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First-Time Builder: $1000~ Gaming/Multimedia Rig

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June 5, 2012 11:16:50 PM

Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on Tom's Hardware as well as the first time attempting to build my own PC. So I thought I'd ask the best minds around for some advice as to which components would be best for me. I have a general idea of what I want, but would love to hear any advice or feedback as far as improving/saving on each particular area.


Approximate Purchase Date: Buying piece by piece within the next month or so

Budget Range: $1000 as an average, but am more than willing to spend less, and am not adverse to forking over a bit more. Let's say a max of $1200.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Heavy gaming and multimedia.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard and Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I would prefer an Intel build, but am not opposed to listening to an AMD build. Prefer a Mid Tower ATX case.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: A quiet-running PC is preferred, as well as one that can be customized for the future.



Here is a build I came up with, but comes out to a bit more than I am comfortable to spend. I'd love to hear any ways to shave off price as well as possibly improve performance.


Case:
Rosewill Blackhawk ATX Mid Tower: $95 w/ shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or:

Antec 900 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower w/ Upgraded USB 3.0: $113 w/ shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU:
Intel i5 2500-K Sandy Bridge 3.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor: $229 w/ 1-year extended warranty and -$15 promo that ends 6/7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or (for an AMD build):

AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz Six-Core Processor: $155 w/ 1-year extended warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Motherboard:
MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ UEFI BIOS: $207 w/ 1-year extended warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or (for an AMD build):

ASUS Sabertooth AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard w/ UEFI BIOS: $188.50 w/
shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Power Supply:
CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply: $120 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or:

SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply: $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GPU:
EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card: $210 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or:

XFX Double D HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity: $200 after rebate, comes with free Dirt 3 game
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


RAM:
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory: $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (Bare): $177 w/ shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SDD (if needed):
SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive: $145 w/ 1-year extended warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM: $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Optical Drive:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner: $25 w/ 1-year extended warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Monitor:
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 (1000:1) W/Speakers: $170 after rebate



So that's about it! The total price tag of all those runs between $1450-$1550. I'd love to hear any ways to lessen the blow to my wallet without losing (or even gaining!) performance. Thank you all for your time.

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Best solution

June 6, 2012 12:27:46 AM

It's not recommended to purchase piece by piece seeing how prices constantly change along with tech, but it is what it is. So this is what I strongly recommend. That board + cpu combo down below won't last for long and it's the best deal your going to see on a board like that along with a cpu. If possible you want to make that your first purchase. That GTX 660 is due out in July/August of this year and that should be your last purchase. That 3570K comes with nice on die Intel HD 4000 graphics that will allow you to surf the net, etc... but don't expect to do any serious gaming on it. But it's more than enough to get you by until that card is released and when it does come out it's going to be a hot item imo due to it's price point.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006I2H0YS/ref=ox_sc_a... $78.54 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Comp... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms - CMPSU-650TXV2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $349.98 save: $15.00 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that board w/benchmarks

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/ <---- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $33.99 FREE SHIPPING
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+

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $46.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-600/geforce-gtx-66... $300
NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | LED Backlit with 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,247.45
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June 6, 2012 2:20:19 AM

Why_Me said:
It's not recommended to purchase piece by piece seeing how prices constantly change along with tech, but it is what it is. So this is what I strongly recommend. That board + cpu combo down below won't last for long and it's the best deal your going to see on a board like that along with a cpu. If possible you want to make that your first purchase. That GTX 660 is due out in July/August of this year and that should be your last purchase. That 3570K comes with nice on die Intel HD 4000 graphics that will allow you to surf the net, etc... but don't expect to do any serious gaming on it. But it's more than enough to get you by until that card is released and when it does come out it's going to be a hot item imo due to it's price point.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006I2H0YS/ref=ox_sc_a... $78.54 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Comp... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms - CMPSU-650TXV2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $349.98 save: $15.00 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that board w/benchmarks

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/ <---- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $33.99 FREE SHIPPING
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+

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $46.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-600/geforce-gtx-66... $300
NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | LED Backlit with 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,247.45



Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think I may end up going with Why_Me's suggestions. That said, do you suggest I get the extended warranties for all the components that have that option?
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June 6, 2012 2:20:43 AM

Best answer selected by MattJC01.
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June 6, 2012 2:36:04 AM

No point going for the i5-3570k for $350, just buy the cheaper i5-2500k for $229. For $120 less, you get about the same performance and lower temps if you ever overclock.

Take the extra savings there and upgrade from a 660 for a hypothetical $300 to the currently available 670 for $420.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Much more graphics power, ever so slightly less processor power, and you can buy it today.
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June 6, 2012 2:43:32 AM

quantumdawn said:
No point going for the i5-3570k for $350, just buy the cheaper i5-2500k for $229. For $120 less, you get about the same performance and lower temps if you ever overclock.

Take the extra savings there and upgrade from a 660 for a hypothetical $300 to the currently available 670 for $420.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Much more graphics power, ever so slightly less processor power, and you can buy it today.

The 3750K goes for $240 USD. You must be thinking of the i-7 3770K.
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June 6, 2012 2:53:25 AM

Ah, my bad. I followed the link you posted for $349.99, didn't realize it was for a combo motherboard + CPU. Reasonable price for the combo, unreasonable price if it was just the CPU.
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June 6, 2012 3:08:47 AM

Why_Me's suggestions are great. If you can, go with that.
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June 6, 2012 1:26:59 PM

I went ahead and purchased the 3750K CPU and Z77 Extreme 4 Mobo combo. Looks like I need the case, OS, HDD, RAM, and power supply to get it up and running. Was gonna save the GPU, optical drive and monitor for last (I have a 17" Widescreen LCD already to tide me over).

