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$2200 gaming build - opinions and suggestions wanted

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September 17, 2012 1:23:51 PM

Approximate Purchase Date:

In the next week or two, at the latest

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) Before / After Rebates; Before / After Shipping

Before shipping, I'd like to keep everything under $2200 AUD as much as possible, but can probably come up with an extra 50 - 100 if there's a good reason too.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, photoshop, watching movies/ blu ray discs

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, building a completely new system. The only thing I might bring over to this build are my three 1 tb hard drives that I use for storage (two are full now, the other one is well on it's way to being full, so that's why I'm getting another 3 tb hd with this build)

Do you need to buy OS: No, I already have windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: PC Case Gear - pccasegear.com

Location: Tasmania , Australia.

Parts Preferences: None really, obviously planning to go with an Intel processor, cos AMDs CPU's are pretty ordinary for gaming ATM, and I'm torn between AMD or Nvidia for graphics.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments:

Will probably be doing water cooling down the track, almost definitely for the CPU, hopefully in the next 12 months, and maybe eventually for the GPU (no point atm as I intend to upgrade or sli/cf the GPU in the future, so I don't want to buy a VGA water block until I know which way I'm going with that)

At the moment, I intend to play mostly Skyrim and BF3, and I'm hoping to play most titles coming out in the next few years (ie. Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite etc).
I'd like to keep the mobo, ram and cpu for at least three-four years, I intend to keep the case and psu pretty much indefinitely, but I don't mind occasionally upgrading the graphics or adding a second card to keep up with modern games.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:

Currently running a nearly 4 yr old rig with a socket am2+ amd phenom 8650 2.3 ghz triple core processor with an nvidia gtx 260 graphics card and 4 gb of ram, which I'm going to give to my Mum, so I decided to buy myself a new computer to keep up with current games (my current rig does play most games out now, but not very well, i.e. lowered graphics and barely acceptable frame rates).

Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts. Please do not post only links.

CPU:

Intel Core i5 3570K - $235

CPU Cooler:
I was originally going to go for the CM hyper 212 evo, but it looks pretty bloody hideous, and since I'm leaning towards a case with a side window, I reckon I'll go with the CM V6GT - unless I decide to come up the extra cash and get water cooling straight away.

CoolerMaster V6GT CPU Cooler - $55

Motherboard:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard - $145

RAM:

Corsair Vengeance CML16GX3M4A1600C9 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 - $105

Graphics Card:
I'm really torn between the GTX 670 and the Radeon 7970, which atm are both selling for around the same price in Australia. I think I've decided on this 7970:

Sapphire Radeon HD7970 3GB OC Edition - $469

But I'm also considering these cards too;

ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II - $489

ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II 3GB - $489, the same price as the gtx 670 above, making this a very tempting option

SSD:

Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD Retail Box - $109

HDD:

Western Digital WD Green 3TB - $155

Optical Drive:

LG CH12LS28 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive - $55

PSU:
i only had two requirements from a power supply - that it was fully modular and that it was able to support a second graphics card with everything overclocked. I finally decided on a Corsair AX 750 watt, but also considered the Seasonic X 760 watt and the Silverstone Strider gold evolution 750/850 watt psu's, and from what I see there's very little to differentiate between them. The silverstone may have slightly lesser build quality, but is substantially cheaper, whereas the other two are, for all intents and purposes, the same power supply (given that seasonic actually manufacture the corsair model). I finally decided on the corsair since it seemed the best value/quality compromise (being priced in between the other two) and had more Sata connectors for expansion later on and overall better connector spacing and better cables in general from what I could tell from reading reviews/user manuals.

Corsair AX750 Gold Power Supply - $215

Case:
I really want the NZXT switch, just cos I'm sick of being cramped up in a mid tower when I'm working on my system, and also it is so versatile, and huge, so I can fit all the water cooling, harddrives, graphics cards etc I want in it. That said, if I can make do with the phantom 410 I can save myself $85 to put towards an XSPC water cooling kit, so I'm not sure which way to go on that. I also can't decide which colour I like more on the Switch, Gunmetal or White, so if anyone has an opinion on that, please weigh in.

NZXT Switch 810 Case White $215

NZXT Switch 810 Case Gun Metal - $215

NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower Case Black and White - $129

Monitor
I decided to go a 24 inch 1080p monitor, since going any bigger in screen size or resolution would cost significantly more, and going any smaller would not save me much money, so 24 inch seemed like the sweet spot. I'm currently trying to decide between an LG or a Samsung. However i can get a 23.6 inch IPS LG monitor for the same price. Would this be a better option? I'll be honest, I don't know much about monitors, so some help here would be appreciated.

