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Need Advice for $1500 and under PC Build (First Attempt)

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Last response: in Systems
April 1, 2012 1:52:11 AM

I am new to PC building and have just begun researching components for my planned build. So, forgive my ignorance, but I simply do not have the knowledge yet to fully understand all of the lingo and/or exactly what the benefit of certain features are to my new system. With that in mind, feel free to dumb it down.

I plan on building this new system within the next 6 months and would like to keep the cost under $1500. I do not play many games online and I tend to purchase games from Steam. I would like to be able to play some specific games on their highest settings. Namely, The Witcher series, Mass Effect series, Total War series, Dragon Age, Kingdoms of Amalur, Far Cry series, Fable series, and other similar titles.

Below is a list of the parts I am considering, but I am completely open to suggestions and input on why one versus the other for my own education. I also have not decided on all of the parts that I will use as I either do not know enough about that piece to make a decision or I have not taken the time to consider what I would use. I have included names for most of the components, but that is more for estimating price than anything.

I also plan to play around with Overclocking. Although I do not fully understand how to do that yet, it would be one of the first things I would begin doing once the build is done.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2550k Unlocked
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
From what I have read this is the best bang for your buck processor out at the moment. I considered paying the extra money for the i7, but I figure if I overclock this one and purchase a nice GPU then I can get the performance that I am looking to achieve.

Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe B3 Intel P67
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
I don't know what I need here, but I would like the ability to increase the RAM in the future as well as possibly add another GPU if I do not build the system initially with dual GPU's (see below). I have seen Asus in a number of builds, hence it's listing here.

GPU: I truly don't know where to begin here. This is the last thing I have begun researching and I am leaving this completely up to a more experienced builder. Couple of things, all in with the other components I have roughly $450 for the GPU. I don't know if buying one large GPU is the way to go or purchasing two lighter GPU's instead. Suggestions are needed in a major way.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
No real understanding of what the best RAM is or what to look for, but I had seen this in other builds.

Hard Drive: Seagate 1.5TB ATA Hard Drive, 7200, SATA-6G
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

SSD: Corsair 120 GB Force GT Series, SATA III
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Power Supply: Corsair 800W Gaming Series
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Optical Drive: LG Super Multi Blue Internal SATA 12x Blu-ray Disc
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
One note here. I am not sure if this is absolutely necessary at present since most of the games I will be playing are downloaded from Steam. I would be willing to cut the roughly $100 dollar cost and put that towards a more performance oriented component adding the optical at a later date. I don't know if this is advisable or not, just a thought.

Case: NZXT Phan-001WT Phantom Full-Tower
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
I really have no idea what makes a good case. I know I need it needs good airflow, but which cases work best for gaming, I haven't the foggiest. I would like it to look cool and have the option to outfit it with LED lights.

Couple of clean up items. It is entirely possible that the all of the parts I listed will not work together. If I can cut back in some areas to beef up others or if there are cheaper options that will not effect performance, then I am all ears.

Thank you in advance for the advice. It is truly appreciated and I look forward to reading the suggestions.

Take care

More about : advice 1500 build attempt

April 1, 2012 1:54:22 AM

Forgot one thing. I want to run HDMI to a 1080p screen.
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April 1, 2012 2:17:38 AM

Z77/Z75 motherboards (Panther Point chipset w/native USB 3.0) and PCI-E 3.0

Ivy Bridge is due out April 29th.

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 <---- Asrocks Z77 and Z75 boards to date. They all get released with Ivy Bridge.

http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Inte... <---- Asus Z77 board lineup to date.

