View Full Version : Could use some help with a new build

19-10-2011, 11:35 PM
So, after years lazily relying on pre-built PCs I finally decided it was time to try building one of my own. After some research I came up with the following build:

Intel i5 2500K 3.30 GHZ
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev 3.0)
Corsair Vengeance 8GBs DDR 3 1600
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HD 7200 RPM
Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB HD 5400 RPM

And I'll be using my current Radeon HD 5770 video card and my Corsair TX 650W power source. I'll probably upgrade the video card next year, but since my monitor's max resolution is 1080p I doubt I'll ever need anything too high end.

Heat is a big concern for me. I live in a tropical hellhole and nearly every computer I ever lost went kaput because a cooler failed and something fried inside. I bought a Cooler Master 690 II Advance case since I heard it has great airflow.

So, some questions:

a) I plan on doing some light overclocking of the processor. Nothing too extreme, but enough to have it take everything I throw at it for the next 4-5 years. With that in mind, is the stock Intel cooler enough or should I invest in a better solution? And if so, would something like a Corsair H60 be overkill?

b) Speaking of overkill, is the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe too much? I choose that over the pro version because I always assume that anything that's more expensive must also automatically be better. Plus it has an LCD that displays error codes, and that sounds pretty neat.

c) I'm not going to do too much multi-tasking, so is 8GBs of RAM really necessary? Does it improve gaming performance noticeably over 4GBs?

d) My case has openings for fans in the front, back, top, bottom and I'm also gonna drill a hole on its side. What's the best configuration for optimal airflow? I'm thinking of having the front, side and bottom fans suck air from outside and the others blowing air from inside. Also, should I have the power source's fan sucking air in or expelling hot air out?

e) Finally, what's the one thing you wish you knew before you built your first system? Any general tips?


20-10-2011, 01:46 PM
a) The stock cooler will give you a bit of an OC but will be noisy doing it. A H60 probably would be overkill even given the heat you live in. It'll probably only gain you a few degrees over a decent air cooler like a Gelid Tranquillo or a Titan Fenrir which are much cheaper. Sandy Bridge chips run really cool anyway so you have to be looking for a really heavy overclock before top end coolers become necessary.

b) That board is excellent but incredibly pricey. If you're not going to use all the extra features (extra USB and SATA ports, bluetooth, firewire etc.) then it probably isn't worth it. Looking at reviews it performs well but not streets ahead of much cheaper options like the MSI P67A-GD53 so you'd likely be best off saving some cash.

c) Not at the minute no but it may in the future. If memory is the same silly cheap prices where you are as it is here then it's a fairly minimal extra cost and makes it that little bit more future proof.

d) Side fans are usually not good idea. They may better cool the part near them but they make the airflow more turbulent and overall have a negative effect. I think the currently preferred option is in through the front and out through the roof/back with floor mounted PSU cases. If I remember correctly the 690 could do with a few extra fans over its stock configuration. However I'm not massively into cooling (I care more about quiet) so I'm sure someone else can better advise you on that.

e) Don't forget the thermal paste or fan screws if they don't come with the products. Still often forget them to this day.

20-10-2011, 02:10 PM
Having built a pc myself for the first time, I can answer some of these questions, but sadly I'm not that much of a tech-guru:

a) The stock cooler is "ok", but if you have the room enough in that case for a custom cooler, it's a great addition. It really keeps your CPU cool, and is a significant improvement. Some considerations though:
- Does it fit when you case closes?
- Does is block memory lanes? (see my answer for e)
- Can you place it so the airflow is still optimal, instead of blowing hot air in the opposite direction for example

b) No clue, though I suggest looking more closely to the specs and ask yourself just how much room for upgrades (PCI-E mostly), how much USB2/USB3 ports / eSATA etc you want. And it can't hurt to check the layout (say also e). And of course check if it fits inside your case

c) Since memory is cheap these days, I'd say go for 8 GB. Make sure it's low profile memory though, if the memory lanes are close to the CPU (see e) again)

d) Can't help you with that, aside that cases usually have an optimised airflow. Don't place all your components close together if possible. More clearing means more cooling (but keep them in the fans flowpath)

