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Advice on ~$800 PC build

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October 17, 2012 9:48:41 PM

I am wanting to put a new PC together for gaming purposes, and after looking at other builds on the site came up with this. I am interested in overclocking, not really interested in SLI/crossfire (should I be?), don't care about brand, and already have a 1080p monitor and an OS. My main questions are, what level of gaming power will this be able to run (SKyrim, Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed III max graphics, etc.) and what are people's thoughts on hardware substitutions, for example since I'm not interested in SLI, is there another motherboard I could use? Or, is an SSD worth it, will it help more than speed boot time? I'm at $800, but am willing to go up if it will provide a significant boost in power, and am planning to buy in the next month or so. Finally I already have a laptop, so this will be a solely gaming computer. Thanks!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

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 ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($237.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($90.87 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($64.95 @ B&H)
Total: $858.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

More about : advice 800 build

October 17, 2012 10:25:34 PM

This build would be better for about the same price http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kCmY
You don't need a 750w psu if you're not planning on adding a second gpu later and you wouldn't be able to overclock the cpu with the h77 mobo. I didn't add a mouse but $65 to me is a little too much for a mouse just get a $30-$50 mouse.
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October 17, 2012 10:36:38 PM

kofshinobi said:
I am wanting to put a new PC together for gaming purposes, and after looking at other builds on the site came up with this. I am interested in overclocking, not really interested in SLI/crossfire (should I be?), don't care about brand, and already have a 1080p monitor and an OS. My main questions are, what level of gaming power will this be able to run (SKyrim, Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed III max graphics, etc.) and what are people's thoughts on hardware substitutions, for example since I'm not interested in SLI, is there another motherboard I could use? Or, is an SSD worth it, will it help more than speed boot time? I'm at $800, but am willing to go up if it will provide a significant boost in power, and am planning to buy in the next month or so. Finally I already have a laptop, so this will be a solely gaming computer. Thanks!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

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 ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($237.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($90.87 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($64.95 @ B&H)
Total: $858.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



For this budget, a SSD is better left for a future upgrade.



http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kCtA


$864.31, it has $30 in mail in rebates.

So $834.31 after rebates.


z77 motherboard, 7950.


This is what I would get at this budget, keeping in mind the other components you chose.
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October 17, 2012 10:37:03 PM

Not a bad list. You probably want a Z77 board if you're planning to get into overclocking though, and 750W is more power than you need if you're not interested in SLI/crossfire (you shouldn't be).

An SSD will give you faster load and boot times, but it won't directly improve your framerates in games. It's still worth it if you can afford the extra expense, it just makes the machine feel more responsive in general.

Newegg is running a promotion for 8GB of RAM free with certain Z77 motherboards. Here's an ASUS, here's a Gigabyte, and here's an Asrock all in the same price range.

Here's an XFX 550W PSU that should be sufficient for your needs.
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October 18, 2012 12:00:08 AM

A friend recommended an 8 core AMD FX 8120 and overclocking it to match the I5. Thoughts?
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October 18, 2012 12:07:06 AM

kofshinobi said:
A friend recommended an 8 core AMD FX 8120 and overclocking it to match the I5. Thoughts?


It won't even come close to the i5 3570k in gaming performance.
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October 18, 2012 12:34:53 AM

kofshinobi said:
A friend recommended an 8 core AMD FX 8120 and overclocking it to match the I5. Thoughts?


Definitely no, even overclocked it won't match the i5. On top of that, you can OC the the 3570k to be even better. Ignore your friend, he's either an AMD fanboy or just doesn't know what he's talking about.
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October 18, 2012 12:49:53 AM

Ok then I'm thinking this below. The memory is just a filler for any memory I find for the same specs on sale (is this a bad idea?).


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Athena Power CA-GSB01DA (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $827.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Edit: From what I'm seeing, memory makes a difference in OCing, so best options? Does gaming benefit significantly from RAM OCing?
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October 18, 2012 1:18:47 AM

Alright looks good. If there aren't any other changes anyone suggests, this is what I'll go with.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Athena Power CA-GSB01DA (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $837.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 18, 2012 1:24:53 AM

You can step your motherboard up to the Asrock Extreme4 and get your RAM for free with the promo running on newegg right now.

That case also looks horrible, I'd go back to the Rosewill Challenger for only $5 more after promo code.
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October 18, 2012 2:08:10 AM

That deal is running with mobos in at the level of the card I have, what would the benefits of upgrading be? Also, the Rosewill is throwing a compatibility issue saying that the case doesn't have front usb slots, or something
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October 18, 2012 2:14:43 AM

I assume the compatibility error you're talking about is just because the Challenger doesn't have USB3.0 ports on the front, which you probably don't need.

Most USB devices don't even use the full potential of USB2.0, you'd only notice a difference if you wanted to regularly move a large number of files to/from an external HDD or a flash drive. Even then, you'll still have USB3.0 ports on the back of the motherboard, the front panel ports are just extra an convenience that most people will never really take full advantage of.
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October 18, 2012 2:28:00 AM

kofshinobi said:
Ok, and the differences between that motherboard and say, this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I actually linked that exact motherboard earlier in the thread when I was pointing out some of your other options. ASUS is a good brand, that would be a fine board to go with.

I brought up the Asrock again as the prime example because it did well in a roundup with other motherboards in the same price range here on Tomshardware. The Gigabyte board I linked earlier is also the micro atx version of the one listed in the round-up, which I just finished a build on and was quite impressed with.

You can find the article I'm talking about here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-express-ivy-bri...
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October 18, 2012 2:36:27 AM

I'm an idiot, didn't occur to me to check to see if I was talking to the same person as above. My apologies. And thanks for all the help.
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Best solution

October 18, 2012 2:38:14 AM

No worries at all. :) 

Take a look at that article, it should give you some more detailed feedback on those motherboards and help you pick the one you like best.
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October 28, 2012 3:44:05 AM

Best answer selected by kofshinobi.
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