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First Build Gaming PC need pointers!

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February 3, 2012 2:54:18 PM

Im looking to to build a medium-high performance gaming PC, searched around for a few weeks and think I found a good set up, but this being my first build and a relativly low knowledge of building, i wanted to check for all of your opinions on what could change. My budget is around $800, not including accesories (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.) So here it is, i appriciate all that you have to offer:

*Side note - have not picked out a Power supply yet, want to have everything else picked out before i go into that, also if you know of any thing for a bigger bang for your buck im open to suggestions.
** All prices are after rebate/discount

CPU (179.99) - I5 2500k Sandy Bridge
*I have heard the stock fan isnt up to par if you wish to overclock your machine, any suggestions on a better fan?

Motherboard (134.99) - Gigabyte GA-Z68xp UD3 LGA1155
*Had a backup MB choice of the MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA1155 for 79.99, but ive heard of a few issues that people have with this card so i am hesitant

Memory (35.99) - G.Skill Ripjaws X series 8GB (sx4gb) 1600 mhz
*8gb should be enough memory for now from what I've seen from other rigs, for gaming ive noticed 8gb is more than enough and adding another 8gb would make an insignificant improvement.

HDD (79.99) - Seagate Barracuda 750 GB 7.2K RPM 32MB
*Holding off on SSD due to tight budget, in a few months going to update and looking for a 60-80gb SSD for boot & apps

Graphics Card (209.99) - Galexy geforce GTX 560 (fermi) 2GB

Case (49.99) - Cooler Master HAF 912

More about : build gaming pointers

a b 4 Gaming
February 3, 2012 3:06:43 PM

Get that mobo from micro center for $50 less than newegg.
February 3, 2012 3:10:13 PM

im seeing it as 150 after rebate on Micro
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a b 4 Gaming
February 3, 2012 3:34:03 PM

Are you not buying in store in the same cart? Cuz the mobo is $50 off if you buy with the cpu.
February 3, 2012 3:41:37 PM

Didnt know about that promotion, looks like they sold out in my store though, build wont go through for another week or 2 though so hopefully they will get restock, that or ill have to get it for 210 somewhere else. Do you or someone else have any suggestions on a power supply for this build?
February 3, 2012 3:56:00 PM

($21) ASUS 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($60) Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($85) Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($95) ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($200) ASUS ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($80) Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($48) G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($110) AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($100) Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Subtotal: $798.91
a b 4 Gaming
February 3, 2012 4:03:37 PM

Looks good.
Here are my thoughts:

1) A GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.
That is what determins your psu wattage.
Do not skimp on quality. My short list of quality psu's would include Antec, Seasonic, PC P&C, Corsair and XFX.
The Corsair builder's series are a good value today, here is a 500w unit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is not wrong to go a bit stronger, since the psu will only use what it needs.

2) The supplied intel cooler is ok, up to a point. But, I would get a $30 aftermarket cooler anyway. Your pc will run quieter, and cooler.
Look at a cm hyper212 or Xigmatek gaia. For a first time builder, it is a plus that they use screws and a backplate to mount them vs. those fussy intel pushpins.

3) Hard drive prices are crazy today. I think I would reverse your storage purchase, and get a 80gb ssd for the os and apps first. It will be easier to install, and 80gb is enough for the OS and a handful of games. For reliability, I would look at Intel or samsung.
Be on the lookout for Intel rebates for their 80gb 320 series.

4) For the same price, less after rebate, I would look at the EVGA GTX560 superclocked
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is a bit faster, and I like the more direct exhaust cooler better.

5) How many motherboard slots will you use? For most of us, it is none, past the X16 pcie graphics slot.
Why not look at a M-atx motherboard? They will be less expensive.
Here is an ASrock Z68 for $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 3, 2012 4:12:03 PM

lldsgt said:
Im looking to to build a medium-high performance gaming PC, searched around for a few weeks and think I found a good set up, but this being my first build and a relativly low knowledge of building, i wanted to check for all of your opinions on what could change. My budget is around $800, not including accesories (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.) So here it is, i appriciate all that you have to offer:

*Side note - have not picked out a Power supply yet, want to have everything else picked out before i go into that, also if you know of any thing for a bigger bang for your buck im open to suggestions.
** All prices are after rebate/discount

CPU (179.99) - I5 2500k Sandy Bridge
*I have heard the stock fan isnt up to par if you wish to overclock your machine, any suggestions on a better fan?

Motherboard (134.99) - Gigabyte GA-Z68xp UD3 LGA1155
*Had a backup MB choice of the MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA1155 for 79.99, but ive heard of a few issues that people have with this card so i am hesitant

Memory (35.99) - G.Skill Ripjaws X series 8GB (sx4gb) 1600 mhz
*8gb should be enough memory for now from what I've seen from other rigs, for gaming ive noticed 8gb is more than enough and adding another 8gb would make an insignificant improvement.


I just made a build for my brother with the same CPU/mobo/memory - it works great and games well, even with a lesser card than your considering (and a mechanical Hitachi 500gb HDD). Great choices!

I did go with a 500W corsair builder series PSU.
February 3, 2012 4:18:35 PM

geofelt said:


It is not wrong to go a bit stronger, since the psu will only use what it needs.



That's only sort of true. Most PSUs take some larger amount based on the then current load and the factor changes based on the load. That's what 80+ is about..

