New build with a no upgrade policy


Mar 4, 2011
I need to buy a new computer, and I want to focus on speed, silence, and if possible don't change it for a while (and I mean dont touch it... no upgrade at all).
I am mainly wondering about
- CPU/MO/RAM how high do I need to go to have something that will last 3/4 years ?
- same question for the graphic card, even though gaming is not my main usage, I still need something powerfull (1920x1200) but I dont want to compromise silence.
- finally the case, I have a few ideas, but couldnt find info about noise isolation (to compare cases) and it needs enough space for : graphic card, sound card, tv tuner (?)

Thanks for your help :)


Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as Sandybridge is back

Budget Range: 1000


Oct 13, 2010
A custom-built desktop PC will almost always be 'upgradeable' if you choose to do so... Just get the best components you can afford at time of purchase...

So in your case definitely wait for the Sandy Bridge return... if you plan on overclocking... then get the i5-2500K /w a P67 motherboard... if not get the i5-2400 or i5-2500 /w a H67 motherboard

silent graphics -> if you're not doing serious gaming... but still want some decent options that's also silent... try this one:

as for a good quality + silent case (+ an Antec power supply) -> this one:


Mar 4, 2011
sorry message was broken... here is the end :
Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as Sandybridge is back
Budget Range: 1000 - 2500
System Usage from Most to Least Important:
- I multi task a lot, i often have lots of program running at once (like 3 firefox with 30 tabs each, photoshop, a few ms-word, eclipse, java applications... and so on) and I want to minimize lagging and swapping.
- run recent games (Diablo 3, maybe crisis 2...)
- watch movies
- a little bit of image processing
Parts I have :
keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, soundblaster XFI, powersupply corsair 650W
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: dont know
Country of Origin: France
Parts Preferences:
I am almost sure about
- ASUS P8P67 (Socket 1155)
- Core i5-2500K
- WD Caviar 1 To
I am not so sure about
System hard drive :
- OCZ Vertex 2 60 Go for Quiet
- 10.000 tpm or more classical drive for performance (200-500go)
Graphic card :
GeForce GTX 470 ?
Ram 6go ? 8go ? :
this was my first idea but maybe faster would be better here ?
Kit 3 x 2 Go DDR3 1333 MHz CAS9
Case :
I have a few ideas :
- CoolerMaster HAF-932
- Cooler Master RC-690 II Advanced
- Fractal Design R3
Overclocking: dont know
SLI or Crossfire: dont know
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments:
1/ Perfomance
2/ Quiet
3/ I dont really want to upgrade, needs to last 3/4 years as is...


Skip the WD Caviar HDD and get a Samsung F3 1TB. Much faster drive with the same reliability.

Definitely go for the OCZ Vertex 3 when it comes out soon; with SATA III, it is the fastest SSD on the market. Don't waste your money on the 10k RPM HDD.

Your GPU should at least be a GTX 560; the 560s are ~25% better than the 470s and cost the same. You could get 2 for the price of a 580 and beat it's performance, but with you budget, you could go 2x580 even.

With an i5-2500K platform, you should be using a dual channel set, and to future proof it you should be looking at a 2x4GB kit, Cas Latency 7 (lower = better) and ~1333MHz.

The HAF 932 is a big full tower. Even the 912 and 922 are still very big mid-towers.


Mar 4, 2011

- HDD : Ok, that answer my questions thx

- GPU I am really interested in silence, from what i understand, the GPU can be very noisy. any idea where I could find comparative charts about that ? or is the case going to solve my silence problem ?

- CPU and RAM, ok, but why not go for 2x4Gob 1600Mhz ? is it only a price issue or is there some hidden latency thing ?

- CASE : so I guess you dont like the fractal case ? I can see that CoolerMaster is often recommended, but I was afraid the noise reduction was not as good as the fracal design ? again, if you know how i can compare noise reduction here.
finally, I would rather not have a huge and heavy case, just big enough i guess :)

Thank a lot for your insight


Mar 4, 2011

that was euro but I gave a wide range to indicate that it is not the primary focus :
- i want to keep cost under control, I dont want to get "the best" no matter the cost...
- but I may be willing to add an extra 15-20% for a 30-50% performance gain (for exemple)



Feb 10, 2011
** Edit ** (note I posted this before seeing the reply from Iachigo above about budget in Euros **

You're going to need to make some degree of compromise.
We can make you a (relatively) quiet PC with excellent performance on current games.
We can make make you a PC with excellent performance on new games in 4 years with no upgrades...
But we can't make you a quiet PC with excellent performance on new games in 4 years with no upgrades.

