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Total NOOB Needs Help Cutting Build Plan to $650-750

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December 10, 2012 9:54:48 PM

Hello,

I have been researching this and other sites to see what the experts say about critical/non-critical components for a new gaming build. I have a monitor I want to reuse. It has built in speakers. I also have Windows 7 and MS Office software I can reload on new system.

I myself am not a big gamer and my system will mostly be used by me for office related activity. *However* I have three boys that have fried my current desktop playing GW2, LoL, Starcraft and similar. They aren't constant users, but time has taken a toll.

Based on the above use, I came up with this build and have a friend who can help do it. My question: It's a little out of budget and I wondered if anyone can suggest "downgrades" that will keep the system relevant for 3-4 years anyway (and my boys will be out of college by then and can hopefully afford their own!) haha.

Obviously, no overclocking and all those other terms you bandy about that since I don't know anything about them, means I will probably never use/need them! 8-)

Here it is:

Intel Core i5-3570 3.4 GHZ $169.99 (MicroCenter)
Coller Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.99 (Amazon)
Gigbyte GA-H77 DS3H ATX LGA155 $95.23 (NCIX US)
Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 $27.98 (Amazon)
Seagate Barracude 1TB 3.5" 7200 RPM $67.99 (NCIX US)
MSI GEForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB $290.99 (SuperBiiz)
Creative Labs Audigy SE 24-bit 96 KHz Soundcard $25.99 (SuperBiiz)
Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower $59.99 (Newegg)
Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 Plus Cert. ATX12V $95.98
Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD $19.99 (SuperBiiz)

Final Price: $873.13

Last questions: Should I go up to Windows 8? With built in speakers in monitor, I assumed I still needed some kind of soundcard, but wasn't sure - feedback? Did I miss anything that needs to be installed? All prices include shipping and none of the rebates, as those come as cards, not discounts.

Your feedback is appreciated!

Linda
December 10, 2012 10:14:27 PM

You can discard the sound card completely, your motherboard has adequate sound capabilities. You can also change the power supply to a COOLMAX ZX Series ZX-700 700W ATX12V v2.2 (also 80 plus certified with 50 extra rated watts) for $49.99 at NewEgg.

That brings you down to $801 and change. Any other reductions would require performance compromises.
Related resources
December 10, 2012 10:14:48 PM

I'd not be saving on RAM especially when it's so cheap. Get 8GB (it's less than $20 extra over 4GB kit you picked), else you'll have alot of HDD swapping going on which gets rather annoying. I just fired up SC2 to check and my RAM usage jumped to 3,9/8GB.
Also, if you wanna save money, drop the sound card seeing as you have flimsy built in speakers. The one on the motherboard will be more than enough.

ASRock Z77 Pro3 => cheaper motherboard and allows overclocking unlike H77 one you listed. ignore this, I missed CPU being non-k and the part where you said you won't be overclocking
#
ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP $79,99
December 10, 2012 10:18:35 PM

takeitfor4 said:
...
I have three boys that have fried my current desktop playing GW2, LoL, Starcraft and similar...
Here it is:

Intel Core i5-3570 3.4 GHZ $169.99 (MicroCenter)
Coller Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.99 (Amazon)
Gigbyte GA-H77 DS3H ATX LGA155 $95.23 (NCIX US)
Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 $27.98 (Amazon)
Seagate Barracude 1TB 3.5" 7200 RPM $67.99 (NCIX US)
MSI GEForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB $290.99 (SuperBiiz)
Creative Labs Audigy SE 24-bit 96 KHz Soundcard $25.99 (SuperBiiz)
Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower $59.99 (Newegg)
Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 Plus Cert. ATX12V $95.98
Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD $19.99 (SuperBiiz)

Final Price: $873.13

Last questions: Should I go up to Windows 8? With built in speakers in monitor, I assumed I still needed some kind of soundcard, but wasn't sure - feedback?
Linda

