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First Build - $1000 gaming rig need help

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May 12, 2013 6:36:45 AM

I've never built a pc before so I was hoping you guys could help me picking out pieces and advising me on how to build it. Also, what type of software will I need besides my os to have a functional pc?

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 weeks - end of the month. Possibly earlier.

Budget Range: $1000 after everything.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, coding , surfing the internet, watching movies, etc. Mostly just gaming and using it to code/engineering classes at college. I don't think classes should be to intensive on the hardware.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Everything. I'm starting from scratch.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Should I go with windows 7 or 8?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg ,amazon, bestbuy, any reliable place.

Location: Michigan, USA

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe (I've heard of it before, but not really sure how to do it)

SLI or Crossfire: Probably Not.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080. Minimum of 20in or larger.

Additional Comments: Want to get the most bang for my buck. In addition, I'd like to be able to play modern games on high and hopefully the system can last me 2-4 years before upgrading again. A quieter system would be nice, but not mandatory.
Also, I was thinking about getting an ssd (if my budget allows it) and putting my os in it. I was also thinking about partitioning it into 2 drives (windows 7/8 on one and linux on the other). Is it a bad idea to use a single sdd for both os's and will 128 gb be enough?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Want to build a gaming pc that will hopefully allow me to play modern games on high and then future games on mediumish or at least low settings for the next 4 years.

Thank you and please let me know if you have any other questions.

More about : build 1000 gaming rig

a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 7:19:59 AM

SSD?

Do you live near Detroit? Cuz there is a Microcenter in Madison Heights.
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May 12, 2013 7:29:26 AM

Here's a fairly standard build that should fulfil your needs (you can't overclock the CPU, but you can the graphics card. If you want to over-clock the CPU, go with an FX 6300 from AMD instead):

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($60.49 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($153.00 @ Newegg)
Total: $1003.65

A single 120GB SSD should be plenty for your needs. I've also selected an IPS monitor for you.

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

M
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Related resources
May 12, 2013 7:29:58 AM

envy14tpe said:
SSD?

Do you live near Detroit? Cuz there is a Microcenter in Madison Heights.


By ssd I mean a solid state drive. I do not live in Detroit and I live about 2 hours away from that microcenter. However, I might make the drive out there after I have a list with all my parts if needed.

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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 7:30:28 AM

Here is a build to consider:

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

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 ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($72.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2253mh-LED 22.0" Monitor ($167.58 @ Newegg)
Total: $1166.46

I was a little over your budget but its worth it. I would watch this guy's video. It will make your build easy and entertaining.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vojpoXz5xno&list=PLaXR9O...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 7:37:29 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($123.48 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Raidmax ATX-238WU ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1074.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 10:37 EDT-0400)

This build assumes you will overclock your CPU. And the FX-6300 is a great overclocker. (saves you money by getting more performance for what you pay) Also, the GPU is very fast but it'll play all games at High.

The monitor is a gaming monitor. 2ms response time.
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May 12, 2013 7:48:55 AM

marshallbradley said:
Here's a fairly standard build that should fulfil your needs (you can't overclock the CPU, but you can the graphics card. If you want to over-clock the CPU, go with an FX 6300 from AMD instead):

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($60.49 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($153.00 @ Newegg)
Total: $1003.65

A single 120GB SSD should be plenty for your needs. I've also selected an IPS monitor for you.

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

M


If I do decide to overclock and go with the FX6300 is it a difficult process? Also, are there really any drawbacks to overclocking if done correctly?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 8:04:03 AM

Overclocking is easy. Just read a little and watch some videos that explain things. I think it is worth it. I suggested the FX-6300 cuz it has a good track record and is wayyyy better than any i3 once you overclock the fx-6300.

Overclocking is a process so you need to do things in steps. Meaning up some settings and run a stress test program (Prime95). If you overclock succeeds then keep pushing it. Also, I added a CM Evo which is necessary for the overclock. The AMD cooler is not designed for overclocking.

