1. #1
    Blademaster
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    Jan 2012
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    Quebec, Canada
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    Need feedback on computer build + some questions

    Hello,
    My old computer is five years old (and dead), so I want to build a new one. However, I barely know anything about computer hardwares. My post is in two parts : I would more importantly like feedback on the setup I'm looking at right now, and if someone has spare time I have some optional questions I'd like to find an answer to at the end of the post.

    Things you need to know about me :
    - I want a gaming desktop. I don't use it for anything professional. I want to be able to multitask, do things like run a graphically demanding game while running fraps, for example
    - I'll probably buy from a local place that build custom computers : prices on websites (such as newegg) are mostly compatible with what those merchants charge and can be used as a baseline, but finding a website with a 2$ saving is pointless for me.
    - I'd like to keep the price below1600$ (including OS), but I can go a bit higher if there's a good reason to. I want a computer that will hopefully be able to run new games five years from now, just like my old computer did, but I'm not willing to spend 2500$ on the high-end stuff.
    - I want parts that are reliable, I'd like to avoid having to change faulty parts down the line. This mean that I don't mind to sacrifice promises of a slight performance upgrade in favor of a part/brand that has proven itself to be reliable.
    - I live in Canada, my monitor is 1600x900 and I'm not reusing any parts from my old computer. I have a mouse/keyboard/headphones/microphone/monitor.
    - I'd like to be told if I forgot anything or have things I don't need in the build below, if there are compatibility issues between the parts and if I missed any possible alternatives.

    OBSOLETE, read my latest reply for my current setup/questions
    My build :
    - CPU/processor : Intel Core I7-3770k
    - Motherboard : ASUS Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard P8Z77-V (what's the difference between V, V deluxe, I and I deluxe?)
    - Video card : Geforce GTX 570
    - Power supply : Corsair CMPSU-750TX (what's the difference between TX and HX? Is buying the 850 watt HX worth the extra 20$?)
    - RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL (is it worth going for 4 x 4GB? It's not much more expensive. Could my setup even handle it? Would Kingston or corsair be as good?)
    - Hard drive : Western Digital RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" (Depending on how expensive the rest of the computer is, I may get a bigger HD, but the key thing here is the performance/reliability of the model, not the size)
    - Fan/Heatskink : Noctua 6 NH-D14 120mm&140mm (would only one of those be enough cooling for my setup? It's constantly 31-32C[86-90f] in my room in summer)
    - CD/DVD reader/writer : Asus 24x drw-24b1st (this is indeed a reader/writer right?)
    - Case : Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (RC-932-KKN5-GP) (I don't know a thing about computer cases, why is this one better than others, and why Cooler Master? What about Antec's nine hundred mid tower?)

    Questions :
    - Are "external" sound cards worth getting for a normal person? I like to have good sound (to listen to music) and did my best as far as headphones/file types go to get optimal quality, could I get a performance boost from an "external" sound card or are they mostly for professionals?
    - Is the "formatting" of a new computer the same thing as reformatting your computer? If not, what is the difference? From memory, the only thing I needed when I reformatted my computer (only did it once) were internet and sound "drivers". Is there anything as far as "formatting" goes that I should know in the event I end up building my own computer instead of getting it built? Is there any go-to website to download drivers or do you get them from your manufacturer?
    - How dangerous for your computer is overclocking? I've never done it and didn't know what it was until yesterday.
    - My old computer died and I'm pretty sure the problem is the power supply (it doesn't power on anymore and I had some issues with it in the past and was told was probably the power supply). If I could spend like 20-30$ on a new power supply that can replace that 5 years old model, I'd like to, just to have a second computer handy. The model was a Windmill Pro 385, is there any suggestions on an equivalent or better (but cheap) replacement? Are there considerations as far as size go, so it fit my computer case, or do they all have a standard size?

    Thank you very much for any help!
    Last edited by Synbios; 2012-07-29 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
    You should at least be pointing us to the sellers site so we can make better suggestions. Without doing so our suggestions could be off the mark. Regardless, I'm just going to go down the list from part selection to questions.

    Parts -

    1. The i7 is worthless for gaming. The only thing it has over the i5-3570k is hyperthreading, which will only show gains in graphics/video rendering and similar applications. 99% of games use 2 threads (cores), and the rest use 3 or 4. So you will see zero gaming increases with the i7. Basically, get the i5-3570k.

    2. The Asus board you linked is pretty overkill unless you need the built in WiFi. Not to mention Asus has been pretty poor as of late in the reliability/DOA department. You can save a ton of money by simply getting an ASRock Extreme4 for almost half the price. Basically has all the same features at nearly half the price.

    3. The GTX 570 is an obsolete card at the price point. You don't want it, you're paying more money for less performance than current cards. Take the money you saved on the processor / motherboard suggestions I made and purchase a GTX 670 or AMD 7970. Or, if you simply only want to spend $300~ on a video card, the 7870 will be the proper choice.

