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Build a PC to play World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on Ultra!

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January 7, 2014 11:50:18 AM

Hi forum members. Matt here, first time forum poster. I am looking to begin a PC build that can play World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (and soon Warlords of Draenor) on Ultra settings, preferably on a resolution of 1920x1080 or 2560x1600(I think). I know this seems like an easy task but I've done a little bit of research and have found many people say this game is Processor/CPU-bound, not necessarily graphics/GPU-bound. Is this accurate?

Some requirements I'd like to also see with this build:

1.) quiet, I'd prefer not to hear the case/radiator fans from 1-2m away.

2.) I'd like to build a small form factor, micro-itx preferably, micro-atx next.

3.) Water-cool, closed loop solution for the CPU. Decided Air-cooled would be much quieter. Just need the CPU heatsink/fan to fit in a nice case.

4.) intel processor - here's the dilemma, do we go with older technology with more cores, more L3/L4 cache, or newer like Haswell?

5.) What level graphics card? I suspect something in the 660/670 Nvida range or above should suffice, but you all know more than I. Are the 660/670 cards longer than the 7XX series?

6.) I'd like to get into raiding again, so if the computer can support Ultra in a 25-man, with 40-60+fps, that'd be nice.

7.) <=$2000 limit. I'm sure this can happen.

8.) not required, but I sure would not mind the motherboard/cpu being able to support dual-booting into the MacOSX for iOS backup purposes.

I know my main HD will be a ~250GB or larger SSD, and the next a 1TB "storage drive". But the biggest question is what architecture should I build this machine around? Ivy, Haswell, Sandy, Sandy-E? etc..

Looking for your feedback and input.
January 7, 2014 2:34:56 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VI IMPACT Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($223.97 @ OutletPC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($525.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 760W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1768.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 17:29 EST-0500)

I did want to put extra fans for cooling but couldn't find any sources saying you could. I put some more high end parts so that even later on whenever the new wow games come, you can still play them on ultra. This build should easily last you more than 3 years and still let you play on ultra. It meets all your requirements and the power supply is great for this mini itx build because it is fully modular so you only use the power connectors that you need. The gpu is a little high end but you have to think about the future. This gpu will last you a long time. If you do want to switch the gpu and get something lower end and smaller, you cuold get the asus gtx 670 mini something like that. The 16gb of corsair ram is a bit smaller because it doesn't have the little point tops which will help with the whole "mini build". Also for the blu-ray drive if you want to switch it out for a regular one you can. This is way less than your budget but thats what happens when you have a mini itx build. If you have any more questions please let me know.
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January 9, 2014 6:37:32 AM

Wow this is a beast of a build. More beastly than I expected. I appreciate the information. What I think I'll do is try to trim it down a bit to see if a new monitor can be acquired also.

CPU: going with an i5 instead of the i7.
CPU Cooler: I heard the Corsair kits are loud; is that true? Many people are suggesting (on other forum posts) to go with a simple air cooler. In this I'm completely open to ideas. I really just want something quiet that can handle the load.
MB: I appreciate you posting this MB, I haven't seen it yet on Newegg and will do some more research to learn what it offers.
Memory: Most places are suggesting 8GB over 16GB. I originally thought that no matter what PC I ended up with, I'd choose 16GB (laptop or custom desktop). The more I looked into it, the more it seems I don't need that much. But I understand the argument of future-proofing. But the corsair Vengeance is the way to go I take it?
Storage: nice on both of these drives, thank you. Why the Kingston SSD over say, Corsair, Samsung or Intel?
Video card: yea wow, You are absolutely right about future-proofing for a few years going with this route. I had originally considered like you said, a 660/770.. I may look more into the 780.
Case: I really like the BitFenix cases, another I like a lot is the Phenom.

Thanks!
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January 9, 2014 7:00:21 AM

Also, if I'm going with 8GB, how do I know what memory/speed I want? CAS Latency, Voltage, etc. This seems it could be in a thread of it's own.

I have a basic understanding of the different DDR3. I.e. 1333 / 1600 / 1866 , etc. The fast the memory operates.

The CAS latency is new to me; I assume this could be dependent on which MB I select as to what is compatible?
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January 9, 2014 8:10:31 AM

Yeah I personally don't know too much about the case latency either. I just know that mostly they are either 9 or 10. The voltage I don't know too much about it either. If you want to got with the i5 instead of the i7, it is pretty much up to you. The fans that the corsair h100i are exceptionally but if you want you can buy different fans that make a little bit less noise. Usually the Corsair AF 120 are a good replacement. The reason why I choose the kingston ssd is because it is usually the cheapest. Like I said, 16gb of ram is pretty much future proof. You will never have to worry about your computer taking forever to open applications in many years. It is overkill but with a budget of yours and the parts that I choose, their really is nothing that you can upgrade with the money that you might save buy getting an 8gb ram. If you have any more questions please let me know
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January 13, 2014 6:18:55 PM

Should I start planning on my parts list from the outside in, or the inside out? I don't know if I should start planning using the case as the focus, or the heat sink/gpu, etc.
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January 13, 2014 7:31:44 PM

i would start from the ordering the parts and then also get the case at the same time if possible
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January 14, 2014 6:04:04 AM

What I'm saying is; should I pick the case first, then try to pick the components that fit in the case? Or pick the components first, then pick a case that they'll fit in?
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January 14, 2014 4:24:52 PM

Whats wrong with the components that I picked. Are you gonna get your choose your own parts. Anyway, I would first pick the components and then the case
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January 15, 2014 6:22:35 AM

You have an incredible build but I'm going to scale it back some after reading some reviews. Dropping the i7 for the i5-4670K. Dropping the water-cooling solution and probably going with an air cooler; I hear the Noctua's are QUIET. Are the corsair's quiet? I know the Seasonic's are and would consider the swap there.

But components first, then case. I know a lot of components require certain clearances, etc. I have to be pretty careful.
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Best solution

January 15, 2014 1:48:23 PM

If you live near a micro center store, get your cpu from there. If you don't get it from here http://promotions.newegg.com/intel/13-6577/index.html its a little promotion for winning things. Anyways, the regular corsair fans according to the internet aren't the best but you can replace them if you wish too. The only problem I have with the Noctua is that it is so UGLY. lol anyway have fun with your build
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