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Components for $750 casual gaming and photo editing rig

Last response: in Systems
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October 9, 2012 1:45:45 AM

Hey all, will really appreciate whatever advice you guys can give on my situation. I'm pretty sure my current system is past the point of being able to upgrade in a useful way so I'm starting to look at upgrading my current system.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 months (still convincing the wife to let me upgrade)
Budget Range: $750 After Rebates and After Shipping
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Casual gaming and photo editing
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: New build, so everything.
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Parts Preferences: Want to use Intel processor, don't really have preferences on anything else.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: My gaming primarily consists of Team Fortress 2 (I know the demands of that aren't high, but I want it to run like butter), Starcraft 2, and I want to play some of the new Assassin's Creeds, which I can't with my current system.

I'll also be editing photos using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current system is getting old. Doesn't handle games I like to play as smoothly as I'd like and can't play some newer games I'd like to play. Also, some of the photo editing I do can be cumbersome. I'd also like to convert my current system into a network server.

Below is the list of components I've thrown together over on Newegg. I'd love to hear any thoughts on if I could be more cost effective on some components to get something better somewhere else, for example cheaper motherboard for a better vid card. Conversely, if I'm underpowered anywhere, I'd obviously like to know that. I'm probably least knowledgeable about the motherboard; the only thing I know for sure is that I want onboard sound.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

ASRock B75 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2653-KR GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi Modular High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2 X G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 9, 2012 3:59:29 AM
October 9, 2012 9:32:11 AM
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October 9, 2012 7:57:11 PM

Yes, I had considered that CPU as well. It's just a matter of price, and faster is always better, so long as the price is reasonable.

I would have normally recommended an i3 here if it meant a stronger GPU, but Starcraft 3 likes quads as do strategy titles in general.
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October 14, 2012 1:47:01 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I noticed you selected a HDD that is half as big the one I had. I'm not sure I want to make that sacrifice. With a baby daughter, we're taking a lot of photos and videos and I want to make sure I have plenty of room to store all of them.

Thinking of another questions, is this kind of setup I'm looking at going to have some legs that's going to last me for a while, or at least be able to upgrade easily to be used for several years to come. I built my current system in 2006 and it's just now getting to the point where I can't do the things I really want to do with it. I (and my wife) appreciate the longevity I got out of it.
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