If you overclock incorrectly (don't monitor the temps or voltage) then you can destroy your CPU. However, as long as you invest some time reading on the subject you will be ok. The process of overclocking is easy nowadays.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 8:12:17 AM

If you are willing to make the drive, Microcenter has insane deals on CPU + motherboard. Look at these:



By going to Microcenter, you pay $175 (includes tax). If you don't go to Microcenter, you pay $200. Small savings but still nice.
The real savings are if you buy a 3570k. However, you live 2 hours away, so the gas money isn't worth the drive unless you need an excuse to go to the amazing city of Detroit.
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May 12, 2013 9:02:32 AM

@riahim The draw-backs are that it's possible to break your CPU, often in ways not covered by the warranty. Like envy14tpe said, the FX-6300 is a better CPU once over-clocked, but at stock settings, I'd say the i3 and FX are much more even, depending on what games you play (as a rule of thumb single threaded/badly optimized games tend to favour the i3, whereas more multi-threaded things favour the FX).

The other draw backs are that you have to spend more money on both cooling and often more pricey motherboards (so cost increases basically). Also stuff like increased noise and (if done incorrectly) system instability can occur.

On the upside you obviously get a little more for your money (but there's also a lot of luck involved, since some chips simply don't over-clock well). The no. 1 reason people over-clock though, at least in my experience, is because they actively enjoy it.

Do I think over-clocking is worthwhile? Only if you enjoy it basically. It brings a lot of hassle (noise, cost, heat, etc) without as much benefit as people want to believe it does. Is over-clocking going to make a game with an unplayable frame rate suddenly silky smooth? No... A CPU over-clock is going to add at most maybe 5 FPS, and probably a lot less (at least in 95% of games which are GPU bound). On the other hand I'm not going to deny that a lot of people (including myself) enjoy the min-maxing of over-clocking and pushing your hardware to it's limits. I think a lot of people make the mistake of recommending over-clocking universally, when 95% of PC users just want their system to run well, without having to worry about CPU PLL voltage and the like.

Both mine and envy14tpe's builds are solid I feel (his is basically the same as mine with an FX-6300 instead of an i3 -- he also has a slightly better power supply, which is probably wise if you're going to over-clock). I'd say both have very similar stock performance, with his winning out slightly when over-clocked. I wouldn't recommend avenseth12's build though, as I feel he's put way too much emphasis on the CPU, which has a) taken him really over budget and b) led to a system that will actually perform worse in games, then our $150 cheaper alternatives, since the 7870 XT is a far superior card to the GTX 660 (and games rely -- unsurprisingly -- a lot more on graphic power than CPU).

@envy14tpe Like I said I think your build is solid. Only 2 things I would change would be A) Corsair Vengeance RAM has obnoxiously high heatspreaders which means you can't use it with a lot of great CPU coolers. You might as well go for the lower (and cheaper) G.Skill set I linked. Also there are much better ways to spend $50 than the POS Raidmax case, that looks like it might slice a couple fingers while installing the motherboard or collapse in a cold draft. Why not something with high quality for the price like the Antec One? Also IPS monitors are a lot better, and one would only cost maybe $10 more.

And yeah, I doubt it's worth going on a 4 hour round-trip to save $25 :p 

All the best,

M
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May 12, 2013 9:15:02 AM

marshallbradley said:
@riahim The draw-backs are that it's possible to break your CPU, often in ways not covered by the warranty. Like envy14tpe said, the FX-6300 is a better CPU once over-clocked, but at stock settings, I'd say the i3 and FX are much more even, depending on what games you play (as a rule of thumb single threaded/badly optimized games tend to favour the i3, whereas more multi-threaded things favour the FX).

The other draw backs are that you have to spend more money on both cooling and often more pricey motherboards (so cost increases basically). Also stuff like increased noise and (if done incorrectly) system instability can occur.

On the upside you obviously get a little more for your money (but there's also a lot of luck involved, since some chips simply don't over-clock well). The no. 1 reason people over-clock though, at least in my experience, is because they actively enjoy it.

Do I think over-clocking is worthwhile? Only if you enjoy it basically. It brings a lot of hassle (noise, cost, heat, etc) without as much benefit as people want to believe it does. Is over-clocking going to make a game with an unplayable frame rate suddenly silky smooth? No... A CPU over-clock is going to add at most maybe 5 FPS, and probably a lot less (at least in 95% of games which are GPU bound). On the other hand I'm not going to deny that a lot of people (including myself) enjoy the min-maxing of over-clocking and pushing your hardware to it's limits. I think a lot of people make the mistake of recommending over-clocking universally, when 95% of PC users just want their system to run well, without having to worry about CPU PLL voltage and the like.

