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Old 10-25-2011, 02:08 PM   #1
L-gon
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Default November 2011 Build

Long time lurker here building in the next couple of weeks so saw this as an opportune time to finally join the forums and solicit some advice/opinion. I last built a primary desktop 5 years ago (E6600, 4GB ram, etc) so I'm excited for what should amount to a substantial performance leap.

What YOUR PC will be used for: Gaming (all types), photo editing/post-processing, general use

What YOUR budget is: $1100-1300USD

What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from: US - Newegg or Amazon

IF YOU have a brand preference: No particular fanboy tendencies although I'm pretty dead-set on a i5 2500K (for obvious reasons)

If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts: Keeping old rig intact as secondary desktop

IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads: Posted in the NeoGaf PC Thread but am interested in as many takes as possible as I've been out of the component loop for a while

IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds: Probably will overclock but not vitally important. I'm actually interested in how well the 2500K overclocks on a stock cooler or if I should look at a third party cooler regardless

What resolution YOU plan on gaming with: Looking at picking up a HP ZR2440W pending reviews (ZR24W otherwise) so likely 1920X1200

WHEN do you plan to build it? First half of November

My work in progress on Newegg:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=13849834

Specific components I'm waffling on:
Mobo - Z68 vs P67 - Some say Z68 regardless of whether you need SSD caching or iGPU for video-related tasks others say P67 if you don't plan on using additional features of Z68. Asus seems well-received this generation, should I look elsewhere?

SSD - Crucial M4 seems to combine speed and good reliability, should I wait for wider availability of Samsung 830 or go Intel instead?

GPU - ATI 6950 2GB vs Nvidia 560ti - Trying to keep things as quiet and cool as possible without sacrificing performance.

Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions/advice!

Last edited by L-gon; 10-25-2011 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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Hi.

$1000-2000 USD is a way too wide range for a budget. That's two completely different builds... Maybe set a $1500 budget, and then if it's worth paying for something above that, consider extending it? This is just to help with picking the right parts for you. The wishlist seems to not include keyboard, mouse and Windows 7, so I assume you have those already.

In addition to ordering from newegg.com and amazon.com, consider us.ncix.com which offers free shipping to the US on orders above $50 and under 200lbs, they have really competitive pricing on some items.

You should definitely OC the 2500K, and with an aftermarket cooler (your budget allows for it).

Is photo editing or gaming your primary concern? IPS monitors are very nice, but 120hz / 3D monitors are great for fast paced gaming, FYI.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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Sorry the budget range was a typo (1100-1300 is correct). I have older keyboards, mice, speakers etc laying around for the current PC. I should have clarified the $1100-1300 is for the tower only as I'll be picking up the monitor in a separate purchase a bit later.

I know IPS panels are not super-ideal for gaming but it seems the newer ones are doing better in this respect. The primary reason I'm leaning IPS is for my fiance as she is beginning to ramp up a photo business and needs better color reproduction, sharpness etc.

Last edited by L-gon; 10-25-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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- Get the Hitachi deskstar 1TB instead of the Samsung Spinpoint (which is now out of stock!) Edit: I mean get it as soon as possible!
- I suggest this cheap CPU/memory combo. Memory speed doesn't matter much on Sandy Bridge, but those memory fins can make a mess if you add an aftermarket CPU cooler.
- You don't need an aftermarket CPU cooler initially, but they help if you want to aim for 4.5GHz or higher.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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OK, here's what I suggest, prices include shipping

Mobo P8Z68-V LE $130
CPU 2500K $215 ($190 on ncix, ends tomorrow; $180 if picked up from microcenter)
Cooler CM Hyper 212+ $23
RAM Mushkin 8GB 1600 $50 ($40 AR)
GPU XFX 6950 2GB $280 ($250 AR) OR
MSI 6950 2GB $280 ($255 AR) OR
Gigabyte GTX 570 $348 ($323 AR)
Sound Asus Xonar DG $22 ($12 AR; out of stock but available on ncix)
HDD Hitachi 7K1000.D $76
SSD Crucial M4 64GB $110 OR Crucial M4 128GB $198 ($190 on ncix, ends tomorrow)
ODD Samsung DVD-RW $18
PSU XFX Core 650 $80 ($50 AR; Seasonic-built)

That's only $981 to $1147 ($901 to $1072 AR), leaving you plenty of wiggle room to pick a good case.

