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Gaming rig build $1200 - newbie - any help / input appreciated

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August 22, 2012 4:22:53 AM

I am a complete newbie to this but am willing to learn. After looking at various other builds and trying to learn as I go over the past 3 days, I came up with this:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K (Ivy) 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

GPU: HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870, 2gig 256b GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD1: Intel 330 2.5" 120GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD (for OS + few games)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

HD2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 650W ATX12v v. 2.31 (80 PLUS BRONZE)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower ATX Gaming Computer Case
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM: G.Skill Value Series 16gb (2x / 8gb) 240-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 1333 (PC3 10600)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OD: ASUS DRW-24B1st/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24x DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Few notes:

1. I probably won't overclock since this is my first build ever, but I'd like to have the option (hence the k series ivy)

2. If I do overclock, I will invest in an after-market fan.

3. I will primarily game with this computer as well as web/hulu tv a lot.

4. I am trying to keep my price in the $1,200 range (not including monitor, OS, wireless keyboard / mouse, headsets..etc)

5. I will be using my 42" TV as a monitor, and I will be on a couch with wireless tech, like hedonism bot from Futurama. This has been a personal dream of mine.

Few questions:

1. Anything about this build seem contrary to my goals?

2. Any substantial price point improvements to be made here?

3. I have never put together a PC before, or taken one apart. Any good reference material out there? I haven't started looking, but I will. I've heard it's not..you know, mind blowing, but I wouldn't want to royally botch it due to inexperience.

4. Is 650W sufficient power? I used the new egg estimator but it didn't seem too, you know, comprehensive.

OTHER INFO (from "How to Ask for a New Build")
Approx date of purchase: This week, asap. Eager to start building :) 
Do I need to buy OS?: No
Buying Monitor?: No
System Use Importance: Gaming, Internet Surf/Video/Netflix, Watching Movies, Writing / Word Procssing
Preferred Sites: Newegg, Microcenter..but am open to anything trusted
Parts preference: Whatever is good..I'm new, so no real preferences :) 

Thanks so much for any input. This site has been a tremendous help for me already.

- Brian

More about : gaming rig build 1200 newbie input appreciated

August 22, 2012 5:37:33 AM

The build looks solid but the ram is a bit much. For gaming you will never use more than 4gb and an 8gb kit is more than enough. Put some of that ram money into an aftermarket CPU cooler. You can also go with a cheaper Z77 motherboard and up the video card.

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

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

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

Ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 22, 2012 5:41:43 AM

Quote:
1. Anything about this build seem contrary to my goals?


Get a GTX 660TI - the Radeon 7870 is a good card, but the 660TI is better in its' price range. Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
2. Any substantial price point improvements to be made here?


Switch out the SSD with a Samsung 830 - I'm not the biggest fan of Intel SSDs, the Samsung is an excellent drive for the price. Also 16GB of RAM isn't needed for gaming, you can get by with 8. Try this:

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

Quote:
3. I have never put together a PC before, or taken one apart. Any good reference material out there? I haven't started looking, but I will. I've heard it's not..you know, mind blowing, but I wouldn't want to royally botch it due to inexperience.


The only hard part about building a PC is hooking your case to the motherboard, otherwise everything screws into place. A quick Google search will yield thousands of results for this.

Quote:
4. Is 650W sufficient power? I used the new egg estimator but it didn't seem too, you know, comprehensive.


For a single card yes, for multiple not really. PSU calculators are generally off by a long shot, they're not really a good way to measure actual PSU requirements vs. perceived requirements.
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August 22, 2012 6:10:59 AM

Microcenter has those bundle deals with the cpu + motherboard so chances are you will get that board down below for $40 - $50 cheaper than what it shows on here.


http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-Comp... $94.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 - $79.99 after $20.00 rebate FREE SHIPPING 15% off w/ promo code Corsair15PSU, ends 8/22
CORSAIR CX Series CX750 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $134.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $189.99
Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $29.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Universal CPU Cooler

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $43.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $17.99
LG 24x DVD±RW Burner - OEM

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $86.63 & 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/SanDisk-Extreme-Gb-s2-5-Inch-Soli... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk Extreme SSD 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SDSSDX-120G-G25

