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First computer build, does this look like a good build?

By jbruce
Apr 9, 2013
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  1. I plan on using this computer for games like FC3, Crysis 3, Civ 5, LoL, Arma 3, Kerbal SP, CoD, SimCity, torrenting, and multitasking (gaming + music or gaming + skype or all three). I plan on building it within the month, I prefer performance over cost. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, I have a 24" Samsung T24B350 (1920x1080), Bose USB speakers and a mouse but I will need a keyboard. I also have access to wired internet. I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on these parts seeing as I am new to computer building, I did a good amount of research so far. And also if these parts would fit and work well together. Thank you.



    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $219.99

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $18.99

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $134.99

    Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $139.99

    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $94.99

    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card $289.99

    Wired Network Adapter: Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/100/1000 Mbps PCI-Express x1 Network Adapter $28.99

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case $129.99

    Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply $69.99

    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $17.99

    Keyboard: Lite-On SK-1788/BS Wired Standard Keyboard $12.98

    Total: $1246.86 from Newegg
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    The build looks good. I only have one question. Is the on-board LAN (network adapter) not suitable for your needs?
    jbruce likes this.
  3. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    This is exactly why I posted, thank you. I didn't even realize my motherboard had one onboard. Any other problems that you notice?
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    Well there is one other little detail.

    You selected the Z68 motherboard and a Sandy Bridge CPU. They are not the current generation (Ivy Bridge) and the next generation (Haswell) is preparing to be released that will make Sandy Bridge, two generations old. I feel you should be aware of the age in what you have listed before you purchase.
  5. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

    I would recommend the Hyper 212 Evo. It has a revised design over the outdated Plus. Also, the PSU should be changed. 550W is enough, but is pushing it. What is your budget? And as clifford said, Haswell is gonna be released in 2 months.

    Edit: After looking at your build a bit more, there are a lot of things you can adjust other than the ones listed above. You do not need a full tower case. You can easily get a $50 Corsair 200r that will be suitable enough. Also that keyboard runs on PS2. That is an old standard. You would be better off with a USB keyboard.
  6. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I see, do you have any suggestions? I would like to stick with the Intel, and I was told i5 is the best for gaming. Should I go Ivy or wait for the Haswell to come out? And for the motherboard would the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H be better?
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    jbruce likes this.
  8. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

    Here is what I was able to build for the same price you built yours: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sphv3d8axa107pm/Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.24.31 PM.png
    I didnt include the 200R because it wasnt in stock and thus couldnt add it to the cart. It is $50-60 depending on where you get it from. You can easily trim a bit off of my build for you, but I added the SSD since Arma is one of those games that has tons of textures and takes a while to load on HDDs.
    jbruce likes this.
  9. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

    Oh, I just noticed the 2 comments you guys made, I was making my post in the meantime :D. Yes, I would wait for Haswell like Clifford said. It will get you another 7-12% increase in performance and not just that, but it will gain you a year in terms of futureproofing.
  10. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter


    Any reason for choosing 2x8GB instead of 4x4GB? And also any reason for the XFX card over the Sapphire?
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    There is no reason why you should fully populate your memory slots initially. The extra modules do put slight additional voltage strain on the system. It's not much and I've heard it has created problems, requiring manual adjustments of memory voltage in the System BIOS.

    As for XFX vs Sapphire, I think they are equally great brands to choose from.
     
  12. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

    I just chose 2 x 8GB because they are cheaper than 4x4GB since RAM has risen in price recently. So the lesser the RAM sticks, the lower the price. But you still need 2 since dual channel increases performance a ton. As for XFX vs Sapphire, it is personal preference. I personally like XFX because the support is great and it has a lifetime warranty. I dont really like Sapphire cards that much because their designs are ugly (personal opinion). I like XFX's linear and simple design. But heck, you arent even gonna really see it in your case.
  13. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    So here is my updated build not including the CPU, how much more should I expect the Haswell CPU to cost over the Ivy Bridge? I decided against the SSD just because I would like to see the price closer to $1000 rather than $1300. I went with a slightly more expensive keyboard and case because I'm going for the red illuminated theme (I may go purple, haven't fully decided yet). As of right now, without the CPU you have saved me about $150. Thank you kindly. And lastly any suggestions on this updated list?


