2X8GB DDR3-2400 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70850 )

Video Card : Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 925MHZ 3GB GDDR5 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=79472 )

SSD : Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5in SATA3 MDX ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=77218&promoid=1382 )

Hard Drive : Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1312 )

DVD Drive : ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=49597 )

Case : Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Window Case Titanium ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75046&promoid=1382 )

Power Supply : Antec HCG-520M 520W ATX12V Modular SINGLE-RAIL 40A 80PLUS ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67324&promoid=1305 )


Here we go !

I have a couple of questions :
- Is the Video card ok ?
- Do I need to add an additional fan, or the ones in the case should be ok ?


Thanks for your help !!

a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 11:08:52 PM

Everything is good to go.

You can probably save alot if you're not going to OC/Crossfire.

A 7970 is overkill for a single monitor. Best get a 7950 and you really won't notice a difference.

8gb is more than enough for games and I really doubt in the next few years that you're going to need more.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 11:47:07 PM

grab this combo deal. way better board than the extreme4 while being cheaper
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71249&vpn=BX80637I535...

ram
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74756&vpn=PVI38G160C9...

keep the hard drive

id get this 7970. alot cheaper
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67547&vpn=GV%2DR797OC...

heatsink. a must. go to a canada computer store and grab one. the noctuas arent cheap right now
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=8...

keep the case

psu. modularity isnt really needed
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59615

dvd drive
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=26480DR6828&v...

grab this SSD instead.
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950DR6502&v...
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2013 11:53:15 PM

I wouldn't say it's better, but cheaper it is for 5$ with the rebates, the combo deal of the motherboard and cpu.
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Anonymous
February 12, 2013 12:11:07 AM

I have an R4 and I love it. I will say, however, if your GPU speeds up, you will hear it scream, even if it's not terribly that loud normally (It will seem this way, because you will notice it, as it will be your loudest part). You'll always hear the loudest sound in your case, and it will annoy you if you're expecting this case to be anything even remotely close to silent. You can't go in with the expectation that this case will be very quiet if you pressure the card too much ( too much being dependent on the games you play of course ).

I hear coil whine from one of my parts I haven't heard before. Things will pop up that will irritate you if you are sound anal. Just something to keep in mind. That being said I don't regret it at all. It's more of a "because i/you can" sort of thing ( It should be, as a silent "gaming" setup doesn't work well unless you're playing maplestory :D  )
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 12:16:28 AM

the windforce is pretty silent as long as you leave it under 40%. stock fan curve is crap by the way
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 1:05:17 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition 89.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 EG 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.88 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($379.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Kingwin Lazer Platinum 850W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.00 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $897.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-11 22:02 EST-0500)

went a bit over(about $50-$60 including the NCIX bundle)
i added a plat PSU because it is fairly cheap right now and by a reputable brand.

CM Haf XM because of big 200mm fans meaning it can be quiet(spinning at low RPMs) and push loads of air

Xigmatek dark knight because it is a great cooler, it may not be the most silent but it can be changed in an instant by replacing the fans(they are not that loud anyways, also keep the rubber parts incase you want to add a second fan in the future for better temps/overclocks)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 1:11:10 AM

He's from Canada.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 1:17:43 AM

the haf xm is no where near the silence of a R4. 200mm fans dont mean much if they arent of good quality or that the whole case is filled with holes for sound to leak
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February 12, 2013 2:54:47 AM

I would not get the Haf XM. The fan filters are horrible. I had to buy 2x140mm fan filters to add on top of the one that comes with the side panel. I'm currently waiting for the release of the 900D and go from there. I would avoid Haf XM as much as I can if I were you. I plan on modifying it and using the parts for an HTPC.
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February 12, 2013 2:57:55 AM

For your budget go and get the Antec P280, stick with the same mobo, cpu and everything else you have. Come and see me I can sell you one of my GTX 670 and SSD for a resonable price if you want seeing that you are from my hometown.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 3:08:50 AM

The Fractal Design Define R4 is better than the antec P280.
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February 12, 2013 3:17:29 AM

He has the windowed version picked which makes it more likely to be a bit loud compared to non-windowed version. If he goes for the original then yeah but with this one, I'd go for P280.
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February 12, 2013 3:24:10 AM

Exactly, you want to get silent build you gotta ditch the window.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 3:27:05 AM

hero1 said:
I would not get the Haf XM. The fan filters are horrible. I had to buy 2x140mm fan filters to add on top of the one that comes with the side panel. I'm currently waiting for the release of the 900D and go from there. I would avoid Haf XM as much as I can if I were you. I plan on modifying it and using the parts for an HTPC.


