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I'm so sorry that I've been asking so much questions lately.
It's really awesome what you do and I appreciate that.
Hopefully this is the last question I have for you :)

So.. What do you think of this build?
Because I still have about a week to change anything before I order the parts.
This will be used for 1440p Gaming. Should I change anything? Is 650watt enough?

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Stock cooler that comes w/ CPU

Motherboard: MSI Z97-GAMING 5 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Memory: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP
Performance Desktop Memory Kit Red x2 (16GB in Total)

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (For boot and some other applications)

HDD: 500GB and 1TB (Not sure what brand)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr Video Card

Case: ZXT Phantom 410 (Red) ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply: Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

Monitor: BenQ GW2765HT 60Hz 27.0" Monitor

ANSWER: No problems asking follow-ups (the AllExperts software does have a limit to how many times you can post a follow-up to a single question thread, and if that occurs, just enter a new question; there is (as far as I know) no limit on how many "new questions" you can ask to a single expert, and its certainly nothing I'd enforce).

From the top:

- With the build, as spec'd currently, a 650W PSU should be fine per this PSU calculator ( - it estimates around 350-400W DC draw, which is not an unreasonable value based on the TDPs for the "big" parts (e.g. CPU, GPU, etc).

I would make some changes, however.

= Generally I'm not a big fan of MSI-branded hardware, so I would consider ASRock, Asus, or Gigabyte as replacements, and for the graphics card EVGA is a very easy pick for an nVidia card. This change is largely due to support/warranty coverage reasons.

- I would consider an aftermarket cooler for the CPU, simply to quiet things down some. Cooler Master has some inexpensive options if you're hitting a budget cap as-is.

- I would not do a 4x4GB (or "all banks populated") memory configuration; if you want 16GB of RAM, get a 2x8GB kit. Generally this is a more stable (or, another way, less potentially unstable) configuration, that also allows better expansion in the future (e.g. it would be cheaper and easier to upgrade to 32GB of RAM later).

- I am not a fan of the "boot SSD" design, as it does nothing for actual performance; getting Windows to start-up quickly has no bearing on the machine's overall performance, and the SSD has no influence on computationally-bound tasks (e.g. frame-rate). The SSD will only provide benefit to applications or data stored upon it, and then only if they are constrained by disk access time or read speeds (which is not all cases); overall I'm not opposed to SSDs but if you're going that route, go that route for the entire machine (or at least for all applications, including Windows, on the machine (if you have multiple TB of archived data, e.g. tons of photographs, that doesn't make sense on an SSD in my view, so go with a large mechanical hard disk, or better yet, RAID array of disks to increase data security)) - not just to load Windows onto. Overall if you're on a tight budget, I'd lose the SSD before any other part, as it has the least overall impact on performance (especially for gaming or other computationally-bound tasks).

- I'm not a fan of that style of case. This has nothing to do with the aesthetics, but the internal layout. Specifically the bottom-mounted PSU (especially with a PSU that has a bottom-mounted fan) and the ventilation fan layout (with the front fans blowing into a solid metal wall (the HDD cages)) are my primary issues. I suggest a case that better comports to the ATX standard, with a low-mounted front intake that is not obstructed by a solid piece of metal (it may have hard-drive bays in front of it, but they should be rotated 90* so they're "open" unless occupied (and then, if occupied, the hard-disks actually get benefit of that fan), and (especially with a bottom-fan PSU) a top-mounted PSU (which allow the PSU to both breathe easier (run cooler, as it isn't "sucking on the floor" now), and contribute to the system's cooling (which it is meant/designed to do). Examples of such layouts include the Lian-Li PC-7 and Antec Titan (I'm not saying you must buy one of these cases, or that they are the only options, but they're fairly popular models and pictures of them are easily found, so you can see more specifically what I'm talking about). Overall switching to a better laid-out case will reduce noise and improve cooling performance, which will be a benefit to the system and the user.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Happy New Year Bob!

Coming back to the question,
I forgot to mention that I already had the RAM and I can't do anything about it now.
I reconsidered some of the points you made, and I decided to stick to the SSD, as not only for a 'boot SSD' but for programs such as Sony Vegas etc. that need to load or generally perform faster.

About the case and the CPU cooler, I live in Ireland, and I am getting my parts from Poland for a bit cheaper, and cases like the Antec Titan or the Liian-Li PC-7 are not widely available in Poland or Ireland. I would like you to say what you think of these two cases for my particular build:

And for the CPU cooler, I picked this:

What are your thoughts on them? If you have any suggestions you can point out, I would be very grateful.


Ah, completely understood on the RAM. On the SSD and video editing, the biggest performance gains will be with the video being edited *and* the application able to use the SSD, and that is certainly a good application for a faster disk.

On the cases - both will be much better. Note that the NZXT case does not have 5.25" bays, so if you're meaning to install a DVD or CD drive inside the machine, that case will not accommodate it. The second case provides 5.25" bays and similarly improved airflow layout; either would be appropriate.

The Cooler Master cooler would be an improvement over the stock Intel part, and should yield both a quieter and cooler running system. Overall everything looks good here.



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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner. I have a personal interest in PC gaming, and can apply my experience to such an end. Questions related to 3D games on OS X or other platforms are less likely to get answered.


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