Opinion/changes recommended on the following build?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Gundam Eclipse, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    I remember making some previous topics here, but for the life of me I can't seem to find them right now, I feel really stupid for that. If needed and they can be found, feel free to merge with an appropriate one or something.

    After a lot of looking stuff up, and asking tons of potentially stupid questions, I have finally decided to build the desktop with the help of several friends/relatives.
    I just wanted opinions on the following, and wanted to know whether any changes should or could be made.

    Before the list, know that I plan to mostly game on it, emulation(Wii - Xenoblade and Last Story, PS2 - Shadow of the Colossus and various SMT titles) included, so overclocking will be there. Also Phantasy Star Online 2 and perhaps Guild Wars 2. Other games I may play would be Witcher 2, Dishonored, Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs, Skyrim with Sharpshooter ENB and titles in the upcoming year such as Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 and (if it comes to PC) Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.
    I am hoping this build lasts at least 3-5 years gaming wise(As in, able to play titles on at least low/minimum settings till then), if that's at all possible.

    I will be using only a single monitor, and it may not be in full HD either, I don't really need high resolutions so yeah, feel free to recommend any. And I will be using headphones for most of the sound, so if you have any recommendations in that area as well, please feel free to do so.
    Finally, please tell me if you can recommend any better cooling options, heat is a issue for me, both where I am currently, and when I eventually go back to India. If liquid cooling is the only option, please recommend one that doesn't require much or difficult maintenance, and isn't too dangerous to use. Also tell me if you know any better case options, cooling wise.

    And now, the list:
    CPU: Intel i5 3570K
    System Cooling: Noctua nh-d14
    Graphics: MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 4GD5/OC
    Case: SilverStone Raven 2
    Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z77 (USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s)
    PSU: 750 Watt Corsair TX750M PSU
    RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz (2x4GB) Memory
    Operation System: Genuine MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition
    Harddrive: 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s, 7200RPM, 32MB Cache HDD
    Optical Drive: 12X Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
    Sound card: Asus Xonar DX
    Internet: D-Link Wireless DWA-556 Xtreme N PCI Express Desktop Adapter
    Keyboard: Razer Lycosa
    Mouse: Razer DeathAdder
     
  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    For you, I would recommend NOT getting liquid cooling - it's only as good as the ambient temperature of the room you're in. In hot countries, liquid cooling is actually worse than air cooling (it might not make sense, but don't ask).

    That aside, your build seems fairly good spec-wise. Also overkill. One way to reduce the heat is to aim one or two levels lower than the best money can buy. That means a GTX 660 or 560 Ti. Both will still play Battlefield 3 on high settings, which also means they'll last a while in future games.
     
  3. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Hm, the reason I went for the TwinFrozr 4GB 680 is because I felt it would last longer, but then again I won't be gaming on high resolutions so yeah, your suggestion sounds awesome.
    I am no expert, but uh, isn't the 670 a better choice? Its a level down, and AFAIK should be more powerful than the 660.
    I apologize if I am sounding like an idiot here, I barely know anything when it comes to this stuff herp >3>;
    EDIT:
    Forgot to mention the other reason for the 680. Its really hard for me to upgrade often, I upgrade like every 5 to 7 years, hence I felt getting one of the best would be better for me.
     
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  4. exangel

    Member exangel executioner angel

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    You also don't need quite the most powerful GPU for single (1080p) monitor play. I wouldn't recommend going top-of-the-line (even to future-proof unless you're just damned rich) unless you might be tempted to multi-monitor or get a 3D display.

    And I suggest re-route the money you save by dialing your GPU down a notch and/or choosing Air cooling, and put that into getting an SSD.. in games with slow loading times like Skyrim and especially multiplayer games like GW2 there will be a (sometimes very significant) noticeable benefit. I started using SSD before the SATA3 SSD's started coming down to a normal price, but you should be able to get 120GB for less than $1/GB. I have had good experience with ADATA and Mushkin but I have only bought 4 SSD's in my life (all of them working as intended even to this day.)

    And as I've also mentioned before if you tend to leave your computer on for long periods of time then don't use the SSD as a boot drive. 120GB is not big enough for me to install my entire Steam collection but it's enough for me to keep my largest installs on it, and swap around with games that are under 2GB. I happen to have more than one in my own desktop, so one serves as boot and has non-Steam games such as GW2 installed on it.

    edit: I haven't installed GW2 to a 7200 RPM HDD myself, but many of my friends don't have SSDs and even when they have top end graphics and comparable CPU's they always take 3x or worse to load and that can be awful in World vs World or sPVP. I haven't had the bug where it takes a long time for enemy players to load but that happened to one of my friends on a bridge packed with enemy players and he got slaughtered before he even saw anyone :/ Don't know if having SSD helped with avoiding this known bug, but data caching happening at a much higher rate helps with other things for certain.

    edit2: a detail
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    It's more the case of diminishing returns that Rydian keeps quoting. Whilst there is a difference in performance between 660, 670 and 680, the price jumps a lot each time. You end up paying much more for only little gain. Instead, you can get a 660 for cheaper, see no difference when playing games now, and generate less heat all the while. Only in 3-4 years will you notice the difference, and by then you can upgrade to the GTX 960 for the same money you saved by not getting the 680.

