My first build: an attempt at excellence

By baN893 · 51 replies
Dec 20, 2011
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  1. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    How much improvement (fps wise and in general) would I see for upgrading to the ASRock Extreme 4 Gen 3 from the ASRock Extreme 3 Gen 3? It's almost $90 more expensive and I'm curious how much improvement I would get.
  2. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

  3. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    ASUS rock

    I have the ASUS M4A88TD V-EVO USB3.0 motherboard and it has taken all my tinkering and rough treatment.

    It's a damn good motherboard for £80.

    ASUS in general is just an awesome company :)
  4. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    Thanks for your input about that. I'm aware that I'm doing that. However from my limited understanding the higher you go with MOBOs the better your OC performance will be. However I don't plan on OCing my GPU in the near future. Otherwise I spent my money on the wrong card ^^ From what I have read on other forums, choosing the higher tier MOBO will only give you a 2-3% performance increase (with some people claiming a 5% increase) when not OCing. I made a thread in this forum about this. Hoping to get some clarification.

    Also happy to hear that both of you are happy with your ASUS choices. Since ASRock used to be part of ASUS (its now owned by a former subsidiary from ASUS which is now a spin off company), I'm pretty confident that I will be satisfied with ASRock just like you guys are with ASUS.


  5. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    with just 1-click on the Asus "AI Suite" you will go from 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz with that 2500k (or do it manually if you prefer lower voltage). Im just speaking for myself as I was in your position last week trying to pick and choose for my build. Im just happy I went with the Asus, z68 chipset and a 2500k, the rest of the components depend on what you do with your computer.
  6. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    Thanks to all of you guys for helping me with all of my questions and choices. I've been able to order most of the parts already and pretty much just waiting for the 7970 to be released :) I will make sure to post an update comment on how the build is working out and if regret any of my choices :p


  7. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    Hey guys, I've been running the build for a week now and I'm totally satisfied with all my choices :) Really the only con is the SATA Power connectors on the PSU because they are not at an ideal angle and really hard to bend. That's really the only con there is :D Super satisfied and of course the AMD 7970 is a baby and eats everything for breakfast I can give it ^^ Also OC's the CPU to 4.8GHz with no issues. ASRocks Turbo 50 is really the flick of a switch in the UEFI BIOS and voila.

    Thanks for all the help

  8. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie

    I wanna buy the Noctua NH D14 and I have the same case as you do, NZXT Hades. :D
    I had doubts about the D14 about the size and so on, since Hades doesnt has a lot of room. :)
    Can you please take a photo of your Noctua in your Hades?
    It would help me a lot.
    Thanks in advance mate.
  9. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    Hey Guys,

    I've had my build for two months now and had some time to break it in, so I am posting to update you guys on my final setup and how happy I am with it all. These are the parts I have in my build now:

    1x CORSAIR Carbide Series 500R Black Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $109
    1x ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $150
    1x Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 $209
    1x SAPPHIRE HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 $550
    1x CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 $96
    1x CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular High Performance Power $110
    1x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe MKNSSDCR120GB-DX 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $215
    1x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $170
    1x ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $23
    1x Asus VE248H Black 24" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers, VESA Compatible $189
    1x CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler $89
    2x Scythe Gentle Typhoon Fan 1850 rpm ( 120x120x25mm ) $30
    3x Yate Loon D12SL-12 120MM RED/BLACK Fan 1350RPM 47CFM 28DB 3/4PIN Sleeve Bearing $40
    1x Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard $64
    1x Logitech G500 10 Buttons Dual-mode Scroll Wheel USB Wired Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse $60
    1x Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset $105
    1x Logitech LS21 7 Watts RMS (FTC) 2.1 Stereo Speaker System $30
    1x Logitech C200 0.3 M Effective Pixels USB 2.0 WebCam $15
    1x Logisys CLK12RD2 Dual Red Cold Cathode Kit 12IN 3.0MM $7

    Total Price in Canadian dollars: $2261 before 12% taxes which totals to $2533 in January 2012

