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Getting Back into the Game, Input/Reccomondations Appreciated

Approximate Purchase Date: First week of February, 2012

Budget Range: $1,800.00

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies, Internet

Parts Not Required: Speakers... those, at least, I'm happy with.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Open to Suggestions

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: The cost is high for me, so I would like the rig as future-proof as possible.

First, let me say these boards, and the community that uses them, are incredible. I've been perusing for the last couple of weeks since a friend directed me here, and I've learned a lot of useful info. So thanks for that.

Now, here's my situation. In the past I was a pretty avid gamer. By "past" I mean about a decade and a half ago, but life happens and I grew away from it for awhile. Now I find myself a bit better off financially, and with a lot more time on my hands. I also find myself with a Gateway NV53A24u laptop and a couple of decade old rigs, none of which are compatible with the games I'm looking to play. As my laptop just eeked out the min specs for Skyrim, I decided to use it as an experiment.

My poor laptop wasn't too happy about that, and demanded that I put the graphics setting to minimum and play out of an 800x450 window in the upper left corner of my display, and if I did that I might manage to stutter step around a poorly rendered environment. I spoke to a friend who had some experience putting together servers and media centers, who advised me that I would be better off building a rig then buying an All-in-One. He informed me it would be a good deal cheaper, and a valuable learning experience, if I was looking to seriously get back into gaming. He said he'd lend a hand in construction, but that learning to put a rig together was integral to understanding and manipulating performance. He directed me to Newegg and here, and told me to have fun. I had a basic understanding before starting, but things have changed quite a bit since the last time I cracked open a case.

My limit is $1,800.00, and I want a build that will last for a couple of years and still be able to process current games. I don't mind upgrading every so often, and I'd like to get into some modding and possible OC'ing, but nothing too drastic until I more clearly understand that process. Anyway, this is what I've come up with for an $1,800.00 build:


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128507

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 2133 RAM x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231476

SAPPHIRE 100311-3SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 CrossfireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102957

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM(couldn't hurt, though dual fans on the video card should help)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLHX 300GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
(Was considering going with a small capacity SSD for Windows 7, but I'm not sure how much of a benefit that might be. I've read a few places that the only real effect of an SSD on your gaming is shorter load times? Correct me if I am wrong on that.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136929

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM Internal Blu-ray Combo Model LightScribe Support
(I do some music recording on the side, and LightScribe is a nice touch)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151232

LEPA G900-MA 900W SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817194083

AZZA Toledo 301 (CSAZ-301) Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811517013

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 (1000:1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049

Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109191

Logitech G500 10 Buttons Dual-mode Scroll Wheel USB Wired Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104318


I know that some of these items may be over the top. The point is to have an affordable rig that is upgradable, modable, OC'able, and that will be relevant in the arena of gaming for some time to come.

I'm fairly confident all the compatibilities are in order. I'm looking for any input, suggestions, advice that may increase the value of my build while retaining it's longevity.

It would be much appreciated, and thanks again for the vault of information available on these forums.

John
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about getting back game input reccomondations appreciated
  1. Quote:


    SAPPHIRE 100311-3SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 CrossfireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102957

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM(couldn't hurt, though dual fans on the video card should help)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835100007


    Dual fans on the video card will not affect your CPU temperatures at all. They will direct how the air flow in your case works better but it won't affect your CPU temperatures.

    Quote:

    Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6823109191

    Logitech G500 10 Buttons Dual-mode Scroll Wheel USB Wired Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6826104318


    I'm really in the minority among this forum when I say that I'm not a fan of spending hundreds on peripherals... to me it's all the same and you can get the same performance out of a $50 wireless keyboard and mouse set.

    Quote:


    SAPPHIRE 100311-3SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 CrossfireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102957


    The 6970 is a great choice but you can get the 2GB 6950 and flash the BIOS, and it will perform exactly the same and it will save you $60. The EVGA 570 is also an excellent and very comparable performer.

    Quote:

    SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM Internal Blu-ray Combo Model LightScribe Support
    (I do some music recording on the side, and LightScribe is a nice touch)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151232


    Optical drives are all the same anymore - they pretty much all have the same features. I like Plextor drives - I've been using them for years, but they'll usually run you like twice the price of the next competitor.

    Quote:
    I'm fairly confident all the compatibilities are in order. I'm looking for any input, suggestions, advice that may increase the value of my build while retaining it's longevity.


    It looks pretty good for the most part but I'd swap the case and PSU - the case is an OK choice but I'm not sure about that PSU.


    Try this build:

    Case: NZXT Phantom - $139.99
    PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII - $149.99
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 - $209.99
    CPU: 3.30Ghz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
    Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B - $59.99
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $43.99
    SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 - $109.99
    HD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB - $149.99
    Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $19.99
    Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 570 - $349.99
    Keyboard / Mouse: Logitech MK520 - $50.99
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
    Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P - $179.99

    Total: $1774.82
  2. Thanks for the quick response! It makes me a little more confident that most the build looks in order. As to the case, I like the air-flow in the Azza, and I've read the bigger the fan, the less the noise, but I'm liking the dual fan set up on the side panel of NZXT as well, so I'll definitely take a closer look.

    I'm curious as to why you're questionable about the PSU? I think it should meet the power needs, and I chose to go modular, just for better cable management. Any particular reason why you're not liking it?
  3. Dual fans will actually increase your CPU temperature as some of the hot air goes back into the case, in contrast with the radial blower design where all the air exhasuts through the mounting bracket. If you have a single GPU and no plans to get another I would say you are fine with a dual fan card as the temperature benefits for the GPU are huge while the increase for the CPU is minimal, but if you want to go dual card in the future, get a radial blower reference card.
  4. Good advice. If I need to crossfire/sli in the future, I'll take it.
  5. JohnnyBraavo said:
    Thanks for the quick response! It makes me a little more confident that most the build looks in order. As to the case, I like the air-flow in the Azza, and I've read the bigger the fan, the less the noise, but I'm liking the dual fan set up on the side panel of NZXT as well, so I'll definitely take a closer look.

