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Gaming Rig-$3-4K budget

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May 8, 2012 8:06:51 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next Month

Budget Range: 3K to 4K

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Intense Gaming, Watching Movies, Surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers/Headphones

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Tiger Direct, Amazon

Country: United States(Alabama)

Parts Preferences: Full tower case, Intel Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge, 1920x1200 monitor

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I have been saving money for a while for this build. This will be the only build I will do for the next 3-4 years. I want an extreme system. I have the cash so want the best in my budget. Any advice would help me alot. This is my 3rd build.



Current Parts:

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X Blue Edition RC-942-KKN3 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: ENERMAX MAXREVO Series EMR1350EWT 1350W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive x(2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: You tell me

DVD Burner: LITE-ON DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BLU-RAY Burner: ASUS Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling: CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Cards: EVGA 03G-P3-1588-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card x(3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the current direction I am going in. If anyone here can think of something better, I am all ears. Thanks in advance guys for any help. Mike




More about : gaming rig budget

May 8, 2012 8:24:25 PM

One more thing: The HAF X's Hotswap Bays are quite horrible so if thats a primary reason for you're choice, the HAF X isn't for you.
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May 8, 2012 8:30:28 PM

fragglewhat said:


Current Parts:

PSU: ENERMAX MAXREVO Series EMR1350EWT 1350W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Good specs overall.

PSU Not able to find the review at the reputed Johnny Guru on this PSU. But found a variant and also at Tweaktown. Appears good.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4191/enermax_maxrevo_e...

CPU and RAM The CPU supports up to DDR3 1600. Why do you want a DDR3 1866? There were some discussions on the net and even on this forum regarding warranty of i7 CPUs (at that time SB 3930K while using a memory greater than 1600). I know all XMPs are tested and certified by Intel and should not cause any problems to the CPU. But you might want to check this.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/foru [...] easde-help

Mobo Personally, I would prefer one of the three (Z77 Extreme6, Z77A-GD65, and Z77H2-A2X). See this review at Tom's.

"A three-way value tie between the Z77 Extreme6, Z77A-GD65, and Z77H2-A2X is difficult to settle. That forces us to a single conclusion: buyers should carefully consider the overall feature set of these three contenders before picking the one that best suits their individual needs." This is reproduced from

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/z77-extreme6-z77a-gd65-z7...

My choice would be either ASRock z77 extreme 6 or MSI Z77A-GD65.

Displays: Dell ultrasharp: 27".

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May 8, 2012 9:05:16 PM

Correct me if i'm wrong:

Those Motherboards are LGA1155 while the 3930K is LGA2011
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May 8, 2012 9:13:59 PM

logan77 said:
Correct me if i'm wrong:

Those Motherboards are LGA1155 while the 3930K is LGA2011


Your CPU is i7 3770K ;) 

See this

logan77 said:
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819116501


so, you are fine with one of the mobo.
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May 8, 2012 9:36:35 PM

I'd recommend either a pair of 680s or triple 670s (both are much less power consumption and are PCI 3 - the 580 is PCI 2). If you go either of these routes, your PSU is way overkill. May need 1000W with triple (that's probably still too much).

You need Win 7 64-bit pro or ultimate to use more than 16GB RAM.

The 3770K is not needed for your stated purposes. Games don't use hyperthreading and there's been no hints that I have seen that they will. A 3570K would be plenty sufficient.

It's your cash but there are some options :) 

Edit: Also, why the blue ray burner? Watching movies from physical media is rapidly becoming passe and backing up to a hdd is faster and economical.

Edit 2: If you are spending that much I'd get a bigger SSD and use the HDD less.
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May 8, 2012 9:37:46 PM

I apolagize
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May 8, 2012 10:00:27 PM

For a single 1920X1200 monitor the triple SLI will most likely be slower than a dual. Plus the 580's are power hungry and noisy. I'd go for a 2560X1600 display with dual 680's. The 680's are quiet too. I've seen reviews where overclocked 680 boards with custom cooling are quieter than stock boards.

You don't need 32G ram, 16G is more than enough.

1000 watts should be enough, go for a gold or platinum rating.

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May 8, 2012 10:14:19 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
I'd recommend either a pair of 680s or triple 670s (both are much less power consumption and are PCI 3 - the 580 is PCI 2). If you go either of these routes, your PSU is way overkill. May need 1000W with triple (that's probably still too much).

You need Win 7 64-bit pro or ultimate to use more than 16GB RAM.

The 3770K is not needed for your stated purposes. Games don't use hyperthreading and there's been no hints that I have seen that they will. A 3570K would be plenty sufficient.

