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Opinions & Advice On $1500 Gaming Rig

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August 26, 2012 9:25:42 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2 weeks

Budget Range: Around $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: MB, CPU, CPU Cooler, GPU, PSU, RAM, SSD, Case and OS

Do you need to buy OS: Yes -> Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Location: Centreville, VA

Parts Preferences: Intel / NVIDIA

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Gaming Rig, video games is the number one use

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current Rig is 5 years old and time to update because I hate running games at lower settings LoL

==================

Getting ready to build another gaming rig and before dropping $1500 wanted to ask everyone for some feedback first.

Currently looking at:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W PSU
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC SSD
NZXT Phantom 410 Red Steel Case

*Already have a few 1TB HDDs for storage, mouse, keyboard, 42" monitor, sound card, speaker system, DVDR and BluRay.

The 3 main things that I am really unsure about is... CPU Cooler, PSU and Memory.

Video games is the main purpose of this computer.

If YOU was trying to build a game computer for around $1500 what would you change to my parts list?

I would love Quad Channel Kit at 16GB, what seems to be best for gaming?
Only reason I picked this one was due to high ratings over at newegg.com

Thank you for any and all help :D 
August 26, 2012 9:28:12 PM

I'd get this instead:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($394.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.98 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.90 @ Amazon)
Total: $1441.32
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-26 17:29 EDT-0400)

Better GPU and more reasonable PSU. Also, you don't need 16GB of RAM for gaming.
August 26, 2012 9:49:49 PM

Looking into the Vengeance, Samsung 830 and XFX PSU now... thanks for the recommendations.

As for as 16gb of ram... well been using 4gb with the 3gb switch thu vista, but always been under the impression that more ram is always better for games.

As a gamer I try to avoid using any Radeon video cards due to the ever so common graphical glitches within games when using Radeons. Not to say anything bad about them... you just always see on the gaming forums about radeon users having problems.

550 watts seems abit low for all these high proformance parts...

Keep in mind that I have not built a rig in 5 years so I am sure tons of things have changed LOL

Thanks for the feedback, just asking questions so that I better understand is all :D 

Related resources
August 26, 2012 9:53:50 PM

Centreville is 15min away from the Fairfax Microcenter. Microcenter is super cheap, and you will save some cash on the CPU and mobo.
August 26, 2012 9:56:55 PM

Was just there a few days ago :D 

well 15 mins with no traffic.... gotta love northern virginia traffic, but yah its very close to my house.

Once I know for a fact which parts Im going with, I had planned on doing some price checks between NewEgg.com, ZipZoomFly.com and microcenter to see where I can get the best pricing.
August 27, 2012 5:55:48 AM

RedCorvus said:
Looking into the Vengeance, Samsung 830 and XFX PSU now... thanks for the recommendations.

As for as 16gb of ram... well been using 4gb with the 3gb switch thu vista, but always been under the impression that more ram is always better for games.

As a gamer I try to avoid using any Radeon video cards due to the ever so common graphical glitches within games when using Radeons. Not to say anything bad about them... you just always see on the gaming forums about radeon users having problems.

550 watts seems abit low for all these high proformance parts...

Keep in mind that I have not built a rig in 5 years so I am sure tons of things have changed LOL

Thanks for the feedback, just asking questions so that I better understand is all :D 

It only matters of the amps on the 12v rail, and that 550W PSU has more than enough.
August 27, 2012 7:08:07 AM

RedCorvus said:
Looking into the Vengeance, Samsung 830 and XFX PSU now... thanks for the recommendations.

As for as 16gb of ram... well been using 4gb with the 3gb switch thu vista, but always been under the impression that more ram is always better for games.

As a gamer I try to avoid using any Radeon video cards due to the ever so common graphical glitches within games when using Radeons. Not to say anything bad about them... you just always see on the gaming forums about radeon users having problems.

550 watts seems abit low for all these high proformance parts...

