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1st Gaming Computer Build

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May 5, 2012 1:52:58 AM

I have picked parts to what seems like a good reasonably priced gaming computer. I would like advice on whether or not this is a good build. Any suggestions/advice will be greatly appreciated. I Would like the price to stay close to what it is now. Here is is:

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450r - $200

MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $110

GRAPHICS CARD: XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $110

HARD DRIVE: Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $110

POWER SUPPLY: Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC - $50

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-8GBXL - $55

OPTICAL DISC DRIVE:ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - $18

CASE: ZALMAN Z9 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $50

MONITER: ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23" 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor w/Speakers & HDMI - $160

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $100

KEYBOARD AND MOUSE - already own(may upgrade in future)

please give any advice you have and let me know if all of these work well together.
ANY SUGGESTIONS ON BETTER PARTS(THAT ARE AROUND THE SAME PRICE) ARE APPRECIATED
May 7, 2012 8:54:57 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Pyree
May 7, 2012 9:21:10 AM

PSU -- get something better, my preferences are Antec or Corsair
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May 7, 2012 8:46:50 PM

apache_lives said:
PSU -- get something better, my preferences are Antec or Corsair

Will the computer run with the rocketfish power supply or would i have to upgrade? Does this one look good: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 Power supply - 750 Watt - $94
May 7, 2012 8:48:04 PM

That is overkill for even 2 7770s. Get a 500W PSU.
May 7, 2012 9:00:51 PM

azeem40 said:
That is overkill for even 2 7770s. Get a 500W PSU.

Then will my 700 watt rocketfish be fine?
May 7, 2012 9:09:02 PM

Get this PSU, its great for the price, and will run everything.

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

This is why you shouldnt use your rocketfish:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Rocketfish-700-W...

Nice deal on the Hard Drive. Where did you find that?

You seem to be spending a lot for an outdated z68 motherboard. Get something like this instead:

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

Also, Consider spending $10 dollars extra to get a i5-2500k. you will easily be able to get 4 ghz clock speeds, even with the stock cooler. This is a 10% boost from 3.7 ghz on the one you choose, for next to nothing.

And Case:

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



May 7, 2012 9:10:41 PM

The Green series is pretty reliable.
May 7, 2012 9:18:14 PM

kulladoctor said:
Get this PSU, its great for the price, and will run everything.

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

This is why you shouldnt use your rocketfish:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Rocketfish-700-W...

Nice deal on the Hard Drive. Where did you find that?

You seem to be spending a lot for an outdated z68 motherboard. Get something like this instead:

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

Also, Consider spending $10 dollars extra to get a i5-2500k. you will easily be able to get 4 ghz clock speeds, even with the stock cooler. This is a 10% boost from 3.7 ghz on the one you choose, for next to nothing.

And Case:

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

the hard dive is $100 on Amazon; the $97 was google shopping's price
actually the $100 is for a 1tb hard drive on Amazon, but google said it was 3tb...
May 7, 2012 9:27:02 PM

Any recommendations on which os is best for playing games?
May 7, 2012 9:38:27 PM

For a hard drive should I get the 500 gb WD caviar blue, black, or green?
May 7, 2012 9:51:16 PM

Ya, 3tb for 100 is a great deal. Do you mind spending a bit more? The best way to make your desktop/browsing/game loading experience fast is getting an SSD. pair the cheapest 500GB hard drive you can find (green or blue I think) with a 90-120 gb boot drive. The total will come to <$200 and you will have a great desktop experience.

Even if you rather not spend on an SSD, still get the cheapest WD caviar (blue or green, I dont remember) the extra speed/power savings from the more expensive drive are pretty unnoticeable.
May 7, 2012 9:52:24 PM

Oh, and Windows 7 Home Premium is the best OS for games by far. Dont get Pro unless you are going to use its features such as virtual XP mode etc.
May 7, 2012 10:24:44 PM

kulladoctor said:
Ya, 3tb for 100 is a great deal. Do you mind spending a bit more? The best way to make your desktop/browsing/game loading experience fast is getting an SSD. pair the cheapest 500GB hard drive you can find (green or blue I think) with a 90-120 gb boot drive. The total will come to <$200 and you will have a great desktop experience.

Even if you rather not spend on an SSD, still get the cheapest WD caviar (blue or green, I dont remember) the extra speed/power savings from the more expensive drive are pretty unnoticeable.

so this hard drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and what SSD do you recommend?
May 7, 2012 10:55:36 PM

Also, I have a question: will you use this build mainly for games, or will you be doing major photoshop/Movie etc?

