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Building a new gaming PC after several years

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September 13, 2012 5:45:12 PM

I haven't built a PC in several years...so I haven't been keeping up on hardware. I am looking to build a gaming PC that can run Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, DayZ, The War-Z, etc on very high gfx at decent resolution. I would like to keep it around $1k for the full build, definitely not over $1400.

-I do not care if I go AMD or Intel for the processor, whatever you guys recommend.

-Same with mobo, whatever you guys recommend as long as it's 2-card SLI ready. Onboard sound works for me too, so no soundcard. My current mobo is EVGA, i've had great luck with EVGA and Asus in the past, but times do change...

-For video cards I would like to stay nVidia. I want to build a computer that's SLI ready but i'd like to wait to buy a 2nd card after the price drops...so like a year down the road. I am more than willing to buy a near top of the line card right now though, but just one! No quad SLI boards please, that's overkill for me.

-I have no idea which SSDs are good or bad for gaming. I just need one that's about 320g in size for the OS and games+apps. I already have storage HDs so no need for that.

-Whatever PSU you guys recommend for 2-card SLI ready. Same with RAM, what's standard these days? 8g? Both my current RAM and PSU are Corsair brand which seems to be a good brand.

-One kicker is I want a plain-jane case. No side window, no flashy stuff, just a normal looking case. I would like 120mm fans though, maybe 2 intake and 1 exhaust? Something like that. I like having 2 for intake to cool HDs.

-Also I have all my peripherals already, just need to build a PC.

-aftermarket CPU cooler, I don't like the stock ones. I normally just stay air cooling unless there's really easy water cooling options these days

As far as overclocking i'm really not too worried about it. I haven't really bothered with my current PC. Just looking for something that can run the games above on highest gfx settings. As you can see from my current PC specs I can't do that on some newer games and it sux.

Feel free to ask me more questions as I'm probably missing some stuff. I started browsing hardware this morning and there's so much new stuff I don't even know where to start!

More about : building gaming years

a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 5:49:46 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 612 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($24.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $1304.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-13 13:48 EDT-0400)

The case has 2 intake 120mm fans and 120mm exhaust up-on request. Also has a 200mm side fan for even more cooling.

Change to GTX 670 if you really want to keep the GPU NVIDIA.
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September 13, 2012 5:54:34 PM

Thanks for the quick reply azeem!
I'd really like to stay nVidia for video cards. Is that still a good motherboard to go with SLI?
I'd also like a bigger SSD (320g) to hold my installed games and apps. No need for a storage HD.
Also, any more plane-jane case? That one is a bit flashy. I'll browse around cases more but there's so many!
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a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 6:01:09 PM

Look at my last sentence. :) 
The Antec 302 or Eleven Hundred are good cases.
Yes, as long as it has 2 PCIE 3.0 slots, it will support SLI.
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September 13, 2012 6:42:34 PM

Is Intel really the way to go? I'm open to AMD options or is it not as fast?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 8:25:58 PM

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 ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

ttp://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=C... $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

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
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.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-2-5-Inch-Solid-SD... $176.48 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SDSSDX-240G-G25

Total: $1,079.41 *not including shippping & rebates


http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.93 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack


http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <----- another look at that case

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

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 8:35:01 PM

morrows said:
Is Intel really the way to go? I'm open to AMD options or is it not as fast?


Yeah its really the way to go. AMD got crushed back in the phenom days and they never really recovered. Intel processors are significantly faster for gaming computers. All the way on the low end AMD holds some ground because their integrated graphics are better but somehow I don't think that's where you want to be.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 8:36:58 PM

azeem40 said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 612 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($24.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $1304.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-13 13:48 EDT-0400)

The case has 2 intake 120mm fans and 120mm exhaust up-on request. Also has a 200mm side fan for even more cooling.

Change to GTX 670 if you really want to keep the GPU NVIDIA.


Nice but slighly overkill PSU could save $40 there

EDIT: I go back on my word, the 7970 needs around 650w at least my bad
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September 13, 2012 10:38:42 PM
a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 10:54:24 PM


That's a solid build. That cpu cooler comes with a small tube of excellent thermal past. That cpu cooler you chose is a solid one but it is very very large. You might look at another case with just a tad more room. Something like the 400R.

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.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <----- another look at that case


And if you want a card that runs cooler and over clocks far better than have a look at this card down below.

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

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_670_Power_Ed... <----- review of that MSI GTX 670 w/benchmarks
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September 13, 2012 11:01:03 PM

Why_Me said:
That's a solid build. That cpu cooler comes with a small tube of excellent thermal past. That cpu cooler you chose is a solid one but it is very very large. You might look at another case with just a tad more room. Something like the 400R.

