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5. Re: Oct 2012 Rig Build Sep 28, 2012, 22:45 jimnms
I agree that an i5 would be better for gaming and overclocking and is cheaper. You shouldn't need to overclock it as my system with a first gen i5 750 at the stock 2.66GHz with a GTX 470 GPU can run every game I have maxed out. I did play with overclocking when I got it and I could take it up to 4.2GHz but it ran a bit hot. Any higher and it started to get errors on stress tests. I put it back to stock speeds and left it there since nothing has challenged it.

When you say no liquid cooling, are you ruling out coolers like the Corsair Hydro series? If so I think think you should really reconsider. I have the H50 and it is absolutely silent. I will never go back to the old heatsink and fan as long as these are around. It is a sealed system, so you don't have to worry about coolant and routing tubes. The fan and radiator mount where the rear fan goes, so there's no gigantic heatsink and fan mounted over the CPU to get in the way of other components.

I'm not partial to any particular mobo manufacturer, although my last three systems have had ASUS boards. I usually don't start researching and checking reviews on this stuff until I start planning a build.

For RAM, just stick with the good brands, and if you're overclocking get RAM that will run at the speeds you plan to run at. Go with 8GB minimum, but since you've got a nice budget why not go for 16GB. I originally had 4GB, but bought the 8GB on sale. My original 4GB kit is OCZ and the 8GB is Corsair. I ran with the 8GB for a week or so to test since I wasn't sure if the old RAM would play nice with the new RAM since they were different brand and timings. Even with 8GB it did hit the swap file with some games, but I was able to run both giving me 12GB and Windows has never touched the swap file since.

Going with a higher rated PSU won't use more electricity. I remember reading an article a while back that tested a bunch 80+ PSU's and found that PSU's are most efficient when run at about 50%. Search for a power supply calculator and see what you need. If your system needs 400 Watts, get an 800 Watt PSU. It will also leave room for expansion if you want to go SLI later. I have an 1100 Watt PSU, which IS overkill, but I won it in an online draw thingy. My UPS has a front display that can show power consumption and the power consumption was no different after putting in the 1100W PSU than the 650W it replaced. The 80+ cert if I remember just means that a PSU is 80% or greater efficient at 20% and higher loads.

One thing to keep in mind is modular power supplies are longer than regular ones. It shouldn't be an issue since they are more common now, but two builds ago I bought a modular PSU and had a hell of a time getting it in the case. My current case is easy to swap out. It has a plate on the back that you unscrew, attach to the PSU and slide in from the back then screw the plate back on to the case.

Personally I wouldn't even go with an SSD, IMO the price just isn't worth saving a few seconds on boot/load times. But it's your budget, if you have the money and think it's worth it, go for it.
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