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Attempting build: light gaming (RIFT, Portal, etc)/everyday usage

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July 20, 2011 8:38:58 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next three days

Budget Range: ~ $650 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies (netflix/Hulu), daily tasks

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: microcenter.com, newegg.com

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: doubtful

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: Crossing my fingers for an attempt at my first build. Have taken apart and replaced parts but never built a full box from scratch.

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Here is the theorhetical build, hopefully you kind folk can help me out!

CPU:
Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor $180
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MoBo:
TP67B+ LGA 1155 P67 ATX Intel Motherboard $80
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Graphics:
Radeon HD 6850 1024MB $185
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM:
Ballistix Sport Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 $45
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

HDD:
Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s $45
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Optical:
LightScribe 22x DVD±RW Burner $25
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Case:
Cooler Master TC102 Mid Tower ATX Computer Case with 500W Power Supply $37
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


I didn't really want to go with that particular case but it was the most efficient way to cut a corner that I could see as this current setup puts me at about $630 after taxes which leaves me enough to buy any little things I may need or have forgotten. Any substitutions, suggestions, or just things in general to keep in mind would be greatly appreciated!
July 20, 2011 9:25:10 AM

That radeon 6850 is very expensive, since you plan on buying form microcenter, consider this one:
EVGA GTX460 1GB $149 ( $134.99 after rebate )

It's faster than the 6850.

To overclock you will need an aftermarket HSF. But you will probably do fine with stock clocks and cooler.
Coolermaster Hyper 212+ you can get for $27.99 from microcenter.

I would strongly suggest that you consider getting a ~450-500W PSU from Antec, Corsair, Silverstone, Seasonic or XFX instead of the one that comes with the coolermaster case. And then picking a case without a PSU to go with it.

It will most likely cost you ~$50 more after all the rebates and stuff, but that way you can be sure that the crappy PSU that generally comes with cases, especially of that price won't kill the rest of your system. Unfortunately the PSU's at microcenter seem to be expensive.

So I would recommend one of these: ( from newegg )
XFX Core Pro450W $54.99 ( $44.99 after rebate ) ~$10 shipping for this
XFX Core Pro550W $69.99 ( $49.99 after rebate ) ~5$ shipping for this
The 550W would be the better deal with the rebate and lower shipping.

This one would be ok too:
Antec HCG-520 $54.99 ( and 10% additional off with CC ) free shipping.

July 20, 2011 7:18:49 PM

^+1. Cheap Coolermaster PSUs are overrated crap. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. Look for full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency.
The following suggestions will rub many "enthusiasts" the wrong way, BUT if your goal is to save money, consider the following changes:
1. Are you planning on a new monitor any time soon? If not, OR, if you are willing to "possibly" lower a setting (e.g. not use AA) you will find a HD6770 for around $110-$120 all the GPU you need for your intended uses.
2. Even an i3-2100 ($125) is a strong enough CPUs for you, and is considerably cheaper. The $180 price for an i5-2500K is great, but are you aware that is an in-store price only?
3. A less expensive mobo you may find suitable for your purposes: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
July 21, 2011 11:15:07 AM

My local microcenter only had the 640 1gb SE version which is not worth it so I stuck to the 6850, thank you for the suggestion though, was a route I hadn't considered.

The following were what I went with for case and PSU, the rest were the same as my original:

Thermaltake V4 Black Edition $40
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500 Watt $40
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


After successfully putting it together I think I have the bug. There's no better sound than a post beep on your first build! So within the near future I will be replacing the PSU and picking up an aftermarket cooling solution.


July 21, 2011 11:00:10 PM

Yeah, that Coolermaster PSU is garbage too. Don't expect any more than 425W out of it, and that not efficiently and possibly not cleanly. Replace ASAP. As I mentioned before, look for full range active PFC (NO little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency in order to be assured of a reasonably modern design. Seasonic (which builds some Corsair, Antec, and XFX units) tends to use higher-quality components than many other OEMs. Capacitors will be rated at higher temperatures than those used in cheaper brands, and semi-conductors will be capable of more than what the label will claim.
!