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HELP! First Build! [Gaming] $900 Budget

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December 30, 2012 2:06:40 AM

I'm looking to build my own computer for gaming. Here's what I've come up with:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB Video Card ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $884.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-30 00:37 EST-0500)

Also, I already have my monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

So how does that look? What changes do you recommend? Thanks!
December 30, 2012 3:37:51 AM

Updated list.
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December 30, 2012 4:03:31 AM

This will get you far better performance in games.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($27.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $891.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-30 01:04 EST-0500)

If it's too far over budget, then I would go with the HD 7870 or the GTX 660 for the GPU.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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Related resources
December 30, 2012 4:11:05 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($339.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($110.36 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On ihas524-T06 DVD/CD Writer ($29.23 @ Mwave)
Total: $849.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-30 01:11 EST-0500)
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December 30, 2012 4:30:22 AM

I'm just curious ^

Why would you pair a dual core processor with such a powerful GPU?

You are sure to run into bottlenecks. Rather, it would be in OP's best interest to get a beefy quad core CPU and a beefy GPU. The HD 7950 can more than hold its own in games.

Also, @Synapse79 can you specify which parts you already own? Also, telling us your budget for the parts you currently own would be really helpful as well. You may able to get more performance for your money.
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December 30, 2012 4:40:10 AM

DeusAres said:
I'm just curious ^

Why would you pair a dual core processor with such a powerful GPU?

You are sure to run into bottlenecks. Rather, it would be in OP's best interest to get a beefy quad core CPU and a beefy GPU. The HD 7950 can more than hold its own in games.

Also, @Synapse79 can you specify which parts you already own? Also, telling us your budget for the parts you currently own would be really helpful as well. You may able to get more performance for your money.


Only about 15% of games benefit from a cpu any better than the i3, however, most games' bottleneck is the gpu.
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December 30, 2012 4:53:49 AM

Precisely my point. More and more games are beginning to take advantage of multiple cores. If the OP decides he wants to play Battlefield 3 multiplayer, he's going to run into some trouble.

Besides, most people do more than just game on their PC. Some people tend to edit footage for YouTube.

It doesn't seem logical to put a dual core CPU in a $900 rig.
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December 30, 2012 1:54:36 PM

DeusAres said:
I'm just curious ^

Why would you pair a dual core processor with such a powerful GPU?

You are sure to run into bottlenecks. Rather, it would be in OP's best interest to get a beefy quad core CPU and a beefy GPU. The HD 7950 can more than hold its own in games.

Also, @Synapse79 can you specify which parts you already own? Also, telling us your budget for the parts you currently own would be really helpful as well. You may able to get more performance for your money.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
:)  Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB Video Card ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
:)  Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $884.89
I put a smiley by the ones I own on the list. Just the GPU and PSU. I was trying to keep it around $650 after subtracting the about $220 from the GPU and PSU I already own. Are they not good?
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December 30, 2012 3:55:49 PM

The PSU is an excellent choice. The GPU on the other hand isn't so great. At your budget, you can afford better.

For what you'll be doing, you could have saved money on the motherboard by going with the ASRock Z75 Pro3. It will still allow you to overclock and offers a single PCIe 3.0 slot for your GPU. It's an excellent board for the money.

You could have then used the money you saved on the motherboard and put it towards a far better GPU.

I would also recommend that you change your RAM to something with shorter heatspreaders so you don't run into clearance issues in the future.

ASRock Z75 Pro3
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P709YI/?tag=pcpapi-20

Corsair Vengeance 8GB
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Desktop-Memory-...
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December 31, 2012 12:07:08 AM

DeusAres said:
The PSU is an excellent choice. The GPU on the other hand isn't so great. At your budget, you can afford better.

For what you'll be doing, you could have saved money on the motherboard by going with the ASRock Z75 Pro3. It will still allow you to overclock and offers a single PCIe 3.0 slot for your GPU. It's an excellent board for the money.

You could have then used the money you saved on the motherboard and put it towards a far better GPU.

I would also recommend that you change your RAM to something with shorter heatspreaders so you don't run into clearance issues in the future.

ASRock Z75 Pro3
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P709YI/?tag=pcpapi-20

Corsair Vengeance 8GB
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Desktop-Memory-...



Well I got that GPU with a $20 rebate and a free copy of a game I wanted (Assassins Creed 3). So technically I paid $70 less than what is listed up there. I thought it was a pretty dang good deal for the latest EVGA series.
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December 31, 2012 1:02:29 AM

So long as you're satisfied with the performance, it's all good. It'll play most games out there on high settings. Others you may have to tweak.

If I were you, I would still consider making those changes I suggested above. This way, you can pocket the money and have the option to upgrade your graphics card in the future if you so desire.
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December 31, 2012 3:22:55 AM

if you got it so cheap, sell it for profit and buy a better gpu!
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January 2, 2013 8:42:41 PM

I'm returning what I bought already and starting from scratch. I want this thing to last me, be sexy, and run good. I really like MSI, and there's so many DOA's with those ASRock's. You sure that will be my best bet for my mobo? Thanks.
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January 2, 2013 10:51:06 PM

ASRock boards are just fine. Are you saying you've personally owned ASRock motherboards that have been DOA. Or are you looking at user reviews? User reviews are biased and I wouldn't trust them...to an extent.

ASRock Z75 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The vast majority of user reviews on newegg claim that it was an excellent board and they gave it 5/5 eggs.

If you would like a bit better motherboard, you can give the ASRock Z77 Pro3 or Pro4 a shot...

ASRock Z77 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just make sure you update all the drivers and plug everything in properly.
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!