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Critique my first build - 2560 x 1440 gaming, $1700

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June 12, 2012 5:51:23 PM

I posted this earlier, but didn't get much feedback, so here I go again. I bought the Dell U2711 monitor this weekend - it was cheaper than usual over at newegg - and I will be buying the remaining components over the next weeks. I hope to have everything by the first week of July.

Approximate Purchase Date: From now to the first week of July. Most things, will be bought around July 5th, but I want to keep an eye out for sales in the meantime.

Budget Range: Up to $1700 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (Civ V, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Skyrim), statistical computing (Stata and MatLab), streaming movies.

Parts Not Required: Monitor and mouse.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, except I would like to buy the CPU and Motherboard from Micro Center, and get the discount on the mobo. This means I'll buy these on July 5th or 6th.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe, but not right away

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, not right away but if it proves necessary.

Monitor Resolution: 2560 x 1440

The following are based on what I've seen around. The benchmarks I've seen don't show a huge performance loss in going for the GTX 670 instead of a 680 or an HD7970, but I've been told that there may be an upside to the 7970's 3gigs of RAM when in Crossfire. This is my first build, so I really don't know. I think that's the main question in the build, though I would appreciate critiques of everything else. I have 16 gigs of RAM because it helps with massive datasets, and I sometimes use those.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.12 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
I'm using this because it looks better than the ASRock Extreme4 that's also available at MicroCenter. Another options is the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro, but the TH writeup of Z77 motherboards makes it sound as though it's not good value.

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($94.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.00 @ B&H)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.55 @ Newegg)

Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($75.84 @ Amazon)
I'm not sure about this case, again mostly based on the TH writeup. The NXZT Phantom looks a little bit too flashy for me, but I'm open to suggestions.

Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($159.99 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Newegg)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.99 @ B&H)

Keyboard: Targus AKB14USZ Wired Standard Keyboard ($19.84 @ Amazon)
Total: $1501.28

I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks!



June 12, 2012 6:16:13 PM

2GB of VRAM should be fine even at 2560x1440, the GTX 670 should eat up any game at that resolution. You only need 8GB of RAM for gaming though, I don't think any games even use more than 4GB. Another option for the graphics as well would be to go for dual HD 7870's right off the bat. Just a thought.

EDIT: Just read the bit about needing 16GB RAM, ignore me on that part
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June 12, 2012 9:14:53 PM

All the choices you made are parts that I would buy if I were to build a pc. Great choices!

I have the corsair 300R and (had) the Gigabyte z77x-ud3h. The HD audio cable for the front panel is a bit short for that MoBo. Just to let you know.

Also, I find that though there is space for an SLI build in that case, it would get too cramped in my opinion. Try getting the 500R instead. You will get more space, better cable management, and better air circulation.

Don't get me wrong, the 300R is a great case. I really like mine. However, if I had the budget when I built mine, I would have gotten the 500R.
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June 12, 2012 11:08:56 PM

No need to change a thing.
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June 13, 2012 2:06:50 PM

Thanks for the comments! I will look into alternative cases. I like the 500R but I seem unable to make any decisions without reading a large number of reviews :D 

Also, I got the Samsung SSD for $89.99 from Newegg today, I think it's a steal, and those extra $40 can go towards the larger case (even though I am within my budget, I like shaving as much as I can while keeping a good overall quality).
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