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New Gaming build within next two weeks - $1600 budget

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September 15, 2012 9:51:21 PM

Please note that while I have built one system myself about 6-7 years ago, I am have no practical knowledge of what my options are and so I am asking the pros here to steer me right. I have a budget of $1600 but that is soft, it could be more or less depending. I do have one factor in the mix: I have an Apple 27" iMac that I wish to use as a monitor if this is possible and advisable. I would like to build this within the next two to three weeks.

I am new to gaming, but I'd like this machine to play the most demanding games now and have an upgrade path as well.

New system build - gaming rig

Approximate Purchase Date: late Sept / early Oct 2012

Budget Range: ~ $1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: almost exclusively a gaming rig

Are you buying a monitor: I have an iMac 27" that I would like to use as the monitor, if not advisible, please let me know what I should do

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (windows 7 ... what?)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, any reputable site really

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Parts Preferences: I have none, would prefer an i5 processor

Overclocking: maybe, I have no experience

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, I do not know if I need or would benefit from this.

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (27" iMac)

Additional Comments: the smaller, the better. I would prefer the case to be nondescript. No need for lighting of any kind or any wild stylings. I do not need a keyboard or mouse. What I want is performance ... within my budget of course.

More about : gaming build weeks 1600 budget

a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 9:59:03 PM

The iMAC is good. No need to get another monitor.

2560x1440 will run best in SLI/CF.
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September 15, 2012 10:03:06 PM

Does having the iMac with that resolution mean I have to have two video cards then? I am not so knowledgeable about parts, compatibility, etc.

Thanks for the quick reply!
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Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 10:06:54 PM

No, you don't HAVE to have them, but it will help with fps at that resolution.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 10:24:40 PM

I have no idea if that monitor will work or not. I know zilch when it comes to Apple/Mac's. This build allows you the option to add another one of those cards later on in SLI.


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/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)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $364.98 save: $20.00 FREE SHIPPING
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
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.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

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/Asus-24xDVD-RW-Serial-Internal-DR... $23.60 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Cache-Desk... $65.52 & 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-Extreme-2-5-Inch-Solid-SD... $186.60 & 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

http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-WINDFORCE-PCI-Express-Gr... $399.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 2x DVI/HDMI/DP SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N670WF2-2GD

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $91.05 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Total: $1,406.85 *not including shipping & rebates



*** Here are some cheaper alternatives to look at that still give you the ability to over clock and allow the option for a future second card.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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)
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September 15, 2012 10:42:14 PM

Thanks for that build ... I will check it out. I had been making this build in the meantime. I know I went over my budget but that was due to the dual video cards.

This was just a wild stab. I don't even know - do I need a sound card? Please feel free to make better selections for me here if you would. If I have to bump it up to $1800 I am ok with that. I'd rather get performance then feeling like I shorted myself over a hundred dollars or so.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Constellation ES 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair C70 Military Green (Green) ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($158.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $1972.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-15 18:38 EDT-0400)
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a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 10:46:40 PM

Good build, but change HDD to a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD.
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September 15, 2012 11:09:40 PM

Is that power supply sufficient for everything in the mix?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 11:10:28 PM

Get the TX750 V2.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 11:12:24 PM

ArmchairGamer said:
Is that power supply sufficient for everything in the mix?

Nope, you want a 750w psu for dual 670's. Also cards with non reference cooling vent heat into the case and not out the back so I would look for a case with better cooling like the Corsair 500R.
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September 15, 2012 11:15:26 PM

no, for an SLI config I'd go with 750
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September 15, 2012 11:21:58 PM

How's this look? Should I get more RAM?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1760.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-15 19:20 EDT-0400)
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September 15, 2012 11:23:52 PM

With that setup, will the internal fans of that case be sufficient?
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September 15, 2012 11:27:25 PM

I'm not sure about the amount of fans that come with that case but from what i read 2 cards produce a lot of heat
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a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2012 11:29:11 PM

Yes. I have that case and it runs my system real cool.
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September 15, 2012 11:58:35 PM

Ok. I am sold on the case. Built to last. I don't need a sound card? Or more RAM? I just want to make sure I'm good. Thanks for all of your suggestions / direction / advice.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 16, 2012 12:01:09 AM

You're good.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 16, 2012 12:01:11 AM

ArmchairGamer said:
Ok. I am sold on the case. Built to last. I don't need a sound card? Or more RAM? I just want to make sure I'm good. Thanks for all of your suggestions / direction / advice.

Unless your a hardcore audiophile the on board sound will suffice just fine. 8GB of RAM is over kill for a gaming build but RAM is dirt cheap atm and it's a way of future proofing. Your good to go.
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September 16, 2012 12:06:02 AM

Sweet, thanks again. Ordering parts now.
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!