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Gaming Build - Expert Opinions Requested

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June 5, 2012 8:59:54 PM

Hello All,

Great Forum. :hello:  Appreciate everyone taking the time to offer advice. Looking for some expert opinion on a new gaming build. I have assembled a few computers in the past, although it's been several years. I am not a hard core gamer but do like playing computer games when I have time. Would like to have the option to O/C and SLI/Crossfire, but only if needed.

Main questions I would like answered is:

1. I am on the fence about the GPU. Should I stick with the AX7850 or upgrade to a GTX 670? I prefer game stability, low heat, and efficient power consumption over raw power. It will need to run games at Highest settings in 1920 x 1080 though. [SOLVED]

2. How does my part compatibility look? Any issues fitting the CPU cooler in that case? Will the CPU cooler be visible from the side of the case?

3. Are there any area's in my build that look like I am overspending?

4. Any favorites for a 27" monitor for gaming (nothing high end needed)

Edit: after some great suggestions, my build currently looks like this...comments please.

r=19413365 ] GTC670 build

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570K

MOBO
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0

GPU
EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW

CASE
NZXT Phantom 410 CA-PH410-B1 White Steel

PS
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX650 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPSV12 v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

MEM
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B

CPU COOLER
??

SSD
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

MONITOR
ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 50,000,000:1

OPTICAL
LG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH24NS90 - OEM

WIN7 $99.00


Total with combos/discounts/promo codes: $1598.88

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 1000 - 1700 ( with 27" Monitor and Win 7)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (gaming (Diablo 3, Skyrim, BF3), surfing the internet, watching streaming movies)

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, NCIX. (I am NOT near a Microcenter)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Solid Reliable brand

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Not at this time, but would like to keep the option open for future expansion

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 Currently have a 21.5" Dell ST2220M but plan to run a dual monitor setup.

Additional Comments: Want a classy looking computer aesthetically. Should be relatively quiet with good cooling (My room temp is usually set at 82 deg F)

Best solution

June 5, 2012 9:16:54 PM

Quote:
1. I am on the fence about the GPU. Should I stick with the AX7850 or upgrade to a GTX 670? I prefer game stability, low heat, and efficient power consumption over raw power. It will need to run games at Highest settings in 1920 x 1080 though.


Get a 670 - the 7850 is good in some areas but the 670 pretty much steamrolls the competition right now and it's an excellent value.

Quote:
2. How does my part compatibility look? Any issues fitting the CPU cooler in that case? Will the CPU cooler be visible from the side of the case?


The Phantom is an excellent case choice and you should have no problems with most air coolers. The only time you'd run into such an issue is if you're using say a 3-fan liquid radiator and even then there's not a lot of choices on the market.

Quote:
3. Are there any area's in my build that look like I am overspending?


Where you're overspending is the monitor - 27" monitors are ridiculously expensive when 24" will do fine for most games. Where you want to put that money is in getting a solid GPU like a 7870 or 670. You're also underspending on the motherboard. You want one that will provide multiple x16 lanes to ensure that your long term expansion plans aren't prohibited by cost-cutting the motherboard.

Here's a sample build I usually recommend:

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 - $99.99
PSU: Seasonic S12 II 620W - $89.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H - $144.99
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - $249.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $33.99
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $56.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $129.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $129.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - $399.99

Total: $1,372.89

Add monitor and peripherals and you're good to go.
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June 5, 2012 9:22:53 PM

1. The choice between those two cards come down to your budget. The 670 is definitely more powerful. The 7850 has high OC potential and is a really good card for the price. I would get the 670 if you can afford it, but you certainly won't regret the 7850. If you end up with the 7850, get the Sapphire not the Powercolor.

3. I don't see you overspending anywhere other than maybe your CPU cooler. Depends on how much OCing you plan to do. Also, if you want the option to CF/SLI down the road, you want a different mobo, like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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June 6, 2012 3:31:46 AM

Thanks for the advice. I have tweeked my build based on your suggestions and taking advantage of some Newegg combo's and promo codes. Also included the Monitor and Win 7. Only item left is a CPU cooler. How does the build look now?


GTC670 build


Total with combos/discounts/promo codes: $1598.88
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June 6, 2012 4:10:46 AM

Antec 1100 case on sale for $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good mobo, cpu, and ram.

I'd go with a 670 FTW from EVGA. It's only $420 and it can meet, and beat GTX 680 fps charts if OC'ed, and comes within 5fps of the 680 for $100 less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston has the 90 and 120GB edition of their HyperX 3K series SSD's on sale for $90, $70 MIR, and $120, $90 MIR respectively.

