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(First Time Builder) Does my selection check out?

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December 19, 2012 7:28:51 PM

I'm working on my first build and I need some expert opinions. I feel I have put together an operational build, but I doubt it is the most cost effective. I'm set on my CPU and GPU, but if the cost of anything else can be reduced, I'm all ears. I know 16GB of RAM might be overkill, but I'm pretty set on it as well. Also, I may buy another 680 in the future so SLI is a thing.

This machine will be for gaming and nothing else. I have another computer for everyday use and an external HDD for storage. Running Starcraft 2 on Ultra with all the bells and whistles at 60+++ FPS is my first priority, but I will play other, more demanding games as well.

Some other points...

- I want a motherboard with WIFI
- I'm concerned about cables and whatnot. I don't want to discover that I have a DVD Burner with no SATA or power cables when I'm trying to fit everything together. Like I said, I'm a first-timer so I'm not sure if it is usual for motherboards to come with extra cables and helpful things like that.
- I have no clue about PSUs and what's necessary. Honestly, most of my list is just the cheapest of the highest rated items on NewEgg. :p 
- Ideally, I want to spend less than $1500. But I'm willing to spend the extra $50-$100 to get the next best whatever if it will make a big difference.

Without further ado...

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($457.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($83.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full (32/64-bit) ($250.69 @ Amazon)
Total: $1537.16

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tg5o
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tg5o/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tg5o/benchmarks/

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this! Help will be greatly appreciated!!!
December 19, 2012 7:37:26 PM

Your build could do a few changes.
For example, i7 brings no benefits in gaming ,comparing to i5. If you want i can make you a build based on i5.
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December 19, 2012 7:43:00 PM

So you're going to spend big bucks on an i7, an excellent video card and a great motherboard, but you're not going to buy an SSD? You can easily find a 120gb (or 128gb) SSD for close to $100, and you'll get much better system performance!
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December 19, 2012 8:07:21 PM

butremor said:
Your build could do a few changes.
For example, i7 brings no benefits in gaming ,comparing to i5. If you want i can make you a build based on i5.


I'm no expert by any means, so I'm not sure what you mean by "brings no benefits in gaming". More power = better right? That's my simple understanding though.

I chose the i7 simply because it's new and powerful. I figured the best Ivy Bridge would be a safe bet. I want to get the most out of the 680 with no worries. I don't want to build something good enough. I want to game at max settings with ridiculous FPS. I'm just completely ignorant of how to cost-effectively do that.
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December 19, 2012 8:10:19 PM

djosbun said:
So you're going to spend big bucks on an i7, an excellent video card and a great motherboard, but you're not going to buy an SSD? You can easily find a 120gb (or 128gb) SSD for close to $100, and you'll get much better system performance!


I'm trying really hard to keep the initial cost under $1500. I also heard that HDD vs SSD doesn't matter when you're playing, only when loading. And even then, it's a very slight difference. Of course, I have no actual experience with this subject. Either way, I could always upgrade later.
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December 19, 2012 8:12:19 PM

Here's some changes I'd make http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tgrX
You don't need an i7 for gaming the i5 3570k with the cpu cooler for overclocking will be all you need. Added a good ssd that comes with a cable so you don't have to worry about that. If you plan to add a second gtx 680 you should go ahead and get a psu that can power them so I added the seasonic 850w psu. I don't really recommend getting a gtx 680 it's not worth the small increase in performance over the gtx 670 but if you got the money at least you'll see some benefits unlike the i7 over the i5 in gaming. No need to get windows 7 pro full for gaming just get the windows 7 premium oem and save a lot of money.
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December 19, 2012 8:17:08 PM

if this is for gaming only you don't need the i7 it will not give you any noticable or significant performance increase now nor into the forseeable future. Also no gaming PC will use 8GB of RAM let alone 16GB of RAM. Also The difference in performance between most GTX 670s and GTX 680s with both at max stable overclocks is 2-10FPS which is not noticable within gaming performance yet the GTX 670s are $100-$150 cheaper. GTX 680s are a waste of money and don't provide a significant increase in performance to warrant the price. Incase you wish to leave your options open for future upgrades such as SLI I'd suggest upgrading to a 750W PSU such as XFX Proseries which their 850W is on sale for $100 after rebates.

