First build- looking for advice on mobo and parts


Jul 19, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: sometime in the next 2 weeks before I go back to uni

Budget Range: $800 for the parts I have yet to purchase

System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the net, watching movies/streaming videos, running Maya and Photoshop (it'll be nice if I could multitask), occasionally gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, processor, RAM

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, Fry's

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: needs to work with i7-2600k, Antec 300 Mid Tower case, and Kingston DDR3 1600 MHz RAM

Overclocking: In the future, possibly

SLI or Crossfire: In the future, possibly

Monitor Resolution: 1080p, widescreen

Additional Comments: The most important criterion to me is noise level (as quiet as possible would be best) and future-proofing.

Feedback as to what I have in mind so far (is it good? will I run into issues? also if there's something as good that's cheaper, letting me know would be greatly appreciated) and what I have yet to decide on: MOBO (I have one listed but it's more of a placeholder; all I know is I want the z68 chipset and space to SLI in the future), monitor, speakers.

Processor: i7-2600k - already bought - product specs
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $129.99 - product specs
RAM: Kingston DDR3 4GB 1600 DUAL (2X2GB) HYPER X GENESIS - already bought - product specs
Graphics Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1373-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $169.99 - product specs
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $64.99 - product specs
Case: Antec 300 Mid-Tower ATX Case - already bought - product specs
Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $69.99 after rebate - product specs

Current total: $435


You might want to consider the Radeon 6870's. You can get them for $160 after rebates now.

That mobo is one of the cheapest ones to support SLI/Crossfire so that's a good choice.

HDD good choice.

You might want to add one or two 120mm intake fans to the antec 300 case.

Power Supply: Get one from Antec, Corsair, Silverstone, Seasonic or XFX.
Antec HCG-750 $69.99 after rebates - free shipping ( $94.99 before )
XFX Core Pro650W $69.99 after rebates ( $89.99 before )

You should probably get a DVD+/-RW drive as well. ~$20 bucks for Asus/Lite-On/Sony.

And as a comment to the memory, hopefully it will work, but you should really use 1.5V memory with sandy bridge.




You mention "future Proof" No such thing, however you will get more longevity from an AMD system because Intel historically obsoletes their platforms abruptly without warning and much more frequently than AMD. Personally, I buy ASUS MBs. Not much price difference. If you're going to run W7 you might consider doubling your RAM. Avoid AMD/ATI GPUs as their drivers are buggy. Also, consider buying a TV instead of a just a monitor. For my money they are the same thing with a (nearly) free TV. Go with the biggest QUALITY PSU you can afford. You won't be sorry.


$79.99 KINGWIN ABT-850MM 850W
$72.48 LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS70 - OEM
bundled with:1x Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA
(if you look in the combos there are other hdd's and dvd burners to choose from)
1408 shaders for $220 to $245.
$200 for sli 460's? 672 shaders for cheap?
$200 for 1600 shaders in crossfire? and cooler running cards that are not risky recertified's.



Altec Lansing VS3251 5.1 Multimedia Speaker System

I have this exact same setup. Once you get the sub set up (it seems to work best with the sub box speakers pointed into the closest wall corner to your computer, you have to move the sub around till it gives you the best bass)

I bought mine years ago on sale for $79.99. It cranks, lots of bass, enough bass to make you mount your hdd rack on rubber grommets.

The sats sound the best in the corners too with the center kinda behind the monitor. again you have to move them around till you get the right sound.

Don't get this if you live in a apartment or you will be packing up your computer and moving soon. The smaller altec lancing 2.1 would be better for a apartment.

It has a wireless remote. It's a analog 5.1.

There are other models, some might be better.

I have a logitec 5.1 in another room, it sounds boomy, the sats don't sound right, i bought it used for cheap, it wasn't such a good deal in the end.


Jul 19, 2011
@rvilkman - Thanks for the feedback! As to the RAM, unfortunately I already have it and have torn apart the original packaging for the MIR so I can't return it. Would it be fine to just run it at 1.5V?
Though I talked to a friend and he suggested getting more RAM period if I expect better performance with maya and photoshop, so I may just get 2x4gb sticks, in which case I'll just get them at 1.5V

@ram1009 - Hmm getting a TV might be a good idea, actually. I'll consider it (might be difficult to fit something that huge into my studio apartment though, haha).

@eed4speeds - I'll look into the 2.1 altec lansing for speakers, since I will be living in an apartment. Thanks for the recommendation!


I have a card close to that, the x-fi pci card.
Compared with the sound of the x-fi, It's like going from am radio to fm stereo. It's that much better than the onboard realtek. Maybe realtek has improved you would just have to try the onboard sound. I have socket 939 and am2 boards still the realteks are pretty dated.

You will want to pick the one that has the interface you want and has the right plugs for the speakers you pick out. It's hard because you don't want to block the fans on the video cards. Not sure i never tried the usb cards, maybe they are good?

-Be careful, some cards dont support certain versions of windows, like some dont work with win7 64 bit and some have dropped support for winxp.

-It's good to buy a $5 to $10 pair of smaller speakers with it's own power supply, and a headphone jack. Bass boost is nice if you can find ones with that. Don't get the usb powered ones. They work good as a headphone amp and for small speakers when you don't want the big speakers. It's nice having them for the volume and headphone amp. You will need a 3.5mm headphone jack splitter if there is not enough sound card front speaker outs.

-altec lancing has a habit of putting the headphone plug on the sub and the switch between speakers and headphones is built into the headphone jack on the sub. maybe they now have this on the front speaker now and you wont need the extra pair of cheap speakers.

My 5.1 is like that, and i don't really want to reach under the desk every time i plug the headphones in so i picked up a pair of $5 speakers.