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First Gaming Rig, Suggestions? Thoughts?

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September 5, 2012 7:51:09 PM

So I am heavily considering building my first gaming pc. I own a Asus G53SW-XA2 gaming laptop that I have been using up until now, but my needs are starting to exceed its capabilities. Yesterday I started up Alan Wake for the first time, and even at low settings, fps dipped to 20-25 frequently. Alan Wake is the first game that i have not been able to enjoy at all due to fps, but I do have to tone down the settings on a lot of newer games, and I'm tired of it. So anyway, what i want in a pc is to be able to run basically any game at max settings (Generally speaking, i don't need antialiasing x1000) , at 50-60 fps. I do not need anything beyond that, I do not record videos or anything extremely strenuous. So i put together a rig at newegg, but honestly i don't really know what i am doing. I would like some suggestions on what parts i should tone up or down to suit these needs. Thanks.

Here is my Newegg shopping cart:

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I72600

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

HD: Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

GPU: EVGA 02G-P4-3660-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

OR

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX16GX3M2A1600C11

Monitor: Asus VE248H Black 24" 2ms Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 10,000,000:1

I would rather go with the 660ti here because of price, but will go with 670 if i need to.

Also, do i need a SSD for the OS?

Some recommendations for a decent sound card would be nice too. Don't need anything amazing, but would like decent sound quality.
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September 5, 2012 8:12:29 PM

Well an ssd is A LOT faster. 2TB seems overkill to me, if you need it then go for it. I still use my 320GB drive with a 1 TB external which is maybe 3/8s full. If you would have the ssd you should put the OS and your most commonly used game(s). then the data drive for the rest. the i7 2600 never really was a great buy the 2500k was about as good and its a few years old.
a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2012 8:15:54 PM

Satanic Beaver said:
Thanks, i just had someone else on a different forum refer me to that processor also, What is the benefit of a SSD vs another TB of data space?

If it's a gaming build then you don't need 2TB of space. If your using an SSD and play games that load up levels (maps) then your in the map and running around while peeps with mechanical hard drives are still waiting to dl the map.

btw what's your budget, do you plan on leaving open the option to add another vid card later on and do you need an o/s (windows)?
a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2012 8:16:29 PM

For a gaming rig, the i7 is pointless. Get the i5. Games do not utilize hyperthreading.

Here, try this...

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 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 Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.49 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1139.19
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-05 16:17 EDT-0400)

A SSD significantly reduces load times. If you can afford one, grab it. If you don't care about load times, a conventional HDD will work just fine. This is one area that is optional and can save you some money.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.
September 5, 2012 8:39:19 PM


there is a pretty significant difference between the 660 and the 670, but the 670 is considered a good value in comparison to the 7970&680. Infact, many 670's are made from 680 parts like PCB, Cooling, etc. Sometimes the only difference is the actual chip inside.

By getting a 670, your getting 95% of the performance of the GTX680 for 80% of the price. Although it could be overkill because it will play nearly every triple A game at 80+ fps at 1080p w. all settings. Except for Metro2033, although without anti aliasing you should get 50+fps.

Between the 7970 and 670, I had a really hard time choosing through weeks of research. From benchmarks, they trade blows despite 7970's costing more. I wouldn't be suprised if the 7970 was the stronger card but in game performance, it doesn't show in games overall. Nividia cards have an advantage in many games, and has many features like Adaptive-Vsync, PhysX, Cuda, etc. and usually better drivers. I went with the 670, but I dont know as much about the 7970 brands/features so you should do your own research.

The best 670 cards are the
MSI PE/OC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

I think the MSI and Gigabyte have the best coolers, and between them the MSI runs a few degrees cooler but the Gigabyte runs quieter under load (My MSI is pretty silent, but in tests despite gigabyte's multiple fans, are quieter) I think I've read somewhere MSI PE oc better than the Gigabyte one, although I've heard an EVGA card hitting 1300mhz.
September 5, 2012 8:46:45 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone, I have changed the rig to go with a 1 tb hd, 120gb ssd, and i5370k.

Why_Me: My maximum around 1500, i would prefer to spend closer to 1200. I already have a unused windows 7 home premium activation. As for another video card, I have heard that SLI can cause problems with older games, which i play a lot of, and just bugs in general, i might do it eventually, but i will probably just end up swapping out when the time comes. Is the motherboard i have up good for sli? will i need a bigger PSU if i go for SLI later on?

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2012 8:48:54 PM
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Satanic Beaver said:
Thanks for the replies everyone, I have changed the rig to go with a 1 tb hd, 120gb ssd, and i5370k.

Why_Me: My maximum around 1500, i would prefer to spend closer to 1200. I already have a unused windows 7 home premium activation. As for another video card, I have heard that SLI can cause problems with older games, which i play a lot of, and just bugs in general, i might do it eventually, but i will probably just end up swapping out when the time comes. Is the motherboard i have up good for sli? will i need a bigger PSU if i go for SLI later on?


