Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a new gaming system

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 19, 2012 4:59:47 AM

I'm starting to look at building a new gaming computer. I used to be all into hardware, but due to school I haven't paid much attention over the past few years. My current computer is is running Windows XP, with an Athlon 64 X2 4200+... so pretty much looking to upgrade everything.

I will be using the computer most to play games, I mostly play strategy games like Civilizations, Galactic Civilizations, Sins of a solar empire, and the like. I have also started to play Diablo III. I also have played the Fallout games, on low settings and would like to replay them on max settings.

I don't have a budget particularly, but would like to get the best bang for the buck....

So far, looking over what I've seen, I've pretty much decided on the following:

Video: Nvidia GTX 670 (haven't decided between brands so open to suggestions)

CPU: Intel i5-3570K or the i7-3770K. (Both are the same sockets, so depends on if at the end of the build if I think the $100 diff is worth the price)

Besides that, I'm pretty open, and looking for suggestions.

I will not be overclocking myself, so that doesn't matter to me. I also would like to leave open the option to SLI the boards in the future, though not a requirement... knowing myself, I'll never get around to buying another board. I will never triple or quad my build.

I have thought that Bluetooth would be a plus, so my wife and I can sync our phones to the computer, though is not an absolute necessary (though, don't have problems paying for it).

The computer will be connected via a wired Ethernet connection, so no need at all for WiFi.

I need a good amount of HDD space, was thinking of a SSD for a boot (decently large), and either a 2 TB secondary or two 1 TB, depending on what would be better price wise. I would like to have room to increase that in the future.

And, I would like to have the computer decently quiet. The computer will be sitting under a desk (not in a cubby hole so plenty of air flow), in the same room as my big screen TV. Would like it to not be a distraction when only using it as a file server for the network.

Lastly, an SD card reader of some sort would be nice, but not required, my laptop can read my camera SD card if needed, and the desktop will have the USB cable to download the whole card off the camera.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated, I'm starting pretty much from scratch on this. My wife gave me a blank check to upgrade my computer (within reason), and want to make sure I get something that meets my needs, that lasts as far into the future as possible (even if it requires going to low detail settings), and isn't TOO expensive.

I'm expecting the computer to cost around $2000 or so, though if it is worth it, don't mind spending more.

More about : building gaming system

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 5:09:36 AM

Howdy,

Quote:
so pretty much looking to upgrade everything.


And you need to, lol.

Quote:
I don't have a budget particularly, but would like to get the best bang for the buck....

I can do that. And no, it won't cost you quite 2 grand.

Quote:
CPU: Intel i5-3570K or the i7-3770K.

For gaming, and i5 is all you will ever need, the only difference between them and the i7 is the i7 has a feature no game uses nor likely ever will.

Quote:
I have thought that Bluetooth would be a plus, so my wife and I can sync our phones to the computer, though is not an absolute necessary (though, don't have problems paying for it).


My advice would be to get a USB style Bluetooth reciever, some motherboards do have them built in, but like motherboards with wireless built in, generally cost substantially more than it would be just to add the features yourself.

Gimme a few minutes to put a build together.
July 19, 2012 5:29:56 AM

Quote:

And you need to, lol.


Considering most of the motherboards I've looked at don't even have IDE anymore, which means I can't even keep using my old optical drives... Yea, Everything.

Quote:

For gaming, and i5 is all you will ever need, the only difference between them and the i7 is the i7 has a feature no game uses nor likely ever will.


I've seen this a lot, so that is one reason I'm really looking at the I5. From what I can tell the only real difference is the I7 has hyper threading on it.... While I doubt I'll see much difference now between the two, I do wonder what might happen in about 3 or 4 years. Specially with Stardock's strategy games, since I know they are pushing toward making their games more multi-threaded, since they they are so CPU centered.... I'm just thinking it might be worth an extra $100 now to be prepared for a possible future.... Thought, again, since they are the same socket, it doesn't really affect the rest of the possible build.

