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$3300 gaming computer, tell me if it's good

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June 26, 2012 6:43:23 AM

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (motherboard, wouldn't let me add it to the wishlist)

I'll be running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I plan to get World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Skyrim, Minecraft, maybe I'll even try Counterstrike. I want them to run at the highest graphics settings smoothly, is this possible with my build? Is my PSU good enough to last for a while and provide enough power? My motherboard technically only supports dual channel memory, but my selected memory is 4-channel, does that matter? And finally, the included heatsink that comes with my CPU is supposed to be bad, should I get an aftermarket heatsink or not worry about it?

I also plan to use this for school (I got Office 2010 Professional for that matter) browsing the Internet, and occasionally catching an episode of Family Guy on Hulu.

I want to know if there's anything better, but my absolute limit is $3,500 (before rebates) not including shipping or tax. I'm purchasing these parts around early to mid-August. I'm coming from a laptop, so I have no spare parts. I'd like to stick with Newegg only for parts, please. I'm in the USA. I don't have much of a parts preference, except I would like a full tower case and no CRT screens (LCD and the like only).
Overclock/SLI/Crossfire are all resounding "nos." The resolution will be 1920x1080. The 3,500 includes the $1,000 or so already marked for games/software, so in reality the computer parts budget is around $2,500. Again, before rebates, and it does not have to include shipping or tax. Noise is not a factor.

With thanks,
CTRL-ALT-DEL

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June 26, 2012 7:00:36 AM

That gaming rig is very much overkill if all your playing is Skyrim and WoW, you could get away with spending less than $1000.

On a general note, that rig overpowered for gaming outright.
The i7 is for editing rigs, i5's are for gaming. Get an i5-3570k
32GB of RAM is quadruple what gaming will ever peak at, you only need 8GB.
The 1000W PSU is very overkill, a single card rig will only chew up 500W, so get a 600W unit. Get a 750W if considering Crossfire/SLI.
That sound card is pointless unless your music editing or running an extensive surround sound system (which the $40 headphones say otherwise).

Other issues are.
Where's the SSD? you can easily afford 120GB or more if you took my advice above.

That GTX680 is running on stock cooling which is loud and hot, get a non reference card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yes you will want an aftermarket CPU Heatsink as stock is horrible. Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO is the best budget one to get, but you evidently have the money for a H100, so get that.
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June 26, 2012 7:02:53 AM

good CPU and GPU unless you're worried, budget-wise.

the motherboard's allow for OCing. the CPU you're getting does not.

PSU's overkill at 1000W. with your setup, 600W is all you need at worse.

you don't need a sound card unless you're an audiophile.

you don't need a thermal compound. it's already been applied for you.

the tools are only necessary if you don't have a good set of philips-head screwdrivers. otherwise, something cheap will do.

never had problems with static, so i never bothered wearing a static strap. though i guess better safe than sorry.

your ram's fine
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June 26, 2012 7:08:07 AM

I plan to use it for other stuff than gaming, mainly video-editing and the like. Sound card is out, I'll keep my RAM and PSU. Arctic Silver stuff is out. I'm a guy, but not a guy-guy that has tools everywhere and has a second home at an auto mechanic's, so yeah I do need the tool set. My entire home is carpeted, so static straps are required. I skipped the SSDs, don't push them on me please. I took most of your advice regarding parts, however.

With thanks,
CTRL-ALT-DEL
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June 26, 2012 7:24:11 AM

ControlAltDelete said:
I plan to use it for other stuff than gaming, mainly video-editing and the like. Sound card is out, I'll keep my RAM and PSU. Arctic Silver stuff is out. I'm a guy, but not a guy-guy that has tools everywhere and has a second home at an auto mechanic's, so yeah I do need the tool set. My entire home is carpeted, so static straps are required.

With thanks,
CTRL-ALT-DEL



you'll definitely should stick with your CPU, though i'd still recommend you check and see if an H77 would be cheaper, if you're not overclocking. if you do, you may want to consider grabbing a K processor (i.e: 3770K) to overclock. i don't see a third party cooler so i'd recommend you don't raise the voltage if you're gonna be overclocking.

PSU is really overkill unless you're extremely OCing your CPU, say @ 5Ghz+ (and even then, i'd recommend you ready a water-cooling setup.) and your GPU.

one or two philips head screwdrivers, maybe three at different sizes will do you well for under $50, unless you have other plans with the tools you're buying.
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June 26, 2012 7:30:02 AM

I'm not overclocking/SLI/crossfire, to be honest, so if you can grab me an i7 processor that's not for overclocking, but still better than my current one, I'd appreciate it. This computer is supposed to be overkill. The tools will be used, so I'll keep 'em. I'll look into a more reasonable PSU, or keep mine, I don't know, I want it to be future-proof. Should I check out a surge protector and any other amenities?