    4. PSU is absolute overkill. There is no reason at all to go above 500w for a single card setup. I'd suggest the TX 550 if you want a Corsair unit.

    5. 8GB of RAM is more than enough for gaming. If you plop 16GB in there, you'll never see any use of it. Also, GSkill makes some of the most reliable RAM available. However, Corsair is just as good, Kingston a wee bit behind both.

    6. The HDD you're listing is an enterprise type HDD meant for continuous use. You're just as well off getting WD's Caviar Black or Blue series. There's almost no difference with them, and they're a lot cheaper.

    6b. Get a SSD with a budget of $1600. There's no excuse not to. Get a Crucial M4 128GB drive and use it as your boot drive. You'll have room for 7 or so games on it as well. Use the mechanical drive for storage.

    7. Cooler is perfectly fine, regardless of you high ambient temperatures. The only better solution beyond that model is going to be a custom liquid loop.

    8. That is indeed a reader/writer.

    9. Cases are subjective. The HAF series is HIGHLY overrated. It's not better than everything else, by a long shot. Much better cases are made by Corsair, Lian Li, Antec, Fractal Designs and a few others. Browse those brands, see what you like. We can't really tell you what to get since you're going to be the one looking at it all the time.

    Questions -

    1. Do you use a USB headset? If so, then you can't use a dedicated sound card with it. If not, you wont be noticing a huge difference with a dedicated card unless you're spending $200+~ on a pair of headphones.

    2. Windows has options to format whatever drive or partition you want during installation. ALWAYS download the latest drivers directly from the manufacturers site. Also always start with the motherboard's chipset driver before any others.

    3. Overclocking is perfectly safe. The only way you're going to ruin your hardware is if you up voltages too high. You don't usually need to adjust voltages on mild to moderate overclocks. Research it and read a guide or two before doing so. Also do not use any auto overclock slider type deal included with the motherboard.

    4. Any PSU under $30 is going to automatically be shit. At that price point, none of them are rated, and all of them have abysmal amperage on their 12v rails. Not to mention their power output is usually unclean.
    i7-4770k - GTX 780 Ti - 16GB DDR3 Ripjaws - (2) HyperX 120s / Vertex 3 120
    ASRock Extreme3 - JBL S300A - FiiO E10 - EVGA Supernova 650G - Corsair H80i

    build pics

  3. #3
    Blademaster
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Quebec, Canada
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    Thanks for the reply!

    After doing more research, with your help and after contacting one possible store (I'll see if I can get a lower price somewhere else this week), here's the setup I have in mind :

    Motherboard : Asus Intel P8Z77-V LK
    CPU : Intel core I5-3570k
    Card : (Gigabyte, store couldn't order Asus) Geforge GTX 670
    Hard drive : Western Digital Caviar Black 7200rpm/64mB/500GB
    SSD : Crucial M4 128GB
    RAM : 2x4GB Corsair dominator
    Power supply : Corsair 750TX (couldn't order the 650TX)
    Fan : Noctua D14
    Case : Antec nine hundred black steel ATX mid tower with USB 3.0
    DVD reader/writer : Asus DRW-24 B1ST
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Any further feedback is appreciated.

    Edit : Oh yeah, here's the place I'm looking at for buying my computer : centre d'ordinateurs sto (google it for their website, I can't post the link), not everything seem to be on their online store though, so I'm not sure how useful it would be for you. They would sell me the machine I mentioned above for 1674$... I'll double check how much it would cost me if I built it myself. Probably not that much cheaper, because you have to consider I live in Canada and can't take advantage of all the deals from newegg and amazon U.S. because of import fees and such. And I don't mind paying a bit more for the peace of mind.
    Last edited by Synbios; 2012-07-29 at 06:02 PM.

  4. #4
    looks good, I guess you really can't avoid going overkill on the PSU. The only thing I'd personally change is the case, it's by no means bad, but there are better alternatives in the same pricerange (plus, it looks buttfugly!).

    Make sure the GPU is the Gigabyte Windforce3X one and not a reference-cooled one. (IIRC, the Windforce3X is even better than the Asus DCII)

  5. #5
    Ok so some questions/statements for you
    1. You state you want to run fraps, do you plan on doing any editing to these videos and if so how often?
    2. Kind of referring back to fraps but you might need a 1tb, I easily use up to 500gb in a recording session since the files become so large
    3. Unlike the person above I highly recommend Asus.
    4. Ok so the difference between TX and HX. HX are modular, this means only certain cords are always plugged into the back and it allows you to only put in what you need, allowing for better airflow. The other big difference is TX is 80+ bronze and HX is 80+ Silver. Essentially the Silver is more efficient.
    [SIZE=1][CENTER]CPU: Intel I5-3570k 4.7ghz MB: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce Ram: G-Skill 8GB 1333
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB PSU: Antec BP550 Case: Corsair 750D

  6. #6
    Blademaster
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    Do you have any suggestion on the case? I don't care about looks, I just wanted to get a few fans because I'm a bit afraid of the heat (as I've mentioned, it's around 31-32C[86-90f] where my computer sit in summer and also one or two USB plugs in the front, and a mic plug are nice to have too.

