Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Looking for Advice in building a ~$2000 Gaming System

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
December 14, 2012 7:14:38 PM

Hello,

I am trying to build my first computer. In the past, I've ordered custom built systems from Dell and Xi-Computer, but this time I would like to save some money and do it myself. I'm looking for any wisdom or expert advice on the system that I've put together so far:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.98 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3R 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($61.38 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar D1 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($74.77 @ Compuvest)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Gaming 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1755.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-14 15:53 EST-0500)

Now here are the guidelines I'm building around:

1. The build is primarily for PC gaming, but I will also be using MS Office, email, and internet on the computer
2. The maximum price should not exceed $2000.00 (a little over is actually okay, with shipping/taxes)
3. I want at least a GTX 670 or better video card, and I much prefer NVIDIA cards (I find SLI and Xfire to not be worth the added money, so I prefer to just have 1 video card)
4. I want to utilize 32 GB of RAM (I know it's a lot, but it's cheap and I feel like RAM makes the system faster)

Now, as you can probably tell from my guidelines, I'm pretty clueless to this stuff. I would like to know if my system has bottlenecks in it. For instance, will I get full use of the 32 GB of RAM? At first I was going to get Windows 7 Home Premium, but I read that I would only be able to use 16 GB of RAM, so I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional.

I'm also totally clueless about things like my cooling system and the ATX tower. Honestly, I do not care how "cool" my system looks on the outside, I just want it to perform well in-and-out of the games I play. I want it to be fast, and I want it to be properly cooled (because overheating could destroy the pricy parts) so that it lasts me more than a few years. I don't care about overclocking to make it faster, I really just want a solid, gaming system that gets the job done for years to come.

Before I go on and on writing a book you won't want to read, please give me your suggestions. I'm especially open to any advice on things I'm not familiar with, like the following:

-CPU Cooler
-Motherboard
-Sound Card (I wouldn't describe myself as an audiophile - do I even need this?)
-Case
-Power Supply
-Monitor

But feel free to make suggestions on anything, even if I didn't list it in the things that I'm not familiar with.

Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

P.S. If you have a link (even if it is just to somewhere on this Tom's Hardware website) on how to build a computer, I would greatly appreciate it. I've never done this before, and I'm going to have a million questions about how I don't fry my motherboard while putting this thing together once I get all the parts.

EDIT: I did not see the thread that talks about how to format a post like this before, so I'm just adding in the following desired information:

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as I feel confident in the overall build I have selected
Budget Range: Up to $2100.00 After Shipping and Taxes
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet, emailing, using office software like Word and Excel
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Parts to Upgrade: Everything except keyboard and mouse because I'd like to keep my old system and run both using Multiplicity
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any website that you have found to be reliable in your own experience
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel over AMD and NVIDIA over ATI, but other than that I don't really care - just want the best value I can get for the price
Overclocking: No (unless you're an expert, and you think I really should, and you want to freely volunteer your time to walk me through it so that I can do it without ruining my computer)
SLI or Crossfire: No, I don't believe the FPS gain in games is worth doubling the price of the most expensive part in my computer
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 is what I'd like to get (I currently have a 1920x1200 24" monitor)
Additional Comments: I play games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Civilization 5, and SimCity (real-time and turn-based strategies and MMORPGs are my favorite games)
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current system has decided to freak out completely any time I launch a game or visit a webpage that is using flash - I should probably try to fix this but I have no idea where to start, and I'm assuming that maybe my GTX 280 is just getting old: if you have any suggestions on fixing this issue, I'm all ears...but I think I'll get a new computer regardless because my fiancee has given me the go-ahead and this will probably be my last chance to buy a new gaming rig for a while, as the budget will be tightening once we are married

More about : advice building 2000 gaming system

December 14, 2012 8:48:40 PM

26 reads, no replies. Please don't be shy. Sorry for that book I wrote above, btw.
December 14, 2012 9:05:54 PM

To answer your questions:

Quote:
1. The build is primarily for PC gaming, but I will also be using MS Office, email, and internet on the computer
2. The maximum price should not exceed $2000.00 (a little over is actually okay, with shipping/taxes)
3. I want at least a GTX 670 or better video card, and I much prefer NVIDIA cards (I find SLI and Xfire to not be worth the added money, so I prefer to just have 1 video card)
4. I want to utilize 32 GB of RAM (I know it's a lot, but it's cheap and I feel like RAM makes the system faster)


1,2 OK if games are the primary focus I'd switch it up a bit.

