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Please help an old guy build a PC!

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August 30, 2012 7:14:50 PM

hiya! i'm an old gamer and could use some advice. my goal is to play Skyrim and Fallout games as best they can be played. my 4yr old DELL XPS i7 w/ HD 4850 512mb has played anything as well as i'd like, except for these open world games w/ lotsa textures. so i want this PC to play them flawlessly. no lag or stutter. and i love MODS! always run a bunch but can't use hardly any texture or enemy spawn mods, so i want this machine to play like this http://www.youtube.c...h?v=uUzRwEYolrU


and before ya say it...i really don't wanna risk building this myself because i have health conditions that have made my eyes bad w/ small stuff and my hands tremble a bit. so thought about going with IBuypower. seems like they have some good deals for Labor day.

now my 1st plan was to gather the parts and take then to my local Microcenter, who've confirmed they'd build it for me ($150, plus i'd be getting some parts there). here was a list of parts recommended to me by some very helpful folks (lposts #26-30 on 1st page)...
http://www.avsforum....or-buy-a-new-pc

but after adding everything up, and taking into account tax, fees, ect, it seems to be a bit cheaper at Ibuypower and some parts are even better (i think. i'm very ignorant on this).

so if y'all could look at the builds they gave mt at AVS, and what i'm thinking about at IBP, i'd really appreciate it. i think i could even bring the IBP build down cheaper. like do i really need the Asus Sabertooth mo if i'm not going SLI? i do want to futureproof and may go SLI sometime, but it's an xtra $173. by the time i wanna go sli i might just need a whole new mobo. and IBP has a good upgrade to the 660 3gb gpu. is the 670 4gb that much better for $278?? so if you could look at the IBP build, tweak it, add subtract whatever. i'd love to get it down to around $2000 shipped. or if ya think it's be better to go with the AVS parts and let Microcenter build it, or even something totally different, then let me know. prices for both builds are about $22000-2300

http://www.ibuypower.com/Carts/ShoppingCarts.aspx

x79 build

Spoiler


Labor Day Intel X79 Special
1 x Case ( CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Gaming Case - Black )
1 x Case Lighting ( Cold Cathode Neon Light - Green )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 3820 Processor (4x 3.60GHz/10MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i7 3820 )
1 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( PowerDrive Level 1 - Up to 10% Overclocking )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System - ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow) )
1 x Memory ( 16 GB [4 GB X4] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - G.Skill Ripjaws X )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti - 3GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 980MHz - SLI Mode (Dual Cards) )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Free Stuff ( [FREE Game Download] - Borderlands2 - Free with purchase of NVIDIA GeForce GTX660Ti )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS Sabertooth X79 -- 4x SATA 6GB/s, 4x USB 3.0 )
1 x Power Supply ( 1050 Watt - Thermaltake Toughpower Grand-1050M - Free Upgrade to 1200 Watt Toughpower Grand-1200M ($40 Savings) )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 120 GB ADATA S510 SSD - Single Drive **FREE Upgrade to 256GB ADATA SP900 - Single Drive** )
1 x Data Hard Drive ( 3 TB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
1 x Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black *Labor Day Sale - FREE Upgrade to LG BLU-RAY Reader Combo Drive Black* )
0 x 2nd Optical Drive ( None )
0 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( None )
0 x Meter Display ( None )
0 x USB Expansion ( None )
1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Professional + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-bit )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Mouse - Blood Red )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
1 x Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Tuniq TX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound - The best interface between your CPU and the heatsinks )
0 x Case Engraving Service ( None )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
1 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )



z77 build
http://www.ibuypower.com/Carts/ShoppingCarts.aspx
Labor Day Intel i7 Special
Spoiler

Labor Day Intel i7 Special
1 x Case ( CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Gaming Case - Black )
1 x Case Lighting ( Cold Cathode Neon Light - Green )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7-3770K Processor (4x 3.50GHz/8MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i7-3770K )
1 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( PowerDrive Level 1 - Up to 10% Overclocking )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System - ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow) )
1 x Memory ( 16 GB [4 GB X4] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - G.Skill Ripjaws X )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti - 3GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 980MHz - SLI Mode (Dual Cards) )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Free Stuff ( [FREE Game Download] - Borderlands2 - Free with purchase of NVIDIA GeForce GTX660Ti )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS Sabertooth Z77 -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0 )
0 x Intel Smart Response Technology ( None )
1 x Power Supply ( 1050 Watt - Thermaltake Toughpower Grand-1050M - Free Upgrade to 1200 Watt Toughpower Grand-1200M ($40 Savings) )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 120 GB ADATA S510 SSD - Single Drive **FREE Upgrade to 256GB ADATA SP900 - Single Drive** )
1 x Data Hard Drive ( 3 TB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
1 x Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black *Labor Day Sale - FREE Upgrade to LG BLU-RAY Reader Combo Drive Black* )
0 x 2nd Optical Drive ( None )
0 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( None )
0 x Meter Display ( None )
0 x USB Expansion ( None )
1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Professional + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-bit )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Mouse - Blood Red )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
1 x Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Tuniq TX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound - The best interface between your CPU and the heatsinks )
0 x Case Engraving Service ( None )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
1 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )

what's got me confused is the x79 build is cheaper than the z77. thought it the other way around. and i don't really want watercooling but it's the only option in some builds.

Here are my answers to some starting point questions:

Approximate Purchase Date: now!

Budget Range: $2000ish

System Usage pure gaming, dedicated to HDTV in family room

Major Concern: Heat, I want cool as I can afford while still being able to afford top tier performance. I have very little knowledge on how to achieve this. and running Skyrim at it's BEST!

Parts Not Required: monitor speakers kb mouse

Preferred Website(s): any reputable builder but ibuypwer seems to have good deals now

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Full Tower, I guess.

Overclocking: not really but is cheap to have IBP do some

SLI or Crossfire: actually just wanted the superclocked 670 4gb, but the deal on the 2 660 3gbs sounds good in SLI. that's why the builds i made have 2 660s but i'm not married to it.

Monitor : Sony 55A3000 55" HDTV thru HDMI. i have an hdmi cord ran thru the floor, thru basement, into computer room. our home theater is in a big wall unit w/ bad airflow
----------------------------------------
think that's it. could ya especially look at the mobos? not sure i have enough there. and i may have too much in harddrives. any advice appreciated! thank you!

More about : guy build

August 31, 2012 1:35:56 AM

oh has anyone used IBuypower? they trustworthy?
August 31, 2012 1:54:09 AM

Yes, iBuyPower is perfectly good as far as I know.
Get a 3570K. The performance is very similar in gaming.
Don't pay for them to overclock your processor. It's laughably easy to do it yourself. It's a matter of changing a single setting in the BIOS, and it's one of the easiest to find.
Get a high-quality 750W PSU (Corsair) instead of that lower-quality, higher-wattage box you've got there. 750W is enough for two 670s.
Don't bother with the fancy thermal paste. It won't get you more than a couple of degrees, if that.
Check if you have any reason to get Windows Pro. Home is fine for most people.

I suggest that you take the money you'll save from my suggestions above (it must be a couple of hundred dollars) and put it into their noise reduction service and a better mouse and/or keyboard. Razer makes great mice, as do Logitech (only the gaming ones), Gigabyte (ditto) and Roccat. My mechanical keyboard is the best piece of technology I've ever used. It's a Daskeyboard, but the Razer BlackWidow is perfectly good and $50 cheaper.
Related resources
August 31, 2012 2:22:44 AM

What's wrong with your current PC? You said it has an i7 which is still an extremely capable CPU, rather then blow your entire budget, id pick up a new PSU and a GTX 680 or a HD 7970 GHz Edition and save myself some $$$
August 31, 2012 3:57:28 AM

Oh. I didn't notice that. There's a 900-series going on here, then? You might as well get yourself two 670s.
August 31, 2012 4:16:35 AM

kajabla said:
Yes, iBuyPower is perfectly good as far as I know.
Get a 3570K. The performance is very similar in gaming.
Don't pay for them to overclock your processor. It's laughably easy to do it yourself. It's a matter of changing a single setting in the BIOS, and it's one of the easiest to find.
Get a high-quality 750W PSU (Corsair) instead of that lower-quality, higher-wattage box you've got there. 750W is enough for two 670s.
Don't bother with the fancy thermal paste. It won't get you more than a couple of degrees, if that.
Check if you have any reason to get Windows Pro. Home is fine for most people.

I suggest that you take the money you'll save from my suggestions above (it must be a couple of hundred dollars) and put it into their noise reduction service and a better mouse and/or keyboard. Razer makes great mice, as do Logitech (only the gaming ones), Gigabyte (ditto) and Roccat. My mechanical keyboard is the best piece of technology I've ever used. It's a Daskeyboard, but the Razer BlackWidow is perfectly good and $50 cheaper.


thank you! great idea on the overclock. if i get dual 660s or 670s the build REQUIRES a 1025 watt psu at least. the configurator won't let you proceed so it's the only option. i can come down lower on the PSU if i go w/ just 1 GPU tho. they even have a good deal on a free uprade to Corsair 850w.

i don't need a monitor, or kb & mouse. the thermal paste is +$10, Windows Pro is just +$31. was only gettin it because i'm told it has better compatibility features, whatever that means lol.

@Astro, thanks. i had originally thought about upgrading. my current PC and some more info about my PC journey is in that AVS link i posted in the 1st post. it's a DELL XPS about 5 years old. the i7 is really the only thing worth a dang in it. 350 psu, 4850 512mb gpu, ect. so i feel it's time for new. i've gotten the ok from the wife too lol! so i just wanna make this new one last me 5+ years w/ maybe simple upgrades if possible.

so what ya think on the graphic cards? best way to go here?...
2 gtx 660 3gb in SLI
1 670 4gb spuerclocked
1 680 2gb superclocked
or i guess even a AMD 7970 3gb? it's $130 cheaper but is it as fast as the gtx 600s?

and do i have more Harddrive than i need??

thank you!
August 31, 2012 4:54:35 AM

You certainly have more hard drive than you need. You'll never go over 1tb if you don't collect full-length movies on your computer.
The 660 Tis are the highest-performing option there. If you have no plans to upgrade this thing yourself, go that way. If you'd be comfortable adding another 670 later (and it should be 2gb, not 4), get that one.
August 31, 2012 8:22:02 PM

I just made one better for $1893 + the $75 shipping fee for $1968 total.

Gamer Paladin D827
Case 1 x CoolerMaster HAF 922 Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-3570K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard 1 x ASUS P8Z77-V LK -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Memory 1 x 8 GB [2 GB X4] DDR3-1866 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x AMD Radeon HD 7970 - 3GB-CrossFire Mode (Dual Cards)
Case Lighting None
Power Supply 1 x 750 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2-Free Upgrade to 850 Watt Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2 ($20 Savings)
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System-ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow)
Video Card Brand 1 x Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Single Drive **Free Upgrade to 2TB SATA 6.0Gb/s Single Drive**
Data Hard Drive 1 x 120 GB ADATA S510 SSD-Single Drive **FREE Upgrade to 256GB ADATA SP900 - Single Drive**
2nd Optical Drive None
Optical Drive 1 x 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black *Labor Day Sale - FREE Upgrade to LG BLU-RAY Reader Combo Drive Black*
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Speaker System None
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Monitor None
Operating System 1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel)-64-Bit
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service 1 x Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
Video Camera None
Meter Display None
Flash Media Reader / Writer None
2nd Monitor None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion None
iBUYPOWER PowerDrive None
USB Expansion None
Intel Smart Response Technology None
Case Engraving Service None
Subtotal $1,893.00
September 1, 2012 3:50:13 AM

oh man! thank you Andrew! that look like an excellent build. i wonder tho if there might be something with Nvidea that would be comparable to those SLI 7970s? it's only that i've had nothing but trouble w/ AMD drivers over the years, and i like the idea of PhysX

i guess the closest would be SLI 670s?? i had been thinking of going with only 1 evga superclocked 670.
oh and now someone is telling me to stay away from "reference" cards (whatever they are) like the EVGAs and get a custom with fans. i don't even see options like that at IBuypower or eColllegepc

Best solution

September 1, 2012 12:56:24 PM
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Well you can switch to SLI 670's and it should perform the same if you don't like the AMD graphics. The 850W PSU is more than enough power even though they say it won't work. I don't know if you can still place the order or if you'll have to call them and make sure it's correct. The price goes up to $1913 before shipping (I just chose the 7970's because those are what I'd go for, similar performance and slightly lower cost). You can switch the SSD and HDD for the same price, I guess I just thought they'd know which to install the OS on. The 670 they list as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 is the reference model and the one I chose. If you want the ones factory overclocked and with an aftermarket fan the price goes past the $2000 mark with shipping. As long as you keep the 670's at base clock they will be just fine (the reference models).

Only thing changed is the GPU.

Gamer Paladin D827
http://www.ibuypower.com

Case 1 x CoolerMaster HAF 922 Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-3570K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard 1 x ASUS P8Z77-V LK -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Memory 1 x 8 GB [2 GB X4] DDR3-1866 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 - 2GB-SLI Mode (Dual Cards)
Case Lighting None
Power Supply 1 x 750 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2-Free Upgrade to 850 Watt Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2 ($20 Savings)
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System-ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow)
Video Card Brand 1 x Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 120 GB ADATA S510 SSD-Single Drive **FREE Upgrade to 256GB ADATA SP900 - Single Drive**
Data Hard Drive 1 x 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Single Drive **Free Upgrade to 2TB SATA 6.0Gb/s Single Drive**
2nd Optical Drive None
Optical Drive 1 x 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black *Labor Day Sale - FREE Upgrade to LG BLU-RAY Reader Combo Drive Black*
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Speaker System None
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Monitor None
Operating System 1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel)-64-Bit
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service 1 x Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
Video Camera None
Meter Display None
Flash Media Reader / Writer None
2nd Monitor None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion None
iBUYPOWER PowerDrive None
USB Expansion None
Intel Smart Response Technology None
Case Engraving Service None
Subtotal $1,913.00
September 1, 2012 1:37:50 PM

just as a crazy thought:

NCIX will let you pick parts at somewhat better prices, and have a 'we'll build it for you' option for $50
September 2, 2012 12:55:11 AM

ncix has a USA store now. I thought they offered the ssme build-for-you option.
September 2, 2012 4:17:21 AM
September 2, 2012 9:07:42 PM

thanks again Andrew! yeah i saw that usa store, unfortunately i'm pretty sure NCIX doesn't do builds here in the USA. i called but was just for orders so googled and found people talking about how they would not build
September 6, 2012 7:59:42 PM

Best answer selected by Mookeylama.
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