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 Post subject: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 5
Hey guys, this is my first post at SPCR, but I've been reading tons of articles and reviews and posts over the past few weeks trying to decide on components for my new rig.

My goals are to get the most performance for around $1k ($1,200 is fine), packed into a small, quiet case. I don't plan on upgrading for the next few years, except perhaps the graphics card if I want to seriously game in 3D. I do want to play around with overclocking.

Here's my list so far.

Case: SilverStone Temjin TJ08B-E
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=303
Best quiet micro-ATX case I could find that has enough external bays for my needs

Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K
http://ark.intel.com/products/65520/Int ... _80-GHz%29
Sweet overclocking capability, new ivy bridge

CPU Cooler: Either Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (preferable, as long as it fits in the case with both fans, because I hear the i5-3570K gets pretty hot when overclocking) or Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (thinner heat sink) with 2 quieter fans
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... =31&lng=en
http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product ... 0212%20EVO
I compared pictures of the below motherboard and the one used in the Temjin TJ08-E review on SPCR. The CPU position on board below seems to be about 15mm further away from the side of the board with the RAM slots. This should allow just enough space for the NH-U12P with fans on both sides, although I am going to buy the case and motherboard first and measure myself.

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_ ... 55/P8Z77M/
ASUS is on top of their game, chipset allows for full overclocking, S/PDIF audio output, USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s, legacy PCI slot is in the most usable position furthest from the primary PCIe x16, guaranteed to have enough 4-pin fan connectors and software features to regulate everything once I figure all that out

Graphics Card: HIS IceQ X Radeon HD 6870 1GB
http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-592.shtml
Going with AMD for their open source driver philosophy, right price point, cool and quiet without custom fan and heat sink, I can upgrade to the next generation PCIe 3.0 series in a year or two

Power Supply: SeaSonic X650 Gold
http://www.seasonicusa.com/X.htm
Modular, quiet, efficient

RAM: Mushkin 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24
http://www.mushkin.com/Memory/Blackline/996988.aspx
Low base voltage, overclockable, heat sinks should fit under the CPU cooler

Other TBD based on reliability (suggestions welcome):
SSD 128GB
HDD 1TB+
Blu-ray burner
3.5" Memory card reader
5.25" drawer (must have, love these things)

All comments appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:00 pm
Posts: 21
Make sure to cross-shop the Silverstone PS-07 if you like the TJ-08; the internal layout is the same but you get two 120mm fans behind a door instead of a single 180mm fan with a grille. I actually saw someone mount a dual-120mm water cooling radiator in the PS-07, if that's your thing :)

Noctua has a motherboard compatibility list on their website if you're concerned about any conflicts. It looks like you'll have no problems, based on what I see.

This system will probably use less than 300 watts when fully loaded, so you can drop to a lower-spec PSU to save money. Or you could spend about the same amount and go fanless 8)

For the SSD, the Samsung 830 series is very well regarded both for its speed and its reliability. Dell is using them in business PCs (I have one at my office, in fact). The TJ-08/PS-07 have a 2.5" mounting position on the bottom panel of the chassis, directly below the drive cage, so you can install a 2.5" SSD without giving up any space or obstructing airflow.


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 5
Hey Kardax, thanks for the reply and tips!

I checked out the PS-07. The reason I went for the TJ-08 is because of the external 3.5" bay that I want to use for a card reader. Unfortunately it's inconveniently placed at the bottom. The water cooler is a cool idea for the PS-07 though. Maybe for my next build :)

My worry with the Noctua is that it won't fit in the case because the hard drive cage is so close that it hangs over the RAM slots next to the CPU. See the 5th image on this page: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1215-page4.html

I never calculated the total watts that my system would use, so thanks for that! I'll go down to a ~450 watt PSU.

As for the SSD, I was thinking about a Crucial M4 drive. They are cheaper than a Samsung 830 of the same size. Here is a comparison of the top rated 128GB drives on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productco ... 3284367%23
Samsung 830: http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/memo ... M-features
Crucial M4: http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs. ... T128M4SSD2
You think the extra $60 for Samsung is worth it?


