New build questions

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New build questions

Postposted on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Its time to replace my old core duo system with something newer. Here is what I am considering that fits my budget. This will be used as a gaming system more than anything else. I live in Ohio and got my last system from a store here in state so I am planning on using them again. My budget is $2500 including shipping and taxes.


Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) Quad Core Processor
Corsair H80 Cooling Hydro, extra quiet Liquid Cooling System
ASUS P9X79 PRO, SLI & X-Fire, SATA3, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, GB LAN, HD Audio
16GB (4x4GB) PC17000 DDR3 2133 Quad Channel (high performance memory)
GeForce GTX 680 4GB PCI EXpress 16X dual head, HDMI
240.0 GB SSD Kingston HyperX 3K (KC100) Solid State Drive, SATA3 6.0Gb/s, 550MBs
2000.0 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3, 6.0Gb/s, 64mb cache
LG 22x DVD Recorder Dual Layer +R/RW -R/RW
Realtek HD digital audio (onboard)
Ethernet network adapter (onboard)
Thermaltake Armor Revo Snow Edition,front USB3.0 & 2.0, HDD docking, eSATA
Antec Hgh Current Gamer Series 900W Extra Quiet ATX Power Supply SLI & X-fire ready
Microsoft Windows 8 64-Bit DVD

Now for the questions.

I have the option of going to 32 or 64 GB of ram, is there really a reason to go that high? If so would there be a noticeable slow down if I went with the 1333 instead of the 2133 as a cost savings measure?

The other debate I had is with the power supply. I originally had a 1200w on the list but that seemed to be over kill. So I dropped it down to a 850w but after reading some reviews on my choice, I jumped to Antec 900w. Is the 900w going to be too much or not enough?

Any suggestions on my other choices would be welcome as well.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:04 pm

Look at the TR system guides as a starting point. Your list isn't bad but you can definitely knock a few hundred bucks off it and get a better system with these suggestions:

  • i5-3570K: Cheaper platform and basically as fast, if not faster - because it's newer architecture. You don't need hyperthreading for games - in fact many games run more smoothly with it disabled.

  • Air cooling is plenty good enough. The i5-3570K is only a 77W chip, and that rating is if you're also using the integrated graphics, which you're not. The Coolermaster Hyper212 EVO is plenty good enough to handle an overclocked 3570K to well over 4GHz, and by the time you need watercooling to keep it quiet, you're usually past the point of diminishing returns....

  • A Z77 motherboard. Asus do plenty, they're all decent enough - just pick the features you want. Gigabyte/Asrock/MSI/EVGA are also fine, but I prefer the Asus BIOS these days.

  • The Kingston SSD is fine if it's cheap, but asyncronous Sandforce drives are at the bottom of the performance barrel;
    See if you can find an Intel 335/Samsung 830/Corsair Force GT/Corsair Neutron for similar money - they're all superior drives.

  • And you don't need 900W! You could power even a Sandy Bridge-E system and a GTX680 with a decent 380W power supply, no joke.
    An overclocked 3570K and an overclocked GTX680 might pull 350W from the wall socket, if you're really pushing it but at stock voltages you'll be looking at more like 250W. Intel CPUs are typically under 100W each, and the only other component that draws significant power is the GPU, typically 190W for a GTX680 or so when artificially loaded with an extreme burn-in testing tool like Furmark. I guess if you want a good quality PSU with room to upgrade, you should be looking in the 500-650W range and I recommend Seasonic, though you'll be fine with Antec/Corsair too. Honeslty, even 500W is plenty, just get a good one with high (gold or platinum) efficiency and the cabling/cooling features you want.

There's a reason Dell only put 540W power supplies into their dual-socket, dual-GPU certified workstations, and similarly Dell's Optiplex lines that we buy (i7-2600K and GT640 cards) use 265W power supplies (which they warranty for 3 years with have next-day, on-site warranty levels of confidence)
It just proves that these 1000W power supplies really are pointless marketing ploys praying on the fears of people who were burned by "500W" Taiwanese junk units for $30. These "500W" units are rarely worthy of a 250W sticker on the side, which is why they all cost less than even a 300W unit from a proper PSU manufacturer like Antec/Seasonic/Fortron.

