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$1600 Gaming PC Build Advice

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July 2, 2012 11:57:34 PM

Hello,
I'm looking to build my first gaming computer as a graduation present, and would like some advice/opinions on components and builds. I intend to spend around 1600 dollars. I am fairly new at this.

Here is a list of the parts I've been looking at. I don't know if they'll all work together or would be better replaced by a different piece:

CPU - Intel Core i7-3770k
Motherboard - ASUS P8Z77-V
RAM - 16GB Corsair Vengeance
Graphics - HIS Radeon HD 7970
Hard Drive - ???
Case - Corsair Carbide Series 500R
Power Supply - OCZ ZX Series 800W

Thanks in advance for any advice.

---------------------------------------

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next few weeks

Budget Range: Roughly $1600 or so

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing internet

Parts Not Required: None, starting from scratch

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Not yet decided

Additional Comments: Primary priorities are video gaming graphics and functionality

---------------------------------------
July 3, 2012 12:10:21 AM

i5 3750k
hyper evo 212+
8GB G.Skill 2X4 kit 1600 1.5v
Gigabyte UD5H Z77
Corsair Agility 4 128GB special on Newegg
1 TB WD Black HDD
EVGA 670
Corsair XH750
Corsair 500R
ASUS VH236H Black 23 Monitor
Deathadder Mouse
Microsoft X4 keyboard
July 3, 2012 12:23:49 AM

CPU - There is no reason to go Ivy 3770k if you are not going to be running non-gaming CPU-Intensive apps (3d modeling, video rendering/editing etc) I'd say right now the ideal gaming CPU is still a 2500k. It overclocks like a beast and can be really pushed when you cool it with a Cooler Master Hyper 212

GPU - Go GTX 670, right now, its the best single-gpu solution.

RAM - 8GB, traditionally, gaming only needs 4GB, but just incase.

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black is the most commonly bought HDD and the best for buck HDD on the market right now

MOBO - The one you chose is fine

Case - Good

PSU - 800w is overkill, even for Crossfire/SLI .. If you are looking to CFX or SLI in the future, 750 is a very safe area to be in and will be able to power DUAL 670s, if need be.

SSD - You budget can afford a really good SSD to speed up game loading screens or app load times, as well as the OS in general.

OS - Because you budget can handle it, I threw in a Windows 7 premium in there, so you don't have to pirate

In this build is about everything I outlined - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bgT7

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($209.00 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($160.66 @ Mac Connection)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($93.49 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DVDE818A7T/BLK/B/GEN CD Reader, DVD Writer ($25.97 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.95 @ B&H)
Total: $1356.02
Related resources
July 3, 2012 12:30:06 AM

hmmm... check my signature builds, you will find something better than that.
July 3, 2012 12:59:40 AM

Your 1500$ build has so many unecessary parts for gaming, keep in mind, this is a gaming PC , so 16GB of ram is unecessary, so is an overpriced, under performing 680.

So far, those are all significant differences I see with my build and your 1500$ build.. Unless you wanna undercut a few things and GO SLI, but losing performance would be inevitable, or getting a cheaper MOBO, which would limit I/O, even though it might save him a little, will not show any real improvements in gaming.
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 1:25:42 AM

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

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

500R has enough space for a nonmodular PSU for cable management

MOBO is nice and cheap for the ability to upgrade to 2x GPU's

get all the things you normally need for gaming like

8GB of ram at 1600 speed

GPU: try your luck on a 670

Burner: under $20 if not, then get a USB to download the win7

SSD: optional but i really like them for their speed

HDD: i tend to run out of space so i get 1TB to last around a year or 2

CPU cooler: optional but recommended i like Hyper 212 evo
July 3, 2012 1:38:18 AM

bctande1 said:
Your 1500$ build has so many unecessary parts for gaming, keep in mind, this is a gaming PC , so 16GB of ram is unecessary, so is an overpriced, under performing 680.

So far, those are all significant differences I see with my build and your 1500$ build.. Unless you wanna undercut a few things and GO SLI, but losing performance would be inevitable, or getting a cheaper MOBO, which would limit I/O, even though it might save him a little, will not show any real improvements in gaming.


wtf are you talking about? not because 16GB is overkill for YOU means it is for everyone else, 16GB of Fine DD3 ram can be purchased for less than 100$ this days.

and how the hell the GTX 680 is underperforming in my build? and who the F would buy a 2500k when the 3570k is out????
July 3, 2012 1:52:21 AM

aqualipt said:
wtf are you talking about? not because 16GB is overkill for YOU means it is for everyone else, 16GB of Fine DD3 ram can be purchased for less than 100$ this days.

