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$1300 Rounded Gaming Rig

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January 11, 2013 3:27:01 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Month

Budget Range: My budget is $1200 (currently about $100 above it), but it is flexable both ways if justified by bang for buck value.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: This rig will be primarily used for gaming (SC2, Skyrim, Civ 5), as well as some
AutoCAD/Soldiworks work. I want to avoid large gaps in preformace because of it being too heavily forcused on gaming.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, but outside of this budget. Intend to use a small Samsung HD TV with PC input to double as bedroom TV.

Parts to Upgrade: Everything!

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, outside of this budget. Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Florida

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Will be 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: This will be my first dedicated desktop PC. I am technically minded, but I've always had laptops, so I've never build a computer and don't have the hands on experience and the brand knowledge.
I hope to run this thing without upgrades for 6 to 7 years.
Will use existing optical drive

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Gaming on Laptop isn't cutting it


CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K $329.99
COOLING: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+ $29.99
MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $144.99
VIDEO: GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $399.99
POWER:CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $69.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-8GZH $69.99
STORAGE: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $79.99
STORAGE: Intel 330 Series Maple Crest SSDSC2CT120A3K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $124.99
CASE: LIAN LI PC-9F Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $119.99


Total: $1,369.91 not including $50 in mail in rebates.
Currently a bit high on cost, but I'm thinking it will be worth it.

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2013 4:01:24 PM

Actually that ram is overkill, because i7 supports DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory, 2400 is way too much. 8 GB of 1600 ram will cost you ~ 45$. Of gskill i recommend ares or sniper sticks.
If you have microcenter near, you should definetely visit it, as they usually have lower prices on cpus. If overclocking is a maybe, why not get i7 3770. While it's not made directly for ocing, it still oc's slightly, and you don't have to buy 212 EVO atm.
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January 11, 2013 5:15:19 PM

butremor said:
Actually that ram is overkill, because i7 supports DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory, 2400 is way too much. 8 GB of 1600 ram will cost you ~ 45$. Of gskill i recommend ares or sniper sticks.
If you have microcenter near, you should definetely visit it, as they usually have lower prices on cpus. If overclocking is a maybe, why not get i7 3770. While it's not made directly for ocing, it still oc's slightly, and you don't have to buy 212 EVO atm.


Thanks for the catch on the ram speed! A friend also caught that the motherboard can only use the 2400 if you overclock, regardless of the CPU. I think I'll also go for the i7 3770 as I'm not likely to overclock. Not only would I save on cooling, but it's $30 cheaper for a 0.1 GHz drop in speed.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770 $299.99 (-$30)
COOLING: NONE (STOCK) - $0 (-$29.99)
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 $48.99 (-$21)

That brings it to:
Total: $1,288.92 not including $50 in mail in rebates. Nice!

Would still appreciate any other comments/suggestions.

Was toying with the idea of getting 16 GB of ram now, since given past experience, I'll need it in 5 years. Could just get a second (2 x 4GB) in the empty slots when the time comes, but I've heard back and forth on mixing ram.
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January 11, 2013 5:26:43 PM

Gskill RAM is a flippin joke. get something good like kingston or mushkin. also, if you live near a microcenter i7 3770k is only 200$ there, in store pickup only though. ;o
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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2013 8:28:29 PM

aaloxian said:
Thanks for the catch on the ram speed! A friend also caught that the motherboard can only use the 2400 if you overclock, regardless of the CPU. I think I'll also go for the i7 3770 as I'm not likely to overclock. Not only would I save on cooling, but it's $30 cheaper for a 0.1 GHz drop in speed.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770 $299.99 (-$30)
COOLING: NONE (STOCK) - $0 (-$29.99)
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 $48.99 (-$21)

That brings it to:
Total: $1,288.92 not including $50 in mail in rebates. Nice!

Would still appreciate any other comments/suggestions.

