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Help build a gaming computer $700-800 build

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January 3, 2013 8:28:19 PM

Hey guys, i'm trying to build my first gaming pc. Im not exactly sure what to buy that would be more bang for its buck but I made a build. Im expecting tweaks and if its really worth it, I don't mind paying a bit more.

Generally, I would like to play games in high- ultra quality.

Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this week (the closer the better)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 700-800) After Rebates; After Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.ca, ncix.ca generally, anywhere that would ship in Canada for a good shipping price or free shipping.

Location: Toronto, Canada

Parts Preferences: no preferances

Overclocking: / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments: I am planning to play League of legends, BF3, and possibly GW2.

Why am i Upgrading: I'm having trouble running games



Here are the specs to what I am looking to build myself.

AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor

ASRock Z77 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA3 DVI HDMI USB3.0 Motherboard

Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card

Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case

Cooler Master eXtreme Power 600W ATX12V Power Supply

Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer

i also don't have a monitor chosen At the moment. This can be recommened as well.

More about : build gaming computer 700 800 build

January 3, 2013 8:45:42 PM

Hi. What's your budget and resolution? That AMD CPU isn't compatible with that Intel motherboard.
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January 3, 2013 8:47:35 PM

hi, my budget is 800. but willing to spend a bit more if it really is better.
oh, well i intend in keeping the cpu, which motherboard is recommended ?
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January 3, 2013 8:48:40 PM

btw, i dont have a monitor chosen atm
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January 3, 2013 8:57:23 PM

Well if you intent on keeping that CPU, a good AM3+ motherboard will do. If you just want it for gaming only, you might want to go with an Intel build instead.
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January 3, 2013 9:02:15 PM

oh ok, well which intel cpu would be good ?
i was thinking it to be mostly gaming, but with a bit of office capability.
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a c 203 4 Gaming
January 3, 2013 9:08:41 PM

I think you have your priorities wrong.

1. The FX-8130 is not a great gaming cpu.
Few games use more than 2-3 fast cores, making the extra cores of the FX-8320 of not much use.
You might read this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
The bulldozer architecture was a big disappointment to gamers becaues of low performance per clock.
And... A Z77 based motherboard is for intel, not amd.

2. For good gaming, the graphics card is all important. Particularly if you want high quality.
In this case, you have paired a $180 cpu with a $115 graphics card.
You would be better off to reverse the ratio.

3. I think you would game better with a $130 i3-3220 and a $250 GTX660.
For a stronger combo, pair a i5-3330 quad for $190 with a $350 GTX670.

4. Beware cheap psu's. Coolermaster extreme power is a tier 4 unit on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Buy a tier 1 or 2 unit.

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January 3, 2013 9:10:42 PM

Here's a build. Tweak it as you like and buy from your preferred sites to save on shipping costs.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $796.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-03 18:09 EST-0500)

Edit: I didn't change the case because it depends on individual preference.
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January 3, 2013 9:22:15 PM

johnsonjohnson said:
Here's a build. Tweak it as you like and buy from your preferred sites to save on shipping costs.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $796.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-03 18:09 EST-0500)

Edit: I didn't change the case because it depends on individual preference.




Thanks, im curious but would most games be able to be ran on high-ultra quality? How would the frames be?
and with the monitor recommended, will the video card be of use with it? I ask because I don't want to spend money on a vid card that isn't in its full potential.

also, will the motherboard be compatible with everything?
and is the power supply able to supply enough power?

sorry, I'm not too knowledgeable in building computers, its my first time :S
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January 3, 2013 9:26:20 PM

geofelt said:
I think you have your priorities wrong.

1. The FX-8130 is not a great gaming cpu.
Few games use more than 2-3 fast cores, making the extra cores of the FX-8320 of not much use.
You might read this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
The bulldozer architecture was a big disappointment to gamers becaues of low performance per clock.
And... A Z77 based motherboard is for intel, not amd.

2. For good gaming, the graphics card is all important. Particularly if you want high quality.
In this case, you have paired a $180 cpu with a $115 graphics card.
You would be better off to reverse the ratio.

