Build review needed - buying this week

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Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:10 pm

I'm looking to build a new system and it's been a couple of years since the last time I went shopping. I'm hoping to get something soon before the flooding in Thailand starts kicking prices up on storage and whatnot. Any suggestions would be lovely.

Parameters:
1. This will be a gaming system, mostly SWTOR, Rage, and Diablo 3 some day... and I suppose some graphical work occasionally.
2. I will OC some, but I'm just now putting my toe in the water, so I won't be very aggressive.
3. This is my first system with SSD involved.

My basic build to start with is as follows:

Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro/GEN3 $200
Graphics: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC $235
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz $315
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 $50
System Drive: Crucial M4 256GB $365
Storage Drive Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $70
Case Corsair Obsidian Series 650D $133
Power Seasonic SS-850HT $124
Heat Sink CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 $74

That puts me in for $1,566 as a base price.

Questions that come to mind (and would welcome any others).
1. 8GB of RAM enough? OS will be Win 7 Professional (64-bit)
2. Current monitor is an LG L227W (DVI-D). Am I short-changing myself by keeping this monitor?
3. Most reviews seemed tepid on the SSD's in the 128GB range, compared to the 256GB. Is it worth the extra $$? And yes, I have a Steam library to manage.
4. Spinpoint F3 drive is currently out of stock at NewEgg and Fry's. Any suggestions on HDD if I can't find it at a decent price with a vendor I trust?

Thanks for any help you can give!
Last edited by Duinan on Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Duinan
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:08 am

Hard-drive prices have already spiked at Newegg. You may have to try another source. After the Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3, you might look for the Western Digital WD2002FAEX (2 TB) or WD1002FAEX (1 TB) Caviar Black.

I suggest upgrading to a 1920x1200 (or 1920x1080) monitor. This is the target resolution for most games, TV programs, Blu-ray movies, on-line streaming content etc.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:10 pm

Would I notice a big change if I dropped to an Intel i5, dropped the SSD to a 120-ish MB, and put the extra $$ into a new monitor?

My biggest concerns are CPU/MoBo and SSD. I want to make sure I get the best base for my system - something I will keep for 3-4 years.

Discuss :D
Duinan
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:47 pm

There's not really alot to criticize about the build. I find the board to be too pricey for the features. It seems to me the major feature you're paying extra for is 4x 6gb/s ports, when you can raid-0 only 2 of them. Let me be more clear. You need to have your OS on some sort of storage. It can be on a single hard drive, or a raid array. The value of 6gb/s ports only apply to SSDs. If you have a conventional hard drive, a cheaper 3gb/s port is fine because conventional hard drives don't even challenge 3gb/s bandwidths let along 6gb/s. So now how can you arrange your SSD based OS? You can have it on a single SSD drive needing one 6gb/s port. Or you can have it on a SSD raid array on X number of Y-type ports (you can have arrays of various sizes and mixed across both port types). The important thing is your board has a restriction where even though it has 4x 6gb/s ports, only 2 of them can be dedicated to a raid array.

Now lets come at it like this as I make my argument. Assuming your OS is on a single SSD on a 6gb/s port, what will you do with the other 3x 6gb/s ports? Well presumably nothing you couldn't do with 3x 3gb/s ports. You'd have storage and dvd drives attached, but likely not an other SSD (why would you have an SSD essentially performing as a storage drive? you wouldn't. You want your SSD to hold your entire OS as well as your files). You're in other words paying more to have stuff you can't ever use. Now people frequently buy a second SSD and create a raid array. They do it to double capacity and to double performance. So if you put your OS on a raid-o with 2 drives, you are effectively using 2 of your 6gb/s ports, but the other 2 will not be used in a way 3gb/s ports cannot be used. This is the standard for most cheaper boards. You get 2x 6gb/s ports and then some large number of 3gb/s ports standard on most cheaper p67 and z68 boards. If you want to build an array with 4 ssd drives on a cheaper board, you'd have to put 2x on the 6gb ports and the remaining 2 on the 3gb ports.

So is your board any better? No. because even thought it has 4x ports, it still caps you at 2. Building a 4x raid on your board would still need to be built across both 6gb/s and 3gb/s ports. So why pay for stuff you can't and won't use and pay heavily for it?

The only other thing I'd say is shop around. Newegg rarely imo has the best prices. They have ok prices, but not always the best static prices. Either wait for a sale from them or look elsewhere for great deals.

Oh and your monitor is totally wasted. Get a bigger one. Or add a second one and go dual screen.
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: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:28 pm

I would vote yes on the i5 2500K. The 2600K doesn't give you an extra $100 worth of performance.

