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~$1500 Gaming Build Review

Last response: in Systems
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July 11, 2012 1:31:56 AM

So, I'm looking to build my first gaming computer. I've done my research, figured out what I'm looking for, and I was hoping I could get some critiques and reviews of my selections. I've done my best to ensure compatibility and quality, but I'm pretty much a noob at this, so I figured I should get the advice of somebody with more experience. Thanks in advance!

Approximate Purchase Date: Next Two Weeks
Budget Range: ~$1300-1500 is my preferred range, though I could go as high as $2000 if that's required.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, General Usage (Internet, Word, Excel, Email), Watching Movies
Are You Buying a Monitor: No, I already have one. I also have a keyboard, mouse, speakers, headset and joystick.
Do You Need to Buy OS: Yes, I was planning on Windows 7 Home.
Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg.com or a local Microcenter.
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Parts Preferences: Intel Processor & Nvidia Graphics Card.
Overclocking: Maybe in the future, but not right away.
SLI or Crossfire: Yes, SLI.
Monitor Resolution: 2048 x 1152
Additional Comments: I want to run Far Cry 3 when it comes out in December, but unfortunately, there don't seem to be announced system specs for it. Otherwise, I'm just looking for something that can handle most games well with pretty good graphics. After some bad experiences with horrible frame rates, I'd much rather have a high FPS at normal settings than low FPS at fantastic settings.
Reason for Build: Right now, I'm working with a Dell Latitude E6410 laptop, and when it comes to gaming (comes to anything, really) it just doesn't cut it.

Here's what I've picked out so far:
1. Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z77 = $239.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2. CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K = $169.99 at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or Intel Core i5-3570K = $189.99 at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
3. CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT = $43.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4. Graphics Card(s): 2 x EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) = $224.99 ea at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
5. Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB = $94.99 at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB = $109.99 at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
6. RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) = $44.99 at local Microcenter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
7. PSU: Antec HCG-750 = $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
8. CD/DVD Burner: Lite-On 24X DVD Writer Internal = $21.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
9. Case: Antec DF-85 = $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
10. Wireless Adapter: No clue, but I need one since my apartment doesn't have wired internet.
11. Hard Drive Docking Station: SYBA SD-ENC50036 = $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks!
July 11, 2012 1:57:07 AM

mobo go with a GA-Z77X-UD5H and you will be more than set for what you want to do I would get a 670 over the sli 560 ti's
go with the 2500k with that cooler the i5 2500k can oc better that the 3570k and pretty much is the same you can oc it to like 4.8~5.0 no problem happy gaming.
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July 11, 2012 2:02:50 AM

Ive just posted an ~$1600 build here, take a look: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/354065-31-1500-1700-g...

But my build is for gaming AND video editing. So I think ur 2500k is a good choice, u do not need i7. If u want to OC, 2nd generation is better (2500k), cause 3rd gen will show high temps when OCed. But if you will keep it stock, so go for the 3570.

VGA, i would suggest to go for gtx 670 and a future SLI (one year, maybe), like I am doing. This way you will be able to upgrade. If you go two SLI 560, your upgrade options will be buy another single card or go for a quad SLI 560. GTX 670 is my guess.

About the Mobo, if u want u can pick one less expensive. if you do not want my Asrock, you can go for a ASUS P8Z68-V GEN3.

About the PSU, I think an 650w is going to do fine. But I think you should check it. I recommend a SSD too.
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July 11, 2012 3:05:14 AM

Go with the i5-3570K. The heat issues are overrated. You can easily clock to 4.2-4.5 and anything after that is for bragging rights only.

I agree with the posters above about your GPU. One 670 is cheaper and better than two 560's in SLI. You should always get the single best video card you can afford and when it stops working to your satisfaction, you get another.

I will also say, don't get that Sabertooth. It's way overpriced. Compare the features to the Asrock extreme6 or the UD5H and you will see no difference other than a $60 price increase. You pay alot for the look of the board.

Don't get that Vengeance ram with the heatsinks as it will mostly likely cause you issues with your aftermarket cooler. There nothing more than a gimmick anyway.

Stick with the 750W PSU so you can SLI later.
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July 11, 2012 11:14:52 AM

Do you have any recommendations as to what RAM I should go with instead? I also looked at a similar Ballistix set from Crucial.
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July 12, 2012 2:02:47 AM

Alright, so I'm looking at:
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H = $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another Vengeance Set but without the heatsinks ($54.99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And an EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GTX 670:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think I'm going to go with the i5-3570K as well. My only concern is the fans, since the motherboard appears to only have 5 fan connectors and the DF-85 has 7 fans. Thoughts?
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July 12, 2012 4:06:46 PM

7 fans is overkill if you use 5 it will work fine. Some psu's can power fans so you can use all 7 if the need comes :p 
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July 13, 2012 12:18:38 AM

What you have there is good.

2fast is right about the fans.
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!