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'Return to Gaming' Build

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September 13, 2012 8:19:10 PM

Hey Gang,

Trying to get back in to gaming after being out for the past 8 years due to the birth of my twins. I have built a couple of 'homebuilts' in the past (10+ years ago), but the gaming/computer world has passed me by these past 8 years.

Now that the kiddos are getting bigger and I have more and more time to myself (yea!), I am ready to get back to some fun. I don't have any particular games picked out to build towards, I will have to play around a bit and see what strikes my fancy. I don't even know yet what all games are out there now-a-days.

I do know that immediately I will be playing Minecraft and Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The following build is probably major overkill for those titles, but I don't yet know which way my new foray into gaming will eventually end up. Budget isn't a huge issue at the moment, but I certainly like to save money where I can.

With all this in mind (and after reading a lot of forums and reviews) here is what I have put together as my top dollar build. What I am looking for is to see if there are areas I can either save money, or shift around money for performance boosts. Please let me know if I am overthinking/overspending on my re-intro into gaming!

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hlXf

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ NCIX US)..........chose this because it is near the same price as an i5-2500k. I won't be overclocking right away, but will probably play around with OC'ing down the road. I will hold off on purchasing a cooler until then.

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)..........good reviews and seems to have great bang-for-buck value.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)..........Is this fine, or should I go for 'low profile'. Also looked at the GSkill Memory as an option.

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($94.99 @ NCIX US)..........Debating whether I should get a 128GB SSD instead for now and for the same price and add a HDD later down the road when/if I run out of room. Thoughts?

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($195.98 @ Newegg).........No brand loyalty here. Just a place holder. Based on a lot of reading, the 7850 seems to be the way to go. Any thoughts on brands? Would I be just as well of going with a 1GB version and saving a few bucks?

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)..........Good price and good reviews. Looked at some $50-$60 cases, but many would require adding fans. This one seems 'ready to go'.

Power Supply: Corsair 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)..........Again, no loyalty here. Just picked based on good reviews.

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS424-98 DVD/CD Writer ($22.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Monitor: ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" Monitor ($187.95 @ Mac Connection)..........I think 24" is fine for my use. I will be adding a pair of Dell 19" I already have for a three monitor setup. That way I can see out the 'side windows' on my flight sim...haha!

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.47 @ Amazon)

Total: $1133.33


There you have it, guys and gals...do what you do best and give me some thoughts and potential changes. Thanks a bunch!!!

-Jon-
OKC, OK

More about : return gaming build

a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2012 1:52:50 AM

It looks pretty good, you could get a 7870 but that is $65 more than your current GPU. Low profile ram is better because it has a smaller chance of getting in the way of things.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 14, 2012 1:57:17 AM

How much money are you willing to spend on your rig at the moment? I am wanting to swap out some components, however, I can't do that without knowing your budget :lol: 

Do you plan to Crossfire/SLI in the future? If not, a 550w PSU will suffice for almost any GPU out on the market at the moment.

As soon as you tell me your budget, I'll make you a parts list :) 
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September 14, 2012 5:14:46 AM

mocchan said:
How much money are you willing to spend on your rig at the moment? I am wanting to swap out some components, however, I can't do that without knowing your budget :lol: 

Do you plan to Crossfire/SLI in the future? If not, a 550w PSU will suffice for almost any GPU out on the market at the moment.

As soon as you tell me your budget, I'll make you a parts list :) 



Thanks, Mocchan. I really don't know much about Crossfire/SLI at the moment other than that it uses multiple GPU's within the system. Haven't researched much the tech behind it, or what it really does for me. At this point, I would rate it as between a 'no' and a 'maybe in a few years'. Haha, that really helps,doesn't it?? :lol: 

This may sound strange, but I don't really have a particular number in mind. I posted the above parts list as kind of a 'maximum amount', so let's keep it at or below that $1100 price point. I am lucky in that I could afford to pay way more if I wanted to, but since I don't know yet how much time I will actually get to devote to playing in the coming months/years, I thought it best to keep the cost modest. BTW, I am 41 years old, so I probably will never be a super-serious 'hardcore gamer' anymore.

