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New gaming computer 1500-1800$

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March 24, 2011 6:38:21 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully next week, pretty soon anyhow


Budget Range: 1500-1700$, no rebates taken into consideration


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, frequently rather demanding games, don't think watching movies, surfing, studying etc requires special components


Parts Not Required: Already have a decent (if budget) IPS monitor and I don't need mouse, speakers or keyboard


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference at all, though links to sites like newegg are just as good as simple names


Country of Origin: Norway, which means I won't be using US stores, but I believe most components are available here despite some price differences. Please don't be dejected by this, I can still very much use suggestions even if I guess the vast majority of the user base here has no idea of the Norwegian market.


Parts Preferences: I believe some Intel combo is best for budget gaming builds this time around, but I don't really have any company preferences.


Overclocking: Nice to keep options open, though not worth large amounts of money, but not planning to overclock any time soon (even putting a computer together for the first time will be a challenge I expect.)


SLI or Crossfire: Possibly in say 2 years, but I think for upgrading, getting a new budget card (whatever is equivalent to a 6950 or 570 in a few years) will be a viable option.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: Working with a really noisy PC at the moment, harddisk is slowly killing me, so I really need something more quiet. It's also overheating in games like Dragon Age 2 or Starcraft 2 with highest available settings, so it needs to be cool and powerful as well. Enough to run most games at decent/top settings for the next 2/3 years preferably.

This is the build I've pieced together by checking out the numerous similar threads on this forum and the "Recommended Builds by Usage" thread (though it unfortunately lacks a suggestion in my price range.)

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 ca. 250$
PSU: Antec TruePower 750W ca. 150$ (listed as simply that in stores, but I'm fairly certain it's "Antec Truepower New 750w" in truth)
GPU: Asus GTX 570 1280 GB ca. 470$ (I think I can squeeze 580 into my budget, but not sure if that's better than simply upgrading in 2 years)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ca. 150$ (no brainer I suppose)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1600 CL9 8 GB ca. 130$ or G.SKILL Eco 4GB DDR3 2x2 GB 1333MHz CL7 7-7-7-21, 1.35V ca. 150$ for 4 GB (g.skill is a better brand I hear, and has far better timings, but I hear that timings are hardly noticable, that configuring unusual voltage for ram in BIOS is problematic and buying the g.skill would mean not having enough slots for 8 GB ram + far more expensive, though I hear 4 GB to 8 GB ram is hardly noticable as well)
Case: Fractal Define R3 ca. 125$ (rare in the US I hear, but here it is super popular, looks sleek and minimalistic, pretty quiet, cool enough, and I think a 570 will fit, though SLI or 580, if 580 is as big as 480 was, might be a problem)
MB: Asus P8P67 PRO ca. 235$ (the Asrock Extreme that everyone here is raving about is like 50$ more and rare in Norway)
DVD/CD: Sony AD-5260 ca. 25$ (cheapest DVD-burner)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB ca. 70$ (extremely popular and cheap, but I remember hearing that Seagate 7200.12 was considered better though I never see it recommended anymore and I've heard complaints about noise from the F3 which is a big no for me, not sure if it's true though)
Heatsink for CPU: This is the big mystery for me. Hyper 212 Plus is either sold out everywhere or has a very inflated price. Mugen 2 rev B is very expensive and rare here (plus I hear a pain to mount.) Any suggestions of budget but decent coolers are very welcome. But since I'm not OCing anytime soon, is it possible to go with the default cooler without it negatively affecting my system and gaming?
Total: To me this comes out to a total of ca. 1600$, though that's without shipping which will probably put it at at around 1700$ at least.

I'm not expecting a whole lot of replies since my country of origin might make this seem somewhat awkward for some of you, but still this is a fairly big sum of money I'm spending, so any criticism and feedback is very welcome. Suggestions about cheaper alternatives, better alternatives, eventual incompatabilities and so forth are appreciated. Thanks, hoping for some reassurance I guess :) .
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2011 11:31:41 PM

Hello Barl;

Great job putting things together. You're just about ready to go.

