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Building a gaming PC

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November 17, 2012 1:56:53 AM

I'm thinking of getting a gaming PC, for around $2000, but $2500 max. (AUD)

These are the parts I'm considering:


Case: CoolMaster Elite 430 ($50)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE ($305)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770 ($300)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100 Water Cooling ($145)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

DVD/CD: LG BluRay and DVD combo drive ($60)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

HDD: Seagate 2TB ($100)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 4x4GB ($104)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Or

G.Skill Ares 2x8GB ($95)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

GPU, I'm considering these options:

ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB ($550)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP Edition ($640)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

x2 EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($440)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...


-I'm don't care much for an SSD drive, I think they are way too expensive, and not worth it. I can wait.

-I won't be buring CDs or anything, I just want to be able to watch BluRay movies (and of course play games).

-I won't be doing ANY overclocking. I have a rough idea of how good it is, but I don't know much about computer, and don't want to risk ******* up my ***.

-I don't care AS much for playing games like BF3 with insane graphics and FPS rate etc., I mainly just want to play games like SKYRIM and MINECRAFT (Tekkit) and have heaps of *** on screen, and massive battles with hundreds of NPCs fighting each, and blowing up 10,000+ TNTs (Minecraft), with minimal lag.

-I'm new to this ***, and know almost nothing about building computers, I've just done a lot of research, and there is just way too much stuff to consider. I'm considering getting a friend to build it, but I want a computer that I won't have any problems with (drivers, software etc.)


Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks.

More about : building gaming

November 17, 2012 2:05:54 AM

I dunno about the SSD being not worth it. I will never go back to a hard disk as my main drive. Anyway, I would go with the 2*8 GB set of memory. You won't need an i7 for gaming. Step down to an i5. For the gpu, I would go with the 670 as it the best value out of your selection. I would also think your can downgrade the cooling as you are not overclocking. The Coolermaster 212 Evo is a great buy. You don't list a power supply. A good one is important and I recommend one from Seasonic, like their 620w modular version.
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November 17, 2012 2:18:03 AM

1. Don't buy a 3770 unless you need hyper threading. Get a 3570, or 3570K if you plan on overclocking eventually.
2. If you don't plan to overclock an H100 is useless.
3. I would spend more on a case, if you like Cooler Master than consider http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
4. I would STRONGLY reccomend even a small SSD, the performance benefit is worth it.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
or
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
5. This motherboard will be more than enough for your needs.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
6. You need a PSU:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... for a single GPU

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
For multiple GPUs

7. For the GPU, I would recommend

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
or
2 http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Out of the options you listed, two 670's will provide the best performance.
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November 17, 2012 2:21:40 AM

maestro0428 said:
I dunno about the SSD being not worth it. I will never go back to a hard disk as my main drive. Anyway, I would go with the 2*8 GB set of memory. You won't need an i7 for gaming. Step down to an i5. For the gpu, I would go with the 670 as it the best value out of your selection. I would also think your can downgrade the cooling as you are not overclocking. The Coolermaster 212 Evo is a great buy. You don't list a power supply. A good one is important and I recommend one from Seasonic, like their 620w modular version.


I really do agree with the SSD point he made. I have an SSD and TRUST ME, you don't even know what you are missing out on! I also agree with the point of 2x8GB sticks because then you can always go to 32GB if ever needed.

Two points I disagree with are the fact you are downgrading to an i5. Minecraft is optimized to use up to 12 cores ( Java 7's Max ), so having the four extra hyperthreaded cores DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. As far as the GPU goes, I agree with the point of the 670. It offers 680 performance ( ~5% less ) for 100 dollars less. Plus, you can always SLI.

One major ( I guess not so much ) point I'd like to make is the case. I look at your build and I like everything except your case. It doesn't even have USB 3. What I would recommend switching your case to is this: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Hope I was able to help!

EDIT: +1 for the PSU recommendation, although I'd also look at Corsair's HX Series PSUs. This gets my recommendation: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... ( and its cheaper! )
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November 17, 2012 2:37:24 AM

try msy.com.au they are all over the country and i usually find them cheaper
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November 17, 2012 2:40:40 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.

