Hello, long time lurker first time poster. I am just about ready to
pull the trigger on purchasing new components to build a new pc. Since
this is the first time I am going to assemble from scratch, I figured
that I would run this build by the community and gather any
information/advise on the components I am selecting. My primary use
will be gaming (all settings to the max) and some video and photo
editing. I also plan to overclock as much as I can. I am going to
connect the computer to my Denon AVR (4308CI) receiver, set up in 7.1
surround, which then connects to my Sony LCD (52xbr5).
MB: P67 Asus Maximus IV Extreme (REV 3.0)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H70 or Antec Kuhler H20 920 or Noctua NH-D14
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3072MB (I plan on going SLI either immediately or in a month or so)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1866 (2 X 4GB) CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9 or G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 2133 (2 X 4GB) F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 128GB
HDD: WD Caviar Black SATA 3 1TB X 2 in RAID 0
PSU: Corsair AX1200
CASE: HAF X
OS: Windows 7 64bit Pro
So just a few questions:
1. I am thinking that the audio though the HDMI connection is
sufficient for my home theater system and that I do not need a sound
card, or should I get one?
2. I want the computer to be as silent as possible, which the NH-D14
is; however, the RAM that I am looking at won’t fit. That thing is
huge, and aesthetically….not so much. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing a few
decibels and a cleaner look inside of the case with the H70 or 920. I
wouldn’t mind replacing the fans on either of those units for a more
silent operation. So that is the dilemma. Which cooler and which ram
(and if replacing fans, which ones)?
3. The front fan is connected to a front panel on/off switch to control
the LED. I love this feature. Case fans going, and if streaming
something or watching a move, the LED can be turned off. I plan on
replacing/adding additional LED (or UV) case fans. Any out there
which can be “daisy-chained” to the on/off switch on the front of the
case? I know Bit Fenix is coming out with some LED fans with a separate
LED controller (which fits in an expansion slot on the back of the
case) and I think NZXT makes fans that are wired the correct way. Any
info on this is highly appreciated.
4. Is a fan controller nessary or are the headers on the MB or connecting
directly to the PSU sufficient? There will be a total of 1 X 230mm
(front), 3X 200mm (one side pannel, two top). To tidy up the inside and
not have the fans going full blast, I am thinking that the NZXT Sentry 2
or LX would be good.
5. Which Windows 7, Home Premium, Pro, or Ultimate?
6. Wait for the Z68? From what I understand, since I am going to be
using the GTX 580, eventually in SLI, there is really no benefit to the
onboard graphics and the SSD caching is still up in the air.
Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions, as they are greatly
appreciated. Also, thanks for reading through this long post.
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The Z68 chipset is out now and you want it. It's new features are very nice, and you can read all about it here on HotHardware.
HDMI audio is digital and is plenty good enough. (as good as it gets)
Win-7 Premium, Pro, or Ultimate are good, but get the 64 Bit Version of whatever you decide on. (not 32 Bit)
As you can see by my pictures, I like to use GSKill RAM in my builds. They always work well for me.
The H70 will cool that CPU with no problem and leave plenty of room inside the case too. I used two Enermax 120mm. fans in a Push/Pull configuration with one of my boxes. Link to the fans These fans move a lot of air and are low noise too.
The fans are set to pull air out of the case.
This is what they're installed into.
I also used Thermaltake 120mm. Silent Cats in another box with a H50 water cooler. Push/Pull also. Same thing with these fans, they're quiet and they move lots of air. LINK TO THEM HERE.
This next pic is is how they installed. Note the one side is without flanges, so you have to design the mounting to work. Well worth the time it took. All 4 of them move air out of the case.
What did you decide?
Thinking i am going to go with the G.Skill RAM, ASUS Z68 Pro, antec 920, while the rest stay the same.
It will be a kick-ass computer and you'll be on top of your game for a long time with it.
Looks like an awesome build, did you check out any of the other 580's? the ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II did pretty well except for the fact it's a triple slot card. The Kuhler 920 should be more than enough to keep the 2600k cool. Definitely post some pics when you get this thing built.
On a side note, have you thought about waiting until intel socket 2011 and amd bulldozer are released?
Oh and your psu seems like overkill. the maingear I won has similar specs(2600k, 580's in sli) and is rocking a seasonic 850 x-series.
I don't know how silent the haf x case is going to be though, it's all open and has the mindset to move as much air as possible to keep the whole system cool. Something like the corsair 800D might be a better choice if you are going for the silent machine.
@realneil makes a good point about windows, definitely go with the 64bit. I dont see why you would need to go pro or ultimate, home should be more than sufficient if you get the 64bit version.
I figure that when 2011 comes out, it will be much more expensive. Since I am concerned about the best gaming build i can do under 3K, sandy bridge offers that now.
I was considering the 800D. HAF X for me though. I saw both of them at the store, while the 800D is a nicer looking case (to me), the HAF X does provide more air cooling. It has the side pannel intake to direct cool air over the GPUs to keep them cool. Going SLI, that is a big deal for me.
H20 920 vs the NH-D14? I am leaning toward the NH-D14 now. I plan on overclocking and running at least at 4.4GHz 24/7. I love the clean look with the 920, but it is a noise vs. temp. looks between the two. I am having a hard time choosing a CPU cooler
I guess I like the appeal of the 920 because it's so much lighter than the nh-d14, much less stress on your motherboard, and you can use tall ram sticks with it. Here is a review of it if you are interested. http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1590/1/ Look at it this way, the two you are choosing from will both cool this thing really well.
Don't get me wrong, I love the haf-x. That is what I was going to get for my next build but I won the maingear so I didn't get it. I just thought it wouldn't be a very quite case. It will keep everything cool and offer a good platform for upgrades in the future.
You are totally right about 2011 being more expensive, no question about that. It's hard to say how expensive bulldozer will be though and how it will preform compared to sandy bridge.
Did you give any thought to a lower wattage psu?
I did, but I got a pretty good deal on the AX1200.
Did you order the parts yet?
I do have some parts; however I have decided to wait for the Maximus IV Extreme-Z to be released to complete the build
If you haven't ordered the heatsink, you might consider the SIlver Arrow instead. Quieter fans and just slightly better performance. I've seen it with G.Skill Ripjaws fit well enough.