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New gaming build - Help me save some money?

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July 13, 2012 4:24:02 PM

Hey guys! I have been coming up with a gaming build recently and I want to see if there are any places I can save some money without sacrificing too much performance. Originally I came out at around $1500, but I also will need to buy a monitor, so knocking a few hundred dollars off would be really nice. Can you guys give me some suggestions?

Thanks!

Here is my build thus far:

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 Ghz 4 cores BX80637I53570K or Intel Core i5 2500k $215 or $219
These are the same price right now on newegg, but I don't really know why I should choose one over the other (except one has a higher number)

Mobo: ASUS Z77 sabertooth or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H $240 or $190
The ASUS is about $50 more and I'm not sure if it is worth that much more. Any thoughts?

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX670 FTW 2048MB GDDR5 256bit $420
The most expensive thing on here, but I definitely want the best graphic my price range can allow. If I might need to skimp here to save some money, I can, but I'd like to know how much quality I'll have to sacrifice first.
Also, this "FTW" thing costs $20 apparently and I don't even know what it means. Can someone shed some light?

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 (low profile) $55
As long as the specs are similar, I'd take a cheaper option.

SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $90
I plan on using this as a boot drive, and if a smaller capacity will also work (say, 90gb) I will go with it to save $$$

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $100
Or whatever is a better deal at the time

PSU: Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V $90
I know that 750W might seem like overkill, but I plan on adding a second GPU in SLI (if I go with the gtx670) in the future.
Also, this particular PSU has a really, really good deal on newegg right now, so I'm suspicious I might need to look for a different one later.

CPU heatsink: CM Hyper 212 EVO $35
Unless you guys know of a more cost-effective way to keep things cool. But it doesn't cost too much and has really good reviews!

Case: CM storm enforcer $80

OS: Windows 7 home premium $100
I will probably upgrade to 8 when the opportunity comes (+$40)

Please suggest a proper monitor (w/ resolution appropriate to this build)! I just don't know about monitors.

Total (newegg.com) cost: $1375 - $1450


Please suggest some places you think I could save and still have a really high quality gaming build!



Other potentially relevant info (with the format in this forum's sticky):

Approximate Purchase Date: Possibly not until Xmas (I know that makes it difficult, but pretend I'm buying right now. I'll adjust for the future as it happens)

Budget Range: $1500 w/ monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Heavy gaming, movies, general use

Are you buying a monitor: I will definitely need a monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I am partial to Newegg or amazon, but I will go wherever the best deal is

Location: Northern burbs of Chicago

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Yup!

SLI or Crossfire: Like I said, SLI. If I go with the gtx670, I'll likely add another in the future

Your Monitor Resolution: The best I can get in my price range, hopefully 1920x1080 +

Additional Comments: I want to be able to run all the newest games and anything that will come out in the near future


Sorry for the really long post. Thanks again for all the help guys! (if you didn't stop earlier)
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2012 4:38:42 PM

Your motherboard is definitely too expensive. You can get an SLI mobo for $130-ish.
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July 13, 2012 4:40:27 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Your motherboard is definitely too expensive. You can get an SLI mobo for $130-ish.


Could you suggest one?

What about this one:

ASrock Z77 extreme4
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a c 287 4 Gaming
July 13, 2012 4:44:15 PM

Quote:

The most expensive thing on here, but I definitely want the best graphic my price range can allow. If I might need to skimp here to save some money, I can, but I'd like to know how much quality I'll have to sacrifice first.
Also, this "FTW" thing costs $20 apparently and I don't even know what it means. Can someone shed some light?


It's essentially a factory overclocked GPU and has higher VRAM speeds than the standard reference model. It will give you about a 1 - 2 FPS boost.

Quote:

Mobo: ASUS Z77 sabertooth or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H $240 or $190
The ASUS is about $50 more and I'm not sure if it is worth that much more. Any thoughts?


Don't waste the money on the Sabertooth - it's a good overclocker but it's not worth the extra money when the Gigabyte is $50 cheaper and covers all the bases.

