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Graphics/Gaming PC for around $800

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August 1, 2012 8:48:26 PM

Hey everyone,


So my PC of 5 years died off on me, it was a great PC that I purchased from Best Buy, so I thought I'd get my new one from them too. Big mistake it seems, I purchased an Asus, intel i5, with 8 GB Ram, and I added a better PSU and an Nvidia 260GTS and the thing just overheats like crazy. I can't get it to stay on for longer then 20 min. Currently I have the tower open with a giant fan blasting into it, which seems to work, had it on all day with no issue, but this is certainly not a viable option, so I plan to return it.

I've never built a PC before, but I need a PC capable of working with graphics (Maya, Photoshop, etc) as well as some "casual" gaming (I don't mind playing on lower graphics in other words), so I thought now might be a good chance to build one.

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Approximate Purchase Date: This Week or early next week at latest.

Budget Range:$800 after everything, I can go up slightly if must, but no more then another $50 or so.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop, 3D Modeling, Video Editing, Gaming.

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade: I don't know what this means. Parts I already have? If so, the only thing I might upgrade is my graphics card. I currently have a Nvidia 260GTX. If it's greatly suggested to upgrade it to something better I will, otherwise I might as well save some money already owning a graphics card.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Whatever you guys suggest, I am a fan of newegg though.

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Las Vegas, Neveda, USA.

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, Nvidia for GPU if needed.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Most importantly, I need something that won't overheat (without having to get water cooling though). It gets really hot here in Vegas too, which doesn't help, so something with good airflow and low temps is very appreciated. I'd like it to be reliable, something that could potentially last for a few years. I also need a computer that can multitask well, as I often have photoshop, Maya, some messenger program, and a youtube video running at the same time.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Prebuilt keeps crashing / overheating.

Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts:

Antec Truepower Trio 650W PSU
I think it's this one, I bought it 5 years ago so... (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Nivida 260GTX GPU (Which I hope hasn't been damaged from all the overheating)
(Couldn't find a link for the 260, it's the standard Nvidia one though, not EVGA or anything).

Monitor
Keyboard
Mouse
Speakers

If you need any other information just let me know, thanks everyone!

More about : graphics gaming 800

Best solution

August 1, 2012 8:59:06 PM

Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Just drop the PSU and GPU (-$220).
Switch the i5 3450 with the i7 3770 (+130)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i7-3770-Quad-Core-Proc...
Here's a pretty good deal on HDDs right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS: http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-...
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August 1, 2012 9:01:43 PM

You'll definitely want to update that PSU - I doubt that a five-year-old one like that could be able to handle modern GPUs or SLI mode.

Try something like this for $800:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.99 @ eCost)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($258.15 @ Mwave)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $757.57
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-01 17:01 EDT-0400)
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August 1, 2012 9:03:58 PM

OP lists that he has a Truepower Trio 650 and a GTX 260. Just thought you should note.

Microcenter is also not always present locally. Something to keep in mind. The $150 is only if you can go into the local store.
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August 1, 2012 9:19:14 PM

aznshinobi said:
OP lists that he has a Truepower Trio 650 and a GTX 260. Just thought you should note.

Microcenter is also not always present locally. Something to keep in mind. The $150 is only if you can go into the local store.


I know that - stupid Newegg has a problem with Sapphire cards lately, I don't know what the deal is there. If it works you can definitely reuse the PSU no question.
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August 1, 2012 9:48:04 PM

Thanks for the suggestions both of you, I appreciate it.

I agree the PSU is kinda old, but its a 650w, so unless I'm misinformed, it's age shouldn't be important (beyond wear and tear) and the wattage is what matters right?

So as far as case for airflow goes, I see both of you have recommended the HAF and shinobi's article spoke fond of the Antec Illusion. Any preferences or can I not really go wrong with either? The price of good airflow (the case) is pretty much as important to me as the CPU and such, so I don't mind going with the more expensive option (within reason) if it means better cooling. Also, do you know if either case requires additional fans to be installed? Reading on newegg I occasionally see people recommending cases, but they mention needing to install additional exhaust fans and such. Just thought I'd check.

