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First Gaming Build - Please Advise

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March 26, 2012 9:40:11 PM

Im building my first computer and wanted to run it by you guys since you are the experts.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month

Budget Range: ~$2000 - 2500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Diablo 3! BF3, Gaming, Blu ray, Internet

Parts Not Required: None - need everything!

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Micro Center, Newegg, Tiger Direct, Amazon

Country: California, USA

Parts Preferences: Only the best/most reliable

Overclocking: Maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Possibly

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: My goal is to build a solid rig that I can upgrade later down the road if need be. Here's what I've got so far...

CPU: Intel i5 2500k $179.99
MOBO: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 $207.96 <-- open box
RAM: Corsair Vengence 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600mhz $105.98
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 $500.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $34.99
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB $169.99
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB $119.99
ODD: Lite-On iHBS11204 12x Internal Blu-Ray Burner $79.99
PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 $149.99
Audio: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI Sound Card $39.99
Case: Corsair CC600TWM-WHT Special Edition Graphite Series 600T Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case $163.98
Monitor: ASUS VE278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 2ms Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor $329.99

Total cost of build: $2,083.84

The reason Im building this rig is for Diablo 3 but would also like to be able to play BF3 at max or near max settings without any hiccups. I have a little more money to play with so tell me if you would change/add anything and please let me know why.

That being said, I have a couple of questions.

GPU: Initially I was considering one (or maybe even 2) GTX 580 1.5GB or two GTX 560s until someone else recommended a 680. Is the 680 worth it? They are new, expensive and out of stock everywhere right now unless I want to pay a premium. Any suggestions?

MOBO: Do you guys trust the open box from Micro Center? I will be going there today and might pick it up. If not, I was going to get the P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3. Im not planning on using the additional features of the Z68 board but it would be nice to have in case I want to later. Is P67 better for me? If so, please tell me why and suggest a good board.

Cooler: Is the Hyper 212 EVO enough for this rig? Others have suggested noctua nh d-14 or Thermalright Silver Arrow

PSU: is 750w enough? Even if I want to SLI? Suggestions?

Last question i swear,

Case: Will everything fit in the Corsair case above and still keep everything cool? Its only a mid tower. I was also considering the COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper or the Antec DF-85 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower

Thanks in advance for your help! I really appreciate it your input/advice. I recently discovered this site and am loving it!

Thank you!

More about : gaming build advise

March 26, 2012 10:09:08 PM

Quote:
GPU: Initially I was considering one (or maybe even 2) GTX 580 1.5GB or two GTX 560s until someone else recommended a 680. Is the 680 worth it? They are new, expensive and out of stock everywhere right now unless I want to pay a premium. Any suggestions?


Absolutely - you always want the single strongest GPU solution you can get as opposed to two weaker ones. The 680 is the best of the best right now.

Quote:
MOBO: Do you guys trust the open box from Micro Center? I will be going there today and might pick it up. If not, I was going to get the P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3. Im not planning on using the additional features of the Z68 board but it would be nice to have in case I want to later. Is P67 better for me? If so, please tell me why and suggest a good board.


I don't trust open box *ANYTHING*. The reason being is that stores like Micro Center and Frys (who I think is one of the most dishonest resellers known to man) will just restock opened and returned merchandise without thinking about it or checking for quality before hand, and especially on one of the most important parts of the build, that has the potential to be dangerous. You want brand new.

P67 and Z68 are about the same - I generally tend to go for Z68 as it's a bit newer and will support newer hardware. If you want X79 - that would be the ultimate and I can suggest a build around that that would meet your price range.

This motherboard I use is always a good price / performance stand point: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Cooler: Is the Hyper 212 EVO enough for this rig? Others have suggested noctua nh d-14 or Thermalright Silver Arrow


I wouldn't get the Silver Arrow - Thermalright makes better coolers. The D14 is an excellent choice for sure, but the Evo will solve all your needs and you can take the 2500K to 4.5GHz or beyond.

Quote:
PSU: is 750w enough? Even if I want to SLI? Suggestions?


If your long term plans include SLI you'll want to prepare for it now as opposed to buying a new PSU later, I always like this one as it's a great price / wattage / certification standpoint: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Case: Will everything fit in the Corsair case above and still keep everything cool? Its only a mid tower. I was also considering the COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper or the Antec DF-85 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower


Absolutely - I have the Graphite 600T and I can attest to it - it's big enough that it will house the biggest video cards, PSUs, heat sinks - you name it and have plenty of room for other stuff.

There's a couple of suggestions I would make for this build - you do not need a sound card, they're pretty worthless at this point. And you also don't need 16GB of RAM either if gaming is the main focus of this build - you can put that into getting the D14.
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March 27, 2012 2:00:16 AM

Thanks for the feedback. You have cleared up some things for me. I decided to pass on that open box mobo and will be looking for an alternative. A couple of quick follow ups:

g-unit1111 said:
P67 and Z68 are about the same - I generally tend to go for Z68 as it's a bit newer and will support newer hardware. If you want X79 - that would be the ultimate and I can suggest a build around that that would meet your price range.

What would your X79 build look like? Im interested. What advantages are there with this build and how would it compare to the build above? Im open to other builds that will last me a while without having to do major upgrades. Performance is a priority but dont want to spend more than $3K

g-unit1111 said:
Absolutely - I have the Graphite 600T and I can attest to it - it's big enough that it will house the biggest video cards, PSUs, heat sinks - you name it and have plenty of room for other stuff.

I was reading more reviews on this case and it seems that some users are having issues with the fan controller failing. Have you experienced this?


