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Need config parts help for first gaming rig

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stayghost View Drop Down
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Need config parts help for first gaming rig
    Posted: 15 Mar 2012 at 4:31pm
Hello,

Looking to buy my first custom gaming rig and need a bit of help with components since I'm not that knowledgeable on brands and compatibility. Playing games at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Here's what I think I want -

Processor:  i7
Ram: 8 gigs
Mobo:  good for the future (sandy bridge? sli?)
Vid cards:   near top end-ish, in SLI or crossfire (570's?)
Cooling:  good quality (a70?)
Hard drives:  was thinking on something like a 128 SSD for OS and normal 1 Tera for storage?
PSU:   enough juice for the SLI, some headroom for the future maybe? not overboard
Case:  nice airflow, cool looking but subdued
Extras:  might need some extra fans in there? don't want to sound like a wind turbine tho lol

Any help with a moderately priced config would be GREATLY appreciated! Big%20smile





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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 11:59am
Hello stayghost,
 
 
I will very much enjoy helping you with this build! If you don't mind, can you please send me an email so I have your email address? This will allow me to send you an official AVADirect quote.
 
Please feel free to include any questions you may have as well.
 
Thank you for posting on AVAForums!
Joseph Mundy
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2012 at 1:22am
Hi Joseph,

I sat on the original spec you sent me because a friend recommended I wait for the Keplar cards and Ivy Bridge release. Now that they are both here I am looking to make a buy! Here is a rough framework for you to critique:

GAMING PC Core™ i5 / i7 Z77 2-way SLI® / CrossFireX™ Custom Gaming System    
  •     INTEL Core™ i7-3770K Quad-Core 3.5 - 3.9GHz TB
  •     CORSAIR CAFA70 CPU Cooler
  •     PROLIMATECH Thermal Compound, 5 g
  •     SERVICE Mild Overclocking, 10-20% Performance Increase
  •     ASUS Maximus V Gene, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-2800 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /1+1*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 3Gb/s /2, DP + HDMI, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, GbLAN, mATX, Retail
  •     KINGSTON 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM
  •     EVGA GeForce® GTX 680 Superclocked 1058MHz, 2GB
  •     CRUCIAL 128GB M4 SSD
  •     SEAGATE 1TB Barracuda
  •     RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
  •     SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay
  •     SONY AD-7280S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner
  •     COOLER MASTER HAF X (RC-942-KKN1) Black Tower Case w/ Window
  •     CORSAIR HX1050 Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 1050W, 80 PLUS® Silver
  •     MICROSOFT Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM


Here are some things I am debating:

  1. Overclock - I'm reading Ivy Bridge runs a little hotter so I'm thinking I'm safer asking for a mild overclock. Or is that not even worth it if I'm only going to do mild?
  2. CPU Cooler - looking for great cooling and low noise. I hear the Corsair A70 and Nocturna D14 are the very good. But they do look huge! I've also heard good things about the Corsair H100 closed loop water setup but I've never done liquid before so it makes me nervous that it will leak. Dead
  3. Motherboard - here I'm really lost. I read something about needing the Z77's if I want to Overclock and SLI. I saw good things said about Asus Sabertooth, Asus Maximus V Gene, etc. But I also see a Gigabyte with wifi and stuff in your config but I'm just not sure on quality
  4. Case - debating on a few - Corsair 600T, Cooler Master HAF X, SilverStone FT02R.
    Love the look of the Corsair 600T, read some have issues with the fan control. HAF X gets top marks for cooling and noise, though it's gigantic. SilverStone FT02R gets high marks for cooling but needs that 90 degree flip of the motherboard.

    I did see this new HAF XM case that just came out a week or two agi that looks like it might be a good middle ground for me if you guys could order one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119257&Tpk=HAF%20XM

Thoughts on how I should tweak would be much appreciated! Big%20smile

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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2012 at 11:15am

Hello stayghost,

 

Happy to see you back on here! The build looks great and I like the improvements you made.

 

1.    Correct, reports are showing the Ivy Bridge can run hotter with an overclock, compared to Sandy Bridge. Mild overclocking is a great way to get a little boost out of your processor. It's well worth it if you choose a moderately priced cooler to handle the overclock. That Corsair cooler is great, however you can receive close results with something like this: http://www.avadirect.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-Plus

 

2.    As I mentioned above, a mild overclock is not something you want to invest a lot of costs into, otherwise you might as well go with an aggressive overclock. You want to balance the mild overclock with a low-cost cooler, thus helping stretch your dollar further.

