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Need advice on a new custom built gaming computer around $1000-$2000

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July 16, 2012 3:46:02 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Probably today

Budget Range: $1000-$2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Heavy gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg unless anyone else has good suggestions

Location: Rockville, MD

Parts Preferences: Looking for an i7 can by Ivy or Sandy

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or higher

Additional Comments: I'm starting from scratch so I'm not too sure about what to get.. I don't think I need a good looking case just one that can do a good job of venting the system and keeping it cool. I'm positive about getting an i7 Sandy or Ivy but still not sure which one to get. I'm probably set with 8gbs of RAM and a normal PSU that lives as long as the rest of the computer. I'm pretty lost about motherboards and graphics cards because I'm coming from a laptop that uses a NVidia GeForce 540M. I don't think I'll be needing a high end CD-ROM drive a basic DVD-ROM drive without blue-ray should be fine. That's basically it I don't really know where to start :/ .

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Laptop isn't enough to run these modern games :( 

Any help would be deeply appreciated because I only know how to fix those ancient Pentium 4 computers as a job. I don't know much about parts just how to put it together and troubleshoot if there's anything wrong. So if anyone could advise me about which parts to get or teach me a little about how to pick the right components to fit my budget, it would help so much. Thanks!

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This is what I have come up with (a lot of it was taken from g-unit1111's build):


Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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...

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

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD 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...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Is this a solid build? It all comes out to be $1170.92 without the windows cd, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I am really looking for 60+ fps on graphics demanding games like battlefield 3 and crysis on maxed out settings. Thanks!

More about : advice custom built gaming computer 1000 2000

Best solution

July 16, 2012 3:51:41 PM

Quote:
Additional Comments: I'm starting from scratch so I'm not too sure about what to get.. I don't think I need a good looking case just one that can do a good job of venting the system and keeping it cool. I'm positive about getting an i7 Sandy or Ivy but still not sure which one to get. I'm probably set with 8gbs of RAM and a normal PSU that lives as long as the rest of the computer. I'm pretty lost about motherboards and graphics cards because I'm coming from a laptop that uses a NVidia GeForce 540M. I don't think I'll be needing a high end CD-ROM drive a basic DVD-ROM drive without blue-ray should be fine. That's basically it I don't really know where to start :/ .


Laptop GPUs are in no way shape or form equivalent to their desktop counterparts.

As far as DVD / CD burners go - those are incredibly cheap anymore, you can get a basic one for about $15.

Quote:
Any help would be deeply appreciated because I only know how to fix those ancient Pentium 4 computers as a job. I don't know much about parts just how to put it together and troubleshoot if there's anything wrong. So if anyone could advise me about which parts to get or teach me a little about how to pick the right components to fit my budget, it would help so much. Thanks!


It isn't that difficult really - the structure hasn't changed much since the Pentium 4, so if you can fix those, you can build an LGA 1155 system.

Here you go:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($198.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1435.73
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

Add whatever keyboard / mouse you want and you're good to go. I don't suggest those things as they're entirely personal preference.
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July 16, 2012 5:10:26 PM

That build looks good in terms of performance, no need to spend more than that on a gaming build really. An SSD might be nice for general desktop stuff though, the 256GB Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 models are getting quite cheap now. Maybe get one of those instead of the Spinpoint if you think 256GB is enough space. It will make the system feel a lot faster. (Won't actually help FPS in games though)

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

With the PSU, I would suggest 500W+ or 700W+ for SLI. I wouldn't recommend SLI for you though unless you plan on getting a 3 monitor setup or something. By the time you need 2 GTX 670's for games, it will be an old and outdated card that you will have trouble locating again.

Personally I'd forget SLI and grab one of these, it's a really nice modular PSU:

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


Just so you're aware as well, that Antec 1100 is going to be pretty huge. If you want something a bit smaller, I'd get a mid tower like the Antec 902 or Cooler Master HAF 922.

