Makes sense. Did you give any thought to a test bench?
Why no custom loop?
There is no issue with doing that. If you play across all three monitors in eyefinity you obviously won't be getting the added framerates in the non 144Hz monitors and i believe your center monitor will see the reduced framerates as well. Depending on your GPU you probably wont see over 60fps in eyefinity anyway. Also, It would look funny with higher framerates on your center screen only anyway.
The case comes stock with a 140mm fan up top that has a blue LED. I striped out the LEDs in the fan and bought another fan, not shown in the pictures, that does not have LEDs. All LEDs in my build are in the NZXT Hue. I now have two 140mm fans on the top and also another 120mm on the reservoir set up in a push pull configuration. That makes a grand total of 6 fans. I will be posting some new pictures when I have my battlestation finalized. I just moved so everything's a mess right now.
Great! Thanks. I love the site. Keep up the great work
Just curious, why a CPU that is now two generations old? Also, why 680s and not 780s?
What a tease. I want to see a completed build. Get this baby finished and post some pics!
It is very rare when I cannot find something to criticize about a build so congratulation, this is pretty great little budget build.
While agree that he should go with 8GB of RAM I disagree that 8GB is necessary. This machine will probably never go over 4GB of RAM usage and having more doesn't make your computer any faster. I doubt this build will ever be doing anything intense enough to use more than 3GB. My build at full load, gaming and multitasking with a few webpages and system monitors rarely eclipses 4GB. I would still go for 8GB for those extremely rare instances when RAM usage is heavy but mostly because the price difference from 4GB to 8GB is so small that there is really no reason to downgrade. Also, you are spot on with RAM speed and APUs. This is the only situation where I would suggest spending a little more for faster RAM.
Did you look for a 7870 XT? The performance increase is pretty large and they are typically only $20-$30 more. They are kind of hard to find though. They are usually sold out.
Don't worry about getting a better CPU cooler. You can't overclock with a non 'K' processor and a H77 mobo. The stock cooler will do you just fine. The only benefit a new cooler will give you is possibly making your computer quieter. You may want to consider an SSD when you have the cash. The boot times are ridiculous and the loading time in games decreases quite a bit too. The GPU should be good enough for a while. You may want to consider upgrading in a year or so after the new generation AMD and Nvidia GPUs have been on the market long enough for the price to drop and the drivers to be in a good place. Just depends on how high of settings you are comfortable playing at.
The GPU choice makes sense then. You should probably put something about it in the description though just so people don't freak out when they see it. You can also override the cost of each part to reflect the amount you actually paid.
As far as the Win7 comment, I was speaking more to why you got ultimate. The win7 vs win8 debate really just comes down to preference. I'm wondering why you went with Ultimate when you could have gone with home premium for ~$200 less. The features in Ultimate are mostly geared to enterprise use that you would need a corporate server to make use out of.
Sorry for the multiple posts my network is acting up and the hang time is causing me to submit multiple requests
$600 for a 480? Please tell me this isn't a newly bought card. Since this is a gaming build you could have saved a lot of money with out costing you any performance by getting a 3570k and 8GB of RAM. Also, why win7 Ultimate?
I love me some balanced overkill. The only part choice I can really question is the RAM. Why 32GB? Are you doing a lot of video editing/rendering or setting up a RAMDisk? You got a great price for each of the 16GB packs so I could understand going 16GB at that price but 32GB just seems useless if this is a gaming build. Just curious. Anyway, great build and even better cable management. Looks awesome.
I think you are misunderstanding me. I'm not saying that expensive motherboards do not have their place. As a general rule of thumb the mobo should not be the most expensive part of your build. There is obviously exceptions to this, most notably web browsing/general use builds with low budget parts. This does not fit the bill of most builds that would be posted to this site. My point is that you don't get an expensive mobo and then cheap out on the rest of your parts, mainly GPU. In this build specifically the mobo was a poor choice because they got an expensive z77 overclocking mobo with a locked processor that will not be able to overclock past its turbo clock. OP could have saved money on a cheaper H77 mobo with similar features. Now that OP has revised the build and listed the 3570k instead of the 3570 changes everything. A more expensive mobo is now justified. Also since the OP mentioned Steam in the description I assumed this would be used for gaming, making the GT 640 a bad choice. Skimping on the GPU makes sense in a budget gaming build with <$100 mobo. Buying an expensive mobo and a cheap GPU in a gaming build is terrible. Given the extra clarity that the OP has given on the build the mobo choice is justified. I made some assumptions based on the build and the description.
No, even worse, a GT 640. There is no GTX 640. And, yeah, having the motherboard be the most expensive part of the build is never a good thing, especially when you have a locked processor.
