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 Post subject: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 15
Greetings everyone. Been out of the gaming loop for 5-6 years and am in the process of selecting parts for a new build. Getting down to the final selections and need some help.

I want this to be quiet and fast to play all games on 1980x1080 maxed out. I don't plan on overclocking from the start, but would like the option down the line and mabye the option of SLI. Here's what I have so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K

GPU: Asus Direct CU II or MSI Twinfrozr GTX 660 Ti

Motherboard: An Asus z77 board.

Case: Fractal Design R4 - Black, No Window

Memory: Need advice - too many choices. 8 gigs.

Storage: Again, too many choices. Leaning towards 1 gig green WD, and a 128 or maybe 256 SSD.

PSU: Ive read good things about Seasonic. Maybe the M12II 620w?

OS: Windows 7 Home

Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P 24"

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kAEC

Questions:

1. Like the Asus boards for fan control and built in WiFi. Don't need all the bells and whistles but there's so many choices, whats the most reliable and popular.

2. Was leaning toward a WD Green drive as its quieter, but would I be loosing much noticeable speed as far as load times are concerned?

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
First off, your stress loaded power use will be under 300W and worst case gaming will be in the 250W range. Ideally, you'd want a PSU that's inaudible in idle/low load/gaming. The M12 is a great supply, but dated. For a similar price, you can get Seasonic's G 550 and have gold level efficiency, quieter fan, better idle/standby power. Spend a little more, and you can get the X-400 fanless or the X-560 semi-passive (fan doesn't turn on until ~50% load or higher than normal ambient temp). The Kingwin LZP-550 platinum is another great choice (also semi-passive).

The i5-3570K is the gaming sweet spot.

Asus mobo: Get the -V ($185) or higher if you want Fan Xpert2 and the ability to turn the fans off. Go to a lower model in ATX or go uATX and get Fan Xpert+. I've seen quite a few builds using the uATX P8Z77-M ($125) and -M Pro ($140). If you want 802.11 included, the least expensive are the -I Deluxe Mini-ITX (only 2 RAM slots and 1 PCI-E slot, $195) or the -V Pro ($210.)

Fractal R4: good
Samsung 830 128GB:good. Three months from now, when there's some reliability data, the answer should be the 840/840 Pro.
WD Green 1TB is good. There's also the WD Red 3TB.
RAM
CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev B is a decent $40 cooler. There are others that will do better and cost more if you plan to overvolt.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:53 am 
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Location: Finland
I'll second the advice given by CA_Steve and add my view.

  • CPU: sweet spot is the 3570K, especially if you want the overclocking option. Even if you did not overclock or use the iGPU, the price gap to the other models is very small over here at least, so no reason not to get the full-featured model.
  • GPU: 660 Ti for sure if you want maxed-out games. Higher is diminishing returns and lower (7870 or 7850 maybe) is more cost-effective, but maxing out not as guaranteed. SLI can be accomplished with µATX boards, just as an aside, but again - diminishing returns in some cases and more potential problems with SLI.
  • Mobo: I like my P8Z77-M Pro (you can find my user review if you dig around in the subforum). The Fan Xpert+ fan control is enough for my needs (see sig). SLI compatible. Has given me zero grief.
  • Case: I approve of Fractal cases, solid, quiet and excellent value for money. I have the Define Mini, as mine is a µATX build, was pleasant to build in. Very nice to live with a compact case, I tell ya!
  • Memory: whatever mobo you pick, see its compatibility list. I recommend G.Skill sets (I use Snipers for the 1.25 V, 1600/CL9), Steve usually recommends a Samsung set that is excellent value and overclocks too.
  • Storage: have WD Green, like it. Reds might not be bad either, they just won't park (as fast or at all, I forget), so might be more in the way of constant noise. Should relegate storage to NAS if possible, remove the last of those harsh noises (my next step when I upgrade my NAS).
  • PSU: Seasonic is good. Steve already pointed out the most appealing models in their range. I've used Nexus PSUs with great satisfaction and usually recommend Cooler Master Silent M Pros for others to build with (great value for the original M, not M2, modular). Go for the Gold rating if you can afford it, and see the SPCR Recommended Power Supplies list. All the info is there.
  • OS: Win7 HP most likely best for now. Win8 not looking that hot, just lots of nonsense and Microsoft trying to cash in on the App Store/iTunes lock-in approach.
  • Monitor: I got nothing. See http://www.prad.de.
  • SSD: Crucial m4 should be good value at this point, robust performer and established as reliable. Samsung 830s are another good choice, fast, reliable and affordable. I'd steer clear of the Everest controller drives, they have had some compatibility issues (BIOS not seeing drive). Previous (still current?) SandForce generation should be ready and reliable now too. Get 256 if you can afford it, absolutely - it is not only more spacious, but slightly faster than a 128. I've filled my 128 GB SSD halfway without even having the OS on it.

