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New $1000ish Gaming PC Ver. 3 - Good to Go?

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May 3, 2012 6:51:13 PM

Hello, I'm planning to build a new PC in preparation for Diablo 3, and since the last time I did that was somewhere around Diablo 2, I figured I'd ask for some help. Here's what I've got so far (UPDATED TO REFLECT FEEDBACK):

Approximate Purchase Date: 5/6-5/9

Budget Range: 700-900 after rebates for everything except video-card (explained below)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies

Parts Not Required: Keyboard/Mouse/Monitor/Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I've done most of my shopping on Newegg, but I'd be willing to check out Tiger Direct. I'll be using Bestbuy.com for the video card.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Leaning toward Intel processor, but I'm willing to be convinced

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but not immediately

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: While I'm trying to be comprehensive in my research, my biggest concern is all the parts playing nicely, so any tips/horror stories on that front would be greatly appreciated. Games I'm interested in crushing beneath my might graphical boot-heel are Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, LoL and the Witcher titles. Thanks to everyone who has replied already for getting me to version 3.

My current (potential) load-out. Ones in red are very rough guesses:

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99 ($10 Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA1155 AMD CrossFireX W/HDMI,DVI Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77-D3H - $119.99
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-LGA1155-CrossFireX-Mothe...

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: i5-3570KIntel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K - $229.99 ($20 Rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Video Card: VisionTek - AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card - $409.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/VisionTek+-+AMD+Radeon+HD+7...'

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL - $46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage A: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $124.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage B: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $119.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Disc Drive: Lite-On IHAS124-04 Internal DVD Writer - DVD+R 24X, DVD-R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD+R DL 8X, SATA (OEM) - $17.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

May 3, 2012 6:58:56 PM

I'd pick the second one over the first but the i7 is way overkill for what you need it to do. I'd suggest finding a bundle based off the i5-3570K and upgrading your GPU to a 7950 if gaming is your primary focus. 4GB of RAM is very questionable - that won't get you very far these days - 8 is ideal.
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May 3, 2012 7:10:26 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I'd pick the second one over the first but the i7 is way overkill for what you need it to do. I'd suggest finding a bundle based off the i5-3570K and upgrading your GPU to a 7950 if gaming is your primary focus. 4GB of RAM is very questionable - that won't get you very far these days - 8 is ideal.


Yeah, definitely going with 8GB for the RAM. The one reason I was leaning towards the i7 is that this bad boy is probably going to need to last a while and I wasn't sure the i5 would have legs over the next couple of years. Is it worth going a bit overboard to futureproof, or is the i5 good for the long haul?
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May 3, 2012 7:16:14 PM

Splatoon said:
Yeah, definitely going with 8GB for the RAM. The one reason I was leaning towards the i7 is that this bad boy is probably going to need to last a while and I wasn't sure the i5 would have legs over the next couple of years. Is it worth going a bit overboard to futureproof, or is the i5 good for the long haul?


If it's a strictly gaming machine, the i5 is better for the long haul and the new Ivy chips have onboard HD 4000 video compared to the i7's HD 3000 (which has been shown to beat the AMD Llano's built in Radeon 6670). If you're going to be using say multi media friendly applications like CS5 then the i7 could come in handy.

But as far as the i7 for gaming goes - it will be years before games catch up to hyper threading technology. They're just now catching up to quad core CPUs, it will be a long time before they take advantage of hex and octo core CPUs. Where you'll notice the biggest performance difference in any build is with the GPU. Sure the CPU helps but the last few years the GPU has often been the deal breaker in terms of performance with a lot of builds.
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May 3, 2012 7:18:14 PM

See, that's exactly the kind of "hey dummy, smarten up" advice I am in desperate need of. Thanks for the heads up, I'm going to readjust my search accordingly.
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May 3, 2012 7:22:23 PM

Splatoon said:
See, that's exactly the kind of "hey dummy, smarten up" advice I am in desperate need of. Thanks for the heads up, I'm going to readjust my search accordingly.


