Looking for input/advice on my first build

I'm putting together a preliminary parts list for my first build, and I was hoping to get some advice on the set up i have so far. This pc will be used primarily for gaming, and I'd like to be able to run games like Guild Wars 2, Skyrim (with Mods), and BF3 with graphics and fps as high as possible for my budget. I'm aware how demanding BF3 can be, and that's okay, if i could max out GW and Skyrim in 1080p, I'd be extremely satisfied. I'm still unsure of what GPU to purchase, as I'm waiting for the 660ti. No immediate plans to OC, but it definitely will be a possibility.

Finally, as this is my first build, I'm open to all criticism on if I've made dumb choices, just please don't be too harsh :)

So, without further ado, here's what I'm looking at.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz

Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO


MOBO: MSI Z77A-G45 LGA 1155

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache

GPU: This where I need YOUR help :) I'd like to keep it around 2-300, and no plans for SLI

Finally, Im trying to keep a budget around $1200, give or take.

Thanks in Advance!
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  1. Best answer
    A graphics card in $200-300 budget is the mid range, which is currently dominated (IMO) by the HD7850. There just isnt any Nvidia card at its price that compares.
    MSI HD7850. $260
    The 660Ti may upset this, but as it hasn't been benchmarked (only one review of questionable legality) or have an official release day, cant really factor it in.

    16GB of RAM is quite overkill for a gaming rig, 8GB will be sufficient. Heres a fairly standard kit of low profile RAM that will fit with the mobo.
    G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) 1600mhz CL9 1.5v. $45

    See if you can find another $20 to go up to a 1TB drive. Its adequate storage while the 500GB may become strained, and its cheaper to buy bigger single drive now instead of two smaller drives.
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB cache. $90
  2. Thank you for the quick reply!

    Looking into the 7850, and I definitely like what I see! And the price is right about the sweet spot as well.

    I kinda thought the RAM might be overkill, and as I'm looking at finalizing the build, cutting unnecessary cost is great.

    It was kind of a toss up on the HDD between 500 and 1tb. Do you have any advice on whether i should pick up a SSD as well?

    And do you have an opinion on the MOBO? reading reviews and looking over the specs and feature, it seemed like a pretty good board for the price. Not to mention its going to match my blue and black theme :)
  3. Considering the board only has two SATAIII ports, you want to get as much capacity on the one drive as you can, as you can only connect the SSD (you would be wasting its potential if you didn't) and one HDD to it. Besides, 1TB will be plenty unless your a digital hoarder (which would be catastrophic on 500GB).

    An SSD is definetly a great investment. It is the easiest way to boost performance of a machine, and the boot-up time difference is noticeable. Now the bottleneck for me getting on my PC is how long it takes for me to hit the power buttons on my 3 monitors. As for which one, I advise the OCZ Vertex 4, its one of the fastest, its reliable (so far) and its only getting faster as OCZ updates it.
    128GB OCZ Vertex 4. $115

    Nothing wrong with the board except the aforementioned lack of SATA3 ports, you only get two. So a total of 6 SATA ports, if mass storage is something to consider, may want something with a few more.
  4. Alright, so 6 ports will be plenty by far. Now I just have to decide whether to go a little over budget for the SSD O.O

    I found this 7850, the MSI power edition. Seems to be a pretty good card, and from what I can tell basically the same price but with good OC options if i decided to go that route. What do you think?

    Beyond that i think that covers everything... Thanks again!
  5. MSI, ASUS, GIgabyte, Sapphire, Zotac are the good card manufacturers, you wont be dissatisfied with any of them. MSI is arguably the best though.
  6. Alright, well I guess now its just the wait for a couple pay checks before I buy lol. Thank you for all the help!
  7. Best answer selected by Bane07.
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