24/7 online home-office workstation


Jul 17, 2011

I've been building my own PC roughly every three years since ~95. Things are getting more complicated with each passing year and i no longer have the time it takes to research the best component for everything. I have done a quick sweep thru TH reviews and forums and ended up with some kind of setup. I would appreciate comments and suggestions on how to improve the setup (better performance/cut price with marginal impact/other caveats?).

I work at home but i keep my PC always running (seeding torrents). Mostly doing software development = need to access lot's of small files fast and a good CPU to reduce compile times is priority.

Some times i like to check out new games but that's not a priority. However i'd like to keep an option to add another GPU if i find a game i like though :p

Things i intend to keep from current setup:
Display - SyncMaster 275TP (1920x1200)
Drives - 2x WD RE4-s in mirror
Current mouse sucks so a good wired basic mouse suggestion is welcome.

Things i prefer to avoid:
NO overclocking (i need stability and longevity).
The less useless features on MB the better (no wifi, no BT, no integrated graphics, etc).
Noise - i value a noise free environment so the quieter the better.
Flashy-bling-bling (i keep my PC in next room under staircase so nobody will see it anyway)

Goals in order of priority:
Low price
Low noise

Here's what i have put together so far:

* MB: ASRock Socket 1155 Z68 Extreme4: 164€
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600 3,4GHz 8MB Socket H2 (LGA1155) TDP 95W: 238€
CPU cooler: Scythe CPU Cooler Mugen 2 SCMG-2100 rev.B: 47€
Memory: Kingston DDR3 HyperX Blue PC3-10600 1333MHz 8GB CL9 (9-9-9-27) (Kit of 2 - 4GB) KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G: 51€
** GPU: Sparkle Geforce 500 series GTX 570 1280MB OC: 276€
*** SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 Series 2.5" SSD 120GB SATA 6Gb/s: 210€
Case: Antec Sonata Proto: 62€
**** Sound card: Creative X-Fi SB Titanium HD: 151€
Total damage: 1331€

* - I don't plan on doing any video encoding ever so if that's the only selling point for z68 then should i get a P67 board instead? i would like to keep option open for adding another GPU if i find a game i really like.

** - Also in valid price range:
Gigabyte RADEON HD 6970 2GB (GV-R697D5-2GD-B) - 280€
Asus RADEON HD 5870 1GB (EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/A) - 210€
Asus RADEON HD 6950 PCI-E 2GB GDDR5 (EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5) - 220€
It's really hard to choose a video card nowdays. The product numbers are not reflecting performance (or even price!) at all and there's no database for average performances :( So help me pick please!

*** - or should i go for OCZ revo drive instead? Can get one for 247€ (OCZSSDPX-1RVD0080).

**** - i hate my current onboard "HD" audio controller. it really murders the sound for my logitech Z5500-s. Movies/music with DTS or DT audio track sound great.. hopefully this card can do the same for my mp3/flac library.
Yes a P67 board would do just as well for you, but whatever is priced best. just be sure to get a board that has real SLI, not one that claims to crossfire/SLI but will only run the second slot at X4.

You don't have to OC, but the K version of the CPU is still the better buy. It will have more longevity because it's capable of a large overclock. So when it's too old to keep going at stock speeds you can give it to someone who will overclock it, and get another 25% or more performance out of it.

Antec Sonata doesn't have the airflow to support two GTX 570s. I'm not sure it has enough for one... maybe.

The stock Intel CPU cooler would be just fine if you are not overclocking.

The 6970 is clearly the better buy. 6950 2GB is comparable to the GTX 570, so again that is a better buy at your stated prices.

If you really value reliability go with an Intel SSD then. 510 series is quite fast.

TPQ 850W is not usually the first choice in that range. Corsair TX850 V2 is a nice budget choice, or Corsair HX850 for a partly modular unit. If the Antec is actually available though and at that price it might be good for you.

I really doubt you need that much sound card just to get good sound to your powered speakers. You might need to spend that much or more if you are driving high-end headphones like Sennheisers. I do prefer my X-fi over onboard, but I use a version that cost a bit less I think.



Jul 17, 2011
Hey Proximon,

I appreciate your comments! Thank you!

Could you suggest a good case then?

Something that looks as plain as possible
Has thick metal panels with noise dampening
Has rubber dampeners for drive bays
Has nice cable management (i like the ones where cables run under side panel below MB)
PSU slot located at the top above CPU fan (don't want to suck dust from the floor and PSU fan helps cool CPU)

Only one that i seem to find is Lian Li PC-P50 ARMORSUIT. Looks nice. Costs 150€ which is manageable. PSU is on wrong place though. And aluminum is light which means it might start resonating when i put more drives in or spin up the DVD drive.

Hmm... but why do you think the Intel is more reliable? From intel's specs it's 1.2M MTBF while OCZ's Vertex 3 is rates at 2M MTBF. Also it's 22€ cheaper and a lot faster.

After reading some more reviews i've decided to drop the RevoDrive option - can't afford the X3 version and the original version is not much better than a single Vertex 3.

Looks like TPQ 850W is now out of stock. However this one is available for 127€ - Antec TruePower New 750W w. cable management. 750W is enough i think...?

PS! Any idea why i can't edit my original post?
The edit thing may be temporary. As I recall you need a minimum post count to have that ability, or it may be that you need to confirm your email. I think you have a period of time to do that.

I'm not at home where I have all my references. As I recall SLI GTX 570s are best left to the larger PSUs.... let me look it up. Here it is

With a max draw of 500W, I cannot recommend a 750W PSU for GTX 570 SLI. I could easily recommend a 750W for crossfire 6950 2GB though.

It's not a matter of what you will actually pull while gaming, it's just what I recommend. If you already had a 750W and wanted to add another GPU that would be OK with me... I'm just trying to help you avoid coming up short at some point.

As to the quality of the TP-750, there's no question it's good and an excellent value.

It's generally accepted that the Sandforce SSDs have a higher failure rate, but like many computer parts I can't prove that statement. I think most will agree that it goes like this:
Crucial and the other micron controlled SSDs.
Sandforce controlled SSDs, but Corsair and others do a better job on QC than OCZ.

I won't recommend OCZ since they were caught at the whole nand switching thing last year. They still make it hard to discover what type of Vertex 2 drive you are buying to this day.

It's about what we perceive the early failure rate actually is. You can't get hard numbers anywhere, just opinions like mine. Sorry.

There is also another company with a good rep, that does sell in some retail channels but mostly sells their SSDs to enterprise consumers. OWC is the name of the company.


Jul 17, 2011
Hey all,

An update of interest.

I ended up with such system:

ASRock Socket 1155 Z68 Extreme4
Intel Core i7 2600K (BX80623I72600KSR00C)
Kingston DDR3 HyperX Blue (KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G)
Gigabyte RADEON HD 6970 2GB (GV-R697D5-2GD-B) - not arrived yet
Crucial SSD M4 128GB (CT128M4SSD2)
Corsair PSU TX V2 750W (CMPSU-750TXV2EU)
Antec case P183 V3 (0761345-81834-6)
Creative X-Fi SB Titanium HD (70SB127000001)

It's all good. Until it freezes while doing nothing (like during night or watching a movie).
There is a problem with the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 motherboard when using the integrated GPU.

More details available here:

ASRock support has not been able to solve this for 4 months now (they pretty much just stay silent).


I will post here once they manage to fix this issue.