3. OK that's fine.

4. Having more RAM does not make a system faster. What's almost always the bottlenecks on any given system are the primary hard drive, video card, and CPU - but the RAM is almost never a bottleneck. You also don't need the i7 for a gaming PC - get the 3570K instead.

Quote:
Now, as you can probably tell from my guidelines, I'm pretty clueless to this stuff. I would like to know if my system has bottlenecks in it. For instance, will I get full use of the 32 GB of RAM? At first I was going to get Windows 7 Home Premium, but I read that I would only be able to use 16 GB of RAM, so I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional.


You most likely won't even get full use of 16GB of RAM for gaming. If you were using hardcore CS5 / 6, that's a different story. But for games you won't even use 8GB. It's better to put that money in the GPU. You most likely won't even get use of 8GB. That's not the place to spend money on a build.

Quote:
-Sound Card (I wouldn't describe myself as an audiophile - do I even need this?)


Nope. It's a waste of money.

Here's what I would suggest for your build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1666.75
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-14 18:05 EST-0500)

Then you can add whatever monitor and peripherals you want.
Related resources
December 14, 2012 10:28:59 PM

Thanks for the response! I noticed that all your parts are coming from Newegg. Do you not trust any other vendors, or did they just happen to have the cheapest prices on all the parts you wanted?

You also recommended a Radeon card. Is it that superior to the 670? I was reading another thread where many were arguing in different directions for the 670 versus the 7970 GHz edition, though they did seem to agree that for a single card, the 7970 GHz edition is the best. My greatest concern with Radeon is driver support. I've heard of so many people having issues with Radeon cards in the past, that I'm just not sure whether I trust them or not. Do you have a link to any article that compares the 7970 GHz performance with the performance of other cards...and for that price, I guess it would put it in competition with the 680, not just the 670.

Do you see no use in having a BluRay writer? I mean, I don't have a BluRay player so I'm not one to really talk, but I was thinking it could be nice if I had the capability to play and burn BluRays on my computer.

I will trust you on the CPU Cooler and the Case because I know next to nothing about that. But keep in mind, I'm just wanting a case and cooler that get the job done - I don't care if it looks like a pile of crap as long as my system is well-cooled and building the system isn't a pain because the case is tiny.

Do you not like the Samsung Hard Drives? I didn't even know they made them, but they seemed like a reputable company, so that's why I picked them. Also, they weren't too pricy.
December 14, 2012 10:47:21 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the response! I noticed that all your parts are coming from Newegg. Do you not trust any other vendors, or did they just happen to have the cheapest prices on all the parts you wanted?


I just like Newegg the best - they have the best selection and RMA department. I've also had good luck with NCIX and Tiger Direct.

Quote:
You also recommended a Radeon card. Is it that superior to the 670? I was reading another thread where many were arguing in different directions for the 670 versus the 7970 GHz edition, though they did seem to agree that for a single card, the 7970 GHz edition is the best. My greatest concern with Radeon is driver support. I've heard of so many people having issues with Radeon cards in the past, that I'm just not sure whether I trust them or not. Do you have a link to any article that compares the 7970 GHz performance with the performance of other cards...and for that price, I guess it would put it in competition with the 680, not just the 670.


Here's the bench marks: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/618?vs=598

A lot of people don't take drivers into effect when choosing a video card. The drivers have been improved 10 fold since the release of Catalyst 12.8 and the card performs better as a result. The 670 definitely has its' strengths as well with CUDA hardware acceleration and that's beneficial if you use rendering or editing programs (Adobe CS5, etc.).

Quote:
Do you see no use in having a BluRay writer? I mean, I don't have a BluRay player so I'm not one to really talk, but I was thinking it could be nice if I had the capability to play and burn BluRays on my computer.


Well my experience with BD-R players and burners is that the software on them is extremely finicky and doesn't always work correctly. Plus it will have compatibility issues depending on your display's refresh rate. I use mine more for data backups than I do for watching movies, I use my PS3 more for that.

Quote:
I will trust you on the CPU Cooler and the Case because I know next to nothing about that. But keep in mind, I'm just wanting a case and cooler that get the job done - I don't care if it looks like a pile of crap as long as my system is well-cooled and building the system isn't a pain because the case is tiny.


I'm definitely not one to recommend tiny cases - only if requested. The cases I recommended is one of the biggest and roomiest on the market. I don't recommend junk coolers either. Actually I just don't plain recommend junk hardware, and I've been around long enough to tell the good from the crap. :lol: 
December 14, 2012 10:54:33 PM

Ok here my take on it.Ill give you the bestest system in North america for 2g.

