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New gaming build

  1. Oct 19, 2012 #1
    What do you think?

    *CPU/Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge Quad Core processor
    *Motherboard/MSI Big Bang Mpower Z77
    *Memory/G Skill RipJaws X Series 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz 240pin dual channel memory kit
    *GPU/MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr
    *PSU/Corsair HX850 850W power supply
    *Coolermaster HAF-XM Mid Tower Case (can I fit all of this in a mid-tower case?)
    *Hard Drive/Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache Internal Hard Drive
    *Optial Drive/ASUS Blu-Ray Internal disk drive
    *CPU cooler/ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R


    *Can you recommend some faster or better parts for equal or lesser price?
    *In your expert opinion, what is the fastest 1600MHz 16GB dual-channel memory kit you can buy?
    *Can I fit all of this into a mid-tower case?
    *Do I have enough room to fit in a 2nd GTX 680 and is my 850W PSU enough for that?
    *Will my CPU bottleneck the graphics card?
    *Should I get water cooling for my CPU?
    *Does my case have sufficient airflow?
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2012 #2
    Hardware and prices change so fast it's difficult for any one individual to keep up. My best recommendation is not to even bother asking until you are ready to buy and then to use a website like the Steam Hardware forum which is well moderated and has numerous people who really know the subject well.

  4. Oct 20, 2012 #3


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    Case clearance will probably be marginal with this build. A full tower case is your cheapest upgrade option, so, why risk a huge build pain when you have so much invested in the other gear?
  5. Oct 20, 2012 #4
    Thanks! I've created an account on those forums.
  6. Oct 20, 2012 #5
    IMHO, the full towers are too large, heavy, and bulky.

    I'm using one right now and it is freaking huge!

    It's also hard to carry. I'm going to go with a nice mid-tower case with this build. I've read that there should be plenty of room for all of the parts.
  7. Oct 20, 2012 #6
    You can fit all that into that case and it has enough cooling, but he's right it will be a tight squeeze. I use a Cooler Master Storm Sniper myself which is technically a mid-tower, but on the large side.
  8. Oct 20, 2012 #7
    Thanks for the suggestion.
  9. Oct 21, 2012 #8
    Sure. As far as I'm concerned form should follow function. For DIY a large mid-tower case like the Storm Sniper is just a lot easier to work on and the smaller you go from there the more it starts to resemble building a ship in a bottle. Other people are more concerned about how their computer looks, but I shove mine under my desk and never look at it again unless I have to. The Sniper series even has a handle on top to make it easier to drag the thing out and put it back when I'm done.
  10. Oct 21, 2012 #9
    I've changed my mind on a few of the parts such as the motherboard and memory.

    I've decided on the MSI Big Bang M-Power P77 Express motherboard and two 2x4GB Mushkin Enhanced "Radioactive" 1600MHz dual channel Memory kit.

    The color scheme of the mobo/ram/graphics card is yellow, so having a yellow-colored computer case would be a pretty cosmetic touch.
  11. Oct 21, 2012 #10
    My only question is why not go quad channel with ram?
    I totally agree on size/weight of larger cases, my current rig is in a Antec 1200 Tower and traveling with that from my place to a lan is close to hell, (just taking it from my car to their house) I have been looking around and there are quite a few cases that are the same size but weigh so much less its like a slap in the face to me, just make sure you dont get a case made of iron steel, suggestion for a yellow coloured computer case, gets to be $15 or so for a can of your selected paint colour (DIY) take out all the fans/electronics ect use some masking tape over holes where the motherboard screws in, same for the fans, go nuts in a well ventilated area for a truely custom case.
  12. Oct 21, 2012 #11


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    If you go with a mid-sized tower, be sure that the video cards will fit in the case. The newer video cards tend to be longer than the older ones. Cases that locate the hard drives just beyond the ends of the video cards can be an issue.
  13. Oct 21, 2012 #12
    I think the length of the MSI GTX 680 Lighting is about 10" long and 5" in diameter.

