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New Build For Gaming/Skyrim/RPGs, $1,000-1,500, my 2nd build

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July 11, 2012 9:00:34 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a Month, but no particular rush

Budget Range: $1,000-1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games (Skyrim, other RPGs), listening to music, managing large FLAC music library, homework in Word/Excel, surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor: Probably not, I have a Samsung 245BW (1920x1200) that seems to be fine.

Parts to Upgrade: Only thing I’m keeping from my previous build is my Asus Xonar Essence STX Soundcard

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, will be Windows 7 64bit Pro using student discount (~$60)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: Mobile, AL

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Aforementioned Samsung 245BW, 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I would like to have a case that is easy to work with. My previous case was an Altec 300 Illusion, which I enjoyed, but felt a little cramped to me during my build. A few other things about myself and my overall computer philosophy: I do own an iPad 3, iPhone 4S, and a 2011 MBP. I like Apple, and considered buying an iMac and just dual booting Windows for my games, but I’m a PC Gaming geek at heart and it’s hard to break away from that. I can’t do console gaming, I can’t get used to the controller, I’m mouse and keyboard all the way. I also like the modding community that surrounds games like Skyrim, it drastically increases the life of the game, and allows me to fix things I consider to be broken, like horse speed. Having said all that I am not a hardcore gamer. I love RPGs but don't get to play as much as a like. Still its nice to have a good system to play on!

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Ostensibly to get Skyrim running super smooth on Ultra settings with the high resolution texture pack, as well as get ready for some other RPGs I haven’t bought yet (Mass Effect 3, Diablo III) but also because my last build was in 2009 and I’m ready for something new. I don’t have to have the best and the newest but enjoyed building my last machine. It’s fun and I like the pride I feel in my rig. I like everything in my computer to feel fast, snappy, fresh, and new. My old rig consists of an i5-750 2.66Ghz Lynnfield, and an HD5770. I considered just upgrading the graphics card and adding an SSD, but considering the age of my processor and motherboard I think it would be beneficial to just build a whole new rig.

Here is my very tentative build. I am open to suggestions that will either save me some money or give me better performance for my money:


CPU:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:

ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Pricing on new egg for all of this comes to just shy of $1,400.

I put the case at the bottom because it is what I am most unsure of. It’d be nice to have a case that is large enough to be comfortable to work with, has excellent cooling, and is somewhat quiet. I’m thinking the above case might be too much for my purposes, especially considering I won’t be using more than one graphics card.

So again, any critiques/opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!
July 11, 2012 9:09:44 PM

Well at the humbler sub $900 price point one could hit a GTX 670 based gaming rig (stock/No OC) so you could use the config below as a base and add gloss/bells/whistles as per your needs/wants?
July 11, 2012 9:14:28 PM

I'm in no way an expert but why would you buy a CPU cooler if you're not going to overclock? They all come with stock coolers that work fine at stock clocks.

Also I personally think you should be spending more on a graphics card and less on ram.
Related resources
July 11, 2012 9:18:51 PM

batuchka said:
Well at the humbler sub $900 price point one could hit a GTX 670 based gaming rig (stock/No OC) so you could use the config below as a base and add gloss/bells/whistles as per your needs/wants?
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/U1-4.png


That'd have you wanting a new PC in under 12 months imo. Good value if you can settle for it though.
July 11, 2012 9:22:31 PM

The only thing I question is the 16GB of RAM. It's not necessary for normal gaming, and average applications to have that much memory. Do you plan on doing any VMware, or multiboxing MMO's? If not take it down to 8GB and save your money on RAM you won't ever use.

July 12, 2012 12:32:08 AM

batuchka said:
Well at the humbler sub $900 price point one could hit a GTX 670 based gaming rig (stock/No OC) so you could use the config below as a base and add gloss/bells/whistles as per your needs/wants?


Looks like the GTX670 is only $70 more then the HD7870. I think I am going to go with that instead, especially since I'm saving some cash by cutting out a few other things. I've never had an NVIDIA card, I'll give it a shot.

sancco said:
I'm in no way an expert but why would you buy a CPU cooler if you're not going to overclock? They all come with stock coolers that work fine at stock clocks.