The pace of change on video game graphics is simply too fast. In four years there will be games available with so much power that only today's very highest graphics card will be able to handle it well. And that would no longer be quiet.

So we will need you to answer a few more questions.

1) Is the budget 1000-2500 US Dollars, or Euros?
2) When you speak of using this PC for four years, do you still want excellent graphics performance in 4 years? Or is it OK if this PC requires lower settings for the games that come out 4 years from now?
3) If you want to have excellent graphics in 4 years, would you be willing to consider a water cooling system? It would require a more complicated initial setup, so some people don't like the idea.

Here is my first attempt at this.
I would call this a relatively quiet system with excellent graphics TODAY. In four years this system would definitely need to use lower settings to play new games.
All of my selections were influenced by balancing reviews from this site,, and

I'm listing links to prices on, but I'm sure you will want to purchase from somewhere in Europe to avoid shipping difficulty and delays. I don't speak French well enough to navigate any of those sites.
So I will not post any specific discounts or combination deals available through NewEgg.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K[/i]

~$170 (not sure of source so rough price estimate)

(you had a 3x2GB RAM kit in your initial list. The LGA1155 motherboards have dual channel ram. That 3x2 kit would be for a LGA1366 motherboard)

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7Q-16GBXH

Normally would never recommend that much RAM to start. Half of that would be more than enough normally, but with the no upgrade policy this seems like an easy safeguard against future load, without added noise.

Drive 1 (for OS and your main game... other programs and file storage will be on Drive 2. Make sure you move the Windows document folder location to your storage drive)
(This is the first of the next wave of solid state drives to become available on NewEgg. If you can wait a few weeks, at least two competitors will emerge w/ the the new SandForce SF-2200 controller and better (in some reviews) performance at lower price. Option A would be 'OCZ Vertex 3' expected to cost ~$300 for 120GB.)

Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Drive 2 for storage and lower priority stuff
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

A 500GB hard drive has fewer platters -> less mass -> less vibration so it is more quiet than a 1TB drive. No home user really has more than 500GB of data that they need instant access to. If you run out of space on this then get an external drive that you can connect, move things onto, and then shut down. This will help your noise and heat.
Also has some good tips for ways to mount the hard drive so that vibration is not carried to your case.

Video Card
I would recommend a GTX 560 Ti as your graphics card. It is faster than the GTX 470 that you listed, but it's also less heat and noise due to a more efficient processor.
I'm not particular to any of them, but I will use this one as a place-holder.

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

That is the only component in this build that might be bad in terms of noise, but it's the best we can do with the amount of performance required.
If it is too loud then it is not the graphics card's fault, it's the cooler fans on the card. If that happens, then get this and replace the cooler. This one is a better cooler, but I don't know of any GTX 560 Ti's that come with it.

Acrtic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus VGA cooler + VR005 accessory kit

Antec P183 V3 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Power Supply
(If you find that your power supply is the one thing you hear in your case, one of these may be more quiet)

Option A:
Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply

(note: The 'CP' series power supplies are a unique 'CPX' size/shape that is slightly larger than standard ATX power supplies. This design allows for better component spacing and quieter cooling, but at this point there are only 4 four cases that can fit this supply... Antec's P183, P193, Twelve-Hundred, and DF-85)

Option B: if you do not choose any of the Antec cases that accept the CP supply
ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD625AWT_II 625W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

CPU heatsink cooler
Noctua NH-C12P SE14 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

Operating System You already have it

Optical Drive 1
LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)

Total $1497, without optional graphics cooler or monitor.


Feb 10, 2011

Oh, wow... so 1000 - 2500 Euro = 1397 - 3492 US Dollars.
That is a big budget. I take back what I said... :D
We may in fact be able to do this.


