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First Build - Gaming

Last response: in Systems
January 8, 2013 1:15:48 AM

I plan on putting together my first PC for this summer, will most likely be picking up a piece here and there, so hopefully can find deals. Most items I'm getting will be from Memory Express, as it's 20min away and so far, prices are almost always superior to newegg.
The PC will mainly be used for gaming, music and rarely movies. Also plan on doing a career switch and going to University for CompSci, but I doubt I will need much power for that :)  I'll also be running Windows 8, any version that is recommended?

Case: NZXT Phantom Full Tower Black - 159.99 (HAF 932 was an option but Phantom has a much cleaner look)
MB: Sabertooth Z77 w/ Dual DDR3 - 244.99
CPU: Core™ i5-2500K Processor - 229.99
CPU Cooler: Hydro Series H100i - 119.99
GPU: eVGA GeForce GTX 680+ 4GB PCI-E w/ Backplate - 539.99 (Set on GeForce, doubt I'll go AMD)
SSD: SSD 520 Series SATA III Solid State Drive, 120GB with Desktop Installation Kit - 139.99
HD: WS 1TB RE4 7200rpm Enterprise Hard Drive - 114.99

Adding 2 fans to case:
NZXT 140mm -
NZXT 200mm -

Already own:
Ram: G.Skill RipjawsX 16g(8gb x2) LGA 1155/1156 - Still in package, christmas gift.
PSU: Corsair TX 750w - I've had this for around 3-4 years in my current PC. I put it in a store bought PC with very little vent to power a GPU almost too big for the case/mobo! Hoping I can still use it in my new build. Willing to replace asap or down the road if necessary.

I will also have 2 Dayton B652 bookshelf speakers and a Lepai 2020 hooked up to this, and later a decent pair of headphones under 200. Is the onboard sound card good enough to handle my needs?

Any suggestions will be appreciated, though only at a lower price if it's not a huge difference in performance, as I want to add a Max Durandal keyboard & a new monitor(when I decide between 120hz vs IPS) and I already went over my budget :) 

More about : build gaming

January 8, 2013 1:41:13 AM

I would change that cpu to 3570k. Everything else looks good.
January 8, 2013 2:02:39 AM

I would also suggest an Intel 3570K. As you did not mention, what is your budget? And as you are going for memory express I presume you are in Canada?

What are your goals with this build? You say gaming, but I can probably guarantee you could get similar performance with a GTX 670 give or take a bit and overclocked you can get similar performance as a GTX 680 (or a Radeon HD 7970 as well for that matter, but you have already said you did not want AMD/Radeon) - Only an option as this would save you a significant amount of cash.

Also, not a bad choice in motherboard although you could save a bunch and go with a lesser expensive board such as an AsRock EXTREME6 Z77 (about $155), although I dont see it on memory express. This would not necessarily warrant any loss in performance.
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January 8, 2013 2:30:08 AM

I completely over looked the 3570k, not realizing it was the same price as the 2500! Will definetly switch that out.

As for the choice of GPU, With me going back to school soon, I won't be able to realistically afford any decent upgrades for quite some time. I figured spend a little more on the important things to last me for the years to come. I just heard good things about the Sabertooth and I like Asus products. I do see the AsRock recommended quite often. I'll keep the 670 in mind, if it can still perform well overclocked. . . I'm not running a 3 monitor set up or anything.

Yes, I am in Canada, and all together that list came to 1684, which I am okay with, no higher. Planned was 1500 but I tend to get carried away :)  Will probably switch the mobo and possibly gpu to get the price down.
January 8, 2013 2:48:53 AM

get a noctua d14, cloosed loop solutions such as the h100i end up leaking. you have to RMA etc. with air cooled no problems.

and a 3570k is also better imo.

get an msi gd55 or better, (id go for Mpower has a nice black pcb pre tested at oc'd settings) and if you like asus v-pro. but if you really like the aesthetics of the thermal armour than by all means. even Asrock extreme 4 or 6 would be good too.

if your runnig a single monitor set-up get gtx 670 ftw signature 2 will do, i'd only get 680 if you want to run more than one monitor.

if you want a good quality ssd, id recommend a pro performance 3 ssd by corsair. although they are pricey. or even a samsung pro ssd.

January 8, 2013 2:54:03 AM

oh also, do you need a case with fan controllers? id get an fractal R4 or if you want corsair 650D look really clean to me.
January 8, 2013 4:07:01 AM

I didn't put any thought into fan controllers, isn't it possible to use up a PCI slot to install one afterwards? My sister got the white phantom, such a nice looking case, I don't think I could go for anything else!
I had a more expensive SSD originally, dropped it for a cheaper one to stay within budget. Can always get a 2nd one later on, or wait for a good sale.

Thanks for all the mobo suggestions I'll continue to look at them. Anything local is definitely a plus though for shipping reasons.

Other than some quality thermal paste(artic silver?) is there anything else that I'm missing?
Just got a new desk, mouse/pad, and wireless 360 controller. . . getting pretty excited!
January 8, 2013 12:44:29 PM

How is the gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H? Somewhere inbetween the AsRock & Asus as far as price goes. Hoping to do some overclocking with the PC.

Is it worth going for a mobo that has PS/2 connections for my keyboard? I was under the impression it is superior to USB. I believe the keyboard I was looking at has both, or a converter at least.