and how the hell the GTX 680 is underperforming in my build? and who the F would buy a 2500k when the 3570k is out????



dude calm down its only a gaming rig, so he meant that 16GB is overkill when you can save some money and get an 8 GB kit for $50, personally if you want to spend GTX 680 money I would rather get the 7970 OC it and install 12.7 drivers.
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 1:58:09 AM

I think the OP's original build looks pretty good. If you want to do any sort of video editing the extra RAM and the compute power of the HD7970 may be useful. I would go for a different psu. The are many good Gold 80+ rated models from Seasonic, Silverstone, or Antec, Corsair... at pretty decent prices.
-Bruce
Edit:after some reading - that psu gets some good reviews.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec - $139 after MIR
July 3, 2012 2:14:57 AM

aqualipt said:
wtf are you talking about? not because 16GB is overkill for YOU means it is for everyone else, 16GB of Fine DD3 ram can be purchased for less than 100$ this days.

and how the hell the GTX 680 is underperforming in my build? and who the F would buy a 2500k when the 3570k is out????


So passionate..

Ok GAMING BUILD -- let's keep that in mind, pal. The buyer did not cite any reason to use excessive amounts of Ram, nor did he cite any apps that would use that amount of RAM, so yeah, let's just buy 8 more gigs..... OK. and thats 50$ you can save, it may be a 1600$, but I'll bet you a shiny nickel the buyer would agree to save that 50$ .. need it say more

Secondly, I truely don't care how your immaculate setups help whoever is willing to *** out all that money, I'm here to help this buyer, and cater to whatever he requests, so keep that in mind...

Ok -- 680 -- that's what? 500$ at lowest stock? .. a 670 is what 400$ right now?
I'd like you to find one professional reviewing site that recommends a 680 over a 670, eh, make it two, to be fair. And show benchmarks, as needed to prove that a 680 would be worth that extra money, even when head-to-head and OC'ed.

And yeah, if someone wanted to OC, Ivy Bridge crumbles past 4.5GHz... So yes, an overclocker would see an improvement in Sandy over Ivy. He put MAYBE for OCing so I just wanted to give him the safest option. He also put a 3770k, which is completely unnecessary. For a stock CPU, go Ivy, obviously, but when you look at the possibility of having to future-proof, Ivy ain't so smart for OCing. Plus the differences in performance are so negligible between the two, so that is out of the question.
July 3, 2012 2:39:06 AM

Thanks so much for the replies! Honestly, I'm not very concerned about price as long as I don't go too far out of my ballpark estimate. All expenses for this computer are being provided by my parents as a gift. Reading all of your advice, I'm considering this build instead:

CPU - Intel Core i5-3570k
MOBO - ASUS P8Z77-V (same as before)
RAM - 8GB G.Skill 2x4
HDD - WD Caviar Black 1TB
GPU - EVGA GeForce GTX 670 or HIS Radeon HD 7970
Case - Corsair 500r (same as before)
PSU - Corsair HX750
Optical - ASUS CD/DVD
SSD - Crucial M4 128GB

Is this any better?
July 3, 2012 2:45:12 AM

Great build. You can't go wrong with either CPU, Asus MOBO's are great, more than enough ram, Best HDD on the market for price, Best Single GPU for money right now, PSU is reliable and provides ample room for SLI or CFX, Great SSD. As far as the 670 or the 7970, the 7970 does beat it at stock, but not by much, and not enough to spend the extra cash.
July 3, 2012 3:53:24 AM

bctande1 said:
So passionate..

Ok GAMING BUILD -- let's keep that in mind, pal. The buyer did not cite any reason to use excessive amounts of Ram, nor did he cite any apps that would use that amount of RAM, so yeah, let's just buy 8 more gigs..... OK. and thats 50$ you can save, it may be a 1600$, but I'll bet you a shiny nickel the buyer would agree to save that 50$ .. need it say more

Secondly, I truely don't care how your immaculate setups help whoever is willing to *** out all that money, I'm here to help this buyer, and cater to whatever he requests, so keep that in mind...

Ok -- 680 -- that's what? 500$ at lowest stock? .. a 670 is what 400$ right now?
I'd like you to find one professional reviewing site that recommends a 680 over a 670, eh, make it two, to be fair. And show benchmarks, as needed to prove that a 680 would be worth that extra money, even when head-to-head and OC'ed.

And yeah, if someone wanted to OC, Ivy Bridge crumbles past 4.5GHz... So yes, an overclocker would see an improvement in Sandy over Ivy. He put MAYBE for OCing so I just wanted to give him the safest option. He also put a 3770k, which is completely unnecessary. For a stock CPU, go Ivy, obviously, but when you look at the possibility of having to future-proof, Ivy ain't so smart for OCing. Plus the differences in performance are so negligible between the two, so that is out of the question.


