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First Time Gaming Rig! ~$1500

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August 13, 2012 4:15:21 AM

Hey guys, I’m looking to build a computer for the first time, primarily for gaming. I’ve been using an ASUS G51JX Laptop for my gaming/college needs since I left for school two years ago. This also marked my foray into the PC gaming world. It has worked fine for a while... However, as the newer games are coming out I find myself downscaling to the lowest resolutions and settings. Having worked all summer, I’ve been looking forward to building a nice machine that can finally play the games I want to play, the way they’re meant to be played.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within two weeks if possible (for college), but willing to wait if something new is being released.

Budget Range: $1200-$1600, but if there is anything that is worth investing in that would really improve the build, I don’t have much of a problem with that.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet usage, streaming movies.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, but I don’t really know much about what to look into. I’ve been using a spare 32” HDTV that’s been lying around the house, but I don’t plan on using that for my final computer build.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, W7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I’ve only used newegg.com for computer related purchases, but anything that’s an established, valid site is good enough for me.

Location: Connecticut, US. I’m going to be building/using the computer in my dorm room, with the intent of transferring it home for extended breaks and likely bringing it to LAN parties.

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but probably not until I start working again next summer

Your Monitor Resolution: Again, I don’t know much about monitors. I’ve been running 1920x1080, but if there is a reason to alter that resolution I won’t be opposed.

Additional Comments: My biggest concern is heat and dust. My dorm room is likely going to get pretty hot, with my roommate also gaming at all hours in the same room as me. Where I’m living this semester doesn’t have an A/C unit or anything, so we’ll just be pointing a fan at the window and keeping the door open. Also, when I attend LAN parties with my friends, the room we use has no ventilation (fans + one door, no windows), so that gets pretty hot as well. Last year, my dorm room accumulated so much dust that my laptop was clogged enough to shut off from overheating. Any type of optional dust filters or something of that nature to keep my rig clean would be very nice to have.

Here is what I have picked out for parts so far, please let me know what you think:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/evpu



**EDIT: Here is the revised build - Thanks, guys!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

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 ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($407.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($126.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1543.73
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-15 00:37 EDT-0400)

More about : time gaming rig 1500

a c 247 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 4:20:42 AM

Quote:
Additional Comments: My biggest concern is heat and dust. My dorm room is likely going to get pretty hot, with my roommate also gaming at all hours in the same room as me. Where I’m living this semester doesn’t have an A/C unit or anything, so we’ll just be pointing a fan at the window and keeping the door open. Also, when I attend LAN parties with my friends, the room we use has no ventilation (fans + one door, no windows), so that gets pretty hot as well. Last year, my dorm room accumulated so much dust that my laptop was clogged enough to shut off from overheating. Any type of optional dust filters or something of that nature to keep my rig clean would be very nice to have.


I honestly can't help you there - there's plenty of preventative measures you can take to prevent dust but you could probably write a whole textbook on that. :lol: 

Quote:

Here is what I have picked out for parts so far, please let me know what you think:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/evpu


That looks amazing - the HAF 912 is a good case choice but with your budget you could probably go higher and get something like an NZXT Phantom 410 or Corsair 400R, but otherwise go for it.
Related resources
August 13, 2012 4:28:46 AM

Quote:
That looks amazing - the HAF 912 is a good case choice but with your budget you could probably go higher and get something like an NZXT Phantom 410 or Corsair 400R, but otherwise go for it.


Thanks! I picked that case mostly because of the dust covers, but I'll look and see if a more expensive case offers better options. I'm also kinda put off from a viewing window or anything flashy, like neon.

Quote:

Here, try this...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/evsN

I made a few subtle changes to help better the build.


I appreciate it! What about your suggestions beef it up, exactly? I can see that the HDD's rpm is higher, but what is different about the GPU/PSU's? Also, I like the monitor and I'll start looking into those very soon ;) 




How likely are compatibility issues? What can I check to ensure I won't run into problems?
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 5:26:24 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $149.98 save: $15.00 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $346.98 save: $18.00
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $32.39 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & 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... $79.98 & 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

http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7PC1... $100.55 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PC128B/WW

http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GV-N670OC-2GD-GeForce-Wi... $399.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 Windforce OC 2048MB GDDR5 256-bit PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Graphics Card

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.63 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Total: $1,298.48 *not including shipping & rebates

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 4:53:53 PM
Share

Chicken Denders said:
Quote:
That looks amazing - the HAF 912 is a good case choice but with your budget you could probably go higher and get something like an NZXT Phantom 410 or Corsair 400R, but otherwise go for it.