Q&A
1: Unless you're building mini-ITX, the wireless is going to up the price considerably. I see it as a waste of money, as Gigabit ethernet will beat the snot out of it, especially for gaming (latency, stability) or with NAS storage. If you're bothered by wires streaking across the room, go with powerline ethernet kits (lose out on some of the performance, wires go to wall socket).
2: No big loss with Green vs 7200 RPM drives. HDDs should not be used for gaming these days. Get that SSD!

PS. Cooler: I like the Thermalright Macho, personally. Clever design to avoid RAM heatsink interference, top notch performance, especially with low airflow. I've had my Noctua through three rigs now, so recommend that very much too - fantastic value for money, even if the initial investment is costly.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Posts: 15
Wasn't able to follow through with this build in October and am now able to go for it. Here's what I have again, anything to change?

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
GPU: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155
Case: Fractal Design R4 - Black, No Window
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" SSD and Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM

PSU: 400-500w Seasonic?
OS: Windows 7 or Windows 8??
Memory: 8 gigs
Monitor: Good 24"

If I decide to go with a Powerline Ethernet Kit to increase my internet speeds should I get a different asus board to save money? Thanks for any input.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Location: Finland
CPU: OK
GPU: OK
Mobo: Full ATX is a waste of space and money with just 1 card in the system, Gene V has Fan Xpert 2 in µATX. Fan Xpert+ boards still good.
Case: OK, but see Mobo.
SSD: OK, personally prefer mature models.
HDD: Switch to WD Red with longer warranty and possibly better acoustics (see the SPCR reviews, my 3 TB is fantastic).
PSU: OK, but note Seasonic whine risk. See if you can get a deal on the Rosewill Silent Night 500 Platinum 80 Plus if in the USA.
RAM: G.Skill. 2x4 GB is okay, DDR3-1600/CL9 if you're not overclocking.

OS: Win7. See Windows 8: what do you think about it?. tl;dr for me is: no added value or benefit in desktop use, plenty of headaches, even Microsoft regret current W8 iteration.

Monitor: IPS, TN only if completely out of money. My sights are set on an Eizo Foris, but you can get away with a Dell Ultrasharp or similar. Make sure to read reviews (prad.de etc.) first.

Powerline: I've got both a Netgear and a D-Link Powerline AV ("500 Mbps", what a lie) kit in use. Speeds are around 50 Mbps average with a range of 40-80 Mbps. I'm okay with the speed loss over Gbit (100 Mbps fibre internet), as the kits are convenient and faster and more stable than WLAN (D-Link rock-solid so far, Netgear plug-through has some issues).

If you need to save money: µATX mobo, µATX case, Bronze PSU and 650 Ti. Or AMD CPU (A8-5600K maybe).

Edit 1: Fixed language.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


Last edited by Das_Saunamies on Thu May 16, 2013 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:40 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Das_Saunamies wrote:
SSD: OK, personally prefer mature models.

I think he's safe with the 840 Pro. It's been out for ~8 months and has the highest customer rating at Newegg.

PSU: Seasonic G-550 is $80.

OS: <shrug> Windows 8.1 might fix the Win 8 issues, but it won't be released until late 2013.