If you'd like to discuss your build options further feel free to hit me up on my facebook page where I give computer build consultation: http://www.facebook.com/IamApropos ~ everyone is welcome to come talk shop.
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December 19, 2012 8:22:03 PM

strife_ff7 said:
Here's some changes I'm make http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tgrX
You don't need an i7 for gaming the i5 3570k with the cpu cooler for overclocking will be all you need. Added a good ssd that comes with a cable so you don't have to worry about that. If you plan to add a second gtx 680 you should go ahead and get a psu that can power them so I added the seasonic 850w psu. I don't really recommend getting a gtx 680 it's not worth the small increase in performance over the gtx 670 but if you got the money at least you'll see some benefits unlike the i7 over the i5 in gaming. No need to get windows 7 pro full for gaming just get the windows 7 premium oem and save a lot of money.


I know I should have mentioned this in my original post, but I want to avoid overclocking. If I will have to overclock the i5 to make it perform like an i7, I will pay for the i7. This is also why I chose the original 680. I don't want anything working over-time. I want everything to be nice, cool, and powerful by default. Thanks for the suggestion on the PSU. I doubted my choice there.

Also, OEM software and hardware usually have catches right? Like an OS will be forever tied to the MB or something like that? I tried to avoid OEM products for that reason. Am I way off?
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December 19, 2012 8:28:18 PM

athertonwing said:
I know I should have mentioned this in my original post, but I want to avoid overclocking. If I will have to overclock the i5 to make it perform like an i7, I will pay for the i7. This is also why I chose the original 680. I don't want anything working over-time. I want everything to be nice, cool, and powerful by default. Thanks for the suggestion on the PSU. I doubted my choice there.

Also, OEM software and hardware usually have catches right? Like an OS will be forever tied to the MB or something like that? I tried to avoid OEM products for that reason. Am I way off?



You do not need to overclock the GPU / CPU to get within 2-10 frames per second of their performance. If you don't know overclocking there really is no good reason to not do it atleast a little ;)  Its quite simple and compared to the old days your system is less at risk of doing it now unless you want some crazy overclock which obviously you don't. I'd be more than happy to go into further detail if you'd like to learn.

here is just a quick build suggestion I'd look at:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tgPc
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December 19, 2012 8:32:48 PM

(wouldn't let me edit my above message)
To note some games do not perform better with hyperthreading just like when BF3 was launched it actually decreased performance. Any game that does show an increase in performance would not be noticable unless you did a benchmark.

To just show you a little with the new drivers:
http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-geforc...
the 670 sits on the heels of the 680 within such a small margain.
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December 19, 2012 8:46:08 PM

No one is recommending these things to trick you... there is truly no reason to get an i7 over an i5 for gaming, especially at this time. Also, you are going to spend that much on a MOBO and CPU that will be completely discarded on any future upgrade, as this is the last gen going in that socket. It seems like you are fairly set on some certain components, if so just say, it frustrates me seeing people who claim to have little to no knowledge sit and argue with those trying to offer advice (no offense to you, just a general observation, I see the exact same type of post as yours on here 10+ times a day asking for build advice and almost all the same answers come).
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December 19, 2012 9:09:54 PM

You don't need to overclock an i5 3570k to match an i7 in gaming. I added the cpu cooler to give you the option to overclock later. The cpu is unlocked if you just do a lite oc(4.2) and the temps are good(cpu cooler) it will be just fine. You're getting a very good mobo I don't really see why you would need to put the os on a different mobo but if you have to just get the win7 premium full and save like a $100.
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December 19, 2012 9:22:45 PM

chugot9218 said:
No one is recommending these things to trick you... there is truly no reason to get an i7 over an i5 for gaming, especially at this time. Also, you are going to spend that much on a MOBO and CPU that will be completely discarded on any future upgrade, as this is the last gen going in that socket. It seems like you are fairly set on some certain components, if so just say, it frustrates me seeing people who claim to have little to no knowledge sit and argue with those trying to offer advice (no offense to you, just a general observation, I see the exact same type of post as yours on here 10+ times a day asking for build advice and almost all the same answers come).


