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$1600-$1700 Gaming PC from iBuyPower

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January 12, 2012 8:56:26 PM

(This will be a little long as I like to be very clear in my explanations, when I can.)

Hello all, first post here. I am looking to put together a decent gaming PC (mostly for Skyrim, SWTOR, and SC2). Up to this point, I have just bought pre-built Dell systems. That's honestly been fine for my needs, but lately I am getting more and more frustrated with their customer support. So, for this computer I decided to do more research and see about having a company custom build something for me. So far, iBuyPower has allowed me to assemble what looks like the best system for the price.

I have no real experience building things myself, and as a busy college student I don't have the resources (time, energy, money) to start learning now. Unfortunately this also means I lack real experience choosing hardware. I know some basic things, and I have learned a fair amount over the past week doing research, but I do still find it fairly confusing. I would like to buy this computer within a week, which given my current homework load precludes me spending a lot more time researching.

So, that being said, I would like to post the specifications of the system I am looking at and get advice as to if the parts are compatible and efficient (money wise). For example, if I could get comparable performance with a cheaper part, or if spending only a little more would net a major increase in performance, or if I have more of something than I really need (such as RAM or PSU wattage).

Technical explanations are okay if you're willing to avoid large numbers of acronyms/explain things a bit. Any and all help (including recommendations of comparable prices for better specs from a different company) will be appreciated, thank you.

*A note on CPU cooling: I have zero experience with liquid cooling and have read that it can get bad if you don't know what you are doing, even with a prebuilt. So I would like to avoid it if that is the case. On the other hand, the random generic heatsink/fan (which is the only non-LC option for this setup) worries me. Would buying a better heatsink/fan and installing it be very difficult? (Recommendations on heatsink brand or LC options that are okay for a beginner are also welcome.)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor
Country: US
Overclocking: No
SLI/Crossfire: No
Monitor: Single, 1920x1080

1 x Case ( CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Gaming Case - Black )
0 x Case Lighting ( None )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 960 Processor (4x 3.20GHz/8MB L3 Cache) )
0 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( None )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
1 x Memory ( 12 GB [4 GB X3] DDR3-1600 - Corsair Vengeance )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 - 1.2GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 797MHz - Single Card )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS Sabertooth X58 )
1 x Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
1 x Power Supply ( 850 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-850AX )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
0 x Data Hard Drive ( None )
1 x Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
0 x 2nd Optical Drive ( None )
1 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Black )
0 x Meter Display ( None )
0 x USB Expansion ( None )
1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
1 x Operating System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
1 x Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
0 x Case Engraving Service ( None )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
1 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )
January 12, 2012 10:04:28 PM

the only thing i would change up is the 12gb ram, unless it was a free upgrade from 6gb, and of course make sure youre getting a 64bit OS.
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January 13, 2012 2:04:21 AM

If you are not overclocking the stock heatsink will do just fine, no need for liquid cooling imo. Also a 700w psu is enough.
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January 13, 2012 2:25:28 AM

Why are u wasting over money and get 4 core pc here is u r config ,change graphics card into 5970 if ur not a gamer 800Mhz clock 6970 is 880MhZ clock in this ucan get 4+2 usb3.0 8+4 usb2.0 sata3.0 6+2
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January 13, 2012 2:29:35 AM

Collermaster give 5y warenty on psu,trancend give life time warenty on all products buy directly on trancend.com low cost also search card reader in this company,
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January 13, 2012 2:36:03 AM

1200W psu not need to upgrade psu suports for future upgrade, Aoc moniter low cost 1980X1080 ,multitouch, hd, important thing is 1Crore:1 ascept ratio why wait buy it ,dont feel shy to water coller its easy setup and change u a moster in hardware in small time keep rock
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January 13, 2012 2:53:57 AM

I'm curious as to why you choose an 1366 platform. I would go z68 with a 2500k for gaming.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2012 1:55:22 PM

Why to give a lot of money on a dead platform ?
Buy the parts by yourself and in those money you can have a monitor too and much more performant PC.
I think everybody is agree with me.
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January 13, 2012 7:48:41 PM

Alright, thanks for the replies! I, um, don't really understand most of them except the RAM and heatsink parts, so I'll go to those first.