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=2&p=... <----- Gigabyte Z77 board lineup to date.

http://us.msi.com/product/mb/#/?sk=Socket%201155%20(Intel%20i3/i5/i7) <----- MSI Z77 board lineup to date.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c... <---- Ivy Bridge cpu review with benchmarks



http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-overclock... <----- Overclocking the gtx 680 w/benchmarks




http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $118.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R White Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011013-WW

This XFX psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are all XFX psu's and the mid and upper tier Corsair psu's.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-850-Power-Supply/dp/B0050... $122.75 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre...
ASRock Z77 Extreme4

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview $220 should be a close guesstimate
Intel i5-3570K Ivy Bridge CPU 3.4Ghz

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.64 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

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

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.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $109.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-Serial-Intern... $19.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Asus 24xDVD±RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $499.99
ASUS GTX680-2GD5 GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <---- a better look at that case
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April 1, 2012 3:31:20 PM

Why_me:
Didn't we have a talk about that benchmark and agree it was misleading?
Also what is the point of posting it if you recommend a totally different CPU?
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April 1, 2012 3:46:07 PM

I totally agree with mjmjpfaff.

Also he commented in other post that azeem40 is a troll.

The fight started when he got fedup of posting the same post in every thread.

Also i have got fedup. i saw you posts and conversation about why_me and mjmjfaff.

+1 to mjmjfaff.

I tink you are trolling around here and take a vacation.
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April 1, 2012 4:35:44 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
Why_me:
Didn't we have a talk about that benchmark and agree it was misleading?
Also what is the point of posting it if you recommend a totally different CPU?

The 3570K is the replacement for the 2500K just like the 3770K is the replacement for the 2600K. If you look at the benches on there and see where the 2500K, 2600K, and 3770K sit on there, you can get a good idea as to where the 3570K will fit on that chart. Like Anan posted, Ivy Bridge is only a 5-15% gain depending on the bench. Fact of the matter is it's replacing Sandy Bridge. Intel is not going to keep punching out chips on a 32nm die when they can do it for cheaper on a 22nm die. It's a business and Intel is in it to make a profit. Also if you look at newegg some of the board manufactures have already taken a few of their P67 and Z68 boards off the market. There's still going to be a selection of those boards but just not as many. Sandy Bridge is coming to and end as far as being Intel's mainstream line up of cpu's.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview <----- take a good look because that's what your going to be seeing a lot of from now on until Haswel is released.
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April 1, 2012 4:56:04 PM

Dont scare tge op just give suggestion.

At last op is gonna buy it
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April 1, 2012 5:50:24 PM

He even insulted me when I questioned his advice and threatened to report me to a mod. He doesn't realize not everyone wants IB...
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April 1, 2012 6:12:16 PM

azeem40 said:
He even insulted me when I questioned his advice and threatened to report me to a mod. He doesn't realize not everyone wants IB...

Maybe if you actually read a link or learned how to use google you wouldn't have to question me on thread after thread with the same moronic questions. You ever think of that? Again find someone else to troll.
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April 1, 2012 6:15:17 PM

I think it is you who needs an unwanted vacation from here. When someone's build is just fine the way it is, you don't try and change everything and use the stupid "read up" excuse. Do you even know what a troll is?
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April 1, 2012 7:50:24 PM

Why_Me said:
The 3570K is the replacement for the 2500K just like the 3770K is the replacement for the 2600K. If you look at the benches on there and see where the 2500K, 2600K, and 3770K sit on there, you can get a good idea as to where the 3570K will fit on that chart. Like Anan posted, Ivy Bridge is only a 5-15% gain depending on the bench. Fact of the matter is it's replacing Sandy Bridge. Intel is not going to keep punching out chips on a 32nm die when they can do it for cheaper on a 22nm die. It's a business and Intel is in it to make a profit. Also if you look at newegg some of the board manufactures have already taken a few of their P67 and Z68 boards off the market. There's still going to be a selection of those boards but just not as many. Sandy Bridge is coming to and end as far as being Intel's mainstream line up of cpu's.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview <----- take a good look because that's what your going to be seeing a lot of from now on until Haswel is released.

Its just causing some discrepancies because it is not out yet and 5-10% is not that big of a difference, especially when you are going up against the tried and tested 2500k/2600k. Maybe you should ask if the OP wants to wait until Ivy Bridge comes out, because right now you are recommending in almost every thread to wait a month for something that has very little reviews on it.

