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Looking to build first gaming rig, looking for suggestions

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December 21, 2012 8:05:36 AM

Hi, I'm pretty new to this sort of thing, but I'm looking to build a new computer for gaming. I want it to be able to run the newest games well but not cost too much (pretty much what everyone wants from a computer, eh?). I don't have a set budget in mind, but I don't want it to kill me, if you know what I mean. Anyways, I have been looking around the internet for a while and I have come up with something that looks reasonable, at least to me. I was hoping to put it up and get some suggestions on what would work, what would be better and whatnot. I don't plan on actually getting to building it for at least a couple of months, this is just to get a pretty solid idea of what I'm going to work towards.
So here are the parts I have found:

CPU:
For the CPU I was thinking the Core I5 3570k. I have read a lot that this is perfect for gaming at a reasonable price, and that you don't really notice the difference between this and an I7.

GPU:
Sapphire 1120-07-40g, Radeon HD 7870 Video Card, 2048mb. Again, I read good things about this card and it is reasonably priced.

Memory:
I chose the G.Skill RipjawsX F3-12800CLOS-8GBXL, 2x8GB, DDR3-1600, PC3-12800 ram sticks. I want decent ram that will allow the computer to run very quickly. I wasn't sure whether to go with 8GB or 16Gb, and just decided to get 8Gb for the price. Any suggestions on what I should use?

MOBO:
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Motherboard, Socket 1155, Intel Z77. I really had no idea what to go with for a motherboard, so I searched around on google and came up with this.

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Green WD20EARX Hard Disk Drive, 2000GB, 5400-7200RPM, 64mb cache. I wanted something with a tonne of space that I would never be able to fill. This has a 64mb cache which, (I think), gives a better transfer rate. The rpm is a bit low at 5400, but 7200 is, I read, fine for someone who isn't too worried about load times.

Power Supply:
Cooler Master GX, 750 MW ATX PSU, Active PFC. Like the motherboard, I had no idea what to choose for the power supply, so I did some searching and found this. The 750mw, I think, it sufficient for what I have chosen so far and allows for SLI in the future, if I feel I want to go that route.

Case:
Silverstone Raven RV03B-WA Full Tower Case. This is sort of a guess, no idea if the parts I have chosen will fit, hoping for an appropriate suggestion.

OS:
Windows 7/8 64bit. Not sure whether it is worth going for Windows 8 or just sticking with good 'ole Windows 7.

Monitor:
I want to get a fairly large monitor (Sort of 19"-24" range) that will be on 1920x1080. I haven't chosen one, but that is what I'm aiming for, so I want to get good parts that will let me run games at that resolution.

I'm not sure if there is any need to get a sound card, or if there is one built into the motherboard or something, so if anyone could clarify, that would be great. Also, mouse and keyboard are not a big problem. I am not into serious, intense gaming so I don't need a super precise, expensive mouse or keyboard. I just want it to look very nice and play at a good FPS :D  . I also need to get a wireless network card, but I'm not sure about those either.



So there it is, my sort of prototype gaming rig. As I said, I'm quite new to this sort of thing, so forgive me if any decisions seem outright stupid xD. Also, I live in New Zealand so prices, availability, etc. may be a little different, but hopefully it is not too much of a problem. I look forward to suggestions/changes/help from anyone that would like to provide =].
Many thanks,
Liam.

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December 21, 2012 9:00:25 AM

First off, the i5 3570k is a good choice of a CPU. Its a perfect balance for gaming, and pricing. The i7 is better, but it doesn't help in GAMING. It has its uses elsewhere, and when it comes to gaming those uses shouldn't really matter.

As much as I love Sapphire, MSI are the best in the 7870 department. Their Hawk has the highest overclock, of 1.1 GHZ, and the best components in their GPU's so you can overclock better past that 1.1 GHZ. It some scenarios I've seen it cheaper than Sapphires card. -- MSI HD 7870 Hawk 2GB

For memory, I would go for 8GB total, dual 4GB sticks. Dual channel ram works faster and better, and at this point in time, 8 GB is sort of overkill for gaming. Make sure its 1600 mhz and something low profile so that you don't have issues if you get a CPU cooler.

