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[New Build] Advice on a few parts for gaming comp.

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August 18, 2012 10:35:31 AM

Hi guys, i was looking to buy a new computer but i am unsure on quite a few parts. Could you please recommend me some good options?

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month

Budget Range: $1000-$1300 AUD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, I was planning to use my current 16" monitor in conjunction with a ~24" monitor.

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, Mobo, RAM, Video Card, Monitor, Case, PSU

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: arc.com.au, similar Australian websites.

Location: Sydney, Australia

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe if necessary

Your Monitor Resolution: Not sure what the resolution would be for both monitors or how it would work. But i would like HD resolution atleast (1920x1080?)

Additional Comments: Already have a keyboard, mouse and speakers. I am australian, so I cannot use newegg.

Why I am upgrading: My computer cannot run most new games on the lowest detail, I would like to run them in high detail at a good frame rate.

The parts I was considering so far was:

I5 3570k
Z77 Mobo - not sure which
G.Skill Ram - not sure which
HD 7850 or GTX 660ti, or something else
HAF 912 Advanced

Thanks
a b C Monitor
August 18, 2012 11:00:51 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($235.00 @ Mwave Australia)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($122.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: GeIL Enhance CORSA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Monitor: Samsung S22B300B 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($145.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1296.00
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-18 21:02 EST+1000)
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August 18, 2012 11:17:08 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($235.00 @ Mwave Australia)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($122.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: GeIL Enhance CORSA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Monitor: Samsung S22B300B 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($145.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1296.00
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-18 21:02 EST+1000)


Thanks for the reply, a few questions and clarifications:
I forgot to mention, I do not need a hard drive or an optical. Is a solid state drive really worth it? If not, i can spend that $200 elsewhere.
Is the CPU cooler necessary? i thought the stock cooler was good enough
Why should i get a micro atx motherboard? i thought the norm was standard atx, or does it not really matter?
I am leaning towards spending a bit more for the 660 ti over the 7850, perhaps? will this bottleneck it or be worth the extra money
I was hoping for a ~24" monitor, http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23834&pid=40745&p=pro... seems fine, only $25 more than the one you suggested
Is a 520w PSU enough if i want to upgrade in the future? im hoping this build will last me a while
the case - i have my heart set on the haf 912, so i dont think i am going to change that. only $20 more than the one you suggested.

Sorry for being such a pain for asking so many questions, thanks again :) 
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Related resources
August 18, 2012 11:39:05 AM

Installing your OS on one makes a huge difference in desktop responsiveness. They have come down in price a lot over the years so if you are considering one, try to get the largest size for your budget (120GB will be absolutely fine but bigger if possible) - enough for all/most programs and some games.
Of course, you may be happy with an HDD - but I'll bet that once you see the difference with an SSD you'll never go back.

Stock CPU coolers are fine for the default clock rate, however for a little extra a 3rd party cooler, in general, can offer much more headroom for overclocking and operate quieter.

Modern micro atx boards are increasingly competing very well with standard boards - many offer everything (and more) that a 'standard' user could want. You must, however, project forward and work out what you might want to add in future, for the lifetime of the board, and determine if that board offers all connectivity/features needed.....but I'll bet, that for most users, this won't be an issue. Additionally, an mATX setup offers the real possibility of reducing the pc tower size while allowing for very acceptable high-end gameplay (barring extreme setup's). With cpu/gpu power requirements and size reducing all the time you'll see more and more smaller form factors/build sizes. Then again, cases (beyond achieving their function aim) are a personal choice - and that haf 912 is nice :) 

For your gfx choice, do the usual and open a few tabs pointing to thorough/good/full benchmark reviews. Cross-check with a few more review sites. Make your choice based on this. That 3570K will have enough headroom to handle everything you need (again, barring extreme setup's).

PSU size will depend on what you want to add in the future, together with any cpu/gpu overclock. Most PSU sites (e.g. Corsair) offer power calculators - plugin a few things here to get an idea now before you buy the PSU. As always for PSU's, stick to the main players.

Gaming on 2 monitors will pose a wee problem - the central/main viewer focal point will pose an issue where the 2 monitors meet. You might want to keep gaming to the larger monitor. If you plan on adding a 3rd in the future for this build (to get the standard 3-monitor set-up) then you might want to reconsider the gfx card while googling "3 monitor gaming reviews" to give you a better idea.

