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Need some advice building ~$750 gaming/everyday desktop

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May 20, 2012 4:18:17 AM

Hey everyone! I'm building a new desktop for myself and I could use some help selecting some parts. I'm currently a college student and I'd like to have a gaming desktop to play some games (specifically titles such as Battlefield 3 and in the future Crysis 3, Guildwars 2, and other system demanding games, etc.). I also would like it to use this computer to complete my school work and enjoy some multimedia from time to time. (I'm also getting a new laptop or a tablet too, so I can take my school work elsewhere.) Ok, so back to building this system. Here is a quick overview:

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this week
Budget Range: $750 (excluding rebates from this estimate)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (I play a lot of video games, mainly fps), school work, movies, music, surfing the web, etc.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, DVD drive, gaming headset, and hard drive (I got a 7200 RPM 200 GB one...prices are too expensive right now, so I'll wait for some sales).
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: mircocenter.com/frys.com, so I can go and pick it up. Newegg.com works too. I also have amazon prime, so definitely amazon.com
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: I just want parts that will last me a long time (at least for 3 more yrs until I finish my undergraduate degree, longer would be nicer)
Overclocking: I want to try to, so maybe.
SLI or Crossfire: SLI maybe. I don't want an AMD gpu. Nvida only.
Monitor Resolution: A 24" TV running at 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I really need help deciding on processor/motherboard. Look below to see the two different builds I came up with. I can't decide whether to choose the Intel processor or the AMD processor. (Prices are estimates)

Intel based
CPU: i5-3570k ($190-http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388577)
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M ($110-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157306)
OR GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H ($120-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128543)

AMD based
CPU: Fx-8150 ($200-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960)
Mobo: ASRock 970 EXTREME3 ($85-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280)
OR MSI 970A-G46 ($90-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130637)
OR GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 ($90-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128521)
OR GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 ($110-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128519)

Shared stuff in the builds
Memory: 2x4GB= 8 GB DDR3 (It should be around $45. I really don't know which to get, but I was thinking 1833 MHz speed)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ($45-http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-Window-RC-430-KWN1/dp/B003O8J11E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337408213&sr=8-1)
PSU: ZS Series 750 Watt ATX Power Supply ($85-http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0367316#tabs)
GPU (I prefer them in this order): EVGA GeForce GTX 570 ($300-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593)
OR 560 Ti ($280-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130683)
OR 2x GTX 460 SLI ($140x2=$280-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127646).


So which Processor and mobo option should I choose for my needs? Also any other recommendations?
Thanks! Let me know if I missed something. :) 
May 20, 2012 4:28:37 AM

Intel based
get GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H. The GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H is a single card configuration motherboard.

Case: Not a fan of that case. Here are suggestions based on the price similar to Cooler Master Elite 430
Antec Three Hundred Illusion
Rosewill Challenger
GPU: EVGA GTX 570
May 20, 2012 4:33:10 AM

Thanks for your suggestion! :D  Btw, do these cases have better ventilation or more room?
Related resources
May 20, 2012 4:46:37 AM

Rosewill Challenger is Tom's Hardware Recommended Buy 2010. Also comes with three fans compared to 430's one.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nzxt-gamma-rosewill...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion is a better version of it's previous well respected version Antec Three Hundred. The issue with the three hundred is bad cable management. But, the airflow should be very good.
a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 5:54:19 AM



Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
Model #:CHALLENGER
Item #:N82E16811147153
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

$59.99 -$10.00 Instant $49.99


Update

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
Item #:N82E16813157271
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

$129.99 -$8.00 Instant $121.99


Update

EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Model #:015-P3-1480-KR
Item #:N82E16814130759
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock

$299.99 -$70.00 Instant $229.99


Update

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
Model #:CMPSU-650TXV2
Item #:N82E16817139020
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card

$119.99 -$30.00 Instant $89.99


Update

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
Model #:BX80623I52500K
Item #:N82E16819115072
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock

$219.99 -$15.00 Instant $204.99
Subtotal: $696.95
that would be a decent mid high range gaming beast the 480 is a kick ass gpu it just as good as a gtx570 it's only downfall is greater power usage and attendant heat and noise output. Here these are theoretical benchmarks but i find them accurate. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...
a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2012 6:35:22 AM

oh one last thing don't try and overclock without a better heat sink the stock one just won't cut it and depending on what type of overclocking you want to do here is some suggestions on heat sink mild overclocking CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Extreme overclocking CPU Cooler:Noctua NH-D14 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if you can get over the color of the NH-D14 despite what some may say the NH-D14 is a beast i use it on my littler rig and i have cpu overclock to 4.7ghz 1.3v @ 59c full load. i run it like that 24-7 i crank up my overclock for benchmarking to 5.1ghz my temps run 75-78c though so it's not recommended even if you get that good of a chip lol most i5-2500k can hit 4.5ghz though ;) 
May 21, 2012 6:41:18 PM

Thanks for all the help! I bought all my parts and built it! Its awesome :D . I went with the i5-3570k, Asrock z77 extreme4, 8 gb low profile memory, 1 tb hdd (64 mb, 7200 rpm, sata 6 Gb/s), gtx 570 sc (the 2.5 gb one), and the 750W psu I listed above. All about 900 with tax. Once I turn in all rebates, it should bring me down to about 800 which is nice and manageable. Thanks again for the suggestions! I really appreciate it :) 
a b 4 Gaming
May 21, 2012 7:51:57 PM

drguru25 said:
Thanks for all the help! I bought all my parts and built it! Its awesome :D . I went with the i5-3570k, Asrock z77 extreme4, 8 gb low profile memory, 1 tb hdd (64 mb, 7200 rpm, sata 6 Gb/s), gtx 570 sc (the 2.5 gb one), and the 750W psu I listed above. All about 900 with tax. Once I turn in all rebates, it should bring me down to about 800 which is nice and manageable. Thanks again for the suggestions! I really appreciate it :) 
No problem anytime!Nice choices btw sounds to me like a kick ass beast you have build for yourself. :D 
!