3. I think you would game better with a $130 i3-3220 and a $250 GTX660.
For a stronger combo, pair a i5-3330 quad for $190 with a $350 GTX670.

4. Beware cheap psu's. Coolermaster extreme power is a tier 4 unit on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Buy a tier 1 or 2 unit.


OK so would you recommend me switching to an i5 or keep at an i3?

also, take a look at johnsonjohnson's build, would you recommend me going with it ?
thanks!
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January 3, 2013 9:28:15 PM

Yes you should be able to run most games at that setting. Here's a benchmark of the card in Battlefield 3.

Yes that graphics card will be used to its full potential on that monitor. The motherboard is compatible with everything and the power supply unit has more than enough power. You might even go with a GTX 660 Ti or HD 7950 if you want even better performance but from the games you listed you'll be fine with the GTX 660.

Edit: Another benchmark result:
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January 3, 2013 9:37:02 PM

Since you're planning to play Battlefield 3, I assume you mean multiplayer; the quad-core i5 will give you a better and smoother experience than the dual-core i3.
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January 3, 2013 9:42:02 PM

Ok, thanks!! you've actually been really helpful LOL
I'm going to see when I can get these parts and build my comp. :) 
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January 3, 2013 9:49:28 PM

You're welcome! Feel free to ask if you need more help.
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a c 203 4 Gaming
January 3, 2013 9:59:37 PM

PoppingD said:
OK so would you recommend me switching to an i5 or keep at an i3?

also, take a look at johnsonjohnson's build, would you recommend me going with it ?
thanks!


I like the Johnson johnson build.

If your game is BF3, a lot depends on single player vs. multiplayer.

In single player, the game is not so much cpu intensive, and the graphics card is more important.
That is what you see in most benchmarks.
But, in multiplayer the situation changes, particularly as the number of players increases. In multiplayer, a strong quad becomes more important.
Yoou don't see multiplayer benchmarks because they are hard to do with any repeatability.

From a cpu point of view, if you can manage a 3570K, which is as good as it gets when overclocked, I think you will have a 4 year cpu and can use the strongest of graphics cards.
A GTX670 would be an appropriately strong card to go along with it.
But, we all have budgets. I think I might go with the i5-3330 quad which is a bit weaker than the JJ build, and a stronger graphics card like a GTX660ti if it fits your budget. Keep the Z77 based motherboard in case you find a need for an overclockable cpu.

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January 3, 2013 10:13:01 PM

I would've gone with the i5-3330 too or any other i5 that's cheaper. I chose the i5-3470 simply because it was cheaper on pcpartpicker but that may or may not be the case after the shipping cost. So you should take the information here to get the best parts at the best prices.
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January 3, 2013 11:02:37 PM

geofelt said:
I like the Johnson johnson build.

If your game is BF3, a lot depends on single player vs. multiplayer.

In single player, the game is not so much cpu intensive, and the graphics card is more important.
That is what you see in most benchmarks.
But, in multiplayer the situation changes, particularly as the number of players increases. In multiplayer, a strong quad becomes more important.
Yoou don't see multiplayer benchmarks because they are hard to do with any repeatability.

From a cpu point of view, if you can manage a 3570K, which is as good as it gets when overclocked, I think you will have a 4 year cpu and can use the strongest of graphics cards.
A GTX670 would be an appropriately strong card to go along with it.
But, we all have budgets. I think I might go with the i5-3330 quad which is a bit weaker than the JJ build, and a stronger graphics card like a GTX660ti if it fits your budget. Keep the Z77 based motherboard in case you find a need for an overclockable cpu.


Well most of the games I'm looking to play is going to be multiplayer so i guess a stronger cpu would be more important for me.

I'm going to check some of the prices and see if i could pick up any of them in a nearby store just so i can takeout shipping.

