Gaming and College PC-Updated Again 6/12/10 Last Post

Approximate Purchase Date: Summer

Budget Range: Sub 800
.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Schoolwork, Web Browsing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect, Microcenter, NCIX

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU is the only real part preference I have, this is my first build.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: I have no idea, might need a new monitor. I'm hoping I won't.

Additional Comments: The only real programs I run are Win7, WoW, Minecraft, Itunes and TI-Nspire. If it can run those games at 40-50fps ideally and still maintain reliability within my budget, I'll be happy.

Updated Build
Parts:
Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor~190 @ Microcenter
Z77 Pro4-M 1155 mATX Intel Motherboard~60 @ Microcenter w/ CPU, 110 w/o
Rosewill Challenger Mid-ATX Case~50 @ Newegg
HIS IceQ X H687QN1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card~ 170 @ Newegg
Silencer MKIII 500W Modular PSU rated at 80+ Bronze~80 @ Newegg
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)~ 47 @ Newegg
Rosewill 120mm Case Fan w/ LEDs~ 7.50 @ Newegg

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=19352305
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388577
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0387629
Variables or Unknowns:
Hard Drive: Really depends on what I can get my hands on for free. Looking at sticking with HDD if I can't get one that is up to the task just to get the build going. SSD would be added later if I can't get something else for free or on the cheap. Any recommendations would be awesome, right around $75 would be a great starting point for a HDD.

CD/DVD Drive: Depends on what I can salvage again, would prefer to keep sub $25.

Monitor: This is where I'm at a loss. I could use my TV if required, not sure what this entails or if it would be easier to just purchase a monitor to suit the needs.


This was the original build recommended to me, and I think I can squeeze out more performance /$ with my updated build. Let me know if there is any real performance upgrades from the difference of parts as well as decreases.

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
BIOSTAR B75MU3+ LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120



So if any of you can fill my quench for insta-knowledge or help me it is much obliged.

Thank you and sorry for the similar threads in short sequence.

This is the original thread for reference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&cat=31&post=348174&page=1&p=1&sondage=0&owntopic=1&trash=&trash_post=&print=0&numreponse=0&quote_only=0&new=0&nojs=0#t2614540
32 answers Last reply
More about gaming college updated post
  1. Since you don't need the integrated video, get a 2500K. It only runs 100Mhz slower and it runs cooler (higher OC potential).

    I'd then take the $20 or so you save on the processor and apply it toward a factory OC'd 560 ti to squeak out some additional graphics power:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500196

    Actually only $179 after rebate.
  2. If you have a LCD TV less than 5 years old, you'll be good.

    The XFX Double D card is 10 cheaper with rebates or you can go with this one with one less fan:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=869185&SRCCODE=PRICEGRABBER&cm_mmc_o=2mHCjCVybgwTyz__wyCjCVqHCjCdwwp&cpncode=32-130830333-2

    Optional HDs:

    Seagate Barracuda 2 TB ($120)

    Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB ($90)

    Western Caviar Black 1TB ($120)

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ($110)
  3. ubercake said:
    Since you don't need the integrated video, get a 2500K. It only runs 100Mhz slower and it runs cooler (higher OC potential).

    I'd then take the $20 or so you save on the processor and apply it toward a factory OC'd 560 ti to squeak out some additional graphics power:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500196

    Actually only $179 after rebate.


    He would miss out on the $50 savings on the mobo if he got the i5 2500k instead.
  4. Moornix hit the nail on the head. That's the only real reason I didn't choose the 2500k. Also Ubercake I don't feel comfortable running with anything overclocked from the factory. I'm not looking to min/max this computer but for it to be reliable and work well with what it's for. Also Moornix the video card that you linked was the one I originally planned on getting with the dual fans. I guess maybe I'm over-thinking the heating on these parts. Is it something that I really need to worry about or should I be fine? What about compatibility. From my rundown everything seems compatible but maybe I'm not seeing something that you more knowledgeable guys do.
  5. AdvisableOwl said:
    Moornix hit the nail on the head. That's the only real reason I didn't choose the 2500k. Also Ubercake I don't feel comfortable running with anything overclocked from the factory. I'm not looking to min/max this computer but for it to be reliable and work well with what it's for. Also Moornix the video card that you linked was the one I originally planned on getting with the dual fans. I guess maybe I'm over-thinking the heating on these parts. Is it something that I really need to worry about or should I be fine? What about compatibility. From my rundown everything seems compatible but maybe I'm not seeing something that you more knowledgeable guys do.


    Any of the GPUs will be fine. It's really up to you. The parts are all compatible.
  6. Any suggestions for a CD/DVD drive? I'm just worried that I'm skimping something or bottle-necked some where. I guess this is the pains of being a PC builder.
  7. AdvisableOwl said:
    Any suggestions for a CD/DVD drive? I'm just worried that I'm skimping something or bottle-necked some where. I guess this is the pains of being a PC builder.


    For a cheap CD/DVD Drive

    Asus 24x CD/DVD burner ($18).

    Hmm, the PSU would prevent you from going with Crossfire in the future, and that system would work great with a better graphics card like the 7850.

    Go with an after market cooler like Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($20) or Evo ($34)

    Get low profile RAM like
    G-Skill Ares ($47)
    Corsair Vengeance ($50)
    G-Skill Sniper ($48)
    Mushkin Blackline ($46)
  8. moornix said:
    He would miss out on the $50 savings on the mobo if he got the i5 2500k instead.

    The $50 combo savings is on the 2500K, 2600K, 2700K and 3570K.
  9. ubercake said:
    The $50 combo savings is on the 2500K, 2600K, 2700K and 3570K.


