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  1. #1

    Assistance with Sample Build from Marest

    I am contemplating the following build for basic home use and some serious SWTOR gaming:

    Gaming 1500

    MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P – $179.99 Review
    CPU: Intel i7 2600k – $314.99
    RAM: G.Skill Sniper 1600Mhz 2x4Gb – $54.99
    GPU: ASUS DCII GTX 580 – $499.99
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB – $59.99
    SSD: Crucial M4 120Gb – $196.99
    PSU: Seasonic X Series 650W – $109.99 Review
    Heatsink: Corsair A70 – $38.00 Review
    Case: Corsair 500R Black – $139.99 Review


    As I understand it, all of these components are compatible with each other. I just need to purchase separately an OS, a soundcard, and optical drive (I have a monitor and the rest).

    Does anyone have any information on a good soundcard that will fit into the above system? Likewise, what am I looking for when considering a blu-ray drive?

    Thanks in advance, gang.
    Last edited by obiwannknowlton; 2011-11-10 at 01:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire TaintedOne's Avatar
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    Yup everything is compatible. The motherboard will have onboard sound do you really need to buy an additional sound card ? Onboard sound has gotten pretty good these days imo you dont need a sound card unless you are an extreme audiophile.

    Just need to add Win7 and a ODD

    Picked that drive cause its the one I have, well priced(not the cheapest but not the most expensive either), free shipping, and a nine time customer award winner on newegg. Not a Blu-ray drive if that matters to you.
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  3. #3
    Any particular reason you need a dedicated sound card? The integrated sound card on that motherboard supports 7.1 surround sound.
    Also blu ray drives are useless unless you actually plan to play blu ray movies off of blu ray discs on your computer or rip blu ray discs... there's no software or anything pc-related which comes on blu ray discs. Can get a standard dvd drive for like $20.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by taekvideo View Post
    Any particular reason you need a dedicated sound card? The integrated sound card on that motherboard supports 7.1 surround sound.
    Also blu ray drives are useless unless you actually plan to play blu ray movies off of blu ray discs on your computer or rip blu ray discs... there's no software or anything pc-related which comes on blu ray discs. Can get a standard dvd drive for like $20.
    I plan on playing some serious SWTOR come December. I was told that I need a sound card to get the most out of the ambient music of the game. Is a sound card something I can just add to the system later after checking out if the onboard sound is good enough?

    I did not know that info about blu-ray and software. Just assumed that I would need one.

    Thanks for the link, TaintedOne.

  5. #5
    Yeah, sound cards are just add-in PCI cards, so if you're not satisfied with on-board sound, you can just buy a sound card and pop it in. If you do go the sound card route, I recommend the Asus Xonar. Pretty quality board for a good price.

    I have to agree, though, that on-board sound has come a very long way and is pretty darn good quality, especially for gaming.

  6. #6
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    I too agree onboard audio on the 1155 motherboards is pretty good, but still, a dedicated sound card will be an improvement, thus I'll link a couple very good ones.

    Asus Xonar DX that has once again gone on sale, and strategically newegg will keep out of stock until the sale ends. -.- Normally is about $90.

    Asus Xonar Essence STX Here's the baby I want soooo badly. This one has headphone amplifiers, so if you drop like $300-500 on a pair of killer studio quality headphones from say Sennheiser, Shure, AKG, or the like, this thing will power them and you will never have heard music in such a way ever before. ;p

    Yes sound cards will make gaming a hell of a lot more epic, specifically games where you're running around and there's sounds all around you.... from FPS games to.... Amnesia the Dark Descent. **** I HATE THAT GAME. (I may have had some run-ins trying to play it.)

    Either card is good, will provide truly amazing audio, but obviously the second one is like $100 more, I think that's mainly because it supports some more interfaces, has the headphone amp, and yeah. And it's all pretty and golden.

    Yup, it's ****in' gold. lol

    On the topic of blu-ray drives.... don't waste your money. A CD/DVD drive can either be taken out of a previous tower computer or you can buy a new one, or if you know how to install Windows 7 off a USB device you can do that. (Personally I have a CD/DVD drive because I still buy CDs. ;p )

    Looking forward to seeing pictures of this system!
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  7. #7
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Sound is a two-part deal that requires a good source AND a good set of headphones/speakers to get the most out of that source, otherwise you'll simply end up with a bottleneck somewhere.

    So unless you already own a nice 2.0/2.1 speakersetup or mid/high-grade headphones, you won't do justice to your sound card.

    If you really want to get an all-round audio experience and you do a LOT of gaming/voice chat while enjoying movies/music, one thing I recommend right away is the Asus Xonar Xense package which includes an Xense card and Sennheiser PC350 headset which is easily one of the BEST headsets in the industry, delivering audiophile-grade sound with a really good microphone. It is a $300 package so definitely not cheap, but considering the raw performance and quality it's worth every cent IMO.
    Got really good all-round reviews to back it up too.
    I decided to go with an Essence STX + Senn HD558 setup since I don't really need a mic and I'm more inclined towards music. I kept my Creative T10 2.0 setup ($50 speakers lawl) from my last build and good lord the STX blasts some awesome beats out of these little things...but they don't come close to the headphones ofcourse :P

    But I'll maintain that investing in an audio setup is definitely not a NEED and more of a luxury.
    Last edited by Xuvial; 2011-11-08 at 04:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Epic! Idrinkwhiterussians's Avatar
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    Only one thing to be aware of, other than what posters have mentioned previously.