Quote:


My advice would be to get a USB style Bluetooth reciever, some motherboards do have them built in, but like motherboards with wireless built in, generally cost substantially more than it would be just to add the features yourself.


I'm sure it does cost more, and I would be totally happy with a USB receiver, and will probably do that.

Honestly, I spent all yesterday on my day off looking at video cards, deciding between an ATI (or I guess it is AMD now) or Nvidia card, and then between AMD and Intel for processor. Then I got to the motherboard, and there were so many options, it was hard to pick. So, that is when I figured I'd ask for help.
Related resources
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 5:32:56 AM

I looked all over newegg for a flash card reader that was internal for one of the CD Rom trays, unfortunately I wasn't able to find one that I thought was quality made. They all seemed like junk so I guess this is as good as it gets:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

CPU- 3570K $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard- Asus Sabertooth Z77 $240 (nicer/more expensive than it needs to be, mainly picked for the 5 year warranty it has- most motherboards are only 3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM- G.Skill 8GB (2x4) $46
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card- GTX 670 $400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD- Crucial M4 256GB $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD- Seagate 2TB- $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power- Corsair TX750v2 $99 with Mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD burner- $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7- $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case- NZXT Phantom $120 (nicer than it needs to be, I have one, I love it, they are available in other colors)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitors, Keyboards, Printers, Mice I'll leave to your discretion unless you're having trouble picking em.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 5:40:03 AM

Quote:
Considering most of the motherboards I've looked at don't even have IDE anymore, which means I can't even keep using my old optical drives... Yea, Everything

LOL, IDE went end of life several years ago. They do make SATA to IDE adapters, I have a couple of them. They're all junk, much like the internal flash card readers it seems. They really aren't suitable for doing anything other than getting the data off your old IDE drives before you toss em in the garbage.

The HyperThreading, don't hold your breath on. The dirty little secret is, despite how much prettier games have gotten graphically, they're still largely using the same programming languages they were using 15 years ago. I know, what a scary thought. To be honest with you, no matter how nice of a CPU you buy today, its still going to be nothing special in 4-5 years. Thats unfortunately just the way it is.

As far as AMD and Intel CPUs, for gaming, Intel holds the high ground, hands down. And I'm a die hard AMD guy, so if I'm telling you that, it means something. :lol: 

Now video cards are another matter. You might want to consider an AMD 7970 in lieu of of the GTX 670. The 7970 recently (as I learned earlier tonight actually), had a drivers update which actually puts them ahead of GTX 670 performance. Now of course the GTX 670 is fairly new, and I'm sure at some point Nvidia will fire back with driver updates of their own. Between the 670 and 7970, they're both juggernauts though. You can't go wrong either way.
July 19, 2012 5:57:32 AM

Would you prefer to save money or try to get closer to your max budget?

Because it seems like what you're going to be playing you could spend significantly less, and still have an awesome machine.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 6:00:35 AM

lycros said:
Would you prefer to save money or try to get closer to your max budget?

Because it seems like what you're going to be playing you could spend significantly less, and still have an awesome machine.

True. I've never heard of those games, but my guess is that GTX 670s are massive overkill for em. Even so, I'd pit this build up against a $3,000 Alienware pre-built anyway.
July 19, 2012 6:05:32 AM

I notice you didn't add any coolers into your suggested build. For someone who doesn't plan to overclock at all, is the stock cooler actually decent? Should I worry about the cooler at all? You said you had that same case, is there enough room to add a larger (and quieter cooler) if I wished?

I notice the optical drive doesn't actually specify its interface, I'm assuming most optical drives run on SATA now a days?

As for keyboard, mouse, monitor, I'm assuming my current mouse and keyboard will work since they are both USB (and if any problems I'm sure can buy locally), and I have a 24 inch HDTV that is used as just a monitor right now.

