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Old 11-13-2012, 09:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Best Computer case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalinkwent726 View Post
First let me start out by saying that I am new to Tech Forums and just want to say hi to everyone. Also I am very new to the PC world and I am in the process of building my first computer.

So on to my question, I am looking for a mid-tower case that is under or around 100 dollars. I have a case now but when I bought it I was worried about price, not functionality or looks. So I have decided to send it back and look for a new one. I would prefer a case that is very functional (since that will make it easier on me to build this computer) also looks would be a plus as well. I would really appreciate any help/input anybody could provide.

So on to what parts I have/ will be getting for this build (if anybody sees any discrepancies here could you tell me please?)

1) Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel 7 Series Mobo
2) Either a i5-3570k or the i7-3770k
3) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B Desktop Memory Kit
8gb
4) Geforce 660ti (no really sure on the brand yet, or if I'm going to get the msi power edition)
5) Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE 70SB057000001 Sound Card
6)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
7)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular Gaming psu (have it)
8)
Lite-On iHBS11204 12x Internal Blu-Ray Burner
9)
WD Blue WD10EALX 1TB Desktop Hard Drive10) And of course the case =)

Hello All! First post here, but veteran of OCN/TPU (and most BMW forums, but not so relevant).

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in, hoping that I could be of some help!

1) Good MoBo, but depending on your price range, you can really step up to a much better board for not a whole lot more money. Now, the "best" boards (i.e. Asus M5E/M5F, GB UP7, ASR EX9, etc) may be out of your price range, although you can get "open box" Maximus 5 Formula boards for ~$200, but I would strongly suggest looking for something like:
- Gigabyte UD5H ~$170 (3x PCIe3.0 instead of 2x, more connectivity, and better VRMs/MOSFETs/Chokes)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ~$180 (2x Thunderbolt connectors, hugely better power regulation, 3 instead of 2 PCIe3.0 slots, better overclocking)
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula ~$200 w Rebate (excellent power regulation and cooling, 10x total SATA3/6 connectors for huge amounts of storage, very strong overclocking)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH ~$210-240 depending on rebates (best power delivery outside of the 2x more expensive UP7, dual-TB connectors + good SATA3/6 options, 3x PCIe3.0, good looking board, and honestly would be my personal choice)
- Asus Z77 Sabertooth ~$200-230 (one of the best of the Z77 boards outside of the "Extreme" models and has pretty much everything you could want)
Just some suggestions...
2) The 3770K will be the better processor in the long-run, with an extra 2MB L3 cache and of course HyperThreading which really does make a difference in any multi-threaded workload. Now that the next-gen of consoles is in the not-too-distant future, and with games becoming more and more heavily multithreaded, I think it is a wise choice to go 4c/8t over 4c/4t. Also, if you have a MicroCenter nearby, you can pick up the 3770K + MB (Sabertooth, UP5, UD5H, Maximus V, and a bunch of Asus P8Z77 boards) for an extra $40 off the already significantly-lower prices (compared to any online retailer I've seen). I got my 3930K + Rampage IV Extreme from MicroCenter for $838 total.
3) I STRONGLY recommend against Corsair memory, as the Vengeance line is just a dressed-up "budget" line with poor IMC's, and their only decent memory, the Dominator kits, come at insane prices. I used to be a big fan of Corsair, but anymore and they rely on their name to sell substandard parts for standard prices while charging a huge premium for "premium" parts. Out of all the various memory kits I've used over the years, there are TWO that I recommend above and beyond anything else, as in, nothing else can touch these...
- G.Skill RipjawsZ 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 kit also available in a 2x4GB kit; I have gotten mine to ~DDR3-2475 10-12-10-30 at 1.655v (DDR3-2425 9-11-11-30 @ 1.66v), as well as DDR3-2133 9-10-9-26 1T 1.65v, DDR3-1866 8-9-8-24 1T 1.575v, and DDR3-1600 6-7-7-21 1T 1.55v... Insanely flexible, and that's with a 3930K, so your IVB setup will be able to push the memory much higher than my 6-core can... Watch for a deal and you can snag the kit (F3-17000CL9Q-16GZHB is the kit model number, I think) for $100, with retail around $120...
- Samsung DDR3-1600 Ultra-Low-Voltage 1.35v RAM 2x4GB Kits; check out the HUGE thread @ OCN about this, with many people hitting DDR3-2800 11-11-11-32 at 1.525v (crazy!), or DDR3 2500-2600 9-11-10-30-to-10-10-10-30 with no more than 1.50v! Plus, it's all of $90 for 16GB!
