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$1500 New PC from Scratch Need advice

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July 27, 2012 8:20:42 PM

Updated Aug/12 - Bought following:
- Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB
- WD Black 1 TB
- Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
- LiteOn IHAS124-04 DVD Writer

Updated Aug/9 - Bought Asus P8Z77-V LK

Updated Aug/2 - Bought Corsair 500R


Approximate Purchase Date: This month ~ next month

Budget Range: $1500 Max before tax

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, coding

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Need all the parts

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Haven't used any websites for PC parts before but I've heard newegg.ca, NCIS, MemoryExpress are good. Also can drive to Canada Computers, Tigerdirect.

Location: Toronto, Canada

Parts Preferences: CPU - Intel, GPU - NVIDIA(but I can go for AMD if have to) more detail on each part at the bottom

Overclocking: Maybe(even if I do it not a lot)

SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment but wouldn't mind buying parts that allows it for future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920*1080, 22+

Additional Comments: I've been out of the PC game for a while now.
I been using gaming laptop for last 5~6 years(Yes gaming laptops got outdated very fast. Each lasting barely 2 years, but I had to travel around a lot). This computer will be used for many thing but since I don't do any graphic work, gaming will test the hardware the most.

Here are some parts I have been looking into

My budget is around $1500 including keyboard + monitor. (so probably $1200 just for the tower)
I would like a mechanical keyboard if I have funds remaining but I could just spend more on core computer parts.

Here are some parts/specs I am considering(you can probably tell that I like Tom Hardware's suggestion + forum here).

Case
Updated Aug/2 - Bought : Corsair 500R

PSU
Budget estimate: Max $150
A. bronze +,
B. good company
C. doesn't have to be modular but of course it doesn't hurt
D. 650W - 750W

1. Corsair TX750 V2 - bronze
2. XFX PRO750W - silver
3. Antec Truepower New 750W - Bronze
4. More suggestion welcome

MOBO
Updated Aug/9 - Bought Asus P8Z77-V LK

CPU
Budget estimate: Max $230(whatever i5-3570k price)
1. i5-3570k

Graphic Card
Budget estimate: Max $420
1. EVGA GTX670 FTW
2. EGVA GTX670
3. Other GTX670
4. May consider HD 7970 (for a good price)

RAM
Updated Aug/12 - Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB

Hard drive
Updated Aug/12 - WD Black 1 TB

SSD
Budget estimate: $0 or $125
A. I would like SSD but if I am missing funds I can add this piece after
B. If I do get it 120GB+

1. Crucial M4 128gb
2. Sandisk Extreme 120GB
3. Mushkin Chronos 120GB

Seperate heatsink & cooler
Updated Aug/12 - Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo

DVD-drive
Updated Aug/12 - LiteOn IHAS124-04 DVD Writer

Monitor
Budget estimate: Max $250
A. 22inch +
B. 1080P (I think this is given now a days?)
C. I don't need a super good monitor. As long as I can game that's fine(only other time I use computer is when I am coding for work)

1. Asus VS239H-P
2. Asus VH238H 23.0"
3. Asus VE228H 21.5"

Other stuff
1. wifi card
2. sound card(not required)
3. mechanical keyboard(either mechanical or nothing. I don't like those non-mechanical gaming keyboards. would stick with $10 keyboard if no money left for mechanical keyboard)

If I add all the prices together it's about $1790. But this is adding up all the max price on each component. I am sure you guys can help me choose the good parts and lower that down to $1500.

I am not in hurry to build this computer, which is why a lot of components I only have preference but no model chosen. I could even wait until end of the year if you guys think I could get a better deal (or better parts for money like GTX 660 Ti)

I am looking for expert opinion on
1. Is my distribution of budget for each part makes sense
2. For those ones that I have listed models, if they are good for my need, alternative ones you would suggest?
3. Suggestion on parts for those I didn't list any model names

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

More about : 1500 scratch advice

July 27, 2012 8:58:29 PM

Your are overallocating money for a monitor unless you want an IPS panel (from your comments that doesn't sound like the case). You can get a 22+ inch LED backlit LCD for under 200$ easily.