Well, realize that the numerical price values are about the same both in the US and in Europe (e.g. for a GTX 560 - $250 ~ 250 euros in terms of what we each paid), so $1000-2500 for us is approximately a 1000-2500 euro computer for you.

The points you made were good additions/clarifications.


Mar 4, 2011
That was fast... thanks everyone :)
Also if you go back to the first post, I listed some parts I already have (noctua corsair650...) and plan to use so you dont have to include that into the budget.

About the HDDs :
- since I am waiting for sandybridge, I will probably wait for OCZ Vertex 3
- good to know about 500Go drive making less noise than bigger one (and thx for the silentp site very interesting)

About the GPU :
it seems the 560 is a good compromise... I didnt expect to have game in 4 years working with full details... I just want them running :)

The Antec P183 V3 Black Aluminum is an interesting case
I kinda like the Fractal design case too... any reason you guys dont ?

G.SKILL (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 CL7 : maybe a bit overkill yeah but I like the idea

That doesn't jive with the law of diminishing returns, for the most part, as you get closer and closer to the SOTA (state of the art) the cost of the next 5% of performance is always greater than the last 5% .... in fact you could spend $100 to go up 5% and then $1,000 to go up another 5%.

You always want to design your system to allow for incremental improvements which might extend the life of your system.....but without having to replace parts. The option to add a 2nd GFX card is the most common. A system with a "near the top GFX card", might garner another 12 - 18 months of life adding that 2nd card. That's a 5 minute mod if you plan correctly; you don't want to for example want to be replacing your PSU because you didn't plan adequately and your PSU is a 750 watter when you need an 850 that woulda cost $10 more at build time. Question s/ items to consider

Case - Big cases leave lotsa room for expansion, what might I want to add in next 3 -4 years ?

PSU - sized for adding a 2nd card

MoBo / CPU - Will the MoBo get you thru the desired period ? Are there upgrade options for the CPU in same MoBo ?

Cooler - If you think you might want to extend life by overclocking "later" , best to put in cooler at time of original build and save the hassle of taking apart.

RAM - Fill or slots now or save room to add later ?

GFX - Here's how I figure....card you install should make you completely happy for 1st 12 months, card you add in SLI / CF should keep you happy thru 2nd 12 months .... you won't be completely happy for the 3rd 12 months as you may come up short in the most demanding 1 or 2 games but it will play all others just fine.

HD - Skip the advice that says this is the fastest or this is the best because no HD is the best all around performer. They are all tweaked to what the manufacturers think is their demographic. zThe "Big 3" are the WD Black, Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12. Compare looking at how they perform in the things that are important to you. The one that's best in movies is not the one that is best in photos and that is not the one that is best in something else. Here's the results, pick what works best in your apps.


SSD - Recognize that it will boot you up considerably faster and it will give you a great Windows Performance Score. But other than that, you experience won't be changed in any major way unless you doing video editing (on it), 3D rendering or large database / number crunching.

OS - If ya have 3 or more networked puters in your house, lean towards Pro as networking get cranky after the 5th one. It also gets you XP mode if ya have any particularly troublesome programs. Otherwise Home Premium should service you fine.

Mouse / KB - What works for you, though I suggest avoiding wireless .... doing the batteries thing, even rechargables, get old real fast.

Your budget range is extreme ..... 1,000 euros is about $1400 to me, 2500 euros is $3500 so I will do one at both ends.
$1550-ish build (1,100 Euro)

Case - $190 - Antec P193 V3
PSU - $90 - Antec CP-850
MoBo - $390 - ASUS P8P67 Pro
CPU - incl. - Intel Core i5-2500K w/ above
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Muskin CAS 7
GFX - $250 - MSI 560 Ti (880 MHz) OC
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $160 - Spinpoint F3 1 TB
SSD - $245 - Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB
DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS

Used a sedate looking case, 1st tier, super quiet PSU, not quite top dog MoBo / CPU but just 1 notch below the top end. realize ya can't buy from newegg but ya can read the specs and look at the pictures :)

I used the C300 SSD as a "place holder" for the Vertex 3 120 GB which is due to be released this month (same price but much faster)
Next Step Up - $1700ish build (1200 Euro)

Only changes here are the case and GFX card as well as the addition of a card reader and upgarde to Win 7 64 professional

Case - $160 - Antec DF-85

GFX - $315 - EVGA GTX 570

GFX - Later Same

OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Pro OEM

Card Reader $35 AFT XM-35U

As with previous build, CAse and PSu sized for adding 2nd card down the line


Feb 10, 2011

Yes, that's assuming you even decide to get an SSD.
We recommend them a lot around here but honestly that's mostly because we're spending other people's money. It will help, but it's not life changing or anything. So you need to decide if it's worth that amount of money to you.

