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$1500 Noob Gaming Rig Help -- Little knowledge, less confidence

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January 12, 2013 3:33:17 AM

First of all, thank you to everyone who helps ignorant people like myself build awesome computers! I have appreciated reading through the forums and I am vastly impressed at the accumulated knowledge!

That being said... this will be my first time building my own PC and I'll take all the help I can get.


-> Purchasing as soon as I get the confidence
-> Willing to spend around $1500, but would like to stay under
-> Will be used for 95% gaming
-> I will be buying a monitor (need advice)
-> No parts to upgrade
-> Will be buying an OS
-> No preferred website -> using pcpartpicker
-> Live in the US
-> I would like to be able to overclock (although it scares the bejesus out of me), ditto for SLI

-> I am upgrading primarily to run Skyrim at Ultra + graphical mods (min FPS ~40-50), but I want room to grow. Gotta be ready for Elder Scrolls VI ;) 


Based on what I have read here (and some other sites), these are the parts I have so far. I am lost as to a cooling system, monitor, PSU, and case.

I am partial to an Intel core, and have read good things about the GTX 660, but I welcome any suggestions/alternate builds.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($151.99 @ Amazon)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.98 @ Amazon)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)

Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB Video Card ($294.98 @ SuperBiiz)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1010.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-12 00:21 EST-0500)


Thank you in advance! Please be harsh... I want to learn.
January 12, 2013 3:43:06 AM

Can't you get a motherboard almost for free when you buy a CPU at Micro Center?
January 12, 2013 3:44:30 AM

microcenter is instore buy only(great if you have one but tell me if you do to get a better rig)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($122.75 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1228.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-12 00:43 EST-0500)

this does let you have the ability to upgrade though.

also gives a much better GPU but if Skyrim is going to played most of the time then get a 670 and a 750W XFX PSU
Related resources
January 12, 2013 3:49:10 AM

A cheaper PSU would be better even with a 670. There's no need to go above something like the Antec High-Current Gamer 620W with that build even if it had a Radeon 7970 GHz Edition. You seem to be overestimating the power requirements. The money saved on the PSU could even go towards a better CPU cooler.
January 12, 2013 4:00:43 AM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. DON'T GET A 670>7970 FOR SKYRIM! Skyrim with graphical mods, and on ultra settings in general, eats through the DDR5 memory on the gpu (I think it's called VRAM but I'd like to not make a fool of myself) like no other. Go with the 7970, it has more (VRAM?) and is in general a better card than the 670 unless you're super into adobe stuff.

EDIT: And regarding the CPU, you MIGHT actually want to go FX - 8350. TekSyndicate/razethew0rld did a benchmark video on it. Sadly, he's right! My friends 8350 makes my 3770k look like a piece of garbage ;p It's kinda sad how biased some people are. fanboyism can lead to terrible things. I've always been an intel guy but recently I've been seeing this trend ;p
January 12, 2013 4:06:11 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. DON'T GET A 670>7970 FOR SKYRIM! Skyrim with graphical mods, and on ultra settings in general, eats through the DDR5 memory on the gpu (I think it's called VRAM but I'd like to not make a fool of myself) like no other. Go with the 7970, it has more (VRAM?) and is in general a better card than the 670 unless you're super into adobe stuff.


The GTX 670 and the Radeon 7970 have GDDR5 memory, not DDR5 ;)  VRAM has multiple meanings, but these days it's generally used in reference to the on-board frame buffer memory on graphics cards without describing the type nor performance of the memory. Whether or not this usage is technically correct, IDK for sure.

Also, Adobe has been putting a lot of work into using OpenCL, something that is supported on AMD's Radeon 79xx cards better than any other consumer graphics cards.
January 12, 2013 4:07:34 AM

boulbox said:
microcenter is instore buy only(great if you have one but tell me if you do to get a better rig)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($122.75 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1228.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-12 00:43 EST-0500)

this does let you have the ability to upgrade though.

also gives a much better GPU but if Skyrim is going to played most of the time then get a 670 and a 750W XFX PSU



The response time is amazing! Thank you for getting back so quickly. Unfortunately, I do not have a Micro Center anywhere near me. And I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I do want to learn... were the brand changes you suggest because they are cheaper? Do brands not matter that much for things like memory, storage, and motherboards (assuming the same chip sets)?

Also, what monitor would you suggest that will get the most out of the GPU?

This comp will be used primarily for Skyrim, I don't plan on any FPS or things like that on this box. Maybe an MMO like SWTOR.

And I am very concerned about cooling... mostly borne of ignorance, I'm sure. But I don't want to irrationally spend more on cooling solutions if I don't need it.

January 12, 2013 4:11:49 AM

Thanks for the info man.

Also, OP. Get a Cooler Master Hyper 121 EVO for cooling. should be A+ for a mild overclock even. Get a 7970 for best skyrim performance, since Radeon cards generally have more VRAM (C;)

Sorry I keep doing this, but.. EDIT: Brand matter quite a bit. You'd be surprised. I generally go: Mushkin for ram, and ssd. Western Digital for HDD. Asus/Asrock/MSI for motherboards. intel or amd for cpu, just depends. Radeon/ATI/AMD for GPU. Anything made by seasonic/I personally trust for a psu (Seasonic, Corsair, XFX, Antec), and NZXT or Cooler Master for cases. Just what I kinda aim for personally.
January 12, 2013 4:33:06 AM

Hi if I were you this is what I would go for http://pcpartpicker.com/p/x9Om . Also you will be able to overclock the CPU a fair bit as I chose a Noctua DH-N14.

Frontman15b said:
First of all, thank you to everyone who helps ignorant people like myself build awesome computers! I have appreciated reading through the forums and I am vastly impressed at the accumulated knowledge!