I play a lot of GW2 myself. You can cut this down considerably, and still have a great experience.
CPU: GW2 does like a strong CPU, so the one you chose (non-K) or an i5-3470 will do well.
Cooler: Technically not needed since you won't be overclocking. If you'd like one because it will be a little quieter, get this Xigmatek Gaia for only $20: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The mobo and RAM you've selected are fine; not worth muddying the water by niggling. The hard drive is "ok." Personally, I buy only WD Black drives now, because while most others have cut back, these drives have retained a five year warranty.
Where you'll get to save a lot of money is the graphics card. Guild Wars 2 (and other games) will run nicely with "Good" settings on a $130 HD7770. If you want something a little nicer, a HD7850 for around $170-$190 is still $100 cheaper.
You won't need a 650W PSU for this build either; for $80 I'd get this 520W Seasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You also will not need a sound card; your monitor's speakers (or other speakers) will connect to the audio out jack on the motherboard. Monitor speakers really don't sound all that good. Even a $40-$50 set of 2.1 speakers (two satellites and a subwoofer) will sound a LOT better.
Finally, one optical drive is much like another, so your choice is fine. The case is also a personal-choice item; find one you like, since you have to look at it.

Edit: Removed the "K" from the CPU; the i5-3470 is not a "K" model.

December 10, 2012 10:20:45 PM

The Corsair V2 Builder is NOT a great PSU. It was made by CWT, not Seasonic, using inferior Samxon capacitors from a line known to experience early failure.
The Chokemax PSU is also a bad choice; I believe that one failed in Jonnyguru testing a while ago. Stick to Seasonic, Antec, FSP, or Enermax/LEPA.
December 10, 2012 10:36:43 PM

Onus said:
The Corsair V2 Builder is NOT a great PSU. It was made by CWT, not Seasonic, using inferior Samxon capacitors from a line known to experience early failure.
The Chokemax PSU is also a bad choice; I believe that one failed in Jonnyguru testing a while ago. Stick to Seasonic, Antec, FSP, or Enermax/LEPA.


Which of these PSU's would you recommend most? Which will be best bang for the buck? Specific models would be appreciated. Thanks!
December 10, 2012 10:41:19 PM

Onus said:
I play a lot of GW2 myself. You can cut this down considerably, and still have a great experience.
CPU: GW2 does like a strong CPU, so the one you chose (non-K) or an i5-3470K will do well.
Cooler: Technically not needed since you won't be overclocking. If you'd like one because it will be a little quieter, get this Xigmatek Gaia for only $20: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The mobo and RAM you've selected are fine; not worth muddying the water by niggling. The hard drive is "ok." Personally, I buy only WD Black drives now, because while most others have cut back, these drives have retained a five year warranty.
Where you'll get to save a lot of money is the graphics card. Guild Wars 2 (and other games) will run nicely with "Good" settings on a $130 HD7770. If you want something a little nicer, a HD7850 for around $170-$190 is still $100 cheaper.
You won't need a 650W PSU for this build either; for $80 I'd get this 520W Seasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You also will not need a sound card; your monitor's speakers (or other speakers) will connect to the audio out jack on the motherboard. Monitor speakers really don't sound all that good. Even a $40-$50 set of 2.1 speakers (two satellites and a subwoofer) will sound a LOT better.
Finally, one optical drive is much like another, so your choice is fine. The case is also a personal-choice item; find one you like, since you have to look at it.


Can you specify which model of the HD7850? As I mentioned, I am verrrry ignorant and took quite some time to come up with the list I made, so I'd like to save time and have pointers to what others are specifically recommending. Thanks so much! :D 
December 10, 2012 10:47:12 PM

takeitfor4 said:
Which of these PSU's would you recommend most? Which will be best bang for the buck? Specific models would be appreciated. Thanks!

