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$1.4-1.5k Gaming build - questions/advise needed

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April 17, 2012 2:13:38 AM


Sorry for the long post, I tried to give as much detail as I could. I’m looking to build a gaming desktop for a friend and am just starting to gather ideas and read up on stuff…any thoughts would be great.

Approximate Purchase Date: Around memorial day sales, so after intel IB release which may change the CPU and MB
Budget Range: ~$1400-1500 After Rebates (rebates/sales are fine)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming in high resolution for Starcraft 2, Guild Wars 2, and wow as the major games, streaming video (netflix), web browsing, MS Office stuff
Parts Not Required: need basically everything, only 2 parts to re-use a 500GB 7.2k HD, and a DVD drive that will serve as a 2nd drive
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or other non NY sites to avoid tax
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: intel i5 for cpu, seems to be the best bang for you buck atm and I’m kind of partial to XFX graphics cards as I’ve had great results with them in the past, but am open to suggestions
Overclocking: Maybe mild OC…
SLI or Crossfire: yes, future upgrade to dual graphics cards
Monitor Resolution: max 1920x1080

Questions:
1) GPUs - I don’t know, its been a LONG time since I bought a graphics card. I picked one that had good reviews fairly far up on the performance list but before getting really expensive. What are the differences between the Radeon 6000 and 7000 series? I’m open to suggestions; I would like to keep the option open to go to crossfire or SLI in the future.
2) Motherboards - I don’t know? Need some suggestions with IB coming out soon…
3) Networking - He running a wifi G pci card now, he has a N router, probably should upgrade to a wifi N card (ie. I don’t want to run 100+ feet of cable lol)


PARTS LIST SO FAR, @ $1473…

OS - $70.00
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (best student discount I’ve found so far)

CPU - $220 or i5-3570K after its release
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB - $148
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler - $35 (will this work with the i5 Ivy Bridge?)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $50
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $229 (after rebate)
XFX Double D HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinityhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PS - $147 (after rebate)
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD - $18
LG DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD1 - $120
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NETWORK - $19
Rosewill RNX-N180PCe IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE802.11n Draft 2 PCI Express Revision 1.1 Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates WPA, WPA2, Open/shared key, and pair-wise
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $88
RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black/Silver 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR - $205
ASUS 24” LED LCD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For peripherals I’ll watch for Logitech for their “Scratch & Dent” Sales w/coupons:
~$16 - Logitech Wireless Keyboard K320 - Dented Box
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$52 - Logitech G700 Black 13 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$56 - Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 276 4 Gaming
April 17, 2012 2:20:17 AM

I was agreeing with everything in this build until I saw Raidmax - awful, awful, awful brand. Stay away from them - there's hundreds of better cases on the market.

I can understand not wanting to spend hundreds on peripherals either - I'm in the minority around here when I say that I don't like spending $100 on a keyboard and $70 on a mouse. I'd rather put that in the GPU.

Try this setup:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $109.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 - $104.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 1333MHz - $42.99
HD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $99.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 - $399.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,277.91
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April 17, 2012 2:57:22 AM

G-unit1111 - Thanks for the suggestions...I agree about not wanting to spend tons on peripherals, so I'm willing to watch logitech for their scratch and dent deals.
- I have the black/green version of the raidmax case and had good luck with it, easy to install, good cooling, rugged and I've grown to really like the fold down sides...
- I'll add the Lite on DVD, I have one and its been great drive.
- I think the Radeon 7950 will be a bit too much $$ to still get the rest off the peripherals that are needed...


With the primary purpose gaming, is it worth getting a SSD to load the OS and his games?

I found a chart listing graphics cards for Guild Wars 2:
http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/3227/gpuchart.jpg

I would like to get a power supply that would be large enough to allow for the latter upgrade to dual graphics cards down the road...

Newegg's Power Supply calculator
http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index...
Our recommended PSU Wattage: 841 W
(i5/2x-HD 6950/high end MB/4GB x2/DVD x2/7.2k HD x2)
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a c 276 4 Gaming
April 17, 2012 5:15:59 AM

Quote:
m715

G-unit1111 - Thanks for the suggestions...I agree about not wanting to spend tons on peripherals, so I'm willing to watch logitech for their scratch and dent deals.
- I have the black/green version of the raidmax case and had good luck with it, easy to install, good cooling, rugged and I've grown to really like the fold down sides...


If you want to use Raidmax cases that's fine - I can't stand them - we use these cases a lot where I work - doors have fallen off, I've had to pry stuck power buttons, we've had overheating and CPU temperature read errors, broken exhaust fans, you name it. I've let my boss know repeatedly how much I hate these crappy cases, my HAF 912 is so much better and has the lowest temps on the whole network.

Quote:
- I'll add the Lite on DVD, I have one and its been great drive.


I like these drives - I got an Asus one last year and it nearly exploded on me, I've been buying Lite On ever since.

Quote:
- I think the Radeon 7950 will be a bit too much $$ to still get the rest off the peripherals that are needed...


It's actually a lot more affordable than it was last month as AMD cut the price to $399 - about $50 more than the 7870 I have.

Quote:
I would like to get a power supply that would be large enough to allow for the latter upgrade to dual graphics cards down the road...


