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New gaming build $1000-1500

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October 27, 2012 1:56:44 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Black Friday/Cyber monday

Budget Range: $1000-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, photoshop, minor audio/video encoding, internet

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade: N/A

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Location: Herndon, VA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU & NVIDIA

Overclocking: In the future, yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I want this build to last about at least 3-5 years before I have to upgrade anything. I need a case that my toddler (15mo) can't destroy physically, which is why I've decided to look at the more rugged full size cases.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I can barely play any of the recent games on the lowest graphical settings and it's driving me crazy! My wife has finally agreed to let me build a new pc...



PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lzHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lzHx/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lzHx/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
I'm stuck on which to choose for the mobo, one of my friends recommended the ASUS Maximus because there was something about the warranty being better w/overnight shipping in case there needs to be an RMA. Also, I have been looking at ASROCK Extreme4/6 but I'm really not sure which is the ideal one for me to choose.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($50.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($74.99 @ Microcenter)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)

Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($296.98 @ NCIX US)
I saw in the TH $1000 build they went with the GTX 670 but that's about $100 more than the 660ti. Is it really worth that cost for the performance and longevity?

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($144.99 @ Amazon)

Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1134.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



Even though not everyone will see this, I just wanna say first thanks to everyone on TH for all the free information that is going out there. I learned a lot and it helped reading articles and posts that helped me me narrow down a lot of choices out there.

I've tried to keep my budget closer to $1000 but I'm pretty much at an impasse here. I'm conflicted on which parts are the most important to get high quality first and which I can get acceptable quality and upgrade to something better later on. So I'm trying to keep the cost loss at upgrading later to a minimum.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

More about : gaming build 1000 1500

October 27, 2012 2:04:51 PM

ASUS mobos, particularly ROG, are overpriced IMO. I'd get the Z77 Extreme4 as newegg will give you 8GB free RAM.

Get the Vertex4 or Samsung 830. Agility 3 had a bad reputation and is slow.

I'd get the 7950, 670, or 7970.

That case is still a bit overpriced IMO. There are good ones for less.
October 27, 2012 2:21:29 PM

Alright, I updated my list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1100.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Totally didn't notice the BBC code option the first time...out of curiosity, what cases do you favor?
Related resources
October 27, 2012 2:31:00 PM

EDIT: Ignore, but drop the G.Skill RAM and use the stuff that comes with the mobo.
October 27, 2012 2:47:40 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lAfB

Changed MOBO, I still think that ASUS is a good choice for you.
16GB of RAM is probably a good choice for some of your encoding tasks. It's not a huge price increase anyways.
Slightly newer SSD
Changed GPU. I think the 7950 is your best bet, but a 670, 7970 or 7970 GHz could also work.
Changed case to a better one. You don't need a full tower, the case I chose is fairly durable.

If you wanted to max out to $1500:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lAjZ
Some changes to CPU cooler, GPU and Case
October 27, 2012 5:19:12 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
Sabertooth actually got out-overclocked by the Extreme4 in the mobo roundups:
http://media.bestofmicro.com/E/F/354327/original/image014.png
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77x-up5-th-z77a-gd...
http://media.bestofmicro.com/N/X/345597/original/image014.png
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-express-ivy-bri...

That assumes they're using the same chip, but I'm pretty sure they are.
I think that the -V PRO is still massively overpriced, though it does have a few nice features like 2 front panel USB3.0 headers. Not worth another $80 though IMO.


I don't think they're using the same chip.

Best solution

October 27, 2012 5:32:08 PM
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.86 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($413.78 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1199.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

here you go my good sir, did not put any ram since Newegg will give you 8GB ram for free
October 28, 2012 2:26:50 PM

Wow, thanks everyone! I admit I was pretty hesitant to pick up an ati card over NVIDIA, but if the 7970 will actually outperform the 670 that well...is there a particular article that supports this?

Also, are the predicted benchmarks/wattage on pcpartpicker.com reliable numbers to go by?

I've never shopped for parts during the holiday season, are black friday/cyber monday worth waiting for a possible deal? Or is it relatively negligible to the daily/weekly deals that happen on major part sites anyway?

October 28, 2012 2:53:45 PM

the wattage is pretty reliable but i usually stay about 100W above it to be safe and so it leaves room for overclocking.

heres one benchy
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...

note that the drivers have updated again making them even faster

if you wait for black friday/cyber monday, the prices may change so the build may possibly change. if you can wait those 5 weeks then you probably should, you either will say one of these qoutes though "dam i should of waited for a sale" or "wow waiting 5 weeks was a waste of time"
October 29, 2012 1:37:06 PM

Ok, thanks boulbox! I hate to admit it, but I'm starting to lean more towards the 7970 with everyone's endorsement for it. You also have a point about waiting or not...I'm gonna play my hand towards waiting. Better than saying, "I could have gotten 'that part' for 50% less + 'that'??"

If the possible build does change, is it ok to come back and use this thread for some quick advice at that time?

Here's the new list thanks to everyone's recommendations:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($82.95 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($413.78 @ NCIX US)
Case: Azza Genesis 9000 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1158.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Well as long as I'm buying stuff...could someone recommend a decent monitor? I know next to nothing about current monitors. Are certain ones better for dual display? Is it feasible to do dual display on one gfx card or do I need to do sli/crossfire when it comes to compatible games?
November 5, 2012 12:28:40 PM

Best answer selected by swordofsekmet.
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