Jan 30, 2008
Hey guys! I'm looking at building my first computer for quite some time, and I would like some advice from the Forumexperts. The main purpose of the computer is for work, but I do want it to be able to do some high quality gaming on my days off, as well as OC the beast. I tend to play FPS's, games like the Total War series and Civilization, the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, as well as the Football Manager series. If you guys could comment on the gaming and OCing side of the build, that would be great!

Case (either): CoolerMaster CM-690 II or Antec 900 II v3 or Lian-Li Lancool PC-K60.
PSU: OCZ Z Series Gold 850W
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 7200rpm SATA 6.0gb/s
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 580 1.5Gb
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 or Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX
CD/DVD: Lite-On 24X iHAS324 DVD writer
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Monitor: ASUS VH242H 23.6" 5ms response

Case - not sure which one to choose here. The main thing I wanted was a roomy case with good air-cooling. I can't justify spending money on water cooling, especially with recent events on the global financial market and the possibility of the GFC Mk 2. Originally it was based around concerns that it was risky, but now it's solidified even more into air-cooling only. If the economy picks up I might think about it, but I've got to balance what I can afford with what I want to do. Small performance gain v paying off the mortgage...

PSU - Thoughts? I've heard good things, but I've also heard some bad things too. 850w is quite substantial, and I am hoping it will give me room to get the second video card at some stage. I'd prefer to spend the same amount on a smaller capacity PSU than spending the same on a high capacity PSU. Quality over quantity I say. Anyone got this PSU? Have you installed in any of those cases?

Motherboard: I am quite happy to spend that bit extra on a high-end motherboard. I figure the motherboard is where the magic happens, so I'd like something that can really take advantage of everything. I wondered about the ASUS Maximus IV-Extreme, but it is $100 more (where I am) and I have heard mixed reports about ASUS lately. Any criticisms of this board?

CPU: It's this CPU no matter what. I want it, I like it and almost every review I have read gives it good reviews.

HDD: Thought about having two drives. I originally wanted my OS on an SSD but they are just too expensive. Are Black Caviar's any good and in particular is this model worth it?

Video Card: No matter what I do, I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars extra on a GTX 590 or 6990. Since I am going air-cooling only, I thought this card was okay? Anyone had any experience with it?

RAM: Not sure which one to choose. I need 12Gb of RAM for work purposes at times, but I am trying to work less at home and more at work. I've decided to go with 8Gb for the moment - I can always upgrade later. Any thoughts on these two. The timings looked pretty good, but I'm not sure which one is better?

Sound Card: I'd like better than onboard sound, but I'm not an audiophile by any means. Is this a reasonable soundcard?

CD/DVD: Yeah, whatever. It's a reasonable price, and I don't use it that often....

OS: To take advantage of the extra RAM.

Monitor: Over 1500 reviews and still has 5 errrmmmm.... eggs on Newegg. That says a lot.

Any bottlenecks you can see? Anything else you wanted to add?
Looks like a nice build. I don't see any bottlenecks other than hdd. $350 for a motherboard....really? That money could be better spent elsewhere. With a high end build like this you should have a SSD drive in there an maybe drop down to a 1tb 7200rpm drive.

The psu will NOT be sufficient for GTX580's in SLI. You'll need a quality 900w+ and if you plan on any overclocking I would suggest a 1000w.

If you dropped down to GTX570's, then the 850w would be sufficient.



Jan 30, 2008
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm getting an SSD later on. I'm aware that running of a SATA drive isn't ideal, at least in the sense that SSD's are available, but right at the moment an SSD is out of my price range. Hoping to get one in 12-18 months time. Should be much cheaper with higher capacities by then anyway. I could get it if I did downgrade to a 1TB HDD, but I need the extra space for work stuff. Don't know about you, but 1TB SSD's are slightly out of my reach! :p

Definitely considering upgrading to a large PSU after your advice. Very much so. I'm thinking the 1000w version of the original PSU, or an Antec TruePower Quattro. Any others I should think about?

Quite happy to spend on a motherboard. Especially once I finish the build and it lives up to its intended purpose (SLI + OCing + SSD etc etc). Having said that, if you can find a cheaper board with the same sort of features and performance...