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Assistance for a First Time Builder - Gaming PC

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July 25, 2012 5:04:24 PM

Okay, so this will be my first time building my own system. I'm fairly technically literate, but I've found the more I read, the more confused I get :\

I was hoping to perhaps just get some assistance going through the process, I have a very rough idea of how this is done, but I don't have the money to be botching it, so I figured it would be prudent to seek the advice of others better informed.

As my username would suggest, I'm a Canuck. The primary place I would be looking to purchase from is NCIX.com (I can do price matching easily enough), though I'm willing to order anywhere the price is good and shipping isn't extortionate.

My reason for upgrading my system is twofold: I purchased an HP which has served me well, but unfortunately, my favourite games are only getting about 13 FPS. Yea. Games in question? ArmA 2 and, when it comes out, ArmA 3. My objective with this system would be to play those on near-top settings smoothly. As well, I just want to be able to say I've actually built a system.

The info I should probably include:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Whenever I've gotten this figured out.

Budget Range: It really depends. I think $1500-1600 is about the maximum I can justify.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming. Probably the most intensive game I will be playing in the foreseeable future is ArmA 3, so it doesn't have to be utterly powerful, but I'd like something to run that as best I can. Naturally, such a system can do pretty much everything else I'm looking to do just fine. I guess I should mention I'm looking for something nice and snappy.

Are you buying a monitor: Potentially, but that's something I can figure out on my own.


Parts to Upgrade: Full build. I'll probably be selling the HP to recoup something.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes / No
I should probably include the OS disk with the HP for sale, so yea, I'd be looking to get a nice copy of W7 HP 64x.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX would be the main, but as mentioned before, if there's a better place to get something, I'd consider it.

Location: Edm, Alberta, Canada. No local stores, save memory express.

Parts Preferences: The only thing I'm partial to really is getting a nice Intel processor. Beyond that, it's whatever fits my needs.

Overclocking: I don't have a deep wallet, so it's probably not the best idea.

SLI or Crossfire: One GFX should be plenty for what I'm looking to do.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080. I don't know of any games I want that'd be running in 2560.

Additional Comments:
- As far as cases go, I'd prefer to avoid lighting, etc. A window is fine, but not as an extra expense.
- Again, I'm not a hardcore, must-have-the-best gamer. I'm just looking to get something to play up to ArmA 3 on High gfx.
- Speed. If there are higher end parts for improving system performance (save SSD - I don't have the money and I've heard they have reliability issues) I might be willing to go for them. RAM, etc.
- No water cooling. Unless it is utterly necessary, I'd really rather not risk it.
- Definitely an aftermarket heatsink.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:
- Older computer, lots of fun new tech out to play with.
- Play my games on more than 13 FPS. ArmA 3 and Company of Heroes 2 are probably going to be the most intensive I use. I'd like to play them on high settings and still get a useable framerate.
--------------------------------------------------------------

As far as my thoughts go, I'm looking for a fairly high end GFX, no special sound card (I'm not much of an audiophile), enough RAM, I think 8GB would be great, an intel i5 w/ ivy bridge, some USB 3.0, and 500GB < HDD. The case can be as big as it needs to be, but ideally I would like something at a bit more of a budget. < $150.

I hope I can ask for this sort of help here, hahaha.
July 25, 2012 5:16:02 PM

Quote:
As far as my thoughts go, I'm looking for a fairly high end GFX, no special sound card (I'm not much of an audiophile), enough RAM, I think 8GB would be great, an intel i5 w/ ivy bridge, some USB 3.0, and 500GB < HDD. The case can be as big as it needs to be, but ideally I would like something at a bit more of a budget. < $150.


Yeah a sound card is not needed. The onboard audio of your motherboard will work fine, it's all I ever use.

Quote:
- No water cooling. Unless it is utterly necessary, I'd really rather not risk it.


If it's your first build it's definitely not a good idea to risk it, even with a plastic loop.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1162.88
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-25 13:16 EDT-0400)
July 25, 2012 5:58:50 PM

For Arma 3, I don't think it needs a 7950. A 7850 would be plenty IMO.
Related resources
July 25, 2012 6:05:03 PM

1920x1080 w/ High gfx?
July 25, 2012 6:07:38 PM

Nvm, ignore that. Just read Arma 3 is graphically intensive.
July 25, 2012 6:09:12 PM

azeem40 said:
Nvm, ignore that. Just read Arma 3 is graphically intensive.


Yeah you'll need a really high end GPU for that game, I definitely want to play it when it's out.
Anonymous
July 25, 2012 6:13:39 PM

I like the build G-unit put up for you. However, I would swap the AMD gfx card for a 670 from Nvidia.

670 with i5 is just awesome. These cards are typically $399 and are very impressive to say the least.
July 25, 2012 6:16:16 PM

Quote:
I like the build G-unit put up for you. However, I would swap the AMD gfx card for a 670 from Nvidia.

670 with i5 is just awesome. These cards are typically $399 and are very impressive to say the least.


