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Old November 7, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Looking for tips for a new build

Hello everyone!

A friend recommended this site to look for tips and reviews, so here I am!
I am looking to build a new PC soon, but I am also not against waiting a month or two if something really worthwhile is coming out soon.

Anyway, here is my info:

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

I play games, listen to tons of music, and work.
For games, stuff like Civ V, MMO's when a good one comes out, stuff like that. I am not a huge FPS guy. For work, I use the standard Microsoft stuff, and SPSS (statistical analysis program).
I use Senheisser HD595 headphones, and would love a good sound card with a headphone amp.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

My budget is in the $1000 range, keeping in mind that I already have several parts (see below).
I am basically looking for a Motherboard, CPU, Case, RAM, and maybe a sound card depending on the price of everything else.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

Canada, I live 20 minutes from the Langley NCIX.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.

I have read overwhelmingly good things from the Intel 2600k chips, and anything ASUS, but I am certainly open to looking at anything. I am leaning towards a Coolermaster HAF X case, but again, I am open.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

I am planning on using several parts that I already own:
- Windows 7
- Hard Drives: 2x 2TB WD Green
- EVGA GTX 470 (I am looking to upgrade this a few months after this build)
- I have a Corsair 680W modular power supply from about 2-3 years ago. I am thinking I can make due with this power supply until I upgrade my video cards (?)

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.

I have read through tons of posts and reviews.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

I would like to overclock, but I am still learning how. I would like the capability to overclock safely.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?

Anytime between now and Christmas, ballpark.

9. What resolution do you use?

I currently use two monitors in 1920x1080 (I think). Two 24" Samsung monitors. I dont set them up for dual screen games, just as an extended desktop for work to have multiple screens open without having to flip back and forth.

10. Other notes

I am interested in upgrading my current GTX 470 to two video cards maybe a month or two after I build my system (have to spread out the cost so my wife doesnt straight up kill me).

I have also been thinking more and more about setting up a water cooling unit, but I have never done it before, and dont want to electrocute myself/burn down my house.

Any thoughs/ideas/opinions are very helpful!

Last edited by Pleasc; November 8, 2011 at 10:33 AM.
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Old November 7, 2011, 01:36 PM
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I'm sure a 2500K/asus or giga or even msi Z68 board would suit your needs fine. If you will be doing more thread intensive tasks, then maybe the 2700K chip would be worth getting. Grab a (2x4GB) kit of ram, coolermaster H212 cooler, That should be about $500-650. For the case I'd maybe look for one of the corsair cases. Say, the 650D or 600T. The HAF X is just so big. Its kind of unneccessary unless you have a super long motherboard and want to run more than 2 video cards. You might even consider an ssd.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Are you going to use those Green drives at your OS drive? The greens are great for storage but just not that fast. I would consider an SSD or a WD Black (too bad the prices are so high due to the flooding in Thailand) for a boot drive.

I have the HAF-X, it is a great case but it is the size of a house. So unless you are running an oversized EATX motherboard and/or multiple GPUs there is no reason to go that big. Any of Coolermaster's smaller cases will be just fine.

I would go with an Asus P8Z68-V Pro at about $200, a 2500K at about $219, A HAF 922 at about $100 and a Gskill 2*4GB DDR3 1600 memory kit at about $55. I would personally also grab a Crucial M4 128 Gig SSD at about $210. Can't recommend a sound card.

That puts you significantly under budget which lets you buy a bigger PSU within the $1000 budget. I'd go Corsair AX-850, which Memex has on for $160 right now or Antec High Current Pro 850 at about $170, unless you plan to go huge later on and want a 1200 Watter.

I didn't use NCIX pricing but it should be close to that.



2600K seems overkill for the list of things you plan to use it for. Nothing on that list would take advantage of the hyperthreading.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:32 AM
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After some narrowing (and some helpful comments here!), I am looking at:
- P8Z68-V Pro Gen 3 board (that allows me to theoretically upgrade to the Ivy Bridge chip, right?)
- i5 2500k Unlocked (If I am reading correctly, with overclocking, this chip should perform at the same level as the 2600k? Without hyperthreading of course)
- RAM I am still undecided. I have had bad luck with some RAM companies in the past, so I am trying to do extra research.
- I do plan on upgrading to one or possibly 2 SSD drives soon after this build, but for the short term I will use my slow-grandma-pace WD Green drives for boot.

