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First time Build - Gaming PC

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August 1, 2011 2:10:12 PM

First time to build a computer so any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Budget is $ 750 - 1000

Have a Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor

Currently playing Starcraft II, main focus will be SW:TOR and maybe GW2 and CoD

Would like a setup that will allow me to upgrade if needed in the future. Would like to eventually have a dual monitor setup.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: AMAZON, MicroCenter & newegg.com

Country of Origin: U.S.A

Overclocking: Nope

SLI or Crossfire: No (maybe in the future)

Monitor Resolution: ??? not sure about this...what would you all recommend?

Here is my current build that I'm thinking...please critique and provide recommendations :) 

MB -

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Ram -

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Combo deal

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU -

Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU -

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU -

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case -

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD -


LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD -

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost -

$855

w/rebates - $820













More about : time build gaming

August 1, 2011 2:15:03 PM

You've got yourself a pretty solid build there.

The only thing i would MAYBE change is the GPU for a GTX 560Ti with 2 cooling fans (something like Gigabyte GTX 560Ti, MSI Twin Frozor II, Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II) just to help with cooling if you do ever decide to add another card for SLI, or if you change your mind about overclocking (after all, the GTX 560Ti is an AMAZING overclocker)
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August 1, 2011 2:21:07 PM

Thanks for the advice, I will definitely make that change.

If anyone has any advice on a good dual monitor setup, would be helpful.
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Related resources
August 1, 2011 2:33:36 PM

great build.

id grab this one:
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-PCI-Express-Gra...

id get a 23"-24" 1080p monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

edit 22" would be fine for dual monitors. if you do plan to game on multiple monitors, i would go with an hd6950 2gb instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

frankly i dont see how anyone games on 2 monitors...3 i can see but 2 makes no sense to me.
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August 1, 2011 2:35:57 PM

Depends on the space available,
the amount you want to spend,
if you want 3D or not,
which ports you require (HDMI/DVI/VGA)
and the resolution you want.

Personally im set up with a 22" monitor and my 32" tv, which id soon like to upgrade to two of these: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/236-acer-aspire-gd245hq-...
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August 1, 2011 2:51:18 PM

I have a ton of space, but really don't want to over do it. Don't plan to 3D anything.

The main use for dual monitor would be when I do trading (pulling up multiple charts & news)

HDMI port would be helpful. I do watch a ton of movies on my computer so having a nice crisp picture would be great.

Flexible on my budget, just not more than $1000 for two.

Anyone have any recom on a nice sound system + headset?
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August 1, 2011 2:53:50 PM

genghiskron said:
great build.

id grab this one:
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-PCI-Express-Gra...

id get a 23"-24" 1080p monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

edit 22" would be fine for dual monitors. if you do plan to game on multiple monitors, i would go with an hd6950 2gb instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

frankly i dont see how anyone games on 2 monitors...3 i can see but 2 makes no sense to me.


I use 2 monitors, but i dont have the game on both of them. I often have facebook/youtube/web browser on one screen (usually have HWMonitor up aswell) then one my other screen i have my game playing. 2 monitors is also incredibly useful for web browsing while watching a film or any other combination of doing two things at once.
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August 1, 2011 2:58:22 PM

nawvidahmed said:
I have a ton of space, but really don't want to over do it. Don't plan to 3D anything.

The main use for dual monitor would be when I do trading (pulling up multiple charts & news)

HDMI port would be helpful. I do watch a ton of movies on my computer so having a nice crisp picture would be great.

Flexible on my budget, just not more than $1000 for two.

Anyone have any recom on a nice sound system + headset?



Any 22/24" monitor with a HDMI port should suit your needs.
The higher the contrast ratio the better.
60Hz is usually the standard refresh rate (*120Hz being 3D*)
1920x1080 16:9 or 1920x1200 16:10 resolution
Some brands id recommend: LG, Samsung, ACER

As for a sound system, again it depends what you want, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1?
Logitch are probably my favourite speaker manufacturer so id recommend checking out their range of speakers.
Having an "in-line" volume control can also be useful although its not often necessary depending where you place your speakers.
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August 1, 2011 3:42:16 PM

nawvidahmed said:
First time to build a computer so any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Budget is $ 750 - 1000

Have a Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor

Currently playing Starcraft II, main focus will be SW:TOR and maybe GW2 and CoD

Would like a setup that will allow me to upgrade if needed in the future. Would like to eventually have a dual monitor setup.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: AMAZON, MicroCenter & newegg.com

Country of Origin: U.S.A

Overclocking: Nope

SLI or Crossfire: No (maybe in the future)

Monitor Resolution: ??? not sure about this...what would you all recommend?

Here is my current build that I'm thinking...please critique and provide recommendations :) 

MB -

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Ram -

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Combo deal

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU -

Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU -

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU -

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case -

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD -


LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD -

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost -

$855

w/rebates - $820

looks good man!! enjoy
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August 1, 2011 6:15:15 PM

Would I have to buy any other parts? Do I need to buy a separate wireless adapter?
How about USB ports?

Windows 7 32 bit or 64bit?
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August 1, 2011 6:27:31 PM

you will need a separate wireless adapter.

you will have 7 usb 2.0 ports in the rear of your computer and 2 usb 3.0 ports. you will also have 2x usb2.0 ports in front, due to your case. you can purchase a usb 3.0 drive bay if you want front usb 3.0 support, or a case that has this feature.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

windows 7 64 bit.
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August 1, 2011 6:31:27 PM

Thanks for the advice, any other components that I might need or would be helpful?
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August 1, 2011 7:08:06 PM

Yeah I might just buy a CPU cooler, just to have that peace of mind...

