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New Gaming Rig - ~$1500 + Eyefinity / Advice Please

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July 29, 2012 8:12:40 PM

Greetings.

First, thank you kindly for taking the time to assist me with my question. I'm going to use the format as requested in the asking for build information thread.

First, I built my own PC about ten years ago. I then purchased one from IBuyPower (loved it) then a Dell which I wasn't happy with for future upgradeability. I'm currently using an iMac but really cannot get into it and would like to get back into the PC realm. Unfortunately, I have gotten myself very out of touch with current PC technology (which I miss)! I still feel that I could build and configure the PC myself after I catch up on some reading that hopefully one of you could kindly recommend to me. I assume that assembling it myself and purchasing the parts individually will make the build dramatically cheaper.

Overall, I would like to use this as a gaming rig that has a lot of room for upgrades over the years without having to buy a new PC. I would like to replace components over the years, i.e., motherboard, CPU, video card, etc. In addition, I would like to try and hook up three monitors to it (each about 32" or less) for an eyefinity type experience. Overall, I would like to keep the price to $1,200 - $1,500 for the tower and hardware. The sound system, monitors and peripherals are all things I can add later over time. A build that I love is listed here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/barnacules1/videos?view=0

He lists the specs of his setup in this video at about 4:45 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cLn1RTS6EU&feature=plcp

If that price point is not realistic for the system hardware, then lets build the best for that price for one monitor. My ultimate goal here is to have a great computer that I can continually upgrade the hardware within over the next ten years and not have to go out and buy a new PC. Basically, upgrade piece by piece until a major technology overhaul forces me to purchase a new PC.


Approximate Purchase Date: Possibly December - February time frame.

Budget Range: $1,200 - $1,500 for tower and hardware (excludes monitors, keyboards, audio speakers, etc.) The lower we can keep it the better obviously but I don't want to shortcut very much.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Media (movie viewing), Photography, possible school work when I go for my MBA.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes...I would like to have a setup similar to what is mentioned above. I don't need monitors that large, but would like to buy them around maybe 32" or less. I am thinking the LED TV is the best route here but not sure? Cost is a factor here.



Parts to Upgrade: 100% clean, new build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Pricewatch (whoever has it cheapest with quality customer service & guarantees products)

Location: Albany, NY area. I would like to assemble the system myself.

Parts Preferences: Again, unsure. I would prefer to have the best mixture of power for price, but don't want to sell myself short either.

Overclocking: Depends on build.

SLI or Crossfire: Not fully sure of these technologies. I know Crossfire runs 2x cards simultaneously. Again, up to build thoughts.

Your Monitor Resolution: High resolution, running current and future games on highest/close to highest settings.

Additional Comments: A case with plenty of room to upgrade. However, I don't want a $400.00 case either. I would like clean and efficient, good cooling, but again room to expand.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: The iMac isn't my thing. In addition, I enjoy games and movies and would like to have a great experience as well as get back into the PC technology field.

No parts have currently been selected.

Thank you very kindly for any assistance and time you have to provide me with some guidance.

-Colin
July 29, 2012 8:55:01 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S/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 ($30.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.94 @ Adorama)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.18 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1306.03
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-29 16:54 EDT-0400)

this is what i would try to build

leaves an extra $200 for a Screen. also it has enough power for you to add another card in the future if you want to
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July 29, 2012 8:55:54 PM

boulbox said:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dm8S/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 ($30.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.94 @ Adorama)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.18 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1306.03
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-29 16:54 EDT-0400)

this is what i would try to build

leaves an extra $200 for a Screen. also it has enough power for you to add another card in the future if you want to

He plans to get 3 1080p monitors since he wants eyefinity. He doesn't need monitor in budget. :) 
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July 29, 2012 8:58:56 PM

Quote:
SLI or Crossfire: Not fully sure of these technologies. I know Crossfire runs 2x cards simultaneously. Again, up to build thoughts.


Crossfire can actually run up to four - but that's only provided that your motherboard has the appropriate slots for it.

Quote:
Additional Comments: A case with plenty of room to upgrade. However, I don't want a $400.00 case either. I would like clean and efficient, good cooling, but again room to expand.


On a $1500 build I wouldn't advise purchasing a $400 case. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Quote:
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: The iMac isn't my thing. In addition, I enjoy games and movies and would like to have a great experience as well as get back into the PC technology field.


I do not like iMacs either - if I'm paying that much for a system I want it to be fully customizable and I want the best hardware you can get.

Try something like this:

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 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: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($349.99 @ 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 VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1466.87
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-29 16:58 EDT-0400)

Add whatever keyboard and mouse you want and you're good to go.
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July 29, 2012 9:03:29 PM

He doesn't need a monitor. He mentions it here:
"Budget Range: $1,200 - $1,500 for tower and hardware (excludes monitors, keyboards, audio speakers, etc.) The lower we can keep it the better obviously but I don't want to shortcut very much."

He also said I don't want to spend $400 for a case, not that he wants a $400 case.
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July 29, 2012 9:14:33 PM

Thank you all very much for the replies so far.

Just to add - how hard is it to install a CPU into a motherboard? That is the only piece that I have not assembled. I'm assuming if I read up on it, it should be relatively easy.

A follow-up question on a slightly different topic. Is it wise to purchase three LED TV's to utilize as monitors or would you purchase 3 PC monitors? I'm assuming that they are probably becoming one and the same anymore, but I'm open to input here too.

Some of the games I would like to run consist of: BF3, Assassins Creed 3, Skyim, etc.

Thanks again for your information.
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July 29, 2012 9:16:45 PM

Just align the arrows with the arrows on the MOBO CPU socket and it will fit in (it's called zero-insertion force). Three monitors are much better since the bezels are a lot smaller.
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July 29, 2012 9:18:53 PM

And if I may also follow-up, what are the key differences between the two builds listed thus far? To me, it appears to mostly be simply brand name preference as hardware configuration seems to be relatively similar to one another.
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July 29, 2012 9:19:59 PM

azeem40 said:
Just align the arrows with the arrows on the MOBO CPU socket and it will fit in (it's called zero-insertion force). Three monitors are much better since the bezels are a lot smaller.


Copy - thank you!

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July 29, 2012 9:23:08 PM

The build g-unit posted has better bang for buck on the PSU and a more reliable SSD as it is based on a Micron controller instead of Sandforce.
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July 30, 2012 8:26:57 PM

azeem40 said:
The build g-unit posted has better bang for buck on the PSU and a more reliable SSD as it is based on a Micron controller instead of Sandforce.


Yeah without the monitor it's about $1300 even.
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!