Those cables! I'd love to see a more recent photo with the cleaned up cable management. I'm a sucker for before and after photos.
Your CPU is still good and should last you a long time. Your next upgrade should definitely be the GPU since that is your bottleneck and where you will see the most performance gain. Throw in a 7950 or 7970, depending on your budget, and you will have a pretty solid build. Nvidia's 7xx series is coming out soon but personally I don't like being an early adopter as the price is too high and the drivers are not where they need to be. I typically won't buy a GPU until it has been in the market for at least 6-9 months.
You could add another 4GB stick of RAM so that it can work in dual channel and you will see some performance gain. Make sure you buy the same RAM that you currently have. There can be issues mixing different RAM. You won't utilize the full 8GB of RAM but If I had to guess you are probably approaching your 4GB max right now.
NZXT Hue. It is a RGB LED controller and LED strip. It will allow you make any color you want and change colors on the fly. There is even a mode where it will cycle through a bunch of different colors.
You need to get a better CPU cooler if you want to start overclocking. The stock cooler is only good enough to get you up to the boost speed. Any higher and you will be running the risk of frying your system. You can get some great air coolers for $20-$40. They are pretty bulky but really help thermal performance.
As far as cable management goes this build could use some work. It is dangerous to keep your 8pin cpu cable draped across your motherboard like that. It creates heat and then traps it there. There should be a hole above the CPU to route it down to the PSU. If you have a hard time getting it to reach you can unmount your PSU and pull it forward a little and plug the cord in up top and route it down to the PSU, once it is plugged in both ends remount your PSU tugging on the cord a little. This should give you enough length to get it mounted behind the motherboard, if not then look for some extenders on Amazon. You could get some sleeved extensions and make your build look cooler at the same time.
Overall, great parts selection for your first build. You spent a little too much on the mobo for not having a cooler capable of overclocking to the levels that make an expensive mobo useful. All the other parts are great choices for your budget.
It happens. Just too many things to plug in. It's easy to miss something
Yes, that is why I suggested below that he could make a RAMDisk. If he is not interested in doing that, I wouldn't since I've found it to more of a hassle than it's worth, he might as well just sell it as it would be a waste to keep it and not use it.
You may want to plug in the front USB 3.0 connector. It's the blue cord that is just sitting at the bottom of the case. The port is at the bottom to the right of the 3 ports you already have used.
This build is good. It's the first well balanced build I've seen you post. Personally I would be using a higher quality PSU in my builds but you could have chosen worse.
Your description is a little snarky. Don't post a build on here and then tell us not to comment on the hardware choices. That is the entire point of this section of the site. While you may not have final say on what parts are chosen, as the builder and the supposed expert it is your job to make sure the client makes good choices. If the build is terribly unbalanced that is as much your fault as it is the clients.
Yes, it doesn't hurt to have but it is a waste of money. It wouldn't hurt if I bought an i7-3970x for a gaming build. It would be stupid because i spent $1000 on a processor although I would get the same gaming performance out of a 3570k for about a quarter of the price. It does not hurt to buy too much RAM, it's just a waste of money.
Yes, you most definitely can have too much RAM. If your peak utilization is 6 GB then what is the point of having any more RAM? You won't use it so it is just sitting there being a waste of money. I'm pretty sure 64GB of RAM is too much RAM for anyone short of a server configuration and even then unless it is a corporate server 64GB is probably still overkill.
Having more ram RAM will not increase performance. You only need as much RAM as your computer is currently utilizing, the rest just sits there. Think about a GB of RAM like a car. You have 8 family members that need a car. If you have 16 cars you can only use 8 of them at a time so the others just sit there. Having more doesn't increase the horsepower of the car your driving. Of course if you increase the number of drivers then the number of cars needed increases. So you only need the as many GB of RAM as your max utilization. Any more and it's just for show.
The only thing I can think of that you can use the extra RAM for is to make a RAMDisk. Basically this is partitioning a portion of you RAM off to use as a storage drive. This is useful since RAM memory is so much faster than even an SSD. You can store a often used program or a game or two in your RAMDisk and load times will be practically instantaneous. Of course you will only have 16GB for a RAMDisk so you will have to manage the space quite often and move things in and out depending on what you want to have in there.
I haven't played Tomb Raider but Blood Dragon is good. It is a satire on futuristic 80s shooters but with modern graphics. It's pretty over the top and the game play is pretty good. Definitely deserves the mature rating.
You can browse Amazon or Newegg. I've seen some brackets and supports on there or you can just make your own or just support it with your cables like I did. The way you route your cables can make a huge difference. If you route them down and under the GPU the cables will be pulling the GPU down and will make the sagging worse. If you route them up and over the GPU the cables will pull the GPU up a little and decrease the sag. If you route the to the side of the GPU you aren't really effecting the sag at all.