Total: $778.90 *not including rebates & promo codes


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7?url=search-a... <----- GTX 660 ti 2GB

or...

http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili... $297.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $277.99
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card HD7870-DC2-2GD5


http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.72 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-2-5-Inch-Solid-SD... $154.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SDSSDX-240G-G25


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/ <----- another look at that board along with a link on there to the latest bios update

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-extreme6-z77a-g... <----- Review of that board w/benchmarks

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- Review of that board w/benchmarks
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August 22, 2012 6:14:06 AM

It would be a shame to buy a CPU with an unlocked multiplier and not overclock it. Seeing how easy it is to overclock, and how comparatively pain-in-the-balls it can be to replace the stock cooler, my advice would be to get a good aftermarket cooler straight off, just in case. It's not a huge investment and it's a lot more quiet and effective than the stock cooler. I wouldn't recommend anything from Cooler Master if noise bothers you, but Zalman and Noctua are pretty good.
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August 22, 2012 9:28:31 AM

Hi there,

I would go less expensive on the RAM, CPU, and Mobo then invest that money in the graphics card. GPU tends to be the biggest bottleneck in current systems. If you want to be able to run the latest games at 60+fps on your 1080p tv, invest in something like a Geforce GTX 670 / Radeon 7950 or higher. I just put together a really nice gaming rig for $1100 with a Geforce GTX 680.

Check out more of my builds and recommendations at: http://rightrig.tumblr.com/post/22245588294/the-results...



An intel 2500k CPU should do you well for pretty much any games and you can easily overclock it by upping the multiplier in your bios. I was able to stably overclock my 2500k to 4ghz with no aftermarket cooling.

Hope this helps!
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August 23, 2012 12:41:25 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I am considering all the advice. I think I will be scaling back some of the hardware (cpu, mobo, ram) to pour more money into the graphics card. I've seen this advice for other builds, but I am having a hard time of letting go of the high end cpu and mobo. I don't know why. Something in me is saying that with the 16gb ram, newer cpu and higher end mobo that the system will be more stable.....or something. Doesn't really make sense.
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August 23, 2012 1:03:08 AM

fiachamp said:
Hi there,

I would go less expensive on the RAM, CPU, and Mobo then invest that money in the graphics card. GPU tends to be the biggest bottleneck in current systems. If you want to be able to run the latest games at 60+fps on your 1080p tv, invest in something like a Geforce GTX 670 / Radeon 7950 or higher. I just put together a really nice gaming rig for $1100 with a Geforce GTX 680.

Check out more of my builds and recommendations at: http://rightrig.tumblr.com/post/22245588294/the-results...



An intel 2500k CPU should do you well for pretty much any games and you can easily overclock it by upping the multiplier in your bios. I was able to stably overclock my 2500k to 4ghz with no aftermarket cooling.

Hope this helps!


There's no reason to pair a 2500K with a Z77 motherboard as you lose quite a bit of functionality. You need the 3570K for the new motherboards.
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August 23, 2012 1:05:48 AM

g-unit1111 said:
There's no reason to pair a 2500K with a Z77 motherboard as you lose quite a bit of functionality. You need the 3570K for the new motherboards.


That makes sense, but what kind of functionality might I lose? I like the ASUS motherboard that I chose because it has the built-in wireless device. Will need wireless card for this computer. Not sure of what other functionality I might lose with a non-Z77 motherboard though.

Thanks for your input!
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August 23, 2012 1:24:06 AM

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.00)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 )
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 )
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 )
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 )
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 )
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 )
Power Supply: Antec earth watts 650 w platnium psu ($119.00)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 )
Total: $1214.00 ish

Can get a cheaper case or a cheaper psu if you want but personally I like to have overkill psu with max protections for my investments.
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August 23, 2012 1:34:09 AM

zulug said:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.00)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 )
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 )
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 )
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 )
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 )
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 )
Power Supply: Antec earth watts 650 w platnium psu ($119.00)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 )
Total: $1214.00 ish

Can get a cheaper case or a cheaper psu if you want but personally I like to have overkill psu with max protections for my investments.


