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Need Help With $1000-ish Skyrim PC plus a few other quirks

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  • Skyrim
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April 9, 2012 10:52:25 PM

Hi guys. I'm struggling between wanting a badass, screaming gaming machine and the rational side of me that knows I'm not huge on PC gaming and will only play Skyrim for the next few years, while I'll play the rest on my Xbox and Nextbox. I'd like to not need to upgrade for at least a year or so, but yeah, I likely won't be playing very many games outside of Skyrim. Any money that can be saved while still getting quality parts would be appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: May 15

Budget Range: $1200, but am shooting for sub-$1000 or right at $1000 If it can be less, then fantastic. 900 is a helluva lot easier to swallow. Save me money where you can but if it's really worth it to pay the extra dollars, I will.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, but there's not a ton of games out there that interest me for PC. It's mostly going to be The Old Republic and Skyrim. But I need it to be able to run Skyrim on Ultra, maybe with some of the texture mods - the really beautiful texture mods. Also, high quality audio. I'm just now getting into the world of audiophiles .. I've bought about a grand worth of great headphones, though I'm still not quite "knowledgeable" in regards to source material. Are there motherboards with good sound but still does what I need? Also spend anywhere from six to ten hours on the computer daily for my job, which is an editor for a sports website.

Parts Not Required: Monitor (26'' 1080p Vizio), RAM (Already purchased 8 GB here) EDIT: Sorry, I don't need keyboard/mouse/speakers either

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have Amazon Prime, so that'd be most preferred, but Newegg has always treated me well in the past.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: The best for the price. I generally am a fan of Samsung and Asus.

Overclocking: Only if it's really simple. I don't really want it to be a requirement to run Skyrim well.

SLI or Crossfire: I don't know what this means.

Monitor Resolution: Well, like I said I have a 26'' 1080p Vizio ... it's the Razer model, but not the newer LED one. Purchased about a year ago.

Additional Comments: Need it wireless enabled, no chance of going wired. I don't know if that means that a mobo will have it on it, or if there's a card - I'd love for that product I need to be linked as well. Would like at least 64GB SSD and then whatever for a 7200 RPM drive - don't necessarily need above 500GB for it. USB 3.0 is a must, of course. I don't want to sink a lot of money into a case, I don't need frills. I'd like it to be sufficiently cool and not crazy loud - if you can accomplish that for me for a decent price, I'd be much obliged.

More about : 1000 ish skyrim quirks

April 9, 2012 11:27:21 PM

Overclocking is relatively simple. Try googling something if you don't know what it means ;)  ... SLI/Crossfire is running two or more GPUs side-by-side... I'd stick to single cards, though. I'd suggest this:

CPU: IB (coming out April 29th) i5-3750k
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 (on newegg)
GPU: It's up for debate. I'd suggest a 7870 atm, people's opinions will vary. Trust most other people above me with this, though... I'm not an expert. Possibly a GTX 670?
CPU cooler: Hyper 212 Evo
Case: Corsair 400R or 500R
PSU: Just about any Corsair PSU will do... I found a great deal on this 750W one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's really nice. If possible, that's a great deal... silver rated and 750W is plenty. Also comes with a headset! It's quiet, too.
Keyboard/mouse: Can't advise on this... just about any will do.
HDD/SSD: Can't advise on an SSD, for an HDD, try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
500GB at about $87
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April 10, 2012 12:33:33 AM

Yeah I've been seeing that IvyBridge is coming out - will it be much more expensive? That's my biggest issue - and will the motherboards recommended work for it? If it's a noticeable jump I'd like to go IB since I'm not upgrading until May 15 anyway, I just wanna make sure it all works. I'm kinda dumb when it comes to this stuff (I'm sure that's obvious)
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April 10, 2012 1:32:02 AM

IB will release at the same price SB did.
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April 10, 2012 2:44:44 AM

Ah, well, can you tell me what that price would be for the one you listed? I'd love to get some more suggestions that's a bit clearer on my needs, especially in the video card area.
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April 10, 2012 5:26:22 PM

Can anyone give more reccs, with some prices, and shed some more light on a good GPU?
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April 10, 2012 5:48:03 PM
April 10, 2012 6:03:59 PM

Wouldn't it be better to go ivy bridge though?
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April 10, 2012 6:20:07 PM

ninjames said:
Wouldn't it be better to go ivy bridge though?


