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Check My Work? $900 Gaming PC

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September 23, 2012 7:15:34 AM

Had a friend recommend I post here for a once-over! I'm building a new computer for the first time, and I'd be grateful for any thoughts on these parts. Mainly I want to know that they'll work together, do what I want, and that I can stop second-guessing and start buying them.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week. There are a few sales that expire soon (tomorrow :I ) that I'd like to take advantage of.

Budget Range: Less than $900 before rebates and shipping.

System Usage: Medium gaming, photoshop, and maybe some 3D imaging. Possibly while recording or streaming, although that's not terribly important. (Games range from simple 2D and Minecraft to Skyrim and Borderlands 2.)

Parts Being Reused: Monitor (1440 x 900), HDD, card reader, DVD drive, keyboard, mouse, speakers.

Parts Needed: CPU, GPU, Mobo, PSU, RAM, and a case.

Need to buy OS: Nope.

Preferred Website for Parts: No real preference, although I've been browsing Newegg mostly. As long as it ships to southwest US.

Parts Preferences: No real preference, but this build works with Intel's i7-2600k.

Overclocking: Probably in the future, but not a major concern.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not. Maybe next upgrade.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1440 x 900, might get a second monitor in the future. High definition looks nice.

Additional Comments: Waaay, new at this, but after some help I think I've got something solid. A little uncertain about the PSU due to my lack of experience, but I think it's solid.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I want to be able to play a wider selection of games for a while, since I'm on a single-core, integrated graphics computer that barely sneaks by any minimum system requirements. (And also I want blame less deaths on "Oh lawd, my FPS dropped then, sorry guys.")


Parts List:

Everything can be found in this wishlist.

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N66TOC-2GD GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PVI38G160C9K

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

More about : check work 900 gaming

September 23, 2012 8:08:06 AM

Here's a few alternatives to have a look at. That case down below comes with 2 x 3.0 front USB ports and this allows for future SLI.


http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-Two-Gaming/dp... $59.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black

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

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $436.98 save: $13.00
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-120mm-RR-212E... $32.08 & 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

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9Q-16GAO

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Overvoltage-N660TI-PE-2GD5/dp... $309.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate:$299.99
MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition Graphics Card with Triple Overvoltage and Enhanced PWM Design (N660TI PE 2GD5/OC)

or...

http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-WINDFORCE-PCI-Express-Gr... $299.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate:$279.99
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 2x DVI / HDMI / DP SLI Ready Graphics Card Graphics Cards GV-N66TOC-2GD

or...

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.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 FREE SHIPPING
Hanns-G HL229DPB Black 21.5" 5ms Widescreen LED Monitor 250 cd/m2 Active Contrast 30,000,000:1 (1000:1) Built-in Speakers


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

September 23, 2012 9:23:43 AM

Your build isn't bad, but let me offer an alternative that has some advantages:

PSU: Seasonic X650 ($130)
If you're building for the first time, definitely get a fully modular PSU to avoid the cable clutter (less work initially, plus less cables blocking airflow leads to lower temps which leads to better performance). This is also 80+ gold certified so you'll save a few dollars on the utility bill (probably about $10-20 per year as a rough estimate, helps to justify the higher price). This unit has excellent build quality, something you want in a PSU. 650w is a bit more than you need now, but you have some headroom.

GPU: GTX 560 ($170)
You can max Skyrim with this card (I run it at max with a GTX 460, the 560 is essentially an overclocked and optimized version of the same card, also very quiet even at load. For reference, I also play BF3 and SC2 at max settings, you'll do great with this card.) You pay a lot more when buying cards at the high range, much more efficient to buy in the "sweet spot" midrange whenever you feel the need to upgrade. This card will last you a long time.

SSD: Samsung 830 Series ($120)
In my opinion, any build over $700 should try to have a SSD. You're enjoying lots of savings by not having to buy a copy of Windows, a monitor or CD drive etc., really no reason to deprive yourself of one! You want to be sure to avoid SSDs that might have firmware/controller issues, I consider Samsung and Intel to have the best reliability in the SSD market (this one is fast as well!). Definitely install Windows and a game or two to this drive, you'll thank me later :) .

Case: your choice (currently $60)

RAM: Kingston Hyper X 8GB (2x4GB) ($40)
I prefer Kingston because they have the lowest return rates of all memory manufacturers, anecdotally I've never had an issue with them (used probably 6ish sets of their ram).

MOBO: your original choice is solid. ($130)

This puts you at $650 if I'm using my calculator correctly at 2AM, meaning you have about $250 (probably less factoring in shipping and tax) to spend on your CPU plus whatever else you want to add or upgrade. You're paying $280 for the i7 now which almost fits in your budget, but if it were me I'd downgrade to an i5: this is because the i5 is very close in performance to the i7 but with a $100 lower price tag (see this benchmark for a good idea). Plus you're spending $285 on a Sandy Bridge i7 when you probably should be going for the newer Ivy Bridge CPUs. So in conclusion, I'd go with this i5 Ivy Bridge cpu for $195 which fits into your budget perfectly.

Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck with your first build :) .
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September 24, 2012 1:48:21 AM

Ah, thanks, both of you! That actually helped me a lot.

I was a little uncertain about getting an i7 over an i5, since the performance increase from the hyper threading didn't seem to justify the price hike. Gonna switch to an i5-3570k, then.

The Kingston ram looks good, but I was a little hesitant to go with 1.65V in case I start overclocking. It's probably nothing, but I found some peace-of-mind for only a dollar more with a G.Skill that has a lot of good reviews. Same timing, too.

Having a PSU that's fully modular does sound nice after digging through other computers, but I think I'll be satisfied with the original PSU. Probably going to stick with the 660 ti, too, since I'll probably get the game it comes with anyway. Makes the price jump from the GTX 560 something I'm willing to do.

Ha, I have a friend that loves her SSD, and I can see why. By reducing the CPU cost, getting that SSD sounds like a good idea. I'll go a little bit over, but not unbearably so. A lot of the cheaper SSDs for the same size had a lot more worrying reviews.

C: Those suggestions helped a lot. Thanks again!
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September 24, 2012 4:49:51 AM

Best answer selected by Cobblestone Steps.
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