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$1000 Gaming PC Take Two

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August 6, 2012 8:51:28 AM

Hello, I posted a build thread on here a while back and got some great advice. Life happened and I couldn't upgrade for a while. Half a year later and a lot of new parts and upgrades came out so I wanna make sure it's still "up to date" within my price range. Mainly looking for a double check to make sure everything works out or advice on where to shift money around to get the best rig possible, particularly the VGU. I have a few minor concerns/questions with a few of the parts noted below.

Approximate Purchase Date: Later this week/Want completed by August 28th for Guild Wars 2
Budget Range: ~$1000
System Usage: Prolonged gaming (Guild Wars 2 and Skyrim are the big games that I want to run well)
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, recommendations welcome
Country: USA - Texas
Parts Preferences: N/A
Overclocking: Possibly in the future
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Selected Parts: (* marks minor concerns or needs)

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K
*Not sure if it's a big enough upgrade to warrant the $70 over i5-2500k

Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
*Not sure if there are major performance issues to watch for on the mobo

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
*SSD is not really a concern, space > boot up times for me and it seems like a large investment of money

VGU: SAPPHIRE 11188-22-20G Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (OC Edition)

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
*Biggest concern for me is dust intake, there's a lot of dust, pollen, and cat hair in the area; secondly, this case should be big enough to add a Cooler Master later if I decide to overclock

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
*Can't find the power draw from the VGU but not really interested in CrossFire

Optical: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Priced at: $978 after rebates

Again, thank you for your time.

More about : 1000 gaming

August 6, 2012 9:34:38 AM

This would be a more current updated build

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 ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $969.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-06 05:43 EDT-0400)
August 6, 2012 10:07:36 AM

If you order before the GTX 660 ti is released then use the on die Intel HD 4000 graphics that comes with the 3570K until your 660 ti arrives. The LEPA psu down below is manufactured by CWT for LEPA and is the non modular version of the Corsair 550M (also manufactured by CWT for Corsair). That Antec case comes with dust filters and has front 3.0 USB ports, a couple of fans, etc... and that board allows you to over clock.


http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-Two-Gaming/dp... $69.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black - Front 2 x USB 3.0

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 - $44.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
LEPA B550-SA 550W SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99 FREE SHIPPING ETA: 08/08/2012
ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3570K-Quad-Core-Pro... $219.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $34.99 - $29.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $43.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $16.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $69.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM SATA NCQ 16 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Desktop Hard Drive ST3500641AS-RK-Retail Kit

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4873/nvidia_geforce_g... <----- GTX 660 ti 2GB (est. retail $300 & due for release August 16th)

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $88.73 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Total: $989.65 *not including rebates


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z75%20Pro3/ <----- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios


http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $80.14 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003
Related resources
August 6, 2012 10:34:03 AM

Intel i5-3570K > i7-2600K
1. The 2600K belongs to the previous generation of Intel Core i3/5/7 CPUs - Sandy Bridge. The 3570K belongs to the newest (third) generation of Intel Core i3/5/7 CPUs.
2. The i5 will perform equal to the 2600K in games.

Motherboard
The chipset in the motherboard you chose, Z68, will work perfect with a Sandy Bridge CPU. However, the newer Z77 will work even better with a Ivy Bridge CPU (in this case, the i5-3570K).

Video card
Yes, wait for the 660 Ti.
If you're impatient, do as Why_Me said and order all parts except the video card and put the build together. Use the integrated GPU that comes with the 3570K, and when the 660 Ti becomes available, order it, open your case and just pop it into a PCI-E slot. Video cards are the easiest component to add/remove after putting together a computer.
This will also give you the ability to swap out any defective parts before the GPU arrives, and your PC should therefore be 100% ready for GW2.

PSU
A 500W+ PSU is recommended for using a GTX 670. This number should be the same or even lower with the 660 Ti. The PSU bigcyco1 linked to is good. Never heard about the one Why_Me linked to, though, but I'm sure he knows his stuff :) 

CPU cooler
Hyper 212 EVO, and nothing else. Get it right away - CPU coolers can be a pain to install after installing your motherboard in the case.

HDD
Since you care much about space - are you sure 500GB is enough?

RAM
Any of the three mentioned RAMs should be fine.

