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~$1000 gaming build, critique wanted

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June 8, 2012 6:54:21 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this week

Budget Range: About $1000 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, photo editing, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD drive, power supply: Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620-Watt HX Professional Series Modular Cable Design 80 Plus Certified Power Supply. Not re-using the case from my existing build since the airflow isn't that great.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg.com

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Sometime in the future

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments: I would like to upgrade to a Blu-Ray burner eventually, and I would like the whole system to be upgradeable and overclockable. I prefer the system to be reasonably quiet. I am planning on keeping the basic build for about 5 years, and upgrading and overclocking as I see fit during that time.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (100314-3L )
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-16GBXL
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

Please critique (or praise, if warranted) as you see fit. Let me know if any of these parts are a bad choice, or if anything is incompatible. Thanks in advance!
June 9, 2012 2:49:23 PM

Anyone? Did I do something so horribly wrong or pick such a bad part that I am unworthy of response? If so, please, by all means, let me know and I'll fix it. :lol:  I built my last computer in 2006, so please excuse me.
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June 9, 2012 3:06:36 PM

Maybe the reason nobody replied is because it looks like a good normal build and there would be no reason to suggest anything different. It's what we would be suggesting to someone that didn't have anything picked out for a build. A lot of people come here looking for help with little or no idea on how to pick out parts and what goes with what. With a $1000 budget you can only go with a limited amount of options , you can compare your build the the monthly system builder that is posted here at Tomshardware.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-radeon-hd...
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June 9, 2012 3:27:48 PM

Personally I'd up the case to a CM Enforcer or HAF with USB3.0

Get an i5 3570k and an asrock z77 mobo

Maybe an AMD 7000 or nvidia 600?

I'd get corsair vengeance memory, unless there's a specific reason you need 16GB, running 8GB should be fine.

I think you should go with a WD Blue or Black hard disk, make sure it's SATA III too, then it'll be 6 Gb/s

Finally, windows 7 home premium is all you need unless there's a specific reason you know you need proffessional for, I've been on the microsoft site and compared the windows 7 versions, professional just has a few extra features a business might need

"It simplifies connecting to networks and giving presentations. It helps you safeguard your hard work and important information. And it’s compatible with more business programs."
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June 9, 2012 3:42:06 PM

Ah, so you're saying my brains haven't turned to mush since my last build in 2006? Well, that's encouraging. :D  Thanks.

It looks like that monthly build really pushed the budget towards the video card. Do you think that's a good idea? And I see that they only put 4 GB of RAM in it. Is my pick of 16 GB overkill?
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June 9, 2012 3:53:35 PM

With gaming and video work in mind for the Pc build then the video card should be the most important part to consider and the best one that you can get for the available money that you have is what you should do. The ram is important in video editing and 16gb is a good amount, you won't need more than 8gb of ram for gaming but the video work is different. If you wanted to you could start out with an 8gb set of ram and if you found that is wasn't enough then you could add another set of the same exact model speed and timings.
The system builder is a general build and when you have specific needs you then make adjustments.
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June 9, 2012 4:37:46 PM

Thanks for replying, GeForce6.

Oops, I did not notice that the front ports on the Antec 300 case were not USB 3.0. Good catch!

I see that for only $20 more, the i5 3570k would give me Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge, 22 nm over 32 nm manufacturing tech, and 77W over 95W thermal design power. I'm guessing these improvements are worth the extra $20?

Is there a specific Asrock z77 mobo that you recommend?

Do you think I should direct more of my budget towards the video card? The latest card models are twice as expensive as the previous model. Will I get more performance per dollar out of the latest models?

Why do you recommend Corsair Vengeance specifically? It looks like it's a bit more expensive than the GSkill, and I don't see that the specs are any better.

With the hard drive, my main concerns are reliability and noise. I saw reviews on the WD Black complaining they were noisy.

The main reason I was looking at Windows 7 Professional is the Windows XP mode. Also, Home Premium supports a maximum of 16 GB of RAM, though I'm not sure if I would want or need more than that in the next 5 years.
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June 9, 2012 6:33:20 PM

The Antec 300 V2 does. :) 
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June 9, 2012 8:49:00 PM
!