Any reason I shouldn't go with the GTX Ti 660 OC? People are saying that it runs close to the GTX 670

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

Thanks again for your input!
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August 23, 2012 1:50:05 AM

I'm sure the 660 Ti will work also, I posted my build for you because I noticed it would fit in your price range. But from what I have seen assuming either both cards are overclocked or both are not overclocked 80$ difference for 15-25% performance. Really depend what games you are playing also if both cards are going to overkill max out the game then mine as well save the 80 bucks.

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

I like the look of mine better also lol
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August 23, 2012 1:56:01 AM

zulug said:
I'm sure the 660 Ti will work also, I posted my build for you because I noticed it would fit in your price range. But from what I have seen assuming either both cards are overclocked or both are not overclocked 80$ difference for 15-25% performance. Really depend what games you are playing also if both cards are going to overkill max out the game then mine as well save the 80 bucks.


Thanks Zulug. I am thinking about your advice. I want to play Bethesda games / borderlands-type fps / fps games / guild wars 2 / a little bit of Modern Warfare here or there..or if a Left for Dead 3 comes out...I'll def play something like that :) . Since I want to play on my 1080p monitor..do you think I should go for the higher end card?

Thanks.
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August 23, 2012 2:03:13 AM

briskle said:

Few questions:

1. Anything about this build seem contrary to my goals?

2. Any substantial price point improvements to be made here?

3. I have never put together a PC before, or taken one apart. Any good reference material out there? I haven't started looking, but I will. I've heard it's not..you know, mind blowing, but I wouldn't want to royally botch it due to inexperience.

4. Is 650W sufficient power? I used the new egg estimator but it didn't seem too, you know, comprehensive.



*Not really

*Yes, see the below.

*Yep, check your messages ---> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum1.php?config=tom...

*Maybe, are you planning to buy a second 7870??

Ok, this is what i recomend you to buy for ~1200$

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1095.89

OR (much more performance but no SSD)

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1222.51

Edit: you can always buy an SSD later.


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August 23, 2012 2:08:25 AM

If it fits in your budget without compromising the other important components get the 670. BUT The 660 ti for the games you listed with that setup will most likely max them all out so unless a beast of game comes out in the next 2 years I cant imagine you would even notice much of a difference.
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August 23, 2012 2:11:26 AM

idroid said:
*Not really

*Yes, see the below.

*Yep, check your messages ---> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum1.php?config=tom...

*Maybe, are you planning to buy a second 7870??

Ok, this is what i recomend you to buy for ~1200$

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1095.89

OR (much more performance but no SSD)

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1222.51


That Antec power supply looked awesome for the price but your recommended site is all sold out! Darn! This other stuff looks great too. I have decided to downgrade to 8gb memory. I am going to look at getting that ASUS since it is very comparable to the ASrock board. Not sure if I should go with that one or ASrock. Hmmm. Thanks!
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August 23, 2012 2:15:22 AM

briskle said:
That Antec power supply looked awesome for the price but your recommended site is all sold out! Darn! This other stuff looks great too. I have decided to downgrade to 8gb memory. I am going to look at getting that ASUS since it is very comparable to the ASrock board. Not sure if I should go with that one or ASrock. Hmmm. Thanks!



Damn, sorry i didn't checked for availability, this PSU is very good too: http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/microcenter/ocz-power-supply...

Edit: choosing a motherboard is really hard, most of the people who recommend motherboards in here do it based on professional reviewer's recommendations
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August 23, 2012 2:22:04 AM

idroid said:
Damn, sorry i didn't checked for availability, this PSU is very good too: http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/microcenter/ocz-power-supply...

Edit: choosing a motherboard is really hard, most of the people who recommend motherboards in here do it based on professional reviewer's recommendations


Agreed..but now I can't decide if I want the ASRock or the ASUS you recommended me. I'm willing to pull the trigger for the higher quality board, since they only differ in price by $10.00. Looking at the specs, I see the ASRock has an e-Sata 6g/s connection (but dont know what that can do for me) and it seems like the ASUS has a better..fan set up? LOL..I'm such a noob.