    As far as fraps, it's mostly for personnal use, and it's more of a side thing I'd like to be able to do but isn't necessery. I wouldn't do any heavy editing or anything crazy. How long is "a recording session"? If I record anything I'd probably be WoW boss fights (if I play again) because I regret not having any recordings of back when I raided hardcore. In other words, it doesn't have to be amazing quality either. I just don't want to lag my ass off while both are running.

    For HX vs TX, I was going for the more cost efficient option. Do you believe HX is worth the investment? I think I could have gone for a 650HX instead of a 750TX for like 5-10$ more.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies. I'll have to go for now as my time run short but I'll read all further replies tomorrow.
    Last edited by Synbios; 2012-07-29 at 06:20 PM.

  7. #7
    I do in fact think the HX is worth it, it makes the case look neater and as I said allows for better air flow the efficiency difference isn't huge but it's nice. Also raiding in wow I would generally by the end of a hard boss, (Nefarian cata version heroic, and Sinestra come to mind) I think I would have several hundred GBs of footage since every minute =3gb each. Also with the I5 you would be able to record with amazing quality. the question more referred to the rendering of the videos after being done using a editing program.

    In terms of case I suggest
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811139008
    there is also a white version of the case.
    [SIZE=1][CENTER]CPU: Intel I5-3570k 4.7ghz MB: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce Ram: G-Skill 8GB 1333
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB PSU: Antec BP550 Case: Corsair 750D

  8. #8
    If it's only a $10 difference, definitely go for the HX650. Less cables=better airflow.

    Case Suggestions:
    Fractal Design Arc Midi
    Fractal Design Define R3(/R4, don't know when they'll be released in America though)
    Corsair 400R

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Blademaster
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
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    Thanks for the replies, but I need a bit more information to choose my case. You guys make it sound like a mid tower would be more than enough for my machine, is this the case? Considering I'll be going for a 650HX for my power supply and a Noctua D14 for my fan, how many built-in fans should I be looking for? Is a full tower worth investing into?

    Looking at my possibilities, my thought process is as follow : I'm thinking older models leave something to be desired as their technology is likely not as good as newer models? And since I don't know how many fans is enough fans, I'm looking at the most I can get right now.
    So... how many fans is enough fans with my setup? And how much attention should I pay to the age of the model?

    Here's what I was thinking for now with my limited information :
    Cooler Master 932 HAF --Full-3x230mm-1x140mm-older model
    Rosewill Thor V2 --Full-3x230mm-1x140mm-newer model
    Corsair 400R --Mid-3x120mm-newer model
    Rosewill Blackhawk --Mid-4x120mm-newer model
    Corsair 500R --Mid-3x120mm-1x200mm-newer model
    Antec Nine Hundred --Mid-3x120mm-1x200mm-very old model
    Cooler Master 922 HAF --Mid-2x200mm-1x120mm-older model
    Fractal Arc Midi --Mid-3x140mm-newer model

    So... to me the Rosewill Thor v2 looks really good, in particular for the price... of course there's the concern that it's built cheaply. The HAF 932 isn't THAT old, but it does raise concerns for me. the Corsair 400R and the Rosewill Blackhawk both seem to have sub-par fanning for their price. The Nine Hundred is incredibly old which really turn me off unless there's a good reason to get it. The Cooler Master 922 HAF and the Fractal Arc Midi both look good, with the Fractacl being newer... but I'm not sure how reliable that manufacturer is.

    Basically, I'm thinking the full towers aren't that expensive if it's not a complete overkill for me to get them, and that the Thor looks good but so does the HAF 932 if you don't mind the age of the model. For mid towers, I like the 500R, the 922 HAF and the Arc Midi... but the 500R has much lower ratings on Newegg than any other cases I mentioned.

    Setup:
    Motherboard : Asus Intel P8Z77-V LK
    CPU : Intel core I5-3570k
    Card : (Gigabyte, store couldn't order Asus) Geforge GTX 670
    Hard drive : Western Digital Caviar Black 7200rpm/64mB/500GB
    SSD : Crucial M4 128GB
    RAM : 2x4GB Corsair dominator
    Power supply : Corsair 650HX
    Fan : Noctua D14
    Case : ??
    DVD reader/writer : Asus DRW-24 B1ST
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Thanks for any help!
    Last edited by Synbios; 2012-07-31 at 12:15 AM.

  11. #11
    er oops,definitely meant to link the 500r, a friend of mine has it. He also has a Corsair H100 cooler which fits perfectly into the top of the case as though it was made for it, and probably was.
    [SIZE=1][CENTER]CPU: Intel I5-3570k 4.7ghz MB: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce Ram: G-Skill 8GB 1333
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB PSU: Antec BP550 Case: Corsair 750D

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