Hi guys - I'm getting back in to PC gaming in a big way now that I have the space for it but am coming as a total n00b (this will be my first build).
I have done a ton of reading to try and wrap my head around the new tech and the forums have been invaluable for that - so big thanks already for the help!
I have a few requests as you critique my current build and offer me alternatives (thanks again and sorry for the question-dump!).
1. Easy to put together (as it's my first build!)
2. I'm also looking to probably not have to overclock this rig at all; but if the functionality is there I might tinker (particularly if it is automated so I don't accidentally set it on fire!).
3. I'm looking for value/future proofing and don't mind spending now to ensure that I'm saving in the long run. Hate how I used to keep buying new pre-built systems every 3-4 years!
4. I have an old Apple Cinema Display 24" (the old one with the fixed output in the back for the Mini Display Port). It's working fine and since it cost a bundle (and I still use it when I'm plugging in my PowerBook) it would be great if I could avoid having to buy a new display - my understanding is that with the DisplayPort in my system I should be able to get an adaptor to MiniDisplay in order to make it work; but if you guys think that's a bad idea and I should go for another monitor I will go for it - definitely don't want to compromise the rig.
5. My cable outlet is currently in another room and so I will probably need to wirelessly connect. I can either do this with an old AirportExpress that I have (plug it in and connect it to the network that way) but since I'm not sure that will protect my bandwith I'd love to know if there are better alternatives and how close they come to actually wired options.
6. i live in Singapore which means I don't know how to get a hold of some parts - is international shipping worth it and are newegg/amazon good for this? Otherwise may have to try my luck with the local stores.
7. Do I need sound cards and/or speakers/headphones and if so what do you guys recommend? Otherwise will use the built in ACD speakers over USB 3.0 (provided they are supported, which I doubt they will be...). I see a lot of gamers use wireless headphones vs. speakers for immersion rather than to "keep it down" - is that true and are they comfortable; otherwise what speakers do you think are great value. Not a huge audiophile but love immersive games.
8. Keyboard, Case, PSU - honestly guys, I got no idea what I'm doing here and I'm just looking at aggregate reviews and picking popular stuff that seems of decent value. I have a Logitech Performance Wireless mouse that I love, and if a gaming keyboard is worth it tell me why and I'll pick it up!
Thanks in advance guys!
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: ASAP/this week or so
Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400): As said, I'm looking for value over time so happy to spend money now. Would be willing to go as high as $2,500+ if it's still good value, though from what I can tell that's less efficient then waiting for the tech curve but I absolutely want max settings on anything so i don't feel like a beggar after I install a game and it puts me on minimum settings!
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming!
Are you buying a monitor: Depends on whether you guys think I need to or whether I can use the old ACD.
Parts to Upgrade: Whole System
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Looking for advice here as I'm based in Singapore, so international shipping is going to be a big factor or I'm going to have to try to track down what I need locally at the stores here. Local online shopping seems to suck.
Parts Preferences: no strong preferences. Would love to stick with guys you trust as return policies from Singapore retailers aren't always as friendly as the States.
Overclocking: No, but open to some small level of experimentation if it does not add to the cost significantly.
SLI or Crossfire: Not immediately, but again as part of future proofing it would be something I'd want to have as an option long term.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x2000,
Additional Comments: While a nice looking case is always beautiful, I'm a practical guy and don't care about LEDs and windows if it means I miss out on value, or practical things like front loading USB ports.
As I'm getting back in to gaming but have an XBOX 360, for me it's big meaty strategy games, adventure/RPG games, MMOs (Guild Wars 2!), action RPGs. Not hugely in to first person shooters if that helps.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:
I have not had a PC in three years and I can't take it anymore!
Here's my current build based on what I've trawled from your advice!
It's tough to future proof. There is always something new coming right around the corner. Best thing to so is be aware, buy 'bang for your buck' and have options. Doing this means you aren't buying whole new computers every so often, you can just upgrade part by part, plus it's fun =) Putting a computer has gotten easier. Watch a few video on youtube or guides.
Not seeing a GPU. But you will be good with a gtx 670 If you want Nvidia or a 7970 ghz ed for AMD.
It's not to hard to run an ethernet cable from one room to the other.
ill be very surprised if you couldnt find any parts that you want in Sim Lim Square. The shops there are very current and updated in their offerings. Plus, the prices are not too bad compared to the rest of the world. can't really go wrong.
off the top of my head (i may be very outdated though) if I had that kinda cash and i'm looking at value, i'd go for i5-2500k (massive OC potential), a single gtx560 (ti?) (slap on another one in sli mode in the coming years), the ram you have picked seems great.
alternatively, the HD 7770.
750w PSU seems a little high?
I really dont know the diff between 2500k and 3570k, but most importantly stick with a 1155 board.
OCing is very easy and simple and is actually very fun. there are tonnes of guides online and, seriously, if you go wrong and "goreng" your cpu, i don't know what to say.
Only thing that NEEDS changing, in original "build", is you need low profile RAM, to avoid clash with cooler. Corsair do low profile, or GSKill Ares, or Crucial Ballistic Sport are alternatives.
Just then pick adequate GPU ( Radeon HD7850, HD7870; or nVidia 660, 660Ti, possible choices), and Mid Tower ATX case. Best idea there, is pick a couple you like look of, and we can advise if one is "better" than other.
If you want to get really good graphics, think perhaps GTX 670, or HD7950.
Thanks guys - I accidentally forgot the GPU in my post (will edit now): it was an Asus GeForce 670.
The HardwareZone is awesome! Thank you.
With that change, would you say the current build is good value and great for upcoming games?
Can I use it with the ACD 24"?
Do I need a wireless card if I can't be bothered doing Ethernet, or would it be just as bad as hooking it up an Airport Express?
I went for the PSU and cooling to ensure that future upgrades would not require me to replace smaller coolers and lower watt PSUs over again (seemed wasteful). Do you think I can go smaller on these and still retain the ability to SLI in the future/upgrade cards?
Oh and for cases I'm tossing up between the HAF I have up there (seems to be the best in terms of value) and the NXT Phantom (which looks sexy). Prefer the white version but worried that would mean I'd need to change my DVD drive over and haven't seen many white ones of those...
Get the MSI 670 Power Edition. Awesome cooling and over volting.
Future-proofing is not good this year. In 2013, we will see the release of Intels new Haswell CPUs which is bad news for those looking to future proof now as SB and IB may likely be obsolete by 2014.(just assuming.)
That's all looking pretty good now. The only thing I might think about is that Seagate have been having one or two reliability/warranty issues, recently. Whether it's worth paying a bit more for WD Caviar Black, for slightly better reliability and warranty, is debatable.
If you need wi-fi, you will need expansion card.
If you wanted to drop CPU overclocking, you could also use H77 motherboard. Exactly the same, just no CPU OC. For H77, would tend to think Asus. That's not because i KNOW they are better, but Asus H77 good and don't KNOW what ASRock H77's are like. Someone else could possibly advise on that.
Nw333 - thanks. I'll check out prices and based on how likely I am to do it will decide.
I was more curious about FinneousPJ's comment about $800-$1,000 being the price range as that doesn't seem to be what gets recommended the most, people usually go to around $1.5K and I wasn't sure how they'd cut out $500-$700 without dropping the graphics card.
OK - so it looks like I'm set.
Any thoughts on the Apple Cinema Display 24"? Will also take it to a specific forum.
Also - one last query on wireless - how does Airport Express stack up vs. a wireless internal card?