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First time build: $600 gaming

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August 11, 2012 11:17:13 PM

This is my first build, and I want to make sure everything will work well for my purposes. Details below.

Approximate Purchase Date: next few days

Budget Range: 500-600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, possible home theater use

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, HHD, case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: New Egg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: going with Intel make, but open to AMD suggestions.

Overclocking: Maybe 

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, but not likely 

Monitor Resolution: Not sure.

Additional Comments: First time I've built a computer. I prefer it to be somewhat quiet, but value is most important. I want to play most modern games now, but have an XBox for AAA games that I couldn't run well on this machine. I'd like to be able to upgrade pretty easily in the future, which is why I've gone a little stronger on the CPU than maybe needed. I've got several free pieces coming to me, including a few 80GB HDDS that I'll use for media and file storage, leaving the SSD primarily for OS and programs.

Before I order I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything or should consider something else. This order will come in around $600 after rebates, which is about the high end of my budget.

I'm interested in overclocking in the future, but not right away.

Does this look pretty good and work well together?
Should I be in pretty good shape to for the next few years in terms of upgrading?

Items to order:

Intel Core i5-2500K CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 Powe Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 128GB SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks in advance. (And special thanks to the guys in the GPU thread who game me a lot of help there.)

More about : time build 600 gaming

August 12, 2012 1:04:17 AM

I honestly think you GPU is Horrible, At least get a 6850.
As for the 2500k, If your not going to get it from micro center then dont get it.
Id say Stick with an i3.
Your power supply could be kicked up to the Corsair builder CX600, Its on sale.
Not sure if your ssd is neccassary.
Your mobo looks fine but it might be a bit to much on the higher price.
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August 12, 2012 1:26:43 AM

iliketrains said:
I honestly think you GPU is Horrible, At least get a 6850.
As for the 2500k, If your not going to get it from micro center then dont get it.
Id say Stick with an i3.
Your power supply could be kicked up to the Corsair builder CX600, Its on sale.
Not sure if your ssd is neccassary.
Your mobo looks fine but it might be a bit to much on the higher price.


How abou this 6850?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I saw that Corsair, but I don't think I need that much power.
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Related resources
August 12, 2012 1:50:26 AM

so what is your.......... monitor/size and res, HHD, case, ....OS and is it 32 or 64bit ?
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August 12, 2012 2:01:29 AM

swifty_morgan said:
so what is your.......... monitor/size and res, HHD, case, ....OS and is it 32 or 64bit ?


I've got a few options for monitor size, and I might run it on a 32 inch TV. 64 bit Win 7, three 80GB HHDs, don't know what brand of case, but it's a mid-tower with all of the slots I need.
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August 12, 2012 2:02:54 AM

Do you live by a micro center?
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August 12, 2012 2:06:40 AM

iliketrains said:
Do you live by a micro center?


No closest one is hours away. Not worth the gas money! ;) 

I'm hoping to only have to upgrade the GPU anytime in the next couple of years. Maybe the ram.
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August 12, 2012 2:30:59 AM

I honestly would stick with the Saphire
Get an i3 2120 (on sale)
8 GB memory anybrand should do
A case to your preferance
CX600 Power Supply
And cheap Disk Reader
A 500gb Hard-Drive should do

In total this should be around 570 Dollars
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August 12, 2012 3:40:54 AM

that's a good heat sink yes, but wait and see what comes with the processor. I have one that has a big chunk of copper that contacts the top of the processor drawing out the heat to the aluminum fins. Some people complain about getting only all aluminum.
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August 12, 2012 3:43:39 AM

Was a ram voltage question. Found the answer.
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August 12, 2012 4:05:11 AM

First switch your M/B to this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has dual pci 3.0 slots and if your looking for possible future C/F or sli that's what you'll want, plus it's cheaper.

I would get this memory for it's lower stock voltage setting (could provide extra OC headroom):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Try and get yourself some aftermarket cooling too, the hyper 212+ is an oldie but is still an excellent cooler at a low price.

