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$1640 My first gaming build

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December 10, 2011 1:38:45 PM

Hello,
I have never built a PC before. I hope I will be confident enough to buy these parts later this week. Anyway, I plan on playing games like Battlefield 3 and Guild Wars 2 (when it comes out). After weeks of research I have put together this build, and have tried to pick high performing parts, I have been okay with spending a bit more cash for better parts. The part I am probably most unsure about, and would prioritize receiving advice on, is my motherboard.

Anyway, I would love to have confirmation that all these parts are compatible and are good choices (I'd be glad to hear your thoughts for alternatives). I've had my share of nightmares that I would spend $1600+ on a computer, and would receive it from UPS only to find it doesn't work, or I broke it or something. I'd really appreciate any advice.

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
$46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$218.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
$219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card:
EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$339.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
$25.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
$19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$269.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-...

Monitor:
ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 50,000,000:1
$209.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=24-236-...

$1640 U.S.D

More about : 1640 gaming build

a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2011 2:18:28 PM

RAM - I'd go for the GSkill if it was a substantial price savings but all things being equal, I'd rather have th Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - Th M4 sits at tier 5 on the performance chart below, while the Chronos sits 2 tiers higher at Tier 3 (21% faster) and is $10 cheaper

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - with current special pricing, for $15 ya can upgrade to the 500R, a very worthwhile upgrade IMO.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

PSU - The money on the AX850 could be better spent. In the review here ya see the AX850 gets a 9.5 performance rating:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

But this one is $100 cheaper and gets the exact same 9.5 performance rating.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Save the $100 and sacrifice nothing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - compare the $270 Deluxe w/ the other ones in the Z68 GEN3 category

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-790^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C13-131-792^13-131-792-TS%2C13-131-791^13-131-791-TS

The Deluxe gets ya 8 USB2 ports instead of 6...and has an extra powered eSATA port. It also gives you on MoBo power and reset switches if you an avid breadboard overclocker (not likely as your 1st build) and a 2nd LAN port and Ps/2 connector. Nothing there I think you'd use so i suggest you save $60 and get the Pro version.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for other brands, he Gigabyte, MSI and EVGA models are competitors worth considering, though IMO they come up a bit short of the P8Z68-V pro. I would not however base my $1600 investment on a MoBo manufacturer (AsRock) who refuses to match the competition and offer 3 year warranty.

Ok, so ya saved $170 above, minus the $15 extra on thr case upgrade. That leaves $155 in ya original budget.....possibilities:

A. GFX Updrade - Two 900Mhz 560's will get ya 40% more fps than a single 580 GTX.....50+% more than a 570. Outta the box, the two Asus CU TOP GFX cards get 862 fps, and the two 570's get 873 fps. The 560 also has much more robust VRM so it easily OC's to over 1000Mhz.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

At $230 each.....that's $460 for two - the $340 for the original 570. ..... or $120 spent outta that $155. 1st OC attempt on the Asus CU TOP GFX card in a box I built last night was at 980MHz...passed OCCT GPU test w/ no voltage tweak......box's new owner however didn't wanna stick around for a 2nd run @ 1020 MHz and ran home with the box to play w/ his new toy. That was the 10th box I built with Asus CU TOP and 9/10 made 1000Mhz w/o a voltage tweak. last req'd one notch up on the voltage.

B. Cooler upgrade - The Hyper 212 is a great "budget cooler". But the Scythe Mugen 3 will get ya 5-7C more cooling. Built that box last nite w/ the Mugen..... 1st OC attempt was 103 x 45 or 4.635 Ghz and all cores under 72C under Linpak and OCCT CPU torture test....that's $25 extra....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you just under ya old box cost $1630.....and you have increased ya case size, cooling and upped ya fps by 50%. With that much GFX power, seems a shame not to do the next one.

