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Check on sub-$1000 system (first build)

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March 24, 2012 1:30:20 AM

Wanting to build a desktop so that I have a system I can game comfortably with and have upgradability into the future.
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Approximate Purchase Date: within the month

Budget Range: under $1000 for complete system (tower, OS, monitor, keyboard)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW, SWTOR, Skyrim, DOTA 2, D3...), school work, whatever

Parts Not Required: Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Open to recommendations

Overclocking: never done but if HIGHLY recommended I'll consider

SLI or Crossfire: unlikely

Monitor Resolution:1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: First build, want something capable but won't break the bank

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Like I said it's my first build so I appreciate any help. From the research I've done this is what I've come up with but I'd much appreciate a look over to check for compatability and that I'm not wasting money in any areas. I want a very cost effective system so please point out areas that I can save a few bucks or where I'd get better performance for my dollar!

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 (with hyperthreading and games only really utilizing two cores I hear this cpu is a beast on a budget. I know the 2500k is highly recommended but it's also $100 more)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 (heard the z68 is the way to go for compatibility with Ivy Bridge and the 1155 allows me to go with 2500k if I want down the road)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x4GB DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC (GTX 560-Ti) (gpu is one of the things I need the most help picking out a solid cost/performance choice)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-...
SSD: Mushkin 120 GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 620W (also something I was back and forth on, help much appreciated. Need more or less power?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OEM
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OD: Asus 24x DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" (up for suggestion)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keybaord: Lite-On SK-1688U/B Black 104
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's what I got so far. There are a couple parts I can get a little cheaper/with free shipping through work (cpu, mobo, hdd, case, and monitor). I've been back and forth trying to get the most bang for my buck, any help much appreciated! Thanks guys.
March 24, 2012 4:10:59 AM

Hey :) 
You seem to know what your doing and the build is pretty good in my eyes.
Just a few things I'll point out:

Cheaper Ram

Do you have an external hard-drive? If so, an SSD runs a lot faster than a HDD. Intel 520 60GB Basically you would use this for your OS and a few games then keep everything else on the external. That is a 2.5", but I've had trouble finding any reasonable 3.5", so you'd need to buy a bracket/adapter. It'd cost you probably $40-50 more(with bracket) to get the SSD, but if you save $15 getting the cheaper ram, then it's only $25-35 and well worth it. (if you can afford)

I didn't look, but I'm sure you could find a slighty cheaper keyboard and get the same functionality or close to it.

I've heard nothing bad about the Ram and that SSD is recommended a lot. (samsung 830 is also a good choice)

Good luck!

p.s cheapest I could find those were at TD.
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March 24, 2012 4:24:48 AM

I've tried to do my research, but I always like to check in with people that really know what they're talking about!

I do have an external and have considered using an SSD, the super fast boot up would be nice, but I haven't found myself minding the minute or so that the HDD on my laptop takes so I think in the future I'll grab an SSD to tack onto my system, but for now the HDD is a good base to start with.
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Related resources
March 24, 2012 4:35:51 AM

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 64GB or SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB if you have money

The 620w PSU is fine, you won't have any problems what so ever.

Don't even think about the Razer BrokenWidow. Razer has a bad rep of extremely cheap build quality at an unreasonable price.
You're better off with either a Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard RK-9000BR with Cherry MX Brown Switch, Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard RK-9000RE with Cherry MX Red Switch, Corsair Vengeance K60 (Red Switches, Corsair Vengeance K90 (Red Switches, or a Das Keyboard Silent (Brown Switches). I didn't include any Blue Switch keyboards because they are really bad for gaming, although the best choice for typing.
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March 24, 2012 5:13:35 AM

The large number of 1-egg reviews on that card scared me away, but it does look like a good option so I think I'll throw it in, thanks!

Again I would love an SSD, but I think I'm going to stick with a standard HDD for now. Once the price of SSDs drop I'll jump on em though. I'll let the idea of one simmer and we'll see if it grows on me.