All I've heard about SSDs is that they boot up the computer much faster. Are there any other benefits? Do they affect actual game performance?

And yeah, I forgot about the power supply. But I was considering getting a Silverstone 850W, since I've heard stories from friends about power supplies blowing up, but I'm guessing they were overclocking.

I've also heard that of problems with putting in 2 Graphics cards. That one is not utilized enough, and that it is a waste.

And what's better (for my needs at least), nVidia GeForce and AMD Radeon cards? I chose nVidia cards for all my options because I've heard on heaps of videos that they "just seem to work better with most games". Is this true? Are they actually worth it?
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November 17, 2012 4:05:56 PM

Fallout93 said:
Thanks for the replies guys.

All I've heard about SSDs is that they boot up the computer much faster. Are there any other benefits? Do they affect actual game performance?

And yeah, I forgot about the power supply. But I was considering getting a Silverstone 850W, since I've heard stories from friends about power supplies blowing up, but I'm guessing they were overclocking.

I've also heard that of problems with putting in 2 Graphics cards. That one is not utilized enough, and that it is a waste.

And what's better (for my needs at least), nVidia GeForce and AMD Radeon cards? I chose nVidia cards for all my options because I've heard on heaps of videos that they "just seem to work better with most games". Is this true? Are they actually worth it?


As far as Minecraft goes, an SSD helps A LOT when the chunk loading is going on, as does an i7. Both improve loading times and minimize lag.

As far as Gfx cards go, the 670 scales EXTREMELY WELL in SLI. Also, Nvidia is probably better for your needs. I have Ether's Unbelievable Shaders enabled with everything on max ( plus I'm only running an i5 ) along with the 512x version ( Most demanding ) of LB's Photo Realism and I have an EVGA 670 FTW 2GB - and I average around 75 fps. If I run normal ( w/out any extras ) I average 1250 fps, and I dont lag unless I have 20000+ TNT. Then my MC crashes :lol: 

If you want my honest opinion, I would keep your i7 and add a 120GB/180GB/240GB SSD ( Your preference/budget allowance ) and grabbing a 670 should be fine. If you absolutely determine that you need another 670 for more power, THEN you can add one later - not only saving money now since price drops WILL happen, but also not having something you don't need, if that's your determination. Plus, get a 4GB version since when/if you SLI, you only have the usable VRAM equal to the VRAM of ONE card. I would also get a 650w power supply because their efficiency only comes into play after you get past about 50% power throughput. So, in theory, if you were using 400w total system draw, a 650w would benefit your system ( and your wallet - now and down the road ) more than an 850w.

End result: Get the i7-3770, ONE 670 ( best one you can find ) 4GB, and the SSD of your choice ( 120GB and above ).

Oh, one last thing ( that another poster mentioned ) - an H100 is useless for you. If you really want water cooling, then an H60/H70 is plenty for you.
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November 17, 2012 7:46:00 PM

Josheyman123 said:
As far as Minecraft goes, an SSD helps A LOT when the chunk loading is going on, as does an i7. Both improve loading times and minimize lag.

As far as Gfx cards go, the 670 scales EXTREMELY WELL in SLI. Also, Nvidia is probably better for your needs. I have Ether's Unbelievable Shaders enabled with everything on max ( plus I'm only running an i5 ) along with the 512x version ( Most demanding ) of LB's Photo Realism and I have an EVGA 670 FTW 2GB - and I average around 75 fps. If I run normal ( w/out any extras ) I average 1250 fps, and I dont lag unless I have 20000+ TNT. Then my MC crashes :lol: 

If you want my honest opinion, I would keep your i7 and add a 120GB/180GB/240GB SSD ( Your preference/budget allowance ) and grabbing a 670 should be fine. If you absolutely determine that you need another 670 for more power, THEN you can add one later - not only saving money now since price drops WILL happen, but also not having something you don't need, if that's your determination. Plus, get a 4GB version since when/if you SLI, you only have the usable VRAM equal to the VRAM of ONE card. I would also get a 650w power supply because their efficiency only comes into play after you get past about 50% power throughput. So, in theory, if you were using 400w total system draw, a 650w would benefit your system ( and your wallet - now and down the road ) more than an 850w.

