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Wife's new micro ATX build -- her first gaming rig

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October 29, 2012 3:48:27 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: This coming November

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) Max budget w/ shipping, before rebates - $1000-$1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: She only plays WoW, but I would like for it to play BF3 and similar high end FPS games on high settings for when I have friends over to LAN.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, locally and not included in the budget


Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM) -- Brand new build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com for parts that we can't get on Amazon.com. Live in Alaska and Amazon is the only place that does free shipping

Location: Anchorage, AK

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU / Nvidia

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Wife wanted a PC tower to play WoW since she is jealous of the new rig that I built.

Here is what I spec'd so far, I'd appreciate input and recommendations. This will be my first Micro ATX build, so any advice would be appreciated.

CPU- i5 3450
CPU cooler- ZALMAN CNPS8900 Extreme 110mm Ultra Quiet Slim CPU Cooler low profile
MOBO- ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
SSD- Samsung 830 128gb
HD- WD Cav Black 1tb
DVD/CD- Lite on DVD/CD-RW
GPU- Gigabyte GTX 660 ti 2gb OC edition
RAM- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
CASE- Thermaltake Lanbox Lite
PSU - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

total - $1200 =/=
October 29, 2012 4:05:08 AM

If she is only using the build for gaming, you can get a 4GB Ram.
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October 29, 2012 4:31:44 AM

No need to get a CPU cooler with a 3450 and a non-overclocking motherboard. Also, just get a 660 non-ti and overclock it a bit to get the power of a 660 ti and save $100
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October 29, 2012 4:51:25 AM

Overall, it's a great build.
A heads up though - You may need to take off the HDD cage to fit in the 660 Ti or any mid-high end cards for that matter.

Also, if you want better bang for your buck, the 7870 performs just about the same as the 660 Ti at a much lower price, while the 7950 outperforms it at the same price.
Either that or you can do what BreadWhistle said.
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October 29, 2012 5:42:14 AM

you can also drop the PSU to a 500 watt unit
[ depending on the graphics card ]

You dont need more because you wont be overclocking , and you wont be adding an extra graphics card
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October 29, 2012 6:30:58 AM

1] Sweet
2] No need to install aftermarket cooler for non "k" version of processor
3] The graphics card is too powerful for processor
4] 4 GB Ram [1600MHz ] is enough .
5] Cabinet : its a Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case , does it have front/back usb 3.0 port ?
most of the h77 mobo comes with USB 3.0 , what about mid tower or full tower
NZXT source elite 210 is a cheap alternative
Motherboard : H77M-D3H offers same feature and its a cheap and with good quality ,i liked their Ultra durable 4 classic feature and use of new type of mosfet
GA-Z77MX-D3H is also a cheap but good quality motherboard with tons of features .

You said overclocking [ may be ] so better go for z77 mobo

core i5 3450 :195$ new Egg .or core i5 3550k 210$
GA-z77mx-d3h:130$ new-egg
RAM : F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL [ compatible with mobo and processor ] :25$
Cabinet : NZXT Source 210 50$ newegg
Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM :109$
OS :Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM 100$ newegg


$ 624 Max or $ 609 for core i5 3450

without Graphic card , monitor , M&k and other accessories
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October 29, 2012 7:00:14 AM

The tweaks I would make to this build would be:

1. Get the Asrock H77m motherboard instead, it is $20 cheaper at $69. It is also a micro-atx board and has all the same specs as the H77 Pro4m, except the H77m has 16gb RAM maximum as opposed to 32gb RAM max on the Pro4m. I recently bought the H77m myself. I maxed my board out with 16gb (2x8) because I do 3d modeling, but for gaming 8gb (2x4) should be great. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. With the $20 you saved, add another $15 and get the i5-3570. It has the best performance in the i5 line-up. It runs at 3.4ghz as opposed to the i5-3450 which runs 3.1ghz. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 29, 2012 9:26:23 AM

Hi, i got a good rig for you :) 
Assuming that we are playing WoW in these following settings:-
1920x1080 resolution
All ultra, except shadows set to high
DirectX 11 mode, WoW 64-bit client
Multisampling 1x, Anisotropic Filtering Trilinear
Playing in a 25-man raid / crowded cities. Anywhere else? Let's just say high enough FPS
These are all minimum expected FPS, but may fluctuate on various factors
i got two builds for you wich fit your budget and are reallly good :) 
------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 3: Give me a pretty good system just under 1k

Note: If you want the capacity to run SLi / CrossFireX with the Intel i5 CPU, you will have to upgrade the motherboard to one of the recommended Z77 motherboards.

Note: Many motherboards only come with 2 SATA cables, and some SSDs do not come with an extra SATA cable. Check the motherboard and SSD content details, and ensure you have enough SATA cables.

CPU: (Intel) i5-3330 / i5-3450 / i5-3470 (Get cheapest one) / (AMD) AMD FX-8320
CPU Cooler: (AMD) CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: (Intel) Any B75 motherboard / (AMD) Any 990FX motherboard
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7870 2GB
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W or other similar power supplies
SSD: Any of the 120/128GB performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB or above if wanted
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer or similar mid-tower case with at least 2 fans

(Intel) Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ikTQ
(AMD) Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lfZO

Estimated cost: (Intel) ~$875 ~ +++ / (AMD) ~$965 ~ +++
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~55+
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 4: Yay overkill!
Note: This build assumes you will overclock the CPU. If you will not, replace CPU with i5-3330, and don't buy the CPU cooler. Motherboard can be kept if you NEED SLi/CrossFireX. Otherwise, get a B75 motherboard.

Note: Many motherboards only come with 2 SATA cables, and some SSDs do not come withi an extra SATA cable. Check the motherboard and SSD content details, and ensure you have enough SATA cables.

Example build assumes you will overclock.

CPU: i5-3570k
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: Any of the recommended Z77 motherboards
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W or above if wanted
SSD: Any of the 256GB (or bigger) performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB or above if wanted
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD Burner
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer or above

Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lg0z

Estimated cost: ~$1285 ~ +++
Estimated FPS: Do we really need to say this?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: i have built 5builds and those two meet what you are asking for so enjoy ;) 
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October 29, 2012 3:13:00 PM

Thanks for the input everyone.

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November 1, 2012 4:34:45 PM

b75 IS NO GOOD FOR SSD
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!