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Longevity MMORPG build, $850ish budget

Last response: in Systems
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November 11, 2012 5:43:34 AM

Hi all. My build may be unique as I'm looking primarily for longevity instead of hyper performance. I'd appreciate any feedback, as it's been a good 10 years since I built a computer. Here goes...

Approximate Purchase Date: sometime before year-end (i.e. take advantage of holiday sales, if applicable)
Budget Range: $950 post-tax and delivery (estimated $825-850 pre)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: MMORPGs (I don't do any FPS games), streaming videos, surfing
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Everything except case, keyboard and mouse. My DVD-R drive is 10 years old, but works.
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any/cheapest
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Parts Preferences: Your recommendation.
Overclocking: I've never dealt with OCing, but understand it's not necessary for most MMORPGs
SLI or Crossfire: No clue what this is, so I'm guessing no
Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Longevity in my ability to play MMORPGs is my primary goal. My last computer lasted about 7-8 years before it could no longer play MMORPGs at the minimum settings and was ultimately dismantled after 10 years. In those 10 years, the only replacements I needed were my psu and heat sink. I'm hoping for the same longevity/playability with the new build (I expect to build another computer in 5 years, but will need this one to continue working for the kids at that point).

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My only other computer is a 5-year old laptop. My previous desktop is 10 years old (was still able to play Atlantica Online on it 3 years ago).

Here's a basic budget computer I came up with, which was better than the $950 model I was looking at last year. Since my price still has some flexiblity, I'd like to ask your opinions on where I could best spend the extra cash to add to the life-span of the computer. Take note that I've never played a game on more than the minimum graphics settings and don't feel a compulsion to spend more than I have to just to add luxury features. That said, the graphics capabilities should be high enough to be able to play minimum settings 6-8 years from now, which may mean max settings at present anyway.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.56 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $591.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-11 02:41 EST-0500)
November 11, 2012 7:01:23 AM

Here's a build that lets you max out almost every game out there, and is a quad-core.
If you have any question about any specific part, feel free to ask.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.86 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $897.34
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-11 04:00 EST-0500)
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November 11, 2012 11:33:40 PM

Thanks for the information! With the approximately 4-5 hours of research I did yesterday, the i5-3570K kept coming up as one of the best i5s for gaming, which I think is only $10 more than you proposed. Is that worth it for the upgrade?

Also, is the SSD very useful for MMORPGs? I know it can speed up the general boot time, but as I'm not super into luxury - just need something that will run for a long time with minimal repairs.

As for the video card, looking at the hierarchy chart, is moving up two rungs a big enough improvement to warrant an extra $120?

Lastly, will the downgrade in power supply affect the longevity? If I recall, the only two parts I needed to change on my last 10-year-old computer were the heat sink and the power supply, which I hear can both go bad pretty easily.

Thanks for your help! Sorry for the delay in response; had a long day.
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November 11, 2012 11:40:26 PM

^ No, SSD's really don't affect gaming at all. But one thing is that if you want to have minimal repairs made on your system, I wouldn't recommend an HDD at all. HDD's consist of moving parts, which pretty much means that it's only a matter of time until it fails. But if you will be downloading lots of files, I would get one. If not, grabbing a 256GB SSD will keep you out of the repair shop longer than a HDD will.
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November 12, 2012 12:11:03 AM

ruizbujc said:
Thanks for the information! With the approximately 4-5 hours of research I did yesterday, the i5-3570K kept coming up as one of the best i5s for gaming, which I think is only $10 more than you proposed. Is that worth it for the upgrade?

Also, is the SSD very useful for MMORPGs? I know it can speed up the general boot time, but as I'm not super into luxury - just need something that will run for a long time with minimal repairs.

As for the video card, looking at the hierarchy chart, is moving up two rungs a big enough improvement to warrant an extra $120?

Lastly, will the downgrade in power supply affect the longevity? If I recall, the only two parts I needed to change on my last 10-year-old computer were the heat sink and the power supply, which I hear can both go bad pretty easily.

Thanks for your help! Sorry for the delay in response; had a long day.

No, it's ~$40 more. And the only noticeable difference of the i5-3450 and i5-3570K is a few GHz off that you won't notice in real life performance and the ability to overclock. From what I understood on your first post, you won't be OC'ing.

I would say it's useful for MMORPGs as well. Not only does it hastens boot time but it also leaves little to no loading times as well. Though it's not much of a necessity, your budget is more than capable of having it. Also, your OS goes here too.

If the budget permits, go ahead and get the 7970 GHz. There's no card right now that could outperform it other than the 690, though that's basically a 680 in 2-way SLI.

500-550w should be more than enough if your system only has a single GPU. 750w to be justified would require a 2-way SLI/Crossfire. It's always best to get the reputable brands when buying a PSU so you know it has good reliability and you won't have to replace it so fast. A cheaply made PSU can fry your components if ever it fails.
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November 12, 2012 12:50:27 AM

I thought the H77 chipset didn't support overclocking of a CPU anyways. I could be wrong, but for MMO's you should be fine. The only MMO I can think of that really kills some systems is SWTOR, but that's because of some shadow issues, and a 7950 plus that processor should handle it just fine with 2x or even 4x AA.

As to the issue of only moving up two rungs on the heirarchy chart, those two rungs are quite a bit of leap, if you're talking about the ranking in AMD cards only. A 7950 will outperform a 7870 any day of the week easily, because the 7950 (if you get it from MSI for sure, haven't seen the Gigabyte card) actually uses a 7970 PCB and sometimes has the extra shaders unlocked (if you're lucky). It really depends on the manufacturer and individual card on that type of thing though, but I happened to be lucky with mine and got a nice boost in performance from that.
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