120GB SSD's are perfect size for most people to put most if not all of your programs and games on. (thats what size I have) You'll obviously need a regular HDD to store data on, but I would recommend a "green hard drive" (5400 rpm) as they offer lower noise and power usage and if you're not installing the OS on them theyre more than sufficient in terms of speed. You can get high end SSD's (M4, Force GT, Vertex 3) for around $180 when they're on sale, FYI.

As far as getting a high capacity HDD, good luck at this point. If you can find one for a decent price still, more power to you. Otherwise, you might be better off re-using a drive from your previous computer at least until supply catches back up next year. Prices will come back down eventually.

Other than that, everything else looks fine. I agree that the mobo may be a bit overkill, but you're the one that knows what you want. Just make sure you're looking at features and determining whether or not you actually need them or not. ASRock is putting out very competitive products price and performance wise, you may want to give them a look. I would rank mobo makers as follows: ASUS, ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte (because they dont have UEFI still, but soon to come). I think ASRock and ASUS are roughly equal except that ASUS has a better looking/operating UEFI. However, ASUS's automatic overclocking cranks the voltage up unnecessarily high whereas ASRock's doesnt.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:48 pm

Okay, think I'll drop down to the i5 2000K. Thanks for the recommendations.

I did manage to find a Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB at Fry's (the store had it, not the web site). Luckily they are only about 3 miles away. Not only that, but they had it as cheap as I've seen anywhere else - $59.99. They do have a limit of one drive per customer - debating on going back tomorrow for a second to set up a RAID. I'll have to come back here for help with that as well - limited experience with RAID systems.

I do have to put in one stupid question - I've seen all of the front-panel fan controls for the cases. Why would you want to turn your fans down? Strictly for noise? Then spin them up faster when you are gaming?

Thanks again for the help so far - would love to hear any other thoughts. Love the feedback on the MoBo - I'm going to dig around for an alternative since I only plan on a single SSD and either a single data drive or a RAID 0 setup.
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:54 pm

Some lunatic wrote:For LGA1155, consider something like the GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, Maximus IV Gene-Z or P8Z68-V/Gen3.
With the Asus motherboards' Q-Fan, you can use a pair of 120mm PWM case fans and the controller will speed them up or slow them down as needed.

You may be able to find a good deal on the Core i5-2500K and a Z68 motherboard at your local Fry's.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:54 pm

Yeah, its best to have as many fans as possible regulated automatically by the motherboard, especially if the board has good fan controls (ie ASUS). But you are correct, if you have fans connected to an external controller, turn them down for noise when you're not gaming.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:59 pm

Okay, based on feedback here, other threads, and other places, this is what I'm looking at now. I'd love any final thoughts before I pull the trigger.

Motherboard - ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 - $140
Processor - Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz - $215
Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $50
System Drive - OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - $199.99 (may switch to Crucial)
Storage Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99 (already purchased before the prices jump)
Graphics - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC - $235 (may switch to AMD's 6950 - still debating)
Power - Seasonic SS-850HT - $124
Heat Sink - CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 - $74 (Maybe the Corsair A70 for $43?)
Case - still looking, many options. Do I really need USB 3.0 on the front? Won't most USB 3.0 devices be something you would likely plug in the back and leave? (i.e ext. drives). Definitely want top-mounted fan(s).

On the Asus P8Z68, do I want to mess around with LucidLogix Virtu? Seems like mixed reviews...

I don't do video work and very little graphical design (photoshop). Mostly gaming for high-end graphics - would I get anything but more heat by going to 2 lower prices gfx cards?

When do I quit obsessing over this and just go ahead and buy it???
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:50 pm

Duinan wrote:Okay, based on feedback here, other threads, and other places, this is what I'm looking at now. I'd love any final thoughts before I pull the trigger.

Motherboard - ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 - $140
Processor - Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz - $215
Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $50
System Drive - OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - $199.99 (may switch to Crucial)
Storage Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99 (already purchased before the prices jump)
Graphics - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC - $235 (may switch to AMD's 6950 - still debating)
Power - Seasonic SS-850HT - $124
Heat Sink - CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 - $74 (Maybe the Corsair A70 for $43?)
Case - still looking, many options. Do I really need USB 3.0 on the front? Won't most USB 3.0 devices be something you would likely plug in the back and leave? (i.e ext. drives). Definitely want top-mounted fan(s).

Nothing wrong with that PSU, but it's massive overkill for what you're building. Have you considered some of the good-quality alternates in the $60-90 range? For example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151096
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817703025
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139028
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Re: Build review needed - buying this week

Postposted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:18 pm

Good point - I originally started out with an i7 2600k and a bigger mobo... forgot to step PSU down. Thanks for the heads up!
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