I was considering getting dual or even triple monitors (exact same) - would I need any special parts, and if so, can you link them and name quantity?

Also, and this is unbelievably stupid, but how many outlets total will I need for this entire rig, once I'm through and done with parts-picking?

With thanks,
CTRL-ALT-DEL
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June 26, 2012 7:42:47 AM

As for tools, I recently built a computer with only an anti-static wristband and a Philips head screwdriver, you don't need anything extensive. Zip ties will be useful for cable management.

A 1000W PSU wont future proof it, Graphics cards and CPU are getting more and more power efficient so needing 1000W isn't likely for a reasonable gaming rig anytime soon (or ever).

Despite your aversion to SSD's, you have the budget for it. The $90 you got from dropping the sound card and possibly more from downgrading the PSU will get you a 120GB SSD quite easily. SSD's will decrease the boot time for Windows and make any programs installed to it start and load faster than any HDD. There's no reason not to get one.

For multiple monitors, all you need is the display cables and enough ports on the graphics card, both of which are fine. No special hardware required.

You could source each part from a different store if you wanted, but there's no reason not to get it from one.

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June 26, 2012 7:47:05 AM

manofchalk said:
As for tools, I recently built a computer with only an anti-static wristband and a Philips head screwdriver, you don't need anything extensive. Zip ties will be useful for cable management.

A 1000W PSU wont future proof it, Graphics cards and CPU are getting more and more power efficient so needing 1000W isn't likely for a reasonable gaming rig anytime soon (or ever).

Despite your aversion to SSD's, you have the budget for it. The $90 you got from dropping the sound card and possibly more from downgrading the PSU will get you a 120GB SSD quite easily. SSD's will decrease the boot time for Windows and make any programs installed to it start and load faster than any HDD. There's no reason not to get one.

For multiple monitors, all you need is the display cables and enough ports on the graphics card, both of which are fine. No special hardware required.

You could source each part from a different store if you wanted, but there's no reason not to get it from one.


I'll keep the anti-static wristbands and tools, I will be needing them. I got enough ties to last me for a while.

I did kinda slip there, when I said future-proof, I wasn't referring to the PSU explicitly, but I will look into getting a more reasonable one. I'll get an SSD as you stated and store mainly Windows on it. Can you, like, find me an SSD? 120GB preferred. I'm not sure what makes an SSD good and reasonably-priced and I don't want to slip up and spend way too much.

So I have enough cables included and the card is fine? Sweet.
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June 26, 2012 7:54:37 AM

You are being overcautious. Even on carpet, you wont need any of those tools. The only tool you need is a screwdriver and that is a certainty.

Get the i7 3770 and an H77 motherboard with one PCIe 3.0 slot.

Get the XFX PRO550W PSU for one GTX 670. Speaking of the GTX 670, it is a better deal than the GTX 680.
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June 26, 2012 8:02:15 AM

ControlAltDelete said:


I'll get an SSD as you stated and store mainly Windows on it. Can you, like, find me an SSD? 120GB preferred.
So I have enough cables included


The fan favorite SSD is the Crucial M4. Its reliability is very good, isn't the fastest but its up there and is cheap considering its a premium drive.
I own an OCZ Vertex 4, which trades blows for the fastest SSD, around the same price as the M4 but unproven reliability since its new on the market. I personally have had no problems with it, just remember to update the firmware before putting anything onto it.

Whether you will have enough display cables and of the right kind will depend on what the monitor supports and what it comes with. The monitor supports DVI-D and HDMI and VGA (ignore VGA, its old tech). It comes with a DVI-D cable, so you can connect it to your graphics card out of the box. You can connect another monitor out of the box. To connect another will require you to buy a HDMI cable, as you'v ruin out of DVI ports on the card.
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June 26, 2012 8:02:56 AM

azeem40 said:
You are being overcautious. Even on carpet, you wont need any of those tools. The only tool you need is a screwdriver and that is a certainty.

Get the i7 3770 and an H77 motherboard with one PCIe 3.0 slot.

Get the XFX PRO550W PSU for one GTX 670. Speaking of the GTX 670, it is a better deal than the GTX 680.


I've stated this before and I'll state it again, those tools will be put to use for other purposes besides computer building.

I have the i7 3770S, please double-check. I'll look into the H77.

