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please review my first build in five years
07-24-2012, 12:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2012, 12:46 AM by harrv.)
#1
please review my first build in five years
I've done this before, but not for about five years, so I have no idea what's what right now. I appreciate the willingness of the people in this forum to help.

My current gaming computer is showing its age and I need a replacement, but I don't want to spend more than about $800. I started with the Budget Gaming Computer article on this site, and made just a couple upgrades.

Would you mind reviewing this list for anything incompatible, or any obvious mistakes? I would also appreciate knowing if I have made any poor choices. Thanks so much!

Planning on ordering from two vendors: Amazon and Newegg.

From Amazon (wishlist here):

Intel Core i3-2120 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80623I32120 $122

HIS Radeon HD 6870 1 GB (256bit) GDDR5 DisplayPort HDMI 2x DVI (HDCP) PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card H687FN1GD $160

Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-550 550W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Power Supply $80

Nzxt Technologies USB 3.0 Tempest 410 Steel Mid Tower Airflow Case - T410-001 (Black) $70

Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2 $117

Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200RPM 2 TB SATA 6 GB/s NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive $110

From Newegg:

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $75 + $7.55 shipping

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $40

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $20

Total: $801.50

Specific questions I have include, does the CPU I've chosen fit both the motherboard and the heat sink? Will everything fit in the case? Also, I see the case comes with two fans, but can fit five. Are the two enough or should I get more?

Thanks a TON for your replies.

Also, I should mention, this will be in my living room, and will likely be on most of the time, so I'd like to keep noise to a minimum. I'm not sure how well I've done in that respect.

My current setup is also used as a sort of media server, hence the 2 TB drive. The SSD will be my first...I think it's big enough to hold the OS and the most frequently used programs, etc. Sound like a good plan?

Thanks.
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07-24-2012, 12:57 PM,
#2
RE: please review my first build in five years
The mainstream recommends this 2 TB HDD instead from Samsung that's considered to be more reliable. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...067296&SID=

The Hyper 212+ will definitely help with reducing noise, as the stock ones can get noisy.
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K OC to 4.5Ghz CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU TIM: Thermalright Chill Factor III GPU: GeForce GTX 560 Ti Zotac AMP! SSD: Crucial M4 128GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 RAM: 2x4GB (8GB) Corsair Low Profile 1600MHz Optical Drive: ASUS 24X PSU: 650W Seasonic 80+ Gold Sound Card: None (Integrated) Keyboard: i-rocks KR-6260 Gaming Mouse: Logitch Gaming G500 Monitor: Viewsonic 24" LED-vx2453
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07-24-2012, 02:20 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2012, 02:37 PM by harrv.)
#3
RE: please review my first build in five years
Thank you, Pineappl. I added a rep point. I definitely want reliable components, and would favor that over the 6.0Gb/s SATA the other drive has if reliability is an issue with that drive.

Is it worth an extra $50 to get the Antec P280? I've had good luck with Antec before, but the $70 price tag on the Nzxt case is attractive.
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07-24-2012, 02:53 PM,
#4
RE: please review my first build in five years
Haha wow thanks. The 6.0gb/s on the mechanical hard drives is a gimmick anyways, they can't reach those speeds.

The only other thing i'm looking at is the power supply - 550w 80+ and modular for $80 seems like a lot. The PSU is top-notch though. Normally on newegg for $70 but it's been out of stock for a while.

If you have any thoughts of upgrades down the road to the video card you can get a better PSU for not much more...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6817182132
650W 80+ and modular
OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...067296&SID=
650W 80+Gold (more efficient) No modular.