Also, remember that you get 4 free games with the 7970; Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3, Farcry 3:Blood Dragon, and Tomb Raider. If you don't want some of those games you could always sell the codes and get some money back
From what I've heard XFX cards run a little hot but I'd definitely go with a lower end 7970 over a higher end 7950. This card will suit you fine
I think we all have small regrets with our builds. Just the nature of PC building. So many choices and we all want a perfect build. Your build is solid though.
I figured as much. In the end it is your computer so you should build what you want. If you want to spend the extra money for aesthetics then by all means do so. I'd just advise you make sure you aren't sacrificing a large portion of your budget to make the computer look better causing you to cheap out on the parts that really matter, mainly the GPU and PSU. I mention the PSU because it is a part that often gets overlooked and people try to skimp on it in order to fit in their budget. As long as you have a good overhead of at least 100W and you get it from a respectable manufacturer you should be good. For a breakdown of quality PSUs use this resource and try to stay in tiers 1-2b: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
I'm sorry, I'm confused, were you asking if the sagging could damage the card? If so then yes, it is possible. Warping of the PCB can cause things to break or cause the connection to the PCI lane to snap, however, this is not common. Also, depending on the quality of your motherboard, it is possible that the weight of the GPU could cause the PCI lane to rip off and detach from the motherboard. I've seen it happen but again it is unlikely especially if you bought a quality motherboard. Supporting the GPU will minimize the risk of damage to the card or motherboard and looks cleaner to boot.
No, it doesn't damage the card. I don't think it looks awkward either. Check out my build if you want to see a pic
Exactly, and I'd feel bad building this for someone knowing that a much better build could be had for about the same price.
Great build. Only critique I have is that I would have went for a better SSD, a Samsung 840 Pro would have been best. Also, I don't like CM cases. They are too ostentatious and are pretty ugly to me but obviously that part is completely subjective. Overall, great part choices and good cable management. You get an upvote from me.
I have a Sapphire 7950 and it sagged at first. I routed my PCI cables up and pulled them tight in order to support my card. That mostly solved the sagging problem.
So you get cheap/crappy PSUs in order to make the build cheaper and increase your bottom line? Sounds like any pre-built computer manufacturer to me.
Then why post it here just to get ripped on and show off bad work?
The motherboard is overpriced. It's a great motherboard but you can save some money here and still have a high quality motherboard. Here is a great quality board that suites your budget better: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-p8z77v
Since this is a pure gaming build I would try to channel as much of my budget as I can into the GPU. The 7950 is a great card, I have one, but if you can find a way to fit a 7970 into your budget I would highly suggest you do. The 7970 is the best performing single GPU card short of a GTX Titan which costs more than twice as much.
As far as the blu ray drive is concerned, just be aware that you will also need to purchase software to play blu rays on your computer. The software isn't cheap either, usually around $70. If you are thinking you will just use freeware then just know that i have scoured the internet and read tons of forums and no such freeware seems to exist. If you do happen to find something please let me know.
Don't buy thermal paste. You're CPU cooler will come with it pre-applied.
If you are willing to spend a little more than you should really think about getting a Swiftech H220. It is a little pricier at $150 but it is worth it. The thermal performance is much better than any CLC out there and it is even expandable so if down the road you decide you want to add your GPU to the loop you can. The only issue is availability. It is usually sold out but if you are patient you should be able to find one.
8GB of 1600MHz RAM would be fine. Unless you are using an APU there is no need to go for faster than 1600MHz.
You would want 2x4 in order to utilize dual channel. Don't go 1x8. In the future if you ever find yourself needing 16GB, which I doubt you ever will, then you can add another 2x4. There is no need to reserve room to possibly step up to 32GB unless you ever plan to do some extreme video editing. Just look for some 1600 RAM with a CAS latency of 8 or 9. The Corsair Vengence series is highly recommended as well as G Skills Ripjaw series.
Ok, any reason for 16GB then? It seems that 8GB would work just as well.
What are you using the build for?
I reply to the forums all the time. Check my comment history. I also said to post this on reddit. Go to reddit.com/r/buildapc. You will definitely get help there. You aren't getting any good help in the completed builds section. All the respectable accounts that I see giving consistently good advice are just telling you to go to the forums. The quality of advice you are getting here is pretty low.
You should get 64GB of 2400 RAM. It will really speed up your system. Also, I would switch to a Raidmax PSU. 300W should be fine. Also the 2500k is going to be very underpowered, you should go for the i7-3770. Just make sure not to get the 3770k. The 'k' processors tend to be a lot slower.