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$1500 Gaming PC - Criticisms Needed.

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November 16, 2012 7:15:25 AM

This will be my first time building a PC. I don't want to spend over $1500 because I might regret it.

- What I want to accomplish is a PC that will perform well and have a great looking interior. So far, I've decided I wanted a red and black color scheme.
- I also want to sleeve the cables of my PSU with red. What brand would you recommend?
- I live nearby a microcenter.

Note that this is not my first time dealing with computer components. I've worked with things like applying thermal paste, installing CPUs and GPUs, and all that. This will just be my first time building my own computer.

Info you might want:

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible. I'll purchase items with the discounts as soon as I make up my mind.

Budget Range: $1400 - $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming only for now.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Microcenter, Amazon, NCIX

Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia

Overclocking: Yes.

SLI or Crossfire: No, maybe in the future.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

These are the parts I have picked already with the red and black color scheme in mind.
- I'm still picking a suitable case, but if you would advise me on that, it would be great.

*UPDATED*

CPU: Intel Core i5 - 3570k Quad - Core Ivy Bridge Processor - $170 @ Microcenter
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100i - $120 @ Newegg
Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme 6 - $140 @ Microcenter ($40 off)
GPU: EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $370 @ Newegg
Memory: Gskill Sniper 8GB - $40 @ Newegg
SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD - $130 @ Newegg
HDD: Western Digital 1TB Blue Drive - $80 @ Amazon
PSU: Rosewill Fortress Series 550W Modular 80+ Platinum Power Supply - $100 @ Newegg
Case: Corsair 650D Mid Tower Case - $195 @ Newegg
ODD: Asus 24x DVD Burner - $25 @ Newegg (nevermind the blu - ray drive, I'd rather spend that money on other things)
Additional Fans: 2x Cooler Master Megaflow 200mm Red LED Fan - $16 @ Newegg ($8 a piece)

Total: $1160 (not including unpicked parts)
November 16, 2012 7:34:55 AM

Case:COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper (SGC-5000-KKN1) Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:NZXT SWITCH 810 Matte Black CA-SW810-M1 Steel / Plastic ATX HYBIRD Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case:COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 16, 2012 7:40:56 AM

Hey nice build. I'll try to help you improve it.
So, about coolin, are you sure about liquid? For my personal taste, air is simpler and easier to handle.
Z77 mobo will serve you well, as any mobo below that price point. You're spendind too much on it. Thing is there is no point in getting mobo that's priced above 130-140 $ as it is just advertisement trick and you will be paying for some features you will never use.
Are you sure about patriot memory? I'd be more calmer if I knew that in my PC is installed Kingston or Corsair.
For SSD i would choose OCZ vertex 4, here's article if you interested http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ssd-recommendation-benchm...

Here's some black/red cases that might interest you: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/case/#c=11&p=0&qq=1
Here's ODD: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/optical-drive/#t=1
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November 16, 2012 7:58:12 AM

butremor said:
Hey nice build. I'll try to help you improve it.
So, about coolin, are you sure about liquid? For my personal taste, air is simpler and easier to handle.
Z77 mobo will serve you well, as any mobo below that price point. You're spendind too much on it. Thing is there is no point in getting mobo that's priced above 130-140 $ as it is just advertisement trick and you will be paying for some features you will never use.
Are you sure about patriot memory? I'd be more calmer if I knew that in my PC is installed Kingston or Corsair.
For SSD i would choose OCZ vertex 4, here's article if you interested http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ssd-recommendation-benchm...

Here's some black/red cases that might interest you: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/case/#c=11&p=0&qq=1
Here's ODD: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/optical-drive/#t=1


Would air cooling get me to about 4.5 - 4.6 GHz? If it would, what cooler would you recommend?

Are there any other black motherboards by Asus, Asrock, or Gigabyte below that price point? If there is something that would match the performance of the Sabertooth, then that's great. :) 

I picked out the Patriot memory because it had a nice red finish. Unfortunately, corsair doesn't have any red ones. Maybe Gskill? I heard they make good memory too.