CPU: Core i5 2500K - make sure it's the K version for overclocking. Even if you don't overclock right away you have the option to do so later. Maybe when it's time to upgrade the GPU? You can also 'upgrade' the CPU by overclocking from 3.3Ghz to 4.2Ghz safely and easily.
PSU: It will likely be the Truepower New. If it's not and you have other options available you can list them and we'll help you choose a good one.
GPU: GTX 570 is a great match for 1920x1080 gaming. I don't feel you need to get the GTX 580.
Your upgrade options will be a 2nd GTX 570 in 18-24 months (typical) or selling the GTX 570 and getting a new card with 2x newer generation.

a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2011 11:54:56 PM

RAM: You're right about the 8GB/4GB difference being hardly noticeable, especially in gaming. This is one area where you can easily upgrade later. 4GB now, 4GB more in a future upgrade. But that small price difference from 4GB to 8GB makes 8GB very attractive. My vote is for the 8GB Corsair DDR3 CL9 kit or an equivelent G.skill 1.5V kit. Corsair/G.skill - you have to look at a specific model # to be sure it's one of the better parts. Both companies have great - and not so great - parts.
Again, if you want to list options you have with part numbers we can try and help you sort out the best parts for the money.

Case: Fractal Define R3 is an excellent choice for quiet build. Fractal Design Define R3 Review GTX 570 confirmed to fit.
MB: Asus P8P67 PRO is an excellent choice. I personally would rank this above the Asrock P67 Extreme4 in overall suitability.
HDD/ODD: Good choices.
CPU cooler: Gelid Tranquillo - a good mix of cooling and quiet. Gelid Tranquillo CPU Cooler Review
And at 153mm tall it's going to fit inside the Fractal R3 which isn't as wide as many gaming cases.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2011 12:08:18 AM

PC Hardware Buyer's Guide March 2011 @ Bit-Tech. They're going with a i5 2500K, Asus motherboard and a Fractal Define R3 case.
Gaming Workhorse March 2011
Their build is for a GTX 560 Ti / Antec TruePower New 650w and the non Pro version of the P8P67 motherboard and 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3.

It's a good reference and should give you a lot of confidence your build is very good.



March 25, 2011 9:57:56 AM

Woah nice replies, really helpful thanks! I'm sure the CPU is 2500K, just a mistake from my side, and I'm 99% sure the PSU is the "new" version, almost certainly just a listing mistake from Norwegian retailers and I actually haven't seen the old, inferior versions anywhere.

Think I'm gonna follow your advise on the 570 rather than the 580, I guess this is a price-performance question and unless I hear great arguments I think that's settled.

Regarding ram; I actually found some 8 GB ripjaws that seem similar to the ones recommended in gaming builds here at the moment:
G.SKILL Ripjaws-X 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB), PC3 12800 1600MHz Non-ECC CL9 9-9-9-24-2N 1.5V
http://www.multicom.no/GSKILL-Ripjaws-X-8GB-DDR3-Kit-fo...(2x4GB),-PC3-12800-1600MHz-Non-ECC-CL9-9-9-9-24-2N-15V/cat-p/c36213/p10600611
That's a link to a Norwegian site, but it has English descriptions. Think that's an decent option? If not, I think the Corsair will do just fine, on second thought the g.skill ecos seem pretty overpriced.

Nice to know the case and MB are solid, but unfortunately the Gelid Tranquillo seems unavailable in Norwegian stores (is it very new maybe?) despite having a product listing on a popular pricefinder site. If there are similar alternatives I'll gladly search for them, but again, if anyone knows, is the stock cooler for 2500k bad or sufficient when not overclocking? I can always get a new cooler in a year or two if I get a mood for overclocking, but most of my computer tasks are pretty non-intensive, except gaming of course which relies more on GPU power.

And that Gaming Workhorse build really assures me, thanks :) .
a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2011 10:23:23 AM

That G.Skill Ripjaws-X 8GB Sandy Bridge 1.5V F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL is an excellent choice.
It gets very solid reviews from a site I use to check for quality/compatibility.


The stock Intel CPU cooler is perfectly adequate at cooling the i5 2500K when not overclocked.

March 26, 2011 7:49:39 PM

Alright, I guess I am more or less ready now, thanks. One more thing though; I know Antec Truepower New 750w is pretty good, but I see it mostly recommended in "budget" threads. I recently found the XFX BLACK EDITION 750W at a very similar price to the Truepower; should I rather go for it? Apparently it got nearly top rating at jonnyguru and is the next best thing after seasonic and Antec CP stuff.

And of course, any other advice or differing opinions are very welcome.
a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2011 7:58:37 PM

Be sure to let us know how things work out.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.

While you're waiting you can download the online version of the motherboard manual and start getting familiar with it. Same for the other parts you want to order if they have install guides or manuals available.
March 27, 2011 11:10:02 AM

Thanks for all the helpful answers WR2, I'm settled on a final build now. Definitely checking out some builder guides now, gonna be a little while until I order and then I guess until I get all the parts. Hopefully I'll be able to update the topic in a week or two on a functioning new system.
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2011 11:55:46 AM

Your welcome. Happy to lend a hand. I have fond memories of some great Norwegian hospitality a few years (ok-maybe closer to a few decades) back.
!