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First Time Builder: Gaming PC @ $1700-$2000 - HELP PLEASE!

Last response: in Systems
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April 3, 2013 12:11:14 AM

Sick of being irritated at the shortfalls of my current computer, which indecently is about to die, I have turned my eyes to the world of custom built gaming PCs. Doing some research, it is incredible the number of options out there and the savings possible. I am, however, brand new to this, so any feedback or recommendations would be appreciated.

Below I have summarized what I will mainly be using the PC for, my general requirements and preferences as well as the setup I have cobbled together through my preliminary research. In terms of time frame, I would be looking at gathering the parts and completing the build in the next 3-4 months, so no rush!

Please note that I am in Australia, so my budget and estimates below is in Australian dollars!


Primary Uses

  • Adobe Creative Suite (mainly Photoshop, dealing with files up to 4GB in size)
  • New release and online games (I would love to be able to run some of the latest games on my PC, especially with my PS3 about to become old technology and the list of my Steam purchases growing by the day :D )
  • Basic internet browsing and file storage


  • What I Have Currently

    • Dell UltraSharp U2711 27" Screen
    • Gaming mouse and keyboard
    • Good desktop speaker system



  • Setup (from preliminary research)

    Motherboard = MSI Z77A-GD65 @ $159.99
    CPU = Intel Quad-Core i5-3570K @ $219.99
    RAM = G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5v @ $46.99
    Graphics = EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB SC @ $529.00
    Hard Drive = Intel 330 Series 240GB @ $199.99
    Hard Drive = Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200rpm @ $109.99
    Optical Drive = Asus Internal Blu-ray Burner BW-12B1ST @ $118.00
    Case = Fractal Design Define R4 @ $149.00
    Power Supply = Seasonic G Series 450W @ $79.99

    Any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your help!
    a b 4 Gaming
    April 3, 2013 12:15:54 AM

    That buil looks fine, except the PSU, get something more powerful
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    April 3, 2013 12:34:21 AM

    ya upgrade the psu to xfx 550
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    April 3, 2013 12:42:32 AM

    That looks like a nice mix and you will enjoy it. One recommendation I would make is to have 2 data hard drives arranged as a RAID1 or better still, 3 in a RAID5. With the cheapness of HDDs these days it is good sense to have data security. Keep in mind that HDDs eventually fail, some sooner some later. If you have your data duplicated then you are far less likely to experience that moment of forlorn horror when you can't access your family memories or CS projects due to a failed drive.

    Again, with cheapness in mind, there is little reason not to have 16GB of RAM. Doing so would allow you to set up a RAMdrive as a scratch pad for your CS projects. Even an SSD would struggle to compete with that.

    There are some better options for your PSU. I won't suggest any as there are some PSU gurus in here that have far better knowledge on that score.

    I am currently using Samsung 840 250GB SSDs and am liking them. They are not that much more money than the intel 330 and give a fantastic boot time to desktop. If I hibernate rather than shutdown then my desktop is ready just 2 seconds after my monitor wakes up.

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    April 3, 2013 1:15:42 AM

    also its not wise to buy parts stretched out over a 3-4 month period. all vendors have a 30 day "rma" time when you can return a defective part. if u buy a gpu the first month and then the last piece in 3 months, put it together and the gpu is defective...you cant return it.
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    April 3, 2013 1:24:37 AM

    ARICH5 said:
    ya upgrade the psu to xfx 550


    I'll definitely check it out, thanks for that!
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    April 3, 2013 1:29:02 AM

    ARICH5 said:
    also its not wise to buy parts stretched out over a 3-4 month period. all vendors have a 30 day "rma" time when you can return a defective part. if u buy a gpu the first month and then the last piece in 3 months, put it together and the gpu is defective...you cant return it.

    Haha, I probably didn't phrase that very well, I'll be doing my research over the next couple of months then buy everything in one swoop :D  Definitely want to keep an eye on the return periods and will also try to buy locally if possible to make any required returns easier! A very easy trap to fall into though >.<
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    April 3, 2013 1:39:52 AM

    Flying-Q said:
    That looks like a nice mix and you will enjoy it. One recommendation I would make is to have 2 data hard drives arranged as a RAID1 or better still, 3 in a RAID5. With the cheapness of HDDs these days it is good sense to have data security. Keep in mind that HDDs eventually fail, some sooner some later. If you have your data duplicated then you are far less likely to experience that moment of forlorn horror when you can't access your family memories or CS projects due to a failed drive.

    Again, with cheapness in mind, there is little reason not to have 16GB of RAM. Doing so would allow you to set up a RAMdrive as a scratch pad for your CS projects. Even an SSD would struggle to compete with that.

    There are some better options for your PSU. I won't suggest any as there are some PSU gurus in here that have far better knowledge on that score.

    I am currently using Samsung 840 250GB SSDs and am liking them. They are not that much more money than the intel 330 and give a fantastic boot time to desktop. If I hibernate rather than shutdown then my desktop is ready just 2 seconds after my monitor wakes up.

    Q

    I hadn't looked at 16GB of RAM, but I think it's definately a worthwhile investment. Would you perhaps recommend the Samsung SSD to house the OS and applications then a fast external hard drive for my for my files?

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    April 3, 2013 2:06:48 AM

    BeauteMortelle said:
    Flying-Q said:
    That looks like a nice mix and you will enjoy it. One recommendation I would make is to have 2 data hard drives arranged as a RAID1 or better still, 3 in a RAID5. With the cheapness of HDDs these days it is good sense to have data security. Keep in mind that HDDs eventually fail, some sooner some later. If you have your data duplicated then you are far less likely to experience that moment of forlorn horror when you can't access your family memories or CS projects due to a failed drive.

    Again, with cheapness in mind, there is little reason not to have 16GB of RAM. Doing so would allow you to set up a RAMdrive as a scratch pad for your CS projects. Even an SSD would struggle to compete with that.

    There are some better options for your PSU. I won't suggest any as there are some PSU gurus in here that have far better knowledge on that score.

    I am currently using Samsung 840 250GB SSDs and am liking them. They are not that much more money than the intel 330 and give a fantastic boot time to desktop. If I hibernate rather than shutdown then my desktop is ready just 2 seconds after my monitor wakes up.

    Q

    I hadn't looked at 16GB of RAM, but I think it's definately a worthwhile investment. Would you perhaps recommend the Samsung SSD to house the OS and applications then a fast external hard drive for my for my files?


    Definitely OS and Applications on the SSD.

    There are many different scenarios for data storage. The simplest and fastest is internal in SSD or HDD. Then you start looking at external via eSATA, USB3, Thunderbolt, NAS and each of these can be with or without redundancy/security.

    I err on the side of local redundant storage i.e. an internal RAID1, with backup to external with a RAIDed NAS. A few decades ago I was noobed by a failed HDD - never again will I have to explain to my wife that the baby photos are gone. You never really appreciate data security until the day you need it. If you haven't got it the tears will come, sooner or later.

    So, external is for backup.

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