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Second build -- Gaming/Personal use PC

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August 30, 2011 3:08:47 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm seeking to have a second PC built for me. I don't build my own, because my first build just...had too many problems and I don't like toying with my own money. So, I'll have to reach out to someone. On to other things: I'm seeking a new PC primarily for gaming, with other uses such as HD streaming, watching graphically intensive movies, high quality music (requires a good soundcard), and other personal uses.

Budget: Up to $1,000.00

I prefer dealing with NewEgg & Tigerdirect, but I am open to dealing with other distributors.

The type of build that anyone may suggest could be anything. SLI or no, quad core, liquid cooling, anything - really. I want to be cost effective, and have an OUTSTANDING computer when it is built. Please do not reply with a build that was scrapped up within 10 minutes. I'm solely looking for people that take this kind of investment very seriously. I'm only saying this because although some may not care, it may help.

Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))


Budget Range: Up to $1,000 before rebates.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HD Streaming, Multi-tasking (work related), Music/Surfing the web


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, tiger direct -- open to others.


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Prefer AMD based components (motherboard/CPU if possible, Intel as last resort)


Overclocking: No


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Monitor Resolution: Current own 21.5 inch monitor @ 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Don't really care about the case so long as it beyond exceptional cooling, looks aren't a concern.

More about : build gaming personal

a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 2:05:03 PM

Do you at least know someone that can build it for you? Buying prebuilts is very expensive and you won't get much for your money. A lot of the time they wont put the amount of time and effort that yourself or a friend might too. ie. Wiring it properly and overclocking properly.

Also, please fill out the 'How to ask for build advice' form at the top of the homebuilt systems forum because we need more information from you.
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August 30, 2011 4:22:22 PM

Hi jmsellars1,

I've followed the FAQ and edited my initial post to provide you with the most information I can. And yes, I do know a few people that can build a computer for me, one of them is my uncle - so that can be arranged. Thanks!
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Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 6:03:13 PM

Personally i think an i5-2400 would be perfect for you but then again i don't know what the new AMD CPU's are going to have in store, if going AMD you will definitely want an AM3+ motherboard and nothing too expensive for your CPU since the new CPU's are out soon.

Heres a suggestion:

AMD Phenom II x4 965 - $129.99

Again, may want to consider something cheaper because you will likely want to upgrade in a few months.

8GB Corsair Vengeance LP - $57.99

Good, branded and reliable RAM

ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ - $104.99

Most of the cheaper boards have bad reviews but this is a good board for the price, good for SLI/Crossfire and overclocking.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99

Tried and tested hard drive, very fast and cheap.

EVGA GTX 570 (Fermi) - $319.99

Will max any game at 1920x1080 and is good for SLI should you decide to upgrade that way. Much better value than the GTX 580 too.

Coolermaster HAF 932 - $159.99

One of the very best PC cases in terms of cooling.

Samsung DVD Burner - $16.99
Windows 7 Home Premium - $91.99

That comes to just under $950 before shipping and rebates.

I didn't include the sound card because it is cheaper to buy a decent USB headset, those type of headsets bypass the sound card because they have their own built in.

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August 30, 2011 6:12:35 PM

jmsellars1 said:
Personally i think an i5-2400 would be perfect for you but then again i don't know what the new AMD CPU's are going to have in store, if going AMD you will definitely want an AM3+ motherboard and nothing too expensive for your CPU since the new CPU's are out soon.

Heres a suggestion:

AMD Phenom II x4 965 - $129.99

Again, may want to consider something cheaper because you will likely want to upgrade in a few months.

8GB Corsair Vengeance LP - $57.99

Good, branded and reliable RAM

ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ - $104.99

Most of the cheaper boards have bad reviews but this is a good board for the price, good for SLI/Crossfire and overclocking.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99

Tried and tested hard drive, very fast and cheap.

EVGA GTX 570 (Fermi) - $319.99

Will max any game at 1920x1080 and is good for SLI should you decide to upgrade that way. Much better value than the GTX 580 too.

Coolermaster HAF 932 - $159.99

One of the very best PC cases in terms of cooling.

Samsung DVD Burner - $16.99
Windows 7 Home Premium - $91.99

That comes to just under $950 before shipping and rebates.

I didn't include the sound card because it is cheaper to buy a decent USB headset, those type of headsets bypass the sound card because they have their own built in.