Keep in mind that I have not built a rig in 5 years so I am sure tons of things have changed LOL

Thanks for the feedback, just asking questions so that I better understand is all :D 

8GB of RAM is overkill but it's cheap atm. That 550w XFX (Seasonic OEM) will easily push a GTX 680. It has 44A on a single 12v rail.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-550-Power-Supply/dp/B004R... $65.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX ATX 550 Power Supply - P1550SXXB9

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $69.99 after $20.00 rebate FREE SHIPPING 15% off w/ promo code PCPBTS15, ends 8/26
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

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... $109.99
ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 ATX Intel Motherboard

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... $409.99 - $385.00 after $25.00 rebate
MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $40.99 FREE SHIPPING
Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model 997015

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $169.99
SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-240G-G25 240GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $109.06
Cooler Master HAF XM Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Computer Case

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-MegaFlow-Computer-R... $14.68 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Cooler Master MegaFlow 200mm Red LED Computer Case Fan (R4-LUS-07AR-GP)



http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6821 <----- another look at that case

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Pro4/ <----- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_670_Power_Ed... <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI GTX 670
August 27, 2012 12:59:28 PM

Seems to be no question about going with...
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 CPU Cooler
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM

=============

Power Supply (undecided)

PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W
or
XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9)

=============

Memory (undecided)

G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2 x 4GB)
or
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)

=============

SSD (undecided)

Crucial M4 128GB
or
Samsung 830 128GB

=============

Video Card (undecided)

Asus GTX 670 Direct CU II
or
EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GTX 670 FTW
or
GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GTX 670 Windforce
or
MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670

=============


Thinking about going with that Cooler Master HAF XM case, more air is always better :D 

Also looking into the different GTX 670 boards, looks like the MSI version you posted does come with a ton of great reviews.

Just want to say that I really do appreciate all the feedback from everyone, thank you!
August 27, 2012 3:42:32 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($115.49 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.61 @ Amazon)
Total: $1186.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


Went with G.Skill only because I have had great luck with them in the past.
Went with XFX due to better reviews.
Went with Samsung due to better reviews
Went with Gigabyte due to reviews saying its a better all around card

So at the moment this is what I am looking at buying, will wait a few days so that I can do more review surfing and to see if anyone else would like to comment on this build.
August 27, 2012 5:48:18 PM

9/
RedCorvus said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($115.49 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.61 @ Amazon)
Total: $1186.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


Went with G.Skill only because I have had great luck with them in the past.
Went with XFX due to better reviews.
Went with Samsung due to better reviews
Went with Gigabyte due to reviews saying its a better all around card

So at the moment this is what I am looking at buying, will wait a few days so that I can do more review surfing and to see if anyone else would like to comment on this build.

You can get that Asrock board cheaper at microcenter although that board is meant for a future dual card set up. You can save some money by getting that Asrock z77 Pro4 that's meant for a single card set up. If you go with the Gigabyte card I would spend the extra money for the backplate. The backplate does two things, it helps spread the heat so your PCB doesn't heat up, and it stabilizes that card when the fans crank up seeing how that card is long and it has that triple fan set up.

You can also find this backplate at amazon and a half dozen other vendors. Use the screws that come with that Gigabyte card and not the ones that come with the backplate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 FREE SHIPPING
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Backplate Model M021-00-000008

Check with microcenter to see if that case is a free in store pick up so you don't have to buy it from newegg and pay more for it. That pcpartpicker...I mean I posted that cpu at microcenter for $190 (in store pick up only) and you have it linked to NCIX for $30 more. Look to get a side fan for that case like the one I posted seeing how those cards like the Gigabyte, MSI, and Asus cards have non reference cooling and they vent heat inside the case and not out the back. Those cards are the only way to go imo if you have decent airflow. They run cooler than reference cards but you want the airflow.

