Any suggestions for improving this build?
Intel i5-3570K CPU
Corsair H100 water cooler for CPU
ASUS Maximus V GENE MicroATX motherboard
G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series DDR3-2133 4x4GB memory
OCZ Vertex 3 128GB SSD
2 x WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD - (RAID 1)
ASUS BC-12B1ST Blu-ray drive
Gigabyte HD7870 OC video card
Corsair TX750 power supply
Fractal Design Arc Midi computer case
Windows 7 Home Prem. 64-bit
All together, that is around 1700 at NCIX. One possible change - NCIX is selling the slower WD Caviar Green 2TB at the same price as the faster WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD. Worth getting the extra space for the storage drives?
The build looks mostly balanced to me but one thing I don't get is how come its so expensive? $1700 without monitor or peripherals? I build more or less the same kind of build a few weeks back with slightly less premium model parts, yet went for a GPU that costs 2x what yours should and got raid0 SSDs and it came out to about $1100 (although I didn't need to repurchase Win7)...
Also are you sure you want to put an mATX board in an ATX case? that's big aesthetic no no to me but technically it shouldn't affect anything...I just find it a waste considering there are so many great mATX cases, the Arc Mini being one of them!
(you also don't need 750W unless ur planning to go multi GPU with pretty much any of the current single GPU cards in the HD 7XXX and GTX 6XX series)
Re: cases - Why did I use the Arc Midi to house my mATX board, as opposed to the Arc Mini? Elementary... cost. As it happens, NCIX currently has the Midi case on sale at a price that is cheaper than the Mini.
Re: power supply - I was originally planning to just go with 650W, but since I wasn't sure just how much more power would be needed, I gave myself a lot of leeway. Besides, just because I'm not doing CrossFire now doesn't mean I won't grab a second card later.
So go ahead and tell me what you went with, and I will try to say why I chose different. (Dropping Windows would make it $1600 instead of $1700.)
looks good, you could always save money by buying an upgrade windows 7 disc, and doing the registry hack to allow you to do a clean install. also, do you really need a blue ray drive? and keep the 1tb blacks. 2tb greens are slooow.
Buying an upgrade version of Win7 would net me, what, ten or twenty dollars? I would rather stick a full OEM version.
As for the twin HDDs, I was actually just going to have a single HDD, but the store rep did keep suggesting a RAID set. Yeah, I know he may be just looking to make a bigger sale, but it is not unreasonable. On the other hand, I have been using computers for around 30 years and have never used RAID setups; hell, I am one of those fools who almost never backs up anything... and it has almost never really affected me. I may end up going for a single HDD after all; I will have to wait and see on the rest.
your buying a Matx board but have chosen high end parts cos you plan on oc'ing and possibly doing x-fire.. and your case takes atx boards..
This REALLY doesn't make sense to me.. Get an atx board and leave yourself more wiggle room for expansion and better heat and power management than a matx one..
H100 is very over-priced for the extra performance it gives vs say the H60.. IMO you will get a minimal increase in over-clocking from the slight reduction in temperature and not worth the price.
You already stated that you want to OC, are you looking to push the most you can get from the chip or are you happy with decent 24/7 oc (around the 4.5ghz mark)?
If you are looking for the stable 24/7 clock, you could drop the hydro cooler totally and use a cheaper air solution that will still give the cooling you need.
The PSU.. your kinda in no-mans-land with 750 watt, it's a lil more than you need but not enough for x-fire.. 650 for single card or 850 for 2. (minimums, 750 is nice bit of head room for single card, 900+ for duals)
Hdd's, do you need your storage to be fast? if not (for media that doesn't require a large amount of speed) then get the green.
Blu-ray? Really?.. IMO again not worth the money.. How often do you plan on buying or renting BR movies?
If you had a large and large resolution monitor you would see the difference but on a standard 1920x1080 monitor or tv, stick to dvd or nothing. Obviously personal needs but why spend if you won't use it.
16GB ram? are you doing rendering? video editing? VM's? If no and this is a gaming and general use rig, stick to 8.. you won't use more and if you do just pick up a second kit.
no need for 2133 either.. again you won't see a difference unless benching.. G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory - G.Skill - F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
The GPU is a lil on the low side for the spend.
IMO, save else-where and drop in a 670 instead.
Again this depends on the use of the computer.. what you will be doing is very important to deciding what to buy.
Overall I still can't see why it's costing so much. Have you price-matched? I think the memoryexpress price beat is better.. not a Canadian so would be better to ask someone else's input on that..
GL with the build and don't forget to add intended use and resolution etc
(if it's gaming then the kind of games too)
My 1100$ build (well more like $1200 as 1.1k was before I changed some things around):
Gigabyte GTX 670 OC (uses the 680 PCB and windforce cooler...soon to be upgraded to water)
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.8ghz (can hit 5ghz but decided to settle for 4.8 for 24/7 use)
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ (with a second Blade Master fan for push pull)
Silverstone PS07B (front 2 fans replaced with SickleFlows as the stock fans although quiet didn't move enough air for my liking and added an Arctic Cooling F12 Pro for exhaust)
Asus P8Z77-M Pro (perfectly sufficient for overclocking on an mATX footprint)
XFX Core 650W
2x Mushkin Chronos 120gb SSDs in RAID0
640GB Western Digital Blue
4x4GB 1600Mhz C9 Corsair Dominator DDR3
I didn't need to rebuy Win7 and don't see a need for any optical drive so I guess that does reduce the price considerably but still the 300$ gap does not seem justified...even more so cause the rest of the builds seem more or less comparable with only the 670 being a noticeable step above the 7870.