Fractal Define R4 119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maximus V gene Z 199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

g.skill 32gb 1866 DDR3 169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel i5 3450 194.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

seasonic 650w psi 129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 840 256gb 149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1tb WD green drive 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

asus dvd burner 19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI gtx 680 lightning 499.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

h80 water cooler 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total:1679.90 - mail in and promo codes.

The reason i went with this is because of A. If you arent going to OC dont get a 3570k or 3570 period.
2. If your going to spend 2k might as well get good parts from a trust worthy company ie Corsair, G.skill and asus.
3. The fractal Define is an elegant yet awesome case
4. MSI makes the best graphics cards PERIOD!!!!
5. Its gonna look baller
6. It will be silent while being a powerhouse and lookin baller.
7. Because i said.
8. Seasonic makes awesome PSU's and 650w at gold is more than enough
9. Fractal makes good cases and come highly recommended. hands down awesome
December 14, 2012 11:11:50 PM

Drop the i7 for an i5 3570k, and drop that asrock board as its for penny pinchers
December 15, 2012 1:46:43 AM

Quote:
I just like Newegg the best - they have the best selection and RMA department. I've also had good luck with NCIX and Tiger Direct.


Thanks for the other vendor recommendations. To anyone else reading this, do you have any additional vendor recommendations?

Quote:
Here's the bench marks: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/618?vs=598

A lot of people don't take drivers into effect when choosing a video card. The drivers have been improved 10 fold since the release of Catalyst 12.8 and the card performs better as a result. The 670 definitely has its' strengths as well with CUDA hardware acceleration and that's beneficial if you use rendering or editing programs (Adobe CS5, etc.).
Do you know if those benchmarks for the 7970 GHz edition are before or after the release of Catalyst 12.8? I compared it to the GTX 680, since the price for each is practically the same, and it seems that in the games I like to play (Starcraft II and Civilization 5) the GTX 680 actually performed better in many cases. That said, the 7970 GHz edition does seem more powerful overall, but also louder and hotter. Do you think that because the 7970 GHz is louder and hotter the GTX 680 will outlast it? I'm asking because I would definitely take product longevity into account when buying a video card. Benchmarks don't seem to test the cards for longevity, but I don't want my powerful video card pooping out on me after just 1-2 years, since it is so expensive.

Quote:
Well my experience with BD-R players and burners is that the software on them is extremely finicky and doesn't always work correctly. Plus it will have compatibility issues depending on your display's refresh rate. I use mine more for data backups than I do for watching movies, I use my PS3 more for that.
Yeah, that's a good point. I may be getting a PS3 at some point (or at least a BluRay player) to play BluRays. I suppose I could save some money there. I'll have to think on that one. I bet companies releasing games/software on BluRay instead of DVD is a long way off, and with this whole cloud thing - it may never even happen at all.

Quote:
I'm definitely not one to recommend tiny cases - only if requested. The cases I recommended is one of the biggest and roomiest on the market. I don't recommend junk coolers either. Actually I just don't plain recommend junk hardware, and I've been around long enough to tell the good from the crap. :lol: 
Good to know! Thanks again for your recommendations. :) 
December 15, 2012 1:56:46 AM

redeemer said:
Drop the i7 for an i5 3570k, and drop that asrock board as its for penny pinchers
Cool. So I have a question while we're on this topic. What is the difference between the 3570K and the 3570 without the K? The K looks to be around $15 more. Is that worth it?

Since I'm saving money on the CPU, I suppose I can splurge a bit more on that motherboard. I will probably go with the one G-unit recommended.
December 15, 2012 2:09:16 AM

mourice12 said:
Ok here my take on it.Ill give you the bestest system in North america for 2g.

Fractal Define R4 119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maximus V gene Z 199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

g.skill 32gb 1866 DDR3 169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel i5 3450 194.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

seasonic 650w psi 129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 840 256gb 149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1tb WD green drive 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

asus dvd burner 19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI gtx 680 lightning 499.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

h80 water cooler 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total:1679.90 - mail in and promo codes.

The reason i went with this is because of A. If you arent going to OC dont get a 3570k or 3570 period.
2. If your going to spend 2k might as well get good parts from a trust worthy company ie Corsair, G.skill and asus.
3. The fractal Define is an elegant yet awesome case
4. MSI makes the best graphics cards PERIOD!!!!
5. Its gonna look baller
6. It will be silent while being a powerhouse and lookin baller.
7. Because i said.
8. Seasonic makes awesome PSU's and 650w at gold is more than enough
9. Fractal makes good cases and come highly recommended. hands down awesome
Thanks for the reply! :) 

Do the rest of you agree with Mourice12? I do not plan on overclocking, so should I downgrade from the 3570K to the 3450? Why or why not?