One more thing to think about. Sandisk SSD's utilize an SF Toggle NAND controller, Samsung makes their own version of a Toggle NAND controller, and so does Crucial. All three of those SSD's are rock solid. I'm not sure how much storage space you need....some peeps need a crap load and some like myself get by fine with a 500GB storage drive. What I'm getting at is that 240GB Sandisk I posted runs for $170 at microcenter ...and same price I believe with free shipping at amazon. That gives you plenty of room on the SSD so you aren't having to shuffle games around on it to make room for new games, etc... With any SSD and motherboard you want to make sure you have the firmware on the SSD updated and the latest bios with the motherboard. Flashing your bios these days isn't the same as it used to be where it was playing Russian Roulette. These days boards like Asrock, Gigabyte, etc... have it set up so you can't brick your board from flashing to the latest bios.
August 27, 2012 11:44:05 PM

Thanks a ton for all the help Why_Me


MotherBoard-
To be honest the only reason I picked ASRock Z77 Extreme4 was I keep seeing it all over the place for new builds using the I5-3570K.

Between Gigabyte, MSI, ASUS and ASRock... which would be the best pick?

What about the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H

Gigabyte is kindof my personal taste pick... but keep in mind I have not brought a mother board in the last 5 years LoL

*Games for the most part
*Dont need WIFI
*Dont need onboard audio
*85% chance I will only be using one single video card
*Only go into BIOS when I have no choice
*Overclocking is nice but not a hotbutton
*Price range of $100 to $200
*Over all the most important thing is video games cranked to max settings and being stable, reliable, hassel free that will last 5 years.


SSD-
Never used one before so not sure, just seemed like samsung had the most good reviews. Seen some scary rumors about Crucial having problems.

For storage I have 3 Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD

Just going to use the SSD for the OS and maybe 4 or 5 different video games at a time. I have to agree $170 for 240gb is a good deal not to mention Sandisk has been around for a long time.


I will add the backplate to the shopping list, along with an addition fan for the side and maybe another for the top.

Once I make up my mind in regards to the mother board I will repost the parts list with the best prices. Plus I'm still having 2nd thoughts about which memory to go with...
August 28, 2012 12:09:57 AM

RedCorvus said:
Thanks a ton for all the help Why_Me


MotherBoard-
To be honest the only reason I picked ASRock Z77 Extreme4 was I keep seeing it all over the place for new builds using the I5-3570K.

Between Gigabyte, MSI, ASUS and ASRock... which would be the best pick?

What about the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H

Gigabyte is kindof my personal taste pick... but keep in mind I have not brought a mother board in the last 5 years LoL

*Games for the most part
*Dont need WIFI
*Dont need onboard audio
*85% chance I will only be using one single video card
*Only go into BIOS when I have no choice
*Overclocking is nice but not a hotbutton
*Price range of $100 to $200
*Over all the most important thing is video games cranked to max settings and being stable, reliable, hassel free that will last 5 years.


SSD-
Never used one before so not sure, just seemed like samsung had the most good reviews. Seen some scary rumors about Crucial having problems.

For storage I have 3 Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD

Just going to use the SSD for the OS and maybe 4 or 5 different video games at a time. I have to agree $170 for 240gb is a good deal not to mention Sandisk has been around for a long time.


I will add the backplate to the shopping list, along with an addition fan for the side and maybe another for the top.

Once I make up my mind in regards to the mother board I will repost the parts list with the best prices. Plus I'm still having 2nd thoughts about which memory to go with...

That's a nice board and Iv'e seen it recommended on here a few times. Gigabyte, Asus, Asrock, and MSI boards...it's like flipping a coin. All four of those brands are pretty solid boards imo. Gigabyte and Asrock both have proggies that make updating the bios easy as pie and I believe MSI has a similar proggie also...not sure about Asus but more than likely they do.

As far as RAM goes...G.Skill, Mushkin, Corsair, Crucial, and now Patriot all make solid RAM. Go for something low profile so you don't have any clearance issues with the cpu heat sink. G.Skill Ares, Corsair low profile Vengeance, etc....
!