RAM: Get low profile memory to avoid potential conflict with your unmentioned CPU cooler. I like the Samsung 1.35V stuff.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Hah, keep forgetting the 840 Pro is old news already. :P

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
CA_Steve wrote:
OS: <shrug> Windows 8.1 might fix the Win 8 issues, but it won't be released until late 2013.
Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade
Quote:
LeBlanc also confirmed that a public preview of Windows 8.1 will be available starting June 26.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Still wouldn't touch Win8 until I thought it'd be useful. Won't know the basics until end-June. Even then, wouldn't install it until end 2013.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
CA_Steve wrote:
Still wouldn't touch Win8 until I thought it'd be useful. Won't know the basics until end-June. Even then, wouldn't install it until end 2013.
I agree, and probably wont move either, but im really curious into what do we see form 7 on 8.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:30 am 
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Posts: 653
Location: Germany
Most people ho bought a pc recently do not have a choice.

I have made good experiences recommending

http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php

Case solved for most of my Joe Average users.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Posts: 106
It seems like 3tb drives are the sweet spot for GB/$, I would suggest that 3tb red if you can stretch your budget a bit.

If you like modular power supplies that run pretty quiet, Newegg has a Rosewill Capstone 650m I think which was actually cheaper than the 450m ($72 shipped) and its 80+ gold...

For ram, its hard to go too wrong with decent brand name stuff. I'm happy with my Samsung green ram and Crucial Ballistix vlp. Both are low voltage and low profile for good CPU cooler clearance and low power usage. I haven't been able to test memory over clocking yet but they should have potential.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Posts: 15
Couple updates and a couple questions. Appreciate all the great responses so far and please pardon my lack of knowledge!

- Going from Fractal R4 to Fractal Mini.
- Decided on Dell U2412M for 24" monitor.
- Will do the Samsung 840 Pro 128 gig for SSD but still undecided on best 1TB HD. Leaning toward the green series still I think. I don't fully understand how the WD Red's work or understand if that would be best for my use. Do these use the internet to access the files like a network? What are the downsides to Red if I want to use this HD like a normal HD and keep photos, music, movies, photoshop on it.
- I think I'm going to try Windows 8, since I need to buy an OS anyway and run startmenu8 or similar addon if I hate metro. Any reason I should get pro over the regular version?
- For the PSU the Seasonic X Series looks good but newegg says the x-560 is sold out and / or discontinued? Is the x-650 Gold overkill for this setup?
- The Samsung Green Ram looks good but I'm confused between all the models on amazon, would someone mind linking me to whats recommend for 8 gigs overall?
- CPU cooler, Thermlright HR-02 macho or COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO?


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:12 am 
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  • Fractal Mini: I like mine. Not the smallest out there, but very solid and plenty quiet. Shouldn't break the bank.
  • Dell monitor looks good for gaming, nice stand, okay picture quality.
  • Red is just another HDD. It differs mainly in firmware (the programming), which is aimed towards continuous use and non-PC setups, mainly "home servers" (NAS, HTPC - this is the network aspect, the server machine). Greens "rest" more, Reds stay ready. Both fine for desktop use, confirmed this from WD myself. Red uses something called TLER to make it more compatible with RAID setups. TLER essentially means the drive only tries corrupted data recovery for a limited time, which is not a real concern - if corruption can't be fixed right away, chances are it's permanent. You must have backups to keep your data safe, TLER or no.
  • Windows 8 arguably offers no increased functionality, may still have compatibility issues and why run addons when you can have a workable package right away? If you'd still like to go for it, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions#Comparison_chart. Main difference is encryption support and remote desktop, which most people don't use (I use both).
  • The X-560 is part of the "New" X series, so should not be end-of-life. Gold-rated 650 W is massive overkill, but it's even on sale on Newegg right now for $110, which is an absolute steal, so why not go for it. The G series could save you about $50, but they're not as quiet - the SS-650KM is an SPCR Editor's Choice to boot. The passive Platinum-rated PSUs are around the same price point though.
  • For memory, first pick a motherboard and then pick a RAM kit or stick from its qualified memory list.
  • Macho is my personal cooler favourite of the two, but it is heavy (0.9 kg). 212 Plus (or EVO) can get you going for less, and if you're worried about bending the board or have to move the machine around, I'd say lighter is better (0.6 kg in this case). Check out http://www.silentpcreview.com/Thermalright_TRUE_Spirit_120M (0.5 kg). Both the Thermalright and the Cooler Master should have their fans swapped out for a nicer-sounding model (Scythe Slipstreams are nice and affordable).