    And I didn't say 670 because of the above reason - you won't see the difference. All the mentioned cards will play at high, if not maxed, settings.
     
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  6. exangel

    Member exangel executioner angel

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    Oh another thought. If heat's a concern SSD's produce very very little, and you might consider going with a Green drive instead of 7200 RPM for the HDD. Especially if you can afford a larger SSD. If most of that 2TB is for storage (media files and whatnot) and not for application installs, then it would be worth it.

    Heat's a serious issue for me in my south-west facing apartment especially late-summer and early-fall because I live in the US desert southwest, and I can keep my system from going over 60c at full load (I run Folding@HOME all the time) on air cooling.
    Only on the hottest days do I *need* to run my refrigeration AC unit to keep it from reaching 60c but that's more because it heats up my whole room to keep the system supplied with cooler air to intake. (I usually just avoid using my desktop when it's over 90f outdoors due to my southwest facade heating up all day long from sunlight)

    It took me a long time to figure out the solution for my local situation but that was a heavily filtered closed case air cooling system with 140mm and 120mm fans. I previously had an Antec LanBoy but it was just horrible to keep clean compared to my previous apartment which had central air and carpet. The rebuild of my own system into a NZXT Source 210 case has been fantastic and the filters are on the exterior of the case making them very easy to clean.


    Edit2: SilverStone is actually the manufacturer of the 140mm fan filters I used. That's a nice looking case.
     
  7. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Thanks for the help, gonna look into the stuff you guys have mentioned tomorrow morning, going to sleep ATM. Will post again tomorrow if I need more help. Seriously, thanks!
    BTW, I forgot to mention, this may be important info idunno, I will be building this either in December or in January next year.
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    It is important for 2 reasons. New technologies are always being released, and this drives down prices of old technologies.

    Your selection of parts probably will change by January. Still, doesn't hurt to scratch up a list from parts currently available.
     
  9. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Alright, been looking into the 660...and I feel confused as hell. (For future reference, is there any site where I can see what versions of a graphics card there is? Like how there's the GTX 680 Lightning, and the Twin Frozr and what not.)

    So uh, my question is, which version of the 660 would you recommend(MSI, Asus etc.)? Also, what exactly is the 660 Ti, is it a better choice? Also, I notice there is no 4GB version of this card, AFAIK at least. Would this pose a problem in the future?

    Second question, is there any particular brand SSD you guys would recommend, or can I choose one at random? I will most likely only install online games on it, I don't mind loading times for my single player games at all, never have, hopefully never will. Or am I being an idiot and there are more advantages to an SSD that I don't know of? D :
    Also, what exactly is a Green drive? This is literally the first time I have heard of something like this...

    Third question, should I consider getting a better CPU and perhaps more RAM for futureproof? Or would that count for the diminishing return idea as well?

    I am still kind of half-asleep, tell me if you need clarity on what I've written here >>
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    NVidia naming convention:
    (third party name) GTX (series number)(model number)0 (Ti or not) (cooler/mod name)
    So, MSI GTX 660 Ti Twin Frozr, means its made by MSI, GTX 6 series, 60 model (mid ranged), Ti edition (the non Ti edition is cut back to lower price and costs), with a Twin Frozr cooler slapped on top.

    Generally all of them are good. Different companies add different tweaks to the power phasing or memory or overclock a bit, but it's all based on the same nVidia design so they all perform nearly the same.
    Also, do NOT look at the amount if vRAM it may provide. 1GB is all you need, 2GB is becoming standard with many high end cards, and 4GB is overkill for people running resolutions as big as my bedroom wall. No matter what you get, it will not affect your performance.

    For SSDs, it's a little less vague. The Crucial M4 series is the best value. The Samsung 830 series is faster for only a little more. The OCZ Vertex 4 series is currently the fastest, but the priciest. I would go for Crucial or Samsung.

    For your CPU, don't get higher if you don't need it. For gaming, Core i5 is ideal. Games only use 2 cores anyway, so the 8 threads offered by HyperThreading in Core i7 are wasted unless you're doing a lot of CPU based work like encryption or compression and stuff. As for RAM, 8GB IS future proof. You only need 3GB. 4GB is standard for all computers and few people fill that up (unless they're careless and click on every download button on the Internet, or of they use Photoshop a lot). 8GB is only becoming popular now because it's so damn cheap. Nobody needs 16GB unless they're looking into using RAM drives, and they're not too special.
     
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  11. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Thanks for the explanation! Still confused on the Ti bit, what's the difference between a normal 660 and a 660 Ti? When you say go for the 660, is Ti included or not?
    Well, assuming Ti is included, then, I am thinking of getting one of the following:

    1. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127696
    ^Assuming that's not overclocked. I can't tell whether it is or whether its not overclocked.
    If it is overclocked, is this the non-overclocked version?: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127697
    Sorry for the stupidity >>;

    ...
    well uh, that's it actually. I looked at some more(Such as ZOTAC and Asus) but they don't really appeal to me :V

    And for an SSD, this is good enough, right?: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820147134
    As I said, I won't be putting any single player games on it, only Phantasy Star Online 2 and perhaps one or two more online games. So I don't really need too much space.

