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YA1KB! Yet Another $1k Build!

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July 16, 2012 5:21:18 PM

Hey all! Building for a friend, check over this for me?

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks

Budget Range: $900-$1100, but underbudget is cool!

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, Internet

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: No parts

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: Irvine, CA (30 minutes from Newegg Warehouse, will be using their will-call service, so no shipping!)

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Possible second card as a future upgrade

Your Monitor Resolution: Will be buying a 1920x1080 primary monitor, undecided on model. (Also have an Envision G19LWK 1440x900 as a backup)

Additional Comments: I'm helping out a friend with his first computer build. He would like a side window, a sleek black understated clean design, green LED theme, quiet operation, and future-proof components. I thought I would start with an i3 and HD7850 as bang for the buck, with a motherboard that would offer an upgrade path to Ivy Bridge and a second graphics card in the future. We like the case for its clean brushed aluminium design, painted interior, efficient cooling, HDD isolation grommets, solid build quality and reputable manufacturer. He likes the Tactical Tracer RAM for the bling factor.

Supposing a future upgrade, will the Seasonic power supply support, for example, an i5-3770K and 2x HD7850? Am I wrong in seeking a Seasonic power supply for quiet operation? Is the Barracuda 2TB drive crap?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: His laptop from 2008 is outdated...ready for his first real gaming PC.

$99.99 - LIAN LI Lancool First Knight Series PC-K9WX
$124.99 - Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core
$124.99 - ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
$59.99 - Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
$239.99 - SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16(11200-00-20G)
$119.99 - Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
$59.99 - SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W
$6.99 - 2x LOGISYS Computer ML12GN LED Super Bright Sunlight Stick

Total: $843.91 BEFORE MONITOR.

More about : ya1kb build

July 16, 2012 5:26:45 PM

Looks OK, I'd forget SLI if you want quietness though. You won't need it for gaming on a single monitor anyway.

Build as a whole looks OK but if you swap the i3 for an i5-3450 and the motherboard for a cheaper H77 model. Then swap the PSU for the 430W version and possibly get a 1TB hard drive, you should get better gaming performance and it would probably cost a bit less. You just lose a bit of capacity.
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July 16, 2012 5:35:00 PM

A goal of this build is to be as future-proof as possible under the budget. Going to an H77 might limit our performance in the future. Do you think the ASRock H77 Pro4 would be a good compromise for the budget? It gives us 3 slots between the cards, but the second slot is PCIe 2.0 x4. The Extreme4 also has gold caps, just a little extra bling for the side window. ;) 

We are looking at the HD7850 as a fairly quiet card, and with the two 140mm intake fans in the front, I expect Crossfire to run fairly nicely in the future.

Moving to an Ivy CPU now is tempting, and saves us needing a second upgrade in the future, but we still need to fit a monitor in the budget somewhere. How about the ASUS VS238H-P 23"?
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July 16, 2012 5:41:55 PM

You also seem to live nearby a Microcenter in Tustin, CA. They have great deals on Motherboard/CPUs and offer pricematching on other parts from Newegg.

Another case to look at for the same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For $240 price range on the GPU, I prefer NVidia. You can get a GTX 570 for the same price, or for a little more get a 560ti 2gb card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also recommend a CPU fan/cooler if you plan on gaming, but it's not necessary.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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July 16, 2012 5:52:55 PM

I live in Oregon, while my buddy is in CA. We've taken Microcenter into account, and will get our parts there if the price works out.

We dismissed the Antec 900 fairly quickly, as it doesn't have a painted interior (bare metal is a bit on the ugly side), and since it's a very popular case, many other gamers have it. It also includes bright flashy blue LED fans, and we are looking for a more subdued green case. We also considered the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite and a few other dark cases.

The GTX 570 is a tempting upgrade. I'd considered it, but was concerned about buying into an older card and not being able to find one for SLI in a year or two. I'm personally a nVidia guy myself, as I've been burned by AMD's drivers too many times.

If we went with anything above an i3-2120, I would probably head for a CPU cooler. I have the Hyper 212+ in my machine and I love it.

Keep the feedback coming, thanks everyone!
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July 16, 2012 5:54:29 PM

NapoleonDK said:
A goal of this build is to be as future-proof as possible under the budget. Going to an H77 might limit our performance in the future. Do you think the ASRock H77 Pro4 would be a good compromise for the budget? It gives us 3 slots between the cards, but the second slot is PCIe 2.0 x4. The Extreme4 also has gold caps, just a little extra bling for the side window. ;) 

We are looking at the HD7850 as a fairly quiet card, and with the two 140mm intake fans in the front, I expect Crossfire to run fairly nicely in the future.

Moving to an Ivy CPU now is tempting, and saves us needing a second upgrade in the future, but we still need to fit a monitor in the budget somewhere. How about the ASUS VS238H-P 23"?


Stick with the Z77 if you are dead set on having options for later. If you don't think you'll grab a second card later drop to the Z75. same OC'ing abilities just that no board is really designed for SLI and you dont get SSD caching. Then comes H77 that doesn't offer OCing but you get SSD caching and B75 that doesn't offer OCing or SSD caching.

Z77 is really the only option if you think you might add another card in the future as it's the only chipset that offers x8/x8 SLI.
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July 16, 2012 5:56:52 PM

Surely you would leave it at least a few years before upgrading though? By that point we will probably have a whole new socket for CPU's. Or a new generation at the very least.

Also you are not going to want to go SLI on a single monitor. It isn't really necessary as a decent single card can cope fine. It just adds unnecessary heat and noise along with possible compatibility issues.

It's good to think about upgradability but don't let it hamper your performance right now. That kind of defeats the point :) 

This would be my choice personally:

i5-3450
8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport 1600Mhz
ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
MSI HD 7850 2GB ($30 rebate)
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
Seasonic 520W Modular PSU (Slightly overkill but on a very good deal at $59.99)
Lian Li PC-K9WX

Total - $825

After getting your lights, that's $840. That's the same price as your i3 build but has an Ivy Bridge i5.
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Best solution

July 16, 2012 6:05:40 PM
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July 27, 2012 4:39:55 PM

Best answer selected by NapoleonDK.
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July 27, 2012 4:41:23 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. The system has been built and the owner is extremely happy with the aesthetics as well as the performance of his build. We came in under budget and we're future proof for upgrades!

You guys are why I keep coming back to Tom's. :) 
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July 27, 2012 5:04:12 PM

Great! So did you go for the i5 or i3 in the end?
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