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New Gaming PC need advice

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November 14, 2011 1:25:16 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware community,

I am currently looking at getting a new gaming computer. I am on a budget so I don't want to get anything too fancy. I have looked up CyberpowerPC.com and after looking at around 7 different builds with the build that I want below I found a good priced PC Configuration (Mega Special II)

Case: Thermaltake Commander Mid-Tower Gaming Case
CPU: [Black November Special - Free upgrade from i5-2500!] Intel® Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
-I don't think there is a difference from the i3 and the i5 from what I have seen on performance but I would like to know the details on how the i5 is better than the i3 Thanks!
Fan: Intel LGA1156 Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink (I think its the fan that came with the CPU)
Motherboard: [CrossFireX/SLI] GigaByte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 mATX MB w/ Lucid Virtu Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X4 & 1 PCIe X1 (All Venom OC Certified)
-I am kinda new when it comes to motherboards since there are soo many types but if anyone would like to suggest a better gigabyte type of motherboard plz do so.
RAM: [Black November Special] 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module
-I know that some people prefer the ripjaws RAM but I think that it would cost more to the price of the build that I chose, I did my homework before posting.
GFX Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card
PSU: 700 Watts - XtremeGear SLI/CrossFireX Ready Power Supply
-I hear that the PSU that I chose isn't a really good brand, and that the corsair PSU's are better.
HDD: 500GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
External Network Adapter: Edimax EW-7811Un IEEE Nano 802.11n USB Wireless Adapter (FREE)

Total: $846.00

When I did a rough calculation from Newegg the price came to 890.00 and with shipping (10%) it would be around 89.00 so total would be around $979.00. Plus my experience with computer customizing is with taking a stock PC and upgrading it so I wouldn't want to accidentally scrach anything that I didn't want to when assembling the pieces.

I am going to get the Monitor separately and Windows 7 64-bit. Since it is black friday month and the $125 from cyberpower pc looks over priced, anyone know a good cheap LCD monitor? Not looking for fancy just a good 19" monitor that can last forever. I know there are alot of brands out there the problem is choosing the right one.

Also for reference I play games like Starcraft 2, Combat Arms (I know bunch of hackers but what ever its free), Vindictus, Homeworld 2

More about : gaming advice

a b 4 Gaming
November 14, 2011 9:34:59 PM

Acer S201HLbd Black 20" 1600x900 resolution LED-Backlight LCD monitor $100
it's been getting excellent customer reviews @ NewEgg.

What make and model of monitor was $125 @ Cyberpower?

2500K & Gigabyte Z68 motherboard are a good match. But you want a CPU cooler besides the free Intel cooler that came with the CPU. K models overclock nicely.

#1 issue: -> Your GPU/Graphics card isn't where you want it. If you at your budget limit lower the CPU/MB cost and get a better graphics card.

RAM is OK, even 4GB would be OK if it helps get you a better graphics card.

PSU: A better 500W PSU is preferred over a no-name 700W PSU if you're getting 1 video card.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 14, 2011 9:35:52 PM

What model of Cyberpower were you working on?
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November 14, 2011 10:38:28 PM

Hello WR2,

Thank you for replying. The cyber power configuration that I am using is the Mega Special II. With the consideration of choosing a PSU with a name I switched to the Cyberpower Z68 configurator. Which I choose the 650watt corsair PSU which I know is a good brand.

Also I am thinking of not getting the i5 2500K CPU since I am not that much of a gamer, but I am a heavy multitasker just wanted a CPU that is good and with no problems after getting it. I also use the PC almost like 24/7 since I am still in college and I use it whe I study alot. But when it comes to it would a i3 still be good or would a i5 still be better? (still trying to cut costs)

-and if i5 is still better what would be better the 2320, 2400 or 2500?
After looking at gamedebate.com I think the i5 2320 would be a good CPU

But hey the new configuration is just about $2.00 cheaper than my configuration on Mega Special II
Mega Special- i5 2500K but 700watt PSU brand with no name
z68 Configuratior: i5 2320 but 650 watt Corsair or would a 600 XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready be better? it costs $77.00 less than corsair

Games:
Starcraft 2
Vindictus
Combat Arms
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November 14, 2011 10:40:43 PM

Oh I forgot the LCD monitor Cyberpower is offering is the
19" Widescreen 1366x768 Sceptre X195W-NAGA 5ms TFT Active Matrix LCD Display LCD (Black Color)-$125.00 (cheapest)
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a b 4 Gaming
November 14, 2011 11:15:23 PM

That's way too much for a 1366x768 resolution LCD.

Any of the quad core Sandy Bridge CPUs would be good - even Core i3-2100.

What graphics card will you end up choosing? You base your PSU off the graphics card.
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November 14, 2011 11:30:36 PM

I would like to keep the Geforce GTX 550. So what would be a good CPU that would go with it?
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a b 4 Gaming
November 14, 2011 11:41:39 PM

A 430-500W PSU would be about right. The GT 550 is not much of a gaming graphics card.
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November 15, 2011 12:38:51 AM

Well for graphics cards the lowest is the Geforce GT 520 and I hear the GTX 550 and the GT 520 are very different in performance. Also My monitor wont let me do anything but to stay at 1250x800 resolution I think, somewhere along those lines. Currently using a old Acer Aspire M1641 with upgraded RAM, processor and Graphics card.

So with staying with the GTX 550 what would you recommend be the CPU?

Also do you have a preference on what Brand of PSU?? (just for future reference)
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a b 4 Gaming
November 15, 2011 3:04:48 AM

The 2400 was just a $10 upgrade over the i5-2320 but either one would be fine.

There really is no correctly sized PSU offered for a i5-2400 CPU & GT 550ti graphics card.
I was looking for a 430W-500W model and there are none on offer in that MegaII or Xtreme 1000 packages I checked.

Try the CyberPower H67 Configurator and see if that saves you some more. You can get a 500W recommended PSU there. With a non-overclocking i5 CPU no reason to get a Z68/P67 motherboard. A H67 will be fine.
You can see the cost of the GT 550ti they're charging you. +$156 for a card you could get yourself for $110.

I tend to avoid recommending 'brands', instead trying to pick out specific models that get great reviews and have a good price/performance/quality combination.
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November 15, 2011 4:49:14 AM

Thank you for continuing on assisting me. So for the PSU for the i5-2400 and the GTX 550ti, would the appropriate wattage be 500watts? I think cyber power is trying to mooch some more money off of people since the website said that the recommended wattage is 700 watts.
-so if 500 watts being the appropriate wattage there would be no point in getting a brand PSU and stick with the standard 500watt PSU on H67?

I will go with the H67 gigabyte motherboard since I am toning down my CPU so it would make sense if the motherboard tones down as well.

For the GTX 550ti I would like to have a EVGA brand but that would be the same price as they have on cyberpower, and I think that the GFX card on cybeerpower is the same as EVGA since they are both made by Nvidia not sure if they are the same company. I am on good terms with the EVGA Nvidia brand since they have not failed me yet.

Also there is an option for MSI powered by Nvidia +$5 what is MSI anyway? I did a search though google and it showed a brand title that I think makes the Geforce along with Nvidia like a partnership right?
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November 15, 2011 4:16:49 PM

actually now that I think about it is there a possible way to get a slight downgrade of the 550 ti?? since I currently have a Geforce 9500gt and I would like to get a GFX card with a little more power Since I would like to start recording my games but when I do the Frame Rate drops a bunch and even when it is on the lowest settings. Graphics cards are soo expensive XD
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