I linked the 520W Seasonic in my first post. That's a good one. There are others. If you're a big fan of efficiency, here is another good choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... also $80. It is "only" 450W, but that's all you need, even if you get the HD7850. If you choose the HD7770, this 360W model will be enough: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $60. I have used two of those recently, for my wife and one other. Neither has a strong graphics card in it, but it will have no trouble with a HD7770.
December 10, 2012 10:50:21 PM

Onus said:
I linked the 520W Seasonic in my first post. That's a good one. There are others. If you're a big fan of efficiency, here is another good choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... also $80. It is "only" 450W, but that's all you need, even if you get the HD7850. If you choose the HD7770, this 360W model will be enough: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $60. I have used two of those recently, for my wife and one other. Neither has a strong graphics card in it, but it will have no trouble with a HD7770.


Didn't catch that! My bad! Thanks for the info. Much appreciated!
December 10, 2012 10:53:35 PM

takeitfor4 said:
Can you specify which model of the HD7850? As I mentioned, I am verrrry ignorant and took quite some time to come up with the list I made, so I'd like to save time and have pointers to what others are specifically recommending. Thanks so much! :D 

I'd probably choose this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... even though it isn't the cheapest one. I've had good results from XFX, and I like the idea of two fans on the cooler because they can actually be quieter than just one (because they run slower), but if one fails, the card can still cool itself. Like many of the HD7850s, it comes with a couple of free games too.
This one from Gigabyte is a little cheaper. I don't think I've ever owned a Gigabyte graphics card, so I cannot vouch for their quality. Their mobos are pretty good though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

December 10, 2012 11:17:58 PM

Well, you've all been great to help me out here! I feel pretty good about the following configuration, so barring any last minute commentary, I think I'll pull the trigger on this:

Intel Core i5-3570 3.4 GHZ $169.99 (MicroCenter)
Coller Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.99 (Amazon)
ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 $92.55 (Newegg)
Corsair Vengeance 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 $27.98 (Amazon)
Seagate Barracude 1TB 3.5" 7200 RPM $67.99 (NCIX US)
XFX Radeon HD 7850 1 GB $197.55 (Newegg)
Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower $59.99 (Newegg)
SeaSonic 520W 80 Plus Bronze Cert. ATX12V $79.99 (Newegg)
Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD $19.99 (SuperBiiz)

Final Price: $741.02 with shipping!

Nice hit on the target pricing :bounce: 
December 10, 2012 11:42:31 PM

For exactly the same price get a CPU with ´K´, which means it can be overclocked. I know you´re not into it, BUT at some point in the future, you will be able to increase the speed, thus performance! :)  http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K...

SAPPHIRE is cheaper ($174.99 after $15.00 rebate) it also has a better cooler system, and it is much better than XFX.

SAPPHIRE 100355-1GOCL Radeon HD 7850 1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For just 5$ more get Hyper 212 EVO http://www.microcenter.com/product/373900/Hyper_212_EVO...

The system you´re building deserves a bit more RAM, so get Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600 http://www.microcenter.com/product/354611/Vengeance_Ser...



December 10, 2012 11:45:07 PM

You can drop the CM cooler entirely. Intel stock coolers (the one that comes with the CPU) will be sufficient, since you won't be overclocking. They're also fairly quiet.
December 10, 2012 11:49:58 PM

jemm said:
For exactly the same price get a CPU with ´K´, which means it can be overclocked. I know you´re not into it, BUT at some point in the future, you will be able to increase the speed, thus performance! :)  http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K...

SAPPHIRE is cheaper ($174.99 after $15.00 rebate) it also has a better cooler system, and it is much better than XFX.

SAPPHIRE 100355-1GOCL Radeon HD 7850 1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For just 5$ more get Hyper 212 EVO http://www.microcenter.com/product/373900/Hyper_212_EVO...

The system you´re building deserves a bit more RAM, so get Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600 http://www.microcenter.com/product/354611/Vengeance_Ser...