All in all I'd say you're ready to go. Don't be scared of the Red, it's really just another HDD with a few software tweaks and a longer warranty. If you can't find a cheaper copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 is fine too, but it's a bastard of a concept (not a desktop OS, mandatory App Store etc.). Ordering the PSU while the offer lasts might be a good idea.

PS1. I compared your choices on Newegg, and it's down to the P8Z77-M PRO and the Maximus V Gene, as Newegg does not stock the P8H77-M PRO.
P8Z77-M PRO. Fan Xpert+ is quite good for fan control, personally own the board, has not given me any grief. Newegg offers FREE low-profile, low-voltage DDR3-1600/CL9 8 GB Crucial kit with the board - what are you waiting for!
Maximus V Gene. Offers cool looks and Fan Xpert 2 for $60 more. Does not come with a memory kit. Fan Xpert 2 has a wider adjustment range than + does, but you can silence a rig with both.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:51 am 
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Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
HawkSight wrote:
- Going from Fractal R4 to Fractal Mini.
Its up to you, both are good cases. I like more the R4 as it is newer iteration with 140mm fans, then there are more options on 120mm fans, so its up to you. There are always more motherboards on ATX size, but there are good mATX mobos like the ones Das_Saunamies linked. I also like more R4 and ATX mobo with 1 pcie slot in between the 16x, so the Macho has some space, with mATX its very close, making it have to install the fan certain way or it will touch, but can be done not a big deal either, just the ATX will be easier to deal with. If you go with R4, check ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard cheapest asus mobo that comes with FanXpert2 for better control of your fans.

HawkSight wrote:
- Will do the Samsung 840 Pro 128 gig for SSD but still undecided on best 1TB HD. Leaning toward the green series still I think. I don't fully understand how the WD Red's work or understand if that would be best for my use. Do these use the internet to access the files like a network? What are the downsides to Red if I want to use this HD like a normal HD and keep photos, music, movies, photoshop on it.
REDs are just like Greens with better support for NAS. Recent reviews place it as good or better than greens in terms of noise, it should be a very good drive for storage having the ssd do all the OS/programs.

HawkSight wrote:
- I think I'm going to try Windows 8, since I need to buy an OS anyway and run startmenu8 or similar addon if I hate metro. Any reason I should get pro over the regular version?
I dont like 8, but thats just me.

HawkSight wrote:
- For the PSU the Seasonic X Series looks good but newegg says the x-560 is sold out and / or discontinued? Is the x-650 Gold overkill for this setup?
as Das_Saunamies siad, hard to pass by the X-650 @ $110, its a nice PSU. If you want cheaper, check SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM, its a nice psu for the money, the fan is always on, but its quiet still. I just did a build with it for a friend no complains, but X650 will be better imo.

HawkSight wrote:
- The Samsung Green Ram looks good but I'm confused between all the models on amazon, would someone mind linking me to whats recommend for 8 gigs overall?
This is the ram, SAMSUNG 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model MV-3V4G3D/US but has been out of stock for some time, and on amazon, Samsung Electronics Extreme Low Voltage 30nm UDIMM 8 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM MV-3V4G3D/US its expensive as it is imported from japan. As an alternative i went with this memory for a recent build, Crucial Ballistix Sport Very Low Profile 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3-1600 1.35V UDIMM 240-Pin Desktop Memory Modules BLS2C4G3D1609ES2LX0, no issues at all. But check the compatibility once you decide on the mobo.