It's your cash but there are some options :) 

Edit: Also, why the blue ray burner? Watching movies from physical media is rapidly becoming passe and backing up to a hdd is faster and economical.

Edit 2: If you are spending that much I'd get a bigger SSD and use the HDD less.



^ + 1

Plz listen to these suggestions. Also on a side note...Tri SLI for just 1 monitor?? seems like an absence of common sense to me.
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May 8, 2012 10:15:36 PM

For two 680s, 1000W is overkill. 750W is the most you'll need.
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May 8, 2012 10:21:22 PM

Build coming soon
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May 8, 2012 10:33:15 PM

I recommend you getting these at least for gaming:
i5 3750k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and these zalman heat sink http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (some people or few claim that it gives better cooling than H100 which I barely heard off but not really sure as Qmax s 300w)
try to get this bad ass case even tho It's a mid tower lol http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Get this RAM from G.Skill for 16GB, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It is said that if your Overclocking, 2 slot of RAM used can give you better OCing than 4 slot of RAM also it's at 2400MHz...
If you can, buy your HDD/SSD from this cheaper place but it's only "limit time only" and it's really good because they gives coupon where you cant even find them... http://www.logicbuy.com/categorydeals/computers/hard-dr...
Buy this Video Card from Evga the GTx 680 4GB at 1100MHz
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May 8, 2012 10:33:44 PM

As I understand a single 680/7970 will play ultra setting on all current games SLI/crossfire is for:

triple monitor

or a high res

And when you get into that relm xfire runs faster so 2x HD 7970 may be the way to go with 3x 24" monitors. Ir one large 27-30" for viewing movies and such
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May 8, 2012 10:35:47 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ CompUSA)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($177.91 @ CompUSA)
Memory: Corsair Dominator 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($649.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($507.55 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($507.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($161.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 860W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 24.0" Monitor ($299.00 @ Dell)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 24.0" Monitor ($299.00 @ Dell)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 24.0" Monitor ($299.00 @ Dell)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($138.99 @ B&H)
Total: $3790.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-08 18:35 EDT-0400)

Upgrade to i7 if you REALLY want to.
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May 8, 2012 10:38:15 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. This is why I asked the forums for their input. I think I am definitely going to go with 16GB of 1600 ram instead of the 32GB. In everyones honest opinion, is Ivy Bridge worth it or should I just go with a higher end Sandy? Thanks for input on monitors as well. I fully understand that triple SLI is kind of pointless, so I think I will stick with two higher end cards and just go dual. Great advice with the newer cards as well, love the less power consumption and the Pci 3. Again thank you to everyone who responded, and I look forward to more input as I revise my plans. Mike
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May 8, 2012 10:44:04 PM

summary from all posts to save you money:

1. get 8gb ram (you wont use more)

2. Get i5 3750k

3. get the newest GPUS 680/7970 they run quieter/cooler/faster

4. Don't get a BR writer. you will never use it. get a large usb3 mem stice for transport or a 2.5" drive

5. 1000w PSU>

6. Consider this for cooling
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May 8, 2012 11:03:33 PM

With your budget go for the 16 Gb Ram. Ram is cheap... Bragging rights... my ePeen is bigger than yours. 32 Gb is overkill

The H100 cpu cooler is right up there with the best coolers. It also makes for a really clean look inside of your case. All RAM clearance issues are nullified too.

Those 128 Gb Crucial M4s were on sale yesterday for $99 at Newegg. Look for a better price on them you might get lucky...

GTX 690s and 680s are hard to find... If you are going for a single monitor setup you only need one of the highest end single GPUs from either Nvidia or AMD. A single GTX 680/670/580 or a 7970 will max out all your games at 1920 x 1080. If you plan on getting a high res monitor or 2 or 3 monitors the 690 or 7990 will do the trick.

Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge perform about the same. Sandy Bridge has slightly higher OC potential. The Ivy Bridge is new and shiny and uses less power. As far as the models you want to look at... an i5 3570K IB or an i5 2500K will max out all your games. Anything higher than this is overkill. But it is certainly in your budget to get a higher end CPU... I'd recommend a higher end CPU only if you are editing/rendering videos or some other task that can use those extra threads...

BR burner... It is in your budget if you want one. Those discs hold lots of data...
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May 8, 2012 11:29:48 PM

becomecooler said:
summary from all posts to save you money:

1. get 8gb ram (you wont use more)

2. Get i5 3750k

3. get the newest GPUS 680/7970 they run quieter/cooler/faster

4. Don't get a BR writer. you will never use it. get a large usb3 mem stice for transport or a 2.5" drive

5. 1000w PSU>

6. Consider this for cooling

It's obvious you'll use more because after 5-7GB of RAM usage, it goes into HDD, If you want to know if HDD is being used for RAM than disable the PageFiles on HDD and see if it ask you "Shut down any program"... GTx 680 4GB is currently the best one for a dual monitor or a single 2560x1600 and should be able to max out BF3...
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May 8, 2012 11:30:36 PM

pacioli said:
With your budget go for the 16 Gb Ram. Ram is cheap... Bragging rights... my ePeen is bigger than yours. 32 Gb is overkill

The H100 cpu cooler is right up there with the best coolers. It also makes for a really clean look inside of your case. All RAM clearance issues are nullified too.