4) The 660Ti is certainly no slouch, but if you can afford the extra ~$40, you can grab an EVGA GTX670FTW for $349 right now at Newegg! I have one, and it is by far my favorite card that I've used, and it's running under water courtesy of a Heatkiller GPU^3 GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate and easily hits 1300core/7850mem. Built on the full GTX680 PCB, it has better cooling and voltage regulation than reference 670's, and unlike the 660 (Ti or not), it has the full 256bit memory bus intact. The memory bus is reason enough to spring for the 670, as the 256bit bus is by far the biggest bottleneck that Kepler has, so losing 25% of that is not something I would ever want to do. Also, the 2GB cards are all you will need, as you won't see 4-6GB of VRAM usage (realistically) until you've already upgraded to the 7xx or 8xx series.
5) If you get one of the better MB's listed above, you can erase this entirely. I do professional audio recording, mixing, and editing, and I can tell you that 99.5% of people who have sound cards in their PC are getting NO BETTER SOUND THAN THE ONBOARD!!! The newest onboard CODEC's are impressive, especially the ALC898, and while I do have an HT|Omega Claro Halo PCIex1 card, I use it almost exclusively for professional-level work and use the onboard for "fun" (and this is listening via Grado RS1i's/PS1000's, Behringer Bi-Amped Studio Monitor 3-way speakers powered by a quartet of McIntosh Labs amplifiers, and so forth). Buy an inexpensive headphone amp, and enjoy the good sound you'll already have
6) The 212+Evo is a great HSF for the money, but I want to tell you something that I hope will always stick in your head: "Every 10C you lower the average operating temperature of a component, you double its life expectancy". HEAT KILLS! Now, while I must say that custom liquid cooling is BY FAR the best way to go for a daily-use rig, it's not cheap. So, for air cooling, you're looking at MORE than just the HSF, you have to match the case, the heatsink, the case fans, the heatsink fans, and so forth, and balance everything well.
Depending on the MB you get, you may actually be significantly better off with a downward-blowing HSF to prevent your VRM's from getting too hot, as tower heatsinks tend to prevent them from getting much cooling (although with the GB UP-series boards, that's far less an issue).
If you do go with the Hyper212+EVO, I would definitely recommend upgrading the fan to a set of fans (push-pull), and going with some high-static-pressure fans such as the Koolance 120x25mm or 120x38mm 2600rpm fans which, for just $6-8/ea, push an astonishing 5.4mmH2O/6.4mmH2O pressure and 107.4cfm/118cfm (plus, they are dual-ball-bearing motors!), while being completely reasonable in volume! They are my absolute favorite fans for Heatsinks and Radiators, and outside of some extremely pricey Sanyo Denkei fans, I have yet to own a single fan that is better-rounded!!!
However, I would consider doubling your budget for a cooler, and getting something with more than 3-4 heatpipes; I find that 5-6x8mm or 8x6mm direct-touch heatpipes is the sweet-spot, personally.
*For Thermal Paste, or TIM, I HIGHLY recommend Prolimatech PK1; it performs better than anything I have ever used outside of the liquid metals, but it is non-conductive (and also very forgiving of imperfect mounts)
7) *skip*
8) Not much to say here except that you should seriously consider getting a single external BD-drive, as you will hardly ever need to use it for anything except movies and occasional .ISO's, so the ability to use it on multiple PC's and take it anywhere outweighs having it inside your case, I promise!!
9) WD Black 1TB or WD RE4 1TB are the best bets, IMO; both still have a full 5-year warranty, and while I prefer the RE4 (basically "very-highly-binned Blacks") as I use RAID arrays in everything and have never lost a single one after the first week of use (if a drive is going to fail, IME, it'll fail in the first week; if it makes it through the first week without a single issue, it'll have a long and happy life; I've had 3 fail in the first week and 6 DOA's out of 76 total RE4's; I blame the AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL SHIPPING OF NEWEGG!!!). The absolute best is the WD Velociraptor, and you can get the 300GB for $69 right now, a great price. I have a number of those as well, and they are the absolute most-reliable and fastest drives out there, period (not including enterprise-level SAS 15krpm drives...), and I have had the same exact 8-disk RAID5E (RAID5 + Hot Spare) array of 600GB VR's running off an LSI RAID Controller Card (with 4GB DDR3 cache and Battery backup) for 422 days now without one error or one drive loss; average throughput on sequential reads/writes is ~650MB/s read and 670-700MB/s write with the upgraded RAID Card cache.
I would next recommend the WD Blue 1GB EZEX, with the 1TB/platter. Very fast, and very consistent. Expect ~135-160MB/s average reads/writes throughout the entire drive (~180MB/s or more if you short-stroke it).

