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Need help building a decent gaming computer.

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May 18, 2012 3:28:10 AM

Hello, I'm new to the site. I'm trying to build a new gaming computer to play games like Diablo 3, Skyrim (obviously not at high settings), and other popular games. If you guys can help me I would greatly appreciate it!

Hopefully this is the right forum to post this in.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next.

Budget Range: Maximum $800. Don't include the speakers and monitor in the price please.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, school work (Microsoft Office?), and other programs like iTunes and such. (All important)

Parts Not Required: I need everything besides monitor (maybe, is an Acer AL2017A LCD Monitor good?),

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Probably Newegg, but I'm cool with anything that is cheap.

Country: United States.

Parts Preferences: I have no preference, anything that runs decently high settings (for games like Skyrim) but is also cheap.

Overclocking: I don't know what this means so, whatever makes my PC run faster at higher settings. (I'm new computers and these terms)

SLI or Crossfire: I also don't know what this means, whatever makes my PC run faster at higher settings. (Again, sorry but I'm new to this stuff.)

Monitor Resolution: I'm probably getting a new monitor, but my old one is 1400x1050 (Acer AL2017A LCD Monitor)

Additional Comments: I'm completely new to computer parts and terminology. Please make it easy for me to understand. And I know I won't be able to get the best parts and such with this budget, but I want to get as close as I can to running Skyrim at ultra settings. Thanks for helping to whomever replies to this. :) 

More about : building decent gaming computer

a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 6:50:13 AM

Res should matter. It is what determines how well the graphics card will run a game.
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May 18, 2012 7:42:27 AM

I said "Doesn't matter" because I have no idea what I'm talking about. Whatever helps me run games better.
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Related resources
May 18, 2012 1:17:58 PM

Do you have a monitor? If so, go to this website: http://www.whatismyscreenresolution.com/

It does matter. I'd suggest 1080p as a good mid-range setup. However, if you are trying to fit in a monitor, OS, and HDD in a $700 budget, you're not going to get a gaming computer.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 1:48:28 PM

ddan49 said:
Do you have a monitor? If so, go to this website: http://www.whatismyscreenresolution.com/

It does matter. I'd suggest 1080p as a good mid-range setup. However, if you are trying to fit in a monitor, OS, and HDD in a $700 budget, you're not going to get a gaming computer.

+1

Those three parts will be half your max budget.

You could swing a dual-core Celeron/Pentium + an HD 7750, but that's only good for medium settings in games.

I can suggest a super-budget build like that, but we need to be sure you don't have a monitor, a hard drive, or a copy of Windows 7.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 2:01:15 PM

You ask for a lot. I don't normally list combo's as they come and go, but there was no way not to with what you asked for and I am still slighly over. there are just no good deals on HDD's and PSU's right now :( 

this build should do Skyrim at 40FPS in 1920x1080 on high and 30FPS on ultra.

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16827106289
$17.99

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16811146075
$39.99

XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16814150540
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$109.99

HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16824262011
$129.99

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16820231394
$22.99

HDD/PSU COMBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Driv
Item #: N82E16822152181

CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139027
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

MB/CPU COMBO $141.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphic
Item #: N82E16819116397

ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157236

Keyboard mouse combo $16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16832116986
$99.99
--------
$708.90 + $25 shipping and +$30 MIR.

the G series sandybridge processors are just about as poweful for gaming as the i3 2100, they just don't have turbo boost, hyperthreading etc...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 3:17:12 PM

jerreddredd said:
You ask for a lot. I don't normally list combo's as they come and go, but there was no way not to with what you asked for and I am still slighly over. there are just no good deals on HDD's and PSU's right now :( 

this build should do Skyrim at 40FPS in 1920x1080 on high and 30FPS on ultra.

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16827106289
$17.99

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16811146075
$39.99

XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16814150540
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$109.99

HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16824262011
$129.99

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16820231394
$22.99

HDD/PSU COMBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Driv
Item #: N82E16822152181

CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139027
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

MB/CPU COMBO $141.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphic
Item #: N82E16819116397

ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157236

Keyboard mouse combo $16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16832116986
$99.99
--------
$708.90 + $25 shipping and +$30 MIR.

the G series sandybridge processors are just about as poweful for gaming as the i3 2100, they just don't have turbo boost, hyperthreading etc...

