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$1,500 gaming PC, never done this before on my own.

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August 1, 2011 5:15:34 PM

So I've decided its time to retire my current computer and get a new one. I'd like to build my own this time. My current computer is a nearly direct copy of one my brother built, only with a few different components. I'm not really sure where to start since I've never done this myself and don't exactly keep up with whats new. I'm giving myself a budget of around $1500. The only things I've chosen so far is that for a case I'm going to use a Corsair 600T White, going to keep my current WD black caviar 1TB HDD since its fairly new and I am also thinking of carrying over my Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Platinum FATAL1TY Champion Series sound card unless there is a good reason to upgrade it. If I do upgrade it the new sound card needs to come with front panel connections for audio in so I can run my record player through it. So yeah thats where I am so far, any suggestions?

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month or so, potentially earlier.

Budget Range: $1,500 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, music

Parts Not Required: Case, HDD, Soundcard(?), Monitor, mouse, keyboard, soundsystem, OS (Windows 7 64-bit)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU, 22" monitor, midtower case(Corsair 600T White)

Overclocking: Maybe (have never done this but would like to learn how)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Would like it to be as stable as possible, my current one has always been trouble prone even after a fresh reformat.


Parts I already have

Corsair Graphite Series 600T (white)


Wester Digital Black Caviar 1TB HDD
(Sorry can't recall which version it is)

Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Platinum FATAL1TY Champion Series

More about : 500 gaming

August 1, 2011 5:53:12 PM

Ok fixed and I'll read the other 2 articles mentioned in that link.
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August 1, 2011 6:00:46 PM

witches_jelly said:
So I've decided its time to retire my current computer and get a new one. I'd like to build my own this time. My current computer is a nearly direct copy of one my brother built, only with a few different components. I'm not really sure where to start since I've never done this myself and don't exactly keep up with whats new. I'm giving myself a budget of around $1500. The only things I've chosen so far is that for a case I'm going to use a Corsair 600T White, going to keep my current WD black caviar 1TB HDD since its fairly new and I am also thinking of carrying over my Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Platinum FATAL1TY Champion Series sound card unless there is a good reason to upgrade it. If I do upgrade it the new sound card needs to come with front panel connections for audio in so I can run my record player through it. So yeah thats where I am so far, any suggestions?

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month or so, potentially earlier.

Budget Range: $1,500 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, music

Parts Not Required: Case, HDD, Soundcard(?), Monitor, mouse, keyboard, soundsystem, OS (Windows 7 64-bit)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU, 22" monitor, midtower case(Corsair 600T White)

Overclocking: Maybe (have never done this but would like to learn how)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Would like it to be as stable as possible, my current one has always been trouble prone even after a fresh reformat.


Parts I already have

Corsair Graphite Series 600T (white)


Wester Digital Black Caviar 1TB HDD
(Sorry can't recall which version it is)

Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Platinum FATAL1TY Champion Series


do you live by a microcenter?
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August 1, 2011 6:16:53 PM

You already own the sound card, correct? If you didn't, I would advise against it, since the onboard sound is quite good.

If you are going to OverClock, then a 2500k is probably the best option. I personally would get a z68 to take advantage of the encoding and OC possibilities. If you don't plan to encode too much or OC, then a P67 would be just fine.

I'd get a decent SSD - something in the 60GB range (around $100 or less now) for the OS and programs. Use the WD Black for storage.

I don't have too much time to take a look at graphics, but someone will more than likely suggest something before I can get back to it.

Look for a solid PSU - Antec, Corsair, SeaSonic...all good. The total output will depend on the graphics card, but a 600 - 650w would be plenty for most setups.
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August 1, 2011 6:19:08 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99- $69.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
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... $159.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10... $29.49 Free Standard Shipping (3-5 days)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern... $59.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare-OEM Drives, HD103SJ

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SATA-Internal-Drive-AD-7260S... $19.99 Free Standard Shipping (3-5 days)
Sony 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive AD-7260S-0B - Bulk (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-PCI-Express-Gr... $234.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - Limited Lifetime Warranty 01G-P3-1561-AR

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-PCI-Express-Gr... $234.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - Limited Lifetime Warranty 01G-P3-1561-AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 - $154.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
Asus ML228H 21.5" 1920X1080 2ms Full HD LED BackLight LED Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 10,000,000 :1 (ASCR)

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August 1, 2011 6:20:33 PM

CPU : Intel Core i7 2700K
MoBo based on : Z68 Chipset
RAM : 8GB DDR3
SSD : 60GB
GPU : Nvidia GTX 580
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August 1, 2011 9:39:56 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
do you live by a microcenter?


By a what?

huron said:
You already own the sound card, correct? If you didn't, I would advise against it, since the onboard sound is quite good.


Yes I do. I was planning on pulling the one out of my current PC for the new one. What do you mean on board sound is quite good, do you mean on the mainboard? If so how do you know without knowing which board I will be using?



