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Thoughts on my preliminary build.

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November 10, 2012 4:03:46 PM

I am in the military and do not have direct access to area stores for building a PC and, although people stress the fact building my own is a much more lucrative investment, I would much rather have it arrive ready to go. I am contemplating purchasing one online to have in the next couple of weeks as opposed to waiting 4-5 months to come home and build one with my buddies. My last two computers weren't gaming computers but they were enough to play the games I enjoyed at the time. With being overseas, I want to start playing more system-intensive games with friends and family as it is a way to visit and keep in touch while immersing myself in an enjoyable hobby (i.e. FPS' and MMOs).

With this in mind, I have spent awhile reading through these forums and, amongst other invariables, I see that having a PC built online has the pitfall of being very unbalanced. Obviously the company's reliability and track record can be issues, too, but if (hypothetically) the computer were to be in great condition as specified, what should I be looking for as far as specs? I have zero experience or knowledge of this stuff and although I'm learning and it's great to know, I am still very unsure of getting the most bang for my buck. I would like to spend around $800 but going upwards of $1200 is not a problem as long as what I am getting is a smart investment. This price includes everything: monitor, gaming keyboard, gaming mouse, etc.

Here was a hypothetical build from cyberpowerpc.com:

Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower Gaming Case w/ 200mm Fan, Integrated Fan Controller, Front USB 3.0 & X-Dock, and Easy Carry Handle

AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz Quad-Core AM3+ CPU 4MB L2 Cache & Turbo Core Technology

Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (All Venom OC Certified)
Single Standard 120MM Fan

[CrossFireX] ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AMD 970 Chipset CrossFireX Support DDR3 Socket AM3+ ATX w/ 7.1 Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III, RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe X16, 2 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI (Pro OC Certified)

8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1866MHz Dual Channel Memory
Corsair Vengeance (All Venom OC Levels Certified)

AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card
Major Brand Powered by AMD

430 Watts - Corsair CX430 V2 80 Plus Certified Power Supply

1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
Single Drive
1TB x 2 (2 TB Capacity) Raid 0 Extreme Performance

I would like to use a mechanical keyboard and a gaming mouse and I have a set of really nice Bose speakers I will be using. My interest for this computer lies heavily in gaming but I will also be using it for everything else including my academic coursework. In your expert opinions, how is the balancing of this setup? Can I cut costs anywhere or should I upgrade anywhere to better balance out the quality of other components?

Or would it really, really behoove me to wait 5 months and build my own with buddies? Keep in my mind my boredom may override my intelligence easily in 3 weeks and I make a compulsory buy. Having the knowledge to at least have a balanced setup would be greatly beneficial.

Thank you so much for your time and help.
November 10, 2012 4:18:41 PM

Looks pretty good except for a few things.

1. Change that 4100 to a 4300. AMD released their "Piledriver" lineup a few weeks ago and they are 15% quicker and cooler.

2. If you plan to overclock, go with a 990FX board. Much better overclocks can be achieved.

3. And most importantly...BUILD YOUR OWN. It is not hard whatsoever, and really gets you more value for your money. CyberpowerPC overcharges for it's build labor costs, and you can just subtract that if you build your own. With these pre-builts, if you wanted to upgrade your graphics card...YOU CAN'T. As soon as you so much as pop the side panel your warranty is void. If you build your own you have limitless expandability and the warranty is for each individual part.

What is your budget like? I can put together a list of parts for your needs.
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November 10, 2012 4:26:36 PM

Poltregeist said:
Looks pretty good except for a few things.

1. Change that 4100 to a 4300. AMD released their "Piledriver" lineup a few weeks ago and they are 15% quicker and cooler.

2. If you plan to overclock, go with a 990FX board. Much better overclocks can be achieved.

3. And most importantly...BUILD YOUR OWN. It is not hard whatsoever, and really gets you more value for your money. CyberpowerPC overcharges for it's build labor costs, and you can just subtract that if you build your own. With these pre-builts, if you wanted to upgrade your graphics card...YOU CAN'T. As soon as you so much as pop the side panel your warranty is void. If you build your own you have limitless expandability and the warranty is for each individual part.

What is your budget like? I can put together a list of parts for your needs.


For the entire computer, keyboard, mouse, etc., maybe $1200? For just the CPU maybe $800-$900? I am considering other alternatives to procuring my computer as opposed to buying one online (such as giving the money to my brother and having him build it and ship it). So a list of parts will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
November 10, 2012 4:28:55 PM

blazorthon said:
I'd trade that FX-4100 for an FX-6300 and get a much cheaper cooler and case. Something like a RoseWill Challenger with a Zalman cnps10x Optima:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-case-challenger
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zalman-cpu-cooler-cnps10xo...

Also, I'd get a better PSU. Something like this Antec Basiq Plus 550W:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-bp550pl...


Thank you for your reply. I am looking at your options after I write this. Any information is good information at this point.
November 10, 2012 4:50:11 PM

Namrezy said:
For the entire computer, keyboard, mouse, etc., maybe $1200? For just the CPU maybe $800-$900? I am considering other alternatives to procuring my computer as opposed to buying one online (such as giving the money to my brother and having him build it and ship it). So a list of parts will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.


Here's what I got for that price point:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.77 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($231.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS248H-P 24.0" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1244.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-10 13:49 EST-0500)

A little over budget but a 7870 compared to a 7850 is a great performance increase for a little bit more money. This build is optimized for overclocking, so if you do not wish to overclock I can drop the price a little bit with a less expensive mobo and cpu cooler. I always leave the keyboard/mouse empty since it is personal preference. You can get a set for $30 to $150.
November 10, 2012 4:55:43 PM

Ivy Bridge CPUs overclock better with coolers that have Direct Touch heatpipes than those without. The Tuniq Tower Extreme or some other very high end cooler with direct touch heat pipes would probably be a better cooler for such a build if you want a very high end cooler.
November 10, 2012 5:01:54 PM

blazorthon said:
Ivy Bridge CPUs overclock better with coolers that have Direct Touch heatpipes than those without. The Tuniq Tower Extreme or some other very high end cooler with direct touch heat pipes would probably be a better cooler for such a build if you want a very high end cooler.


Very true, I was just referencing the "best" air cooler on the market. I for one prefer a Phanteks or Silver Arrow.
November 10, 2012 5:08:19 PM

The higher price is not a problem though I do not anticipate the need to overclock. Cooling may be an issue given the average temperature here, but with what you've provided I am sure would be sufficient.

Thank you two very much for the information. I have written everything down and will put my efforts towards having one built to these specs as opposed to using a website build one for me.
November 10, 2012 5:11:01 PM

Glad to help.
November 10, 2012 5:31:26 PM

No problem! It keeps me occupied :lol: 
!