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Building my first system, seeking some input

Last response: in Systems
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February 7, 2012 2:18:11 AM

I've decided to build my own rig rather than buy a pre-made, pre-configured setup, since they seem rather over priced.. I'll try to follow the "How to ask for New build Advice" guide to make things easy to follow. If anyone spots any glaring oversights feel free to tell me, since I only barely have any idea what I'm doing.

Approximate Purchase Date: February 2012
Budget Range: Under $900
System Usage: Gaming (Battlefield 3, Call of Duty MW3), basic computer programming, general internet surfing
Parts Not Needed: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website for Parts: TigerDirect
Country: United States
Parts Preference: Planning on using Intel and Nvidia parts, solely due to familiarity. Aiming for a Mid tower or larger for room for future changes.
Overclocking: Not likely
SLI orCrossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution 1600x900
Additional Information Not overly concerned with a silent system, just need something that will last a couple of years without needing a complete rebuild as time passes

Parts Currently Selected

Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z68 ATX Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 CPU
RAM: Corsair Vengance DDR3-1600 RAM (2x 4GB)
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 550Ti
Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB SATA 6 GB/s 7200RPM
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc 24x DVDRW SATA
Power Supply: Apevia Java 500 Watt PSU
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid ATX Tower
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Home Premium 64 Bit

I believe everything would work together, but again I'm new to building a system from scratch, so I'd love the advice. I'm also open to options to reduce the cost without losing performance. My goal is to be able to play online games without suffering from graphical handicaps, without selling a kidney. Competition grade performance is certainly not needed. Thanks for any and all help that can be offered.
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February 7, 2012 2:57:21 AM

I'd recommend Newegg as an option as well, since it has more choices and great components for low prices.

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Driver: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $874

I know you mentioned no overclocking, but it's worth buying the K model for futureproofing.
Stock cooler is enough to get 4.0GHz with decent temps.
You don't have to, but it's worth having that peace of mind.
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February 7, 2012 2:59:06 AM

At your resolution, a GTX 560 Ti is a bit overkill.
A GTX 560 or HD 6870 is the MOST you should be getting @ 1600x900.
I play at that resolution and I can max out all my games with at least 30FPS with an HD 6750.
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February 7, 2012 3:08:20 AM

AbdullahG said:
At your resolution, a GTX 560 Ti is a bit overkill.
A GTX 560 or HD 6870 is the MOST you should be getting @ 1600x900.
I play at that resolution and I can max out all my games with at least 30FPS with an HD 6750.


That is kind of why I was originally thinking a 550 would do just fine for me, since the $100 extra to get the 560 didn't seem to offer a whole lot in terms of performance for me over the 550.

As far as upgrading to the K model, I figured that next year I would be able to afford a couple upgrades to the system, at which point a processor upgrade and/or graphics card upgrade would likely be in the works.
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February 7, 2012 3:12:07 AM

SysMunky said:
That is kind of why I was originally thinking a 550 would do just fine for me, since the $100 extra to get the 560 didn't seem to offer a whole lot in terms of performance for me over the 550.

As far as upgrading to the K model, I figured that next year I would be able to afford a couple upgrades to the system, at which point a processor upgrade and/or graphics card upgrade would likely be in the works.

A GTX 550 Ti is also an option if you want to save a few extra bucks.
I would still go for the GTX 560/i5 2500K path.
In the future, you can add a second GTX 560 and maybe run a second monitor.

EDIT: A GTX 550 Ti is actually considerable, as a friend of mine who has both a GTX 550 Ti and GTX 460 said they pretty much match in performance because of driver improvements and a bit of OCing, if you wish to do so.
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February 7, 2012 3:25:35 AM

Upgrading to GTX 560 and an i5 2500K bump me a bit out of my price range, and the little lady is not too convinced that I "need" to spend that much, so I guess the question is would the GTX 550 and i5 2400 be a reasonably viable option to get me through the year?
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Best solution

February 7, 2012 3:34:46 AM

SysMunky said:
Upgrading to GTX 560 and an i5 2500K bump me a bit out of my price range, and the little lady is not too convinced that I "need" to spend that much, so I guess the question is would the GTX 550 and i5 2400 be a reasonably viable option to get me through the year?

If you wish to save as much as possible, and not loose any performance, go for an i5 2400 and GTX 550 Ti.
Since you will not be OCing, you could get an H61/H67 MoBo (only problem is that none of them seem to support SLI, only CFX).
You can probably get a Corsair, Silverstone, NZXT, XFX, Antec, or SeaSonic 650W PSU and a different case to cut costs.
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February 7, 2012 5:00:42 AM

AbdullahG said:
I'd recommend Newegg as an option as well, since it has more choices and great components for low prices.

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Driver: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $874

I know you mentioned no overclocking, but it's worth buying the K model for futureproofing.
Stock cooler is enough to get 4.0GHz with decent temps.
You don't have to, but it's worth having that peace of mind.

Hey, I like how you put that together. IYO, what would be a fast, non-gaming CPU for under $500?
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February 7, 2012 7:04:48 PM

wackyzman said:
Hey, I like how you put that together. IYO, what would be a fast, non-gaming CPU for under $500?

Usually, making a separate thread is most acceptable.
You shouldn't hijack threads.
But anyway, by non-gaming, I assume you mean things like regular browsing or 3D work.

For 3D work, an i7 2600K/2700K is an option.
For everyday things like documents and browsing, a Pentium G620 or i3 2100 is fine.
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February 7, 2012 8:31:42 PM

Hijack? I just thought I was replying... sorry.

By non-gaming, i mean pictures and music. Maybe some basic games. She is like 75 yrs old. She uses her cpu everyday and over the years her cpu runs at a turtle pace. I know it is a Dell of some sort... very out dated. I know I can build her a much faster one but its been a long time and well technology is always changing. I build mine from a gaming perspective and spent alot of dough on mine. She has a budget of less than $500. IMO, that should be plenty to fulfill her needs. Thx.
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February 17, 2012 10:13:19 AM

Best answer selected by SysMunky.
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