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New Build For my Girlfriend - Advice?

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Last response: in Systems
January 11, 2013 7:35:26 PM

Hello all! Just finished my build and now my girlfriend wants one too. Budget Gaming build. Looking for tips.

- Purchasing within the next few days
- Want to stay around $1000 with monitor (there is flexability)
- Uses Gaming>GeneralOffice>Internet
- Buying a monitor. 23-24" preferable (IPS not required)
- Total build but not including keyboard/mouse (she can go pick out what she prefers)
- Need a copy of windows
- Parts need to be from Canadian vendors/websites (or extremely good deal in US that negates customs/shipping fee)
- Location: Edmonton, Canada
- Overclocking is pretty unlikely (tried a cheaper H77 chipset for first draft)
- SLI/Crossfire: Not necessary at this time but may double up the cards in future.
- Prefer Intel CPU

Here is my first draft build. Any advice for cost savings or to increase performance at relatively same cost is appreciated.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.94 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek LOKI SD963 52.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.79 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: OCZ Agility 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.98 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($178.94 @ NCIX)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: BenQ GW2450HM 24.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Memory Express)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1113.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 16:32 EST-0500)

Anywhere I could cut a bit of cost?

A couple of notes:

Here is where I got reviews for various parts:
CPU: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
Video Card: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
Case: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lian-li-pc-b12-nano...
Monitor: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/benq_gw2450hm.htm

Others I just filled in some gaps based on brand names, but I am open to any change.

More about : build girlfriend advice

Best solution

January 11, 2013 9:57:57 PM

Hi. That is a good build but you don't need an aftermarket if you're not overclocking and or a PSU that expensive. Here's a better build for $3 more. I upgraded the CPU to the i5-3470 quad-core but you can get the i5-3350P for $11 less but it doesn't have an IGP; the stock CPU cooler should be sufficient for both CPUs. I got a cheaper H77 motherboard but it's limited to 2 memory slots which is more than enough. I see there's a Samsung 840 Series 120GB for a similar price as an alternative to consider. The GTX 660 is faster for a little bit more but you can also get the HD 7870 for $5 more if you prefer AMD. There's a white Define R4 with a side window for less if you don't mind. You can get the Rosewill Hive 550W which also has modular cabling for less. If you want an IPS monitor, you can get one from ASUS for $5 less. Feel free to make any changes you prefer.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ 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 ($39.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: OCZ Agility 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.98 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: BenQ GW2450HM 24.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Memory Express)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1116.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 18:43 EST-0500)

Intel Core i5-3350P Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.3GHz Turbo)
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53350...

Samsung 840 Series 120GB
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/samsung-internal-hard-d...

XFX Double D FX-787A-CDFC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/xfx-video-card-fx787acd...

ASUS VS239H-P
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/asus-monitor-vs239hp
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January 11, 2013 10:14:06 PM

i'd save some money and get a better ssd and video card.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.94 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe MX 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($204.99 @ NCIX)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($17.06 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: BenQ GW2450HM 24.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Memory Express)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $970.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 19:13 EST-0500)
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January 11, 2013 10:33:18 PM

Nice. I didn't even think of micro ATX. And I dropped the cooler. Also it's nice that memory express has the white/window case as I can price match it there and save on shipping. Good catch!

Unfortunately both the ASROCK mobos are not on sale any more... PC part picker hasn't updated for some reason. So they are not the cheapest at 109/119. I went to the next cheapest of brands I know... the MSI.

I don't see the Asus screen. IPS not really a requirement, I don't see any reason she will ever need to not be sitting directly infront of the screen so viewing angle of IPS not critical.

This is where I'm at. I'll run the budget by her and see what she thinks.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.02 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: BenQ GW2450HM 24.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Memory Express)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1130.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 19:33 EST-0500)
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January 11, 2013 11:20:06 PM

Another revision. Anyone know about this MSI Motherboard? Think it should do the trick?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.02 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($204.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Canada Computers)
Monitor: BenQ GW2450HM 24.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Memory Express)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1085.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 20:13 EST-0500)
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January 11, 2013 11:42:52 PM

I think you might be able to get by with a Corsair CX430 that's on sale for $20.00 w/MIR on Newegg. On Microcenter the i5-3570k is $10 less than the 3470 ATM.
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January 11, 2013 11:50:37 PM

^not if he want to able to hook the graphics card up. Requires two 6pins while the CX430 only has one.

Dont know about that particular board, but looking at its specs I cant see anything wrong with it. Looks like a typical H77 board.

The build looks ready to go to me.
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January 12, 2013 12:01:30 AM

Ahh, I see. But if you have a Microcenter near by you, you should definitely get the i5 while it's on sale.
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January 12, 2013 12:20:48 AM

NerdBBQ said:
Ahh, I see. But if you have a Microcenter near by you, you should definitely get the i5 while it's on sale.


From OP's post:

- Parts need to be from Canadian vendors/websites (or extremely good deal in US that negates customs/shipping fee)
- Location: Edmonton, Canada

The build looks good. The Corsair Carbide Series 300R is about $10 more if you're interested: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/corsair-case-300r
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January 12, 2013 2:29:36 AM

Alright, almost there. Thanks for all the input.

Will probably pull the trigger tomorrow and let the lady choose the case she prefers as it is her build after all (even though I'll probably be working it... sigh).

I will post the finished build when I find out if everyone has the right parts!

Cheers.
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January 12, 2013 2:33:26 AM

Best answer selected by meldron.
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January 12, 2013 2:36:22 AM

You're welcome and good luck with your build.
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