First build, couple questions...

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First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:28 am

I've done lots of upgrades and tinkering, but I've never built a system from scratch or installed a motherboard before. So I have a couple general questions and then some specific questions about this build.

This will be a jack of all trades system. First, it needs to be very stable, and I would like to find a good balance between snappy yet relatively quiet. On a daily basis this won't be used for much more than web browsing/music/movies/etc. However, I do photography part time and will need reasonably good performance with Lightroom/Photoshop. I'm not an avid gamer, but there tend to be 2-3 games per year that I really get into that tend to be graphically intensive and I'd like them to run well.

I will not be doing any video transcoding or anything like CAD or anything like that... some games and photoshop should be the most intensive things I run. I've tried to make reasonable compromises on the components and I hope that it will be a balanced system overall. For instance I chose the P8P67 LE mobo over the P8Z68 because it was a little cheaper plus there was a combo deal making it around $50 cheaper overall.

Here's a link to the components:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=17034152
Mobo: P8P67
CPU: i5 2500k
GPU: Radeon HD6870 (Recently already purchased)
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W
Case: NZXT H2
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
OS: Win7 x64

I also have some other HDDs onhand for storage, haven't decided what configuration but likely 2x WD 1GB Greens in RAID1 for data storage. I forgot to order an optical drive but likely won't need one for the initial build anyway. I also won't need a discrete sound card at this point either.

Questions:
How quiet might this system be? Any chance it will be at or less than a new PS3 slim? Not really sure what to expect here.

Which of the 6Gbps connectors should I use for optimal performance of the SSD? This is where I really splurged on this system and I'd like to get the most out of it that I can. I think it should be reasonable for it to hold the OS, Lightroom, Photoshop, Winamp, Firefox, and hopefully Steam and whatever game I'm playing at the moment.

Overclocking: It sounds like I can do some pretty decent overclocking with this CPU/Mobo without much hassle or reliability concerns... maybe up to 4.2-4.3ghz without any real concerns or much effort. Is it really likely to be as simple as setting the multiplier and only maybe a couple other slight tweaks? Is setting up the mobo really as easy as the guides are making it look? Back on old AGP systems I remember there being a lot more fiddling with jumpers and stuff before even messing with the BIOS.

I'm assuming this will come with some sort of heatsink for the CPU. With (what I believe to be) a modest overclock of up to 4.3ghz, will I be ok with the stock CPU cooler? Or do I need to consider an aftermarket solution? Will it come decently outfitted with thermal compound or do I need to pick that up too?

What else might I need? I'll probably end up getting an optical drive soon enough. I'm good as far as keyboard/mouse/monitor/card reader as well. The only other things I anticipate I might add relatively soon is a UPS device and I might upgrade my data drives to 2x 2TB in RAID1.
MJZ82
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:40 am

If you plan on overclocking i would get a decent cooler,a nice tower air cooler with at least 120mm fans,Or even a sealed water setup.Imm running a asetec 120mm sealed system with the orange quiet 120mm fans in a push pull config,kinda like a corsair h50 system.But my 4.1 ghz 2600k idles at 30-38degrees and loaded it maxes around 60.
As for noise,the vid card will put out the most noise in your system when loaded.
As for your power supply i think you should get a 650 watt just in case you add another card for crossfire down the road,plus having too much power is alot better then not enough.
Also i noticed the motherboard you selected wont support crossfire that good since the second pcie16 slot is only 4x not 8x,get a slightly better motherboard that supports 8x8 crossfire,will help futureproof you a lil bit.
As for the sata connection for the ss drive if it supports 6g use that,if its 3g it will work fine in any sata port.
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vargis14
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:55 am

If you are going to use mechanical hard drives in your build for storage, makes sense to get a Z68 motherboard rather than a P67 motherboard and buy a smaller SSD (64gb or less) that you can then use as cache for those mechanical hard drives. This is a Z68 only feature.
cjcerny
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:53 pm

Quieter than a PS3? No chance. Fairly quiet? Probably. You've chosen good parts, but if quiet if what you want you're gonna need an aftermarket cooler (air rather than the sealed water cooler types) and again think about the PSU again and again because that is the one fan you can't do a darn thing about. I'm not saying your seasonic isn't quiet, but man there are psus out there are are notorious for being amazingly silent.
i7 2600k @4.4 ghz 1.26v - GA-P67X-UD3 - 16gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600mhz - Evga Geforce GTX 570 - 2x 120gb Vertex 3 Raid-0 - Seagate Barracude 1.5TB - Silverstone FT02- HP 2709M Monitor
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:18 pm

thanks for the suggestions.