Both mine and envy14tpe's builds are solid I feel (his is basically the same as mine with an FX-6300 instead of an i3 -- he also has a slightly better power supply, which is probably wise if you're going to over-clock). I'd say both have very similar stock performance, with his winning out slightly when over-clocked. I wouldn't recommend avenseth12's build though, as I feel he's put way too much emphasis on the CPU, which has a) taken him really over budget and b) led to a system that will actually perform worse in games, then our $150 cheaper alternatives, since the 7870 XT is a far superior card to the GTX 660 (and games rely -- unsurprisingly -- a lot more on graphic power than CPU).

All the best,

M


So basically your saying to go with your build if I don't plan on overclocking or go with envy14tpe's build if I plan on overclocking? At the moment I'm unsure whether I want to overclock because I have no experience at this and would hate to screw it up. Also, isn't the i3 a bit too low? I was thinking I would definitely need and i5 or an equal amd counterpart. Anyway, I'm going to wait for a few more opinions on parts and will do my own research as well before I make my decisions. Thanks a lot and hopefully you'll be able to answer any other questions I may come up with in the mean type.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 9:16:39 AM

It's true you need to take more care with an overclocked CPU, but for a noob (me a year ago) it is actually fairly easy. I'm sure marshallbradley will agree, overclocking is worth it.

I really wouldn't advise an i3 unless your budget was in the $600 range or wanted to do office work.

@marshallbradley. Your comments are well thought out and I do like your build. Why did you choose the low voltage RAM? (just curious)

I think the big takehomes are: get a FX-6300 and overclock it, a 7870XT is awesome, 120/128GB SSD is possible in your budget, and read a little about overclocking.

People, please suggest a monitor for OP. I think mine is a good choice but I could be proven wrong...
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May 12, 2013 9:17:06 AM

envy14tpe said:
Overclocking is easy. Just read a little and watch some videos that explain things. I think it is worth it. I suggested the FX-6300 cuz it has a good track record and is wayyyy better than any i3 once you overclock the fx-6300.

Overclocking is a process so you need to do things in steps. Meaning up some settings and run a stress test program (Prime95). If you overclock succeeds then keep pushing it. Also, I added a CM Evo which is necessary for the overclock. The AMD cooler is not designed for overclocking.

If you overclock incorrectly (don't monitor the temps or voltage) then you can destroy your CPU. However, as long as you invest some time reading on the subject you will be ok. The process of overclocking is easy nowadays.


I'll look into overclocking and see if I decide to do it or not. Being a noob at this subject I might just decide not to, but i don't know...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 9:20:09 AM

It takes a bit of patience to learn it. And do not assume that if your system is stable at a certain voltage, that a few voltage more will be "okay".
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 9:23:12 AM

riahim said:
envy14tpe said:
Overclocking is easy. Just read a little and watch some videos that explain things. I think it is worth it. I suggested the FX-6300 cuz it has a good track record and is wayyyy better than any i3 once you overclock the fx-6300.

Overclocking is a process so you need to do things in steps. Meaning up some settings and run a stress test program (Prime95). If you overclock succeeds then keep pushing it. Also, I added a CM Evo which is necessary for the overclock. The AMD cooler is not designed for overclocking.

If you overclock incorrectly (don't monitor the temps or voltage) then you can destroy your CPU. However, as long as you invest some time reading on the subject you will be ok. The process of overclocking is easy nowadays.


I'll look into overclocking and see if I decide to do it or not. Being a noob at this subject I might just decide not to, but i don't know...

Fair enough. If not then look for an i5-3470 + H77 motherboard. Forget about i3s.
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May 12, 2013 9:23:24 AM

You could easily go with an i5 (though it would take you slightly over-budget which is why I didn't link it in the first place). The i3 has about 70-80% of the gaming performance of an i5 (since a lot of games don't run more than 2 threads anyway and the i3 can run 4 threads -- the same as an i5 -- with hyperthreading).

All I'd do is change out the i3 in my current build for an i5 3350P. It's about $50 more than the i3, but would decimate the FX-6300 (over-clocked or not) and of course the i3 in gaming and most productivity tasks. You still won't be able to over-clock with it, but the stock performance is basically equal to an i5-3570K (0.3 Ghz is nothing, trust me).

This is almost certainly what I would go for (I mean an extra $50 or 5% is nothing really, esp. when you're going from a dual-core to a quad-core) but I like to stick to budgets when they're given, since pushing people to spend more than they aim to is not something I believe in.

EDIT: @envy14tpe No reason really, I just chose it because it's a decent kit with low heat-sinks at a good price. It also does leave more over-clocking head-room (IIRC) and there aren't really any downsides.