    Ok, so that's really EVERYTHING that I have connected to my desktop. I'm just going to run down the list at write a sentence or two about each product, what I think and if I would purchase it again in retrospect.
    The Corsair 500R is a great case and I am really happy with it, but I might end up modding a side window in with some acrylic, like TinyTomLogan is about to do on his YouTube channel.
    SRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3, great motherboard overall only had one issue when my bios got corrupted because of my ***** overclocking attempts (just cuz I see someone push their 7970 to 1.2Ghz doesn't mean I can too ^^' ).
    i5 2500k, best deal out there. wonder what advantages the i5 3570k will bring.
    7970, great card, but I'm not using it to it's true eyefinity potential (YET!). I imagine I would have been just as happy with a SAPPHIRE 7950 that runs like almost 20C cooler.
    Corsair Vengeance, great stuff, no second thoughts.
    Corsair TX650M, the modular here is a JOKE, if you care, get AX650. Otherwise great PSU.
    Mushkin SSD, super satisfied, no regrets, can't believe the 240GB versions are becoming affordable now. only like $50 more than what I paid for 120GB.
    WD 1.5TB Caviar Black, great HDD no regrets or issues.
    ASUS DVD burner, get's the job done.
    Asus VE248H, great monitor only 3 dead pixels, never an issue.
    Corsair H100, good stuff, compatible with 500R, no regrets and no issues.
    Scythe Gentle Typhoon, these were hard to find and get my hands on, imported from Germany. Super super satisfied, have the in pull config, pulling air out of the case, top mounted.
    Yate Loon Red Black fans, standard fans I picked because of the color scheme. Running them at like 600rpm.
    G110, good overall keyboard, satisfied, also glows red, fitting overall theme of my build.
    G500, great mouse, weight customizable which is a little overkill, but nice to have.
    G930, my best friend, can't imagine living without a wireless headset now.
    LS21, picked these up at walmart, seemed like a good deal, happy so far, only had them for a week though.
    C200, standard quality webcam, nothing special, gets the skype job done.
    Logisys red cold cathodes, wish I had gone with some BitFenix red LED strips because the inverter is hard to hide and is really the sore on my eye in my build.

    Excuse my sloppy grammar :) hope that sums up my feelings about all of my parts and purchases. I hope this will help at least one or two of you out there.

    Feel free to reply or PM me with any questions :)

    I will also add some photos once I get the time to do so,


  10. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie


    I would go for Samsung LE32D550 instead of that Asus monitor, trust me. ;)
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thanks for summing your thoughts up baN893, I enjoy reading peoples thoughts after using their new builds. :)

    I have to say I'll probably be going the Corsair H100 route on my next build. It will give me much better clearance for the 8 RAM sticks on the LGA2011 motherboard when I go the i7 3930K route.

    Whats your overall thoughts with the display then? I'm about set to order a trio of the same model, so would love to hear more feedback about them. :)
    baN893 likes this.
  12. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie

    With 6870, forget about the gaming in three monitors.
    Especially with your current PC, one BIG screen is a better solution.
  13. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    You're welcome Leeky.

    I'm sure you'd be happy with choosing an H100. What case would you be using with the H100?
    In regard to the monitor, I'm extremely satisfied with the VE248H. In my single monitor setup it performs great, the colour depth, contrast etc. are all satisfactory to me. I spend multiple hours a day on it and there has only been 2 occasions so far where I noticed one of the dead pixels off to the centre right while looking at pictures. The buttons are done well and easy to push, plus they are located under the bottom bezel which makes it good for a landscape eyefinity setup. The speakers in the VE248H are nonsense, but I'm sure you would have some speakers of some sort. For an eyefinity setup I see two POTENTIAL issues with this monitor: First, there is no height or swivel adjustment, just tilt. So maybe it might be worth investing into a triple monitor stand, since as far as I am concerned you can mount the monitor with back screws. Second, if you would use the setup for gaming, like I am (not yet though but I will this fall), the bezel width might be a nuisance. Don't get me wrong, its not that they are overly wide, but they are not exactly ultra skinny either. At the same time, I must say I haven't found a thinner bezel monitor within the price range I would be willing to pay. So for gaming, a monitor with thinner bezels might be more suitable, but if you would just use it as a normal work station three VE248H's would surely get the job done and you would be very satisfied with your choice. Triple 120Hz would be overkill, unless you are planning on going Quad-SLI/Crossfire to fill out that headroom, so the VE248H seem like the best choice to me.

    First, that monitor is not available in North America. Second, those bezels are nowhere close to suitable for an eyefinity setup. Third, I think it looks horrendous.