I honestly don't think it's worth it to pay for anything more expensive than is laid out above - the only exception is if you're going for a high-power dual-GPU setup, but the XFX650 will easily handle even 6950 2GB crossfire. If you insist on modularity, get the XFX 750W XXX $90 AR, but it's overkill for a single-GPU setup. It'd power GTX 570 SLI without a hitch. If you want to combine the PSU with a dual-GPU capable mobo, go with the P8Z68-V or Asrock Z68 Extreme3.

The case could be anything from the budget Antec 300 or HAF 912, to a mid-range HAF 922 or Corsair 400R, or a more expensive 500R or Silverstone Raven RV02B-W, to a high end Silverstone FT01-BW mid-tower. The case is a long term investment that you'll have to bear looking at occasionally for years to come, and it'll last you across many builds

You could also get the Thermalright HR-02 Macho cooler ($50), but it's quite large and requires somewhere around 165mm height clearance.

Finally... you could have money left to upgrade some of your peripherals if need be.

EDIT the cpu/RAM combo by ken_g6 is certainly worth considering
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
OK, here's what I suggest, prices include shipping

Mobo P8Z68-V LE $130
CPU 2500K $215 ($190 on ncix, ends tomorrow; $180 if picked up from microcenter)
Cooler CM Hyper 212+ $23
RAM Mushkin 8GB 1600 $50 ($40 AR)
GPU XFX 6950 2GB $280 ($250 AR) OR
MSI 6950 2GB $280 ($255 AR) OR
Gigabyte GTX 570 $348 ($323 AR)
Sound Asus Xonar DG $22 ($12 AR; out of stock but available on ncix)
HDD Hitachi 7K1000.D $76
SSD Crucial M4 64GB $110 OR Crucial M4 128GB $198 ($190 on ncix, ends tomorrow)
ODD Samsung DVD-RW $18
PSU XFX Core 650 $80 ($50 AR; Seasonic-built)

That's only $981
Good build! There are a few nits that I could pick though:
- G.Skill DDR3 1333 8GB is $35 no rebate
- The sound card may not be necessary, and the OP can always try out onboard sound before getting one
- The newer Hyper 212 Evo costs $10 more, but is quieter.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, the Evo is a good cooler. Only $29.44 on us.ncix
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #8
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Default Thanks

Thanks to all for your input.

There seems to be a lot of mixed information out there with regard to the quality of the 2500k's stock cooler. Some insist you can comfortably push it to 4ghz while others state that it struggles to keep things cool under load at the processor's standard 3.3ghz.

Anyone have insight on this?

Also, I'm strongly leaning towards the Corsair 400R - am I correct to assume that it has plenty of room to accommodate the extra height of the Cooler Master 212 Evo (in the event that I stray from the OEM cooler)?

Thanks again,

Logan
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:51 AM   #9
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I haven't been able to find exact info on the max. cooler height for the 400R. I even emailed Corsair but got no response. The case is on the whole 20.6cm wide, but you can take a few centimeters off of that (side panel thickness, cable management area, motherboard tray and the motherboard itself). I would guess it to fit a cooler around 170mm high, without a side fan installed. Should be enough for almost any cooler out there, but again this is just an estimate.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #10
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What is the difference between these two M4s on Newegg? One is listed as having faster read/write times but not sure why.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148448

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442


Taking some of your guys' advice into consideration, I've updated to this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=22044667

The plan is to shop Newegg, Amazon and NCIX for the lowest prices possible but I have a Prime membership so a good portion will probably come from Amazon.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:28 AM   #11
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What is the difference between these two M4s on Newegg? One is listed as having faster read/write times but not sure why.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148448

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442


Taking some of your guys' advice into consideration, I've updated to this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=22044667

One component I may want to address further is the PSU. I like the idea of going modular to eliminate as much case clutter as possible. What is the best modular power supply (600-650) watts that would suit my build for not too much more money?

The plan is to shop Newegg, Amazon and NCIX for the lowest prices possible but I have a Prime membership so a good portion will probably come from Amazon.

Last edited by L-gon; 10-27-2011 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:34 AM   #12
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One has a "transfer kit", to let you transfer files to it via USB if you're swapping it for an existing HDD. The other doesn't. That should be the only difference.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:40 AM   #13
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The cheaper unit shows speeds of 415/175 and comes with the transfer kit. The more expensive unit details speeds of 500/175 and does not include the kit. What am I missing? I suppose the speed discrepancy may be a typo.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-gon View Post
The cheaper unit shows speeds of 415/175 and comes with the transfer kit. The more expensive unit details speeds of 500/175 and does not include the kit. What am I missing? I suppose the speed discrepancy may be a typo.
They are the same, just one has the transfer kit as Ken said. Newegg just screwed up the speeds when they were copying and pasting from Corsair's site.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-gon View Post
Taking some of your guys' advice into consideration, I've updated to this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=22044667
Looks fine, the biggest comment I have is that holy crap are HDD prices skyrocketing. That exact same drive was $65 10 days ago. I can't recommend it at $140. You'd be better off with the Samsung F3 for $80 (if it comes back in stock) or F3R for $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L-gon View Post
One component I may want to address further is the PSU. I like the idea of going modular to eliminate as much case clutter as possible. What is the best modular power supply (600-650) watts that would suit my build for not too much more money?
The least expensive reasonable modular options are the Rosewill HIVE 650W for $80 and the Corsair TX650M for $89. I don't think that they're worth it given that the XFX Core 650W is $50 and made by Seasonic (HIVE and TXM aren't).
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:49 AM   #16
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Thanks Ken g6/mfenn!

