1st ever build - Mid-High Gaming - Need advice

1st post - I have been reading/lurking here for a few weeks.

My current Dimension 8400 (P4 w/ HT, Nvidia 8400GS, 3 GB RAM), is running, but it gets balky with multiple open pages, and new games have it outmatched (Crysis is 'hitchy', if you come out of D2, and then back in, all the video 'catches up' for a few seconds, etc.). I have not tried SC2, or even purchased D3, as I do not believe that they will be satisfying on this machine.

A friend has suggested that building my own rig is 'easy', and I have been skeptical. After quite a bit of reading here, and with your help, maybe it will not be so bad :p The physical installation does not bother me too much, but the bios/drivers/configuration stuff makes me very nervous.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next Few Weeks

Budget Range: ~$3000 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing, Movies

Parts Not Required: None - keeping the 8400 for light use & backup

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg & Amazon

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type Mid-Tower case (depth limitations), NVidia preferred, due to SLI potential

Overclocking: Yes, eventually, although I plan to start w/o.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, preferred, although willing to go single GPE for now and SLI later, if it makes more sense.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Combatibility, Stability, and Longevity are the keys to this build for me. I want a rig that will work flawlessly without constant tweaks, and play games at very high resolutions for maximum satisfaction.

Here is my Newegg wishlist:


A few notes about my wishlist:
I am looking to have USB 3.0, USB 2.0, & e-SATA ports on the front.
The case has the USB 2.0's, 1 USB 3.0, and the other USB 3.0 is in card reader. Also, the depth is just about maximum of what my desk can handle.

Looked heavily at the ASUS PA 246Q 24" p-IPS monitor, but very spendy.
I could be talked into it if it really is that much better...

My friend insists that the i7-3770k is not necessary - your thoughts?

I have never done this before, and know just enough to be dangerous!
Let me know if any of my choices are incompatible, complete crap, or just plain stupid. I am sure that you have suggestions!

I appreciate your responses!
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  1. Hmm... I would say that you definitely don't need $3000 for a computer. Also, the i7 3770K, your friend is correct. You don't need the i7 3770K.

    In fact, a lot of things in your build. Completely overkill or unnecessary. Honestly, you don't need a 240GB SSD, a 120GB is more than enough, just get a 500GB or 1TB for main storage.

    Your 570, it's outdated. Get a 670 or at least get the 7870. So much better in so many ways. For the price of the 570, the 7870 is so much better.

    Check out my $1100 build here:
    So much money saved, for the same if not better performance. You can keep the Z77 Extreme4 if you'd like but honestly you don't have to. The Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 has all the same performance and features for less. But your choice in the end.

    This SSD would be more than enough.

    Cooler is unnecessary, even a Hyper 212+ would manage enough for an average overclocker. Could probably handle an i5 3570K @ 4.6GHZ just fine which is how high most people would want to push it for a 24/7.

    As for the Windows 7 Ult. That's unneeded for what you described. With Windows 8 coming out why not just get Windows 7 Home. Most gamers need no more than Windows 7 Home.
  2. aznshinobi,
    Thanks for the review!

    I was under the mistaken impression that if you went Ivy, you had to go Z77 to make it work?!
    Good to know!

    I saw good pricing on a GTX 670 today on Newegg (cheaper than than GTX580!) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130787

    I will continue to look (as best I can - I swear this 8400 knows I am looking to replace it :ouch: - pages are getting slower and slower!)
  3. The 8400, you don't even need honestly. The Ivy Bridge Sandy Bridge chips have an iGPU that if your dedicated card fails you can just fall back on by connecting to the HDMI/DVI ports on the back of the motherboard.
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