I was thinking 8 gigs of RAM would be good, have a little leeway for things/the future, but the only options they sell (at least with this setup) are 6 and 12. If 6 is really fine, though, I have no problem just doing that.

Thanks for the info on the heatsink! No desire to mess with overclocking, really.


Hitechgowtham, I didn't really follow you at all. What is a 5970? Is that AMD? I really do prefer nVidia. Also, I may not be a hardcore gamer but PC gaming is primarily what this PC is for. Next you seem to suggest I should buy specific parts directly, which as I stated I have no desire to do. But thanks anyways!

Someone else mentioned a 700W PSU being sufficient, so I think I will stick with the 850 and call that good enough for the immediate future (1200W seems like serious overkill).

Quote:
Supermuncher85

I'm curious as to why you choose an 1366 platform. I would go z68 with a 2500k for gaming.


Not sure what this means. Like, at all. Sorry!

sosofm, what do you mean by dead platform? Also, as I said, I have neither the time nor inclination to build something myself, which is why I am choosing to do it this way. But thanks for your input!
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Best solution

January 13, 2012 8:19:28 PM

The 960 CPU goes with the 1366 platform that was superseded by lg2011 late last year. The 1155 socket (which goes with the 61,67,68 chipsets) is the mainstream socket you should be looking at. For example CPU wise the 2500k or 2600k with unlocked multipliers for easy overclocking are great. The 2600 has hyperthreading, the 2500 does not, however it's not really needed for gaming.

Best bang for buck is the 2500k.
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January 13, 2012 8:22:25 PM

Ahh, excellent. Thank you for clarifying! I can't get that CPU with the build I described, so I guess it is time to find a new build!

EDIT: I see that the 2600K has a bigger cache (8MB vs 6MB).. is that worth the upgrade?
EDIT 2: Nevermind, heheh.
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January 13, 2012 9:11:48 PM

Ok, here is the new setup I've selected. Switched from the 960 CPU to the 2500k, 8GB RAM rather than 12, added a 60GB SSD.

A few questions, though. I upgraded from the 570 GTX 1.2GB nVidia card to the 580 GTX 1.5gb card. Is that worth the $90?
For $121 I could change from the Gigabyte motherboard to an ASUS Sabertooth P67 (or for $19 beyond that, an ASUS P8P67 Pro). I am pretty clueless about motherboards. Would this be worth it (considering I might *have* to drop the GPU back down to the 570)?

Also, I kept the 850W PSU because the 750 version of the same brand was about $20 less, only.

At any rate, any further input is appreciated! (Also I snipped out a bunch of the irrelevant stuff in the specs.)

1 x Case ( CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Gaming Case - Black )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i5-2500K Processor (4x 3.30GHz/6MB L3 Cache) )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
1 x Memory ( 8 GB [2 GB X4] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - Kingston HyperX )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 - 1.5GB - Single Card )
1 x Motherboard ( Gigabyte GA-P67A-D3-B3 )
1 x Power Supply ( 850 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-850AX )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 60 GB Corsair Force Series 3 F60 SSD - Single Drive )
1 x Data Hard Drive ( 60 GB Corsair Force Series 3 F60 SSD - Single Drive )
1 x Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
0 x 2nd Optical Drive ( None )
0 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( None )
0 x Meter Display ( None )
0 x USB Expansion ( None )
1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
1 x Operating System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
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January 15, 2012 3:12:41 PM

Your missing a normal storage drive I think? As for motherboard, difficult to say as it depends on what feature you need/want. In general I never but premium boards as I won't use the features. Though I will say that I like the z68 boards which use SSD caching with regular drives http://www.anandtech.com/show/4337/z68-ssd-caching-with...