Comparison specs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-837^13-131-837-TS%2C13-157-293^13-157-293-TS
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August 23, 2012 2:36:46 AM

That Asus is normally $150.00 it is on sale right now. Both are great Mobo's really no difference for your purposes I would get which ever is cheaper.
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August 23, 2012 3:08:29 AM

briskle said:
Agreed..but now I can't decide if I want the ASRock or the ASUS you recommended me. I'm willing to pull the trigger for the higher quality board, since they only differ in price by $10.00. Looking at the specs, I see the ASRock has an e-Sata 6g/s connection (but dont know what that can do for me) and it seems like the ASUS has a better..fan set up? LOL..I'm such a noob.

Comparison specs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-837^13-131-837-TS%2C13-157-293^13-157-293-TS


Asus doesn't necessarily mean quality, Asus is like the "parent" company of Asrock (they're related somehow) and they both make THE best motherboards in the world.

The High end motherboard competition is between Asrock X79 Extreme 11 VS Asus Rampage IV Extreme VS MSI Big bang Xpower II VS Gigabyte Assassin II... The Asrock x79 Extreme 11 is by far, the best.
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August 23, 2012 3:14:32 AM

Here is my updated build so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor $189.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $129 (plus $20 newegg gift card :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-3662-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 $309 (plus Borderlands 2 .. Free! :) )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

STORAGE1: Intel 330 2.5" 120GB SATA 6Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $99.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

STORAGE 2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" $119.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $43.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower ATX Gaming Computer Case $101.22
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL: LG 24x DVD±RW Burner - OEM $17.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

NETWORK: INTELLINET Network Solutions 524810 PCI Wireless PCI Card $29.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~ $1,129 (before tax) ... $1,119 (after new egg gift card!)

Notes:

On the MOBO, ASUS comes in at a slightly better deal, so chose it over the ASRock, nearly identical specs. E-SATA is nice but not key to my needs (hookup for faster external storage). For STORAGE, I really want the SSD now. I trust Intel more than competitors and have not heard a compelling reason not to. 120mb is better than 60, or 100, and $99 seems like a good enough price point. On RAM, I have been convinced by your awesome posts + a little research that 8gb will be more than enough. I can always buy another 4x2 if my needs shift.

For CPU, I think the i5 Ivy prevails over the i7 for my needs and it's cost. I will probably not be overclocking but I would like the extra 100mhz..and the "option" to in the future. Stock fans may be a pain in the ass to remove but I do not want to spend the money for a 3rd party cooler. I heard that it voids the warranty too..is that true?

GPU - Reviews seem to indicate that the GTX 660 ti overclocked will perform at near 670 levels. It is $100 less and my theory is they will drop in price by the time having a second GTX 660 ti card would be necessary for me. At worst, I can purchase an extra one and link them via CrossFire.

PSU - The 650 W seems enough for my needs.

Last questions to bug you wonderful people with:

1. Do I really need to get a 750W to be able to crossfire two 660 ti's in the future?
2. Any concerns with the internal wifi card? I have been told by some that for wifi external is superior.
3. That 750w linked above was modular and looked great for the price, but I don't know the brand. Can I trust it? I don't want my PSU crapping out and possibly ruining my life. Plus they said it was loud but that's not my largest concern.
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/microcenter/ocz-power-supply...
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August 23, 2012 3:25:02 AM

briskle said:
Here is my updated build so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor $189.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $129 (plus $20 newegg gift card :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-3662-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 $309 (plus Borderlands 2 .. Free! :) )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

STORAGE1: Intel 330 2.5" 120GB SATA 6Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $99.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

STORAGE 2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" $119.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $43.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower ATX Gaming Computer Case $101.22
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL: LG 24x DVD±RW Burner - OEM $17.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

NETWORK: INTELLINET Network Solutions 524810 PCI Wireless PCI Card $29.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Notes:

On the MOBO, ASUS comes in at a slightly better deal, so chose it over the ASRock, nearly identical specs. E-SATA is nice but not key to my needs (hookup for faster external storage). For STORAGE, I really want the SSD now. I trust Intel more than competitors and have not heard a compelling reason not to. 120mb is better than 60, or 100, and $99 seems like a good enough price point. On RAM, I have been convinced by your awesome posts + a little research that 8gb will be more than enough. I can always buy another 4x2 if my needs shift.

