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Need advice on my first build


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I'm thinking about building a new pc, and after spending some days on research, this is how the build I have in mind looks like:


CPU: i5 2500k

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 extreme3 gen3

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 evo

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X (2x4Gb) 1600MHz, 9-9-9-24 1.5V

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB SATA3

PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 650w

Case: Thermaltake v4 Black Edition

GPU: MSI GeForce gtx 560 Ti - 448c Twin frozr III PE/OC 1GB DDR5


Additional info:

- I want to overclock the CPU up to 4.2 - 4.5GHz.

- I will be playing games at 1920x1080



1) Is that mobo good enough for what I'm planning to do? Or should I spend more money and get an ASUS, or a better ASRock one?

2) Will that PSU handle the OC'd CPU and GPU (I'm not planning to OC the GPU at the moment, but just in case)

3) The gtx 560 ti 448 seems to have really good reviews and performance, but only 1250mb VRAM, is it enough to run the latest games (battlefield 3, skyrim...) at the higher settings or should I aim for something with more VRAM?

4) Any other possible improvement?



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Welcome to OCC :cheers:


First things first, can we know your budget please? It'll help us help you make the most out of it :biggrin:


Honestly it's a solid built IMO except for the awkward choice of case. The V4 isn't really a 'performance case' after all. If you could, I'd suggest getting something with some serious airflow like the CM HAF series. You'll not believe how extra fans could help lower GPU temps :thumbsup:


The Extreme3 is a very good board for Gaming and handles Overclocking quite well. You'll have no problem running that 2500K ~4.6Ghz on that board. If you are interested to find out how high your 2500K could go, I'd recommend you go with something like the ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Professional or ASUS P8Z68/ROG lineup. But if you're not then you won't go wrong with the Z68 Extreme3 :)


650W is plenty of power and should be enough for some overclocking but I'd still insist on you getting a 750W to be on the safe side. I used to run a 2500K @ 4.3GHz and an MSI GTX570 TFIII PE/OC on a 600W PSU and that's as far as I could go.


Yes the 560Ti 448 is basically a GTX570 with one of the SMs disabled. When Overclocked monstrously, you'll have a GTX570 like performance. It would run all modern games just fine in 1080p. But I've never recommend it to anyone before, purely because with a ~$40 extra you'd be able to get a GTX570 (Both TFIII). The GTX560Ti 448 would be on par with the stock GTX570 when monstrously Overclocked, not when you compare them to an Overclocked GTX570. Having experience with a TFIII GTX570, I can tell you that it Overclocks like mad when you don't have other things holding it back and IMO is definitely worthed the extra $40.

Point is, if you don't have a tight budget and could afford a GTX570, get the GTX570 instead of the GTX560Ti 448.


The rest of your built looks great. I'd suggest getting an SSD next for insanely fast boot times :teehee:


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Hi there.

First off, welcome to OCC. :)


Second- Please tell us your total budget for the build and link us some sites from which you are buying. We will spot the best deals and the best hardware we can find so you get your money's worth.


Third: regarding your PSU. I personally have the Corsair 650 TX and am most pleased with it. My specs require more power than what you've picked over there.

-I own a i7 920 which has a TDP (total drawn power) of 130 W whilst your i5-2500k draws 95 W at full. My i7 920 is also OC'ed

-I own a GTX 470 which will always draw more power than any of the 500 series ('sep maybe for the 590) which is also OC'ed to the maximum allowable voltage/gpufreq/mem freq


and i have absolutely 0 issues with power consumption. I am well within that 80% consumption parameter. Bottom line - great PSU you chose there :thumbsup: . The only cause for concern is if you want to SLI another card later on. If you do, then i suggest a corsair 850 TX or even better an 850 HX. You might also want to look into the 650 HX which is the modular sister of the 650 TX. Absolutely no performance difference between the 2 but if you're a freak about order and everything to be in it's right place less cables in your system means less hassle and slightly less heat in the overall system.


Fourth: regarding your video card VRam. The amount of ram is enough if you are going to play on one monitor. The Vram or video ram is used to store the images, basically. The larger the resolution of the image, the more ram usage. Also it helps to have a lot of VRam for higher rez texture mods (i.e the texture packs from Skyrim which make the game look just amazing -- do not play the game without these texture packs if your PC can handle it --) but 1250 MB GDDR5 is enough for any texture mod you will find on the internet for any game. Bottom line : 1.2 GB of VRam is enough for anything you'll throw at that card on a one monitor setup.

If, however, you decide later on that you wish to play on a multi monitor setup, then I suggest you look for a card that has 2 GB Vram; although if you go multi monitor you will also have to get an extra card (again with 2 GB Vram) for SLI to be able to play games at high settings on 3 monitors - this implies that you also have to get a better PSU -- A HX 850 from Corsair will suffice. Bottom line : if you wish to just play on one monitor, a card with 1.25 GB Vram will have the same performance as a 2GB card.


Sixth - regarding your choice of video card - please see second -- as vandreadstriker said: If you can spare it - get the 570. But we'll know more once you've linked us some sites.