e) During my building, I made these "learning moments":
- normal DDR3 RAM + memory lanes close to the CPU + a big CPU cooler = not possible. Made me buy a new set of memory of low profile memory.
- check if your cables are long enough if you want proper cable management. Sadly, a lot of PSU's don't take the extra routing in account.
- DVD/blu-ray drives are big. Mine collided with part of the motherboard when in the top position, but I guess the fact that the Silverstone FT02 is a weird case with the output connections on top.
- Check if there are 3.5" to 5.25" adapters included (for example when you add a card reader). Mine didn't, which added extra costs and more time before I finished the built.
- I bought a 27" monitor, just for the great looking heck of it. And it is very great. However, for my small desk, it is almost too big, and I have to lean back to have a good view. In other words: Don't be too greedy to buy the biggest things available. You might strangely regret it ;)

20-10-2011, 02:43 PM
Thanks guys!

I'll look into a more efficient (And affordable) air cooling solution then, since while noise isn't a primary concern it's still not something I want to completely overlook so the stock cooler is out. I'm actually glad I can skip the H60 - Though it looks nice it's very expensive. Also relieved drilling a hole on the side of the case isn't necessary, since case modding sounds a tad too advanced for my current PC building skills.
Just found a site selling the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for a good price and its reviews seem encouraging. Mmmm...

My motherboard choice is currently under review. I can't find that MSI board anywhere around here, though. Any opinions on the ASRock P67 Pro3?

Pointing out the space considerations was very helpful - I just assumed anything outside of a few beastly video cards would fit any mid-tower case, but I'm going to be more careful thinking of the component sizes now.

I'll start buying components early next month and will hopefully complete the build soon after. I'll try to do a postmortem on it here if I don't kill myself in the process.

23-10-2011, 03:18 PM
If you're looking at alternative boards check out the Maximus IV GENE-Z in terms of price:performance, gaming features and overclocking. Or, check out the P8Z68-V Pro/GEN3 if you're upgrading to PCIe 3.0 graphics cards next year, because you'll need the GEN3 switches for it to work at the higher speed. The GENE-Z also comes in a GEN3 version too. Also look at the relative UEFI BIOS' offered across the board and see what you prefer to use. If you really want to cut down the cost of motherboard try the P8P67-M Pro - mATX with upgraded VRM for overclocking.

If you want OCing guides I can link them in :)

You don't need something massive for the 2500K OC, a 212+ is pretty good (although tbh I haven't looked at the cooler market in a while. The last ones I bought was a Titan Fenrir and CoolerMaster V8).

Why do you want the 1TB 5400RPM drive? Can you drop it for an SSD instead? You'll notice this as the biggest performance improvement over a hard drive.

Your Radeon and the PSU will be fine for now, and the Vengence will work in that system. You can save money and get a 4GB kit of memory but how long do you intend to keep the PC? 8GB isn't that much more and it gives oooooodles of room. It won't make much difference in gaming but if you multi-task a lot it's certainly helpful.

24-10-2011, 11:50 PM

Thanks for the MOBO suggestions, the P8Z68-V specially looks pretty interesting. I think it's hard to judge a UEFI BIOS without actually using it, but from screenshots I've seen both ASUS and ASRock seem to have pretty user-friendly interfaces.

I'd certainly appreciate links to overclocking guides. I don't think I'm going to overclock anything for the first 6 months or so in order to test the system's stability under regular conditions, but after that it's on.

The 5400RPM drive will mostly house my digital pictures, movies and music collection and maybe a backup of some choice folders from my main HD. I definitely want an SSD but it's far too expensive right now for me to justify it (I'll wait until a 100GB drive can be found for $ 100.00 or less).

10-11-2011, 03:02 PM
It's done. Took me about 6 hours and I now know cable management isn't my forte (Or building computers, for that matter).

Thing is, my CPU seems kinda slow. In fact, I can barely tell the difference between my new i5 and my old core 2 duo, though granted I haven't installed any CPU-intensive games yet.

Is there a good program I could use to benchmark and test the stability of my CPU?

11-11-2011, 12:18 PM
You probably won't notice much in terms of CPU - unless you have a solid state hard-disk, and even then, your loading times/speed will be bottlenecking on accessing the data. That's generally why their so highly recommended. Run a windows experience index if your still not sure - it will rate your CPU and data access, and to a degree give you some idea.

Otherwise, check the BIOS settings - could be throttling.