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$1000 first time gaming build

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October 9, 2012 12:41:26 AM

Hi, I'm looking for some feedback / a dumb check on a system I'm building, since this is my first time.

Approximate Purchase Date: next 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: $1000 - $1100 after shipping + rebates

System Usage: gaming, streaming video, some programming in VM

Are you buying a monitor: not immediately, but would like to be able to upgrade to multiple monitors in the next ~6 mo

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, microcenter (in-store okay)

Location: Boston, MA

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, but again, will be looking to upgrade within ~6 mo.

My build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jLec

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K...

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/387556/GA-Z77X-UD3H_...
$308.10 together with CPU

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)
www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/


Questions:
Is the power supply overkill? What if I want the option of adding a second (Crossfire) card?

Is the Radeon HD 7870 the best card to be looking at for this price range? Is there a big difference between the different manufacturers?

Will I need any additional cooling?

Anything else I can do to squeeze out more performance for this price?

Thanks!

More about : 1000 time gaming build

October 9, 2012 1:00:35 AM

Quote:
Is the Radeon HD 7870 the best card to be looking at for this price range? Is there a big difference between the different manufacturers?


If you can squeeze the 7950 into your budget that would be ideal but if not the 7870 is a great bang-for-buck option.

Quote:
Is the power supply overkill? What if I want the option of adding a second (Crossfire) card?


If you want the option of Crossfire you're looking at a 750W, get something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Will I need any additional cooling?


Get a good aftermarket CPU cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 or Noctua NH-U9B.

Quote:
Anything else I can do to squeeze out more performance for this price?


Get different RAM - those tall heat sinks will not be good to work with, try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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October 9, 2012 3:07:16 AM

Thanks for your feedback. I've revised my build a bit:
- down to a 600W power supply, with the understanding that if I want crossfire, I'll have to upgrade that.
- Switched to the lower-profile G.Skill Ares memory - the DDR3-1600 rather than the DDR3-1866 you linked, since I don't think my motherboard supports 1866. Is it worth spending more on the motherboard to accommodate the faster RAM?
- added an aftermarket cooler
- Switched to a Radeon HD 7950 card. This is the one I'm least sure of, since the card I picked seems pretty cheap for a 7950. Is there some drawback to this model that I'm not seeing?

I'm now pretty much on-target for $1000, but that's not a hard cap if there's something that could be improved for relatively low cost (such as the motherboard/RAM issue).


Revised build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jMCR (price here doesn't include some discounts)

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K...

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/387556/GA-Z77X-UD3H_...
$308.10 together with CPU

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$19.99 after rebate

G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$84.99

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$289.99 after rebate

Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$68.99

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99 after rebate + combo with power supply

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/
$92.25

Total: $1004.29
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Best solution

October 9, 2012 3:43:46 AM

Quote:
- Switched to the lower-profile G.Skill Ares memory - the DDR3-1600 rather than the DDR3-1866 you linked, since I don't think my motherboard supports 1866. Is it worth spending more on the motherboard to accommodate the faster RAM?


Oh I didn't realize I linked to 1866 - don't spend the money though - you won't notice the speed increase as it's very minor at best. Spend the money on the GPU.

Quote:
- Switched to a Radeon HD 7950 card. This is the one I'm least sure of, since the card I picked seems pretty cheap for a 7950. Is there some drawback to this model that I'm not seeing?


Nope. AMD reduced the prices of all Radeon 7XXX cards to be competitive with the NVIDIA models and so far on the benchmarks they prove to be a better price - performance ratio.
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October 22, 2012 7:11:25 PM

Best answer selected by shaydwyrm.
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