Thanks for the case recommendation. It is cheaper than the case G-unit recommended. What's your take on the Fractal Define R4 case, G-unit? Is it as good as the one recommended? Do you think I should stay away from it, or save some money on the case?

I will certainly keep MSI in mind when I'm buying my video card, whichever card I settle on. They aren't cheap, but they do seem to have a reputation for making good cards.

I like that it will be quiet, and it's not a negative that it looks cool, though I am more into saving money on the outer appearance of my system rather than having it look cool.

Does anyone disagree with the 650W gold being enough for a power supply? I guess that depends on the whole system, but this presents a good opportunity to learn about power supplies. Is there anything I should know about them? Is platinum the top rating? And what does that 80+ rating even guarantee anyway. I saw that there are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum ratings. I have no idea what any of it means. How much of a buffer should I give my system? For example, on my original build, it said that my system would require 398 Watts. So I chose a power supply that could put out more than that. How much of a buffer is good, and how much of a buffer is just being wasteful? I was considering 1250W before I knew how much it was going to take, but now I'm thinking that would just be a waste of money.

As for water cooling, I'm gonna steer clear of that for now. This is my first build, and I don't want to make it too difficult with things like that. Maybe in my 3rd or 4th build I might be comfortable enough to try that out.

Thanks, everyone, for the replies and keep 'em coming! :) 
December 15, 2012 2:39:41 AM

I was comparing the motherboards that have been recommended so far, and from what I can tell, the Asus, while a little more expensive supports more and faster memory speeds. The gigabyte is cheaper, but doesn't support these speeds. Are these the different speeds for sticks of RAM that these motherboards support?

Now my ASRock is the cheapest of all 3, and looks just as good on paper. Why are you steering me clear of that? Is ASRock just a bad brand or what?

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-maximusvg...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz77...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extr...

I read somebody made a comment that faster RAM just voids the warranty, and I see people saying that RAM doesn't matter for gaming. However, I'm curious what exactly RAM does. Does more RAM help Windows load up faster when I start my computer? Does faster RAM provide any benefit (say 1600 vs. 1866 vs. 2133), or is the benefit lost due to other bottlenecks?
December 15, 2012 2:42:40 AM

Quote:
Do the rest of you agree with Mourice12? I do not plan on overclocking, so should I downgrade from the 3570K to the 3450? Why or why not?


I'm not really one to overtly criticize but that's a terrible build and here's why:

32GB of RAM is *NOT* worth it. The H80 isn't that great and don't purchase an mATX board for a giant case either, that makes no sense. Also makes no sense to get that configuration with a CPU that can't be overclocked. A cooler like the H80 is wasted on the i5-3470.

Quote:
Does anyone disagree with the 650W gold being enough for a power supply? I guess that depends on the whole system, but this presents a good opportunity to learn about power supplies. Is there anything I should know about them? Is platinum the top rating? And what does that 80+ rating even guarantee anyway. I saw that there are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum ratings. I have no idea what any of it means. How much of a buffer should I give my system? For example, on my original build, it said that my system would require 398 Watts. So I chose a power supply that could put out more than that. How much of a buffer is good, and how much of a buffer is just being wasteful? I was considering 1250W before I knew how much it was going to take, but now I'm thinking that would just be a waste of money.


For a single you want 650W. 1250W is overkill for any multiple GPU setup unless you;re using 3 or more. 850W is inbetween. Go with the build I suggested - no crappy cooling suggestions, locked processors, green hard drives, or tiny motherboards in big cases. That's not the way to spend $2K on a build.
December 15, 2012 2:42:43 AM

mourice12 said:
Ok here my take on it.Ill give you the bestest system in North america for 2g.

Fractal Define R4 119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maximus V gene Z 199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

g.skill 32gb 1866 DDR3 169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel i5 3450 194.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

seasonic 650w psi 129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 840 256gb 149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1tb WD green drive 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

asus dvd burner 19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI gtx 680 lightning 499.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

h80 water cooler 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total:1679.90 - mail in and promo codes.