    Based on measurements I've taken, there should be about 5" of clearance between the end of the graphics card and the hard drive bays.
  14. Oct 22, 2012 #13
    The P77 chipset/motherboard only supports dual channel memory.
  15. Oct 22, 2012 #14
    Yeah, in the last few years pretty much all the cases have been redesigned for larger graphics cards and it's not an issue anymore.

    Quad channel ram is for the sandy bridge-e system which is for expensive enthusiast rigs. Great if you want to get the maximum performance out of 3 or 4 graphics cards or have a small desktop supercomputer or whatever, but completely unnecessary for anything else.
  16. Oct 22, 2012 #15
    The Ivy Bridge is faster, more energy efficient, and runs cooler than the Sandy Bridge.
  17. Oct 22, 2012 #16
    Sandy bridge-e merely refers to the enthusiast model, ivy bridge is merely a die shrink of the same sandy bridge architecture, and the ivy bridge-e model won't be available until late next year at best.
  18. Oct 22, 2012 #17
    The build looks pretty good, but I would overclock the RAM to 2133 MHz as long as you're only using two DIMMs. If you use four, you can only over clock to 1866 MHz. As far as the case, yours should be fine in a mid-tower case but do know that the smaller a case gets, it gets much more frustrating to deal with. If you are planning to move it a good bit, I'd go for the mid tower, but if you have room and are going to leave it in one place, I'd go for a full tower.
  19. Oct 23, 2012 #18
    Do you think I could max Grand Theft Auto 5 and Crysis 3 when they are released for the PC?

    I do plan on adding a 2nd GTX 680 in SLI when I can afford it. Will dual GTX 680's + an overclocked Ivy Bridge and 16GB of RAM fully max out those two games with smooth framerates?
  20. Oct 23, 2012 #19
    Yes. You should have no trouble with that. I have a very similar system and I can run almost anything at max settings. And honestly you may have even more power than you need to run them at max settings. My system does have some trouble running the newest games at max settings but that's because I have a single 570. With SLI 580s, there should be no problem with running those games at max settings, and probably most of next year's games as well.
  21. Oct 23, 2012 #20
    I did just look over your configuration and saw one thing I'd change, and that would to be adding a solid state drive. They help immensely with boot and application load times. Now they're getting rather affordable too. I'd suggest going with two 120 gb drives in RAID 0. Then put the OS and your applications and games on the SSD and movies and videos, along with other files on the 1 td drive. If you think you need more space you can always get more drives or larger one, though I would suggest adding more 120 gb drives to the RAID array.
  22. Oct 23, 2012 #21
    I have a 128GB SSD in the rig that I'm using now, I plan on removing it and installing it in my new one.

    It's a corsair force3 series SATA3, meaning that it's faster than others. I'll probably install my Boot/OS on that drive as well.

    I have absolutely no use for more than 1TB of hard drive space. All I have installed on my current 2TB HDD Hitachi are a few thousand photos, some music, a few games, and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. All of this still only ~120GB. So a very high quality 1TB HDD is all that I need and all that I would ever use.

    It's nice to see that SSD's are coming down in price quite and the newer ones are becoming much larger in storage space.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  23. Oct 23, 2012 #22
    raid 0 is the most unstable, if your running your windows on a raid i would suggest raid 5 as it is a lot more stable. Personally i have a 60gb OCZ agility 3 ssd with windows on it, i plan to upgrade to the ocz vertex 4 ssd on the cheaper side and if i had the money i would go for the intel 800gb 910 series PCI-e 2.0 they are sooo insanely fast.

    But if i was you i would just stick to your current SSD format it and do a clean install with your new mobo ect. Also if you have any troubles with it showing up in bios or just not showing when installing windows update your firmware on the drive using another computer and update your bios in your new rig. reason i say this is i have had a friend with similar issues when upgrading.
  24. Oct 23, 2012 #23
    Also i just might add, by changing the default installation drive from my SSD to my 1tb drive ment i could always select what games i wanted on my SSD and keep everything else on my 1TB.

    Follow this guide to change your default installation path.

  25. Oct 27, 2012 #24
    If I wanted to put my OS on a low-capacity SSD, which one might you recommend that would be the fastest?
  26. Oct 27, 2012 #25
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