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New Gaming Rig W/Monitor...trying to keep it under $2k

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November 1, 2012 9:27:17 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 01 NOV 2012...ASAP

Budget Range: $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, mainly RPGs, but want it be able to handle any current game at Max settings in case I start pushing more into FPS etc.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, looking for hopefully a solid 120 Hz Option

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, from the ground up!

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg mainly, but open to others as well...or even something local

Location: San Diego, CA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Quiet is good, but max performance is my primary concern

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Just getting back from the Middle East, tired of using just my laptop, looking for a killer desktop rig again.

Thanks ahead of time for the advice, I will keep doing some research and update with parts that I fall in love with.

***Edit***

My initial parts list, just a little over $2k before shipping...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mb40

More about : gaming rig monitor

a b 4 Gaming
a c 76 C Monitor
November 1, 2012 10:10:33 PM

Some comments on your parts:

1) a 3770K is nice, but not worth the extra $100 price premium over a 3570K for gamers. Only if you will be running cpu bound multi threaded apps would it be better. If you are near a microcenter, they will sell you a 3570K for $190.

2) Sabretooth is overpriced. You can find many equally good Z77 based motherboards for more like $150.

3) For gaming, 8gb is plenty. No game uses more than 2-3gb by itself.
But, ram is cheap, so if you are a big multitasker or use 64 bit enabled editing apps, then 16gb is good.
Regardless, buy a 2 stick kit. 2 x 4gb or 2 x 8gb. two sticks are easier for a motherboard to handle. DDR3 1600 is good. Ther is minimal benefit from faster ram. Read this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
And, buy low profile ram w/o heat spreaders. Tall heat spreaders can interfere with cpu coolers.

4) Buy a $30 cpu cooler with a slow turning 120mm fan like the cm hyper212. You can oc higher, and your pc will be quieter.

5) I like Intel or samsung SSD for reliability. Go to 180 or 240gb if you can. A SSD will slow down as it gets near full. Ignore synthetic benchmarks, they all perform about the same. Sales abound.

6) If you can, buy a great monitor. It will last you a long time. See if you can't justify a $700 2560 x 1440 monitor.
Or, research "catleap forums" on google. These monitors from korea have a nice following on several forums.
They cost half as much.
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November 1, 2012 10:30:18 PM

If you make it to Microcenter 3570k is $189 and 3770k is $279 and if bought with a motherboard save an additional $40-60 $$ might make that 90 mile drive worth your time.
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November 1, 2012 11:42:56 PM

Thanks for the inputs! This is what I ordered from MicroCenter, now I just need a HD and a monitor...those high resolution monitors are killing my budget lol.

CPU: Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX
Memory: 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL11 UDIMM Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)
GPU: GV-N680OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 Video Card
Case: SOLO II Mid Tower ATX Computer Case
P/S: SMART Series 750 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply
Sound Card: Xonar DX PCI Express Sound Card
Cooling: Hyper 212 Plus Universal CPU Cooler
Keyboard: Storm QuickFire Rapid Gaming Keyboard - Blue Cherry Switch
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM (PC)
Monitor: ASUS PB Series PB278Q 27" 5ms (GTG) WQHD HDMI Widescreen LED Monitor 300 cd/m2 80,000,000:1

Looking at probably the Samsung 128GB SSD...think I am just a little over budget with that monitor...but if you don't over run your budget, you are doing something wrong! Yes, I learned finances from the US Government!
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November 1, 2012 11:59:22 PM

But what size do you want the monitor?
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November 2, 2012 12:03:36 AM

Oh lord, you could have saved a bunch by getting a GTX 670 and overclocking it instead of the 680. But it's too late now.
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November 2, 2012 1:07:48 AM

I was looking for 23" + and that Asus seemed like the best fit...having second thoughts now lol.

And the OC'ing the GPU was an option that I never thought about...been out of the desktop game for too long lol.
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 76 C Monitor
November 2, 2012 1:52:08 AM

Nugazi said:
I was looking for 23" + and that Asus seemed like the best fit...having second thoughts now lol.