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March 27, 2012 7:12:53 AM

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.
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March 27, 2012 4:59:08 PM

I thought about waiting for Ivy Bridge too. But the question is what would be better/faster/more future proof:

An X79 build with an i7 3930K SB-E or an Z77 build with an i5 3570K IB?

Would I even notice a significant performance increase from IB? From what I've read it's is only about 10% faster. What other benefits does IB offer? An X79 build should crush any game in the foreseeable future correct? It would be nice to have that PCIe 3.0 support though. I'm torn, I dont know what to do! Someone help!
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March 27, 2012 5:07:42 PM

Paranoid Andro1d said:
I thought about waiting for Ivy Bridge too. But the question is what would be better/faster/more future proof:

An X79 build with an i7 3930K SB-E or an Z77 build with an i5 3570K IB?

Would I even notice a significant performance increase from IB? From what I've read it's is only about 10% faster. What other benefits does IB offer? An X79 build should crush any game in the foreseeable future correct? It would be nice to have that PCIe 3.0 support though. I'm torn, I dont know what to do! Someone help!

Nobody knows until the benchmarks are posted. Sites like this one, Anandtech, guru3d, etc... will post the reviews w/benchmarks right before or the day on those cpu's are released. The X79 is a nice set up, but I'm curious myself how Ivy Bridge with the PCI-E 3.0 matches up with the X79 boards in regards to gaming. Over clocking wise the Ivy Bridge should be king of the hill with the 22nm chips but how much gain will over clocking net is another question. With Sandy Bridge anything past 4.4Ghz is pretty much for show and tell with no real gain in regards to FPS.
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March 27, 2012 5:40:47 PM

Why_Me said:
Nobody knows until the benchmarks are posted. Sites like this one, Anandtech, guru3d, etc... will post the reviews w/benchmarks right before or the day on those cpu's are released. The X79 is a nice set up, but I'm curious myself how Ivy Bridge with the PCI-E 3.0 matches up with the X79 boards in regards to gaming. Over clocking wise the Ivy Bridge should be king of the hill with the 22nm chips but how much gain will over clocking net is another question. With Sandy Bridge anything past 4.4Ghz is pretty much for show and tell with no real gain in regards to FPS.


Yeah exactly - I only recommend existing hardware - I never recommend the newer hardware until it's out. The bad thing is even the hardcore Ivy fans only admit that it's a 10% increase over existing 2500K and 2600K chips.

Here's a typical X79 build that I recommend:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asrock X79 Extreme 6 - $259.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $95.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) Quad Channel For X79 1.6V 1600MHz - $149.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $164.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $149.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99 - *OR* - Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $549.99

Total: $2,044.49 (w/Radeon 7970), $1,995.90 (w/EVGA GTX 680)
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March 27, 2012 5:58:10 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah exactly - I only recommend existing hardware - I never recommend the newer hardware until it's out. The bad thing is even the hardcore Ivy fans only admit that it's a 10% increase over existing 2500K and 2600K chips.

Here's a typical X79 build that I recommend:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asrock X79 Extreme 6 - $259.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $95.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) Quad Channel For X79 1.6V 1600MHz - $149.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $164.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $149.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99 - *OR* - Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $549.99

Total: $2,044.49 (w/Radeon 7970), $1,995.90 (w/EVGA GTX 680)

That's why I recommend waiting for the benchmarks to see how Ivy Bridge stacks up against the LGA2011 builds. Also the 10% increase is a guess only not to mention it doesn't take into consideration how PCI-E 3.0 will affect the benchmarks in regards to gaming. It's not like the OP is purchasing tomorrow.

Also why get that case on newegg and when you can save $30+ by getting it on amazon?

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)

This psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are the upper and mid tier Corsair psu's. It's semi modular, Silver rated and it's a gamer.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-850-Power-Supply/dp/B0050... $122.75 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX ATX 850 Power Supply - P1850SNLB9
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March 27, 2012 6:01:01 PM

I think you mean $20 Why_Me. XFX is the only brand of PSUs that is purely made by Seasonic, so the above is an excellent choice. For SSD, the Crucial M4 is a consideration to make, but at $129, the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos is too good to pass up.
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March 27, 2012 6:14:41 PM

azeem40 said:
I think you mean $20 Why_Me. XFX is the only brand of PSUs that is purely made by Seasonic, so the above is an excellent choice. For SSD, the Crucial M4 is a consideration to make, but at $129, the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos is too good to pass up.

$140 for that case newegg + $10 shipping = $150

$119 for that case amazon + free shipping = $119 :) 
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March 27, 2012 6:18:38 PM

If you apply for the newegg 2 day shipping free trial, it is only a $20 difference. :p 
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March 27, 2012 6:43:45 PM

Why_Me said:
That's why I recommend waiting for the benchmarks to see how Ivy Bridge stacks up against the LGA2011 builds. Also the 10% increase is a guess only not to mention it doesn't take into consideration how PCI-E 3.0 will affect the benchmarks in regards to gaming. It's not like the OP is purchasing tomorrow.

Also why get that case on newegg and when you can save $30+ by getting it on amazon?


I always try to buy all my parts from the same vendor as opposed to spacing it out - this way it makes returns and RMAs easier if something goes wrong, you don't have to hunt down receipts and serial numbers in order to obtain a replacement. I like Newegg because they have one of the easiest RMA and return departments to work with where some vendors don't (Tiger Direct being one of 'em), and I'd rather pay extra and guarantee getting a replacement vs. paying less and having to deal with a store that does not have a good RMA / return department.
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