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New Build Advice Sub $2000 (US) Gaming PC

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August 7, 2012 12:48:25 AM

Greetings Community,

I'm planning a gaming build for a PC that I have budgeted at $2000 or less with plans to build over the next 2 to 3 months. I'm pretty set on Intel chipset and Nvidia GPU but am open to the wisdom of the community in all regards.


Here is my current blueprint:




Approximate Purchase Date: Complete in next 2 to 3 months




Budget Range: $2000ish total cost



System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mostly gaming and general use/media storage.



Are you buying a monitor: Yes, thinking of dual HP x2301 23-Inch Micro Thins. Price is right, love the look and don't require high end.



http://www.amazon.com/HP-x2301-23-Inch-Micro-Monitor/dp...




Parts to Upgrade: Build from scratch except mouse/keyboard



Do you need to buy OS: Will prob dual boot Win 7 OEM & Win 8 from seperate HDs no Raid



Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com & Amazon (I have Amazon Prime)



Location: I'm in Florida, USA in case anyone knows great brick & mortar deals



Parts Preferences: Intel CPU & Nvidia GPU (will not consider Radeon GPU)



Overclocking: Will stay vanilla for now. No plans to OC



SLI or Crossfire: Might SLI down the road



Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 fine.



Additional Comments: Choices are based on future proffing within reason where possible.



And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Gaming laptop is aging, time to upgrade and want to go desktop.





Here is my current parts list:

Case: NZXT SWITCH 810 White (Thinking full tower is best) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (Open to other Intel options) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 (Really like this board but open to options) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB (Love the card, might SLI later when price lowers, open to options) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 (Need advise here, not sure whether I should look at 850+ watts to future proof) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Corsair 16 GB Vengeance Low Profile 1600mhz PC3-12800 (4x 4GB) http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Profile-1600mhz...


CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 (I believe the case and build would have no space issues even if I SLI down the road) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: I'm wide open here. Will prob do 3 SATA HDD, 1 each for Win 7/ Win8 and a third for shared media library. Don't want to raid or SDD right now for simplicity.

Monitors: Dual HP x2301 23-Inch Micro Thins http://www.amazon.com/HP-x2301-23-Inch-Micro-Monitor/dp...





I price this right around $2000 between Amazon and Newegg. Anyone see anything here that could be toned up or down and still stand strong?



Thanks in advance for any advise here.
August 7, 2012 1:06:49 AM

750w is fine. There is no need for more unless your going to get 3-4way sli/crossfire.
If you stick to the EVGA 670 sli, 750w is enough.

As for HDD, how much space are you looking for? Get HDD brand such as western digital and seagate.

For your case, you can get a cooler master haf 932 but that's all up to your decision as the NZXT is good for your price budget.

Overall, nice system. Have fun rocking it out with the 670 and 3770k.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 1:07:47 AM

Not sure whats up with the insane spacing. Isolates your answers from the questions and defeats the purpose of the form. Anyway.

Avoid Nvidia. AMD's 7970's kill the 670, have 3 free games, more ram. and gpgpu comput. its insane to go nvidia when they are so far behind. nevermind being 5 months behind on release. They just cannot get a decent card out the door....
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August 7, 2012 1:17:53 AM

really don't agree with the option avoiding ssd.

This is one of the Killer App features of building a higher end computer.
You are building a good foundation then missing the final bricks if you're not including ssd.

At least consider maybe doing SRT, or a hardware/mobo implementation of it.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 1:18:09 AM

spokenwordd said:
Thanks for the suggestions, I had not previously considered these.
Your welcome! :)  And don't worry about the blanket statements they happen allot around here a 670 is a great card
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August 7, 2012 1:18:58 AM

unRaveled said:
750w is fine. There is no need for more unless your going to get 3-4way sli/crossfire.
If you stick to the EVGA 670 sli, 750w is enough.

As for HDD, how much space are you looking for? Get HDD brand such as western digital and seagate.

For your case, you can get a cooler master haf 932 but that's all up to your decision as the NZXT is good for your price budget.