And, what games would you be playing?
May 7, 2012 11:36:52 PM

kulladoctor said:
Also, I have a question: will you use this build mainly for games, or will you be doing major photoshop/Movie etc?

And, what games would you be playing?

I will be using this mostly for gaming, but i'm not sure what games i'll play probably Diablo 3, Skyrim, Dishonered(when it comes out), guild wars 2, and i'm not really sure because I don't have a computer to play games on now.
May 8, 2012 12:01:34 AM

Do I need a sound card if i'm going to use a turtle beach headset? which sound card is good for it's price?
May 8, 2012 12:04:19 AM

If you are primarily gaming, that graphics card will not be enough to run games like Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, etc at anything higher than medium. Get a 560ti like this one for around $220 instead.

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

You can do a couple of things to fund this within your budget:

1. downgrade your processor to i3-2120. You will not notice the difference in any games (except maybe a bit battlefield 3 multiplayer with 64 players). But photoshop,movie making etc will be a bit slower.

2. ditch the SSD.

I personally would go with option 1, especially for a rig meant mainly for gaming. Most games are GPU intensive, and the i3-2120 can handle anything that games today can throw at them. Sure, you will give up on overclocking and quad core, but the GPU upgrade is worth it.

If you are going to do a lot of productivity, or really want the future proofing offered by quad core CPUs, then ditch the SSD. You can always upgrade later.

Ideally, just spend $100 more and get everything :p  I just feel bad that my suggestions have already increased your build price by $150 and now uping your graphics would be another $100.
May 8, 2012 12:07:27 AM

A sound card is a luxury these days that only makes sense if you spending quite a bit already. Motherboard sound is usually pretty good. You will not need a sound card for the Turtle beaches.

If you still want a sound card, check out the Creative XFI series, or Xonar from ASUS.

May 8, 2012 12:12:39 AM

kulladoctor said:
If you are primarily gaming, that graphics card will not be enough to run games like Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, etc at anything higher than medium. Get a 560ti like this one for around $220 instead.

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

You can do a couple of things to fund this within your budget:

1. downgrade your processor to i3-2120. You will not notice the difference in any games (except maybe a bit battlefield 3 multiplayer with 64 players). But photoshop,movie making etc will be a bit slower.

2. ditch the SSD.

I personally would go with option 1, especially for a rig meant mainly for gaming. Most games are GPU intensive, and the i3-2120 can handle anything that games today can throw at them. Sure, you will give up on overclocking and quad core, but the GPU upgrade is worth it.

If you are going to do a lot of productivity, or really want the future proofing offered by quad core CPUs, then ditch the SSD. You can always upgrade later.

Ideally, just spend $100 more and get everything :p  I just feel bad that my suggestions have already increased your build price by $150 and now uping your graphics would be another $100.

i was planning on waiting a bit for the SSD, but will the graphics card i have listed be able to play the games i have listed- i don't think i'll be able to spend another $110.
May 8, 2012 12:23:41 AM

Can't speek about games that haven't been released yet, but skyrim should run fine on ultra.
May 8, 2012 12:28:40 AM

Are there a lot of games out now that my graphics card can't handle?
May 8, 2012 1:12:03 AM

You could do almost everything on Medium. But for High-Ultra on games like BF3, COD and Batman: Arkham City, you will have to upgrade.

Most RPGs should be fine. Guild Wars 2 included.
May 8, 2012 10:48:45 PM

The Rosewill is better b/c it has USB 3.0, extra case fan and is made of metal.
May 9, 2012 2:47:19 AM

The one you selected is just as good. And if you like the Rosewill Case, get it!

May 9, 2012 3:37:07 AM

the 3450 is faster than the 2500k at stock speeds, although it has a lower clock (3.1 vs 3.3). This is because the 3450 is ivy bridge (the latest line of intel cpus) and thus is approximately 10% faster at the same clock speed.

But this does not mean much, because you can safely overclock the 2500k significantly, reaching 4-4.2 ghz even with a stock cooler. At these speeds, It will be faster than the 3450. If you get a cheap aftermarket cooling solution, such as this:

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

you could probably get 4.4-4.7 ghz easy from the 2500k. This is almost a 25% improvement from the baseline results in the link that you sent. At this speed, it will blow the 3450 out of the water.

The 3450 on the other hand cannot be overclocked meaningfully at all.

If you are sure you dont want to overclock, it makes no sense to spend the extra $20 on the 2500k.

