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$1,200-1,500 Gaming Computer (First Time Build)

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September 4, 2012 8:28:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks

Budget Range: $1,200- $1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or amazon.com

Location: Hudson Valley, New York

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: No Preference

Current Build Idea:

Processor : Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Processor 3.6 GHz ($300)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YM9JSW/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Mobo : ASUS P9X79 LGA 2011 X79 8-DIMM PCIe 3.0 Motherboard ($280)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0064L8UJM/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

GPU : ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon ($265)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JLFVNO/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB ($92)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RFBIUU/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

SSD: OCZ Technology 120GB ($94)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Z0S6SO/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...


PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt ($109)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005E98FVS/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Case: Cooler Master 690 II ($90)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZOB9MM/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive ($20)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006B7R9PU/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Monitor: ViewSonic VA2431WM 24-Inch Widescreen LCD ($130)
http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VA2431WM-24-Inch-Widesc...

Total:1,380.00

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm having trouble running Starcraft 2 on my laptop a have decided to take the plunge and build a computer that can handle the latest video game requirements.

Appreciate any comments and suggestions on the build or alternate build options. Thanks in advance for your help.
September 4, 2012 8:33:59 PM

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($78.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1282.57

Here is my suggested build. You can swap in your case of choice if you don't like the one I picked and still have enough room in your budget for a very nice monitor(I like ASUS monitors plenty to choose from).

i5 3570k is a better choice also the z77 mobo works just fine and if gaming and watching movies is all you use it for extra money saved was put into a better video card.
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September 4, 2012 8:41:52 PM

I like Zulug's build with the following notes:

1. Micro center has best CPU & MOBO combo's if you are near one. Have to pick them up at the store
2. SSD all the way: Intel, Samsung 830, or Crucial M4. Do not go below 120 GB - it's just easier
3. GPU: 7870 would be fine (esp coming from a laptop). You can always spend more ...
4. PSU: I like my PC Power and Cooling Mk III, 600 watts. Corsair and Seasonic also great

Good luck !
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Related resources
September 4, 2012 9:14:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1278.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-04 17:13 EDT-0400)

This build would give you way more gaming power. ASUS 670 is simply unmatched.
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September 4, 2012 9:46:12 PM

WinterInJuly said:
Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks

Budget Range: $1,200- $1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or amazon.com

Location: Hudson Valley, New York

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: No Preference

Current Build Idea:

Processor : Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Processor 3.6 GHz ($300)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YM9JSW/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Mobo : ASUS P9X79 LGA 2011 X79 8-DIMM PCIe 3.0 Motherboard ($280)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0064L8UJM/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

GPU : ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon ($265)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JLFVNO/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB ($92)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RFBIUU/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

SSD: OCZ Technology 120GB ($94)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Z0S6SO/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...


PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt ($109)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005E98FVS/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Case: Cooler Master 690 II ($90)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZOB9MM/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive ($20)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006B7R9PU/ref=as_li_tf_til?ta...

Monitor: ViewSonic VA2431WM 24-Inch Widescreen LCD ($130)
http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VA2431WM-24-Inch-Widesc...

Total:1,380.00

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm having trouble running Starcraft 2 on my laptop a have decided to take the plunge and build a computer that can handle the latest video game requirements.

Appreciate any comments and suggestions on the build or alternate build options. Thanks in advance for your help.

The 3820 is a dog in regards to gaming along with the fact that the socket LGA 2011 is a power hog and not what you want for a gaming build.


Try something like this.... This build allows you to add another one of those cards later on in SLI.

http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-Two-Gaming/dp... $60.49 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-... $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.amazon.com/MSI-Computer-Corp-Motherboards-Z7... $137.56 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $127.56
MSI Computer Corp. DDR3 1600 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboards (Z77A-G45)

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3570K-Quad-Core-Pro... $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $33.49 & 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.amazon.com/Patriot-Memory-Extreme-Masters-PC... $44.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Patriot Memory Intel Extreme Masters 8 GB (2 x 4GB) PC3-12800 CL9 Memory Kit - PVI38G160C9K

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SH-222BB-BEBE-Internal-So... $19.98 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Cache-Desk... $66.91 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $89.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)

http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-WINDFORCE-PCI-Express-Gr... $299.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 2x DVI / HDMI / DP SLI Ready Graphics Card Graphics Cards GV-N66TOC-2GD

Total: $1,002.44 *not including rebates


http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $134.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

http://usa.asus.com/Display/LCD_Monitors/VS228HP/ <----- another look at that monitor


http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-660-... <----- review of that Gigabyte GTX 660 ti


http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack
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September 4, 2012 11:13:48 PM

odiervr said:
I like Zulug's build with the following notes:

1. Micro center has best CPU & MOBO combo's if you are near one. Have to pick them up at the store
2. SSD all the way: Intel, Samsung 830, or Crucial M4. Do not go below 120 GB - it's just easier
3. GPU: 7870 would be fine (esp coming from a laptop). You can always spend more ...
4. PSU: I like my PC Power and Cooling Mk III, 600 watts. Corsair and Seasonic also great

Good luck !