I'll have a look at all the parts you both suggested in the meantime, and probably post an update when I have a decision (as a way of making sure everything I've grabbed is compatible and such). Thanks again!
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August 1, 2012 10:33:37 PM

Cant go wrong with either! The PSU is fine, it'll be good. As for the CPU, the stock HSF is good enough if you don't overclock. If you just want it to be cooler still, the Hyper 212+ is a nice cehap bet.

The NZXT 220 and Tempest are solid cases as well.
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August 2, 2012 1:45:23 AM

aznshinobi said:
Cant go wrong with either! The PSU is fine, it'll be good. As for the CPU, the stock HSF is good enough if you don't overclock. If you just want it to be cooler still, the Hyper 212+ is a nice cehap bet.

The NZXT 220 and Tempest are solid cases as well.


Thanks for the information.

So I've been looking at the article you posted, and I noticed that even there I seem to have several options. Since I already have a graphic card and PSU, I could even do the $800 build for much cheaper.

But that's what leads me to have some questions, mainly what do you recommend? I noticed the $600 build shares many of the same parts as the enthusiast build at the bottom, like the i5 3570 and the asrock extreme, while the $800 has different parts.

I don't know much about CPUs, so what would be ideal for someone that does alot of graphic/photoshop work (and some gaming) between the i5 3570, the i5 3450, and the i7 from amazon you linked earlier? The i7 sounds nice, and alot of the reviews mentioned it running cool (a major plus for me) but the steeper price makes me want to make sure I don't go overboard just for the sake of it.

Dunno if my question even makes sense, but yeah, let me know if I need to clarify. Basically without needing a gpu and psu, I can build that $600 for about $500 (which is awesome), while the $800 build would run me an extra $200. Seeing as both are under my budget anyway, I'm just seeing which would be the better option for me, especially since the cheaper build seems to have "better" parts?

Thanks!
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August 2, 2012 1:58:33 AM

If you don't really need the i7, and honestly, most don't. I edit PS5 and Premiere Pro with the i5 2500K just fine. It's mainly ram when you edit.

So yeah, I would go for my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Just don't get the GPU and PSU (-220)

You're pretty much set. THe i5 3450 is more than capable. Equivalent to a stock i5 2500K if not slightly better. The GPU should be enough for you, however if you don't think it's enough you can always get the 6870 or a 7850.
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August 2, 2012 3:18:09 AM

aznshinobi said:
If you don't really need the i7, and honestly, most don't. I edit PS5 and Premiere Pro with the i5 2500K just fine. It's mainly ram when you edit.

So yeah, I would go for my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Just don't get the GPU and PSU (-220)

You're pretty much set. THe i5 3450 is more than capable. Equivalent to a stock i5 2500K if not slightly better. The GPU should be enough for you, however if you don't think it's enough you can always get the 6870 or a 7850.


Awesome, I think that's what I'll do then, I'll go with the $650 build, seems to be what I'm looking for in this PC. Not sure yet about the i5 or i7, I'll think about it, but probably go with the i5 as you suggest. What about the motherboard? Should I stick with the Asrock B75M, or go with that Asrock Extreme4 Z77 that your other 2 build suggest? The price isn't that different, and you seem to speak highly of that MB. Just curious.

Thanks for all your help, it's much appreciated.

If you don't mind, I have one last batch of questions (in addition to the MB one above that I asked) before I order everything:

1. I'm thinking of going with the Illusion case, but I know you said HAF, and NZXT, were all great too, but is there any worry of any of these cases not fitting my motherboards or graphic cards or anything? Or is that not really an issue people run into? This is my first PC build as I said, so sorry if this is a dumb concern, just covering all ground.

2. I just realized, there was never a suggestion for a sound card or CPU Cooler (which is a heat sink, right?). Will I need to purchase these? I refer to my statement above about being new to this stuff as far as this question is concerned. If so, any quick suggestions on a good pair for that $650 build?

Thanks again for all the help! So very appreciated!
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August 2, 2012 5:56:28 AM

Just go with the i5 and stick with the B75M. No need to really spend more than needed honestly. Current GPUs are fine by themselves no need to really SLI/CF. The 7850 is a more than capable card especially if you overclock.