    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.99

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $104.99

    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $109.98

    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $69.98

    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card $289.99

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99

    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $119.99

    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $19.96

    Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard $59.99

    Total: $879.86 (w/o CPU)
    Total: $1109.86 (estimate of $230 for CPU)
  14. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,550   +18

    First...
    I would compare prices at Microcenter.
    For example, you can get a mb/cpu combo at savings... for example...
    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Motherboard and an Ivy Bridge i5-3570K
    combo at a similar price point to your initial build.
    By the way, this board has two on-board LAN ports. ;)

    Second...
    While, I will leave others to argue pros and cons of Haswell,
    Personally, I am not inclined to buy bleeding edge. I think it is always over priced.
    And, I think the 3570 with the z77 board would give you more than satisfactory performance.
    The ud5h board also will accept upgrades nicely.

    (eg i7 - ivy bridge cpus, but not Haswell, per CliffordCooley's note below!)
    If you want Haswell, wait for the motherboards to come out too!
    Both Biostar and Asrock have demo'd them at CeBIT,
    but they are not yet available.
    Interestingly, Asrock is still maintaining legacy support for floppies on one of them.

    I have done two builds in the last year, one with the above LGA1155 combo,
    and one with an AM3+ combo.
    If you have specific gear you want,
    you may find one source or another to be carrying it, but not both.
    If you have a reason to want to get everything from one source,
    that is something to take into account;
    there are other options for Video Card, PSU and Case from Microcenter,
    just not those specific options.

    I bought my parts from a variety of sources...
    including Amazon, Newegg and Microcenter.

    I hope this is helpful.

    ---Edit/Add---
    While I like the PSU suggested above in the dropbox, by JC713...
    I don't see a case in that build. (maybe I missed it?)
    I too went with a ssd for my boot drive, and like Samsung for it.
    jbruce likes this.
  15. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Right now I am looking at the Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99. I definitely would like a colored case/keyboard combo. Multi-colored LEDs would be most desirable because I am wishy washy on which color I want. Are there and good cases out there that would work well with my build and has multi-colored LEDs?

    I will definitely look in the MB CPU combo. Thank you for your help!
  16. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,550   +18

    I know several who like the Haf912 mid tower...

    A couple of cautions... It seems to me that the mid tower arrangement, especially with the bottom mount psu, create some challenges.... In particular...
    1) The board and the psu are close to each other and because of wiring at the bottom end of the board, your last expansion slot may not be usable. If you plan / hope to use a cross-fire or sli configuration, depending on your board, this could be a problem.

    2) The cpu power cable has a long stretch to its connection on the motherboard. This means, for cable management, you will likely be getting an extender cable.

    Of course this last issue is possible /probable with any bottom mount psu arrangement, not just the mid-tower.

    For my 1155 build I used a silverstone fortress ft02, a very different case arrangement, and love the cable management,

    but!!! It is a beast of a case (size and weight) even if beautiful.
    And it is spendy.
    Also used some silver spray paint to match (mod?) bezels to the case, though there are other ways.

    I don't use a gamer keyboard... though I am aware there are some that have lit keys.
    Personally, I like the ergo style kb. I also like the wireless set ups.
    While I really like the MS ergo for layout,
    I have found the Logitech Wave is more reasonably priced,
    AND the Logitech unifying receiver set up is a brilliant move on their part.

    With my AM3+ build, I did add case lights, red, and did some red cabling, to keep with the theme of the case (an inexpensive mid-tower Thermaltake V3, AMD edition.) These lights were added, not included with the case. I think you will end up adding your lights and any fans with colored lights to meet your personal tastes. Watch that you get good quality fans... Sleeve bearings are short-lived, but case fans are not expensive... so...

    I have considered adding some light/color to the Intel build, and would probably go with Blue.