The link you just posted backs up what I have said about Ivy Bridge in previous threads. It is not really going to be that big of an upgrade over Sandy Bridge but it is going to be a way to decrease power consumption. Knowing that I would not wait for Ivy Bridge if I wanted a system right now. Of course when Ivy Bridge comes out and the processors and motherboard a reviewed and tested I will recommend it over Sandy Bridge but right now it is a little premature.
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April 1, 2012 8:09:15 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
Its just causing some discrepancies because it is not out yet and 5-10% is not that big of a difference, especially when you are going up against the tried and tested 2500k/2600k. Maybe you should ask if the OP wants to wait until Ivy Bridge comes out, because right now you are recommending in almost every thread to wait a month for something that has very little reviews on it.

The link you just posted backs up what I have said about Ivy Bridge in previous threads. It is not really going to be that big of an upgrade over Sandy Bridge but it is going to be a way to decrease power consumption. Knowing that I would not wait for Ivy Bridge if I wanted a system right now. Of course when Ivy Bridge comes out and the processors and motherboard a reviewed and tested I will recommend it over Sandy Bridge but right now it is a little premature.

PCI-E 3.0, HD4000, native USB 3.0, lower power consumption and of course the fact that SB is being replaced by IB is enough for me to know. I'm not telling the OP anything. I am suggesting along with posting links to back my post up on here as to why waiting would be better in the long run, especially for someone who is about to spend $1,500 on a build.

Now anyone with Google Search can find out the ins and outs of IB and why it is replacing SB. You do understand don't you that IB is replacing SB?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview <--- Again that is what is replacing SB. Did you see those Z77/Z75 boards I posted up top? The ones from Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte and MSI? Do you know why they have those boards on their site?

regular gas got replaced by unleaded gas, and SB is being replaced by IB for obvious reasons. Now people can stick with SB and they can email Intel and tell them not to release IB and to stick with SB and hope for the best.
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April 1, 2012 8:12:48 PM

So you're going to base it off one article that replacement is actually going to happen? Replacement means the item is no longer around. SB will still be around and will still use the same architecture as SB, just with a die shrink to allow lower power consumption and heat.
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April 1, 2012 8:17:01 PM

Guys please lets first help the poster, and secondly not argue with each other in threads on the forums, You'll notice on the left neat little Icons near your name where you can message each other without the world seeing if you need to straighten things out between the two of you.

Now onward to help the poster.

Your I-5 2550K is a nice cpu depending on what day of the week it is and whom you are pricing from you may find the I-5 2500K for ever so slightly less, The 2500K has integrated graphics a pretty much unnoticeable clock speed difference and a tiny bit less overclocking potential. If you can save $20 or more by going with the 2500K over the 2550K I tend to recommend doing so. The actual processor differences other than the integrated graphics are pretty negligible and in some ways I like to have the integrated for trouble shooting and/or the ability to use the processor without a graphics card if at some later date I want to reuse it in another system of a home server or to make for an emailing machine or what ever.

Your ram choice is ok though corsair RAM has a varied reputation. Most Ram has a lifetime warranty and any name brand ram with the speed you want should be ok Mushkin is typically inexpensive and fairly reliable. I'm not knocking what you have here it just can be found less expensively with no downgrade.

You probably don't need to write blue rays most people never really do enough to fi ll DVDs let alone blue ray disks save for occasional computer back-ups and honestly removable hard drives and the cloud are more effective for that.
http://www.amazon.com/LG-UH12LS28K-LightScribe-Blu-Ray-... is a name brand blue ray reader and dvd writer for $40 less from a website you seem to like.

Your power supply is fine. You might want to price shop a bit.

For a Graphics Card to start with especially on a first build please don't go SLI or crossfire it will cause confusion and honestly introduces drivers issues and micro stutter. I would also stick in the $250 range for your graphics card as in my opinion that is the threshold for diminishing returns with graphics cards.

The AMD 6870 is right around $180 depending on what maker and features you get it is a nice card at that value point. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti is right around $250 once again depending on maker and such as is the AMD 7850 both are nice cards and fairly comparable. Alot of people prefer the early driver support of nvidia over AMD and there is certain games targeted at each but most main stream games will run capably on either or with your screen. Pick a decent name maker based on which one is offering the best price today, don't believe in the hype of mail in rebates to much though as they are hit or miss at best.

