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Final thoughts on build?? First time build!

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March 30, 2013 4:58:30 AM

Hello all,
Ironically enough my name is Tom. I just wanted to say thanks in advance for the help from the community here.

Anyways, to the point. This is my first build. It's time I ditched my HP pentuim bought in 2006 with 256mb of pure unadulterated ram power. So pretty much anything at this point will be a vast improvement. Somewhat comparable to a giddy school child.

Budget: $650.
Don't care about shipping. I'll pay the extra $10. $650 for core components.
No monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers needed. (Using Astro A40's)

Purpose: Gaming and schoolwork. (Cyber security/IT degree.)
Obviously I won't be running creed or bf3 on ultra settings here. I know this. I'm a build noob, not an idiot. Please don't insult my intelligence. Ideally I'd like to run high graphics with a 50-60 framerate in games like: League of Legends, Star Wars The Old Republic, Guild wars 2, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, and the like.

Purchase date: Oh, sometime in April would be great. No need to rush. I want more bang for my buck than a psycho midget going kamikaze in borderlands.

Operating system: using a burned copy. Not needed.

When it comes to websites? Don't really care. The egg, amazon, eBay. Whatever. It'd be nice to be able to bundle everything though.

Location: United States. Michigan to be exact. (Eat your heart out Kansas.)

I have no preference in amd, intel, invidia, etc. So fire away ladies and gentlemen.

Overclocking: Really don't know much about this. Is it really that beneficial, is it a necessity in my budget range? How would I do this?

Sli or crossfire? Uhm... You're talking colors with Helen Keller here. No idea what you're talking about.

Monitor resolution? Yikes. Good question. I have an LCD monitor. Don't really need 1080p. So I'm open to suggestions on what would give me good flow with the games listed above.

I have one request. Cases. I found three I'd really love to have. But I understand its not a necessity to have.

Tiveco Ghost Series:
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=28075739...

Thermaltake Commander Series:
http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?itemNumber=N82E168111...

Raidmax blade ATX:
http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?itemNumber=N82E168111...


I also found a guy who lives less then 20 miles from my house who sells prebuilts. He agreed to cut me a deal on the computers due to not having to ship them. Was wondering if the were worth it.

This one will actually cost $580 it does not have the 60gb ssd as listed. It's a 500gb seatgate.
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=12088629...

This one will cost $530 everything is as listed.
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=12101726...

Thanks again for all your help!! :) 

More about : final thoughts build time build

March 30, 2013 5:20:40 AM

First off, the build from ebay is going off dedicated graphics. So, unless you want to spend another 170 dollars after you buy it. I wouldn't recommend it.

Something like this will pleasantly surprise you. I am using the 7850 and play everything so far (with the exception of crysis 3 which i haven't tried) on High-Ultra settings.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P34(FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($42.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS-I ID ATX Mid Tower Case ($41.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($35.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $607.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-30 08:19 EDT-0400)
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March 30, 2013 5:27:21 AM

tenaciousk said:
First off, the build from ebay is going off dedicated graphics. So, unless you want to spend another 170 dollars after you buy it. I wouldn't recommend it.

Something like this will pleasantly surprise you. I am using the 7850 and play everything so far (with the exception of crysis 3 which i haven't tried) on High-Ultra settings.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P34(FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($42.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS-I ID ATX Mid Tower Case ($41.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($35.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $607.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-30 08:19 EDT-0400)


Very good, best so far
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March 30, 2013 5:32:31 AM

Hi there Tom,

First off those pre-builts are out of the window. The 5750/5770 (the graphics cards), are very (2 generations, approaching 3) old, so the fact that he qualifies them with "NEW!" seems a bit dodgy. They were the low end even on release, so honestly don't bother, you can do much better for yourself.

Of the three cases you listed, the first looks like a it would be better at giving you a nice deep cut rather than store your PC components (honestly cheap cases like that are really, really dangerous -- a friend of mine sprayed blood all over his new components cause of a sharp corner). Features like bottom mounted power supply (the Tiveco has it at the top, which is not optimal) and a painted interior (looks better and prevents short circuiting if you do something silly) should be easy to find in your price range. The other two look alright though, with the Thermaltake being slightly better than the Raidmax in my eyes. What is more important to you for the case, quality or looks? For example the Antec One is a very high quality budget case, which lacks some of the looks of the cases you've linked, but probably makes up for it with better construction and features.

