My new Intel gaming rig (soon to order)!


Sep 12, 2011
Hello everyone! After a few years of lurking through the tom's hardware forums for advice I am finally getting around to joining as a member :bounce: !

To get down to the point; I just finished piecing together my first gaming rig based upon rigorous market research, compatibility of components, and performance / cost ratio. (I feel like I just built a house). Anyhow here is what I have come out with. Opinions, suggestions and slaps in the face are more than welcome :D !
Total: $1400

OS: Windows 7 Professional x64 bit (Getting for same price as Home Premium x64)





GPU + CPU cooling unit: (Don't look at me like that... 5 different reviews (2 using a bench) reported the 30% improved cooling performance which was maintained through an I5 2500k 4.6 ghz clock and a further GPU OC. All the test variables expected were even listed :eek: ! Could this be a miracle? /knock on wood...

PSU: (Already have it. Great product for past 5 months.)

Hard Drive:

Optic Drive:

Additional / Replacement fans: x4

To take stress off MOBO from fans:

Again thanks for any and all feedback! I feel least confinent in the GPU/CPU cooling solution (seems too good to be true dispite evedence; and I am not sure if this PSU could handle the additional SLI GTX 580 I plan in the distant future. :sleep:
I feel like you should be able to stick a SSD in that system with your budget. I'd say get a cheaper motherboard, since you don't get a ton of extra performance for the extra $50 you'd pay over other solid boards like the Gigabyte Z68X-UD4-B3.

I would stay away from Rosewill's PSUs. For around that price you could get the PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W that is OEMed by Seasonic and is a quality unit. The Antec HCG-900 should also run 2x580s easily.

The GPU cooler seems a little silly IMO. A good airflow setup will keep your system plenty cool; GPUs will shut off if they get too hot, so there's really no need to worry about temps.
That said, I do have a full blown loop and am adding a second GPU in the next week or two :whistle:

I'd pick the Samsung F3 over the WD Black, as it's cheaper and faster. WD hasn't increased their platter density, so it can't even max out the SATA II bandwidth limit.

Those fans don't really move a significant amount of air. I'd look for ones in the ~50+ CFM range. If you want quiet yet good fans, I'd look at these (same noise level, over 3 times the airflow):


Sep 12, 2011
I don't know jack about how an SSD can RAID with a HDD (supposedly acting as a giant cache) or how much good it will do me to put my OS on the SSD. Any SSD suggestions or recommendations?

Also; agreed on the MOBO being too many non-pertinent pro's. I didn't feel comfortable however with your suggestion because I was unable to deturmine the role/effectivness of a/the Z68X-UD4-B3 's OC'ing contribution. I want 4.6 24/7 on the I5 2500k ect...

Congratulations on the upcoming GPU =D and thank you both for the feedback! Hope to hear more from everyone!
You don't RAID the SSD and HDD, you install the OS (and a few programs) on the SSD, and install everything else on the HDD. You get extremely fast read/write times on the SSD, so your OS boots in seconds, and games will load much faster.

The best SSD out in terms of performance vs. reliability is the Crucial M4. A 64GB can hold W7 64bit (~30GB after updates) and a decent number of programs, depending on what they are.

Not all boards are guaranteed to hit a specific OC at a good voltage, etc. so it is difficult to determine. I can't even say if Asus's board can get you that.