End result: Get the i7-3770, ONE 670 ( best one you can find ) 4GB, and the SSD of your choice ( 120GB and above ).

Oh, one last thing ( that another poster mentioned ) - an H100 is useless for you. If you really want water cooling, then an H60/H70 is plenty for you.

dont waste your money on a 4gb 670 unless your playing on resolutions OVER 1080p you will see zero benefit even in sli with gaming
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November 17, 2012 8:29:14 PM

Josheyman123 said:

Two points I disagree with are the fact you are downgrading to an i5. Minecraft is optimized to use up to 12 cores ( Java 7's Max ), so having the four extra hyperthreaded cores DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. As far as the GPU goes, I agree with the point of the 670. It offers 680 performance ( ~5% less ) for 100 dollars less. Plus, you can always SLI.


Since I'll be playing Minecraft ALOT, is the difference between the i5 and the i7 very noticable? Is it worth the extra $90?
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November 17, 2012 8:38:00 PM

Josheyman123 said:

As far as Gfx cards go, the 670 scales EXTREMELY WELL in SLI. Also, Nvidia is probably better for your needs. I have Ether's Unbelievable Shaders enabled with everything on max ( plus I'm only running an i5 ) along with the 512x version ( Most demanding ) of LB's Photo Realism and I have an EVGA 670 FTW 2GB - and I average around 75 fps. If I run normal ( w/out any extras ) I average 1250 fps, and I dont lag unless I have 20000+ TNT. Then my MC crashes :lol: 

End result: Get the i7-3770, ONE 670 ( best one you can find ) 4GB, and the SSD of your choice ( 120GB and above ).


I'm be playing on a relatively small screen, probably a 16 or 18inch, since my desk will be really cluttered (if I can find one that size, with really good picture quality). And if not, then a 20inch. Should I still get the 4GB GTX 670?
And I'm mainly concerned about having a lot of *** on screen, not AS MUCH about screen resolution (I still want good graphics, I just don't want insane graphics that will lower my FPS to -30).
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November 17, 2012 9:54:24 PM

Fallout93 said:
I'm be playing on a relatively small screen, probably a 16 or 18inch, since my desk will be really cluttered (if I can find one that size, with really good picture quality). And if not, then a 20inch. Should I still get the 4GB GTX 670?
And I'm mainly concerned about having a lot of *** on screen, not AS MUCH about screen resolution (I still want good graphics, I just don't want insane graphics that will lower my FPS to -30).

the i5 3570k will be fine you wont notice a difference with your games over the 3770k not to mention there is a ton of overclocking headroom should you need it down the track, for example i play bf3 with the graphics between high and ultra i dont notice a difference if my 2500k is at stock speeds or over 4ghz it just doesnt need it (64 player maps too!), where you will see a benefit is if you do a lot of rendering or video encoding etc yes a i7 will make a difference. as for the 4gb vram unless your rocking a 27 or 30 inch monitor running 2560x1440 or running 3 monitors at a time (eyefinity style) you wont see any benefit of the extra 2gb or vram
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November 18, 2012 9:56:18 PM

jasont78 said:
the i5 3570k will be fine you wont notice a difference with your games over the 3770k not to mention there is a ton of overclocking headroom should you need it down the track, for example i play bf3 with the graphics between high and ultra i dont notice a difference if my 2500k is at stock speeds or over 4ghz it just doesnt need it (64 player maps too!), where you will see a benefit is if you do a lot of rendering or video encoding etc yes a i7 will make a difference. as for the 4gb vram unless your rocking a 27 or 30 inch monitor running 2560x1440 or running 3 monitors at a time (eyefinity style) you wont see any benefit of the extra 2gb or vram


Fine, I give in. ;) 

+1
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November 19, 2012 3:50:51 AM

Ok, (based on a lot of advice) how about this build? Any suggestions on improvements?