Overall, nice system. Have fun rocking it out with the 670 and 3770k.



Thanks for the reply, I have a WHS with about 12TB total space so right now I'm torn between 2TB & 3TB HDD for this new build. Will probably go with a couple of 2TB drives to start. I like the CM HAF 932 but for the few extra bucks I like the NZXT 810 more in appearance and design.
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August 7, 2012 1:23:21 AM

unksol said:
Not sure whats up with the insane spacing. Isolates your answers from the questions and defeats the purpose of the form. Anyway.

Avoid Nvidia. AMD's 7970's kill the 670, have 3 free games, more ram. and gpgpu comput. its insane to go nvidia when they are so far behind. nevermind being 5 months behind on release. They just cannot get a decent card out the door....




Thanks for the advice Unksol, it is much appreciated. Through the years I have not had good experiences with AMD cards. The 7970 is a great card indeed but I trust the 670 a bit more and this card performs very well. I'm not the guy that obsesses over every frame per second and realize that there is always a slightly better performer. At this time I would not seriously consider any AMD GPU.
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August 7, 2012 1:30:16 AM

raytseng said:
really don't agree with the option avoiding ssd.

This is one of the Killer App features of building a higher end computer.
You are building a good foundation then missing the final bricks if you're not including ssd.

At least consider maybe doing SRT, or a hardware/mobo implementation of it.



The main reason I'm avoiding SSD at this time is I'm very anal about OS control over my media, documents and program files. If I go SSD I'll have to either get a huge drive at great cost in order to keep the data OS specific. In other words I don't want to buy say a 200 GB SSD to install the OS and then have to install games onto a second drive etc. Might sound silly but my inner OCD can't stand the thought of data being out of symmetry. Speed boost are noted but I'd need a very large to hold my games and data in order to make this worth it. My Steam installs are into the hundreds of GB alone.

Perhaps I should rethink this but it seems to be a logistical nightmare.
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August 7, 2012 1:34:11 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Your welcome! :)  And don't worry about the blanket statements they happen allot around here a 670 is a great card



I agree that it is a great card especially the FTW edition I'm looking at getting. I would only build with an AMD card if it were free LOL. Not saying they make garbage but I like Nvidia's overall architecture better and have not had issues with their products.
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August 7, 2012 1:48:03 AM

Don't know if someone has said it but change the processer to a i5 3570k i7 has no additional use in gaming whatsoever a i5 runs the exact save and will slash 100 of the price wich you could use to upgrade other parts of the machine
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August 7, 2012 1:57:56 AM

darkcam17 said:
Don't know if someone has said it but change the processer to a i5 3570k i7 has no additional use in gaming whatsoever a i5 runs the exact save and will slash 100 of the price wich you could use to upgrade other parts of the machine



I am actually considering the i5 3570k but am a bit torn. It will be a gaming box but I do enough video encoding that the multi threading of the i7 may be worth the money.
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August 7, 2012 2:04:47 AM

spokenwordd said:
I am actually considering the i5 3570k but am a bit torn. It will be a gaming box but I do enough video encoding that the multi threading of the i7 may be worth the money.

Its a tough decision but if your not doing profesional video or picture editing I honestly wouldn't think its worth it but that's just wondering I mean almost no programs are utilizing the i7 to its full potential and honestly that probably wont change any time soon

:hello:  <----- Wonder if thats gonna work felt like trying it out
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August 7, 2012 2:10:11 AM

darkcam17 said:
Its a tough decision but if your not doing profesional video or picture editing I honestly wouldn't think its worth it but that's just wondering I mean almost no programs are utilizing the i7 to its full potential and honestly that probably wont change any time soon

:hello:  <----- Wonder if thats gonna work felt like trying it out



LOL. Good point and that is exactly what I'm mulling over. The hundred bucks is half of a monitor too, which I will probably be ordering a couple of weeks apart due to the way thinks will budget out.
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August 7, 2012 2:11:50 AM