Yeah if it's a strictly gaming system the GPU and PSU are the most important parts of the build bar none. The 7870 is a great GPU - it's the same one I have - it gets GTX 580 numbers for like 1/2 the cost, but if you can get a 7950/7970 or even a 680 that would be the ultimate.
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May 3, 2012 8:55:52 PM

bacole08 said:
If you have a micro center store near you, they have a great deal on a z77 mobo and i5 3570k. $280 for both! They also have a slightly better mobo available for a little more $$.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


Oh man, so close but just a wee bit too far. I actually live in Rochester NY, so I'd pretty much eat my savings driving out to the Big City.
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May 3, 2012 9:35:06 PM

the processor you want is bundled with a great motherboard on newegg
like getting a great mobo for $80!

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

BE SURE TO READ THE REVIEWS!
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May 3, 2012 9:36:49 PM

May not be from bestbuy but you can try to buy some of your other parts from there. Plus you'll thank yourself in the future.
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May 3, 2012 9:41:36 PM

or this one, a bit less of a mobo but still a steal, same bundle, now the mobo is only $40!
1x ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
1x Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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May 3, 2012 9:43:13 PM

Apollo68 said:
or this one, a bit less of a mobo but still a steal, same bundle, now the mobo is only $40!
1x ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
1x Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Check the number of x16 lanes the motherboard has - as long as it has two or more it should be fine, but you don't want to forfeit one in case you plan to Crossfire / SLI later on.
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May 3, 2012 9:53:47 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Check the number of x16 lanes the motherboard has - as long as it has two or more it should be fine, but you don't want to forfeit one in case you plan to Crossfire / SLI later on.


Here are the tech specs for the mobo

Learn more about the ASRock Z75 Pro3
Model

Brand
ASRock

Model
Z75 Pro3

Supported CPU

CPU Socket Type
LGA 1155

CPU Type
Core i7 / i5 / i3 (LGA1155)

Supported CPU Technologies
Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

Chipsets

North Bridge
Intel Z75

Memory

Number of Memory Slots
4×240pin

Memory Standard
DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066

Maximum Memory Supported
32GB

Channel Supported
Dual Channel

Expansion Slots

PCI Express 3.0 x16
1

PCI Express 2.0 x16
1 @x4

PCI Express x1
1

PCI Slots
2

Storage Devices

SATA 3Gb/s
4

SATA 6Gb/s
2 x SATA 6Gb/s

SATA RAID
0/1/5/10

Onboard Video

Onboard Video Chipset
None

Onboard Audio

Audio Chipset
Realtek ALC892

Audio Channels
8 Channels

Onboard LAN

LAN Chipset
Realtek 8111E

Max LAN Speed
10/100/1000Mbps

Rear Panel Ports

PS/2
1

Video Ports
D-Sub

HDMI
1 x HDMI

USB 1.1/2.0
4 x USB 2.0

USB 3.0
2 x USB 3.0

Audio Ports
6 Ports

Internal I/O Connectors

Onboard USB
2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0

Other Connectors
1 x CIR header
1 x COM port header
1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
1 x Power LED header
CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
24 pin ATX power connector
8 pin 12V power connector
Front panel audio connector

Physical Spec

Form Factor
ATX

Dimensions
12" x 7.6"

Power Pin
24 Pin

Features

Features
100% All Solid Capacitor Design

Digi Power Design

Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2800+(OC)

1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot, Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, CrossFireX

PCIE Gigabit LAN

Supports Intel HD Graphics with Built-in Visuals

Dual-VGA Output Options : D-Sub, HDMI

Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)

7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), Supports THX TruStudio

Supports ASRock XFast RAM, XFast LAN, XFast USB, OMG, Internet Flash, On/Off Play, UEFI System Browser

Supports Intel Smart Connect, Intel Rapid Start, Lucid Virtu Universal MVP

Free Bundle : CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
3 years limited

Labor
3 years limited

bit of overkill but i got lazy :D 

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May 3, 2012 11:33:02 PM

Thanks to Apollo68's suggestion, I think I'm going with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 as my motherboard. I think I'm pretty happy with the power supply as well (I've read that the 7950's tend to top out at 450w even in full-blown Crossfire). All told this beauty is coming it around $792 before the video card and rebates, which is right inside my range. If anyone's got any last minute "for the love of god, don't do it!" suggestions to throw out I'd definitely appreciate it, but I think if this passes muster I'll put the order(s) in tomorrow night.
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