The reason i went with this is because of A. If you arent going to OC dont get a 3570k or 3570 period.
2. If your going to spend 2k might as well get good parts from a trust worthy company ie Corsair, G.skill and asus.
3. The fractal Define is an elegant yet awesome case
4. MSI makes the best graphics cards PERIOD!!!!
5. Its gonna look baller
6. It will be silent while being a powerhouse and lookin baller.
7. Because i said.
8. Seasonic makes awesome PSU's and 650w at gold is more than enough
9. Fractal makes good cases and come highly recommended. hands down awesome



above is an excellent system though I would get the 2TB WD Green however not much more
December 15, 2012 3:04:59 AM

Quote:
32GB of RAM is *NOT* worth it. The H80 isn't that great and don't purchase an mATX board for a giant case either, that makes no sense. Also makes no sense to get that configuration with a CPU that can't be overclocked. A cooler like the H80 is wasted on the i5-3470.
Yeah, I also noticed the micro ATX board and was wondering about that. I'll probably drop my RAM down to 16 GB, as a compromise between the 32 GB that I want and the 8 GB you recommend. I've always liked big amounts of RAM...even in back 2001 when 256 MB of RAM was quite pricy! Haha ;) 

Quote:
For a single you want 650W. 1250W is overkill for any multiple GPU setup unless you;re using 3 or more. 850W is in between. Go with the build I suggested - no crappy cooling suggestions, locked processors, green hard drives, or tiny motherboards in big cases. That's not the way to spend $2K on a build.
In that case I might take an 850W, just in case I get crazy one day in the future and decide I want to SLI/Crossfire by adding a second card when the price drops much, much lower.

Also, what did you think about the case he recommended? I don't know anything about cases, but if you prefer your case to his, I'd like to know why that is, since his is cheaper and I'd rather not spend big on a case unless there is a really good heating/cooling or sound suppression reason for it.
December 15, 2012 4:47:38 AM

Okay, I think I have improved my build. It's basically G-unit's build with double the RAM he suggested and a motherboard that supports 1866 speed RAM. I also opted to get Windows 7 Professional rather than the home edition.

Any feedback on the monitor I've chosen? I like the 23" size combined with a decent price and a 2 ms response time for gaming.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($135.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($110.43 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Samsung S23A350H 23.0" Monitor ($216.24 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($136.45 @ B&H)
Total: $1837.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 01:43 EST-0500)

Please let me know what you think.
December 15, 2012 4:57:41 AM

Quote:
Okay, I think I have improved my build. It's basically G-unit's build with double the RAM he suggested and a motherboard that supports 1866 speed RAM. I also opted to get Windows 7 Professional rather than the home edition.

Any feedback on the monitor I've chosen? I like the 23" size combined with a decent price and a 2 ms response time for gaming.


OK that's fine. Most motherboards will support 1866 RAM. As far as the monitor goes that's pretty similar to the one I bought today: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Yeah, I also noticed the micro ATX board and was wondering about that. I'll probably drop my RAM down to 16 GB, as a compromise between the 32 GB that I want and the 8 GB you recommend. I've always liked big amounts of RAM...even in back 2001 when 256 MB of RAM was quite pricy! Haha ;) 


Yeah I remember that! I also remember my dad talking about a PC he purchased in 1986 when a 10MB hard drive was $5,000. :lol: 
December 15, 2012 6:14:58 AM

Quote:
OK that's fine. Most motherboards will support 1866 RAM. As far as the monitor goes that's pretty similar to the one I bought today: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
After doing a bit of monitor research, I like yours better than the one I selected. I think yours will have the better picture, and I don't think my eyes are good enough to note a difference between 2 ms and 5 ms response times. So yeah, I'll probably go with the better deal and picture that you bought today.
December 15, 2012 6:30:45 AM

I think you should put more money into your monitor. Your machine will be fast but it must look good too, and at a high refresh rate.

I suggest a 120Hz monitor to go with your 7970. This way you can go beyond 60fps cap that 60Hz monitors have.

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

You could shave money off your CPU cooler, case, motherboard and PSU.

Why not drop down to 800W PSU? I know you might SLI in the future but 950W seems excessive. If you don't care about looks then you can find a great case for $50-80.
December 15, 2012 7:03:25 AM

envy14tpe said:
I think you should put more money into your monitor. Your machine will be fast but it must look good too, and at a high refresh rate.

I suggest a 120Hz monitor to go with your 7970. This way you can go beyond 60fps cap that 60Hz monitors have.

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

You could shave money off your CPU cooler, case, motherboard and PSU.

Why not drop down to 800W PSU? I know you might SLI in the future but 950W seems excessive. If you don't care about looks then you can find a great case for $50-80.
Any cases you would recommend? I did think that the case was a bit pricy, and I was wondering if I could get a nice case for cheaper.