I'd say its a shame to not have an SSD on a 1500$ budget.

I'd recommend a USB wifi card. I got one from ASUS and it works great (dual band).

You don't need a sound card.

You can get a silver rated 80+ modular 600-700W PSU that will easily handle a 670 + OC for around 100$ if not less on sale.

RAM shouldn't cost you more than 20-30$

A good heat sink will cost you less than 30$

Just trying to give you better ballparks. I liked most of the selections you made for a 1500$ budget. I do think you overestimated the cost of a few components by quite a bit.
July 27, 2012 9:11:39 PM

Kamab said:
Your are overallocating money for a monitor unless you want an IPS panel (from your comments that doesn't sound like the case). You can get a 22+ inch LED backlit LCD for under 200$ easily.

I'd say its a shame to not have an SSD on a 1500$ budget.

I'd recommend a USB wifi card. I got one from ASUS and it works great (dual band).

You don't need a sound card.

You can get a silver rated 80+ modular 600-700W PSU that will easily handle a 670 + OC for around 100$ if not less on sale.

RAM shouldn't cost you more than 20-30$

A good heat sink will cost you less than 30$

Just trying to give you better ballparks. I liked most of the selections you made for a 1500$ budget. I do think you overestimated the cost of a few components by quite a bit.


Thanks for the fast reply.
Yeah my money allocation is the maximum amount of money I would spend on each part, I agree I did put quite a bit of space on some parts but not as much on others.

Any money I save will probably go to ssd drive (from your suggestion money I would save from monitor + RAM + heatsink will get me a 128G SSD)

Only reason I went for 750W for PSU is in case I want to go SLI/Crossfire later on. But I would consider 600~700W.

Do you have any suggestion on any particular model on any items?
Thank you
Related resources
July 27, 2012 9:28:44 PM


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 ($34.99 @ Newegg)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)

Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1422.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


Throw in a kb/mouse and you can max any game.
July 27, 2012 9:54:15 PM

CORSAIR Professional Series HX650

GTX 670

i5-3570k

Check tom's for mobo reviews for one of the Z77 boards you were looking at.

I like the crucial M4 SSDs (seems pretty reliable). Toggle NAND drives perform better in benchmarks, but its hard to notice in real life :p . Go with whats on sale.

The Cooler Master 212 coolers are pretty good
July 27, 2012 10:07:07 PM

add mouse and keyboard PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.79 @ DirectCanada)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($400.16 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Monitor: Asus VS248H-P 24.0" Monitor ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $1429.85
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-27 18:06 EDT-0400)
July 27, 2012 11:44:38 PM

Here you go:

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 ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ 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: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1531.87
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-27 19:44 EDT-0400)

A little bit over budget but add whatever keyboard and mouse you want and you're good to go.
July 28, 2012 4:21:33 AM

Wow you guys are fast!
Thank you for all the advice and information.
I will review them and ask more questions soon:D 

One big question I have.
Should I wait until Nov~Dec for Black Friday/Boxing day sales? (Just not sure how much sale are on computer parts during those time)
I don't have to have the computer now but if not much more benefit than I could get it now.
Also by that time GTX660Ti would be out (gives me another option to look at)
I would assume the parts that will have a big sale would be Monitor/HDD/case where as CPU/MOBO/GPU wouldn't have a big sale.
I know the usual answer is if you start waiting for things I would never get a computer but just curious on usual sales around the holiday times.

Thank you again.
July 28, 2012 4:48:13 AM

I'd go with g-unit's build. 23" for 1080p has more pixels per inch than 24".
July 28, 2012 5:02:39 AM

azeem40 said:
I'd go with g-unit's build. 23" for 1080p has more pixels per inch than 24".
The OP Location: Toronto, Canada so his build has to be redone
July 28, 2012 5:05:55 AM

Still stands that 23" is more preferable to 24" at 1080p. :) 
July 28, 2012 5:51:00 AM

bigcyco1 said:
The OP Location: Toronto, Canada so his buil has to be redone


Not really - just replace the links in newegg.com with newegg.ca - same thing.
July 28, 2012 5:52:49 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Not really - just replace the links in newegg.com with newegg.ca - same thing.

