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Some help with this build - basic gaming

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December 21, 2011 1:15:50 AM

Hello everyone

I'm checking reviews and forums and I'm looking for a decent build for gaming - I don't care for max settings, but I'm looking for a certain longevity for the system.

To be bought within two months, tops - and taken back home to Brazil when I move back (finishing some studies up here); for gaming and watching movies in HD - HDMI cable to a 50in plasma TV; budget 1500-1800 before taxes; any site with good pricing (cheapest I've found is newegg.ca - not .com, I'm in Canada); I don't mind AMD and Radeon, but I'm more used to Intel and Nvidia - if the price drop is significant for an acceptable drop in performance (not noticeable, just on benchmarks) I'm all for it! No intention to overclock or SLI/Crossfire and to be used in a monitor with a 1900x1080 resolution.

Games I'm playing/intent to play: MW3, Skyrim, BF3, Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, Civ 5

After getting advice and checking for prices, I've come up with the following setup:
- ASUS VH232H 23" 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor w/Speakers & HDMI = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- ASUS ENGTX560 DC/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- SILVERSTONE RAVEN Series RV03B-WA Matte Black with Gray Trimming, Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- Logitech MK100 Black PS/2 Wired Classic Desktop = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS90B - OEM = http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Major points I would appreciate opinions on: brands (better/cheaper), amount of power/cooling is OK or not, graphic card is decent enough for resolution and next 3-4 years games and/or any stupid components (underused, incompatible, overkill, etc).

Thanks to everyone for your help!

More about : build basic gaming

December 21, 2011 3:03:56 PM

The Silverstone Raven is a great case, but you can definitely go for something cheaper. Here are my favorites around $60:
($65) Antec 300: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
($55) Rosewill Challenger: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Cooling won't be a problem for any of the cards in the price range you're looking at.

OCZ SSD's aren't the best drives out there. The Crucial M4 or the Samsung 830 are going to be your best bet. OCZ drives (and other sandforce-based drives) often top the benchmarks (but that's sometimes because hard drive benchmarks can be biased) but you won't notice a difference outside of the benchmarks. The biggest factor in buying SSD's for me is reliability and the Crucial M4 is my top pick with the Samsung 830 as a close second. Whichever of those two you find cheaper is what I would get.

A better hard drive situation (for a little cheaper) might be to get a 128GB SSD to use as a boot drive and a large HDD for storage. Something like the following:
($205) Crucial M4: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
($140) Seagate 1TB HDD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

If you're not going to overclock or SLI then you can get a considerably cheaper motherboard. The board you picked is $180 because it has x8/x8 mode for its PCIe x16 and if you never SLI then you're not going to need x8/x8 mode. Also, the P67 chipset is designed for gamers who want to overclock. The H67 chipset is usually a little cheaper and you won't notice the difference. (H61 is very similar but it doesn't offer SATA 6.0GB/s ports which you definitely want.) I recommend the ASUS P8H67-V at $110 but you can go even cheaper if you want.
($110) ASUS P8H67-V: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
($85) MSI H67A-G43: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I would find a way to upgrade to a 560ti if you can (or an HD6950 - they perform basically the same and are the same price). This is a pretty good card but it's not going to play the newest games on the highest resolutions. It will *probably* play games for 3 years or so, but it will be considered pretty old at that point. That being said, the 560ti is generally the card I recommend at this budget.

Your PSU is an excellent model. It's exactly the one I would have recommended.
December 24, 2011 12:14:56 AM

danraies said:
The Silverstone Raven is a great case, but you can definitely go for something cheaper. Here are my favorites around $60:
($65) Antec 300: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
($55) Rosewill Challenger: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Cooling won't be a problem for any of the cards in the price range you're looking at.

