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Build my first gaming PC - HELP

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October 4, 2012 2:47:34 AM

Hello All,

I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my first gaming rig. I have a good general knowledge of components and how things work, etc, but any tips/suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'm trying to build a gaming rig that will play almost all games on high-max settings - Primarily I'm playing Guild Wars 2, Star Craft 2, Diablo 3, Borderlands 2, and other RPG's, MMORPG's, and FPS's. I'm hoping I can play these games at the aforementioned setting, and I want to be able to upgrade my system in the future, MAYBE SLI (not sure, but alas still an option - also I'm not entirely sure if I will overclock - Do I need to? pros/cons of overclocking for gaming and general use etc (I will still most likely not OC). Also What about Windows 8? Should I wait for a MOBO that's Windows 8 compatible (I read something about windows 8 compatibility in accordance to motherboards.) Lastly cooling... my apartment can get to be 85-90 degrees F inside for 2 months of the year (no AC) so also take that into consideration when assessing my build please and if I'll need to get liquid cooling, although I'd rather stay away from it.

I'm hoping I can get this build under 1,200 - currently it is over that mark, and if I have to upgrade my cooling then Ill have to chip away at the cost. So how do I make this build cheaper w/o reducing quality and/or capabilities for upgrading in the future.

Current Pre-Build Set-UP

CPU --- (3rd gen Ivy Bridge) INTEL i5 3570k quad core 3.4 GHz --- $230
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3570K-Quad-Core-Pro... ivy

GPU --- EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti Superclocked GDDR5 2GB --- $300
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-SUPERCLOCKED-Graphic... gtx 660

MOBO --- ASUS Sabertooth Z77 LGA 1155 --- $240 (***Is this over the top? Is there an alternative motherboard? And if there is red/black combo would be a nice color scheme, but not necessary)
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-SABERTOOTH-Z77-Intel-Motherb... motherboard z77

RAM --- Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2X4GB) DDR 1600 MHz 240 Pin --- $40
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-240-Pin-Platfor...

PSU --- Corsair Enthusiast Series (TX) 650 Watt --- $90
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Comp... psu

Cooling --- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus --- $25 (***Is the hot summer months going to be a problem for this cooling? What is going to be the best cooling alternative? If I HAVE to use liquid cooling, it will only be closed circuit - also will this fit in either of my case choices?)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=as_li_s...

Case --- Cooler Master HAF 912 --- $50 (***Or should I get the CM HAF 922 for $100 - is it better and worth the money?)
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Computer-Airflow-RC... 912 advanced

Optical Drive --- Asus 12X BluRay Burner/Writer --- $70
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZMG55I/ref=as_li_s...

Hard Drive --- Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA 6GB/S 64 MB CACHE 7200 RPM --- $100
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-ST2000DM001-Barracuda-3-5... barracuda

SSD --- Samsung 830 Series SATA III 128GB --- $90
http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7PC1...

OS --- Already own Windows 7 --- what about windows 8? any thoughts on this please.

Monitor --- I have a Sony LED 240Hertz 42in --- I can hook my PC up to this, is this fine? Or should I get a monitor?

---------

TOTAL --- $1235 --- Im trying to get it below 1200 if possible, what here is over the top? What here is not sufficient for high-end gaming? What should I change in the cooling department or is it sufficient (most likely not overclocking, but MIGHT eventually SLI with dual GTX 660ti cards) And is my case choice good, or should I get the CM HAF 922 - Will the 922 have better cooling and other things or no? Other suggestions? Will everything here work?

Thank you!

More about : build gaming

a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 5:15:29 AM

To be honest, the 660ti is not really worth the money. The 670 is much better. Your MOBO was really overkill. This build comes in at 1250 before rebates, but its under 1200 after.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jjmu
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jjmu/by_merchant/


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)

Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Microcenter)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($379.99 @ NCIX US)

Case: Azza CSAZ-1000 ATX Full Tower Case ($89.98 @ NCIX US)

Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $1155.88

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 4, 2012 5:41:18 AM

please stop pushing ASRock Mobos on everyone who post their builds not all want or need the cheapest mobos on the planet some just like reliable brands 1st
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 5:54:34 AM

Here you go,

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($95.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($308.14 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1094.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Given your room temp, you're better off not OC-ing.
The 7950 w/ BIOS boost performs on par with the GTX 670.
Rosewill Blackhawk is very spacy, cable management, has 5 fans for great cooling.
The G.Skill Ares RAM is so you'll have lesser issues installing your CPU cooler.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 5:56:42 AM

lichloathe said:
please stop pushing ASRock Mobos on everyone who post their builds not all want or need the cheapest mobos on the planet some just like reliable brands 1st

ASRock is currently the best bang for buck mid-range motherboards at the moment. There's a reason why we suggest them. Just because they're cheap doesn't mean they're unreliable; the company currently ranks 3 in the top motherboard manufacturers and is expected to take #2 in a few years.

Kindly take your misplaced bias elsewhere.
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Best solution

October 4, 2012 6:00:55 AM

lichloathe said:
please stop pushing ASRock Mobos on everyone who post their builds not all want or need the cheapest mobos on the planet some just like reliable brands 1st


HAHA me too.

The 212 Evo is fine, water cooling cpu closed loops get hotter after a while of use.
Do you need Blue-Ray? 60$ could help alot toward your GPU etc,

Motherboard... I don't know too much about details, but just pick one that can SLI/Crossfire at 8x/8x and single at x16 at PCIE 3.0. Extra slots can help in adding sound cards and etc.
Make sure they have enough Sata 3.0 ports if your going to have 2+ storage devices.

