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July 17, 2012 11:17:27 AM

So, a couple of weeks ago my 8-year-old "hot gaming rig" died (either the motherboard or chip), and since it stopped being a "hot" rig about six years ago, and for the last couple of years it's been just a "rig"... time to man up and build new. My main problem is that the last time I built a system was almost 15 years ago: assembling parts holds no terrors for me, but the nomenclature has completely changed, and the variety of options has expanded vastly. After two weeks of attempting to scale the learning curve and reading dozens of reviews, I've arrived at this setup. Where, I wonder, have I fouled up? Or have I managed to assemble a working beast? Please advise me.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: ~ $2000, less is better, of course

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, light productivity, gentle media consumption

Are you buying a monitor: Yes: ASUS VS series VS247H-P black 23.6" 2ms LED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you need to buy OS: Yes: Windows 7 Home Premium
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Rhode Island, USA

Parts Preferences: not really, looking for good quality & low cost

Overclocking: Yes, but not right away

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but not right away

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: In some way this is more of a system than I actually need right now, but I am likely going to experiment with overclocking in the not too distant future, and I want to future-proof my machine against future uber-games that may require me to have more than 8GB RAM and/or just one video card.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My 8-year-old "hot gaming rig" died the True Death.


Case: Corsair Carbide series 300R Black Steel/Plastic ATX mid-tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G. SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: FSP Group AURUM GOLD 700W (AU-700) ATX12V/EPS 12V SLI Certified CrossFire ready 80PLUS GOLD Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video: VisionTek 900505 Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have a 1TB external HD already, and the 250GB drive on my previous PC is still good, which is why I budget for only one new HD.

I will be getting a new keyboard and mouse, and I have to consider S&H charges on the components, which all factor in to my $2000 budget - right now I still have wiggle room, assuming prices for components don't jump up much more.

Is this a viable - and worthwhile - system?

More about : build

July 17, 2012 11:33:04 AM

its decent.

I'd make a few modifications though:

I'd get the i5-3570K for just a little more than the 2500K

16GB is overkill, 8 GB should be plenty for now, but if you can afford it, nothing wrong with 16

the sabertooth is overpriced for what you get, go for an ASRock Extreme 4/6 instead

the 800W is actually too much PSU -- your system will use less than 300W as is. even adding a second 7850 will push it to 450W at most, overclocking will add no more than 50-75W. go with a 550-600W PSU instead, psu's are at their most efficient at 50-75% of their rated power.

use the savings on RAM, Mobo, and PSU to get an SSD as a boot drive. a Mushkin chronos 120GB can be had for $90.
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July 17, 2012 11:42:22 AM

id nearly change the whole thing. the vs228h-p is a smaller monitor but it still has the same resolution making images more clear

heres what i would get. you can easily throw another 670 in in the future and overclock. theres plenty of headroom. you will install the OS and most of the apps on the SSD and the bulk files that dont need fast loading can go on the external or the 250gb HDD
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/clRB
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July 17, 2012 1:40:29 PM

Wow - fast replies! Especially as I thought the post didn't take (which is why the thread title was truncated). Thank you both; excellent food for thought and I will be making changes.
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July 17, 2012 1:56:32 PM

Well not realy an efficient build.

CPU: Go for the i5-3570k only +10$ for about +10% power. Even tomshardware removed the 2500k from its best CPU for the money list.

mobo: If your not going to do some heavy overclockign and go for a sli or crossfire set-up you would be good with a 130-140$ mobo

Ram: 16Gb is overkill for gaming but for a 2000$ budget I guess thats ok.

PSU. 800w is too much and the brand suck goes for corsair, seasonic, antec etc.

GPU. the 7850 is too weak for a 2000$ budget go for a 670gtx at 400$+ Trust me on that one my bro run BF3 on 3 monitor with a single 670gtx at ultra +4MSAA

SSD: You might want to add an SSD in a 2000$ budget. The crucialM4 is kinda hard to miss.

CPU cooler. If you want to overclock get an evo212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

otherwise go for an i5-3570 instead of an i5-3570k
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July 17, 2012 2:17:37 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
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: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($304.24 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1641.98
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

Here, better value for your money. A SSD, and a GTX670 will add a lot of performance to your original build. Motherboard and PSU are SLI-ready. I also put in a 1 TB HDD, you can never have too much storage these days :lol:  The monitor is 1200p and a lot better than what you had picked, though feel free to go with a cheap 1080p if you want to. I know I'm not going back from 1200p! And everything well below budget.
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July 17, 2012 2:21:36 PM

here's my idea of a $2000 build. I'm going to go ahead & Cossfire/SLI at this price point:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.89 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z77MA-G45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($111.99 @ eCost)
Memory: Pareema 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($243.16 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($243.16 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($51.00 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 650W ATX12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer V233HAJbd 23.0" Monitor ($138.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-101 Wired Standard Keyboard ($8.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Rosewill RM-2400L Wired Laser Mouse ($9.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1454.08
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

with 2x 7850, this will overkill a single monitor, but there is easily budget left to add two more monitors.

the micro ATX board has 2x PCIe X16 3.0 slots

not included: maximizing the fans, a card reader, or wi-fi. As is, you probly want to stick to wired for a gaming box, the extra fans can be had as a 4-pack of Rosewill fans for $12. A card reader that uses an on0mobo USB 2.0 slot is about $10 if you want it.

