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Finalizing gaming build.. review *please* (~$1,500 budget)

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September 11, 2012 8:28:57 PM

Hi there everyone. I just wanted to add in a little preface giving some background on my computing needs and such before diving into the provided template.

So.. I'm a complete newbie at the whole building a computer thing. The only time I've seen the interior of a computer is when I cleaned out the dust inside the case (without moving or touching anything else). I, admittedly, have concerns that parts I buy will explode in my hands as I try to assemble a computer, but I guess I'm telling myself to just suck it up and do it. I'm hearing that it's easy with all the tutorials out there now, so I guess we'll see.

Now for my computer usage. I'm solely going to be using my computer for browsing the web and gaming. That's it. No artwork or stuff like that. Possibly for recording music, but that's besides the point. As for gaming, I don't play FPS games or the games that have notoriously high graphics requirements. It's limited to WoW, DotA2, Skyrim, possibly Guild Wars 2 in the future, and a bunch of indie games on Steam. So I don't think I'll need stuff like overclocking (not even sure of what that is).

I also wanted to express my appreciation for any and all help I get. I acknowledge that I'm a complete and utter computer noob (I had to look up what GPU meant before this), so please don't tear me to shreds for my ignorance. I'm happy to learn. Here goes:
September 11, 2012 8:31:39 PM

Preface: So the parts listed below were mustered up from very rudimentary knowledge and Newegg's "Customer Choice Awards" page, so I'm just going by limited resources. Any opinions on what to swap out/in or which choice of the ones I listed for Motherboard / CPU are best? Or if I'm going overkill on something? I'd also ideally like this computer to last me a while (~5 years) so I guess that's something to consider.


Approximate Purchase Date: The closer the better.

Budget Range: ~$1,500 after all discounts, rebates, shipping costs, tax, etc.
This cost includes the cost of a monitor and a keyboard.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web Surfing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes.

Parts being considered:

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144
SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
CASE: Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139008
MOTHERBOARD: 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=N82E16813131820
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
GPU: 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.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127696
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
OPTICAL DRIVE: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
MONITOR: Asus VE248H Black 24" 2ms Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 10,000,000:1 (1920x1080)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236102
COOLER: UNSURE :( 

Do you need to buy OS: Maybe

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Fort Lee, NJ, USA

Parts Preferences: Honestly, whatever is good.

Overclocking: I don't even quite know what Overclocking is.

SLI or Crossfire: Again, unsure of what these are.

Your Monitor Resolution: I'm probably going to go with the Monitor listed above (unless I get feedback that it is egregiously horrible).

Additional Comments: Honestly, I just want a solid gaming computer. I'm solely going to use this to play games and to surf the web. Possibly some music recording, but that's irrelevant. And even the games I play are not the notoriously high-graphics required games. It's pretty much limited to WoW, Diablo 3, possibly GW2 in the future, DotA2, maybe Skyrim, and a bunch of indie games on Steam.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current laptop, which is over 5 years old, is whimpering and begging me to put it out of its misery.
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September 12, 2012 12:38:57 AM

I really, really, really hate bumping up my own post, but I'm hoping to purchase the parts as soon as possible (i.e. even tonight or tomorrow morning). As I'm literally coming from near-no knowledge of computer parts, I'd hugely appreciate any input. Thanks so much everyone.
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Related resources
September 13, 2012 7:01:10 PM

I know it's a bit irritating to see so many computer build review posts, but I would really, really, really, really appreciate someone's input. It'd put my mind at ease.
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September 13, 2012 7:48:20 PM

D4J10X said:
I really, really, really hate bumping up my own post, but I'm hoping to purchase the parts as soon as possible (i.e. even tonight or tomorrow morning). As I'm literally coming from near-no knowledge of computer parts, I'd hugely appreciate any input. Thanks so much everyone.

