Thoughts on my proposed build?

By B00kWyrm ยท 8 replies
Oct 11, 2011
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  1. My wife wants to give me a computer, and so I have decided to build again, rather than buy "off the shelf".
    This will be my first build since a Win98 system in the late 90's upgraded in video and OS to a Win2k System in the early 2000's. This system is still in use (seldom).

    What are you going to use the PC for?
    Primarily (90%) a workstation (MSOffice aps, graphix aps, etc) for Desktop Publishing.
    I expect about minimal (10%) home entertainment (Gaming, Home Theatre, etc).
    I anticipate getting into video editing within the next year and want this system to do the job.

    How much is your budget?

    Where are you located?
    East Coast, USA

    Are you willing to buy online?
    Almost exclusively, although I do have a Microcenter near by.

    Are you going to re-use any parts from an earlier build?
    Only Keyboard, Mouse, and Scanners.
    The scanners include SE A3 USB 1200 Pro by Mustek... hate the interface though.

    Do you need other peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse, among others?
    Would like to be able to continue using an existing HP PhotoScanner (SCSI2 Interface!)
    My proposed build shows TWO monitors... I don't mind losing the desk real estate.
    I do want a set-up that is easy on my vision (my eyes are not young... have been called a geezer)

    Have you already bought any parts?
    Not Yet

    Do you have an Operating System (OS)?
    Existing systems use XP (Gateway Notebook), Win2K (previous build), and Win7Home Prem (Acer Netbook - NOT a Win7 starter edition)
    Planning to buy Win7 for this build.

    Will you need any aftermarket cooling, such as a CPU\GPU cooler or a watercooling setup?
    I do not anticipate overclocking.
    If I did, I expect I would be conservative, rather than extreme in my tweaks.
    I expect the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus will be adequate, but looking for your advice.

    Proposed build...

    CPU $314.99 Intel Core i7-2600K

    CPU Cooler $25.41 Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
    OR $93.15 Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

    Motherboard $195.00 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO

    Memory $51.99 Corsair Vengeance 8gb-1600 DDR3

    PSU $119.99 Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified

    SSD $171.00 OCZ 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive AGT3-25SAT3-120G
    (for Boot and other primary software)

    Hard Drive $56.99 Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Green SATA II 64 MB

    Optical 28.55 Samsung 22X DVDRW Internal Drive SH-S222A/BEBE

    OS $100.00 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full)

    Video $180.00 XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB

    Monitor (x2) $150.00 Acer G245HQAbd

    Case $179.99 Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower

    Speakers $60.00 RCA RT151 Home Theater System
    OR $75.00 Logitech Z506

    Final Price $1,783.91 to $1,866.65
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Build looks solid. A good all-rounder as they say.

    Couple of notes:
    If you have a Microcenter close by I would check their Intel CPU pricing- for some reason they have a history of offering excellent Intel pricing. Pity MC's reach doesn't exend to the South pacific.

    The HAF-X is by by no means a quiet also has the tendency to collect dust. If you're a set-and-forget type builder then I'd recommend a fully filtered chassis. If you don't mind extemporizing and/or routine cleaning and some backround noise isn't a problem then you should be good to go.

    EDIT: I should probably put forward an alternative after trashing the HAF. The Lian Li P50 is in about the same price bracket, or possibly the P90 if you're looking for a USB3.0 I/O and some more elbow room inside the chassis.
  3. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    Suggestions for an alternate case? (Where dust is less an issue?)

    Re quieter?
    My impression was that the fans could be moderated via speedfan, or other software; is this incorrect?

    My solution for using the HP scsi scanner is to use something like... CardBus/PCMCIA to PCI Adapter Card - PC card adapter - PCI ( PCI2PCMCIA1 )
    with an existing Adaptec SlimSCSI 1480a.

