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First Gaming PC Build - $1500 Budget

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July 14, 2012 5:42:50 PM

As the title says, I am looking to build my first PC to be used for gaming. I currently use a Gateway P172s FX laptop equipped with a 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR2 RAM, and an nVidia 8800 GTS. It did ok for light gaming, but definately struggled with heat and performance when settings were turned up.

This computer will primarily be used for playing Flight Sim games such as Flight Simulator X, X-Plane, and any other simulators that may come out in the next 2-3 years. I will also be using it for watching Blu-Ray movies and playing other games such as Farm Simulator and Call of Duty.

As the title says, my budget is around $1500 including a monitor and keyboard. I have put together a list of components using newegg. I will list the indiviual components below, but I was able to find a few of these offered as combos which ended up saving me approximately $60. Please feel free to give any feedback.

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

Processor: Intel i7 3770K- Ivy Bridge
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: 16GB DDR3 2133
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Nvidia 570 GTX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Coolermaster 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:o CZ Agility 3 120 GB SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Coolermaster Storm ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Card Reader: Rosewill 40-in-1 Card Reader
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD Drive: Pioneer Blu-ray Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: Logitech Standard wireless keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS 23.6" 1080p 5ms Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With all of the components above and using various promotions, the total comes out to be about $1460. I want this computer to be able to run all of the games I listed above on maxed out settings and play games that may come out in the next 2-3 years very well.

Thank you for your time and help
July 14, 2012 6:09:11 PM

I was about to say that the i5 3570k is the one that you should, get, but I think that flight simulators do take advantage of HT. But it's a $100 difference, so you should have that in account. The SSD uses the SandForce controller, which is more unstable than others. You should go with a Crucial M4, a Samsung 830 or save for the Vertex 4, which has a newer controller. The graphics card is about one year old, and you should go with the 670. I recommend you the Windforce 3x, since it has some OC headroom thanks to its three fans. And if you don't want to OC, the Asus DirectCU II TOP has already quite some factory OC. And I think that the 16 GB of RAM is a bit overkill, but again, I think that the flight simulators use more RAM, but I don't know. And I'm sure that 2133 is too much, 1600 is enough and you won't get more with more MHz.
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July 14, 2012 6:37:53 PM

Thank you for the reply. I will look into the suggested SSD and also some 1600 memory. However, the nvidia 670 is a little out of my budget right now. That would be an aditional $150-200 from what I already have.
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July 14, 2012 6:57:29 PM

my tips (built lots of pcs since the dawn of them):

- 1600 Mhz Rams.. not faster , you get like little performance for much much more money. (Go 16 gigs, i went, never looked back..) :pt1cable: 

- I am an AMD fan, but you can't <-- go wrong with an INTEL <--- stick with that

- I suggest, the new ATI HD 7970 Graphic card, or 7950 (just build a system with 7950 alone, good marks on skyrim on every maxed except the shadows to medium not high with frames that go 70+ outdoors, avg 40 indoors and crowded areas ) a very underrated and GOOD for the money GPU.

- Definitly buy a SSD as boot and a gaming storage, and a 1tb hdd for junk :) 

- you can never underinvest in a Powersupply, i would suggest a coolmaster 850 .. or at least the one you have

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July 14, 2012 7:18:57 PM

Step it up a Notch!!

Heres a potential parts list:

Processor ($340):
Intel Core i7 3770K -- Hyperthreadinga and overclocking; good for intensive tasks and future-proofing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819116501

GPU ($400) :
Gigabyte GTX 670 2GB -- one of the best on the market currently, and will outlive a whole generation of games @1080p and up (max settings)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819116501

Ram ($90):
G.Skill 16Gb Ram -- Use the extra 8GB as a ram drive (if you wish to) or just keep it for future-proofing
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231429

Motherboard ($190):
Gigabyte Z77x-UD5H -- Best Mobo for overclocking and feature-set; also very reliable for long-term usage ("Ultra-Durable" as they call it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128545