OCZ SSD's aren't the best drives out there. The Crucial M4 or the Samsung 830 are going to be your best bet. OCZ drives (and other sandforce-based drives) often top the benchmarks (but that's sometimes because hard drive benchmarks can be biased) but you won't notice a difference outside of the benchmarks. The biggest factor in buying SSD's for me is reliability and the Crucial M4 is my top pick with the Samsung 830 as a close second. Whichever of those two you find cheaper is what I would get.

A better hard drive situation (for a little cheaper) might be to get a 128GB SSD to use as a boot drive and a large HDD for storage. Something like the following:
($205) Crucial M4: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
($140) Seagate 1TB HDD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

If you're not going to overclock or SLI then you can get a considerably cheaper motherboard. The board you picked is $180 because it has x8/x8 mode for its PCIe x16 and if you never SLI then you're not going to need x8/x8 mode. Also, the P67 chipset is designed for gamers who want to overclock. The H67 chipset is usually a little cheaper and you won't notice the difference. (H61 is very similar but it doesn't offer SATA 6.0GB/s ports which you definitely want.) I recommend the ASUS P8H67-V at $110 but you can go even cheaper if you want.
($110) ASUS P8H67-V: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
($85) MSI H67A-G43: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I would find a way to upgrade to a 560ti if you can (or an HD6950 - they perform basically the same and are the same price). This is a pretty good card but it's not going to play the newest games on the highest resolutions. It will *probably* play games for 3 years or so, but it will be considered pretty old at that point. That being said, the 560ti is generally the card I recommend at this budget.

Your PSU is an excellent model. It's exactly the one I would have recommended.


I've accepted nearly all suggestions - the exception was the case, which I really liked :-)
I still came up winning, despite the 560 Ti videocard.

Would you take the 570 or 560 Ti? I think I might actually be able to pull a 580 with the money you saved me.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit...|14-121-480^14-121-480-TS%2C14-121-432^14-121-432-TS%2C14-121-429^14-121-429-TS
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December 24, 2011 5:18:28 AM

I like the Raven, too, if you can afford it.

Make sure you note the difference between the 448 core 560ti and the standard 560ti. I think you should buy the 570 over the 448 core 560ti at the $340 price point. The 570 (at around $350) is noticeably better than the standard 560ti (at around $235). The 580 is generally worth the money if you can afford it but know that two 560ti's (standard 560ti's and not the 448 core 560ti's) will outperform a single 580. However the whole setup we've been talking about has been for a single card.

Finally I would recommend against the triple slot cards. There's no real cooling advantage and they just take up extra space.
December 24, 2011 12:22:52 PM

danraies said:
I like the Raven, too, if you can afford it.

Make sure you note the difference between the 448 core 560ti and the standard 560ti. I think you should buy the 570 over the 448 core 560ti at the $340 price point. The 570 (at around $350) is noticeably better than the standard 560ti (at around $235). The 580 is generally worth the money if you can afford it but know that two 560ti's (standard 560ti's and not the 448 core 560ti's) will outperform a single 580. However the whole setup we've been talking about has been for a single card.

Finally I would recommend against the triple slot cards. There's no real cooling advantage and they just take up extra space.


Thanks!

I ended up taking your full advice. Had to come down on the HDD a bit to get myself an OEM Windows as well.

I went with the Rosewill Challenger, the I5-2500K, the P8H67-V mobo, Seasonic 620W power supply, GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 1333 2x4GB, the ASUS GTX 580, the M4 128GB, the Seagate Barracuda 320GB (I have an external HDD for another 1TB and a 2TB Time Capsule). With the mail in rebates I'll be right on my budget target (which after negotiating with my wife came to 1700 before taxes, 1921 with taxes/shipping).

I'm just waiting for any Boxing Week sales and a thing where my work might cover some of the costs (about half, which would let me crank the HDD to the 1TB one with 64MB of cache, possibly the case - I don't care for the LED so much) and maybe the SDD; mobo and memory next on my list).
December 24, 2011 1:17:39 PM

Looks good. Enjoy!
!