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~$700 Gaming/Dev build

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January 31, 2012 2:04:40 PM

Hi all,

Looking to build my first PC. It will be used mainly for gaming and also some software development.

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Approximate Purchase Date: 0-2 weeks from now

Budget Range: ~$700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, software dev, internet

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/amazon

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

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Here is what I'm thinking, any advice is appreciated. FYI - I'm thinking I will just make due with limited space on an SSD until HDD prices come back down to earth. I have an external drive to store media on until then.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 - $210
GPU: Radeon HD 6870 1GB - $145 after rebate
Mobo: MSI PH61A-P35 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $70 after rebate
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB - $42
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D - $50 after rebate
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 - $50 after rebate
HDD: (none)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 90gb - $120 after rebate
DVD: Lite-On LiteScribe - $25

Total: $712 after rebates

More about : 700 gaming dev build

January 31, 2012 3:46:24 PM

Actually, I think I am changing my Mobo to this:
ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $70

I didn't pick it at first because I wasn't sure if micro ATX would fit but from what I can tell it looks like it will. I think ASRock is a better brand and this one also has an HDMI which my other one did not.
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January 31, 2012 3:51:47 PM

Crucial m4 < OCZ
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January 31, 2012 3:52:00 PM

Basically get the m4
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a c 276 4 Gaming
January 31, 2012 3:53:37 PM

Quote:
Actually, I think I am changing my Mobo to this:
ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $70

I didn't pick it at first because I wasn't sure if micro ATX would fit but from what I can tell it looks like it will. I think ASRock is a better brand and this one also has an HDMI which my other one did not.


Asrock is a pretty decent brand - certainly better than MSI - but Asus and Gigabyte are generally regarded as the best.

Looks pretty good but my main recommendation would be to drop the SSD (OCZ is not a reliable vendor) and switch to a 500GB mechanical drive for $84. Invest the difference there in getting a better motherboard, something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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January 31, 2012 3:53:59 PM

Yes Even ATX is supported in that case. But good idea bout going back and switching motherboards. MSI isnt a popular brands when it comes to motherboards. But yea you case will support Micro Atx and ATX. which btw if you would be interested in going back. Check out ASUS they make good Intel mobo's
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a c 276 4 Gaming
January 31, 2012 4:02:07 PM

Rockdpm said:
Yes Even ATX is supported in that case. But good idea bout going back and switching motherboards. MSI isnt a popular brands when it comes to motherboards. But yea you case will support Micro Atx and ATX. which btw if you would be interested in going back. Check out ASUS they make good Intel mobo's


Asus and Gigabyte are generally regarded as the best but the Gigabyte boards that are in the OP's price range aren't that great, and the only Asus board that matches the Asrock in terms of features is this one, which is really stripped down to the bare bones and not as full featured for the price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

January 31, 2012 4:03:56 PM

Congrats on the decision to do a build! It's very fun and exciting. Here's some insight on some smart moves to make your build better.

- CPU: get an i5-2500k. This allows you to overclock. Don't be intimidated if you've never done this before. It is EXTREMELY easy on Sandy Bridge CPUs and requires no expertise. Massive performance gains!
- GPU: the 6870 is a good card. I'd recommend bumping up to a GTX 560 ti ($185 or so after MIR) or a 6950 1GB ($210 or so after MIR). You'll see a pretty big bump in performance.
- SSD: SSD's are nice, but in my opinion they are purely a nice-to-have and the money would be better spent on graphics horsepower. It will make a much bigger impact on your gaming experience. You could bump up your graphics to a GTX 570 or HD 6970 with the extra cash!

Good luck with the build. Cheers!
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January 31, 2012 4:13:33 PM

angaddev said:
Basically get the m4


Is the m4 really better than this? This Vertex 3 was recommended in the Jan SSD article here. Also the write speeds on the vertex 3 blow the m4 out of the water...
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January 31, 2012 4:19:03 PM

beltzy said:
Congrats on the decision to do a build! It's very fun and exciting. Here's some insight on some smart moves to make your build better.

- CPU: get an i5-2500k. This allows you to overclock. Don't be intimidated if you've never done this before. It is EXTREMELY easy on Sandy Bridge CPUs and requires no expertise. Massive performance gains!
- GPU: the 6870 is a good card. I'd recommend bumping up to a GTX 560 ti ($185 or so after MIR) or a 6950 1GB ($210 or so after MIR). You'll see a pretty big bump in performance.
- SSD: SSD's are nice, but in my opinion they are purely a nice-to-have and the money would be better spent on graphics horsepower. It will make a much bigger impact on your gaming experience. You could bump up your graphics to a GTX 570 or HD 6970 with the extra cash!

Good luck with the build. Cheers!



Thanks for the advice! Before reading your post I had already switched to the 2500k after reading that the mobo does support it. I'd probably have to get some extra cooling if I'm going to OC though right (never done it before)?

I'm looking forward to an SSD mainly for software development (loading large visual studio projects in the blink of an eye sounds amazing). I will consider bumping the graphics card.
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February 7, 2012 12:54:58 PM

Best answer selected by jka347.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2012 2:03:41 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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