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Building Gaming system, long term use

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April 30, 2012 11:42:09 PM

I made it easy and read the stickies before making the post =)

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month, possibly 2 months from now.
Budget Range: around $1000 USD
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet use.
Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I chose Amazon and Newegg mainly because I found the best prices there (including shipping) If you happen to know better I'm all ears.
Country: USA, California
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Nvidia Video Card
Overclocking: No
SLI: Yes, however I initially I will probably just purchase 1 card.

Monitor Resolution: I'm not sure... I know I want 1080p and that it will be around 23-24 inches. My old monitor that I plan to use in the meantime is an old VGA monitor that came with an ancient prebuilt. It measures 14 inches Diagonally. This will be upgraded, however it will do in the meantime until I save up more money for a nicer one. (shouldn't take long at all - an extra week)

Here are some parts I have my eyes on:
Windows 7: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q0PT3I/ref=ox_sc_a...
Case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZM7YTA/ref=gno_car...
Video Card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051E3BYM/ref=ox_sc_a...
Harddrive: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461G3MS/ref=ox_sc_a...
Memory/RAM: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037TO5C0/ref=ox_sc_a...
CD Drive: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SIMPXM/ref=ox_sc_a...
Powersupply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I chose the case for the cooling, price and room. If I have the money I may go with the advanced haf 932 to make sure I have enough room for the future, however I'm a small guy, so I don't want to break my back everytime I think about lifting it. With SLI, I worry about room and heating.

I am unsure if I should get the GTX 550 or 560. I don't really see much difference in the "Ti" versions so I don't think I want that since it will save me money.
I am very undecided on the CPU since the new Ivybridge is out, and costs about the same as the regular I5 2500 from what I can see, however I can get an i5 2300 for cheaper and I don't *think* I need more than that. Also the I5 2300 comes with a heatsink which means extra money saved since I won't have to buy a CPU cooler.

Although a Terabyte Hardrive is not much more, I don't really put that much except games on my computer, and I feel like I can always uninstall something if it gets filled up.

I see a cheaper Drive but it says OEM on it... from what I have read that means it won't come with the necessary cables and such, and since this is my first time building, I really need everything in terms of cables and such. I'm not even sure I have the right screwdrivers yet. I only need the drive to install windows and maybe some games.

Since I plan to do no Overclocking I have heard the Z68 mobo's are best, but am willing to negotiate here, keep in mind I would like there to be a VGA connection so that my old monitor will work on it. On my new one I plan to use HDMI.

The games that I plan to play (for now) are Crysis 2, Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Battlefield 3, Whatever the newest Call of Duty is, and some steam games like Team Fortress 2 that I don't think are that hefty on requirements.

I plan to use this thing for probably the next 5 years maybe more.
I am currently using a Razer Naga for mouse and am happy with it. I do need a Keyboard, but I think I'll choose that myself, and I have a temporary one in the meantime.
May 1, 2012 2:45:58 AM

I'm also planning a build very similar to yours, except I plan to use some old parts I have to save some money, and then replace them as I get the cash. Eventually I hope to get my build almost just like yours, except I went with the Extreme4 Z77 from ASRock because it has some built in features that the new ivy bridge cpus can make use of. As of now, I hope to get the i5-3570k so I can put off buying a video card until I know which one is best for my needs. I also want my build to last a while, so I'm trying to future-proof it as much as I can. But regarding the heatsink, I'm pretty sure that unless you happen to buy OEM, most CPUs will include a stock heatsink, which should be adequate if you don't plan to OC. Now I've read that lots of people buy aftermarket CPU coolers even if they don't OC, but that's up to you. And your PSU has more wattage than the one I picked out, but I'm not worried about SLI or Crossfire yet, since I'm not even sure when I'll be getting a graphics card. I'm not sure, but SLI shouldn't be a problem for you.
May 1, 2012 2:57:37 AM

I was looking at the z77 Asrock Extreme 4, but figured I could wait until next years Haswell CPU, which will require a new motherboard anyways. Btw you wouldn't happen to know what the difference between the Extremes are? I haven't been able to find anything looking it up.