HawkSight wrote:
- CPU cooler, Thermlright HR-02 macho or COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO?
Thermalright HR-02 Macho would be my pick here, really good cooler for the money and the included fan is decent, can be drop down to 700rpm if the mobo can control pwm fans. And it will match the black n white theme of the R4/Mini.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 6:16 am 
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Win8 vs Win8 Pro

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:21 am 
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- Forgot that going to the Fractal Mini changes the mobo to mATX so staying with the regular Fractal R4 (this pc is never moving). I like the idea of being able to expand / upgrade in the future also.

- Ok screw Win 8, will just get a copy of 7.

- Is there anything special you have to do when setting up a Red drive or will it setup the same as a regular drive. I've only built one system before and am not that good at troubleshooting if something goes wrong or needs a complicated setup.

- Will try the HR-02 Macho for cooler, as I don't plan to move this around.

- Will grab the X-650 while its at $110.

- Recommended memory for the Asus P8Z77-V running with the Macho?

Here's where things are as of now:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
GPU: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" SSD
HDD: 2 or 3 TB WD Red
PSU: Seasonic X-650
CPU Cooler: HR-02 Macho
RAM: ?
OS: Win 7
Case: R4

Das_Saunamies wrote:
Dell monitor looks good for gaming, nice stand, okay picture quality.
Any other all around IPS monitor you recommend instead for better picture quality?


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:58 am 
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You're never going to expand beyond what mATX can offer, it's pretty much a fact of life for anyone but the craziest triple-card SLI/CF setups, as even the midrange PRO supports dual-card SLI/CF. It would also have to be a pretty serious server for you to need more than 6 SATA connections (note the number of 6 Gbps links vs 3 Gbps links though). :P

Red drive setup is the same as any other drive.

Macho should not interfere with a dual stick memory kit at all, so any height is okay. Recommend avoiding tall heatspreaders though - it's all for looks - and going low-profile if you can. Low-profile is nicer to navigate when installing and more compatible. The memory compatibility list is here: http://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/P8Z77V/#support_QVL. Picking tested RAM can avoid potential incompatibility issues, as rare as those are nowadays.

The Dell is plenty fine, it is very fast and has good angles, eIPS is about as good as it gets in the budget sector. If Prad.de gives it 4/5, it's an excellent monitor - and about the best you can expect for budget and even midrange.

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Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
For the memory go into Asus P8Z77-V support webpage, then click on the tab "Memory/Device Support" and dl 2nd file, P8Z77-V_QVL. In there you will find all the memory that its already tested and even with the rated speed. If you want standard 1600mhz memory scroll down, now buy whatever brand you like, all should work fine with the mobo from that list, try not to buy tall memory heatsinks, standard or low profile should be great, i like the one i suggested on my previous post, but its not on the list, so go with something on the list to guarantee the compatibility.

On the storage hdd, read SPCR Western Digital Red 3TB & 1TB Hard Drives, the 3tb go the editors choice, no 2tb was tested and 1tb got silver, so i would probably just go with 3tb. On the SSD, the sweet sport in performance on the 840pro is 256gb, so that would be my pic, the last gen the Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 had their sweet spots at 128gb, but now they are balancing the drives so 256gb is the sweet spot, even then new Curcial M500 has the 480gb as their sweet spot... so newer gens will have higher and higher their top performance spot, even if you dont need that much space, you can over provision the ssd with extra space so it will end up lasting you longer and its performance remains in top form for more time. But dont get me wrong if you feel 128gb is good enough for your needs, go for it, im not trying to go overbudget.

In case you are interested, this is what im doing with my R4, im also going to buy the Thermalrigth HR02 Macho (comes with TY-147 fan black n white) and im going to buy an extra Therlamright TY-147 140mm PWM fan, and im going take out the R4 back fan and pass it to the front (the R4 only comes with 2 fan, both the same one in the front one in the back, but you can add a second to the front), and install the extra TY147 on back to kinda create a pull push, the Asus P8Z77V has twin 4pin CPU fan heathers so i would connect each TY147 to each connector, this is going to make both fans move at the same speeds, and you can control them with FanXpert2 software, i would probably maintain them as close as you can to 700rpm, maybe increase them some if the load is high, but even at 700rpm is very hard to pass the i5 3570 pass 60C even under prime95. The frontal fans (both of the fractal included with the case i would also remove the top hdd cage and leave direct air for the gpu), i would connect them to the bottom and side case fan connectors on the motherboard and also control them with FanXpert2, they are rated 1000rpm at 12V but they can run 5V easily around 500rpm, so i would just drop them 500rpm for idle and ramp them to 700rpm for load, all this is very easy to setup on FanXpert2. If you wish to learn more about it, check this video, Cool Tech: ASUS Fan Xpert 2 Demo - Take Control of Your CPU Fans.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Posts: 106
WD makes many flavors of hard drive. The red is kind of a hybrid between the green drive and the RE enterprise drives.