I recommended the P183 over the Fractal R3 for two reasons (neither of which is absolute, so feel free to go with whatever you prefer).
1) It's the most quiet of the cases that fit the CP-series power supplies... which really do seem nice. Clean power and silent at moderate load.
2) It gets great reviews on SPCR.
But the R3 also seems to be well regarded, and you're not planning to use the CP-850 power supply... so those reasons may mean less to you.
Next step up at $2300-ish (1650 Euro)

Changes here add bigger PSU, Mobo / CPU at tippy top, CPU cooler chnage, double the RAM and the fastest GFX card available ... today.

PSU - $150 - Antec CP-1000

MoBo - $270 - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution

CPU - $330 - Intel Core i5-2600K

Cooler - $70 - Antec Kuhler 620

RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7
RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7

$525 - EVGA GTX 580 Black Ops Edition

Not gonna make another post for the last one ..... but the GTX 590 will be out this month .... that's two GPU's on one card. The CP-850 should handle it but if ya need two look for the Antec HCP 1200 if ya think you might ever have a 2nd one.

BTW, as a case option, you mentioned the 932 ... wouldn't go there .... nice case in its day but the HAF-X would be the way to go. In the HAF's, CPX form factor PSU's don't fit so, you'll wanna grab the XFX Black Edition in the 850 watt size, the Corsair HX or AX series in anything bigger.

If ya want soemthing more sedate, would recommend the P183 for one GFX card and the P193 for two ..... both fit CPX form factor PSU's which is a huge advantage in these cases. However in this size case, I wouldn't want to go more than twin 560 Ti's .... but I'd get the overclocked ones.
Seeing as how this card from ASUS looks like it was built for balls-out overclocking, that is the expectation I had when I first laid eyes on this card. With clock speeds 80MHz on the core and 50MHz on the memory faster than the reference card specifications, out of the box, the question was how much head room was going to be left? What I found out was that there was some head room, but not as much as I had hoped for with the ASUS-designed PCB and cooling solution. That really comes down to what the silicon will yield more so than anything with the build quality. By using ASUS's Smart Doctor utility, I was able to boost the clock speeds up to 1004MHz on the fixed function units, 2008MHz on the CUDA cores, and 1202MHz (4808 MHz QDR). To do this required the voltage to be increased up to the 1150mv limit in Smart Doctor. The clock speeds I reached were stable throughout the entire test suite, not just a quick run through a single benchmark, so this may seem a little lower than some of the other numbers seen, but stability is where it's at. When it came to cooling, the DirectCUII cooling solution benefits from the installation of a second fan delivering temperatures better than the reference card in both stock and overclocked scenarios. When it comes down to it 100+MHz out of the core and 150+MHz out of the memory, that's not a bad trade off for your time on a factory-overclocked card.
While waiting for Sandy Bridge fix to arrive I have several peeps with "builds in the works", quite a few have decided that rather than a single 580 or twin 570's, they are gonna get twin 560 Ti's factory overclocked.


Mar 4, 2011

Thanks JackNaylorPE I absolutely agree with your advice about upgrading and about the law of diminishing return, BUT I know (from experience) that I wont touch it for a few years, until I am unhappy enough to sell it and buy a new one (in 4 years if I am lucky and sooner new cool stuff is out)

Also, I already have a PSU (CORSAIR650W) which I would like to use so... probably no double GFX.

I agree with the 2x4gb RAM 1600 CAS7 that you selected (this is the only thing that I could possibily upgrade if i am not too lazy... :p)

I see you have posted a new one, let me see :)


Mar 4, 2011

Yes I was planning to get a "system HD" either SSD or high RPM drive.

I am checking case review as we speak

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