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Need some input/advice on first build.

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September 21, 2012 6:46:21 PM

Hi guys I need some help with this build I've been working on. Not really surprising, my budget went right out the window when putting this together. I would like some input on (hopefully cheaper) alternatives that would that will boost this system even more. I guess I'll just jump right into it.


Approximate date of purchase: Sometime next week. Though if it cost this much I would have to wait a paycheck or two to buy the video card.

Budget: was $750, then $850, now I'll be really happy if it is under $1100ish lol

System usage from most important to least: Gaming, everyday computing for multiple people, surfing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy an OS: No

Preferred website: tigerdirect since there will be no tax, and possibly some newegg.

Location: California

Parts Preferences: Would love to go with a AMD cpu, mostly because of the price, but from what I've heard it seems like I would have to OC the crap out of a phenom II x4 just to play games at high settings.

Overclocking: Depends. I'm not going to OC just to OC. But if I need to or will see a large improvement I will of couse.

SLI/Crossfire: Very likely down the road.

Monitor Resolution: Soon to be 1920x1080 single monitor.

Additional comments: Hopefully this build will last me a couple years and when the time comes I'll just need to upgrade a few parts. Games I'll be playing GW2, borderlands 2, and whatever else might catch my eye. I want to play these games on max settings btw.

Why are you upgrading: My current computer is really old and can't really play games. I'll be giving this one to my parents which is why I need new everything.



Intel Core i5-3570K
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


WD Blue WD10EALX 1TB Desktop Hard Drive
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


PC Power & Cooling PPCMK2S750 Silencer Mk II Power Supply - 750W, 80 Plus Silver
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


LG GH24NS90B Internal 24X DVD Writer
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I really like this case but I was wondering if it is worth the $120 price tag since there a lot out there cheaper. And doesn't have to be a full tower, I think my friend is biased when he mentioned this case since he was pulling his hair out trying to fit everything into a small case.

ASUS VS228H-P 22"
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


GIGABYTE GV-R795WF3-3GD Radeon HD 7950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Heard 7950 is good but also looking at 660 ti and 7870.

Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Well this is what I've come up with so far. My concerns are if there are cheaper alternatives that I can get for the same or slightly less performance like getting an i-5 3450 would save me 40 or so dollars. Thanks in advance for helping me out.

More about : input advice build

September 21, 2012 8:09:59 PM

Going to a 3450 doesn't just save you $40 in processor cost, it saves you a similar amount in using a H77 mobo, rather than Z77. It also means you don't have to ADD an aftermarket cooler, and DON'T have to change RAM to low profile (to clear cooler). OC is a nice thing to have, to give a bit of a performance boost, but it's not a "free" boost, that some people call. Really it's a $100 boost.
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September 21, 2012 8:44:25 PM

Nice! Thanks for the advice malbluff. Which one would be better?

ECS H77H2-M LGA 1155 Intel H77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I have also been looking at this case that has some great reviews
COOLER MASTER HAF 912
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are better ones out there I'm sure, but for $60-$70 it seems good.
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September 21, 2012 8:51:53 PM

Oh yeah I forgot to ask, what is the difference between the H77 and Z77 chipsets?

Nevermind I just googled it lol. It seems the H77 and Z77 are the same except no OC and no crossfire. Is that correct?
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September 21, 2012 9:23:50 PM

To be perfectly honest, not come across that ECS. Obviously, not in UK. The ASRock is OK. Asus do some nice ones, if a bit pricey. You can still GET crossfire on H77, although not all boards have it.
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September 21, 2012 9:26:11 PM

The HAF case is OK, certainly at the price. Are you thinking about crossfire. As I said, some H77 boards do it. If you're not, you don't need anything like 750w. 550w would be more than enough.
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September 21, 2012 9:35:37 PM

Your initial build is a good one, and you could order it intact and be satisfied.

You will find that at any price point, there is a equal better gaming cpu from intel than amd.

The 3570K is as good as it gets for gaming, but the graphics card is more important. My rule of thumb for a gamer is to spend twice the budget for the cpu on the graphics card. Since you would like to reduce your overall budget, I think you could consider using a strong dual core cpu along with a stronger graphics card. A duo will do the job because few games can use more than 2-3 cores. Consider a i3-3240 ivy bridge cpu @$150. It has hyperthreading, which acts like 2 added cores(of perhaps 1/4 capability).
The base clock rate is 3.4.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Either of the H77 based motherboards you listed will do fine. One difference between a H77 chipset and a Z77 is that the Z77 allows multiplier overclocking of "Z" suffix cpu's. The other difference is that they are cheaper.