SLI/CrossFire since you were confused is where you use 2 or more graphics cards in tandem, in order to boost your gaming performance by a significant amount (in some cases nearly double). It's not relevant at all though unless you are looking for gaming across multiple monitors (which I assume you aren't!).

As far as monitor is concerned I would recommend 1080p. It's pretty much the standard for gaming now days. For $600 you should be able to get a rig which can handle 1080p high/ultra settings (assuming cutting edge games, anything like LoL, Diablo, WoW will be maxed out probably even at 2.5k with no issues) as long as that 1080p monitor isn't part of the $600. If so you're going to have to really cut costs on the PC, so you might as well just stick with what you have.

Now onto the actual build (this is minus the case/OS):

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $557.72

I haven't included a DVD drive, since most people don't use them now days (I certainly haven't) esp. with you having mentioned all online games.

This build should easily be able to run modern titles at high/ultra settings at 1080p. At anything less than 1080p, it will naturally destroy games as well.

In retrospect it would probably be best to dial back the CPU to a Phenom II X4, as in one of the builds above. That way you should have no problem staying within budget no matter what case you choose. The 7870 XT is an amazing graphics card. The 7870 model number is misleading, it's actually a slightly gimped 7950 (2% slower I believe) so in terms of straight line value you you're really bagging yourself a deal with a 7870 XT.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,

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March 30, 2013 5:39:44 AM

Actually the have a 5750 on the intel and a 5770 on the amd.
Also, I'm not seeing a hard drive on your build.. Or am I missing something?
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March 30, 2013 5:44:24 AM

Yeah Marcopolo's build is missing a storage device. Probably just forgot to add one, they are a relatively boring piece of hardware :p .

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March 30, 2013 5:46:30 AM

Its also missing a operating system and a optical drive.
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March 30, 2013 5:55:07 AM

I like these builds so far guys!! Appreciate the detail. I did notice no coolers in either. Are they not needed?
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March 30, 2013 6:01:25 AM

@tenaclousk I think optical drives have had their day (esp. considering nearly all the games he mentioned are only available online). In the cases where it's necessary to have one, I think the person will know this in advance, which is why I tend to leave one out of my cheaper builds as they can simply add it in themselves (rather than the flipside where they might buy it only because I suggested it, and not because they wanted it). Valid point about the OS though. I realise I should have included that in my build as well, as currently my build would be quite a bit over-budget, once everything is included.

To surmise tenaciousk's build is more in line with your budget than mine, and so probably a better bet. Personally I'd drop the Optical Drive, get a cheaper 500 GB hard drive, get the CX 500w (it's cheaper than the 430W with a discount) and spend the extra cash upgrading to a 7870 XT. They are just unbeatable value for the price (value wise, probably the best card under $400).

In regards to one of your earlier questions which I didn't see Tom, overclocking is really a personal preference, and more often than not done because people enjoy it rather than they that they NEED the performance for playability reasons. If you want to overclock the CPU, you need to stick with AMD and get an aftermarket cooler. Intel CPUs are not possible to overclock until you spend upwards of $300 on a motherboard/CPU combo, which just isn't possible at this budget. Graphics cards though, esp. AMD are very overclockable, and can boost your FPS by upward of 10-15 FPS (which doesn't sound like much, but in some games that's the difference between 45 and 60 FPS, which is fairly big). It all depends on how comfortable you are with the extra heat, noise and very, very slight risk it brings (this risk is practically nil if you don't touch the voltage).

EDIT: Coolers are included with CPUs, which is why none are linked. You only need an aftermarket cooler if you intend to overclock.

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March 30, 2013 6:36:10 PM

Bump.
Still open to builds and edits!
Give me some more options please! :) 
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March 31, 2013 4:09:00 AM

Bump!!
Come on. There's gotta be more options out there.
Last call before best answer chosen.
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March 31, 2013 6:59:31 AM

You shouldn't bump on this forums, mods really don't like it :p . People will get to you when they have the time (esp. since you've already had quite a few answers). If you want a reply, it's often better to ask a specific question rather than a generic bump, or just "say more stuff to me".

