Using IBuyPower to configure a prebuilt and also using the references given via the Tom's Hardware review site...I have configured what I think I want! The problem is it's too damn expensive! I can afford it but ideally it would be under 800 dollars. I am having a lot of trouble getting anywhere under 900 dollars. I just can't seem to cut any corners. I tried just picking parts on Newegg, also, but I still ended up way above budget.
NZXT Phantom Full Tower Gaming Case - Black
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion
Intel® Core™ i5-3450 Processor (4x 3.10GHz/6MB L3 Cache)
Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink
8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand **FREE Upgrade to Patriot Intel Edition**
AMD Radeon HD 7870 - 2GB - Single Card
Video Card Brand
Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA
ASUS P8Z77-V LK -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Intel Smart Response Technology
650 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 Free Upgrade to 750 Watt Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2 ($20 Savings)
Primary Hard Drive
500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Dual 500GB Drives (1TB Capacity) - RAID 0 High Performance
Data Hard Drive
24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black
2nd Optical Drive
Flash Media Reader / Writer
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) 64-bit
Case Engraving Service
3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
1 x [FREE Game Download] - Sleeping Dogs Free with purchase of AMD Radeon HD 7870 or above
1 x [FREE Game Download] - NEXUIZ Free with purchase of AMD Radeon HD 7770 or above
This is as far as I got on Newegg trying to pick parts:
Processor: Intel Core i5 Quad Core Processor i5 3570 (3.4GHz) 6MB Cache
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory(RAM): G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Memory Card Reader:
Power Supply: Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
Processor cooling: Standard
Sound Card: Standard
Network Facilities: Standard
USB Options: Standard
(I'm thinking obviously I don't need the Sabertooth. However, I didn't even make it to getting my RAID 0 HDD or possibly a 500MB HDD + a 120GB SSD setup.)
Can someone please recommend some cheaper parts of the same quality? I just really want a rig that's going to give me longterm graphics quality and speed for the next four years. I'm afraid to cut corners on it because I'm not sure what will screw me over in the long run.
If you're happy to build the PC yourself, I'd definitely go down that route.
The high end motherboard and relatively expensive case with the HD 7870 may be asking a bit too much of $800, I think that might be where you're failing.
As a long term upgrade option, dual graphics cards aren't a good idea to be honest. You could save a bit by trying not to prepare for that. I'm guessing you won't overclock either judging by those CPU's so you could save a bit more again.
This would be my choice at your budget.
2x4GB G.Skill Ares 1600Mhz
ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
ASUS HD 7870 2GB
WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM
Seasonic S12II 430B 430W
Antec Gaming One Series
LG DVD Burner
Total - $756.92 before shipping (no rebates)
I'm sure you will probably ask about the PSU since I saw the 650W model in your build but the power consumption won't even hit 300W in this build and you can't overclock the CPU anyway. Seasonic PSU's are of exceptional quality as well.
It occurs to me that Cyber Monday and Black Friday aren't too far away, so I'm considering waiting for those to come up so I can snatch up a good deal on a prebuilt.
I don't actually know how to build a computer (although I need to learn soon), but a friend of mine does, so I'm still considering that. The rig I'm on right now is more than decent and runs GW2 on medium-high settings, but I had to buy a quad for it and the motherboard is very old. Currently running a 550Ti.
I'll look into your configurations to see what the differences are in your selections compared to my pricey one!