But remember that the 2500k is sandy bridge not ivy bridge, and thus will not let you use certain benefits of a z77 motherboard such as PCI E 3.0. However, these features imo are not required for you needs. Sandy bridge will also consume more power.

If you must get Ivy bridge and still want to overclock, you will have to get the 3570K which is ~$250.

May 9, 2012 8:49:30 PM

kulladoctor said:
the 3450 is faster than the 2500k at stock speeds, although it has a lower clock (3.1 vs 3.3). This is because the 3450 is ivy bridge (the latest line of intel cpus) and thus is approximately 10% faster at the same clock speed.

But this does not mean much, because you can safely overclock the 2500k significantly, reaching 4-4.2 ghz even with a stock cooler. At these speeds, It will be faster than the 3450. If you get a cheap aftermarket cooling solution, such as this:

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

you could probably get 4.4-4.7 ghz easy from the 2500k. This is almost a 25% improvement from the baseline results in the link that you sent. At this speed, it will blow the 3450 out of the water.

The 3450 on the other hand cannot be overclocked meaningfully at all.

If you are sure you dont want to overclock, it makes no sense to spend the extra $20 on the 2500k.

But remember that the 2500k is sandy bridge not ivy bridge, and thus will not let you use certain benefits of a z77 motherboard such as PCI E 3.0. However, these features imo are not required for you needs. Sandy bridge will also consume more power.

If you must get Ivy bridge and still want to overclock, you will have to get the 3570K which is ~$250.

I'm not goig to overclock so i'll get the 3450
May 9, 2012 10:39:27 PM

If you are certain you dont want to overclock, go for it. But I recommend you at least give a little thought to the option, simply because the performance benefits are ridiculous and the risk is very minimal. Most people here at toms will agree with me.

The process of Overclocking is also very simple on the Intel CPUs, and should not take more than a couple of hours of sitting at the computer in total.

Finally, even though you dont want to OC right now, remember that a year or two down the line, when it comes time for an upgrade, OCing your PC then could buy you another 6months to 1 year of acceptable performance. This much future proofing imo is worth a 20 dollar premium.
May 9, 2012 11:46:00 PM

what is the difference in i5 2500 and the i5 2500k? How much better is the 3450 than the 2500k stock?
May 10, 2012 1:11:33 AM

You can only overclock K type processors. So the 2500 is the same as the 2500k, except that it cannot be OC'ed. The 3450 should be about 5-10% better at stock. However, when you are playing games, this would only translate into 2-5% difference in FPS.
May 10, 2012 1:41:33 AM

Skyrim should run at Ultra with a 6770.
May 10, 2012 2:24:30 AM

ToKiiNz said:
looks ok upgrade the grapics card to a 6850 its better than the 560 and 460 which are recommended for skyrim and battle field 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it might cost alittle more butits worth it.

for the case try the Rosewill Challanger its crazy good for the price and i have use it in 3 mid end builds
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is the graphics card worth the extra $40? I actually already was getting the challenger i haven't updated it yet. It looks really good.
May 10, 2012 2:27:54 AM

kulladoctor said:
Skyrim should run at Ultra with a 6770.

So Skyrim will run on ultra with the one I have?
May 10, 2012 4:30:08 AM

just ordered it- Thanks for all the help.
May 10, 2012 11:46:41 AM

Intel cost way too much. :o  I would upgrade the graphics card to the 6850 at least and get the seagate momentus xt hybrid drive. the momentus hybrid drive has 4gb ssd with a 500gb hhd
here is my computers specs
gaming htpc llano A-8 3870K processor, 500gb seagate momentus hybrid drive, 8gb g.skill sniper ram, sony blu ray player, crossfired 6670, bluetooth, wifi, mini keyboard/mouse combo, 450 WATT 80 PLUS PSU, WINDOWS 7 home premium http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007TN5PZ6

gaming computer fx 6100 6 core processor,nzxt tempest 410 gaming case, 2tb western-digital green hard disk drive, xfx radeon hd 6870, 8gb crucial ram, corsair h60 liquid cooling, samsung blu ray drive, 630 WATT 80 PLUS PSU, WINDOWS 7 home premium http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007T0DXVM
May 10, 2012 4:34:11 PM

Np! You have one really upgradable system! Check out the tom's article on skyrim. According to that you should be able to do ultra at 1080 or at least 720. I say stick with the cheap card and put those $40 towards a 560ti or 6870 in the future.
!