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~$1000 light gaming build help (First time build)

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July 10, 2013 10:34:48 AM

Hi All,

I am looking to build a desktop for the first time. I have upgraded machines before and dissembled a few for parts, but I am rather inexperienced in terms of component compatibility and in getting the best quality build for my money.

My absolute max budget is $1200 and this is to include a monitor. Since I would like a decent monitor (23+ inch, full HD) that knocks the build budget down to something like ~$1000. If I can go even cheaper on the building while retaining the functionality I need that would allow me to upgrade my monitor which will be nice.

This system will be used as a workstation with some light gaming (I don't need to play everything on the highest settings). I will potential be using it as a home media center as well.

As for components, I would like to get an ivy bridge i7 if possible. I prefer Nvidia GPUs, but i do not need anything overpowered. I would like a smaller SSD to run my operating system (Windows 7, not to be included in cost) plus a few other programs and a 500 gb or so HDD for bulk storage. My only other caveat is that I so not want any LEDs on the case, just something clean and simple will do.

Let me know what you think. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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July 10, 2013 11:01:13 AM

$1000 will get you a high-ultra settings gaming rig at 1920x1080

i7-4770k(z87) or i7-3770k(z77) and a GTX770 or GTX760.

I'll poke around and make a build. What's your budget including monitor?
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July 10, 2013 11:10:20 AM

Gaming isn't the main focus, but I do want a decent workstation for that will last for a while and be fairly upgradable. The absolute highest I can spend including the monitor is $1200, but I would love to get the whole thing in closer to $1000.

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July 10, 2013 11:38:34 AM

This would do very well in games and make a decent workstation.

You can change it up a little by dropping down to a GTX650Ti or GTX650 and get yourself a 25 or 27 inch monitor. Or if you need more ram you can bump it up to 16GB. Or adding an SSD for a speedy OS.

I went with a Samsung monitor as they have decent color, but if you are looking for a decent 1920x1080 IPS panel for color reproduction, that will cost you a few hundred.

Not that far from an overclocking rig, but with your chip choice that makes it difficult. an i5-3570k with a z77 and a decent heatsink would cost roughly the same.

$1200 from various retailers, $1250 from Newegg.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1feRh Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1feRh/by_merchant/ Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1feRh/benchmarks/ CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($259.99 @ Microcenter) Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($105.66 @ Newegg) Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($71.99 @ Newegg) Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter) Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($265.66 @ Newegg) Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon) Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon) Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC) Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC) Monitor: Samsung S24C200BL 23.6" Monitor ($187.58 @ Newegg) Total: $1181.88 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-10 14:33 EDT-0400)
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a b 4 Gaming
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July 10, 2013 11:51:01 AM

Didn't notivce your no OS comment, here it is with the SSD the 650Ti Boost and a 1920x1200 monitor.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ffc1 Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ffc1/by_merchant/ Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ffc1/benchmarks/ CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($259.99 @ Microcenter) Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($103.98 @ SuperBiiz) Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($71.99 @ Newegg) Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US) Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter) Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($168.98 @ Newegg) Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon) Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon) Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC) Monitor: Asus VS24AH-P 24.0" Monitor ($226.99 @ Amazon) Total: $1169.94 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-10 14:49 EDT-0400)
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July 10, 2013 1:29:06 PM

Thanks for the help! I'll look through this this evening and let you know if I have any comments/questions.
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July 11, 2013 7:07:14 AM

I did some tweeking and here is what I came up with:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fwCE
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fwCE/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fwCE/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($103.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($88.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($168.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS24AH-P 24.0" Monitor ($226.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1171.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-11 10:06 EDT-0400)

I do have a few questions. Do I need a wireless card with this or is it included with the motherboard? Also, will I need any aftermarket cooling?

Thanks again for the help
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July 11, 2013 8:28:20 AM

A 12GB Ram kit will hurt you more then help you with a dual channel board. 3 stick kits are meant for triple channel memory 1st gen i-series chips running on the X58 platform. 2x4GB or 2x8GB will be what you need for this setup. (or 4x4GB or 4x8GB)

You shouldn't need an aftermarket cooler. But under heavy loads the stock heatsink/fan will have to rev up fairly loud to keep up and it will run warm. A cheap $30 Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 is a popular choice, it will be cooler and quieter then the stock heatsink withouth breaking the bank.
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July 22, 2013 7:45:36 AM

After tinkering around with configurations for a few weeks I have come up with two options.