Thanks everyone who has replied so far. I'll sit down and look over everything you've posted later tonight when I have more time.
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August 1, 2011 9:51:03 PM

look it up see if you live by one they have an i5 2500k for 180$ before taxes and then you get 40$ off any 1155 motherboard. see if you live by one because they only offer in store pickup
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August 2, 2011 11:20:24 AM

Motherboards contain a soundcard that will output 7.1 sound. For the most part, they use a similar chipset, so the sound is quite similar across boards.

It's really quite good nowadays...usually I advise people to try it out. If they don't like it, adding a sound card after the fact is as simple operation.

As for a microcenter...fantastic prices on CPUs...they've been running specials on CPUs + compatible motherboards too. I wouldn't buy all my parts there (overpriced for some), but I would pick up my CPUs there.
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August 2, 2011 6:43:45 PM

Now for Graphics cards what would be the best way to get the most for my money? A single expensive high power card, or 2 lower powercards in SLI/crossfire?

mjmjpfaff said:
look it up see if you live by one they have an i5 2500k for 180$ before taxes and then you get 40$ off any 1155 motherboard. see if you live by one because they only offer in store pickup


Damn that does sound like a good deal. Nearest on to me is in orange country, which is a significant drive from san diego so the drive would likely eat up most if not all savings I'd get. :p 

huron said:

If you are going to OverClock, then a 2500k is probably the best option. I personally would get a z68 to take advantage of the encoding and OC possibilities. If you don't plan to encode too much or OC, then a P67 would be just fine.


I've been reading up on the Intel i5-2500k and I'm definitely going to go with that. Can you recommend any good boards with a z68 chipset? While I know nothing about overclocking and have never attempted it, but I do intend to learn so I definitely want what is ever best in that regard.

huron said:
Motherboards contain a soundcard that will output 7.1 sound. For the most part, they use a similar chipset, so the sound is quite similar across boards.

It's really quite good nowadays...usually I advise people to try it out. If they don't like it, adding a sound card after the fact is as simple operation.


For me one of the reasons I was thinking of carrying over my sound card is because of its included breakout box for the front panel. I listen to my record player and 8-track player through my computer and need a set of L R RCA connectors on the front(back would work to if that was possible) so I can do this.
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August 2, 2011 6:50:39 PM

Quote:
nowai a i7 2700k?



Aim for an all black mobo to go sexy with that corsair case!



How it looks on the inside is pretty much irrelevant to me so long as I'm getting the most bang for my buck. It could be bright pink and I wouldn't care so long as its good, I just want a good high quality motherboard that would be good for overclocking once I get around to learning how to do that.
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August 2, 2011 6:56:33 PM

Quote:
Eh, you could take a monitor box and turn it into a full tower with a little paint and some scizzors as well which will save you about $200


I meant from a color standpoint, I'm getting the corsair case as I like all its features, love the cable routing(my current Hiper Anubis is a mess cables wise) and I love the look of it. I meant I don't care about the colors of whats inside it. :p 
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August 2, 2011 6:56:50 PM

You asked about Z68...the two that I really looked at were the ASRock Extreme4 and the Asus P8Z68-V Pro.

I ended up with the ASRock and have been thrilled with it.

The other item, not sure if it was mentioned, is to look at a SSD...Even if it's only 60GB or so, you can install your OS, most programs, a few games (if you play them often) and experience significant load time improvements.
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August 2, 2011 7:03:24 PM

huron said:
You asked about Z68...the two that I really looked at were the ASRock Extreme4 and the Asus P8Z68-V Pro.

I ended up with the ASRock and have been thrilled with it.

The other item, not sure if it was mentioned, is to look at a SSD...Even if it's only 60GB or so, you can install your OS, most programs, a few games (if you play them often) and experience significant load time improvements.


Which one? I did a search on new egg and quite a few popped up.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

And yes it was already mentioned, infact it had been suggested to me by my brother before I even started this thread. I really like the idea and am definitely going to look into it. Is it difficult to do? I've never ran more then one HDD(or SSD in this case :p  )
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August 3, 2011 11:39:33 AM

The amount of space people need on an SSD seems to vary. I got a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 when it was on sale and had a rebate. I've installed the OS (20GB or so), MS Office, all the utilities that I use and need, and still have 30GB free. I do only have one game (CoD 4 MW) installed, but I really haven't felt like I was going to run out of space.

I guess each situation is different, but for mine, 60GB has been plenty.

I will agree with a fresh install...much better way to go.
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August 8, 2011 5:52:32 AM

huron said:
You asked about Z68...the two that I really looked at were the ASRock Extreme4 and the Asus P8Z68-V Pro.

I ended up with the ASRock and have been thrilled with it.


What made you decide to go with the Asrock over the Asus? I'm still looking at motherboards and I really don't know what I should be looking for. Motherboards are one area I pretty much know nothing. Can anyone give me some other z68 boards I should look at? How about Gigabytes boards how are those?

Also curious, what about more expensive mobos like for example this one from Gigabyte, would there be any good reason to get a more expensive board?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128499

Also have a question in regards to graphics cards. Would I be better off getting one very modern one or 2 older ones to run SLI or crossfire with? And eitherway what are some cards you'd recommend?
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August 8, 2011 1:20:59 PM

About the ASRock...I looked at them both.