No. Overclocking is not a requirement. That CPU is already powerful enough that overclocking will not be necessary for this PC's intended purposes, now or in the foreseeable future.
Not so on the Sapphire. Its cooler is comparable, but there is no basis to assert it is better. In fact, Sapphire uses some iron core chokes, which are less efficient than the ferrite chokes that XFX uses.
No CPU cooler is needed, and I can never recommend anything from CM, since that company is provably dishonest. If one is wanted anyway, the Xigmatek Gaia I linked is cheaper, quieter, and cools within 1C.
December 11, 2012 12:18:38 AM

Who said that overclocking is a requirement? Please do not place words in my mouth.

How can you say that 3.4 GHZ will be enough for the future? I listed a ´K´ CPU with the same price, there is no point in not getting it!

SAPPHIRE is much better than XFX!

I don´t really care about your personal problems with Cooler Masters -- Hyper 212 EVO is the best cooler out there in its price range.

December 11, 2012 12:26:55 AM

Since I also noticed that I could get the 3570K for the 169.99 price, I did already switch it. I'm also opting out of ordering the cooler. Quite happy with the results! Thank you all again.
December 11, 2012 12:38:36 AM

People are still playing current games on old Athlon II X2s, which were never high-end CPUs; I cannot think of why a currently top-tier modern CPU won't be easily enough in a similar period of time. If it's the same price, it certainly isn't going to hurt, but if saving money is a goal here, one of the lesser i5's will do just as well. I played GW2 recently on an E6750 with a HD6670. No, it was obviously not as good as on the weaker of my two systems, but it was playable. It simply isn't necessary to pay top dollar just to enjoy games.

You may be thinking of the Vapor-X models, which supposedly have the best coolers. Sapphire's other cards are no better (nor necessarily worse) than any others. I've never had a XFX card fail, nor a Sapphire. The three XFX cards I have now are very well made, with aluminum rather than plastic shrouds, and ferrite chokes. They are very quiet. I'm not going to say that Sapphire isn't as good, but I do not accept that they are better.

The Gaia is $20, vs. $35 for the CM; that's a significant difference. Many people don't care if they support a dishonest company; I'm sufficiently "old school" to believe that dishonesty should have consequences. If you can look around you at the consumer fraud, shoddy goods, crony capitalism, corruption, etc. etc. all around us.
December 11, 2012 12:42:18 AM

takeitfor4 said:
Since I also noticed that I could get the 3570K for the 169.99 price, I did already switch it. I'm also opting out of ordering the cooler. Quite happy with the results! Thank you all again.

Good deal. I'm not a big fan of niggling builds half to death.
December 11, 2012 8:56:23 AM

Onus said:
No CPU cooler is needed


Onus said:
The Gaia is $20, vs. $35 for the CM; that's a significant difference. Many people don't care if they support a dishonest company; I'm sufficiently "old school" to believe that dishonesty should have consequences. If you can look around you at the consumer fraud, shoddy goods, crony capitalism, corruption, etc. etc. all around us.


First of all, if "no CPU cooler is needed" as you said, why have you recommended an after market cooler then?

Secondly, I do not support dishonest companies, nor ´consumer fraud, shoddy goods, crony capitalism, corruption, etc´. I was just talking about a product -- Cooler Master make crap PSUs, but they make excellent cases (HAF 912, 922, 932, etc) and efficient after market coolers.

Finally, there is a difference in price, however at its price range, as I have already said, EVO, whch is made by Cooler Master, is a better product than Gaia -- quality has its price http://www.maximumpc.com/article/%5Bprimary-term%5D/xig...
December 11, 2012 10:00:47 AM

I'm not debating the quality of CM's cases or coolers; as a dishonest company I will always recommend against them. Fortunately they have competition in every market segment where they are found, offering comparable (or better) products. Frostytech found the Gaia was 6db quieter and cooled within 1C of the Hyper 212 EVO. It's cheaper; $15 is a small absolute, but over 42% in relative terms, and is a big bang/buck win.
I said an aftermarket cooler isn't needed, but if one is wanted anyway (perhaps to lower noise), the Gaia is a good choice, especially since it is the quieter of the two of them. Fortunately, it has become a moot point, as the OP is not getting an aftermarket cooler.
Incidentally, when I install a pushpin-type cooler like the stock one, I often do it on a deck of cards or a roll of tape to avoid flexing the mobo too much; OP your friend may already have a preferred method, that's just what I do.
December 11, 2012 11:44:49 AM

