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#1 Laststop

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:14 AM

I sat with my brother and we agreed on a build for him. I'll Just list the components and why we chose them

Case: Cooler Master HAF-X RC 942 Blue LED version $210
-He likes the look of this case and all the large fans it uses. It also allows a radiator to be installed under the 200mm top fans and fans below that for a nice push pull config. The tower will never be moved once installed so portability was not a factor.

CPU: i5 2500k $200
-Price/Performance king, allows easy upgrade to Ivy Bridge

Motherboard: Asrock Extreme 4 Gen 3 Z68 $185
-Has the perfect PCI slot spacing and all the I/O's he needs

Power Supply: Corsair AX850 $160
-Per Suggestions switching to this PSU. 850 watts is needed to cover future expandability and possible sli configs with enough juice for overclocking as well.

CPU cooler: Corsair H100 $100
-I was going to do a full liquid cooling set up but the price was just too much to do it right. He really only wants a conservative 4.4ghz overclock so the H100 should be more than enough and it will also allow the heat to be taken right out the case instead of blown inside and to not have a huge cpu cooler blocking airflow since it's a tiny waterblock. Also less weight on the motherboard.

DVD Drive: Lite-On Ihas 124-04 $17
-This is the burner used with a custom burnermax firmware to burn xgd3 protected xbox 360 games to play in an LT3.0 custom firmware xbox 360. He is planning to flash his xbox 360 drive soon and this cheap little burner is what you need to play backups of all the latest games. He will never have a use for bluray so including that was a waste of money.

Fans: Cooler Master Blue LED Megaflow 200mm fan + Gelid 120mm Blue LED fan x2 $54
-the 200mm fan to go in the empty top 200mm fan spot and the 2 gelid blue led fans to push into h100 rad, it replaces the non blue led stock corsair fans for even more blue light

Hard Drives: 2x 2TB Hitachi 7200 rpm drives in RAID 1 $220
-Incredible deal on these Hitachi drives. Ordering those today.

Solid State Drive: 128GB Crucial m4 $160
-Some of the best random read performance on the block and better reliability than sandforce and good prices

Memory: 2x4GB G Skill Ripjaws X Series CAS 9 1600Mhz Low Voltage 1.35v $45
-Changed to low voltage memory and 2 4gb sticks

Video Card: He just bought a GTX 570 thinking he'd be happy with just that upgrade but his case sucks and its a 65nm cpu and he can't use 2 video cards, so he is going to keep it for now then sell it and get the kepler version of the gtx580 and possibly sli it but he only games at 1080 res so 1 should be plenty for a long time.

Total: $1351.00 (Video card already owned not upgrading gpu till kepler is out and prices go down a bit)


If you have any suggestions to make a better system or a cheaper system opinions are greatly wanted. Not this friday but next friday the order will be going out. Would like as many opinions as I can get till then. Thanks!

Edited by Laststop, 16 February 2012 - 07:07 AM.


#2 vandreadstriker

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:38 AM

It's a Solid build IMO. However, If I may point out some suggestions to lower the budget (Honestly, IMO you might as well get a i7 3820 with $1700)

Case - Does he really need a HAF X? Even the HAF 932 is capable of a single 240 rad and another on the front with some modding, Looks the same as the HAF X and is easier on the pocket.
Board - If you decided on getting a cheaper case, you can get a better performing board such as the ASUS P8Z68-V or Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4. Nothing wrong with the ASRock Extreme3 but I think he deserves a better performing board.
PSU - Even a Seasonic X650 would be more then enought to accomodate 2500K + GTX570. Not going to critize on his love for efficiency and the Earth but I think the X series offers more then enough efficiency.
Cooler - H100 is the best cooler I know to date (except of course proper WC kit). But the $30+ over the NH-D14 dosen't justify the performance gain (0.5-1C average diff.) and unless he really needs/wants to show off his board, tall RAMs and such, I say it's wiser to get the NH-D14
HDD - I think you've already known the Flood in Thailand and the SkyRocketing HDD prices. Does he really need 6TB of space Right Now? I honestly doubt it. It's better to get enough of what he really needs right now (2TB?) and get some more later. I'm sure it would already have fallen by the time you need 6 Full TerraBytes. Also, I don't reccomend Hitachi Personally since I've heard they have some high failure rate. Not sure 100% but I think another user here called Tjj226_Angel can back me up on this one. (I'm sure he would show up here soon :P)
SSD - The m4 is a solid SSD, but I pesonally think that you make use of the SATA III ports and get something like the Corsair Force3 120GB SSD. It'd boost your speed by twofolds (theoratically that is).
RAM - Running 2x4GB is much better then running 4x2GB since you'd save up on power consumption. And running 4 sticks at once can really be a pain in the neck when overclocking and sometimes even make them unable to run at Rated speeds (If you notice, some manufacturer like G.Skill would only 'guarantee that the modules would run at a rated speed only in a dual/triple/quad channel' depending on the model')

*G.Skill guarantees 2 Dimms dual channel operation would reach announced specification.