I don't mean to argue. I realized my posts seemed a little unappreciative after reading them. To be fair, I did say I was set on my GPU and CPU in my OP. BUT, you guys have convinced me to go with a 670 and not the 680 (But which 670?! I went with the standard EVGA.). I'm almost convinced to buy an i5. Also, should I buy the Sandy Bridge over the Ivy? My friend told me the Ivy has overheating issues.

And PLEASE give me advice on my MOBO ans PSU. I know I'm overspending there, but I want to be internet and SLI ready without limiting my CPU and GPU (if that's even possible).

And I really do need storage and optical drive recommendations. Super affordable and with everything I need to hook it up: that's all I need.

And can I get an answer about OEM products?

I realize I'm asking a lot here. But I don't really have the money to spend, I just am spending money. I want to get it right. I appreciate every reply, REALLY. I apologize for being rude!
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December 19, 2012 9:30:13 PM

athertonwing said:
I don't mean to argue. I realized my posts seemed a little unappreciative after reading them. To be fair, I did say I was set on my GPU and CPU in my OP. BUT, you guys have convinced me to go with a 670 and not the 680 (But which 670?! I went with the standard EVGA.). I'm almost convinced to buy an i5. Also, should I buy the Sandy Bridge over the Ivy? My friend told me the Ivy has overheating issues.

And PLEASE give me advice on my MOBO ans PSU. I know I'm overspending there, but I want to be internet and SLI ready without limiting my CPU and GPU (if that's even possible).

And I really do need storage and optical drive recommendations. Super affordable and with everything I need to hook it up: that's all I need.

And can I get an answer about OEM products?

I realize I'm asking a lot here. But I don't really have the money to spend, I just am spending money. I want to get it right. I appreciate every reply, REALLY. I apologize for being rude!



1. since you wont be overclocking or if you do shouldn't go past 4.2Ghz all past that give deminished results the temps would never be an issue even with that small overclock. Clock for clock the i5-3570k is more powerful vs 2500k

2. There are some great 670s such as Gigabyte GTX 670OC and MSI has one on sale for nearly $300 after rebates. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn670...
and
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n670pe2gd5o...

I appreciate you wanting to make sure your money is put into the right items for your build which is why I spend 5-10 hours each day and have done so for over a year now studying parts and prices to help people like you make it easier to choose the best parts for your build.

With the i7, the only benefit you would get with it is outside gaming, it really does not offer any benefit for gaming what so ever. The only i7 that would give a significant performance increase would be the Sandy Bridge E 2011 K chip which is $500 bucks.


Youd do just fine with a Gigabyte UD3H which is $130 currently or even a step up to the UD5H, they are incredibly well built MB and give great utility at a cheaper price without sacraficing barely anything.
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December 19, 2012 9:31:58 PM

Yes OEM OS is locked to the Motherboard which you first install it on once you validate the key. <--- that is the secret, once you validate the key its locked to that MB. I can provide quicker responses to suggestions if you'd like and have skype you could IM me any time with questions, just add IamApropos.
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December 19, 2012 10:14:14 PM

So I have cut things down to this...

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R (Price)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 (Price)

And that's about it. I'm still lost on the MOBO. The Gigabyte is only ~$40 cheaper than the Asus. Would I be missing out to not buy the Asus? Like I said, really all I need is to be internet and SLI ready. But I do want a nice MOBO that will be stable and solid and not feel cheap or lack a feature I need later.

