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Building a Gaming Rig while buying pieces incrementally

Last response: in Systems
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October 1, 2012 6:56:14 AM

Hey guys, first time posting here, looking for some guidance. I am a college student, trying to build my first desktop in over 10 years. Since I am a college student, I really don't have the funds to purchase it all at once, so I have been thinking about buying all the pieces in steps, so that I can afford it, while still keeping the system remotely up to date. I want the system to be fully built in a matter of months, preferably by the end of the year. Here are the steps I am thinking of, and the items I am considering, along with thought process. Everything is open to opinions, and I really wouldn't mind getting a completely different system than what I originally put up.

Week 1:
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $100
All the reviews I have read are great, and allow for proper air flow.
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $100
Not too sure about PSU's, however the reviews seems good, could use some help.
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $42
The small form factor allows less problems with the CPU Cooling if/when I expand the memory to use all 4 slots.
Week 1 Cost: $242

Week 3:
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $135
The reviews are great from this one, and with integrated graphics, I can afford to wait on buying a graphics card for a few weeks and still be able to set the machine up. I am worried about when I go to use both PCI 3.0 slots and how they will drop to x8, is this a big issue?
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $230
Seemed like the best bang for my buck, along with the option of OCing after the rig is complete. The stock fan will have to do for a few weeks until the improved CPU Cooler can be bought.
Week 3 Cost: $365

Week 5:
CPU Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... $35
Read reviews and post on the forums of users having good experiences of this with the Intel 1155 chipsets. Opinions?
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked 2048 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-Mini-HDMI-Graph... $160 after rebate
Reviews seemed good, however I am not sure if two of these in SLI would be good or not, and if the fact that the mobo drops them from x16 to x8 when both slots are used. Could some one shed some light on this?
HDD: Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $75
I already have an OCZ Agility III 128GB SSD, so this will just be used as extra storage, however is not really necessary, but I would not mind having the extra space.
Week 5 Cost: $270

Total Cost: $877

I'm really not too sure what is good anymore, my last rig was near the end of AGP Life cycle and was using a BFG nVidia GeForce 7800GS OC card coupled with some scraped together 1 GB of RAM. Any help would be appreciated. If anyone has an opinion about something cheaper that does almost as good, I am all ears. I am a student, so cheaper things are always good. I figured if I am going to build a machine, may as well invest in the processor and upgrade again in a few years after most of my loans are paid off. I know I am missing a CD/BR drive, however I haven't really decided if it is even worth investing the $30+ in getting one, as it seems that almost all software can be burned to a USB stick and installed (I own a 64GB flash drive that I do most of my installs from, OS included)

I really appreciate any help in the field.

Thank you.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2012 7:13:30 AM

I have a better idea. Week 1 deposit 250, week 3 deposit 250, week 5 buy everything at the same time.
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October 1, 2012 7:14:58 AM

I don't really see how this is constructive, or makes more sense?
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October 1, 2012 7:18:24 AM

alexmuller said:
I don't really see how this is constructive, or makes more sense?


It does actually.
If you finish your purchase by the 4th week, the ones you bought in the first week are already a month old, without even being tested out.

I'm not sure about the store you purchase stuff from, but when I bought my stuff, the first month was 1-to-1 replacement, no questions asked. So it makes sense to buy everything at once, and try it out. Gives you more time to troubleshoot and replace the faulty parts.
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October 1, 2012 7:21:34 AM

The first week's items can be tested in an old rig for faultiness, and by the 3rd week, the machine can run, with time allotted for replacements.

Aside from my plan of incrementally buying the pieces, I am more of trying to get an opinion of WHAT I am buying, not HOW I am buying.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2012 7:21:35 AM

Also those prices should add to 877 not 777.
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October 1, 2012 7:23:08 AM

FinneousPJ said:
Also those prices should add to 877 not 777.


Mathematics at 3 AM is not my strong suit, much appreciated.
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October 1, 2012 8:51:22 AM

I'd not recommend a GTX 560...it's a budget-to-midrange card at best. If you can get a 560Ti, it would be a better investment, or a 660 if you can stretch to that. The 1TB HDD will be useful as the SSD will get full rather quickly. Bear in mind that an SSD does lose performance as it comes to capacity, so a useful trick is to reduce the usable size in Windows such that 25-33% of the drive is unallocated space...this will leave you very little room for games and applications.

As for the 2500K v 3570K, there's not a huge difference in performance as Ivybridge is more of a graphics improvement (although the move to 22nm also resulted in raw performance improvement, too). The 2500K is still a very capable CPU and yes, I believe it is easier to overclock the 2500K. It doesn't run as hot at highter frequencies (due to being based on the 32nm process) so may be a better candidate. The Hyper-212 is an excellent budget cooler and will cope with the 2500K when overclocked.

And to re-iterate the others, the general rule of thumb in DIY system building is to buy everything at once...it's generally not a good idea to buy piecemeal. Firstly, the short return-to-vendor window closes and it's not unknown for parts to work on one machine, and not on another. Second, if you by all at once you're getting best value for money...even over 5 weeks, PC parts depreciate quickly. When you buy all at once, you can often take advantage of bundle deals too, not to mention just one shipping charge. Third, from my own student days, unforseen circumstances often come up which result in plans going awry...you don't want to end up with half a PC and then not being able to afford the rest. I take your point where you say you're after an input into the system and not the method, but in this game one does affect the other.
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