Solid state drive its nice to have a boot and OS drive the one you have chosen looks fine.

Same with the hard drive.

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April 1, 2012 8:21:49 PM

azeem40 said:
So you're going to base it off one article that replacement is actually going to happen? Replacement means the item is no longer around. SB will still be around and will still use the same architecture as SB, just with a die shrink to allow lower power consumption and heat.


HD4000, smaller die shrink, lower wattage, PCI-E 3.0, native USB 3.0, and those benches were done on Anandtech. So again why are you here giving anyone on this board advice if you don't know a thing about Intels new line up? Shouldn't you be posting in the Off Topic forum?

Before you make another post like that, do some research and then get back to me on IB replacing SB.
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April 1, 2012 8:35:13 PM

As for cases, You want for gaming a bottom mount PSU case. Most of the cases for more than $50 are made out of quality materials, and the CoolerMaster, Corsair, and NZXT, are commonly used. There are other makers who also build a good case so don't be afraid to branch out if you see one you like, remember that your cable routing and fan mounting are as important as the case design to good airflow. You want to have Airflow out the Back Rear of the case and generally have air in the bottom front. Recently I have been seeing cases with bottom mounted fans and I personally don't care for it as even with filters to keep you from sucking dust into the system you are still risking alot of blockage, with carpet and other various floor debris that you can't really see. Quiet fans are nice but if you are planning on overclocking be sure that you have any fans mounted in the upper third of the case blowing air out as well as any fans mounted in the rear third. Power supply fans are the one possible exception to this. You can figure out which way a fan is blowing after installation if you are unsure by placing a piece of tissue in front of it.
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April 1, 2012 9:08:21 PM

Why_Me said:
PCI-E 3.0, HD4000, native USB 3.0, lower power consumption and of course the fact that SB is being replaced by IB is enough for me to know. I'm not telling the OP anything. I am suggesting along with posting links to back my post up on here as to why waiting would be better in the long run, especially for someone who is about to spend $1,500 on a build.

Now anyone with Google Search can find out the ins and outs of IB and why it is replacing SB. You do understand don't you that IB is replacing SB?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview <--- Again that is what is replacing SB. Did you see those Z77/Z75 boards I posted up top? The ones from Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte and MSI? Do you know why they have those boards on their site?

regular gas got replaced by unleaded gas, and SB is being replaced by IB for obvious reasons. Now people can stick with SB and they can email Intel and tell them not to release IB and to stick with SB and hope for the best.

I know you are not telling the OP to do anything that is why I wrote "recommending".

I also know that it will be replacing Sandy Bridge. I never said that it wasn't. Watch your tone man, stop getting hostile, and stop with those questions. If you actually read what I wrote you wouldn't get hostile and ask those questions which you are addressing me as if I was an idiot.

I am not saying to stop the release of Ivy Bridge, I am just saying if you have Sandy Bridge now it won't be cost effective to get an Ivy Bridge cpu. I am also saying If you want a rig in the next couple of days you i would not recommend waiting for Ivy Bridge because it is not worth it. Most of the things you listed that IB has is also in SB. SB can have PCI-E 3.0 and USB 3.0. The HD 4000 graphics is irrelevant for gamers which the OP of this thread is. That is why overall Ivy Bridge is not worth the wait. If it was April 29th of course get it but if you are buying today get SB.
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April 1, 2012 9:27:24 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
I know you are not telling the OP to do anything that is why I wrote "recommending".

I also know that it will be replacing Sandy Bridge. I never said that it wasn't. Watch your tone man, stop getting hostile, and stop with those questions. If you actually read what I wrote you wouldn't get hostile and ask those questions which you are addressing me as if I was an idiot.

