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First Time PC Builder - Review My Setup?

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June 2, 2012 12:58:49 AM

Hi! This is my first post on Tom's Hardware (although I've lurked here for a while) and I'm also a first-time PC builder. I'm no newbie to hardware, except when it comes to hardware for gaming PCs. Soooo this summer with the money I earn from my first job I'll buy all the parts to build my PC (I opted to build over iBuyPower, etc. because it's soooo much cheaper). I've already gathered a list, but I bet it'll change overtime!

I'll primarily be using the PC for gaming (FHD, hopefully) and for somewhat-heavy Photoshop usage (I'm also a web designer).

I know this is more than enough for the PS, so I'm looking at gaming. I'd like to play games like GTA IV, BF3, Max Payne 3 and Arkham City on max settings (1920 x 1800 / 1080p), so I'm wondering if this is enough, or whether I'll need to upgrade my GPU or not. I read that this is enough, but after looking around I'm not so sure.

I also might upgrade the CPU to an Ivy Bridge i7 (or i7-2700K Sandy Bridge (I think that's right)).

So here are all the parts I've came up with:

- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K - $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL - $46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- BIOSTAR TZ77XE3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $64.99 (OS Drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLHX 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $149.99 (Data Drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM - $18.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Rosewill Xtreme Series RX850-S-B 850W Continuous @40°C ,80 PLUS Certified, ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91, SLI Ready CrossFire Ready, Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan - $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So what do you guys think? And any more advice on how I should go about setting up my PC, etc?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2012 1:39:36 AM

There is no way either the GTX550Ti or the HD6850 will max out BF3 or Arkham City at 1920 X 1080. For that you need a more powerful graphics card. Minimum you need would be a GTX570 or an HD6970/7850.
Also, if I were going to spend a hundred bucks on a power supply, it wouldnt be a Rosewill. For any of the cards I listed a quality 600 watts would do. Get a Corsair, Antec, OCZ, or XFX 600 watt psu. They should be around $70, and put the $30 you save towards a better graphics card
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2012 1:50:20 AM

I agree with GI_JONES you won't be maxing out BF3 or Arkham City at 1920 X 1080.You will be able to play on mid settings with the HD6850 and low settings with a GTX550TI
June 2, 2012 1:51:55 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Change your hard drive to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... change your GPU to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and change your PSU to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... the rest is good bud


Hey, thanks for the reply! I have a couple of questions though.

1. I came down to a similar WD HDD to the one you suggested and the one I chose, and I chose the one I did as I preferred speed over the space (unless in your experience a 10k RPM upgrade doesn't make a *visible* difference over 7.2k). So is there a big improvement or would it really be better to take your HDD?

2. Yeah just realized my GPU was 192-bit too haha. And after more research I realize mine's too weak for HD gaming. So will the Raedon run, say, Crysis 2 at the highest possible settings smoothly? What about GTA IV (smoothly)? (Or what do you plat at what settings?)

3. I changed out the PSU as per your suggestion. I just thought that the GPU + CPU would need more power than that (I got that from iBuyPower). Hopefully it'll work.

Also, in the future would it be better to get another Raedon you suggested and run it in dual SLI instead of straight up upgrading to a new GPU?

Thanks!!! :D 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2012 2:04:32 AM

strikeseven said:
Hey, thanks for the reply! I have a couple of questions though.

1. I came down to a similar WD HDD to the one you suggested and the one I chose, and I chose the one I did as I preferred speed over the space (unless in your experience a 10k RPM upgrade doesn't make a *visible* difference over 7.2k). So is there a big improvement or would it really be better to take your HDD?

2. Yeah just realized my GPU was 192-bit too haha. And after more research I realize mine's too weak for HD gaming. So will the Raedon run, say, Crysis 2 at the highest possible settings smoothly? What about GTA IV (smoothly)? (Or what do you plat at what settings?)

3. I changed out the PSU as per your suggestion. I just thought that the GPU + CPU would need more power than that (I got that from iBuyPower). Hopefully it'll work.

Also, in the future would it be better to get another Raedon you suggested and run it in dual SLI instead of straight up upgrading to a new GPU?

Thanks!!! :D 
Well i think your better taking the HDD i picked and you would be better off putting your OS on a SSD and as for GPU you need a Raedon7850 or a GTX480 or GTX570 to run Crysis on ultra/max settings the 6850 you will be able to play on mid settings and i would just buy a single more powerful GPU than SLI or Crossfire
June 5, 2012 10:26:33 PM

Okay guys sorry for the late reply and thanks for all of your help! I just want to know if my GPU will handle FHD gaming at 1920 x 1800. I looked at the the GPUs you recommended and I chose this:

EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So will that be able to handle, say, BF3 at max settings at 1920 x 1800?
June 6, 2012 12:53:47 AM

Have you thought about a GTX 560 ti 448? its basically a 570 with some cuda cores turned off.
!