Quote:

CPU heatsink: CM Hyper 212 EVO $35
Unless you guys know of a more cost-effective way to keep things cool. But it doesn't cost too much and has really good reviews!


It's an excellent heat sink for sure. However, I've said this several times before and I will say it again - it's a very bad idea to rely on stores for product reviews. Almost 90% of the positive reviews are based purely on fanboyism and the negative reviews are all either to do with shipping errors or bad rebates. You want to check professional sources as much as you can like Tom's, Johnnyguru, and Anandtech before deciding if a product is good or not. The people reviewing products on Newegg are not professionals and most of the time don't have access to professional testing equipment.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE248Q 24.0" Monitor ($208.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1714.41
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

The price of this build without monitor and OS comes to $1,424.91.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2012 5:01:54 PM

Yes, it really is premature to make decisions now. Prices and values will change.
We may well see yet another set of high end graphics card releases.

In principle, you can save money by not baseing your build on sli.

) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.
Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 650w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

Today, I see nothing that would incent the Windows 7 user to change to windows 8.
In time, there may be, but I, personally am not planning on it.

Regarding the monitor, give serious consideration to buying the best monitor you can afford.
It is one of the few future proof purchases you can make today.
I am talking about a 2560 x 1440 27" monitor.
Yes, they are expensive, you are looking at $650 or so. Here is an example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=24-176-...

Such a monitor will have a 178/178 viewing angle so it will not look washed out from the side or top.
See if you can't work/save enough to afford one.

On your current list, the parts are good.

I would pay half your budget for a Z77 based motherboard, they are all good, and will do the job. No real need for an enthusiast level board capable of record overclocks.

The "FTW" is an EVGA series of overclocked cards. It stands for ( For The Win).
Today, I think it is as good as it gets for a single GPU card. The $delta for the GTX680 is probably not worth it.

If you stick with a single great card plan, a 650w psu will be sufficient to power a GTX690. It is the equivalent in one card of sli GTX670 cards. Nothing wront with overprovisioning the psu a bit to 750W. It will only use the power that is demanded of it.

Rosewill, at least in the past has not had a great reputation for quality.
I think I would keep my eye out for sales of known quality vendors such as Seasonic, PC P&C, Corsair, XFX, and Antec.
You will never recoup the extra cost of a gold rated psu. Modular is nice, but you will be using most of the leads anyway. In a mid sized case, there is never a problem on where to tuck the unused ones out of the way. I see modular as needed only in a small form factor case.

SSD prices are dropping. I would stick with 120gb at least. That is enough to hold the OS and 6-8 games.
Today, I think Samsung 830 and Intel 520 or 330 series SSD's are the most trouble free.
They make their own nand chips, so they can do more extensive validation.
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July 15, 2012 8:44:12 PM

In the past 2 weeks I've been looking for parts in various websites for my new computer as well. I'm not sure if you have access to these places the same as me but I had built my computer under $1,200 after some special promotions and mail-in rebate. As of new computer parts you should take your time and search from different website because good deals always appear.

Right now as of July 15th 2012, I have...

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 Ghz 4 cores BX80637I53570K $189.99 + $79.99 total= $303 (MOBO combo) from Microcenter

Motherboard: ASrock Z77 extreme4 $189.99 + $79.99 total= $303 (MOBO combo) from Microcenter

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5 Eyefinity -- for $409.99 after -$30 MIR from Amazon

RAM:Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 $48.99 from Amazon

SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) -- $92 from TigerDirect

HDD: Using HDD from previous computer FREE!

PSU: XFX PRO850W Core Edition Power Supply ATX 850 Energy Star Certified Power Supply P1850SNLB9 $84.99 after - $25 MIR from Amazon.

CPU heatsink: Corsair H60 $55 from TigerDirect

Case: NZXT Phantom Full Tower $109.99 From Amazon

OS: Windows 7 home premium $80 Ebay

Optical Drive: DVD r/w from old computer FREE!