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:00 pm
Posts: 21
pejalo wrote:
I checked out the PS-07. The reason I went for the TJ-08 is because of the external 3.5" bay that I want to use for a card reader. Unfortunately it's inconveniently placed at the bottom. The water cooler is a cool idea for the PS-07 though. Maybe for my next build :)

The PS-07 comes with an adapter that can convert one of the 5.25" bays into a 3.5" bay. I'm not sure about the TJ-08.

pejalo wrote:
My worry with the Noctua is that it won't fit in the case because the hard drive cage is so close that it hangs over the RAM slots next to the CPU. See the 5th image on this page: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1215-page4.html

The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 fits very well in the TJ-08/PS-07. If you plan on putting drives into the cage, you might have to mount the fan in the back instead of the front, but otherwise it's almost like this case is made for that cooler: the heat sink brace at the bottom lines up dead-center perfectly in its default position :)

pejalo wrote:
As for the SSD, I was thinking about a Crucial M4 drive...You think the extra $60 for Samsung is worth it?

You can save $20 by going with the pure drive instead of an upgrade kit. On a new build, especially in a case with a 2.5" mount, you don't need any kits. So, it's now a $40 difference. This combined with Dell's vote of confidence would make me go the Samsung route, but if you're on a budget the M4 has a fairly good reputation, too :)


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
The Crucial M4 is very reliable. You shouldn't worry about that one. Other than that, your choices seem very reasonable. You could choose a Western Digital Green for a hard drive if you want the most quiet hard drive.

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 5
Nice thanks guys. I'm leaning toward the Crucial M4 right now.

As for the HDD, I would prefer the WD Green, but Black has the 5 year warranty, whereas Green only has 2 years. It would be the loudest component in my system by far I know, but I've had drives fail in the past and their warranty has saved me. I wish I knew how much louder they were.

Good to hear about the Noctua NH-U12P. I do want to use both fans on it though when overclocking, and I think they'll just fit because of the CPU position on the ASUS P8Z77-M. It's further away from the HDD cage than the motherboard used in the TJ-08 review. I ordered the case and motherboard today and will measure when they get here.


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:21 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 9
Hey there, love the build. Did the CPU cooler work well in that case in the end? I'm thinking about building a very similar computer. Probably going PS-07 case, and might remove the drive cage entirely since I only need 1HD, 1 external and a SSD space, and getting a fanless seasonic 460W. Just want to make sure it's not going to get too gummed up in the case!

Also, how's the sound on that video card? Everyone says it's quiet, trying to decide if I want to grab an aftermarket fan for the GPU.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 5
Hey sorry for the late response, I was on vacation. The Noctua NH-U12P cooler fits perfectly (very tight) with both fans attached and 90-degree angled SATA connectors. I think the motherboard I chose is unique in that the CPU is positioned particularly close to the rear connectors. The ASUS P8Z77 PRO version would not have fit with both CPU cooler fans! I'm not sure about the PS-07.

The IceQ X is relatively quiet for a video card. It's still the loudest component in my case by far and has a slight high-pitched hum that makes it stand out. I'm planning on getting a 3rd party cooler for it. The build is quiet overall, but I think a better video cooler would make it even more noticeably quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: May 2012 Mid-Range Gaming PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:42 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 5
Hey guys I thought I would follow up with an image on how everything fit. I was able to pack everything I wanted into the case:
-all 3 external bays are filled (blu-ray burner and drawer at the top, 3.5" media card reader at the bottom)
-the drive cage is holding a full-sized hard drive, an SSD and an extra notebook-sized drive
-both fans fit on the CPU cooler

Image

NOTE: I'll repeat, the ASUS P8Z77-M motherboard has the CPU position closer to the rear than other motherboards, allowing just enough space to fit the second Noctua fan shown here to the left of the heatsink. I had to use twisty-ties to keep some of the hard drive cables from drifting into the fan blades.


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