I just read the stupidest thing in the world right now....

fan filters on the top?
are you trying to trap dust inside!?!

top fans are exhausts not intakes, there is no need to put fan filters on exhausts unless you want to keep dust on the inside.
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February 12, 2013 3:33:21 AM

How about you read the whole post before calling people stupid. I clearly stated side panel, not the top panel. I had to add a fan filter "on top" of the one that comes with the side panel. I do take that english is your first language and should have better reading comprehension.
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February 12, 2013 4:01:54 AM

boulbox said:
I just read the stupidest thing in the world right now....

fan filters on the top?
are you trying to trap dust inside!?!

top fans are exhausts not intakes, there is no need to put fan filters on exhausts unless you want to keep dust on the inside.



How about you read the whole post before calling people stupid. I clearly stated side panel, not the top panel. I had to add a fan filter "on top" of the one that comes with the side panel. I do take that english is your first language and should have better reading comprehension.
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February 12, 2013 4:15:22 AM

@boulbox I own the case and it also comes with a filter on the top panel. The top panel has mesh and fine filter that you can remove and wash.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 4:31:52 AM

boulbox owned.
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February 12, 2013 4:38:00 AM

TheBigTroll said:
grab this combo deal. way better board than the extreme4 while being cheaper
http://www.ncix.com....



your links don't work. They are too long and are being abbreviated :( 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 5:08:23 AM

Video card?
There are a few choices, depending on budget and whether you want NVidia/AMD (Pros and Cons).

*Please note that different cards have different GAME COUPON DEALS!

This Sapphire HD7950:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=79518&vpn=11196-09-40...
(Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite! plus a Vapor-X cooled HD7950 for $330)

**This 3-slot Asus HD7950 is $400 but you need to factor in the THREE GAMES!
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...

Games for the above card:
SLEEPING DOGS
HITMAN
FAR CRY 3
(20 % Off MEDAL OF HONOR)

Game coupon info:
*Since the games are digital coupons:
- REDEEM online as SOON as receiving.
- verify the dates haven't expired before buying card
- double-check that the card you buy has the best games deal
- investigate the STEAM value of the games (plus many can be had for $30 in a year)

Other game info:
- Far Cry 3 is very demanding and still has graphical issues
- I prefer the Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite deal
- PHYSX isn't a huge deal. I have it OFF in many games even with my GTX680 due to the performance hit.
- MOST GAMES can be run at 60FPS at full or near full quality with an HD7950 (do yourself a favor and TWEAK to maintain 60FPS rather than just run at the highest quality setting.)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 9:46:07 AM

recommending a 400 dollar 7950 is plain stupid, even with the games
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 10:29:17 AM

TheBigTroll said:
recommending a 400 dollar 7950 is plain stupid, even with the games


I included this card because he specifically states a "silent" gaming build. I recommended the QUIETEST HD7950 you can buy. Some people don't mind paying a little extra for a noticeably quieter gaming experience.

It's also not the only card I recommend, but I included it and he can make the best choice for HIMSELF. You're entitled to your opinion of course but what is "stupid" for some is not for others.

I for example really dislike it when a CPU fan or graphics card ramp up noisily when I'm gaming. That's why I bought a Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler for $80, the 3-slot Asus GTX680 and replaced my case fans with PWM versions that I can control the speed on.

Re: the Games:
The full price of those games is $140. Obviously the value's only there if he intended to buy them anyway but if he did then the card price is about $260.

Each to his own I guess.
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February 12, 2013 11:24:33 AM

Hi guys,

I posted my topic yesterday evening, and when I woke up this morning I was very surprised to see all these answers !
Thanks !!

As I said, I'm not much of a tech guy (I know that the "mouse" is actually not an animal... I think...), so I'll try to resume all that have been said.
First, I'm happy to see that my original build was not too bad.

Here is the new build I might do according to your answers :

Parts Preferences:

Processor + Motherboard : NCIX Bundle Deal Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core CPU & Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Motherboard ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71249&vpn=BX80637I535... )
Instead of http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70541&promoid=1382 + http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70902

Memory : Apparently 16Gb is too much and 8Gb would be enough. But I can't find DDR3 2400 at 8Gb, is seems the smallest one on this website is 16Gb
G.SKILL TridentX F3-2400C10D-16GTX 16GB 2X8GB DDR3-2400 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=70850 )

Video Card : The one I had listed seems too good, and it might fo with a Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950 OC 900MHZ 3GB 5.0GBPS GDDR5 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=79518&vpn=11196-09-40... )
Instead of Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 925MHZ 3GB GDDR5 ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=79472 )