Also, if I were to overclock my computer, what are the procedures I need to do to make sure I dont fry it?
just to make sure, the z77 would also be compatible with the parts johnson recommended right? because for the z77, im looking at paying about $130 for it. its almost double of the one johnson said. I'm just asking if it would be worth spending a few more bucks on a better motherboard.
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January 3, 2013 11:17:36 PM

If you want to overclock, you'll need the i5-3570K, a good Z77 motherboard like the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 in your original post, and maybe an aftermarket cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus or Evo. Overclocking isn't hard and there are guides to help you with it. Yes a Z77 would be compatible with the parts in that build but it might not be worth it if you don't plan on getting a more expensive i5-3570K or plan on upgrading to it in the future.
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January 3, 2013 11:28:25 PM

hmm, well in that case, i seem to have little use for over clocking.
I guess il stick with the motherboard you recommended and save that bit of cash :) 
as long as that motherboard can handle everything else that you recommended Im good LOL
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January 3, 2013 11:30:07 PM

johnsonjohnson said:
If you want to overclock, you'll need the i5-3570K, a good Z77 motherboard like the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 in your original post, and maybe an aftermarket cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus or Evo. Overclocking isn't hard and there are guides to help you with it. Yes a Z77 would be compatible with the parts in that build but it might not be worth it if you don't plan on getting a more expensive i5-3570K or plan on upgrading to it in the future.


Do you recommend me upgrading my video card to a gtx 660 ti ? if so, what brand?
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January 3, 2013 11:38:39 PM

That motherboard will do the job but you can go with another H77 motherboard that you might prefer or costs less. The cheapest GTX 660 Ti according to pcpartpicker costs about $240 so you'll have to decide if the extra $45 is worth the extra performance to you. You can see the difference in performance from the benchmark charts that I posted above and more around the web. But either card should give you very good performance at your resolution. Also don't forget that you can overclock the card for more performance.
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a c 203 4 Gaming
January 4, 2013 12:39:49 AM

PoppingD said:
Well most of the games I'm looking to play is going to be multiplayer so i guess a stronger cpu would be more important for me.

I'm going to check some of the prices and see if i could pick up any of them in a nearby store just so i can takeout shipping.

Also, if I were to overclock my computer, what are the procedures I need to do to make sure I dont fry it?
just to make sure, the z77 would also be compatible with the parts johnson recommended right? because for the z77, im looking at paying about $130 for it. its almost double of the one johnson said. I'm just asking if it would be worth spending a few more bucks on a better motherboard.


If you live near a microcenter, they have good deals on some cpu's if you can walk in.
A 3570K is $170.
a I3-3220 is $100.

The stock clock on a 3570K is 3.4. The "K" suffix allows you to raise the multiplier easily to 4.0-4.3 or so, depending on how good your cooler is.
CM hyper212 @$30 is a good value.
All you need is a Z77 based motherboard; most will do. Do not worry about damaging it. The cpu will downclock if it gets dangerously hot.
So long as you leave the voltage on default, you are safe. You can find a number of suitable Z77 motherboards for <$100. Here is one for $90:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 4, 2013 2:34:31 AM

geofelt said:
If you live near a microcenter, they have good deals on some cpu's if you can walk in.
A 3570K is $170.
a I3-3220 is $100.

The stock clock on a 3570K is 3.4. The "K" suffix allows you to raise the multiplier easily to 4.0-4.3 or so, depending on how good your cooler is.
CM hyper212 @$30 is a good value.
All you need is a Z77 based motherboard; most will do. Do not worry about damaging it. The cpu will downclock if it gets dangerously hot.
So long as you leave the voltage on default, you are safe. You can find a number of suitable Z77 motherboards for <$100. Here is one for $90:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


oh, im looking at canadian websites since im from Canada, so i think the prices are going to be a bit more for me.
the 3570k is about $226 in newegg canada

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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January 4, 2013 3:40:40 AM

oh yea, im asking my friend and i sent him my build.
he stretched my dollar by about 100 more but he gave me this build:

asus 660 oc
xfx 650w
fractral design core 1000 case
corsair xm3 8gb ram
seagate barracuda 1tb 7200rpm
i5 3470