However, I have to suggest that you get an SSD above ALL ELSE!!! Stay away from OCZ, and stick with Samsung or Intel (or Crucial). I have yet to find a better all-around SSD than the Samsung 830 256GB. It is almost 100% reliable, is made 100% in-house, uses <25nm Toggle-NAND and a proprietary 3-core controller, and it is equally fast with uncompressed and compressed files. Companies like OCZ show you "best case scenario", but I have never once NOT gotten BETTER than advertised numbers with my Samsung!! Seriously, it outperforms its specs by 4-18%!! Also, check the "SSD Torture Test" and you will see that it has survived over a hundred-thousand read/write cycles without dying, while the OCZ/Corsair/etc all were dead before the Samsung even showed the slightest signs of wear!

For $150-160, a 256GB Samsung 830 is the absolute best money you will spend on this PC, I promise! Intel SSD's are good, but too expensive. Crucial are equivalently priced and not quite as reliable (but better than most), but significantly slower. OCZ has a bad rap for a reason. Corsair is EXTREMELY hit or miss.

As for a case: the NZXT Switch 810, which you can get for $110 right now at Micro Center, is the absolute best case I've ever owned outside of a $835 custom CaseLabs TH10. In fact, I like the Switch 810 just as much as the TH10!
The Switch is truly the best mix of air/water cooling case capabilities on the market, bar none. 9x 140mm/120mm fans total (comes with 4), and it's set up to have a very good balance of intake/exhaust. The quality is very high, and I wouldn't choose anything else over it (pre-built), not a $480 Silverstone, a $600 Lian-Li, or especially not a $300 Corsair 800D or CM Cosmos II.

Pack it with good fans, and you will be loving life


I really hope this helps!!!
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post
Hello All! First post here, but veteran of OCN/TPU (and most BMW forums, but not so relevant).

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in, hoping that I could be of some help!