This build down below allows you to add another one of those cards later on in SLI. It also includes a factory over clocked GTX 670, and a 128GB SSD. That case includes an LED on/off switch.


http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-Comp... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

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.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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.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/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/MSI-DisplayPort-PCI-Express-N670-... $409.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $399.99
MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 OC 2GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card N670 PE 2GD5/OC

Total: $1,162.21 *not including rebates


*** alternate vid card that combo's with the cpu to save some $$$

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

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_660_Ti_Power... <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI GTX 670
September 5, 2012 8:53:55 PM

xTwiinKY: What is the difference exactly between the EVGA FTW and the EVGA i have listed? Not planning to OC if i can avoid it so cooling is not too much of an issue for me.
September 5, 2012 9:02:33 PM

WhyMe: The only things i see about that rig that bother me are 500 gb hd, i would rather go with 1 tb, and the 8 gigs of ram. Is 16 overkill?

Thanks a lot for those benchmark pages, really helpful.
a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2012 9:20:20 PM

Satanic Beaver said:
WhyMe: The only things i see about that rig that bother me are 500 gb hd, i would rather go with 1 tb, and the 8 gigs of ram. Is 16 overkill?

Thanks a lot for those benchmark pages, really helpful.

Just swap out the hard drive for a larger one. As far as the RAM goes, 16GB is fine if you plan on doing a lot of professional video and/or photo imaging. 8GB of RAM is over kill for gaming. 4GB is fine and the only reason everyone is getting 8GB these days is for the fact RAM is dirt cheap so it's a way of future proofing. If you ever do get into something like hardcore video editing you can always add another 8GB of RAM for a total of 16GB.
September 5, 2012 9:24:56 PM

Satanic Beaver said:
xTwiinKY: What is the difference exactly between the EVGA FTW and the EVGA i have listed? Not planning to OC if i can avoid it so cooling is not too much of an issue for me.


I believe the only difference is whether EVGA themselves overclocked it, like most brands. I don't see a difference in cooling.
I dont think the EVGA cards have the best coolers, i think many people buy them because they trust EVGA and their customer support. They should run perfectly fine at their stock levels, just like every other card brand.

I wasn't interested in overclocking that much when I bought my card, but cooling and quality parts. Because the more stable it can run at high speeds and voltages, the better the card is. Like any other parts of a computer. MSI custom makes their own PCB's and I think the 670 PCB comes from their 680 line. They specially make their PCB's to be better, and also cover the whole card so the card can run higher voltages better and much more stable. Alot of people trust MSI parts for their parts and coolers.

Are you going to oc your cpu?



September 5, 2012 9:29:01 PM

xtwiinky said:

Are you going to oc your cpu?


Not planning to OC anything if i can avoid it, would rather just not have to worry too much about temp.
September 5, 2012 9:33:02 PM

Why_Me said:
Just swap out the hard drive for a larger one. As far as the RAM goes, 16GB is fine if you plan on doing a lot of professional video and/or photo imaging. 8GB of RAM is over kill for gaming. 4GB is fine and the only reason everyone is getting 8GB these days is for the fact RAM is dirt cheap so it's a way of future proofing. If you ever do get into something like hardcore video editing you can always add another 8GB of RAM for a total of 16GB.


Ok thanks, 8 gigs it is.
a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2012 9:51:11 PM

Satanic Beaver said:
xTwiinKY: What is the difference exactly between the EVGA FTW and the EVGA i have listed? Not planning to OC if i can avoid it so cooling is not too much of an issue for me.

I just saw this post. The unlocked cpu (3570K) isn't all that much more than the locked cpu and for $30+ that CM EVO is a steal and runs a lot quieter than the stock intel cpu h/s that comes with the cpu. That way if you ever do get the bug to o/c your set and for not much more $$$. With gaming those cards can heat up a case so I never go with the stock intel cooler if I can help it.
September 5, 2012 10:10:34 PM

Satanic Beaver said:
Not planning to OC anything if i can avoid it, would rather just not have to worry too much about temp.


If the issue is temp, all it takes is a few hours of testing and configuring. Certainly worth the preformance gain.
Infact if you buy the Hyper 212 EVO, your temps will be the same overclocked as stock with an Intel fan.
When you oc, you test the cpu at 100% load to find the best combination of temp(voltage) and speed. After that, you test its stablitity and temp over many hours (6-24 hours, you leave your comp on) If your report no errors, you will never have the thought of CPU failure. Plus, your cpu wont overheat and fry in the worst case senerio, your BIOS settings would stop that.

September 6, 2012 4:39:39 AM

So after suggestions from here and the steam forums, i have changed the rig to include:

GPU: 670, undecided on EVGA or MSI,

CPU: i5 3570k Ivy bridge

RAM: 2x4 corsair

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO

Motherboard: AsRock Z77

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

SSD: Crucial M4 128gb

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion

Feel free to tell me if you think that something should still be changed, or your opinions on EVGA vs MSI. Thanks a lot everyone.
September 6, 2012 4:44:17 AM

Best answer selected by Satanic Beaver.
a b 4 Gaming
September 6, 2012 1:16:25 PM

Grab the MSI version of the GTX 670. It has better cooling and overclocking ability.

Good luck with your build!
September 10, 2012 4:52:41 AM

DeusAres said:
Grab the MSI version of the GTX 670. It has better cooling and overclocking ability.

Good luck with your build!



Yes, MSI version. Their PCB is custom made, and comes from their 680 i think, and as for many brands, they use alot of 680 parts. They have the same cooling as the lightening versions, TF4. I don't know what the Lighting series is compared to other ones, but I think its just marketing. Hawk, PE, Lightning are very similar.

MY MSI 670 PE/OC runs at 1200 mhz and GPU tests show my temps at 70C at 100% load. Pretty awsome.
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