Was toying with the idea of getting 16 GB of ram now, since given past experience, I'll need it in 5 years. Could just get a second (2 x 4GB) in the empty slots when the time comes, but I've heard back and forth on mixing ram.

Easy there. not that ram, it's 1.25V but i7 needs 1.5V ram
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January 12, 2013 6:10:33 PM

butremor said:
Easy there. not that ram, it's 1.25V but i7 needs 1.5V ram


Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 $46.99 (-$23)

Still don't see where the CPU lists requires 1.5v, but it seems to be the standard on all other at DDR3 1600 and a friend seems concerned about that voltage as well (still no hard data). Going to play it safe anyway and use the above.

Also, thanks for the Microcenter tip Zed, unfortunately the closest one is in Atlanta (10 hour roundtrip and $50 Gas).
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a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2013 6:28:02 PM

AMD FX 8350 is also an option as it is a beastly and not to mention cheap workstation build with a little bit lower power for gaming.

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January 12, 2013 6:54:49 PM

boulbox said:
AMD FX 8350 is also an option as it is a beastly and not to mention cheap workstation build with a little bit lower power for gaming.


No. Nope. Just... no.
I swear, if you go with an AMD you will regret it.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2013 7:08:15 PM

supermochalala said:
No. Nope. Just... no.
I swear, if you go with an AMD you will regret it.



Not really, I had many great AMD builds(more than intels because it was and still is so much cheaper) and i have had a great time with them. I do say that their recent CPUs weren't the best for gaming but the fx 8350 is on par with intels i7 3770k in terms of multi thread application but in single thread it is just about as slow as an i5 2500k.

FX 8350 is lower than an i5 3570k and it can work very well in a lot of the conditions that he will be using it in. It does lose FPS vsing i5 3570k in some games but it is well worth the trade if you are doing CAD and things
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January 12, 2013 7:21:29 PM

boulbox said:
Not really, I had many great AMD builds(more than intels because it was and still is so much cheaper) and i have had a great time with them. I do say that their recent CPUs weren't the best for gaming but the fx 8350 is on par with intels i7 3770k in terms of multi thread application but in single thread it is just about as slow as an i5 2500k.

FX 8350 is lower than an i5 3570k and it can work very well in a lot of the conditions that he will be using it in. It does lose FPS vsing i5 3570k in some games but it is well worth the trade if you are doing CAD and things


True, true.

However, in general, Intel builds are more upgradable and future-proof.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 12, 2013 9:18:11 PM

supermochalala said:
True, true.

However, in general, Intel builds are more upgradable and future-proof.


upgrade as in changing the whole board and for a new CPU? future proof as in changing the GPU for another one or adding another one?

you can do all of these things on AMD builds not to mention the new socket for intel will be 1150 instead of 1155.

for gaming the highest you can/should go is the i5 anyways since i7 doesn't have any performance increase over the i5.

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January 14, 2013 1:43:08 PM

Best answer selected by aaloxian.
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January 14, 2013 2:17:38 PM

Thanks for all the input. Made as last minute change to storage. Since I have my media computer for movies, photos and music, I took out the 1 TB drive and upped the SSD from 120 GB to 240 GB. Just bought the parts, final build is as follows.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770 $299.99 (Newegg)
COOLING: NONE (STOCK) - $0
MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $144.99 (Newegg) (Not including $15 Mail Rebate)
VIDEO: GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $369.99 (Amazon) (Not including $20 Mail Rebate) (Got really lucky here, price just jumped back up)
POWER:CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $69.99 (Newegg) (Not including $10 Mail Rebate)
RAM: [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...] G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR[/URL] $46.99 (Newegg)
STORAGE: Intel 330 Series SSDSC2CT240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $189.99 (Newegg)
CASE: LIAN LI PC-9F Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $119.99 (Newegg)


Total: $1,241.93
$1,264.49 Shipped
Not including $45 in mail in rebates.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2013 2:44:43 PM

Great final build. good luck!
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