1) Good MoBo, but depending on your price range, you can really step up to a much better board for not a whole lot more money. Now, the "best" boards (i.e. Asus M5E/M5F, GB UP7, ASR EX9, etc) may be out of your price range, although you can get "open box" Maximus 5 Formula boards for ~$200, but I would strongly suggest looking for something like:
- Gigabyte UD5H ~$170 (3x PCIe3.0 instead of 2x, more connectivity, and better VRMs/MOSFETs/Chokes)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ~$180 (2x Thunderbolt connectors, hugely better power regulation, 3 instead of 2 PCIe3.0 slots, better overclocking)
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula ~$200 w Rebate (excellent power regulation and cooling, 10x total SATA3/6 connectors for huge amounts of storage, very strong overclocking)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH ~$210-240 depending on rebates (best power delivery outside of the 2x more expensive UP7, dual-TB connectors + good SATA3/6 options, 3x PCIe3.0, good looking board, and honestly would be my personal choice)
- Asus Z77 Sabertooth ~$200-230 (one of the best of the Z77 boards outside of the "Extreme" models and has pretty much everything you could want)
Just some suggestions...
2) The 3770K will be the better processor in the long-run, with an extra 2MB L3 cache and of course HyperThreading which really does make a difference in any multi-threaded workload. Now that the next-gen of consoles is in the not-too-distant future, and with games becoming more and more heavily multithreaded, I think it is a wise choice to go 4c/8t over 4c/4t. Also, if you have a MicroCenter nearby, you can pick up the 3770K + MB (Sabertooth, UP5, UD5H, Maximus V, and a bunch of Asus P8Z77 boards) for an extra $40 off the already significantly-lower prices (compared to any online retailer I've seen). I got my 3930K + Rampage IV Extreme from MicroCenter for $838 total.
3) I STRONGLY recommend against Corsair memory, as the Vengeance line is just a dressed-up "budget" line with poor IMC's, and their only decent memory, the Dominator kits, come at insane prices. I used to be a big fan of Corsair, but anymore and they rely on their name to sell substandard parts for standard prices while charging a huge premium for "premium" parts. Out of all the various memory kits I've used over the years, there are TWO that I recommend above and beyond anything else, as in, nothing else can touch these...
- G.Skill RipjawsZ 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 kit also available in a 2x4GB kit; I have gotten mine to ~DDR3-2475 10-12-10-30 at 1.655v (DDR3-2425 9-11-11-30 @ 1.66v), as well as DDR3-2133 9-10-9-26 1T 1.65v, DDR3-1866 8-9-8-24 1T 1.575v, and DDR3-1600 6-7-7-21 1T 1.55v... Insanely flexible, and that's with a 3930K, so your IVB setup will be able to push the memory much higher than my 6-core can... Watch for a deal and you can snag the kit (F3-17000CL9Q-16GZHB is the kit model number, I think) for $100, with retail around $120...
- Samsung DDR3-1600 Ultra-Low-Voltage 1.35v RAM 2x4GB Kits; check out the HUGE thread @ OCN about this, with many people hitting DDR3-2800 11-11-11-32 at 1.525v (crazy!), or DDR3 2500-2600 9-11-10-30-to-10-10-10-30 with no more than 1.50v! Plus, it's all of $90 for 16GB!
4) The 660Ti is certainly no slouch, but if you can afford the extra ~$40, you can grab an EVGA GTX670FTW for $349 right now at Newegg! I have one, and it is by far my favorite card that I've used, and it's running under water courtesy of a Heatkiller GPU^3 GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate and easily hits 1300core/7850mem. Built on the full GTX680 PCB, it has better cooling and voltage regulation than reference 670's, and unlike the 660 (Ti or not), it has the full 256bit memory bus intact. The memory bus is reason enough to spring for the 670, as the 256bit bus is by far the biggest bottleneck that Kepler has, so losing 25% of that is not something I would ever want to do. Also, the 2GB cards are all you will need, as you won't see 4-6GB of VRAM usage (realistically) until you've already upgraded to the 7xx or 8xx series.
5) If you get one of the better MB's listed above, you can erase this entirely. I do professional audio recording, mixing, and editing, and I can tell you that 99.5% of people who have sound cards in their PC are getting NO BETTER SOUND THAN THE ONBOARD!!! The newest onboard CODEC's are impressive, especially the ALC898, and while I do have an HT|Omega Claro Halo PCIex1 card, I use it almost exclusively for professional-level work and use the onboard for "fun" (and this is listening via Grado RS1i's/PS1000's, Behringer Bi-Amped Studio Monitor 3-way speakers powered by a quartet of McIntosh Labs amplifiers, and so forth). Buy an inexpensive headphone amp, and enjoy the good sound you'll already have
6) The 212+Evo is a great HSF for the money, but I want to tell you something that I hope will always stick in your head: "Every 10C you lower the average operating temperature of a component, you double its life expectancy". HEAT KILLS! Now, while I must say that custom liquid cooling is BY FAR the best way to go for a daily-use rig, it's not cheap. So, for air cooling, you're looking at MORE than just the HSF, you have to match the case, the heatsink, the case fans, the heatsink fans, and so forth, and balance everything well.
Depending on the MB you get, you may actually be significantly better off with a downward-blowing HSF to prevent your VRM's from getting too hot, as tower heatsinks tend to prevent them from getting much cooling (although with the GB UP-series boards, that's far less an issue).
If you do go with the Hyper212+EVO, I would definitely recommend upgrading the fan to a set of fans (push-pull), and going with some high-static-pressure fans such as the Koolance 120x25mm or 120x38mm 2600rpm fans which, for just $6-8/ea, push an astonishing 5.4mmH2O/6.4mmH2O pressure and 107.4cfm/118cfm (plus, they are dual-ball-bearing motors!), while being completely reasonable in volume! They are my absolute favorite fans for Heatsinks and Radiators, and outside of some extremely pricey Sanyo Denkei fans, I have yet to own a single fan that is better-rounded!!!
However, I would consider doubling your budget for a cooler, and getting something with more than 3-4 heatpipes; I find that 5-6x8mm or 8x6mm direct-touch heatpipes is the sweet-spot, personally.
*For Thermal Paste, or TIM, I HIGHLY recommend Prolimatech PK1; it performs better than anything I have ever used outside of the liquid metals, but it is non-conductive (and also very forgiving of imperfect mounts)
7) *skip*
8) Not much to say here except that you should seriously consider getting a single external BD-drive, as you will hardly ever need to use it for anything except movies and occasional .ISO's, so the ability to use it on multiple PC's and take it anywhere outweighs having it inside your case, I promise!!
9) WD Black 1TB or WD RE4 1TB are the best bets, IMO; both still have a full 5-year warranty, and while I prefer the RE4 (basically "very-highly-binned Blacks") as I use RAID arrays in everything and have never lost a single one after the first week of use (if a drive is going to fail, IME, it'll fail in the first week; if it makes it through the first week without a single issue, it'll have a long and happy life; I've had 3 fail in the first week and 6 DOA's out of 76 total RE4's; I blame the AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL SHIPPING OF NEWEGG!!!). The absolute best is the WD Velociraptor, and you can get the 300GB for $69 right now, a great price. I have a number of those as well, and they are the absolute most-reliable and fastest drives out there, period (not including enterprise-level SAS 15krpm drives...), and I have had the same exact 8-disk RAID5E (RAID5 + Hot Spare) array of 600GB VR's running off an LSI RAID Controller Card (with 4GB DDR3 cache and Battery backup) for 422 days now without one error or one drive loss; average throughput on sequential reads/writes is ~650MB/s read and 670-700MB/s write with the upgraded RAID Card cache.
I would next recommend the WD Blue 1GB EZEX, with the 1TB/platter. Very fast, and very consistent. Expect ~135-160MB/s average reads/writes throughout the entire drive (~180MB/s or more if you short-stroke it).

