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$1200 Gaming PC - Help a girl out! Need advice for my first build.

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November 22, 2011 3:04:43 PM

Hi everyone! This is my first post - see below and thank you in advanced.

Approximate Purchase Date: I'd like to have it in time for the New Year

Budget Range: $1000 - $1300 Before rebates (this could be flexible depending on the situation)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Diablo 3, Starcraft, Old Republic) is most important to me. I'll also use it for office work and video streaming.

Parts Not Required: Speakers, mouse, keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com (but I'm open to suggestions)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I don't have any preferences

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Up for grabs - I still need to buy a monitor, looking at this? Suggestions?
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VW246H-24-Inch-Widescreen-Mo...

Additional Comments:

I'm a college student graduating this December and I wanted to build myself a graduation/birthday/Christmas present. But I'm a little unsure where to start. Originally, I was looking at Tom's $1000 Enthusiast PC, but then a friend of mine suggested we build it together. Last night, these are the parts that he picked out. I have no idea what's good and what's not, so this is where I need some help.

Firstly, I need to make everything is compatible and fits my needs. As I outlined earlier in this post, I plan to game mainly with this computer, but I won't be playing any heavy duty action or FPS games. If anyone has any recommendations, about what you think would be a good fit for me, or if you could look over the below parts and let me know if they all seem to work together, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, I'm thinking of buying a SteelSeries mouse and a nice gaming keyboard, so recommendations on that end would be helpful too.

Motherboard:
ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX
Graphics: XFX HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
Power: CORSAIR Professional Series HX750
Subtotal: 1,014.92

If any of this is to vague, please let me know and I will clarify. In a sentence, I want an easily upgradeable computer that will last for at least 5 or 6 years that I can play lots of videogames on, but still use for browsing, video processing and editing, and video streaming.
November 22, 2011 3:29:22 PM

I believe that the $1000 Enthusiast PC would be better than the build you put together. You have the potential of upgrading to the i7-2700k. If you don't want to do 2 video cards sub them out with the 6950 or gtx 560/570. You may also consider getting 8gb of ram. Good luck.
November 22, 2011 3:29:51 PM

CPU:
Intel: I would recommend an Intel LGA 1155 Processor.
At the moment, the i5-2500k is the better processor for current gaming (and includes the games you want to play).
And it shines when talking about video processing (through Z68 motherboards)
The new Intel cpus that's coming out next year gonna be retrocompative with the LGA 1155. So this is a good thing.

AMD: For gaming this is a good CPU, worse than i5-2500k in performance and consumption rate, but good.
Sadly the new bulldozer architecture (FX-8xxx, FX-6xxx series and etc) isn't a upgrade truly. They not focused in gaming, so, sometimes their performance is worse.
It's not confirmed, but it looks the next AMD CPU won't be AM3+ compatible, so, this buy your friend assembled might be a dead end.

Motherboard: For futureproof sake, grab one that:
- Supports SLI (Nvidia) or Crossfire (AMD) depending which VGA manufacturer you buying
- for AMD: AM3+ Chipset built-in
- for Intel: Z68 Chipset built-in (when paired with a 'k' processor like i5-2500k, it allows CPU overclocking, and FAST video processing)

Memory: for both, no reason to stick with memories faster than DDR3-1333, there's minimum to none performance gains in real world usage.
For peace of mind, if you want, go for DDR3-1600, not more than that
2 x 4GB should be enough.

PSU: If you really want to SLI/Crossfire in the future. this is a nice PSU. Personally I like this one, since it gives more power in 12v rail (good for dual-VGAs)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you don't want to go for this path, those PSU are more than you need.

- To improve your build, do you intent to buy 3D monitors/glasses for gaming?
- Personal preference about manufacturer?
Related resources
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 4:44:49 PM

Here's a few things I would suggest:

Quote:
Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case


Raidmax cases are awful, awful, awful, awful - we buy them where I work and there have been so many that have fallen apart it's not even funny. And I've complained about this on multiple occasions. Antec, Cooler Master, Corsair, - any of those are infinitely better than Raidmax.

Quote:
Also, I'm thinking of buying a SteelSeries mouse and a nice gaming keyboard, so recommendations on that end would be helpful too.


You don't really need it. I would not recommend spending hundreds on the peripherals when they really don't offer much of an advantage over a $50 wireless keyboard / mouse combo. You're better off investing that money in a good motherboard, CPU, HD, anything else.

Quote:
Monitor Resolution: Up for grabs - I still need to buy a monitor, looking at this? Suggestions?
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VW246H- [...] =de_a_smtd


Excellent choice. You want at least 1080p for resolution.

Quote:
AMD: For gaming this is a good CPU, worse than i5-2500k in performance and consumption rate, but good.
Sadly the new bulldozer architecture (FX-8xxx, FX-6xxx series and etc) isn't a upgrade truly. They not focused in gaming, so, sometimes their performance is worse.
It's not confirmed, but it looks the next AMD CPU won't be AM3+ compatible, so, this buy your friend assembled might be a dead end.


I agree. I have the opportunity to convert my system to AM3+,, but I've been on the fence about converting my system to - from everything I've been reading it seems like the 990FX is the end of the line. Go with Intel SB - you will not be disappointed.

Quote:
- To improve your build, do you intent to buy 3D monitors/glasses for gaming?


That's not something I'd suggest - you don't really need it and 3-D monitors are ridiculously expensive right now. Even the latest games like Skyrim, Arkham City, Assasin's Creed Revelations, and Battlefield 3 don't take advantage of this technology yet.

Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $89.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 V2 - $104.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $169.99
CPU: 3.30 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $25.99
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance PC 12800 1600MHz 1.5V - $51.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM - $119.99
Optical: Lite On 24X DVD Burner - $25.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560TI 1GB - $249.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
Monitor: Asus VS247H 23.6" 1080p - $189.99

Total: $1350.99 ($1061 without monitor or OS)
November 23, 2011 3:59:50 PM

Thanks so much for your help guys! I'll look into your suggestions.
!