 

3.    ASUS boards have always been a favorite of mine, and I use them in my systems at home. I don't think you should proceed with the Maximus board unless you will overclock aggressively. The board has features to accommodate such a desire, so it's like purchasing a vehicle designed for off-roading when you only plan to drive to and from work everyday. I recommend the Sabertooth, it has enough features to accommodate a mild overclock, and will not provide more than you will actually use/need.

 

4.    It seems like you want a good balance between the Corsair 600T and Coolermaster HAF X. That being said, The HAF XM is an excellent choice and I'm confident we will begin to offer it very soon. Cooler Master has always offered great expandability with their cases, so you cannot go wrong with them!

 

Feel free to post any questions you can think of, after considering my recommendations! Remember, you want a system that will last you for a while, so keep specifications in mind. If you would prefer to have more powerful components now, to last you into your next system, that’s smart. You could also keep the configuration as is, and set yourself up with an awesome CPU Cooler (Corsair H100) and case with the intent to set an extreme overclock in the future, thus extending the usefulness of the system into the future. Try to gauge what you feel you might need 2-3 years from now, so once that point in time arrives you have a system that is fully capable, and will last up to 5 years.

 
 
Joseph Mundy
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2012 at 6:03pm
Thanks Joseph,

Like you suggest, my aim is to build a system to last me the next few years and be ready for upgrades should the time come. That is why I am trying to make sure I have a MB that can SLI if I need it down the line, and a PSU with headroom to handle two vid cards. I can always pop in more ram chips. The use will be gaming and everyday computing.

As far as the processor goes, that's where I'm still stuck. I've been over analyzing this for hours.
Cry
  • Get i7k Ivy Bridge and have you guys do a mild overclock
  • Get i7k Sandy Bridge and have you guys overclock because it's more stable
  • Get i7k Ivy Bridge and just leave it at stock speed
  • Get i5k SB or IB...  some people say gamers should just get the i5 models instead of i7 because it's barely a noticeable difference and it's a $130 savings.

Heck, I'm only using this for games and everyday computing so not sure if all this overclocking is worth the hassle. On the flipside ... maybe it's dumb to get a system with this potential and not OC it! One thing I know is that I'm not comfortable with trying to OC it myself down the line so it's probably I either get it done by you guys before it's shipped to me or nothing.

If you were in my shoes - what would you pickup for a Processor & Cooler for this rig?

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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2012 at 10:41am
You're welcome, stayghost.
 
If I were in your position, I would first shoot for an i5 processor; that's the practical decision. However, I'm the type of individual that enjoys knowing that I have some awesome, powerful components in my computer so I would be willing to spend the extra $100+ to have an i7 processor...that's just me though. By all means, go with the i5 processor and save the funds, and use the savings to use an extreme overclock with the H100 Corsair unit. You can expect some exceptional results, especially for a closed-loop system. Although you can choose an extreme overclocking service through us, we still consider a reasonable stability point to make sure it does not cause more harm than good. If this is an option you begin to seriously consider, make sure you choose a case that will accommodate the H100 without issues...many cases seem to have some minor issues with mounting positions for the H100, so you just have to do some research, find what appeals to you, and move forward.
 
Feel free to continue posting with any questions!
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2012 at 3:09pm
Awesome advice - thanks again!

Would you recommend I grab Sandy or Ivy bridge for an extreme overclock with the H100?

Honestly the H100 makes me nervous regarding leakage and ruining my new rig due to some reviews I've read. Some people recommend the Noctua DH14 as an alternative. Maybe my fears of the H100 are unfounded and I'm just being paranoid though?
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  Quote vikonic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2012 at 4:04pm
stayghost,

There have been several reports on the Hydro series leaking and causing damage to certain system components. Although the leaks are possible, there is as much chance of liquid leaking out of the hydro as any other closed-loop or full blown liquid cooling system, I guess you can call it the nature of the beast.

The best risk-free option would be to stick to air cooling only. Noctua DH14 is a great piece and will allow quite a decent overclock.