However, I have to suggest that you get an SSD above ALL ELSE!!! Stay away from OCZ, and stick with Samsung or Intel (or Crucial). I have yet to find a better all-around SSD than the Samsung 830 256GB. It is almost 100% reliable, is made 100% in-house, uses <25nm Toggle-NAND and a proprietary 3-core controller, and it is equally fast with uncompressed and compressed files. Companies like OCZ show you "best case scenario", but I have never once NOT gotten BETTER than advertised numbers with my Samsung!! Seriously, it outperforms its specs by 4-18%!! Also, check the "SSD Torture Test" and you will see that it has survived over a hundred-thousand read/write cycles without dying, while the OCZ/Corsair/etc all were dead before the Samsung even showed the slightest signs of wear!

For $150-160, a 256GB Samsung 830 is the absolute best money you will spend on this PC, I promise! Intel SSD's are good, but too expensive. Crucial are equivalently priced and not quite as reliable (but better than most), but significantly slower. OCZ has a bad rap for a reason. Corsair is EXTREMELY hit or miss.

As for a case: the NZXT Switch 810, which you can get for $110 right now at Micro Center, is the absolute best case I've ever owned outside of a $835 custom CaseLabs TH10. In fact, I like the Switch 810 just as much as the TH10!
The Switch is truly the best mix of air/water cooling case capabilities on the market, bar none. 9x 140mm/120mm fans total (comes with 4), and it's set up to have a very good balance of intake/exhaust. The quality is very high, and I wouldn't choose anything else over it (pre-built), not a $480 Silverstone, a $600 Lian-Li, or especially not a $300 Corsair 800D or CM Cosmos II.

Pack it with good fans, and you will be loving life


I really hope this helps!!!
1) You don't need a motherboard with over the top functions that wont be used by half the members that post here. Suggesting a motherboard even over 150 bucks is just a waste of these peoples money. The only things extra you get on these boards is multi-card compatibility, more SATA ports or USB ports, possibly a second ehternet port, and such. 75% of the people here who post wont even overclock and just want midrange and budget builds so even a Z77 board is over the top and not cost effective. An H77 board is under 100 bucks usually and features anything these more expensive boards do besides overclocking ability and the features I mentioned.
2)As I mentioned, most of the people who post are looking for a gaming build which will not benefit from having 4 more virtual threads over the similar yet cheaper 3570k. As it stands, a 6 year old 6000+ plays good games at high settings almost as good as my overclocked 2500k and 3960X. By the time games start coming out from the newer consoles most of these people will be looking to upgrade anyways. Anybody else that needs a better CPU will speak up. As it stands, a 3770k is only better performing on tasks that take full advantage of the whole CPU like hardcore video encoding, rendering, or something like that. These people have a larger budget and it is apparent. Even still, most people still like to save a bit of cash.
3)I have never seen anybody complain about Vengeance RAM and they usually are pretty cheap. Not to mention, Corsair has top notch CS and RMA departments which take the cake. I personally use G.Skill, but really with todays current RAM there is no difference.
4)Judging by the parts he chose the 660ti is his best bet to budget. Memory bandwidth isn't an issue compared to bottlenecking in the VRAM. I can easily cap 2GB of VRAM with my modified copy of Skyrim but any other game wont see any significant difference between 192bit and 256bit on both the 670 and 660ti. The big difference there is the raw GPU horsepower.
5)If you really do sound recording you would know that it isn't just the codec but DACs and amps that come on the sound card that are much higher quality. I already agreed with you on ditching that sound card anyways so no need to elaborate.
6)Already explained, over half the people that come here are budget oriented and will not custom water cool or even overclock. The people who do already know the information we have to offer. Heat shouldn't really be an issue as the average life span of a CPU is expected to be 10-20 years. Most people who post here most likely will upgrade before 5 years or at 5 years rendering needing aftermarket heatsinks outside of overclocking pointless.

