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Gaming Computer Advice Under $2000

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July 12, 2012 3:23:52 AM

Hey all,

First time poster here, but I've been lurking for a bit. This is the situation. I am going to be building a gaming computer within the next 12 months. I am currently a nursing student and my beautiful and awesome wife has told me that I may upgrade my current five year old HP (which I have maxed out on upgrade capabilities). After doing some shopping around, I've come to the conclusion that building one myself will be cheaper and I'll truly get what I want. So, true to my nature, I've been pouring over reviews, articles, forums picking out components to get the most bang for my buck. Now, I realize that things may change by the time I actually am able to put everything together. However, being able to show my wife an estimated cost will help us set up a budget. :)  Anyway, this is what I'm thinking about.


Approximate Date of Purchase: Within 6-12 months, but let's assume I will be buying it within the next couple weeks.

Budget Range: Under $2000... the lower the better obviously

System Usage: Gaming, School Work (Word/Excel/PowerPoint), Some Movies, Surfing the Web

Are you buying a monitor: Yes 24" or 27"

Preferred Websites: I like newegg, but I am open to suggestions. Good return policy/customer service a must

Location: Eastern North Carolina, USA

Overclocking: Yes

Crossfire/SLI: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 (Based on monitor I presume)

Additional Comments: I realize there is no true "future proofing" when building a computer, but I would like the most capability for upgrade that I can muster. I do want to do some moderate overclocking, but sticking to air cooling. I prefer a full tower. I am a big guy with big hands, and working in small cases have been dangerous to my fingers before. The quieter the better, but performance/bang-for-the-buck take precedence. I have only had nVidia cards before and I am very much a fan of their driver updates/support. I've heard ATI is not as good, but I am open to arguments/suggestions.

Components:

CPU:
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


MoBo:
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD (Boot Drive/Some Games/Popular Programs)
SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD (Storage)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V v2.92, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Active-PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink/Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK 140mm UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive:
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor:

I need recommendations here. First off, for gaming (mostly RPG/MMOs/RTS/Some FPS) would you recommend 24" or 27"? Also, I've looked at the Asus and the Samsung brands. For this type of gaming, is a IPS screen worth it or will a TN screen work ok?

Case:

This has been hardest for me, because it is mostly about aesthetics. The rest of the components I can do some number crunching and evaluate benchmarks. Not as much here. Anyway, I've been looking at the following.


COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I want good performance (ie. good airflow/cooling), but for a case I am getting the idea that it really comes down to what is pleasing to the eye. Any thoughts/recommendations?

Thanks in advance for any advice/tips/recommendations.

Jonathan

July 12, 2012 4:15:28 AM

You put together a pretty good build. However, AsRock is a good brand, I would get Gigabyte. Rosewill is NOT a very good brand for power supplys at all, they are not the worst, but they are not good. The Phanteks cooler is HUGE! I have my doubts it would fit over the memory. I would get a Noctua NH-D14 Cooler instead, nearly exactly the same cooling performance, quiter, and better known brand. But, you could do a water cooling loop for $120, if your not afraid to, that would give great cooling performance. You will still need better brand. Any of those cases would be great, get almost any case from: Corsair, NZXT, Cooler Master, or Antec. For a monitor, if you get 27 Inch, get at least 1440p, if you get 24 inch, get 1080p, or 1440p for really good looking picture. Do you want a 24" or 27"?


GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ZT Series 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-D14 for good cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

XSPC Rasa 450 RS120 Universal CPU Water Cooling Kit for Great cooling
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16126/ex-wat-214/XSPC...

CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) Low profile memory to fit under a big cooler. Get these if you get a Noctua, stick with the G-Skill if you get the watercooling kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Monitors:

HP ZR2740w Expensive, but GREAT looking, I mean GREAT.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dell UltraSharp U2412M Not as expensive as the 27", but still is great.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 12, 2012 5:19:30 AM

Welcome computerforum member to THG. :p 
The Rosewill unit he selected is a good quality one.
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Related resources
July 12, 2012 5:26:46 AM

Rosewill power supply's, no matter what, including their Hive series, are not very good. I have used their Hive series power supply's for a review, not nearly as good as most power supply's. Using lower quality components (capacitors, etc.), and just not as good as a power supply nearly the same price, the OCZ ModXStream, or any unit from, corsair, OCZ, or even cooler master's in this price range. Welcome computerforum user? Are you talking to me?
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July 12, 2012 5:27:49 AM

So you are doubting a jonnyguru rating of 9 for the unit?
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July 12, 2012 5:30:49 AM

No, not exactly. I even used a hive series, sience I had it laying around from the review in a build, and it fryed on me. Luckly, seince it is reasoable quality, it didnt give a light show, but the 2nd one after a RMA was DOA. 3rd one, sold it, to scared to use it. Hello azzem, you arent to active around the other forum, didnt reconise you at first, now I remember, you go by the same user at CF. That is literally the only forum I have more than 100 posts, and sometimes its not to active, so wanted to sign up for another. But, at least you know I know my stuff pretty well, 1500 posts doesnt lie on a tech forum.
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July 12, 2012 5:37:19 AM

You post so often on computerforum that I know who you are.
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July 12, 2012 6:01:21 AM

Yup, good. Now, just dont get the hive, and add the modifacations to the build that I told you to.
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Best solution

July 12, 2012 6:18:12 AM

Jtpirate80,

First of all, welcome to TH forum.

I can suggest the following:

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K | $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER X6 Elite | $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 | $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB 1600MHz | $57.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB | $399.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB | $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache | $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel ATX Full Tower | $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case additional fan (top): NZXT FS-200RB-BLED 200mm SILENT Blue LED Fan | $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: SeaSonic X Series X-850 (SS-850KM Active PFC F3) 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Full Modular | $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VE278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 2ms Full HD HDMI LED | $319.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: RAZER Naga Molten RZ01-00280500-R3M1 USB Wired Laser 5600 dpi Gaming Mouse | $68.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 | $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1992.87

Opinions:
1. Assuming you wouldn't be doing high enthusiast-level overclocking, air cooling is sufficient for 3570K. It overclocks well and stays cool.
2. Graphics card with multiple fans is cooler (high air flow) and quieter (lower rpm) thereby enhancing the performance of the card. It even handles overclock better than reference design coolers.
3. I/O devices (monitor, keyboard and mouse) are the most important as you would be interacting through them so I consider them more important than anything else.
4. PSU is a component which you wouldn't upgrade so a good one (though considerably expensive) is recommended.
Share
July 16, 2012 6:01:43 AM

byteninja2 said:
No, not exactly. I even used a hive series, sience I had it laying around from the review in a build, and it fryed on me. Luckly, seince it is reasoable quality, it didnt give a light show, but the 2nd one after a RMA was DOA. 3rd one, sold it, to scared to use it. Hello azzem, you arent to active around the other forum, didnt reconise you at first, now I remember, you go by the same user at CF. That is literally the only forum I have more than 100 posts, and sometimes its not to active, so wanted to sign up for another. But, at least you know I know my stuff pretty well, 1500 posts doesnt lie on a tech forum.

I would like to read your review of the Hive series.
Can you post a link to it?
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July 22, 2012 4:50:01 PM

Best answer selected by jtpirate80.
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