I think you're under-estimating the i3 as a gaming CPU. A lot of people forget that even in games like Crysis 3 (not only one of the best CPU optimized games currently out there, but also a very CPU dependant one at that) it has about 84% of the i5's gaming performance. On badly optimized games it's obviously going to beat the FX as well due to the vastly superior single threaded performance.

Another thing I think is worth noting is that you can always over-clock the GPU, which not only makes a much bigger performance difference in gaming, but you don't have to spend more on specialist parts. I think GPU over-clocking is a much more beneficial/easy way (you don't even have to restart the computer to over-clock the GPU now days) to get into over-clocking. If you enjoy it a lot, then keep that in mind when the time comes for your next CPU upgrade!

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May 12, 2013 9:39:10 AM

envy14tpe said:
riahim said:
envy14tpe said:
Overclocking is easy. Just read a little and watch some videos that explain things. I think it is worth it. I suggested the FX-6300 cuz it has a good track record and is wayyyy better than any i3 once you overclock the fx-6300.

Overclocking is a process so you need to do things in steps. Meaning up some settings and run a stress test program (Prime95). If you overclock succeeds then keep pushing it. Also, I added a CM Evo which is necessary for the overclock. The AMD cooler is not designed for overclocking.

If you overclock incorrectly (don't monitor the temps or voltage) then you can destroy your CPU. However, as long as you invest some time reading on the subject you will be ok. The process of overclocking is easy nowadays.


I'll look into overclocking and see if I decide to do it or not. Being a noob at this subject I might just decide not to, but i don't know...

Fair enough. If not then look for an i5-3470 + H77 motherboard. Forget about i3s.


By H77 do you mean the one marshallbradley suggested ( ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard) or the H77 mobo?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 9:42:20 AM

I think envy14tpe meant a H77 chipset motherboard. The one marshallbradley suggested falls under that category.
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May 12, 2013 9:44:16 AM

envy14tpe said:
riahim said:
envy14tpe said:
Overclocking is easy. Just read a little and watch some videos that explain things. I think it is worth it. I suggested the FX-6300 cuz it has a good track record and is wayyyy better than any i3 once you overclock the fx-6300.

Overclocking is a process so you need to do things in steps. Meaning up some settings and run a stress test program (Prime95). If you overclock succeeds then keep pushing it. Also, I added a CM Evo which is necessary for the overclock. The AMD cooler is not designed for overclocking.

If you overclock incorrectly (don't monitor the temps or voltage) then you can destroy your CPU. However, as long as you invest some time reading on the subject you will be ok. The process of overclocking is easy nowadays.


I'll look into overclocking and see if I decide to do it or not. Being a noob at this subject I might just decide not to, but i don't know...

Fair enough. If not then look for an i5-3470 + H77 motherboard. Forget about i3s.


Which is better? The i5-3470 or i5-3350P?
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May 12, 2013 9:47:20 AM

ksham said:
I think envy14tpe meant a H77 chipset motherboard. The one marshallbradley suggested falls under that category.


Ok. That makes sense. Thanks.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 9:47:40 AM

The Intel Core i5-3470 is clocked a bit higher and is a tad better. The difference is not noticeable though. Buy whichever is cheaper, which the Intel Core i5-3350P generally is. But if the Intel Core i5-3470 is within $10 more, then buy it. More than $15, I wouldn't.
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May 12, 2013 9:49:13 AM

In theory the 3470. In the real world, the extra 0.1Ghz clock speed is going to make such a tiny difference (perhaps 1 extra FPS in gaming terms), that going for the cheaper one is always a better bet.

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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 10:10:41 AM

I gotta favor the 3550P. No one notices or will see a 0.1GHz difference.

And yes, I meant get a H77 motherboard. The one marshallbradley linked is very popular.

It sounds like you are leaning towards not overclocking. It's a great choice cuz you don't have to tweak your computer, instead you simply let it run smoothly.

For $1100. You can't get much better than this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Raidmax ATX-238WU ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1127.68
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 13:10 EDT-0400)
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May 12, 2013 10:14:12 AM

marshallbradley said:
In theory the 3470. In the real world, the extra 0.1Ghz clock speed is going to make such a tiny difference (perhaps 1 extra FPS in gaming terms), that going for the cheaper one is always a better bet.