You could go that route but I don't think you really gain all that much. I believe you get about 10% improved performance and I know one board has built in wireless..so that may help in your case...

Copied from wiki:

Ivy Bridge feature improvements over Sandy Bridge include:[7][8]
Tri-gate transistor technology (less than 50% power consumption at the same performance level as 2-D planar transistors).[9]
PCI Express 3.0 support.[10]
Max CPU multiplier of 63 (57 for Sandy Bridge).[11]
RAM support up to 2800 MT/s in 200 MHz increments.[11]
Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000 with DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1, and OpenCL 1.1 support.[12]
The built-in GPU is believed to have up to 16 execution units (EUs), compared to Sandy Bridge's maximum of 12.[13]
A new random number generator and the RdRand instruction,[14] codenamed Bull Mountain.[15]
Intel Quick Sync Video.[13]
DDR3L low voltage for mobile processors.
Multiple 4K video playback.

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April 10, 2012 6:35:56 PM

That build you listed - just a couple questions.

Can it run Skyrim + mods on Ultra at 1080p? Is it worth the extra little bit to get the 2500k instead? I'm perfectly willing to go up another $100 or so to make sure it's exactly what I'm wanting.

Is that video card the best I can get for what I'm needing? I think it looks awesome.

One last question - can you recommend a different mobo that will accomodate all of that but perhaps have a couple more USB 3.0 ports? And for wireless, should I just buy a USB adapter? I don't necessarily need the motherboard to - is there a card with antennas that will work with one? I'm really kinda clueless on that front. The router is downstairs and kind of across the house, but I do get good signal on my laptop up here.

Thanks so much for the help.
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April 10, 2012 6:49:36 PM

obsama1 said:
Here:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

After rebates, it's closer to $850.

Plus, it can overclock. It's not that hard. Just change the multiplier to 39, and BAM!, you're at 3.9GHz.

Why is the card so cheap? The one recommended above is double the price
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April 10, 2012 6:59:36 PM

Ahhhh sorry for the double posting but when I get an idea I get obsessed! I've taken some of the recs in here and I've come up with this: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

The SSD is a necessity, and I only need the 500GB for the other HD. I also already have this RAM purchased (will it work?) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now, all I need now is a Motherboard. I need at least 4 USB 3.0 ports, it needs to work on that case. Can anybody give a recommendation? Also, can someone recommend what to do about wireless? Is there a good, cheaper motherboard that supports it on its own, or one that supports a wireless card (recommendations on that?), or is a USB adapter just fine? I'd love to not spend 170+ on a motherboard. I don't need a TON of features.

Lastly, can anybody see any cost-saving here while still being able to do what I need to? (max out Skyrim at 1080p and install some beautiful texture mods). Is that graphics card overkill? I don't want to cut it close and I CANNOT STAND lag. I stop playing if it's remotely discernible. Is there a good SSD for less than that one? (60GB is my minimum on that).

Thanks much ... think I'm getting closer to nailing this down!
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April 10, 2012 7:01:52 PM

ninjames said:
Why is the card so cheap? The one recommended above is double the price


Because the 7870 is a better and much newer card. The 6870 while still a decent card is getting a little older. The 7870 performs near Nvidia 580 levels.
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April 10, 2012 7:12:41 PM

odwillia said:
Because the 7870 is a better and much newer card. The 6870 while still a decent card is getting a little older. The 7870 performs near Nvidia 580 levels.

Yeah I'm running with the 7870. I just need a motherboard now ... see the post above. Any suggestions? I definitely need at least four USB 3.0 ports.

