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$800 Mid-level Gaming PC

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November 16, 2012 11:01:11 AM

Hello,
I am very new to building systems. I would like to build one mainly for gaming purposes and general web browsing / office work (this will be my only computer at home). I would say that my budget is around $800 for this PC, and I wanted to get your input about what would be good to buy. I live in the US and I don't necessarily have a preferred place to shop, although so far I have found that Newegg and NCIX are fairly cheap (is http://us.ncix.com/ reliable?). I do not need a keyboard/mouse/monitor/optical drive/operating system. I have started thinking about some parts and here is what I have so far:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($229.98 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.52 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $827.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I welcome your input. I've been debating whether or not to get an SSD... judging from reviews I've read, my impression is that they fail very quickly. I'm open to it, but it would be a real hassle if the drive fails after a short period of time. Another comment is that I believe the HD 7xxx / Geforce 6xx have been out for a while, and the new HD 8xxx / Geforce 7xx series should come out relatively soon. With this in mind, do you think I should wait for these new models? Is the PSU sufficient? I'm very ignorant with respect to cooling, do I need to buy any after market coolers? Is it enough to just use the stock fan with the CPU? Thank you very much!

Approximate Purchase Date: Around Thanksgiving

Budget Range: Around $800 After Rebates/Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Office Work, Surfing the Internet, Watching Movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, us.ncix.com, amazon.com

Location: CA, USA

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading because my previous video card stopped working and I have a 6 year old computer.

More about : 800 mid level gaming

November 16, 2012 11:17:13 AM

u should pick an i5-3450 for similar performance in gaming and general computing for 100 dollar less, and put that 100 dollar in a 128gb ssd

any junk components fail quickly, choose reliable brand such as samsung 830 or OCZ vertex 4 and u wont go wrong

and my opinion is no need to wait for the newer series of cards, just buy what u think u need currently, because when they just on shelf, for sure they're expensive, if u further wait few rounds of price drops, the even newer series will come out soon
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a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2012 11:29:28 AM

Yeah totally, i7 not worth it.
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November 16, 2012 11:29:44 AM

Hi there

Any specific reason you want an i7? For gaming and average home computing an i5 is more than sufficient. The i7 is better for processor intensive tasks that can benefit from hyper threading (ie. video editing). As you've chosen a locked i7 I'm assuming overclocking is not a priority. If thats the case you can save $90 by getting a locked i5 3570 like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . Any of the i5 3xxx series should serve you well.

I think you would get greater benefit by using those savings to getg a 128 gig SSD for your OS and frequently used games or programs. They are very fast and reliability is good as long as you choose wisely. I have the Intel 520 and its great, the Samsung 830 series seems to be among the best, I see alot of folks here recommending the OCZ Vertex 4 as well.

If you are going to stick to a locked CPU (ie. non-K version) then your motherboard choice and stock cooling is fine. If you want to overclock you'll need a Z75 or Z77 series MOBO and an aftermarket cooler. (If you go this route the Noctua DH-14 offers strong cooling, a cheaper optiong being the Coolermaster Hyper + or Evo).

I'm not sure on Samsung ram, but I consider them a reputable brand. G.Skill or Corsair are usually recommended here, if you do decide you want to overclock you'll want to ensure you get low profile ram as some taller ram heatsinks (ie. Ripjaws or Vengeance) can cause clearance problems with aftermarket coolers. Make sure you get two sticks (as you have chosen) to get the dual-channel benefits.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2012 11:32:02 AM

lengcaifai said:
u should pick an i5-3450 for similar performance in gaming and general computing for 100 dollar less, and put that 100 dollar in a 128gb ssd

any junk components fail quickly, choose reliable brand such as samsung 830 or OCZ vertex 4 and u wont go wrong

and my opinion is no need to wait for the newer series of cards, just buy what u think u need currently, because when they just on shelf, for sure they're expensive, if u further wait few rounds of price drops, the even newer series will come out soon

+1 +1 +1
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November 17, 2012 8:53:43 AM

