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$900 - $1,000 Gaming PC

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June 2, 2012 5:37:13 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: $900 - $1,000 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching HD videos, file storage

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, Windows (I can get either XP or 7 from my work), DVD drive (Liteon iHas424)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg, Tigerdirect. I'll order anywhere, but I have Amazon Prime, so ordering there would get me parts fastest. However, would rather wait a few days to get a better deal than spend more than I have to for convenience of a day or two.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Prefer intel, leaning toward Ivy Bridge for future proofing. Would like a SSD boot drive if budget allows it.

Overclocking: Prefer not initially

SLI or Crossfire: Unsure

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'm purchasing this primarily to play Diablo 3 and would like to be able to run it on the highest settings. Would like some wiggle room for future games, too, though. My wife agreed with the condition that this replace our old file server that is way too loud and stutters when it plays HD video (I built it 4 years ago for $300, running Linux with 1GB HD and AMD Sempron, so nothing outside of hard drive can probably be reused). I have a monitor but will most likely be hooking it up to 50" HDTV, at least for movies. The old computer runs way too loud and it interferes with hearing dialog as it's right underneath speakers. Relativel quiet would be a nice bonus. Thanks in advance.

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Not too picky about case, so picked the cheapest one in one of the lists in other thread. Don't mind changing it to something else, just don't want to spend more than I have to since I don't need anything fancy.
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

I already have a HDD from another computer that I plan to reuse: Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARS

More about : 900 000 gaming

Best solution

June 2, 2012 6:05:36 PM

Check out my $850 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Since you'll still have room to work with, get this SSD. Since you prefer Amazon w/ Prime.
http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Chronos-2-5-Inch-Solid-MK...
If you want 120GB SSD, for $30 more you could get the Mushkin Chronos 120GB instead.
http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Chronos-2-5-Inch-Solid-MK...

So I'll explain some of my options since you may have questions. I picked the Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 for the reason that it saves some money from going Z77 but also that it has Gen3 which already allows PCI 3.0 usage like Z77. The Extreme3 is still just as upgradeable as Z77 boards if not better since it can run 8x/8x SLI/Crossfire while most Z77 boards at the price range can only run 8x/4x or 16x/4x which is a lot worse.

As for the 7850, try just overclocking. Trust me, it'll be REALLY easy. Just slide the sliders in the drivers menu in windows and it'll be an easy 1GHZ. @ 1GHZ the 7850 performs at the level of a GTX 580 but for much less power consumption, WAY lower temps and quieter as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...
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June 2, 2012 11:49:56 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and the links. I have a few follow-up questions as well as a list of what I have gathered so far.

1. Is there any reason to go with the Crucial M4 128GB SSD instead of the Chronos 120GB? There's a $30 price difference. I'm willing to pay if the performance warrants it, but wanted to be certain.
2. Would I see a noticeable speed increase with larger RAM?
3. The PSU you recommended in your list was mentioned at $65, I'm assuming on sale at the time. It's now $80. Is it still worth it at that price point, or should I be looking at something better if I'm going to be spending more than you initially allotted?
4. Torn on the cases. Both are nice. USB 3.0 front is a good feature, but I'm more concerned with airflow/how quiet it is. Which do you think will give better results on that front?
5. I see some other builds mentioning additional fans. Should I look into one?
6. Asrock Extreme4 worth it or stick with Extreme3?
7. Do you have any idea what additional cables I should be purchasing? I'm assuming some SATA 3.0 data cables, but I'm not sure what else. Would you mind linking me to some on Amazon?

I'm sorry if I'm being a pain. I really appreciate all of your help.


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

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K

SAPPHIRERadeon HD 7850 OC 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ( 11200-01-20G )

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Wintec ONE MHzCL9 8GB(2x4GB) UDIMM Kit 2Rx8 1.5V with HS 8 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM 3OH16009U9H-8GK

Antec EarthWatts EA-650D Green 650 Watt 80 PLUS BRONZE Power Supply
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June 2, 2012 11:53:06 PM

aznshinobi said:
Check out my $850 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Since you'll still have room to work with, get this SSD. Since you prefer Amazon w/ Prime.
http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Chronos-2-5-Inch-Solid-MK...
If you want 120GB SSD, for $30 more you could get the Mushkin Chronos 120GB instead.
http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Chronos-2-5-Inch-Solid-MK...