+1

This build looks good, but I highly recommend spending $8 more for the LED monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, the Rosewill Redbone case is less HUGE and comes with 2 case fans: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

@xDioz, you will get significantly more performance if you're able to stretch your budget to $750 - then you could get an HD 6850 (that can play all games on high settings). Then you'd have a really good entry-level gaming rig.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 3:52:49 PM

I also like jerreddredd's build; it's a lot like the cheapest build I've been recommending lately; and I agree with jessterman21. Some things to consider:
You mentioned iTunes; do you also need speakers? Especially at the low end, a 2.1 set will sound a LOT better than 2.0.
Because you are a student, are you able to get a discounted copy of Windows? You're in the budget range where an incremental $10 here or there can make a measurable difference.
You may consider a 1600x900 monitor. They're cheaper, but that's still a decent amount of screen space, but will be easier on the graphics card than 1920x1080. I got this one for my test rig, and it's nice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 4:49:22 PM

Onus said:
I also like jerreddredd's build; it's a lot like the cheapest build I've been recommending lately; and I agree with jessterman21. Some things to consider:
You mentioned iTunes; do you also need speakers? Especially at the low end, a 2.1 set will sound a LOT better than 2.0.
Because you are a student, are you able to get a discounted copy of Windows? You're in the budget range where an incremental $10 here or there can make a measurable difference.
You may consider a 1600x900 monitor. They're cheaper, but that's still a decent amount of screen space, but will be easier on the graphics card than 1920x1080. I got this one for my test rig, and it's nice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

+1

900p works for me :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2012 6:09:06 PM

I was trying to give the OP a good base for future upgrades with this build. I went with 1080p monitor and the solid 500w psu for these reasons. If the OP could come up with a student discounted version of Win 7 That few extra $ would make this a sweet little rig.

As it is, the Rig will play most games on medium to high and should do D3 on ultra and Skyrim on high. I would have rather put a HD 7770 or HD 6850 for $20-$30 more, but i just couldn't swing it. HDD and quality PSU prices are rather high right now.

If the OP is near a micro center I might take a look at what they have on special.
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May 18, 2012 9:23:28 PM

i5 2500 kit $543 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
radeon hd 6850 $150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$693 -$713 for the i5 2500k
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
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May 18, 2012 11:43:38 PM

Sorry about the late reply. I have an Acer AL2017 A LCD Monitor. Will this monitor work for games like Skyrim? Or do I need a better one? I have a keyboard&mouse. I need Windows 7. I would need an HDD. @jtt283, I have some standard Dell speakers that go into a green speaker jack. Is that okay for Skyrim/Diablo 3/iTunes? And where can I get a discounted price for Windows 7? @jessterman21 and everyone else: If I can stretch my budget to $800 or so, can I make this build that much better? Thanks everyone, this helps alot!
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May 19, 2012 12:05:47 AM

I tried doing some research on this stuff.. because I have no idea what I'm doing nor talking about. Bear with me if I'm completely wrong on this but, I THINK this is what I need lol:
-A cool looking ATX Tower
-A power supply (if the tower doesn't come with it)
-Some kind of 64-bit CPU.
-An ATX Motherboard.
-A good graphics/video card.
-A good sound card.
-A good hard drive.
-Speakers? (I have Dell A215 Speakers, will that work?)
-Monitor? (I have an Acer AL2017A LCD Monitor, 1400x1050 I think. Will it work?)
-DVD Burner
-Wireless Network Card?
-USB2 Card?
-Windows 7 OS.

I think that's it.. If I'm totally off on this one, I apologize. This is the first time I've ever dealt with this stuff. Thanks for helping me out!

Keep in mind I want to get the highest performance (gaming-wise) for at MAX $800. Thanks.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 12:38:43 AM

Your Dell speakers will certainly work, but they may just not sound all that great.
Unless it is an Antec case which will include a quality Antec PSU, I have never known any case to include a PSU that may safely be connected to computer components; they're among the worst junk out there.
Recent articles [at Tom's] have included benchmarks that show that there is no longer any price point at which Intel does not outperform AMD in games. Keep that in mind as you review the suggestions you get. Disclaimer: I've built mostly AMD systems over the last few years, and 2/3 of mine are AMD. I'm not sure when or if I'll build another one though.

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May 19, 2012 1:45:57 AM

Thanks alot jtt283. Keeping that in mind, would someone be so kind as to build me a list of parts I should buy like what @jerreddredd did for me at the top of this thread? I want the absolute best build for a maximum $800. I also want my ATX Tower to look pretty cool. Refer to my most recent reply. Thanks alot everyone
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 1:27:17 PM

This will help - I would rather go with a cheaper motherboard and a stronger graphics card though. I still suggest the Redbone case and an HD 6850. And drop the CPU to an i3 - you'll need the extra cash for Windows 7.

http://www.techspot.com/guides/buying/page3.html
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 5:06:42 PM

jessterman21 said:
This will help - I would rather go with a cheaper motherboard and a stronger graphics card though. I still suggest the Redbone case and an HD 6850. And drop the CPU to an i3 - you'll need the extra cash for Windows 7.

http://www.techspot.com/guides/buying/page3.html

I think the OP is re-using his old monitor a bumped his budget to 800$. (on the build i suggested) I say just bump his GPU up to a 6850 and throw in larger faster HDD and he will be set may even bump to a i3.

