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First-timer building gaming PC

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November 7, 2012 3:34:51 PM

**The questionnaire is below**

First time poster and soon to be builder. Always wanted to build a PC just never got around to it. To be completely honest all I've looked at are builds posted by other people and I just get more confused. More than anything I don't want to go too cheap and have a machine that I can't grow with and upgrade here and there if I wanted to.

Here are some min specs on two different games.

MIN SPECS FOR GAME A
CPU - 3.0GHz Dual-Core, 2.4GHz Quad-Core
GRAPHICS - nVidia 9600 GT 512Mb, ATI Radeon HD 4750 512Mb
MEMORY - 2Gb RAM (3Gb-4Gb recommended)
CONNECTION - Continuous Internet

RECOMMENDED SPECS FOR GAME B
OS: Windows 7 64-Bit
Processor: Quad-Core CPU
Memory: 4 GB
Hard Drive: 20 GB
Graphics Card: DirectX 11 compatible with 1024 MB RAM (NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 or ATI RADEON 6950)
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Keyboard and Mouse
DVD ROM Drive

Anyways....the questionnaire:

=====================================

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 weeks to acquire all components

Budget Range: $700-900 w OS

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Sim Racing, Watching Blu-Ray, Other PC gaming (not a hardcore gamer), Occasional Lightroom and Photoshop (do most on laptop)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ch

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Houston, TX

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to upgrade to Intel CPU)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: Plan to use on HD TV or eventually 3 monitors (eyefinity?)

Additional Comments: Would like to add SSD in the future.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: never had gaming PC and current PC is old

More about : timer building gaming

Best solution

November 7, 2012 3:51:31 PM

Here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $955.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Without Windows the build is $850.
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November 7, 2012 6:02:25 PM

Thanks for the quick response g-unit. If anyone would want to chime in that would be much appreciated as well.

A few noob questions (take it easy on me!):

1. Been seeing the i5-3570K recommended a lot. Why the i5-3470?
2. H77 vs Z77?

The reason I ask for those two is the price difference isn't much.

3. Windows 7 vs Windows 8?
4. Would overclocking be recommended on this machine?
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November 7, 2012 6:12:19 PM

1) i5-3470 is powerful as i5-3570k but it can't overclock.
2) I think on H77 board you cant overclock. Z77 is for overclocking CPU's like i5-3570k.
3) Windows 7 64-bit for sure
4) If you go with i5-3570k then i recommend you to overclock because if not then its a waste of money. Hope i helped
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November 7, 2012 6:24:23 PM

Thanks Despot makes perfect sense. That's probably the reason the components were suggested assuming I don't overclock. Saves around $40.
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November 7, 2012 6:24:40 PM

Despot96 said:
1) i5-3470 is powerful as i5-3570k but it can't overclock.
2) I think on H77 board you cant overclock. Z77 is for overclocking CPU's like i5-3570k.
3) Windows 7 64-bit for sure
4) If you go with i5-3570k then i recommend you to overclock because if not then its a waste of money. Hope i helped


Yeah that is true that you can't overclock on H77. I recommend that board and CPU combo on budget builds because I'd rather put that extra money in the GPU and not the CPU, overclocking does help but it doesn't mean a huge difference in how your games perform. Most games these days rely more on the GPU than with the CPU, so if you're building a gaming rig on a budget, all remaining funds go to getting the best GPU you can get.

Quote:

3. Windows 7 vs Windows 8?
4. Would overclocking be recommended on this machine?


With Windows 8 the OEM license has been extended to system builders so even by purchasing a Windows 8 license you're purchasing a legal, full version operating system. With Windows 7 you don't have that.

As for overclocking that all depends what you want to do. Games will benefit, applications most likely won't unless you're doing some hardcore video editing or rendering, things of that nature.
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November 7, 2012 6:29:53 PM

+1 ^ Totally agreed with g-unit1111. Today games relay on GPU mostly so good i3 or non overclock i5 would be just fine for any game on market today. Take best GPU that you can afford like g-unit1111 said.
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November 7, 2012 6:32:06 PM

Despot96 said:
+1 ^ Totally agreed with g-unit1111. Today games relay on GPU mostly so good i3 or non overclock i5 would be just fine for any game on market today. Take best GPU that you can afford like g-unit1111 said.


I'm not going to say downgrade the CPU - but for a good balanced build - you definitely want a 2GB modern GPU (Radeon 78/79XX, GTX 6XX) and a quad core CPU, that will ensure longevity.
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November 7, 2012 6:38:35 PM

Correct. At least quad-core for gaming this days is recommended so i5-3450 or i5-3470 will do fine for your need's because if you don't want to overclock. Then you can save there 60$ for a decent GPU. Because Z77 board and i5-3570k will cost you 60$ more than H77 and i5-3450/70.
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November 7, 2012 7:45:53 PM

g-unit1111 said:
With Windows 8 the OEM license has been extended to system builders so even by purchasing a Windows 8 license you're purchasing a legal, full version operating system. With Windows 7 you don't have that.

As for overclocking that all depends what you want to do. Games will benefit, applications most likely won't unless you're doing some hardcore video editing or rendering, things of that nature.


Can you explain this a bit more? It seems as though "technically" you're not supposed to buy Windows 7 OEM software? But now Microsoft says that it is okay for Windows 8?

Also, how is compatibility affected with Windows 8 with regards to games and all software for that matter?
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November 7, 2012 7:58:14 PM

paolojackson said:
Can you explain this a bit more? It seems as though "technically" you're not supposed to buy Windows 7 OEM software? But now Microsoft says that it is okay for Windows 8?

Also, how is compatibility affected with Windows 8 with regards to games and all software for that matter?


The way it's been explained to me is that in order for Windows 7 OEM license to be valid is that you must either purchase your PC from someone else, or sell your PC to someone else. That's just what I take from the license. But the thing is I've used OEM going all the way back to Windows 95 and I've never ran into any problems. The only time anyone would say something is if you - say called Microsoft for support. Windows 8 does away with that provision and allows system builders to use the OEM license as if they were using a purchased copy.

Windows 8 will run everything that Windows 7 does, there's nothing that says it won't.

Quote:


Correct. At least quad-core for gaming this days is recommended so i5-3450 or i5-3470 will do fine for your need's because if you don't want to overclock. Then you can save there 60$ for a decent GPU. Because Z77 board and i5-3570k will cost you 60$ more than H77 and i5-3450/70.


If you're going to sacrifice anywhere, that's the area where I recommend it. And there's almost no difference between 3.4 and 3.5GHz. If the budget were over $1K I'd include both without hesitation but under $1K you got to sacrifice somewhere.
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November 9, 2012 6:37:10 PM

My local store is doing $40 off motherboard when bought with processor putting the prices at

i5-3570K @ $169.99 (+ tax)
ASRock Z77 Pro4 @ $69.99 (+tax)

This seems like a no brainer price-wise, but does this have any effect on the other hardware choices?
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November 9, 2012 6:44:18 PM

paolojackson said:
My local store is doing $40 off motherboard when bought with processor putting the prices at

i5-3570K @ $169.99 (+ tax)
ASRock Z77 Pro4 @ $69.99 (+tax)

This seems like a no brainer price-wise, but does this have any effect on the other hardware choices?


Get the Extreme 4 if you can - it's SLI / Crossfire capable and has more USB and SATA ports. Otherwise definitely go for it.
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November 9, 2012 8:53:37 PM

Best answer selected by paolojackson.
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