Also I personally think you should be spending more on a graphics card and less on ram.


Done. Didn't realize that aftermarket coolers only benefitted overclockers. I've dropped it from the list. Also I cut the RAM down to 8GB and saved substantial cash. And as indicated above I'm taking your advice on a better graphics card.

amkronos said:
The only thing I question is the 16GB of RAM. It's not necessary for normal gaming, and average applications to have that much memory. Do you plan on doing any VMware, or multiboxing MMO's? If not take it down to 8GB and save your money on RAM you won't ever use.


Nope, not doing any of those things, so I'll go with the 8GB.

I'll get up a new list with prices later, but cutting out the unneeded RAM and CPU cooler covered the cost of the graphics card upgrade and then sum. Still south of $1400 before OS.

I'm thinking I could also save some money on the power supply. 750W is probably overkill no? I do want to keep it modular though, during my last build I promised myself I'd go modular next time.

The only other cost savings could come from the case, but I do like the looks of that big ole coolermaster.

Thank you everyone for the input so far, very very helpful stuff here. :hello: 

July 12, 2012 12:50:50 AM

Quote:
Looks like the GTX670 is only $70 more then the HD7870. I think I am going to go with that instead, especially since I'm saving some cash by cutting out a few other things. I've never had an NVIDIA card, I'll give it a shot.


Haha nah no point in brand loyalty - if your budget allows it, a GTX 670 is a fantastic single GPU but at lower budgets the HD 7850, 7870 and HD 7950 (in CF as well) are also great options so go with the price/performance hehe
July 12, 2012 1:11:48 AM

jjhatfield said:
I'm thinking I could also save some money on the power supply. 750W is probably overkill no? I do want to keep it modular though, during my last build I promised myself I'd go modular next time.

Definitely go with lower wattage PSU. now with the new GPUs 500w is overkill, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. I would jump down to the 650w. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And honestly with new drivers AMD HD 7950 is like $40 cheaper than the 670 and does a decent job. Aim for the 670 but if you cant make it work the 7950 is still a good cheaper alternative.
July 12, 2012 1:29:43 AM

The other advantage of aftermarket coolers is less NOISE. I've got the stock cooler on my i5-3570K and it gets louder than I like. Since the build is in a mini-ITX case, my cooler options are sharply limited, but I will probably add an aftermarket cooler. The Xigmatek Phaeton should fit.
I like Batuchka's build, but swap out the CM case for a Rosewill, perhaps a Challenger-U3.
July 12, 2012 4:46:11 AM

CPU:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:

NZXT H2 H2-001-BK Black Steel / Plastic Classic Silent ATX Mid Tower Chassis

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive:

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Threw in an optical drive, and changed the case to the NZXT H2. I love its unassuming looks and the fact that its quiet. Cheaper then the Cooler Master taboot.

$1,330 total. Looks great to me! Still might change the power supply to the cheaper 650W.

Oh and refresh my memory, do I need to buy thermal compound for the CPU mounting?

any other comments welcome. thanks again!
July 12, 2012 4:54:58 AM

I'd change the RAM to something low profile. EDIT: Nevermind. You dumped the cooler.

You are spending more money on a K model CPU that you aren't going to OC. Save money and get a non-k model.

And is there a certain reason for getting the Sabertooth? With no OC or SLI it seems way beyond necessary.
July 12, 2012 12:53:17 PM

cbsevenfifty said:
I'd change the RAM to something low profile. EDIT: Nevermind. You dumped the cooler.

You are spending more money on a K model CPU that you aren't going to OC. Save money and get a non-k model.

And is there a certain reason for getting the Sabertooth? With no OC or SLI it seems way beyond necessary.


OK, swapped the K model for the non-K, that saved me some money.

And I'll do some motherboard shopping today. The reason I went with the Sabertooth was the good reviews and I like Asus stuff, and honestly it looks cool.