It has the low rpm and a few of the energy saving features of the green and some of the anti-vibration and reliability features of the RE and a warranty that splits the difference.

The important thing is that green drives die when they stop and start which has killed many raid arrays. The reds consume just a little more energy idling than the greens do asleep so its the best of both worlds and they run quiet and cool too.

One note about available sata3 ports, only a ssd can take advantage of the higher speed than sata2, so HDD storage is fine on sata2 with your optical drives.

If you research green ram you can find over clocking results by build week. They all do well but some are really good. Look for 1.35v 2x4gb and you've got it.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:42 pm 
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Posts: 15
Newegg has a bundle deal going on for the i5 3570k with the ASUS P8Z77-V LK for $50 off. Would I see many downsides going to the LK version over the regular ASUS P8Z77? The LK version is $50 less on newegg and with the $50 combo I'd save $100. What do you guys think?


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
HawkSight wrote:
Newegg has a bundle deal going on for the i5 3570k with the ASUS P8Z77-V LK for $50 off. Would I see many downsides going to the LK version over the regular ASUS P8Z77? The LK version is $50 less on newegg and with the $50 combo I'd save $100. What do you guys think?
Its good savings i would probably go for it, the only downside i see it doesnt come with FanXpert2 but with FanXpert1, which is still fine software just not as capable (i was never able to drop below 60% fan speed restriction of the bios with fanxpert1 on other chasis fans, cpu fan is like 20% so its fine), but thinking that you have the fan controller on the front of the case (12/7/5V on a switch) and you should be able to control easily the PWM fans on the CPU (with the bios and/or with fanxpert1), A little light on the heatsink but since you dont plan to overclock, you should be fine.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 12:03 am 
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Posts: 106
If you are considering different motherboards to reduce cost, I'm trying an Intel dz75ml-45k which I got for $79 from Superbiz.

Its mini-ATX so expansion is slightly limited but the only other feature missing compared to a z77 board is the ssd hard drive caching which I wouldn't use because I'm going all ssd all the time. I think the second PCIe x16 slot is electrically an x4 slot (it could be x8, I'm not sure) which would work with crossfire I think but isn't the ideal setup. I'll never run crossfire or SLI so that doesn't matter to me.

Z75 is an over clocking chip set so I expect it will also be good if I try to under-volt or do the four speed bin over clock on non-k processors.

If it works like I expect it to, I'll never notice the difference between z75 and z77 and its Intel so I expect good power consumption, general stability and reliability.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Posts: 15
- Well I jumped on the deal that NCIX is running for the Define R4 at $69.99, so I'm going full ATX. Alot of the uATX boards I saw have mixed reviews and it looks like Fan Xpert 2 is pretty awesome so I'm going with ASUS P8Z77-V.

- Also decided on the Samsung 840 Pro 256gb SSD and will hold off on a second harddrive for now. Will I have to reformat windows when / if I add another drive to the system, like a 3TB red?

- I'm now looking for a slightly less expensive PSU than the X-650 I had originally chosen, something in the $70-90 range. As mentioned earlier, Seasonic's G 550 looks like a good psu for this price. Any others to check out?

- Looking at Windows 7 Home Premium, OEM means I can only install it once, correct? Amazon has Windows 7 HP for $89. Any better deal out there?

- Thanks for the fan advice Abula! I will probably follow you here and get the extra fan. I think I will love the customization options fan xpert 2 provides.

Really appreciate all the feedback!


