1. #1

    Help with an energy efficient build

    First of all, thanks for having the desire to help with this.

    So I want to build my first computer after playing for a few years on a laptop. It'd be mainly for gaming on WoW, Rift, Firefall with some other games like Metro 2033 but also video editing and some hopefully some programming. 1920 x 1080 with max / high settings and 60+ FPS if possible.

    I'am trying to keep it quiet and energy efficient while maintaining performance. With this in mind I want a few things specifically but I don't have the knowledge for the rest of the parts and get a bit lost. Here's what I have picked so far (nothing is purchased):

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    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($469.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 550D ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $829.96

    I picked the CPU because I believe it provides good performance for games and allows for overclocking in the future. I'am not too set on this if there are better alternatives.

    While I'am a little hesitant about liquid cooling (liquids and electronics never seem to end that well) I've been convinced that a closed loop doesn't have any major risks and feel comfortable because of the benefits it provides in terms of noise reduction.

    The GPU is a bit of a splurge on my part. In order to keep energy usage down I've decided to use one card and as such, decided to go for a pretty good one. Why specifically a 680? The magazine that I initially got the inspiration from for a more energy efficient build had that "it's also smaller, quieter, and cooler" than the Radeon HD 7970. I've also picked up from casually reading suggestions about other builds on here that it's a pretty solid card and am happy with the choice.

    I've done a little research on the case and am reasonably set on it. The design of the case is specifically around keeping the system quiet while providing the space and air flow required. I also quite like the look of the case.

    So that's what I have chosen so far, for the rest what I'd like is as follows:

    For the PSU I'am set on an 80+ Platinum certified one. What I'am stuck on is what size I need. While I think it could be 650W I really don't know.

    16GB RAM. Haven't done a lot of research on this and while I know a little I'am overall pretty lost.

    Maybe a Z77 for the motherboard? Don't know enough to be confident in anything I pick.

    A SSD to use for booting the system and a 1TB HDD for general storage. As I've heard they can be a little fickle I'd like some suggestions about what the better brands are.

    Not sure where this factors in but I'd like for the system to be able to have a wireless internet connection as a precaution in case I end up needing to go wireless for a bit.

    As for a budget, Id like to keep it under $1500 USD if possible but would be willing to stretch up to $1800 if absolutely required. This doesn't include OS and peripherals.

    Thanks again for your time and help.

  2. #2
    You realize that this build is some 400 watts right?

    An 80+ Platinum isn't going to help much over an 80+ Bronze for efficiency. Moreover, the price difference would completely trump any power savings from the increased efficiency.

    EVGA's closed cooling will run hotter than an open cooler by say ASUS/Gigabyte/MSI.

    For the 550D case, you'll need to remove those black covers (top and sides) if you want airflow through them. Just a heads up.

    Samsung, G. Skill and Corsair are good manufacturers of RAM. You should probably go for 4x4GB 1600 Mhz.

    Z77 motherboards: ASUS P8Z77-V line (don't get the LX) or Sabertooth if you're into that, ASRock Extreme4 and up, Gigabyte UD3H and up, Biostar TZ77XE4.

    SSDs - Samsung 830/840/840 Pro are solid choices, OCZ Vertex 4 is good. Other older gen brands include Crucial M4, Corsair ForceGT and Kingston Hyper 3K.

    HDD - people tend to recommend WD Blacks. Blues shouldn't be that bad. Samsung HDDs are generally recommended in budget builds since they are cheaper but slower.

    Wireless connectivity is easy to accomplish, just buy a PCIe card or a USB dongle.

  3. #3
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    New Zealand
    Was expecting some sort of neat little mini-ITX build request when I read the "energy efficient" part, not a 3570K + GTX680 o_O

    H60 is a very solid cooler, a TON of people buy it because it offers a great alternative to tower coolers at an affordable price and is also slightly better for LAN rigs which get moved/bumped around a lot. Nice to look at too.

    Anyway here's an example build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.16 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($106.98 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Corsair 550D ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1151.05
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 14:22 EST-0500)

    Why GTX670? Because it comes within 95%+ of a GTX680 and costs a whole chunk less. The Gigabyte Windforce I picked will also run quieter and cooler compared to EVGA.
    Last edited by Xuvial; 2012-12-04 at 07:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    H80 is far better than an H60

    Also, as others have said, this build is definitely not energy efficient
    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
    BF3 Profile | Steam Profile | Assemble a Computer in 9.75 Steps! | Video Rendering Done Right

  5. #5
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    H80 is far better than an H60
    The thing with H80 is that while there's nothing particularly wrong with it, it's in a really awkward place thanks to its arch rival - D14.

    > It comes at $99 on Newegg ($15 rebate available) while a D14 comes at $80.
    > Temps are more or less the same as D14, in some cases worse
    > Notoriously loud fans and if you were to kill the RPM on those then would definitely lose to D14
    > Buying SP120's drives the cost up by another $24-28 so you actually pay $105-115, that's just silly

    So the only real advantage it has is looks and RAM clearance.
    Meanwhile the H80i is $105 ($15 rebate) and we can see how the price is getting out of hand because in that case we might as well buy a H100i for $110 ($15 rebate) :P
    Last edited by Xuvial; 2012-12-04 at 08:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Fluffy Kitten Skarsguard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Ravenloft usually
    Yeah I would think for a energy efficient build you would be running something like a 300-400 watt power supply with something like a 7850, 4 gigs of ram, 1 hard drive or SSD, and an I3

  7. #7
    If you are going for energy efficient why dont you just buy the computer parts you want and turn it off when you arent actually using it. I used to keep my pc on all the time and just do my regular restarts. Then I got an SSD and basically turn it off always when Im not actually using it since it only takes like 15-20 seconds to boot. Im pretty sure my electric bill has went down a few bucks just from that.
    CPU:i5 [email protected] GPU:Gigabyte GTX760 WF3 Mobo:Asrock Z87E-ITX RAM:8Gb GSkill [email protected]Case:Atomic Orange Bit Fenix Prodigy Cooling: Corsair H100i HDD:1Tb WD Cav Black SSD: Samsung 830 128Gb PSU:Seasonic M2II620 KB:Razer Black Widow Mouse:Razer Naga 2014

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