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Architecture Work and Gaming System - $1200

Hi.
I am looking to build a work/gaming rig and would like to get some input on price and performance as well as possible issues with the selected components.
This is the first machine i put together myself. I've upgraded existing systems before but never built my own.
Any help is greatly appreciated!

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 months

Budget Range:
$1000- $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Architecture work, CAD (Autodesk Revit, Sketchup, Autocad), rendering still images (sometimes animations), Gaming (COD4, COD Modern Warfare, League of Legends, Bioshock2), watching movies

Parts Not Required:
keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, power supply (PC Power&Cooling Silencer 500w), EVGA GTS450, D-Link DWA-552 XtremeN, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 (is this still viable?), Monitors: Dell SP2208WFP and Viewsonic VA 1912wb, Hitachi Deskstar 3.5-Inch 2 TB 7200RPM SATA III 6 Gbps.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, (Micro Center, Tiger Direct or others if they are much cheaper)

Country:
USA, Nebraska

Parts Preferences:
Full tower, Intel, Nvidia

Overclocking:
Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:
Maybe (trying to leave that open for the future)

Monitor Resolution:
1680x1050 right now but want to upgrade to 1920x1200 in the future

Additional Comments:
I'd like the PC to be moderately silent.
This build is supposed to last the next 3-4 years.
Also i want a better GPU in the future, thats why i am wondering if my PSU will cut it or if i should upgrade right away.


Parts i would like to have in this system. Please be frank and loud if you know something will not work, if you know a cheaper part that is as good/better etc.

CPU:
Core i7 3.4GHz LGA 1155 ($306.99)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-3770-processor-BX80637I73770/dp/B007SZ0EHE

CPU Fan:
(if the one i have does not work) ZALMAN CNPS12X 120mm ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118097&Tpk=CNPS12X

Mother Board:
MSI Z77A-GD65 ($186.99)
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Z77A-GD65-DDR3-1600-Motherboards/dp/B007QWIA52/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339701376&sr=8-1&keywords=MSI+Z77A-GD65
or
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ($174.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157295

Power:
(if the one i have does not work) CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ($134.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139022&Tpk=Corsair%20TX850

Memory:
2x G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ($48.99 x 2 = $97.98)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231485

Case:
Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower ($99.99 - current promo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053

SSD:
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III ($95.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236

Sound Card:
I have no idea what is good. Suggestions that fit the budget are greatly appreciated.


Total cost if i am getting all the listed parts, including cooler and heat sink = $1022.92


Thank you for your input!
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about architecture work gaming system 1200
  1. What psu do you have I would get this at that budget hope it helps.

    http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadc70.asp?id=676725
  2. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/a9GO

    this should be pretty good. however, if you need OpenCL, the 7950 will outperform the 670 anyday
  3. Cooler is overpriced and not a great performer.

    $30 - Hyper 212 ... good enough for SB, but with the IB CPU's I'd want more
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    $50 Hyper 612 or Scythe Mugen 3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103106
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185175

    $85 - Phanteks PH-TC14
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835709001

    CPU - ya want the K version since ya getting a cooler and k is needed for overclocking....and yes ya want the i7 for CAD. Get it in the Combo with the MoBo and save $15
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.975513

    RAM get it in the matched set .... CAD likes low CAS memory
    $98 CAS 9 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233197
    $110 CAS 8 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226299
    $135 CAS 7 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226306

    Case - I'd move up to the 500R ..... you'll want the size for cooling .... make sure that it has front USB 3 port
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010

    SSD - You picked the best there is from performance, longevity and price standpoints

    Sound Card - redundant, already on MoBo

    850 watter is more than enough for twin 670's ...... nVidia recommends 670 watts but that's not w/ overclocked CPU and GPU's..... and if ya buying a 670, the factory OC'd ones are the way to go

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121638

    GFX - The Asus 670 DCII Cu TOP has no competition

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-geforce-gtx-670-sc-review/23
    EVGA gets 3DMark Score of 8691 outta the box and 9443 OC'd
    Idle temp is 29C / load temp is 78C
    Noise is 37 dBA Idle / 43 dBA under load

    Asus gets 3DMark Score of 9340 outta the box and 9839 OC'd
    Idle temp is 30C / load temp is 72C
    Noise is 37 dBA Idle / 38 dBA under load

