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Noob needs guidance, please!

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March 12, 2012 8:27:34 PM

Hello Tom's Community!

Yet again, another new builder that needs advice! I have been spending the last four years with my trusty Dell laptop. As a student it is very practical and I plan on keeping it for school (internet and word processing), but I have been constrained by its graphics capabilities and hard drive space. I play World of Warcraft (currently on my girlfriends MacBook Pro which plays it pretty well, she's super nice) and I would like to play Civ 5 (I bought the game and my laptop can't handle it, big let-down, bummer bro). I also have a massive music collection on an external 1TB hard drive, but that is becoming inconvenient. I want to point out that budgeting the build is a huge priority considering that I need a new OS and monitor, I would like to stay under $1,000. Also, I would like to give myself room for upgrades without buying unnecessary features. I have done some amount of research and I have put together a few different builds on paper, but I need some guidance. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated, always looking for new suggestions but please fill me in on why you might feel that way. The main theme of this is price/performance for gaming and a little bit of storage.


Features that I would like:

1: SSD for operating system and frequently used games.....Windows 7, World of Warcraft, Civ 5, extra room for other programs in the future like Photoshop

2: At least 1TB of HDD space for music library and other media files - possibly a RAID 1 configuration if the price is right (of course the price is horribly wrong because of flooding, but you know what I mean)

3: A GPU comparable to a GTX560 ti (best price/performance I have been told) - a motherboard that has available room for an additional GPU for SLI or Crossfire

4: Power Supply with room for upgrades / fully modular / and a decent efficiency rating

5: Gaming monitor at least 20'' w/ <5ms response time



My Selections (so far):

i5-2500K --- http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... ---- this price can't be beat imo

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

Cooler Master Storm Scout --- http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 1155 --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB SSD --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 1TB --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Vengeance 8GB --- www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682023314...

EVGA GTX 560 ti --- http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... --- I have been told that the GTX 500 series might drop in price when GTX 600/700 is released

Rosewill Hive-650w --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG DVD Burner --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --- would be willing to add a little money for a good deal on a BluRay burner.

Acer 20'' LED/LCD --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The price total might be over $1000, I just want to be in the ball park (give or take $100).
Also since I am a student, I might be able to get a discount on Windows 7, so i am excluding it from the list.

Should I wait for Ivy Bridge?

More about : noob guidance

Best solution

March 12, 2012 8:43:01 PM

Quote:
Should I wait for Ivy Bridge?


Not going to make that much of a difference - even the hardcore Ivy people around here will only admit that the new CPUs are going to offer a 10% increase over what's out now - not that much.

That build looks pretty good. These would be my suggestions:

1. Switch out your PSU for this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Ditch the liquid cooler and get a Hyper 212 Evo, invest the difference in upgrading your GPU to this:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1...

Other than that, that looks pretty good. The CPU isn't going to make much of a difference (as AMD proved) - the video card I linked to is the same one I'm getting for my system - the Radeon 7850. The GPU is amazing - it's been matching and in some cases beating GTX 580 numbers: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

If you want to get a good BD-R burner this is the one I use and it works great:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 12, 2012 8:55:41 PM

I can't find that GPU anywhere, it hasn't been released yet?
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March 12, 2012 8:58:18 PM

Thanks for the advice on the cooling system, I like the price difference while keeping good performance
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March 12, 2012 9:26:38 PM

The Micro-Center near me has a great deal on an i5-2500K ($180), this being said, I have pretty much committed to buying this (price/performance for gaming is great). If I am going for the i5-2500K is it even worth getting a Gen 3 mobo? I believe that the i5-2500K would last me a while with its quad-core processing and overclocking. Would it be safe to say that I wouldn't be upgrading my CPU for a while, maybe even passing Ivy Bridge completely? I think I would more likely add another GPU before upgrading the CPU, should I go with a Gen 2 mobo with 2 x PCIe 2 slots instead of PCIe 3?
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March 12, 2012 9:44:46 PM

Satchembe said:
I can't find that GPU anywhere, it hasn't been released yet?


No - that's why I linked to Sapphire's website instead of Newegg - according to my sources it should be released within the next week or so, but definitely keep that in mind. I'm getting a 7850 for sure as soon as it's available.

Quote:
Thanks for the advice on the cooling system, I like the price difference while keeping good performance


Yeah I'm not a fan of liquid cooling as most around here know - no way am I going to trust expensive new components to something that has the potential to leak.

Quote:
The Micro-Center near me has a great deal on an i5-2500K ($180), this being said, I have pretty much committed to buying this (price/performance for gaming is great). If I am going for the i5-2500K is it even worth getting a Gen 3 mobo? I believe that the i5-2500K would last me a while with its quad-core processing and overclocking. Would it be safe to say that I wouldn't be upgrading my CPU for a while, maybe even passing Ivy Bridge completely? I think I would more likely add another GPU before upgrading the CPU, should I go with a Gen 2 mobo with 2 x PCIe 2 slots instead of PCIe 3?


Either one is fine, it's better to be future proof on the motherboard than anything else. If you're saving money on the CPU, invest that difference in upgrading your motherboard for better SLI / Crossfire capabilities. Having PCI 3.0 is definitely a plus. Try something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 12, 2012 9:56:32 PM

what makes that motherboard PCIe Gen3... it has dual PCIe 2.0 x 16.......and I thought that I would have to have Ivy Bridge to utilize PCIe 3.0 if I wanted to get a Gen 3 motherboard.
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March 12, 2012 10:22:12 PM

Satchembe said:
what makes that motherboard PCIe Gen3... it has dual PCIe 2.0 x 16.......and I thought that I would have to have Ivy Bridge to utilize PCIe 3.0 if I wanted to get a Gen 3 motherboard.


Maybe Newegg didn't update the specs on it, try this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 13, 2012 12:15:25 PM

Best answer selected by Satchembe.
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