LG E2242C-BN 21.5IN Widescreen LED Backlit LCD Monitor 1920x1080 5MS 5M:1 VGA VESA Mount Black
Gigabyte Z68-UD2H
and hes adding another 20$ cd drive

what do you think? it comes to about 900 but id like ur opinions :) 
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January 4, 2013 4:03:10 AM

Well it looks similar with slight differences. You can go with that PSU but 550W is enough. The case is a Micro ATX case so it won't be compatible with an ATX board if you decide to get one in the future. I wouldn't go with an old Z68 motherboard because it will probably require you to flash the BIOS with a 2nd Gen Intel Core processor to the latest version to support 3rd Gen processors. If you're willing to spend that much, I'm sure we can come up with an even better build.
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January 4, 2013 3:36:11 PM

hmm, well if you are able to build something with that budget now that would be nice to know.
and would it be possible to receive all the products from ncix? its easier for me since i could pick them all up and exclude shipping costs.

so would you recommend the case and motherboard we recommened here?
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January 4, 2013 6:43:39 PM

Here's a build for a little over $900 from NCIX. Since we're limited to just NCIX, we couldn't get the best prices on each part or the best parts for the budget. I didn't include a DVD burner because the selections on pcpartpicker is limited but I think you can get one for less than $20. As I've said before the case is personal preference so you can go for another one. If this is too much for your budget, you can switch the graphics card to the GTX 660. The Fractal Design Core 1000 case is fine but I wouldn't go with the Gigabyte Z68-UD2H board.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.17 @ NCIX)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($264.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.98 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $922.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-04 15:42 EST-0500)
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January 4, 2013 9:32:54 PM

ok, thanks :) 
as of right now im taking parts of ur build and parts of my other friends. im planning to buy the parts tmrw or tonight. The only thing left is to build it which, well i have no idea how to :S
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January 5, 2013 12:12:13 AM

ahh thanks,
but i guess what are some precautions i should take?
like i know to have a clear place when building, but like how should i be careful with the parts and what surfaces should I not build my pc on?
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January 5, 2013 1:11:37 AM

"As well as this there are some other precautions. Build the machine on a non-conductive surface (wooden table, a stone bench even cardboard are all good surfaces), don't stand on carpet when building and be barefoot or have shoes on. Also don't touch the gold pins/plates on the RAM or bottom of the CPU.
If you follow those, you have nothing to worry about static wise."

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/369161-31-avoiding-el...
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a c 203 4 Gaming
January 5, 2013 1:43:14 AM

PoppingD said:
ahh thanks,
but i guess what are some precautions i should take?
like i know to have a clear place when building, but like how should i be careful with the parts and what surfaces should I not build my pc on?


Some suggestions:

1. Take the time now to download and read, cover to cover the motherboard and case manuals.

2. Parts are keyed to only fit one way. Do not force anything.

3. I find a #2 magnetic tip phillips head screwdriver very useful to hold screws for assembly.
The magnetism is very weak, so don't worry; just be judicious where you leave it.

4. Touch the case with your hand first before working with parts. Normally, static is not a big problem.

5. Set aside a bowl or something to hold small parts.

6. Assemble the motherboard, ram, and cooler outside of the case first. Attach a monitor and psu to check that it posts before putting it into the case.
It is much easier to fix things outside the case.

7. Download and have a memtest86+ cd or usb stick ready. Boot from it and verify that the ram is working.
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January 5, 2013 3:21:47 AM

ohh ok thanks, and for the new build, could i go with an evga gtx 660 ti?
im not exactly sure which manufacture is the best at video cards. i would choose asus but they are REALLY expensive.
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a c 203 4 Gaming
January 5, 2013 3:27:23 AM

PoppingD said:
ohh ok thanks, and for the new build, could i go with an evga gtx 660 ti?
im not exactly sure which manufacture is the best at video cards. i would choose asus but they are REALLY expensive.


That is an excellent card.
I like the EVGA cards because they tend to use direct exhaust coolers that get the heat out of the case quickly.
Also, EVGA has good US based support.
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