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First Time builder Gaming Rig - $800 - $1000

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May 20, 2012 3:13:43 PM

Hi All,

I am a little intimidated about building this myself, but have decided to go for it. Seems the best option to get what you want at a reasonable price. I am wanting a rig to be used almost exclusively for gaming, maybe a little web browsing. Should be able to handle games like D3, SC2, BF3, Borderlands 2, etc also good for a few years of new games coming out. I'm really looking for some guidance on this. I've listed a build below, but not sure if it will work - would welcome feedback, suggestions or alternate builds you think would work better.

Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: this week or next

Budget Range: $800 - $1000 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: I need everything, but I didn't include monitor, keyboard, and mouse as part of my $800-$1000 budget, feel free to suggest those too

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, or any reputable site

Country:US

Parts Preferences: I was thinking, Intel i5 as you can see from my build below

Overclocking: No - Maybe, not sure if this necessary, have never done it

SLI or Crossfire: No - Maybe, see above

Monitor Resolution: Probably: 1024x768, not sure as I don't have the monitor yet

Additional Comments: Would prefer quiet, but will take performance over quiet. Would like to be able to play current and upcoming games on high and ultra.

Case: http:Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower
//www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681114715...

Motherboard: 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...

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (11199-03-20G)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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



May 20, 2012 3:31:07 PM

That looks good. Everything will work well together. Take a look at this hard drive it is $5 cheaper and comes with a dvd drive.
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May 20, 2012 3:37:53 PM

A very good list.
For gaming, you spent on the graphics card which is the real engine of gaming.
No doubt, you will get some suggestions on what to change, but you really don't need to change anything.

I think you should add a sata DVD burner for about $20.

Do you have speakers?

For a monitor, I suggest a 1080P(1020 x 1080) from Samsung. They make panels for lots of others, and I think they keep the best samples for themselves.
Spend what you need to on a great monitor. You will be looking at it for a long while. It is, perhaps one of the few future proof PC purchases you can make today.

For quiet, I would add a aftermarket cpu cooler. The cm hyper212+ or similar will be only $20.
The slow turning fan will be quieter than the stock Intel cooler under load.
Perhaps more importantly, it has a backplate mount that is much easier for the novice than the Intel pushpin mount.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If your budget allows, include a SSD for the os and a game or two. It won't help gaming much except for launch and level loads. But, everything you do will seem so much quicker. 60gb is about the minimum, and 80gb-120gb would be better. Prices are coming down, and $1 per gb can be found.
Most SSD's will perform the same, in real life, despite differences in synthetic benchmarks.
Currently, I think Intel and Samsung830 are the best.

As a first time builder, I suggest you download and read, cover to cover, the motherboard and case manuals.

---good luck---
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Related resources
May 20, 2012 3:40:27 PM

You do not need a separate dvd burner with the hard drive I suggested. It comes with one.
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May 20, 2012 3:43:12 PM

You have put together a nice build and while it remains to be seen at what settings you will get in gaming will mostly depend on the game. On the one side you could play at max or ultra in Diablo 3 you wouldn't get those same settings in BF3 . In order to eliminate any doubt as to being able to play any game at ultra or max them you would have to buy higher end parts and not everybody has the money to do that.
First a couple of thing since this is your first build , you have to be aware of everything and read the item description so you don't end up with a problem. The Earthwatts psu that you selected does not come with a power cord and that's just part of thier recycle reasoning since you won't be throwing out the old cord from the psu your replacing. If you don't have a psu now then you need to either buy a power cord or buy a psu that comes with one.
Second is that the fact that you may not be overclocking is ok but the cpu that you listed is not an unlocked cpu so you can't overclock it. The cpu model has to have either a X or K after the model number. Example i5-2500K , i7-2700K OR i7-980X these cpu's have an unlocked multiplier that you can then change in order to overclock.
So if you stay with the psu because you have a power cord then the build as you have it is ok. The one thing you want to consider is that the most important part in a gaming Pc build is the video card and after that it's the cpu. So that working within your budget you should try to get the highest video card that can fit in your budget.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

These two Hierarchy charts will give you something to go by in selecting a cpu and video card so you can see where they are in the order of highest to lowest.
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May 20, 2012 6:13:30 PM

Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I wondered if the for the CPU Intel i5 2500(k) would yield noticeable difference over 2400, also not sure about overclocking as I am just so unfamiliar with it. Any resources to suggested on setting up overclocking, and understanding it? I'm a little worried about complicating things as I'm a newbie with this, but would like to get the most robust I can within my budget.

I'm going to add this DVD rom
LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as monitors go I was looking at this Samsung - do people have thoughts on this? Could end up breaking the bank?
SAMSUNG B2430H Glossy Black 24" 5ms Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't have a power cord Inzone, can you suggest a comparable power supply with a cord?

Thanks again, everybody has been very helpful so far.
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May 20, 2012 6:16:03 PM

I'm also wondering if I need a more robust cooling system if I go with the 2400k or 2500k and overclock? Or can I use the fan provided with CPU?
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May 20, 2012 6:27:59 PM

adgjlsfhk said:
You do not need a separate dvd burner with the hard drive I suggested. It comes with one.