I forgot to mention that I really only want it to be super quiet while playing movies/music, not when I am actually putting a decent load on the video card. but you may be right about the power supply... any suggestions on which models to look for? I might need to run to Fry's if they have something suitable.
Edit: I'm seeing review after review for this PSU mentioning how quiet it is... might just go with it and see what happens.

With the cost difference of the mobo, PSU and everything to support a better crossfire setup, I would have paid a lot more upfront for something I might not use... if I decide to upgrade I think I can buy a single better graphics card later, but I get the feeling this will be good enough for a while. Hopefully I can play Skyrim @ 1200 with decent settings/performance. Not expecting to max everything out.
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:23 pm

eeesh, coulda chosen better on the graphics card if you asked me since you'll be using photoshop. photoshop has support for Nvidia cards and it makes a difference. Have a read.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adobe-cs5-cuda-64-bit,2770.html

Also, an aftermarket tower-style cooler is definetly recommended. Not only do they offer better cooling but at lower noise levels. I have a xigmatek 120mm, they perform well with low fan noise and a good price tag. If you've got lots of money to spend (waste) Noctua is the best and quietest you can get. But the difference is only a few C and noise difference is...negligible IMO.

Your graphics card will undoubtedly be the loudest component in your system so try and feed that puppy as much cold air as you can. I recently added just an 80mm fan to the side panel of my case pushing only 24 cfm directly onto my 6850. Burn-in temps went down almost 10C and the graphics fan wasnt even at 100% (compared to 100% fan speed before). Your case doesnt have a side fan, but you can populate that bottom 120mm fan mount to get some good airflow toward your graphics card and you'll reap the benefits. Rubber fan mounts are nice to reduce fan vibrations as well, and they're cheap.

Regarding the SATA port. Use the gray one from the chipset, it will be faster.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
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Re: First build, couple questions...

Postposted on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:50 pm

MJZ82 wrote:Questions:
How quiet might this system be? Any chance it will be at or less than a new PS3 slim? Not really sure what to expect here.

Which of the 6Gbps connectors should I use for optimal performance of the SSD? This is where I really splurged on this system and I'd like to get the most out of it that I can. I think it should be reasonable for it to hold the OS, Lightroom, Photoshop, Winamp, Firefox, and hopefully Steam and whatever game I'm playing at the moment.

Overclocking: It sounds like I can do some pretty decent overclocking with this CPU/Mobo without much hassle or reliability concerns... maybe up to 4.2-4.3ghz without any real concerns or much effort. Is it really likely to be as simple as setting the multiplier and only maybe a couple other slight tweaks? Is setting up the mobo really as easy as the guides are making it look? Back on old AGP systems I remember there being a lot more fiddling with jumpers and stuff before even messing with the BIOS.

I'm assuming this will come with some sort of heatsink for the CPU. With (what I believe to be) a modest overclock of up to 4.3ghz, will I be ok with the stock CPU cooler? Or do I need to consider an aftermarket solution? Will it come decently outfitted with thermal compound or do I need to pick that up too?

What else might I need? I'll probably end up getting an optical drive soon enough. I'm good as far as keyboard/mouse/monitor/card reader as well. The only other things I anticipate I might add relatively soon is a UPS device and I might upgrade my data drives to 2x 2TB in RAID1.


The system is going to be as quiet as what you put in it. If you buy a bunch of cheap fans and run them at 100%, it's not going to be quiet. If you get a nice aftermarket cooler and run your CPU at stock or a mild overclock, you can generally keep the cpu fan ~idle (1000rpm) for quietness most of the time (and have it spin up if necessary).

120GB is a bit overkill for essential apps and a game or two. I've got a 96GB Kingston and currently (after a fairly fresh install + all my essentials (including Photoshop), I'm only using about 16GB of space on the drive.. that leaves a good 70+ gigs for game installs, any other large programs I might install in the near future (illustrator, premiere, 3ds max, etc). Most games won't really benefit much from being installed on an SSD.

Yes, overclocking is really quite simple. All I really had to do on my 1156+i5 750 rig was up the bclck (from 133 -> 167 iirc for 167*21 = 3.5ghz).

A Coolermaster Hyper 212+ would suit your build well, they're very good for the small amount of money they'll set you back (~$30).

As for everything else, I'd say avoid the Vertex 3. Tons of people have been having problems with these drives failing constantly. Maybe put off the SSD purchase until later or consider a more reliable option. OCZ has really been a huge disappointment lately.
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