Hi,

Thanks for your reply. Could we assume that we already have an operating system? We could re-allocate that money to another part, say the CPU so I won't have to upgrade later? I really am not fond of the idea of upgrading too soon after building a PC - so the parts I would like to get, in my eyes, should be reliable for long term and known to perform for extensive periods of time.

Additionally, is 8GB of RAM necessary for this kind of build? I've heard that 4GB is enough. And, in that event, say I do get 4GB of RAM - is 32-Bit a more sensible route since it detects ~3.75GB of RAM? Lastly, I've heard that hard drives generally run at the same speeds with respect to RPM - would buying a smaller hard drive with a higher RPM be a feasible option?

Thanks so much.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 7:25:29 PM

Well that CPU is pretty much the best AMD offer in terms of gaming performance and in relation to Intel it's on par with a dual core i3-2100. If you don't want to wait for AMD's new CPU's then i would just go with Intel. Like i said earlier, the i5-2400 looks like a good bet for you since you don't want to overclock.

With the RAM, yes 4GB is enough for most games but they may start to use more RAM in the not too distant future. Also 8GB is nice for general applications and especially multitasking. Since it's cheap anyway 8GB is a good idea.

With the hard drive, if you are concerned more about speed and less about storage then i would get a SSD. High RPM drives are quite expensive and just can't compete with SSD's.

Here is a revised build:

Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99

Easily better than anything AMD have to offer at the moment and the only gaming CPU which is really any better is the i5-2500k. That is only really better because of the slightly higher clock speed and because you can overclock. Since you don't want to overclock though, the cheaper i5-2400 sounds better.

8GB Corsair Vengeance LP - $57.99
ASRock H67M (B3) - $79.99

Can't overclock or SLI/Crossfire but this is cheap and has USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s. (Your current PSU wouldn't allow GTX 570 SLI anyway.)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99
Crucial M4 64GB - $114.99

One of the most reliable SSD's on the market, still one of the faster ones too.

EVGA GTX 570 (Fermi) - $319.99
Coolermaster HAF 932 - $159.99
Samsung DVD Burner - $16.99

Total - $999.92 Before shipping and rebates ($40)

Hows that?




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August 30, 2011 11:45:13 PM

Hi,

Thanks for replying. I'm going to look into the user feedback of each individual component and look into each components respective competitors with regards to performance, quality, and pricing and see if I can get some more opinions on builds, but I will keep yours as a blue print and revise as necessary - however, I would like more suggestions by the community just to be open minded. Thank you!
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2011 2:12:25 AM

If it helps at all i could name some alternatives to some of these parts.

CPU - The only viable alternatives are the Phenom i previously mentioned, the i5-2500k (not worth it if not overclocking) or wait for AMD's new offerings in a few weeks.

RAM - 8GB of 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz stuff is best because your motherboard probably won't utilise any more anyway and even if it did it is very expensive. I'd make sure to go with a quality brand too. Pretty much any Corsair or G.Skill are good, Mushkin and Kingston can be good too.

MOBO - I think in terms of features you will probably want a low end board because you don't want to overclock and don't really need SLI/Crossfire. It's mainly a matter of features such as SATA 3 and USB 3.0 and the brand. All of the 'main' motherboard brands are pretty reliable; ASUS, ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte and possibly Intel for example. The brands that most people prefer to stay away from seem to be Biostar and Foxconn.

GPU - The GTX 580 is expensive for what it does so i would get a GTX 570 (Fermi) or your AMD alternative which would be an HD 6970. Or if you get an SLI capable board maybe GTX 560Ti SLI would be worth thinking about, you would probably have to sacrifice the SSD to do it but it gives awesome performance for the price. It should perform noticeably better than a GTX 580 for less money. 650W would probably be just enough too, since youre not overclocking. Possibly cutting it a little bit fine though. With regard to the card's brand, i know that EVGA and MSI are usually pretty safe choices but most of them can be decent. I would just look for the ones with the heat pipe coolers and 2 or 3 fans.

HDD - The Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB seems pretty unrivalled in terms of a cheap performance drive, it should even outperform the much more expensive WD Black. You could get a low rpm 2TB drive though if you are concerned about noise or power usage.