    I realize the video card is not the "top of the line" for gaming,
    but... it seemed it should suffice for my needs,
    and my thoughts were to use the on-board audio.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    See above. You could also check out the Silverstone or Fractal Design cases. Your best bet would be Google a few reviews and check out the manufacturers product page for those that interest you.
    I only mentioned the HAF-X as I've put together a few systems with it (as well as the 932 and 922). While it offers a good feature set and is a competant enclosure, the common complaint after the user has had it a while is that the HAF's are dust magnets

    Re quieter?
    Yes, you can also mod the fans for 7v operation -a five minute job. Unfortunately there are two other factors in play here:
    1. Because the cases are so open (see the dust problem), harddrive and graphics card noise in spooling up, or any change in activity can find its way out the chassis- as can other fan noise (PSU, CPU cooler).
    2. Cooler Master use pretty sh1tty sleeve-bearing fans. The sound as quiet as most others until the bearing starts wearing...which doesn't take long (weeks). Sleeve bearing fans are NOT recommended for horizontal use because the bearing wears much faster....the HAF-X has a 20cm top based sleeve-bearing fan. The price you pay for C-M cutting costs to bring you a cheaper product.
    Unless you have some kind irrational urge to play games at maximum image quality, then the 6870 is going to be a good compromise between performance and price at your chosed resolution (19x10). If you want higher game i.q. and/or framerates, be prepared to pay (and pay exponentially) for the privilige
    Unless you're an audiophile the ALC892 codec should be fine.
  5. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    I looked at...

    Fractal Design
    Arc Midi Black High Performance PC Computer Case w/ USB 3.0 and 3 x Fractal High Performance 140mm fans

    Comparing case specs...

    FD = 9" x 18" x 20" (Exterior, approx, accommodates Mini ITX, Micro ATX and ATX)
    CM (HAF-X) = 9.10" x 21.70" x 23.20" accommodates the larger form factors, eg, from Micro ATX / ATX / Extended ATX / XL-ATX)

    Perhaps FD is quieter, but air filtration does not seem to be a priority?
    "Removable and Washable air filter below PSU"
    Does this mean that air intake is below psu, and all fans are exhaust?

    What about replacing the CM fans with "Fluid Dynamic", "ball" or "rifle" instead of sleeve type fan bearings?

    This mod would be around $100 (US).

    Haf X Fans
    140mm rear fan - replace with MASSCOOL SL-FD14025 140mm Case Fan
    200mm Fans (x2) - replace with NZXT FN-200RB 200mm Case Fan (Rifle bearing)
    or Antec BIGBOY200 200mm Case Fan
    or BitFenix Spectre 200mm Case Fan
    230mm Fans (front w. Red LED) - replace with Spectre Red LED 230mm Case Fan

    The question then would be how to add filtration to the HAF-X.
    OR... Is there a Case that does this already?

    I also considered... Lian Li PC-P80

    Here, the front filters seem to be a good thing, but the case seems to have mixed reviews on Air Flow, This case would be at a similar price to the "HAF-X plus fan replacements". (within $30 I think)
    (the larger fans in the HAF-x should move more air at lower RPM, and their location may help, but as you noted, they also allow other noise out.)

    Further thoughts / comments?
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    The Asus Z68 board isn't E-ATX. Planning on getting a workstation board? enthusiast overclocker ( Gigabyte UD7, Asus Maximus IV) or a dual CPU XL-ATX (EVGA SR-2)? If so then start looking for an E-ATX/XL-ATX/HPTX form factor chassis - otherwise it's just another marketing bulletpoint

    Not sure what the hell you're talking about TBH. The Arc probably isn't much better than the HAF-X as far as noise goes since it's a pretty wide-open chassis. The R3 is Fractal's standard chassis
    Yes, as in the the majority of bottom mount PSU chassis (Antec excepted on occasion)

    An option. Rifle bearings are barely any better than sleeve bearings.
    For $300 you might be better off just grabbing a better designed, better cooling, and quieter chassis like the Fortress FT02 ( $280 inc ship from newegg) - in this instance make sure you're getting Revision/version 1.4 or later -these come fitted with Silverstone's Air Penetrator AP181 fans (somewhat better than the earlier version)

