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First Build Gaming/Home theater

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April 12, 2012 3:04:41 AM

I'm looking to build my first PC. I've done a fair amount of research but nothing beats experience in areas like this so I figured I should seek outside advice. I am looking to build an inital system that I can get up and running in the $800-$1000 range with OS. I would like to up grade a lot more over the coming months to the high end gaming PC level. In my head my rough plan is a single video card at first and then install another one down the line. Same thing goes for RAM, looking to start around 8GB and increase in the future. I understand the lower end power supply would need to be replaced as I upgrade. I figure eventual I'm going to end up Frankensteining a PC for my father so I can just keep all my initial lower end parts around for that. The only two things I've set my mind on is the Core i7 and a motherboard that will give me the the most upgradeability (is that a word?) possible. I will eventually overclock the CPU but not at first so I'm not sure if up grading the cooling unit is worth it in the beginning.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within 3 weeks

Budget Range: $800-$1000 with a possible jump to $1400 if the tax man sends me my check

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Skyrim at highest settings (the frame rate issues on the PS3 version make me want to punch a puppy), home theater(hooked up to a 42in LCD via HDMI for watching videos from the HD and streaming), possible video/photo editing, everything else (web, work, ect.) will be done on my laptop

Parts Not Required: Keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or microcenter.com since I have a location within driving distance and can save on shipping

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Eventually

SLI or Crossfire: No preferance

Monitor Resolution: Not including in cost

Additional Comments: I know not the most detailed information to work with but I'm kind of new to this. Also I am not opposed to scraping everything but the motherboard and CPU as I upgrade. Like I said I will eventually use all those lower end parts to build a franken PC to give to my father or someone else in my family.


Thanks in advance for all the help. If anyone who replies to this is planning on purchasing a fire arm in the future I can defiantly offer advice in that area in return.
April 12, 2012 3:13:41 AM

I'm guessing you will want to play at full settings on 1080p resolution.

Also, how important are video and photo editing to you? An i7 can be beneficial for you.

Intel i5-2500k or Intel i7-2600k OR wait for Ivy bridge
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO with Arctic Silver 5
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 or Asus P8Z77-V LX
(as much RAM as you can afford) DDR3 1600MHz
AMD Radeon HD 7850
SATA III SSD (Crucial M4, Mushkin Enhanced Chronos/Chronos Deluxe, OCZ Vertex 3/Vertex 4, Intel 520)
Storage HDD (WD Caviar Blue or Seagate Barracuda)
500-600w PSU (Seasonic, Rosewill, XFX, Antec, Corsair), Modular, at least 80+ Bronze efficiency.
Big mid-tower case with good ventilation
Optical Drive
OS
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April 12, 2012 3:18:40 AM

Not very important to me. My girlfriend does a lot of photo and video editing so I figured she will probably need to use it occasionally when she doesn't want to go home to use her computer. My main reasoning behind planing on the i7 is mainly for longevity.
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April 12, 2012 3:36:03 AM

Get a i5-2500k save yourself some money and put that for a hd 7870.

For your psu get a SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold. Excellent psu with high efficiency and low noise output.

Case get a corsair 550d , it's a quiet case with good airflow and roomy interior (I have one)

For your ssd I'd recommend getting a small one like 30 gb, but very fast and setting it as cache. I can't really justify paying alot of money for a technology that is depreciating very quickly. Plus managing your files will be a pain in the ass.

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April 12, 2012 4:05:01 AM

I work more in the economic AMD PC stuff so I'll leave the mobo / CPU ideas to the other guys. As far as power I would defiantly go big from the start. I'm a big fan of Corsair for Memory, and PSU's. A 750tx or better should fit your budget and power most anything if you throw at it. Mine runs 5 HDD's, and a maxed out AMD setup with room to spare.
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April 12, 2012 4:22:52 AM

Mike4566 said:
Not very important to me. My girlfriend does a lot of photo and video editing so I figured she will probably need to use it occasionally when she doesn't want to go home to use her computer. My main reasoning behind planing on the i7 is mainly for longevity.


Only specialized software uses hyperthreading. In essence, the i7-2600k (4 physical cores, 8 virtual cores because of hyperthreading) performs like the i5-2500k (4 physical cores, 4 virtual cores --> no hyperthreading), when they're both overclocked similarly, if the application isn't optimized for multi-core processing. No games currently use hyperthreading.

That's why I think the i5-2500k (or i5-2550k or ivy bridge i5 in a couple of weeks) is best suited for your needs.

+1 for the Seasonic X Series X650 Gold.

However, I would recommend at least a 120GB SSD. When setup correctly from the start (for more info, Google 'SSD tweak audit mode win 7'), it's very easy to maintain free space.

Maybe get a PCIe video capture card (or TV tuner, if your cable provider supports it) for more multimedia awesomeness from your HTPC.
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