So if you have an 80+ certified 500W and are pulling 100W (20% of max), it's guaranteed to be at least 80% efficient, meaning it's pulling no more than 125W from the wall. However, 80+ only certifies at 20%, 50% and 100%. So an 80+ 1000W may pull 250W from the wall when you're demanding only 100W (because you're demanding 10% - it may not be efficient that low) . Or it could pull 110W - there's little way to know save trying it. Or, if you go for a 750W non-certified, it could pull 500W from the wall to give you 100W. Or it could pull 105W...or any number >100.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS#Efficiency_level_c...
February 3, 2012 4:19:14 PM

1. will 500w be enough for this to run smoothly? I was looking more into a 650w, I wanna make sure i have a little bit of room in there for future add ons & the speakers i have for here suck up another 30 watts.

2. Thats what I figured with the CPU cooler, ill take a deeper look into those 2 you listed.

3. so a SSD off the bat would be a better choice as opposed to a HDD? i know i would perfer to have a large disc space mainly due to the amount of music I have, but then again i do already have a 500g external waiting for this, ill be sure to look out for the intel 80gb 320, whats a good price on that one(after rebate)

4. I see what you're saying on this card, probably would be a better selection and frees up a little bit of extra money.

5. as of now for the initial build it will only be one slot for the graphics card but in the near future i plan on adding on a good sound card as well.
(also will be using this rig for basic audio production, nothing real serious)
and by the looks of it the one you linked seems like it should cover everything I would need.

appriciate the advice
a b 4 Gaming
February 3, 2012 5:30:25 PM

lldsgt said:
1. will 500w be enough for this to run smoothly? I was looking more into a 650w, I wanna make sure i have a little bit of room in there for future add ons & the speakers i have for here suck up another 30 watts.

2. Thats what I figured with the CPU cooler, ill take a deeper look into those 2 you listed.

3. so a SSD off the bat would be a better choice as opposed to a HDD? i know i would perfer to have a large disc space mainly due to the amount of music I have, but then again i do already have a 500g external waiting for this, ill be sure to look out for the intel 80gb 320, whats a good price on that one(after rebate)

4. I see what you're saying on this card, probably would be a better selection and frees up a little bit of extra money.

5. as of now for the initial build it will only be one slot for the graphics card but in the near future i plan on adding on a good sound card as well.
(also will be using this rig for basic audio production, nothing real serious)
and by the looks of it the one you linked seems like it should cover everything I would need.

appriciate the advice


I recently bought a Intel 80gb 320 for $80 after rebate from newegg. It was only valid for 2/3 days. I have since seen it repeated, again for only acouple of days.
Currently, it is $102 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't understand this marketing. It seems like they are trying to test to find the sweet spot for pricing in anticipation of their next generation of drives.

I think 64gb is a bit small, since you can't get much on it past the os and very few apps.
80gb seems like a very nice size to me.

If you can spring for $200 or so, you can get a 120gb intel 320 or samsung 830.
For what it is worth, I use 82gb out of 111gb available on an intel 510 120gb drive. That holds the os, half a dozen games, and 4gb of photos without any attempt to save space.
When I run out of room, I will either get another, or move it to a laptop in favor of a larger ssd.

Music does not take up that much space, at least compared to videos.
How much space do those files take now?

Nothing wrong with a 650w psu. It is strong enough to run a GTX580. The new 28nm cards will take less; the 7970 should run on 500w.
Regardless, get a quality unit. You are looking at a difference of $25 or so for 650w vs. 500w.

Current onboard HD sound is very good. Try it first. I am told that a discrete sound card can help if you are very sensitive. My tin ear would not tell the difference.
The old rationale for a discrete sound card to reduce cpu load is no longer valid with today's fast multicore cpus.
Other stuff is negligible. I think the speakers will be self powered, not powered by the psu.
February 3, 2012 5:51:50 PM

ah okay, as far as the SSD if i do end up putting one in ill more thank likely get a 60/64gb just because I really only plan on using it for boot & a few games.

and as far as music currently my library is up to 200gb and ever expanding, spend a lot of time on music related things so i wanted to make sure a had a good sound card to ensure clarity and create a greater listening experience.

Speakers wont run through the psu? well thats good to know, so they just run through a wall jack then so the wattage on that really isnt important to the rest of the machine.
February 3, 2012 11:21:53 PM

at this point this is my setup right now, everything considered

CPU (179.99) - i5 2500k Sandy Bridge

Motherboard (29.99) - MSI p67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 ATX

Memory (34.99) - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3

OS (79.99) - Windows 7 64bit

HDD (64.99) - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500gb

SSD (74.99) - OCZ Vertex 60gb

Video Card (189.99) - EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB

Case (44.99) - Cooler Master HAF 912

PSU (39.99) - CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W

Total Cost : 740.00 + tax/shipping
February 3, 2012 11:43:03 PM

Whoa - where'd you find that board for $29?? I want one at that price ;) 

Also, I'll chip in my 2 cents. I have 60gb SSD boot drives in two of my PCs - with Win7 and a couple small apps (browsers and IM - not office or anything heavy weight) they are nearly half full. Be aware that you CANNOT fill an SSD. They lose space overtime due to wear leveling - if you fill it, you'll wear it out fast. Just a word of warning.
February 3, 2012 11:44:10 PM

yeah was just using it for boot and a game or 2
February 4, 2012 12:03:01 AM

and the Board is from Microcenter for 89.99 with a 10.00 rebate then -50.00 for purchasing it with the CPU for 179.99, bringing it down to 29.99
February 4, 2012 12:11:07 AM

Hmm, kinda figured that but didn't see them on the website. Ah well, good luck with the build!
!