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Easily Upgradable Gaming PC Build

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Last response: in Systems
November 5, 2012 1:17:43 AM

I am trying to build a Gaming PC that is easily upgradable. I expect this system to run games fairly smooth at max settings until Nov 2013 when the new consoles come out. At which point I hope to only upgrade the VideoCard and possibly the ram and continue to play at Max Settings.

Here is the build I am thinking of:

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+

CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM

Video Card
GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-256G 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Apply Firmware Updates

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

NZXT Phantom 410 CA-PH410-B1 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Money isn't a huge factor but I would like to stay below 1800~$. I will be purchasing in two weeks or less.

I will install Win7 Home Premium on the SSD. I also run two monitors(1920x1080) and a TV (720p). How does this build look? Will it accomplish my goals and continue to play games well into the new console generation with only yearly graphic card upgrades?

More about : easily upgradable gaming build

November 5, 2012 1:36:17 AM

should be fine. you could step down a notch on the PSU: a 7870 wil run in a 550W power supply just fine
November 5, 2012 1:42:41 AM

Here, try this...

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: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.93 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1276.07
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can get much better parts at your budget. The 7970 is much faster than the 7870. As for the CPU, the 3570k isn't any different in gaming performance in comparison to the i7 3770k. The i7's hyper threading capabilities will actually hinder performance in most games. Unless you plan on doing heavy video editing/rendering, I wouldn't bother with the i7.

The Asus Sabertooth motherboard is overpriced. The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 will more than suit your needs.

16gb of RAM is overkill; however, you may as well grab it since it's so cheap.

Your case selection is just fine. It's one of the best performance cases around. Keeps everything nice and cool. May I recommend the Antec 1100? It's a beautiful case; one of my favorites.

Everything else looks good to me. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!
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November 5, 2012 3:04:15 PM

I chose the i7 with the expecttion that it would be more "futureproof" is that not true? I know nothing except large file video editing will tax the i7 now, but will that still be the case in 4 years?

I have been building a new PC every 2 years for the last 8 years but the upgrades from year to year seem much more incremental than they were 4 or 6 years ago. So i am expecting this PC (proc / mb / PSU / SSD) to last 4 years. That's why i'm willing to spend extra on those parts. I still plan on upgrading the video card on a yearly basis and perhaps 1 RAM upgrade during the lifecycle of this PC.

TL;DR Will the i5 still provide better value and preformance than the i7 in 4 years.
November 5, 2012 3:26:56 PM

Do you plan on doing video editing/rendering in the future? If so, grab the i7.

But then again, Haswell is supposed to be released. This is supposed to be intel's tock. So, it's difficult to say where technology will be in the next 4 years. Understand this, technology improves exponentially; therefore, today's i5 or i7 will be no comparison to the CPU that is created in 4 years. In other words, there's really no such thing as future proofing...with the exception that you could buy an amazing PSU and case and use those over the course of a few years.

To cut to the chase, think of your needs between now and maybe 1-2 years. Then base your decision between the i5 and i7 on that.

Hope this helps; good luck!
November 6, 2012 3:05:09 AM

I understand Hasewell is coming out in "H1 2013" but frankly I am not willing to wait; especially when most reviews I've seen are about energy consumption and battery life upgrades. I'll buy my PC now, and wait for Haswell before i buy an ultrabook.

TL;DR Will the i5 still provide better value and performance than the i7 in 4 years.
November 6, 2012 5:47:03 PM

whatever is out in 4 years will be enough better than the i5/i7 difference will be negligible.

Saturn is closer to Proxima Centauri than Jupiter, but not significantly