Thanks! I picked that case mostly because of the dust covers, but I'll look and see if a more expensive case offers better options. I'm also kinda put off from a viewing window or anything flashy, like neon.

Quote:

Here, try this...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/evsN

I made a few subtle changes to help better the build.


I appreciate it! What about your suggestions beef it up, exactly? I can see that the HDD's rpm is higher, but what is different about the GPU/PSU's? Also, I like the monitor and I'll start looking into those very soon ;) 




How likely are compatibility issues? What can I check to ensure I won't run into problems?


You don't have to worry about compatibility issues with any build listed thus far.

As for my build, it isn't necessarily about beefing it up per se. The EVGA GPU offers better customer support. It's also one of the top performers among the gtx 670s. I've been hearing and seeing quite a bit of bad things about the gigabyte gtx 670s :(  I also bumped your case up to the HAF 922. It does everything the HAF 912 does but better. The PSU I chose is the HX750 from Corsair. It's fully modular, 80+ silver certified, 750 watts, and it's running at around $105. It's usually at the $150 price point but has dramatically decreased in price. It's an excellent deal.
a c 247 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 4:59:42 PM

DeusAres said:
You don't have to worry about compatibility issues with any build listed thus far.

As for my build, it isn't necessarily about beefing it up per se. The EVGA GPU offers better customer support. It's also one of the top performers among the gtx 670s. I've been hearing and seeing quite a bit of bad things about the gigabyte gtx 670s :(  I also bumped your case up to the HAF 922. It does everything the HAF 912 does but better. The PSU I chose is the HX750 from Corsair. It's fully modular, 80+ silver certified, 750 watts, and it's running at around $105. It's usually at the $150 price point but has dramatically decreased in price. It's an excellent deal.


EVGA has excellent customer support and the 10 year warranty. People like the Gigabyte 670 because it has the best cooling solution among the cards currently available. But I've never really read anything bad about the Gigabyte model yet. Here's a roundup of 670 models: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-tes...
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 5:32:46 PM

g-unit1111 said:
EVGA has excellent customer support and the 10 year warranty. People like the Gigabyte 670 because it has the best cooling solution among the cards currently available. But I've never really read anything bad about the Gigabyte model yet. Here's a roundup of 670 models: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-tes...


Gigabyte is my gtx 670 of choice, but a few people on the forums have been claiming alot of people have had to RMA their GPU.
a c 247 4 Gaming
August 13, 2012 5:53:16 PM

DeusAres said:
Gigabyte is my gtx 670 of choice, but a few people on the forums have been claiming alot of people have had to RMA their GPU.


Really, I haven't heard that yet but good to know.
August 14, 2012 1:57:07 AM

Thank you for all the replies, I'm doing my best to take everything into consideration!

Now, in the future, I'm interested in perhaps getting a second GTX 670 for an SLI setup. Would I need to alter anything now to compensate for future plans, or is it better to just wait until I'm closer to buying the second card?
a c 247 4 Gaming
August 14, 2012 5:42:53 AM

Chicken Denders said:
Thank you for all the replies, I'm doing my best to take everything into consideration!

Now, in the future, I'm interested in perhaps getting a second GTX 670 for an SLI setup. Would I need to alter anything now to compensate for future plans, or is it better to just wait until I'm closer to buying the second card?


The only thing you'd really need to alter is the PSU - you'd need to get something in the 750W - 800W range. And you'd have to make sure your motherboard has the accommodating slots but that shouldn't be that big of a deal - if you get something like the Gigabyte UD3H or the Asrock Extreme 4 - they will have them.
August 15, 2012 12:20:01 AM

Is there any reason I should hold off on making a purchase this week? Are any fancy new items becoming available, or are there any major upcoming sales?

Also, are there any extra cables or the like that are worth ordering ahead of time, rather than discovering I need something after the fact?
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 1:45:26 AM

Nah, I think you're all set. Unless you want to downgrade your GPU to the gtx 660ti which is due for release on the 16th.
August 15, 2012 2:05:15 AM

DeusAres said:
Nah, I think you're all set. Unless you want to downgrade your GPU to the gtx 660ti which is due for release on the 16th.



