Help with rendering/gaming build


Dec 15, 2012
This is my first build and I'm seeking a bit of advice on the parts. I looked around for suggestions, and read (am still reading) some guides on how to go about picking out the parts. I ignored the sales b/c I might not buy my parts from there. Would you consider this build good, and more importantly, is everything compatible?

Before I get started, I would like to let you know my biggest concern is keeping my system from overheating. The i7 3770 is known to do that, so I want to focus on avoiding that.

My second concern is performance. A stable system with as little lag as my tiny budget can afford.

Finally my third concern. I just don't want my electric bill to sky rocket. I expect it to go up, but you get what I'm saying...

Also feel free to speak your mind in a constructive manner as I am eager to hear your opinion and learn from you.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks (hopefully)
Budget Range: $1.200 Goal - $1.300 (If can't be helped)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering, Adobe photoshop, Gaming, light video editing
Are you buying a monitor: Maybe (if I can find a AV wire that connects my computer to my tv I won't have to.)
Do you need to buy OS: No (I'll be using vista until windows puts the fixed win 8 out)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (but I'm open to other sites)
Location: City, State/Region, Country - USA
Parts Preferences: Intel
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Your Monitor Resolution:I'd like 1280x1024 but not sure how to check my T.v resolution.
Additional Comments:
1) I'm concerned about my computer overheating
2) My computer will run for 24/7 and at the minimal 12 hours
3) I'd like to leave space for upgrades
4) I'd like the computer to be powerful, but not a power hungry king if possible
5) It be nice if the computer didn't sound like a trucks engine.
6) I plan to use a dual monitor setup, however that is in the further future, so it is not mandatory
7) Programs & Games to be used: AutoCAD, DAZ 3D, Blender, Byrce, Adobe Photo Shop, Pinnacle Studio, GW2, Aion, Gameglobe & DK Online.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I don't have a computer, so...

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor

Mobo: $189.99 - ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

GPU: $289.99 - MSI N660 TF 2GD5 GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Case: $109.99 Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl w/ USB 3.0 ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
Note: Would be nice if it was nice looking, but all I really care about is cooling and space to grow.

Cooling system: $76.99 CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 (CW-9060007-WW) Water Cooler
Note: Found this recommended someplace else, not really sure if it is the right one for me though.

Power Supply: $74.99 - XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified ...

Memory: $164.99 - CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9 Is it true that buying 16GB 2x8 to equal into 32GB is not good?
Note: From what I read, it sounded like having buffed would do me better for the graphics work. Is it true using 16GB 2x8 to make 32GB is not good to do?

HDD: $99.99 - HGST Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
Note: If need be, I can survive with only 300GB.

DVD: $79.99 - LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA BDXL Blu-ray Burner, Bare Drive, 3D Play Back (WH14NS40) ... - OEM

OS: $150.99 Windows 7 (estimated guess)

Total = $1237.91 before taxes and rebates

Other - not counted on the list

Someone also recommended this Power Supply: $89.99 - SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
What do you think, can it fit in my budget?

Also, should I even think about a SSD? Would it really benefit me?
SSD: $59.99 - Intel 330 Series Maple Crest SSDSC2CT060A3K5 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Screen: Feel free to suggest one to me if you'd like, just don't add it to the budget.

I feel like I'm asking for an impossible build when I think about my budget. lol I thank anyone in advance for your help.

P.s. Thanks to FinneousPJ for the form.


Oct 29, 2012
hey, the one written in CPU is a motherboard.

I think 3770 is fine. Though it had issues before but it is okay now. But if you want to be cautious the go for 3570k. Because I think from your build you will be overclocking.

I think 32 gigs of ram is too much even your working on gfx. I'll go with 16 gigs instead Cause I think you wont maximize the 323 gigs. but It is up to you.

The Seasonic M12II is a good psu but if you want to go low budget then go S12II but it is not modular.

Everyone can benefit with SSD. But It is up to you if loading time is your priority. For me, I'll choose to upgrade my video card instead of buying an SSD, then I'll just follow it up when ever I have the budget.


I think he was looking at the i7 3770K, which would be appropriate... but since there is no overclocking planned, he could get a plain 3770.

Let's discuss some general things first.