So I'll explain some of my options since you may have questions. I picked the Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 for the reason that it saves some money from going Z77 but also that it has Gen3 which already allows PCI 3.0 usage like Z77. The Extreme3 is still just as upgradeable as Z77 boards if not better since it can run 8x/8x SLI/Crossfire while most Z77 boards at the price range can only run 8x/4x or 16x/4x which is a lot worse.

As for the 7850, try just overclocking. Trust me, it'll be REALLY easy. Just slide the sliders in the drivers menu in windows and it'll be an easy 1GHZ. @ 1GHZ the 7850 performs at the level of a GTX 580 but for much less power consumption, WAY lower temps and quieter as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...

You won't be able to use PCIe 3.0 with a Z68 board on an IB CPU.
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June 2, 2012 11:55:09 PM

azeem40 said:
You won't be able to use PCIe 3.0 with a Z68 board on an IB CPU.


What should I sub in?
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June 2, 2012 11:57:40 PM

Idk why azn is so against IB MOBOs, but I'd keep your Z77 board.
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June 3, 2012 12:15:59 AM

Yes. I know azn is going to disagree with me, but I have a friend who can back me up.
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June 3, 2012 12:27:16 AM

azeem40 said:
Yes. I know azn is going to disagree with me, but I have a friend who can back me up.


I appreciate your jumping in. Do you have any insight as to my other questions? Trying to finalize the build this weekend so I can have the order in by early Monday. If not, no worries.

Thanks again.
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June 3, 2012 5:02:22 AM

You won't be able to use PCIe 3.0 with a Z68 board on an IB CPU.

That's very false.

Gen3 allows for PCIe 3.0 support with a Z68 board if you're using an IB chip. It's verified by pretty much all the reviews. But apparently Azeem says that you can't but that's very false.

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June 3, 2012 4:07:05 PM

Can someone critique the build I've selected? I'm looking to order all of the parts tonight but want to make sure I've selected the right stuff. Bonus points if you can help me identify which additional cables I'll need to purchase to make sure I can plug everything in once it's all arrived.


ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
The Z77 is only about $5 more than the Z68, so I'm going with that one.

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K

SAPPHIRERadeon HD 7850 OC 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ( 11200-01-20G )
--- or ---
Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2 GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11200-00-20G
The first one is OC. Does that mean it can be overclocked and the second cannot? $20 difference between the two so wondering which is best or if they're interchangeable.

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Is this good or should I spend the extra money and get the M4?

Wintec ONE MHzCL9 8GB(2x4GB) UDIMM Kit 2Rx8 1.5V with HS 8 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM 3OH16009U9H-8GK

XFX Core Edition PRO750W (P1-750S-NLB9) 750W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
The 650W initially recommended was supposed to be $65 but actually is now $80. For $90 I found this one.

Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
Leaning towards this case

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
Is this necessary with my build?

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June 3, 2012 5:03:47 PM

Robbrechter, it's still alot cheaper than your 750w, but if you include MIR then I guess not.

It all looks solid, the 7850 OC just means that Sapphire stock overclocked it. As for the Chronos just stick with it. It's cheaper but you wouldn't even notice the difference.
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June 3, 2012 5:10:34 PM

But I can just as easily overclock the regular version the same way, right?

My last question is about the fan. With the case that I chose, should I get that additional Coolermaster or is it overkill?


You've been a huge help and can't thank you enough.
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June 3, 2012 5:14:07 PM

Yes vfery easy.

You don't really need another fan for the case. It's fine, the Evo is nice to have if you'll overclock.
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June 10, 2012 12:03:27 AM

Best answer selected by robbrechter.
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June 10, 2012 12:04:27 AM

Thanks again for the help. Built the PC you recommended and it's running great. Having trouble overclocking the GPU, but I'm hoping I'll figure it out once I do some more experimenting.
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June 10, 2012 12:08:50 AM

aznshinobi said:
You won't be able to use PCIe 3.0 with a Z68 board on an IB CPU.

That's very false.

Gen3 allows for PCIe 3.0 support with a Z68 board if you're using an IB chip. It's verified by pretty much all the reviews. But apparently Azeem says that you can't but that's very false.

We'll see in 5 years when you regret getting a Z68 board with IB.
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June 10, 2012 12:17:57 AM

Lol Azeem we'll see whos right then. It performs the same as the native PCI 3.0 controller on IB anyways. Plus I doubt anyone would care. Most would've upgraded by that time with Haswell coming out next year.
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June 10, 2012 12:17:58 AM

What's with the hostility? Even if I did, so what? More importantly, I bought the Z77.
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June 10, 2012 12:19:09 AM

Definitely will pal. :lol: 
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