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new build to replace a cranky laptop

ostgut

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#1
Hello guys,

After years of gaming on a laptop. Or rather, no gaming at all. I've finally come to the point i will be able to afford myself a desktop gaming system again.
I've been saving for quite a while now so my budget is quite healthy. Also i have been doing the research here and there. But I'm still very much in need of a little feedback on some of the parts I'm looking to install in my build.

Here's the build:


Case: Antec Eleven Hundred
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 850 SS-850AM 850W ATX12V
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
GPU: ASUS HD7970-DC2T-3GD5
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 2133 CL9
CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB

This is it. I am pretty sure about the mobo, gpu and cpu. If anything in this list doesn´t work well together, i´d love to hear. If you guys have any better looking options for any of the parts, i´d love to hear.

Oh BTW, it seems the Eleven Hundred case doesn´t supply too many fans (2 out of the box). So i am definately looking for a few fans for the case. Preferably dust filtered ones for the 2(?) intake fans up front. And the 2(?) on the side window. I don't have any idea about the size i'd need for those fans so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks alot for any feedback on this!
 
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Motherboard Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
Cooling Sonic Tower Rev 2 with 120mm Akasa attached, Akasa @ Front, Xilence Red Wing 120mm @ Rear
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#3
The build looks good, I couldnt really fault it for quality and performance. Although I do think the costing is rediculous. You could spend $60-80 less on the motherboard and PSU and it'll still be high end, you are not adding to performance just racking up the costs.
 
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Storage Samsung EVO 850 256GB / WD Caviar Black 1TB
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Case Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower
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#4

ostgut

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#5
@Dent1:
Thanks for the feedback. I've been worrying a bit about the price tag as well. Although, I do have the money, I am not looking to just rack up costs. Are there any additional elements of my build you can suggest a big save on like you suggested for the mobo and PSU?
Ofcourse the GPU is not debatable! I am set on that 7970!

@xenocide:
Thanks for those suggestions! I am comparing the ASRock mobo to my preferred Asus mobo right now. I am not seeing a lot of differences though. How is this possible when the ASRock is 80$ cheaper? What kind of performance drop will i experience, if there is any at all.

The PSU you posted is 750W. Will that be sufficient for my build? And i kind of picked a Seasonic PSU because i see a lot of positive posts about those PSUs on this forum. I'm not really set on anything as for a PSU. Just to get the most reliability for my money.

EDIT: I've looked up some benchmarks for the motherboard and the ASRock seems like a really good choice performance wise, thanks! Still wondering what kind of gimmicks i might be (really) missing though.

Thanks guys
 
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System Name My baby
Processor Athlon II X4 620 @ 3.5GHz, 1.45v, NB @ 2700Mhz, HT @ 2700Mhz - 24hr prime95 stable
Motherboard Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
Cooling Sonic Tower Rev 2 with 120mm Akasa attached, Akasa @ Front, Xilence Red Wing 120mm @ Rear
Memory 16 GB G.Skills 1600Mhz
Video Card(s) ATI ASUS Crossfire 5850
Storage Samsung 1Tb EcoGreen hard drive
Display(s) Hanngs-G 19"
Case Antec VSK 2000 Black Tower Case
Audio Device(s) Onkyo TX-SR309 Receiver, 2x Kef Cresta 1, 1x Kef Center 20c
Power Supply OCZ StealthXstream II 600w, 4x12v/18A, 80% efficiency.
Software Windows Vista X64
#6
@Dent1:
Thanks for the feedback. I've been worrying a bit about the price tag as well. Although, I do have the money, I am not looking to just rack up costs. Are there any additional elements of my build you can suggest a big save on like you suggested for the mobo and PSU?
Ofcourse the GPU is not debatable! I am set on that 7970!

@xenocide:
Thanks for those suggestions! I am comparing the ASRock mobo to my preferred Asus mobo right now. I am not seeing a lot of differences though. How is this possible when the ASRock is 80$ cheaper? What kind of performance drop will i experience, if there is any at all.