And the OC'ing the GPU was an option that I never thought about...been out of the desktop game for too long lol.


Looks good.
I would bust the budget for a great monitor. You will keep it for a long time, and they do not go obsolete.

I like the GTX680. Tes, you can get a GTX670 for less, but if the GTX680 fits your budget, bo for it.
Otherwise, you will always be wondering if you should have. I don't think you will need to oc a GTX680.

The one place where I am a bit concerned is with the thermaltake smart series 750w psu.
1) It is stronget than you need. A gtx680 only needs a quality 550w unit. I think I would look for 650w.
2) thermaltake is iffy on quality.
Here is a review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Smar...
I think you can do better if you pick a tier1 or2 unit from this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
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November 2, 2012 2:05:03 AM

geofelt said:
Looks good.
I would bust the budget for a great monitor. You will keep it for a long time, and they do not go obsolete.

I like the GTX680. Tes, you can get a GTX670 for less, but if the GTX680 fits your budget, bo for it.
Otherwise, you will always be wondering if you should have. I don't think you will need to oc a GTX680.

The one place where I am a bit concerned is with the thermaltake smart series 750w psu.
1) It is stronget than you need. A gtx680 only needs a quality 550w unit. I think I would look for 650w.
2) thermaltake is iffy on quality.
Here is a review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Smar...
I think you can do better if you pick a tier1 or2 unit from this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

He could just be leaving some room for upgrades in the future?...
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November 2, 2012 3:24:25 AM

I hope someone informed you that the difference in performance between:

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB

and

GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-2GD GeForce GTX 680 2GB

both at highest stable overclock

2-10 FPS difference. for $100+ more. the human eye can not detect this small of frames per second difference.
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November 2, 2012 4:07:10 AM

Apropo said:
I hope someone informed you that the difference in performance between:

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB

and

GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-2GD GeForce GTX 680 2GB

both at highest stable overclock

2-10 FPS difference. for $100+ more. the human eye can not detect this small of frames per second difference.


actually it's about a 50-70 price difference unless your talking about the 4gb cards
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November 2, 2012 4:11:04 AM

James296 said:
actually it's about a 50-70 price difference unless your talking about the 4gb cards



http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn670...
$379.99
vs

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn680...
$477.86
am I missing something?

Either way $50-$70 dollars more for 2-10 frames per second which the eye wont even notice is a waste of money. One card wont utilize the 120Hz monitor and 2 GTX 670's will perform within %50 of the difference from the SLI 680's- example BF3 with the 670 ultra settings 1080p = 55-65FPS, now the 680 might get 58-70FPS. Then in SLI the 670's, which I'm running, get 75-110FPS. The 680s, which my friend is running, get 77-115fps. The difference is not noticable unless you look in your wallet.
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November 2, 2012 4:21:43 AM

hmmmm prices have seem to drop since I lasted checked but then again holiday season has a goofy effects on prices. also I personally don't count rebates (mostly because I've had bad luck with companies sticking to them :pfff:  )

in truth it's up to him, he can go for a 670 for a better price or have 680 and have a longer life span out of the card.....or go for the $320 msi 7950 and overclock it past a 670 :lol: 
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November 2, 2012 4:23:19 AM

Nugazi said:
Thanks for the inputs! This is what I ordered from MicroCenter, now I just need a HD and a monitor...those high resolution monitors are killing my budget lol.

CPU: Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX
Memory: 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL11 UDIMM Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)
GPU: GV-N680OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 Video Card
Case: SOLO II Mid Tower ATX Computer Case
P/S: SMART Series 750 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply
Sound Card: Xonar DX PCI Express Sound Card
Cooling: Hyper 212 Plus Universal CPU Cooler
Keyboard: Storm QuickFire Rapid Gaming Keyboard - Blue Cherry Switch
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM (PC)
Monitor: ASUS PB Series PB278Q 27" 5ms (GTG) WQHD HDMI Widescreen LED Monitor 300 cd/m2 80,000,000:1

Looking at probably the Samsung 128GB SSD...think I am just a little over budget with that monitor...but if you don't over run your budget, you are doing something wrong! Yes, I learned finances from the US Government!


