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First gaming PC help, BF3.

Last response: in Systems
April 1, 2012 2:19:23 AM

Hello everyone,

Looking for suggestions & parts help for my first PC build. It will be replacing a Gateway ZX4300 (works great, but lacks the GPU for BF3)

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 weeks, hopefully this week.

Budget Range: I believe I can spend about $1,200(+ or -) + ~$200 for monitor. Before or after rebates doesn't matter that much.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: BF3 gaming on about High-ish settings, I just want it better than my 360. The PC will also be used for internet surfing & schoolwork. Maybe AutoCad in the future.

Parts Not Required:

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon, really not picky as long as they are reputable & best priced.

Country: Located in the U.S.

Parts Preferences: Really have none.

Overclocking: No, as I am still getting used to the idea of building a PC. Perhaps in the future if it is really worth it?

SLI or Crossfire: No, as I am still getting used to the idea of building a PC.

Monitor Resolution: Not sure as I haven't picked one yet. Maybe 1920x1080 for :

Additional Comments: Here are the parts I am considering. I would like to know if it would be worth to wait a month for the Ivy Bridge to come out? Assuming there is a better performance for the wait/ cost. Mainly needing a helpful direction in the Mobo, GPU, & PSU area & hoping everything is compatible of course.

Case: I will be getting the Cooler Master HAF 922 @ $90 before rabate, $80 after.

OS: I will be getting Windows 7 Premium for $65 (student discount). 64Bit.

CPU: Intel i5 2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3ghz : $220 @ NewEgg -$15 for coupon. Total :$205.

Motherboard: I read the sticky & I think the Z68 chipset would do the job & if I ever want to OC I could. Maybe ASUS, but which one is the best fit is beyond me. Is the deluxe or pro models that much better than the ~$130 dollar models?

GPU: I really, REALLY like EVGA's lifetime warranty & I think they will be the maker of the card. I was thinking of the 560 but I get lost with all the numbers & everything unfortunately. I read that Ti just means its the "fancy" version of the 560? Anyways I was looking at this one: EVGA GeForce GTX 560Ti $250 before rebate, $220 after. Maybe similarly priced ones w/ better performance but am not sure.

RAM: 8GB. G.Skill Ripjaws or Corsair Vengeance seem to be popular. ~$50. Unsure of which exact ones to get although lifetime warranty is preferred. I read a sticky on which has better performance & the lower number one was suggested, is this correct?

PSU: Lost. I did look at the Sticky where it gave a link to your guesstimated power consumption & I am at 349W which sounds really low... I think I picked wrong stuff. Anyways, I will be getting a modular PSU for easier wire management for a first timer.

HDD: I do not think I will be getting a SSD to save some cash. I was recommended the Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB @ $140 unless cheaper alternatives preform similarly.

Optical Drive: ASUS, Sony, etc: ~$20. Any favorites out there?

TOTAL: ~$1,110. Assuming the PSU is ~$150 & the MOBO is $180 but can be more or less. (Not including monitor.)

Thanks in advance for any help & suggestions.

More about : gaming bf3

Best solution

April 1, 2012 2:58:04 AM

Meh... for the mobo I would recommend the Extreme3 Gen3. It's a favorite right now. If you're waiting three weeks, you might as well wait for Ivy Bridge and the following lineup of Z77+ mobos.

For that rig, I would agree with gary1 about the GPU. 7850 seems nice atm. A lifetime warranty is a little pointless if you're going to be upgrading your GPU in about 3 years anyway... and they have a limited warranty (look for KR instead of AR, I think) that lasts 3 years I think. It's also like $40 cheaper without lifetime (but still with several years)

EDIT: Whoa... hold on. Just saw that you weren't overclocking. In that case, scrap the i5-2500k and the mobo and go with something like an i5-2400 and a nice but cheaper non-overclockable motherboard. It'll save you about $100 that you can put in the graphics card.
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April 2, 2012 11:36:36 PM

Thanks for the advice, gentlemen.

Dan, I think I might go over budget to allow me to OC if I want to in the future. Not sure about waiting for Ivy Bridge & motherboards though- unless it would be really worth it.