I dont have much of a need to budget myself , especially if it's going to gimp performance. I'll take a final look at everything and compile a new, revised build. Any suggestions for anything I can sink an extra $100 or so into that would REALLY improve anything, or is everything as good as it needs to be for this budget-bracket?
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 2:06:56 AM

Come back with your revised build, and I can help you with that.

Although, you may want to put it in a bigger SSD. They're always useful.
August 15, 2012 3:51:10 AM

Quote:
Come back with your revised build, and I can help you with that.


I guess I'm pretty much going exactly with the build you suggested earlier...!



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

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 ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($407.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($126.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1543.73
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-14 23:44 EDT-0400)


There really doesn't seem to be all that much wiggle room with computer builds. I expected the whole process to be a lot more confusing, but it seems like once you have a specific purpose in mind (gaming), the parts you want to get are fairly obvious for each price bracket. Would you say this is typical, or have I simply not done enough research?
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 3:59:37 AM

For the most part. Not really all that much too it. Just gotta make sure you pick reliable parts and they meet your needs/desires. Occasionally keep a look out for those super amazing deals.

One more thing, make sure you get this PSU..

Corsair Professional HX750W
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=38649&vpn=CMPSU-750HX&...

There's an amazing deal going for it on NCIX. It's 80+ silver certified and fully modular for $105 with MIR. Excellent deal.

[Edit]

Nevermind, you're ordering all your parts from newegg. My bad. Just noticed that.
August 15, 2012 4:10:21 AM

DeusAres said:
For the most part. Not really all that much too it. Just gotta make sure you pick reliable parts and they meet your needs/desires. Occasionally keep a look out for those super amazing deals.

One more thing, make sure you get this PSU..

Corsair Professional HX750W
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=38649&vpn=CMPSU-750HX&...

There's an amazing deal going for it on NCIX. It's 80+ silver certified and fully modular for $105 with MIR. Excellent deal.

[Edit]

Nevermind, you're ordering all your parts from newegg. My bad. Just noticed that.



I don't really have much of a reason to only stick to Newegg, I just selected that option for convenience ;)  If ordering from another site saves me $40 I won't be too upset.



I do like the case, but dust appears to be a major complaint with the HAF 922. I assume I can just order a few filters and that wouldn't be a problem, however. And I DO enjoy dusting my laptop...



Another issue I have is that I'm suspicious of the wiring in my dorm. I had a lamp blow out last semester and I certainly don't want my computer to explode. Will a simple surge protector bar any potential hazards like that?
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 4:15:24 AM

Hm, a surge protector should help, but there's no guarantees.

And yup, you could get some magnetic dust filters and slap 'em right on the case if dust is an issue.
August 15, 2012 4:17:59 AM

DeusAres said:
Hm, a surge protector should help, but there's no guarantees.

And yup, you could get some magnetic dust filters and slap 'em right on the case if dust is an issue.


Alright! Is the OS adequate, or should I invest in something better? I just posted this build on another forum and that was a proposed flaw.
a c 247 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 4:21:25 AM

Chicken Denders said:
Alright! Is the OS adequate, or should I invest in something better? I just posted this build on another forum and that was a proposed flaw.


Windows 7 Home Premium is all you need for a gaming system. Although with Steam becoming available on Ubuntu later this year Windows 7 is becoming a moot point anymore. :lol: 
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 4:23:27 AM

OS? You're talking about the Windows 7 operating system, right? It's the best gaming OS out there.

They may be referring to it being an OEM version. In which case, you can only use that particular windows 7 license on that computer only.
a b 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 4:24:23 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Windows 7 Home Premium is all you need for a gaming system. Although with Steam becoming available on Ubuntu later this year Windows 7 is becoming a moot point anymore. :lol: 


+1^

That'll be fun. Kinda wanna give it a test drive myself.
a c 247 4 Gaming
August 15, 2012 4:33:27 AM

DeusAres said:
+1^

That'll be fun. Kinda wanna give it a test drive myself.


Yeah I'm seriously interested in seeing how it will work. Valve has pretty much denounced Windows 8 and that XBOX live BS, so it will be interesting to see what happens from here.
August 15, 2012 4:35:13 AM

Alright guys, well thanks so much for all the help! I'll take this build and run it by a few other forums, but everything looks pretty solid :) :) 
August 15, 2012 4:37:22 AM

Best answer selected by Chicken Denders.
!