SSD - I think everyone will agree when i say that the Crucial M4 is known for great reliability, it is quite fast too. Not the fastest SSD though. The Corsair Force or OCZ Vertex 3 would be faster but possibly less reliable. Still viable options though.

CASE - In terms of pure cooling power i think the HAF series is probably the best. Some other cases come close too, the Antec 902 for example should only be a few degrees behind the HAF 932 and that's a mid tower instead of a full tower. Choosing a case is largely about personal preference in regards to looks too though so i wont say too much here, i'll just list a few cases that i know cool well.

- HAF series
- Antec 300/900/902
- NZXT Phantom
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August 31, 2011 4:21:29 AM

jmsellars1 said:
If it helps at all i could name some alternatives to some of these parts.

CPU - The only viable alternatives are the Phenom i previously mentioned, the i5-2500k (not worth it if not overclocking) or wait for AMD's new offerings in a few weeks.

RAM - 8GB of 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz stuff is best because your motherboard probably won't utilise any more anyway and even if it did it is very expensive. I'd make sure to go with a quality brand too. Pretty much any Corsair or G.Skill are good, Mushkin and Kingston can be good too.

MOBO - I think in terms of features you will probably want a low end board because you don't want to overclock and don't really need SLI/Crossfire. It's mainly a matter of features such as SATA 3 and USB 3.0 and the brand. All of the 'main' motherboard brands are pretty reliable; ASUS, ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte and possibly Intel for example. The brands that most people prefer to stay away from seem to be Biostar and Foxconn.

GPU - The GTX 580 is expensive for what it does so i would get a GTX 570 (Fermi) or your AMD alternative which would be an HD 6970. Or if you get an SLI capable board maybe GTX 560Ti SLI would be worth thinking about, you would probably have to sacrifice the SSD to do it but it gives awesome performance for the price. It should perform noticeably better than a GTX 580 for less money. 650W would probably be just enough too, since youre not overclocking. Possibly cutting it a little bit fine though. With regard to the card's brand, i know that EVGA and MSI are usually pretty safe choices but most of them can be decent. I would just look for the ones with the heat pipe coolers and 2 or 3 fans.

HDD - The Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB seems pretty unrivalled in terms of a cheap performance drive, it should even outperform the much more expensive WD Black. You could get a low rpm 2TB drive though if you are concerned about noise or power usage.

SSD - I think everyone will agree when i say that the Crucial M4 is known for great reliability, it is quite fast too. Not the fastest SSD though. The Corsair Force or OCZ Vertex 3 would be faster but possibly less reliable. Still viable options though.

CASE - In terms of pure cooling power i think the HAF series is probably the best. Some other cases come close too, the Antec 902 for example should only be a few degrees behind the HAF 932 and that's a mid tower instead of a full tower. Choosing a case is largely about personal preference in regards to looks too though so i wont say too much here, i'll just list a few cases that i know cool well.

- HAF series
- Antec 300/900/902
- NZXT Phantom


Hi,

Just so you and everyone else knows, my knowledge with regards to hardware, upcoming hardware, its technical specs and such are extremely limited, my only option is to go by what you say, so hopefully, by clarifying my exact wants, maybe it can help you determine the type of build I am aiming for. Let me start by saying that gaming is the main usage here. I'm looking for a PC that can ultimately run games such as Crysis, Blade & Soul, & TERA at outstanding performance. I am reaching far here, reason being, is to prepare for future game releases that may require higher end hardware.

After seeing live footage of Blade & Soul, it seems this game relies heavily on physics. That being said, I would probably need a better machine. Although, my primary use of this machine is gaming. Then, it's entertainment and work. But, let's assume it's for hardcore gaming. My concern of your posts so far are the motherboard and CPU. While they are good, I still get this itchy feeling that there's better products worth investing into. I do not mind waiting a few months for AMD to release newer products, though.

However, you were right about the 8GB of RAM. It definitely will be necessary, and nothing at this point could change my mind unless a miracle happened (ex: AION stops hogging up 2GB of RAM while idle in empty cities...). Then, there'd be no need! Anyway, I would like to say that I want to worry about the case later on, it's not of primary concern as I would prefer to pick parts before worrying about the case itself. That one is REALLY expensive! My question to you is, is there a difference between a normal HDD and SSD? If so, what is it? Are they significantly faster? What are the distinguishing factors? Sorry to bombard you with questions, but I'm trying to understand here.

