Thinking of Pulling the Trigger on this PC Build. Some Questions:

#1 Edited by killacam (1282 posts) -

I guess it's my turn to start the daily "Check my PC build" thread. I'll be using this to enter the wonderful world of PC gaming but also as a general work PC (I'm in my first year of comp sci and will eventually be doing things like development, 3D modelling, etc.). I'm not the most knowledgeable on the inner-workings of a PC but from reading through similar threads I've figured out enough to come up with a build. I'm not sure if there are things I could cut down on; I think if anything it would be the CPU but then again I can't really envision how these numbers translate into performance at this point.

UPDATED:

Corsair Carbide Series 500R White Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...

EVGA 02G-P4-3660-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1866C9R

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I'm 97% sure it will all fit together and whatnot. Do I need to buy a cooling system? I've read that the Intel k-series runs pretty hot, but that case has four fans. That's an alright number of fans, right?!. Is upgrading to an i7 worth the price at this point? Would using a 22" 1080p TV suffice as a monitor? I've seen a number of variations on that graphics card: Superclocked, more RAM, etc. How will those upgrades translate to performance? How long would such a build last a guy? Is some crazy space-age technology right around the corner that I should wait for?

Thanks a lot for the help. It's a scary thing to just dive in to something like this, so any tips/advice/info is greatly appreciated.

#2 Posted by RVonE (4478 posts) -

@killacam: That's a pretty nice build you've got going on and all that stuff should fit together. If you're going to do modeling and stuff like that you shouldn't cut down on the CPU, I'd even consider stepping up to an i7 if you've got the cash but the i5 is a really solid CPU at any rate. You've got a really solid power supply and the GTX 660 ti is an excellent graphics card for gaming. If you want to cut down on something, I would suggest to settle for 8GB of RAM instead of 16. No games really take advantage of that much memory and you can always stick in another set (do buy a set, not a single stick) to increase memory to 16GB when you need it down the line.

#3 Edited by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

Yeah, I would definitely recommend that you should buy an after-market cooling because the ones intel make...boy oh boy, they are crap. You would have efficient number of fans, but if you are going to spend money like that on a case. Again, I would recommend this one.

I will be honest and state that I don't know too much for CPU differences between the i5K and i7K in terms of 3D modeling, development, etc. I would say let your google-fu guide you towards the light. Or maybe someone here that has more knowledge about that than me.

The 22" TV would be okay, I am guessing that it has a 60 HZ refresh rate. So yeah, computer gaming, you're okay.

The graphic cards are essentially this. Nvidia makes their own reference card, afterwards, companies such as Asus, EVGA, etc make their own version of the card. Depending on the modifications that they made, costs can go up. Oh yeah, never buy a reference card if you are not planning to benchmark in the future.

Overall, you have a really solid build. You might be paying a little too much for the board, but that is my opinion. Of course, you never stated what kind of budget you have so I am assuming that you the infinite monies glitch.

I am throwing this in, but from what I have read, PCI-Express 3.0 is not really recommended. There are barely any cards on the market that even fully utilize the full bandwidth of the 2.0 slot. Again, that is me reading a lot of tech forums. Check out Tom's Hardware for more help too.

Edited for Spelling! How much do you want to spend on an After-Market cooling? Do you want Air cooling or the dangerously good-looking water cooling?

#4 Posted by MrCaptain (361 posts) -

@WasabiCurry:

wow, that case is pretty futuristic, my computer really looks like a hunk-of-junk in comparison.

#5 Posted by GreyFox (137 posts) -

For 3D modelling you would benefit from the i7, and depending on the modelling you do, then 16GB might not be that bad of an idea. As for development, of course it depends on what you develop, but as long as it isn't some complex math thingies in MatLab or something like that, the CPU you chose is fine and 8 GB of RAM would be ok too.