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Location: Finland
  • Full ATX is fine, especially if you can get a deal. I just value the small mATX footprint highly, as the board inside is the same hardware (chips, channels, slots etc.), just in a more compact package. Mini-ITX is where the real compromises start.
  • 256 GB SSD is excellent if you can afford it. Bigger, faster, and theoretically lives longer than a smaller drive - not that regular consumer use should wear any modern SSD out.
  • You only need to reinstall your operating system like Windows if you are moving the OS installation itself to another drive. If you just add a new data drive, you won't need to do anything to Windows - just format and partition the new drive and you're good to go.
  • The Seasonic G series is just about the best deal right now, especially the G360. I would recommend Nexus, but they're not available in the States and are only Bronze-rated (Bronze is still very good, mind you). My only gripe about the G series is that their fan profiles seem to be plotted to be aggressive rather than silent, but they should by no means be loud, especially with loads as low as yours.
  • OEM versions you can install multiple times, but only on that one machine, and apparently only as a fresh install (cannot reinstall on top of an older installation). From experience I can say it imprints on your hardware based on the motherboard and CPU, and to a lesser extent the other components. I fried my mobo and CPU and had to reinstall, activation threw a hissy fit, but I got through fine in the end. OEM versions are also not eligible for free Microsoft support, but who uses that anyway.

If you can afford it and are unsure, I would aim for a retail license if possible. OEM and other special licenses can be a pain - I had to fight against Microsoft's and Digital River's storefront for half a day to get my special sale license MS Office 2010 Professional activated. I also have a promotional copy of Assassin's Creed 3 that I haven't activated fully (i.e. gotten to download and install) because the process was so convoluted.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
HawkSight wrote:
- Well I jumped on the deal that NCIX is running for the Define R4 at $69.99, so I'm going full ATX. Alot of the uATX boards I saw have mixed reviews and it looks like Fan Xpert 2 is pretty awesome so I'm going with ASUS P8Z77-V.
Well the price of the R4 is really good, i got mine on sale at $80, but $70 is the best i seen, so good buy, really well worth more than that. Now on the mobo, its up to you, $100 is a lot of money (cpu combo + LK mobo), as i said you got work arounds, fanxpert 1 is still good, just has some limiations. The R4 comes with 140mm fans and a frontal fan controller, you can lower the frontal fans with it, its not a big deal, the nice thing about fanxpert is that you can dinamically control all the fans depending on certain conditions, but for $100 saving... i would probably just deal with the manual fan controller that the case already brings for free. The CPU 4pin heathers are much easier to work with, as asus bios restricion is in my case drop down to 20%, so it should drop down the TY147 easily to 700rpm that most can (although on paper says 900 by thermalright). Overall I dont want you to go with neither, just that i would weight the $100 vs what else you gain besides fanXpert2, personally i do want fanXpert2 when i rebuild on a GENE VI, but i just waste money on this hobby.

HawkSight wrote:
- Also decided on the Samsung 840 Pro 256gb SSD and will hold off on a second harddrive for now. Will I have to reformat windows when / if I add another drive to the system, like a 3TB red?
This imo is a good call, there is nothing better atm, and i doubt we will see anything significantly better until we see SATA Express on Skylake. You don't need to reformat/reinstall windows, to add the 3tb, just go start>computer(right click)>manage>disk management, search on the bottom for the 3tb and initialize it as GPT (needed for 2tb+ hdds) and then just quick format it and windows should be fine to see it and use it.

HawkSight wrote:
- I'm now looking for a slightly less expensive PSU than the X-650 I had originally chosen, something in the $70-90 range. As mentioned earlier, Seasonic's G 550 looks like a good psu for this price. Any others to check out?