You're on a fairly tight budget really (we can't suggest things like SLI/CrossFire), and there are only 2 choices for each of the two major components (nVidia/AMD for graphics and Intel/AMD for processor). The fact is almost universally (perhaps no longer with the 650 Ti Boost) AMD is better value than nVidia for graphics power, and likewise until your budget can afford an i5 or arguably an i3, you're probably better off with AMD again. The rest of the components are just kept at as low a price as possible (except the PSU which has to be of a certain quality) while retaining the necessary features, in order to push as much of the budget into the GPU/CPU (note the order, always try and spend more on the GPU for a gaming build), as they are what defines the performance of a given system. There's a reason you don't see people suggesting Motherboards like the Sabertooth Z77 here. So there's no real choices there either, simply the best priced components are chosen, unless there's a specific feature desired.

Is there something you feel 'missing' from the builds above? The thing is there are certain components (the 7850 was until the 650 Ti Boost came along, and now the 7870 XT is a perfect example) which are pretty much universally deemed to be the best at their specific price range.

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March 31, 2013 3:53:37 PM

Well. A bit of revamp here now.
No longer need an os. My friend is letting me use his burnt copy. And I do need a optical drive for cd burning.
So my budget has been bumped up to $650 no operating system needed. Same purpose as before for the rig.
And I apologize for the bumping.
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March 31, 2013 4:22:32 PM

You could make the jump to a 7950 with that budget. It's a lot easier to find in stock than a 7870 XT as well:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B75A-G43 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($46.84 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $656.55

On the other hand you could perhaps upgrade to an i5:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI B75A-G43 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $650.91

The choice is yours :) 

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April 1, 2013 12:53:28 AM

Bad power supply
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April 1, 2013 1:57:22 AM

Marcopolo123 said:
Bad power supply


It has a 4 star rating with 250 reviews on newegg. Why do you say it's bad?
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April 1, 2013 3:43:36 AM

Because brand matters a lot when you looks at power supply units. Have a look at this review of a similar power supply by Logisys, their '600w' unit: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Logisys-PS600A12... The review shows it can't even deliever 2/3 of its specificed power and starts to melt at 375W of power draw. That's not exactly what anyone would want in their system.

The only brands you should be looking at are Corsair, SeaSonic and PC Power and Cooling (XFX and Antec also have fairly decent units -- XFX stuff is produced by SeaSonic). These are pretty much guaranteed to be solid units, and not ticking time bombs that take your system down with them when they fry up (since A) they won't and B) they have the correct electrical protection in place, unlike many of the cheaper units). A Corsair Builder Series 500W would be great for your needs, and is only like $20 more with rebates. If that's not worth it it to prevent your computer from exploding (many bad power supplies have been known to do this) well OK then...

Also don't both buying a fan, until you have the system up and running and know you need one, it just adds cost/noise that you might find out you don't actually need in the end.

Finally I'd recommend spending a little more on the GPU than the CPU, in your build currently they have about the same amount of budget assigned to each. As a general rule of thumb, people normally should spend maybe twice as much on the GPU for a purely gaming build. Having said that, I had that exact combo of an i5 and a 7850 at the end of last year, and it was very solid for 1080p. I would think a 7870 or better would pair more nicely with an i5 however.

Otherwise the build seems fairly good.

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April 1, 2013 4:18:11 AM

Buy atleast a bronze certified from a good brand.
Better gold but it costs more
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April 3, 2013 3:09:53 AM

Okay, well could you recommend one of the ones I had listed? Just so I can narrow it down between the one you just showed me and one of the ones I chose?
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April 3, 2013 3:14:37 AM

Kingwing lzg 550
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April 3, 2013 3:48:42 AM

So, I just threw all 4 next to eachother for comparison and noticed that the Mach 1 Kingwin has 4 12v rails.
What is a 12v rail exactly and is it beneficial to have more than one.
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April 3, 2013 6:25:09 AM

Basically the amperage on the 12v rails is what matters. Most important components (such as the videocard) draw their power from the 12v rails, so that defines what you can run off of a given power supply. Basically when you have more than 1 rail, you need to make sure that you're not running a video card off of one single rail. For example you would have no trouble running a videocard that requires say 25A@12v off a 500W power supply that gives 40A on a single 12v rail no matter how you plug your videocard in. If you have 4 12v rails though, each supplying 10A, you need to ensure that the videocard draws power from at least 3 of the rails. Because of the way modern power supplies are laid out though, it's designed so that for a normal usage this shouldn't really be an issue, since the connectors are laid out in such a way that power draw from each rail should be fairly even. You can read more about it here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/306437-28-single-ra...

