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$800 Gaming PC?

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January 5, 2013 6:08:09 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Guardian 921 RB ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.74 @ Mwave)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $731.67
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-05 14:49 EST-0500)

This is my current build for a gaming PC I plan on building by the end of January. I've already bought a $60 power supply and the $40 ram listed here (It was on sale recently, so it was a steal), which puts my build at just around $800. The power supply was a corsair HX650, which I managed to get on ebay for $60. My current situation is whether or not I should shell out an extra $40ish for a Caviar Black. I'm coming from a seagate 750 gb hard drive on my XPS 15, and one of the things about me is that anything better than what I currently have is usually okay unless I'm trying to future proof. That being said, I'm not super impatient and could probably tolerate a barracuda no problem, but any recommendations would be helpful. I also really like the case that I chose (It's around $75 on amazon with tax), and I don't currently have an USB 3 devices, so I could tolerate putting them in the motherboard directly if I needed fast speeds. The desktop won't be inside of a desk or anything, so I should have easy access to the different sides of it. I don't plan on overclocking for awhile, but I'll likely buy a CM 212 down the line if I want to go to 4 ghz. For now if I overclocked at all, I'd probably only do it a few hundred megahertz (if that). I also am not totally set on the 660ti since I hear a lot of people saying that the 7950 is a much better card for the price. I would probably get the 7950 for $320 on newegg (Twin Frozr II) and since I have a 650w psu, I could probably overclock it up to a 7970, correct? I'm going Intel, but I've heard that the whole "better compatibility" thing of Intel and Nvidia mainly just applies to laptops that use Optimus. The 660ti seems to perform better in a lot of games, but if I could overclock the 7950 without any negative effects, I might consider that as well. My main thing with the graphics card is getting the best one for my money so I can future proof it and not have to buy a new one for at least three years. I run on a 1920 x 1080 monitor, but I'd be willing to lower the settings in games years from now as long as I can maintain 60 fps. Any suggestions for this build would be great, thanks!

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January 5, 2013 6:52:06 PM

-there is no such thing as futureproofing
-black drives are just regular blue drives with more warranty
-CPU is already at 3.8ghz. 4ghz is not considered a "overclock" if you ask me.
-to see any benefit from overclocking, you must be at least 4.2ghz or above
-run your memory at 1600mhz. running it faster isnt covered by intel
-what power supply did you buy. if its not a derivative of a seasonic or superflower unit, its probably not that good
-fyi, a 7950 performs better than a 660ti, just with a bit less stabilty. given a 660ti is cheaper than a 7950 right now, id get the 660ti

here is the revisions i made
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/w2N8

if you dont overclock, i can save you 50 or so bucks
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January 5, 2013 6:55:55 PM

keep your 750GB seagate you wont notice any difference from a wd black. use that extra money towards an 128GB ssd. it will make a huge difference.
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January 5, 2013 6:57:22 PM

Completely forgot about the whole intel stock overclocking thing. You're right about that. The ram I'll likely run at 1600mhz just because clockspeed over that doesn't matter much. I bought a corsair TX650, which I'm certain is a great power supply. Saving money isn't a big issue to me, more of just getting the most for my money. The "future proofing" is a temporary thing, of course. A core i5 will certainly last longer than a phenom II X4 in how long it can be used before it shows signs of bottlenecking. That's all I mean by future proofing. Do you think the black drives are actually worth it, or should I just stick with a $60-70 seagate?
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January 5, 2013 6:57:48 PM

the i5 3570k at microcenter is instore buy only(hope you know that) if you do have one nearby, great you should also grab an asrock extreme4 over there while you are at it
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January 5, 2013 6:58:42 PM

neither. if you already have a 750GB seagate why do you want a new one? are you running out of space? GET A SSD!
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January 5, 2013 6:59:28 PM

jonjonjon said:
keep your 750GB seagate you wont notice any difference from a wd black. use that extra money towards an 128GB ssd. it will make a huge difference.

Oh. Well it's a 2.5" laptop hard drive in my XPS and I wouldn't have a hard drive in it otherwise. My plan is definitely to get a new hard drive, not to use the laptop one.
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January 5, 2013 7:04:38 PM

boulbox said:
the i5 3570k at microcenter is instore buy only(hope you know that) if you do have one nearby, great you should also grab an asrock extreme4 over there while you are at it

Yup. I've got one not too far away from me that's $183 after tax. Much better than the $170 8320 I originally thought to buy on Amazon. What benefits does the extreme 4 serve? Isn't it at least $20 more expensive? I do believe that quality motherboards are important, I guess I just don't really know why I think that other than just the fact that it's a common belief.
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January 5, 2013 7:06:49 PM

you can wipe your old drive and use it in the new rig. now we just have to get the go-ahead and select a SSD for your usage

and id defintely get a seagate over a WD black in terms of pricing.


id also suggest a better motherboard if you are not buying a new hard drive. it needs quite a bit of improvement
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January 5, 2013 7:10:14 PM

can you take the drive out of the laptop? or does the laptop still need the laptop. the only reason i keep asking is because an ssd make such a difference.
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January 5, 2013 7:14:18 PM

jonjonjon said:
can you take the drive out of the laptop? or does the laptop still need the laptop. the only reason i keep asking is because an ssd make such a difference.