Question, though. The case jensen pointed out seems pretty nice. USB 3.0 and 2.0 in front, and even has dedicated SSD bays in case I ever get one. Would it be worth the extra $20 compared to the Carbide 300R?
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June 6, 2012 8:05:42 PM

MattJC01 said:
I went ahead and purchased the 3750K CPU and Z77 Extreme 4 Mobo combo. Looks like I need the case, OS, HDD, RAM, and power supply to get it up and running. Was gonna save the GPU, optical drive and monitor for last (I have a 17" Widescreen LCD already to tide me over).

Question, though. The case jensen pointed out seems pretty nice. USB 3.0 and 2.0 in front, and even has dedicated SSD bays in case I ever get one. Would it be worth the extra $20 compared to the Carbide 300R?

Iv'e never had any experience with that case but reading the specs on it just now it looks like a nice one to work with. As far as front 3.0 USB connectors and 2.5" SSD bays..the Corsair 300R has all that. All the 5.25" drive bays are also 2.5" compatible for SSD's, etc...

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- You can see all that on here.
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June 6, 2012 11:12:19 PM

o.o You mean the case I pointed out Matt, as I can't seem to see any case Jensen pointed out...
the 1100 I posted has better cooling than the 300R, and more fan room (I think). I was originally going with the 300R until I found the Vengeance C70, then saw the reviews of the Antec 1100, the 1100 is easily one of the coolest cases you can buy at around $100. And yes, it does have the USB 3.0, etc. bought again like Why pointed out so does the 300R. In my case it wound up I cared about having cooler temperatures to be able to OC better, and have a longer life span overall.

I also bought 5 extra fans however, 2 for the window, 2 for the front of the case, and 1 for the motherboard rear.
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June 7, 2012 1:17:49 AM

Mardys said:
o.o You mean the case I pointed out Matt, as I can't seem to see any case Jensen pointed out...
the 1100 I posted has better cooling than the 300R, and more fan room (I think). I was originally going with the 300R until I found the Vengeance C70, then saw the reviews of the Antec 1100, the 1100 is easily one of the coolest cases you can buy at around $100. And yes, it does have the USB 3.0, etc. bought again like Why pointed out so does the 300R. In my case it wound up I cared about having cooler temperatures to be able to OC better, and have a longer life span overall.

I also bought 5 extra fans however, 2 for the window, 2 for the front of the case, and 1 for the motherboard rear.



Sorry about that Mardys. Accidentally looked too far up when seeing who posted. His was right above yours.

Either case would surely suit my needs, so I'm having a bit of trouble deciding between them. How much did you spend on the extra fans for the 1100? How many extras (if any) would I need just to keep it adequately cooled?

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June 7, 2012 1:29:26 AM

You probably do not need any extra fans. Both of these cases have pretty good cooling as it is. If you have a little extra to spend on fans, the money should be spent on a cpu fan.
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June 7, 2012 7:23:26 PM

MattJC01 said:
This video card just went on sale with a hefty price drop, would it be worth getting?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Although that card gets decent FPS it's an older and aged power hog that's not being produced anymore. In order to run two of those cards you would want a min. 850w psu. Wait for the GTX 660 to be released. Depending on the benchmarks of that card...I see it running on par with the AMD 7870 so you will have your choice of either card seeing how AMD is going to have to drop the price of that card.

As far as that psu + h/d combo it all depends on how much storage your wanting. If 3TB suites your needs then ya it's a pretty good deal imo.
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June 7, 2012 9:05:30 PM

Why_Me said:
Although that card gets decent FPS it's an older and aged power hog that's not being produced anymore. In order to run two of those cards you would want a min. 850w psu. Wait for the GTX 660 to be released. Depending on the benchmarks of that card...I see it running on par with the AMD 7870 so you will have your choice of either card seeing how AMD is going to have to drop the price of that card.

As far as that psu + h/d combo it all depends on how much storage your wanting. If 3TB suites your needs then ya it's a pretty good deal imo.



As always, thanks for the great advice Why_Me (and others). I'll take your suggestion and wait for the GTX 660 to come out to decide on a GPU. That said, would it be advisable to hold off on buying the Hyper 212 EVO fan since the computer won't really be under a big load until then?
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June 7, 2012 9:08:48 PM

MattJC01 said:
As always, thanks for the great advice Why_Me (and others). I'll take your suggestion and wait for the GTX 660 to come out to decide on a GPU. That said, would it be advisable to hold off on buying the Hyper 120 EVO fan since the computer won't really be under a big load until then?

Ya because like you pointed out you won't need it right away. That saves you another $30.
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June 7, 2012 10:04:38 PM

So I've purchased the majority of what I need. Here's the breakdown so far:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Processor
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

$349.98 combo deal (bought it just in time apparently; mobo price went up $10 afterward)


http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$89.98 w/ shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650V2 650W Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM

$129.98 combo deal

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


All that comes out to $569.94 spent. Since I'll be waiting for the GTX 660, this just leaves a HDD and Windows 7 left to purchase. I don't need a monitor since I had a blonde moment and didn't realize I can simply use my LCD TV as a monitor.

Wanna thank all who've helped me in this thread, I appreciate the advice and assistance.
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