I'll also check out the PSU and the GTX 670. Will there be a noticeable effect from downgrading from my current choice to the GTX 670? As stated, I want to play World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Diablo 3, Minecraft and potentially Counter Strike at maximum settings, smoothly. If it's a better deal the effect isn't noticeable, I'll take it.
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June 26, 2012 8:04:26 AM

Those games will get nowhere near the potential of a 680, you could get away with a HD7850.
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June 26, 2012 8:05:11 AM

ControlAltDelete said:
I'm not overclocking/SLI/crossfire, to be honest, so if you can grab me an i7 processor that's not for overclocking, but still better than my current one, I'd appreciate it. This computer is supposed to be overkill. The tools will be used, so I'll keep 'em. I'll look into a more reasonable PSU, or keep mine, I don't know, I want it to be future-proof. Should I check out a surge protector and any other amenities?

I was considering getting dual or even triple monitors (exact same) - would I need any special parts, and if so, can you link them and name quantity?

Also, and this is unbelievably stupid, but how many outlets total will I need for this entire rig, once I'm through and done with parts-picking?

With thanks,
CTRL-ALT-DEL


your CPU will do just fine. the only one better than yours right now is the i7-3770. your motherboard's also fine, but there's room to find something slightly cheaper. but you can keep it either way.

the 680 should be able to handle 3 monitors easily gaming, though for how long, i can't tell. consider compromising by gaming with one monitor, maybe 3-4 years in the future if you find upgrading the GPU then a hassle.

a surge protector can be helpful, but you don't have spend on them now, unless you're mad paranoid.

cables should be more than enough, unless you're adding more hard drives in the future. an external HDD is just as good for simple storage, sans the hassle of opening up your PC.

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June 26, 2012 8:05:16 AM

manofchalk said:
The fan favorite SSD is the Crucial M4. Its reliability is very good, isn't the fastest but its up there and is cheap considering its a premium drive.
I own an OCZ Vertex 4, which trades blows for the fastest SSD, around the same price as the M4 but unproven reliability since its new on the market. I personally have had no problems with it, just remember to update the firmware before putting anything onto it.

Whether you will have enough display cables and of the right kind will depend on what the monitor supports and what it comes with. The monitor supports DVI-D and HDMI and VGA (ignore VGA, its old tech). It comes with a DVI-D cable, so you can connect it to your graphics card out of the box. You can connect another monitor out of the box. To connect another will require you to buy a HDMI cable, as you'v ruin out of DVI ports on the card.


I'm not sure on double-posting, but why not? I'm sorry if it's looked down on. I'll check out those Crucial M4s, I have heard of them before and seem to be well-liked. Speed matters, but not too much, so I'll pass over the OCZ drive. If I can connect 2 monitors out of box, I'm golden.
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June 26, 2012 8:11:08 AM

manofchalk said:
Those games will get nowhere near the potential of a 680, you could get away with a HD7850.

Skyrim will make good use of the GTX 670. It gets him maxed fps with everything turned up.
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June 26, 2012 8:15:40 AM

azeem40 said:
Skyrim will make good use of the GTX 670. It gets him maxed fps with everything turned up.


Yup, got the GTX 670. Also added in the Crucial M4 128 GB. I'm over-budget factoring in shipping/tax, but any further advice is greatly appreciated. Give my wishlist a final look-over.
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June 26, 2012 8:15:50 AM

azeem40 said:
Skyrim will make good use of the GTX 670. It gets him maxed fps with everything turned up.


My overclocked 7870 gets me maxed FPS with everything turned up, even with the HD texture pack and a pile of mods.
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June 26, 2012 8:17:46 AM

manofchalk said:
My overclocked 7870 gets me maxed FPS with everything turned up, even with the HD texture pack and a pile of mods.


I'm probably not overclocking.
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June 26, 2012 8:22:05 AM

ControlAltDelete said:
Give my wishlist a final look-over.


That Power Supply is still too overkill, your not even running dual cards. That motherboard only (properly) supports dual cards and you will never need more than 750W for that.

You dont need 32GB of RAM for gaming, even dedicated editing rigs only have 16GB. Gaming will only peak at 8GB.

Other than that, all good.

Edit: A GTX670 at stock will beat an overclocked HD7870, no doubt about it. The 670 you picked comes with a factory overclock anyway.
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June 26, 2012 8:26:31 AM

manofchalk said:
That Power Supply is still too overkill, your not even running dual cards. That motherboard only (properly) supports dual cards and you will never need more than 750W for that.

You dont need 32GB of RAM for gaming, even dedicated editing rigs only have 16GB. Gaming will only peak at 8GB.

Other than that, all good.


What's reasonable to you? 750W or 800W?