This is where I usually recommend an mATX build too, since an mATX board and a decent case like the Fractal Design Define Mini or Arc Mini is a much better fit for todays hardware, but that's a personal thing;
I don't see the point in buying a case with room for four graphics cards, ten drives and a bajillion fans. Sure, it makes building easier but unless you have loads of space it makes moving them anywhere a pain in the arse. Much easier to sling an mATX case under one arm and you can still get 8 drives and a pair of graphics cards into either of the cases I mentioned.

As for where to buy, I'm in the UK so I can't suggest exactly which components are good deals in the US, but I'm sure plenty of people here are willing to point out where to go.
I know that Microcentre bundles are a good way to save cash if you live near one, but that's about it.
Last edited by Chrispy_ on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:27 pm

Khali wrote:Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) Quad Core Processor
ASUS P9X79 PRO, SLI & X-Fire, SATA3, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, GB LAN, HD Audio
You could save $170 or $180 on the motherboard and $10 or $80 on the processor if you went with LGA1155 instead of LGA2011. If you're near a Micro Center, you could save another $100 compared to Newegg's prices.
Asus P8Z77-V LK, P8Z77-M Pro or ASRock Z77 Pro4-M and Intel Core i7-3770 or Core i5-3570K.

Khali wrote:Antec Hgh Current Gamer Series 900W Extra Quiet ATX Power Supply SLI & X-fire ready

As Chrispy_ pointed out, that's more power supply than you need. Here's one that provides 44 amperes (528 watts) on the +12V rail for just $55 -15MIR: XFX Core Edition PRO550W. This SeaSonic S12II 520 is just $77½. The modular version is $80.
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
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:44 pm

I based the first build on the TR systems guide double stuff. Here is a i5 version, I used the savings on a larger HD, Blu Ray drive, and more memory. Still not sure more than 16 GB of memory is worth the price. I will not be building this myself due to health reasons, my hands are numb and shake too much for me to trust myself to attempt a build and not damage anything in the process. So, I am going to have this done at a computer builder here in state. I know its cheaper to do it yourself but that is not a option for me right now.

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Quad Core 6000K
Coolermaster Hyper TX3 Vertical, 3 Copper Heat Pipes, Extra Quiet CPU fan
ASUS P8Z77-V LX, Onboard Video, DVI & HDMI, X-Fire, SATA3, USB3.0, GB LAN
32GB (4x8GB) PC17000 DDR3 2133 Dual Channel (high performance memory)
GeForce GTX 680 4GB PCI EXpress 16X dual head, HDMI
256.0 GB SSD Crucial M4 Series Solid State Drive, SATA3 6.0Gb/s, 500MBs
3000.0 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3, 6.0Gb/s, 64mb cache
LG Blu-ray 12X Recorder,16x DVD Recorder SATA combo drive
Realtek HD digital audio (onboard)
Ethernet network adapter (onboard)
Thermaltake Armor Revo Snow Edition,front USB3.0 & 2.0, HDD docking, eSATA
Thermaltake TR2 600W ultra quiet ATX Power Supply, SLI & X-fire ready
Microsoft Windows 8 64-Bit DVD


My options are limited on SSD's, CPU Cooler, and the case since I have to go with what the builder offers.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:10 pm

NCIX Canada will build any combination you select for $50 extra, and then ship it, and they now have a US operation.
Or perhaps Newegg offer a similar service?

"Thermaltake TR2 600W ultra quiet ATX Power Supply, SLI & X-fire ready"
That unit wouldn't fill me with confidence!
I'd stick with Seasonic or Corsair.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:22 pm

I checked and NCIX US operations do not offer the build service. However I gave AVADirect a look and this is what I came up with.