I am still eyeballing that HAF X case. The size does not concern me in the least, and it has some great features, air flow, clean black interior, etc etc. I don't think an extra large case will hurt anything (except my back when I need to move it).
I am trying to decide between an air cooled cpu or a sealed water unit like the corsair stuff. I am leaning towards air, just for simplicity. I think I have moved away from a real water cooling set up, just seems like so much work.

Really, thanks for the input so far, I am narrowing my list!
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Old November 8, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Air cooling is usually sufficient for smaller overclocks. Since you're a relative newb (like myself) and want to OC safely (like myself) I imagine you won't be pushing the limits of the chips/mem. This means that you'll be able to get by with a tower air cooler like the Coolermaster H212 that dandelioneater suggested. But really, most coolers work well. They're all based around heat pipes dissipating heat to a ginormous aluminum heatsink with either a 120mm or a 140mm fan. I use the Xigmatek SD1283, and have zero issues with it. Air coolers have the advantage of being substantially cheaper than water cooling.
Extra case fans are not a bad idea either, to help expel additional heat from your GPU, motherboard and other components. Read This Article for tips and tricks on air cooling.

Oh, and when it comes to RAM, I'm running Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB. So far no problems.

My last build had Crucial Ballistix DDR2 Ram, and I had quite a few problems with it. A couple of sticks had to warrantied, and I still had problems with it. I'm sure other people have had great experience with Crucial RAM, but I really recommend going with another manufacturer.
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Coolermaster GeminII; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI R7-260X; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 1TB WD Green, 2x 2TB WD Green; PC P&C 750W PS; Fractal Design Node 605;
Son's Rig: M5A97; 1055T; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; ASUS GTX650Ti Boost; 80GB Intel 520 SSD; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;
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Old November 8, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Asus Pro Gen3 is a good choice - I've been running mine for a couple of weeks now. Want an easy overclock? Go into bios, set usage to XMP and boom, you have a nice stable 4.4 overclock with no hassle.

Your PSU should be fine in the short term. Advise upgrading when you upgrade your GPU(s).

I don't know if your work programs are multi-thread usage or enabled. If yes, you might find the 2600K is worth the $100 upgrade. If not, the 2500K is wicked fast.

I have mine set up in a Corsair 600T and I LOVE the cable management in it - you can basically stuff all the wires behind the motherboard/backplate. There are also 2 removeable/movable drive cages (plus the fixed cage where your opticals go). See below, I removed one and moved the other over by the power supply (there is a mounting point there) to get better airflow into the vid card. I will say, the fan controller on my 600T died but Corsair replied instantly saying a replacement is on the way, so great customer service (as is their reputation for service also great). That's why I have a couple messy wires below, when the replacement comes I'll be putting the case fans on the new controller. Meanwhile, I have them on the motherboard headers so it's not a problem in the interim.

Also, I have the Corsair H80 and think it's the cat's ass, great cooler and pretty easy to install, I like not having 2kg of cooler hanging off my motherboard. A bit more expensive than a normal air cooler, but worth the extra $20-40 imo.
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2600K @4.6 for now, still tweaking.
P8Z68-V Pro Gen3
Patriot Div2 Viper Extreme PC3-15000 4GBx2 (1866 9-11-9-27-2)
EVGA GTX 580 SSC
Caviar Black 1TB x2 RAID0
Corsair Gold 850W
Corsair H80
Corsair 600T Graphite
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Old November 22, 2011, 04:57 PM
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Just an update for anyone interested!
I have started to purchase parts using price matching (which I had not used before).
I have even upgraded a few parts and still come in under budge by $100.
All the advice given here was very helpful, so a BIG thanks!!
I plan on posting some pictures of the build as I go!

Case: Cooler Master HAF-X
Processor: Intel i5 2500k
CPU Cooling: Antec Kuhler 920 (on sale, great deal!)
Board: Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z68 ROG (got a great deal with pricematch!)
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8mb (2x4mb) DDR3-1600
GPU: EVGA GTX 470 (Existing Part)
PSU: Corsair 640W (Existing Part)
SSD HD: Still deciding....
Storage HD: 2x WD Green 2 TB (Existing Parts)

I probably could have cut out another $100 (using a cheaper cooler, smaller case, cheaper board etc) but where is the fun in that!?
My total came to a bit under $900 for new parts.
Thank goodness I picked up my two WD hard drives a month ago, that would have blown my budget with current prices!
I plan to pick up a 120 SSD for boot, and then putting everything together!
My plan for adding a second video card for SLI will have to wait, because its impossible to find a second EVGA GTX 470, and its tough to justify buying new cards. So that will wait for a bit.

Build Pictures comming soon!
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