    Just checked, and you're right. In that case a 2500K will be just fine.
  10. "I agree, as far as heat goes it really depends on the overclock. If you aren't running too much voltage through the 3570K it wont be that hot, however there is a sudden shift when increasing the voltage where the slightest voltage increase will result in a massive increase in heat. This sudden "wall" might come at different voltages which vary from cpu to cpu but according to reviews you can expect a 4,5 ghz overclock from the cpu before you need different forms of cooling. (extreme cooling). "
  11. AdvisableOwl said:
    Moornix hit the nail on the head. That's the only real reason I didn't choose the 2500k. Also Ubercake I don't feel comfortable running with anything overclocked from the factory. I'm not looking to min/max this computer but for it to be reliable and work well with what it's for. Also Moornix the video card that you linked was the one I originally planned on getting with the dual fans. I guess maybe I'm over-thinking the heating on these parts. Is it something that I really need to worry about or should I be fine? What about compatibility. From my rundown everything seems compatible but maybe I'm not seeing something that you more knowledgeable guys do.

    The thing that's not bad about the factory OC is it's warranted at the faster speed. Just trying to get you a bit better performance and still keep you in budget.
  12. Would I break the warranty if I put back down to regular speeds?
  13. For what?
  14. An overclocked GPU. I have a severe case of over-worrying about bottle-necking, over-heating and incompatibility which I guess I'm trying to clear up.
  15. I suggest you to get the MSI Twin Frozr 6870 it has a better cooling soultion then the XFX Double D and I heard a lot of ppl had problems with XFX
  16. AdvisableOwl said:
    An overclocked GPU. I have a severe case of over-worrying about bottle-necking, over-heating and incompatibility which I guess I'm trying to clear up.


    You would not need to worry about your cooling with an overclocked gpu if it had good cooling.

    Edit: If you are going to overclock the GPU then get the MSI Twin Frozr series of 6870. It has excellent cooling giving you head-room to overclock ;)
  17. Now I must ask what's the difference between the Twin Frozr II and the Hawk models. There is a 5 dollar price difference. The core clock is 900 on the Frozr and 930 on the Hawk any noticeable difference?
  18. I would say $5 is not worth 30 MHz.
  19. Alright then can you guys just start giving me suggestions for graphics cards? I honestly am lost with where to go. Let's go with a cap of 225 before rebates. Priority is reliability, performance, cooling with compatibility above all else. There are so many options out there I have no idea what the difference in any of them really are by a quick look at the specs in some cases.
  20. I think I settled the build for 750. Give me a bit to locate the best deals and other stuff and I'll post for a final rundown to start working.
  21. A 560ti.
  22. Alright so my settled build list is as follows.

    Case: Rosewill Ranger Mid-ATX Case $60 @ Newegg
    CD Drive: Asus DRW-24B $18 @ Newegg
    Silencer MKIII 600W 80+ Bronze PSU $90 @ Newegg
    G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 $49 @ Newegg
    Rosewill 120mm Blue LED Fan $8 @ Newegg
    Hyper 212 Plus Cooler 30 @ Newegg
    Total is $268 after shipping without rebates. Total after is $238.

    ASRock Z77 Pro4-M 1155 mATX MOBO $60@ Microcenter
    i5-2500k CPU $170 @ Microcenter
    MSI Twin Frozr II GTX560TI 1GB GPU $230 @ Microcenter
    Subtotal is $460 and the grand is $483.

    Final cost is $751 assuming I can steal a HDD from another computer and use my TV as a monitor or borrow one. OS is already had. Praying that the GPU doesn't go out of stock before I can get the money.
  23. Looks good. It's always nice having the microcenter option as well as the online vendors. I love it myself.
  24. Well now I'm starting to rethink the case on what I've heard on the cable management and have reverted to the HAF 912 along as adding a CM 2-pack of 120mm case fans for 12 bucks total.
  25. In addition I figured out that my TV if used as a monitor is 720p at 26". Is there anything else that I should know about using a TV as the monitor?
  26. I have a DAW built in an HAF 912. It's a great case at $50.

    Using a TV as a monitor is usually just fine. It depends on your choices for post-processing meaning after the television receives the video signal, it may process it somehow before the image is actually display. This introduces input lag and can be burdensome while playing multi-player first-person shooters. Try to find a picture mode that reduces the television's re-processing of the image data as much as possible (ie don't use 'sports' mode).
  27. I also found a 17" Dell E171FPB if that changes anything. Also, what is the most fans that can be run without any kind of mess with control? I've heard that at around 4 people start adding controllers. Is this necessary?
  28. AdvisableOwl said:
    I also found a 17" Dell E171FPB if that changes anything. Also, what is the most fans that can be run without any kind of mess with control? I've heard that at around 4 people start adding controllers. Is this necessary?

    You can run as many as you want without controllers. If they aren't four-pin and connected to the motherboard, though, they'll run at full speed without a controller. In addition to the 2 fans on my H80, I have 6 case fans running at full speed, but they are quiet fans. I don't use a fan controller, so I can attest to the fact they aren't necessary.
  29. Does the monitor resolution of 1280x1024 affect any of the parts choices? I'm confused as to why it would be included in the format if it wasn't.
  30. At that res, the 6870 is a great choice. It can max any game at that res probably with everything to the max, like 16x AF, 4x AA, etc.
  31. I'm so confused right now with GPUs.
  32. Redid the parts list.

    i5-2500k w/ ASRock Z77 Pro4 @ Microcenter
    NZXT Phantom
    Seasonic S1II 620W PSU
    HIS IceQX HD6870
    WD Caviar Blue 320GB/7200RPM
    ASUS DRW-24B
    GSkill Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3-1600
    Total cost is around 800.
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