Are there any other recommended brands of 128GB SSD's at the 130 dollar price point that the OCZ is sold at? I don't know what SSD brands are good or bad. If not, I guess I'll get the OCZ

Thanks for the all the case suggestions.

About the wire sleeving, I heard that these are good: http://en.mdpc-x.com/mdpc-sleeve.htm Are they?

If it is really necessary that I deviate from the red and black color scheme then I will.
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November 16, 2012 8:17:07 AM

bigcyco1 said:
mobo:ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hmmm ... don't like the Gold/Brown color but I guess it'll have to do.

What memory would you suggest?

For the case, I don't quite like the suggested cases. It might be just me, but the designs are sort of not my style

What are your opinions on the Corsair 650D?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $195 after rebate and shipping
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November 16, 2012 8:23:33 AM

butremor said:
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20Z77%20Perform...

Oh, and yes, G.Skill is good too.


Well, comparing that motherboard to the Extreme 6, even though the color scheme is more to my liking, I'll guess I'll go with the extreme 6 so I don't have to replace the heatsinks.

I think the brown board color will look good under red lighting though so thats good.

Sorry for the confusion about the case color, when I said red or black color scheme I was referring to red lighting/red led fans/cable sleeving/etc, not the case itself.
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November 16, 2012 8:36:50 AM



I think I'll have to settle with the 650D, the looks are just great.
Anyway, I appreciate the effort to make suggestions. :) 

Would Ripjaws X RAM be a good choice or should I just go with the corsair vengeance models?

@bigcyco1 I thought that it's not a good idea to spend more than $200 on a mobo?
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November 16, 2012 9:49:43 AM

Okay so this is what I think I'll go with. I've decided to drop my desire for the red and black color scheme. It is only limiting my options. Is anything else wrong with my choice of parts here?

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 TPC 812 86.2 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($57.12 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($93.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone FT02B ATX Mid Tower Case ($204.00 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Rosewill Fortress 550W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1357.03
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-16 06:49 EST-0500)
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November 16, 2012 10:59:06 AM

butremor said:
Nothing wrong, sweet build :) 

But your case doesn't have USB 3.0 in front panel.

Here's some minimalistic cases that you might considder:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for all the advice.

Here is the final build. I've decided to get the 650D because it can be had for the same price as that 550D on Newegg at Mac Connection. I've also decided to drop the sleeving and leds, that can be done in another build, after all, this is my first. That means more money for the GPU.

Finally, time to bring out the 30" 2560×1440 120Hz 3D Monitor I have never been able to use. :D 

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 TPC 812 86.2 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($57.12 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($93.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($529.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.93 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Rosewill Fortress 550W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1444.96 - $40 @ Microcenter = 1404.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-16 07:57 EST-0500)
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November 16, 2012 12:01:17 PM

Okay, i guess i haven't talked you out of overpaying for mobo :D 
Btw, you may save a little if you get Cooler Master Hyper EVO 212 cooler, people here recommend it alot.
Hey, why'd you suddenly change to GTX 680? You had a nice thing going with GTX 670. They're both basically the same except 670 in cheaper and has higher price/performance ratio. http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html#va...
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November 17, 2012 12:52:56 PM

butremor said:
Okay, i guess i haven't talked you out of overpaying for mobo :D 
Btw, you may save a little if you get Cooler Master Hyper EVO 212 cooler, people here recommend it alot.
Hey, why'd you suddenly change to GTX 680? You had a nice thing going with GTX 670. They're both basically the same except 670 in cheaper and has higher price/performance ratio. http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html#va...


What do you mean overspending on the mobo? I got $40 off of it @ Microcenter making it only 139.99.

I went with the GTX 670 instead. :) 
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November 17, 2012 1:57:06 PM

Oh, nice, then mobo's good.
You did right by going 670, 680 is basically the same just overpriced.
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