even with keeping a monitor in the build the $100 helps. I would keep the monitor (the LED one if you want) as the OP's won't bring out the fullness of Skyrim. 1440 x 1050 is kind of an odd resolution.
I run a few builds later and see what I come up with.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 7:56:13 PM

this is the best I could do with the OP's revised specs - under $800 with the OP re-using his monitor. this is a solid system, I tried not to cut too many corners. Items were chosen for price/performance and low shipping cost. The Rig will play most everything on high and some on ultra (not Metro :lol: ):

i5 2300 Quad core / 8GB Ram / 1TB HDD / GTX 560 GPU
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16827151244
$16.99

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16811146075
$39.99

Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16822148697
$99.99

EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1463-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16814130664
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$169.99

CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16817139027
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$59.99

Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16823126097
$16.00

CORSAIR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMV8GX3M2A1333C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16820233192
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$41.99

ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16813157236
$66.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16832116986
$99.99

Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16819115076
$179.99
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$792 +$16 Shipping and has $20 MIR

if these combos are still active the you will save $26 by using them

MB Ram Combo saves $8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU HDD combo save $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Not sure if you need a wirless lan card or not but this is the one I would get if you do (stays within your budget if you use the combo deals):
$18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 10:54:44 PM

That's a good-looking build. If the monitor were 1920x1080, I'd probably prefer a stronger GPU, but for 1400x1050 it should do well.
I could see improving the KB and mouse, but that's a chump-change upgrade later.
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May 20, 2012 12:29:43 AM

Here's what I'd recommend for a $700 build (I don't include an OS or peripherals in my builds). This has a MUCH better GPU. However, an HDD isn't included. If you really need to, you can save money by dropping the motherboard a bit.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: OCZ 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($48.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $688.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-19 20:29 EDT-0400)



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a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 12:53:21 AM

ddan, your build doesn't include all the parts he needs, so I'm not sure it matters whether I agree or disagree with what you've chosen.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 1:12:18 AM

I do not recommend the ModXStream series. Get the ZS series as it is more reliable.

Jtt, I don't see anything missing.
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May 20, 2012 1:37:25 AM

Yeah... I was gonna say. The HDD and OS, but those are really pretty general.

The PSU is kind of shaky... I mean, at that point, just get one on sale or on a daily deal from Newegg (slickdeals.net is helpful as well). Seasonic is nice, Corsair as well, PC Power and Cooling is great. OCZ is pretty flaky, because they have some great PSUs (like the ZS series) and some less well-built (I guess the ModXStream is one of those. I wasn't aware of it, but I'd believe azeem40). However, good ones from OCZ are good... some bad editions don't reflect on the entire brand.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 3:41:36 AM

There was no HDD and no optical drive.
There's a 520W modular Seasonic at Newegg for $60 now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but with another $10 shipping. It's still an excellent choice. Or, for $55 there's this Antec modular: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that has also reviewed well.
The OCZ ModXStream has had good reviews, but was found to contain some lesser parts, like 85C capacitors; I wouldn't expect it to hold up as well over time or under load. OTOH, I do trust Seasonic and Antec (many of the latter's PSUs are made by Seasonic, or another top OEM, Delta).
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May 20, 2012 3:54:33 AM

Nobody uses opticals anymore. For installation, you can go USB. That modular Seasonic may be a good idea. I like the Antec 550W modular, personally.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 4:20:28 AM

In his post of 05-18-2012 at 08:05:47 PM the OP specifies a DVD burner.
A lot of software is available online, but a lot still isn't; I used an optical drive myself just today to install software on my father's PC.
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May 20, 2012 4:44:30 AM

Ah. Okay, well... that adds $20 to the overall price. May want to cut down on the motherboard, then, or even drop to an i3-2120 (isn't a HUGE difference).
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a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 5:07:36 AM

Yeah, your build was otherwise mostly decent. I'm on a personal crusade against CM though, for being a dishonest company. This isn't about quality (often found to be low as well), but most of their PSUs have liar-labels and/or claim protections that are missing (facts, not opinions; reviews at HardwareSecrets). That's dishonest, and I don't believe a dishonest company deserves anyone's business, for any of their products. Fortunately, in every market where they are found, competitors offer similar (or better) products for the same price. For example, check out Rosewill cases. They come with decent fans, and other features common to more expensive cases.
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May 20, 2012 5:16:12 AM

Oh, there are plenty of alternatives to the HAF 912. The Antec Three Hundred (Illusion) seemed to be fairly decent. I do try to stay away from Coolermaster (that's Crappermaster for those of you reading this that don't know) because I've heard of those things... when I can. I haven't had to buy one of their products yet, but if they come out with a silent case that beats the Fractal R3...

What I'm trying to say is that there are plenty of alternatives to Coolermaster, but if there isn't one, then go ahead and get it. Avoid it when possible, but not at all costs... it's like not buying a gallon of gas from BP. It's not actually going to hurt them, and if you need it... get it.
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May 20, 2012 6:00:59 AM

Thanks everyone for your help. This really helps me. I appreciate this alot!
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!