And that would most likely push the build above his budget since newegg.ca has items that are more expensive since he lives in CA.
July 28, 2012 6:06:11 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Not really - just replace the links in newegg.com with newegg.ca - same thing.
true but it will go over budget i think but anyways doesn't matter to me we both have enough best answers to last a life time :na:  he can still use either build to get the general idea of what to get ;) 
July 28, 2012 7:01:47 AM

lastsd said:
Wow you guys are fast!
Thank you for all the advice and information.
I will review them and ask more questions soon:D 

One big question I have.
Should I wait until Nov~Dec for Black Friday/Boxing day sales? (Just not sure how much sale are on computer parts during those time)
I don't have to have the computer now but if not much more benefit than I could get it now.
Also by that time GTX660Ti would be out (gives me another option to look at)
I would assume the parts that will have a big sale would be Monitor/HDD/case where as CPU/MOBO/GPU wouldn't have a big sale.
I know the usual answer is if you start waiting for things I would never get a computer but just curious on usual sales around the holiday times.

Thank you again.
It might be worth it i can't say for sure :??: 
July 28, 2012 7:03:33 AM

It's only worth it if you think your system is good enough for what you do now.
July 28, 2012 7:21:30 AM

azeem40 said:
And that would most likely push the build above his budget since newegg.ca has items that are more expensive since he lives in CA.


Actually at current rate of exchange - 1,500.00 CAD = 1,494.99 USD
Canadian Dollar ↔ US Dollar
1 CAD = 0.996661 USD 1 USD = 1.00335 CAD

So it doesn't really make that much of a difference.
July 28, 2012 8:46:26 PM

EDIT: Are on-board wi-fi cards worth it (for models like P8Z77-V, GA-Z77X-UD5H, or just go for ones without wifi and get a usb wifi card?)

I am trying to narrow down mother board first

Price: ASrock > Asus & MSI & Gigabyte
Reputation: Asus & Gigabyte > ASrock & MSI

With most suggesting ASrock Extreme 4 for the price.
However up here in Canada the price is a bit different.

Here are some prices (using http://pcpartpicker.com/ca)

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 $150
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 $190

Asus P8Z77-V LK $126 (good sale but probably won't buy this week so $135)
Asus P8Z77-V $185
Asus SABERTOOTH Z77$230

Biostar TZ77XE3 $140

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H $150
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H $178

MSI Z77A-GD65 $140

Canada price are usually higher than US but ASRock margin seems bigger than other company.

Thank you in advance.
July 29, 2012 5:48:13 AM

lastsd said:
EDIT: Are on-board wi-fi cards worth it (for models like P8Z77-V, GA-Z77X-UD5H, or just go for ones without wifi and get a usb wifi card?)

I am trying to narrow down mother board first

Price: ASrock > Asus & MSI & Gigabyte
Reputation: Asus & Gigabyte > ASrock & MSI

With most suggesting ASrock Extreme 4 for the price.
However up here in Canada the price is a bit different.

Here are some prices (using http://pcpartpicker.com/ca)

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 $150
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 $190

Asus P8Z77-V LK $126 (good sale but probably won't buy this week so $135)
Asus P8Z77-V $185
Asus SABERTOOTH Z77$230

Biostar TZ77XE3 $140

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H $150
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H $178

MSI Z77A-GD65 $140

Canada price are usually higher than US but ASRock margin seems bigger than other company.

Thank you in advance.


The Asrock Extreme 4 or Gigabyte UD3H will be the best bets in that category. The UD5H is quite nice as well.
July 29, 2012 2:33:21 PM

g-unit1111 said:
The Asrock Extreme 4 or Gigabyte UD3H will be the best bets in that category. The UD5H is quite nice as well.