I thin it's better to get a good 2x4GB 1600Mhz RAM with voltage lower or equal to 1.5V and try to tighten up the timings later on. (The Corsair Vengance LP White runs at 1.35V)

I Hope this helps :cheers:

Edited by vandreadstriker, 16 February 2012 - 03:24 AM.

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#3 PremiumAcc

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:28 AM

Mobo - There are plenty of better motherboards on the market at comparable prices such as those offered by Asus, Gigabyte, and so on. Personally, I would suggest an Asus motherboard for their superior quality and excellent RMA process. The difference between the mobo you chose and an Asus Z68 are: (1) Asus has Bluetooth, (2) Asus has 12+4 digital VRM, (3) Asus supports DTS surround, whereas the ASRock supports THX Trustudio. Also, I would save some money and select a non PCI-e 3.0 motherboard as current hardware will not benefit from the PCI-e 3.0 lanes, and by the time they do you will have WAY better motherboards that feature PCI-e 3.0. My recommendation would be: Asus P8Z68-V or the Asus P8Z68-V Pro.

PSU - There is not much of an efficiency difference between Platinum certified and Gold certified to justify paying a higher premium. However, after looking at Newegg's pricing for the two, I realized that the Platinum certified is only $10 more than the Gold, therefore I would recommend purchasing the Platinum version if you are dead-set on getting a 850W+ Seasonic. If you are open to options then I would have to recommend the Corsair AX850--despite my love for Seasonic and its quality (esp its packaging)--for it will give you a better bang for your buck and it is a rebrand of the Seasonic X series with a longer warranty. That PSU will cost you $161.50 on Newegg.

CPU cooler - If you/your brother are looking to overclock to a conservative 4.4ghz then you DEFINITELY DO NOT need the H100. Even mainstream coolers such as the CM 212+ and the Evo will be able to achieve that. And I agree with Vandread, you could get the NH-D14 for comparable results for much less. Save yourself the money and get something cheaper.

CD/DVD Burner: Glad to see you did some research here. Since I have looked into this specific burner in the past I would like to let you know that it is not a true LiteOn. In fact, it is a rebrand of an optiarc (I think it was the 724x).

SSD - Aside from Intel, Crucial is the most reliable for SSDs. And I would disagree with Vandreadstriker's comment, as ComputerEd would attest, SATA 6GB/s won't be able to bring you any significant speed increase. Also, Sandforce SSDs does not have the read/write speed consistency as Marvell controller SSDs do, they tend to fare below their rated speeds for incompressible data, whereas Marvell controller SSDs maintains its speed regardless of data type.

Edit: Just looked at this thread again and noticed you had 4 x 2GB sticks of RAM.

RAM - Some times if you populate all the dimm slots, the RAM will be downclocked and won't be able to run at its rated speeds. Also, some times manufacturers only guarantee its rated speeds in certain channels, which El_Capitain can tell you about since his 2 kits of 2 x 4GB from G. Skill did not run at its rated speeds. Not to mention, using less of the dimm slots translates into using less power and thus putting less stress on your motherboard, which means you will be able to get a more stable OC at lower voltages. For the RAM, I would recommend: Mushkin, Kingston, G Skill, or Corsair. Usually a 2x4GB kit would run you around $30 - $50, which is MUCH cheaper than your 4x2GB kit.

With these implementations, you should save ~$200+.

Edited by PremiumAcc, 16 February 2012 - 04:01 AM.


#4 Laststop

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:23 AM

gen 3 mobo wanted. Will be alot cheaper to just add an IVB CPU and be ready for pci-e 3.0 gpu's than to rebuy a whole new mobo and everything later on. We assume a pci-e 3.0 system + IVB CPU will be able to max all games out for a long long time with occasional GPU upgrades. I've heard a lot of good things about the Asrock extreme series and my bro likes the black color too. He only uses 2.1 sound and doesnt use bluetooth and hates the colors of the asus board.

Didn't know that PSU was a rebrand. That saves me 50 bucks.