^ Im stuck in that exact situation too I just opted out on the i7 on a new build that I just ordered yesterday just for that reason monitors are pretty pricy and that 100 dollars will really help by the way tell me if you know if a good one cause I havent found one yet and will have to start playing on this crappy like 15 inch monitor :p 
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August 7, 2012 2:22:07 AM

darkcam17 said:
^ Im stuck in that exact situation too I just opted out on the i7 on a new build that I just ordered yesterday just for that reason monitors are pretty pricy and that 100 dollars will really help by the way tell me if you know if a good one cause I havent found one yet and will have to start playing on this crappy like 15 inch monitor :p 



These are 2 I'm looking at doing a dual build on:

HP x2301 23-Inch Micro Thin LED Monitor http://www.amazon.com/HP-x2301-23-Inch-Micro-Monitor/dp...

AOC E2752VH 27-Inch Widescreen LED Monitor http://www.amazon.com/AOC-E2752VH-27-Inch-Widescreen-Mo...


Neither are high end but that's ok for my needs. I love the HP's size and thin factor for my desk space and the AOC is specced nicely for the price and 27" is awesome.
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August 7, 2012 2:49:10 AM

The only way ATI 'crushes' NVidia is in their horrendous heat problems and unstable overclockability.

Trust me when I say I've done over 50 hours of research for my own build and there is not a card out there with the value/price of the GTX 670. On that topic:

- If you have water cooling, I'd get an EVGA. It runs hotter but it's really nice.

- If you have air cooling get an ASUS. Its fans push the hot air into the case and then your cooling takes care of it.

I have an HAF 932 sitting beside me waiting to be filled it's gorgeous.

I went with the i5-3570, it's really the only way to go in the price / quality bargain for a mainly gaming build.

Also consider this MoBO http://ncix.com/products/?sku=70262&promoid=1360, I'm sure you can find it on newegg. I was totally going to take the sabertooth as well but this has all the same features minus the fancy armor. It's really nice but with the filters on the 932's fans it's really redundant in terms of keeping the dust off and the cooling offered is really minimal by all accounts.

That being said... it looks 10000x better than any other card on the market if esthetics are worth 80$ to you. I decided they weren't to me but it is a phenomenal card.

Also... dude... SSD... do it... so fast. My GF has one in her machine and it's like lightning. Day and night have a game on that thing.
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August 7, 2012 3:19:48 AM

Ilnez said:
The only way ATI 'crushes' NVidia is in their horrendous heat problems and unstable overclockability.

Trust me when I say I've done over 50 hours of research for my own build and there is not a card out there with the value/price of the GTX 670. On that topic:

- If you have water cooling, I'd get an EVGA. It runs hotter but it's really nice.

- If you have air cooling get an ASUS. Its fans push the hot air into the case and then your cooling takes care of it.

I have an HAF 932 sitting beside me waiting to be filled it's gorgeous.

I went with the i5-3570, it's really the only way to go in the price / quality bargain for a mainly gaming build.

Also consider this MoBO http://ncix.com/products/?sku=70262&promoid=1360, I'm sure you can find it on newegg. I was totally going to take the sabertooth as well but this has all the same features minus the fancy armor. It's really nice but with the filters on the 932's fans it's really redundant in terms of keeping the dust off and the cooling offered is really minimal by all accounts.

That being said... it looks 10000x better than any other card on the market if esthetics are worth 80$ to you. I decided they weren't to me but it is a phenomenal card.

Also... dude... SSD... do it... so fast. My GF has one in her machine and it's like lightning. Day and night have a game on that thing.



Could not agree with you more on the ATI issue, which is why I arrived at the 670. You are the 2nd person to recommend the Gigabyte Z77X. I love Asus mobos and the bios on the Sabretooth makes me spellbound and yeah that thing is purdy. I'll look at the Gigabyte closer but it is actually only $50 cheaper so I may stick with Asus but awesome advice!