Just a bit of advice about most of the people who post here in these sections. They are coming for budget based rigs to do a specific task and don't have a lot of money. 98% of the current forum members aren't in to or can't afford custom water or anything extremely fancy and if they do they don't post in these specific sections. Just something to think about before offering a ton of advice on things that are pretty useless to people who don't have the money for such things. Not trying to be rude, but it's the truth. You seem like you know some **** so I hope you stick around and welcome to the forums.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve10765 View Post
I would just like to add, an SSD is really worth it, atleast get a 32GB SSD for windows, trust me its alot faster. I am pretty sure 32 GB is enough for windowws 7.
wow a 32gb ssd is 50 bucks, and a 120gb is 110 bucks
you should really get an ssd, its speeds are over 2 times the speed of a hardrive. then you could get a 500gb hardrive! trust me the ssd is worth it, anyone will tell you that
Yeah my "tech guy" Mguire here is really showing me the ropes, and part of that was telling me about the benefits of having an ssd. Thank you for your (helpful) input as well, I do appreciate any I get.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post
Hello All! First post here, but veteran of OCN/TPU (and most BMW forums, but not so relevant).

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in, hoping that I could be of some help!

1) Good MoBo, but depending on your price range, you can really step up to a much better board for not a whole lot more money. Now, the "best" boards (i.e. Asus M5E/M5F, GB UP7, ASR EX9, etc) may be out of your price range, although you can get "open box" Maximus 5 Formula boards for ~$200, but I would strongly suggest looking for something like:
- Gigabyte UD5H ~$170 (3x PCIe3.0 instead of 2x, more connectivity, and better VRMs/MOSFETs/Chokes)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ~$180 (2x Thunderbolt connectors, hugely better power regulation, 3 instead of 2 PCIe3.0 slots, better overclocking)
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula ~$200 w Rebate (excellent power regulation and cooling, 10x total SATA3/6 connectors for huge amounts of storage, very strong overclocking)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH ~$210-240 depending on rebates (best power delivery outside of the 2x more expensive UP7, dual-TB connectors + good SATA3/6 options, 3x PCIe3.0, good looking board, and honestly would be my personal choice)
- Asus Z77 Sabertooth ~$200-230 (one of the best of the Z77 boards outside of the "Extreme" models and has pretty much everything you could want)
Just some suggestions...
2) The 3770K will be the better processor in the long-run, with an extra 2MB L3 cache and of course HyperThreading which really does make a difference in any multi-threaded workload. Now that the next-gen of consoles is in the not-too-distant future, and with games becoming more and more heavily multithreaded, I think it is a wise choice to go 4c/8t over 4c/4t. Also, if you have a MicroCenter nearby, you can pick up the 3770K + MB (Sabertooth, UP5, UD5H, Maximus V, and a bunch of Asus P8Z77 boards) for an extra $40 off the already significantly-lower prices (compared to any online retailer I've seen). I got my 3930K + Rampage IV Extreme from MicroCenter for $838 total.
3) I STRONGLY recommend against Corsair memory, as the Vengeance line is just a dressed-up "budget" line with poor IMC's, and their only decent memory, the Dominator kits, come at insane prices. I used to be a big fan of Corsair, but anymore and they rely on their name to sell substandard parts for standard prices while charging a huge premium for "premium" parts. Out of all the various memory kits I've used over the years, there are TWO that I recommend above and beyond anything else, as in, nothing else can touch these...
- G.Skill RipjawsZ 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 kit also available in a 2x4GB kit; I have gotten mine to ~DDR3-2475 10-12-10-30 at 1.655v (DDR3-2425 9-11-11-30 @ 1.66v), as well as DDR3-2133 9-10-9-26 1T 1.65v, DDR3-1866 8-9-8-24 1T 1.575v, and DDR3-1600 6-7-7-21 1T 1.55v... Insanely flexible, and that's with a 3930K, so your IVB setup will be able to push the memory much higher than my 6-core can... Watch for a deal and you can snag the kit (F3-17000CL9Q-16GZHB is the kit model number, I think) for $100, with retail around $120...
- Samsung DDR3-1600 Ultra-Low-Voltage 1.35v RAM 2x4GB Kits; check out the HUGE thread @ OCN about this, with many people hitting DDR3-2800 11-11-11-32 at 1.525v (crazy!), or DDR3 2500-2600 9-11-10-30-to-10-10-10-30 with no more than 1.50v! Plus, it's all of $90 for 16GB!
