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Building new PC for gaming

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Last response: in Systems
March 26, 2012 2:59:15 PM

Happy Monday all !
I have been out of the PC gaming thing for years now and am jumping back in with the release of Diablo 3 in May (hopefully *knock on wood*). Last machine i built was at least 6 years ago, but runs the games I dabble in just fine (TF2, CoH, Half Life 2 etc.) Looking to build a desktop to last me another 6 + years !


Approximate Purchase Date: Need everything by mid May. Got a month to research and find deals.

Budget Range: Trying to keep it under 1K, but can go over if the technology and power is necessary

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing, streaming


Parts Not Required: I have a moniter(DVI), mouse, and keyboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and amazon.com


Country: USA

Parts Preferences =
CASE: I would like to try and build this PC in a small form factor type of PC, maybe even using micro ATX mo-bo if it does not hurt performance.
PROCESSOR: I am an intel guy, so I would prefer staying with the i5 or i7. POWER SUPPLY: Modular is a must have for this build.
HD: SSD is another must, want to try and do a 256gb sata3 drive for the PC, and use an external 1 or 2 TB for all of my media and files.
VIDEO: No preference.
RAM: 8GB (at least) of gaming performance.


Overclocking: I do not plan on doing any overclocking.

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure of the differences to be honest, havent paid attention to new PC technology enough.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Will be purchasing a new version of Windows 7 pro for the build, as well as a new cd burner, so any kind of combinations that can be found with these parts would be a plus to save some $.

More about : building gaming

March 26, 2012 4:06:33 PM

What I've been browsing and starting my research points on:

CASE: Amazon.com - Lian-Li Case Mini Tower Aluminum Microatx Audio USB 3.0 Black $ 140ish
SSD: Newegg.com - Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III $320ish
MoBo: Newegg.com - ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX $120ish
Processor: newegg.com - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $220ish
Power supply - amazon.com - OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply $90ish

That brings it to 900ish $ minus ram and video card. These are just ideal starting points.
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March 26, 2012 4:48:12 PM

Any reason why you'd prefer mATX over a full tower build? The reason being is that your choice of video cards and cooling solutions will be quite limited by going with a small form factor.

You're not going to keep your budget under $1K with a decent GPU by pouring $320 into your primary storage device - go with a 500GB drive and put the difference into your GPU.
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March 26, 2012 5:41:49 PM

Well the 1K is more of a baseline, so if i venture to 1.2 or 1.3 K thats fine. I really wanted a SSD because ive heard so many good things about performance and speed.

The micro case is ideal because I would like a machine that doesn't take up alot of space, and is also easily transferable to a friends house or something. Do you think this will hinder my video card options to the point of not making it a reasonable gaming PC?
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March 26, 2012 6:22:15 PM

gzjonny said:
Well the 1K is more of a baseline, so if i venture to 1.2 or 1.3 K thats fine. I really wanted a SSD because ive heard so many good things about performance and speed.

The micro case is ideal because I would like a machine that doesn't take up alot of space, and is also easily transferable to a friends house or something. Do you think this will hinder my video card options to the point of not making it a reasonable gaming PC?


That depends. As this article points out it's certainly doable: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/microatx-gaming-ove...

But then again they had a budget of like $3K to be able to pull off this build. :lol: 

And as far as SSD goes you should get a 128GB or even a 64GB drive if it's boot only - that will save you quite a bit of money which you could then put back into the GPU, which I can't stress enough, is the most important part of a build after the PSU is.
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March 26, 2012 6:39:46 PM

I would lose the SSD altogether if you are going sub $1k. Its an extra or bell or whistle...

Also, go with a z68 mobo: a middle ground gigabyte but if you can squeeze it, an ASRock extrem4 is great! its gen3 and will last you...

keep the i5 2500K.

thats a nice case... i have the Corsair 400R, which is only 21" tall. its nice build.

Corsair Enthusiast v2 750W for PSU will last you those 6 years. (last in the sense it will not die on you. 750w may not be enough in the future but with budget contraints...).
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March 26, 2012 6:42:22 PM

Quote:
I would lose the SSD altogether if you are going sub $1k. Its an extra or bell or whistle...


Really cant argue with that - especially if you plan to run any sort of GPU on this. I also think a $140 case is stretching it quite a bit.

I'll have to play around with this and see what I come up with.

Maybe try this build:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MINI - $99.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 - $89.99
Motherboard: Asus Maxiumus IV GENE-Z - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: PNY 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $44.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda ST 1TB - $109.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99

Total: $1,059.91
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March 26, 2012 8:14:38 PM

If the SSD is for boot... get a 32GB! Seriously! Running your games on an SSD WILL increase your performance on those games, but not as much as taking the money you would've spent on the extra SSD space and spending it on a nice GPU. The HD g-unit1111 put up there is a steal, by the way.
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March 26, 2012 8:43:14 PM

ddan49 said:
If the SSD is for boot... get a 32GB! Seriously! Running your games on an SSD WILL increase your performance on those games, but not as much as taking the money you would've spent on the extra SSD space and spending it on a nice GPU. The HD g-unit1111 put up there is a steal, by the way.