SeaSonic G Series 550-Watt ATX12V/EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply SSR-550RM
SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Is a nice option, i just did a build on PS07 and no complains at all, very quiet, but worth mentioning that the fan is always on, very low on idle and still decently quiet under load with a similar setup as what you are building, but it wont be as quiet as X series in terms they are semi pasive PSU, i own a X660 and i never ever heard the fan, i do stand up sometimes to see if it is on, and very few times i see it spin... really nice PSU the X series. But if you are looking to save some, i think the G550 is the best choice at that price range. I was hopping we see a review from SPCR on it, but no luck, but they did review the lower Watt, Seasonic G360 PSU: High efficiency & performance, low price. If you wish to read more reviews, check

JonnyGuru Reviews - Seasonic G Series 550W
HardwareSecrets Seasonic G 550 Power Supply Review
[H]ardOCP Seasonic G-Series: G-550 Power Supply Review

Weather the extra $30 is worth it its up to you, i do prefer the X series passive and very quiet design, not to say is G series is loud, but not the same. But one thing that can came up positive from the G series is if you do mount it with the fan down, as the R4 can and even has a fan filter on the bottom, i would prefer it like the G series that have the fan on all the time as it wont let the heat stall inside the PSU.

HawkSight wrote:
- Looking at Windows 7 Home Premium, OEM means I can only install it once, correct? Amazon has Windows 7 HP for $89. Any better deal out there?
A little cheaper if you are confortable dling and making USB bootable, Purchase Windows for your HTPC, you can install it as much as you want, but only in one PC, and in my experience like the first 10 format no issues, after i had some times that i had to call microsft for them to validate it, but since then i dont reformat that often.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Last edited by Abula on Wed May 22, 2013 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Posts: 106
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817182262

Rosewill Capstone 550m. 89.99 -20% + free shipping ≈ $72.

That's modular cabling, 80+ gold certified, Super Flower OEM and should run almost silent like my 450m.

I would suggest the 450m but it works out more expensive without the 20% off and free shipping. There is a non modular but platinum certified 450 watt PSU for the same price if you want even more efficiency. If its not on 24-7 and idles at more than 40 watts, the energy costs should be almost identical.

Rosewill Capstone has gotten several good reviews it terms of efficiency, ripple and noise. I don't think you can find anything much better below that price and its not a huge premium over a standard decent quality PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Posts: 15
Looking over Asus's official P8Z77-V memory compatibility list, I couldn't find one low profile 1.5v 1600 8 gig ram from Corsair or G.Skill. Am I missing something or is not much of an issue? Ram is really the last thing I need to decide on.

That Rosewill Capstone 550m looks like a great psu for the price. Will probably pick that one up!


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1920
Location: Guatemala
HawkSight wrote:
Looking over Asus's official P8Z77-V memory compatibility list, I couldn't find one low profile 1.5v 1600 8 gig ram from Corsair or G.Skill. Am I missing something or is not much of an issue? Ram is really the last thing I need to decide on.
I wouldnt worry too much, in the recent build that i did with Macho + low profile memory, the fan on the macho doesnt reach the banks of the first 3 slots (i have my doubts on the 4th) but in my build i could have used even tall memory and wouldnt have been an issue, my recomendation toward going low profile was more in case down the road you decide to fully populate the 4 channels and not have any issues with memory height, but i think you should be fine with standard size, just get whatever you have available that its cheap and not so tall (standard height should be fine), that its on the compatible list.

HawkSight wrote:
That Rosewill Capstone 550m looks like a great psu for the price. Will probably pick that one up!
I heard good things about rosewill using Superflower for their high end PSUs, SilentNight500 is getting great reviews, it seems this PSU also made by SuperFlower and have good user reviews. Found a review from it, in case you are interested, HardwareSecrets Rosewill CAPSTONE 550M Power Supply Review

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Build - Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Posts: 106
All I know is that I'm very impressed by my capstone.

The cabling is nice with braid and heat shrink to keep things clean, the exterior has a nice black crinkle finish, the 140mm fan is very quiet but not completely silent.

The things I can't see but like knowing are the low ripple and Japanese caps.

I'm not sold on passive cooled PSUs. They are expensive and they really need some air flow if you want them to last. The platinum rating can justify some of the cost but if you need a case fan to keep enough air going through your "passive cooled" PSU, why not build it in to the PSU with thermostatic control? Since you can save money at the same time, passive won't be on my shopping list until the situation changes.

For ram, look for 1.35v sticks, that's usually where you will find short sticks.


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