I'll have to think about the keyboards too. I hear mechanical is a joy and being something you use to interact with your comp it makes sense you'd want a nice one... just gotta get over that sticker shock.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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March 24, 2012 5:16:28 AM

Also I've heard 4GB of RAM is still plenty and 8 is overkill for most people. Would I be cutting myself short if I went with 4 and allocated those funds to another area, perhaps one of those Rosewills?
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Best solution

March 24, 2012 5:17:59 AM

ouch your keyboard is kinda expensive for a budget build, if u really wanna save money last time i build a $1500 dollar computer i just bought an $8 keyboard, and its running strong 3 years later, unless its got cool features u just have to have of course just a thought, then maybe u could get that SSD mentioned above instead, you could always upgrade later if need be!
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March 24, 2012 5:28:54 AM

Good call Jiggly, I guess the keyboard was something I had in my head that I didn't want to have to replace so I was shooting for a decent one out of the blocks. But getting a cheapo and seeing if I feel like I need more isn't a bad option.
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March 24, 2012 5:38:12 AM

oh yeah trust me u do not need an expensive keyboard, the only reason to buy one is for like gaming command buttons, but im a hardcore gamer (TF2, L4D, battlefeild so on) and really there is no need to go crazy on a keyboard, like i said mine was 8 bucks and it works great, i spent a lil more on a nice mouse of course though lol
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March 24, 2012 5:52:02 AM

8GB is just for future proofing, 4GB is still enough. Just get the cheapest 4GB kit you can find (but from a quality manufacturer).

If you ever felt a mechanical keyboard, you would know how much better it is than membrane switches. Mechanical switches let you chose which switch you like the best and they have no ghosting. They are better in every way (except the price) - gaming / typing
If you think you're fine on a membrane, just don't spend a lot of money on a keyboard. But I'm warning you, if you type on a mechanical keyboard, you'll get addicted to it's smooth feel and want a mechanical keyboard no matter what.
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March 24, 2012 12:52:29 PM

I don't doubt the mechanical boards sexiness, and I'm sure I'll graduate to one eventually, but $8 for a board til then is hard to pass up
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March 25, 2012 2:20:05 AM

Alright so I've made a couple changes to the build with your guys' input. Gonna give the MSI 560 Ti a shot, and you as well as a friend at work talked me into the benefits of an SSD. I knew they gave way faster boot up times but hadn't even realized the game performance boost as well. Found the 120GB Mushkin for $129, seems like a steal and from what I hear a reputable brand. As well as the cheapo keyboard for now. Any other suggestions guys?
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March 25, 2012 3:14:33 AM

I don't need speakers on the monitor, I'm just a sucker for great reviews of which that asus monitor has many. The built in speakers mean I wouldn't have to buy externals so that would be nice. Though I do like the look of that Acer.
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March 25, 2012 3:21:17 AM
March 26, 2012 1:12:37 AM

The reviews on the i3-2120 were fantastic and it seemed everyone was saying it's phenomenal even for gaming still as I heard not many games take advantage of 4 cores. Another guy I was working with today said I should really look at i5 cause games are starting to utilize 4 cores (he thought Diablo 3 would for sure). I didn't wanna pay that much more for it, but my brother doesn't live too far from a micro center so he could possibly pick me up a 2500k for the sweet price they have it there and ship it over to me. What're your guys' thoughts on that?
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March 26, 2012 1:15:09 AM

Get the 2500K ASAP.
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March 26, 2012 1:50:33 AM

Would I still be alright with my power supply and everything? And if I'm not overclocking right away I should be fine with the stock cpu heatsink ya?
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March 26, 2012 1:55:50 AM

Yes, but I highly recommend an aftermarket cooler for general longevity of the components and lower temps.
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March 26, 2012 2:48:42 AM

Alright, I see the CM hyper 212 recommended all over the place, any other aftermarket coolers I should consider or is that one a no brainer?
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March 27, 2012 1:53:19 PM

Best answer selected by ajblackie.
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