INTEL Core™ i5-3570K Quad-Core 3.4 - 3.8GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 6MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST VT-x XD, Retail
COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 CPU Cooler, Socket 1155/1156/1366/775/FM1/AM3/AM2, Copper/Aluminum
ASUS P8Z77-V LK, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-2400 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /1+1*, SATA 3Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 6Gb/s /2, DP + HDMI + DVI + VGA, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, GbLAN, ATX, Retail
KINGSTON 16GB (4 x 4GB) HyperX Beast XMP PC3-19200 DDR3 2400MHz CL11 1.65V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
EVGA GeForce® GTX 680 Classified 1111MHz, 4GB GDDR5 6008MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, 2x DVI + HDMI + DP, Retail
SAMSUNG 500GB 840 Series SSD, TLC Samsung MDX, 530/330 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, 7mm, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail
SEAGATE 1TB Barracuda®, SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache
RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB
SAMSUNG Super-WriteMaster™ SH-224BB Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, w/o Software, OEM
CORSAIR Graphite CC600TWM White/Black Mid-Tower Computer Case w/ Window, ATX, No PSU, Steel/Plastic
CUSTOM WIRING Standard Wiring with Precision Cable Routing and Tie-Down
SEASONIC Platinum-760 760W Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 80 PLUS® Platinum, 24-pin ATX12V 2x EPS12V, 4x 8/6-pin PCIe, Retail
MICROSOFT Windows 8 64-bit Edition, OEM
ACCESSORY AVADirect System Documentation and Media Binder
WARRANTY Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

I must say that I am glad I looked around some more after getting your feed back. This build is pretty much what I wanted to start with, at least as far as the case, memory and initial HD set up goes. I know the PSU is larger then was recommended but I am looking to add at least 5 and maybe up to as 7 more Hard drives or SSD's in the near future and wanted to have enough capacity for those and anything else I might add in.

I am talking to a local computer store I found last night. If he can meet or beat AVA's price at $2255.19 I will go with him. If not AVA will be getting a order in the next few days.

Thanks again for the feed back. I will post the final specs if there are any more changes but I don't think there will be other than maybe removing the card reader I have no use for.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:29 pm

If you're going to get 16 GiB of memory, I recommend that you get 2x8 GiB rather than 4x4 GiB. This will leave room for future expansion. Of course, you may not need 16 GiB of memory to start with. 8 GiB is sufficient for many tasks.

Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge in LGA1155 have only two memory channels, so there's no performance benefit for using four 4 GiB DIMMs instead of two 8 GiB DIMMs to get the same 16 GiB capacity.
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
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:32 pm

Thanks again everyone for all the advice. Here is my final parts list for the build. It is on its way from Newegg right now.

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
2x SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC512D/AM 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
SeaSonic Platinum Platinum-860 860W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA
Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 120mm Long Life Sleeve CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Survivor Stealth 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Windows 8 64bit OEM

Plus I get two games free with the EVGA video card.
Borderlands 2
Assassin's Creed 3

The power supply might look a bit over powered for this build but I have plans on adding in more HDD's and another video card in the near future. I almost went with the Cosmos II case just for the HDD bays. I know 32GB is way more memory than I will need for normal use but I have a possible career change coming up that will make use of it. Multiple sessions of graphics design software and other applications use up every bit of 16GB a friend has in his system and he is only running about 3/4 of the applications he needs to make things as efficient as possible. Besides, memory was one of the cheaper items on the list so I am not going to worry if my career plans fall through.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:54 pm

Any reason why you went with a down-blowing CPU heatsink instead of a traditional and more effective tower-style like the CM Hyper 212 EVO?

PS, if you use a PSU calculator figuring dual GTX 680's (for some reason beyond my comprehension), 3 hdds, entire system at 85% load while burning a DVD and 25% capacitor aging you come out the other end with 650W required PSU which means your actual total system power draw will be under 400W.... The way your system sits now, you're in the range of 250W total system power usage. I know its too late now, but something to keep in mind for the future.
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: New build questions

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:43 pm

Holy crap, 1TB of SSD! I thought I was pushing the boat out by putting a 256 in each of my 3 daily drivers......