For CPU, I think the i5 Ivy prevails over the i7 for my needs and it's cost. I will probably not be overclocking but I would like the extra 100mhz..and the "option" to in the future. Stock fans may be a pain in the ass to remove but I do not want to spend the money for a 3rd party cooler. I heard that it voids the warranty too..is that true?

GPU - Reviews seem to indicate that the GTX 660 ti overclocked will perform at near 670 levels. It is $100 less and my theory is they will drop in price by the time having a second GTX 660 ti card would be necessary for me. At worst, I can purchase an extra one and link them via CrossFire.

PSU - The 650 W seems enough for my needs.

Last questions to bug you wonderful people with:

1. Do I really need to get a 750W to be able to crossfire two 660 ti's in the future?
2. Any concerns with the internal wifi card? I have been told by some that for wifi external is superior.
3. That 750w linked above was modular and looked great for the price, but I don't know the brand. Can I trust it? I don't want my PSU crapping out and possibly ruining my life. Plus they said it was loud but that's not my largest concern.
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/microcenter/ocz-power-supply...


*Drop that SSD and get a Vertex 4 or Samsung 830.... they perform A LOT BETTER.

*DO NOT buy that version of the GTX660ti buy this one

*Get a better case, the 400r is OK but the 500r/Phantom410/DF-30/HAF 922 are better options.

*Wi-Fi card??? buy a long LAN cable (even if it ugly) because Wi-Fi will drastically increase your latency making your online games lag as hell

*having an aftermarket cooler does not void your warranty, and they are NOT hard to remove/install

*lol, a dual GTX660ti can't be "Crossfired" only SLIed (crossfire is for AMD cards and SLI is for Nvidia cards...before you ask, no there is no diference between them)

*750w are not really needed to SLI 2 GTX660tis but its recommended, besides, your PSU will lose the ability to output its advertised wattage over time.

*Wi-Fi sucks....internal or external.

*Yes, OCZ PSUs are really good.
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August 23, 2012 3:29:08 AM

idroid said:
*Drop that SSD and get a Vertex 4 or Samsung 830.... they perform A LOT BETTER.

*DO NOT buy that version of the GTX660ti buy this one

*Yes, OCZ PSUs are really good.


Thanks for that info - didn't know about the SLI thing either..that is good to know. Why not that version of the GTX660ti? I liked it since it was overclocked.

Can you let me kno who said the OCZ PSUs were good? Need a source. Have seen some posts where people just list off a few PSUs, like Corsair, and say that getting any other brand is setting yourself up for failure..just don't know what to believe.

Thanks again!
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August 23, 2012 3:43:49 AM

Also - important question. Is the ASUS motherboard I've chosen able to CrossFire and SLI?

Thanks,
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August 23, 2012 3:44:21 AM

briskle said:
Thanks for that info - didn't know about the SLI thing either..that is good to know. Why not that version of the GTX660ti? I liked it since it was overclocked.

Can you let me kno who said the OCZ PSUs were good? Need a source. Have seen some posts where people just list off a few PSUs, like Corsair, and say that getting any other brand is setting yourself up for failure..just don't know what to believe.

Thanks again!


*You can overclock your GTX660ti yourself with MSIafterburner

*That GTX660ti is better because it uses a NON reference cooler making it more overclock-able, quieter and it runs a lot cooler.

*Hmmm... when it comes to PSUs is not about witch ones are good but witch ones are bad, brands like: Omega, Diablotek, Raidmax, Aprevia, Appex, Coolermaster, Thortech, Coolmax, Dyna Power, Kingwing, Sentey and the vast majority of Rosewill PSUs can not be trusted, (Except Rosewill HIVE/CAPSTONE series...they freaking ROCK and have the quality of Corsairs HX series)

OCZ (like rosewill) used to have a bad reputation for their product quality... until very recent, the OCZ SSDs were considered the shitties (in terms of quality) SSDs in the market but now they make some kickass SSDs like the Revodrives (witch are used by enterprise servers) and the Vertex 4.