What's the thermal paste that was linked in the other wishlist? I also don't know what cables or anything like that I'd need to buy .. I know the hard drive I got was a bare drive. Does it just need a sata cable, or sata + power? or ..?
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April 10, 2012 8:00:03 PM

OK well ... say I go without wifi, is there a board cheaper than the 200 that has at least 4 USB 3.0 ports?
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April 10, 2012 8:37:11 PM

Ohhh. Is the Z77 stuff newer? I was thinking about just saying screw it and get the second one you listed but there's no reviews on it. That's a little scary
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April 10, 2012 8:40:21 PM

Z77 is the new chipset that comes with Ivy Bridge, Intel's newest 1155 socket generation. If you're basing your parts solely on reviews on newegg, you're doing something wrong. Most of them are a bunch of babies.
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April 10, 2012 8:42:21 PM

azeem40 said:
Z77 is the new chipset that comes with Ivy Bridge, Intel's newest 1155 socket generation. If you're basing your parts solely on reviews on newegg, you're doing something wrong. Most of them are a bunch of babies.

That's not what I said I do - and it's not what I do. I know when to take a review to heart and when to acknowledge when somebody is being an idiot. Just the lack of ANY reviews is what scared me. I'm just trying to make an informed buying decision.
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April 10, 2012 8:50:33 PM

I would look at benchmarks for Ivy Bridge instead. The reason it has no reviews is because IB CPUs aren't even released yet.
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April 10, 2012 9:01:15 PM

I've decided on just going with Sandy Bridge, though. So a decent motherboard that's sub $150 that will support the stuff here: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

That's all I'm looking for at this point. I just don't know which connectors are which, what will work on it, what's compatible. I don't want to buy the wrong motherboard.
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April 10, 2012 9:11:14 PM

I see no point in getting SB when IB is going to be the same price and perform better.
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April 10, 2012 10:25:08 PM

azeem40 said:
I see no point in getting SB when IB is going to be the same price and perform better.

Where are the price numbers? Are you saying I can get an IB that performs what I want, better than the SB i5-2500K for $220 or thereabouts? I kind of need to "lock" in my build sooner rather than later so even if it's not out yet, if I had a specific model laid out for me that'd be wonderful.

If you think that http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- that will be good for my needs and support IB then I can add that now and all I need is to know which CPU I'm getting.
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April 10, 2012 10:33:43 PM

^agreed. I would get Z68 if you went with SB, and I would get the ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 (if you're getting the i5-2500k... you are)

If you're getting IB (which will be about $240, I think), I'd recommend getting the ASRock Extreme4 Z77, which is about $150.
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April 10, 2012 10:39:51 PM

Thanks! Yeah, I think what I'm going to want if I go IB is the i5-3570k? That's what the first poster said, but he said 3750 and that's what really confused me. If the 3570k is going to be about the same then I can wait and get it. Is that actually what most people consider the comparable step up from 2500K SB? I just want to make sure the MB I get (I'd like to decide now) is something that will support it and support it well. Is ASRock a generally well-liked company? I've always liked Asus products ... one of the other ASRock boards I saw people talking about its size, saying it was small and awkward to mount.
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April 10, 2012 11:44:39 PM

ASRock is well known for its really popular Z68 motherboard, the Extreme3 Gen3 that is really popular with mid-range overclockers. Their boards are quality (Japanese made), and I've never heard of any problems with them. Usually, smaller boards are a bit better because they don't cover anything up. I don't know if the IB is going to be i5-3750k or i5-3570k... I do know that there won't be both. It'll either be one or the other (just Google it if you're uneasy). Yes, it is the step up from the i5-2500k. The Extreme4 is the Z77 version of the Extreme3 Gen3. If you want ASUS, take ASUS... they make good boards too... just expensive.
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April 10, 2012 11:48:11 PM

The i5-3570k is releasing at $225 and the Z77 ASRock Board is $140, so yes, it is worth it.
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April 11, 2012 12:21:04 AM

^Just saw the expected price. IT IS WORTH IT! People will tell you "oh, it's only a 10% performance increase...". Well... an average overclock for the i5-2500k is 4.0 gigahertz. That's a 1/7 increase... or about 14% (many people will overclock WAY more... you should overclock more. I'm just using it as a comparison). So a 10% increase is actually pretty significant, especially for no extra money. Also, the main strong point is 1) the power consumption (20W less makes no difference to us... it's geared towards the mobile market. I'm kind of mad this "tick" didn't go to performance, but to IGP and power) and 2) the integrated graphics. Most will tell you that the IGP (integrated graphics processor) is worthless if you have a GPU, but that's not entirely true... you can take the load off of your GPU if you don't need it (and get cool, quiet running computer), and the IGP is also a diagnostic tool.