Thanks for the advice, think I will invest a bit more into the GPU.

The nearest Micro center is 2 hours away in the NYC, with the tolls and traffic I would rather avoid a visit.

Everyone else seems to think I should get a 256 GB over a 120 GB one, do you think it is worth it?
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September 4, 2012 11:43:45 PM

bctande1 said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1278.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-04 17:13 EDT-0400)

This build would give you way more gaming power. ASUS 670 is simply unmatched.


Leaning towards this build, but have a few questions

Will all of these components fit in the case I originally posted the:
Cooler Master 690 II ($90)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZOB9M [...] c-build%2F

Difference between:
Asus GTX670-DC2-2GD5 http://****/api/click?format=go&key=984ed3ed6aa9a69986f88d56d10e7616&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tomshardware.com%2Fforum%2F361890-31-gaming-compute...(First%20Time%20Build)&txt=Asus%20GeForce%20GTX%20670%202GB%20Video%20Card&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13468015921243 for $419.99 vs. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card for $399.36?
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September 4, 2012 11:46:57 PM

zulug said:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.36 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($78.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1282.57

Here is my suggested build. You can swap in your case of choice if you don't like the one I picked and still have enough room in your budget for a very nice monitor(I like ASUS monitors plenty to choose from).

i5 3570k is a better choice also the z77 mobo works just fine and if gaming and watching movies is all you use it for extra money saved was put into a better video card.


Thanks for the input, will definitely go with the i5 3570k and have been looking at ASUS monitors and thinking I might buy two.
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September 4, 2012 11:52:55 PM

Drop the LGA 2011 platform if it'll just be for gaming, and go with a much better GPU (Radeon HD 7950-7970GHz Edition; GTX 670-680). i5 3570K or i7 3770K will do the job just fine.
A larger SSD, or two in RAID 1 or 0 will get you faster OS and game loading screens, with a 1 or 2 TB HDD for mass storage (optional).
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO is a must really.
As for the rest, thats up to you, maybe consider SLI or a large 27 inch 3D 120-144Hz 1920x1080 or 2560x1600,1440 monitor might give you some added immersiveness.

Personally I would go a lot differently on your high-end build, but will it just be for Starcraft 2?
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September 6, 2012 3:52:35 AM

Going to make a purchase in the next few hours and just want to double check that all the components will fit in the case. Still open to hearing suggestions on any improvements.

Current Build based on suggestions:

CPU Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $209.99
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $27.99
Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $114.99
Memory Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $89.99
Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $98.99
Storage Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $109.99
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card $419.99
Case Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99
Power Supply XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $89.99
Optical Drive Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer $14.99
Monitor Asus ML228H 21.5" Monitor $144.98
OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) $89.98
Total: $1496.85
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gAXt

I know the 16 GB of Ram is overkill, but RAM is so cheap I can't bring myself not to spend the extra $40.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Best solution

September 6, 2012 8:27:28 AM

WinterInJuly said:
Going to make a purchase in the next few hours and just want to double check that all the components will fit in the case. Still open to hearing suggestions on any improvements.

Current Build based on suggestions:

CPU Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $209.99
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $27.99
Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $114.99
Memory Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $89.99
Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $98.99
Storage Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $109.99
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card $419.99
Case Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99
Power Supply XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $89.99
Optical Drive Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer $14.99
Monitor Asus ML228H 21.5" Monitor $144.98
OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) $89.98
Total: $1496.85
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gAXt

I know the 16 GB of Ram is overkill, but RAM is so cheap I can't bring myself not to spend the extra $40.

Thanks in advance for your help.

You want a 750w psu if you have any plans of ever adding another one of those cards in SLI. Maybe go to 8GB of RAM and use the extra money on a psu that will push two of those cards in SLI.
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September 6, 2012 8:49:18 AM

Why_Me has a point. You can always add 2 more sticks of RAM later.

A PSU is just a hassle to change later on, and you lose alot of money.
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September 6, 2012 4:30:38 PM

Best answer selected by WinterInJuly.
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