As far as your build goes:
If you don't need an SFF build then just get a full sized ATX board to fit in that case. Yes the RoG board is great for overclocking but most decent Z77 board will have absolutely no difference except if you are doing extreme stuff like LN2.
Actually 650W is enough (barely though) for even 2way crossfired 7870 (which I wouldn't ever recommend an mATX board unless you are water cooling) on on even the most aggressively overclocked Ivy Bridges
The difference between 1600 and 2133 ram in real world applications is next to none to be honest
I used to hate on ALCs and to be frank, they are mostly just gimicks...although the H100 is the exception in my book. However, I'm not exactly sure if this is what you need. The H100 and NH-D14 currently share the crown for more effective and readily available non custom cooling. Although, considering how Ivy Bridge behaves under heavy OCing I would suggest either dropping this and getting something more toned down and going for a generic 4.6ghz OC or swap to Sandy Bridge and aim for the 5ghz milestone. Also the main difference between the NH-D14 and H100 is that H100 fits most situations while the NH-D14 is just way way way more silent. Since both of these would have no problem fitting in an Arc Midi/Mini case I would suggest getting the quieter option if you do indeed choose the Sandy Bridge route.
So why did I choose the Maximus Gene as my fallback? Simply because, of all the ASUS Z77 choices, it has the best built-in sound. The fact that the Maximus is a mATX board was only an afterthought that allowed me to consider mATX cases, but it wasn't a primary concern.
As an aside, if you have suggestions for a different motherboard or manufacturer, pease share. Open to changing if benefits worth it.
As for the speed, I originalky planned for DDR3-1600, but I thought it might be better to go for faster RAM just for OC purposes. However, I will probably go back to 1600.
With it, I can pick a part, sort the database using manufacturer and other options, can instantly see if a part is compatible, and get a price comparison using TigerDirect, NCIX, Newegg and others.
However, I should mention that I do prefer to get all my parts from the same dealer, even if I might save a few dollars at another place. Furthermore, I prefer sealing the deal in person wherever possible, which means focusing on the places which have outlets near where I live: NCIX and TigerDirect. I am willing to lose a few bucks on store differentials if I can save on shipping or time wastedwaiting for delivery.
I will take your advice into considration, though, and will produce an updated build.
Brutal, I used PCPartsPicker.com to total your build. After adding a DVD Burner & Win7HP to the build, it turns out that I should be able to get the same build from NCIX for roughly $1500. Some of the difference may be attributed to volatile part prices; according to the website, I could have saved $150-$200 on my build had I ordered it around June 10th. There must have been a sharp drop in the price of CPUs or chips or something before the price returned to "normal". Another factor is simply that I may have picked parts that were slightly higher, which then added up, like taking either the Sabretooth Z77 or the Maximus V Gene instead of your motherboard or choosing the 3570K over the 2500K.
I notice that you too put a mATX board in an ATX case, something I chided for. Just saying...
OK, Just to answer some of the questions about my points..
the board, the sabertooth is a damn fine board, but not really needed and Asus you pay a bit more for the name and service over the likes of gigabyte
(I still prefere asus, far too many problems in the past and still being reported from gigabyte users)
The P8z77 V pro would be my choice.
Honestly even my cheap ass CM 212+ is quieter than my case fans (of which there are many.. ambient is 32c today) but the noctua is reportedly very quiet. (there is a review in the review section and of the H60 80 and 100)
On the blu-ray.. if you do use them then by all means don't let me dissuade you.. But I generally find that the vast majority of people I know that get any kind of blu-ray device rarely if ever use them.
BTW, your HDTV is "standard" res these days.. I was talking more about the likes of an apple cinema display or the like (27" with 2560 by 1440 res or 30" with 2560 x 1600 res)
But as said.. If you use them.. :)
HDD, the WD greens are slow yes but I believe they are 7200 rpm and have been for some time (the speed is not determined mainly by rotational speed).. but if it's just for media and the like and you won't be storing games or programs on it then there is no issue.. If you were thinking of 2 WD blacks, consider instead the seagate 3TB drive (1TB per platter, faster than the old 10,000 rpm velociraptor WD have)
As a middle ground you could always go for a Blue series drive from WD.
P.s as far as I'm aware the longevity of SSD's is such now that you don't need to move cache folders off the ssd.. though things like download folders would be advisable. (correct me if I'm wrong here AKG)
The ram... I have 6GB and never max it running similar to yourself.. (browser with min 12 tabs open, skype, live messenger, steam, origin, TS (and vent sometimes) as well as my game..
There is nothing WRONG with getting more but really you won't go over 8GB and if you do you just get a second identical kit.
GPU, 670 is probably a little more power than you need right now.. but is cool, quiet and efficient.. great card to hold onto for a few yrs (gigabyte is by far the best value at the mo.)
As for price matching.. from what I've read here memoryexpress don't just match prices they will beat them... might save you the cost of shipping or even more.
Use every tool you can to find the cheap parts then submit them to 1 retailer that will match or beat those prices. really wish we had this service on this side of the pond. :(
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