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[Solved] ~$1000 Gaming PC (My first build)

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October 15, 2012 6:04:12 AM

So this will be the first computer I have ever built so I am a little cautious about all this. I am pretty sure that what I have listed here will work well, but I'd like any advice or changes that you guys could provide.

Approximate Purchase Date: This month sometime I hope

Budget Range: I'd like to spend under $1,000 on everything (including OS and monitor). I can stretch this a bit if needed.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Microsoft Office (business student), internet browsing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: This is going to be a brand new build, I am starting with nothing here

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (I will be getting Windows 7 Home Premium)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canadian sites please. I haven't bought anything computer related online before so I don't have any preference. Possible sites though:
www.canadacomputers.com
http://www.newegg.ca
http://ncix.ca

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel i5 2500k processor and a Nvidia GTX 660 GPU. Everything else is flexible. Of course if you have a good reason why these aren't any good please suggest something different. I have been looking at these parts so far:

Intel i5 2500k

Gigabyte GTX 660

MSI Z77A-G45 motherboard I think this board would do well and last me for while. I won't be doing a new build before the Intel Haswel chips come out for sure so I'd like something that will still be compatible then.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)

Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
This drive comes with pretty mixed reviews according to people on newegg.ca. It seems like I have a 50/50 chance of it being DOA or working great, it's so cheap though I am almost willing to take the risk. Another option for the drive is this WD Caviar Blue 1TB, it's just about double the price of the Seagate though if I want to stick with the 7200RPM and the reviews on newegg.ca are still not unanimously awesome.

I definitely want an SSD to load Windows and a couple games on so I am looking at this Kingston SSDNow V200 128GB. Looking at the read/write speeds though it seems I might be better off going with this OCZ Vertex 3 120GB. Is the read/write speed comparably different in real life application though? ie, would I even notice the difference?

Rosewill Future ATX Mid Tower is what I am considering as my case. I chose it based on the price and the USB 3.0 ports in front (which I think would be really useful to have). I am not a fan of the LED lights on the fans but from reading the reviews of the case I see that it would be possible to just switch the front LED fans out with the top and rear fans so that the light is shining in a place where I won't see it.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD-Writer is what I chose for the CD/DVD reader/writer. There were a couple of cheaper options but I chose the ASUS in hopes that it won't die like the DVD drive in my laptop has.

I don't have a PSU or CPU cooler picked out as I am not sure what I am looking for. I read through the A Guide to Choosing Computer Parts -By Proximon - PSU section (I read the whole thread actually) so I understand the basics of what I am looking for, I just am not certain what would meet my needs.

Overclocking: Yes, I would like to get about 4.0 GHz on the processor. As I understand, the Sandy Bridge chips are a bit easier to play with than the Ivy Bridge as the Ivy Bridge heats up a lot faster and hotter. I might also OC the the GPU a little, but that will be down the road a ways.

SLI or Crossfire: Not for this build. Maybe in a few years once I get out of university I might look into it.

Your Monitor Resolution: Need to buy the monitor yet, but I want 1920x1080. This Acer S Series S220HQL bd Black 21.5" 5ms is what I am thinking of for my monitor. I need to go shopping in actual stores to see what some monitors look like size wise but I don't want to spend much more then $120 for the monitor. Also, what is Newegg.ca like for monitor returns (if I do get this one and it turns out bad or something). Would it be worth it to spend an extra $10 at the local brick and mortar Staples so that I have better service?

Additional Comments: I plan on playing Skyrim (might try Oblivion and Morrowind as well), Assassins Creed series, League of Legends. Perhaps Battle Field 3 as well.

Why Are You Upgrading: I want something that will actually play games. Currently I have a 2 year old Toshiba laptop (AMD Turion II P520 Dual-Core Processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series, 4 GB ram, 15.6" screen @ 1366x768) and this plays skyrim at 13 FSP on low (I still played about 120 hours though). I plan on keeping the laptop for things that still need mobility but most of the work/play will be done on this new desktop.
October 15, 2012 6:33:11 AM

It looks alright i personally would change a few things PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Canada Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $374.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 15, 2012 6:37:48 AM

If you are choosing sandy bridge over ivy bridge because it gets a little hotter when OCing, then you got it wrong.

At extreme OC'ing will the temperatures go overboard on the ivy bridge, but at 4.0 ghz overclocking, you are fine.

Check this chart for reference from anandtech:



Link to benchmark: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5763/undervolting-and-ove...

Also, you might wanna choose the Samsung 830 128gb SSD over the OCZ vertex 3 SSD, given that the Vertex's failure rate is kinda high. The price is practically the same with the bonus of peace of mind with the Samsung 830.

Your other parts are just fine.
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October 15, 2012 12:55:53 PM

You could replace the 660 with a 7870 since the 7870 will perform a little bit better in most games, except those optimized for nVidia. 7870 OCs like a beast too.
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October 15, 2012 4:14:58 PM

Will the 2500k CPU work with the USB 3.0 that the Z77 motherboard has? I know that Sandy Bridge does not natively support USB 3.0 but since the motherboard has the Onboard USB 3.0 headers it should still work right?
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October 16, 2012 12:00:17 AM

PC partpicker lists my estimated wattage at 344 watts. Based on that the SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze should work just fine, or should I spring for a SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze so that I have a better chance at reusing this in 3 or 4 years?

-edit- decided to go with the Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS as it is basically the same as the Seasonic but is a lot cheaper.

I think once I get this cleared up (as well as my above question regarding the USB 3.0 on sandy bridge I should be set to order all my parts.
And thank you bigcyco1 for suggesting a CPU cooler.


here is my latest revision of my build
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.91 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.30 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($218.30 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: Acer S220HQLAbd 21.5" Monitor
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1027.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 17, 2012 6:24:00 AM

^ That build is pretty good, only small changes.

3570K over 2500K. While it is true that Ivy does get hotter than Sandy when applying extra voltage, this isn't a concern if you are just clocking to 4Ghz. A 3570k will easily get to 4.2Ghz on stock voltage, I managed to get mine stable at 4.4Ghz without changing it.
And also, each clock is worth more on the 3570k. A 2500k has to be at 4.5Ghz to match a 3570k at 4.2Ghz.

Low Profile and slightly faster RAM. Smaller heat spreader so it wont conflict with the 212 EVO, and a faster frequency.
G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) 1600mhz CL9 1.5v. $39
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

USB3 will work regardless of processor. That more comes down to the motherboard you have as to whether it wil natively support USB3 (which all Z77 boards do). You are thinking of PCI-3, where it does matter if you are using a Sandy vs Ivy Bridge processor.
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October 17, 2012 6:44:18 AM

Thank you for that info. I chose the 2500k because I could get good performance for less money. I don't really need the HD 4000 graphics that come with the Ivy Bridge series as i have the GXT 660 so I am not really sure if I need the 3570k
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October 17, 2012 6:59:33 AM

There are other benefits as well.

PCI-3 support if the board has it (it does).
Lower power draw.
Clock for Clock you can expect 10% extra performance.
And comes clocked higher at stock.
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October 17, 2012 7:43:38 AM

Fair enough. Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it :) 
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