Perhaps (assuming I got Sandy Bridge):
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX750M $105 after rebate. Maybe $25 more for the Corsair Professional HX750

Motherboard: Extreme3 Gen 3 or the Mobo gary1 posted. $130

RAM: Vengeance: $54

GPU: I was originally looking at the 7850, will definitely consider it. $260-300 for GPU depending on which I pick. (will continue looking at reviews & things)
These= ~$550 (w/ the $260 GPU)
TOTAL: $1060 w/ $260GPU or ~$1100 w/ $300 GPU

Did some more research on the GPU & ran across this: So maybe even perhaps the Nvidia 570. Why do they have to have different brands & different numbers for a GPU? :pfff:  EVGA 560, MSI 560, ASUS 560, etc... Currently looking @ this too:

Any other opinions?
April 4, 2012 2:46:44 PM

Er... the article you posted was from March 5th. I believe they released drivers for the Radeons, so the graph might not be completely accurate. At 1920x1080, the GTX 560 Ti beat the 7850... which is pretty strange. I do know that 2GB cards usually only outperform 1GB cards at large resolutions (meaning the same card but 2GB and 1GB versions). But that's very strange. I was just persuaded to switch from a Gtx 560 Ti (MSI twin frozr OC... check that line out. It seems good) to a 7850 (still MSI). The 560 Ti also just went up to only $30 below the 7850.

The NVidia 570 is a good card, but not one I have any experience with. I did hear that Radeon is better for BF3, but that was only one article, and it was talking about consistency of framerates. I can't reference it since I don't know where it is :/  Also, I think the contest is between the 570 and 7850. The 7850 can be overclocked to a 7870. I can't really help you with those two, since I have absolutely NO experience with them. Try these links:

Also, on the brands. Here's all I know:
MSI Twin Frozr is nice for keeping a card cool, while quiet
XFX is very loud, but great performance from what I've heard
EVGA is VERY reliable. It's a favorite. You'll always get a nice card, and they're well known for their warranties (the -AR and -KR suffixes... google it)
ASUS is known for quality motherboards. I'm assuming it carries on to GPUs as well.
April 5, 2012 3:33:04 AM

Thanks. Unless any foreseeable compatibility problems I believe I found my PC:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 I will be putting some plexiglass to cover the side panel to reduce dust.
MOBO: Extreme4 Gen3
CPU: Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Was going to get the Vengeance but was worried about the heat sink height vs these which are shorter.
GPU: EVGA GTX570HD Still looking at which exact model to get but this one caught my eye, again.
PSU: Corsair Professional HX750
OS: The OEM $100 @ NewEgg.
OD: ASUS Drive
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM 6Gb/s
Monitor: ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23

Total with instant rebates & coupon codes: $1,254.09
Mail in rebates: $55

Total: ~$1200 shipped.

EDIT: I feel there is no need to bump up this post but would like to say thanks for all them help guys. I wish I could pick multiple "best answers" but I went w/ ddan49 as he posted more. Again thanks for the help gentlemen.

I bought pretty much the same setup but changed the mobo to a z68 chipset, PSU to a on sale one, and bought the Cooler Master Hyper 212+.
April 5, 2012 5:04:37 AM

CPU cooler?
April 5, 2012 11:07:23 AM

try the microcenter if you can make a trip there at least enough to make your travel fees worth it(i5 2500k for 180 bucks) and try get at least most of the parts in 1 go, you might save more,
April 5, 2012 1:16:37 PM

Since we're on the last step...
1) Yeah, CPU cooler. I'd suggest Hyper 212, Evo is better, but only by a little.
2) Try Microcenter ;) 
3) I'm not sure about plexiglass. That might reduce airflow. Try maybe a dust filter? Like... maybe a really large one? :s
4) If you're overclocking, possible a FEW (not many) more case fans would be helpful.
5) Look at deals on combos at newegg. It does take a while to try all possible combinations (Mobo-CPU, Mobo-PSU, Mobo-GPU, Mobo-RAM, etc., then start over with like CPU-GPU), but sometimes you can save upwards of $20 (a LOT, I know, right?)
April 8, 2012 12:49:26 AM

Best answer selected by Renegade1Actual.