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Final advice on ~$800-900 gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
May 14, 2012 11:41:37 AM


After a few weeks of research, I've compiled a list of components I want. My main point of contention is the motherboard and power supply. But I'll definitely appreciate general advice on my build.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week (as soon as possible)

Budget Range: $800-900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mainly for gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, DVD drive, GPU (I got a HD4850 512MB, and I will probably hold out my GPU upgrade till later)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I will be purchasing from local brick and mortar shops

Country: Singapore

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Parts Preferences:

Case: NZXT Source 220

CPU: Intel i5-3570K

CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz CL 9 2x4GB

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V or P8Z77-V Pro

HDD: Seagate 1TB

The link above gives a brief outline of the difference between the 2. I'm probably not going to do crazy overclocking, maybe up to 4.5 GHz. So I am not sure if I really need the extra power phases in the Pro? Besides this, and the extra USB 3.0, I don't see much difference between the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-V Pro that justifies the extra cost.

PSU: Seasonic M12II-520W/620W

I am pretty sure that with my current build, 520W is pretty ample. But should I get 620W for some headroom in case I'd go for Crossfire/SLI?
May 14, 2012 3:37:15 PM

for sli/xfire i would feel more comfortable with a 700-800 watt supply. change the Ram to a low profile one or just anything else besides Corsair vengeance as it has really high heatsinks that will block the hyper 212 evo
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May 14, 2012 4:41:46 PM

The power supply size is determined by the graphics configuration.

Today's 28nm graphics cards do not need more than a 500w psu. 650w tops.
A GTX680 or 7970 will run on 500W.

A 650w unit is close enough in price to a 500w unit and will run cooler and quieter to warrant a slight premium.
Whatever you do, buy a QUALITY PSU. A cheap unit will be underpowered, and dangerous to your other components if it fails.
My short list of quality psu's would include Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, PC P&C, and XFX to name a few.

With the availability of cards as strong as a GTX690, I see no need to spend extra up front planning on sli.

For gaming, it is the graphics card that will give you the FPS you want, not so much the CPU.
Your 4850 is not going to give you the performance that a ivy 3570K is capable of.

If a big graphics upgrade is in order, fine.

Any Z77 motherboard will give you an OC to 4.0 and higher. That is all you need. Even at stock, the 3570K will drive most graphics cards to it's limits.
What I am saying is save your funds for a better graphics card.

Consider a cheaper Z77 M-ATX motherboard. It has only 4 expansion slots, but how many of the 7 on a full ATX motherboard do you plan to use anyway?
May 14, 2012 4:56:00 PM

Go for the Asrock Extreme4 Z77 Board

Consider the Corsair 300R Case

620W is good to consider

Try the Corsair Force Series 60GB SSD (80$, Might be worth it)

And don't do SLI/Xfire, Just buy a new 7870 card when the price drops! It'll be more then enough
May 14, 2012 5:12:42 PM

With a Monitor Resolution of 1280x1024 SLI/Crossfire shouldn't be needed. I would upgrade from a HD4850 though. A single geforce 560 ti (or equivalent ati card) should easily make any game playable at max settings.

The minimum fps at the lowest resolution tested of battlefield 3 was 1680x1050 @ 44 fps.

Going down to 1280x1024 should net you about 25% more fps theoretically (55 fps in total).

If you plan on getting a new monitor capable of let's say 1920x1080, i would go with a geforce 570 or the new geforce 600 series.