Those 128 Gb Crucial M4s were on sale yesterday for $99 at Newegg. Look for a better price on them you might get lucky...

GTX 690s and 680s are hard to find... If you are going for a single monitor setup you only need one of the highest end single GPUs from either Nvidia or AMD. A single GTX 680/670/580 or a 7970 will max out all your games at 1920 x 1080. If you plan on getting a high res monitor or 2 or 3 monitors the 690 or 7990 will do the trick.

Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge perform about the same. Sandy Bridge has slightly higher OC potential. The Ivy Bridge is new and shiny and uses less power. As far as the models you want to look at... an i5 3570K IB or an i5 2500K will max out all your games. Anything higher than this is overkill. But it is certainly in your budget to get a higher end CPU... I'd recommend a higher end CPU only if you are editing/rendering videos or some other task that can use those extra threads...

BR burner... It is in your budget if you want one. Those discs hold lots of data...


Actually Ivy Bridge performs quite a bit better. 40% more transistors.
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May 9, 2012 12:36:38 AM

UVB076 said:
Actually Ivy Bridge performs quite a bit better. 40% more transistors.

By how much better, 2.8% better of course in terms of performance from 2600k V.S. 3770k @ 4.8GHz... The problem with IvyBridge is the HEAT and Voltage... People loves 4.8GHz speed so the cause of the performance is 1.3v with temperature of 80*C on load on high end heat sink... 4.5GHz is what people currently would go for and @ 4.5GHz, the voltage is 1.1v which is great...
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May 9, 2012 1:58:29 AM

You also forget that IB doesn't need to OC high to get max benefits. A 4.2 GHz OC on the i5-3570k is roughly equivalent to 4.5 GHz on IB.

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May 9, 2012 11:38:03 AM

azeem40 said:
You also forget that IB doesn't need to OC high to get max benefits. A 4.2 GHz OC on the i5-3570k is roughly equivalent to 4.5 GHz on IB.

That's why people jump to 4.8GHz... Dont care if 4.2GHz is equal to 4.5GHz because it's still very low voltage of 1.1v awhile huge different between 4.5GHz to 4.8GHz with 1.3v...
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May 9, 2012 3:29:22 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...
3.7% increase in performance on the 3770K over the 2700K... In other words not something you are going to notice.
http://www.digitalversus.com/cpu/face-off/10248.html
Here, in productivity software the 2500K comes in ahead of the 3570K... by a little bit...
I'd go with the 3570K personally if I were building a rig right now...
The only reason I'd get the 2500K is if my budget was really tight and I needed to shave that extra $20-$30.
This is clearly not a tight budget... $3K-$4K will get you the best of the best. But throwing money at an extreme series chip is just a waste for the miniscule performance increase.
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May 9, 2012 4:43:03 PM

Ref your PSU...the max a wall socket can produce is 1200 watts unless you call the electric company and get a dedicated line put in your house, so anything over is definite overkill
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May 10, 2012 6:18:36 AM

Ok so I revamped my list. Appreciate any input on my new list.

Case- COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo- ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU-CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX) 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory- G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7Q-16GBZM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU- 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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD- Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F240GB3A-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive- ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor- SAMSUNG S24A450BW-1 Black 24" 5ms Height& Pivot Adjustable Widescreen LED Monitor 250 cd/m2 1000:1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card- HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling- CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card- EVGA 02G-P4-2683-KR GeForce GTX 680 Superclocked, Signature 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is my updated list, just give me any heads up if this looks good.
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May 10, 2012 3:23:47 PM

WoW! Excellent build!
Usually you don't need a sound card... Onboard sound is excellent in most cases. But hey... if you are an audiophile get what you want!
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May 13, 2012 7:10:24 AM

As stated before, good build. In terms of your storage though, you might as well go with Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 64Mb instead of the Caviar Blue. And for your SSD, you can easily one up it by getting the Corsair Force GT 240GB. If you got both it would just be around another $100 to cost with a good improvement in speed although it should already be quite fast. If not, your build is pretty good already :) 
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May 16, 2012 10:55:09 PM

With the performance per watt ratios of newer cards, you don't need a 1.2kW PSU.
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!