Case: CoolerMaster HAF912 Advanced ($100)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W ($160)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO ($220)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K ($230)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 ($90)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($440)
1 of these for now, and maybe a second one in SLI, later on.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) ($95)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

DVD/CD: LG Bluray DVD Drive ($55)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB ($95)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB ($100)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ($95)


TOTAL (one GPU)= $1,676
(two GPUs)= $2,115
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November 19, 2012 3:52:21 AM

And sorry about all the s.
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November 19, 2012 8:53:12 PM

Fallout93 said:
Ok, (based on a lot of advice) how about this build? Any suggestions on improvements?

Case: CoolerMaster HAF912 Advanced ($100)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W ($160)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO ($220)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K ($230)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 ($90)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB ($440)
1 of these for now, and maybe a second one in SLI, later on.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) ($95)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

DVD/CD: LG Bluray DVD Drive ($55)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB ($95)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB ($100)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ($95)


TOTAL (one GPU)= $1,676
(two GPUs)= $2,115


Only two main things I'd change:

1.) I don't understand why you would pay for an overpriced 670. Get this Palit: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

It's not only factory overclocked to near 680 performance, but also has dual cooling fans+all the bells and whistles, AND IS $20 CHEAPER.

2.) GET A SMALLER POWER SUPPLY. You are not getting the efficiency if you are drawing more than a certain amount of power. It not only hurts your power supply in general, but also your system as a whole. Get a ~650 watt power supply, as it is better on the system, and your wallet ( not so much now, but much more later down the road ). I recommend this: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

It also gives you 80PLUS Gold, instead of silver.
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November 19, 2012 9:04:06 PM

If you plan on the possibility of doing SLI then you will want a 750w PSU, preferably Seasonic, Corsair, XFX Pro - Its only a small change to go with a 750w rather then something smaller and it leaves you with options for the future.

ALSO you will not need 16GB of RAM for a gaming computer. Most games are 32bit which means unless you use some crazy mods you wont use max 4GB of RAM in the game so 8GB is overkill for a gaming machine. If in the future you find that things have drastically changed and some how then require more then 8GB you'll be able to expand then. Get this RAM instead:http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

and this power supply:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_...

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November 20, 2012 3:59:52 AM

Apropo said:
Also take a look at this review and benchmark of some GTX 670's:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-tes...

might help you choose.


Yeah, I'll go for the Corsair HX-750, since a lot of people have recommended it, and since I might get another graphics card in the future.
And thanks for the link, it was really helpful. But know I'm deciding whether to get the
$420 Palit (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...), which is better in performance in every way
or the $430 Gigabyte (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...) which is apparently the overall best between the seven GPUs they tested.
Also, the Palit looks pretty beefy, compared to the Gigabyte. Will I be able to fit 2 of them on my motherboard, if I decide to do SLI?
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November 21, 2012 10:09:33 AM

Fallout93 said:
Yeah, I'll go for the Corsair HX-750, since a lot of people have recommended it, and since I might get another graphics card in the future.
And thanks for the link, it was really helpful. But know I'm deciding whether to get the
$420 Palit (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...), which is better in performance in every way
or the $430 Gigabyte (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...) which is apparently the overall best between the seven GPUs they tested.
Also, the Palit looks pretty beefy, compared to the Gigabyte. Will I be able to fit 2 of them on my motherboard, if I decide to do SLI?


You will definitely be able to do SLI with the Palit. I have a friend that is running three of them on a standard ATX Motherboard. So yeah, its possible :D  .

I'd get the Palit, but that's my opinion. The HX-750 is a great choice.
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Best solution

November 21, 2012 12:33:41 PM

Hi, I am doing a new build myself right now but have a higher $ limit than you have. I have spent a lot of time researching and reading many reviews at quality sights like Tom's and 3D Guru to name a couple. You can read my post on SSD and Ram choices.(My New Build).