Hello,
Thank you very much for your responses, I sincerely appreciate your time and replies. I have some more questions. Initially, as a general comment, I was interested in getting a 3770 or 3770K because I thought it would make my computer more "future-proof." I was of the impression that it's important to spend more money on extremely important components (such as CPU + GPU) in order to make things last longer, as I intend to use this for a long time. Do people not benefit from hyper-threading? I would imagine most people run many applications simultaneously (enough to spill well over the number of physical cores). However, since everyone seems to have a different opinion, you are swaying me towards a core i5 :) . I am now leaning towards fitting an SSD into the build, I guess by going down to a core i5. If I overclock a 3570K, what is a reasonable speed to overclock it while still having it work with the stock CPU fan (or is the suggestion that, if you overclock at all, you better get an aftermarket fan)? If I go this route and try to overclock, I've been looking at the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M. Would a micro ATX board be able to fit properly into a mid-tower case? By the way, do people recommend I get a mid-tower or a mini tower (I would've guessed that mid-towers have better heat dissipation)? Are there any particular recommendations regarding a case? I tend to prefer non-flashy/elegant cases. Also, if I upgrade the GPU to a 7950, is my PSU sufficient (most people seem to be talking about AMD GPU's... are these better bang for buck in general)?
Lastly, if I'm going with an HD 7870, do people recommend a particular brand? I was thinking of going with an XFX card because of their lifetime warranty, but perhaps this is the wrong metric to be optimizing (there seems to be a Double D card and a Core Edition card... I'm not sure why Double D is rated more highly).

Again, thank you for all of your responses.
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November 17, 2012 10:14:41 PM

Hello,
What do people think of motherboards? Is something like the ASUS P8Z77-V LX Socket 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard good? Or the MSI Z77A-G45? Are there are any suggestions regarding mATX boards vs ATX boards (I believe m stands for micro, but basically my question is about micro boards versus normal mid-sized boards)? Again, thank you.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 18, 2012 8:37:55 AM

There's no point getting mATX unless you want a mini case too.

Both of those motherboards would be great.
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November 18, 2012 11:05:27 AM

Rebbig said:
Hello,
What do people think of motherboards? Is something like the ASUS P8Z77-V LX Socket 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard good? Or the MSI Z77A-G45? Are there are any suggestions regarding mATX boards vs ATX boards (I believe m stands for micro, but basically my question is about micro boards versus normal mid-sized boards)? Again, thank you.


Ive got it, and its perfect.

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...
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...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why is it perfect ?
Its perfect for Bang for Buck Gaming (BFB)
The radeon 7870 is excellent and boasts an Average FPS of 62 on High settings and 1080p.
CoolerMasters Haf 912 is another example of BFB with up to 6 120mm fans and a badass design.
The Biostar motherboard is fully equipped with a Z77 chipset to power the Beast of an i5-2500k, 2x SATA 6gb/s,4x USB 2.0, 2x 3,0, and Fully Capable CrossfireX support.
The Intel Core i5 2500k is Easily the best BFB Intel Processor out there with 3.3ghz Stock and a 3.7 Turbo Boost this CPU is Beast with sandy bridge running the processor and can be EASILY overclocked stable at 4.0ghz or if thats not enough 4.5ghz is an option with better cooling.
GSkill Ripjaws is a trusted, and reliable brand for your 8 gigs of memory (2x4gb) running at 1600mhz. Another BFB.
The CoolerMaster HYPER 212 EVO is a popular choice among stable and efficient overclockers. A brief example of its cooling potential is its ability to tame the i5 2500k at 60Âșc (Very Safe if you do not know) 4.5ghz.
The Hard drive is 1tb of seagate drive running at speeds of 7200Rpm for only 49.99, this is a steal.
All of these excellent components are powered by a 500w Corsair CX500 Power Supply pulling efficient energy out of your home with a 80+ Bronze Certified PSU.
Ive spent my time building this machine ( a good 3 hrs lol) and i hope it suits you well at $804.
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