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Newcomer to computer builds $1000 Gaming Build

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October 25, 2012 6:53:51 PM

Hey everyone. This is going to my first build ever and I wanted to build a computer I can run games like Starcraft 2 and Company of Heros. Thanks to everyone in advance for their advice and suggestions.

Approximate Purchase Date: This month

Budget Range: $1000-$1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies and surfing the web.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: None

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ncix.com, amazon.com

Location: I am currently stationed in Germany for the military. All of my purchases will be done through online websites. Hopefully the shipping markup to an APO is not to bad.

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, besides that I trust everyones knowledge.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would like to run my OS off a SSD drive and run two 1TB HHD in Raid.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: First time build.

Here is a list of parts I have selected from the reading and research I have done so far. Besides that I am up for all suggestions.

CPU: Intel i5-2500k

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 or GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H

Case: Antec One Black Steel ATX
October 25, 2012 8:05:05 PM

There are a couple of points to clarify.
Firstly, how set are you on i5-2500K? Z77 mobos are designed to get the most, from the added capabilities of i5-3570K. Some, notably your suggested ASRock, do not overclock well, with Sandybridge processors. To be honest, I'm not awware of a problem with the Gigabyte. However, the i5-3570K has about 8% better performance, and supports 1600MHz RAM, which the i5-2500K does not. Given that there is very little difference, in price, the i5-3570K is generally considered the better buy. The only way in which the 2500 could be considered "better", is that it can be overclocked more, but you NEED to overclock it agressively, to try to "catch" the 3570K. I take it, from your "maybe" against overclocking, you don't want to "need" to do that, plus, as I said, Z77 doesn't OC Sandybridge particularly well, a Z68 might be better, in that case.
I'm not in USA, so not sure about shipping arrangements. Are you saying you can purchase via USA, and have components shipped, via military, or do you need to buy, in Germany.
October 25, 2012 8:12:00 PM

I am in no way a computer whiz so I would prefer to stay away from overclocking until later when I learn more about computers. I am not set on the i5-2500k but it was suggested by a trusted friend that is why I choose to go with it.

I will purchase from the USA and they will ship packages to Germany via the military.
Related resources
October 25, 2012 8:26:08 PM

If I was you, I'd go for the i5-3570k (3rd generation i5 processor) instead because it is pretty much the successor of the i5-2500k (2nd generation i5 processor).

Also, if you want to overclock, you will need to use a 3rd generation intel processor with the z77 chipset motherboard.
October 25, 2012 8:51:44 PM

Put this together. About the most powerful, that can be done, in budget. Obviously, things like graphics card, could be lowered, or possibly use nVidia, if you prefer, to get closer to bottom, of budget range, if desired.
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 ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($56.00 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1160.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 25, 2012 9:04:08 PM

I just noticed OP was requesting Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H, rather than D3H. That is available, for $5 more, from Newegg. Sorry I missed that.
October 25, 2012 9:36:57 PM

Here is a build my friend set up for me. He has extra ssd/hhds he can give me so I took those off of the build.

@malbluff: why did you choose to go with the gigabyte vs the asrock? How much do you think I will benefit from using the CPU/MOBO that you choose.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($71.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified TFX12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $871.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 25, 2012 9:40:09 PM

Here is what the build looks like with the 3570 and gigabyte mobo and the monitor that I will be using.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($77.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified TFX12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1047.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 25, 2012 10:41:49 PM

Drop the Ram to 8GB if this is mainly for gaming. 8 alone is overkill for any game on the market and forseeable future. 16 is just well a waste.

PSU if you plan on SLI the GTX 670 you wont need anything over a 750W so you could save money there too. Maybe take that saved money and put it towards a 120Hz monitor. if you don't know the monitor is only able to display FPS up to its refresh so if you use that monitor you will be capped at 60FPS.
I personally have this monitor and I cap my caps FPS at 60FPS to keep it from jumping all over the place from 100 down to 50 which causes crazy rubberband movement in BF3.

The difference I found with the ASrock boards vs Gigabyte. Asrock feel very thin and are smaller form factor. Gigabyte feel very sturdy and feel like they are made with quality material.

Maybe add these instead:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Corsair LP Ram 8GB 1600: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this

Corsair HX750 Modular 80+ Gold Certified $109.99
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=38649&vpn=CMPSU-750HX&...

and will you need a CPU cooler? Cooler Master 212 Evo is great one for $30.

Without CPU Cooler:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1018.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lquw


With CPU Cooler:

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 ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1043.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lqvc
October 25, 2012 11:27:43 PM

I think it's a good idea to step back, and draw breath. I understand the move to GTX 670, although, personally I'd prefer the Gigabyte Windrush version, fine. Where did SLi come in. You only need 2x GTX670 in SLi, if gaming on THREE monitors, and even then only for demanding games, at high settings. ONE GTX 670 is more than capable of a game like Starcraft, even on three monitors.
If OP really wants SLi, to play games like BF3, on 3 monitors, in the next couple of years, then yes, allow for SLi. Go with i5-3570K, and the Gigabyte board (wouldn't recommend anything less), a 750w power supply, like Corsair HX, but then you need to think about case. OP wants an Antec One. It's not a bad case, but I wouldn't use it for an overclocked CPU, and TWO GTX670. You need something a bit better, like Coolermaster HAF, or Corsair Carbide 400/500.
I seem to remember there was a budget.
October 25, 2012 11:47:22 PM

I'd suggest the case I personal chose 3 weeks ago. NZXT Phantom 410, its only $50 more and would fit very nicely into the builds I suggested. :D 
October 26, 2012 2:09:52 PM

malbluff said:
I think it's a good idea to step back, and draw breath. I understand the move to GTX 670, although, personally I'd prefer the Gigabyte Windrush version, fine. Where did SLi come in. You only need 2x GTX670 in SLi, if gaming on THREE monitors, and even then only for demanding games, at high settings. ONE GTX 670 is more than capable of a game like Starcraft, even on three monitors.
If OP really wants SLi, to play games like BF3, on 3 monitors, in the next couple of years, then yes, allow for SLi. Go with i5-3570K, and the Gigabyte board (wouldn't recommend anything less), a 750w power supply, like Corsair HX, but then you need to think about case. OP wants an Antec One. It's not a bad case, but I wouldn't use it for an overclocked CPU, and TWO GTX670. You need something a bit better, like Coolermaster HAF, or Corsair Carbide 400/500.
I seem to remember there was a budget.


Can you send me a link for the Gigabyte Windrush? I searched all the only thing it pulls up are recommendations you made in other threads.

I will just go with one GTX670 from the recommendation you made. I will not be running 3 screens anytime in the near future.

October 26, 2012 2:36:09 PM

Gigabyte Windforce*

Id get AMD, really. The 7970 surpasses the 670 now that the 12.11 drivers give quite the boost. Although if your set on the 670, no problem.
!