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Advice on first build (Gaming) $1200-1500 4+ years

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May 16, 2013 4:39:54 PM

I plan on building a pc for gaming, coding, and game development that I would like to last me all the way through college. I would like to be able to play most current games on high-very high and most later games at med-high. Longevity is very important in this build as likely I wont be able to afford any upgrades until after college. As this is my first build I am not an expert in building and from looking at a couple posts I have assembled this build:

(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k) | $209.99 @ Newegg
**CPU Cooler** | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-rr212e20pkr2) | $24.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extreme4) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Memory** | [G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f312800cl9d8gbsr) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7pc128nam) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd10ezex) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100351sr) | $403.98 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc922mkkn1gp) | $79.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-x850) | $176.98 @ Newegg
**Optical Drive** | [LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-gh24ns72) |-
**Monitor** | [Asus VH232H 23.0" Monitor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vh232h) | $159.99 @ Newegg
**Speakers** | [Creative Labs A60 4W 2ch Speakers](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/creative-labs-speakers-51mf1635aa003) | $24.99 @ Newegg
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $1480.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-16 18:22 EDT-0400 |]http://



Approximate Purchase Date: June 2013

Budget Range: 1200-1500 after shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game development, coding, multimedia, writing essays

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg

Location: Lake Bluff IL USA

Parts Preferences: I like the cosmetic aspects of the case, Monitor must be at least 23" preferably 1920x1080

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: not sure what this means but I am using the graphics card in the build above

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on both my 20" secondary monitor and my monitor in the attached build

Additional Comments: A quiet pc that handles heat well would be ideal. My mid 2011 imac would heat my room 10 degrees warmer then the rest of the house even with a box fan. Also was thinking about a fan monitor like this one:http://
I want a temp monitor and this one seems really good looking but not sure if it's really necessary. also with all the cords coming out the back it seems like it would make setup much more complex

Also since I am new, what sort of cable management items will I need for my build to make sure I get the maximum cooling efficiency?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Sick of only being able to run new games at 20-30 fps on lowest settings in bootcamp on my crappy mid 2011 imac. Also need an updated computer for college and my game design degree.

Thanks for your advice

More about : advice build gaming 1200 1500 years

a b 4 Gaming
May 16, 2013 4:49:32 PM

platypuswar said:
I plan on building a pc for gaming, coding, and game development that I would like to last me all the way through college. I would like to be able to play most current games on high-very high and most later games at med-high. Longevity is very important in this build as likely I wont be able to afford any upgrades until after college. As this is my first build I am not an expert in building and from looking at a couple posts I have assembled this build:

(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k) | $209.99 @ Newegg
**CPU Cooler** | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-rr212e20pkr2) | $24.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extreme4) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Memory** | [G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f312800cl9d8gbsr) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7pc128nam) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd10ezex) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100351sr) | $403.98 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc922mkkn1gp) | $79.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-x850) | $176.98 @ Newegg
**Optical Drive** | [LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-gh24ns72) |-
**Monitor** | [Asus VH232H 23.0" Monitor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vh232h) | $159.99 @ Newegg
**Speakers** | [Creative Labs A60 4W 2ch Speakers](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/creative-labs-speakers-51mf1635aa003) | $24.99 @ Newegg
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $1480.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-16 18:22 EDT-0400 |]http://



Approximate Purchase Date: June 2013

Budget Range: 1200-1500 after shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game development, coding, multimedia, writing essays

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg

Location: Lake Bluff IL USA

Parts Preferences: I like the cosmetic aspects of the case, Monitor must be at least 23" preferably 1920x1080

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: not sure what this means but I am using the graphics card in the build above

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on both my 20" secondary monitor and my monitor in the attached build

Additional Comments: A quiet pc that handles heat well would be ideal. My mid 2011 imac would heat my room 10 degrees warmer then the rest of the house even with a box fan. Also was thinking about a fan monitor like this one:http://
I want a temp monitor and this one seems really good looking but not sure if it's really necessary. also with all the cords coming out the back it seems like it would make setup much more complex

Also since I am new, what sort of cable management items will I need for my build to make sure I get the maximum cooling efficiency?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Sick of only being able to run new games at 20-30 fps on lowest settings in bootcamp on my crappy mid 2011 imac. Also need an updated computer for college and my game design degree.

Thanks for your advice


Your build is good, though I would use the Sapphire Vapor-X Ghz. Edition for a mere $30 more. That said, I can't say for sure that this will last you that long. You may want to consider adding a second card in a two-way CrossFire later on to improve your performance. Fortunately, you already have a PSU which can support that there, so you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Edit: One additional edit I would suggest is changing your SSD to a Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB, instead of an 830.

Edit 2: Lastly, you might want to change your HDD to a Seagate Barracuda 1TB.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 16, 2013 4:56:52 PM

Your build looks fine it will last you about two years before you need to upgrade anything.
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Related resources
May 16, 2013 5:06:50 PM

Jack Revenant said:
platypuswar said:
I plan on building a pc for gaming, coding, and game development that I would like to last me all the way through college. I would like to be able to play most current games on high-very high and most later games at med-high. Longevity is very important in this build as likely I wont be able to afford any upgrades until after college. As this is my first build I am not an expert in building and from looking at a couple posts I have assembled this build:

(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k) | $209.99 @ Newegg
**CPU Cooler** | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-rr212e20pkr2) | $24.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extreme4) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Memory** | [G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f312800cl9d8gbsr) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7pc128nam) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd10ezex) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100351sr) | $403.98 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc922mkkn1gp) | $79.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-x850) | $176.98 @ Newegg
**Optical Drive** | [LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-gh24ns72) |-
**Monitor** | [Asus VH232H 23.0" Monitor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vh232h) | $159.99 @ Newegg
**Speakers** | [Creative Labs A60 4W 2ch Speakers](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/creative-labs-speakers-51mf1635aa003) | $24.99 @ Newegg
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $1480.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-16 18:22 EDT-0400 |]http://



Approximate Purchase Date: June 2013

Budget Range: 1200-1500 after shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game development, coding, multimedia, writing essays

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg

Location: Lake Bluff IL USA

Parts Preferences: I like the cosmetic aspects of the case, Monitor must be at least 23" preferably 1920x1080

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: not sure what this means but I am using the graphics card in the build above

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on both my 20" secondary monitor and my monitor in the attached build

Additional Comments: A quiet pc that handles heat well would be ideal. My mid 2011 imac would heat my room 10 degrees warmer then the rest of the house even with a box fan. Also was thinking about a fan monitor like this one:http://
I want a temp monitor and this one seems really good looking but not sure if it's really necessary. also with all the cords coming out the back it seems like it would make setup much more complex

Also since I am new, what sort of cable management items will I need for my build to make sure I get the maximum cooling efficiency?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Sick of only being able to run new games at 20-30 fps on lowest settings in bootcamp on my crappy mid 2011 imac. Also need an updated computer for college and my game design degree.

Thanks for your advice


Your build is good, though I would use the Sapphire Vapor-X Ghz. Edition for a mere $30 more. That said, I can't say for sure that this will last you that long. You may want to consider adding a second card in a two-way CrossFire later on to improve your performance. Fortunately, you already have a PSU which can support that there, so you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Edit: One additional edit I would suggest is changing your SSD to a Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB, instead of an 830.

Edit 2: Lastly, you might want to change your HDD to a Seagate Barracuda 1TB.


Made the edits you suggested
updated list here:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XLpJ

are the speakers I suggested any good? Or is it a better idea to have a decent headset like http://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-3H-Gaming-Headset-Bla...
in a college environment

also is water cooling worth it? if so which one would you suggest?

and finally are fan controllers a good idea or should I use software to monitor temps?
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
May 16, 2013 5:14:07 PM

platypuswar said:
Jack Revenant said:
platypuswar said:
I plan on building a pc for gaming, coding, and game development that I would like to last me all the way through college. I would like to be able to play most current games on high-very high and most later games at med-high. Longevity is very important in this build as likely I wont be able to afford any upgrades until after college. As this is my first build I am not an expert in building and from looking at a couple posts I have assembled this build:

(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XJEr/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k) | $209.99 @ Newegg
**CPU Cooler** | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-rr212e20pkr2) | $24.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extreme4) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Memory** | [G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f312800cl9d8gbsr) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7pc128nam) | $134.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd10ezex) | $64.99 @ Newegg
**Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100351sr) | $403.98 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc922mkkn1gp) | $79.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-x850) | $176.98 @ Newegg
**Optical Drive** | [LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-gh24ns72) |-
**Monitor** | [Asus VH232H 23.0" Monitor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vh232h) | $159.99 @ Newegg
**Speakers** | [Creative Labs A60 4W 2ch Speakers](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/creative-labs-speakers-51mf1635aa003) | $24.99 @ Newegg
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $1480.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-16 18:22 EDT-0400 |]http://



Approximate Purchase Date: June 2013

Budget Range: 1200-1500 after shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game development, coding, multimedia, writing essays

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg

Location: Lake Bluff IL USA

Parts Preferences: I like the cosmetic aspects of the case, Monitor must be at least 23" preferably 1920x1080

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: not sure what this means but I am using the graphics card in the build above

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on both my 20" secondary monitor and my monitor in the attached build

Additional Comments: A quiet pc that handles heat well would be ideal. My mid 2011 imac would heat my room 10 degrees warmer then the rest of the house even with a box fan. Also was thinking about a fan monitor like this one:http://
I want a temp monitor and this one seems really good looking but not sure if it's really necessary. also with all the cords coming out the back it seems like it would make setup much more complex

Also since I am new, what sort of cable management items will I need for my build to make sure I get the maximum cooling efficiency?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Sick of only being able to run new games at 20-30 fps on lowest settings in bootcamp on my crappy mid 2011 imac. Also need an updated computer for college and my game design degree.

Thanks for your advice


Your build is good, though I would use the Sapphire Vapor-X Ghz. Edition for a mere $30 more. That said, I can't say for sure that this will last you that long. You may want to consider adding a second card in a two-way CrossFire later on to improve your performance. Fortunately, you already have a PSU which can support that there, so you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Edit: One additional edit I would suggest is changing your SSD to a Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB, instead of an 830.

Edit 2: Lastly, you might want to change your HDD to a Seagate Barracuda 1TB.


Made the edits you suggested
updated list here:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XLpJ

are the speakers I suggested any good? Or is it a better idea to have a decent headset like http://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-3H-Gaming-Headset-Bla...
in a college environment

also is water cooling worth it? if so which one would you suggest?

and finally are fan controllers a good idea or should I use software to monitor temps?


Build looks good.

Sound systems are very much a preference issue, so I don't like to advise people on them.

Water cooler can produce some impressive results, but you don't need it unless you plan on heavy ocerclocking.

I like fan controllers, myself. That said, my case came with one, so I couldn't say whether I'd have been willing to pay extra for one.
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May 17, 2013 9:06:10 AM

My advice take a day trip to chicago and buy the cpu at microcenter $169.99. You can also pick up your motherboard there 2 and get some savings with there package deal.
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