  14. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie

    First it isnt a monitor, it's a 32 inch TV, before you search for the pics of it, that Asus looks horrendous comparing it to the Samsung LE32D550.
    Not to mention old TN panel that it has, Asus that is.
    At least with that PC I would go for the IPS panel monitors at least, nothing less.
  15. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Posts: 109

    A TV is never a better choice over a monitor when talking about computers, and Eyefinity is a service from AMD that requires 3 monitors with the smallest separation( smallest bezel) as possible so yes having a big bezel like that TV is ridiculous for an Eyefinity setup, also looks are a very subjective thing, so you can't say one thing looks better because that's just how you feel.

    Anyways, new to this thread, but very nice machine, also I think your 7970 will start to shine once you have your triple monitor setup.
  16. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie

    I'll just quote myself again. :rolleyes:

    "With 6870, forget about the gaming in three monitors.
    Especially with your current PC, one BIG screen is a better solution."
  17. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    Thanks, exactly what I was trying to get at.

    Again thanks for the reassurance. My 7970 is definitely not challenged currently :) so I'm looking forward to an eyefinity setup.

  18. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Posts: 109

    Sorry, I thought you were talking about the OP's build, but you were talking about Leeky's computer...Three screens is used for more than just gaming, multitasking, and other things do factor in as well, also a 6870 is good enough to handle games at medium/high settings in a triple monitor setup.
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    The current GPU is just a fill in for now, as triple displays for multitasking is far more important to me than gaming right now.

    I paid a good price for it on sale, and it enables me to run 3+ displays, which is why I went for it to replace my very well used, much older HD4870.

    It was never purchased with the intention of gaming on three displays. It simply doesn't have anywhere near the required horsepower to provide the type of minimum gaming experience I've come to expect.


    Thanks for summing it up for me, and apologies for the delayed response -- I missed your reply somehow.

    I must admit, the more I looked into it, the more I realised the bezels might become a bit of an issue. I would use a triple display stand like you suggested though as it makes it so much easier to line them up. Having them out of line would drive me nuts over time otherwise, plus it makes the desk look a lot neater than three stands fighting for desk space. :haha:
  20. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    You're welcome. I completely agree, I think it would drive me nuts as well :haha: Do let me know if you come across another monitor you think would be more suitable for such a setup. :)

  21. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm sure a thread will appear on here for opinions before I proceed anyway. But I'll do my best to remember when the time comes.
  22. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,263   +453

    Can I just say that I'm very pleased that one of these long "I'm doing a build, help me" threads actually resulted in a completed build with some followup from the OP. I've become pretty disheartened with the many threads of people saying they're building this or that... working through revision after revision seemingly picking out the best parts they can google only to never hear from those users again. It's as if they made me watch them window shop... virtually. I'm very happy that you completed your build and I'm thrilled that you're very happy with it. Thanks for giving us info about completing the build and letting us know how you feel about it after it has been broken in. I know it's a bit off topic but I just had to say it. Happy gaming baN.
    baN893 likes this.
  23. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I've also just bought a 7970 for cheap off ebay now that the GTX 680 has come out :D

    Anyway I run it in Eyefinity with 3 Dell U2312HM monitors. I can thoroughly recommend them, they are cheap IPS panels with good colours, minimal lag and most importantly, good viewing angles (as you're not going to be viewing the side monitors straight on). They don't cost much more than normal TN panels and much less than proper 8-bit or 10-bit IPS panels - getting 3 of those would cost a kidney...

    The bezel width is acceptable, but when gaming you hardly notice it anyway. Personally I think thin bezels are overrated (considering the price), but maybe that's just because I've always had multiple monitors at work and have got used to them.
  24. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 83   +10

    You are absolutely welcome LNCPapa. This whole process has been a thrill to me and I've greatly appreciated all the input that people have given in this thread. On a sidenote, this whole process, and TechSpot as a website, has resulted in me creating a hardware discussion group at my university where I hope to talk and share some of the things I learn about here on TechSpot.

    Thanks for this feedback, I will most certainly look into this monitor and try and do some extra research. Won't make a move on eyefinity until September, so I hope that will allow me to make a good decision. Really appreciate this suggestion.


  25. Bobi4ever

    Bobi4ever TS Rookie

    Meh, dont worry about it. :D

    I tought that he wanna play games on Eyefinity with 6870, thats why I suggested bigger screen instead of the three monitors. :)

    Btw, I could use some help guys.

    Can someone please contact PC nerd? I posted on his profile like 2 weeks ago and nothing. :(
    I have the NZXT Hades and I wanna put Noctua NH-D14, so I could use a photo of it or at least ask him some questions, it would help me a lot.
    Also, what's the price of the 7850/70 at your country or place?
    Here is around 220 euros for the Sapphire model.

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