Option 1:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hEtd
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hEtd/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hEtd/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($103.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($123.99 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($168.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($37.38 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.22 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS24AH-P 24.0" Monitor ($226.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1281.54
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-22 10:41 EDT-0400)

Option 2:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jmPR
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jmPR/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jmPR/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($103.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($123.99 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($37.38 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.22 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1150.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-22 10:43 EDT-0400)

Option 2 fits into my budget better. Is there anything I should be aware of about the cheaper build? I am hoping to place my orders within the next day or two and all input will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the help!
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July 22, 2013 8:23:17 AM

You aren't gaining anything with a 4x4GB kit vs a 2x8GB kit, it will just consume more power and you won't be able to add ram later (not that you would 16GB is more then enough)

Only other difference I see is the powersupply and the monitor. I would tend toward the more expensive seasonic, as that is a very high quality unit. The Corsair enthusiast isn't bad, just not the best available.

Monitors are more personal preference, so I'll leave that up to you.
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July 22, 2013 8:46:12 AM

The differences are the power supply, the monitor, and the graphics card. Both GPUs are the 650 TI Boost versions, but the EVGA one is cheaper. Would there be any quality difference between that and the ASUS one discussed earlier?

I went with the 4x4GB RAM kit over a 2x8GB one because it was the cheapest of what I believed to be the good quality kits.
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Best solution

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July 22, 2013 10:26:23 AM

I prefer the ASUS brand when it comes to printed circuit boards. Usually more attention to detail when it comes to VRMs and power supplies even on their basic products. They are one of the largest producers of video cards and motherboards.

EVGA is half and half when it comes to reputation. People often buy their products because they stick to the reference designs, which makes modifications simpler (water cooling etc). But they also stick to reference designs, so they don't add much over the even cheaper brands except warranty support, which I hear isn't getting any better.

I think the ten or fifteen bucks is usually worth it.
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July 22, 2013 10:55:00 AM

Thanks for the help again Eximo. I just discovered that the cheap Windows 7 on my school site will only work as an upgrade, so I'm doing a bit of shuffling to try to keep my build under budget while adding the OS. I'm looking to drop the RAM back down to 8GB that way when I get some more money I can expand it if needed. Where else do you think I can shave some money? I like the TI Boost GPU. Is there a cheaper board that would work for me?
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July 22, 2013 11:23:50 AM

Here is what I came up with borrowing a lot from your first post:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jraq
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jraq/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jraq/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($103.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($67.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($37.38 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.22 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1209.04
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-22 14:23 EDT-0400)
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July 22, 2013 11:48:17 AM

Well you could drop down to a regular GTX650, but that is the lowest-end 'gaming' card from Nvidia. You might be able to scrape a little more cost/performance out of an ATI card such as a 7850, but that would be marginal at best. 650Ti Boost is the best cost/performace/efficiency card out there right now.

You could conceivably drop down to an i5-3470 to save some cash, won't be too noticeable a performance drop. You would still have 4 cores, just no hyperthreading.
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July 22, 2013 11:56:52 AM

With the build above Partspicker is giving me a compatibility error between the DDR3-2133 RAM and the i7 3770. Is this a real issue? Should I drop the speed down to 1600?

I'm able to stay under budget while keeping both the i& and the 650Ti boost. I decided that the blue ray player was a luxury I wouldn't use very much so that would be a good place to cut.
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July 22, 2013 12:48:00 PM

Here is the build I'll be ordering unless somebody tells me I've got something horribly wrong. I changed the RAM and was able to upgrade my graphics card to the 660. I'm feeling pretty good about whats there.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jsIV
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jsIV/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1jsIV/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($105.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($71.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($37.38 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.06 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
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) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1190.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-22 15:45 EDT-0400)
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July 22, 2013 8:21:04 PM

Looks good, should be a rather pleasing experience. And a few years down the road a GPU upgrade will keep it for another few years.
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