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~$700 Gaming & Design Build

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October 3, 2011 5:17:05 AM

Hello. I'm looking to put together a build pretty soon, and I'm looking for a bit of advice, part-wise. Any help is much appreciated.

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Approximate Purchase Date: This week (preferably the next day or two)

Budget Range: $700-ish (sub-700 would be fantastic, if possible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photoshop, watching movies, 3D modeling, animation

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, I'm going to use Will Call to pick up the parts, but will consider ordering a few parts from another vendor if it can save money on them.

Parts Preferences: Intel, NVIDIA

Overclocking: Not right now, but possibly down the road.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, but probably not for a while.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

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What I'm thinking about getting so far:

CPU: Intel i5 2500k - $150 @ Microcenter (In-store only) EDIT: Damn, just checked and they upped the price by $30 since last night.... Ugh. $180

Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6GB/s USB 3.0 - $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - $205 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - ($69.99 - 20% Coupon = $55.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: ASUS 24x CD/DVD Burner - $21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: ???

Case: Antec Three Hundred - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


-------------------------------

The ones in bold are the ones I'm sure I want to get. Everything else, I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

+tbc
October 3, 2011 6:22:36 AM

Welcome :) . Firstly, what games are you aiming to play, and at what level of detail (low, medium or max settings)? Also, what sort of design do you do? What programs will you be using?

Your choice of motherboard is very solid, that board has been on my Z68 shortlist for a while.

For ram, I prefer Kingston as a manufacturer because they have the lowest return rates (really solid QA/testing). This 8GB kit would be a good choice, also almost $20 cheaper.

For the PSU, I recommend the SeaSonic S12II 620, excellent build quality (and high quality capacitors) for a nice stable system. The PSU is an important component, you don't really want to spend less than $60 here.

From there, add up the total cost of everything, subtract it from your preferred budget, and get a graphics card in that price range. Depending on what games and programs you'll be using, you might adjust the processor or GPU a bit to find the right balance. I wouldn't skimp on anything else really, you won't find a lot of real savings or value doing so.
October 3, 2011 6:54:53 AM

Illumina said:
Welcome :) . Firstly, what games are you aiming to play, and at what level of detail (low, medium or max settings)? Also, what sort of design do you do? What programs will you be using


No games in particular, but medium to high would be prefered, but I don't expect to max everything.

And I use Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, etc.

Thanks for the post.
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October 3, 2011 7:04:28 AM

In that case, stay with the i5 and go for a GTX 460 (or the equivalent from AMD, or lower depending on your budget level). The processor will boost those design programs, and that level of GPU will allow you to play most new games at medium settings comfortably (though maybe not high).
October 3, 2011 7:26:04 AM

Illumina said:
In that case, stay with the i5 and go for a GTX 460 (or the equivalent from AMD, or lower depending on your budget level). The processor will boost those design programs, and that level of GPU will allow you to play most new games at medium settings comfortably (though maybe not high).


Well, I guess if I had to be specific, Skyrim would be a nice goal. I'm kind of wanting to go with a 560 Ti, just not sure which one.
October 3, 2011 7:33:22 AM

thebluecasket said:

CPU: Intel i5 2500k - $150 @ Microcenter (In-store only) EDIT: Damn, just checked and they upped the price by $30 since last night.... Ugh. $180

Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6GB/s USB 3.0 - $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - $205 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - ($69.99 - 20% Coupon = $55.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: ASUS 24x CD/DVD Burner - $21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: ???

Case: Antec Three Hundred - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Thats a perfect build! :) 

Rosewill Challenger is a great case with good cable management. The USB 3.0 version costs $60, but your motherboard has no internal USB 3.0 headers unfortunately, and I think spending more on the Extreme4 for that isn't worth it.

For a single GTX 560 Ti or two of them, a decent 650W PSU would be more than enough.

I suggest this one : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 3, 2011 4:31:43 PM

008Rohit said:
Thats a perfect build! :) 

Rosewill Challenger is a great case with good cable management. The USB 3.0 version costs $60, but your motherboard has no internal USB 3.0 headers unfortunately, and I think spending more on the Extreme4 for that isn't worth it.

For a single GTX 560 Ti or two of them, a decent 650W PSU would be more than enough.

I suggest this one : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah, I'm not willing to pay more to get USB 3.0 ports on the front of my case. I'm fine plugging into the back if I need that.

I'll probably just go with a single GTX 560 Ti for now, and see down the road about possibly putting in another.

Thanks for the PSU suggestion!
October 3, 2011 6:10:37 PM

A single GTX 560Ti would be enough for now. :) 
October 3, 2011 7:47:37 PM

008Rohit said:
A single GTX 560Ti would be enough for now. :) 


I think so, too.

What's the general consensus on the Antec EarthWatts 650W PSU? Would that do for this build?
October 3, 2011 9:37:03 PM

The Earthwatts is okay, but the 650W goes for about the same price as the Seasonic 620W which has high quality capacitors (Japanese manufactured, as opposed to the Earthwatts which is a mix of Japanese and Taiwanese, the latter having an inferior quality record). The capacitors in the Seasonic are also rated to a higher temperature than the Earthwatts (105 degrees C as opposed to 85), so it'll be more stable in response to heat (whether a spike or prolonged heat).

Really, the major factors to consider when looking at a PSU are build quality (basically, how stable it, and therefore your system, is), noise level, and how much power it can supply to your components. For about the same price, the Seasonic has superior quality/stability, is slightly quieter (but you may or may not perceive the difference), and has similar output.

Also be aware that the Earthwatts doesn't come with a power cable, you'll need to buy one separately if you don't have an extra.
October 4, 2011 1:44:48 AM

Illumina said:
The Earthwatts is okay, but the 650W goes for about the same price as the Seasonic 620W which has high quality capacitors (Japanese manufactured, as opposed to the Earthwatts which is a mix of Japanese and Taiwanese, the latter having an inferior quality record). The capacitors in the Seasonic are also rated to a higher temperature than the Earthwatts (105 degrees C as opposed to 85), so it'll be more stable in response to heat (whether a spike or prolonged heat).

Really, the major factors to consider when looking at a PSU are build quality (basically, how stable it, and therefore your system, is), noise level, and how much power it can supply to your components. For about the same price, the Seasonic has superior quality/stability, is slightly quieter (but you may or may not perceive the difference), and has similar output.

Also be aware that the Earthwatts doesn't come with a power cable, you'll need to buy one separately if you don't have an extra.


Thanks, good to know. I'm looking to order tonight and I'll certainly heavily consider that SeaSonic.

Just looking for a bit more input before I make such a big commitment. Any other thoughts, anyone?

Thanks.
October 4, 2011 3:59:58 AM

Great deal on that Seasonic. Go for it. :) 
!