M


So far I have come up with this build. It's still missing a case and a monitor. Do I need to buy a third party cooler? Also, do I need to buy a wifi card or does the motherboard have it built in. I realize I'm a bit over budget (after adding monitor and case). Anything I could cut down the cost on or will that put me back at the i3?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($60.49 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $864.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 13:13 EDT-0400)
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May 12, 2013 10:18:43 AM

envy14tpe said:
I gotta favor the 3550P. No one notices or will see a 0.1GHz difference.

And yes, I meant get a H77 motherboard. The one marshallbradley linked is very popular.

It sounds like you are leaning towards not overclocking. It's a great choice cuz you don't have to tweak your computer, instead you simply let it run smoothly.

For $1100. You can't get much better than this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Raidmax ATX-238WU ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1127.68
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 13:10 EDT-0400)


That's not a bad build at all, except for I'm not a big fan of that raidmax case. Are there any better ones at the same price range? Also, do I still need the cooler? I'd be great If I could cut down on the cost a bit.
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May 12, 2013 10:25:08 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($125.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($249.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.35 @ Amazon)
Total: $980.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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May 12, 2013 10:30:15 AM

No you won't need a 3rd party cooler, the stock one is more than fine for you needs.

Yes you'll need a WiFi card, the motherboard only has Ethernet.

You could always drop the SSD, though in my opinion they really do make such a massive difference, they're worth every cent.

The monitor I linked is one of the best value IPS monitors on the market (IPS is the top quality type of display, compared to the worse TN type display, such as the one envy14tpe linked). I'd probably go with that one, as it's only $10 more than an equivalent TN display. You can read about the differences here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPS_panel#Advantages

Cases are very subjective. Whatever one you like the look/features of is the one you should go for. For your motherboard, any Micro ATX, Mid Tower or Full Tower will be compatible (I'd stay away from Full Tower's though, they are huge and often quite expensive). I find it very helpful to check out YouTube reviews of a potential case, just so you have an idea of the features/look of it. Of the top of my head the Antec One is a great case for $50 or so. Also the Zalman Z11 has a nice look, and the BitFenix Outlaw is a solid case. The Fractal Design Core 1000 is a great mATX offering for about $40. Like I said, it's all very subjective though and you're the one who is going to be staring at it for the next couple of years.

@Ksham your build doesn't have a monitor, so it's going to come in fairly over-budget at the end of the day.

All the best,

M
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May 12, 2013 10:31:29 AM

ksham said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($125.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($249.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.35 @ Amazon)
Total: $980.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Out of two video cards suggested (saphire vs ti) which one is better, or are they about the same? Also, I do like the case you suggested but the motherboard has usb 3 while the case doens't (I believe). Does this mean I won't be able to utilize the usb 3.0?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 10:36:03 AM

Sorry. I also forgot the monitor. If you don't mind the SSD, you can remove it to fit your budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: A-Data XPG SX900 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($249.70 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($62.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.35 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1109.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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May 12, 2013 10:39:37 AM

You'll be able to use the USB 3.0 on the back panel, but you won't have USB 3.0 on the front panel.

Without wanting to stir up fan-boyism (and I do currently use an nVidia card just so you know), I think the general consensus, on these forums at least, is that the 7870 XT is by far the better buy in the $250 price range, due to how closely it resembles in specs and performs to a HD 7950, while being at a much lower price point. Having said that they're both good cards and will perform very well at 1080p, I just think that most people would agree the 7870 XT is better bang for your buck.

Also here's my build with the i5 for easier comparison:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($60.49 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: AOC i2367Fh 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Amazon) -- No matter which build you go for this is a better quality (IPS) display than the one's previously linked.
Total: $1064.64

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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 10:53:53 AM

Killer system at a great price:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1077.69
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 13:53 EDT-0400)
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May 12, 2013 11:28:56 AM

If you are willing to drive to a microcenter in Detroit,Michigan and take advantage of this big sale going on, here it is: http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-...

Nobody mentioned this before. Intel i7 3770k for only $230 (no motherboard). Also, you can get a better processor than the i5 3350p plus motherboard for only $230 (i5 3570k).

Here is my build if you wanna look at that. It's $1000 with an OS, keyboard, mouse, and monitor so if you have a mouse and keyboard already it is under $1000 and is probably better performance than some of these builds here. If you need SSD add that in there. For PSU if you do not need modular get the corsair builder 500w.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/PhoKingTasty/saved/1AdP
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May 12, 2013 11:40:03 AM

GrannySmith1 said:
If you are willing to drive to a microcenter in Detroit,Michigan and take advantage of this big sale going on, here it is: http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-...

