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Gaming PC $1400 Budget

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February 28, 2012 5:29:34 PM

Hi :hello:  ,

I'm sort of a n00b and I wanted to know what I should include into a fresh new build to make my system run at MAX settings (run at around 60fps or higher without compromising image quality) on games such as Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and other graphically intensive games.

I want the system to be future proof (I want to easily install future CPUs and such.)

I will give a list below of things I initially wanted to include in my build. Can anyone give me suggestions of what I should include for my needs? I am buying most of my parts from new egg.com so if you can find the parts on there it would be appreciated.

Here are my ideas:

CPU - Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop CPU


Motherboard - PLEASE SUGGEST - meets requirements above

Video/Graphics card - PLEASE SUGGEST - meets requirements above

Shell/Case - COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Audio card - something that will support 7.1 surround sound. I use wireless headphones.

RAM/Memory - 16GB, recommend brand please

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal

Disc drive - any drive that will really fit and be fast enough for game disc as well the operating system disc.

Needs some suggestions on what cooling system I will need for the CPU itself as well as fans for the build as a whole. I need bluetooth and WIFI compatibility.


I'm really leaving it to you guys to give me suggestions which suit my requirements. :D 

Thanks in advance,
Zak G.

More about : gaming 1400 budget

February 28, 2012 6:49:42 PM

whats your budget?
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February 28, 2012 7:06:55 PM

mastercrim said:
whats your budget?


About $1350 or a little higher. :) 
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 8:53:44 PM

Hiya.. First and foremost. Its really not possible to "future proof" a computer. Technology changes so fast, really the only thing "future proof" (and even that is not set in stone) are a power supply and a case. I can't really count on Intel to make new things backwards compatible personally. AMD in recent years has a better reputation of offering backwards compatibility than Intel. However, clearly the i7 outperforms any CPU in AMD's roster.

I did get 10 years out of my last desktop (a Dell 8200 I bought in 2001 that cost nearly 3,000 and was top of the line at the time). The problem was, those last few years were pretty brutal. LOL


Quote:
Audio card - something that will support 7.1 surround sound. I use wireless headphones.


Don't really need to worry about this much. Most motherboards these days, (including the one I'm going to recommend) has your sound card needs covered.

Quote:

Motherboard - PLEASE SUGGEST - meets requirements above


I'm a fan of Gigabyte Motherboards personally. I like this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Quote:
RAM/Memory - 16GB, recommend brand please


I've ran everything pretty much in my computers over the years. RAM is pretty much RAM in the terms of brands. I know that might be controversial for me to say so. But, I've yet to hear of any brand that has a "bad reputation". That being said, I'm running 2x 8GB sticks of Corsair Vengence DDR3 1600mhz in my machine and they're running great. I got them from MicroCenter for about 70 bucks a piece. PNY, Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, and Corsair are all equally good choices in my opinion.

I recommend 8 GB sticks for the simple fact that, while you COULD buy 4x 4GB sticks far cheaper, this isn't really true to your understandable desire for future proofing. If you ever wanted to max out the MOBO's RAM, you'd end up trashing the 4GB sticks.

BTW, despite the fact that I bought my RAM from Microcenter (only because they were the only supplier I could find who had 8GB sticks I could purchase in a timely fashion) MicroCenter has a horrid reputation for customer service, and long story short, my experience with them buying 2 ram sticks wasn't much different from what I had heard. I wouldn't shop with them at all. Most of my recent build came from Newegg and TigerDirect, both of them took care of me pretty good.

Quote:
Video/Graphics card - PLEASE SUGGEST - meets requirements above


I don't have much of an opinion on this in terms of specific cards. I bought a GTX 550 Ti OC'd by Zotac, no its not the best on the market, but I didn't need it to be. I do recommend whatever you ultimately decide to go with be a factory overclocked card. Overclocking on your own voids any warranty offered with the card, and you also are not guaranteed better performance. Where as a factory overclocked card offers both.

Another thought I do have on the subject, SLi and Crossfire, are not all they're cracked up to be. Yes, they allow you to run 2 or more cards in tandem. However, generally speaking 2 cheaper cards will not outperform a single more expensive card (however, in SOME limited circumstances they do). Keep that in mind.