You can't go wrong either way. I'm running a 7870 and it's a pretty impressive GPU in its' own right.
Anonymous
July 25, 2012 6:30:32 PM

G-unit is right. Benchmarks are cool and all, but anything over 60 fps would largely remain unnoticed. This year with release of 600 series, I just had to try it. So, I am partial to suggest what`s in mine. OP, you will enjoy whatever performance card you decide on.
July 25, 2012 7:56:03 PM

It looks good, I'll do a little research on my own, and I'll see what I can come up with. When I'm done, I'll post here, just to get a compatibility audit or some further suggestions.
August 9, 2012 4:34:35 PM

Hi! I'm back again, hahaha. Anyhow, I like what I've seen in this build but have a few more questions:
1. The case. No me gusta. Would an Antec 302 Gaming Case fit those components?
2. I forgot to mention I'd like to install a built in N wireless card too.

Also, ASrock.... do they make good motherboards? I was considering subbing that out for an ASUS motherboard, but if ASRock is high quality at a lower price, I'll go with that.

So far, what I'm thinking:
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 ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.86 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.98 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.62 @ Amazon)
Total: $1126.39
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-09 12:38 EDT-0400)

(Also, if anyone has suggestions regarding GPU brand or if it's worth paying the extra for a 4GB vs. 2GB, please let me know)
August 9, 2012 6:32:33 PM

ASRock is good quality at a low price.
August 10, 2012 11:25:45 PM

Do the parts look like they'll work together? I want to make sure I have enough space in my case for the heatsink and taller components, but I haven't the slightest clue how to determine that accurately.
August 10, 2012 11:55:26 PM

I'd take the higher RAM and memory bandwith for Arma 2 over the 670 any day. It would be one of the few games that would take advantage of that memory.
August 11, 2012 12:21:10 AM

http://www.directcanada.com <------ Free Shipping on orders over $50

http://www.bestdirect.ca <------ Free Shipping on orders over $80


*** For a single card build (no option to add a second vid card later on for a dual card set up) then look at this psu and board down below. Add the rest of the components from the build right below it (minus the psu and motherboard of course). btw that XFX 550w psu will easily power a GTX 680 let alone a GTX 670 or a GTX 660 ti.


http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC2961&v... 62.02
XFX 550W PRO550W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 44A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Bronze

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD2284&v... $77.94
ASUS P8B75-M/CSM mATX LGA1155 B75 DDR3 1PCI-E16 1PCI-E4 2PCI SATA3 DVI HDMI USB3.0 Motherboard



*** This build allows you to add another one of those cards later on in SLI.


http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC3384&v... $73.50
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Gaming Case ATX 3X5.25 4X3.5 Front USB Audio No PSU

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC8566&v... $80.20
XFX 650W PRO650W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 53A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Bronze PSU

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD6547&v... $145.81 MIR $125.81
ASUS P8Z77-V Lk ATX LGA1155 Z77 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA3 SLI DVI HDMI DP USB3.0 Motherboard

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD7004&v... $196.56
Intel Core i5 3470 Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.2GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211&v... $42.95
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530DR5213&v... $17.58
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14120DR5445&v... $79.79
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA 6Gbps 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/241539/SDSSDX-120G-G2... $109.99
SanDisk Extreme 120GB 2.5IN SATA3 6GB/S SandForce SF-2281 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD

http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-600/geforce-gtx-66... <----- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 TI 2GB (due for release August 16th, est. retail $300 USD)

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12850SW2113&v... $97.79
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM

Total: $1,144.17 *not including rebates and tax



*** Alternative psu and vid card. Just switch out the psu and vid card up above with these down below. (Total w/changes: $1,255.47 *not including rebates and tax)

http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/233768/P1750SNLB9/XFX... $99.70
XFX 750W PRO750W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Bronze PSU

http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/243162/GV-N670OC-2GD/... $391.80
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC 980MHZ 2GB 6.0GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card


http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950MN9866&v... $141.02 MIR $131.02
ASUS VE228H 21.5IN Widescreen LCD Monitor 1920X1080 LED Backlit 5MS 10M:1DC HDMI DVI-D VGA


http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7... <----- another look at that Asus board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <------ another look at that Corsair case
August 11, 2012 3:57:05 AM

Does anybody know of a decent Wireless N card I can stick in the system?

Also, can someone please answer my question: will those components actually fit in that case I mentioned (the Antec 302 Gaming case)
August 11, 2012 4:05:57 AM

canadianvice said:
Does anybody know of a decent Wireless N card I can stick in the system?

Also, can someone please answer my question: will those components actually fit in that case I mentioned (the Antec 302 Gaming case)

Although Iv'e never used that case myself according to the online reviews on it (google) it shouldn't be any problem fitting those components including a decent sized card.


http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530NW1986&v... $48.36
ASUS PCE-N53 Dual Band Wireless N PCI-E Network Adapter

or...

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950NW7051&v... $42.55
TP-Link TL-WDN4800 450MBPS DUAL-BAND Wireless N PCI-E Adapter Atheros 3T3R 2.4/5GHZ 802 11A/B/G/N

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10370AC7501&v... $63.62
Antec Three Hundred Two Mid Tower Gaming Case 302 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB3.0 & Audio
!