Changing ram to 2x4GB

Will ask him if he wants just 1 3TB drive for now and just go without raid 1 protection till the prices come down

I have that very same noctua cooler and he hates the look of a huge thing covering the motherboard. The h100 is one of the main things he wanted.

Yea I have a 128GB c300 in my i7 980x system and i love it. Crucial is my favorite ssd maker to date. Sandforce based drives suck except the intel 520 cherryville drives but they cost too much.

Oh and the i7 3820 is not unlocked so thats a no go.


Modified OP with changes saved 140 dollars already!

I'm thinking that 200mm blue led fan + 2x 120mm blue led fans at 54 dollars. Is there a quality blue led fan 1x 200mm and 2x 120mm I can get on the cheap that performs well I could shave some money there probably?

Edited by Laststop, 16 February 2012 - 04:44 AM.


#5 vandreadstriker

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:53 AM

gen 3 mobo wanted. Will be alot cheaper to just add an IVB CPU and be ready for pci-e 3.0 gpu's than to rebuy a whole new mobo and everything later on. We assume a pci-e 3.0 system + IVB CPU will be able to max all games out for a long long time with occasional GPU upgrades. I've heard a lot of good things about the Asrock extreme series and my bro likes the black color too. He only uses 2.1 sound and doesnt use bluetooth and hates the colors of the asus board.

Didn't know that PSU was a rebrand. That saves me 50 bucks.

Changing ram to 2x4GB

Will ask him if he wants just 1 3TB drive for now and just go without raid 1 protection till the prices come down

I have that very same noctua cooler and he hates the look of a huge thing covering the motherboard. The h100 is one of the main things he wanted.

Yea I have a 128GB c300 in my i7 980x system and i love it. Crucial is my favorite ssd maker to date. Sandforce based drives suck except the intel 520 cherryville drives but they cost too much.

Then You might as well get the Extreme4, not the Extreme3. It's a good performing board with a great OC potential.
Or, Gigabyte Z68XP-UDx are also black themed boards, maybe you can give it a look.

Yes Corsair TX V2, <750W HX and <1000w AX are rebrands of Seasonic units. But they don't have some unique features like the Hybrid Fan controls (which I really like since it keeps it dead silent when I'm only browsing)

Like PremiumAcc said, even the Hyper212 Evo would co-op with a 4.4GHz OC. If he dosen't want a big cooler like the D14, you could offer him the Hyper212 Evo, Noctua NH-U12P or NZXT Havik 140. Those are really good 'non-gigantic' coolers with the order of performance being 212 Evo<NH-U12P<NZXT Havik 140 (You can find all of them reviewed here in OCC)

SSD wise, guess I can't really say much as I've not used anything but SandForce SSDs (Wildfire & HyperX)

Oh and the i7 3820 is not unlocked so thats a no go.

Just saying that you could acutally shift to a 2011 Rig with $1700

I'm thinking that 200mm blue led fan + 2x 120mm blue led fans at 54 dollars. Is there a quality blue led fan 1x 200mm and 2x 120mm I can get on the cheap that performs well I could shave some money there probably?

200mm fans it's best to stick with CM Megaflows. They're quiet and move tons of air. Aerocool make some nice 120/140 LED fans (http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835129056) but I don't think they provide suitable static pressure and they aren't neccesarily cheap.

Edited by vandreadstriker, 16 February 2012 - 04:58 AM.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

 

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#6 Laststop

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:13 AM

it is the extreme 4.

#7 vandreadstriker

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:24 AM

it is the extreme 4.

Ah my deepest apologies, I was certain that I read it as 'Extreme3'...

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

 

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AMD Phenom II X4 20 BE | ASRock M3A790GXH/128M | 4GB DDR3 1600MHz CL8 | Palit GTX460 Sonic 2GB | FSP 600W | Xigmatek Achilles S1284W


#8 El_Capitan

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:48 AM

I always look to buy the cheapest I can. Saving money on some components can give you better upgrades on others.

There's plenty of great cases, especially mid-towers that handle watercooling very well at around the under $70 range. The Lian Li Lancool PC-K62 I got for $67.99 with free shipping after a promo code. That just saves you $142 right there.

If you live close to a Microcenter, the i5 2500K and motherboard combo is an additional $50 off, and the i5 2500K alone costs $179.99 (sometimes going as low as $149.99). You can get the i5 2500K alone for $199.99 from NCIX right now. Otherwise, look at combo deals at Newegg.

Motherboard, I personally go with ASUS, then Gigabyte, then any other motherboards.