My thought process is...I would like to have a system that makes it fun to game on, but if it turns out that I don't have as much time to game as I would have hoped, or if for some reason I just don't find a lot of games that I want to play, then I won't have a grossly overpriced machine just to surf the net and check my Facebook. Does that make sense?
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September 14, 2012 5:45:13 AM

aznshinobi said:
Could you fill this out?
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

As stated, the better GPU would be recommended. A 7870 at least for 1080P. Overall it looks good.

Check out my $850 build here though:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module14708687...
Gives you more performance for less with money to spare. You'll get the 7870 and a just as good PSU.



Thanks, I wil check out the links. I have looked at several builds in the $850 to $1,000 range. Probably too many...and that's probably why I can't settle on parts. Every time I think I have it figured out, I see another one and wonder if it is better. I'm like that. Hell, it sometimes takes me 30 minutes just to decide where I want to eat lunch! :D 

Approximate Purchase Date: Within next week or two

Budget Range: Let's say between $850 min and $1100 max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, but no particular games in mind at the moment. I am looking at trying to get back into some gaming after being out for a looooong time. Don't know what all the 'cool' titles ae now-a-days...lol!

Parts Not Required: MB, CPU, GPU, P/S, Ram...pretty much a complete build. I don't currently have a desktop to canabalize. I will take care of the 'small stuff' (KB, mouse) locally.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't have a preference at the moment, but obviously I want to stick with reputable sites/stores. There isn't a MicroCenter in OKC where I live, but I could drive down to Dallas if it was cost effective.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:

Overclocking: Haven't in the past, but might give it a shot in the future, although it isn't a high priority. I'm in the Engineering/Technical field, so I do like to tinker with stuff...haha!

17.SLI or Crossfire: Not a high priority, but if I happened to end up with a system that suppoted it, I might in the future...just to be cool. ;) 

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 would probably be fine.

Additional Comments: As I said in the previous post, I would like to have a system that makes it fun to game on, but if it turns out that I don't have as much time to game as I would have hoped, or if for some reason I just don't find a lot of games that I want to play, then I won't have a grossly overpriced machine just to surf the net and check my Facebook.

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 14, 2012 6:51:45 AM

Hi i made you a build that's pretty great in my opinion.
I'll compare it with the build you made for example.

PROS:
Faster Graphics Card
Much, much better monitor
SSD
Slightly more powerfull power supply
Cheaper

CONS:
Less efficient Processor and Power Supply
Slower HDD
No Crossfire/SLI compatibility

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z11 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: OCZ EliteXStream 800W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($24.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($21.89 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus PA238Q 23.0" Monitor ($229.98 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.04 @ Amazon)
Total: $1102.81
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-14 02:47 EDT-0400)

But if you could stretch the budget a little bit you could get this motherboard and make it Crossfire/SLI compatable
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 14, 2012 10:54:35 PM

With what you said, and what your gaming needs are, here's my 2 cents :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.90 @ Amazon)
Total: $1070.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-14 18:52 EDT-0400)

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any parts I picked out, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to help :) 
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September 14, 2012 11:56:36 PM

Thanks for all the ideas, guys.

Mocchan, I got all exited on yours until I noticed the build/price didn't include a monitor...ha ha! Do you have a monitor recommendation? 24" is probably fine, but if you know of a good 27" at a killer price, I will certainly entertain the idea. Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 1:49:48 AM

Ooops, I'm sorry about that :lol:  Forgot to include a monitor... I'll fix that and be right back ;) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 1:56:34 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.90 @ Amazon)
Total: $1106.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-14 21:53 EDT-0400)

Here we go, edited with a monitor :) 

I swapped out the case and removed the SSD, but this rig will still yield stellar gaming performance.

Antec Three Hundred Two is still a very robust and beefy case, so you can't go wrong with it as well! :)  there's plenty of room for cable management and there's plenty of airflow; great value for the price.

SSD...now this is the component I didn't want to skimp out on; I find it's necessary to have at least a small SSD in any modern rig today to get a very nice computing experience. However, an SSD will not benefit you gaming wise.

If you can spare an extra $90 into your budget, you can squeeze in a 128GB SSD for your OS very easily :) 

If you have anymore questions or concerns, feel free to let me know.

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