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~$1500 Gaming Build w/ upgrade potential

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April 24, 2012 8:04:22 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week (April 27th)

Budget Range: ~$1500 (including monitor if possible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mostly Gaming (not 3D now, maybe in the future). I play most MMORPGs, FPS, and RTS. Diablo III, Half Life 3, etc

Parts Not Required: Everything except keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I would like to stay Intel/Nvidia but would be open to ideas.

Overclocking: Maybe - I dont know how to, but would like to

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - I would like to start with one GPU now and move to SLI in the future

Monitor Resolution: Not sure what is best for gaming, but full HD

Additional Comments: I have never built a computer in the past, but after research and encouragement from this forum will build one instead of buying one already made. I will need everything except a mouse and keyboard.

My build:

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0
It - $99.99 (after main-in rebate)


Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #: N82E16824236153 - $199.99


Video Card: EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - $524.99


Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC - $174.99


Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 - $219.99



RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
Mother Board: ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $364.98 (Combo for both RAM and Mother Board

Subtotal: $1,584.93


Do I need a heatsink, fans, or Thermal Compound? Am I missing any parts? Should I wait for the new line of graphics cards? Are all the parts compatible? Is the power supply enough if I eventually go SLI? Do I need anything for wireless internet? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
April 24, 2012 8:14:44 PM

The ram is way overkill and will void your warranty. 16GB is also overkill if it is strictly for gaming. Look for a good 8GB, 1600mhz set like these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

When they come back in stock, I would do the GTX680 for the same price. It will out perform the 580 and will use less power.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are wanting to overclock, than get the Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO for your HSF. It comes with a very good thermal compound and will easily reach the 2500K to 4.5 or higher.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 24, 2012 8:30:05 PM

I just realized that I don't have a hard drive. I was thinking about a 64 gig SSD for the quick start up and a ~500gig hard drive for storage (movies, music). Would that be the best option for gaming or would two hard drives in RAID 0 be better?
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April 24, 2012 9:38:27 PM

apatel9 said:
I just realized that I don't have a hard drive. I was thinking about a 64 gig SSD for the quick start up and a ~500gig hard drive for storage (movies, music). Would that be the best option for gaming or would two hard drives in RAID 0 be better?

SSD + HDD is the best option
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April 25, 2012 2:39:08 PM

Thanks for all the advice, below is my build. Please give me any other feedback.

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0
HDD: Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3
Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC ...
RAM:Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Fan:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel ...
SSD HDD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid Snt
Processor:Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel
Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2682-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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April 25, 2012 3:16:07 PM

Thanks for the advice. I switched the SSD to your recommendation. I will leave the 850w PSU so I can eventually upgrade. I also realized that I did not have a operating system so I added Windows 7 Professional 64bit. Any reason I should go to ultimate? Also I added the following Cd/DVD drive:
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335.

My last few questions before I take the plunged:
1) Is this case going to be sufficient size for this build if I add another video card and go SLI? I do not care about what the case looks like, just want good airflow and space. If there is a better option, please let me know.
2) Should I wait for the GTX680 to come back into stock or is the AMD 7970 worth buying now that there has been a price cut.
3) How is this monitor? IShould I upgrade or downgrade it? Or is it a good value for $200?
4) I live in NJ and there is a micro center near me, should I buy from them or newegg?
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April 25, 2012 3:44:10 PM

1) The case will provide sufficient airflow for what you need.
2) Either option will do.
3) You selected a very good monitor.
4) This changes things. Yes absolutely buy some things from Microcenter. The 2500K is about $45 cheaper there than from newegg and they are also running a combo deal where you can get $50 off a Z68, P67 and aparently now any Z77 motherboard from them when you purchase any "K" series processor, ie. the 2500k, 2600k, 2700k.

I just added the same Motherboard and Processor to the cart on Microcenter's website and the $50 off aparently is extending to Z77 boards as well, so buying your Motherboard and Processor from them will save you almost $100.
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April 25, 2012 3:49:31 PM

apatel9 said:
Thanks for the advice. I switched the SSD to your recommendation. I will leave the 850w PSU so I can eventually upgrade. I also realized that I did not have a operating system so I added Windows 7 Professional 64bit. Any reason I should go to ultimate? Also I added the following Cd/DVD drive:
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335.

My last few questions before I take the plunged:
1) Is this case going to be sufficient size for this build if I add another video card and go SLI? I do not care about what the case looks like, just want good airflow and space. If there is a better option, please let me know.
2) Should I wait for the GTX680 to come back into stock or is the AMD 7970 worth buying now that there has been a price cut.
3) How is this monitor? IShould I upgrade or downgrade it? Or is it a good value for $200?
4) I live in NJ and there is a micro center near me, should I buy from them or newegg?


buy an i5 2500k at microcenter(you have to drive of course) they have a really nice sale on it and should save you a couple bucks for a better ssd or will cover for the cost from a 580-680 cost

since you are making it around this week you can try your chances on buying a i5 3rd gen before it sells out(i just like i5 better than i7 not really any difference when you play games) or you can just go to mircocenter for the cheap deal
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April 25, 2012 4:03:50 PM

Where in NJ are you? theres one in North Jersey/Paterson, and the way i see it is if it costs you less in gas to get there than your savings, do it.
i went out bout 1.5 hours on Long Island to the closest one, cost be bout 20 in gas and saved me 40 on my 2500k and 50 on my Asrock Z68 Extreme3 so for me it was worth it.

As far as your monitor, i can vouch for that one, i actually bought that about 2 weeks ago and i am loving it!
my only complaint is i feel that if its tilted too foward on my desk and i bump into it, the monitor will shake and come crashing down. but i also have mine elevated 6 inches but i just tileted it back to 0' instead of -5' and its really fine
color is amazing, just mess with the brightness and contrast a little bit and you will love it
got mine on sale for $150.00 too!

Best of luck on your build!
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