---
Power supplies, to run a system like this, I would consider going with a power supply that has at minimum 750 watts. (More than you need). Power supplies can last you a long time if you buy a decent one and can be used in future builds. Corsair makes decent ones, when picking one, look at the warranties. Better warranty=better product as a good rule of thumb.
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February 28, 2012 9:22:36 PM

If you want a gaming build that will last then here's my take.

I5 2500k-$180+ tax at microcenter or $200 on newegg
CM 212+ cooler- $30 (this is enough to overclock 2500k to 4.2 to 4.5ghz at 1.35v)
CM 690 II or any case below $80
OCZ agility 3 120gb- $115- Newegg sale or Corsair Force 3 or any other 120gb
Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 gen 3 or Asus P8p67 Pro/evo- $130-$150ish
PSU- under $100...minimum 850W with 70amps on 12v rail.
Ram- 2X 4gb @ 1600mhz...Cas 9 or 8...under $40
Disc Drive- get the cheapest dvd or bdrom drive. Its all the same.-$70

This brings you to around $800. I assume you don't need keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor,etc.

Now you really need to spend $600 on video cards if you want this to be a long term gaming machine. You also need dual video cards or a single 7970 (so you can add a 2nd 2 yrs down the road). Definitely wait till April for Nvidia Kepler as that will drive AMd prices lower. Get 2 x 7870s or 2X 6970s or 2x GTX670tis (assuming rumours of $300 price is true).

A lot of people say they want a gaming machine but then they spend too much on the CPU and case and cooler and motherboard just because things are fancy. You want functionality first...and focus the max money on Graphics cards if this is truly a gaming machine.

A 2600k adds nothing for gaming over 2500k, a 80+ gold PSU does nothing compared to a regular 80+ or 80+ bronze PSU (assuming brand is decent), a premium motherboard does nothing to gaming over a regular model, a lower Cas ram doesn't do much over regular cas ram, a $100 cooler does nothing compared to a $30 cooler if your focus is gaming, same with the other parts.

Just keep that in mind and focus on the max money for video cards so you can play on ultra like you said.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 9:28:56 PM

dharmen is correct I will say about the 2500k vs the 2600k in terms of gaming, obviously there are some differences in our opinions on other things, the only thing that I really feel the need to comment on is the Power supply. I wouldn't buy just "any old brand". All PSUs are not created equally and cheap ones can and have not only destroyed themselves but have taken out brand new motherboards with them.

As far as a 2500k from Newegg being 200 vs 180 at microcenter. Again with the MicroCenter bashing, I quickly found during my purchases, that MicroCenter hit me up with both sales tax and shipping, so while their sticker prices may seem cheaper, in reality, it works out the same as neither Newegg nor Tigerdirect charged me tax or shipping for my merchandise.

A more detailed explanation about my shopping experience with MicroCenter. They have a store here in Maryland where I live, its about 3 hours away. I ordered the RAM from them, they wanted 10 dollars shipping plus 6% sales tax, which completely negated their advantage of lower prices. In addition to this, I ordered parts from all 3 stores the same Sunday.

My CPU, case and PSU were from NewEgg, everything else, Tigerdirect.

Come Wednesday, TigerDirect, and Newegg have all my parts at my house shipped. (Mind you I used Budget shipping for both) Call MicroCenter to find out where my RAM is, they inform me after placing me on hold for 10 minutes "its scheduled to be shipped out today." (It is Thursday at this point).. Of course my response was "what do you mean its scheduled to be shipped out today, why wasn't it shipped out 3 days ago?"... I ended up cancelling the online order and driving to Rockville to buy them in person. This isn't as crazy as it may seem, I go to college in Hagerstown which is a 90 minute commute from where I live and Rockville isnt much further.
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February 29, 2012 1:39:45 AM

dharmenparikh said:
If you want a gaming build that will last then here's my take.

I5 2500k-$180+ tax at microcenter or $200 on newegg
CM 212+ cooler- $30 (this is enough to overclock 2500k to 4.2 to 4.5ghz at 1.35v)
CM 690 II or any case below $80
OCZ agility 3 120gb- $115- Newegg sale or Corsair Force 3 or any other 120gb
Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 gen 3 or Asus P8p67 Pro/evo- $130-$150ish
PSU- under $100...minimum 850W with 70amps on 12v rail.
Ram- 2X 4gb @ 1600mhz...Cas 9 or 8...under $40
Disc Drive- get the cheapest dvd or bdrom drive. Its all the same.-$70

This brings you to around $800. I assume you don't need keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor,etc.