If you add 2 more monitors of the same type, plus fans and card reader brings you up to $1754.06 total. and you're good for triple screen gaming for at least 3 years
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July 17, 2012 2:25:55 PM

just get a regular TN panel for games. if you dont mind slower response times, id get a asus proart p238q(r)
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July 17, 2012 2:32:58 PM

ScrewySqrl said:


with 2x 7850, this will overkill a single monitor, but there is easily budget left to add two more monitors.



A single 670gtx at 400$ will run a 3monitor set-up while having the option to add a second one at a decreased price when the futur game will need more power.

A single 7850 is a great $/performance but CF HD7850 make little sense at this moment. You buy a 7850 if you can,t afford something bether and then you buy another when the price goes down. But you don't buy two 7850 asap.
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July 17, 2012 6:38:25 PM

IMO he should just throw in 50 extra bucks and go straight for the 670 sli

FinneousPJ said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
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: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($304.24 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1641.98
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

Here, better value for your money. A SSD, and a GTX670 will add a lot of performance to your original build. Motherboard and PSU are SLI-ready. I also put in a 1 TB HDD, you can never have too much storage these days :lol:  The monitor is 1200p and a lot better than what you had picked, though feel free to go with a cheap 1080p if you want to. I know I'm not going back from 1200p! And everything well below budget.

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July 17, 2012 7:05:14 PM

550w is enough for a 670 and a oc chip nowadays

the monitor is overkill
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July 17, 2012 8:56:03 PM

Whoa, information overload! Have pity on a guy who's just starting to relearn the entire biz!

Lot of food for thought, and thanks everyone for the great tips. I will have to spend some time thinking this all over. One thing: I sincerely doubt I'll ever be using multiple monitors, and even if I do, it almost certainly won't be more than two (I'm not much of a FPS gamer, so side-view setups aren't really a concern). Most likely multiple-monitor scenario for me would be for productivity (e.g., a word-processing monitor to the side of the desktop monitor). Not something I'm considering for the near future.
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July 17, 2012 10:42:20 PM

ok then. a 670 will max out all games (other than the witcher 2 with uber sampling) at 1080p with 80fps. should last you quite a long while
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July 18, 2012 4:08:37 AM

The monitor is perhaps the most important part of your system. It doesn't make sense to get a $2000 system with the cheapest $100 HD panel.
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July 18, 2012 11:00:44 AM

FinneousPJ said:
The monitor is perhaps the most important part of your system. It doesn't make sense to get a $2000 system with the cheapest $100 HD panel.


Yeah, I picked it out early in the process with "save money" as my mantra, and didn't bother going back later. Now that I've looked at the replies here and done some more research, I'll be upgrading the monitor.
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July 18, 2012 10:05:00 PM

Oi, my brain aches. First, thank you all for the many excellent pointers. Did a LOT more research, learned a good deal, not the least of which is the existence of PCPartPicker, which has been invaluable, right up there with Tom's Hardware and Newegg. I made a lot of changes in my build, and will likely make a few more after today before I start ordering parts on Friday.

Some issues: I am sorry, but the reviews on the mobos listed were a bit... unnerving. They all seem to have a very significant number of customer service and technical problems. I know from work that any individual component can be bad out of the box, and it doesn't necessarily reflect on the overall quality of a product, but these were Halloween stories. While they all certainly would have saved me money, that would have been contingent on whether or not they worked. The AsRock Extreme 4 in particular had recent reviews that claimed the board would not support Ivy Bridge without a BIOS update; which, in my case, would have to be done at an extra cost through the mail and involve me removing the BIOS chip. Ultimately, I sacrificed cost for (what had better be!) quality. Did not change... yet.

Also, the PSU I had listed was 700 watts, not 800, and according to the 50-75% optimal, a system running at 350-525 watts would be served well by it. Other plusses in the reviews and lack of major horror stories outside the norm found even in reviews of top-tier PSUs led me to stick with my first choice. Did not change.

Other than that: many changes. Still deliberating on a better monitor. My build so far is around $1700; here it is in it's natal state on PCPartPicker: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ctnb
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July 18, 2012 10:05:07 PM

Oi, my brain aches. First, thank you all for the many excellent pointers. Did a LOT more research, learned a good deal, not the least of which is the existence of PCPartPicker, which has been invaluable, right up there with Tom's Hardware and Newegg. I made a lot of changes in my build, and will likely make a few more after today before I start ordering parts on Friday.

Some issues: I am sorry, but the reviews on the mobos listed were a bit... unnerving. They all seem to have a very significant number of customer service and technical problems. I know from work that any individual component can be bad out of the box, and it doesn't necessarily reflect on the overall quality of a product, but these were Halloween stories. While they all certainly would have saved me money, that would have been contingent on whether or not they worked. The AsRock Extreme 4 in particular had recent reviews that claimed the board would not support Ivy Bridge without a BIOS update; which, in my case, would have to be done at an extra cost through the mail and involve me removing the BIOS chip. Ultimately, I sacrificed cost for (what had better be!) quality. Did not change... yet.

Also, the PSU I had listed was 700 watts, not 800, and according to the 50-75% optimal, a system running at 350-525 watts would be served well by it. Other plusses in the reviews and lack of major horror stories outside the norm found even in reviews of top-tier PSUs led me to stick with my first choice. Did not change.

Other than that: many changes. Still deliberating on a better monitor. My build so far is around $1700; here it is in it's natal state on PCPartPicker: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ctnb
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July 18, 2012 11:03:43 PM

id change a lot of things from your build. the sabertooth is not worth the money. so isnt the power supply and the case isnt that great given it is a older model

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ctMz

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