The PSU you posted is 750W. Will that be sufficient for my build? And i kind of picked a Seasonic PSU because i see a lot of positive posts about those PSUs on this forum. I'm not really set on anything as for a PSU. Just to get the most reliability for my money.

EDIT: I've looked up some benchmarks for the motherboard and the ASRock seems like a really good choice performance wise, thanks! Still wondering what kind of gimmicks i might be (really) missing though.

Thanks guys
Motherboards don't add to performance. You are paying for the chipset i.e. onboard audio, onboard video, onboard lan etc and paying for branding and warranty. Most motherboards of the same series have similar features and OC almost the same.

Both your original board and the board xenocide pasted is the Z68 series, so they'll be pretty much identical, except the price!

I even found another Z68 chipset for cheaper!
BIOSTAR TZ68A+ LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s

750W is more than enough, you could probably get away with a 500W PSU. You only need about 30A per 12v to power up a video card, most PSU $60+ will give that.

Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze W0382RU ATX 12V v2....
 
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ostgut

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#7
Alright! Thanks for clearing that up!
I'm looking for the gen3 motherboards though, since they have a PCIe 3.0 slot which corresponds with my GPU.

This one seems to fit my needs: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

I'll add the PSU you suggested to my corrected build as well! Thanks a lot for the help! If you have any more advice ready for me. I'm all ears. The order for this build will be placed somewhere between now and saturday.
 
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System Name My baby
Processor Athlon II X4 620 @ 3.5GHz, 1.45v, NB @ 2700Mhz, HT @ 2700Mhz - 24hr prime95 stable
Motherboard Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
Cooling Sonic Tower Rev 2 with 120mm Akasa attached, Akasa @ Front, Xilence Red Wing 120mm @ Rear
Memory 16 GB G.Skills 1600Mhz
Video Card(s) ATI ASUS Crossfire 5850
Storage Samsung 1Tb EcoGreen hard drive
Display(s) Hanngs-G 19"
Case Antec VSK 2000 Black Tower Case
Audio Device(s) Onkyo TX-SR309 Receiver, 2x Kef Cresta 1, 1x Kef Center 20c
Power Supply OCZ StealthXstream II 600w, 4x12v/18A, 80% efficiency.
Software Windows Vista X64
#8
Alright! Thanks for clearing that up!
I'm looking for the gen3 motherboards though, since they have a PCIe 3.0 slot which corresponds with my GPU.

This one seems to fit my needs: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

I'll add the PSU you suggested to my corrected build as well! Thanks a lot for the help! If you have any more advice ready for me. I'm all ears. The order for this build will be placed somewhere between now and saturday.
PCI 3.0 video cards are backwards compatible with PCI 2.0.

PCI 3.0 has increased maximum bandwidth on a theoretical level, but the bandwidth of PCI 2.0 is unutilised to the point where PCI 3.0 makes no difference. I wouldn't pay more for PCI 3.0 personally, but considering the board you selected looks good and the price is OK.

 
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Audio Device(s) ADI (onboard)
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#9
@Dent1:
Thanks for the feedback. I've been worrying a bit about the price tag as well. Although, I do have the money, I am not looking to just rack up costs. Are there any additional elements of my build you can suggest a big save on like you suggested for the mobo and PSU?
Ofcourse the GPU is not debatable! I am set on that 7970!

@xenocide:
Thanks for those suggestions! I am comparing the ASRock mobo to my preferred Asus mobo right now. I am not seeing a lot of differences though. How is this possible when the ASRock is 80$ cheaper? What kind of performance drop will i experience, if there is any at all.

The PSU you posted is 750W. Will that be sufficient for my build? And i kind of picked a Seasonic PSU because i see a lot of positive posts about those PSUs on this forum. I'm not really set on anything as for a PSU. Just to get the most reliability for my money.

EDIT: I've looked up some benchmarks for the motherboard and the ASRock seems like a really good choice performance wise, thanks! Still wondering what kind of gimmicks i might be (really) missing though.

Thanks guys
Stay with the Seasonic. I don't know who NZXT uses to make their units, but Seasonic is an OEM.