Going back to hydro series, just as a side note, in cases of leakage corsair has typically stepped in and helped out their customers by providing partial reimbursements in case of component failures such as CPU, motherboard and video card.

To sum up, hydro series will provide great cooling performance, albeit with a small risk of possible leakage. Air coolers will provide peace of mind but the overclock capabilities will be decreased.
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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2012 at 4:54pm
Hello stayghost,
 
 
Vedran is right, there are reports of the H series Corsair units leaking/failing, but the rate has not been enough for us to consider discontinuing the sale of the coolers. If anything, be sure to prepare yourself for the risks should anything happen. In my opinion, if you want the best outcome you should consider a custom liquid cooling system. It will come with a cost increase, but the end-result is amazingly rewarding and something to be extremely proud of. No matter what type of liquid cooling solution choose, there will always be risks involved. I agree with Vedran, and if you want an absolute, no-doubt safe solution then air will be your best bet...Think of liquid cooling as a project; if you ever decide to get into it, do some research and decide if you're capable of giving it a shot. Keep in mind, it's only intended for the experienced and not for the weak-hearted enthusiasts. Wink
 
 
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2012 at 4:09pm
Awesome guys - thanks to your above and beyond feedback I am confident in the build I want and ready to place my order. Big%20smile

Just waiting for the HAF XM to show up in the configurator so I can finalize. I know it's been live on other e-tailers for over a week now so I would assume you guys have it up anyday now? Any ETA on those?

Let me know so you can TAKE MY MONEY! Cool
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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2012 at 12:53pm
Hello Stayghost,
 
 
You're very welcome, it's been a pleasure to assist you!
 
Yes, we should list the HAF XM any day now. I will check with my webmaster and see what he has to say on the subject. Feel free to continue posting on the forum with any questions you may have.
 
Take your money? You make it sound like a robbery! LOL We do provide a service to the public, good sir, but we shall ACCEPT your money in trade for a high quality custom computer assembled by enthusiasts such as you and I, how does that sound?
 
Also, when the HAF XM case is added let us know if you would like to take advantage of one of the maximum fan packages we offer. We will basically outfit the entire case with fans, aspossiblee, to ensure your computer receives the best airflow possible. They may not all be needed, but if definitely doesn't hurt to play it safe!
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jmundy - 08 May 2012 at 12:57pm
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2012 at 5:49pm
Excellent, I'll keep my eyes on the forum and configurator to see when the XM is added.

Not implying a robbery, just awesomeness Star - per the meme:
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/shut-up-and-take-my-money


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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2012 at 10:45am
I understood, just purposely taking it literal and out of context for fun. Smile
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2012 at 4:28pm
Hi Joseph -

It's been a month since the HAF XM launch and it's still not showing as a config option. I know you were looking into availability with your webmaster. I've been watching for it ready to pull the trigger. Wink

I leave for vacation tonight and will be returning 6/8.

Could you please follow-up with your webmaster and see if it can be made available for a build at that time? If not, would buying it from another vendor and sending it to you guys for the build be an option? Please let me know. I'll touch base when I return!
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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2012 at 4:18pm
Hello Stayghost,
 
 
I see, funny you mention that! I was actually just following the progress of availability for the HAF XM case. It's now listed on many reseller websites, therefore we should have absolutely no problems obtaining it ourselves. I sent a request to the webmaster to have the case added to all of our configurations, so you should see that effective sometime on Monday.
 
No need to worry about purchasing the case yourself, and losing out on our 3-year limited warranty. Cooler Master is a brand that we carry in all of our Gaming systems, performance systems, budget systems, and even workstation system configurations. I'm confident that, once they see it's a Cooler Master case that pertains to the request, they will happily add it to our website for you and the rest of our customers to take advantage of.
 
Feel free to post any questions in the mean time!
 