>Blue cherry switch
>Blue switch
>Blue

Oh boy, you needed Red switches, Red switches are comfortable for gaming, ment for gaming actually.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
November 2, 2012 4:35:02 AM

Reds are WAY too easy to bottom out on.

Brown is where it's at, you feel that tactile switch, and you're golden.
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November 2, 2012 5:01:52 AM

James296 said:
hmmmm prices have seem to drop since I lasted checked but then again holiday season has a goofy effects on prices. also I personally don't count rebates (mostly because I've had bad luck with companies sticking to them :pfff:  )

in truth it's up to him, he can go for a 670 for a better price or have 680 and have a longer life span out of the card.....or go for the $320 msi 7950 and overclock it past a 670 :lol: 


how would it give him a longer life span? also I've done real life tests vs the 7950's against the cards I posted and it doesn't come even close, not at all not within 20+ FPS.
So many have seen the same review of the 7950 supposedly doing godly performance yet most people I know who are using it don't even come close to that at all.

I compared the two cards I posted with hands on tests and in BF3 - I overclocked both to the highest stable clocks. if they both are overclocked how would the 680 outlast the 670?
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November 2, 2012 2:40:39 PM

Ok so I haven't picked any of this up, so there is still a little room for improvements! I changed some of the items around as per this thread...please tell me I am at least on the right track lol...

The KB is not really an issue, so I will just snag one I like when I drive to the store...the monitor however, I am still all over the place lol. So I can't utilize the 120Hz unless I run SLI? If so, that changes my monitor choices considerably lol. I also am starting to feel the 27" might be overkill lol...

I have been out of the game for a while, but it used to be that you didnt want to use the Mobo sound since that actually was a draw off your CPU, is that still the case?

Thanks again for all of your help!

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor 1 $169.99

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherb 1 $124.99

Video Card: Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 White Box Version 3072M 1 $379.99

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800) C 1 $34.99

SSD: OCZ Technology Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 120GB SA 1 $84.99

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Universal CPU Cooler 1 $29.99

Blue Ray: Pioneer Pioneer BDR207DBK 12x Internal Blu-ray Bur 1 $59.99

P/S: Antec High Current Gamer 750W Gamer Power Supply H 1 $68.99 (yes a little overkill, but who knows what I will add later!)

Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Mid-Tower ATX Compute 1 $169.99

Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 1 $59.99

Subtotal $1,183.90
Tax $91.75
Grand Total $1,275.65

Thoughts and comment are welcome!

Thanks again for the insights!
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 76 C Monitor
November 2, 2012 2:59:06 PM

Waay back, a discrete sound card was useful to reduce cpu load.
Today, with integrated sound chips and modern quad cpu's, any impact on cpu usage is negligible.
Unless you have the speakers and hearing to to be able to detect minor differences in sound, there is no need for a discrete sound card.
Try the integrated HD 7.1 sound first, you can always add a discrete card later.

On the SSD, I would pick Samsung or Intel for reliability.
OCZ does not seem to be that reliable.
On newegg feedback, they have 21% 0-1 negative feedback.
Intel and samsung are at 6% or so.

120gb will hold the os and half a dozen games.
As a ssd gets full, it will slow down.
See if you can't justify 180gb.
Intel and samsung have sales now on ssd's, clearing out inventory in anticipation of the cheaper to produce 335 and 840 series.
Performance is the same.

LCD monitors refresh at 60hz, or possibly 120hz.
60hz looks very fluid and is very good.
Many games are capped at 60hz anyway.