I've been AMD for the longest time, this will actually be my first CPU with an Intel CPU since my Pentium-133 (not including the Core2 Duo laptop I have). Though, I've always been Nvidia, never used ATI. My first 3D card was a Voodoo 2 with 3dFX (though now bought by Nvidia), and have used various Nvidia cards for awhile.

I actually used to have a job with Monarch Computer (if anyone remembers them) custom building computers, and also did tech support. Though, that was when PCI-E first came out, and was competing with AGP. I left for school shortly after my last upgrade, and finally have the chance 5 or so years later to upgrade again... Computer tech goes so fast that everything changes if you don't keep up!

July 19, 2012 6:10:48 AM

No overclocking then no need for a k model or aftermarket cooler. Contrary to popular belief intel stock coolers are pretty decent (quiet) when cooling a stock CPU.

Also, I'd suggest looking into a case yourself. Pick out a few that you think are aesthetically pleasing, and we can tell you if it's a good case.
July 19, 2012 6:17:27 AM

Quote:
Would you prefer to save money or try to get closer to your max budget?


Honestly, money is not the biggest limitation for me right now. No need to spend money if it isn't worth it, plus or minus. As long as it is worth it, I'll spend it.

Quote:
True. I've never heard of those games, but my guess is that GTX 670s are massive overkill for em. Even so, I'd pit this build up against a $3,000 Alienware pre-built anyway.


You've never heard of Civilization or Galactic Civilization? Then you are REALLY missing out.... Though, they are strategy games, so more CPU intensive then GPU, so I'll agree the GTX 670 is overkill.... but from what I can tell so far, it is the best bang for the buck (in a high level card), so sounds good to me.

Quote:
$370 for a 7970 with 8 games and an hdmi cable


Is an ATI (sorry, AMD) 7970 really worth it? From the reviews I've read so far the GTX 670 seems to be the best value so far for a high end video card... Remember, I don't plan on overclocking...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 6:17:35 AM

Quote:
I notice you didn't add any coolers into your suggested build. For someone who doesn't plan to overclock at all, is the stock cooler actually decent?


Yes, its sufficient. The CPU I put up is an overclockable CPU (thats what the K in the model number denotes), the non-K equivilent is only a few bucks cheaper, its nice to keep your options open for that reason especially if you have the budget for it. Now, if you have even an inkling that you might want to consider overclocking some day you might consider getting a decent CPU cooler like this one so you don't have to go through the hassle of changing it later:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as the NZXT Phantom is concerned, I've said this a few times on the forum, so I kinda feel cheap that I'm repeating myself so much, but really the pictures on the website don't really do justice to how big they really are. They're huge. Yes they have plenty of room to add just about any kinda of extra part you can think of, including bigger CPU coolers, or even a huge watercooling unit if you desired.


All modern optical drives are SATA interface, yes. IDEs really are that dead lol.

Yes, your keyboard mouse and monitor will work. Although you might consider running a dual monitor setup at some point. They're awesome for multitasking. I could never go back to a single monitor system.

As far as AMD/ATI video cards, AMD's CPUs may be a disappointment now, but their video cards can hold their own against Nvidia any day of the week. I've mostly used Nvidia cards myself, but I will say that AMD has the better video cards at most price points currently.

I know computer tech changes too damn fast. I'm in school for it now, I had to take a class last semester about Windows 7. Stupid class considering I had already used Windows7 for 2 years on my own, I could teach it, but hell by the time I get my BS degree, I wonder if I'll have to take a Windows 8 and a Windows 9 class? :lol: 

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 6:22:06 AM

lycros said:

Also, I'd suggest looking into a case yourself. Pick out a few that you think are aesthetically pleasing, and we can tell you if it's a good case.