 
 
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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2012 at 5:50pm
Check it out: http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_parts.asp?prid=24630
Clap
 
Also posted in all of our configurators, so you can now see the Cooler Master HAF XM case listed as an option.
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  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2012 at 5:48pm
Awesome, plan to buy ASAP. Just wanted to run my tentative build by you guys with a few questions:

 GAMING PC Core™ i5 / i7 Z77 2-way SLI® / CrossFireX™ Custom Gaming System     $2116.48      UPDATE     $2116.48

  •     INTEL Core™ i7-3770K Quad-Core 3.5 - 3.9GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 8MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST HT VT-x XD, Retail
  •     NOCTUA NH-D14 CPU Cooling Fan, Socket 1155/1156/1366/775/FM1/AM3/AM2, Copper/Aluminum, Retail
  •     PROLIMATECH Thermal Compound, 5 g
  •     SERVICE Mild Overclocking, 10-20% Performance Increase
  •     ASUS Sabertooth Z77, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-1866 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /1+1*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 3Gb/s /4, DP + HDMI, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, GbLAN, ATX, Retail
  •     KINGSTON 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
  •     EVGA GeForce® GTX 670 915MHz, 2GB GDDR5 6008MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, 2x DVI + HDMI + DP, OEM
  •     CRUCIAL 128GB M4 SSD, MLC Marvell 88SS9174, 500/175 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail
  •     WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD Caviar® Blue™ (WD10EALX), SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB cache, OEM
  •     RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
  •     SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB
  •     SONY AD-7280S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM
  •     COOLER MASTER HAF XM (RC-922XM-KKN1) Black Mid-Tower Case, EATX, 8 slots, No PSU, Steel/Plastic
  •     CUSTOM WIRING Standard Wiring with Precision Cable Routing and Tie-Down
  •     CORSAIR HX1050 Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 1050W, 80 PLUS® Silver, 24-pin ATX12V 2.2 EPS12V 2.91, 6x 8/6-pin PCIe, Retail
  •     MICROSOFT Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM
  •     GAMING PC Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)
  •     SERVICE Standard Shipping (UPS, DHL, or Fedex)


Questions:

  1. Cooler:   I know the Noctua is a bit overkill for a mild overclock, but I read reviews that say it is very quiet. I guess I'm just scared the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is loud. That being said this is my first custom so I'm only used to hearing stock coolers. Would you say it's worth it to get the Noctua or I wouldn't notice the difference and should grab the Evo?
  2. Mobo:     Is the Sabertooth overkill and I should grab a different model Asus?
  3. RAM:       I was thinking about getting 16gb to be more future proof but everywhere I read says it's pointless.
  4. Windows:    Is there some reason that it's better to grab PRO instead of HOME? I forget but I think I read some where that it had to do with RAM recognition.
  5. GPU:    I'm thinking dropping down to the gtx670 instead of the 680 so i can invest in other components. Are they close enough performance wise where that makes sense or its worth it for me to go for the 680?
  6. Fans:   I see most people recommend adding a 2nd OEM 200mm fan to the top of the HAF-X. Should I do the same for the XM?

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  Quote Jmundy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2012 at 9:37pm
Hello Stayghost,
 
 
Excellent, I'm happy to assist you with your questions!
 
1. I've had much experience with many different air coolers, enough to know when there's a significant difference. I own a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler ( RR-212E-20PK-R2 ) and I can tell you that the noise levels are more than acceptable. I installed the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler ( RR-212E-20PK-R2 ) in my fiancé's computer, as opposed to a retail Intel heatsink, after noticing the temperatures were not acceptable and the noise level is much better. Her system was noticeably quiet with a retail heatsink, and the fact that I still cannot hear her computer run should say something. Even with overclocking, I think you will have nothing to worry about. vikonic would agree with me, as he had the same Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler ( RR-212E-20PK-R2 ) and overclocked with it. I remember him mentioned how pleased he was with the noise and temperature levels. Unless you are willing to pay for the best, to simply say you have the "best", then the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler ( RR-212E-20PK-R2 ) will do, easily.
 
2. That all depends, if the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 motherboard has BIOS features that you're looking for, relative to overclocking settings, or auto-overclock features, then you're headed in the right direction. If you can't tell the difference, over other ASUS boards, and don't require a specific set of rear-panel ports, then you may be purchasing more than you need. You always want a motherboard that is just right for your uses. It's like purchasing a car fit for auto-crossing when all you need is a vehicle to get to and from work, it's pointless and an excess in spending.
 
3. That's true, more RAM will not boost your performance, only increase the amount of productivity your computer will provide, if you plan on running multiple applications at once. Although, RAM prices are the cheapest they have ever been, so upgrading to 16Gb of Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz RAM ( KHX1600C9D3K4/16GX )should run you around +$50-$60, which is worth having for that "peace of mind" that you will never have to worry about needing more RAM.
 