SSD : Plextor M5S 256GB 2.5in SATA3 Marvell 520MB/S Read 390MB ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75232&vpn=PX-256M5S&m... )
Instead of Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5in SATA3 MDX ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku= [...] omoid=1382 )

Hard Drive : Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku= [...] omoid=1312 )

DVD Drive : ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=49597 )

Case : Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Tower Case Black Pearl ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75044&promoid=1312 )
Instead of Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Window Case Titanium ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku= [...] omoid=1382 )

Power Supply : XFX 550W PRO550W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 44A 24PIN ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59615 )
Instead of Antec HCG-520M 520W ATX12V Modular SINGLE-RAIL 40A 80PLUS ( http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku= [...] omoid=1305 )



Let me know what you think of these changes.



Second question :
Knowing that my current PC is almost 6 years old. Do you think I should try to upgrade it, or just replace it totally ?
Here are the only information I have been able to extract from my config (even by using specialized software) :
Proc : Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E6550 2.33Ghz
Ram : 2Go
Video Card : ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
HD: Samsung HD320KJ ATA DEvice (300Go)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 1:30:30 PM

That ram is rated at 1.65v, it's not good for ivybridge cpus, a dual channel kit of 8GB with 1600 mhz rated at 1.5v is what you need, the speed differences in ram is negligible.
This ram will do, and it's cheap : http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74756&promoid=1312

That pc has a lga 775 motherboard, no point in upgrading the cpu, it's old, so you're better off with a new build.
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February 12, 2013 2:53:17 PM

Thanks,

And one last question, I was confused from the answers :

Do I need to add a fan to the build ? Or the one included in the case is fine ?


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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 6:27:51 PM

Yes, you don't need additional fans, the ones that come with the case are silent ones and they're suffice.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 6:49:02 PM

I admit that, that was my bad on misreading and i went to go to my friends house to check up on his haf XM that has an added fan on the side(bitfenix 200mm fan) and it didn't really have any dust problems and the last time he hasn't cleaned it since he built it(few months ago) not much of a noise issue on his part too.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 6:49:43 PM

fast ram is useless. dont bother.

the fans inside the fractal r4 are silent.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 14, 2013 10:59:24 PM

Hi,

You seem fairly certain on your build though I would strongly recommend you read through my "Best Answer" parts list here (they are Canadian links):
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/384453-31-build-gamin...

In particular:
1) Get the DVD burner I recommend as the firmware is from 2013. If that's the same Asus I looked at recently it's from 2009. Firmware helps prevent BAD BURNS.

2) SSD:
Make sure the SSD you pick is RELIABLE. I'm not that familiar with Plextor.

3) CASE:
- make sure your GRAPHICS CARD fits

4) RAM:
I recommend the G. SKill I listed.

5) FANS:
In a gaming rig you want:
- a FRONT CASE FAN
- one or two top/top-rear case fans
- CPU HSF (buy a half-decent $30 or so HSF with a PWM fan. Some are 3-pin Voltage only that your motherboard won't likely control)

6) PSU:
I'd recommend the one I listed instead (price depending).

Summary:
There's nothing overly wrong with the build you listed however there are a few things that would improve the build as I tried to list above.
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Anonymous
February 16, 2013 12:58:45 AM

I haven't tested anything, however I would advice putting a bottom fan in. Think about it, direct cool air blowing into your GPU fans to circulate. Else, your fans are sucking in "dead" air from inside the case to begin with. The front fan(s) help(s), but not as much as a direct route. Again I can't stress enough that you will absolutely hear your GPU start to scream once it reaches a certain temp unless you force it lower. It will be the loudest part in your system aside from any HDDs you may have.

Although the R4 doesn't have obvious "chambers", it can be done very nicely.
-The PSU has its own personal airflow route, from the bottom, directly out.
-I moved the bottom fan to the top slot and removed the upper HDD rack for the CPU. Intake -> CPU HS -> Exhaust.
-Bottom intake -> GPU intake -> back exhaust.
With this setup, you will have filters on all of your intake fans, and none on your exhaust, which is pretty much ideal. No "wasted" air anywhere (bottom front is somewhat wasted due to HD rack being in the way of your GPU anyway, unless you're not running only SSDs).

Speaking of SSDs, heat and what not, has anyone actually had a hard drive fail due to heat...? I've never even heard of it, yet they have fans for them and everything. Is that something of the past?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 16, 2013 11:52:28 AM

the problem with bottom fans is that its pretty hard to remove the filters and put them back in without tilting the case
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Anonymous
February 17, 2013 2:46:14 AM

Definitely not a problem with the R4 that I've had. Very easily grip to take it out in the back.
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!