#6 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@MrCaptain: From the many reviews I have read. The tower is beast! I am selling my guitar pedals that I do not use any more to afford this one. Plus I love the design of the NZXT Phantom as well.

#7 Edited by killacam (1282 posts) -

@RVonE: Thanks, just downgraded to 8 gb. I figured since it's so cheap I might as well go all out, but 50 bucks saved is 50 bucks saved.

@WasabiCurry: I'm actually in Canada, and it seems that case is out of stock on newegg.ca. Budget-wise, far from infinite monies. I don't really want to go over $1500 but I don't want to skimp where it counts either. Haha.. Hard decisions.

So i guess I don't understand how PCI-E works. That graphics card says it uses PCI-E 3.0... So it's backwards compatible I take it? Meaning my board doesn't need PCI-E 3.0 slots?

And I really know nothing about cooling. Nothing. I'd prefer to go cheaper on that. Do all cooling systems fit all cases? How does it even work? Thanks a ton.

@GreyFox: Yeah, I don't think I'll be too deep into that stuff for another year or two, so it seems like the i5 and 8gb will do nicely until then.

#8 Posted by RVonE (4478 posts) -

@killacam said:

@RVonE: Thanks, just downgraded to 8 gb. I figured since it's so cheap I might as well go all out, but 50 bucks saved is 50 bucks saved.

@WasabiCurry: I'm actually in Canada, and it seems that case is out of stock on newegg.ca. Budget-wise, far from infinite monies. I don't really want to go over $1500 but I don't want to skimp where it counts either. Haha.. Hard decisions.

So i guess I don't understand how PCI-E works. That graphics card says it uses PCI-E 3.0... So it's backwards compatible I take it? Meaning my board doesn't need PCI-E 3.0 slots?

And I really know nothing about cooling. Nothing. I'd prefer to go cheaper on that. Do all cooling systems fit all cases? How does it even work? Thanks a ton.

@GreyFox: Yeah, I don't think I'll be too deep into that stuff for another year or two, so it seems like the i5 and 8gb will do nicely until then.

PCI-E 3.0 cards work with 2.0 slots. No worries.

Also, yeah, the cooling situation could be better but if you're not looking to go broke with overclocking, there's not really anything wrong with having your machine run a little hot. I run an i5 with a GTX 660 ti in the living room with only one 120mm case fan (and have had a similar set up going for the past six years). It gets a little warm but well within safe parameters. A matter of preference, but I don't think advanced cooling is really all that necessary.

#9 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@killacam: Fifteen hundred dollars? Bro, you are going to have one beast of a machine.

Oh yeah, it is backwards compatible. As long as it is x16 slot, you are good to go. The entire issue with PCI-E 3.0 is that there isn't any card that even uses the full bandwidth of the PCI-E 2.0 slot. HOWEVER! If you are planning to either sli or crossfire (meaning two GPUs or more) then you would want PCI-E 3.0. Then again, you typically want to only run one high power GPU because if you are running two GPUs you will have to amp up the cooling for your motherboard and GPUs.

As for cooling, if you want something nice for around 30 dollars. I would recommend this fan. Pretty good fan for the price and provides decent OC on an Intel CPU. Oh, if you want to find out if your parts are compatible, I would say use this site. Additional research to make certain that the parts will actually work together, but that information would be on the motherboard. Yours is an ATX, they are pretty common style build, so yeah, it will fit.

#10 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@RVonE: He needs to go the extreme! Water cooling system yay!

I am just messing around right now.

#11 Posted by Mendelson9 (366 posts) -

A TV hooked up for gaming will look good but the text outside of a game could look bad, depending on the TV. I picked up a PS3 3D display last September to use as a monitor but the text rendering was so terrible, i returned it the next day. Your TV may be different.

I would stick with 16GB of RAM. It wont really help gaming, but it's nice to have if you don't want to worry about how many programs you have running.

