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Need some help with a new build - $1000ish, gaming

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May 28, 2012 4:56:50 PM

Hi,

I'm in the process of building a computer that will need to handle (at least on medium-ish settings) games like Arma II, Diablo III, DCS: A-10C Warthog, BMS Falcon 4.0, etc. If it will handle those, it will probably handle anything. I need a little help double checking compatibility, and I'm very open to any suggestions that you folks might have.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week (would prefer to order everything today)

Budget Range: $1000 ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, ability to upgrade later to dual video cards & multiple monitors

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Nvidia over AMD (unless there's a very good reason to go the other way), otherwise I don't know much about most computer hardware.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (Eventually; I'm trying to keep the price down for right now by sticking with just one video card.

Monitor Resolution: 1360 x 768

Additional Comments: As I mentioned earlier, I'd like this computer to have the capability to accept a SLI / Crossfire setup. I don't know if the parts I've selected are adequate for my purposes.

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Here's what my wish list looks like right now. I would really appreciate it if somebody who is more experienced with computers than I am can double check everything for compatibility, and also for common sense... Do I need more motherboard? More power supply? More video card? Less anything? Have I selected any components that are known to be poor performers, or can I get a significant performance increase for relatively little increased cost?

This is just a list of items I put together... If you've got a good enough argument, I'm open to throwing it away entirely.

Case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-G

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

Power Supply - OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply

CPU - Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

2 x Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

GPU - EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

HDD - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optic drive - SONY Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1681S-0B - OEM

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

More about : build 1000ish gaming

May 28, 2012 5:20:59 PM

Usually for gaming you want to get the best gpu you can along with a cpu that won't be a bottleneck. the i7-2600 is more cpu than you need for gaming, you could get a i5-2500k or i5-3570k and save some money to spend on a better gpu. If your intention is to run dual video cards I would go with 750w psu.

Within your budget you might consider getting a Radeon HD 7850, which is an upgrade from the 560ti, then get another for your dual setup to run in crossfire.
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May 28, 2012 5:28:18 PM

Since you plan on overclocking, I'd opt for the i5-2500k. Upgrade the GPU to a GTX 570. Also, 8 gb of vram is more than enough.
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May 28, 2012 5:46:54 PM

I agree with tonync_01. The graphics card is the real engine of gaming. Spend your budget there first.

I think you can manage a GTX670, arguably one of the best gaming cards around. Yes, it is $400, twice the price of a GTX560ti.

How do we get there?

1) The 2600 is a fine card, but $100 more than a 2500 of some sort. Few games use more than two or three cores, so the extra hyperthreads of the 2600 go largely unused.
If you live near a microcenter, you can buy a 2500K for $170. A 3570K is $190. Either would be a better gaming performer than the 2600.
If you are adverse to overclocking, then look at the ivy bridge 3450 for $200.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Most cases with two 120mm intake fans will provide sufficient cooling and hold your parts.
Save $70 or so with a cheaper case. There are many.
Take this Antec 300 illusion model for instance. A thousand reviewers can't be very wrong:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) No need for 16gb of ram. No game uses more than 2-3gb. Also, buy low profile ram to avoid interference with cpu coolers.
Here is one kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) Most any Z77 based motherboard will do.
Here is one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) Do not spend extra now for preparation for cf/sli. A 600w psu and a motherboard with only one x16 graphics slot is all you need. When or if you need a graphics upgrade, there will be stronger and cheaper cards available. You will not be wanting to buy an obsolete companion card for sli. Just sell your old card and replace it with the next best thing.
A GTX670 will run two or three monitors nicely, so no worries there. If you ever get onto triple monitor FPS gaming, that is another issue.
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May 28, 2012 5:47:17 PM

Thank you both for the replies! I like your ideas; I've updated my wishlist to replace the CPU with an i5-2500k, and my GPU with a GTX 570. Also, I'll only buy 8 gb of RAM.

I need some help selecting the power supply... I can't figure out how many of X voltage rails I need. Any pointers?
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May 28, 2012 5:52:05 PM

arkwar said:
Thank you both for the replies! I like your ideas; I've updated my wishlist to replace the CPU with an i5-2500k, and my GPU with a GTX 570. Also, I'll only buy 8 gb of RAM.

I need some help selecting the power supply... I can't figure out how many of X voltage rails I need. Any pointers?