If you can try and save a little more money and get an HD 6850 or 6870. This one is nice and it had dual fans:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This SSD is better and is also cheaper than the one you listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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August 12, 2012 4:28:47 AM

Quote:
I would get this memory for it's lower stock voltage setting (could provide extra OC headroom):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The version 2 of this is $6 cheaper. Any reason to go 3?

Quote:
If you can try and save a little more money and get an HD 6850 or 6870. This one is nice and it had dual fans:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm going with a 6870 for sure now. Do you agree that the Saphire is better than the XFX? (XFX is $15 cheaper.)

Quote:
This SSD is better and is also cheaper than the one you listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Iv'e been nervous about that brand, as I've read some odd things about it, including strange driver updating. Anything you can add to put the mind at ease? Price is nice.
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August 12, 2012 4:47:17 AM

I cannot seem to find version 2 of the ram could you provide a link so i can compare the two?
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August 12, 2012 5:04:04 AM

Well im back and i see you have made some progress, Good for you.
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August 12, 2012 5:05:36 AM

iliketrains said:
Well im back and i see you have made some progress, Good for you.

haha! Slowly working it out. Hoping to put in the order tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for the help so far.
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August 12, 2012 5:08:58 AM

Those two ram kits should have identical performance but the ones i listed are a dollar cheaper before mail in rebates (which i always avoid, only because i have never gotten one back).

I personally have no experience with an SSD, so perhaps you should just stick with the one you have.

I do however have this PSU and love it since it is semi modular:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've had both a sapphire and an xfx card, i never had a problem with either of them. xfx does offer a lifetime warranty if you register within 30days, that could be a deciding factor.
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August 12, 2012 5:28:05 AM

I Do have a build in my cart for around 600 dollars but it involves micro center so...
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August 12, 2012 5:33:55 AM

iliketrains said:
I Do have a build in my cart for around 600 dollars but it involves micro center so...


Yeah, I'm definitely going over with the i5 not at micro center, but I'd rather pay the extra money now and have less to upgrade. As is, with rebates, I'm still within reason of what I was hoping to cap, including a bigger jump in GPU than I originally intended. I should be very good now for what I want and be good for the future.
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August 12, 2012 5:41:33 AM

You can cut 15 bucks on ram cost if you go down to 4Gb:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8Gb isn't needed for any of the tasks you listed anyways, plus overclocking headroom should be better on 2Gb sticks than 4Gb ones. Gskill also has an awesome warranty, if your ram ever fails for any reason just send it to them and they'll replace it.

I'm only saying this to save you money if you have no other option, if you can still afford the 8Gb stick than get those cause who knows what the future will hold as far as ram usage goes.
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August 12, 2012 5:54:13 AM

Dont forget not all rebates work ._.
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Anonymous
August 12, 2012 6:01:57 AM

dnbman said:
Yeah, I'm definitely going over with the i5 not at micro center, but I'd rather pay the extra money now and have less to upgrade. As is, with rebates, I'm still within reason of what I was hoping to cap, including a bigger jump in GPU than I originally intended. I should be very good now for what I want and be good for the future.

i'd like to point out a few things you may want to be aware of:

the 6870 needs two 6 pin CPI connections and the CX430 has one. you can use an adapter though if you overclock the i5, when you get a decent heatsink for it, you are going to be pushing just over 300 watts on full load with 140 of that on the gpu. now that is a quality PSU and ought to handle a 75% without breaking a sweat but getting a bigger graphic card later will mean upgrading the PSU also.

and you have a 128 gig SSD and a 80 gig platter, that is a very limited amount of storage especially if you are going to be watching movies. a 1080 or even 720 hi def movies can eat up 8 to 12 gigs of space so you are looking at maybe having just a few movies to choose from. and really if you want to watch movies a DVD drive is handy to have.

just saying something before you put it together and kick yourself later.
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August 12, 2012 6:23:26 AM

If you're still looking to fit all this under $600, this is what I'd do:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.38 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.50 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $596.83
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-12 02:17 EDT-0400)