I figured I didn't need the bluetooth, though wouldn't have complained. I needed both PCIE slots for my graphics cards (both had).

I liked that I could still use the PCIE x4 slot (on the Asus, it's shared, so with dual graphics you can't use it).

Other than that, it was about $30 cheaper when I got it and had everything I was looking for...USB3, eSATA, quality materials, etc.

I actually read the reviews at multiple sites for both and decided they were so similar and the ASRock was so much cheaper that I would go that route.

It's been perfect for me...easy install. Easy setup. I really have been quite happy.
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August 9, 2011 5:25:04 AM

witches_jelly said:
I'm still looking at motherboards and I really don't know what I should be looking for. Motherboards are one area I pretty much know nothing. Can anyone give me some other z68 boards I should look at? How about Gigabytes boards how are those?

Also curious, what about more expensive mobos like for example this one from Gigabyte, would there be any good reason to get a more expensive board?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128499


Any more imput? :( 
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August 9, 2011 12:29:08 PM

You asked about Gigabyte...I have loved building with Gigabyte and Asus in the past. I've never had any issues.

My primary issue with Gigabyte this time was the lack of iGPU support. I realize that I don't need it now, but if I wanted to build something lower powered and re-purpose the hardware (basic server box, or whatever), I would have to install a graphics card, because they didn't design their mobo to use the integrated GPU on the Sandy Bridge chip.

That bugged me, so I didn't even consider them.
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August 9, 2011 5:35:35 PM

huron said:
You asked about Gigabyte...I have loved building with Gigabyte and Asus in the past. I've never had any issues.

My primary issue with Gigabyte this time was the lack of iGPU support. I realize that I don't need it now, but if I wanted to build something lower powered and re-purpose the hardware (basic server box, or whatever), I would have to install a graphics card, because they didn't design their mobo to use the integrated GPU on the Sandy Bridge chip.

That bugged me, so I didn't even consider them.


I noticed that as well but in all likely hood I would never not have a gpu in my computer so thats no issue for me. One thing I've noticed is it seems like almost no z68 mobos can run 2 PCIe slots at 16x when in sli or crossfire. How big of a difference would there be between two gpus at 16x and two at 8x? I ask because from looking around the only board I've noticed that can run dual 16x is the $350 GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 I posted a link to a few posts ago. Is there any appreciable difference that would make it worth the cost or would I be just as well off with dual 8x? With the way everthing is priced out atm I'm $300 under my budget so I've got some wiggle room to choose better parts if they are worth the money. At the moment I've got. Anybody see anything that could or needs to be improved?

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD5 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (very tentative, still researching, I'll admit to the guy who said go all black on the mobo, this one caught my eye :p  )

EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

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

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
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August 9, 2011 5:45:52 PM

I just mentioned the integrated graphics, because every couple of years I do upgrade and try to repurpose the hardware into something else. I realize that isn't how everyone works, but I hate paying for an GPU when one is integrated...particularly when the purpose would probably be a server or htpc...certainly not 3D demanding.

About PCIE x8 vs x16 - there have been some really good articles covering this for Sandy Bridge and before. Turns out there is only a small performance hit (if any) of going x8 vs x16.

The parts you chose look good. Do you have a cooler for overclocking that thing...don't see one on the most recent list.
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August 9, 2011 5:53:03 PM

huron said:
I just mentioned the integrated graphics, because every couple of years I do upgrade and try to repurpose the hardware into something else. I realize that isn't how everyone works, but I hate paying for an GPU when one is integrated...particularly when the purpose would probably be a server or htpc...certainly not 3D demanding.

About PCIE x8 vs x16 - there have been some really good articles covering this for Sandy Bridge and before. Turns out there is only a small performance hit (if any) of going x8 vs x16.

The parts you chose look good. Do you have a cooler for overclocking that thing...don't see one on the most recent list.


Thats good to know, any chance you know where I might find one of those articles? Glad to know the parts I chose look good.

I haven't chosen a cooler no, I've spent most of my time reading about motherboards so that slipped my mind. :p  Any recommendations or things to look for when choosing?
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Best solution

August 9, 2011 7:14:26 PM

Here's the article about PCIE lanes from Toms

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pcie-geforce-gtx-48...

I've got the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ - it's relatively cheap and does a good job. I believe there are other coolers that are better, but only by a small degree, but they do cost more. I believe I got mine for well under $30.
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August 10, 2011 5:15:31 AM

Best answer selected by Witches_Jelly.
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August 10, 2011 5:18:22 AM

huron said:
Here's the article about PCIE lanes from Toms

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pcie-geforce-gtx-48...

I've got the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ - it's relatively cheap and does a good job. I believe there are other coolers that are better, but only by a small degree, but they do cost more. I believe I got mine for well under $30.


Thanks for posting that, very informative. So as of now looks like all I need is a CPU cooler(just added an SSD to my list of parts) and I'm good to go.

I'm currently at $1355.16, $144.84 under budget. :D 
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August 10, 2011 5:05:45 PM

Nicely done. Hope you have fun with the new rig...I've absolutely loved mine since I rebuilt.
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