There are some really good new GPUs on the market - the Radeon 78XX and 79XX, and the GTX 6XX are far more energy efficient than previous generations - if you get, say a 7870 and want to Crossfire it later on, a 750 - 850 will handle both without breaking a sweat.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 17, 2012 6:58:57 AM

m715 said:
Sorry for the long post, I tried to give as much detail as I could. I’m looking to build a gaming desktop for a friend and am just starting to gather ideas and read up on stuff…any thoughts would be great.

Approximate Purchase Date: Around memorial day sales, so after intel IB release which may change the CPU and MB
Budget Range: ~$1400-1500 After Rebates (rebates/sales are fine)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming in high resolution for Starcraft 2, Guild Wars 2, and wow as the major games, streaming video (netflix), web browsing, MS Office stuff
Parts Not Required: need basically everything, only 2 parts to re-use a 500GB 7.2k HD, and a DVD drive that will serve as a 2nd drive
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or other non NY sites to avoid tax
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: intel i5 for cpu, seems to be the best bang for you buck atm and I’m kind of partial to XFX graphics cards as I’ve had great results with them in the past, but am open to suggestions
Overclocking: Maybe mild OC…
SLI or Crossfire: yes, future upgrade to dual graphics cards
Monitor Resolution: max 1920x1080

Questions:
1) GPUs - I don’t know, its been a LONG time since I bought a graphics card. I picked one that had good reviews fairly far up on the performance list but before getting really expensive. What are the differences between the Radeon 6000 and 7000 series? I’m open to suggestions; I would like to keep the option open to go to crossfire or SLI in the future.
2) Motherboards - I don’t know? Need some suggestions with IB coming out soon…
3) Networking - He running a wifi G pci card now, he has a N router, probably should upgrade to a wifi N card (ie. I don’t want to run 100+ feet of cable lol)


PARTS LIST SO FAR, @ $1473…

OS - $70.00
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (best student discount I’ve found so far)

CPU - $220 or i5-3570K after its release
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB - $148
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler - $35 (will this work with the i5 Ivy Bridge?)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $50
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $229 (after rebate)
XFX Double D HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinityhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PS - $147 (after rebate)
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD - $18
LG DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD1 - $120
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NETWORK - $19
Rosewill RNX-N180PCe IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE802.11n Draft 2 PCI Express Revision 1.1 Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates WPA, WPA2, Open/shared key, and pair-wise
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $88
RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black/Silver 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR - $205
ASUS 24” LED LCD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For peripherals I’ll watch for Logitech for their “Scratch & Dent” Sales w/coupons:
~$16 - Logitech Wireless Keyboard K320 - Dented Box
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$52 - Logitech G700 Black 13 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~$56 - Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's a few ways to save some money.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-Com... $90.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

850w is total over kill but for this price + free shipping and rebate...I can't find a decent 750w psu this cheap of this same quality.

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.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

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.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili... $349.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card HD7870-DC2-2GD5

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Asus 7870
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April 17, 2012 11:37:51 PM

Why_Me and G-unit1111, Thanks for the thoughts!

I read the ASUS 7870 review and the Tom's 7870/7850 review and now see why you guys were recommending them, some good technological advancements. Also the shear reduction in power consumption is impressive. I'll try and work the 7870 into the budget and if not fall back to the 7850.

AMD Radeon HD 7870 And 7850 Review: Pitcairn Gets Benchmarked
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

I guess I posted the build questions a bit too early, but its been good I now know what I'll be looking for and learned a bunch. So for now I'll wait and see the reviews on the i5 Ivy Bridge and hope the prices on the 7870 go down a bit more before I buy.

What would be a good motherboard to watch for that would allow a i5 ivy bridge 3570k and also crossfire down the road at some point?
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Best solution

a c 276 4 Gaming
April 18, 2012 5:36:47 PM

m715 said:
Why_Me and G-unit1111, Thanks for the thoughts!

I read the ASUS 7870 review and the Tom's 7870/7850 review and now see why you guys were recommending them, some good technological advancements. Also the shear reduction in power consumption is impressive. I'll try and work the 7870 into the budget and if not fall back to the 7850.

AMD Radeon HD 7870 And 7850 Review: Pitcairn Gets Benchmarked
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

I guess I posted the build questions a bit too early, but its been good I now know what I'll be looking for and learned a bunch. So for now I'll wait and see the reviews on the i5 Ivy Bridge and hope the prices on the 7870 go down a bit more before I buy.

What would be a good motherboard to watch for that would allow a i5 ivy bridge 3570k and also crossfire down the road at some point?


1. I was actually planning on getting the 660 / 670 until I saw the reviews for the 7870 - when the benchmarks showed it putting GTX 570 / 580 numbers for a fraction of the cost I knew it was the right GPU.

2. Yeah I'm waiting and seeing on Ivy Bridge as well - the benches may determine whether I upgrade to the i5-3570K or wait for the 22nm Haswell CPUs to be released.

3. I'm personally salivating over EVGA's Z77FTW board with 5 x dedicated PCI Gen 3 lanes *AND* a dedicated power source for those lanes, but at $329 that may be a bit too rich for some. That Gigabyte board I linked to earlier will cover all the bases.
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April 25, 2012 12:33:44 AM

Best answer selected by m715.
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