Case
Any of the three mentioned should be fine. Big fan of the HAF 912 myself, but your pick. The most important thing is to find a case that you like yourself (and obviously supporting the motherboard size etc at the same time).
August 7, 2012 2:28:25 AM

Thanks for the help. Good catch on the CPU, that also saves up a bit of money too. The CPU is the weakest link on my current comp stopping me from playing a lot of games well. I'm still a bit on the fence about the cooling system in that I don't think I will ever really need to overclock unless my rig starts to be unable to play the newest games somewhere down the road. Updated the mobo as well.

I forgot that the prices returned to "normal" again now that a lot of time has passed since the flood in Thailand(?) which caused a shortage. Upgrading to 1 TB isn't a bad idea. I've heard a lot of shaky reviews from friends about Seagate internal HDDs but great things about their externals.

I currently have the Antec case but wanted to change it up to the HAF to try it out, I've heard a lot of good things about both and kind of wanted different cases to keep them separate as I plan on having both computers operational.

Upgraded the PSU to a 550W just in case.

My biggest concern now is the VGU. Is it really going to be worth the ~$100 to get one of the newest cards on the market? I don't necessarily need to be playing every game on ultra settings, but I would like to at least be at medium or better. My main concern here is life expectancy. I want to keep the rig for 5+ years and graphics cards are fairly modular and easy to replace if I need to in a few years while keeping the rest the same. I'll probably spend the rest of the night trying to find performance marks to see how "bad" the 6950 is compared to more modern cards. How do the on board graphics stack up? Will I be able to play things like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, and Skyrim in the meantime on it?

Build as of yet:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

VGU: TBD (either Radeon HD 6950 or GTX 660 Ti)

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Optical: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Priced at: $807.91 after rebates + price of VGU ($200 for Radeon HD 6950 - $300 for GTX 660 Ti)
August 7, 2012 2:44:24 AM

If you don't plan on going with a dual card set up on the future then you can get by with another cheaper board. Asrock z77 pro4, z77 pro3, or z75 pro3. All those boards over clock, they are cheaper and they are meant for a single card set up.
August 7, 2012 11:21:02 AM

Why_Me said:
If you don't plan on going with a dual card set up on the future then you can get by with another cheaper board. Asrock z77 pro4, z77 pro3, or z75 pro3. All those boards over clock, they are cheaper and they are meant for a single card set up.

+1

I'd go for either the Z77 Pro3 or Pro4. Comparision between the two here. Save even more cash that way and go for the 660Ti. It will last you longer and play games like those 3 you mentioned with absolutely no problems at all, and should last you long.
August 7, 2012 11:40:16 AM

Why_Me said:
If you don't plan on going with a dual card set up on the future then you can get by with another cheaper board. Asrock z77 pro4, z77 pro3, or z75 pro3. All those boards over clock, they are cheaper and they are meant for a single card set up.
+1
August 8, 2012 6:31:51 PM

Alright, I will switch to the ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard. I can probably use the extra SATA 6 Gb/s cables with multiple hard drives.

I spent a while reading on Tom's Hardware and other sites and best I can find, the GTX 660 Ti costs about 50% more if it's priced at $300 and performs in the neighborhood of 75% better. I probably will get that graphics card. I'll probably drop the cooling fan and not worry about overclocking to compensate and because longevity is more important to me than a minor performance increase.

That should put my price around $1050 which is reasonably near my limit.

Still wondering how the on board graphics card is, is it even worth me hooking up the new comp aside from making sure it works and installing programs?
August 8, 2012 6:32:22 PM

Would you happen to live in the Dallas Metroplex?
August 8, 2012 6:59:11 PM

vashXIII said:
Alright, I will switch to the ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard. I can probably use the extra SATA 6 Gb/s cables with multiple hard drives.

I spent a while reading on Tom's Hardware and other sites and best I can find, the GTX 660 Ti costs about 50% more if it's priced at $300 and performs in the neighborhood of 75% better. I probably will get that graphics card. I'll probably drop the cooling fan and not worry about overclocking to compensate and because longevity is more important to me than a minor performance increase.

That should put my price around $1050 which is reasonably near my limit.

Still wondering how the on board graphics card is, is it even worth me hooking up the new comp aside from making sure it works and installing programs?

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=intel+hd+... <----- some reviews w/benchmarks
August 8, 2012 10:34:45 PM

azeem40 said:
Would you happen to live in the Dallas Metroplex?


No, I live south towards Beaumont. Have some relatives in the Dallas area though.

Sad thing is, I think that I'll get a higher FPS than I currently have. My current processor is an i3 dual core. :cry: 
August 9, 2012 2:44:24 AM

I was going to suggest microcenter for the $50 off mobo.
!