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My 1st Gaming Build

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January 9, 2013 1:14:15 PM

My out of warranty Qosmio gaming laptop needs a new motherboard (Dropped -- cooling issue), which means time to get a new machine. I have always wanted to build my own, but was a little intimidated. I watched parts 1 and 2 of newegg's tutorial and it does not look so bad. I did some light research yesterday on components but would like to reach out for advice. I am looking to keep the cost around $800. I have a 28' monitor that goes to 1920 x 1200. I am a gamer and would like my build to be suited towards playing the latest games. Not necessarily at ultra settings @ 60fps, but high settings would be good (Games like Skyrim, Hitman: Absolution, Far Cry 3, Guild Wars 2). Here is what I have come up with so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard ($94.99 @ Microcenter if purchased w/ CPU)
Memory: Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB 7,200RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Micorcenter)
Optional Storage: OCZ Technology Vertex 3 SSD Series 90GB 2.5" Solid ($79.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ($179.99 @ Newegg after $20 rebate Card)
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified ($49.99 @ Newegg after $10 rebate)
Optical Drive: LG 24X DVD Burner ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Full (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total before rebates: $881.90 ($851.90 after rebates)

I have never overclocked but may want flexibility to do so moving forward (Not sure if the motherboard selected allows for this)

How am I looking? Any suggestions? I am doing research on the SSD. I am trying to figure out how necessary this is. I read that some install the OS on this and use the other HD for all of the storage. Does this really improve gaming performance. I can cut that out and get right at the $800 budget.

I am very new at this...any advice on the CPU, Motherboard, SSD would be greatly appreciated.

I was considering the following pre-built pc if I decide not to build myself:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/iBuyPower+-+Desktop+-+16GB+...

More about : 1st gaming build

January 9, 2013 1:20:23 PM

The motherboard you have chosen allows you to overclock.
Your config looks good but i would like a GTX 660 in there
also ssd does not improve gaming performance.
It just help in loading games faster.
January 9, 2013 1:21:35 PM

Also don't forget to add a cpu cooler like cooler master hyper 212 evo that will help you to keep cpu temperature under control while you overclock
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January 9, 2013 2:38:03 PM

Newegg has an XFX 7850 for $169.99 (after rebate). I would also get a more reliable PSU (Antec, SeaSonic, XFX, PCP&P, Corsair) and 630W is a little much. Newegg has a Corsair 500W Builder series for $29.99 yet I would go with this

Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)

You don't absolutely have to have an SSD. No performance increases other than load times, as hitman said. The 7850 will be fine and you can OC it pretty well.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=660

Try to find a case that has USB 3.0 front ports. You might as well utilize the USB 3.0 header on the motherboard.

Case: Cooler Master CM 690 II (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)

Finally, unless you really look forward to using Windows 8, I would stick with Windows 7 (at least until all of the bugs are worked out).
January 9, 2013 3:15:25 PM

I agree a higher quality PSU is in order, but I'd stick with 600w for expandability - the extreme4 has 2 pci-e 3.0 slots, and he may want a 2nd card down the road.

On an $800 budget for a gaming machine, I would leave out the ssd and bump the video card up to a 7950 or 660ti.
January 9, 2013 4:25:47 PM

Thank you all for the feedback. May stop by micro center tonight and look around...maybe just buy the CPU and Motherboard for now.
January 9, 2013 4:59:08 PM

One thing I saw debated elsewhere is Intel vs AMD for gaming. I noticed that the AMD CPU's a cheaper, but read that Intel is leaps and bounds better gaming (It was on another board...)

Is this true? Thoughts?
January 9, 2013 5:43:30 PM

I reccommend AMD chips for gaming sytems if and only if the client is interested in overclocking.

AMD chips at stock speeds do not compete with intels in gaming. However, more of AMD's product lineup has an unlocked multiplier (overclocking friendly). When fully overclocked, AMD's chips can generally outperform the intel chips around the same price, though they will consume more power in doing so.

At the high end of gaming chips (intel I5-3570k or higher), AMD doesn't really have anything competetive yet, but in the mid to low range, AMD can be a good choice if you want to overclock you CPU.
January 9, 2013 6:51:42 PM

quilciri said:
I reccommend AMD chips for gaming sytems if and only if the client is interested in overclocking.

AMD chips at stock speeds do not compete with intels in gaming. However, more of AMD's product lineup has an unlocked multiplier (overclocking friendly). When fully overclocked, AMD's chips can generally outperform the intel chips around the same price, though they will consume more power in doing so.

At the high end of gaming chips (intel I5-3570k or higher), AMD doesn't really have anything competetive yet, but in the mid to low range, AMD can be a good choice if you want to overclock you CPU.


Thank You.
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