SSD ($130):
OCZ Octane 128GB -- For that high speed Write/read itch. Buy two of these if need be.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820227766

HDD ($90):
WD 1TB Caviar Green -- Make 2 partitions if you dont need that much space or just buy 2 of these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822236070

PSU ($160):
Silverstone 80 PLUS GOLD 850W Power supply -- Gold for the efficiency and 850W for the longevity.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817256067

Case ($150):
Cooler Master Storm Trooper -- Full Tower Goodness for flexible space and red curvy goodness.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119245

Dvd/Bluray ($60)
LG Bluray Drive Writer -- Bluray Writing for future goodness
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136250

Total ($1610) Woohoo!!

If you wish to bring it down to $1500, cut $45 from the ram, and cut $40 by not getting a bluray-drive and get a simpler case like the Antec Nine Hundred or Eleven Hundred.

Enjoy!!
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July 14, 2012 9:53:23 PM

That puts me way over my budget. I would still have to buy a monitor and keyboard. I will probably have to go with the nvidia 570 to keep me under my budget. How much of a difference would there be between the two and how much of a difference would there be between my current nvidia 8800 GTS to the 570?
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July 14, 2012 11:27:59 PM

$1500 for a computer to play games on?? My Man, get a PS3 instead and spend the rest of the cash on a nice prostitute, trust me it will be a much more memorable experience than playing games on a computer.
Some of you guys need to get out of the house more.
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July 15, 2012 4:54:26 AM

^ Lol.

After about 45 minutes of searching i have come up with this build for you.

Motherboard/cpu combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Your motherboard is good, its just that with this combo you get a slightly better bang for your buck. Your previous processor (the i7 3770k) is completely unnecessary for your type of gaming. There are no games yet ,to date, that need to use the full power of the i7 in order to run. The reason to get the i7 would be so that in the future you can run good games. The i5 3570k is the i5 version of the i7 3770k and it is plentiful. The only difference is that you'd probably find yourself overclocking a little sooner than you would with the i7.

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

Your selected memory is way too much, the type of games you play , along with a lot of games, use around 2-4gb of ram. 8gb is good and gives you extra room just in case you need to go over 4gb for whatever reason. If you would like, you can get a 1866 ddr3 ram, but the speed difference really only appears in benchmarks.

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

For the budget you listed, you can get a lot more for you money. The 7870 diffidently has more power than the 570, although not much more, it is a little noticeable. The rebate included can be trusted too.

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

700w is a little more than you need. With what i have listed, 500w is about what you will be using on heavy load. the extra 150w is just for insurance. This psu should be trust worthy as the amount of reviews don't really say... watch the video to learn more about it and why it should be trusted.

]b] HDD[/b]: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A hard drive is a hard drive. They are all the same to me, but the western digital black caviars tend to be slightly more reliable than the others. It is an extra $20, but once again it is more reliable (backed up with a 5 year warranty.) I would recommend going to a 500gb if the 1tb isnt really necessary.

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

The ssd you selected has the speed, but will diffidently not last as long as the samsung ssd above. The speed difference between the two really isnt anything too noticeable.

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

This case is on sale right now with a %15 off, and is one of the more sturdier ones. There really is no need for the one you have selected above,for your use, except for its looks.

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

Nothing wrong with the one you selected, this one is on sale and is just as reliable.

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

This one is more reliable than the one you picked. I was going to get the one you picked before i saw this one. This one hasn't let me down yet, although i really haven't used it that much.

Finally the keyboard/mouse and monitor you selected are good. I have not changed those two.

Total price:$1454.08, using the two promo codes= $1440.08
Final price: $1440.08

I hope i helped you with your build =)
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July 15, 2012 5:02:55 AM

Oh, i forgot. You might want to replace the heatsink fan that comes with the processor. Everybody usually gets this one to replace the a CPU's heatsink fan. I have it, and it should never give you any problems.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you add that your total becomes $1470.07.

It is not necessary, but if you will be putting your cpu to work, then it is recommended to get the aftermarket cpu heatsink.
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