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$600 Music Production / Gaming

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March 3, 2012 3:03:30 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

Budget Range: 600-800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Music production, gaming, web design, programming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Intel mobo with 23" LED

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Must have Firewire port for audio interface
a b 4 Gaming
March 3, 2012 6:49:30 PM

Assuming gaming at ultra high framerates is a low priority and you would value quietness, I would go with something like this:

Intel Core i5-2500k
8GB Mushkin Silverline 1333Mhz
Intel BOXDZ68DB
XFX Core Edition HD 7770 1GB
Seagate Barracuda 500GB
Antec Sonata III 500 with 500W PSU (EA-500)
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
Sony DVD Burner

Total - $820.92

This goes slightly over even the higher end of the budget but would be fantastic for the audio stuff while being extremely quiet due to the great case and low power consumption.

If gaming is more of a priority, you could get better bang for your buck. This is still a great gaming machine though, the HD 7770 is about as powerful as a GTX 460 1GB. I have the GTX 460 and can still play virtually anything on ultra high settings @ 1920x1200. I just have to tone down the AA and AF slightly on something like Skyrim or BF3.
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March 3, 2012 7:58:54 PM

since you're not overclocking:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded 2 x USB 3.0: $70

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified: $60

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0: $160 -> (comes with Firewire + front USB3.0 connector for the case)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost): $190 (it's a monster for any game, as well as your pro audio apps)
*you don't need an aftermarket cooler

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333: $40 (don't need more than 1333, if not overclocking)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner: $17

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM: $85

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB: $165

TOTAL: $787
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a b 4 Gaming
March 3, 2012 9:31:20 PM

The main reason for the aftermarket cooler was the quietness, also that motherboard has everything he needs and just happens to be Z68 so it would seem a shame to not spend that little bit extra on the huge overclocking potential of the i5-2500k (even if it's not straight away.)

The build that wasupmike posted is a good example of what you could get by sacrificing quietness for a bit more gaming performance.
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March 3, 2012 10:18:18 PM

the core i5 Sandy Bridge CPU's run pretty cool at stock settings even under high stress - the Intel box coolers will do the job fine, and even though they're not the best quality you can get.. they run quiet when not overclocking...

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a b 4 Gaming
March 3, 2012 11:32:23 PM

Everyone has a different definition of quiet, the stock Intel coolers aren't particularly quiet to my ears but they may not bother some people.

Just pointing out as well, the design of the case, the case fans and the graphics card also help toward low noise in the build I suggested.
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