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Help with gaming pc

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August 25, 2011 3:33:33 AM

Howdy ya'll
I was hoping if anybody could help me with building my first PC. I was doing some research but am just completely overwhelmed. So far though, I think I'd like it built around a Core i5 2400 and EVGA GTX 460 and Win7 Home Premium. I would like to use SLI in the future, but I am not sure where to go from here. My budget is ~$900 and any money saving tips would be appreciated (i.e. comparable AMD cpu and gpu). I would also prefer parts from Amazon or Newegg. Please help. Thank You.

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2011 3:58:20 AM

Welcome,
That is helpful info but we have a format for asking build advice here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

It will help us and you to get the best config.

The GTX 460 is a very nice midrange GPU, but it helps to know what resolution you'll be using, etc.

We are here to help and can walk you through any troubles you have so the best advise I can give is: Take it one step at a time.
Post on the forums if you get stuck. Look at the "New Build" section of the forums for advice and pick up a magazine. There are a few magazines out there that give build advise like PC Magazine, CPU, MaximumPC and others.
Good luck.
August 25, 2011 4:27:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month from now

Budget Range:~$900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, netflix, web surfing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

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

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: i5 2400, GTX 460 or similar AMD parts (HD 6870?)

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1280x720 and later upgrade to 1080p

Additional Comments: not worried about aesthetics or a little bit of sound from fans, just as long as it stays cool. games i plan to play: BFBC2, Skyrim, Mass effect 3, BF3
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August 25, 2011 7:07:20 AM
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Hey Tree_Hugger, here's a build I put together for you:

  • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
  • NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1371-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-520 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
  • Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    TOTAL: $1,006.62

    It's $100 over your budget, but the only components I'd recommend downgrading are the SSD and motherboard, and both are really tough to upgrade later. If you can deal with the extra cost, I recommend it.

    Here's the breakdown:

    You've got a capable processor and a great mid-range graphics card (I use the same card for BFBC2 and Mass Effect 2 myself at the highest settings, it ought to handle BF3 capably by itself, an upgrade *might* be needed for max settings).

    You have 500GB space on a well-reviewed HDD plus probably the most reliable 120GB SSD on the market: definitely install Windows and your games/apps on this to reap the speed benefits. If you're unfamiliar with solid state drives, this article at Bit-tech is a good place to start.

    You also have a capable 4GB of memory (Kingston probably has the best quality assurance among memory manufacturers, so very reliable), plus a quality power supply unit (very important not to go cheap here). You've got a solid budget case (I've built a system in it myself and can vouch for it) and a well-reviewed motherboard that will support SLI.

    Regarding SLI/Crossfire, it might be more cost efficient (and possibly more stable) to stick with a single card and upgrade to the "new" midrange card as new tech comes out in a year or two. It's what I'd do, up to you.

    Let me know if you have any questions :) 

    Edit: blast, forgot to include a copy of Windows in the price... That's $100 more. If you're uncomfortable with the cost, I can make some adjustments.
    a c 91 B Homebuilt system
    a b 4 Gaming
    August 25, 2011 2:57:48 PM

    ^ Haha thanks ervine
    I'd say the 2500K is best for the value. But the best ATM is the 2600K. Though not worth it.
    OP you are correct with your CPU choice, the i5 2400 is better as you don't plan to overclock. With that money you saved you could get the OS.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    The GPUs I recommend in my $850 build is way better than the GTX 460.
    August 25, 2011 5:56:52 PM

    Illumina said:
    Hey Tree_Hugger, here's a build I put together for you:

  • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
  • NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1371-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-520 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
  • Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    TOTAL: $1,006.62

    It's $100 over your budget, but the only components I'd recommend downgrading are the SSD and motherboard, and both are really tough to upgrade later. If you can deal with the extra cost, I recommend it.

    Here's the breakdown:

    You've got a capable processor and a great mid-range graphics card (I use the same card for BFBC2 and Mass Effect 2 myself at the highest settings, it ought to handle BF3 capably by itself, an upgrade *might* be needed for max settings).

    You have 500GB space on a well-reviewed HDD plus probably the most reliable 120GB SSD on the market: definitely install Windows and your games/apps on this to reap the speed benefits. If you're unfamiliar with solid state drives, this article at Bit-tech is a good place to start.