Here are some reviews for different cards :

560: - this is a 560 TI with one of it's SM removed


560 Ti: - roughly the same performance as my 470 and I run everything just fine on my build on a single 1080p monitor


560 Ti 448 core: - this is a 570 with one of it's SM removed (not disabled -- meaning you can't unlock it to get a 570 :teehee: )


570: -- great value card all I can say



Seventh: your mobo looks fine by me.


Fifth - i forgot fifth but it's ok since it involved me reminding you of second - please link sites from which you are buying and also tell us your budget for the entire system.


Hope this helped.

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First of all, thank you for the replies! They've been very helpful to clarify myself about PSU and the amount of VRAM.


My budget is ~$1200 max (~900€). With the components I posted above, I would be spending ~$1150


I'm from Spain, so I'm buying from spanish sites (whose prices are in €, but I'm posting here their $ equivalent):



*These sites are more expensive than http://www.newegg.com/ but they're the cheapest I've been able to find here in Spain, and I don't like the idea of ordering the components out of Spain, because, in case of refund it seems more complicated.


Right now, the only 2 components I doubt about are the GPU and the mobo.


Motherboard options:

- ASRock Z68 extreme3 gen3 / ASUS P8P67 3.1 (~$160)

- ASUS P8P67 B3 (~$170)

- ASRock P67 extreme4 gen3 / ASUS P8P67 PRO B3 (~$185)

- ASUS P8Z68-V (~$190)

* I chose the Z68 extreme3 gen3 over the P8P67 B3 because it seems to be a newer chipset at the same price, but I don't know if it does worth to pick the P8P67 instead, just because it's ASUS and it's suposed to be a more solid brand than ASRock. The other 2 options I'm considering are $50 more expensive but I'm not sure if it does worth. Again I have the same dilemma, ASUS vs ASRock. The ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Proffesional is out of my budget.


GPU options:

- MSI GeForce GTX560 TI 448c Twin Frozr III 1GB + Battlefield 3 (~$340)

- Zotac GeForce GTX570 1280MB GDDR5 (~$340)

- Asus GTX570 DCII / 2DIS / 1280MB GDDR5 (~$400)

*I chose the MSI 560 Ti 448 because it has pretty good reviews (MSI twinfrozer III mantains the gpu pretty cool and it's not very noisy, the 560 Ti 448 it's almost a 570, and so on) and, because Battlefield 3 is included in the pack, while the Zotac 570 comes without Battlefield 3, and, if both GPUs perform almost the same... I'll pick the one that includes the game for sure.


So, this is the situation: I've got ~$600 to spend in mobo+GPU, what's the best combo out of the components listed above?




Edit: Just added some mobos to the list.

Edited by loading

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I guess "Consigue el juego BattleField 3 GRATIS*" means you get BF3 for free with this purchase which is quite a lie :teehee: --- anyway the difference between the 560 Ti 448 and the 570 aren't that amazing and that Twin Frozr cooler is amazingly quiet and efficient ( or so I hear) Coolmod link doesn't work so yeah, your best bet is to stick with the 560 Ti 448 twin frozr gpu as you initially intended. If you plan on buying withing a week or two though, watch out for prices on the 500 series cards. They will go down since the 600 series will set in stores.

As for the mobo, I'm not much of an expert but I can tell you this: pick the one with the features you like and stick with that one regardless of manufacturer; AsRock supplies good value hardware and I encourage you to get it. I suggest you go with the extreme3 to save yourself some money since the only differences i saw were that the extreme4 had a lot more sata 3 ports and usb 3 ports; the extreme3 still has plenty in my opinion.

600$=450 euro (I'm from Europe as well)

Total now is 123 euro + 200 euro = 323 euro for mobo+Tarjetas Graficas :P

You have an extra 177 euros which you can spend on your rig. Considering you are buying that mobo you may want to SLI in the future since it has the expansion slots. With another 560 Ti 448 you will have some amazing performances, so i suggest you go for the corsair 850 HX or 850 TX - with 850 w PSU you can add another card later if you want without changing the PSU.

You can buy this corsair TX 850 "Fuente":




for 31 extra euro and 323 + 31 = 354 euro which still saves you 100 euro on your mobo TarjetasGraficas budget. The HX seems a bit too expensive.


OR stay with the 650 TX and use that remaining 131 euro to buy yourself an SSD. Your computer will be lightning fast with one of those. I'm not much of an expert in SSDs so go ahead and ask around OCC for the best SSDs in that price range.


So yeah I think you made some great choices. That video card is indeed a best buy and the I've just looked over reviews again and actually the differences between the 570 and the 560 Ti 448 are minor.



- go for the AsRock extreme3 gen 3 mobo, the 560 Ti 448 with the BF3 bundle and I suggest you get the TX 850 PSU.


- go for the AsRock extreme3 gen 3 mobo, the 560 Ti 448 with the BF3 bundle and an SSD.