GPU wise, is it worth the $90? Only you can answer that! Check the benchmarks and decided for yourself if that extra performance is worth it http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/518?vs=517
Some want only the best and until the 7970 from AMD is actually available, the 580 is the fastest single GPU card around.
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January 15, 2012 11:06:11 PM

Alright thanks! (I actually have a 1TB normal drive as the secondary, not sure why the details page got that wrong, heheh.) Well no one seems to be telling me there's anything horribly wrong with this set up, so I will go ahead pretty soon I think.
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January 15, 2012 11:20:37 PM

yeah it looks good. go for it
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January 16, 2012 1:08:12 AM

Thought I was done but then I found a few new veins of research. Also, apparently I can get a comparable/marginally better system from Cyberpower.com for about $150 less.

Basically the same as above, with a few possible mods I'd like info on if anyone has any. :) 

Tower: Since I don't plan on customizing this much, maybe just a few upgrades over the life of the machine, should I go for the HAF 922 mid tower instead of the full tower listed above? I lose USB 3.0, but I can add an internal USB 3.0 hub and a wireless card and still save money.

SSD: I upgraded to a 120gb SSD (as I say, its not nearly as expensive at Cyberpower atm). However, I keep hearing that the Corsair Force SSDs are not nearly as reliable as the Intel SSDs. The Intel 320 is a lot slower though, while the speed-comparable Intel 510 is waaaay more expensive. Not sure which way to go here. Is there a brand tha'ts faster than the Intel but still reliable (while being around the same price range as the 320)?

Wireless: Included a random generic two-antenna PCI wireless card. I read somewhere that most wireless cards use the same chipsets, so I guess a generic card is fine here?

Video: A big one. I read enough reviews to convince me to switch from the GTX 580 to the Raedon 7970. Faster, barely more expensive.

PSU: Switch from the Corsair AX850 to the Corsair 850 TXV2. Not sure if the more expensive AX850 is worth it... not able to find much info on PSUs that I understood.

I think that's basically it. I may be over-thinking this a bit, but I still appreciate the feedback. Hopefully this is the last iteration of my questions, heheh. Here is the config link if anyone is interested: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1DV7GC
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January 16, 2012 3:35:31 AM

Personally I think the haf case looks like ass but then again I'm the guy that gets excited about a case like the r3 lol http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 7970 is definitively a good choice, though AMD is price gauging a bit at the moment. Just make sure they have it and it's not on back order for another month.

Also love the cpu cooler, 212 is solid. Otherwise I've been using an OCZ vertex for a while now and been very happy with it. Just a pain with flashing new firmware, can't flash if your running windows off it. Lastly wireless I can't say, I've gone back to good old Ethernet, speed + ping is so much better. The generic should work just fine though.

Apart from that looks solid.
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January 16, 2012 9:29:52 PM

Yeeeah... the case is flashy for my tastes, but I keep seeing the Coolermaster HAF cases as being the ones to buy. I don't much care how it looks as long as it provides good airflow and I can get at stuff on the rare occasions I may need to, heheh. (EDIT: Actually the Storm... something was listed as being the Coolermaster ideal mid-tower, but sadly the company doesn't seem to offer it. Just the full tower version.)

They do *seem* to have the AMD, I got my ship date as 5 days. As for what actually happens... not so certain.

Ethernet is definitely my first choice, as well! But I wanted some sort of wireless in case I ever need it. So the generic will probably be fine. :) 

EDIT: On the advice of someone on the Cyberpower forum, changed the motherboard to once with PCIe 3.0 for the AMD card to take advantage of, and moved the fans to a model that didn't have noise reduction (so as not to gimp the RPM). http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1DV9RL
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January 19, 2012 2:28:19 AM

Computer has been ordered, many thanks for all the replies. :) 
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January 28, 2012 11:00:16 PM

Best answer selected by MelTorefas.
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