Assuming this would be compatible...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 1, 2011 7:11:57 PM

oh thats what i meant link, lol. yes.
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August 1, 2011 7:43:31 PM

wireless connectivity is a very complex subject that i only know a little about. i would be wary of an adapter without an external antenna. one tip ive heard that makes sense is to buy an adapter of the same brand as your router, because the two are going to be communicating with eachother. some people also steer clear of usb adapters.

i was relatively clueless when i bought mine:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
so i went with the best reviewed one. it worked great, but ive recently put forth the effort to route an ethernet cable, which is going to be better than any wireless adapter you can buy.
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August 1, 2011 10:59:39 PM

Can someone explain to me the difference between the two?

GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte seems like a better deal since it's got the rebate...but it has four stars on newegg compared to the five stars of EVGA
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August 1, 2011 11:41:59 PM

the differences are the brand, clock speed, overclocking drivers, cooling system, and warranty.

The reference clock of a 560ti is 822mhz. The evga has a very mild 850mhz overclock. The gigabyte has a 900mhz OC. EVGA is probably a more reputable graphics card brand, particularly because they offer lifetime warranties on some of their cards. The gigabyte also has a dual fan cooling system, which is typically going to be cooler and quieter than a single fan card, but designs vary. Gigabyte seems to be having some trouble with its drivers.
The price on that evga card went up by $15 today.

personally, id choose between these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but there is something to be said about the high ratings and lifetime warranty of:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 2, 2011 12:33:12 AM

should I get a sound card? Any recom?
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August 2, 2011 12:30:19 PM

I have a Gigabyte 560Ti OC card that ive overclocked even more up to 950MHz (1GHz is possible if you dont mind seeing higher temps).

I have nothing but great things to say about it. It runs very quiet and the fans are very intuitive - only speeding up when they really need to. Also the 2 fans compared to the 1 fan of the EVGA have better cooling performance.

As for a sound card - No its probably not worth it. Most motherboards now come with great on board sound and theres really no reason at all to spend more money on a sound card. Unless you spend about £100 on a really high end sound card, the difference isn't even going to be noticeable
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August 2, 2011 12:32:36 PM

Is there a big difference between the two MB's? One is HDMI and one is not, but the one that isn't GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, is more expensive....
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August 2, 2011 12:36:39 PM

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 is a very good motherboard. It has more heatsinks therfore better cooling than the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3.

The GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 is more of a budget board, a little more basic than the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3. If you cant afford the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 then by all means go for the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3.

As for HDMI ports, it shouldn't make any difference at all since you'll be using the video ports on the graphics card, not the motherboard.

NOTE: Im fairly sure on Gigabytes website you can do a direct comparison of motherboards so you can see what extra features are offered on the more expensive board. (id do it myself and list some for you however im at work currently so its not really an option :(  )
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August 2, 2011 12:40:05 PM

the z68x-ud4 is a higher end card, and can hold slightly higher overclocks because it has a better voltage regulator. for your purposes, it doesnt really matter.

the hdmi, vga, and dvi ports on the mobo are for using the integrated graphics from your processor. since you will have a dedicated card, these ports really wont matter to you.

since the ud4 is now back at $190, and the combo is gone, id grab a mobo at microcenter with your i5-2500k, because you can get $40 off with the combo

http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/save40_p...

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
or
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
or
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

i might lean towards the asus, but id use any of them. the ram is currently available as a shell shocker $50:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 2, 2011 12:42:54 PM

ASUS P8Z68-v or -v PRO are both great boards id recommend.
Gigabyte have the boards you listed above.


If you go onto toms hardware main page, theres a review thread link somewhere that discusses all the z68 board of a similar price bracket your looking for. ill look for a link and add it when i find it. Its worth checking out though and should help your decision of choosing a board.
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August 2, 2011 12:49:15 PM

AWESOME Thanks...the MB + the CPU comes out to only...$335 !!!!
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August 2, 2011 1:01:31 PM

Damn lucky American's :p  Manage to pay about half what us lot in the UK have to pay :D 

My ASUS P8Z68-v PRO + i5-2500k totalled about £315 (~$512)
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August 2, 2011 1:11:06 PM

which mobo do you end up choosing?
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August 2, 2011 1:33:56 PM

great. good luck with your build. the only other thing id mention is to make sure you get a case youre happy with. i personally love my black box antec 300 illusion (i snipped the LEDs), but youre going to see that thing every day, so make sure its right for you.
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August 2, 2011 1:37:32 PM

I was thinking about

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

picking it up at my local frys store, what do you think?
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August 2, 2011 1:52:27 PM

thats a great case. the biggest complaint i see is that it doesnt have a black interior, which some people prefer in cases with side windows. it has plenty of redeeming features, however, which is why its the highest rated case on newegg. The antec nine hundred two and df-30 are newer cases with a similar look.

the haf 922 and storm enforcer, and CM 690 II are also good cases, and well priced at fry's.
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August 2, 2011 1:55:34 PM

Completly agree with genghiskron - Get a case you like. After all it is the thing your probably going to see more than any other components.

Any mid/full tower ATX case should hold your build no problem. Obviously if you find one your not too sure about, post a link to it here and im sure people will be able to say yes or no :) 
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