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Build Advice <1k - Gaming + Productivity.

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April 17, 2013 11:41:20 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2-4 weeks 4/19 - 5/3

Budget Range: < $900 total, already have power supply, case, monitor, peripherals.

System Usage: Gaming, Image Editing, Office products

Are you buying a monitor: No

I'm looking to build a new computer, and I've come up with the build below. I'd like to lower my overall cost without sacrificing too much power, if possible. I do plan on doing some heavy gaming on it (my monitor's resolution is 1680x1050, so no ultra high res until later), but also, I typically have plenty of chrome tabs open while working in office and photo editors. I picked a water based CPU cooler because I figured it would be a little quieter than regular air cooler.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H55 57.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($276.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: SeaSonic M12II 750 SS-750AM 750W ($69.99) (already have)
Other: Anted Three Hundred ($39.99) (already have)
Total: $1002.87
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-18 02:01 EDT-0400)


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Who ever has the cheapest prices.

Location: North Bay Area, California

Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel / nVidia but if its a drastic difference in price I could possibly be persuaded to switch it up.

Overclocking: Probably not / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: I would probably buy a duplicate card a few months down the road / Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I would like the build to be fairly quiet. Right now I play Rift, Defiance; I'd like to play skyrim, battlefield but have pretty much stayed away from alot of newer games because my current system sucks.

Why Are You Upgrading: I currently have the following build that I made about 5 years ago:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
MSI P35 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX
G.SKILL 4GB (4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
XCLIO STABLEPOWER 500W
ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2
2x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Cheap optical drive

Obviously, gaming kinda sucks hah.

I'm also wondering if I should wait another couple months and buy a base model Haswel / 1150 motherboard so that I can upgrade the processor later on. Also, eventually I'll buy a new, bigger monitor. So, ultra high res graphics will be an issue 6 months down the road.

More about : build advice gaming productivity

a b à CPUs
April 17, 2013 11:52:47 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $882.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-18 02:47 EDT-0400)

The 2500k you chose is a last-gen processor, grab the 3570k instead.
Single radiator closed loop coolers are terrible. They're expensive and under-performs compared to air-cooling. If you want quiet, air-cooling is the way to go. You can add some quiet fans to replace the stock one.
The Samsung 840 series uses a TLC, which isn't as good as MLC (only reason why it's so cheap). This Kingston HyperX has great performance at a decent price point.
The 7950 will greatly outperform the 660ti.

Haswell will be out in ~2-3months or so. If you do have the patience, waiting would be the better choice. However, if you don't feel like waiting then the 3570k is still a solid processor. Since the processor itself doesn't affect gaming that much, the 3570k should last you until the Skylake processors come out (expected in 2015) when they ditch the LGA1150 and use a new socket.
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a b à CPUs
April 18, 2013 10:04:49 AM

-Samsung 830 was a great SSD, but newegg stopped having them in stock due to the new 840 and 840 pros. Only reason why I didn't list it.
-Just replace the fans on the 212evo and it'll be quiet, like I said. With closed-loop water cooling, you'll hear the pump.
-The 7870XT is a weaker version of the 7950. It performs inbetween the 7870 and 7950, OC'd it can reach stock 7950 levels. However, the 7950 can also OC, so it's better to just grab the real thing. Also, you get Crysis3 with the 7950 (if the OP wants to play that) and the 7870XT is so popular that it's almost always out of stock.
-Single-radiator closed loop coolers DO suck. They are expensive and air-cooling will be a better job. A high end aircooler will be better than a high-end single radiator closed loop cooler like the H80: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8HsjgtMzEg, so a lower-end aircooler like the hyper 212 will be better than the lower-end closed-loop coolers.
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April 18, 2013 12:42:19 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I was thinking about biting the bullet and going ahead and buying a 7950 to run in my current system until I ordered the rest of the components, but it looks like the 660 Ti is only very slightly slower than the 7950 and about $40-$50 cheaper (depending on sales/special offers). However, if benchmarks show that the 7950 really does greatly out perform the 660Ti I'll stick with it, but these benchmarks say otherwise.
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTujzlj11I8

If the air coolers are quieter then I'll switch to the CM 212 Evo.

The ram I had selected has slightly faster CAS timings (8-8-8-24), if it'll be noticeable, I'll stick with the faster timings.

I had picked the 840 from Tom's ssd charts based on several read speed benchmarks. Which the 840 pro consistently scores in the top 5 on all of them. If its still advised to switch to the 830 or Kinsington, I'll switch it out.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/ssd-charts-2012/benc...

So, with those changes, I'm left with the following build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.19 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($276.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: SeaSonic M12II 750 SS-750AM 750W ($69.99)
Other: Anted Three Hundred ($39.99)
Other: -$55 from newegg combo deal with cpu/mobo
Total: $986.08
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-18 15:37 EDT-0400)
876.10 with already purchased case/psu taken out.


Please let me know if there are other options / changes I should look at!
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April 18, 2013 7:07:35 PM

I see you're going to be buying from Newegg, here's a cheap 7950: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $270 after rebates.
The difference from CAS9 and CAS8 shouldn't be too noticeable. If you see a cheap CAS9 RAM at 1600mhz at like $50, grab that instead. Otherwise, the CAS8 you chose is about the same price as CAS9 so why not?
The 840 pro is arguably the best SSD on the market right now, but it is expensive.
If you really want a quiet pc, consider switching the stock fans on the Hyper 212 to a quiet fan.


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a b à CPUs
April 18, 2013 8:09:42 PM

Noob12 said:

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is not quiet. So both need quiet fan chance the EVO and Single radiator closed loop.


Whoa, I have a Hyper 212 Evo. It is not that noisy by any stretch of the imagination. My work PC uses a Hyper 212 Plus and I barely hear it when I'm working.

Quote:
The 840 pro is arguably the best SSD on the market right now, but it is expensive.


The 840 Pro and the OCZ Vector pretty much match dollar for dollar in every single benchmark category. There's some where the Vector even exceeds the 840 Pro in most read - write tests.

Quote:
A high end aircooler will be better than a high-end single radiator closed loop cooler like the H80: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8HsjgtMzEg, so a lower-end aircooler like the hyper 212 will be better than the lower-end closed-loop coolers.


Conflicting Youtube videos in the same thread, love it. :lol: 

That's why I never rely on anything said on Youtube as a source. It's 90% fanboys with no fact checking and maybe 10% from credible publications.
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