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July 16, 2012 5:13:03 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($437.86 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1544.63
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

As above, add whatever keyboard and mouse you prefer. The DC2T is a dual-slot card and has better cooling than the EVGA FTW.
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July 16, 2012 5:31:23 PM

Here is a build that will play any game on ultra with no problems:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz $309
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB $399
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 $169
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 $59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD $119
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM $94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 64 bit $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1536 without a monitor, keyboard or mouse. I will leave that to you to choose based on your preference. This setup will play any game on ultra settings with no problems







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July 16, 2012 5:36:05 PM

The i5-3570K is much better suited to games than the i7-2700K. It would give similar (if not better) performance for less cash.
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July 16, 2012 6:05:06 PM

@HopelessNoob, just wanted to comment that for gaming, you really do not need an i7 (as most people have not included in their builds, I thought I'd point it out). i7s are not significantly more powerful than i5s, they add a few tenths of a Ghz and hyperthreading (most games barely use 2 cores, let alone 8 threads on 4 cores). Also consider that gaming is rarely bottle necked by processor anyway (you are much better off putting excess $$ into a better graphics card).

Stick with the i5 as most everyone has suggested unless you have more money than you know what to do with.
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July 16, 2012 7:17:09 PM

djscribbles said:
@HopelessNoob, just wanted to comment that for gaming, you really do not need an i7 (as most people have not included in their builds, I thought I'd point it out). i7s are not significantly more powerful than i5s, they add a few tenths of a Ghz and hyperthreading (most games barely use 2 cores, let alone 8 threads on 4 cores). Also consider that gaming is rarely bottle necked by processor anyway (you are much better off putting excess $$ into a better graphics card).

Stick with the i5 as most everyone has suggested unless you have more money than you know what to do with.



This is correct - you only need the i7 if you're running intense multimedia applications or rendering programs.
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July 16, 2012 7:27:08 PM

there's soo many threads with this information already in it...
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July 16, 2012 7:55:25 PM

jmsellars1 said:
The i5-3570K is much better suited to games than the i7-2700K. It would give similar (if not better) performance for less cash.


2500k would be better, doesnt get as hot. 3570k only gives you 3% better performance.
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July 16, 2012 8:01:51 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
2500k would be better, doesnt get as hot. 3570k only gives you 3% better performance.



That's debatable - with the right cooler you'll never notice the temperature changes.
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July 16, 2012 8:02:06 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
2500k would be better, doesnt get as hot. 3570k only gives you 3% better performance.


i5-2500 would be even better still
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July 16, 2012 9:20:22 PM

The Ivy Bridge gives slightly better performance, native DDR3 1600mhz and PCI-3.0 support and lower power consumption. Also much better integrated graphics along with a few other features. Id take all that for a pretty minor increase in temperature and price.
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July 16, 2012 9:52:13 PM

1600mhz works just fine with 2500k

its a PCI-2.0 card

integrated...graphics...really?

lower power consumption? welcome to the world of overclocking, where we disable every power saving feature.
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July 16, 2012 9:53:59 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
1600mhz works just fine with 2500k

its a PCI-2.0 card

integrated...graphics...really?

lower power consumption? welcome to the world of overclocking, where we disable every power saving feature.


For the most part you won't use the integrated graphics but it's an incredibly helpful tool in diagnosing GPU problems.
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July 16, 2012 11:34:29 PM

g-unit1111 said:
For the most part you won't use the integrated graphics but it's an incredibly helpful tool in diagnosing GPU problems.


Absolutely, which can be done no matter which version of intel's graphics is used. Moral of the story is you do not rely on it, it is your emergency back up.
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July 16, 2012 11:58:26 PM

Okay after reading all the comments I have a couple questions since I'm still pretty new to custom building computers...

i5 looks like to be one of the most recommended CPUs and since I probably will mainly be using this computer for gaming I'll go with the i5 :D  But should I get the 3570k or 2500k?

How do I tell which mother board to get though? If I'm thinking about dual graphics cards in the future should I get one that supports dual GPUs?

I'm thinking of the 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive because I'm not a big fan of SSDs seeing how they're more expensive and don't offer that much space for the price

Last question, since I've been using laptops and have never really built or used a desktop before, is it safe to assume that the cases have enough fans to keep the computer cool?

