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Component Advice & Review ~ Future Proof, Value Build (£600ish)

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November 1, 2012 12:06:38 PM

Hi Folks,

I'm looking to build a system and have drawn up the following shopping list.
I'd appreciate any advice or opinions before I start spending.

  • I'm after something with a relatively small case and fairly quiet.
  • It won't be used for gaming and I'm not too bothered about overclocking.
  • The on board graphics should be fine for now.
  • I do want to leave my options open for upgrading the graphics and mucking around further down the line.
  • The most intense use will be some graphic work, mostly Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • I also often have one or more virtual machines running in the background.
  • I'm basically after something fast and quiet, small-ish and with scope for upgrades in the future.
  • I'm looking for good value more than low budget or blistering specs.

    I don't need:

  • Keyboard & Mouse.
  • Monitor, running 2 x LG L1715S.
  • OS - running Linux.

    At the moment I'm looking at the following (I'll shop around a bit too).

    CASE:
    Silverstone TJ08B-E Temjin Evolution, Black microATX Tower Case, Aluminium/Steel with USB 3.0, w/o PSU
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silverstone-tj08b-e-temj...
    £78.10

    MOTHERBOARD:
    Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H, Intel Z77, S 1155, DDR3, SATA 6Gb/s, SATA RAID, PCIe 3.0, D-Sub/ DVI/ HDMI, Micro ATX
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z77m-d3h-int...
    £81.32

    PROCESSOR:
    Intel Core i5 3570K,1155, Ivy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 5 GT/s DMI, 650MHz GPU, 6MB Smart Cache, 34x Ratio, 77W, Retail
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...
    £176.58

    RAM:
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Low Profile Cerulean Blue, PC3-12800 (1600), CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.5V
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-lp-cerulean-blue-pc3-12800-(1600)-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v
    £31.39

    Or

    Samsung Green (MV-3V4G3D/US) 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 1600MHz 30nm Dual Channel Kit
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...
    £49.99

    OS DRIVE:
    128GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2.5" SSD, SATA 6Gb/s, Indilinx Everest 2, MLC-Flash, Read 560MB/s, Write 430MB/s, 120k IOPS Max
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-ocz-vertex-4-25-ss...
    £86.54

    STORAGE DRIVE:
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 3 6GB/s 7200rpm 64MB Cache 8ms OEM NCQ
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2tb-seagate-st2000dm001-...
    £68.93

    PSU:
    650W Corsair Enthusiast Series 650TXV2UK, 85% Eff', 80 PLUS Bronze, SLI/CrossFire, EPS 12V, Quiet Fan, ATX v2.31, PSU
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-corsair-enthusiast-...
    £68.93

    Or

    650W OCZ ZT Modular PSU
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-ocz-zt-series-fully...
    £70

    CPU COOLING:
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cooler-master-hyper-212-...
    £26.65

    Total = £620
    (£640 with the Samsung Ram)
    Plus P&P and any other bits and bobs.

    I suspect there's a touch of overkill for my needs but I would like something that will hold its own for a few years and have potential for upgrades.

    Any advice is appreciated, especially regarding the RAM and PSU.

  • Is the £20 premium on the Samsung RAM worth it?
  • Is 650W unnecessary?
  • The 650W OCZ ZT Modular PSU makes it onto the recently updated Overclockers Recommended PSU list that's just been updated and I think if the quality is about the same I'd prefer a fully modular PSU. I've read good reviews about the Corsair but it seems to have a lot of additional connections with stiff wires so difficult to tuck away.

    **Update**

    It seems there are some limitations on what will fit in this case, it looks like any standard components will be fine but just in case it's useful to anyone:

    Quote:
    Power supply: Recommended 160mm, Max 185mm
    optical drive: Reccomended 185mm max 220mm
    -- Realize that if you put the "Max" for either of those it will come into direct contact with the "recommended" for the alternate so it really isn't a feasable thing to do... just stick with the recommended length.

    CPU cooler height limitation: 165mm and there is 18mm of clearance around the motherboard top edge.

    Graphic card limits: first and second slots support 13.25" cards the top two slots support 13.3 (no drive cage obviously)

    Memory height limitation: 54mm
    November 1, 2012 1:49:38 PM

    I'm hearing that 650W might be overkill for my needs, even if I am to drop in a decent graphics card at a later date.

    Perhaps something like this for the PSU?

    Corsair CP-9020047-UK Builder Series CX 500W Power Supply (PSU)
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-corsair-builder-ser...
    £45

    Will this provide enough grunt for any future upgrades? Can anyone recommend a PSU to suit? Modular would be nice but it's not a deal breaker.
    Related resources
    November 2, 2012 10:25:42 AM

    I've a bit of input for you. The Seasonic S12II is a solid PSU choice as is the Corsair models. For your ram, of the two choices, I would choose the Samsung since it has tighter timings at 1600MHz (I would first ensure the ram is on your mobo's QVL or your mobo is on the ram's QML).
    My $0.02
    November 2, 2012 7:41:00 PM

    Might interest you to know that these units use the same internals as the Seasonic S12II Bronze 520, but are cheaper:
    XFX ProSeries 550W Core Edition (£50 @ Amazon)
    http://skinflint.co.uk/624026

    Antec High Current Gamer HCG-520 (£51 @ Amazon)
    http://skinflint.co.uk/584944
    3 year warranty.

    PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W (£60 @ OCUK)
    http://skinflint.co.uk/703754
    Modular.

    I think this makes sense as an alternative to the Seasonic S12II Bronze based units, as it is newer, has independant voltage regulation, if anything it will be quieter on load, but is probably as quiet in idle and is cheaper:
    OCZ ZS Series 550W (£45)
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/60911/OCZ-ZS550W-UK/Po...

    Reviews for comparison:
    OCZ
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cases/display/psu-520w...
    Seasonic
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cases/display/psu-520w...

    The JG results aren't directly comparable because the OCZ unit was tested by JG, while the Seasonic was tested by OW. Although from a quick scan the voltage regulation is similar, while the Seasonic has higher efficiency and better ripple and noise suppression.
    The X-bit labs results show the OCZ to be much better in voltage regulation.
    The only trade-off appears to be the higher ripple and noise on the OCZ, but it is still well within spec.

    I'd recommend this as well as it brings higher efficiency as well as being a better performer than the S12II Bronze series, you would still be able to install a graphics card which only requires one PCIe connector.
    Seasonic G-360 (£49 @ OCUK)
    http://skinflint.co.uk/830678

    Another option if you want high efficiency and a quiet unit with good cabling:
    be quiet! Straight Power E9 450W (£61 @ Scan)
    http://skinflint.co.uk/677345
    !