While I've never used an Asrock, there's the saying that you get what you pay for. Things are cheap for a reason. If there is one reason I keep seeing over and over again on this forum it's what Asrock usually has some problems with components that should be a problem since these problems show up at Intel and AMD specified specs. In other words, Asrock seems to make it a habit of not being to do something Intel and AMD gives designs for. Not to mention that you can go through several BIOS "updates" and never fix the problem.

Like I said, no personal experience. Just what I've seen on this forum.
 
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Processor i7-2600K 3.4Ghz
Motherboard Asus Sabertooth P67
Cooling Anter Kuhler H20 (tight fit)
Memory Corsair Vengeance (4x 4Gb) DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000)
Video Card(s) ASUS ENGTX570 DCII
Storage (2x) Intel 510 -120Gb
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Case Antec P193
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#10
If that case is anything like the twelve hundred it should have filters in place up front. Hopefully they are easier to access on that model. On the twelve hundred you had to pop off the sides unscrew the drive bays and slide them forward an inch or two. Then you could pull the filter off. Just be prepared for weekly cleanings. On the plus side you can oc decently knowing all that air flow was coming through.
 

ostgut

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#11
Yeah, i knew about the backwards compatible part. I just though the whole PCI 3.0 would add something somewhere. Seeing that this isn't the case right now i'll just hope it will be more noticeable in the future. If not, i'll just be stuck with a good looking motherboard as you said! Thanks for the quick response here.

Considering the PSU. I can't seem to find the one you suggested earlier. It's not available in Holland i guess. These are some of my other options:

SeaSonic M12II 750
OCZ ZT Series 750W

I know it's kind of a thinned out group (if i can even call it that) of PSUs. But my aim for a modular PSU isn't really helping in this price range and voltage group. Kind of a bummer..
 

ostgut

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#12
@mastrdrver

I was coming from the same mind as you are coming from. I chose a Seasonic PSU and Asus motherboard for those reasons. They seem reliable brands throughout all the information I've gathered. I'm not really looking for any issues with drivers or whatsoever. So i'm really sensitive to this kind of information/warning. I'm still wondering though, what exactly are the problems with the ASRock Extreme 3 Gen 3 motherboards? Is it something you can describe out of someone's experience other than your own?

@BenHoliday

It really does come with only a Rear and Top Exhaust fan. It's not a big deal though. I'd be happy to screw some fans into the case. Whatever it takes. Let's just hope it won't be such a annoying job to clean the whole thing after i installed the drive(s). Any suggestion for a good fan brand?
 
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#13
That Seasonic PSU is just a steep price, if you wanted Seasonic but wanted to save some money, I recommend switching to a non-modular one since you can save like $50-75. I know Seasonic 620W PSU's can be had for under $100 and run very well. You could even just snag a Corsair 650w or 750w PSU if you wanted for $70-90

As for the Motherboard, I have had no issues with the 3 different ASRock Motherboards I've used in personal builds, and builds for friends. My friend has a Z68 Extreme 3 and has since they came out, with no problems. A huge thing to keep in mind when it comes to PC hardware is that experiences vary wildly. I've never had an issue with the 1 Aspire\Apevia PSU that came with my old Full Tower, but I know dozens of people that have had similar PSU's die and even some who had them short their systems.
 
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System Name My baby
Processor Athlon II X4 620 @ 3.5GHz, 1.45v, NB @ 2700Mhz, HT @ 2700Mhz - 24hr prime95 stable
Motherboard Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
Cooling Sonic Tower Rev 2 with 120mm Akasa attached, Akasa @ Front, Xilence Red Wing 120mm @ Rear
Memory 16 GB G.Skills 1600Mhz
Video Card(s) ATI ASUS Crossfire 5850
Storage Samsung 1Tb EcoGreen hard drive
Display(s) Hanngs-G 19"
Case Antec VSK 2000 Black Tower Case
Audio Device(s) Onkyo TX-SR309 Receiver, 2x Kef Cresta 1, 1x Kef Center 20c
Power Supply OCZ StealthXstream II 600w, 4x12v/18A, 80% efficiency.
Software Windows Vista X64
#14
In the last 10+ years I've used pretty much every single brand of motherboard. I've never had a major problem with Asrock. I have however had problems with ASUS.