In perusing some of the other build threads, all the talk of fans and positive air pressure got me thinking about how to set up my case from an air flow standpoint.

I'm going to end up with the 400R which ships with the two front 120s and one rear 120. Do you guys view those three fans as being sufficient for my (single GPU) build? If so, should I do something about the huge expanse of mesh on the side of the case? Perhaps install a filter of some sort?

Also, is PSU intake/exhaust a concern in a bottom-mount configuration?


Thanks,

Logan
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:24 AM   #17
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Three fans is enough for a single GPU setup yes.

Personally I wouldn't use the PSU to exhaust air, I'd rather have hot air be exhausted out the back/top.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:46 PM   #18
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Three fans is enough for a single GPU setup yes.
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
Personally I wouldn't use the PSU to exhaust air, I'd rather have hot air be exhausted out the back/top.
With a fully-exhausting cooler on a GPU, it probably doesn't matter either way. Same for a case like the 400R that has a very open side panel.

However, if you have a non fully-exhausting cooler and a solid side panel, it makes sense to use a bottom mount PSU (man this config is getting really specific ) to help exhaust air from the GPU. This is because a large GPU is basically a huge air dam inside of the case and hot air will have a hard time making it its way from the underside to the top.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:33 PM   #19
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Well, that's just theorizing. Can only find the right answer by experimenting... I could formulate an alternative hypothesis: the hot air will rise out around of the edges of the card; the point of an open type cooler is that it'll expel the hot air easily, while fully exhausting coolers perform worse because much of the hot air is trapped inside the cooler before it gets out. The PSU could help get rid of this hot air, but that air would find its way out of the case anyway. Or it could even be that acting as an exhaust on the bottom, the PSU partially robs the GPU of cool intake air.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #20
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Officially got the ball rolling tonight by picking up the 7K1000.D from the only place that has it in stock for less than $100.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Hitac...ign=googlebase

Never shopped here before but seems very reputable from the reseller ratings I've found. I was tickled to find it at this price given that it's creeped all the way up to $149.99 on Newegg!!!!

If anyone else has their heart set on including this in a build for a reasonable price go get it before it spikes there as well.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:47 PM   #21
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OWC is a top-notch shop. No worries from buying from them. Kudos to them for not gouging the way that Newegg is.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #22
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Hi guys,

I was initially pretty locked in on the XFX Core 650W based on recommendations and good reviews but just noticed that the Antec Truepower New 750W is on sale at NCIX for $79.99. Anyone have experience with this unit? Despite being a bit older design, it seems to get good reviews and is a bit cheaper than the XFX650 at the moment (OOS at NCIX). Should I just pounce on it?

Thanks,

Logan

Last edited by L-gon; 11-01-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Hi guys,

I was initially pretty locked in on the XFX Core 650W based on recommendations and good reviews but just noticed that the Antec Truepower New 750W is on sale at NCIX for $79.99. Anyone have experience with this unit? Despite being a bit older design, it seems to get good reviews and is a bit cheaper than the XFX650 at the moment (OOS at NCIX). Should I just pounce on it?

Thanks,

Logan
from the jonnyguru review it looks like a very good supply. seems like it uses seasonic's S/M12D platform, which is a bit better than the SS platform used by the xfx 650.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:16 AM   #24
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Default 16GB of ram?

I'm purchasing the last few parts for my build and am wondering if I should just max out the dimm slots in a 4X4GB configuration for 16GB of ram. The thought process is that it may help in certain multitasking situations when editing in photoshop/lightroom and that ram is almost comically cheap at the moment.

Two questions:

Am I overthinking things here - would this be overkill even for large RAW photo editing?

Will 4 of the following fit under the coolermaster 212 EVO? http://us.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55544&promoid=1287

Thanks!

Logan
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #25
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Yes, standard sized RAM will of course fit
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