C. Monitor - Upgrade to 120Mhz Monitor .... another $80. If ya do the above, this increases ya budget by $70 but a worthwhile upgrade IMO.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
December 10, 2011 4:12:39 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
RAM - I'd go for the GSkill if it was a substantial price savings but all things being equal, I'd rather have th Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - Th M4 sits at tier 5 on the performance chart below, while the Chronos sits 2 tiers higher at Tier 3 (21% faster) and is $10 cheaper

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - with current special pricing, for $15 ya can upgrade to the 500R, a very worthwhile upgrade IMO.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

PSU - The money on the AX850 could be better spent. In the review here ya see the AX850 gets a 9.5 performance rating:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

But this one is $100 cheaper and gets the exact same 9.5 performance rating.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Save the $100 and sacrifice nothing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - compare the $270 Deluxe w/ the other ones in the Z68 GEN3 category

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-790^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C13-131-792^13-131-792-TS%2C13-131-791^13-131-791-TS

The Deluxe gets ya 8 USB2 ports instead of 6...and has an extra powered eSATA port. It also gives you on MoBo power and reset switches if you an avid breadboard overclocker (not likely as your 1st build) and a 2nd LAN port and Ps/2 connector. Nothing there I think you'd use so i suggest you save $60 and get the Pro version.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for other brands, he Gigabyte, MSI and EVGA models are competitors worth considering, though IMO they come up a bit short of the P8Z68-V pro. I would not however base my $1600 investment on a MoBo manufacturer (AsRock) who refuses to match the competition and offer 3 year warranty.

Ok, so ya saved $170 above, minus the $15 extra on thr case upgrade. That leaves $155 in ya original budget.....possibilities:

A. GFX Updrade - Two 900Mhz 560's will get ya 40% more fps than a single 580 GTX.....50+% more than a 570. Outta the box, the two Asus CU TOP GFX cards get 862 fps, and the two 570's get 873 fps. The 560 also has much more robust VRM so it easily OC's to over 1000Mhz.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

At $230 each.....that's $460 for two - the $340 for the original 570. ..... or $120 spent outta that $155. 1st OC attempt on the Asus CU TOP GFX card in a box I built last night was at 980MHz...passed OCCT GPU test w/ no voltage tweak......box's new owner however didn't wanna stick around for a 2nd run @ 1020 MHz and ran home with the box to play w/ his new toy. That was the 10th box I built with Asus CU TOP and 9/10 made 1000Mhz w/o a voltage tweak. last req'd one notch up on the voltage.

B. Cooler upgrade - The Hyper 212 is a great "budget cooler". But the Scythe Mugen 3 will get ya 5-7C more cooling. Built that box last nite w/ the Mugen..... 1st OC attempt was 103 x 45 or 4.635 Ghz and all cores under 72C under Linpak and OCCT CPU torture test....that's $25 extra....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you just under ya old box cost $1630.....and you have increased ya case size, cooling and upped ya fps by 50%. With that much GFX power, seems a shame not to do the next one.

C. Monitor - Upgrade to 120Mhz Monitor .... another $80. If ya do the above, this increases ya budget by $70 but a worthwhile upgrade IMO.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks man, this is great advice, much more than I expected :) 

Corsair seems to be a really reliable company from reviews I've read, they make alot of things. I didn't realize there was Corsair RAM for the same price, I'll go with the Corsair.

The SSD you recommended looks interesting, currently both SSDs are out of stock. I'm not sure why the M4 has much more reviews and seems more popular than the Chronos.

Upgrading the case to the 500R seems like a no brainer, thanks for that one.

The PSU you recommended is actually $70 cheaper on NewEgg. I'm a bit wary of that XFX, it only has 14 reviews which is a bit of a turn off. I'm fairly new with PC components, so sticking with the crowd seems safer. I looked on NewEgg and found two Corsair PSUs that are cheaper than my original and appear viable.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For my MoBo, I'll go with the Z68 PRO. I've never overclocked before, and when I try it on my new build I'm going to OC slightly to be safe. The Z68 Deluxe would be a waste of money for me then, thanks.

For my GFX, I will actually probably stick with the Geforce GTX 570. I am hoping to eventually buy another GTX 570 to run in SLI with it. The two Geforce GTX 560s may perform better but, getting the one GTX 570 leaves me room to expand (isn't as much money so I could buy an entirely new model in the future, or buy another GTX 570 for SLI).

I decided I'll go with the Scythe cooling fan you recommended. I'm glad to spend a few extra dollars for improved performance.

I also think I'll go with the monitor you recommended. Its a bit of a pricey upgrade but I think its worth it.

Thank you very much for your time writing me a very thorough response. Could you compare the two SSDs and my PSU options?

December 13, 2011 8:51:16 PM

Could anybody give me further advice? I'm hoping to purchase later today so that I can get the parts in on Friday.
!