No - bad idea. Formatting takes 10% of your drive, and a full Windows install will take approx. 16 - 20GB, add the paging file and you're left with little to no capacity left and that will cripple your installation greatly and reduce a lot of functionality. You want at minimum 64GB - that will also give you some space for CD/DVD-R back up capacity.
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March 26, 2012 9:15:45 PM

With $900 spent before RAM and GFX card, ..... using $50 for RAM leave you with just $50 for a GFX card. That's not enough.

Quote:
Modular is a must have for this build.


Why ? What do you **think** it will do for you ?

Most quality PSU's are what is called "hybrid modular". The thought behind this concept is that fully wired PSU's lave many extra wires hanging around that you have to hide and fully modular PSU's introduce unnecessary failure points and decreased efficiency but making you plug in every single wire. Both are less than ideal situations.

Hybrid modular provides the best of both worlds and, again , how most quality PSU's are built, hard wire those cables which are absolutely necessary.....the 24 pin MoBo connector is hard wired, the 8 pin EPS cable is hard wired, 1 SATA and 1 PCI-E cable is hard wired. All the rest are modular.

Since there's no possible way to run a PC w/o those cables, having them modular is an unnecessary increase in cost and an unnecessary decrease in efficiency no matter how small it is.

Here's a $1,600 build I just put together for a friend of my son's. I generally don't build between March and May cause the GFX card arena is settling out with the introduction of new cards and I generally wanna see what shakes out where.

At the high end, with the 680 out, it's slam dunk for nVidia so, if ya unwilling to wait, little chance for buyers remorse. But that's a $500 card, generally not what goes in a $1300 build.

Case - $ 105 - Corsair 500R Black http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 260 - Corsair TX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
MoBo - $ 685 - ASUS P8P67 PRO http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 43 - Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 50 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - included - Asus GTX 680 Included w/ MoBo
GFX - Later - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz Same
HD - included - WD Black 1TB 7200 rpm1TB Included with PSU
SSD - $ 170 - Patriot Wildfire 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now for your $1,300 range, we don't yet have any idea how the 78xx series will do up against the 650's and 660's from nVidia..... for that budget, I'd either suggest a $200 900Mhz 560 Ti or wait to see what shakes out over the next 2 months. Add another 560 Ti later on and you will see 40% more fps than a single 580 or about 12% more than a single 680.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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March 27, 2012 3:00:57 AM

How'd you get the Corsair 500R for $105? It's like $140 with S+H now! Man... I'm still waiting for a price drop on Corsair cases. Also, is the RAM you put in a good idea? Crucial and Kingston have lowest failure rates, and they'll be a bit cheaper as well. I'm also probably going to get a 560ti for my upcoming build, as well. I would suggest the MSI Twin Frozr II OC 1GB... I personally think it's the best out of all of them, and it's easily overclockable.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 27, 2012 5:27:38 AM

I too recommend Crucial over Corsair RAM.
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March 27, 2012 5:00:43 PM

I could drop the SSD to a 128GB and save some $. I don't imagine installing the OS and a few games on the SSD will be an issue?

As for hybrid power supplies, I honestly know very little about them, but from what you have explained, it sounds like it would be the perfect fit. I am only familiar with modular, so if this is a supply that does away with all the unnecessary cables, then I am all for it.

As for the 1K limit, it sounds like I will boost that up to 1,300 $ to include a solid video card and ram.

How much of an issue would it be to fit a beefy video card into the smaller case i had listed w/a micro atx mobo? Anyone run into major space issues with it?

Thank you all for your help and knowledge ! It is greatly appreciated !
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March 27, 2012 5:30:12 PM

Corsair cases are a great product for the price... i have the 400R. I wish i couldve gotten the 500 or even 600 but it was too tall for the space. for its size, the 400 has a lot of space! i recommend all their cases.
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March 27, 2012 5:39:41 PM

Ivy Bridge is is due out April 29th along with the new Z77 and Z75 boards. Personally I would wait a month for it all to be on the shelves.

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/overview.html <----- Quick and brief rundown of Ivy Bridge, PCI-E 3.0 cards and the new gen boards.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=1155 <---- Those are Asrocks Z77 and Z75 board line up so far...although they are going to add more boards here soon. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI also have their boards ready to go. They all get released with Ivy Bridge.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <------ I'm going to guess this board will go for under $200.

A case worth looking at imo. It hasn't been on the market all that long, it comes with multiple fan controllers, front 3.0 USB ports, SSD cage, dust filters, 200mm side fan, etc... and it's roomy with great airflow.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $118.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $128.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAB
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