These problems are luck. You can buy a particular brand of mobo and have issues, somebody else can buy the same without issues. It's luck and circumstantial.
 

ostgut

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#15
Seems like the ASRock motherboard is out of stock at the shop. Forced to go for Asus. Same goes for the PSU, no choice but the Seasonic. Also they suggested to take a Low Profile memory kit. Since the Ripjaws might interfere with the heat sink of the CPU cooler. Guess that's a good call.

And they told me the Eleven Hundred comes with 3 fans while the Antec product site clearly states it has 2. I'm hoping to get a statement tomorrow.
 

ostgut

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#16
Sorry to bump my own thread guys but my build isn't ready yet and I've got yet another choice to make.

This time it seems the 7970 isn't in good supply at my supplier as well, i know.. it sucks. So i started doing research on it's smaller sibling the 7950. And it seems a very good promise as well.

I'm just wondering about a single thing. I have to make a choice between 2 cards.
These are my choices:
ASUS HD7950-DC2T-3GD5
SAPPHIRE HD 7950 3GB OC

The benchmarks clearly state that the Sapphire version of the 7950 is faster, quieter and cooler! Now these results have really caught me. I'm stoked for this card! Loving the relative quietness compared to other versions of this card. Also loving the performance this card has compared to the 7970. Since it is like 20% cheaper at my shop (100 euros).
Now I'm just wondering if Sapphire cards are good value. What are your experiences with the cards these guys have produced? Are there any low value parts on their cards?

Thanks again for all your knowledge!
 
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System Name My baby
Processor Athlon II X4 620 @ 3.5GHz, 1.45v, NB @ 2700Mhz, HT @ 2700Mhz - 24hr prime95 stable
Motherboard Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
Cooling Sonic Tower Rev 2 with 120mm Akasa attached, Akasa @ Front, Xilence Red Wing 120mm @ Rear
Memory 16 GB G.Skills 1600Mhz
Video Card(s) ATI ASUS Crossfire 5850
Storage Samsung 1Tb EcoGreen hard drive
Display(s) Hanngs-G 19"
Case Antec VSK 2000 Black Tower Case
Audio Device(s) Onkyo TX-SR309 Receiver, 2x Kef Cresta 1, 1x Kef Center 20c
Power Supply OCZ StealthXstream II 600w, 4x12v/18A, 80% efficiency.
Software Windows Vista X64
#17
Sorry to bump my own thread guys but my build isn't ready yet and I've got yet another choice to make.

This time it seems the 7970 isn't in good supply at my supplier as well, i know.. it sucks. So i started doing research on it's smaller sibling the 7950. And it seems a very good promise as well.

I'm just wondering about a single thing. I have to make a choice between 2 cards.
These are my choices:
ASUS HD7950-DC2T-3GD5
SAPPHIRE HD 7950 3GB OC

The benchmarks clearly state that the Sapphire version of the 7950 is faster, quieter and cooler! Now these results have really caught me. I'm stoked for this card! Loving the relative quietness compared to other versions of this card. Also loving the performance this card has compared to the 7970. Since it is like 20% cheaper at my shop (100 euros).
Now I'm just wondering if Sapphire cards are good value. What are your experiences with the cards these guys have produced? Are there any low value parts on their cards?

Thanks again for all your knowledge!
They are exactly the same card, just made by different manufacturers. The performance will be exactly the same within margin for error. Any differences you see on graph isnt measurable in the real world.

It may be quieter, because the difference would be the cooler and the warranty.

I've never had major issues with either Sapphire or Asus. Just get whichever 7950 irrespective of brand, they are all pretty much the same.
 

ostgut

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#18
I knew they were the same, they clocked the card to the same speed so they are exactly the same. I was greatly convinced by the results the Sapphire card had over the ASUS card in terms of cooling and noise generation.

Thanks for your advice!

EDIT: Oops!! Seems i stated in my earlier post it was faster. Sorry for that. That was a mistake!
 
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