Thanks again!
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2011 3:04:49 PM

A SSD is made of chips instead of an actual spinning disk like a regular HDD. They are MUCH faster, smaller, quieter, consume less power, more shock resistant etc. The tradeoff is that they are really expensive. 500GB = ~$900, because of this people usually get something like 60-120GB just for the OS and their programs then use traditional hard drives for bulk storage.

With the CPU, the best gaming CPU available at the moment is without question the i5-2500k. Yes the i7-2600k will perform very slightly better but for $100 more, not worth it. The i5-2400 is the same as the i5-2500k but it is clocked 200Mhz slower and you can't overclock it, so before overclocking it is basically the same. When AMD release their new CPU's in about 4 weeks, this stuff could change. It might not, noone knows.

What a better motherboard will buy you is the ability to overclock and SLI/Crossfire mainly. Personally i only think SLI/Crossfire is only worth it if youre planning to buy that upgrade soon, like within 6 months or a year. It is not worth it if youre planning it as a future upgrade option when your card no longer cuts it in 5-6 years or something for the same reason that noone recommends nVidia 8800GTX SLI anymore. GTX 570 SLI would be overkill on a single monitor too. If you decide that you do want to overclock some point in the future (which i would recommend), get an i5-2500k and a P67/Z68 board. This means that you can get another 40% or so out of your CPU (with the right cooling) when it starts to show its age.
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August 31, 2011 4:58:52 PM

jmsellars1 said:
A SSD is made of chips instead of an actual spinning disk like a regular HDD. They are MUCH faster, smaller, quieter, consume less power, more shock resistant etc. The tradeoff is that they are really expensive. 500GB = ~$900, because of this people usually get something like 60-120GB just for the OS and their programs then use traditional hard drives for bulk storage.

With the CPU, the best gaming CPU available at the moment is without question the i5-2500k. Yes the i7-2600k will perform very slightly better but for $100 more, not worth it. The i5-2400 is the same as the i5-2500k but it is clocked 200Mhz slower and you can't overclock it, so before overclocking it is basically the same. When AMD release their new CPU's in about 4 weeks, this stuff could change. It might not, noone knows.

What a better motherboard will buy you is the ability to overclock and SLI/Crossfire mainly. Personally i only think SLI/Crossfire is only worth it if youre planning to buy that upgrade soon, like within 6 months or a year. It is not worth it if youre planning it as a future upgrade option when your card no longer cuts it in 5-6 years or something for the same reason that noone recommends nVidia 8800GTX SLI anymore. GTX 570 SLI would be overkill on a single monitor too. If you decide that you do want to overclock some point in the future (which i would recommend), get an i5-2500k and a P67/Z68 board. This means that you can get another 40% or so out of your CPU (with the right cooling) when it starts to show its age.


Hi,

Thanks for your reply. So with this understanding, it's also come to me that Black Friday isn't too far from us, and I read that Intel will be changing sockets soon, so if I did buy an i7 from Intel, I would have to be careful I don't purchase one with an outdated socket. Now, as we all know, Black Friday has substantial drops in prices, meaning the i7 may become affordable. Microcenter is near my home, too - so I am available to run out and purchase anything I would need. With this in mind, do you think a build that costs around $1,500 could be worth $1,000 come Black Friday?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2011 7:40:19 PM

I don't know but either way the i7 isn't worth it for gaming, most games are GPU intensive anyway. Even the ones that are CPU intensive aren't going to require an i7. In most cases the i7 will probably add 1-2 FPS (for $100 extra) whereas spending that kind of extra money on a GPU or SSD will make a much bigger difference.

EDIT: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2011 10:56:40 PM

When i click the link it takes me to the Hitachi drive, i mean the Crucial one >_<
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September 2, 2011 4:55:27 AM

Hi,

That link takes me to a bookbag...not sure if I did something wrong here. But wow! That review was great. Really changed my perspective on things. Anyone else out there have any recommendations for a HDD/MoBo/PSU? I currently own a 650W as stated in my first post.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 2, 2011 5:26:55 AM

You missed that Crucial M4 offer.
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September 2, 2011 6:39:05 PM

That's okay. I'm not looking to make any purchases until the end of this year.
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!