I think a 7950 class card would be appropriate. GTX660ti and 7870 would be comparable performers.
I would prefer to see a card with a stock dual slot cooler. The newer 28nm cards(GTX6xx and AMD7xxx) cards run cooler.
There is little need for fancy aftermarket coolers which are mostly marketing differentiation. A dual slot direct exhaust cooler like this will get any heat directly out the back of the case. Otherwise heat will recirculate and heat up both the cpu and the graphics card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest buying a simple tower type cooler with a large 120mm fan. It will keep your cpu cooler, and under load, the large fan will be much quieter. Also, the Stock Intel pushpins are difficult for the novice to install correctly. The backplate mount of this $30 cm hyper212 is much simpler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Buy a case you love. But for functionality, $50 buys you a Antec series 1 case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

On the ram, I suggest a low profile kit that will not interfere with any cpu cooler you might pick.
Here is one such 8gb(2 x 4gb) kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I happen to like PC P&C power supplies. But 750w is more than you need. A quality 500w psu will run even a GTX670.
Here is a 500w unit @$60 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Other quality units will be Seasonic, XFX, Antec, and corsair.

The WD blue is not a great performer, compared to the black.
But, if you can manage it, why not start with a SSD in the first place? It will make everything you do feel so much quicker.
A 120gb ssd can hold the os and a handful of games. with 180gb, you may never even need a hard drive. That is what I am using now. If you have the need to store large files, like video's, you can add a hard drive later, and you can use a slower cheaper green series drive. Expect to pay about $1 per gb for a Intel or samsung SSD.
I would not buy a different brand; there are just too many unsatisfied purchasers of other brands.Here is a Intel 330 120gb drive @$100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The 180gb version is $155.
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September 21, 2012 10:17:12 PM

Interesting and very thorough. Thank you geofelt and malbluff. So the i-3 is enough for games? I thought I read somewhere it would bottleneck newer cards. I don't do any video editing or stuff that really needs 4 or more cores, I just thought games today use 4.

I think I will get the 120gb ssd first and in a month or so i'll pick up a larger hdd. My original plan was to get both at the start but money...

The power supply + case cost less then the phantom lol. That's awesome. You ever hear anything about Rosewill. There is a combo that caught my eye 550w gold plus + the Rosewill Blackhawk that got a tom's hardware award. If it's not a good deal I'll probably go with the ones you mentioned or something similar.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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September 21, 2012 10:22:42 PM

Generally agree with geofelt's comments. If budget is tight, AND PC is basically for gaming ONLY, it can be worth dropping to i3 Ivybridge, IF that frees up funds to get a better GPU. If you've got a locked processor, you can use H77 mobo, and there's no need for aftermarket cooler (you can still fit one, it will be a bit quieter, but whether it's worth it?).
As to which GPU, at the high end, is best value for money, is something that's often debated. Truth is, there no one correct answer. Depends on tha games you like, monitor resolution, what sort of "bells an whistles" you want to run, etc.
When it comes to storage, if PC is gaming ONLY, yes get a decent sized SSD only. Most people, who have photos, music, videos etc, need more. In that case, it can be better to have decent sized, fast-ish hard drive, and smaller SSD. Or you go with really good, fast hard drive, and add small SSD, when funds allow.
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September 21, 2012 10:58:11 PM

Zoster said:
Interesting and very thorough. Thank you geofelt and malbluff. So the i-3 is enough for games? I thought I read somewhere it would bottleneck newer cards. I don't do any video editing or stuff that really needs 4 or more cores, I just thought games today use 4.

I think I will get the 120gb ssd first and in a month or so i'll pick up a larger hdd. My original plan was to get both at the start but money...

The power supply + case cost less then the phantom lol. That's awesome. You ever hear anything about Rosewill. There is a combo that caught my eye 550w gold plus + the Rosewill Blackhawk that got a tom's hardware award. If it's not a good deal I'll probably go with the ones you mentioned or something similar.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Here is a study on sub $200 gaming cpu's.
The newer i3- 3420 is about 20% faster than the i3-2100 in the report.
The 7970 used in the study is a very strong card, comparable to a GTX670.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Rosewill is an interesting brand. It is newegg's own, and in the past their psu's did not enjoy a stellar reputation.
I think that has changed, but by how much I don't know. Here is one list of psu's sorted into quality tiers:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

The main advantage of a gold/silver rated psu is efficiency. But one is not likely to be able to recover the price premium in electricity costs. I would use a gold rated and modular psu in a small form factor case where quiet is an issue and space is at a premiulm. A gold rated psu will not spin up the fans as quickly and be quieter.