I'd give yourslef some more headroom but SeaSonic is a great producer, along with Corsair. I use a TX850V2 in my setup, leaves plenty of headroom, and allows for any upgrades in the future.
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June 6, 2012 4:37:57 AM

EVGA GTX 670 FTW.
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June 6, 2012 4:51:36 AM

I agree. Get the GTX 670. Gigabyte Windforce or ASUS DirectCUII would be my choices (if you can find one). I couldn't and bought a Gigabyte GTX 680 ($60 more than the ASUS GTX 670).

As for the monitor, I recently bought a 27" 2560 x 1440 Yamakasi Catleap monitor from green-sum on eBay. Cost me $318 + $40 in duty. Took 4 days to arrive - it is amazing.. you can read more here much better than two 24" monitors.
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June 6, 2012 5:11:10 AM

That Monitor looks amazing. Did you get the SE?
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June 6, 2012 5:43:03 AM

The GTX 670 is a great GPU that should be on any build that can afford it. For sub 1000 dollar builds, the 7850 has value that nothing in its price range can beat. It, along with the GTX 670, are the two single best price/performance GPUs on the market.
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June 6, 2012 1:34:37 PM

Best answer selected by briang61.
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June 6, 2012 4:43:29 PM

Mardys said:
Antec 1100 case on sale for $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good mobo, cpu, and ram.

I'd go with a 670 FTW from EVGA. It's only $420 and it can meet, and beat GTX 680 fps charts if OC'ed, and comes within 5fps of the 680 for $100 less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston has the 90 and 120GB edition of their HyperX 3K series SSD's on sale for $90, $70 MIR, and $120, $90 MIR respectively.

I'd give yourslef some more headroom but SeaSonic is a great producer, along with Corsair. I use a TX850V2 in my setup, leaves plenty of headroom, and allows for any upgrades in the future.


The bad thing about Kingston SSDs is that they use the same crap Sandforce controller that a lot of other SSD vendors use and it's prone to the same issues and errors that plague Sandforce drives.

Seasonic makes great PSUs - I had a Corsair CX430 short out on me and I replaced it with a Seasonic S12 II 430W and it's been working like a charm.
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June 6, 2012 5:29:39 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the advice. I have tweeked my build based on your suggestions and taking advantage of some Newegg combo's and promo codes. Also included the Monitor and Win 7. Only item left is a CPU cooler. How does the build look now?


The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is considered as the best CPU cooler around when it comes to value for your money, and it's definitely the most popular one. I have no idea why someone recommends you to not go with that one. You definitely should!

Check out the top-selling list on Newegg if you're in doubt. Also, look at those reviews on the 212s.

Also, get the EVO, not the Plus.
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June 6, 2012 5:34:05 PM

Correction - look at all the reviews on the internet by reviewing websites. :p 
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June 6, 2012 5:42:00 PM

nafoni said:
Quote:
Thanks for the advice. I have tweeked my build based on your suggestions and taking advantage of some Newegg combo's and promo codes. Also included the Monitor and Win 7. Only item left is a CPU cooler. How does the build look now?


The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is considered as the best CPU cooler around when it comes to value for your money, and it's definitely the most popular one. I have no idea why someone recommends you to not go with that one. You definitely should!

Check out the top-selling list on Newegg if you're in doubt. Also, look at those reviews on the 212s.

Also, get the EVO, not the Plus.


The Hyper 212 is an excellent value and comes with good thermal compound on top of that. The only thing I'd recommend above it in its' price range would be a Noctua NH-U9B but I also really like the EVGA cooler I got - it's really easy to install (assuming you install it before screwing your motherboard in first) and cools great.
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June 6, 2012 5:43:43 PM

The Hyper 212 EVO was a pain for me to install.
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June 6, 2012 5:46:26 PM

azeem40 said:
The Hyper 212 EVO was a pain for me to install.


Yeah I usually install my fans outside of the case before I screw down the motherboard, much easier that way. I've also installed fans inside the case - I wouldn't recommend that. :lol: 
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June 6, 2012 5:48:14 PM

I didn't feel like taking it out, so I spent 2 hrs trying to fit it inside the case. :p 
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June 6, 2012 5:54:04 PM

azeem40 said:
I didn't feel like taking it out, so I spent 2 hrs trying to fit it inside the case. :p 


I installed a dual heat sink / PWM fan combo and that took a good 2 1/2 hours to do inside the case, it probably would have taken 15 minutes outside. :lol: 
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June 6, 2012 11:10:04 PM

Yeah, The EVO for sure. Only thing better would be a Corsair H100 imo but that's going into Liquid. I bought one last night :p  can't wait till it all gets here, doubt it'll arrive by Friday though as it shipped this morning T_T.
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June 7, 2012 12:50:51 AM

I ended up ordering the Cooler Master V6 GT. Got a great price at amazon $41.99 after $5.00 MIR. I was going more for looks than function since I don't plan on doing any O/C right away. Although the reviews I have read indicate it is a decent cooler. Everything else was ordered through Newegg last night. Can't wait for it to arrive!
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