Thanks!
July 12, 2012 5:28:53 PM

cbsevenfifty said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

The H77 chipset fits your needs, no OC potential but you still get SSD caching. Those are all of the ATX size boards. You can go cheaper if you went with a micro version.

You can also save a bunch of money on the PSU. You only need 550W for the 670. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550sxxb...


I appreciate the list, and those boards look like some great options regardless, but I don't see myself taking advantage of SSD caching. I'll be running my OS and all my apps straight from the SSD. I don't plan on having an HDD in the computer at all.

My music and other media I'll keep on my Drobo.

EDIT: and regarding the power supply, I keep trying to find one that will offer me substantial savings over the 750W Corsair, but the trick is I want a modular design. Those all seem to fall in the higher wattage and around ~$140 price range.
July 12, 2012 5:48:36 PM

In that case you can get a B75 board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-651^13-130-651-TS%2C13-138-363^13-138-363-TS%2C13-131-835^13-131-835-TS%2C13-157-314^13-157-314-TS

All the ATX sized boards, rest are micro.

I'd probably go with the Asrock for the extra sata 6 and cheapest price, of course.
July 12, 2012 6:27:41 PM

jjhatfield said:
EDIT: and regarding the power supply, I keep trying to find one that will offer me substantial savings over the 750W Corsair, but the trick is I want a modular design. Those all seem to fall in the higher wattage and around ~$140 price range.


If you are specifically after a modular PSU then you can get http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

EDIT: I'd actually get it from newegg. $10 more for the PSU but you can turn around and use the gift card on something else and save $5, you have to wait 4 days for the gift card though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 12, 2012 8:35:14 PM

cbsevenfifty said:
In that case you can get a B75 board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-651^13-130-651-TS%2C13-138-363^13-138-363-TS%2C13-131-835^13-131-835-TS%2C13-157-314^13-157-314-TS

All the ATX sized boards, rest are micro.

I'd probably go with the Asrock for the extra sata 6 and cheapest price, of course.


cbsevenfifty said:
If you are specifically after a modular PSU then you can get http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

EDIT: I'd actually get it from newegg. $10 more for the PSU but you can turn around and use the gift card on something else and save $5, you have to wait 4 days for the gift card though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Now we are starting to save some money. :)  thanks again for the recommendations, I've included them in my updated build:

CPU: $214.99

Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: $79.99

ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: $399.99

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: $48.99

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: $143.99

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: $89.99

PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: $99.99

NZXT H2 H2-001-BK Black Steel / Plastic Classic Silent ATX Mid Tower Chassis

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: $18.99

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand total: $1,096.92 before OS

I like the ASRock motherboard because I'll be able to mount my Asus Xonar STX far away from the soundcard. Lots of the boards I look at have the GPU slot directly above the necessary PCI Express slot for the sound card, either blocking the slot entirely or making for a snug fit.

However I'm not super familiar with the ASRock brand, but it seems to be a pretty popular brand for budget MOBOs.

The new power supply looks great, though I'm concerned by one reviewers complaint that the cables are short. But only one person said that, and my case is a midtower, so I think it will be fine.

I'm definitely still open for any further comments or suggestions, but I'm definitely pleased with the progress we've made so far. Again thank you, the community here is always so helpful.

EDIT: forgot to change the description and link to the non-K version of the CPU
July 14, 2012 8:10:59 AM

Final build. Only thing I changed was the mobo. It's an H77 Intel board. Has everything I need since I won't be overclocking, and there is a nice $18 off combo deal with the 3570.

CPU: $214.99

Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: $109.99

Intel BOXDH77KC LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: $399.99

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: $48.99

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: $143.99

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: $89.99

PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: $99.99

NZXT H2 H2-001-BK Black Steel / Plastic Classic Silent ATX Mid Tower Chassis

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: $18.99

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any additional thoughts? Anything I'm missing? Thanks!

July 14, 2012 2:22:19 PM

Yeah, that looks good to me too.
July 14, 2012 8:14:51 PM

cbsevenfifty said:
Looks good to me.


Onus said:
Yeah, that looks good to me too.


thanks, I think we have a winner here. i really appreciate everyone's help.
!