4) The 660Ti is certainly no slouch, but if you can afford the extra ~$40, you can grab an EVGA GTX670FTW for $349 right now at Newegg! I have one, and it is by far my favorite card that I've used, and it's running under water courtesy of a Heatkiller GPU^3 GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate and easily hits 1300core/7850mem. Built on the full GTX680 PCB, it has better cooling and voltage regulation than reference 670's, and unlike the 660 (Ti or not), it has the full 256bit memory bus intact. The memory bus is reason enough to spring for the 670, as the 256bit bus is by far the biggest bottleneck that Kepler has, so losing 25% of that is not something I would ever want to do. Also, the 2GB cards are all you will need, as you won't see 4-6GB of VRAM usage (realistically) until you've already upgraded to the 7xx or 8xx series.
5) If you get one of the better MB's listed above, you can erase this entirely. I do professional audio recording, mixing, and editing, and I can tell you that 99.5% of people who have sound cards in their PC are getting NO BETTER SOUND THAN THE ONBOARD!!! The newest onboard CODEC's are impressive, especially the ALC898, and while I do have an HT|Omega Claro Halo PCIex1 card, I use it almost exclusively for professional-level work and use the onboard for "fun" (and this is listening via Grado RS1i's/PS1000's, Behringer Bi-Amped Studio Monitor 3-way speakers powered by a quartet of McIntosh Labs amplifiers, and so forth). Buy an inexpensive headphone amp, and enjoy the good sound you'll already have
6) The 212+Evo is a great HSF for the money, but I want to tell you something that I hope will always stick in your head: "Every 10C you lower the average operating temperature of a component, you double its life expectancy". HEAT KILLS! Now, while I must say that custom liquid cooling is BY FAR the best way to go for a daily-use rig, it's not cheap. So, for air cooling, you're looking at MORE than just the HSF, you have to match the case, the heatsink, the case fans, the heatsink fans, and so forth, and balance everything well.
Depending on the MB you get, you may actually be significantly better off with a downward-blowing HSF to prevent your VRM's from getting too hot, as tower heatsinks tend to prevent them from getting much cooling (although with the GB UP-series boards, that's far less an issue).
If you do go with the Hyper212+EVO, I would definitely recommend upgrading the fan to a set of fans (push-pull), and going with some high-static-pressure fans such as the Koolance 120x25mm or 120x38mm 2600rpm fans which, for just $6-8/ea, push an astonishing 5.4mmH2O/6.4mmH2O pressure and 107.4cfm/118cfm (plus, they are dual-ball-bearing motors!), while being completely reasonable in volume! They are my absolute favorite fans for Heatsinks and Radiators, and outside of some extremely pricey Sanyo Denkei fans, I have yet to own a single fan that is better-rounded!!!
However, I would consider doubling your budget for a cooler, and getting something with more than 3-4 heatpipes; I find that 5-6x8mm or 8x6mm direct-touch heatpipes is the sweet-spot, personally.
*For Thermal Paste, or TIM, I HIGHLY recommend Prolimatech PK1; it performs better than anything I have ever used outside of the liquid metals, but it is non-conductive (and also very forgiving of imperfect mounts)
7) *skip*
8) Not much to say here except that you should seriously consider getting a single external BD-drive, as you will hardly ever need to use it for anything except movies and occasional .ISO's, so the ability to use it on multiple PC's and take it anywhere outweighs having it inside your case, I promise!!
9) WD Black 1TB or WD RE4 1TB are the best bets, IMO; both still have a full 5-year warranty, and while I prefer the RE4 (basically "very-highly-binned Blacks") as I use RAID arrays in everything and have never lost a single one after the first week of use (if a drive is going to fail, IME, it'll fail in the first week; if it makes it through the first week without a single issue, it'll have a long and happy life; I've had 3 fail in the first week and 6 DOA's out of 76 total RE4's; I blame the AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL SHIPPING OF NEWEGG!!!). The absolute best is the WD Velociraptor, and you can get the 300GB for $69 right now, a great price. I have a number of those as well, and they are the absolute most-reliable and fastest drives out there, period (not including enterprise-level SAS 15krpm drives...), and I have had the same exact 8-disk RAID5E (RAID5 + Hot Spare) array of 600GB VR's running off an LSI RAID Controller Card (with 4GB DDR3 cache and Battery backup) for 422 days now without one error or one drive loss; average throughput on sequential reads/writes is ~650MB/s read and 670-700MB/s write with the upgraded RAID Card cache.
I would next recommend the WD Blue 1GB EZEX, with the 1TB/platter. Very fast, and very consistent. Expect ~135-160MB/s average reads/writes throughout the entire drive (~180MB/s or more if you short-stroke it).