I really don't recommend spending so much on the motherboard. Even a 135$ Gigabyte z77X-ud3h (the one I have) has a record of the cpu being overclocked to 7+ GHZ, so that shows how stable the board is with voltages and stability.

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Remember, everything revolves around your GPU if its for gaming. Here is where you get the most benefit for overspending.
I recommend either the 670 or 7970.

The 670 has adaptive Vsync, Physx (means effects are generated, not pre-rendered) and many games are optimized for Nvidia cards.
The 7970 has more Vram (2 vs 3), better compute power but only slight margins in games, 1:1 preformance gains from overclocking vs 1:05 for Kepler cards.

Basically it means that if you overclock a 7970 and a 670 to 1200mhz, you will have a 10% increase in preformance for the 670 vs 20% for the 7970. It seems like alot, but Im still confused why the 680 beats the 7970 in many benchmarks at 1200mhz LOL.

The 670 used to be 50+$ cheaper a few months ago so it was a no brainer to choose, but now with the margin so close, it is worth considering either one.
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Check benchmarks for your SSD, there can be huge preformance differences between ssd's. There is no one ssd that is the best at everything from all the tests I've seen so it gets hard to choose.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 6:05:36 AM

xtwiinky said:
Even a 135$ Gigabyte z77X-ud3h (the one I have) has a record of the cpu being overclocked to 7+ GHZ, so that shows how stable the board is with voltages and stability.

Woah, that's high. Link or it didn't happen! :D 
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October 4, 2012 6:15:03 AM

excella1221 said:
Woah, that's high. Link or it didn't happen! :D 


http://hwbot.org/news/7577_seeing_is_believing_gigabyte...

This is oviously with Liquid Nitrogen cooling, but my point is the stability of a mid-end board.

The difference between the UD3h and Ud5h is i believe just the onboard sound card. I don't know much about the Sniper/Assassin etc. or higher end Asus boards. Usually they run more and higher lanes PCIE slots, Sata 3 slots, sound integrated, etc. or run higher end chipsets like 6core cpu's with 8DIMM slots etc.. but there is little in features to justify spending so much more especially on quad core cpu's. But this is PC gaming, so their is always a need for extras at any price. LOL/
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 6:32:54 AM

Cool. It's the first I've seen this. Good to know Gigabyte is still on top producing top of the line quality boards. :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2012 8:17:12 AM

This case down below allows you to add up to three more additional fans including a 140mm side fan.


http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-300R-Mid-Tower-Ga... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-ATX12V-CrossFire-Certifie... $75.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair CX Series CX750 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80PLUS BRONZE Certified Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

http://www.amazon.com/LGA1155-CrossFireX-Motherboard-Z7... $134.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME4

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3570K-Quad-Core-Pro... $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-120mm-RR-212E... $29.99 & 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.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Profile-1600mhz... $42.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair 8 GB Vengeance Blue Low Profile 1600mhz PC3-12800 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit 8 Dual Channel Kit - CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Cache-Desktop-Dri... $84.59 & 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/gp/product/B0077CR60Q/ref=s9_hps_... $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PC128B/WW

http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-WINDFORCE-PCI-Express-Gr... $299.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
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
Core Clock 1032MHz
Boost Clock 1344
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October 11, 2012 3:51:31 AM

Alrighty, sorry for taking so long to get a reply - great discussion!

I've decided on an i7 2700k that I found for $230 at Micro Center since it has 8mb cache, overclocks better, and since I will have my own GPU I dont see the benefits of ivy bridge.

As for the i7 2700k - whats the best mobo I can get for it (also for future proofness / upgrading / and SLI - I will probably get a second card 6 months down the line) - MAX around 200 - preferably something closer 160ish - I dont need the most features just best bang for buck + higher quality but still basic --- I would like SLI.

Additionally whats the best GPU w/ the i7 2700k and a (most likely z68) mobo --- Best to SLI? OOORRR should I get radeon GPU's? I have a 1080p 46in LED 240hz sony hdtv.
Additonally is it worth it to SLI, do I need 2 gpu's or should I just stick w/ one? IS there a major difference in performance and/or will it make my comp more future proof.

Lichloathe - I agree about the AS Rock mobo's - I want to avoid poorer quality components - both hardware and software quality: the AS Rock bios sorta sucks compared to ASUS.
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October 11, 2012 6:41:41 AM

Well for z68 you can try Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 or Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P both have good reviews
GPUs your cant go wrong with either GeForce GTX 670 or Radeon HD 7970 as for SLI or Crossfire you should just buy the best single card you can afford till you need to replace it in 18 mos to 2 years which by then there will be a faster and cheaper card
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October 11, 2012 9:10:11 AM

Lichloathe,

Thanks for your input.

After reviewing multiple forums/articles I found that for my uses (primarily gaming and only some music/video editing) that the i5 3570k is better suited to my uses and is more future proof. Also its on-sale at Microcenter for $170 I think and that saves me $60 to beef up something else in my computer.

Alright i'll stick with a single powerful GPU - lets me save some money on PSU etc.

Ok now to avoid a fanboy argument - a very basic argument of Radeon vs Nvidia

Radeon is better on higher resolution b/c of vRAM ??? (I dont see a point is anything better than 1080p as I have a High-end tv as my monitor...)

and Nvidia is better b/c drivers and Physx ??? (i wont use 3D)

Which one will game better - why - what types of games - etc
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October 11, 2012 9:10:45 AM

Best answer selected by chunkyxsurprise.
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