    That makes the Asus 7% faster outta the box, 6C cooler and almost 1/4 as loud under load (every 3 dBA is a doubling of sound level).
  4. Drop the board down to an Extreme4 Z77, for what you listed it doesn't seem like you'll be needing the features the Extreme6 or GD65 has. Most people don't even the more higher end enthusiasts. Save money that way.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293

    On the PSU, save money by going with this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EarthWatts-EA-650D-Green-BRONZE/dp/B004NBZAES%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB004NBZAES
    Honestly, With most recent cards and the GTS 450 a solid 650w is more than enough to CF/SLI. The 7870 and GTX 670 both only require a 650w to CF/SLI. So with that said, you save money and still can do what you want with the config.

    Just something to mention, you wouldn't notice the difference from a 80+ Bronze Corsair to a 80+ Bronze of another brand honestly. Solid reviews for the EA650.

    Sound card is unnecessary, most MB sound is more than enough especially for what you're doing.

    That HSF isn't really worth it.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    Save money and get more than enough performance to overclock a decent amount
    . But since you're getting the i7 3770 not the 3770K it's not really going to matter as you can't overclock w/o the K annotation.

    With this budget you should be able to get a much better graphics card, but you're going with an i7. Though I've heard, CAD and stuff like that can be run with a i5 3570K smooth and even more with a slight overclock on the the chip. That'd save you quite a bit of money.


    If you want a different perspective. Check out my $1100/1200 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
  5. Best answer
    Ok let's start with the cpu , while it is a good choice since it is not the K model it cannot be overclocked.

    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    $229.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

    This is less expensive and can be overclocked. I didn't see a video card listed and if your going to stay with the GTS 450 then you not going to be getting much of an upgrade in performance even with a new cpu. The main component in gaming is the video card and with your work programs the video card would make the bewst performance increase also. So your going to have to go through each part and try to get a lower cost part so that you can get some budget money for a new video card. The cpu change started things off with a $80 savings.

    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+
    $34.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    A $65 savings and will do a good job of coolimg the cpu.

    ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    $134.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293
    A $40 savings and will still give you two slots for SLI if you choose to go that way later.

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
    $109.99 and a $10 rebate makes the final price $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
    A $35 savings and it will be enough to power two video cards in SLI if you choose to go with SLI later on.

    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    $59.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233
    Since the case that you had chosen is now $119.99 this mid-tower case will be a $60 savings.

    You don't need a sound card the motherboards today have intergrated HD sound and is good enough.
    So with these changes there is a $280 savings and here is your $280 video card;

    EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    $294.99 and a $15 rebate makes the final price $279,99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595

    This video card will be a drastic performance upgrade over what you now have.
  6. Best answer selected by sirsanio.
  7. inzone said:
    Ok let's start with the cpu , while it is a good choice since it is not the K model it cannot be overclocked.

    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    $229.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

    This is less expensive and can be overclocked. I didn't see a video card listed and if your going to stay with the GTS 450 then you not going to be getting much of an upgrade in performance even with a new cpu. The main component in gaming is the video card and with your work programs the video card would make the bewst performance increase also. So your going to have to go through each part and try to get a lower cost part so that you can get some budget money for a new video card. The cpu change started things off with a $80 savings.

    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+
    $34.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    A $65 savings and will do a good job of coolimg the cpu.

    ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    $134.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293
    A $40 savings and will still give you two slots for SLI if you choose to go that way later.

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
    $109.99 and a $10 rebate makes the final price $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
    A $35 savings and it will be enough to power two video cards in SLI if you choose to go with SLI later on.

    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    $59.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233
    Since the case that you had chosen is now $119.99 this mid-tower case will be a $60 savings.

    You don't need a sound card the motherboards today have intergrated HD sound and is good enough.
    So with these changes there is a $280 savings and here is your $280 video card;

    EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    $294.99 and a $15 rebate makes the final price $279,99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595

    This video card will be a drastic performance upgrade over what you now have.