For your motherboard, I would get an Asrock Z77 extreme4. They're solid board makers imo, (I have one), and it has the best power phases for CPU overclocking. The only downside to this is that they use irregular ATX screwholes, while it'll still fit in all ATX cases, the top right corner isn't supported very well. Its still fine though, and its fixable by buying something like this:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/271025679138?ssPageName=STRK...

I would only go for the Asrock board if the Gigabyte board was significantly more.

Hard Drive looks good, I plan on getting the same model early next year. Its a good storage drive.

Coolermaster are bad when it comes to power supplies. Like really bad. They lie on their wattage output (Some PSU's only give out 75% of their rated wattage as an example). Although they appear cheap, who would you rather make your PSU. A company that mainly make cases and computer fans (Coolermaster), or a brand that actively makes Power Supplies with 5 year + warranty (Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, Antec, and a few others are good choices. I personally like Corsair for their support)

Cases are really just personal choices, I can't really say anything about a case as its the user that find s something they want. It supports ATX boards, and can have CPU coolers up to 163 mm in height.

Imo, stick with good ole Windows 7. Its really up to you, some people say that Windows 8 is ok, some people say its bad.

No point for a sound card, I believe all Z77 chipsets have 7.1 audio built into it that is better than most 30 dollar budget sound cards.

Something I recommend, is getting a nice SSD. 120GB as a boot drive, and you'll wonder why you never bought one in the first place. They are seriously fast, and make your computer really responsive. 120/128GB (They are the same space, different manufacturers list them differently), are really good, something like an OCZ Vertex 4 or something from Samsung.

Also, the SSD is not extremely needed. There is nothing stopping you from adding it later when you accumulate some more money later.

One thing I definitely recommend in investing in, is a good CPU cooler. Something like a Hyper 212 Evo for 50 bucks is definitely worthwhile, those stock heatsinks that come with the i5's are utter crap and make you unable to overclock. Get a Hyper 212 Evo and get a good overclock going at like 4.4 GHZ.
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December 21, 2012 10:39:01 AM

Thanks for the reply JJ1217 :D 
I've adjusted a few things on my planner according to your recommendation and now things look a bit better.
I have a couple of questions though.
Looking at the motherboard you mentioned, I saw that there are two models: the Asrock Z77 extreme4, and the Asrock Z77 extreme4-M. The extreme4-M is $50 cheaper and I was wondering if there is any difference or any reason not to take one over the other?
I changed out the power supply to a Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular TX750M, 750W Atx PSU, Active PFC. Is this a good choice?
I'm still really confused about the case; how do you know that everything will fit inside? Are there measurements you can take from the hardware and estimate what size case you'll need?
One thing I did forget to mention the the optical drive. Is it important to get something special for this? Or does it not really matter?
I think I will wait a bit to get a SSD, but it definitely sounds like a worthy upgrade once I have things set up.

Thanks a lot for your help,
Liam.
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December 21, 2012 5:47:58 PM

One is micro ATX, it means the board is smaller and is packed with much less features, such as not being able to crossfire/SLI. Its alright, but I like having the ability to crossfire. Its really up to you, just compare the features.

Yes very good choice, the TX750 is a good balance between price and quality.

Not really, the people who make the case tell you how much space you have to do things. I looked on the website, and they said you have a max of 163 mm for the CPU cooler, and like 380mm for the GPU. No GPU is 380mm long. And a Hyper 212 EVO fits within the 163 mm CPU height limit that Silverstone left. You see, a case is made with a specification, it'll support multiple type of motherboard types. Motherboards are sized like, M-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX and so forth, each getting bigger. If a case supports the board, it means everything will fit soundly, as it has the screwholes to screw in the motherboard. The only thing you have to do is make sure your CPU cooler and GPU fit within the case, which is why they'll give you the space you have to work with.

Its not really important to get a optical drive, you can if you want or if you think you'll play disks and what not for games.

No worries about helping you, thats why were here.
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December 22, 2012 12:26:45 AM

Best answer selected by mipen.
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