    You would have to fabricate or adapt filter frames for an ideal solution, although you can get magnetic framed filters that are easily removeable- they just don't come in a very wide range of applications
    This is the bottom of a HAF-X.
    Note the fairly large hole. Note also the lack of filtration...
    The front intake fan DOES have a filter, so at least the main intake is taken care of.
    Not surprising. Larger chassis have a larger internal volume. Larger volume requires more intensive static pressure to move the air.
    The P80 is an old design ( the upgraded P80N isn't much of an improvement). If you're looking at $300'ish Lian Li chassis then the Z70 beats the P80 hands down.
  7. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    Sorry to have offended you.
    I do appreciate your input.

    My comment about Fractal Design's Arc perhaps being quieter was an assumption based upon the bread crumbs you had dropped and what I had been able to read. Your comment in reply now tells me, "no, this is not a quieter case". My comment about filtration was a question.

    I like the looks of the Fortress (in more ways than one...)
    Not sure about using the adaptec slimscsi card as mentioned above... would probably have to have the top off when doing so, but that would be an exception, rather than "standard use" as that scanner gets only occasional use. (It is still in excellent condition, so I see no reason to replace it at this point.) So this is probably quite "livable".

    Things I specifically like about the "looks" of the Fortress...
    "suitable for use on carpeted surfaces"
    (use will be in a carpeted area, berber, but still...)

    "transparent side panel window provides a direct view of the inner system."
    (allows visual inspection for dust without cracking the case)

    "filter on all intake vents" (Re lower fans)
    & "rear panel is pretty simple, with a huge air intake featuring an air filter"
    (what have we been talking about? <G>)

    And the "clean" exterior design...
    (kind of the opposite of Antec's Lanboy for example.)

    Again... thanks for the thoughts.

    WIll probably go with the FT02S-W -
    (Looking at the lack of USB3... but it may be manageable)

    Any thoughts on my proposed
    "cooling solutions" or "speaker systems"?

    Thoughts from others are welcome too.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    You haven't. My posting towards people that offend me is an altogether different beast.
    I do have a tendency to get a little terse when people are swayed more by marketing hype and glossy presentation, than their own common sense. I also don't tend to send down pronouncements on what a poster should or should not buy if the component has a subjective quality (which applies heavily in choosing a chassis). What I will do is give some guidelines for the poster - gather as much information as possible (reviews, product spec, comprehensive product overview) - firstly it saves me having to spoon-feed the poster and turning a thread into War & Peace. Secondly, the amount of research done gives me an idea of how serious they are in the matter...a weeding out process as it were.
    No problem
    Any adapter that protrudes ~2 inches/5cm or more from the I/O panel would necessitate the top panel to be removed as a general rule. Not a problem generally- most people I know that use the Fortress/Raven/TJ11 chassis don't use the top cover as they tend to swap out hardware often or need to access the motherboards I/O panel connections on a regular basis. i.e.....
    Either a good quality air cooler or the Corsair H80 you initially listed if you're planning to overclock to any great extent. If you use the H80 then I'd suggest the "pull" fan should be mounted outside the chassis (the top cover will still fit over the top of it) -similar to this arrangement (chaasis obviously isn't a Fortress)

    Air cooler- you're looking at a lot of motherboard real estate being covered ( Noctua NH-D14....Thermalright Silver Arrow ....Thermalright Archon ) so look into getting low (standard) profile memory modules rather than the tall-finned version - it will eliminate any possible conflicts with the CPU fan and the memory heatpreaders vying to occupy the same space.
    Not really my area of expertise I'm afraid - I lost 95% of my hearing over the space of six hours a few years back. I use a cochlear implant so I recieve a pure digital signal via telecoil for music/gaming rather than rely on the C.I.'s microphone and a speaker system.
  9. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    Thanks again "/0"

    So much for "waiting for Black Friday".
    My proposed build will now cost 10% more than just 5 weeks ago.


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