Thank you so much everyone for helping me out! I'm just trying to learn about building a custom PC and at the same time build a new one that will run almost anything for the next couple years.
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July 17, 2012 12:03:06 AM

Quote:
i5 looks like to be one of the most recommended CPUs and since I probably will mainly be using this computer for gaming I'll go with the i5 :D  But should I get the 3570k or 2500k?


Go 3570K - it unlocks PCI Gen 3 on Z77 motherboards which will support new and future video cards to their fullest extent.

Quote:
How do I tell which mother board to get though? If I'm thinking about dual graphics cards in the future should I get one that supports dual GPUs?


Most Z77 boards should, especially around the $130 - $180+ mark.

Quote:
I'm thinking of the 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive because I'm not a big fan of SSDs seeing how they're more expensive and don't offer that much space for the price


It's certainly true that the cost per GB of most SSDs isn't a bargain, but you can't deny their speed over traditional mechanical drives. You can always get one later if your needs change.

Quote:
Last question, since I've been using laptops and have never really built or used a desktop before, is it safe to assume that the cases have enough fans to keep the computer cool?


If you're new to building air cooling systems I'd heavily suggest reading this article as it's extremely helpful: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...
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July 17, 2012 1:16:22 AM

g-unit1111 has you covered.

Both i5 chips have there + and -. Its probably a crap shoot. I went the route of the 2500k for a few different reasons. By the time I care about PCI-3.0, I will have one of the i7 six core chips, which are dead sexy imo.

SSDs arent suppose to be your typical disk storage device. Normally you have like me and g-unit1111 did. We have smaller, cheaper, SSDs for our installs and system files so we can take advantage of the killer speeds. Paired with them We have normal HDD as storage space. g-unit went with a 120gb SSD + a 1 TB HDD for storage, I went with two 60GB SSDs in a raid 0, and two 2TB HDD in a raid 1. The 60GB and 120GB are very affordable now, and that is why you are seeing so many of them, and so many people recommending them. I paid 54.99 for each of my 60GB, the same 120GB is around 94.99 I believe. Typically any decent motherboard you buy will have on board raid support, so you literally get your cake and eat it too.

60GB SSD
120GB SSD (I was wrong 84.99, which is a really good deal)

Edit: Whoops, g-unit has a 320 ssd, but you get whats going on. Alot of people, including me, have that Asrock z77 board and they are very nice. Any nicer and you would be spending a considerable amount of more money and should get the Asus sabertooth.
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July 17, 2012 1:29:30 AM

Hmmm so if I get a small SSD for the OS and then have a 1TB 7200rpm hard disk I can just install the OS on the SSD and boot from that and then install all my games on the other hard drive is that correct?
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July 17, 2012 1:31:46 AM

yes, correct - that's the best way to do it

not smaller than 120GB IMO
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July 17, 2012 1:39:44 AM

I see alright

Couple more questions :o  I'm curious hehe

Is liquid cooling over kill?

And what's the difference between the

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

and the

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

The WD hard drive has 2x the cache but does it really make a difference?
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July 17, 2012 2:19:26 AM

IMO water cooling is overkill unless you are overclocking or are an enthusiast.

As far as normal every day computer use, you won't know the difference between the two drives. If you move large files around or work with open files, you might be able to tell a little difference. Depends if it's connected to SATA2 or SATA3
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July 17, 2012 2:32:00 AM

Alright thanks everyone for the help I will edit the original post and tell you guys what I have decided on. Thanks again everyone!
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July 17, 2012 3:54:01 AM

Air should do you just fine, and you also want to install your games on the SSD as well because it will kill load times, and if you play games like Diablo 3, improve game play. Grant it games like this are very few, because its a bad thing to have the game constantly access your hard drive, but you will definately see a nice improvement in load times. I would also recommend following the steps listed in this guide once you have windows installed. It saves alot of disk space, turns off alot of features that a SSD will not need, and show you how to set everything to save to your HDD:

SSD Guide
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July 17, 2012 4:43:31 AM

Alright I updated the original post with my final build does it look good? I want to be able to run graphics demanding games like battlefield 3 and crysis on maxed out settings with 60+ fps. Thanks everyone again!
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July 17, 2012 10:59:23 AM

Best answer selected by HopelessNoob.
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!