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First-time build for gaming

Last response: in Systems
May 18, 2012 8:18:36 PM

Hello everybody!
I'm a first-time builder and my goal is a somewhat high-end gaming system for at least such current games as Battlefield 3 and Skyrim. After a few days of googling and pondering, I have put up a list of parts and I would like your opinions and advice on it!

Without further ado, the parts are...
Case: Fractal Design Core 3000 (59.90€ / $76)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX (119€ / $151)
CPU: Intel i5-3570k (226€ / $287)
GPU: Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II (429€ / $546) (drool... :teehee: )
PSU: Corsair AX650W (139.90€ / $178)
RAM: Kingston HyperX 2x4GB @ 1600MHz (49€ / $62)
HDD: Seagate 2TB Barracuda, SATA III, 7200rpm, 64MB (112€ / $142)
DVD Drive: Asus DRW-24B5ST (21.90€ / $28)
OS: Windows 7 64bit (109€ / $139)
TOTAL: 1265.70€ / $1610

The euro prices are exact; the prices in dollars were converted with google for reference. Keep in mind though, that the prices here are usually more than in the USA, for example...

Although I won't be overlocking, I was thinking of replacing the stock CPU cooler (although no mention of it, I THINK it comes with the processor...), possibly with Cooler Master's Hyper 212 EVO (30.90€ / $39).
Oh, also, my budget... I could possibly manage with max. 1400€ / $1780, but I'd prefer to keep it under 1300€ / $1654...
I would have liked a SSD, but ... Perhaps I could change the HDD to a smaller version, like the same I have listed, but in a 500GB version saving 42€ / $53 and buy more space later. However, the 500GB version has a 16MB cache (vs. 64MB on the other), would that have much effect if it would be used for mostly storage of media? Now browsing, I see 2.5" and 3.5" sized SSDs, but it seems this particular case would only fit the 3.5" ones, unless there are some adapters like in Kingston's 120GB HyperX 3K SSD (€149 / $190) there seems to be...

Well, it seems I had more questions than I thought... Any input would be immensely appreciated!

EDIT: I WON'T be needing a monitor, or any other external devices for now.

More about : time build gaming

May 18, 2012 10:20:04 PM

The i5-3550 is only about 20€ / $25 cheaper, not too comforting. Is there something actually wrong with the i5-3570k, like is it meant for overclocking (is that what the K at the end means then..?) and would it perform worse than the i5-3550 at stock frequencies? :??: 
And thank you for the reply.
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May 18, 2012 11:23:49 PM

Oh god, so there is even more stuff to know... Didn't even know that CPUs might prefer a certain type of RAM. The RAM you mentioned, I found for 62€ / $79, gonna have to look into that... The case would be 30€ / $38 more expensive here too.
So much headache :kaola: 
May 18, 2012 11:38:40 PM

The ones with a K are unlocked and made for overclocking
a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 1:23:04 AM

Not all SSDs have a bracket - make sure when you order. Lately the m4 with bracket was cheaper than without at TigerDirect - go figure. The K cpus will give you the option to crank up the clock if you choose later - well worth the extra IMO. The rest of the build looks good when you decide on your 1.5v RAM.
May 19, 2012 7:26:03 AM

Whoa, first of all, thank you a lot for these replies! ;) 

@frozonic Thank you... but! The prices on were in british pounds, meaning that build would end up costing about as much as the original of mine in this topic... :D 

Now the SSD. It's the first one I'm ever going to get, so I'm not really looking for ultimate performance or whatever. That said, the Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD is only 121.90€ / $155 and many people seem to have had good experiences with it, AND according to AnandTech's benchmarks it's actually quite good against other SSDs in the same price range...

The updated build would be as follows... (changes underlined)
Case: Fractal Design Core 3000 (59.90€ / $76)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX (119€ / $151)
CPU: Intel i5-3570k (226€ / $287)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (30.90€ / $39)
GPU: Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II (429€ / $546)
PSU: Corsair AX650W (139.90€ / $178)
RAM: G.Skill 8GB Sniper DDR3 1600 MHz, 1.5V (62€ / $79)
OR Corsair 8GB Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz, 1.5V (58€ / $74)

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB, SATA III, 7200rpm, 16MB (69.90€ / $89)
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB (121.90€ / $155)
DVD Drive: Asus DRW-24B5ST (21.90€ / $28)
OS: Windows 7 64bit OEM (109€ / $139) (yes...)
TOTAL: Closer to 1400€ / $1780 WITH the operating system.

ABOUT THE RAM. Can I really go wrong with either one? Also, there are 3 versions of the Corsair Vengeance: "normal", Dual Channel (kit) Low Profile and another (which seems to be the latter with different coloring actually...), so would the "normal" version possibly fit with the Hyper 212 EVO and would there be a trade-off if having to get the Low Profile version?

Now what I'm a little worried about is the processor cooler. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO's (outer/full...) dimensions are listed as 8 cm x 12 cm x 15.9 cm and the height of the fan (I guess) is 2.5 cm. The current case supports processor coolers of 16 cm height. So if the 15.9 cm is the actual height of the cooler, which is supposed to be under 16 cm, I guess it fits..? :bounce:  That'd leave 1 centimeter / 0.4 inches of space, is that bad..?

Also, the suggested Cooler Master Storm Scout does seem better BUT. I can't find the maximum GPU length for it, although I DID find a note that said "Radeon HD 6950 & 6970 don't fit in this case". After a quick glance though, it seemed that the mentioned GPUs are naturally even larger than the Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II, which in turn is 10.7 inches / 21.17 centimeters.
The upgraded version of this, CM Storm Enforcer, actually had removable HDD Cage, which I guess would make it possible to fit the GPU, just like is the case with the Fractal Design's Core 3000.

And one last thing (for now :pt1cable: ), 650W or 750W? I was thinking that I could upgrade to Corsair AX750W if need be.
EDIT: Thermaltake's power supply calculator ( says that about 411W of power is needed for this kit...

(Gah this turned to quite a lengthy post... Thank you all for your patience ;) )
a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2012 7:42:44 AM

It may be fast, but I doubt it is worth losing RAID when an SSD is fast enough as is.
May 19, 2012 3:32:38 PM

When you want to calculate your PSU wattage, always use this because sometimes they add extra watts to make you spend more.
I would go with the Corsair RAM, as it is cheaper although both are very good. Get the normal, because you are using an ATX case, it doesn't matter. Also, the Hyper 212 EVO should fit with no problem.

The PSU is fine with 650W, even if you add another card in SLI.
May 20, 2012 10:57:02 AM

A couple of updates:

1. First off, I changed RAM from G.Skill's Sniper to G.Skill 8GB Dual Kit Ripjaws X, 13€ cheaper but the same 1600MHz, 1.5V... There shouldn't be that much of a change here, should there? The Corsair Vengeance RAM costs in this case more.

2. I won't be ordering the aftermarket CPU cooler with the rest of the components. I'll probably order it later though, I'll just see first how the stock cooler works.

3. I'm thinking of buying Corsair TX650W instead of the AX series. The main changes seem to be that TX has a certification level of 80+ Bronze and AX 80+ Gold, and the TX series ISN'T modular, but it shouldn't be problem as long as it can be installed :sarcastic: . The price would drop for almost 50€ ($64)..!

With these changes the prices drops down to 1298.40€ / $1655, which would be quite perfect for me.

EDIT: The websites I'll be ordering are and Jimm's if you wan't to know how much more expensive it is here in Finland... ;) 

EDIT2: Probably going to get the Cooler Master HAF 912 PLUS case for 82.90€ or Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Gaming Case for 129€ (includes 3 4 fans).