I'm not going to get an ssd for now, I don't think. I'd want a 128 gig so I could put some games on it as well, and it doesn't seem like there are any priced that well. I need to keep the hard drive in the laptop because I may be selling it or I just want it to remain there in case I ever need to use it. I'd like to completely rule out using that laptop's hard drive, though.
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January 5, 2013 7:21:47 PM

TheBigTroll said:
you can wipe your old drive and use it in the new rig. now we just have to get the go-ahead and select a SSD for your usage

and id defintely get a seagate over a WD black in terms of pricing.


id also suggest a better motherboard if you are not buying a new hard drive. it needs quite a bit of improvement

Definitely buying a new hard drive. Probably going to go for the Seagate drive. Do you know of any good, cheap, 128 gb SSDs? I want to be able to have windows and some large games (like BF3) on it if I do decide to get one.
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January 5, 2013 7:23:49 PM

there are ones that sell for 89 bucks.
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January 5, 2013 7:24:38 PM

shnish said:
Yup. I've got one not too far away from me that's $183 after tax. Much better than the $170 8320 I originally thought to buy on Amazon. What benefits does the extreme 4 serve? Isn't it at least $20 more expensive? I do believe that quality motherboards are important, I guess I just don't really know why I think that other than just the fact that it's a common belief.



Its price is a steal, it can overclock just as well as a lot of other $150+ boards and has pretty much everything you would need on it for a gamer like that extra PCIe slot for SLI/CFX

even though the MSI board would be the cheaper choice, the ASrock would be a more solid choice in my opinion
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January 5, 2013 7:25:41 PM

there are other boards from gigabyte and asus that are cheaper than the extreme4, yet perform the same
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January 5, 2013 7:29:01 PM

boulbox said:
Its price is a steal, it can overclock just as well as a lot of other $150+ boards and has pretty much everything you would need on it for a gamer like that extra PCIe slot for SLI/CFX

even though the MSI board would be the cheaper choice, the ASrock would be a more solid choice in my opinion

My main problem with it is that it's about $40 more than I'd like to spend on a motherboard, plus shipping. I likely won't go SLI/CFX down the line, I'd only do that if i got a lower end card. I don't use a lot of usb ports and use a wireless usb headset, so I don't actually need extra pci ports for a soundcard or anything. Do you have any boards that you can recommend in the $90 range that are better than the one I chose?
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January 5, 2013 7:29:33 PM

TheBigTroll said:
there are other boards from gigabyte and asus that are cheaper than the extreme4, yet perform the same

Any examples? The boards that I've been looking at are pretty expensive, except for the micro atx ones. I'm going atx, though.
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January 5, 2013 7:31:02 PM

No, pick up the asrock extreme4 at microcenter, it comes $50 off if buying an i5 3570k over there, so it is no shipping
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January 5, 2013 7:32:09 PM

boulbox said:
No, pick up the asrock extreme4 at microcenter, it comes $50 off if buying an i5 3570k over there, so it is no shipping

I didn't know MC was still having that deal. Extremely good to hear! Thanks so much for telling me about it. I'll be picking up the mobo/proc next week.
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January 5, 2013 7:32:09 PM

there isnt any reason to get atx sized boards if you are only putting 1 video card and possiblly a wifi card in the future. they perform the same

and if micro is near by, just take that extreme4 if it is only 50 bucks
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January 5, 2013 7:34:09 PM

yea this pny ssd is only $88. i haven't seen any reviews on a pny ssd but its a standard sandforce ssd with synchronous nand. how much different could it be from the other 100.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WT9SU0

the extreme4 is $95 with the 3570k combo. you can also get a MSI Z77A-G41 for $40 after $10 MIR.
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January 5, 2013 7:37:43 PM

TheBigTroll said:
there isnt any reason to get atx sized boards if you are only putting 1 video card and possiblly a wifi card in the future. they perform the same

and if micro is near by, just take that extreme4 if it is only 50 bucks

Well, because of the whole $50 off thing at micro center, I'll just pick up the motherboard for around $90 with tax. It's possible that I'd throw in a second video card down the line, but I wouldn't buy a motherboard specifically for that feature.
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January 5, 2013 7:44:07 PM

i highly doubt that you will run 2 video cards in the future, but if you want the extreme4, go for it then
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January 5, 2013 7:50:31 PM

TheBigTroll said:
i highly doubt that you will run 2 video cards in the future, but if you want the extreme4, go for it then

Probably not, because by the time I chose to upgrade, crossfire/sli just wouldn't be worth it. Are there other boards that are even cheaper with that $50 micro center deal? At this point I just want a good motherboard that's under $100. The extreme 4 might be a bit overkill, though. If there's any other board that's cheaper at MC, I'd be willing to go for that, too.
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January 5, 2013 7:59:44 PM

TheBigTroll said:
if the z77 extreme4 is for 90 bucks, get that instead. otherwise this would do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$97 after shipping? What does this offer over the MSI? Also, does micro center actually still have the $50 off thing with the 3570k? I've searched around their site and the Extreme 4 still seems to be $135.
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January 5, 2013 8:04:36 PM

micro does things instore.

the asrock offers more connectivity options in the rear.
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January 5, 2013 8:10:12 PM

TheBigTroll said:
micro does things instore.

the asrock offers more connectivity options in the rear.

That's true, I get that they do things in store, but I wasn't sure if it's always a $50 off deal. Good to know that it is, though.
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January 9, 2013 7:40:50 PM

Best answer selected by shnish.
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