A GRAND TOTAL OF $1183

I got all of these except MOBO + CPU combo are tax and shipping FREE so it helped me a lot. I'm not sure if these deals are still up but if you take your time, within a month you should have your envisioned Desktop for a reasonable price as well. I got all of these parts in about 5days of serious search. Imagine what you can do in a month. Slickdeals helps a lot as well!
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a c 287 4 Gaming
July 15, 2012 10:45:45 PM

keaodeez said:
In the past 2 weeks I've been looking for parts in various websites for my new computer as well. I'm not sure if you have access to these places the same as me but I had built my computer under $1,200 after some special promotions and mail-in rebate. As of new computer parts you should take your time and search from different website because good deals always appear.

Right now as of July 15th 2012, I have...

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 Ghz 4 cores BX80637I53570K $189.99 + $79.99 total= $303 (MOBO combo) from Microcenter

Motherboard: ASrock Z77 extreme4 $189.99 + $79.99 total= $303 (MOBO combo) from Microcenter

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5 Eyefinity -- for $409.99 after -$30 MIR from Amazon

RAM:Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 $48.99 from Amazon

SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) -- $92 from TigerDirect

HDD: Using HDD from previous computer FREE!

PSU: XFX PRO850W Core Edition Power Supply ATX 850 Energy Star Certified Power Supply P1850SNLB9 $84.99 after - $25 MIR from Amazon.

CPU heatsink: Corsair H60 $55 from TigerDirect

Case: NZXT Phantom Full Tower $109.99 From Amazon

OS: Windows 7 home premium $80 Ebay

Optical Drive: DVD r/w from old computer FREE!

A GRAND TOTAL OF $1183

I got all of these except MOBO + CPU combo are tax and shipping FREE so it helped me a lot. I'm not sure if these deals are still up but if you take your time, within a month you should have your envisioned Desktop for a reasonable price as well. I got all of these parts in about 5days of serious search. Imagine what you can do in a month. Slickdeals helps a lot as well!


The 7970 is a good GPU but make sure you get the GHZ edition. The BIOS on existing 7970's can be flashed to it: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...

I wouldn't spend the money on a closed block like the H60 when a Noctua NH-U9B can match and in some cases beat the H60.
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July 16, 2012 5:49:00 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:



CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE248Q 24.0" Monitor ($208.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1714.41
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

The price of this build without monitor and OS comes to $1,424.91.
Quote:



Why this specific monitor? Im looking to get 3x monitors as well to go with 7970 gpu
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July 16, 2012 7:10:03 PM

Since I'll probably only be getting a 1920x1080 monitor, why not downgrade the GPU and save a whole lot of money?

Do you guys think a Radeon 7950 will be good enough? They're pretty fairly priced right now.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 16, 2012 7:13:51 PM

yes, a 7950 will be PLENTY for a single 1920x1080 monitor
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a c 287 4 Gaming
July 16, 2012 9:08:52 PM

keaodeez said:
Why this specific monitor? Im looking to get 3x monitors as well to go with 7970 gpu


That's why I typically don't recommend monitors due to it being almost entirely personal preference.
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July 17, 2012 5:23:30 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
yes, a 7950 will be PLENTY for a single 1920x1080 monitor


Judging by that all-caps "plenty", you think I could take another step down? could you suggest a CPU that you think might work best?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2012 5:48:48 AM

I think the HD7850 is currently the sweet spot for 1080p gaming, especially overclocked. Maybe the 7870 if you want stronger stock performance.
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July 19, 2012 3:36:28 AM

or you could do 7970 visiontek version with 6 other games

"VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card and ATI Technologies DiRT Showdown, Deus Ex, Nexiuz and Total War: Shogun 2 and Battlefield 3 and Sonic Generations Download Game Coupons Bundle" for $$$$$370$$$$ right now.

hope your in time for the promotion. you can sell the game to make the deal even sweater.

go look for it at tiger direct.
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