I am not saying to stop the release of Ivy Bridge, I am just saying if you have Sandy Bridge now it won't be cost effective to get an Ivy Bridge cpu. I am also saying If you want a rig in the next couple of days you i would not recommend waiting for Ivy Bridge because it is not worth it. Most of the things you listed that IB has is also in SB. SB can have PCI-E 3.0 and USB 3.0. The HD 4000 graphics is irrelevant for gamers which the OP of this thread is. That is why overall Ivy Bridge is not worth the wait. If it was April 29th of course get it but if you are buying today get SB.

I agree that if the OP is wanting to "buy now" and not wait SB is the way to go. If the OP has a bigger budget like $1,500+ ...those are usually the hardcore gamers or the people that want the latest and greatest so I post those links.

Not to change the subject, but it's no secret I'm a Asrock fanboy since the release of the 1336 Asrock extreme x58...but Asrock doesn't have a Z77 board comparable to the 1155 extreme7 (dual cards running @ x16 & x16). Gigabyte usually has their UD7, and Asus has their Z77 WS which both run dual cards @ x16. I'm just curios as to why Asrock didn't get it together and have a comparable board ready for this release. I'm sure they will pop one out eventually but it's disappointing that they don't have one now.

*edit...Gigabyte doesn't have the Z77 UD7 ready to go yet...it's not on their site as of yet.
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April 1, 2012 11:58:30 PM

Why_Me said:
HD4000, smaller die shrink, lower wattage, PCI-E 3.0, native USB 3.0, and those benches were done on Anandtech. So again why are you here giving anyone on this board advice if you don't know a thing about Intels new line up? Shouldn't you be posting in the Off Topic forum?

Before you make another post like that, do some research and then get back to me on IB replacing SB.

You're like a fly. Swat one and another keeps coming back. How about you get back to me when IB is actually released?
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April 2, 2012 1:48:52 AM

That's enough guys. No more personal attacks.
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April 2, 2012 1:51:46 AM

I am not insulting him. I am telling him that his advice does not apply to everyone.
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April 2, 2012 1:58:11 AM

azeem40 said:
I am not insulting him. I am telling him that his advice does not apply to everyone.

He has already heard it, we have already talked about it, and now all we can do is hope he uses our recommendation.
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April 2, 2012 2:03:31 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
He has already heard it, we have already talked about it, and now all we can do is hope he uses our recommendation.

Who is "we" and what is this "our recommendation" ? I must have missed something here...

Try the PM sytem on here...it works wonders.
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April 2, 2012 2:22:23 AM

Why_Me said:
Try the PM sytem on here...it works wonders.

So does shutting up.
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April 2, 2012 2:46:28 AM

lol since you guys know we have pm system let's all use that

@TS
I plan on building this new system within the next 6 months

you said that so for heaven's sake let's just give him sandy bridge as to what is the best bang for buck to this very day or up to the next 7 days.

then by some miracle he might buy it off this week but if in the next few weeks he reply here or make a new thread and that time when ivy is out then we give him ivy bridge setup (and compare it ot sandy bridge if it's relevant for gaming) as the few fps or something increase
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April 2, 2012 3:37:05 AM

+1 to tavo nova

stop fighting you guys.

I am sorry for starting tge flame war which happend in the before thread.

@ why me

Just correct the info you present

@ azeem40

now you sounde like you are trolling. no offence friend.

@mjmjfaff

you are absolutely right.

Heep peace guys.
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April 2, 2012 3:39:13 AM

None taken. It even happens to me sometimes.
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April 2, 2012 10:54:51 PM

Alright, don't want to ignite the flame but personally I think waiting for Ivy, if you are this close to it you might as well. The things it brings isn't the largest of improvements but if the price is right and as a replacement for the i5 2500K I think it would be nice.

Brings, as pointed out, PCI 3.0 support, native USB 3.0 plus it's not only a die-shrink and lower power consumption. Ivy will bring some performance increase, the only thing is it won't be a new architecture. It's only a month away, less than that. It's worth the wait. It's like saying get a 6950 1 month before 7870, that'd just be stupid. Granted not the same scenerio as they are different architectures but they are somewhat of the same situation. Ivy Brings new tech, PCI 3.0 support which is what the industry is moving towards even if it isn't full utilization of PCI 3.0 plus Ivy will perform better.
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