Do you know what copy of Windows you are getting? I have Win8 running on my gaming PC and have had no problems. There is really nothing new for a PC gamer in Win8 so Win7 is fine too, especially if you like the look or Aero Glass windows. Personally I hate the look of Win8, strange because I did not think that I would miss Aero Glass.

It looks to me to be a solid build. Welcome to PC gaming!

#12 Posted by RVonE (4478 posts) -

@WasabiCurry said:

@RVonE: He needs to go the extreme! Water cooling system yay!

I am just messing around right now.

Lol, yeah that stuff is really cool, though.

#13 Posted by killacam (1282 posts) -

@WasabiCurry @RVonE: : So are case fans really that poor that one added fan will make all the difference?

@Mendelson9: Thanks! I wanted to stick with 7, but I think I can get a really good deal on 8 as a student.. Though doesn't it have Dx11 support whereas 7 does not?

#14 Edited by RVonE (4478 posts) -

@killacam said:

@WasabiCurry @RVonE: : So are case fans really that poor that one added fan will make all the difference?

@Mendelson9: Thanks! I wanted to stick with 7, but I think I can get a really good deal on 8 as a student.. Though doesn't it have Dx11 support whereas 7 does not?

Depends on the placing and design. Ideally, for air-cooling, you'd have an intake at the front of the case and an exhaust at the back. Some fans perform better than others but, more importantly, some higher-end fans run a lot quieter than others. Depending on your situation, that might be worth spending some money on. But, like I said, I get by on just a single (after market) case fan without any performance issues. Most graphics cards have their own exhausts that are serviceable anyway, so most heat in the case comes from your CPU.

EDIT: Windows 7 supports Direct X 11.

#15 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

What ever you do, don't get a water cooling system...

The next day...

#16 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@killacam: The reason that I would recommend that after market cooler is that it goes above (like any other after-market cooler) the cpu. The heat sinks will carry the heat away from the CPU. Getting heat away from the CPU as fast as possible is ideal for overclocking. If you are absolutely certain that you will never OC your CPU, then I would say go for the stock cooler.

As for case fans, there are some out there that are awesome. It mostly depends whether you want a quiet system.

#17 Posted by killacam (1282 posts) -

@RVonE: @WasabiCurry: I think I'll get that fan at some point, but I doubt I'll be overclocking for a little while. I'm sure compared to this laptop I'm using the stock speed will scream.

So I assume the overclocked ram doesn't generate much heat then?

Thanks again guys. I'm feeling good about this. See you on the other side.

#18 Posted by RVonE (4478 posts) -

@killacam: No, they don't generate enough heat to worry about. Like I said, you'll be fine with the stock cooling solution (and you'll even be fine when you take some of those fans out to run a bit quieter). Good luck with your build and let us know how it turned out.

#19 Edited by karkari (3 posts) -

Don't go for the 660 ti.

Get a HD7950. It's faster and can OC better for the same price.

You'll save money.

If you're just into video games, an i7 or more than 8 gigs is a waste. (unless you're into some extreme emulation or something).

I'd also go with 550W PSU if I were you.

Godspeed.

EDIT: Take a look at this baby: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157330

#20 Posted by killacam (1282 posts) -

@karkari said:

Don't go for the 660 ti.

Get a HD7950. It's faster and can OC better for the same price.

You'll save money.

If you're just into video games, an i7 or more than 8 gigs is a waste. (unless you're into some extreme emulation or something).

I'd also go with 550W PSU if I were you.

Godspeed.

EDIT: Take a look at this baby: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157330

I'm flattered you used your first post on my humble thread. I do realize Radeon is less expensive.. But I'd rather pay the premium since it seems to me Nvidia is the standard that games are developed for. If that makes sense. Also i don't see much difference between that mobo and the one I chose, but I was under the impression Asus does boards right. Maybe things have changed.

#21 Edited by karkari (3 posts) -

Nvidia actually isn't the standard...or whatever you mean.