    The HDD will be a higher price, probably double because of all that has been happening with the manufacturing in Thailand. Just keep that in mind for your budget
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
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  9. #9
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    I really want to get a sound card so I can see what my Logitech Z2300 speakers would sound like. They're considered some of the best speakers Logitech has ever made. >_>

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121122
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  10. #10
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Wow that sub looks like it could shake some earth. One thing that put me off subs is that they seem to degrade/change rather quickly...eventually they lose their clean "thumps" and become more muddy, resulting in either an bass overload or not enough. How're you finding yours?

  11. #11
    Thanks for all the help so far gang. Another quick question, the motherboard has the following slots:

    1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)

    1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
    * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
    3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
    2 x PCI slots


    If I am reading things right, then my video card will take up three slots, but I'm not sure I get which kind. Will I have enough slots left over to fit in a good sound card (I'm really leaning toward the luxury side of the sound thing...)

  12. #12
    With the sheer prices of HDDs I'm almost going to recommend a 120GB SSD and to be greedy about space till the HDD market settles again. >>

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obiwannknowlton View Post
    Thanks for all the help so far gang. Another quick question, the motherboard has the following slots:

    1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)

    1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
    * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
    3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
    2 x PCI slots


    If I am reading things right, then my video card will take up three slots, but I'm not sure I get which kind. Will I have enough slots left over to fit in a good sound card (I'm really leaning toward the luxury side of the sound thing...)
    Glad you asked this

    After a lookie at Giga UD3 and my attempt in mspaint, hope this clears it up:


    I may have exaggerated the size of the 580 but it's still an absolute BRICK of a card (no really, a brick).

  14. #14
    I had a couple friends express concern about the "only 650W power supply" and I should get an i7 cpu instead of the i5.

    Could I swap an i7 for the i5 without any compatibility issues? And is 650W enough? Should I be concerned?

  15. #15
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuvial View Post
    Wow that sub looks like it could shake some earth. One thing that put me off subs is that they seem to degrade/change rather quickly...eventually they lose their clean "thumps" and become more muddy, resulting in either an bass overload or not enough. How're you finding yours?
    There isn't a lot of bass in the music I listen to, (progressive metal, some heavy metal) so I would say I've treated my sub well enough it has stayed a quality sub.
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  16. #16
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obiwannknowlton View Post
    I had a couple friends express concern about the "only 650W power supply" and I should get an i7 cpu instead of the i5.

    Could I swap an i7 for the i5 without any compatibility issues? And is 650W enough? Should I be concerned?
    There is nothing to be concerned about, 650W is enough. You don't need an i7 unless you plan on some serious multitasking (CAD, Photeshop (not just a simple picture)) and requiring Hyperthread.

  17. #17
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    There is nothing to be concerned about, 650W is enough. You don't need an i7 unless you plan on some serious multitasking (CAD, Photeshop (not just a simple picture)) and requiring Hyperthread.
    ^ and on the topic of the PSU, you just would not be able to SLI your 580 if you ever wanted to.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltrusDisc View Post
    ^ and on the topic of the PSU, you just would not be able to SLI your 580 if you ever wanted to.
    Couldn't I simply swap out the power supply for a more powerful one in the future, if I indeed decided that I wanted to upgrade to dual cards?

    And if the capitol is not an issue, is the i7 going to be compatible with the rest of the components on the list?

  19. #19
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    To both of your questions: Yes.

    However I would say, get the i5-2500K and use the extra money towards something else, like a sweet sound card or something.

    God I love the rare times when we get people in here with sky-high budgets... make it so fun. :P
    i7-5820K | ASUS X99- Deluxe | Crucial 2x8GB DDR4 2133MHz | eVGA GTX 760 SC | Crucial MX100 512GB | Crucial M500 240GB | Crucial m4 128GB | Western Digital Blue 1TB | Western Digital Black 1TB | SeaSonic X660 Gold
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  20. #20
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Currently there's a lack of games that utilize the power of SLI 580's at 1080p 60hz. And I've got this really odd feeling that since games like BF3 and C2 already look so GODDAMN MIND-BLOWINGLY SPECTACULAR (seriously, don't argue) I don't think we'll be seeing any games stepping-up things graphically for a while - because really, what'd be the point of going for even more realism?
    I can't play BF3 multiplayer for more than an hour before my eyes/brain have to recover from the visual-gasm and sound-gasm they just experienced. That guy who fired a mortar round right beside me can die in a fire, I literally jumped out of my chair.

    But if you have a 1600p or a 1080p-120hz display, feel free to SLI
    Last edited by Xuvial; 2011-11-09 at 01:03 AM.

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