As for the SSD....I'd love to see my Windows boot times and app load times go down but everytime I start thinking about purchasing 2 of these things which is what I'd need for my build and then 2 HDDs I start thinking I'd rather get and extra 670 and go SLI. I'd need at least 2 240GB SSDs to be worth my while (one for each OS and my critical apps/games). I estimate that at $400 and then I'd need 2 HDD still, at least 1.5 or 2 TB each (another $250 or more) so as you can see.... $400 I could go SLI on the 670.

Thinking the speedier launches are not worth it at this point for the price. Maybe in a year or two when SSD prices are 30 to 50 cents a gig (If that happens by then).

Wish we were at the point where we could get 500GB SSDs for $200. Oh well, might consider a hybrid, I own 2 for my gaming laptop and they rock.

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August 7, 2012 3:22:32 AM

spokenwordd said:
Could not agree with you more on the ATI issue, which is why I arrived at the 670. You are the 2nd person to recommend the Gigabyte Z77X. I love Asus mobos and the bios on the Sabretooth makes me spellbound and yeah that thing is purdy. I'll look at the Gigabyte closer but it is actually only $50 cheaper so I may stick with Asus but awesome advice!

As for the SSD....I'd love to see my Windows boot times and app load times go down but everytime I start thinking about purchasing 2 of these things which is what I'd need for my build and then 2 HDDs I start thinking I'd rather get and extra 670 and go SLI. I'd need at least 2 240GB SSDs to be worth my while (one for each OS and my critical apps/games). I estimate that at $400 and then I'd need 2 HDD still, at least 1.5 or 2 TB each (another $250 or more) so as you can see.... $400 I could go SLI on the 670.

Thinking the speedier launches are not worth it at this point for the price. Maybe in a year or two when SSD prices are 30 to 50 cents a gig (If that happens by then).

Wish we were at the point where we could get 500GB SSDs for $200. Oh well, might consider a hybrid, I own 2 for my gaming laptop and they rock.

Just get a 128 gb SSD and 2tb of harddrive space or more and store your windows and a few programs that you use alot on it
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August 7, 2012 3:42:39 AM

darkcam17 said:
Just get a 128 gb SSD and 2tb of harddrive space or more and store your windows and a few programs that you use alot on it



Wish my space needs were low enough. Windows x64 would need 20GB minimum (more like 30 or 35 for my comfort). I have a database program I use regularly that takes up 30GB of space. My Steam library has 61 games, 25 of which are installed right now. Then there are my MMOs, Guild Wars 2, D3 are must installs on the SSD. That 128GB SSD would take Windows my L4 software and maybe 2 or 3 games. That's why I'm saying it's not worth it yet. Splitting the Steam library alone gives me butt hurt just thinking about it.

When SSD prices get sane, I'll take the extra HDD storage and put it in my server pool then go SSD.
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August 7, 2012 3:56:40 AM

You could get more then 3 or 4 games lets say you have like 50 GB left you could store like 10 games or so and you just put your popular games on SSD and your others on HDD
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August 7, 2012 4:15:06 AM

darkcam17 said:
You could get more then 3 or 4 games lets say you have like 50 GB left you could store like 10 games or so and you just put your popular games on SSD and your others on HDD



I wish! LOL. I said 3 or 4 because the 128GB would prob lose 10% space by default leaving 115GB free. Windows x64 needs 20GB BUT I'd leave an untouched 10 to 20GB for updates, patches, .Net Framework, Office Suite, drivers etc. so let's say 40GB for Windows to breath. Leaves me with 75GB for software. My L4 software will take 30GB of space after it indexes, leaving 45GB. Now let's say games. Average game size is huge. Guild Wars 2 is top priority and it currently takes 16GB leaving 29GB. D3 takes 12 to 15GB, leaving 14GB. Then I have to choose Skyrim (6 GB not counting saves) or Prototype 2 (10 GB). This is assuming that I'd want to take the SDD to that low of a capacity.