    EDIT:
    BTW, just thought I would say this once more, feel free to recommend any monitors/headphones :V I am not looking for any amazing monitors, don't even need 1080p(720p is fine), but if you do have any recommendations feel free to shoot em at me, otherwise I will prolly end up getting a random monitor from here.
     
  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I say "go for the 660" because adding Ti afterwards is too much effort when typing from an iPad. And to reiterate, the Ti version is the "full" version, and the non-Ti version is the cut back "budget" version. The technology is the same, but they disable some cores and a couple other things to make it cheaper. It's the same difference between an AMD HD 6870 and 6850 - they disable some cores to make it cheaper.

    That SSD is great.
    You did mention Battlefield 3, which is easily the most intensive game you listed. That's the only reason I didn't mention anything lower like the 650. Fortunately if you're not trying to output onto a big monitor, there's no difference.

    For monitors, I like the Dell UltraSharp series but you may prefer something more affordable. Unfortunately I can only refer to third party sources for this, and they just love the UltraSharps and have no other recommendations. All I can say is that 22" monitors tend to be 1050p, 23" tend to be 1080p, and 24" tend to be 1200p.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    For headphones, it's easy. ASUS Vulcan ANC. They fit well and work well. Sure, there are many other good ones... I personally use a USB mic on my desk and a pair of Incase Sonix headphones, but when my headphones eventually get to the point where they need replacing, I'm getting the Vulcan.
     
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  13. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Before I say anything, let me just say(At the risk of sounding either merely flattering or slightly creepy) you sir are fucking awesome and brotastic, thanks for all the help
     
  14. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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  15. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    Bumping this because I forgot to look more into some things, namely, the PSU and case fans :V Also, forgot to mention which Raven I am getting .-.;

    The case I am thinking of getting: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163213&Tpk=silverstone%20raven%20RV02-E

    The PSU:
    http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817182133

    Case fans:
    120mm: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835129055
    2 180mm fans: http://www.newegg.co...&name=Case-Fans

    Are these good choices? Especially the PSU, as I am going to overclock the i5 3570k for emulation purposes(Won't overclock anything else though)?

    If not, what would you recommend?
    Also, I realize I may be asking tons of potentially stupid questions, if so I apologize, just trying to make sure my first attempt is a proper one and I don't screw it up :V

    By the way, this may be an important detail, I dunno, forgot to mention it. I will be getting all this via my relative in US, California(Specifically, Santa Clara), all of which he will then bring to India, which I will then haul back to Qatar. This is a dumb question, but is there any safety issues I should look into/be aware of?
     
  16. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Um... you do know that the case already comes with fans, right? There's no need to buy extra.

    As for the PSU, 750W is more than enough for everything. I don't know how good the brand is, but as long as it works then it's fine.

    There's only two issues with importing computer parts. First double check the regulations for customs. Second, if he builds the computer in the US before going to India, make sure the graphics card (or any other expansion cards) is removed before packing. Most parts are safely bolted down, but the graphics card is much less stable.
     
  17. Gundam Eclipse
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    Case: I...I did not know that. Er, uh, welp, I am an idiot akjsdnakjsdnkasjd

    PSU: Alright, I will look up some reviews before going with it then. Thanks!

    Gonna check into regulations, thanks! Also, I will be building it myself with some help from various friends, but uh, is no precaution needed? They will not be opened until they reach Qatar if that info helps. I am assuming these parts might be fragile, hence asking again just in case, hopefully I am not sounding too dumb here >>;

    Speaking of expansions, uh, one more possibly dumb question(hopefully its the last):
    I just noticed the case only has two USB slots, and both the keyboard and mouse use USB. So uh, is there a way to expand this, as I will require one more(Just one really) for my external hard drives and what not.
    If not, is there any keyboard or mouse(Not both, just one without USB is good enough, both would be cool too though) which don't need USB(And are not wireless)?
     
  18. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Getting extra USB slots is easy. For one thing, your motherboard will have a whole load on the back panel. Also that case rotates the motherboard 90 degrees, so the back panel will actually be the top panel. So you'll probably have 4-14 USB ports all at the top (depending on motherboard - too busy to check specifically for this right now).

    If that's not enough, you can also get front panel connectors. Here's an example. Card reader, and an extra USB (3) port. USB2 variants exist too, and you can even get one full of USB ports.

    Not even Rydian could fill up that many USB ports.
     
  19. Gundam Eclipse
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    Member Gundam Eclipse True Demon Route

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    I had no idea the motherboard had extra USB slots. Holy shit I am glad I decided to build this myself, learning a lot of things, some which should be obvious perhaps but still :V
    Checked the motherboard details, should be more than enough slots for me.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Thanks for the link! While I doubt I will ever need it, in case I ever do I know what to look for!

    Seriously, you guys don't know how much I appreciate this, thanks a ton Originality/exangel
     

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