Desktop overhaul – feedback?

TL:DR – I'm planning to overhaul/upgrade my gaming desktop. Let me know what you think of the parts list and offer suggestions (parts I'm salvaging are marked as purchased), specifically for Mobo, GPU, and Sound Card

UPDATE: I've sorted out Mobo, sound, and PSU, but I'd still appreciate some feedback w/ the GPU, and some non-essential stuff like peripherals.

Would greatly appreciate if you took the time to read the details on each component towards the bottom. ;) [/TL:DR]

Background Info (You can skip this, not necessary)

So, my desktop is getting a bit old, and when I first built it, I cut a few corners, specifically with case and mobo (MSI P67A-G45); I have a P67 chipset which refuses to boot without a GPU, and the ethernet NIC is dead. The case was $30, so it's an eye-sore and falling apart after a few years. Since I went through a few dead GPU's as well, ultimately going from a GTX 570 to a GTX 650, gaming performance isn't as good either. Also, Steam is killing my 1TB drive. So I figure it's time to overhaul and down-size.

Parts I already have and am salvaging:

CPU – Core i5 2500k (OC'd to 4.2GHz – 4.6GHz, depending on average ambient temps.)

Cooler – Xigmatek Dark Knight (older nickle-plated one – NOT the Night Hawk)

RAM – 4x 2GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-2000

SSD – 60GB OCz Agility 3 (plan to re-purpose as caching solution)

PSU(?) – Rosewill 750W Xtreme series. Thinking about replacing due to some fan clicking, and quad-rail design. But it still works.

Here is the part-list, with parts I'm salvaging marked as purchased:

So, I'm fairly confident in my ability to pick out parts, as I do often and have been building for a few years. However, when it comes to my baby, there is ALWAYS a lingering doubt. So here are my concerns:

MOBO – I want to OC fairly heavily, and I would like an mATX motherboard with a reasonable price. The other boards I was considering with the ASRock Extreme4-M, ASRock Professional-M, and the ASUS Maximus V Gene. I figure the Pro4-M is the same as the Extreme4-M, save gold caps. I think the Professional-M might be a good step up in OC potential, but would like to know if it's worth a $25 jump in price. I'm shying away the Gene due to price, but it could be justified if the integrated sound is on-par or better than the ASUS Xonar DSX. If so, I will likely go with the Gene.

I finally narrowed the choices down to the ASRock Professional-M and ASUS Gene. The previous considerations didn't have a beefy phase power design for OCing. However, with the mediocre sound and Broadcom NIC (which I'm not fond of), I've decided to rule out the Professional-M and go for the Gene, especially considerin the sound with a SNR of 110dB, which puts it between the ASUS Xonar DSX and DX. Hopefully, I still get headphone amp. If not, oh well...

GPU – I'm torn between the GTX 760 and Radeon 7870 XT. I plan on OCing the GPU. I play a wide variety of games, the most demanding of which are FC3, BF3, Tomb Raider, Arma2/Day-Z, BioShock (planning to play the entire series), Skyrim, Chivalry, and Red Orchestra 2. I'm shying away from 7870XT due to limited selection of coolers. However, on the flip side, I'm also hesitant to commit to the 760 due to what I think is fairly limited OC potential.


SOUNDI like the ASUS DSX. I wouldn't exactly call myself an audiophile, but I'm definitely more picky about my sound than the average person. I listen to A LOT of music, of varying genres. Would the upgrade to the ASUS DX be worth it? 107dB SNR vs 116dB SNR. I have a pair of ATH-M30's, and some Corsair Vengeance 1500's, which I plan on replacing with SteelSeries Siberia V2. Also, another concern is using a headset with speakers. If I plug my headphones to the front panel audio, would my headphones enjoy the benefit of the headphone amp on the sound card?

Decided to go for the SupremeFX sound w/ the Maximus V Gene mobo.


CASE – I like the 350D. It just costs a bit much. Open to alternatives. Must be mATX mini-tower, preferably with side-panel window.


PSU – As I've already mentioned, I'm thinking about replacing my Rosewill 750w due to some fan clicking, and quad-rail (20amps ea.) design. Probably replace with a ~600-650w Seasonic. But it still works. Keep or replace?

Due to the low amperage of the rails, I'm replacing the Xtreme 750w with a 650w Capstone from Rosewill.


Peripherals – I torn between the RAT5 and the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. Opinions? Open to other mice suggestions. As for the keyboard, I'm unsure of which switch type I'd like as I've never used a mechanical board before. I'd imagine liking Cherry MX Brown switches the best. Ideally I would like something with Brown Cherry switches and Red back lighting. Currently have Razer Arctosa and some optical GE mouse.

I would get this the pk1 paste is better thats what I use also just get the rog asus board for the sound and OC and get the 350D dont cheap out on somthing that you really want.  I would get the 760 you can bios mod it to get a good overclock out of it.  I put in the xfx 550 watt I have used it and its great.  Also the Rosewill rk9000 is a better keyboard unless your set on the ten keyless board the rosewill is the same as filco mygestic I believe It is a filco none the less.  For the mouse get what ever you think you would like my freind has the rat 7 he loves I dont its personal thing I like logitech and thermaltake mice the best the g500/theron.  For the ssd the plextor is good but I like samsung the best but most ssd's are going to be just fine.  Good luck with your upgrade.

I appreciate the advice, but I have a few counter-points:

  1. The Thermal paste: The PK3 paste actually has more metal and less oil. The PK3 should be more thermally conductive vs the PK1 because of that. I figure the naming scheme (PK3 > PK1) and price are further justifications ($7 for 1.5g vs $10 for 4g.), granted those are not the most reliable indications.
  2. I agree. I'll bite the bullet and get the fancy case. 350D it is!
  3. I was leaning towards the 760, mainly due to TMU/ROP advantage (I know the core count isn't directly comparable), but I'm sticking with ASUS. I've had multiple piss-poor customer experiences with MSI. Both my 560-Ti TwinFrozr II and 570 were from MSI, both dead. Also, there are the previously mentioned motherboard issues, also from MSI. And this article doesn't help matters either:,18013.html
  4. I'm think I'll go Rosewill Capstone 650w. I'd rather have extra capacity wasted than have too little juice to support the OC's and multiple drives. In addition to the high efficiency ratings, the Rosewill Capstone series are manufactured by SuperFlower, which I believe is a reputable manufacturer. If I hear otherwise, I might shoot for the Corsair TX-650 v2 (SeaSonic)
  5. I'm not married to the smaller design, but I'm sticking with the CM board. The Rosewill lacks media keys, not to mention it costs the same, if not more. I believe the CM board to be the better value.
  6. I had a DeathAdder from Razer, which I sorta liked. I figure the SteelSeries Sensei Raw is similar. However, I really like the customization of the RAT5. I think I'll RAT5 and try something new that I can tinker with.
  7. I have personal, albeit brief, experience with the Plextor M5S from a build for a friend. It's plenty fast, and the reliability is top-notch, between Plextor's rigorous testing, Micron Synchronous NAND Flash, and the tried-n-true Marvell controller it's built on. I like Samsung too, but I think the M5S presents a better value overall.

On the topic of the 760's overclocking potential, most reviews I have seen show the card getting up to around 1180MHz on the core, with the card boosting up into the high 1200s (and this is on modest voltage). So I would say it has fairly good OCing potential. They were also getting 30% overclocks on the memory, which is already running stupid fast. I plan on getting a 760 today, and I can't argue with the fact that it is one of the best cards for the money right now.

Ordering this baby when my dad gets home, I have to give him the money.