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Need advice on sub $1400 gaming pc

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Last response: in Systems
February 25, 2012 11:48:11 AM

So, I'm new here and I'm planning to get a pc which could have some degree of future-proofing. I really need help whether to get this asap or wait until intel releases ivy bridge and for NVIDIA to release kepler. This is going to be my first build and I'm planning to play all modern games and several upcoming ones on max
Approximate Purchase Date: Mid April 2012

Budget Range: $1000-$1400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web surfing, school stuff

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Getting them retail
Country: Philippines
Parts Preferences: Intel cpu, NVIDIA graphics and a compact gaming case

Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: N/A

More about : advice 1400 gaming

a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2012 2:05:24 PM

My advice is, for moment keep your money and wait the April , when Ivy and Kepler will hit the market and then decide what you want to buy. And buy a better monitor with 22" minimum. I tell you that because you have a pretty big budget and with your budget you can make a verry good PC.If you don't need the PC now is better to wait.
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2012 2:27:12 PM

If i have your budget now my PC will look like this :
MOBO : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
CPU : Intel Core i5-2500K
RAM : Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
SSD : Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III
HDD : Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM
GPU : XFX Radeon HD 7950 Core Edition 3GB 384-bit
PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W
DVD-RW : LG DVD Burner 24X
MONITOR : Hannspree By HannsG Black 23" 5ms Full HD LED BackLight
TOTAL : $1,413.89 and 1,394$ after rebates.
You need to change your monitor because any card more than 560Ti , 6950 is overkill for that resolution (1440x900 )
Related resources
a c 451 4 Gaming
February 25, 2012 3:19:16 PM

By mid april, you should have the info you need to decide.
I think ivy bridge will be the cpu of choice then, and it will be priced comparable to sandy bridge with a bit better performance.

Who knows about kepler? At the top end, I think Kepler will be stronger, but at anything less, you will get equal price performance from either AMD or Nvidia.

For a great cooling compact gaming case, look at the Silverstone TJ08E.
It is a M-ATX case, so you can also save on the motherboard size.

Here is an example of a M-atx Z68 motherboard, there are others:

a 2500K is a no brainer today with your budget.
7950 is also good.

A quality 500w psu is all you need for a 7950. It is not wrong to go up to 650w or so.
Quality units are Seasonic, XFX, Antec, PC P&C, or Corsair.

Hard drive prices are crazy today, buy a SSD up front, planning to add a hard drive later if you need to.
60gb will hold the os and a couple of games. 120gb will hold 5-8 games.
Look first to intel 320, 510, 520 or samsung 830 for reliability.
It matters little which ssd you buy from a performance point of view. Synthetic benchmarks differ, but you would be hard pressed to tell the difference in normal usage.

For normal work, a second monitor is a great upgrade. Consider a second, larger monitor for gaming if you have the desk space.
February 25, 2012 11:26:05 PM

Thanks a lot guys. Problem is, I don't think I have the space for a new monitor since my current one's attached to the wall via brackets, so it's going to be hard removing it. Another thing I forgot to put in is that I want the case to be compact enough to bring to LAN parties. I was thinking of getting a case similar to the Thermaltake Armor A30, but I'm open to suggestion if you guys find anything that's more compact
a c 451 4 Gaming
February 26, 2012 12:58:33 AM

For a lan party case, look at the lian li PC-Q08.
It is positively tiny and made of aluminum. 13.60" x 8.90" x 10.70"
It will hold the longest graphics card you can buy today.
It also comes in red which is stunning,(I know, I have one) and black.
They also have a pc-200A which comes with a carrying handle, but it seems like a bit much to me.

With that, you would want a M-ITX motherboard like this:
February 26, 2012 1:09:13 AM

Thanks, and I changed my mind about the monitor. I'm getting a 20 inch LED monitor so that I can still play games on max without suffering much of an FPS drop.
February 26, 2012 1:27:20 AM

Geofelt, is there a similar case to the lian li PC-Q08 that uses a Micro-ATX board instead of a M-ITX board? I need a mobo that is small but has the capability for SLI in the future.
a c 451 4 Gaming
February 26, 2012 2:14:33 AM

xxxg00w0 said:
Geofelt, is there a similar case to the lian li PC-Q08 that uses a Micro-ATX board instead of a M-ITX board? I need a mobo that is small but has the capability for SLI in the future.

Yes, there is. The V354 takes a M-ATX motherboard, but it is a bit larger. 9.65" x 13.60" x 16.54
You should know, though, that a M-ATX motherboard will have 4 slots, and some are capable of cf/sli. By necessity, though, the two cards will have to be next to each other, giving temperature problems to the top card.

But... let me question in general the advisability of planning on sli.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX570 or 6970 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single 7970 is about as good as it gets today, and is overkill for a single monitor.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive larger case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this:

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

A GTX590 is, in effect, sli of two GTX570 cards. With the advent of kepler and the 7990, it will be just about as cost effective to sell your old single card and replace it with the next best thing.
February 26, 2012 3:12:00 AM

Ah, thanks for that, I'm not really familiar with the limitations of sli and cf. I guess I'm going with this build:
CPU: Ivy Bridge equivalent of the i5 2500k
GPU: Kepler equivalent of the GTX 570
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
SSD: (Not yet; HDD prices here are still much, much lower and SSD prices crazy)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 7200 RPB 500GB
PSU: Corsair Gaming Series GS 600W
DVD-RW: Liteon 24X DVD RW
Case:LIAN LI PC-V354B Black Aluminum MicroATX Mini
Monitor: Samsung 20" LED
Thanks for the help. Tell me if there's a better build available.

February 26, 2012 3:43:43 AM

I just realized that the Mobo is not Micro ATX, so I need help choosing between ASUS P8Z68-M Pro and MSi z68ma-g45
a c 451 4 Gaming
February 26, 2012 2:02:39 PM

xxxg00w0 said:
I just realized that the Mobo is not Micro ATX, so I need help choosing between ASUS P8Z68-M Pro and MSi z68ma-g45

If you will put your os on a hard drive, put it on a WD black which is faster than the blue.
Still, expect SSD prices to continue to decline, and that would be my first preference for the OS.

For what it is worth, I was an early adopter, and bought a Asus P8P67-M-Pro which is the predecessor of the Z68 based board. It has worked well for me.

Since you will wait for ivy bridge, there will be Z77 based motherboards which will perhaps give you some other options.

In the mean time, do some research on the V354.
To get you started, here is a link to a very active V354 forum. 50 pages!

The maximum height of cooler that you can use is limited before it impacts the psu.
You will be limited probably to a lower profile downdraft type cooler. The case cooling is so good, that it will not make a difference, particularly with a cooler running 22nm ivy bridge cpu and a 28nm kepler gpu.

I think you have a great plan for your purposes.

In case you might still be interested, here is a link to a 23 page Q08 forum: