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~$1300 gaming build (w/ monitor)

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August 31, 2012 2:07:39 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of September

Budget Range: ~$1300 (including a monitor but not a OS)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (GW2, 2nd life, WoW, Dragon Age, Skyrim), online videos, school work, etc

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com but am willing to look at other options as long as total price (including shipping but before rebates) is the same, Preference to one site to have it all delivered at once but willing to shop for better overall value on parts (w/ total shipping cost)

Location: Zip 97520 (USA)

Parts Preferences: None (slight prefrence to Nvidia but will accept best value per $)

Overclocking: CPU only (4.5 max on i5 3750k with air cooling)

SLI or Crossfire: No for now (open to it later on if needed after at least a year or two)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1900x1200 (w/e monitor can handle w/ gpu on high graphics)

Additional Comments: I am building this rig for my fiance who wants to come in ~$1300 with a monitor (a little over is fine but she prefers lower then higher but will accept paying more for better value). She is primarily using this as a gaming rig first to last at least 4 years hopefully 5 because her current laptop is not able to play GW2 and she is a gamer. I am trying to make sure I am getting her the best value for her $ and everything is compatible and (as best as humanly predictable) future proof for a few years to not need a new system. I am mainly concerned about the psu requirements for the system (ran it through psu wattage link to get it around 620 but want to make sure psu will work and has some headroom for future use). Also she picked out the case based on how it looks I'm just making sure it has the space and proper cooling for the build. I should note we have a cat and are concerned about hair/dust in the computer overheating it.

I5 3750k and ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard combo $367

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) combo $143

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $30

SAPPHIRE 100352OCSR Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $330

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Asus 24X dvd burner $17

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case

2x 200mm led fans (top and side) $35 (total)

Front 140mm fan $19

ASUS VH236H Black 23" Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers $170

Total price $1301 (before shipping cost and rebates $1340 after shipping)

(I ran this build as best as possible I could represent through here and it says 630w at 30% capacitor aging and 4.5gh (1.29v) overclocked cpu so that's why I opted for the 750w to have enough headroom for the system)

If anyone has any suggestions comments or anything else please let me know, my fiance likes the price range and parts so far I'm just aiming to problem shoot this build before hand and get the best bang for her $.
August 31, 2012 3:37:15 AM

I would lose 1 or 2 of the fans and get a few different parts.

psu - antec 650w $80 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram - g.skill ares 8gb 1600 $42 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cpu cooler - cm hyper 212 evo $35 and $30 after rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

gpu - gigabyte gtx 670 $400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That psu will have more than enough power for your build.
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August 31, 2012 6:52:03 AM

Get her a GTX 670 instead it is best bang for her buck and sweetest spot for high end gaming it's a smarter future proof buy than a 7950 I would look no further than the unique graphics settings that the Nvidia cards offer, particularly PhysX, Adaptive VSync, FXAA, and TXAA. There is nothing unique about the AMD cards that is significant enough to sway a purchase. There is more to consider than performance when cards perform similarly, and the positives strongly weigh in favor or the GTX 670 or 680. Personally if i was her i would be all over that Asus 670 TOP for its high factory overclock, improved cooler,heavily modified PCB, with an efficient VRM design to produce low temperatures, improved voltage regulation circuitry, much better ChiL controller , specially binned chip and voltage control and monitoring support that you won't find on most other non-reference cards. It looks aggressive to me and indeed is quite a monster let's keep it on the real not only does it violently murder most of AMD cards period it does it without even breaking a sweat!Those are some of the reasons you'll see it get a 10.0 rating at techpowerup, something no other card has ever attained. Quote: "Overall the ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU II is the best card I ever tested. I simply can't find anything wrong with it". :o 

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August 31, 2012 9:04:20 AM

Anything found on amazon can be found on newegg and vice versa.


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

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008RJZQSW/ref=ox_sc_a... $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified Modular ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $199.98 save: $25.00
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $519.98 save: $20.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-120mm-RR-212E... $32.32 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.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

http://www.amazon.com/Lite--Super-AllWrite-Layer-Drive/... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive - Bulk - IHAS124-04 Version C (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $85.61 & 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/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $136.40 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | LED Backlit with 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,181.27 *not including shipping & rebates


http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_660_Ti_Power... <----- review of that MSI GTX 660 ti w/benchmarks

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

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

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that board w/benchmarks

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

http://usa.asus.com/Display/LCD_Monitors/VS228HP/ <----- another look at that monitor
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August 31, 2012 9:23:57 AM

An SSD is totally worth it if you add one to the build. I would also recommend the GTX 660 Ti over the 7950 for $30 less and only about 8-10% less performance than a GTX 670. You should also choose the 212 EVO over the 212+ because it is easier to mount, easier to clean, and has slightly better heat dissipation.

You should also note that your combo deal on the CPU and motherboard contains the i5-3570 and not the K version! Make sure you find a deal with unlocked version!
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August 31, 2012 10:04:15 AM

ahh thanks for pointing those out well back (partly) to the drawing board with some of these suggestions. Thanks for pointing out it wasn't a K version cpu definitely have to change that. I think ill try to go for the gtx 670 I'm just unsure about the best value Mother board to use. As for the ssd that's going to be a tough sell to my fiance. While I think its great value item she doesn't see the value it could bring (even though it is a lot more affordable at ~$.75 per GB on more recent deals)
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August 31, 2012 10:40:07 AM

I was considering Asrock board (both the extreme 4 and 6) because I got a asrock extreme 970 a year ago and love the board and its value for its price. The main thing turning me off the boards are some of the newegg/amazon reviews (taking with a grain of salt as some times its exaggerated and sometimes its not and sorting it out can be tricky). I am opting to try and get a SSD for my fiance but I will need a good argument for it (I can blast facts at her all day about performance but actualizing how it would effect her works better to win arguments involving these type of purchases). I think I will try to get either a GTX 660 ti or a GTX 670 and going to revisit the computer case (I'd rather her choose it based on ascetics as that has her a lot more excited and into the build then technical stuff like how it will work and a customized looking case is preferable for her but not a huge deal breaker). I am also re-looking at the asrock boards as well and considering splitting the purchases between amazon and newegg at this point. Also thanks a lot for that monitor I was trying to find a asus 1920x1080p gaming monitor around 19"-21" for her but was having bad luck on that.
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August 31, 2012 10:57:52 AM

Well imo the motherboards currently that are best bang for buck with quality assurances meaning it's not going to die on her after a month or have flaws like funky sized not really atx size though falsely labeling the motherboard as if it is like Asrock did with the extreme 4 lol shame on them.Moving on... these would be good choices with lots of features and upgrading options as well as overclocking being able to highly oc on them depending if you get a good chip.

mobo:GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


mobo:ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo:GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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August 31, 2012 11:03:50 AM

Z77 Extreme4 The only negative I have for this motherboard is that it slips outside of typical ATX specifications. It’s 3cm thinner than a standard ATX motherboard and as a result may lack secure mounting on the far side since this isn’t a common size, which also means you should be very careful when plugging in the 24-pin ATX motherboard power – as the motherboard may flex.
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August 31, 2012 11:43:02 AM

Don't spend so much on the motherboard. Get the ASUS Maximus V Formula if you want EXTREME gaming power and all. Honestly, even a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H or ASUS P8Z77 V-PRO would be a good choice.

(I'd go for the Formula if I had a choice ;) )
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August 31, 2012 11:47:25 AM

I may opt for the extreme 6 just for ease of fitting in a case (otherwise I'm viewing the asrock extreme4 at a great value since specs are almost identical and it seems more advertised at features that would used a lot more often). The other asus one you linked is interesting as well for its value. I found all 3 with the same ssd combo on neweff as the extreme4 with a $15 difference between asus combo($265) and asrock combo( $250). Its tempting at the extreme 4 for the value but the fitting I see as an issue.
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August 31, 2012 11:50:44 AM

Yup. The Extreme6 is a great board too :) 
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August 31, 2012 4:02:34 PM

astura21 said:
ahh thanks for pointing those out well back (partly) to the drawing board with some of these suggestions. Thanks for pointing out it wasn't a K version cpu definitely have to change that. I think ill try to go for the gtx 670 I'm just unsure about the best value Mother board to use. As for the ssd that's going to be a tough sell to my fiance. While I think its great value item she doesn't see the value it could bring (even though it is a lot more affordable at ~$.75 per GB on more recent deals)

There's a 128GB SSD combo'd with that Asrock board in the build I posted that totals to under $1,200. If she's truly wanting to save $$$ and still get a quality build your going to be hard pressed to find a better build for that price.
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August 31, 2012 11:42:00 PM

Well im going with almost everything listed above by Why_Me but I am going to change to the motherboard to something else after reading about the asrock extreme4 being a bit to short for a atx case. Also she choose a slightly different case (MSI Raveger for $75 on newegg atm) and the psu on amazon was sold out so getting that on newegg :(  .

I was wondering any thoughts about this MSI Z77 board combo as a alternative:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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September 1, 2012 1:01:54 AM

astura21 said:
Well im going with almost everything listed above by Why_Me but I am going to change to the motherboard to something else after reading about the asrock extreme4 being a bit to short for a atx case. Also she choose a slightly different case (MSI Raveger for $75 on newegg atm) and the psu on amazon was sold out so getting that on newegg :(  .

I was wondering any thoughts about this MSI Z77 board combo as a alternative:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That's a decent deal and MSI boards are solid. Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte, MSI...all four of those board makers are decent enough. Now if you do find something else that board combo's with then here's another bargain that just showed up on amazon today.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)
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September 1, 2012 3:32:20 AM

Why_Me said:
That's a decent deal and MSI boards are solid. Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte, MSI...all four of those board makers are decent enough. Now if you do find something else that board combo's with then here's another bargain that just showed up on amazon today.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)
:whistle:  got me one those today just ordered it i mean i don't have it yet thanks Why_Me the deal for that ssd was just to sweet to not buy ;) 
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