[Update: As screwysqrl said below, most mATX offer sli/xfire - so (unless you plan on a 590/7990) they can do milti card setup's.
As I've shifted most of my media hard disks to a media pc running XBMC I have alot of space in my main pc tower.....so, my next build is going to be mATX in a small case!]

Have fun building your new system...even without changing your original new build specs, it should kick your current pc's butt :) 

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a b C Monitor
August 18, 2012 1:44:56 PM

jreily said:
Thanks for the reply, a few questions and clarifications:
I forgot to mention, I do not need a hard drive or an optical. Is a solid state drive really worth it? If not, i can spend that $200 elsewhere.

The SSD cuts loading times between 75 and 90%. won't add fps, however

Quote:

Is the CPU cooler necessary? i thought the stock cooler was good enough

for stock speeds, yes, but not for overclocking

Quote:

Why should i get a micro atx motherboard? i thought the norm was standard atx, or does it not really matter?


nothing but slots you won't use. the Micro ATX board I posted will even do 8x/8x crossfire/sli

Quote:

I am leaning towards spending a bit more for the 660 ti over the 7850, perhaps? will this bottleneck it or be worth the extra money

the 7850 is $100 less and still excellent 1920x1080 performance, was chosen to keep the price under $1300

Quote:

I was hoping for a ~24" monitor, http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23834&pid=40745&p=pro... seems fine, only $25 more than the one you suggested

Nothing wrong there, the 21.5" was chosen for slightly better pixel density and price considerations.

Quote:

Is a 520w PSU enough if i want to upgrade in the future? im hoping this build will last me a while

that 520W will crossfire 7850s, or handle any single card more powerful (7870, 7950, 7970, 660, 670, 680).

Quote:

the case - i have my heart set on the haf 912, so i dont think i am going to change that. only $20 more than the one you suggested.

Cases are very subjective, so any case is fine.

Quote:

Sorry for being such a pain for asking so many questions, thanks again :) 


happy to help
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August 18, 2012 1:51:29 PM

mesab66 said:
Installing your OS on one makes a huge difference in desktop responsiveness. They have come down in price a lot over the years so if you are considering one, try to get the largest size for your budget (120GB will be absolutely fine but bigger if possible) - enough for all/most programs and some games.
Of course, you may be happy with an HDD - but I'll bet that once you see the difference with an SSD you'll never go back.

Stock CPU coolers are fine for the default clock rate, however for a little extra a 3rd party cooler, in general, can offer much more headroom for overclocking and operate quieter.

Modern micro atx boards are increasingly competing very well with standard boards - many offer everything (and more) that a 'standard' user could want. You must, however, project forward and work out what you might want to add in future, for the lifetime of the board, and determine if that board offers all connectivity/features needed.....but I'll bet, that for most users, this won't be an issue. Additionally, an mATX setup offers the real possibility of reducing the pc tower size while allowing for very acceptable high-end gameplay (barring extreme setup's). With cpu/gpu power requirements and size reducing all the time you'll see more and more smaller form factors/build sizes. Then again, cases (beyond achieving their function aim) are a personal choice - and that haf 912 is nice :) 

For your gfx choice, do the usual and open a few tabs pointing to thorough/good/full benchmark reviews. Cross-check with a few more review sites. Make your choice based on this. That 3570K will have enough headroom to handle everything you need (again, barring extreme setup's).

PSU size will depend on what you want to add in the future, together with any cpu/gpu overclock. Most PSU sites (e.g. Corsair) offer power calculators - plugin a few things here to get an idea now before you buy the PSU. As always for PSU's, stick to the main players.

Gaming on 2 monitors will pose a wee problem - the central/main viewer focal point will pose an issue where the 2 monitors meet. You might want to keep gaming to the larger monitor. If you plan on adding a 3rd in the future for this build (to get the standard 3-monitor set-up) then you might want to reconsider the gfx card while googling "3 monitor gaming reviews" to give you a better idea.