Nothing wrong with 32GB of RAM though; We have plenty of staff here that use over 32GB just doing 3DSMax modelling/rendering.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:36 am

I freely admit the PSU is bigger than I need now. But I don't understand why it bothers so many people. Other than a small increase in my electric bill I don't see how its hurting anything. In the past I had several systems where I did not have a big enough PSU when it came time to upgrade a video card or something and had to do the PSU as well. Just seems cheaper to build in the extra power now so I don't have to worry about it later on.

The cpu cooler was highly recommended on the web and by some friends. I have my doubts but for the price I thought I would give it a try. If it is not up to the job it can be cheaply replaced with a closed loop liquid system or some other type of fan cooler.

I debated a long time on getting the second SSD. But I finally decided to go ahead. This way I wont have to even think about getting another for a while. My current system has a 500 GB HD which I thought was going to be way more than I needed back in 2007, until about two years ago when I had to remove some programs to make room for a couple of new games. The new system will have just over four times more storage than my old system and I am hoping that will be enough to last me until its time to put a new system together. Every year programs get bigger and bigger so what is considered over kill now wont be a year or two from now.

I just have to smile at those who keep saying I have chosen more than I will ever need in this system. I am 43, 44 in 8 more days, so I grew up when computers came into every day use. My uncle used to rant for hours about how we would never need more than 512 megs of system memory or a hard drive bigger than 40 gigs. Yet here we are 25 years later and its common to see systems with 8 GB of ram and 500 GB of hard drive space if not a terabyte or more. Never say never. My goal was to get the most bang for the buck without having to upgrade anything for five years or more except maybe adding in hard drives and video card upgrades. Maybe my choices are going to turn out being a bit of overkill and maybe they won't. We will just have to see a few years down the road.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:58 am

1) Your Platinum-rated PSU will probably be more efficient with your current system than an 80Plus Bronze PSU that's powered more closely to your needs. No harm done, but you could have (possibly) saved a few bucks on a lesser wattage PSU that's all (disregarding sales). Keep in mind that newer components are using less power to produce more performance.

2) Again, too late now but: SSD's will continue to get cheaper and offer higher performance as time goes on. Hdd's have been out for decades so go ahead and buy a huge one, but buying 4x more SSD than you need right now is a waste of money IMO. Keep in mind that a 500GB hdd these days costs as much or less than a 40GB hdd did back in the day. Heck, my 120GB SSD cost $190 just a year ago and now you can get it for $115.
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:17 am

Khali wrote:On getting the second SSD... This way I wont have to even think about getting another for a while.... I am hoping that will be enough to last me until its time to put a new system together. My goal was to get the most bang for the buck without having to upgrade anything for five years or more except maybe adding in hard drives and video card upgrades. Maybe my choices are going to turn out being a bit of overkill and maybe they won't. We will just have to see a few years down the road.
SSDs are improving in performance and size and dropping in price much faster than graphics cards these days. If you're willing to upgrade a hard-drive or graphics card every two years, you should be more than willing to add or upgrade an SSD in that period.

There's nothing wrong with the power supply that you selected except that it's larger and more expensive than you need for a PC with only one graphics card. SeaSonic is an excellent brand and the platinum series are some of the best units that they make.
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
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Re: New build questions

Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:33 pm

Yeah, I could have saved some money by going with a smaller PSU and only getting one SSD. I guess my point of view is I have more fun playing games on the computer than I do playing around installing new components inside the computer every so often to do a upgrade. To each their own idea of fun. I prefer to just get what I want the first time and not have to be constantly adding this or that over time while at the same time leaving some flexibility and extra capacity in the system for future upgrades when and if needed. Just me I guess, nothing wrong with either point of view.
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