A GTX570 or GTX670 needs only a 550w psu.
It is not wrong to overprovision a bit, since 600w psu's are not much more.
Stick with known quality units.
Seasonic, Antec, PC P&C, Corsair, and XFX.
Don't pay extra for modular, it is important mainly for small form factor cases.
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May 28, 2012 5:54:08 PM

arkwar said:
Thank you both for the replies! I like your ideas; I've updated my wishlist to replace the CPU with an i5-2500k, and my GPU with a GTX 570. Also, I'll only buy 8 gb of RAM.

I need some help selecting the power supply... I can't figure out how many of X voltage rails I need. Any pointers?


Unless you're partial to Nvidia, I would recommend getting the HD 7850 it has similar performance to the 570 but at lower price and power usage.
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May 28, 2012 5:59:27 PM

arkwar said:
Thank you both for the replies! I like your ideas; I've updated my wishlist to replace the CPU with an i5-2500k, and my GPU with a GTX 570. Also, I'll only buy 8 gb of RAM.

I need some help selecting the power supply... I can't figure out how many of X voltage rails I need. Any pointers?


# of rails on a PSU is irrelevant. the most important information on a psu is the amperage on the 12v rail to feed the rest of the system. also before purchase, be sure to combo your mobo and cpu to maximize price cuts, as well as the Example here for the HDD + DVD Drive

Here;s a short guide on just learning how to save in newegg(as well as combo deal, since some people don't understand how to do it

for a single card use, a 500-550w psu is recommended for light overclocking and ability to add on more stuff without worry of power drain(besides an additional gpu)

moderately priced and efficient psus that are 500-550 would be:
Seasonic M12ii 520w, Corsair CX 500w at the lowest pricepoint of ~60 at 70 gives you the rosewill hive(modular version of the OCZ ZS) OCZ ZS 550w, Seasonic S12ii 520w ish
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May 28, 2012 6:26:40 PM

Geofelt, that was very thorough man! I just went ahead and made all of the changes that you recommended, and I really like the result. I'm actually ~$20 or so under what I was looking at earlier, and I'm sure I will benefit a lot from the GTX 670.

I'm going to post the updated list of what I'd like to order. Can I get a little feedback, just to ensure that everything here is compatible? Sorry, I know that you guys probably get newbies like me asking about compatibility daily, but I need a little reassurance before I pull the trigger on $1000 worth of hardware. Assuming all is good, this is getting ordered today!

Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

PSU - CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Motherboard - ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU - Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450

GPU - EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Memory - G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

Same HDD and optical drive as in my original post.

Everyone's been very helpful... Thank you all so much!
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May 28, 2012 6:38:41 PM

That will be a really nice gaming build.

The only thing to mention is that cpu is not unlocked so you won't be able to overclock it. If you want to overclock get the 2500k or 3570k.
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May 28, 2012 6:46:05 PM

dudewitbow said:
# of rails on a PSU is irrelevant. the most important information on a psu is the amperage on the 12v rail to feed the rest of the system. also before purchase, be sure to combo your mobo and cpu to maximize price cuts, as well as the Example here for the HDD + DVD Drive

Here;s a short guide on just learning how to save in newegg(as well as combo deal, since some people don't understand how to do it

for a single card use, a 500-550w psu is recommended for light overclocking and ability to add on more stuff without worry of power drain(besides an additional gpu)

moderately priced and efficient psus that are 500-550 would be:
Seasonic M12ii 520w, Corsair CX 500w at the lowest pricepoint of ~60 at 70 gives you the rosewill hive(modular version of the OCZ ZS) OCZ ZS 550w, Seasonic S12ii 520w ish


Thanks man, very helpful! I just ordered that HDD + Optical drive combo that you linked. The rest is going to be ordered very soon here, assuming it all looks right.
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May 28, 2012 7:06:00 PM

One more thing. I'd invest in a new monitor, one that supports 1920 x 1080 resolution and a decent response time (< 10 ms). Your games will only look as good as your monitor allows.

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May 28, 2012 7:07:55 PM

The monitor I'm using right now is actually a 32" flatscreen TV... It's probably not ideal, so I'll definitely keep my eyes open for good deals on monitors. Thanks!
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May 28, 2012 7:10:17 PM

And if you plan to OC, I'd also invest in an aftermarket CPU cooler such as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.
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May 28, 2012 8:55:23 PM

Thank you all once again for the help... I just pulled the trigger, and all of the parts are on their way. Total cost with tax and shipping was right around $1100.

I don't know what I would have done without you guys!
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May 28, 2012 8:55:40 PM

Best answer selected by arkwar.
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