As for the for the questions:

1. Shouldn't have any issues. The Antec Illusion is a pretty solid case, the NZXT and HAF cases were just suggestions.

2. Sound card isn't needed honestly. MB sound is pretty solid now, unless you're a CRAZY audiophile you wouldn't even notice the difference especially if you used/using a headset. A cooler is also not needed as you're not OCing. But if you want the Hyper 212+ is a nice cooler but not quite needed.
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August 2, 2012 6:59:56 AM

Best answer selected by Atomsk88.
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August 7, 2012 8:43:56 PM

aznshinobi said:
Just go with the i5 and stick with the B75M. No need to really spend more than needed honestly. Current GPUs are fine by themselves no need to really SLI/CF. The 7850 is a more than capable card especially if you overclock.

As for the for the questions:

1. Shouldn't have any issues. The Antec Illusion is a pretty solid case, the NZXT and HAF cases were just suggestions.

2. Sound card isn't needed honestly. MB sound is pretty solid now, unless you're a CRAZY audiophile you wouldn't even notice the difference especially if you used/using a headset. A cooler is also not needed as you're not OCing. But if you want the Hyper 212+ is a nice cooler but not quite needed.


Hello,
so I ordered all the parts and I'm now just waiting for them to arrive. Thank you again for the help. I do have another issue however.

I was planning to reuse the power supply and graphics card of my old PC. Currently they were in the computer I bought from best buy, but that pc will now not turn on. I press power, and the fans come on and spin loudly, but the monitor doesn't come on. I reset the ram, didn't help. So I took my psu and gpu out and the PC worked fine...

As I said, I had hoped to reuse both but now I'm worried one or both have an issue. Any ideas what might have caused that? I didn't know if I should make a new topic since this is still directly related to my new build, but if I need to just let me know. Thanks again.
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August 7, 2012 11:32:40 PM

Alrighty! Good luck!

As for those things (GPU and PSU) Try testing each one out when the new system arrives. It should be the GPU from the sounds of things. If it is, you can just temporarily use the on the die graphics from the CPU. Should hold up fine until you get enough to buy a replacement
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August 7, 2012 11:47:52 PM

aznshinobi said:
Alrighty! Good luck!

As for those things (GPU and PSU) Try testing each one out when the new system arrives. It should be the GPU from the sounds of things. If it is, you can just temporarily use the on the die graphics from the CPU. Should hold up fine until you get enough to buy a replacement


Ok thanks for the advice. Not to sound paranoid but is there any chance testing the psu in my new PCB could damage it? I've heard stories of people frying their motherboard with faulty/dying power supplies, and if that kind of thing is true and if it indeed my psu that's bad, I'd hate for that to happen. I'll use the onboard graphics in the meantime as you suggest as well. thanks again.
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August 11, 2012 6:32:35 AM

So scratch that question above, despite budget I went ahead and bought an anteconomic trupower 750w and a gtx560, if nothing else but to feel releaved that everything in the pc is new. My parts have all arrived and I have begun assembly. That video on that same blog post has been very helpful. Some question though:

1. My 560gtx sits right up against the CPU and ram in the primary 3.0 pci-e slot, can I put it in the secondary pci-e slot? Does it matter that the secondary is 2.0?

2. This is going to sound very beginner-ish, but Hey I am one, my motherboard only seems to have 2 slots for fans, but my case has 4 by default. I read you can attach the fans to the power supply, but I can't find how, and the psu's lackluster Manuel doesn't really help.

3. Last question, my hard drive has 3 connectors, one that goes to the psu, one to the motherboard, and I dunno what the 3rd is for. Does it need both connections or just 1? And any idea what the 3rd is? It's a western digital 500Gb blue btw.
Thanks!
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August 11, 2012 5:56:38 PM

1. It doesn't matter. Just look at your motherboard manual, use whichever slot runs the card at 16x
2. You should have either molex or 3 pins to your fans, the case itself should come with some adapters for those fans. Just connect those with the PSU's molex outputs or whatever looks like it fits haha.
3. Just needs 2. SATA and the SATA power.
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