The total comes out to just under $620 before the single $20 rebate on the motherboard. I didn't include a cooler, although if you'd like to overclock as soon as you get it all together, feel free to add on another $35 for a Hyper 212 EVO. I also didn't include an SSD, because your budget doesn't really allow it (unless you'd be okay dropping to an i3 or PhII 965). Basically, with this, your best bet is to just save up for the rest of the parts (now or later, either one works). If you get this now, you'll be wanting to save for a better storage solution (something like a 500GB or 1TB for media, and then a 128GB SSD for boot/games) and a processor cooler (if you save more than $30 for it, you can get some seriously nice overclocks on a 2500k). Other than that, you'll pretty much be set. Just don't forget the promo codes when you purchase.
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August 12, 2012 6:27:14 AM

I say cut back on the motherboard. I don't think he will want to CF/SLI with a 6870. Z68 is meant for SB CPUs.
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August 12, 2012 11:31:13 AM

Anonymous said:
i'd like to point out a few things you may want to be aware of:

the 6870 needs two 6 pin CPI connections and the CX430 has one. you can use an adapter though if you overclock the i5, when you get a decent heatsink for it, you are going to be pushing just over 300 watts on full load with 140 of that on the gpu. now that is a quality PSU and ought to handle a 75% without breaking a sweat but getting a bigger graphic card later will mean upgrading the PSU also.



Some other folks have suggested to me that I want to avoid too much power also. What would be a safe amount for now and a card upgrade a year or so from now?

Quote:
and you have a 128 gig SSD and a 80 gig platter, that is a very limited amount of storage especially if you are going to be watching movies. a 1080 or even 720 hi def movies can eat up 8 to 12 gigs of space so you are looking at maybe having just a few movies to choose from. and really if you want to watch movies a DVD drive is handy to have.

just saying something before you put it together and kick yourself later.


I've got 3 HHDs though, and that's just to get my started. I'll probably add a large HDD later. This should work to get me started, right? Currently, I don't keep a lot of video media. It's almost all music.

Thanks for the suggestions!


How about this?
XCLIO GREATPOWER X14S4P3 500W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this one by OCZ
OCZ ModXStream Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The same Seasonic is also about $70 for the modular model.
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Anonymous
August 12, 2012 7:19:58 PM

dnbman said:
Some other folks have suggested to me that I want to avoid too much power also. What would be a safe amount for now and a card upgrade a year or so from now?

Quote:
and you have a 128 gig SSD and a 80 gig platter, that is a very limited amount of storage especially if you are going to be watching movies. a 1080 or even 720 hi def movies can eat up 8 to 12 gigs of space so you are looking at maybe having just a few movies to choose from. and really if you want to watch movies a DVD drive is handy to have.

just saying something before you put it together and kick yourself later.


I've got 3 HHDs though, and that's just to get my started. I'll probably add a large HDD later. This should work to get me started, right? Currently, I don't keep a lot of video media. It's almost all music.

Thanks for the suggestions!


How about this?
XCLIO GREATPOWER X14S4P3 500W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this one by OCZ
OCZ ModXStream Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The same Seasonic is also about $70 for the modular model.


picking the lesser of the two evils. i'd look at the OCZ. i am not thrilled with OCZs PSUs except the ZT series. i read a review of a 750 watt xclio and though it seemed like a sufficient PSU (didn't blow up and provided stability and efficiency at 80% load) i noticed they are made by channel well and that is not a highly thought of OEM manufacturer of PSUs.

i'll give you a suggestion to look at to see if you have the budget:
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W $59.99

that will handle any single grfx card though when it comes to what to get with your budget; it might be better to get the CX430 and 6870 now instead of a 500+ watt PSU and lower graphics card. and even though you would be looking at getting another PSU when/if you upgrade the graphics card you will have the best performance with your budget now.

take a look at the sales just before you buy, you may find a 500+ watt antec, corsair, season or XFX on sale for a good price. the main component to look for is a 6 and 6+2 pin connections on the 12 volt rail to allow you room to upgrade in a year or so.

the worse case money wise is you get the CX430 and then need to upgrade the PSU. well having a spare PSU in the closet isn't a bad thing. that way you will have a back up if something goes flonky to run a minimum set up or a good PSU to build a HTPC in the future.
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