Here's a tiered list of power supply brands/models: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx Personally I would stick to tier 2 or better. I have a lot of faith in SeaSonic/Corsair units and although Rosewill Capstone is a tier 2 unit, they have a whole range out there, and some of their units are (rightfully) deemed junk and fall into tier 5. Therefore personally I'm perhaps overly cautious and don't trust Rosewill for power supplies. The Kingwin supply you linked is again a tier 3 unit, and so would be a no-go for me (though their Platinum supplies are fantastic I've heard).

Personally I'd go for this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , SeaSonic being the most reputable brand out there for power supplies.

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April 3, 2013 10:13:31 AM

I have no doubt that it is a decent unit (and normally I would argue the one issue I have with it is that it seems a little overpriced, esp. compared to something like the SeaSonic X-650 -- but since it has such a massive discount at the moment this doesn't really apply).

I'm just telling the OP of my own personal preference and my reasoning so he can decide between the two. I think JonnyGuru is the best power supply review site, and although the Capstone got a decent 9.1, the S12ii/M12ii got a 9.7. You do get Gold efficiency though with the Capstone, which should make some slight savings on your electricity bill (it doesn't actually imply greater build quality or anything. In fact according to both the JonnyGuru and Anandtech review, the M12ii has better build quality overall, due to the Capstone missing MOVs and having some slightly dodgy soldering).

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April 5, 2013 11:45:14 PM

So. After careful consideration, I have decided to throw my budget out the window and just go all out. Well. I'm trying to keep it around $900. I definitely do not want to go higher than where I am now.
So, what do you think?
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/OLZE
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April 6, 2013 4:33:53 AM

marshallbradley said:
It's fairly good, I think you're spending needlessly large amounts on the RAM and would be better off with an 8gb kit like this: http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Memory-Extreme-Performanc...

Otherwise it's fine.

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I actually picked up one set of 8gb when it was a wheel shocker on newegg for $45. And there's a combo with my graphics card where the total with the 7870 ghz would total out to $291 with another 8gb of the same ram so I'm roughly $90 in for 16gbs. Pretty good deal if you ask me. The only thing I'm EXTREMELY hung up on is this psu. That seasonic modular m12ii bronze has awesome reviews. But I'm really partial to the blue led because that's the theme ill be running throughout the case.

Do me a favor? Pull up the case online. (Zalman Z11 Plus)
I'm replacing the two stock 80mm, and the 120mm with blue led fans. Along with installing two additional blue led 120s one on top and one next to the psu. Will the psu even be noticeable at the point? The white led option would probably look good as well... I don't know. Modular sure would be nice though. Sigh. I'm stuck here.
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Best solution

April 6, 2013 5:52:43 AM

Still you're spending $45 on an extra 8 gb of RAM which will never be touched by any current game. You can always upgrade if the time comes that you do need 16 gb for gaming (by just buying another 2 sticks).

Go for the Seasonic. It's miles better value for the money. You can just buy a couple of LED light strips which will look much better, and add much more than that PSU. If you're smart you'll install the PSU with the fan facing downwards so it can draw fresh air from beneath the case, rather than the hot air inside. If you install it with the fan upwards, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by decreasing your PSUs lifespan (higher operating temperature is never good), meaning you wouldn't be able to see those blue LEDs anyway.

Also can you not get a Sapphire 7870 XT for the same price as that? It's quite a bit faster than the Ghz edition, since it's really a 7950.

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April 8, 2013 2:31:32 AM

marshallbradley said:
Still you're spending $45 on an extra 8 gb of RAM which will never be touched by any current game. You can always upgrade if the time comes that you do need 16 gb for gaming (by just buying another 2 sticks).

Go for the Seasonic. It's miles better value for the money. You can just buy a couple of LED light strips which will look much better, and add much more than that PSU. If you're smart you'll install the PSU with the fan facing downwards so it can draw fresh air from beneath the case, rather than the hot air inside. If you install it with the fan upwards, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by decreasing your PSUs lifespan (higher operating temperature is never good), meaning you wouldn't be able to see those blue LEDs anyway.

Also can you not get a Sapphire 7870 XT for the same price as that? It's quite a bit faster than the Ghz edition, since it's really a 7950.

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Well I took your advice. Dropped the ram, found a 7870 xt for $250. Used the extra 40 for a new mouse. And I picked up the seasoning over the corsair as well. Everything should be here hopefully in the next two weeks. Thanks a lt for your help! Appreciate it.

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April 8, 2013 5:20:54 AM

Awesome, keep us updated! I always enjoy seeing first time builds coming into fruition :) .

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