Thanks for your input.
Related resources
May 1, 2012 3:30:20 AM

Yeah, I would love to be able to wait for Haswell since Ivy Bridge doesn't seem like a huge step up, but I need a PC for school in case my laptop dies and I can't afford to buy another mobo and CPU when Haswell comes out.
But concerning the differences between the extremes, as near as I can tell after going over the specs for the Z68 chipsets, the Extreme4 has 2 more SATA 6GB/s connections, 1 x IEEE 1394a, DisplayPort, a floppy connector, and a SLI/XFire power connector, something additional for RAID along with extra hardware for 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel and 1 Front x 3.5mm Audio.
If you want to check out the Extreme6 or Z77 chipsets from ASRock, Newegg has all the details there. That's what I used.
May 1, 2012 4:47:18 AM

Check out the $800 build on my sig.
May 1, 2012 5:04:43 AM

Zero_ said:
Check out the $800 build on my sig.


Does the Motherboard in that support SLI? I read crossfire but no SLI =(
The rest of it looks pretty good, thanks.
May 1, 2012 5:25:59 AM

zex95966 said:
Does the Motherboard in that support SLI? I read crossfire but no SLI =(
The rest of it looks pretty good, thanks.

Only Crossfire, since the build uses a HD7850.

You are looking to spend an additional ~$30 if you want a SLI capable motherboard.
May 1, 2012 6:19:41 AM

Zero_ said:
Only Crossfire, since the build uses a HD7850.

You are looking to spend an additional ~$30 if you want a SLI capable motherboard.


That's fine with me. Some games on my list aren't compatible with Crossfire tech.
May 1, 2012 6:23:45 AM

zex95966 said:
That's fine with me. Some games on my list aren't compatible with Crossfire tech.

Which ones exactly? All those you listed are perfectly compatible with CF.
May 1, 2012 7:09:28 AM

for $1000 I would go with 2500k, Antec H2O 620 and some overclock, an ATI 7870, a high quality PSU and go cheap with everything else !
If you rly plan waiting 2 months, you can go with something like GTX660! I think its about to launch in the next couple months!
Also, if you plan future sli/xfire... a x16/x16 motherboard can make you a little more future proof... can't find any, only x16/x8 like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't forget you will need a better PSU for that! Or upgrade it when you get the second card!
Maybe some lower latency RAM... won't make much difference not in performance and not in price, maybe $10 more!
Windows WHAT? Just go with 30-day trial as I always do ;) 
May 1, 2012 4:33:43 PM

Zero_ said:
Which ones exactly? All those you listed are perfectly compatible with CF.


Most notably skyrim. (Bethesda even admits to this)
Just google skyrim and crossfire - there are workarounds, but I don't want to have to deal with that...
As I said, I don't mind paying the extra 30 (or even more) for an SLI alternative, call me a fanboy if you wish but you haven't given me an alternative yet.


dreadlokz said:
for $1000 I would go with 2500k, Antec H2O 620 and some overclock, an ATI 7870, a high quality PSU and go cheap with everything else !
If you rly plan waiting 2 months, you can go with something like GTX660! I think its about to launch in the next couple months!
Also, if you plan future sli/xfire... a x16/x16 motherboard can make you a little more future proof... can't find any, only x16/x8 like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't forget you will need a better PSU for that! Or upgrade it when you get the second card!
Maybe some lower latency RAM... won't make much difference not in performance and not in price, maybe $10 more!
Windows WHAT? Just go with 30-day trial as I always do ;) 


I'm sure I'm also going to get some flack for this, but there is virtually no difference between 16X and 8X:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMzRZqFh-w

anyways I feel like i'm bashing peoples help/opinions but I'm not, I just know what I want in terms of brand and am willing to pay a little more for it.
!