PSU is a good choice (at the least 750W's for upgradeability for multiple graphics cards in the future), but if you wait, you can find promo codes for certain brands of PSU's up to 25% off at Newegg. I just got an AX1200 for $217.99 after MIR, and had a 750W Rosewill CAPSTONE 80 Plus Gold certified PSU for $84.99, and that's with free shipping and no MIR involved. That saves you $75 if you're patient enough, and 750W's will more than handle two overclocked GTX 570's in SLI.

CPU Cooler is a personal choice, but you can also get it at NCIX for $99.99. Saves you $20.

Hard Drives, save some money here and get a single 2TB Hitachi Desktar 7K3000 drives for $109.99 at NCIX. Wait for another sale to get a 2nd for RAID 1. That will save you another $180 (though 1TB less space than you're looking for).

You can also save some money on SSD's, reliability is key, not sequential read/write or IOPS speeds unless your brother is using them for photo/video/database work. I bought a 120GB SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 for $124.99 a month and a half ago. You can find similar prices on Corsair Force 3 120GB SSD's as well (though usually after MIR's).

For memory, get the SAMSUNG 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Extreme Low Voltage MV-3V4G3D/US for $39.99 when it goes on sale, or just buy them instead for $47.99. Incredible price/performance.

#9 Laststop

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:05 AM

Nice cheaper deal on the corsair and incredible deal on hard drives and 200 dollar 2500k. $370 saved and the build hasn't been weakened at all. I'm gonna have to jump on those HDD's today. Should order 3 of em just cause i can 1 to my house 1 to my parents house 1 to my brothers house. Keep 1 for myself.

Edited by Laststop, 16 February 2012 - 07:07 AM.


#10 PremiumAcc

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:51 AM

gen 3 mobo wanted. Will be alot cheaper to just add an IVB CPU and be ready for pci-e 3.0 gpu's than to rebuy a whole new mobo and everything later on. We assume a pci-e 3.0 system + IVB CPU will be able to max all games out for a long long time with occasional GPU upgrades. I've heard a lot of good things about the Asrock extreme series and my bro likes the black color too. He only uses 2.1 sound and doesnt use bluetooth and hates the colors of the asus board.

Didn't know that PSU was a rebrand. That saves me 50 bucks.

Changing ram to 2x4GB

Will ask him if he wants just 1 3TB drive for now and just go without raid 1 protection till the prices come down

I have that very same noctua cooler and he hates the look of a huge thing covering the motherboard. The h100 is one of the main things he wanted.

Yea I have a 128GB c300 in my i7 980x system and i love it. Crucial is my favorite ssd maker to date. Sandforce based drives suck except the intel 520 cherryville drives but they cost too much.

Oh and the i7 3820 is not unlocked so thats a no go.


Modified OP with changes saved 140 dollars already!

I'm thinking that 200mm blue led fan + 2x 120mm blue led fans at 54 dollars. Is there a quality blue led fan 1x 200mm and 2x 120mm I can get on the cheap that performs well I could shave some money there probably?


Mobo - Either I wasn't clear on my explanation as to why you should not get a PCIe 3.0 Z68 motherboard, or you are just dead-set on getting one. But regardless, I will try to explain as to why your decision is not very good. DO NOT BUY INTO THE MARKETING! The PCIe 3.0 Z68 motherboards on the market are pretty much useless, as the PCIe is limited to the GPU lanes which requires both a PCIe 3.0 CPU and GPU, and when you do get both a PCIe 3.0 CPU and GPU, you will not see any noticeable improvements--if any--because the x8 lanes of PCIe are barely saturated and aren't even close to touching x16 now. If you want a motherboard to be compatible with IB, then any Z68 will do (a simple bios update will be all that is necessary). Furthermore, the PCIe 3.0 is still relatively new, if you really want to WASTE money on something that you will see no real benefit from, then wait until the more mature Z77 motherboards come out in April. If after all this is said and done and you still feel that you NEED a PCIe 3.0 Z68 motherboard then buy it.

#11 Tjj226_Angel

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

I would switch the case for the NZXT 810 case. It is in your budget and it gives you a bit more bang for the buck IMO.

If you are so keen on PCI 3.0, you might just want to wait. Ivy Bridge is coming out in a month or 2. Maybe you could sell your GTX 570 and just wait for kepler all together. I mean why sink money into a build when you know something better is literally right around the corner. :dunno:

#12 Waco

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:06 PM

I mean why sink money into a build when you know something better is literally right around the corner. :dunno:

This is ALWAYS the case with computers.

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GTX 770 replaced with watercooled GTX780...but too lazy to change the sig.