Hope this helped; too bad that other pcparts site didn't load :dunno:

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Thanks Rofltroll. I think I'll stick to the 560Ti 448 + BF3, and I may be getting that SSD, or just save the money ;)


@ericgcollyer: No video editing at all. The most intensive tasks I'm planning to do are gaming, using virtual machines and programming.


Honestly it's a solid built IMO except for the awkward choice of case. The V4 isn't really a 'performance case' after all. If you could, I'd suggest getting something with some serious airflow like the CM HAF series. You'll not believe how extra fans could help lower GPU temps :thumbsup:

I chose the Thermaltake v4 because it is cheap (~$50), does it worth spending more money on the case? The CoolerMaster HAF 912 costs $26 more, it's not too much though.

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Honestly, your set up is just fine.


A couple of suggestions would be to wait for ivy bridge (new intel CPUs) and to make sure you include an SSD in your build. I would recommend that you check and see how much data you are using right now, and buy a HDD to provide 100GB more that what you are currently using. For instance if you are using 200GB of data, only get a 320 GB drive to save money.


Then get this http://www.pccomponentes.com/corsair_force_series_3_f120_ssd_120gb_sata3.html to supplement your storage space. If you need storage space, you can always add another HDD with very little effort. Upgrading to a SSD is a pain because you have to reinstall windows and it is nothing but a headache.

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Here are the things you want in a case:

1. Good airflow - this means that the case helps vent the hot air that the GPU and CPU generate out of the case and the "cold" air outside into the case. There should be a big intake fan in the front(the one that pumps cold air in the case) of the case and smaller out take fans on the back of the case (the ones that pump the hot air out of the case). Any other fans are for show.

2. The PSU needs to be situated down in the case and not up like in those old cases -- this requirement is usually met for 30$+ cases. Find the specification of the case you want to buy and look at pictures of the inside of the case to figure this one out. Newer PSUs ( and by new I mean PSUs made in the last 5-6 years) have their cooling fan on the bottom and are also fairly heavy. If the PSU were situated in the top area of the case (i.e above the CPU) it would blow hot air on the CPU and you don't want that.

3. It needs to be spacious -- if you're going to put an aftermarket cooler on your CPU you will need the case to be as wide as possible. My NZXT Hades just barely managed to fit my Titan Fenrir cooler.

These 3 are crucial when looking for a case and most 30$+ cases have these features


Now the "deluxe" features:


4. You want it to have a special area for holding your cables (if you buy a HX PSU you will have a LOT of cables that you'd rather not have near your hardware -- mainly because it just looks ugly and disorganized and also raises slightly the temps of the whole system --3-4 degrees,not much--). That area is usually on the other side of the main opening.

5.you want it to look nice

6.you want it to be silent -- this will be influenced by the stock fans that are supplied by the case.

7.you want tool-less design -- this means that it has special fittings for your hard disks, SSDs and optical drives -- kind of like built in lego so you just click those things in without the use of screws.


Special- if you want water cooling for your rig you need to get a special water-cooling-approved case so that it fits all that water-cooling equipment.


The thermaltake you chose doesn't have that big intake fan in the front but you can tell the store to add one for you (you can do that in most stores anyway) which will cost you like an extra 8-10 euro; one of my friends just bought himself a case for a build i made him. He chose this one and I wasn't pleased. It's small, lacks fans, the tool -less design is choppy and weak, it doesn't have space for extra cables so those HX 850 cables will be everywhere and i'm not sure the Hyper 212 evo will fit in that case. I strongly recommend you look over another case.


This one is more expensive but you are getting quite a rig there and this case will fit your CPU cooler easily as well it also has all the above 7 things you want in a case-



If you want to remain on the thermaltake then google to see if your coolermaster 212+ will fit in it (i've no idea how big that heatsink is so I can't really tell you)


There might be spelling mistakes in this last reply but I don't care ... I'm hyped up on coffee, it's 3 am and I have a midterm tomorrow :sleep:

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I agree with Rofltroll, since there isn't a 570 TFIII and the 560TI 448 has a BF3 bundle, get the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 + 560Ti 448 + SSD.

I can't help much for now but if you could, get something like the HAF 922/932 or something similar.

Other then that it's all fine :cheers:

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I see that your store already has Z77 boards in stock. With 10 euros more (134 €), you'd be able to get the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 board which IMO would be a nice plus. There may not be any major performance gain if any but I personally always want to get the newest board possible when I build my rigs.


I've updated the built for you with some of my advice:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - 134 €

Intel Core i5 2500K - 183 € (Probably wait for the IB i5-3550K while you're at it)

Corsair Vengeance LP White 8GB - 49 € (It has low voltages @1.35v and wasn't that much different in price with the others.)

CoolerMaster Hyper212+ - 31 €

Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST31000524AS - 89 €

MSI GTX560Ti 448 TFIII + BF3 Bundle - 257 €

Corsair TX650V2 PSU - 78 €

CoolerMaster HAF 922 - 94 € (Much better airflow then the V4)


Total 915 € (It's a bit over your budget but you can always change the board back to Extreme3)


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