I second that. I have default "go to" suggestions depending on someone's budget, but I know different people have different tastes in cases. There are plenty of cases that are just as good as the Phantom in terms of quality, one does not need to get one just because of my fetish with it. :lol: 

Quote:
What you've never heard of those.... they're all strategy games :p 


LOL, I've been living under a bridge apparently. I'll have to look into it. Although, my boyfriend would argue, strategizing is not one of my strong suits. :kaola: 

Quote:
Check out http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] R9R9Hrp8Vg

$370 for a 7970 with 8 games and an hdmi cable


That in my opinion ends the debate between the 7970 and the 670.. Heckuva deal!
July 19, 2012 6:27:10 AM

Yeah, the 7970 at that price is a steal, not to mention the extras you'd be getting, as well as lifetime warranty with registration.
July 19, 2012 6:43:16 AM

Quote:
Also, I'd suggest looking into a case yourself. Pick out a few that you think are aesthetically pleasing, and we can tell you if it's a good case.


As far as cases go, is there anything I need to makes sure I have? Besides a USB 3.0 port in the front?

I'm not a stickler on how something looks, it is going to be under a desk and out of sight mostly anyhow. To me, the most important thing is to have room to build inside (hate cramped cases), the ports required in front (don't actually have any USB 3.0 devices so far, but Tom's Hardware seems to make a big deal out of it... my experience goes to when 1.1 and 2.0 first came out.). And to have plenty of expansion spaces. At the beginning, I'll start with 1 5.25 optic (probably), 1 3.5 HDD, and a 2.5 SSD. But, will probably add more 3.5 storage drives in the future.

And of course air flow, can't forget that.
July 19, 2012 6:48:03 AM

What about windows, quietness, cooling, material, color, lights, cable management?
July 19, 2012 6:54:48 AM

edit: double post
July 19, 2012 7:01:36 AM

lycros said:
What about windows, quietness, cooling, material, color, lights, cable management?


Don't care much about if there is a window or not. not a plus or a minus. Quietness is always a plus. cooling is a double plus, material or color doesn't matter much (I've had a black CDROM drive in a white case for the past 5 years), lights not a big deal.....

Cable Management.... Back when I built computers, that was a humongous deal.... had to have everything neat before it went to the customer, blah blah blah..... As for myself, I would like to have places to route cables, and a power supply that doesn't have extra cables to tie off... So, yes, neat, but not perfectionist neat like they wanted when I did it for a living.
July 19, 2012 3:03:18 PM

Usually when the case is more quiet it doesn't cool as well as when it's loud (ie louder fans, more opened mesh case.

Some people are really anal towards both sides of the spectrum, they'll do anything they can to lower the temps a few degrees, while some prefer silence at the cost of heat.

Honestly, I prefer the quiet. It may run a little hotter, but it doesn't really affect much.

I tend to like cases like these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|11-345-012^11-345-012-TS%2C11-139-011^11-139-011-TS%2C11-345-009^11-345-009-TS%2C11-112-337^11-112-337-TS%2C11-163-190^11-163-190-TS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|11-352-013^11-352-013-TS%2C11-129-179^11-129-179-TS%2C11-163-188^11-163-188-TS%2C11-112-304^11-112-304-TS

And you can find a lot of these with or without windows and in different colors (black/white/silver)

I'd compare prices /w shipping with amazon.

This is a good PSU/RAM combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Here is a review of the PSU: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 3:26:14 PM

What you have to watch out for is smaller fans that run at higher RPMs, these are the ones that tend to make more noise. The nice thing about a computer with a fan speed control is that you can adjust the speed if you find the fans are too loud.

I will say that the Phantom is pretty quiet with its fans running at full speed. But then again, maybe I'm not the one to ask about what makes a quiet system as I'm the kind of person who runs a box fan in my room in winter for the ambient noise when I sleep.
July 19, 2012 3:40:49 PM

nekulturny said:
I'm the kind of person who runs a box fan in my room in winter for the ambient noise when I sleep.


lol

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2012 3:42:27 PM

I'm serious lol. I dunno what it is, I can't sleep without a fan running.
!