LG E2441V 24inch LED Widescreen Monitor - $169

Samsung S24B300H 24in Widescreen LED Monitor - $169

LG IPS235V 23.6in Widescreen LED IPS Monitor - $169

Keyboard and Mouse
I was originally going to go for Razor, but after reading many reviews, I was convinced that Logitech is the better option. So now I'm thinking of getting a g500 mouse and g110 keyboard. I kinda want to upgrade to a g9x mouse and g510 kb, which would be an extra $50 for both. It'd be nice to have the customisable led lighting on the higher end models, but it's not worth an extra 50 bucks, and I don't really care about the LED screen, so can anyone give me another good reason to upgrade to the higher models so I can justify it to myself lol.

Logitech G500 Laser Gaming Mouse - $65

Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard - $69

Logitech G9x Laser Mouse - $79

Logitech G510 Gaming Keyboard - $105

Fans

BitFenix Spectre 140mm Black Tinted Green LED Fan - $17 each x 4 = $68

Lighting

NZXT Sleeved LED Cable 2m Green - $25

Thermal Paste

Arctic Silver 5 (3.5g)

Total cost is $2167 with the cheaper keyboard and mouse or $2217 with the kb and mouse upgrade

I'm basically looking for any suggestions etc on what I should change, if anything, or anything I've overlooked, and especially what everyone thinks of the graphics card choices, opinions on the kb and mouse, which monitor i should get and what colour case I should get. Those four things are what I'm really stuck on. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
September 17, 2012 1:32:45 PM

16Gbs of RAM is overkill. 8 will have your PC going for a few years. Or until DDR4 is released.

Watercooling is eh. Either go custom loop or air cooled.

At that price, 7970 is a bit of a better option. Thats just me though. :) 
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September 17, 2012 2:01:09 PM

Cool, I was already thinking of knocking it back to 8 gb of RAM, that pretty much settles it for me.

Yeah, I think I'll stick to air cooling until I have the cash to build my dream custom loop, those "all in one" cpu water coolers like the antec h20 and corsair hydro aren't even an option as far as I'm concerned, but something like the XSPC kits seem like an awfully tempting way to get into water cooling and customise it as you go along.

Definitely, I've always been a proud nvidia fan boy, but at that price it's hard to turn down the radeon, I think I just needed to hear it was a good idea from someone else before I was sure.

Thanks for the advice.
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September 17, 2012 2:15:46 PM

yes.. definitely go ahead for the system.. Few suggestions from my side..

1)As nw333 said, 8gb is more than enough for decent gaming.. gskill ripjawsx 1600MHz 8GB(4x2) is also a good choice.

2)Save your money in the keyboard/mouse dept.. Other than "look good" thing, this G 9.x and g500 has nothing to do with gaming(it wont increase any FPS.. trust me :D  ). Money is precious in dollars, euros or rupees..

3)Go for the samsung monitor as samsung is good in "display" dept(whether it is TV/monitor or Mobile phone)

4)It'll be better if you check your local for LED cable.. I think you can get it much cheaper in your local
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September 18, 2012 1:43:56 AM

1) Yeah, i'll almost definitely drop it back to 8 gb now. Yeah, had trouble deciding between gskill or corsair, went with corsair cos it matched the look of my system better.

2) Awesome, I thought that might be the case, just wanted to double check, that saves me a bit of cash

3) Awesome, exactly the sort of advice I needed, was already leaning towards the samsung, so that settles it

4) Good suggestion, but unfortunately my local computer store is rubbish and has a terrible selection, largely due to Tassie being too backwards/lacking in population to support a better/larger store. I had a look on ebay, but by the time I paid the extra shipping it works out cheaper to just get it sent from pccasegear :(  I really hate my home state sometimes.
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September 18, 2012 2:21:00 AM

Hey, Strong build u got ther mate. Here are my suggestions

1: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler (Cheaper, Can handle 4.4 on 3570k Fine)
2: As other users said, 8GB is enough for most users.
3: MSI GTX 670 Power Edition. The x3 voltage and twin frozr is awesome for OC.
4: Kingston HyperX 3k 128GB. Better than samsung. Again, my opinion.

And I will disagree with the fact that g9x is just good for looks. I have been playing Competitive FPS (LAN) since 2010 and these things really make a difference in terms of performance over cheap mice. If you dont want to shell out 80 bucks then get the razer DeathAdder or Roccat Kova+ both are fantastic imo.
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September 18, 2012 3:57:46 AM

8GB is enough for most users. Gaming, Photoshop, ect. But if your into video editing like After effects and what not depening on how much your into it 16 would be a good decistion then. I work with a lot of video editing. AE will easily eat up 8 gigs. I have 8 in my Laptop (Max it will go) and it takes up 6 gigs. Then my partner has a iMac with 12 gigs. AE will eat up 8-9 on his. So if you into video editing going more than 8 is recommended. If your nothing everything else you'll be fine with 8. I just reccommed if you get the biggest sticks possible. Like rather than going with like 4 2 gig sticks (Don't know why you would do that unless you were going to go with a 2011 mobo and run quad channel) but get like 2x4 or 1x8 depending on how many slots you are getting.
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