And funny enough, the storage and optical drives are really throwing me. I just want cheap and reliable.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM <- This is the highest rated and cheapest DVD burner on NewEgg. But "Bulk" and "OEM" scare me. What do these terms mean in relation to hardware and will I even have the cables to hook it up?

And I don't know where to start concerning storage. This PC will strictly be for gaming so I don't need space for music and video. Are SDDs really all that great? I'd really like to not spend much more than $100 here.

PSU help. Plz!
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December 19, 2012 10:23:55 PM

SSD will provide tons of improvement in load speeds in games, loading screens and what not. The gigabyte is an amazing board and you only get a different of a wifi built in card with the asus which is not recommended for gaming as you might know.
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December 19, 2012 11:43:33 PM

Just backing up what everyone else is saying. In gaming the i5 and i7 are equals. The i7's advantage comes in video/photo editing/encoding/photoshopping ect. which you said is not what this system is for. As for the Ivy overheating issue, Ivy chips run hotter than Sandy, especially when overclocking, but that is normal and nothing to worry about.

A 680 is not worth the price difference from a 670. 5-10% more performance for 25-33% of the cost just doesn't work. You could get a factory overclocked 670 that would equal a 680 if you wanted.

Regarding an SSD, I think it was the best upgrade I have made behind a new CPU/GPU. It will slash your load times and program launch times. System boots in under 10 seconds, game load times are halved/quartered, folders open instantly, web browsers near instant (depending on internet speed). IMO if your spending 1,500 bux on a system it should have an SSD.

For PSU a 750w+ psu would be needed if you are truly thinking that SLI is a viable option in the future. I do like the 850w seasonic apropo is linking, they make awesome psus.

Apropo is putting out some good builds. My only critique would be to stick with low profile ram, ram without huge heat sinks, that really don't do anything anyways, to avoid any CPU cooler clearance issues.

But if you are 100% against overclocking there is no reason to go with an aftermarket cooler, as the stock cooler will suffice.
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December 20, 2012 1:27:31 AM

athertonwing said:
How does this look? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/thTY

I cannot find the PSU on pcpartpicker. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

??? Eh? EH?


Here this build would be best, the only reason I suggested that 850W was because it was on sale but this 750W is equally as nice and perfect for your build.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tjsj

Also you by no means would need 16GB of RAm within your build if this is mainly for gaming. I can run planet side 2, pandora, teamspeak, skype, render a video to 1080p, upload a video and live stream all at once and still not touch 4GB of RAM. That makes 8GB very much future proof. Games are 32bit unless you force them to use more ram such as Skyrim, they can only utilize max 4GB of RAM. 16GB for this specific use is just a waste of money really. I didn't include a CPU cooler because you don't want to overclock and the stock cooler is fine for now. When / if you change your mind about overclocking, which I'd highly recommend looking into it, you can add a $30 cooler master 212 evo and get 4.2Ghz later.

This was the test screen shot for RAM usage: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/414422_45670...
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December 20, 2012 1:31:20 AM

This last build I put up with the 750w PSU still allows enough room to SLI later, and like I said add a after market cooler for possible options of overclocking later. The RAM is on sale and still really decent quality plus it matches the color scheme ;) 
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December 20, 2012 2:12:11 AM

I agree about the RAM. Honestly, I just wanted more than my friend. :p  But it makes good sense to buy 8GB. Is there a reason you picked that brand in particular? Should I not trust NewEgg ratings? Because it seems like a lot of similarly priced 8GB Dual RAM carts out-rank the Patriots in terms of customer ratings. I do trust you though... and yeah I also care about the color scheme.

Also, that 750w PSU is the same price as the 850w. Is there any good reason to buy the 750w over the 850w? Is the build quality better, cooler, or more reliable?