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.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <----- another look at that case


And if you want a card that runs cooler and over clocks far better than have a look at this card down below.

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

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_670_Power_Ed... <----- review of that MSI GTX 670 w/benchmarks

Interesting card. What about this one? It has a 10% off code as well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My main concern is the card with the fans like that. Aren't the blower fan cards quieter and blow the hot air out the back?

I really want to keep the 300R case. Do you have a smaller CPU cooler you can recommend? Or what about that Corsair water cooler one?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2012 11:15:07 PM

morrows said:
Interesting card. What about this one? It has a 10% off code as well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My main concern is the card with the fans like that. Aren't the blower fan cards quieter and blow the hot air out the back?

I really want to keep the 300R case. Do you have a smaller CPU cooler you can recommend? Or what about that Corsair water cooler one?

That Gigabyte card is a good one and it over clocks well. The only thing about that card is you want to get a back plate for it seeing how it's a bit longer than your average card and it tends to twist when the fans crank up without a back plate. The EVGA 680 back plate fits that card perfectly and it goes for around $25 + free shipping @ newegg and you can also find it on amazon. Just make sure you use the screws that come with the card and not the back plate when mounting it.

Those non reference cards vent the heat into the case and some out the back...that's the only draw back. But with a decent cpu h/s like the one you chose, and then throw on a side fan to that case like a 140mm side fan then np at all. And it's the non reference cooled cards that run quieter than the stock reference cooled cards like that EVGA for the fact their fans aren't going full bore all the time trying to keep the card cool.
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September 14, 2012 2:05:03 AM

Alright, I pretty much have the build dialed I think. Can you guys confirm i'm not missing something and buying good stuff? Feel free to critique:
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo+RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=ox_sc_a...
CPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SZ0E1K/ref=ox_sc_a...

I went with the Corsair Neutron GTX as it seems to be the fastest. Thoughts?
Will that Seasonic x750 PSU be good enough for SLI?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 14, 2012 3:09:45 AM

morrows said:
Alright, I pretty much have the build dialed I think. Can you guys confirm i'm not missing something and buying good stuff? Feel free to critique:
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo+RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=ox_sc_a...
CPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SZ0E1K/ref=ox_sc_a...

I went with the Corsair Neutron GTX as it seems to be the fastest. Thoughts?
Will that Seasonic x750 PSU be good enough for SLI?

There's a few changes I can see. First off not all SSD's are created the same as in "equal". You don't want to worry about how fast they are...their all fast. It's stability your looking for and that comes down to controller and firmware support. Samsung, Sandisk extreme's, and the Kingston HyperX series all use some from of a Toggle NAND controller. Samsung uses a Toshiba Toggle NAND controller, and Sandisk Extreme series and Kingtons HyperX series use SF (Sand Force) Toggle NAND controller.

Toggle NAND > Synchronous > Ansynchronous in that order. There's a few other good controllers out there also but you don't want those last two just mentioned. With that said this Kingston down below is a bargain at that price although you might find it cheaper on Amazon and also look for the Sandisk extreme 240GB for a good price and if you want the extra space for a few dollars more than look at the Samsung 256GB SSD.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99 FREE SHIPPING
Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive)

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-2-5-Inch-Solid-SD... $186.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SDSSDX-240G-G25

http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7PC2... $212.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PC256B/WW


As far as that Seasonic psu goes...it's a very fine line between Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings. The difference between Gold and Bronze in regards to savings/efficiency might be a can of coke at the end of the year if you run your pc full on 24-7. SeaSonic manufactures all of XFX's psu's along with the upper tier Corsair and a few for PC Power & Cooling. This psu down below is semi modular meaning the only cables hardwired are the ones your going to need no matter what.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-PRO750W-Semi-Modular-80Plus-S... $111.71 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $101.71
XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus 750 Watt Power Supply (Silver)


You want the Cooler Master EVO 212. It has a far better mounting system and the fans are adjustable. It's worth the extra $10 of your about keeping your cpu cool.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_a... $32.42 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2


And don't forget that back plate. It serves two purposes. First off it gives that card some stability and second it helps spread the heat from the PCB so your PCB doesn't get as hot as a cooking pan in the fire. Just remember to use the screws from that Gigabyte card when putting this on and not the ones that come with the back plate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 FREE SHIPPING
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Backplate Model M021-00-000008
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September 21, 2012 1:58:39 AM

Best answer selected by morrows.
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