    Thank you much!
    That really helped and i am going to use most of your choices.
    I will however upgrade the i7 3770 to an i7 3770k.
    I'll keep my GPU for now but will keep your recommendation in mind. most prob i'll upgrade that around Christmas.
  8. aznshinobi said:
    Drop the board down to an Extreme4 Z77, for what you listed it doesn't seem like you'll be needing the features the Extreme6 or GD65 has. Most people don't even the more higher end enthusiasts. Save money that way.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293

    On the PSU, save money by going with this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EarthWatts-EA-650D-Green-BRONZE/dp/B004NBZAES%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB004NBZAES
    Honestly, With most recent cards and the GTS 450 a solid 650w is more than enough to CF/SLI. The 7870 and GTX 670 both only require a 650w to CF/SLI. So with that said, you save money and still can do what you want with the config.

    Just something to mention, you wouldn't notice the difference from a 80+ Bronze Corsair to a 80+ Bronze of another brand honestly. Solid reviews for the EA650.

    Sound card is unnecessary, most MB sound is more than enough especially for what you're doing.

    That HSF isn't really worth it.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    Save money and get more than enough performance to overclock a decent amount
    . But since you're getting the i7 3770 not the 3770K it's not really going to matter as you can't overclock w/o the K annotation.

    With this budget you should be able to get a much better graphics card, but you're going with an i7. Though I've heard, CAD and stuff like that can be run with a i5 3570K smooth and even more with a slight overclock on the the chip. That'd save you quite a bit of money.


    If you want a different perspective. Check out my $1100/1200 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore



    Thank you! Very much appreciate the input!
  9. JackNaylorPE said:
    Cooler is overpriced and not a great performer.

    $30 - Hyper 212 ... good enough for SB, but with the IB CPU's I'd want more
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    $50 Hyper 612 or Scythe Mugen 3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103106
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185175

    $85 - Phanteks PH-TC14
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835709001

    CPU - ya want the K version since ya getting a cooler and k is needed for overclocking....and yes ya want the i7 for CAD. Get it in the Combo with the MoBo and save $15
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.975513

    RAM get it in the matched set .... CAD likes low CAS memory
    $98 CAS 9 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233197
    $110 CAS 8 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226299
    $135 CAS 7 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226306

    Case - I'd move up to the 500R ..... you'll want the size for cooling .... make sure that it has front USB 3 port
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010

    SSD - You picked the best there is from performance, longevity and price standpoints

    Sound Card - redundant, already on MoBo

    850 watter is more than enough for twin 670's ...... nVidia recommends 670 watts but that's not w/ overclocked CPU and GPU's..... and if ya buying a 670, the factory OC'd ones are the way to go

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121638

    GFX - The Asus 670 DCII Cu TOP has no competition

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-geforce-gtx-670-sc-review/23
    EVGA gets 3DMark Score of 8691 outta the box and 9443 OC'd
    Idle temp is 29C / load temp is 78C
    Noise is 37 dBA Idle / 43 dBA under load

    Asus gets 3DMark Score of 9340 outta the box and 9839 OC'd
    Idle temp is 30C / load temp is 72C
    Noise is 37 dBA Idle / 38 dBA under load

    That makes the Asus 7% faster outta the box, 6C cooler and almost 1/4 as loud under load (every 3 dBA is a doubling of sound level).



    Thank you very much!
    I'm taking a lot of your points in consideration as well and am gonna take your advice on the i7 3770k!
  10. I'm happy we were able to help you make sense of your build and what you will eventually end up with. It's always a good idea to get feedback on your idea's so that mistakes are not made and you can get a build that will help you in both your work and some gaming. There are so many parts to choose from it can be very confusing as to what is the best way to go.
  11. inzone said:
    I'm happy we were able to help you make sense of your build and what you will eventually end up with. It's always a good idea to get feedback on your idea's so that mistakes are not made and you can get a build that will help you in both your work and some gaming. There are so many parts to choose from it can be very confusing as to what is the best way to go.


    yeah! thanks again! it will take me another month or so, but i'll eventually post my build here once its done!
  12. a couple months later i did finally build my new system :

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing

    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155

    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600

    Storage OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" SSD

    Video Card XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Black Edition 2GB

    Case Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower

    Power Supply Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V

    Optical Drive Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer


    I bought the system without the video card right around black friday, monitoring sales and pcpartpicker like a hawk.
    I ended up spending only $760 and bought the graphics card a month later for $230.

    Thank you all again for the help given. This system is a great performer, both for work and play.
    (i reused my 2 tb hdd, and have windows 7 and only my most important programs on the ssd)

    Cheers!
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