Can someone link what they assume is the best motherboard for me? LGA 1155 (not Pentium of course)/4x240 pin/ATX

Eh, well, $200 is (kinda almost) nothing for me, and it's not like I'm missing out on anything with too much RAM
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June 26, 2012 8:33:05 AM

Get a 750W, it will let you run dual graphics cards, with plenty of headroom for drives, fans and even overclocking if you had the ability. There no reason to go above that.

The motherboard you picked out is fine, no reason for a different one.
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June 26, 2012 8:36:22 AM

manofchalk said:
Get a 750W, it will let you run dual graphics cards, with plenty of headroom for drives, fans and even overclocking if you had the ability. There no reason to go above that.

The motherboard you picked out is fine, no reason for a different one.


I'll go with 750W. Dual graphics cards would total to something like $860, which would put me horrendously over budget.

Thanks for your help, I'll give your first post Best Answer, cheers :) 

I need to PM you though with a different question.
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June 26, 2012 8:36:31 AM

Best answer selected by ControlAltDelete.
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June 26, 2012 8:37:48 AM

ControlAltDelete said:


I need to PM you though with a different question.


Go ahead.
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June 26, 2012 8:54:50 AM

Hazle said:
you don't need a thermal compound. it's already been applied for you.


Pfft, I always scrape that cheap crap off and put the real stuff on. A bottle of Arctic Silver is only $10, and when combined with a good heatsink you'll end up keeping temperatures lower which equates to a longer life span of your internal components.

Don't get that Corsair liquid cooler, those are overpriced and are often just as loud, sometimes louder, than a quality heatsink. The only people that buy those are people that like to say they have liquid cooling without doing it the way it's supposed to be done. My preference is for Zalman heatsinks, this is what I have in my system: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don't go with a dual monitor setup, that would be pointless, I would only go 3 or stick with one monitor. I have an old monitor I'm using for a dual screen and it works fine for expanding my desktop, but that's really it. You wouldn't want to play any games with the center of the action somewhere between 2 monitor bezels! I would also recommend matching your 3 monitors so you don't have some screens looking different than the others, or at least matching the 2 side screens, (since they are mostly just for peripheral vision anyway). My sister's ex had 3 monitors of different brands and I thought it just looked retarded, (well, mostly because his dumb@ss didn't set it up right, but also because they were different brands and sizes)

I'd also definitely get an SSD drive, though I don't have a clue which ones are good, but I do know I kinda regret not getting one for my system - those 7200k drives will depress any system, especially a high powered one like yours!

I would also get a different motherboard, if I was building a $3500 system I'd be in the $250+ price range for motherboards. This is the most important component of any PC build so I wouldn't cheap out here unless you really don't need the features from a more advanced board. You might not care about overclocking right now, but believe me after a few years when it starts to feel a bit slow you're going to start to re-consider - especially when you know you already have the right components to allow it to OC and all you have to do is play around in the BIOS to get some extra juice. Overclocking is pretty safe in most modern boards these days, most of them make it retardedly easy to get a few extra clicks out of your processor.

As for the tools, go for it dude! I have a similar set of tools I stole from my dad years ago and they really come in handy for all sorts of uses. The screw drivers are a bit lighter than your standard screwdriver from a hardware store, and I especially like the surgical plier thing to pick up dropped screws. I think most people often overlook the value in a quality set of tools.
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June 26, 2012 9:17:03 AM

You don't need the HAF X. The case features & size are more appropriate for enthusiasts and power users. It has lots of room for very big motherboards (larger than ATX) and a ton of room for watercooling, also plenty of room for HDDs and a ton of other features you won't use. Furthermore, if you don't intend to use a very large motherboard, and you plan on using normal air cooling, the cooling performance is actually worse than many other cheaper, smaller, high quality cases. This is because there is so much space inside you'll need a lot of fans / highspeed fans to get the air moving as much as in a smaller chassis.

Therefore, my advice is that you get a smaller HAF (if you like the looks) or get a more modern Antec Eleven Hundred / P280, the first has excellent cooling and the latter is aimed more toward silence.

For this budget and configuration, definitely get a Z77 motherboard.

I don't think you need an enterprise hard drive, If you're going for raid 1, I believe you'll be better off with 2 Caviar green 2TB (same price) in raid 1. This will get you more than enough raliability and 2 times the storage vs. re4 in raid 1.

If you're going for raid 0, I'm really against it. These drives might be more reliable but pure raid 0 is playing with fire, especially if you have important stuff on your HDD. Keep in mind that you now have an SSD which should do all the OS heavy-lifting and let the HDD focus on getting your media files and storing data.
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