    By the way... if you were to consider the V3 (either black or amd edition) you might like to read my review; (right now I am the second one). Be advised it comes with only one case fan, unfiltered, on the rear, in an exhaust configuration, (though it can be moved!) and the case is "wide open", so it would be a dust collector in a dusty environment. I reversed the fan, added a filter, and added a second intake fan with filter, so that all air entering the case would be filtered, and with positive case pressure, it would not be as much a dust collector. The silverstone case comes with three bottom mounted intake fans (filtered) has positive case pressure, and so is by design a "clean" case. These fan & filtration notes are things to watch with any case... just look at how they are configured, and plan to modify according to your particular needs.

    Again... I hope these notes are helpful.
    jbruce likes this.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    Word of warning, Haswell will require a new CPU socket design. If you have decided to wait for Haswell, you will need to also wait for the new motherboards to support Haswell. If you have decided to go with the Z77 motherboard, either Sandy Bridge of Ivy Bridge CPUs will work.
    misor, JC713, jbruce and 1 other person like this.
  18. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,550   +18

    CliffordCooley wrote...
    Good Catch... Socket H3 / LGA 1150!
    My earlier note might have been taken to imply otherwise.
    I have added a bit to help avoid giving that misimpression.

    Another thought... 1155 boards and chips may take a dip in price when Haswell is released.
    So... if you want to wait a couple of months...
    You can build bleeding edge... OR
    You likely can save a few dollars on tech you can get now.
    jbruce and cliffordcooley like this.
  19. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright, after some more research, and your input, I think I have my final build. I think I'm going to stick with the Ivy Bridge CPU, and hope for a nice price drop. Thank you guys very much, you saved me from spending an extra $200 and from multiple mistakes along the way, from $1250 to $1050. And if the price on the 1155 socket design does drop then that's an even bigger saving! Again thank you for your help, I will continue to post my build progress on this thread check in every now and again to make sure I'm not making any horrible mistakes xD. Comments and suggestions still welcome! Bring 'em on!


    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Microcenter)

    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($109.98 @ Outlet PC)

    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)

    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)

    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)

    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Amazon)

    Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($54.99 @ Newegg)

    Total: $1069.84

    Also, should I invest in the extra warranties on any of these products if they are offered??
  20. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

    Keep in mind that Microcenter pricing for CPUs is only in store. Sorry for this delay, I had classes :( haha. I would say get a Western Digital Caviar Black instead for the HDD. They are faster than the Blue and are just a few bucks more. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533. Also, any reason why you went with a Sapphire? Sapphire doesnt have a lifetime warranty like XFX does. I wouldnt invest in warranties since the included warranties cover the parts for usually at least a year. Plus if anything fails or is received damaged, then you can replace it easily with the included warranties and/or RMA the parts.
  21. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Nope, I'll take the XFX haha, I like the lifetime warranty. Thanks again.

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $219.98

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $119.99

    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($109.98 @ Outlet PC)

    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)

    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ Newegg)

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)

    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)

    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Amazon)

    Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($54.99 @ Newegg)

    Total: $1144.84
    JC713 likes this.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    jbruce
    Thats a nice build you have listed! I'm confident you know exactly what you are buying now.
    JC713 and jbruce like this.
  23. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,874   +889

  24. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,550   +18

    I agree with JC713 and CliffordCooley.

    Returning to an earlier comment I made,
    You may possibly find an eps extension cable to be helpful to optimize your cable management.
    (Look at the cpu power connector on the mb, and think about how the cable will get there)
    My PC Power & Cooling PSU, used with my AMD build, did need one.
    The AMD power connector was similarly placed.

    The description of your PSU says
    but they do not say exactly what that means... I wish they gave an actual length.
    I really like my Corsair AX750 (80+ Gold). Used with my Intel build.
    I think the HX is a great choice too. (Also 80+ Gold! as noted by JC713)

    So, you may be just fine without the extension,
    but, if it is short, you know that extensions are available.
    The above link is for a 12" extension.
    Microcenter also has versions that are colored (White, green, red or blue).
    I have also seen 8" versions. This one is unsleeved.
    JC713 likes this.
  25. jbruce

    jbruce Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I will definitely look into this, thank you sir.


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