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Old 02-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
Natilus13
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Default New Gaming / HTPC Build

Hello all,

I am in the process of starting to research parts for building a new PC. This machine will be used mostly for gaming but also as a HTPC. I have not really set a budget for this machine but ideally I would like to come in under $2000, but I am willing to spend a little more if needed. I live in Canada and will be purchasing the parts here.

As far as brands, I would like to stay with Intel as opposed to AMD. I am also a fan of Asus as I have used their products in the past and have always been happy with them. For graphics I tend to prefer nVidia.

Aside from the keyboard and mouse, and maybe a display or two, this will be an entirely new system. I will not be using any components from any of my previous machines.

I may want to play around with overclocking but that is not a high priority at all. What is more important to me is to get quality components that are going to perform well, and for some time.

As this machine is going to be used partially as a HTPC I need it to support a minimum resolution of 1080p (I know 4K is starting to show it's head but I think by the time it becomes more mainstream I would be wanting to build a new machine for that anyway).

This machine is something I plan to build when my wife and I move into our new home in May of this. I will have a room that my wife is allowing me to turn into my "Man Cave" (I know pricing is likely to change somewhat but I need to start figuring out my budget somewhat).

As for software, I am not too concerned about that, other than an OS. I am leaning towards a 64-bit version of Win 7... maybe Win 8 if someone can convince me why I want that over 7.

Here is a build I've been tossing around so far...

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/Dj3d

I would love to get some feedback from the AnandTech community.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Natilus13; 02-13-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: fixing a few typos
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natilus13 View Post
This machine is something I plan to build...in May of this.
You should wait a couple of months to decide on parts. Haswell is coming, supposedly in late May or June. There's also a small chance nVidia's Titan will push down GPU prices. Looking at your build there's even a small chance you might want an nVidia Titan yourself.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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If the difference isn't much, the 3770K will hold a better re-sale value.

EDIT: May? O' well wait for Haswell then.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I've heard a little bit about Haswell but I am a little apprehensive t dive into the first generation of new hardware. It does sound good though from what I have read.

That being said, I'm not in a big rush so I can easily hold off on this especially if GPU prices in particular may drop.


I was doing a little more research today and was coming across some ATI cards that looked nice. I've always been a fan of nVidia but maybe I should consider ATI instead.

I would love to get some more feedback from the community.

Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...96&PID=3938566

This PSU is more expensive and has lower wattage, but it is more efficient; less heat will be generated and less power will be pulled from the wall. A whole system with a GTX 680 will use about 330-350 at the wall and hence under 300 watts delivered to the computer components.

Also, how much is your noise tolerance while computing? Because, a big video card might be noisy.

The 3770 might be excessive depending on the games you play. Not many games benefit from Hyperthreading.

You motherboard is an enthusiast/tweaker's board. I believe the P8Z77-V LE PLUS provides most of the needed stuff, and even a faster eSATA port.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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You're right about the PSU. I was originally thinking about going with an SLI setup and forgot to change out the PSU when I dropped down to a single graphics card.

The PSU you suggested looks good. I was also looking at this one....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151099

I know the graphics card is going to be somewhat noisy so if I can cut down on any other noise that would be a plus.

I also changed out the 3770 for a 3570K. You're right about the hyperthreading being a waste. I've actually read that it can hinder some games instead of help them.

I really liked the Maximus Gene V but I'll take a look at the board you suggested as well.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Getting a fanless PSU doesn't really make sense unless everything else in your build is also fanless. Any competent PSU is going to be quiet enough at load for it's noise to be drowned out by everything else. The Seasonic G series that Torn Mind recommended is very quiet (doesn't even spin up the fan at low loads), so you would be perfectly fine going with that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback mfenn. What you say certainly makes sense. I might keep this PSU in mind for my current HTPC which is already mostly fanless.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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I'm also questioning the case I had chosen now. I am thinking that it may be a little on the large side. Anyone have any suggestions? I liked that the case had wheels which would make it easy to move if I need to adjust things in the room (which is likely to happen often) but I think I am really more concerned with the case helping cut down on noise.

Here is the build again...

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/Dy8a

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Fractal Design Define R4 has been suggested for previous builds if noise is a concern. Cooling won't be quite as good as some other cases, however.

I think it is worth your time to check it out.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...rp.E38MYssISj4
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:42 AM   #11
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The HAF X is a BIG case... (going with the Man Cave theme... bigger is better, right?) I have a HAF 922... a mid-sized tower... and I think it's too big. Unless you are going to fill the thing up with drives or are going to run some sort of watercooling setup, I think it's unnecessary.

I built my HTPC in a 'small' mATX case, a Fractal Define Mini... and there is still room for 6 drives, 2 optical drives, room behind the mobo bulkhead for cables, and extra fans. It also has sound deadening material... it's a very quiet case (each side panel weighs almost 4 pounds (I don't know the metric equivalent... )) because of the material. The HAF X is a good case, though... if that's what you are looking for.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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Thanks Torn Mind. I'll certainly look into the Fractal Design Define R4.

Thanks for your input too Charlie98. This machine is mainly going to be a gaming rig, I've already got a HTPC that will be in our living room, so I was looking for a larger case. I have tossed around the idea of water cooling but from what I have read it really doesn't sound like it is any better than air cooling. It might be fun to mess around with a bit so I would like to leave the option open.

One thing I like about the size of the HAF X is that there will be plenty of room for airflow, and I have room to install more storage drives for me to share media from for other devices in the house. all that being said, it still might be a little bit on the overkill side in terms of it's size
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natilus13 View Post
One thing I like about the size of the HAF X is that there will be plenty of room for airflow, and I have room to install more storage drives for me to share media from for other devices in the house. all that being said, it still might be a little bit on the overkill side in terms of it's size
There are 4 (or 5?) HAF cases... 912, 922, 932, X and XM (plus the XB,) that all are pretty open cases that will flow air pretty well. My 922 has room for 5 HDD's and 5 optical slots (that you can convert if need be...) and will hold 6 fans if you populated every slot available. There is also a difference between good airflow and just pumping the case full of air. I would lay odds that my Define Mini would flow cooling air just as well as my HAF922 with an equivalent quantity of fans.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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Good point. I'm still reading about the Define R4 that Torn Mind had mentioned but I will certainly take a look at the other HAF cases too. I think at this point I've pretty much decided that the original one I was looking at is out.

Cheers.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #15
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So I think I have changed my mind on the case and am now leaning towards the Fractal Design Define R4 that was suggested. I've read a lot of reviews and they seem to speak of it very highly. I also like the fact that it is a very plain looking case so it will sort of bend into the background.

Now to figure out if there is anything else I can tweak to improve performance and lower the noise.

Last edited by Natilus13; 02-20-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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