4. Windows Home Premium 64-bit ( GFC-02050 )has a RAM limitation of 16GB, which includes the use of your video RAM on the EVGA GeForce® GTX 670 2GB graphics card ( 04G-P4-2673-BR ). So, if you decide to upgrade to 16GB of RAM, then only 14GB of your system RAM will be usable. If you do decide to upgrade your RAM, then you will want to upgrade Windows to Professional 64-bit ( FQC-04649 ), which has a RAM limitation of 192GB.
 
5. The EVGA GTX 670 ( 04G-P4-2673-BR ) has been compared to the performance of a EVGA GTX 580 (  015-P3-1582-TR ), and for almost $100 less in cost. That makes the card a worth choice, but if you're looking for performance better than the EVGA GTX 580 ( 015-P3-1582-TR ), then the The EVGA GTX 670 ( 04G-P4-2673-BR ) is something you will want to consider. You could always invest in another The EVGA GTX 670 ( 04G-P4-2673-BR <-- part numbers have to match between all cards ) in the future, and SLI both cards for increased performance. This allows you to make less of an investment now, and consider it later if the performance is not to your liking in 3+ years. Your Corsair HX1050 Power Supply ( CMPSU-1050HX ) is more than enough to support an SLI setup, in fact, it could support a triple-SLI setup if ever consider it!
 
6. I struggled with the best way to air-cool my system, pre-liquid cooling, and found that adding a plethora of fans made very little difference on my components. If anything, all it does is create a better ambient temperature. Your case will feel cooler to the touch, and noise levels will increase as you add more fans. With all those factors considered, it's really moot to just add the maximum amount of fans, thinking it will help your component temperatures. Unless, if you plan to have multiple graphics cards then that will certainly be worth considering.
 
Okay, I've left you with enough to ponder. Rather than put you in overload, feel free to sleep on some of my recommendations and post your thoughts on this thread. Wink
 
Remember, if you have an overall idea of what you want out of your computer, it does not necessarily mean it has to be accomplished right away. If you want a level of performance, but can't quite obtain it at the moment, leave your system open for upgrades so you can hit that level of performance down the line. I always wanted a liquid cooling system, but couldn't afford it all right out the gate. So, I started with a simple mATX gaming system, air cooled, and upgrade pieces of it as time went by. Now, one year later, I have exactly what I wanted from the beginning. It took longer, but was easier to do over time, rather than right away. In my opinion, I would opt for a single EVGA GTX 670 ( 04G-P4-2673-BR ) for now, and plan around having an SLI setup, whether it be a dual or a triple SLI, depending on what you're most comfortable with. The Cooler Master cases will support either of the setups you decide on, so it's just a matter of what you want to do. It would certainly allow you to keep adding to gaming performance, without having to consider full-blown upgrades.
 
 


Edited by Jmundy - 11 Jun 2012 at 9:52pm
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  Quote vikonic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2012 at 12:52pm
Stayghost,
 
I think that the addition of a secondary 200mm on top of the case is not necessary considering that the current fan already moves enough air through the case. If anything, I believe that the only difference you're going to see is the additional noise by the second 200mm fan. Considering you went with Noctua fan instead, I would assume that the noise levels are somewhat of a concern of yours, so this is something to keep in mind.
 
16GB of RAM could be an overkill if you're an average user and do mild-heavy gaming. However, if you do any kind of video processing, then sky is the limit. In that case it's best to get as much RAM as possible. But, I think 16GB is a good place to be. If you decide you want to knock that down towards the price of a better component somewhere else, 8GB is also adequate.
Vedran Ikonic
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
  Quote stayghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2012 at 4:23pm
thanks again Joseph!

I noticed that the first 8gig RAM kit you recommended for the Sabertooth was 1.5v and this 16gig kit you just recommended was for 1.65v. Is there a specific voltage I should stick with or it doesn't matter as long as it's 1600mhz?

As a random aside - I know nothing about the bios features and such of the motherboard, just going based on your recommendations for a quality product. I doubt I would ever mess with OC settings and such myself.




Edited by stayghost - 14 Jun 2012 at 4:26pm
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