    You also have a capable 4GB of memory (Kingston probably has the best quality assurance among memory manufacturers, so very reliable), plus a quality power supply unit (very important not to go cheap here). You've got a solid budget case (I've built a system in it myself and can vouch for it) and a well-reviewed motherboard that will support SLI.

    Regarding SLI/Crossfire, it might be more cost efficient (and possibly more stable) to stick with a single card and upgrade to the "new" midrange card as new tech comes out in a year or two. It's what I'd do, up to you.

    Let me know if you have any questions :) 

    Edit: blast, forgot to include a copy of Windows in the price... That's $100 more. If you're uncomfortable with the cost, I can make some adjustments.


  • Wow! Thanks Illumina. I just had a couple questions:
    Would the Mobo be compatible with the i5 2400 if i decided to go that way? and
    would the psu support sli/crossfire if i decided to do that later on as well?
    and lastly, would an OEm copy of windows allow hardware upgrades in the future?
    thanks again!

    Edit: also what would u say about this case here: http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Tower-steel-chassis-CS-NT...
    August 25, 2011 10:18:32 PM

    Yes, that motherboard is compatible with the Core i5 as well. The 520 watt PSU will handle 2 GTX 460s in SLI, and an OEM copy is just fine. Each copy of Windows basically binds itself to the motherboard, so a new motherboard will mean a new copy of Windows.

    That case looks ok to me, it seems to be reviewed well.
    August 25, 2011 11:32:26 PM

    Thanks again Illumina. I've been doing more searching and have come up with this build using your suggestions for around $830 $850. I decided against the SSD and found a bit cheaper motherboard. Do you think this build would perform well? any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :) 

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    GTX 460
    Corsair 8gb Ram
    Antec 520 W PSU
    Intel i5 2400
    Win7 oem
    Western Digital Caviar Blue SATA III 1 TB 7200rpm HDD
    NZXT Beta Evo Case
    Gigabyte Z68 mobo
    August 25, 2011 11:53:27 PM

    That works. You may not use the full 8gb of ram, but memory is so cheap it won't matter much. Corsair is also a solid memory manufacturer.

    Regarding that motherboard: reviews on Newegg report some USB 3.0 issues, that board apparently uses the Etron USB 3.0 controller, which I've read is kind of buggy. One issue that multiple reviewers reported was that you couldn't use both USB 3.0 ports at the same time. Just something to be aware of (I'd personally go with a different board, of course your mileage may vary). It's easier to find a cheaper board if you don't need 2 PCI-E slots for SLI, btw.
    August 26, 2011 12:56:28 AM

    Illumina said:
    That works. You may not use the full 8gb of ram, but memory is so cheap it won't matter much. Corsair is also a solid memory manufacturer.

    Regarding that motherboard: reviews on Newegg report some USB 3.0 issues, that board apparently uses the Etron USB 3.0 controller, which I've read is kind of buggy. One issue that multiple reviewers reported was that you couldn't use both USB 3.0 ports at the same time. Just something to be aware of (I'd personally go with a different board, of course your mileage may vary). It's easier to find a cheaper board if you don't need 2 PCI-E slots for SLI, btw.


    Thanks again Illumina. i think i'll just go with the board you suggested first. thnx again for your help, now i can get to ordering and building :) 
    August 26, 2011 12:56:52 AM

    Best answer selected by Tree_Hugger.
    a c 91 B Homebuilt system
    a b 4 Gaming
    August 26, 2011 7:39:09 AM

    ^ You plan to SLI? A 520w for 460 SLI is cutting it close. Just my opinion.
    August 26, 2011 5:23:44 PM

    aznshinobi said:
    ^ You plan to SLI? A 520w for 460 SLI is cutting it close. Just my opinion.


    Can you recommend a psu? :) 
    a b B Homebuilt system
    August 26, 2011 5:27:15 PM

    Antec High Current Gamer 620. or Corsair CX600.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    August 26, 2011 5:27:34 PM

    Antec High Current Gamer 620. or Corsair CX600.
    a c 91 B Homebuilt system
    a b 4 Gaming
    August 26, 2011 6:58:34 PM

    GL
    !