You have a solid build up there but you could trim some fat off that build
Have a look at these changes.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... save: $20.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
Intel Core i5-3470 Ivy Bridge 3.2GHz (3.6GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53470
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.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $132.98 save: $10.00 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
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September 13, 2012 8:25:50 PM

Hi Why_me,

Thanks so much for the pointers. Really appreciate it.
I had one question regarding the Motherboard you listed.

Will there be any performance loss or such from going with an Intel Z75 rather than an Intel Z77 motherboard?
I was actually debating between:
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=N82E16813131820)
and
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157295)

It never occurred to me to go with the one you suggested. It's significantly cheaper, so that's something I'm totally onboard with, but I'm concerned about the sacrifice in quality. If the Z75 is fine for me (since I don't really overclock), then I'd happily go with the one you listed.
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September 13, 2012 8:33:59 PM

D4J10X said:
Hi Why_me,

Thanks so much for the pointers. Really appreciate it.
I had one question regarding the Motherboard you listed.

Will there be any performance loss or such from going with an Intel Z75 rather than an Intel Z77 motherboard?
I was actually debating between:
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=N82E16813131820)
and
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157295)

It never occurred to me to go with the one you suggested. It's significantly cheaper, so that's something I'm totally onboard with, but I'm concerned about the sacrifice in quality. If the Z75 is fine for me (since I don't really overclock), then I'd happily go with the one you listed.

Those two boards up above are fine boards but they are geared towards a dual card set up, same with that 750w psu. If you want the option to add a second card later on then look at this down below. Also that cpu I posted does not over clock so if you want that option open then stick with the 3570K.


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 ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $152.98 save: $8.00
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/ <----- another look at that Asrock board along with a link to the latest bios
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September 13, 2012 8:53:26 PM

I'm not sure I'll be overclocking, but I'd like to keep that option open so I'll stick with the 3570k.

As for the Power Supply, I think I'll end up going with the CORSAIR Enthusiast PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021) because it's $77.99 after promo codes / rebates. I figured it might be a bit overkill, but it was actually going for cheaper than lower-watt PSUs.

As for the motherboard, I'm still a bit 'slow' on that, haha. There just seem to be so many options, and I'm not too sure of what the major, glaring differences are between them.

So far, we have the ASUS P8Z77-V, ASRock Z77 Extreme 6, ASRock Z77 Extreme 3, ASRock Z75.. I don't realistically see myself sticking in two video cards into my computer, so perhaps I should just go with the Extreme 3?

Also, for cooling.. Unsure which way to go for that. *Solely* going off of Review #s on Newegg, I'm thinking ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134).. But I don't know if Review #s is a reliable metric..
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September 13, 2012 9:01:06 PM

D4J10X said:
I'm not sure I'll be overclocking, but I'd like to keep that option open so I'll stick with the 3570k.

As for the Power Supply, I think I'll end up going with the CORSAIR Enthusiast PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021) because it's $77.99 after promo codes / rebates. I figured it might be a bit overkill, but it was actually going for cheaper than lower-watt PSUs.

As for the motherboard, I'm still a bit 'slow' on that, haha. There just seem to be so many options, and I'm not too sure of what the major, glaring differences are between them.

So far, we have the ASUS P8Z77-V, ASRock Z77 Extreme 6, ASRock Z77 Extreme 3, ASRock Z75.. I don't realistically see myself sticking in two video cards into my computer, so perhaps I should just go with the Extreme 3?

Also, for cooling.. Unsure which way to go for that. *Solely* going off of Review #s on Newegg, I'm thinking ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134).. But I don't know if Review #s is a reliable metric..

That asrock extreme3 allows you to add a second card later on and if you never do...which most people don't for the fact that by the time they get around to thinking about it something bigger and better is out on the market, and that 750w psu allows that option also. So if you stick with that psu you have linked along with the asrock extreme3 you have that option left open and you didn't have to stick a bunch of $$$ in your build in order to allow that option.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $152.98 save: $8.00
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00

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


Excellent mid range cpu heat sink down below...by far the most recommended one on here and it comes with great thermal compound.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $33.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2
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