As for the CPU cooler, I certainly don't mind paying less there, but I want something that is reliable and keeps my system well-cooled. Any part recommendations?

For the motherboard and PSU, again I agree. However, I'm under $2000.00 at the moment, so I don't necessarily need to shave those. That said, I'm not totally opposed to it. I don't want to step too far back with either one though, because I want a strong system - not just a strong gaming system. I do still surf the internet and have multiple programs open at once, and I want my computer to be able to handle that. I might have a browser open while I play a game, and I don't want Alt-tabbing to take forever to load each screen. I am interested to know what motherboard and PSU I should get though, so again, any recommendations?
December 15, 2012 8:13:57 PM

So I was looking at the benchmarks for the video card, and it seems that a lot of games at the resolution I'll be playing don't even hit the 120 FPS mark. So I'm not so sure about investing in a 120 Hz monitor. I mean, will I even see the benefit of 120 Hz if my video card is only running a game at 80-90 FPS? It seems like overkill. I know I don't want to bottleneck myself, but unless my card can put out 120+ FPS in the games that I'll be playing at the resolution I'll be playing them...it doesn't seem like a great investment.

Am I right? If not, please explain what I'm not understanding.
December 16, 2012 12:23:21 AM

You totally disregarded my awesome, quiet and cool system. Im hurt. But honestly not one build is the best and its the same with brands some have preferences over others and we are certianly biased about it. The switch 810 is a HUGE CASE. alot larger than what you need.
December 16, 2012 3:36:48 AM

mourice12 said:
You totally disregarded my awesome, quiet and cool system. Im hurt. But honestly not one build is the best and its the same with brands some have preferences over others and we are certianly biased about it. The switch 810 is a HUGE CASE. alot larger than what you need.
I didn't totally disregard your build. I just noticed some things with it. I considered everything, but I thought it was weird to get a micro ATX board with an ATX case. And then I also liked some things in G-unit's build better. He also responded more than you, and seemed to know more.

I've been looking at other threads trying to get the best ideas. I'd really like to go part by part finding out what people like and why. Especially for things like the case and the CPU cooler, because I don't know much about those parts.
December 16, 2012 1:10:33 PM

oh yea i had to work a 14 hr shift. so i couldnt respond. IF you havent ordered your parts yet consider what im saying. Just because its a micro atx board doesnt mean its a bad board its actually a really really good board, also the fractal define r4 is a mid tower case so you couldnt really be able to tell how small the board is.

Also the switch 810 case is bigger than anything you will ever need, since you arent doing SLi/xfire, custom water cooling, eAtx boards it would be silly to get it since its just way to big.

The build that i had posted met the criteria for what you needed, you was overclokcing so no k series cpu since there is no gains, you werent doing sli/xfire so a mid tower and matx fom asus was a good choice, the case and h80 was all about silence, it wouldve been an elegant and silent system. Plus you woulda had money for the OS, nice monitor and some peripheals.
December 16, 2012 1:12:59 PM

also why are you getting a 950w PSU???? with your build you wont even use 500 of it.
April 24, 2013 8:25:18 AM

I'm at school right now so I can't give you a link, but, go to youtube and search "Newegg" and type something like 2012 build tutorial. It is a 3-part tutorial that explains some of the products and a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a computer from start to finish.
April 24, 2013 8:25:21 AM

I'm at school right now so I can't give you a link, but, go to youtube and search "Newegg" and type something like 2012 build tutorial. It is a 3-part tutorial that explains some of the products and a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a computer from start to finish.
April 24, 2013 8:53:00 AM

mourice, while your build would be decent, you were throwing money away where it didn't need to be spent. Personally, I would try to squeeze a titan into this budget, which I believe is doable even with an SSD.

titan (1000)
i5 3570K (230)
asus P8Z77 Pro/thunderbolt (230)
corsair CX750 (100)
16 GB corsair vengeance ram (low profile) (120)
Hyper 212 Evo (40)
Wester Digital 1Tb black (100)
samsung 840 250gb SSD (190)
Corsair 300R (90)

total: 2100 USD. an optical drive would be another 20. windows will be about 100. if you lose the titan and go with a 7970 ghz, you'll only be spending about 1700-1800 USD, as shown by other builds.

personally, I suggest that motherboard specifically. nothing you don't need, everything you do. (and everything you might want in 2 years when thunderbolt is seriously integrated into external drives and such)
!