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Working on a gaming PC, need some tips/compatibility check.

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July 3, 2012 9:44:04 PM

Greetings all, I have decided to finally get around to building my first PC. I am not expecting this machine to be a powerhouse, since I'm on a budget of around $600-$800. I have started looking at some parts and would like to know what else I might need and if any of them will have compatibility issues. If there are any improvements that could be made, I would appreciate any help. Please do not factor in the cost of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or operating system. I am interested in playing games such as Diablo 3 and the upcoming Guild Wars 2. I want to play these games on mid-high settings and would like this system to be future proof for at least 3-4 years. I prefer to order all of my parts off Newegg.


CPU: I've read some builds in this price range go for Sandy Bridge, and some for Ivy Bridge. Recommend what you think is best.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Still relatively undecided on this, please be patient. This is what I was looking at
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: Was kind of unsure about compatibility with other parts, but saw a lot of builds use this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: This seems to be perfect for me, considering I will probably download a lot of games from Steam.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Struggling between 4GB vs 8GB, advice?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: I'm a bit unsure about this supply, but I've seen a lot of builds use it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Seems good for me
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Seems aggressively priced, with really good reviews.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


If there's anything I'm missing, please tell me especially if it's cables since I don't have any of them. Don't be afraid of being too harsh or suggesting better parts, this is my first build :) 
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2012 10:10:13 PM

I would suggest a stronger video card for gaming than a 6850. I would also suggest a quad core CPU for the sake of longevity (I avoid using the phrase "future proof") This means not using an i3. Either an i5, or yes, a Phenom II from AMD is a perfectly acceptable quad core CPU, its cheaper and allows room for a stronger video card. Most games are limited by the video card, not the processor. So the video card is where you really want to "go heavy".

The thing is, you say you don't want a powerhouse, but the fact is, you actually can have a pretty bad ass gaming system in your budget. Don't forget you also need an OS which if you buy an OEM copy of Windows7 it will add $100 to the final price.

Heres a couple builds that would work out really well, using your basic foundation:

Sandy Ivy Bridge Quad Build
------------------------
CPU- i5-3450 $200 OR i5-2400 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo- Asrock Z77 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card- Radeon 7850 $230 with mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive- Seagate 1TB- $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM- I suggest 8GB $44
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply- Seasonic M520 Yes the one you picked is nice, this is a little better for same price $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive- $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case- $35, yea it looks like a nice little case, maybe a little cheap but it'll do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $767 or $777 with the 3450 CPU


Phenom II Build

Pretty much the same parts, except these changes:

CPU- Phenom II 965 $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo- Asrock 970 Extreme 3 $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That effectively brings the price down to $682, and will do just as well for gaming.
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July 3, 2012 10:34:53 PM

Yes, go with nekulturny's advice. I'd go Ivy Bridge and a bit more graphics processing if you could afford it, maybe a 7870 or even a 670 or 7950.
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July 3, 2012 10:59:13 PM

Thanks a lot for the tips nekulturny! The video card you suggested seems like it is definitely going to perform a lot better, and I think I will still stick with the 3450. I'll keep the Phenom II build in mind as well when I start ordering parts in about a week. I'll keep you updated with how it turns out!
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July 3, 2012 11:15:22 PM

If you are going to up up the video card, some extra wattage would be a great addition. A necessary one in fact. Spend $20 on the RAM to go to 1600MHz, and youll Be golden. I suggest a 600w -650w psu, and this GPU, Not for heavy gaming
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I like NVidia better, but nekulturny's option of a 7850 isnt bad at all
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 4, 2012 12:24:42 AM

Only reason I go with AMD graphics cards right now, AMD hammers Nvidia in the mid-level market. Its like the card game "War", Nvidia puts out the GTX 550 TI at the low end, the 7770 says "gotcha", 560 TI, 7850 with its 40% overclocking potential steps right over the 560 TI and can rain on GTX 570's parade. That being said, the 560 TI is still a good card, I've almost always bought Nvidia myself, I just think theres better cards at the same prices from AMD. I paid too much for my 550 TI out of brand loyalty, its not a mistake I intend to repeat.

Nvidias current Ace-high card is the GTX 670s, the 680s really are kind of a joke with all their supply issues.
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July 4, 2012 3:43:16 AM

Looks like a solid build shaping up. My two cents:

The case chosen doesn't look like it comes with any fans. It will definitely keep things warm in there. Instead of buying the cheap case and buying a few five dollar fans, save yourself the trouble:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Excellent case, good amount of room to work inside, comes with a couple included fans. It'll be $50 with free shipping compared to yours at $35 and $5 shipping; the $10 extra will be worth it.

Modular power supplies are fantastic for keeping things tidy inside, and the one nekulturny is a great one at a really good price. If you do want a bit more power at a similar price from another reputable brand:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
remember to put in the promo code, supplied at the top of the supplied link. After the code, should put you at $68 with free shipping.

Note that this is not a modular supply, so you'll have the standard cable bundle to route through the side of the case or shove in an empty optical disc slot. Also note that this does not come with a power cord, so if you have an old computer with an unused one, use that, otherwise pick one up for like three bucks.

Though, in all honesty, a SeaSonic 520 W should be sufficient for any single-card, Ivy Bridge build. Only if you ever plan to crossfire in the future would I consider getting a larger power supply.
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July 4, 2012 5:15:33 AM

Ah, thank you joafu. I misread support for fans as having fans, so I will definitely spend the extra $10 on the case you suggested. I must admit it looks better then the dull black box I picked out too :p . I think for this build the SeaSonic 520W should be sufficient, as you stated.

I like the suggestion of the Nvidia, and was actually considering one myself since Ive always heard really great things about them. I think for this build though, especially since it's more of a mid-level build as nekulturny suggested I'm going to stick with an Radeon 7850. I'll probably go with the Phenom II processor making this a mostly AMD build, putting me at $692 and from what I have been seeing in benchmark scores it won't perform too substantially lower then the $777 build.
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July 4, 2012 5:20:55 AM

Also, I'm going to need to connect to my monitor via HDMI. This might seem like a dumb question, will I need to buy anything to do that or will that be included in a case?
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July 4, 2012 7:00:18 AM

You'll need to buy an HDMI separate. Those don't come packaged with any component.

Also, if you're committed, you could save $15 on that phenom with the code on that page if you buy it today. No pressure, but I've found the best way to stay under budget is to find what parts I want, then wait for them to go on sale. $15 on one part may not seem like a lot, but if you do that with six or seven of the components, you've made a huge gain.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 4, 2012 7:07:06 AM

Yea, you'll need the HDMI connector. The 7850 card comes with a DVI to VGA adapter, but thats it. Yea, $15 bucks off the 965 would be pretty nice.
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July 4, 2012 10:54:58 PM

The monitor has an HDMI input, yes.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 4, 2012 10:59:17 PM

6.99 for that cable should be exactly what you need then. Not bad really. I bought a VGA to DVI adapter, and it was like $10 bucks, and that was just a plug not cable.

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a b B Homebuilt system
July 5, 2012 12:20:05 AM

yeah Amazon has some nice cheap cables
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July 5, 2012 5:18:08 PM

Yeah, I've got a spare one of those laying around in one of my cable drawers. I was just wondering what kind of outputs the PC would have
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 5, 2012 5:30:00 PM

yeah the cable works wonders for me I have completely HD! and i LOVE IT :) 
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