For example one of the most demanding games, Metro 2033 was optimized for AMD cards.

Nvidia drivers are more reliable than ATI but it's not to the point where you should sacrifice money, performance and OC potential for it. Far from that.

I'm currently an nvidia user too though, so I can see where you're coming from. Whatever floats your boat.

Also, if at some point you decide to go multii-GPU, you'll have better performance with AMD.

#22 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: That sucks, but that is the inherent dangers of a water cooling system. Thank goodness that he did have warranty on that computer or he would have killed himself. I feel so bad for him though! T^T No one should go through that, it is like having a motherboard delivered DOA on your build day.

I do hope that your first build will be great! Do remember to never use the driver disk that comes with the motherboard and graphic card. There are always an updated version on the brand site.

Peace and have a wonderful weekend!

#23 Posted by Irishdoom (332 posts) -

I've never had issues just running stock coolers on any CPU I've owned. I'm also uninterested in overclocking, I just don't ever want to burn something out. :)

I'm also a fan of AMD over Nvidia, but that's just really personal preference. I've always seen them as the "more bang for your buck" option.

#24 Posted by Doctorchimp (4063 posts) -

@karkari said:

Nvidia actually isn't the standard...or whatever you mean.

For example one of the most demanding games, Metro 2033 was optimized for AMD cards.

Nvidia drivers are more reliable than ATI but it's not to the point where you should sacrifice money, performance and OC potential for it. Far from that.

I'm currently an nvidia user too though, so I can see where you're coming from. Whatever floats your boat.

Also, if at some point you decide to go multii-GPU, you'll have better performance with AMD.

Great, you picked the one game that AMD cards perform better at.

Games are usually better optimized with nvidia cards and you know it. This duder is building his first PC and he doesn't want driver issues messing around with his first batch of PC games, an admirable caution to take.

#25 Edited by kortex (441 posts) -

About the CPU cooling: I recently build a PC with a scythe mine 2. It's effing huge but pretty quite and will cool the shit out of the cpu.

http://www.amazon.com/Scythe-SCMN-2000-Mine-Cooler-Intel/dp/B004W56B66/ref=sr_1_65?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359757740&sr=1-65

or take a look at this baby

http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Heatpipe-Bearing-Cooler-NH-D14/dp/B002VKVZ1A/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_3

#26 Posted by karkari (3 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@karkari said:

Nvidia actually isn't the standard...or whatever you mean.

For example one of the most demanding games, Metro 2033 was optimized for AMD cards.

Nvidia drivers are more reliable than ATI but it's not to the point where you should sacrifice money, performance and OC potential for it. Far from that.

I'm currently an nvidia user too though, so I can see where you're coming from. Whatever floats your boat.

Also, if at some point you decide to go multii-GPU, you'll have better performance with AMD.

Great, you picked the one game that AMD cards perform better at.

Games are usually better optimized with nvidia cards and you know it. This duder is building his first PC and he doesn't want driver issues messing around with his first batch of PC games, an admirable caution to take.

When you say optimized, do you mean something else besides performance?

He just won't have any trouble with current ATI drivers with a 7950.

It's not one game. Currently the 7 series just destroy anything from Nvidia in the 100-300 price range.

I'm sorry duder.

#27 Posted by Asberg (78 posts) -

Hey guys i'm also in the process of buying a pc and i would like some opinions on the build i put together. I plan on playing on my tv primarily( Far cry 3, Wtcher 2) and i have a harddrive already so don't worry about that. I was mainly wondering if the 630W power supply would be enough or if i should go for a 750W one? Or anything i have missed? The website is in Swedish but the productnames are the same, also sorry if i'm highjacking this thread for a bit.

http://www.inet.se/kundvagn/visa/2929291/2013-02-02

#28 Posted by Luca717 (81 posts) -

thats a nice build, maybe just throw a closed loop cooler and overclock the cpu to something nice like 4.2

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