Unless you are looking at 3d games or are a professional, no expense gamer, 60hz should be fine.
A 27"(or even 60") 1080P monitor takes the same graphics power as a 24" monitor. The screen is simply bigger.
Pick the size you like. It is the 27" 2560 x 1440 monitors that require stronger graphics cards to render the increased number of pixels.
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November 2, 2012 3:01:27 PM

Here is what I'd recommend:


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 ($26.22 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Gunmetal/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1198.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


You get an SSD for main games and OS and one that is really fast!! You get a cooler so you can overclock this thing easily to 4.2Ghz right out of the box and an INCREDIBLE GPU that is factory overclocked to 1Ghz and can easily go further. You'll get a GOLD rated 80+ Certified modular very reliable powersupply. as well as a more durable motherboard. I found the ASROCK to feel very thin and small compared to the thick Ultra durable Gigabyte boards.

Hope this build helps.
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November 2, 2012 3:05:25 PM

Yes, all of this information helps...time to take a last tweak at this system and see where I stand lol.
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November 2, 2012 3:11:46 PM

Only thing I didn't add is the monitor. Add what ever monitor you choose to my build and you wont need to question reliability, performance or dependability.

Geofelt gave you the answer concerning discrete audio cards, unless you are using high end headsets or 5.1/7.1 surround speakers you wont notice a difference. On board audio, especially on the MB I'm recommending is fairly decent and most sound cards in the $0-$60 price range are pretty equal to it.

Don't know if this helps but I play Guild Wars 2, TSW and Swtor on this system: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/yk1 I hardly ever drop under 60FPS and the GPU I recommended is stronger then my GPU in those games.
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November 2, 2012 3:29:04 PM

So I know I kind of went "cheap" on the monitor, but this looks like a solid non 2560X1440 resolution monitor, and would fit my budget...and can get everything as listed from the MicroCenter about 90 minutes from me...

Still on the fence about the P/S since I can get this one at the MC as I drive up there....

I know that this isnt the GPU that you recommended either, but again, since I am driving up to get that great deal on the CPU, kind of want to just get everything there lol.

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor 1 $169.99
MotherBoard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Mothe 1 $149.99
Video Card: Gigabyte GV-R795WF3-3GD AMD Radeon HD 7950 3072MB 1 $334.99
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800) C 1 $34.99
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Universal CPU Cooler 1 $29.99
SSD: Samsung 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 128GB SATA 6.0Gb/ 1 $129.99
Sotrage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" 1 $99.99
BluRay: Pioneer Pioneer BDR207DBK 12x Internal Blu-ray Bur 1 $59.99
NZXT Crafted Series Phantom 410 Mid Tower ATX Comp 1 $99.99
P/S: Antec High Current Gamer 750W Gamer Power Supply H 1 $68.99
KB: Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard 1 $84.99
Monitor: Samsung S27B750V 27" LED Monitor 1 $399.99

Subtotal $1,663.88
Tax $128.95
Grand Total $1,792.83

















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November 2, 2012 3:33:35 PM

up to you but the last thing I'd skimp on price is the Powersupply since it is what can cause your system to have a long life.
I personally would not even think about anything bellow a GTX 670 or 7970 if I were you. dropping down to a 7950 from where you were will most likely leave you feeling and wondering if you should have stepped up to the higher tear for just $50-$60 more. Just saying your spending this much money, don't skimp out just because its easy to go pick it up, but thats just me.

I'd hate to see you skimp somewhere and later be disappointed, you'd still be within your budget and have the peace of mind of the reliability, and performance. With the 7950 I don't see many of my friends who have it planning on keeping theirs long and most want to upgrade because they don't perform as many suggest they do, or can.
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November 2, 2012 3:47:11 PM

also the microcenter gives a discount on that motherboard, $94.99 when purchased with CPU. :D 
Well I usually never recommend reference cooler GPU's but that price beats the GTX 670 I recommended earlier. The great thing about some of those reference cards is they can have some of the highest quality GPU Chips in them, so if you get it good luck on the GPU lottery :D . What that means is some of them can overclock a heck of a lot higher then non reference. You could very well end up with a GODLY 7970. Though it will tend to get hotter then a non reference because of the single blower fan.
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November 4, 2012 2:56:38 AM

So I kind of got carried away and went overboard and over budget with this, and I know it...but I am worth it!