Power bill. It's not that big a deal given your list. At idle you will be under 150W and probably under 350W under full load. These numbers are at the wall.

Stop worrying about cooling. You have a quiet case selected and given your usage you should put some attention to a quiet system. The Seasonic PSU is nice for that. The sealed liquid cooling H60 is not a good choice... it's not very quiet and not very effective... it's main attraction is that it does not put much weight on the MB.

Yes, RAM that is rated at a certain in 8gbx2 config will not always work at the advertised settings with an 8GB x4 config.

Usually, populating all 4 slots on a board is hard. Buying a kit that is advertised to work, from a good company, is a good plan. No that I have said that... you don't need 32GB up front I think. How about buying one quality 16GB kit up front and a second if you need, then tweaking as needed to get them to work?

G.skill Ares 1866Mhz 1.5V
See, it's rated at a higher clock... so two kits would likely run at 1600... but buy the second only when you are sure you need it. It also avoids those high heatsinks that tend to interfere with air coolers.

Noctua cooler

An SSD will help other things besides loading times, and a good one will be a better investment than the extra RAM.

Right now, you can find a Samsung 840 128GB for very little.
Get this, as you can have enough space to load your programs on. Then skip the Hitachi drive and get yourself a dependable Caviar Green 1.5GB

You want to have expandability, then you need a good PSU for that.
I think the M12II 650

But if the budget is too tight go with the 620.

Are you actually going to burn Blu-rays? If not, just get a reader


Good point, probably save a bit more there as well.... but are there good H77 SLI choices? I suspect SLI capability will only be present on Z77 boards... just because. A quick look at newegg seems to confirm that.


Dec 15, 2012
I looked at some H77 and found two that support SLI, I'm comparing them right now with the Z77. Just a quick question about the GPU. I have tried ATI Radeon and I personally have no issues with it. I aimed to get Nvidia because I wanted to give it a try since I have never used it. I was wondering if there was really any difference? I heard one rendered better and that was about it.

@ admbautista Sorry about that. I also had a typo for the SSD, sorry for those.
No I will not be overclocking, so I don’t mind getting the i7 3770 instead of the i7 3770k. I took a peek at the 3570k. It seems fine for gaming, but compared to the 3770k with graphics, I am willing to take my chances with the 3770k.

Its because of that I am getting 32GB ram. Better to have extra space that might go to waste, then to have not enough space. I was originally going to just buy the 16GB 2x8, and later in the future if I wanted to upgrade to 32GB, I would just buy another 16GB 2x8. However I ran into some information where someone mentioned that using 16GB 2x8 might not be so good. Which is why I picked out the 32GB (4 x 8GB) just in case. That is also why I asked if that was true or not.

The Seasonic M12II is a good psu but if you want to go low budget then go S12II but it is not modular.
Loading time is important to me. The less time I have to wait for one model to load, the better.

I don’t mind investing in a SSD, but if I upgrade my video card, would that benefit my graphical work or my gaming more? Since my budget is not very generous, I know I might have to settle for some things now and upgrade later. So I don’t mind being told that, however I’d like to also get as good as I can with this current budget. That way my upgrades are more b/c I can afford them vs I absolutely have to upgrade right now or else. If you know what I mean.

@ Proximon – The keyword here is “there is no overclocking planned”. It is true I have absolutely no plans of overclocking. However in the future, when I am more comfortable with overclocking, I may do it, so paying a lil extra for a 3770k could be worth it further in the future for me. I’ll have to decide on one of them.

Glad to know the power bill won’t be that big of an issue. I was worried about it sense I tend to spend long hours on the computer.

Sorry if I am over stressing about the cooling. I worry a lot about cooling because the laptop I am using at the moment always overheats. It has to stay on power save (no matter what I’m doing) or it over heats. Even after cleaning the fans it still overheats. Doing certain system checks overheat it as well and I just really don’t want to have a repeat situation with the computer.
A quiet system would be nice.
I heard liquid cooling was suppose to be better when it came to cooling. Of course I picked out the worse of the bunch. lol I also heard most cooling fans that come with the processors are a joke. Should I leave those out and just use the Noctua NH-D14 or use that and those fans?
Is this: “Yes, RAM that is rated at a certain in 8gbx2 config will not always work at the advertised settings with an 8GB x4 config. “ saying that mixing a 8GB x2 with a 8GB x4 will not always work as advertised?

