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£600 ($925) i7 2600, quick once over and recommendations please

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December 29, 2011 2:16:59 AM

Hi everyone, I am thinking of buying these parts but would like to know if they
A: will work together properly (ie the correct speed memory for motherboard etc)
B: if they sound like reasonable choices (ie it would make more sense to get this part cos its only a few quid more and will work better etc)
C: if some new things are about to be realised in the next month or so that will make these choices stupid/waste of money etc

Approximate Purchase Date: next couple of weeks but can wait if need to.

Budget: about £600 ($925)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, 3D rendering work, surfing the internet, watching movies.

Parts Not Required: case, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, normal hard drives)

Preferred Website for Parts: Novatech.com

Country: UK

Overclocking: Very unlikely

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: No idea, my current PC/monitor goes to 1366x768 so this maybe the most this monitor can handle or maybe its the onboard graphics stopping it going higher, so atm anything that can reach this resolution while playing games will be ok.

Parts List:

2nd Generation Intel® Core i7 2600 3.40GHz Socket LGA1155 £233. The K costs £50 more (allowing for the free game i would otherwise buy) and the only difference I can see is K is overclockable which I wont use and both seem to have HD3000

Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard £85

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit £40. Can the board actually handle 1600mhz?

Novatech GeForce GTX 460 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe £120. I could go for the GTX 560 but it costs £20 more and I can't see any difference except a little clock speed, the next card up that I can see that is significantly better is the GTX 560Ti which costs a whopping £60 more and I'm not sure I wanna spend that much on one.

OCZ Agility 3 SATA III 2.5" 60GB Solid State Hard Drive £80. I think this is big enough for my needs.

Am I correct in thinking if I use this connecter and bracket I can use the SSD in a desktop PC as a normal PC drive?
Novatech Adapter Kit to Mount 2.5" HDD in 3.5" Drive Bay £7.

ACE BLACK EDITION 750W ATX PSU - MOLEX -SATA - PCI-E - PFC & 120mm FAN £23.

Additional Comments: I will use default heatsink & fan on the CPU. I would like a quiteish PC if not always at least when its just doing normal windows stuff like surfing. As you can probably guess from my selections I'm not a hardcore gamer and I'm quite happy playing on a 19 monitor on medium/high settings with 30-40fps :) 
December 29, 2011 3:18:28 AM

CPU: Great choice for your needs. Ivy Bridge is supposed to come out in April. Don't know if you want to wait that long, but so far the wait/upgrade doesn't seem worth it.

Motherboard: Gigabyte makes good affordable motherboards. This one got good reviews :) 

RAM: That board can actually handle up to 2133Mhz! No heatsink problems with this since you're using the stock cooler. If you ever want to upgrade to an after-market cooler then you might run into some problems...

GPU: The GTX 460 is a good choice. I haven't heard of Novatech as I'm from the US (not sure if that makes a difference). NVIDIA and AMD are releasing a new series of graphics cards in a few weeks. Not sure how expensive they'll be. You might want to look into those though.

SSD: I would avoid OCZ because many of their drives seem to be extremely unreliable. This one got 4 stars on Newegg so you might be ok, however. I don't know about pricing where you live (I'm assuming UK?), but I would recommend the Crucial M4 64GB if you can find it from somewhere. The link I posted is just for specs...

PSU: I've never heard of that PSU manufacturer. If you've done research and they're reliable, then go for it. In my opinion, I would go for either a Corsair, Cooler Master, or Seasonic PSU (there's others, I'm just listing them off the top of my head).

These are just my thoughts. Oh by the way that adapter kit will work with SSDs. What case do you have? Some already have mounting holes for 2.5in drives...
December 29, 2011 4:40:02 AM

Thank you very much for taking the time in replying to my post.

Novatech is a British company, they are quite big here and usually sell pretty solid PC components (usually made by big brand manufactures and they just stick their name on it)
I'll try and find some info on the cards coming out, you know what their called and if their release is important enough to lower the price of all the other cards?

I'll look into OCZ's unreliable issues and see if it affects this drive. I choose this over the Crucial as the Crucial only has 95MB/sec read speeds compared to OCZ's 475MB/sec. surely that is a massive difference, or is that just a number trick they use to sell them?

The PSU is just a cheapo ebay thing tbh as I don't wanna spend a ton on one and everyone always suggests such high wattage ones even though in theory a 500watt one should be plenty (if u add up all the watts used by stuff)

My case doesn't have holes for a 2.5in drive but I can easily fix something up, I was more concerned with how to connect it up to the motherboard and power, hopefully the lead you get in the adapter kit will do this?


December 29, 2011 6:30:30 AM

Kurts said:
Thank you very much for taking the time in replying to my post.

Novatech is a British company, they are quite big here and usually sell pretty solid PC components (usually made by big brand manufactures and they just stick their name on it)
I'll try and find some info on the cards coming out, you know what their called and if their release is important enough to lower the price of all the other cards?

I'll look into OCZ's unreliable issues and see if it affects this drive. I choose this over the Crucial as the Crucial only has 95MB/sec read speeds compared to OCZ's 475MB/sec. surely that is a massive difference, or is that just a number trick they use to sell them?