Your motherboard will be a M-ATX size. If you want a compact case, you have some nice options.
I use a Silverstone TJ-08E which sells for $99. Here is a review:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/ss-tj08e

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September 22, 2012 12:08:57 AM

If you cut out the WD hard drive down below and then grab it later on when you get more money you won't have to reload Windows again. There isn't any reviews on that board down below for the fact it was just recently released but it's pretty much the same as the extreme4. That Gigabyte card down below is factory over clocked to the max and then some.


http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-300R-Mid-Tower-Ga... $65.46 + $0.00 shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $336.98 save: $13.00
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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... $38.99 FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SH-222BB-BEBE-Internal-So... $16.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk without Software

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Cache-Desktop-Dri... $85.61 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128... $92.95 + $0.00 shipping
SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-PCI-Express-Displayport-... $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/Displayport SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N660OC-2GD

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDOO/ref=ox_sc_a... $134.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,121.05 *not including shipping & rebates


http://usa.asus.com/Display/LCD_Monitors/VS228HP/ <----- another look at that monitor

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/ <----- another look at that board

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case


http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $90.70 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack
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September 22, 2012 12:12:32 AM

Alright I've put together a new build and crunched all the numbers. I believe I can buy this all at once and within a few days. Just one last question.

If I really stretch my wallet I could possibly get an i5-3570k and ASRock Z75 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I picked the Z75 Pro3 because it is cheap and gives me the option to oc in the future.

Just wondering if it is worth the 80 dollar bump plus eventually if i do oc whatever aftermarket cpu cooler i get.


Or... I can get the i3-3240 and EVGA GeForce GTX 670 instead of the GTX 660 ti
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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September 22, 2012 1:08:37 AM

Actually, a very good question.

As I see it, the i3-3240 and GTX670 FTW will give you the best gaming performance in most games today.
In the future, if you needed a quad core, the 3570 would be available to you, the same clock as the 3240 and two more cores.
But that is helpful, only if you need a quad core. Today, probably not, tomorrow, more likely.
To do such an upgrade, you would sell the i3 3240 and replace it.
Similarly, if you needed a stronger graphics card, you would sell the GTX670 and replace it with kepler2 or whatever.

On the other hand, the 3570K gives you 4 cores up front, and the ability to overclock perhaps to 4.3 conservatively.
That may be helpful if you have a game that is multi core enabled, and is cpu bound. There are some, but not that many.
Game developers want the largest possible market for their games and don't want to need quads to run.
I see it more likely that you would want to upgrade the graphics card sooner.

I don't see a bad answer, you will be pleased either way.

Perhaps you should see what you need to do both a 3570K and a GTX670.

If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 3570K for $190.
And... post your new list.
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September 22, 2012 1:55:28 AM

If you are going to spring for a 670 i'd like to make you aware that it's in the same price range as a 7970 ghz ed =)

just a suggestion.
Depending on what games you want to play and what settings that might be overkill so, A very economical option i think would work is to get a 7870 now (@~220$) test it out and if you really want top tier performance you can xfire another 7870.
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September 22, 2012 6:33:02 AM

Alrighty I'm back from work and have my new build.

Intel i3-3240
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA GeForce GTX 670
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Intel 330 120GB Solid State Drive
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This case dropped $15 while I was at work so its 39.99 right now which is awesome

CORSAIR CX Series CX750 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This psu comes out to like $70 after promo and rebates.

LG GH24NS90B Internal 24X DVD Writer
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

ASUS VS228H-P 22"
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

I really like the options this build gives for future upgrades and the performance right now should be good. I can go with an i5-3570k later and oc it and I can throw another gtx 670 and sli it if I want. Hard drives luckily aren't to expensive so I would probably get one a month or so after the build. Unfortually, this is my max money wise I can spend and it comes to about $1129 or something like that with tax and shipping.
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September 22, 2012 6:03:42 PM

Looks very good to me. Enjoy.
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September 22, 2012 6:08:45 PM

I have to give up getting the new monitor, since the family needs an extra $120. I'll just have to use my old monitor till the next paycheck. Anyways, does this build above look good? Any parts that will make me get on my knees shake my fist at the sky and yell "Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!". :lol: 
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September 22, 2012 6:10:09 PM

Thanks geofelt for all the help buddy :) 
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