Onus said:
I'm not debating the quality of CM's cases or coolers; as a dishonest company I will always recommend against them. Fortunately they have competition in every market segment where they are found, offering comparable (or better) products. Frostytech found the Gaia was 6db quieter and cooled within 1C of the Hyper 212 EVO. It's cheaper; $15 is a small absolute, but over 42% in relative terms, and is a big bang/buck win.
I said an aftermarket cooler isn't needed, but if one is wanted anyway (perhaps to lower noise), the Gaia is a good choice, especially since it is the quieter of the two of them. Fortunately, it has become a moot point, as the OP is not getting an aftermarket cooler.
Incidentally, when I install a pushpin-type cooler like the stock one, I often do it on a deck of cards or a roll of tape to avoid flexing the mobo too much; OP your friend may already have a preferred method, that's just what I do.

Calm down guy, coolermaster makes some sweet products
Stop being so one sided because they hurt your feelings



@OP No do not get windows 8 unless you have a touch monitor or some crap
Windows 7 is much better and I feel windows 8 is just as skipable as windows vista was
December 11, 2012 10:26:37 PM

ybnrmalatall said:
Calm down guy, coolermaster makes some sweet products...

You miss the point entirely. Yes, they offer some excellent products, but the company is dishonest; buying any of those products supports dishonesty. It has nothing to do with my "feelings." Failure to impose consequences for willful wrongdoing is the #1 reason our society is headed down the crapper. Maybe this example is trivial, but a line needs to be drawn.
December 12, 2012 10:34:14 AM

It was you who missed the point entirely, as you have never explained why the company is dishonest, which is actually completely off topic.



December 12, 2012 10:33:54 PM

I have no desire to hijack the OP's thread, but read the reviews at HardwareSecrets, and also what they've said to Gabriel Torres in interviews when he's called them on their BS.
December 12, 2012 11:30:53 PM

HardwareSecrets is a very commercial site, like the ´Clube do Hardware´, which Gabriel Torres runs in Brazil -- if I were you, I´d get a better source of information.
December 13, 2012 4:58:40 PM

jemm said:
HardwareSecrets is a very commercial site, like the ´Clube do Hardware´, which Gabriel Torres runs in Brazil -- if I were you, I´d get a better source of information.

+1 ;) 

December 13, 2012 11:03:25 PM

Cite errors in fact, or be quiet. The site is remarkably non-commercial, without the extra dozen advertising / tracking sites to block that BestofMedia uses. Iirc, they also escaped payola accusations of some years ago. Their tutorials are also solid. I am not familiar with the Brazilian site, but I don't find other reputable review sites disagreeing with Gabriel Torres' findings in his reviews.
December 13, 2012 11:49:43 PM

I never said it sucked; just that it was the product of a provably dishonest company, therefor not something I will EVER buy or recommend.
December 14, 2012 12:09:24 AM

Apart from Gabriel Torres, do you have any other source stating that Cooler Master is a " provably dishonest company"?

December 14, 2012 12:39:26 AM

How about their own product literature? Claiming a circuit is present when it is not isn't being overly optimistic, it's an outright lie.
Anandtech found their sickleflows to be grossly overstated as well, although I can accept that as in the realm of marketing "exaggeration." HardOCP is another source concerning their PSUs. Anyway, I don't want any of us to get banned for hijacking this thread. Enough is enough. I don't support dishonest companies. If you do, that's your choice.
December 16, 2012 1:25:42 PM

@ Onus

Apart from Cooler Master, is there any other companies you consider dishonest?

I really do not want to be bashed, nor be said that I have "less than average IQ", just for recommend products from companies you just do not like.



!