Now you really need to spend $600 on video cards if you want this to be a long term gaming machine. You also need dual video cards or a single 7970 (so you can add a 2nd 2 yrs down the road). Definitely wait till April for Nvidia Kepler as that will drive AMd prices lower. Get 2 x 7870s or 2X 6970s or 2x GTX670tis (assuming rumours of $300 price is true).

A lot of people say they want a gaming machine but then they spend too much on the CPU and case and cooler and motherboard just because things are fancy. You want functionality first...and focus the max money on Graphics cards if this is truly a gaming machine.

A 2600k adds nothing for gaming over 2500k, a 80+ gold PSU does nothing compared to a regular 80+ or 80+ bronze PSU (assuming brand is decent), a premium motherboard does nothing to gaming over a regular model, a lower Cas ram doesn't do much over regular cas ram, a $100 cooler does nothing compared to a $30 cooler if your focus is gaming, same with the other parts.

Just keep that in mind and focus on the max money for video cards so you can play on ultra like you said.


Thanks for the reccomendation. I will probably mix both nekultury's build and yours. Would it be worth it if I upgraded to an i7. I really wouldn't mind spending a little more to get better and faster graphics. Will the mother board come with support for WiFi and Bluetooth or is that a separate item/s. What would you recommend if I was to upgrade the RAM to 16GB, the CPU up to an i7 and a video card capable of supplying max fps and not compromising quality? I also do some 3D model editing, but thats primarily done on my laptop. BI'm hoping to do big renders on this when I make it. Also, do you know any good tutorials I can follow?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
February 29, 2012 1:53:12 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the reccomendation. I will probably mix both nekultury's build and yours. Would it be worth it if I upgraded to an i7. I really wouldn't mind spending a little more to get better and faster graphics


The i7 is not really going to offer you any advantage in modern games now, or likely will in the near future over the i5. It really isn't worth the $100 more in my opinion. If you plan on doing thinks like CAD or heavy video editing or some other form of heavily mulch-threaded application, then yea, its worth the money. Ironically, you don't need a fancy video card to do video editing. I know that sounds ridiculous.

Quote:
Will the mother board come with support for WiFi and Bluetooth or is that a separate item/s.


The mobo I recommended doesn't come with either I don't believe. Some do, but you're better off in terms or price and practicality to get these features with say a USB adapter for Bluetooth and a WI-FI Network interface card. Both are fairly inexpensive.

Maybe I'm wrong and some are reasonably priced, personally I don't see the point of paying for those features when a Wi-FI NIC card is 20 bucks, and a USB Bluetooth adapter is 10 or less.
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March 1, 2012 2:32:11 AM

ashford99 said:
Thanks for the reccomendation. I will probably mix both nekultury's build and yours. Would it be worth it if I upgraded to an i7. I really wouldn't mind spending a little more to get better and faster graphics. Will the mother board come with support for WiFi and Bluetooth or is that a separate item/s. What would you recommend if I was to upgrade the RAM to 16GB, the CPU up to an i7 and a video card capable of supplying max fps and not compromising quality? I also do some 3D model editing, but thats primarily done on my laptop. BI'm hoping to do big renders on this when I make it. Also, do you know any good tutorials I can follow?


I7 won't do anything for gaming. Infact some people get microstutter due to intel hyperthreading. Asus boards do have bluetooth ( p67 and z68 chipsets) but no manufacturer has wifi within the mid range boards.

Now for 3D modeling yes 16gb ram helps and I7 will help too. BUt if you really need the pc to work more for that then go with the 2011 sandy bridge E platform. The motherboard will cost a little more but the CPU costs the same (and does overclock to 4.5ghz+ even though its no K series unlocked). This board has 8 slots for memory...so just go all out with 32gb ram...its so cheap nowadays. The board also comes with a lot more PCEi gen 3 lanes...X16 X16 and X8. This helps with expansion cards in addition to graphics cards.

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 1, 2012 2:37:36 AM

nekulturny said:
dharmen is correct I will say about the 2500k vs the 2600k in terms of gaming, obviously there are some differences in our opinions on other things, the only thing that I really feel the need to comment on is the Power supply. I wouldn't buy just "any old brand". All PSUs are not created equally and cheap ones can and have not only destroyed themselves but have taken out brand new motherboards with them.