The first one would be cheaper right now with 15% off but it's ending tomorrow. Otherwise feel free to stick with your original choice, modular is always really nice.
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K OC to 4.5Ghz CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU TIM: Thermalright Chill Factor III GPU: GeForce GTX 560 Ti Zotac AMP! SSD: Crucial M4 128GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 RAM: 2x4GB (8GB) Corsair Low Profile 1600MHz Optical Drive: ASUS 24X PSU: 650W Seasonic 80+ Gold Sound Card: None (Integrated) Keyboard: i-rocks KR-6260 Gaming Mouse: Logitch Gaming G500 Monitor: Viewsonic 24" LED-vx2453
Reply
07-24-2012, 03:10 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2012, 03:34 PM by harrv.)
#5
RE: please review my first build in five years
(07-24-2012, 02:53 PM)Pineappl Wrote: The only other thing i'm looking at is the power supply - 550w 80+ and modular for $80 seems like a lot. The PSU is top-notch though. Normally on newegg for $70 but it's been out of stock for a while.

If you have any thoughts of upgrades down the road to the video card you can get a better PSU for not much more...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6817182132
650W 80+ and modular
OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...067296&SID=
650W 80+Gold (more efficient) No modular.

The first one would be cheaper right now with 15% off but it's ending tomorrow. Otherwise feel free to stick with your original choice, modular is always really nice.

Going with the first one you mentioned seems like a good future-proofing move and is a little less expensive with the current discount. Thanks. Smile

Current build looks like this after the two substitutions recommended by Pineappl. I'd like to order in about nine or ten hours. I'd appreciate suggestions for modifications between now and then. Are the case, motherboard, and CPU good choices for my target budget (~$800 range)?

From Amazon:

Intel Core i3-2120 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80623I32120 $122

HIS Radeon HD 6870 1 GB (256bit) GDDR5 DisplayPort HDMI 2x DVI (HDCP) PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card H687FN1GD $160

Nzxt Technologies USB 3.0 Tempest 410 Steel Mid Tower Airflow Case - T410-001 (Black) $70

Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2 $117

From Newegg:

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $75 + $7.55 shipping

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $40

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $20

SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $100

Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-650 650W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V v2.92, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Active-PFC Power Supply $72.24

Total: $799.74

Thanks again for your help.
Reply
07-24-2012, 03:38 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2012, 03:40 PM by MathieuB.)
#6
RE: please review my first build in five years
Agreed with Pineapple for the hard drive.

For the same price as the Crucial M4, the Samsung 830 series offers higher performance and just as great reliability: http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-I...0077CR60Q/

Power supply wise, here are two alternatives to consider if you end up buying after the 25th, otherwise Pineapple made great suggestions:
Antec BP550 Plus, 550W, semi-modular and 80 PLUS certified for $65: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017KE3DM/

Antec HCG-520, 520W, fully modular and 80 PLUS Bronze certified for $75:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006TVQTAY/

If you're trying to keep noise to a minimum, I'd switch the CPU Cooler to the Corsair A50, which offers similar performance vs the CM Hyper 212+, but with slightly lower noise levels.

Also to consider: A case with sound-proofing foam, to dampen noise. The Cooler Master Silencio 550 would be an excellent choice at a reasonable price of $70: http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Sile...005ET4KYO/

It comes with two low-speed fans, which are plenty enough for cooling considering that you don't have a build with high-end parts that emit a lot of heat.

The video card that you picked is a great choice for the price, but it can be a bit noisy under load. This version costs $20 more, but is less noisy: http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Mini-DisplayPo...004KS8NWU/

Finally, a word of advice: I'd skip the SSD for now and invest in a more powerful CPU, such as the $190 Core i5-3450 or the slightly faster but $210 Core i5-3550, as it will offer significantly higher gaming performance and will make your PC way more future-proof. You can always add a SSD later on if you want to. The rest of your build is compatible if you upgrade the CPU.

Hope that helps Smile
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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07-24-2012, 03:55 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2012, 03:59 PM by harrv.)
#7
RE: please review my first build in five years
(07-24-2012, 03:38 PM)MathieuB Wrote: Agreed with Pineapple for the hard drive.

For the same price as the Crucial M4, the Samsung 830 series offers higher performance and just as great reliability: http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-I...0077CR60Q/

Power supply wise, here are two alternatives to consider if you end up buying after the 25th, otherwise Pineapple made great suggestions:
Antec BP550 Plus, 550W, semi-modular and 80 PLUS certified for $65: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017KE3DM/

Antec HCG-520, 520W, fully modular and 80 PLUS Bronze certified for $75:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006TVQTAY/

If you're trying to keep noise to a minimum, I'd switch the CPU Cooler to the Corsair A50, which offers similar performance vs the CM Hyper 212+, but with slightly lower noise levels.

Also to consider: A case with sound-proofing foam, to dampen noise. The Cooler Master Silencio 550 would be an excellent choice at a reasonable price of $70: http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Sile...005ET4KYO/

It comes with two low-speed fans, which are plenty enough for cooling considering that you don't have a build with high-end parts that emit a lot of heat.

The video card that you picked is a great choice for the price, but it can be a bit noisy under load. This version costs $20 more, but is less noisy: http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Mini-DisplayPo...004KS8NWU/

Finally, a word of advice: I'd skip the SSD for now and invest in a more powerful CPU, such as the $190 Core i5-3450 or the slightly faster but $210 Core i5-3550, as it will offer significantly higher gaming performance and will make your PC way more future-proof. You can always add a SSD later on if you want to. The rest of your build is compatible if you upgrade the CPU.

Hope that helps Smile

It helps a lot! Smile I can afford to spend a little more if there is significant advantage, so I like your suggestions. If I take your advice and get the Core i5-3550 and the HIS Radeon HD 6870, then are the two fans in the Cooler Master Silencio 550 enough, even if I eventually add the SSD? (And to be honest, I can afford the SSD even with the other upgrades, so I'll probably get that too. I'm kind of in love with the idea of trying one. Thanks for the Samsung suggestion for that.)
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07-24-2012, 04:18 PM,
#8
RE: please review my first build in five years
Yeah, the CPU Cooler will have no problem handling the CPU cooling, SSDs barely emit any heat, so the two fans on the case will have no problem handling that with the rest of your PC's components.

The difference in performance between the Core i3-2120 and the Core i5-3450/3550 is significant. You can see a comparison between the Core i3-2100 (slightly slower than the i3-2120) and the Core i5-2500k (similar to the Core i5-3450, slightly slower than the i5-3550) here, which should give you a good idea of the difference in performance: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=288

If you can afford it, definitely get the SSD, it's a day and night difference in how responsive your PC is. I'm on my second SSD and I would never go back to having only a hard drive. Most people who switched feel the same way. I like to compare the difference of a SSD vs a HDD to the difference between dial-up and broadband Internet access. It's that much of a gap in performance Wink

As for storage capacity, that's why you have the hard drive to store media content Smile
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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07-24-2012, 04:34 PM,
#9
RE: please review my first build in five years
Excellent...thanks! With all the recommendations, I'm now sitting at $932.93 (which includes the SSD). Not too bad, I feel OK about it, and am very happy with the advice you've given. The only thing I'm wondering now is, the $70 link you gave me to the Cooler Master Silencio 550 case is actually a $95 component because of the $25 shipping (it's not fulfilled directly by Amazon). Is there a cheaper place to get that case (I haven't found it cheaper in my search), or a better case for $95? If that's still your recommendation, I'll go with it, but wondered if you'd still recommend it if you knew it was $95.
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07-24-2012, 04:57 PM,
#10
RE: please review my first build in five years
Didn't realize that the shipping was $25, that's a bummer. I'm afraid that there's no place to sells it for less (unless you can find it locally for less overall?) and there's no less expensive alternative with foam for sound dampening.

At that price though, you might want to consider the NZXT H2, which is also equipped with foam for sound dampening and three fans hooked up to a fan controller, which allows you to set the fans at 30%, 70% or 100% speed, allowing to further reduce noise from the case fans and/or speed them up for additional cooling if necessary. It's basically a more flexible option cooling wise and it also features more space behind the motherboard, allowing you to more easily tuck/route cables behind the motherboard.

It's selling for $100 shipped on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Technologies-Class...004ULYPVK/
It's also available in White, for $100 + $10 shipping on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6811146071
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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