And my last a final dilemma concerns the GPU. The EVGA looks great and has a combo deal with the RAM you selected, but I've been reading good things about the Gigabyte 670 OC.
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December 20, 2012 3:07:20 AM

athertonwing said:
I agree about the RAM. Honestly, I just wanted more than my friend. :p  But it makes good sense to buy 8GB. Is there a reason you picked that brand in particular? Should I not trust NewEgg ratings? Because it seems like a lot of similarly priced 8GB Dual RAM carts out-rank the Patriots in terms of customer ratings. I do trust you though... and yeah I also care about the color scheme.

Also, that 750w PSU is the same price as the 850w. Is there any good reason to buy the 750w over the 850w? Is the build quality better, cooler, or more reliable?

And my last a final dilemma concerns the GPU. The EVGA looks great and has a combo deal with the RAM you selected, but I've been reading good things about the Gigabyte 670 OC.



I only put the patriot because of price though they are decent, if you wanted peace of mind for a more reliable name I'd say corsair 8GB - 1600Hz would be great.
I'd say the 850w is made by Seasonic which is the best quality you can get, and the extra wont hurt, I was just giving an alterantive to choose from that is pretty high quaulity as well without wasting resources. So if you want the 850W for the same price, I'm sure it'll last you a long time probably into another future build ;) 

The GPU, I recommend either the Gigabyte 670OC or the MSI for best overclocking and cooling. The reasons I suggest those two are because you were originally wanting the performance of a 680. These two cards perform outstandingly at stock clocks and allow you the option to overclock later if you so choose to out perform stock 680 speeds. EVGAs are good but with the reference blower they tend to be hotter which is why I recommended those two cards they typically run cooler because of the dual fan or tri fan setups.
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Best solution

December 20, 2012 5:05:23 AM

athertonwing said:
Final build? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tkGD

I went with the Patriots. :p  I think they look better.

Also, Win7 Home Premium seems to be out of stock... everywhere. :/ 



Great gaming PC build you have there ;) 

There was a test done recently that proves that Win 8 does load games faster than 7 ;)  just a thought.
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December 20, 2012 6:21:23 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/toiG

EDIT - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/towD Swapped out the 200R for the 400R, why not? You guys have saved me a ton of cash! (THANK YOU!) I may as well get a more attractive case, and I feel like the 400R has some class about it.

OK! This is the REAL final build. I broke down and went with an SSD. I also downgraded Win7 Pro to Home Premium OEM. I'm ok with not being able to transfer my Win license to another MOBO. But I want to know if I can later upgrade to Pro, Ultimate, or Win8 in the future with an OEM version of Home Premuim. And could I completely remove Win7 and install another OS onto the MOBO after attaching Win7? I understand my Win7 will be useless at that point, but I'm more worried about rendering the MOBO useless.

EDIT AGAIN - I just ordered everything...! Thanks A LOT guys!
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December 20, 2012 7:18:20 PM

Best answer selected by athertonwing.
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December 21, 2012 12:11:04 AM

athertonwing said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/toiG

EDIT - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/towD Swapped out the 200R for the 400R, why not? You guys have saved me a ton of cash! (THANK YOU!) I may as well get a more attractive case, and I feel like the 400R has some class about it.

OK! This is the REAL final build. I broke down and went with an SSD. I also downgraded Win7 Pro to Home Premium OEM. I'm ok with not being able to transfer my Win license to another MOBO. But I want to know if I can later upgrade to Pro, Ultimate, or Win8 in the future with an OEM version of Home Premuim. And could I completely remove Win7 and install another OS onto the MOBO after attaching Win7? I understand my Win7 will be useless at that point, but I'm more worried about rendering the MOBO useless.

EDIT AGAIN - I just ordered everything...! Thanks A LOT guys!


Nice little build you ended up with. I don't think you will regret the SSD. I think you will be shocked at how much of a difference it actually makes, I know I could never (willingly) go back to a HDD after using one.
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December 21, 2012 12:12:25 AM

xFriarx said:
Nice little build you ended up with. I don't think you will regret the SSD. I think you will be shocked at how much of a difference it actually makes, I know I could never (willingly) go back to a HDD after using one.


The speed is addictive that is for sure.. :D 
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