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First Time Builder: <1000 gaming build

Last response: in Systems
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December 27, 2011 3:10:48 AM

Hey all,

My 4 year old laptop I got when I started college isn't keeping up with the games I'm trying to get into. After pouring through the forums, I thought I'd put the following build out there to see if I made a stupid mistake.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: < $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (Star Craft II and The Old Republic)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024


The build I'm leaning towards right now is:

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

MoBo: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel

GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

PSU: FSP Group AURUM GOLD 600W (AU-600) ATX12V /EPS 12V CrossFire ready 80PLUS GOLD

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

CD/DVD burner: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner Black SATA

Additional Notes: I ran these components through eXtreme PS calculator and it came up 300-400W. I took into account the 80% efficiency and hedged with the 600W PS. I'm not incredibly confident in that value, though. Also, SSDs sound pretty convenient. How much space would I need for Windows 7 home premium and core applications? Happy holidays and thanks for your help!
December 27, 2011 3:16:17 AM

With 60GB of space, an SSD should be about 50% free of space so the read/write cycles don't get disturbed.
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December 27, 2011 3:20:19 AM

that GPU is gonna be overkill for the resolution you are running. You can get a cheaper GPU and still max out settings.
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December 27, 2011 3:20:50 AM

this system is overkill for you resolution... i max out games at a higher resolution on a amd 6670, dont you think you can save some money?
Check out these benchmarks (AT A MUCH HIGHER RESOLUTION)

Save some money get a cheaper gpu
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December 27, 2011 3:23:56 AM

The monitor resolution was based on my laptop's specs. What would be a reasonable resolution? Thanks for the responses!
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December 27, 2011 3:25:33 AM

SeaSonic M12II 650 SS-650AM 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Semi-modular Power Supply
$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would go with a better brand name than the one you have choosen.

EVGA 012-P3-2066-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 448 Cores FTW 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the new release from Nvidia with an additional 64 processor cores which will add more performance.

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December 27, 2011 3:26:11 AM

get 1680x1050 thats what the benchmarks i showed you are at
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December 27, 2011 3:28:24 AM

Looks very good.

Your psu size is appropriate. If budget is not a real issue, gold certified is good, and FSP is one of the better brands which is not well known.

PSU sizing can be very simple: Get one with enough pci-e leads to fit your graphics card/s.

Here is what EVGA recommends for their graphics cards:

GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

I love the ssd. I installed a 40gb(37gb usable) in a laptop which absolutely transformed it. As I recall, Windows 7 took about 14gb including ms security essentials and all maintenance.

My 120gb unit uses 86gb with windows 7 64 bit, about 8 games and 4gb of photos.
When I run out, I plan to get a second, or use a spare hard drive for overflow.
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December 27, 2011 3:29:16 AM

When you listed parts not required you included the monitor so what is the recomended resolution of your monitor and what is the maximum resolution. Also the OS was listed so what is the version of the OS , if it's 64bit then it will take up a good chunk of space on the SSD and games are getting larger as well so a 120gb SSD would be a good size for your boot drive.
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December 27, 2011 3:30:02 AM

never heard of that psu before, also 80% efficiency does not mean that you only get 80% of the power that is indicated on the psu.

Typically people recommend PSUs from antec, corsair, or seasonic, but I am no expert when it comes to PSUS, just know its a crucial part to any build.

gtx 560 ti is way overkill for that resolution 550ti would probably be able to max out every game. for the gtx 560 ti you would need 1080 resolution to even begin to stress the card.
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December 27, 2011 3:31:23 AM

What is the maximum resolution of the monitor you already own?
Use the native(maximum) resolution of the monitor. everything will look much better.
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December 27, 2011 3:36:11 AM

Quote:
The monitor resolution was based on my laptop's specs. What would be a reasonable resolution? Thanks for the responses!


So do you need a monitor as well?

Acceptable resolution is dependent upon several factors, mainly the individual and their preferences. Other factors include the actual size of the monitor.

1920X1080 is quite common, 1600x900 would be cheaper and also acceptable. Ultimately it is your choice, if you dont own a monitor you could go to best buy or some other similar store and simply look at the resolutions to make your decision (wouldn't buy it from them though)
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December 27, 2011 3:37:04 AM

Thanks everyone.

I'll probably get a new monitor and I edited my OP. Any suggestions?

Also, I made the change in the graphics card inzone suggested. Is 750 W necessary?
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December 27, 2011 3:37:39 AM

no, but like others have stated you should probably opt for a more know psu manufacture
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December 27, 2011 3:42:15 AM

The FSP power supply is the same price as the Antec (watts differ) and the gold certification is pretty cool. Geofelt, you haven't heard of any bad experiences with FSP have you? The two reviews (yeah, very little) were good and it does have a 5 year warranty, which seems standard for a power supply.
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December 27, 2011 4:02:12 AM

rueban1 said:
The FSP power supply is the same price as the Antec (watts differ) and the gold certification is pretty cool. Geofelt, you haven't heard of any bad experiences with FSP have you? The two reviews (yeah, very little) were good and it does have a 5 year warranty, which seems standard for a power supply.

Some time ago, I used a fsp psu on a build. It seemed to me to be a quality unit. I think they make psu's for some of the more better known name vendors. I like them as a budget brand. The market is very competitive, so better known names cost about the same. My short list of quality brands would include Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, and PC P&C.

@op:
I would get the best monitor you feel comfortable paying for. It is one of the more future proof pc components. You will be looking at it for
several generations of builds. I think bigger is better. If you have an unlimited budget, a 30"2560 x 1600 is about as good as it gets.
But with a budget, I would look for a 1920 x 1200, or, if you like widescreen(I don't) then a 1080P monitor is good. They come in all sizes, but I thin 24" or 27" is good. Look first to Samsung. I have never had a stuck pixel from them. They make the panels for many other vendors, and I suspect they keep the best samples for themselves.

It is ok to overprovision the psu a bit. It will operate most efficiently in the middle 1/3 of it's range.
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!