I don’t mind just getting a 16 2x8 and then upgrading later in the future. I had planned to do that, until I ran into that little bit of information about it not being such a good idea. The G.skill Cas Latency is 10, isn’t a lower number better? I only got to read a little about Buffered/Registered, and from the bit I read about, I was told having buffed would be good for my build. Does it not really matter? I am liking the price of the G.skill. lol

The only reason I shy’d away from the SSD was because of the price, but since it is a good investment, I’ll defiantly try to squeeze it into the budget. The price tag on that Samsung is nice too. Thank you for finding it.

When the HDD says “For Low Power Storage” does it mean exactly what it says or something else? I took it as a sort of bad thing if you intended to use the drive a lot. Apparently I was wrong? Aside from Caviar Green, would you say WD has made any other good HDD? Just a bit curious is all.

I don’t have plans to burn a blue-ray at the moment, I do need to burn regular CD’s though. I'm looking some over now.


Dec 15, 2012
It would be nice to have a case that looks nice. However, as long as it is cool inside, well ventilated, big enough for all the parts, and allows for me to keep everything inside nice and tidy, I don't mind the looks.


Well, if you get a 3770K, you need to get a Z77 board. There is no use in having an unlocked CPU if the board you use can't handle it.

The only liquid cooling that is better than air is the expensive kind. The "liquid cooling" that you are looking at is not the real thing, and the only cooler in that class that is really worthwhile is the Corsair H100 and similar:|35-181-017^35-181-017-TS%2C35-181-032^35-181-032-TS%2C35-106-190^35-106-190-TS
Those coolers will do as good a job as the best air coolers, or maybe even a bit better. IF you set them up with 4 fans in push/pull, they will cool very well and be very quiet, provided the right fans are used. BUT they do not fit in most cases.

True liquid cooling requires a lot of work, research, and money. It is done by assembling a list of compatible LC parts, or purchasing a kit like this one


Dec 15, 2012
Thank you guys for all your help; I apologize for taking so long to reply, I went hunting around for all the parts and was doing my homework on screens. So much stuff to read just to find the answer is “there are too many things to choose from, so just narrow it down to what you need and then pick a name from the hat”. Anyway while hunting around, I considered the things I read, and the things you and others have told me. That being said I have tweaked some things in the list.

Also someone told me I should try having a site like cyberpowerpc make my computer b/c it would be cheaper. If you're curious, here is the results, if not, just skip this paragraph:
Price: $1837 (It was 2k so I shifted a few things to drop the price) - From
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-3770 3.40 GHz 8MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 [+110
HDD: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 7200 RPM HDD [+9] (Single Drive)
MEMORY: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory [+66] (G.SKILL Ripjaws X [+12])
MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX/SLI] ASUS P8Z77-V Pro Intel Z77 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ IRST, Lucid Virtu MVP, Wi-Fi GO!, 7.1 HD Audio, Intel GbLAN, Display Port, 3x PCIe x16 (2 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2x PCie x1 & 2 PCI (All Venom OC Certified) [+135]
SOUND: Creative Sound Blaster Z 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCIe Sound Card w/ SBX Pro Studio & Sound Core3D Processor [+49]
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card [+308] (EVGA Superclocked)

This is the updated list:
CPU: $289.98 - i7-3770 –;jsessionid=46A46ADE8593B944CEF62EE7CE7816FC.bbolsp-app01-19?id=1218655167725&skuId=5513859&st=i7-3770%20&cp=1&lp=1
Mobo: $182.98 - ASUS P8Z77-V
GPU: $359.99 - GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
Power Supply: $104.99 – Seasonic M12II 650
SSD: $139.99 - SAMSUNG 840 Pro
Memory: $91.99 - CORSAIR G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB)
HDD: $76.99 - Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB;jsessionid=4E88A735B2998B6A3582584741036DA3.bbolsp-app01-23?id=1218633827873&skuId=5321192&st=WD15EZRX&cp=1&lp=1
Cooling system: $80.99 - Noctua NH-D14
DVD: $17.99 - SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB
Sound Card: $53.99 - Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D

Total = $1489.87 before taxes and rebate w/o OS & screen
Note: Case Price is subject to change.