My 2 cents:

The Case:

I always spend $50 or so more for a full tower that has quality materials and looks sharp, so for around $150:

COOLER MASTER Storm Stryker SGC-5000W-KWN1 Black and White Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Corsair Graphite 600T Special White Edition
IMO, it is so much easier to run and strap cables, install extra fans, etc with a bigger case.

I never go cheap on the power supply. Try to figure what your components are going to draw and rule of thumb-double it. The difference between Silver & Gold designation is efficiency at full load. Something a gamer wants to get the best within their budget.
Look for the warrantee as well. I sent back a Corsair after over three years(five year warrantee). They paid for freight both ways and I had a new one of higher wattage at no cost to me in about a week from the time I shipped it back.
No power supply actually puts out the rated power for long periods.
My choice for your budget:

OCZ Z-SERIES 850W 80+ Gold Certified 24PIN ATX 71A Modular Power Supply With 135mm Fan $119 less $30 MIR=$89.30

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=13220AC7547&v...

IMO, the i7 is going to give you much better frame rates with the same graphix card. Stick with it.

Heat sink Cooler: I think big heavy coolers are ugly and can cause issues with ram and video cards, depending on the board.
After looking at a lot for size, weight, noise and CFM ratings (by a lot, I mean at least 25), I chose the unique looking and small profile...
ZIGMATEK Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition CPU Cooler with Stealth Aerospace $40

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

As I said in my other post, I don't like the noise liquid cooler fans make, nor the fact fluids may leak if I move the case around.
I just add a good intake extra fan at the front to suck the air in, across and up to the top exhaust fan. My old case has 5-120mm (added two) and the new one stock 2=200mm and 1-140mm. I will add one more. I doubt if I will have any temp issues.

Nvidia vs ATI: On average NV are quieter and produce less heat, although AMD is getting better with heat dissipation than they used to.
I live in Canada, so prices will be different. I looked at several tests of NV 670/680 vs ATI 7970. The 7970 beats the 670 and the 680 puts out slightly more frames with certain games than the 7970, and as was already said, you can OC the 670 close to the 680.

I chose the XFX Double D 7970 with the extra GB of memory mainly because I was able to scoop one on sale at NCIX for $380 less $30MIR, plus a XFX T-shirt and free download of Never Settle Enthusiast Bundle Far Cry 3 Sleeping Dogs Hitman Absolution. It is back up to $409 now less $30 MIR, still not a bad deal.

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=67172

IMO, you can't beat the new SSDs and are certainly worth buying at least one 120GB.

From all the tests sites I have researched the best deal is the 120GB Corsair Force Series GT 120GB SSD SATA3 Solid State Disk 555MB/S Read SandForce SF-2200 at $120

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180DR5677&v...

I am going to put two of them in Raid (0).

As for ram, try to get the best deal with the best (lower) latencies. CL 9, EG. If you get a kit at 1.5v you can push the ram at least one level, but IMO, if you can get a kit already OC'd it's better as increasing voltage is tricky and some MBs are hard to boot initially with 1.5v because most BIOSs are defaulted to 1.65v.

Quality ram like Patriot, Crucial and Corsair are my first choices, although Kingston is the only one I would stay away from just from my own past experience.
My match for your build:
Corsair Vengeance CMZ12GX3M3A1600C9 12GB 3X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 Triple Channel Memory Kit =$61
Or if you want to spend a bit more for 16GB:
Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit =$41 x 2=$82

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180BD2750&v...

Both have extremely low latencies at 9-9-9-24 and will out perform higher Mhz ram with high latencies like 11-11-12-31.

One last suggestion...

I know it is hard to do when you start to decide on a new build, but the best way is to pick the stuff and wait until you have the cash to buy all the parts at once.

The Intel i7 3970 is already out, so it won't be long before some of the CPUs will go down in price. If you save your money and wait for after Christmas sales, you will likely save $200-$300 or at least get a higher CPU or higher GB SSD Drive (2-120GB ones in Raid(0) would be a boost to your gaming). Just remember to backup valuable files on the large drive.

My 2 cents

Pegger3D :sol: 












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November 26, 2012 6:42:04 AM

Best answer selected by Fallout93.
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