Hi thank you for helping me a lot :) 
One question. Do you have experience with MSI boards ?
The reason why I ask is that MSI Z77A-GD65 seems to have high reviews from review sites but I almost ever see people recommending that board over similarly priced Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H, ASRock Z77 Extreme4, Asus P8Z77-V LK.

I know in US ASRock Z77 Extreme4, Asus P8Z77-V LK are cheaper than the MSI and Gigabyte.

Maybe MSI just isn't as famous?
Tom Hardware's review chose MSI Z77A-GD65 over GA-Z77X-UD3H
July 29, 2012 4:03:44 PM

Any of those are fine. Most people recommend the extreme4 for price and popularity, but that doesn't mean the other choices are not good.
July 29, 2012 10:16:23 PM

Here are parts I have narrowed it down to (narrow it down than look for great deal is my plan :D )
CPU: i5-3570k
GPU: GTX670/ GTX 660ti(if I wait that long)
MOBO: (mentioned above in more detail)
no wifi - ASRock Z77 Extreme4/Asus P8Z77-V LK/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H/MSI Z77A-GD65
with wifi - Asus P8Z77-V/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

So I have looked at cases today that are less than $100
Corsair 400R - $100
Corsair 500R(over budget) - $105/$120(white)
Cooler Master HAF 922 - $96
Cooler Master Strom Enforcer - $89
Cooler Master 690 ii advance - $90
Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower - $100
NZXT Phantom 410 (over budget) - $120

Just posting it to get some feedbacks and for other people who are looking at similar set of computer as I am.

Now time to investigate on PSU!
July 29, 2012 10:17:09 PM

For CF/SLI 670, 750W is plenty.
July 29, 2012 10:24:06 PM

azeem40 said:
For CF/SLI 670, 750W is plenty.


Yeah, that's why I am looking for 700W + PSU.
Do you have any recommendation ?
Thanks
July 30, 2012 2:38:02 AM

lastsd said:
Here are parts I have narrowed it down to (narrow it down than look for great deal is my plan :D )
CPU: i5-3570k
GPU: GTX670/ GTX 660ti(if I wait that long)
MOBO: (mentioned above in more detail)
no wifi - ASRock Z77 Extreme4/Asus P8Z77-V LK/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H/MSI Z77A-GD65
with wifi - Asus P8Z77-V/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

So I have looked at cases today that are less than $100
Corsair 400R - $100
Corsair 500R(over budget) - $105/$120(white)
Cooler Master HAF 922 - $96
Cooler Master Strom Enforcer - $89
Cooler Master 690 ii advance - $90
Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower - $100
NZXT Phantom 410 (over budget) - $120

Just posting it to get some feedbacks and for other people who are looking at similar set of computer as I am.

Now time to investigate on PSU!


I personally like the Corsair 400R, Fractal Design Arc MIDI. and Phantom 410 out of all of those.
July 30, 2012 3:13:59 AM

lastsd said:
Here are parts I have narrowed it down to (narrow it down than look for great deal is my plan :D )
CPU: i5-3570k
GPU: GTX670/ GTX 660ti(if I wait that long)
MOBO: (mentioned above in more detail)
no wifi - ASRock Z77 Extreme4/Asus P8Z77-V LK/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H/MSI Z77A-GD65
with wifi - Asus P8Z77-V/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

So I have looked at cases today that are less than $100
Corsair 400R - $100
Corsair 500R(over budget) - $105/$120(white)
Cooler Master HAF 922 - $96
Cooler Master Strom Enforcer - $89
Cooler Master 690 ii advance - $90
Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower - $100
NZXT Phantom 410 (over budget) - $120

Just posting it to get some feedbacks and for other people who are looking at similar set of computer as I am.