    I'm curious as to why you're questionable about the PSU? I think it should meet the power needs, and I chose to go modular, just for better cable management. Any particular reason why you're not liking it?


    That's definitely a myth - my work build that I use runs a 200mm fan it's noisy as anything. It depends on the manufacturer and what quality of materials the fan is made from that will be a factor in the noise - but it's definitely not the size. You might want to take a look at this article about air cooling: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-heatsink,3053.html

    As for the PSU - it's not a name I've ever heard of so with that I'm really reluctant to trust a gold-certified PSU in that price range. The PSU is one area where I wouldn't skimp but if you get the wrong one some bad things could happen down the road. You might want to see this about choosing a good PSU: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-review,2916.html

    Quote:
    Dual fans will actually increase your CPU temperature as some of the hot air goes back into the case, in contrast with the radial blower design where all the air exhasuts through the mounting bracket. If you have a single GPU and no plans to get another I would say you are fine with a dual fan card as the temperature benefits for the GPU are huge while the increase for the CPU is minimal, but if you want to go dual card in the future, get a radial blower reference card.


    Wait - so dual fans on a video card will increase CPU temps? I always thought that the GPU didn't affect the CPU's temperatures. Interesting, didn't know that.
  6. Thanks for the links, g-unit1111. The air-cooling article had some great advice I'll be making use of. I still want to go modular on the PSU. How does the CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011 look to you?
  7. JohnnyBraavo said:
    Thanks for the links, g-unit1111. The air-cooling article had some great advice I'll be making use of. I still want to go modular on the PSU. How does the CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011 look to you?


    That's an excellent PSU - I buy a lot of Corsair PSUs and they've all held up very well the last couple years.
  8. Alright, so, an update here.

    I've had an issue with my truck. Irrelevant, I know. Except that it's taken a toll on how much I'm willing to spend on a build in the next month. I'm now looking at cutting my previous build back by about $850.00. At least, that's what it took to get my truck back on the road. I can go a little higher, but not much. A big hit, I know, but I still want to be able to build a rig that's pretty good right now, and still has the potential to grow as I upgrade it. So, this is what I came up with. I'm going to use my current 19" Monitor, standard keyboard and mouse, until I can upgrade, so I've removed them from the build.

    LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $85
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112239

    Rosewill Xtreme Series RX850-S-B 850W Continuous @40°C ,80 PLUS Certified, SLI Ready CrossFire, Power Supply - $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182072

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) - $220
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

    ZALMAN CNPS5X SZ 92mm Hydraulic CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge - $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118090

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $13
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $150
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128498

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory - $40
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231311

    SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity - $150
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721075DLE630 (0F13179) 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145532

    LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM - $19
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276

    Build Total: $907.00

    Again, I want to get into OC'ing when I have a chance to study it more, and I want to be able to play current games, Skyrim and the like, at a good resolution while maintaining a decent FPS at a high setting, if possible. Can this build get me there? Everything look good as far as compatibility? Any suggestions on improvements while maintaining a budget under $1000? I think this build should be able to grow over the next couple of years, but let me know if you see an issue that might prevent that. Sorry for the change-up, and Thanks again.
  9. Quote:

    Again, I want to get into OC'ing when I have a chance to study it more, and I want to be able to play current games, Skyrim and the like, at a good resolution while maintaining a decent FPS at a high setting, if possible. Can this build get me there? Everything look good as far as compatibility? Any suggestions on improvements while maintaining a budget under $1000? I think this build should be able to grow over the next couple of years, but let me know if you see an issue that might prevent that. Sorry for the change-up, and Thanks again.


    For a sub-$1000 build that actually looks pretty good. I'd ditch the power supply for a Corsair (maybe the CX600 or the TX650 V2), or go for a PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKIII 600W, and ditch the Hitachi HD for a Western Digital Blue or a Seagate Barracuda. But other than that it looks pretty good.

    Quote:
    ZALMAN CNPS5X SZ 92mm Hydraulic CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge - $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835118090

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $13
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835100007


    One other thing - I'd actually ditch this setup and go with a Noctua NH-U9B for the same price. It's a little bit more but you don't have to buy third party paste and the Noctua heat sink and fans are really solid and very well constructed.
  10. Made the PSU change, thanks for that. However, I've read issues concerning spacing of CPU coolers on the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard in relation to the memory slots, where certain coolers would exclude the use of one or even two of them. I went with the ZALMAN CNPS5X SZ Cooler because I was fairly certain it would fit with room to spare. If I go with Noctua NH-U9B, can I be reasonably sure that it will not interfere with the memory on the Gigabyte board? If so, I'd definitely like to use it instead, as it seems both quieter and more efficient.
  11. Best answer
    JohnnyBraavo said:
    Made the PSU change, thanks for that. However, I've read issues concerning spacing of CPU coolers on the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard in relation to the memory slots, where certain coolers would exclude the use of one or even two of them. I went with the ZALMAN CNPS5X SZ Cooler because I was fairly certain it would fit with room to spare. If I go with Noctua NH-U9B, can I be reasonably sure that it will not interfere with the memory on the Gigabyte board? If so, I'd definitely like to use it instead, as it seems both quieter and more efficient.


    As long as you use low profile RAM like this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233196

    If you use that you should be fine to use the U9B.
  12. Best answer selected by JohnnyBraavo.
  13. Alright, Good Deal. Thanks a lot for your help, g-unit1111. Much appreciated!
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