CPU: i7 3770k
Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
GPU: Asus GTX680-DC2O-2GD5 DirectCU II
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600MHz
SSD: Corsair 120GB Force Series GT Solid State Drive (SSD)
HD: Seagate 1TB Serial ATA/300 Hard Drive
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 Black
P/S: Corsair Professional Series 850W SLI 80 PLUS Gold Certified Modular ATX Power Supply
KB: Razer Lycosa
Headset: Corsair Vengeance 1500
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo
Monitor: Asus PB278Q 2560X1440

Thanks again for all of the advice...now its just time to put this thing together!
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November 4, 2012 4:12:48 AM

Nugazi said:
So I kind of got carried away and went overboard and over budget with this, and I know it...but I am worth it!

CPU: i7 3770k
Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
GPU: Asus GTX680-DC2O-2GD5 DirectCU II
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600MHz
SSD: Corsair 120GB Force Series GT Solid State Drive (SSD)
HD: Seagate 1TB Serial ATA/300 Hard Drive
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 Black
P/S: Corsair Professional Series 850W SLI 80 PLUS Gold Certified Modular ATX Power Supply
KB: Razer Lycosa
Headset: Corsair Vengeance 1500
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo
Monitor: Asus PB278Q 2560X1440

Thanks again for all of the advice...now its just time to put this thing together!

LMAO!!!! :non: 

Nugazi though you did go over budget and probably got things that are seriously overkill, I"M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! Please take pictures of your build I so want to see!!!!! do a completed build on pcpartspicker. I hope you enjoy your system!

I have that headset, just keep in mind until you get the corsair drivers to work it wont be fully functional, once it is functional WOW they sound amazing!!! I replaced the felt ear pieces with the letherette ones sold on the corsair website and its so much better IMO.
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November 4, 2012 4:37:31 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/

I am starting to second guess myself on the RAM....think I was just in a hurry to get everything lol. Maybe I will have to find some replacement for it...any last minute recommendations? I can always return this RAM and get something better...it is cheap when compared to the system as a whole lol.
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November 4, 2012 8:09:39 PM

^ Lol, use the perma-link, not the URL :p 
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November 4, 2012 8:40:11 PM

Nugazi said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/

I am starting to second guess myself on the RAM....think I was just in a hurry to get everything lol. Maybe I will have to find some replacement for it...any last minute recommendations? I can always return this RAM and get something better...it is cheap when compared to the system as a whole lol.


Well for a gaming rig you'll hardly come close to using 8GB of ram. The corsair vengeance series are great ram. So you could probably return the 16GB and get 8 GB of Corsair Vegeance 1600hz and be perfect. Though I'd have recommended the same with the i7-3770k because unless you do HEAVY, i mean HEAVY rendering you wont benefit from that CPU at all. The i5-3570k performs as good if not better. :p  But it'll still do what you want, just you wont ever utilize it.
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November 5, 2012 11:07:28 PM

So I have run into my first sticking point.

I am suing the Asus PRZ77 Pro Motherboard with the Corsair AX850 Professional series PS, and I dont think that I have the right 8 pin EATX12V adapter....The one that came with the Mobo doesnt match up with the Mobo socket, and none of the cables that came with the PS match up with the EATX12V plug either.

Am I just missing a simple solution here? And is that adapter something that I can find locally maybe?

Thanks for all of your help!
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November 5, 2012 11:15:56 PM

Nugazi said:
Oh, and the partspicker link...even the right one this time!

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/muEH


awesome now go get your camera, take some pictures of the build and then go to the partspicker link and click on this:
"Have you built this configuration? Show off your work!"
Add the pictures ^_^ I wanna see!!!!!



@ Problem what pin / connection are you talking about?

If you are refering to the top 8Pin CPU Power connector, then yes your Power Supply definitely should have a connector for that.
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