1)Having more RAM is always better, even if you dont use it, if the OP plans to keep this PC for a LONG time extra 8gb will come in handy

2)You are probably right about the GTX 680, maybe its not worth it, but IT IS better than the GTX 670 and thats all that matters, for people like me who are willing to spend over the 11k on PC (chek my signature) even a 5fps diference matters a lot. @OP check this link : http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/555?vs=598 and see the diference between the GTX 680 and GTX 670 for yourself.

3)about overclocking....idk about mainstream users but i am sure that my WC setup would easily cool a 5Ghz 3770k and keep decent temperatures, renember that the only reason IB doesnt overclock well its because of heat, not because quality issues or something.
July 3, 2012 4:41:38 AM

1) Having more of something is better when there is reason to believe that it will be somehow utilized in the near future. 16GB of RAM, I promise you, will not be a commodity, even in the next 3 years. 8 to 16 is a really big jump for "future-proofing a gaming PC", as 16GB of RAM will only realistically be used up by a gamer if he is running multiple processes that hog up that massive amount of RAM space. That would be true, if those different processes didn't take up massive amounts of CPU power, which they most likely will, making them illogical for a gamer to run them simultaneously as a game. There is no reason to believe this buyer will even use up 8GB of RAM in the future, not 10, not 12, not 14, not 16, Period. There is no shred of reason behind the idea that buying 16GB of RAM is just because it "future-proofs". RAM doesn't make applications themselves run faster, it serves as a means by which a computer can store binary of the programs running -- but that is common PC knowledge, and I'm sure you are aware of that. You are wasting people's money.

2. Yes, I know I am right. The fact that you are willing to spend immense amounts of money on computers is completely irrevelant to the situation, we are not catering to your needs, and frankly, no one cares :sleep:  . GPUs not just rated by their performance but also by their price, and I don't think I need to apply that principle to your GTX 670 vs GTX 680 viewpoint for people to realize why it simply makes no sense for the buyer to abide by it. Basically what your saying is: "It doesn't matter whether I'm wasting money, paying 25% extra for a product that is only slightly inferior, becuase I have the money to waste, and I must fufill my commitment of unreasonable spending for the purpose of superiority, no matter the cost to me or to whoever I am advising." And yes, I looked at that exact benchmark, and I'll tell you what, you should take a look at the results, because what I see is a average increase of under 7 fps. Once again, wasting someone else's money, because you find reason in the purpose. :non: 

3. Time and time again you are referring to yourself as a means by which a purchase could be reasoned. This cannot and can never be unless your capabilities are equal to that of the buyer, which, here, is clearly not the case. And heat cannot be a reason a CPU doesn't overclock well, unless the heat is external/ambient it is the opposite, the lack of overclocking potential is exemplified in the massive heat spikes, which are in fact, due to Intel's use of ineffective materials:

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/26957-possible-reason...

http://www.pcworld.com/article/254713/intels_ivy_bridge...

Nothing personal or emotional :D 

Just saying what I think.

July 3, 2012 5:06:35 AM

bctande1 said:
1) Having more of something is better when there is reason to believe that it will be somehow utilized in the near future. 16GB of RAM, I promise you, will not be a commodity, even in the next 3 years. 8 to 16 is a really big jump for "future-proofing a gaming PC", as 16GB of RAM will only realistically be used up by a gamer if he is running multiple processes that hog up that massive amount of RAM space. That would be true, if those different processes didn't take up massive amounts of CPU power, which they most likely will, making them illogical for a gamer to run them simultaneously as a game. There is no reason to believe this buyer will even use up 8GB of RAM in the future, not 10, not 12, not 14, not 16, Period. There is no shred of reason behind the idea that buying 16GB of RAM is just because it "future-proofs". RAM doesn't make applications themselves run faster, it serves as a means by which a computer can store binary of the programs running -- but that is common PC knowledge, and I'm sure you are aware of that. You are wasting people's money.

