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Need opinion for first $1500 range gaming system

Last response: in Systems
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January 28, 2014 9:37:45 PM

Hey out there, This will be my first significant attempt at a gaming rig in 8 years or so and I'm looking for some opinions. I'll be looking to order in a couple of weeks or so. The main use for my system will be Skyrim, CoD, BF4, Company of Heroes 2, ect. also typical internet and media use. I'm also going for a red and black theme.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Staples)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($263.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition (2-Pack) 37.9 CFM 120mm Fans ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($99.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($147.58 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M65 Wired Laser Mouse ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1454.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-29 00:46 EST-0500)

What settings can I run those titles on with my specs? How will it do with OC? Is the PSU adequate enough? I would love some advice on how to sleeve up the cables (good site for kits/ info) keeping with the red and black theme. I've been doing research for about a month and I just got back into the PC world as it is currently (Its been awhile, a lot has changed and a lot to take in). Any tweaking or advice on any aspect is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
a c 386 4 Gaming
January 28, 2014 9:49:55 PM

You have too much PSU for this build.

This will not max games but will run them at high settings without problems.

You can easily change some things around o max all games though.

-change the RAM to normal old 1600mhz RAM, there will be ZERO performance difference.
-Drop the paste. The cooler comes with paste
-Change the PSU to 650W XFX unit. Same or better quality and more adequate for the build.
-Change SSD to Samsung EVO. Faster and newer and cheaper.
-use saved money to get gtx770.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 28, 2014 9:53:59 PM

I would look at an Asus motherboard over an MSI - it'll still give you the red and black theme, but be much better.

Arctic Silver isn't the end all be all anymore - I like Arctic Cooling MX-4, myself. Easier to work with.

Don't bother with that memory; 1600MHz Cas 9 (or 7 if you can get it cheap) is just as good.

You don't need nearly such a powerful PSU anymore - the 620w model offered by seasonic will be MORE than enough.

I'm impressed - you haven't made a whole bunch of the mistakes a lot of new builders do! The only other things I would change is to tell you this:

Don't buy an overpriced "gaming" keyboard. Either buy an entry-level mechanical keyboard for $70, a good mechanical for $110, or a cheap rubber dome (with identical guts to that sidewinder) for $20. You can use autohotkey to turn your number pad into a macro pad - you don't need "macro" buttons or lights for $30 more.

As for the mouse, that's a pretty good one, but I personally like the razer deathadder black edition. It's much more well built than a lot of razer's stuff, and it's the closest any mouse has ever come to my perfect old Intellimouse Explorer 3.0.
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January 28, 2014 10:34:45 PM

DarkSable said:
I would look at an Asus motherboard over an MSI - it'll still give you the red and black theme, but be much better.

Arctic Silver isn't the end all be all anymore - I like Arctic Cooling MX-4, myself. Easier to work with.

Don't bother with that memory; 1600MHz Cas 9 (or 7 if you can get it cheap) is just as good.

You don't need nearly such a powerful PSU anymore - the 620w model offered by seasonic will be MORE than enough.

I'm impressed - you haven't made a whole bunch of the mistakes a lot of new builders do! The only other things I would change is to tell you this:

Don't buy an overpriced "gaming" keyboard. Either buy an entry-level mechanical keyboard for $70, a good mechanical for $110, or a cheap rubber dome (with identical guts to that sidewinder) for $20. You can use autohotkey to turn your number pad into a macro pad - you don't need "macro" buttons or lights for $30 more.

As for the mouse, that's a pretty good one, but I personally like the razer deathadder black edition. It's much more well built than a lot of razer's stuff, and it's the closest any mouse has ever come to my perfect old Intellimouse Explorer 3.0.


First off thanks for the compliment. So for the MoBo are you referring to the Asus Maximus V Gene Micro ATX? Thats the only one I found (other than the Maximus V EXTREME which is just way above my budget but would love to have) that is black and red. How are the MSI boards compared in quality?
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a c 386 4 Gaming
January 28, 2014 10:36:32 PM

Some people do not like MSI because they had quality control issues in the past, but they are MUCH better now. I use them and have never had any issues. They are perfectly good boards now. Some people are stuck in the past though.
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January 28, 2014 10:43:20 PM

tiny voices said:
You have too much PSU for this build.

This will not max games but will run them at high settings without problems.

You can easily change some things around o max all games though.

-change the RAM to normal old 1600mhz RAM, there will be ZERO performance difference.
-Drop the paste. The cooler comes with paste
-Change the PSU to 650W XFX unit. Same or better quality and more adequate for the build.
-Change SSD to Samsung EVO. Faster and newer and cheaper.
-use saved money to get gtx770.


Wow I switched out all those you suggested and it hits $1500 on the dot. Nice work sir. With all the info about power usage and part quality and all that I wasn't totally clear on picking a PSU suited for this. Thanks a bunch for the advice. How much does the 770 improve on the 760? Quite a noticeable improvement?
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a c 386 4 Gaming
January 28, 2014 10:45:03 PM

The difference between the 770 and 760 is the difference between high and ultra settings in most games.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 29, 2014 12:55:26 AM

terrorbear14 said:
First off thanks for the compliment. So for the MoBo are you referring to the Asus Maximus V Gene Micro ATX? Thats the only one I found (other than the Maximus V EXTREME which is just way above my budget but would love to have) that is black and red. How are the MSI boards compared in quality?


I didn't have one in specific, I just know that all of Asus's ROG branded stuff is read and black. Unfortunately it looks to be pretty pricey. The Maximus V Hero is the cheapest at just under $200. :/ 

MSI boards aren't exactly amazing, and the trouble isn't with the board so much as the combination of slightly worse quality and horrible customer service.

Oh! But the AsRock Fatal1ty boards are red and black, and those are quite good motherboards!
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