Here is a review for that particular PSU i linked: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/OCZ/ZT_750W/1.html

i want to let something clear, every company has its good and bad products... most rosewill PSUs out there suck but the one they are making NOW rule, the same goes for a few companies in that list i made.
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August 23, 2012 3:48:15 AM

briskle said:
Also - important question. Is the ASUS motherboard I've chosen able to CrossFire and SLI?

Thanks,


Yes, these are ALL the LGA 1155 ASUS motherboards with the capacity to SLI AND Crossfire TWO cards

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August 23, 2012 4:36:25 AM

idroid said:
*You can overclock your GTX660ti yourself with MSIafterburner

*That GTX660ti is better because it uses a NON reference cooler making it more overclock-able, quieter and it runs a lot cooler.

.


iDroid - thanks again for all of your replies. One thing on the EVGA SuperClocked GTX660i, I read a review of it. It also uses a non-reference cooler and, at least initially, it runs with minimal noise:

EVGA use a compact black PCB for their GTX 660 Ti and attach an oversized cooler too it, giving the impression of a GTX 670 size card. As is common with their cards some nice simple art and branding decorates the dual slot cooler shroud and beneath it is a copper GPU block and aluminium fins. Turning round to the back we can see the additional cooler size more clearly and that some of the cards memory can be found on the rear. EVGA have gone that extra step, covering the SLI connectors to ensure they remain clean, this approach is also taken with the display outputs which all have their own covers.

Source:

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1552/pg18/nvidia-...

-- Anything I'm missing here as to why I would not want to choose this card? I honestly don't want to get it if it has a more flawed design than the alternative.

Thanks!
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August 23, 2012 4:48:42 AM

briskle said:
iDroid - thanks again for all of your replies. One thing on the EVGA SuperClocked GTX660i, I read a review of it. It also uses a non-reference cooler and, at least initially, it runs with minimal noise:

EVGA use a compact black PCB for their GTX 660 Ti and attach an oversized cooler too it, giving the impression of a GTX 670 size card. As is common with their cards some nice simple art and branding decorates the dual slot cooler shroud and beneath it is a copper GPU block and aluminium fins. Turning round to the back we can see the additional cooler size more clearly and that some of the cards memory can be found on the rear. EVGA have gone that extra step, covering the SLI connectors to ensure they remain clean, this approach is also taken with the display outputs which all have their own covers.

Source:

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1552/pg18/nvidia-...

-- Anything I'm missing here as to why I would not want to choose this card? I honestly don't want to get it if it has a more flawed design than the alternative.

Thanks!


It might not be the GTX660ti reference cooler but the improvements made (to the cooler) are minor, its more like a GTX670 reference cooler witch isn't the best, TBH with you these are the only two GTX660s i would consider buying (http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/gigabyte-video-card-g... AND http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/asus-video-card-gtx66...) the gigabyte card has a really agresive (stock) overclock witch i know can be increased to almost 1.3Ghz and the cooler is much better than the EVGA SC GTX660ti... the Asus card in the other hand has stock clocks but a really good cooler (equal if not better than the gigabyte's) that will allow it (for sure) to reach the same clocks as the gigabyte card (1.3Ghz at most)
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August 25, 2012 9:58:36 PM

Best answer selected by briskle.
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August 25, 2012 10:04:51 PM

Thanks all for your fantastic advice!! I could -not- have done this without the thoughtful input from everyone who posted plus the myriad of related posts that I know many of you also contribute to! I went to Micro Center and they matched every price on my wish list from Amazon and Newegg so I ended up purchasing all parts from them. And it turns out they did have a bundle deal too for the asus z77 that I wanted and the i5 ivy chip. It wasn't advertised on their website, though.

If you have a MicroCenter near you - bring in all your wishlists! Ask them if they will match all of the prices. They did for every one of mine. They did not have all of the exact parts though -- I ended up going with Corsair Vengeance RAM and the EVGA OC Graphics card, since they had those in stock. I made out even further ahead since I have many of the same rebates plus no shipping fees!
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!