The PSU is just a cheapo ebay thing tbh as I don't wanna spend a ton on one and everyone always suggests such high wattage ones even though in theory a 500watt one should be plenty (if u add up all the watts used by stuff)

My case doesn't have holes for a 2.5in drive but I can easily fix something up, I was more concerned with how to connect it up to the motherboard and power, hopefully the lead you get in the adapter kit will do this?
The AMD cards that are coming out are the 7000 series and the NVIDIA cards are the 600 series. Here's an article talking about them: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-specific... (AMD) & http://www.techpowerup.com/156709/GeForce-Kepler-104-an... (NVIDIA). To me yes it looks like the Crucial does only have 95MB/s writes. So as of right now you're better off getting the OCZ one. I did find this Muskin one. It has a little faster write speeds. And yeah you sure be more than ok with 750w! Instead of buying that adapter kit, you could always Velcro or tape the drive in your case (yeah I know kinda ghetto, but I've seen people do it effectively).
December 29, 2011 12:54:21 PM

The OCZ Agility 3 comes with a bracket/adapter which allows you to install it into a 3.5" (normal HDD) bay.
The OCZ Agility 3 (as well as most consumer SSDs) has the normal SATA power and data connectors. The PSU has the power connector and the motherboard comes with at least 2, usually 4 data cables - I believe that it is fairly standard for socket 1155 Gigabyte motherboards to come with four. So you do not need that Novatech adapter kit.

Tall heatspreaders on DDR3 memory are unnecessary and just cause compatibility issues, so you might as well just get this considering that it is the same price:
Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CAS9 1.5V CML8GX3M2A1600C9 £40
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc...

The PSU is the most important component in a computer system. A good one goes unnoticed, a bad one will give you problems and it might not be obvious what the cause of the problem is. That is if you are 'lucky' enough for it not to explode or die. And then you would be extremely lucky if your other components survive either the life or death of the PSU.

It is the sort of component you should go over budget for. If you can't go over budget then you should cut back somewhere else to accommodate a high quality unit. The most obvious candidate to me is the CPU. Admittedly the i7-2600 is more suited to 3D rendering than the i5, but it's not like the i5 would be bad at that kind of work.
Surely it is better to have a stable working system, even if it does your work a little more slowly compared to a system with a better processor that is not stable/doesn't work at all.


You should also be aware that the Ace '750W' unit you linked doesn't have enough PCIe connectors for a GTX 460, despite claiming to me a 750W PSU (good 750W PSUs have four PCIe connectors). It has two 12V rails rated at 22A each. If we take this at face value and assume that they can both be loaded to 22A at the same time (none of which is likely to be the case) then it supposedly has 528W available on it's 12V rails. Most high quality units with anywhere near that 12V capacity would have two PCIe connectors.

A GTX 460 needs two 6pin connectors, but that unit only has one. So you would have to use peripheral to PCIe adapters. That unit only has three peripheral connectors, so you would only have one left over for fans, etc.
TBH I think if that unit was designed to support systems with graphics cards that require two 6pin PCIe connectors then it would have them.

This is the cheapest unit on Novatech that I know is high quality and has the power and connectors to support your system:
OCZ ZS Series 550W 80Plus Bronze £45
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...
December 29, 2011 7:37:27 PM

Thanks for the reply's guys!

Weren't sure about the heatsinks on the memory so thats why i went for large but if its not needed I'll go for the low profile ones like you suggest.

Ok I thought laptop and PC drives would have different connections, obviously not any more :)  That'll save me £8. Cheers

I'll bow to your far superior knowledge of PSU's. I guess they are more important than they used to be as I've always used cheapo and never had any fail before (except when I switched the voltage switch on one to see what it said on the hidden bit of the switch, without turning it of first, lol, afterwards I saw it said 110v lol)
So do you think that 550w will be enough for the cpu, graphics card, ssd, 1 or 2 normal hard drives and a dvd-r? (if not what about the 650w same model at £6 more) If so I'l be ok with getting the one you suggested as its only £20 more than the cheapo I chose and you've saved me £8 on the adapter, so for stability an extra £12 is nothing to worry about. (or £18 for the 650w) So no need to change CPU for that :) 

A bit off topic: About the graphics card (and graphic cards in general), do you know why they have to have so many connections, I mean surely they can get a load of power straight from the PCIe connection, so why two other supplies as well? Just wondering cos I'm interested.

Thanks again for taking time to help, I appreciate it.
December 29, 2011 9:33:58 PM

Well obviously you can take the risk if you want, but I'd advise against it.

Yes you will be fine with a 550W unit
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4061/amds-radeon-hd-6970-...
this shows a system with an OC'd i7-920 (which roughly 50W more power hungry than an i7-2600) and a 1GB GTX 460 drawing 331W at the wall under Furmark.
Take 10-20% off to get an idea of what their system actually drew and I think that number is a good worst case for your maximum power consumption (probably in excess tbh).

Power is delivered both via the PCIe expansions slot (officially up to 75W, but sometimes more can be drawn) and the 6pin or 8(6+2)pin connectors. The 6pin can officially deliver 75W and the 8pin can deliver 150W, if the wires in the cable are thick enough then more probably could be delivered.
Cable thickness and length is often likely to a problem with low quality units.
The official amount that can be delivered through the PCIe expansion slot hasn't been increased because the PCI-SIG (organisation responsible for the various PCIe standards) is very keen on backwards and forwards compatibility.
December 30, 2011 3:53:14 AM

Ok thanks for that, i've had a look at the link and a good old think and as the most a single graphics card uses is about 500w I was thinking if a new game comes out which I must play in the next year or so that needs a slightly better card I will probably be better of spending the extra £6 now instead of reaching the PSU limit with a better card and having to buy a more powerful PSU then, so costing £6 now and possibly saving £50 then.

Oh right that makes sence, so ideally they would redesign the PSU and motherboard/PCIe port for modern graphics cards.
I don't know much about how electric works but I'd have thought its about time to go up voltage to say 24v so they can lower the wattage and thus making the cables able to handle the load a lot better, and thus using less of them. anyway this is just a made up theory in my head so is quite probably a load of rubbish, lol!

Thanks again for all your help.
!