Moral? Wait for IB -.-
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April 11, 2012 1:15:23 AM

Thanks very much guys! I'm going to get the 3570K and the ASRock Extreme4 Z77 (here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

That being said I have one more question for you guys .. I need to use one of these to have on the front of my computer, and this seems like the best one to use (given the USB 3.0 port and the fact that it DOESN'T have to go through the back panel and into one of the rear ports) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-223-...

Is that ASRock compatible with that? It uses a 3.0 motherboard "header", but I don't know what that means. On the specs for the ASRock under Internal I/O it says "2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0" - is that what this connects to? If so, I'm in business!
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April 11, 2012 1:19:00 AM

Yes, just connect the case connectors to the designated pins.
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April 11, 2012 1:41:52 AM

Alright, so is all of this compatible? With the case, MB, etc!

CPU: i5-3570K

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 64GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Western Digial Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: Asus DRW-24X http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Extra: Rosewill USB 3.0 Internal Card Reader http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Looks to be right around $1200 (will I need to buy a cable for that bare WD drive? what cables do I need?)
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April 11, 2012 1:42:58 AM

The MOBO comes with SATA cables. I know my mobo came with 4 SATA cables.
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April 11, 2012 1:36:26 PM

Hmmm... you may want to go with a Corsair 400R case, but that's up to you. The HAF 912 is great.

What you have is a pretty typical build... I think that'll be the basic gaming build for IB.
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April 11, 2012 1:55:22 PM

ninjames said:
Alright, so is all of this compatible? With the case, MB, etc!

CPU: i5-3570K

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 64GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Western Digial Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: Asus DRW-24X http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Extra: Rosewill USB 3.0 Internal Card Reader http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Looks to be right around $1200 (will I need to buy a cable for that bare WD drive? what cables do I need?)


Looks pretty good. You will not need to buy a sata cable for your drive the motherboard comes with a few. Good Luck! :bounce: 


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April 11, 2012 2:14:23 PM

ddan49 said:
Hmmm... you may want to go with a Corsair 400R case, but that's up to you. The HAF 912 is great.

What you have is a pretty typical build... I think that'll be the basic gaming build for IB.

Why are you thinking the 400R is better for my needs? More space? Cooler? If you think there's a chance I'm gonna run into any issues, then I can certainly spend another $50.

Both of them look like I can paint them pretty well (don't worry, won't be covering any vents or compromising the ventilation in any way, this is one thing I'm actually an expert on!) and that's actually the only perquisite I have for a case. For this computer to belong to both the fiance and I, I have to ... paint it pink for her. :p 
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April 11, 2012 2:23:18 PM

You'll be fine with the HAF 912. The 400r is a great case though.
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April 11, 2012 6:38:40 PM

Yeah, the 400R is Corsair... which means two things:
1) Great, great build ease and quality. Cooling is also nice
2) Expensive :( 

The HAF will suit your needs fine. The Corsair is considered a very nice case, but it's not NECESSARY. If you have some sort of massive problems with cable management, you may want Corsair. Also, I do want to say that if you need something very quiet, you may want to go with one of the following:
1) Fractal Design R3 (my personal favorite)
2) Corsair 500D (more expensive, many people's favorite)
3) Antec 280 (larger)

Note that the above are considered "silent" cases, and if you don't need something very quiet, you will want to go with the HAF case. The "silent" cases are okay for airflow, but aren't anything good. I'm just throwing that out there in case you need it... most people don't know that there are cases engineered for silence.
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