However, I have to suggest that you get an SSD above ALL ELSE!!! Stay away from OCZ, and stick with Samsung or Intel (or Crucial). I have yet to find a better all-around SSD than the Samsung 830 256GB. It is almost 100% reliable, is made 100% in-house, uses <25nm Toggle-NAND and a proprietary 3-core controller, and it is equally fast with uncompressed and compressed files. Companies like OCZ show you "best case scenario", but I have never once NOT gotten BETTER than advertised numbers with my Samsung!! Seriously, it outperforms its specs by 4-18%!! Also, check the "SSD Torture Test" and you will see that it has survived over a hundred-thousand read/write cycles without dying, while the OCZ/Corsair/etc all were dead before the Samsung even showed the slightest signs of wear!

For $150-160, a 256GB Samsung 830 is the absolute best money you will spend on this PC, I promise! Intel SSD's are good, but too expensive. Crucial are equivalently priced and not quite as reliable (but better than most), but significantly slower. OCZ has a bad rap for a reason. Corsair is EXTREMELY hit or miss.

As for a case: the NZXT Switch 810, which you can get for $110 right now at Micro Center, is the absolute best case I've ever owned outside of a $835 custom CaseLabs TH10. In fact, I like the Switch 810 just as much as the TH10!
The Switch is truly the best mix of air/water cooling case capabilities on the market, bar none. 9x 140mm/120mm fans total (comes with 4), and it's set up to have a very good balance of intake/exhaust. The quality is very high, and I wouldn't choose anything else over it (pre-built), not a $480 Silverstone, a $600 Lian-Li, or especially not a $300 Corsair 800D or CM Cosmos II.

Pack it with good fans, and you will be loving life


I really hope this helps!!!
Hey thanks for all the suggestions, some of the stuff seems too expensive for my current build, but in the future who knows? I checked out the case that you recommended, it's very nice looking and has what looks like great cable management, but unfortunately it is a little pricey from what I have seen online. I could look into some stores around my area and see their prices. HEAT KILLS!! I'll will remember that, heat is a lot of the reason that I'm trying to get a case with good cable management and air flow, I dont want to buy all these parts and fry them because its too hot in my case. Again thanks, I do appreciate your suggestions, I will keep them in mind. Oh and before I forget, welcome to the forums! Keep spreading your knowledge I know there are people on these forums, like me, that can use it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

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Yes it's the same as overclocked.

One thing to mention here is the 600 series runs much cooler than the 500 series. Extra beefier heatsinks aren't really necessary unless you plan to overclock even further later on.
That's great that its already overclocked because I was really nervous to try and OC myself, I have heard its not hard but I would rather buy it already done for me if I can. Also in the future I'm not sure if I'm going to overclock the GPU or not, but I would like to have the option and I'm assuming that the msi allows me to do that with less chance of overheating. So I am still on the fence about spending the extra money on the CHANCE that I might oc in the future, so I am not sure which 660ti I will get but all this information is helpful. BTW its funny that this forum thread started about a case suggestion and its evolved into a well rounded discussion about computer parts, I'm glad it has because if not I would have some needless and crappy computer parts.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

You can still OC pretty high on those reference coolers. I can't stress enough how much cooler the 600 series is compared to the 500.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

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You can still OC pretty high on those reference coolers. I can't stress enough how much cooler the 600 series is compared to the 500.
Yeah I don't plan on getting any of the 500 series, its gonna be some variant of the 660ti. Hey, another noob question, Ive seen some videos where people add networking cards to their mobos, do you think something like that would help online gaming performance for me?? or do you think its just a waste of money?? I did one of those "speed tests" online and my ping is 21ms, just wondering if the card would help that.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

Just a waste of money.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

On to the topic of cases! I've built me a Rig and I went for the i5 3570K and popped a Noctua NH-D14 on top of it after many positive reviews. The case i Use is an NZXT Lexa S. I've Overclocked to 4.5GHz stable and my temps Idle at about 25-26C under full load 68C. my ambient room temp is about 21 so for the long term this case keeps everything cool while having ample room for my MASSIVE cooler! the harddrive bays are spun round vertically aswell to make room for Super long GPU's its all you need in Jet Black inside an out 4 fans out of the box and lovely blue lighting. I HIGHLY recommend this case. Hope this helps!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:16 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Computer case

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Originally Posted by Dalinkwent726 View Post
Yeah I don't plan on getting any of the 500 series, its gonna be some variant of the 660ti. Hey, another noob question, Ive seen some videos where people add networking cards to their mobos, do you think something like that would help online gaming performance for me?? or do you think its just a waste of money?? I did one of those "speed tests" online and my ping is 21ms, just wondering if the card would help that.
the ping was just to the server where you did the test. youre going to be pinging to different servers and have different pings when you game. there is no discernible difference. for that test, you would probably pay $100 to take it down to 19ms. it's a waste of money. buying this is a waste of money, and would be less of a waste of money than buying a super specialty BEASTLY EXTREME NIC.
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