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1st Gaming PC Build, Trying to stay around $700-$900

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January 16, 2012 10:41:15 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: 800 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video Editing, Home/Internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel i5 2500K, is an SSD better if I already have an external HDD as well?

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Here's my tentative build:

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$69.99


EVGA 02G-P3-1568-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

$279.99


OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

$89.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL

$91.99


ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

$121.99



Subtotal: $653.95 w/out Rebates at Newegg (DOES NOT INCLUDE HDD, Optical Drive OR CPU)

As said above, Im most likely going to get the Intel i5 2500k and some bargain DVD drive. Should I go for an SSD if I own external HDD?

More about : 1st gaming build stay 700 900

January 16, 2012 10:53:21 PM

For gaming just go with 8gb of ram, and use the money you save there to get a better power supply, maybe something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . This would be slightly overkill for the build as it stands, but give you the option of grabbing a second GTX 560ti and SLI them if you decide you want more graphics power down the road. Other than that, it should be a great build.

For an optical drive, buy the bulk 18 dollar asus from newegg, and if the 2500k ever comes back in stock, there is a bundle that knocks about 12 bucks off of it(or was before the 2500k went out of stock)

If you have an external sata drive, an option would be to take it out of the external case and mount it in your machine(that would be much faster than using the USB for data access).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Corsair Force Series 3 would be a good boot drive, though if you are using it for anything other than windows it will fill fast. If you can swing an extra 70-100 bucks, grab a 120 or 128g SSD. The Force Series 3 has had some sandforce controller issues, but according to a lot of things I've read, these were cleared up in the latest firmware release, and the drive also is in the top 15 or so of hard drives according to Passmark benchmarks.
January 17, 2012 6:44:42 AM

THanks for the help Jeremy, Ive read a few sites that say SSDs are actually not worth the extra $$$ now due to their instability? Am I better off just getting an HDD like a 500g Seagate? Ill also cut it down to 8gb ram to save a bit.

How "future-proof" would this build be? My main concern is putting all this together and it becoming outdated in a few months. Im sort of hoping I can get a rig that can last a few years with just some minor adjustments
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January 17, 2012 8:38:47 AM

Buying a Z68 GEN3 motherboard allows for some nice future tweaks in order to always keep your build up to date. Ivy Bridge processors and PCI 3 GPU's are all available options along with 2000MHz+ RAM.

GigaByte GTX 560Ti $210 - No point in spending $70 more on EVGA model....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU (will also allow for SLI with GTX 560Ti's) $130 ($99 w/rebate) XFX PRO XXX 80PLUS Silver Modular PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Any of these $50 1600MHz CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

If your building your system with the intention to SLI in the future, id possible grab a little higher quality motherboard. The ASRock Extreme4 GEN3. $185 - This should still easily fit budget since you can save $70 by getting the Gigabyte 560Ti instead of the EVGA.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Getting yourself a 60/64GB SSD to put your OS on and Desktop Applications is a solid idea and recommended for almost all new builds. If you have a way of fitting it into budget, go for it. Google some reviews for various SSD's and see which have the best performance/price/reliability. Crucial M4 has always been a good choice.

Crucial M4 64GB $110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...







January 17, 2012 7:03:55 PM

AdrianPerry said:
Buying a Z68 GEN3 motherboard allows for some nice future tweaks in order to always keep your build up to date. Ivy Bridge processors and PCI 3 GPU's are all available options along with 2000MHz+ RAM.

GigaByte GTX 560Ti $210 - No point in spending $70 more on EVGA model....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU (will also allow for SLI with GTX 560Ti's) $130 ($99 w/rebate) XFX PRO XXX 80PLUS Silver Modular PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Any of these $50 1600MHz CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

If your building your system with the intention to SLI in the future, id possible grab a little higher quality motherboard. The ASRock Extreme4 GEN3. $185 - This should still easily fit budget since you can save $70 by getting the Gigabyte 560Ti instead of the EVGA.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Getting yourself a 60/64GB SSD to put your OS on and Desktop Applications is a solid idea and recommended for almost all new builds. If you have a way of fitting it into budget, go for it. Google some reviews for various SSD's and see which have the best performance/price/reliability. Crucial M4 has always been a good choice.

Crucial M4 64GB $110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hey Adrian, thanks a bunch for the response.

My last question would be is there any advantage to going for an i7 at this point? Also, if I understand this right (sorry Im a newb to building PCs), if one uses SLI of mid-range GPUs does the performance match that of a high-end single GPU? Like down the road if I run several GTX 560Ti's would it match the elite GPU on the market?
January 18, 2012 7:52:48 AM

For gaming, there is zero advantage of the i7 over the i5. Games just don't make use of hyper threading. Personally I believe the i5-2500k is more than capable of any tasks and you won't see much difference spending the extra on the i7. The only time the i7 is really recommended over the i5, is when your doing lots of video editing and rendering and using applications which actually make extensive use of hyper-threading.

Here's a quick list showing what can make use of HT: http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=290073&mpage=1

And yes, two graphics cards in SLI does "stack" performance although two cards isn't actually double, its a little less. Current SLI 560Ti's will slightly out perform a single GTX 580.
January 18, 2012 9:17:31 PM

Got it, thanks again Adrian :) 

Just a matter of selling my Macbook now and Ill be putting together my new rig
January 19, 2012 3:36:14 AM

If overclocking fits anywhere in your future plans, I would recommend getting one of these two to keep your CPU nice and cool:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+ $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 19, 2012 4:30:09 AM

TheBigSleep said:
THanks for the help Jeremy, Ive read a few sites that say SSDs are actually not worth the extra $$$ now due to their instability? Am I better off just getting an HDD like a 500g Seagate? Ill also cut it down to 8gb ram to save a bit.

How "future-proof" would this build be? My main concern is putting all this together and it becoming outdated in a few months. Im sort of hoping I can get a rig that can last a few years with just some minor adjustments

As long as you stay away from Vertex or Agility 3 SSDs and stick with Crucial or Corsair SSDs, you are good.
January 19, 2012 7:07:10 AM

hpdeskjet said:
If overclocking fits anywhere in your future plans, I would recommend getting one of these two to keep your CPU nice and cool:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+ $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Im pretty new to modding CPUs so Im not sure how long it will be before I go into overclocking, but nevertheless Ill keep this in mind when the time comes

azeem40 said:
As long as you stay away from Vertex or Agility 3 SSDs and stick with Crucial or Corsair SSDs, you are good.

Good to know, thank you for the help!
!