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Need Advice on Gaming PC

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May 25, 2012 3:15:57 AM

Hey Guys - I'm building my first computer and I'd like to get your input on it. I'd like to be able to play high-end games that are currently available (BF3, etc) and games that will come out in the next few years.

Do you have any general comments? Do you recommend spending a little more money on the CPU and/or GPU?

Also, I sized the PSU based on the power specs for all of the components, but I've seen similar builds with much larger PSUs -- Is there any reason to go with a bigger PSU for this build?

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: ~$700 After Rebates

System Usage: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, RAM

Country: USA

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC

Build components:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Radeon HD 6950 ($208)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: Intel BOXDH67BLB3 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ($85)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ($89)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power, modular ($68)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: PC3-10600 (already own)

Total: $682

More about : advice gaming

May 25, 2012 3:17:52 AM

Get the Pro3 for $25 more. Without an SSD, get the Seagate 500GB Barracuda.
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May 25, 2012 3:18:05 AM

That motherboard won't work with the CPU - You'll need a Z75 or Z77 motherboard. I wouldn't recommend a microATX unless you don't plan on upgrading in the future.

EDIT: I take that back.. I guess with a BIOS Flash you can run the ivy bridge on the p67 and z68 MBs. I'd still recommend you get a z77 for PCI3 support and non mATX for future expandability.
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May 25, 2012 3:21:23 AM

It will fit, but won't give benefits.
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May 25, 2012 3:45:31 AM

elayman said:
That motherboard won't work with the CPU - You'll need a Z75 or Z77 motherboard. I wouldn't recommend a microATX unless you don't plan on upgrading in the future.

EDIT: I take that back.. I guess with a BIOS Flash you can run the ivy bridge on the p67 and z68 MBs. I'd still recommend you get a z77 for PCI3 support and non mATX for future expandability.


Thanks for pointing out the issues with motherboard and CPU. I missed that in my research. Is the number of PCI Express 2.0 x 16 ports the primary difference between standard ATX and microATX boards? So I'd want more than 1 port (i.e. standard ATX) if I wanted to do Crossfire in the future?

What's the advantage of PCI3 support for the future? Don't most GPUs use PCI2?

Sorry for the basic questions...this is my first build.
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May 25, 2012 3:47:26 AM

Correct - you'd need multiple PCI-E slots for crossfire or SLI. The new 7000 series GPUs use PCI3 and future cards will. Why limit your future upgrade opportunity now?
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May 25, 2012 3:48:47 AM

sirius683 said:
Thanks for pointing out the issues with motherboard and CPU. I missed that in my research. Is the number of PCI Express 2.0 x 16 ports the primary difference between standard ATX and microATX boards? So I'd want more than 1 port (i.e. standard ATX) if I wanted to do Crossfire in the future?

What's the advantage of PCI3 support for the future? Don't most GPUs use PCI2?

Sorry for the basic questions...this is my first build.



the difference between micro atx and atx is size, and size usuallyt determines how much stuff is on the board. if one does not use alot of pci slots, than a micro atx board is fine, as it is smaller. as for pci 3, i think pci 3 has a higher frequency it can run at, but at the moment, it isnt currently used much.
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May 25, 2012 4:03:49 AM

dudewitbow said:
change the hdd because 5200 rpm is not "gamer" level.


Will increasing the hdd RPM just decrease the game load time? Once the game is loaded to RAM, does it matter what the hdd RPM is?

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May 25, 2012 4:05:28 AM

Yes. I would not put a 5200RPM hdd in any computer - even if it is just a secondary drive :)  But that's just me.
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May 25, 2012 4:10:19 AM

sirius683 said:
Will increasing the hdd RPM just decrease the game load time? Once the game is loaded to RAM, does it matter what the hdd RPM is?


you have to remember that when you turn on the game, the whole game isnt put on the ram, the game loads images from your hdd to your ram when it needs it. the images will stay on the ram till you either close the program, or the ram clears up. so basically when a game is running, its always contacting the hdd since the ram never loads the game entirely.
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May 25, 2012 4:18:16 AM

dudewitbow said:
you have to remember that when you turn on the game, the whole game isnt put on the ram, the game loads images from your hdd to your ram when it needs it. the images will stay on the ram till you either close the program, or the ram clears up. so basically when a game is running, its always contacting the hdd since the ram never loads the game entirely.


Thanks for the clarification.
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May 25, 2012 4:24:26 AM

elayman said:
Correct - you'd need multiple PCI-E slots for crossfire or SLI.


I'm running into some difficulties finding a crossfire-compatible motherboard. A motherboard I found on Newegg says that it works with Crossfire, but the specs show that it has just 1 PCIe 2.0 x 16 port. I need 2 PCIe 2.0 x 16 ports to run dual GPU's, right? (or can I use 1 PICI2 port and 1 PCI3 port?)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 25, 2012 4:28:22 AM

It is wrongly advertised. It does need 2.
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May 25, 2012 4:29:15 AM

sirius683 said:
I'm running into some difficulties finding a crossfire-compatible motherboard. A motherboard I found on Newegg says that it works with Crossfire, but the specs show that it has just 1 PCIe 2.0 x 16 port. I need 2 PCIe 2.0 x 16 ports to run dual GPU's, right? (or can I use 1 PICI2 port and 1 PCI3 port?)

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


you can use pci3 and pci 2, the card on the pci3 slot will downgrade itself to pci2
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May 25, 2012 4:34:47 AM

azeem40 said:
Without an SSD, get the Seagate 500GB Barracuda.


What's the rationale for dropping the capacity of the HDD? Do smaller HDDs load faster?
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May 25, 2012 4:49:23 AM

The second card will run in a PCI E 2.0 x8 slot - just takes like a 5% hit from the other one, but you're still increasing the GPU power substantially by adding a second card.
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May 25, 2012 6:13:38 PM

Based on everyone's feedback and after checking Newegg for some deals, I changed a few components. What do you guys think?

MOBO: BIOSTAR TZ77B LGA 1155 Intel Z77 Motherboard ($79)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive - 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s ($89)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

PSU: OCZ ZT Series 650W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Bronze ($50)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 4, 2012 3:42:57 PM

Best answer selected by sirius683.
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