Now time to investigate on PSU!
Cooler Master Strom Enforcer not to long ago won a toms hardware recommendation is the cheapest of them all i would get that if i was you.
August 3, 2012 12:56:40 AM

Bought Corsair 500R. Other part list updated :) 
August 3, 2012 1:24:03 AM

nice the Corsair 500R is a great case. ;) 
August 3, 2012 2:01:45 AM

bigcyco1 said:
nice the Corsair 500R is a great case. ;) 


Yeah. Although it is kind of bardward to buy case first but it was on a good deal (well for Canada anyway) and I think 500R will fit anything that I am planning to buy
August 3, 2012 8:19:56 PM

Actually one more thing, I think I will change is that I will go for 650W PSU instead of 750W.
Before I wanted get extra 100W in case I want SLI/Crossfire, but I think I will just upgrade to one better card.
This way I can get 650W Silver+ good name brand.
I will consider 750W only a good one is on a great sale

Also no longer looking for only modular ones.
I would rather buy a better PSU with non-modular over weaker PSU with modular.
(I think 500R has enough space to hide cables I don't need)
August 5, 2012 3:51:12 AM

I've read quite a bit of reviews but I just want to see more opinion

I am thinking of buying

CORSAIR HX750W (semi-modular)

or

XFX 750W PRO750W (non-modular)

What do you guys think?
Both of them are on sale.
Both good company.

Corsair 114.99 + probably pick up or 10 shipping
XFX 89.99 + 10 shipping

Corsair would be the same brand as my case (Corsair 500R although it doesn't matter much)

Corsair HX750W model is a bit old (2009 I think?) but 80 silver
XFX is 80 bronze

Thanks!
August 5, 2012 3:55:26 AM

For one GPU from this gen, 550W is enough, except the GTX 690, which requires a 750W PSU.
August 5, 2012 3:59:47 AM

azeem40 said:
For one GPU from this gen, 550W is enough, except the GTX 690, which requires a 750W PSU.


That's true.

My thought process was

1. Go with 550W since I can OC CPU&GPU and still good enough
2. But 550W might cut close when I upgrade to next GPU (in case my next card isn't as efficient as GTX 670)
3. Let's get 650W than, but 650W is a big awkward since it is big for 1 card but small for 2 cards.
4. might as well pay a bit more to get 750W

I don't know if that make sense.
I could totally go with 550W but just wanted to future-proof.
August 5, 2012 4:04:26 AM

650W is good for dual 7850s. Just get 750W if you have doubts.
August 5, 2012 4:09:40 AM

azeem40 said:
650W is good for dual 7850s. Just get 750W if you have doubts.


Which one would you choose of the two I have mentioned above?
August 5, 2012 4:11:44 AM

The XFX 750W is also 80+ Silver
August 5, 2012 4:19:15 AM

Nvm.
August 5, 2012 4:22:32 AM

azeem40 said:
Nvm.


Oops you already fixed it :) 

August 5, 2012 4:23:12 AM

Get the TX750 V2 if you can.
August 5, 2012 4:28:51 AM

azeem40 said:
Get the TX750 V2 if you can.


Was looking into that one also.
I think it's newer but non-modular.
Built by Seasonic instead of CWT.
I will definitely consider that one as well as the HX750.
If HX750 isn't that good of a deal I will wait for TX750 V2 to go on sale
August 5, 2012 4:30:49 AM

Good idea. The HX750 is still a very good PSU.
August 5, 2012 4:34:17 AM

azeem40 said:
Good idea. The HX750 is still a very good PSU.
Yeah and it's been updated to Gold :D 
August 5, 2012 4:35:07 AM

Btw big, are you good with monitors? :p 
August 5, 2012 4:36:19 AM

azeem40 said:
Btw big, are you good with monitors? :p 
No i am a noob in that area :(  :lol: 
August 5, 2012 4:37:45 AM

I am just starting to learn about them. I prefer IPS panels to TN Panels now. :p 
August 5, 2012 4:40:50 AM

azeem40 said:
I am just starting to learn about them. I prefer IPS panels to TN Panels now. :p 
Yeah, i have been looking into getting me one but for now i think i rather upgrade my 570's to 660 TI's if they preform as well as rumored
!