Have fun building your new system...even without changing your original new build specs, it should kick your current pc's butt :) 


Thank you for the informative post :) 

I will post what im thinking about parts a bit later.
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August 18, 2012 2:07:23 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
The SSD cuts loading times between 75 and 90%. won't add fps, however

Quote:

Is the CPU cooler necessary? i thought the stock cooler was good enough

for stock speeds, yes, but not for overclocking

Quote:

Why should i get a micro atx motherboard? i thought the norm was standard atx, or does it not really matter?


nothing but slots you won't use. the Micro ATX board I posted will even do 8x/8x crossfire/sli

Quote:

I am leaning towards spending a bit more for the 660 ti over the 7850, perhaps? will this bottleneck it or be worth the extra money

the 7850 is $100 less and still excellent 1920x1080 performance, was chosen to keep the price under $1300

Quote:

I was hoping for a ~24" monitor, http://www.arc.com.au/pub.php?gid=23834&pid=40745&p=pro... seems fine, only $25 more than the one you suggested

Nothing wrong there, the 21.5" was chosen for slightly better pixel density and price considerations.

Quote:

Is a 520w PSU enough if i want to upgrade in the future? im hoping this build will last me a while

that 520W will crossfire 7850s, or handle any single card more powerful (7870, 7950, 7970, 660, 670, 680).

Quote:

the case - i have my heart set on the haf 912, so i dont think i am going to change that. only $20 more than the one you suggested.

Cases are very subjective, so any case is fine.

Quote:

Sorry for being such a pain for asking so many questions, thanks again :) 


happy to help


Thanks again

I guess i was thinking of a better psu as my next upgrade move would probably be to add another 660ti.
What are the slots i wont use on the mobo?also does it have a usb header?
Also, not sure if this is the right place to ask but what is a good headset that is compatible with xbox 360 and PC for under $150?
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a b C Monitor
August 18, 2012 2:35:31 PM

jreily said:
Thanks again

I guess i was thinking of a better psu as my next upgrade move would probably be to add another 660ti.
What are the slots i wont use on the mobo?also does it have a usb header?
Also, not sure if this is the right place to ask but what is a good headset that is compatible with xbox 360 and PC for under $150?


the slots in an ATX you won't use are for your dial up modem, network cards, sound cards, math co-processor, and other 1980-90s expansion cards, in modern use, slots for 3 or 4 way SLI/Crossfire, PCIe SSDs.

any speaker/headset with a 3mm jack will work.

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August 18, 2012 2:39:34 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the slots in an ATX you won't use are for your dial up modem, network cards, sound cards, math co-processor, and other 1980-90s expansion cards, in modern use, slots for 3 or 4 way SLI/Crossfire, PCIe SSDs.

any speaker/headset with a 3mm jack will work.


Aah, i see. Well i guess that mobo is good then
I think you need a special adapter or something so it works with the 360. Turtlebeach does them, but was wondering if there was alternatives.
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August 19, 2012 9:33:35 AM

So here is what my computer is looking like so far. Problem is, I am $108 over budget. What do you recommend i cut down on?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($235.00 @ Mwave Australia)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($122.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($359.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($108.11 @ ARC)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($133.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($168.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (32-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1408.11
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-19 19:30 EST+1000)
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a b C Monitor
August 19, 2012 11:11:06 AM

looks good, though you may want a storage drive
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August 19, 2012 1:50:44 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
looks good, though you may want a storage drive


I already have a 1TB drive from my old computer. Im now thinking i should go with the psu you first suggested. I dont think there is anything else i want to change, or should be changing. so here is my revised build

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.98 @ ARC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($38.00 @ ARC)
Memory: G.Skill DDR3-1600 8GB Dual Channel [ARES] F3-1600C9D-8GAO ($56.78 @ ARC)
SSD: SanDisk Extreme Solid State Drive SSD 120gb ($100.79 @ ARC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($121.99 @ ARC)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (~$360 @ ??????)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($108.11 @ ARC)
PSU: Antec 520W ATX NEO ECO ($65.93 ARC)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($168.82 @ ARC)
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM ($89.90 @ ARC)
Total: $1345.30

Still $45 over my budget :/  any further suggestions, or all looking good? i guess i can go a bit over haha
Also, anyone recommend a certain 660ti for me to get, and from where?
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a b C Monitor
August 20, 2012 2:17:08 PM

the first thought is a less expensive case
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August 24, 2012 2:28:24 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
the first thought is a less expensive case


What would you recommend? I kind of like front USB 3.0 and kinda like interesting-looking cases

Just confirming, all my parts are compatible right?

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a b C Monitor
August 24, 2012 3:46:38 PM

everything is compatable. front USB 3.0 is probly worth the extra $45
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!