1st PC build in 10yrs

Hi there

I'm looking to build a gaming/productivity PC. I built one about 10yrs ago and have been on laptops since then, but it is time to replace my old laptop. It can't handle SC2 well and has started to develop build/heat issues.

I put together this build, please let me know your thoughts.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($201.38 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.69 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($59.86 @ Amazon)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($297.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Lian-Li PC-A05FNB ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($47.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1054.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-17 15:52 EDT-0400)

A couple notes:
1. I could probably pick up something at Microcenter. Microcenter is having a special right now for $250 after tax+MIR on the i5-3570k and the MIS Z77A-G51, but I couldn't figure out how to put that in. That would put me ~$35 cheaper than the current build.
2. I have a 4 drive NAS, so don't really have much of a need for internal storage, hence the smaller SSD. I might even be able to go smaller on the SSD.
3. My usage would be gaming, coding (python + vba), excel, and some music creation.
4. I'm hoping to have it last and be able to play games for a 3+ years. My laptop surprisingly lasted 6yrs (although playing games now at very lower settings).
5. I have a space requirement for the case. It can't be taller than 15.5 inches. I have a bit more space in the depth department (14 inch shelf depth - but has about 8 inches free behind it. The case I've included is small enough, but appears to only accommodate a 280mm video card, while the gigabyte is 285mm from what I can see. If there isn't any case that would work, I could possibly move stuff around and go with a horizontal case. In that case, space wouldn't be a real issue.
6. Ideally I'd like to spend less than the current build comes in at. $800-900 would be ideal but not sure if there is any savings to be squeezed.

Thanks for the help!
11 answers Last reply
More about 1st build 10yrs
  1. Get the 212 EVO, slightly better. I heard the MSI Z77A-G41 is voltage locked. Get an ASrock Z77 Extreme4 instead. You do not need 1866 memory, 1600 is fine but for the price it's good. For the price of that 330 series you can get a Samsung 840 Pro 128GB. This is as fast as it gets. Can't really complain when it comes in 180GB for 160. However if you want a smaller than 180gb ssd then get the Samsung 840 non pro, 120gb, it's around $100. That PSU is crap, grab something from XFX, SeaSonic, Corsair, Antec. Something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207014
  2. For sure get a different power supply. I worry that your pc might explode under load with that one. As for the ssd I think that the intel one will suffice. Sure the samsung one is faster but I doubt you will notice it. What matters more is storage space and reliability(not saying samsung is not reliable).

    I also agree with above on the cooler and ram. Not too sure on the motherboard though so you might want to look that up.
  3. another thing to think about too is it wouldnt hurt depending on what your doing to go with a saphire radeon 7870 xt. its essentialy a 79xx series gpu for about $50 less. I'm running BF3 at ultra at around 50+fps average without the card breaking a sweat.
  4. aleone said:
    Hi there

    I'm looking to build a gaming/productivity PC. I built one about 10yrs ago and have been on laptops since then, but it is time to replace my old laptop. It can't handle SC2 well and has started to develop build/heat issues.

    I put together this build, please let me know your thoughts.

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KkHy/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($201.38 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.69 @ Outlet PC)
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($59.86 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($297.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: Lian-Li PC-A05FNB ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($47.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $1054.81
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-17 15:52 EDT-0400)

    A couple notes:
    1. I could probably pick up something at Microcenter. Microcenter is having a special right now for $250 after tax+MIR on the i5-3570k and the MIS Z77A-G51, but I couldn't figure out how to put that in. That would put me ~$35 cheaper than the current build.
    2. I have a 4 drive NAS, so don't really have much of a need for internal storage, hence the smaller SSD. I might even be able to go smaller on the SSD.
    3. My usage would be gaming, coding (python + vba), excel, and some music creation.
    4. I'm hoping to have it last and be able to play games for a 3+ years. My laptop surprisingly lasted 6yrs (although playing games now at very lower settings).
    5. I have a space requirement for the case. It can't be taller than 15.5 inches. I have a bit more space in the depth department (14 inch shelf depth - but has about 8 inches free behind it. The case I've included is small enough, but appears to only accommodate a 280mm video card, while the gigabyte is 285mm from what I can see. If there isn't any case that would work, I could possibly move stuff around and go with a horizontal case. In that case, space wouldn't be a real issue.
    6. Ideally I'd like to spend less than the current build comes in at. $800-900 would be ideal but not sure if there is any savings to be squeezed.

    Thanks for the help!


    I don't like the PSU, at all. I had a Raidmax 630watt volcano PSU, it lasted about 1 year before it went up in smoke.
    MSI motherboards, eh, not my favorite either, had a few in the past. Okay I guess, but really like my ASUS board I have now.
    The rest of the build, I like. Case is more personal preference I think, I love my coolermaster case. This build will indeed last you for years. I built mine nearly 2 years ago, and it runs anything and everything I throw at it without a hiccup. The SSD alone will amaze you. Have fun.
  5. The 7950 gives you roughly 15% more performance than the 7870xt with a 25% higher price.

    @Azn Cracker
    530W is certainly suffient for this build, (GPU TDP + CPU TDP) * 2 is always a good rule of thumb for the PSU power for normal builds.
  6. Best price to performance is the Tahiti LE (SAPPHIRE 7870 XT and POWERCOLOR 7870 MYST/EZ and the Joker). But if you can get a 7950.
  7. This build is a MicroATX and should fit. Its just over your 900 budget but the parts are worth it. Im not sure if the 212 will fit in the case so I went with the gemini some people say the 212 fits but its a tight squeeze.

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Knal
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Knal/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Knal/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII M4 58.4 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Kingston 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.39 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.49 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $928.77
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-17 18:11 EDT-0400)
  8. The 212 fits but hits the side panel. You might also want to consider the Noctua C14 for more extreme overclocks.
  9. Thanks. I see that the reviews aren't great for the Lian-Li PC-A05FNB and I'd like to keep a small form factor case, so I think I'll be going with a mATX form factor and the fractal design core 1000.

    I don't think I will overclock (at least for the next few yrs, where performance is fine for my needs). In that case, I don't need to get the cooler and can just use the stock one, correct?

    Is there a significant differences between the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M and ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M - would the differences be worth it for my usage?

    Anyone have a view on the gigabyte 7950 vs the MSI 7950?

    Thanks
  10. If you do not overclock then you should use the stock cooler it's perfect for what it is.
    Between the 2 boards they are the same except 2 things. The EXTREME4 comes with 2 PCI 3 as opposed to 2 PCI 2 slots on the PRO4. Also, on the PRO4 it has 2 SATA 6Gb/s on the Intel Chipset and the other 2 on a third party controller. The EXTREME4 comes with all 4 SATA 6Gb/s.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description=asrock%20z77&bop=And&CompareItemList=-1%7C13-157-306%5E13-157-306-TS%2C13-157-294%5E13-157-294-TS&percm=13-157-306%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B13-157-294%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24

    The two video cards are basically the same thing. It's just that the board partners (MSI and Gigabyte in this case) has made a custom PCB and slapped on their own custom cooler. I would just get the cheaper one and it appears to be the Gigabyte version. I heard it is EXTREMELY quiet considering it has 3 fans and it can overclock like a beast (like all 7xxx) cards.

    For a case if you liked "cube" shaped ones that is. You might consider the Silverstone SUGO SG09 (recommended), Bitfenix Prodigy, Cooler Master HAF XB/120 Advanced. If you do not like "cube" shaped cases then stick with the core 1000. You can also check out the NZXT Vulcan.
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