Need Advice On Gaming/Home Rig

Hi all, new member here. I'm looking at building my first PC and have a few questions about the parts I have picked. Any advice regarding whether I need something or not/ if there is a better alternative would be a huge help!

The PC would be mainly used for gaming, everyday functions such as movies and homework, and possibly 3D modelling (Inventor, SolidWorks) as I am an engineering student. I want to build a computer that is as future-proofed as possible (within reason) and which can be upgraded from a two monitor setup to three monitors if I desire down the road. Ideally I would game across all three, and the third would be nice for increasing general productivity. If I'm going to build one, I'll build a good one.

I am not a hardcore pc gamer, having always been a console guy but I would like the ability to play most games (mainly RPG's + Shooters, not into games like Star Citizen) on high settings for a single monitor at 1920x1080 and preferably med - high on 5760x1080 if I choose to add a second GPU and third monitor. Also note, I have not bought any parts yet.

Here is my current parts list, which can also be found here:

Case: Corsair 500R Black $134.99
CPU: Intel i7-4970 $328.99
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100i $119.99
GPU: Asus GTX780 OC II $579.99
PSU: Corsair RM850 80+ Gold $154.99
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 1600MHz $182.99
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD $154.99
WD Blue 1TB $54.99
Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5 $169.99
Optical Drive: Samsung DVD Burner SH-224DB $16.99
***Prices all from

Total without peripherals/OS: $1898.90

A few notes/questions:
-Current monitor: Dell E228WFP but I will leave monitor discussions until later.
-I don't really feel the need to overclock my system and risk any components, as a) I don't know how to, and b) I am sure stock speeds will be fast enough for me

-The Corsair 500R makes it very easy to add the H100i on top. It would work great and look awesome aesthetically but if I don't plan on overclocking do I NEED the H100i? Is it a good investment?
-I went with an 850W PSU so I had the option to SLI the GPU, will this be large enough for both?

My main question:
I had originally picked the Asus GTX780 OC II after reading reviews and benchmarks from 3dguru as it would run my single monitor games well and offer reasonable performance when in SLI at 5760x1080. It is $579.99, but I recently found on Newegg the Asus DirectCU II OC R9-290 for $449.99:

A lot of Toms discussions have commented that they are almost equal in performance but that the GTX may be better built/more reliable and that nvidia software is better. In your opinion, is this worth the $130 difference? If I am wrong, please correct me. I think with the R9 I might also have to switch motherboards, but haven't looked into it.

Considering I might possibly buy a second GPU down the road, the $579.99 was about the limit I wanted to spend on a single one. Are there any cards either close to or below that price that would suit me better?

Again thank you for any advice you can offer, it's a big investment and I want to make sure I'm doing it wisely!
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice gaming home rig
  1. For gaming, change the i7 4790 to an i5 4670k. You won't need a h100i cooler either. The i7 4790 is not an overclockable cpu.

    A coolermaster hyper 212 evo will be fine for cooling the the i5.

    You don't need a 850W psu for the gtx 780. Get a good quality one eg Seasonic 620, XFX 650 or Antec HCG 620M

    Tom's recommends the ASRock Z97 Extreme 4 mobo -,3824.html
  2. Would switching to the i5 simply be to save money? I tend to do a lot of multi tasking, even playing windowed games while streaming movies on my other monitor. This really bogs down my current computer (i7), would the i7 have an advantage over the i5 when it comes to multitasking?

    I just read the comparison of the ASRock Z97 Extreme 4 and the MSI Gaming 5, and from what I can tell almost all the results are the same and they declared it a tie. Are there features on the ASRock vs the MSI that I am missing? Currently the ASRock is over $20 more than the MSI.

    I chose the Corsair 850W PSU in case I add a second GPU down the road, should I consider a different brand?
  3. The i5 is more than capable of handling day to day multitasking.

    I'd prefer ASRock (and Asus) to MSI. I go along with Tom's recommendation. Corsair - Tier 3

    Seasonic 620, XFX 650 or Antec HCG 620M - Tier 2 a
  4. Okay thank you, I am leaning more towards the i5 and the ASRock now, and looking into PSU's again.

    Any recommendations on the graphics card situation described above? R9-290 vs GTX780
  5. Best answer
    The 780 is a touch better performer. I like the Asus GTX 780 out of them all - cool and quiet, good overclocking headroom.

    The Gigabyte R 9 290 is a fair bit cheaper though.
  6. Thanks for the article, I've been looking for a good comparison between the two. Personally I'd like the GTX 780 with its improved specs, but I will have to decide if it is worth the price bump. It also has many more and higher rated reviews on Newegg.

    Does anybody else have any advice on this build?

    I have been arguing with myself over 8gb vs 16gb ram, and I think I have settled on 8gb. I will not likely be doing enough (if any) video editing or heavy 3d modelling and with the money saved downgrading I can keep my H100i for if I decide to overclock the i5-4690k. With the H100i I also shouldn't have any clearance issues with RAM.

    One question: if I buy 1866 RAM can I run it at 1600 on this MOBO and speed it up later if I overclock my CPU?
  7. You don't have to overclock the cpu to use 1866 ram. Just enable XMP in bios and the ram will be automatically overclocked up to its rated speed (1866)
  8. Okay thank you.... I will research the two GPU's more and make a decision on whether I want to save the money and drop to the R9. $130 difference between cards is pretty significant, especially if I was to buy 2. I am sure both will perform very well anyway, I just hope I will get decent performance on 5760x1080 if I choose to SLI two of them.

    Do you think an 850W PSU would be enough for both cards?

    Other than that I think it is almost time to start spending money...
  9. For 2 r9 290's you'll need 1000W. For 2 gtx 780's - 850W
  10. Okay thanks for all your help!
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