As far as a 2500k from Newegg being 200 vs 180 at microcenter. Again with the MicroCenter bashing, I quickly found during my purchases, that MicroCenter hit me up with both sales tax and shipping, so while their sticker prices may seem cheaper, in reality, it works out the same as neither Newegg nor Tigerdirect charged me tax or shipping for my merchandise.

A more detailed explanation about my shopping experience with MicroCenter. They have a store here in Maryland where I live, its about 3 hours away. I ordered the RAM from them, they wanted 10 dollars shipping plus 6% sales tax, which completely negated their advantage of lower prices. In addition to this, I ordered parts from all 3 stores the same Sunday.

My CPU, case and PSU were from NewEgg, everything else, Tigerdirect.

Come Wednesday, TigerDirect, and Newegg have all my parts at my house shipped. (Mind you I used Budget shipping for both) Call MicroCenter to find out where my RAM is, they inform me after placing me on hold for 10 minutes "its scheduled to be shipped out today." (It is Thursday at this point).. Of course my response was "what do you mean its scheduled to be shipped out today, why wasn't it shipped out 3 days ago?"... I ended up cancelling the online order and driving to Rockville to buy them in person. This isn't as crazy as it may seem, I go to college in Hagerstown which is a 90 minute commute from where I live and Rockville isnt much further.


I agree microcenter is not the best after tax. But you have to count the $50 off on motherboard as well and then it becomes $20-$30 cheaper than any online website. Also, I live in Atlanta, GA and here I got over 10 CPU+mobo combos for my bros company and 2 for my house and each time they send you 20% off coupons after 2-3 weeks for case, ram, video card, PSU ,etc. Thats the only reason I love it. I do agree that their online service will suck...I've never tried it but you can't beat newegg.com..its the best.

Also I should have mentioned about the crappy PSU brands like rosewill..lol so you're right.

Btw I work for Kaplan...you don't attend Kaplan Univ in Hagerstown do you? or the one in Rockville?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2012 3:14:40 AM

dharmenparikh said:
I agree microcenter is not the best after tax. But you have to count the $50 off on motherboard as well and then it becomes $20-$30 cheaper than any online website. Also, I live in Atlanta, GA and here I got over 10 CPU+mobo combos for my bros company and 2 for my house and each time they send you 20% off coupons after 2-3 weeks for case, ram, video card, PSU ,etc. Thats the only reason I love it. I do agree that their online service will suck...I've never tried it but you can't beat newegg.com..its the best.

Also I should have mentioned about the crappy PSU brands like rosewill..lol so you're right.

Btw I work for Kaplan...you don't attend Kaplan Univ in Hagerstown do you? or the one in Rockville?



Hagerstown Community College. I may transfer to a 4 year, haven't really decided yet. I know that I lack the advance mathematical skills to go into programming, but I really like hardware, but I know I have a lot to learn. Ideally, I'd like to be IT for a distribution center of some kind.

You know, I can't really attest to the quality of Rosewill, I know in another thread I mentioned it being Newegg's housebrand. My logic on that was more that there are just some things you shouldn't go generic on. Its fine for a breakfast cereal, my PC toolset is a Rosewill set, sure they aren't as tough as my Craftsman Auto Tool set, but they don't have to be.

Generic Power Supplies represent both a potential fire hazard as well as something that can kill all of your brand new computer parts including itself. Whether or not Rosewill makes quality PSU's or not, its not something I'm willing to be a guinea pig on. My recommendation for a PSU brand is going to be Corsair every time.

Now to be fair about MicroCenter, when I went there in person to Rockville, I was in awe, it was like a Walmart for computer geeks! I dealt with 2 employees in the store, both were very polite to me, so maybe they aren't so bad as long as you don't shop from them online.
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March 1, 2012 3:26:14 AM

Microcenter is absolutely great as a brick and mortar. i got my motherboard and CPU there (i5-2500k and Asus P8Z68 GEN 3) for about 80 dollars less then it would've been on newegg. Employees are very nice, and they have everything, and great prices. I've uses the one in PA several times, and it has never failed me. Never tried the online service, and from what I've seen around here, I probably shouldn't.
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