Nobody mentioned this before. Intel i7 3770k for only $230 (no motherboard). Also, you can get a better processor than the i5 3350p plus motherboard for only $230 (i5 3570k).

Here is my build if you wanna look at that. It's $1000 with an OS, keyboard, mouse, and monitor so if you have a mouse and keyboard already it is under $1000 and is probably better performance than some of these builds here. If you need SSD add that in there. For PSU if you do not need modular get the corsair builder 500w.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/PhoKingTasty/saved/1AdP


These last three builds are great. It's so hard to choose. I don't think I will make the 4 hour drive to Detroit and back unless I have to go to Detroit for something else, but thanks for the build.
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May 12, 2013 11:43:12 AM

envy14tpe said:
Killer system at a great price:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($253.29 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1077.69
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-12 13:53 EDT-0400)


Is this motherboard better than the other one (h77m)? I can't really find any differences.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 11:50:52 AM

It's ATX instead of a Micro ATX, so there are the normal differences between the two forms.
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May 12, 2013 11:59:41 AM

You get more expandability with the ATX version (more RAM slots, more PCI expansion slots), but more compatibility with the mATX version (since you can install it in either an ATX case or a mATX case, whereas you can't do the latter with the ATX board). It all comes down to what you value more (and whether or not you think you'll ever expand the amount of RAM you have/change to a mATX case).

Otherwise, as you noticed, they are practically identical. I'm quite a fan of mATX cases, esp. with some absolutely amazing ones (like the 350D from Corsair) on the market. It's always nice to have something a little bit smaller for space/portability reasons, without losing out on power.

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May 12, 2013 1:14:37 PM

If you live THAT far away form Detroit, then I guess the sales are out of your reach then. Just wanted to let you know that there were sales going on, and you could get a processor better than the i5 3350p for less. You could get the i5 3470 for $150 as well.

Not to mention the motherboard +i5 3570k deal they have going on. You can get an atx z77 board and a better processor. From what I know h77 boards cannot overclock. Z77 gives you that option so if you want to in the future you can always do so.
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May 12, 2013 3:22:02 PM

GrannySmith1 said:
If you live THAT far away form Detroit, then I guess the sales are out of your reach then. Just wanted to let you know that there were sales going on, and you could get a processor better than the i5 3350p for less. You could get the i5 3470 for $150 as well.

Not to mention the motherboard +i5 3570k deal they have going on. You can get an atx z77 board and a better processor. From what I know h77 boards cannot overclock. Z77 gives you that option so if you want to in the future you can always do so.


I understand what your saying, so I thank you for that. It's just I don't think driving that far and gas money will be enough of a reason to snatch the deals and I don't have another reason to go to Detroit and stop at the store in the mean time. I wish I had a microcenter closer. By the way,
when is Haswell coming out and do you think I should wait for that before I build?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 3:23:27 PM

Haswell is scheduled to be released next month. You can decide to wait or not.
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May 12, 2013 3:38:59 PM

ksham said:
Haswell is scheduled to be released next month. You can decide to wait or not.


Ok Thanks. I think I may wait it out as Haswell is supposed to be really great.
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May 12, 2013 3:42:57 PM

It's only going to give a 10% or so performance increase. What it's good for are a) lower power usage and b) a better iGPU, none of which really apply to you as a desktop user with a discrete graphics card.

On the other hand if you go with Haswell you'll have a newer socket (allowing you to upgrade your CPU to the generation after Haswell). Personally I don't think that's really worth the wait though, but it's your call.

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May 12, 2013 4:12:52 PM

marshallbradley said:
It's only going to give a 10% or so performance increase. What it's good for are a) lower power usage and b) a better iGPU, none of which really apply to you as a desktop user with a discrete graphics card.

On the other hand if you go with Haswell you'll have a newer socket (allowing you to upgrade your CPU to the generation after Haswell). Personally I don't think that's really worth the wait though, but it's your call.

M


I see. I'm not sure what I'll do yet. By the way, I have a friend who has been telling me that my cpu is too low to handle my gaming needs and he recommended to get an i5-3550 or 3570. Is the i5 3350p enough or do I need a better card? Personally I think it's enough because games rely mostly on the gpu, right?
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May 12, 2013 4:43:41 PM

marshallbradley said:
No you won't need a 3rd party cooler, the stock one is more than fine for you needs.

Yes you'll need a WiFi card, the motherboard only has Ethernet.

You could always drop the SSD, though in my opinion they really do make such a massive difference, they're worth every cent.

The monitor I linked is one of the best value IPS monitors on the market (IPS is the top quality type of display, compared to the worse TN type display, such as the one envy14tpe linked). I'd probably go with that one, as it's only $10 more than an equivalent TN display. You can read about the differences here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPS_panel#Advantages

Cases are very subjective. Whatever one you like the look/features of is the one you should go for. For your motherboard, any Micro ATX, Mid Tower or Full Tower will be compatible (I'd stay away from Full Tower's though, they are huge and often quite expensive). I find it very helpful to check out YouTube reviews of a potential case, just so you have an idea of the features/look of it. Of the top of my head the Antec One is a great case for $50 or so. Also the Zalman Z11 has a nice look, and the BitFenix Outlaw is a solid case. The Fractal Design Core 1000 is a great mATX offering for about $40. Like I said, it's all very subjective though and you're the one who is going to be staring at it for the next couple of years.

@Ksham your build doesn't have a monitor, so it's going to come in fairly over-budget at the end of the day.

All the best,

M


What Wifi card would you suggest?
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May 12, 2013 5:36:02 PM

Umm yeah there's no gaming difference between the 3350P and the 3550/70. I think you're friend is a bit wrong :p . 0.2/0.3 Ghz clock-speed is going to make no gaming difference whatsoever.

I don't know much about WiFi cards, but I'm sure there's someone who can give a solid recommendation.

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a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2013 10:30:56 PM

If you don't need the computer today, or this month then wait for Haswell. It might cause the prices of Ivy Bridge components to go down and you could save some money.

In games, all Ivy Bridge i5s will perform the same (less than 5%). It's in other applications where the differences stick out.

I can't comment on Wifi cards, but I heard to get one with 2 antennas for better signal. The Wifi card might not be necessary as you can just plug a LAN cable into your motherboard, unless your router is in friend's room and you can't run a cable from it to your computer.
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May 13, 2013 10:57:07 AM

envy14tpe said:
If you don't need the computer today, or this month then wait for Haswell. It might cause the prices of Ivy Bridge components to go down and you could save some money.

In games, all Ivy Bridge i5s will perform the same (less than 5%). It's in other applications where the differences stick out.

I can't comment on Wifi cards, but I heard to get one with 2 antennas for better signal. The Wifi card might not be necessary as you can just plug a LAN cable into your motherboard, unless your router is in friend's room and you can't run a cable from it to your computer.


The only reason I though of equipping my desktop with a WiFi card is because I will be living in a college dorm and I am unsure on if the room will have a LAN cable / how many it will have. I know for sure that they have WiFi though.
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May 13, 2013 12:34:21 PM

marshallbradley said:
Umm yeah there's no gaming difference between the 3350P and the 3550/70. I think you're friend is a bit wrong :p . 0.2/0.3 Ghz clock-speed is going to make no gaming difference whatsoever.

I don't know much about WiFi cards, but I'm sure there's someone who can give a solid recommendation.

M


It turns out my friend has an extra copy of windows 7 so I don't need to buy one. I have come up with another build. Please let me know if this is good and if the psu is overkill.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/X1ls

by the way, if anyone can help me, I'm still looking for a Wifi card.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 13, 2013 12:50:32 PM

1. Upped the case because your GPU would not fit inside an Antec One case.
2. Changed the motherboard. Why not go with an ATX board if you're going to buy an ATX-compatible case?
3. Added the wireless card.
4. Changed the monitor.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($173.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($60.49 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WDN4800 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($32.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($62.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1052.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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May 13, 2013 1:48:28 PM

@Ksham I agree with most of your changes, though why everyone insists on a crappy TN monitor over the nice IPS one, which is only about $25 more I don't understand...

Also there's nothing wrong with going with an mATX motherboard, the feature set isn't very different, it's cheaper (marginally) and he has more flexibility with regards to case choice. It's up to him though.

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a b 4 Gaming
May 13, 2013 2:15:07 PM

@marshallbradley: I don't think the monitor is bad. I have one and it works fine for me. As for the mATX, it was a tad small and harder to find a good wireless card to fit it without a PCIe slot. Not to mention that the case was an ATX one anyway, so why not? A few dollars more. You wanted to add $25 for a monitor. I wanted to add $10 for a motherboard.
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