PENDING - Estimated guesses

Case: $89.99 - Fractal Design Define R4

Screen: New: 197.99

OS: $139.99 - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Why 3770 and not 3770k

Although I'd like the i7-3770k for in case I decide to OC, I have decided to get the i7-3770 instead (I’m still battling the decision though). I did this because the GPU is pricey and I was trying to slim off some of the cost. Also since I did this because I do NOT plan to OC, but I might want to. The MIGHT is not selling itself to me so I chose the 3770. Feel free to talk me out of it if I'm making some sort of grave mistake.

Why GeForce GTX 670

I was all set to go and buy the 660, but someone suggested that I consider 670. A lot of the sources suggested I get a professional GPU for the 3D models I will be working with. HOWEVER those prices were very high. From what I read, this 670 is more focused on gaming so I compared it to this professional one:
I didn't see another one that came close in price and didn't downsize on the specs I already had in the gaming one.

Question:Is the 670 really going to make that big of a difference compared to the 660 or the professional one I compared it to?

Why SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB

PRICE!!! Ok it wasn't all about price. I did only look at dvd players $20 and less, but compared to the $20 and $18 one I had to choose from, this seemed decent.

Question: Would you consider this decent for playing movies and few burnings?

Why Fractal Design Define R4
The hunt for a case is killing me, I managed to pick this one out from a very long list of cases. I still have a few more cases to look through, but what caught my eye was its
supposed well ventilation, Silence, Removable filters I can wash and 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 and Audio I/O front panel ports
Yes it is lacking in some places, but it covers my almost all my priorities while remaining under $100.

Why Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D

Someone said I should get one and suggested it to me. I personally have no experience with sound cards in this day and age, so I don't know if it will really make a difference to me but I figured I'd try it out.

Anyone have any tidbits to share on these parts? I am hoping to start buying parts this week but patience is a virtue, so feel free to speak. My budget is 1.2k but I splurged on the GPU and that tipped me over my budget by $200. If things are worth it in the long run, then I don't mind, but I don't want to over do it.

@Proximon - I don't trust myself with the liquid cooling just yet, my biggest concern being the issue of leaks while I'm afk. However I will continue to learn more about it so that maybe one day I can get one.


The 670 will make a difference in games. In CUDA not as much, but some.

I wouldn't get a discrete sound card unless I knew I needed one. Any Sound Blaster WILL sound different than the onboard sound, but that does not mean it's better. It may be you'll get some positional audio benefits that would help you in shooters.

I have been using a mid-range Creative card for years, and it is exactly as much trouble as it's worth. About every 100 boots it fails to initialize properly and makes a bad noise or doesn't work at all. It provides a small boost in sound quality FOR ME, because I use Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers OR a Sennheiser PC350 headset.

The headset actually needs a bit more power, and I may upgrade to one of the more serious, expensive cards... I'm just trying to illustrate what kind of people need or want a discrete sound card.

The thing about playing DVDs is actually the error handling. How well and fast an optical drive recovers from a read error makes a big difference in movie playback. Years ago I spent big money on an HP optical drive because it had good error recovery, and it was worth it. These days, I think most of the drives are pretty similar. The Samsung did actually do well in one review I saw a while back. I use a Samsung Blu-ray drive these days that I like.

I grew up (a long time ago) working on my own cars and had a good amount of experience with radiators and hoses, but I still waited for a long time before deciding to water cool. You have to really want it. The Noctua is a fine choice.


Dec 15, 2012
Since it won't make that big of a difference from the GeForce GTX 660, I'll save myself the extra cash.

Thank you for explaining the sound card in a more simple way. I'll have to think on the sound card then. I may not actually need one.

When I get back I will check a little into the error handling of the ones I looked through to see if this burner was better then those. I wanted a blu-ray drive because I know that is where they are going with CDs, but currently I only own a few Blu-ray movies so not having one is not killing me at the moment. Glad to hear that Samsung is still a good brand.

Is liquid cooling that much work just to put in? The one I saw they were advertising easy instillation. Maybe it wasn't one of those real ones, I was probably looking at a bootleg version or something. lol I'm glad the Noctua will do. I'm looking forward to reading more about liquid cooling in the future though.

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