Can you link it? I can't see the link in your last message about the hard drive + DVD burner?

Thanks!
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May 20, 2012 7:17:42 PM

The thing with the power cord is that you can also buy one. The overclocking is something that you can gradualy leard one step at a time anmd the first step is to have a cpu that you can overclock. With an unlocked multiplier it's just a matter of raising the number one number at a time untill you get to the point where you have to add voltage and then it gets harder. There is a seperate forum here with overclocking and you can pick up some good tips there. As far as the cpu cooler goes you can start off with a nice inexpensive one and as you gain knowledge and are more comfortable with overclocking you can always change it to a more robust cooler.

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
$69.99 and a $10 rebate makes it $59.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cables To Go 8 ft. 16 AWG Universal Power Cord (NEMA 5-15P to IEC320C13) Model 29928
$6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
$29.99 and a $10 rebate makes it $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

P.S. There is no 2400K cpu. However the 2500K ia a great cpu and a lot of people are using it with great sucess.
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May 20, 2012 8:02:05 PM

Your build is reasonably well balanced. No change is really needed.
But, for perhaps not much more, you can do better on the cpu.
The 2500K is a quad which runs slightly faster at stock 3.3.
The big plus of the "K" is that the multiplier can be easily changed from 33 to 40 or 45.
Intel guarantees 33, but virtually any chip can go to 40, and beyond.

Do you need it? likely not, but you might come across some cpu intensive games.

If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $170.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

For $20 more, you can get the latest tech ivy bridge 3570K@ 3.4 :
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
It is perhaps 10% faster than the 2500K.
I think they have combo's with a discounted motherboard too.
For example, you can buy a Z77 motherboard for $60 with the 3570K:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

To enable the option to overclock, you will need a P67, Z68, or z77 based motherboard which might cost a bit more.

I suspect that if one calls Antec, they will send you a power cable if you don't have one.
I think omitting one is a marketing mistake on their part.

An equally good psu series is the Corsair builder series. 500w will do the job, but I think I might go for 600w. A stronger psu will still only use the power it needs.
The advantage is, that under heavy load, a stronger psu will not heat up so much and the fan will not need to spin higher to provide cooling. Net.. less noise.

I like the Samsung monitor. You will never regret buying the best monitor you feel comfortable paying for.
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May 20, 2012 8:09:10 PM

Great! I'm thinking i might do as Inzone said and go with 2500k and and the aftermarket fan and work on learning more about overclocking. I've made some changes to my build here: added 600w psu, went with a little more expensive one, added the cooling and new CPU, added a DVD drive too and a 64gb SSD. Can y'all let me know what you think about this modified build, and if it will all work together with new i5 2500k cpu?

Thanks!

Case: http:Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower
//www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681114715...


Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157236

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (11199-03-20G)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102983

CPU:IIntel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Additional Fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231311

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822148767

DVD drive: LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: SAMSUNG B2430H Glossy Black 24" 5ms Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6832116986

I'm at $1303 right now, but that includes SSD and Monitor. May forgo SSD initially and add it later.

Let me know what you think?


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May 20, 2012 8:12:10 PM

geofelt said:
Your build is reasonably well balanced. No change is really needed.
But, for perhaps not much more, you can do better on the cpu.
The 2500K is a quad which runs slightly faster at stock 3.3.
The big plus of the "K" is that the multiplier can be easily changed from 33 to 40 or 45.
Intel guarantees 33, but virtually any chip can go to 40, and beyond.

Do you need it? likely not, but you might come across some cpu intensive games.

If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $170.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

For $20 more, you can get the latest tech ivy bridge 3570K@ 3.4 :
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
It is perhaps 10% faster than the 2500K.
I think they have combo's with a discounted motherboard too.
For example, you can buy a Z77 motherboard for $60 with the 3570K:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

To enable the option to overclock, you will need a P67, Z68, or z77 based motherboard which might cost a bit more.

I suspect that if one calls Antec, they will send you a power cable if you don't have one.
I think omitting one is a marketing mistake on their part.

An equally good psu series is the Corsair builder series. 500w will do the job, but I think I might go for 600w. A stronger psu will still only use the power it needs.
The advantage is, that under heavy load, a stronger psu will not heat up so much and the fan will not need to spin higher to provide cooling. Net.. less noise.

I like the Samsung monitor. You will never regret buying the best monitor you feel comfortable paying for.


Thanks geofelt, Will my current motherboard work for overclocking...its sounding like it won't based on your post. Can you make recommendations for a new one that will, if that is the case - that works with this setup?

You are awesome, thanks a bunch!
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May 21, 2012 8:11:56 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $121.99

I would go with this motherboard as it has more than one Pci-e x16 or x8 slot in the event you ever decide to add another video card. Also for an additional $40 you can get a GTX 670 which is a lot better than a 7870.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $399.99

I don't mean to push the price up on your build but when doing a build you want to make sure that you get a final Pc that will give good performance and not be kicking yourself wishing you had done something different.
If your fine with the final build as you posted then by all means go with it. I just like spending other peoples money. LOL

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