See my dilemna?
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August 7, 2012 4:50:59 AM

spokenwordd said:
I wish! LOL. I said 3 or 4 because the 128GB would prob lose 10% space by default leaving 115GB free. Windows x64 needs 20GB BUT I'd leave an untouched 10 to 20GB for updates, patches, .Net Framework, Office Suite, drivers etc. so let's say 40GB for Windows to breath. Leaves me with 75GB for software. My L4 software will take 30GB of space after it indexes, leaving 45GB. Now let's say games. Average game size is huge. Guild Wars 2 is top priority and it currently takes 16GB leaving 29GB. D3 takes 12 to 15GB, leaving 14GB. Then I have to choose Skyrim (6 GB not counting saves) or Prototype 2 (10 GB). This is assuming that I'd want to take the SDD to that low of a capacity.

See my dilemna?

If you really dont want to mess with ssd toomuch you could allways get a 64 gb ssd and just put windows on it I mean game boot times arent THAT bad but storing WINDOWS on a ssd will make the whole OS run faster
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August 7, 2012 5:00:36 AM

i mentioned above, SRT might be the way to go for your situation...

The 3weeks you play your game it'll get cached up. When you move to your newest game it'll cache that up.
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August 7, 2012 5:09:17 AM

raytseng said:
i mentioned above, SRT might be the way to go for your situation...

The 3weeks you play your game it'll get cached up. When you move to your newest game it'll cache that up.



Yeah I might look at SRT with a small SSD or a hybrid drive solution until SSD cost becomes feasible for needs.
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August 7, 2012 6:17:02 AM

Hey,

Your build looks very nice so far- My only suggestions are to switch motherboards (the gigabyte board bigcyco1 mentioned is a better board, feature wise, and it's cheaper), and to get at least a small SSD (64GB) for the OS... If you get a 90GB version you can store windows and all your programs (including that massive database program you mentioned) quite comfortably (You can pick up even more space by moving the page file to another HDD). Then, it's a fairly simple matter to store all your steam games and media files on a separate 2TB HDD... that's basically what I did with my PC. You can get a speedy 90GB SATA III SSD for $90 or less, if you catch it on sale. I would HIGHLY recommend you do this. And think; if you don't your WEI (which is a completely useless benchmark by the way) will be stuck at 5.9... that would irritate me to no end.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to look into a different monitor, this one is a nice, cheap 24" 1080p LED monitor

http://www.amazon.com/Viewsonics-VA2448M-LED-24-Inch-Wi...

...no HDMI, which is a definite negative, but regardless, I've had one of these for over a year, and it works very well.

Quote:
The only way ATI 'crushes' NVidia is in their horrendous heat problems and unstable overclockability.

Trust me when I say I've done over 50 hours of research for my own build and there is not a card out there with the value/price of the GTX 670. On that topic:


Also, I have to politely disagree with this- there are several AMD Radeon cards that provide a better price/performance ration than the GTX 670- the Radeon HD 6950 is half the price of a GTX 670, but gets about 2/3 the performance in games (according to anandtech). The Radeon HD 6850 similarly provides about 40% (give or take 5%) of the performance of a GTX 670, while it costs approx. 35% of a GTX 670. I'm not saying the 670 is a bad card, I'm just saying that across all price points the GTX 670 does not provide the BEST value. However, in the $400 segment, it does beat the Ati/AMD offerings.

Hope I helped
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a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 6:23:37 AM

I disagree with you and agree with you at the same time, edge. Same with Ilnez.

What I agree with from edge:
That AMD does have some cards that are good bang for buck.

What I disagree with from edge:
That the GTX 670 is not the best bang for buck. When you compare two GPUs they have to be in the same class. The GTX 670 compares to the Radeon 7970 while the 7850 compares to the 6950. GTX 670 is $100 cheaper than the 7970 and is only 5% (even less) worse. $100 for 5% increase in performance is a waste of $.

What I agree with on Ilnez:
That the GTX 670 is best bang for buck.

What I disagree with on Ilnez:
That AMD overheats. Before the GTX 6xx series, AMD was the king in price/performance and had less heat than the NVIDIA counterparts. It still holds that price/performance with the 7850 and the 6870.
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