2. Yes, I know I am right. The fact that you are willing to spend immense amounts of money on computers is completely irrevelant to the situation, we are not catering to your needs, and frankly, no one cares :sleep:  . GPUs not just rated by their performance but also by their price, and I don't think I need to apply that principle to your GTX 670 vs GTX 680 viewpoint for people to realize why it simply makes no sense for the buyer to abide by it. Basically what your saying is: "It doesn't matter whether I'm wasting money, paying 25% extra for a product that is only slightly inferior, becuase I have the money to waste, and I must fufill my commitment of unreasonable spending for the purpose of superiority, no matter the cost to me or to whoever I am advising." And yes, I looked at that exact benchmark, and I'll tell you what, you should take a look at the results, because what I see is a average increase of under 7 fps. Once again, wasting someone else's money, because you find reason in the purpose. :non: 

3. Time and time again you are referring to yourself as a means by which a purchase could be reasoned. This cannot and can never be unless your capabilities are equal to that of the buyer, which, here, is clearly not the case. And heat cannot be a reason a CPU doesn't overclock well, unless the heat is external/ambient it is the opposite, the lack of overclocking potential is exemplified in the massive heat spikes, which are in fact, due to Intel's use of ineffective materials:

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/26957-possible-reason...

http://www.pcworld.com/article/254713/intels_ivy_bridge...

Nothing personal or emotional :D 

Just saying what I think.


1)Ok, i know 16GB is not needed, its overkill but if the OP want to buy 16GB is his problem, if he has the money and wants 16GB then id say he should buy it, its always better to have something and not need it than needing something and not having it :) 

2)i will make this simple, THE GTX 680 OUTPERFORMS THE GTX 670 IN EVERYTHING, if the OP considers that the price diference is not juftified then he can simply purchase the GTX 670, no one is stopping him, and we can give him advises but we can not think for him.

3)i know that....and exactly how in the world does my friend has a overclocked i7 3770k (5Ghz) and his temperatures are 56°C under full load????? oh i know! maybe because he uses a EFICIENT WC system :sarcastic: 
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 6:13:14 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($194.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($198.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1561.85
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 7:11:44 AM

aqualipt said:
1)Ok, i know 16GB is not needed, its overkill but if the OP want to buy 16GB is his problem, if he has the money and wants 16GB then id say he should buy it, its always better to have something and not need it than needing something and not having it :) 

2)i will make this simple, THE GTX 680 OUTPERFORMS THE GTX 670 IN EVERYTHING, if the OP considers that the price diference is not juftified then he can simply purchase the GTX 670, no one is stopping him, and we can give him advises but we can not think for him.

3)i know that....and exactly how in the world does my friend has a overclocked i7 3770k (5Ghz) and his temperatures are 56°C under full load????? oh i know! maybe because he uses a EFICIENT WC system :sarcastic: 

Wooptie doo, it beats my GTX 670 by 5%. Like that's going to make a difference. Buying something for the sake of buying it is a foolhardy way of spending $. If $ can be saved, just pocket the difference and be on your merry way. This applies to both the GTX 680 and the 16GB of RAM. Did you know games today barely use 4GB of RAM? And how long have games been out? Ever since game systems have been out. So when do you expect 16GB of RAM to be utilized? 2? 3 years? No, it is going to be longer than most people keep a system. And by then, there will be new RAM (think DDR4) out. Then what good does your 16GB of RAM do? It sits in a box.
July 3, 2012 7:39:38 AM

azeem40 said:
Wooptie doo, it beats my GTX 670 by 5%. Like that's going to make a difference. Buying something for the sake of buying it is a foolhardy way of spending $. If $ can be saved, just pocket the difference and be on your merry way. This applies to both the GTX 680 and the 16GB of RAM. Did you know games today barely use 4GB of RAM? And how long have games been out? Ever since game systems have been out. So when do you expect 16GB of RAM to be utilized? 2? 3 years? No, it is going to be longer than most people keep a system. And by then, there will be new RAM (think DDR4) out. Then what good does your 16GB of RAM do? It sits in a box.


Lol azeem your so right, as you can see, I already went through that process.
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 9:39:56 AM

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $118.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $149.98 save: $15.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $342.98 save: $17.00
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.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $30.00
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2

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://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-D... $117.23 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006EKJ8UI/ref=s9_hps_... $199.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk Extreme SSD 240GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive- SDSSDX-240G-G25

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $399.99 FREE SHIPPING
GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $138.99 & 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: $1,498.89 *not including shipping & rebates
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2012 9:57:13 AM

4GB of RAM will suffice for a gaming build. 8GB is future proofing. 16GB is totally insane unless you decide to become an engineer one day and take up Autocad.

GTX 680 is a hose job and then some. Check out the benchmarks down below on that Gigabyte GTX 670.


http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/GeForce_GTX... <----- Gigabyte GTX 670 review w/benchmarks

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r... <----- Gigabyte GTX 670 review w/benchmarks

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- That's what extreme over clocking nets you with any 1155 cpu (SB or IB) in regards to gaming. It's about a big fat zero.
July 3, 2012 3:59:38 PM

I only mentioned overclocking as a result of a future multi-GPU setup. But yes.
!