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Old April 19, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Default 1st Custom Build - Audio Production/Gaming

Hey Folks! So I'm on the market for a new PC, and am looking to go the Custom route this time. I've done a bit of my own leg-work on the internet, and got some pointers/recommendations from a friend of mine. The last thing he recommended before I move forward with any purchases, was to reach out to a couple corners of the internet such as this for some final feedback. So without further ado...here goes!

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully by end of next week

Budget Range: Looking for a bottom line between $1000 - $1500 (I'm currently sitting at about $1350)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mainly Audio Production and Recording using Pro Tools 10 and Sound Forge Pro 10, followed by some gaming. The gaming is more of the RPG/RTS/MMO variety, not much FPS if at all.

Parts Not Required: I do not need a mouse, keyboard, speakers, sound card, monitors, or OS (I have Win7 Pro 64-bit). I'm just looking for the Tower and the hardware that goes inside.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I'm set on an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU. The rest I chose based on research and word-of-mouth, and am willing to consider other brands.

Overclocking: The last time I thought about overclocking, it sounded like it was a pretty tricky process, and could easily get out of hand if you didn't know what you were doing. Nowadays, it doesn't sound so bad, and almost seems necessary to truly get your money's worth. So while I have no experience with overclocking, I am very much interested in exploring it this time.

SLI or Crossfire: I am only planning on getting one GPU at this time, but I would like to leave myself open to SLI if I find myself with the money to spend later on.

Monitor Resolution: Dual 1920x1080

Desired Connections/Ports: A healthy amount of USB 2.0, with 1 or 2 USB 3.0. I also need at least 1 FW400 in either the front or back. I have a SIIG 3-Port FireWire 800 PCIe Card Model NN-E38012-S3 that I will install for the extra FW I need for recording.

Additional Comments: The build below uses an SSD for the OS. Depending on space, I would like to put Pro Tools and Sound Forge on there, but I also have a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive that will be used to run everything else. Any audio recording data goes on to a separate external drive.

Build So Far:
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Newegg.com - Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan

ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

EVGA 025-P3-1579-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Newegg.com - EVGA 025-P3-1579-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623i72700K
Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623i72700K

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Suppor
Newegg.com - LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Newegg.com - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - Thermal Compound / Grease



I'm pretty much spot on for my price at this point, but I would love to know if I am spending too much here or not enough there on some components. Other than that, I think I covered everything else with the answers above. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I left anything important out.

Thank you in advance for taking a look!
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Old April 19, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Perfect, only thing I would change is grab a used GTX580 instead of a new 570, if not grab a new GTX480 they are $240 new right now.
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Old April 19, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Your parts are fine. I prefer not to use AS5 as it's a conductive TIM, if you get too much on and it flows onto the cpu/mobo you can short something out.

I use MX-4. Newegg.com - ARCTIC COOLING Arctic Cooling MX-4 AC-MX4 4 gram (g) All-Around Thermal Compound

Overclocking with Asus boards is very easy, as there is an auto-OC function. It took my wife's 2600k to 4.4 ghz without me doing anything else.
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Old April 19, 2012, 11:12 AM
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I would just use the TIM that comes with the cooler. Can't really justify $10 paste on a $20 cooler.

You can buy a premium paste for $10 and get the exact same results as the TIM that coolermaster heatsinks ship with. (Similar product to MX-2)
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Old April 19, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Looks good. My only points would be to wait out for the new gtx 670 to be released (if you don't want to then grab a 570 or used 570/580) and to drop down to a 2600k. The 2700k is identical to the 2600k except for a 1 multiplier change (which if your going to OC you can do yourself and keep the extra cash in your pocket).
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Away from home light Gamer: Acer Aspire 15.6", A8-3500m undervolt and OC to 2Ghz, 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance, Crucial M500 240gb
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Old April 19, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for all the quick responses!

@Adzsask - I went back and pulled up the GTX480's on Newegg, and was surprised at what I saw. I had no idea the specs were so comparable to the GTX570!

@SugarJ and jibz - Good to know about the TIM. I'll probably just use what the CoolerMaster comes with and go from there. And that ASUS board came very highly recommended to me, so it's great to hear that it's easy to work with. :)

@Bond007 - I actually had originally chosen the 2600K for that reason, but Newegg just started their Spring Sales Event. The 2700K is only $5 more expensive at that point, so I figured why not. I can just as easily drop back to the 2600K if I miss the sale.
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Old April 19, 2012, 03:16 PM
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For a video card, I would seriously looked at getting a used card. You can get GTX 570/580's for RIDICULOUS prices if you're willing to look.
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Old April 19, 2012, 07:48 PM
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+1 on the GPU, also if you do go new there is no need for the 2.5GB version. for a mere 150 bucks more you could have the 680...

Either go second hand, wait for the lower end 6XX or a 480 (which is a little loud for studio work TBH) but there are definitely better options.. (see the review of the MSI and giga 7950's for instance)
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Old April 20, 2012, 10:17 PM
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I've traditionally gone with NVIDIA for my GPU after some bad experiences with Radeon cards. However, that was back when they were made by ATI, and I've heard the Radeon GPU's have come a long way since then. I've recently been told to check out the Radeon 7870 as a better alternative to the GTX 570, specifically this guy:

SAPPHIRE 11199-03-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 11199-03-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC

Any thoughts on jumping ship to an AMD GPU?
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Old April 20, 2012, 10:36 PM
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i would change the power supply to a modular one. also, maybe compare your case to something more sleek. the industrial look of the haf series can get old real quick imo. otherwise, you're off to a good start!
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