That being said... this will be my first time building my own PC and I'll take all the help I can get.


-> Purchasing as soon as I get the confidence
-> Willing to spend around $1500, but would like to stay under
-> Will be used for 95% gaming
-> I will be buying a monitor (need advice)
-> No parts to upgrade
-> Will be buying an OS
-> No preferred website -> using pcpartpicker
-> Live in the US
-> I would like to be able to overclock (although it scares the bejesus out of me), ditto for SLI

-> I am upgrading primarily to run Skyrim at Ultra + graphical mods (min FPS ~40-50), but I want room to grow. Gotta be ready for Elder Scrolls VI ;) 


Based on what I have read here (and some other sites), these are the parts I have so far. I am lost as to a cooling system, monitor, PSU, and case.

I am partial to an Intel core, and have read good things about the GTX 660, but I welcome any suggestions/alternate builds.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($151.99 @ Amazon)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.98 @ Amazon)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)

Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB Video Card ($294.98 @ SuperBiiz)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1010.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-12 00:21 EST-0500)


Thank you in advance! Please be harsh... I want to learn.

January 12, 2013 4:38:31 AM

Noctua is wayyyy overkill and a waste of money if op doesn't plan on overclocking. a 212 evo should be more than enough..
January 12, 2013 4:47:19 AM

Don't use a Noctua NH-d14 on an Ivy Bridge CPU. Ivy doesn't need a lot of cooling dissipation because it doesn't generate much heat. Ivy needs low thermal resistance because what little heat it does have has trouble getting out of the CPU. So, unlike the NH-D14, coolers with Direct Touch heatpipes or similar technologies are highly recommended. For example, on Sandy, the NH-d14 would probably beat the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, yet on Ivy, the opposite is true because the Tuniq tower has excellent Direct Touch heat pipes and the NH-D14 does not.
January 12, 2013 4:58:49 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG DID YOU JUST SAY IVY'S DON'T GENERATE MUCH HEAT.

WAT

But no, seriously, are you out of your mind? Ivy's run UBER freakin' hot.
January 12, 2013 5:04:15 AM

FX 8350 is on par with i7 3770k in terms of multithread applications. In single thread it is slower than an i5 2500k.

Vram is more of how much bandwidth you will have between the monitors and skyrim is more Nvidia based than AMD, one of the few perks of having Nvidia over AMD in skyrim is the FXAA launcher which does make a difference in quality of how the games looks)
January 12, 2013 5:04:30 AM

Ivy runs hot because of the crap paste between the CPU die and the IHS, not because they generate a lot of heat. They actually generate very little heat, but simply have great trouble getting rid of that heat. That's why it's better to get a cooler focused on low temps than a cooler focused on handling high thermal loads.
January 12, 2013 5:05:35 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG DID YOU JUST SAY IVY'S DON'T GENERATE MUCH HEAT.

WAT

But no, seriously, are you out of your mind? Ivy's run UBER freakin' hot.


Please don't go full retard and read the whole post
January 12, 2013 5:06:04 AM

boulbox said:
FX 8350 is on par with i7 3770k in terms of multithread applications. In single thread it is slower than an i5 2500k.

Vram is more of how much bandwidth you will have between the monitors and skyrim is more Nvidia based than AMD, one of the few perks of having Nvidia over AMD in skyrim is the FXAA launcher which does make a difference in quality of how the games looks)


FXAA is far inferior to MSAA, which is supported by both AMD and Nvidia (although better supported by AMD who has much smaller performance hits with it).

EDIT: Also, Nvidia's TXAA, although still not supported by many games, is also far superior to FXAA.
January 12, 2013 5:08:45 AM

The High Res textures in skyrim graphical mods is what eats VRAM (I don't actually play skyrim, I just remember reading this somewhere, probably here) . I'll take your word for it.;p And regarding the FX, look at youtube.com/razethew0rld's video where they give ACTUAL in game benchmarks with all those cpu's. the 8350 owns them. it kinda saddens me. good thing I only payed 219$ for my 3770k, or I'd be pissed.

What do you think is the best cooler for an Ivy, then? Curious.
January 12, 2013 5:14:34 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
The High Res textures in skyrim graphical mods is what eats VRAM (I don't actually play skyrim, I just remember reading this somewhere, probably here) . I'll take your word for it.;p And regarding the FX, look at youtube.com/razethew0rld's video where they give ACTUAL in game benchmarks with all those cpu's. the 8350 owns them. it kinda saddens me. good thing I only payed 219$ for my 3770k, or I'd be pissed.

What do you think is the best cooler for an Ivy, then? Curious.


I'm not sure about best, but Xigmatek's top air cooler plus a second fan is probably just about as good as it gets until you go into custom water cooling. Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme is one of my favorite coolers for Ivy, but it's not quite the best and it can't have additional fans added to it. True enthusiasts would remove Ivy's IHS and get rid of Intel's crap paste if they want a best of the best in overclocking.
January 12, 2013 5:16:43 AM

Got a link? I'm not familiar with the brand, was told not to buy from them once, never really looked into it.

Also, no fricken' way I'm doing that. Not worth the 5% performance increase to risk Wasting your CPU. I'd just like to get some lower temps. I'm hitting 70C sometimes with my 212 EVO (Only at 3.9)
January 12, 2013 5:22:50 AM

Don't know about others, but i have been having an easy time with just 2GB of Vram on a 670 with about 20 mods(most texture mods are now combined) it is fully possible that it can use more than 2GB Vram but you seriously don't need that much since it depends on how strong the card is to use the full vram.

a great example with this is previous generation cards and such that tried to put inside more than 2GB of vram and had trouble with actually even using that full 2GB vram.

Also my personal card is a 4GB 670 and it performs pretty much the same as the 2GB version(got it because it was actually cheaper than the 2GB version back then)
January 12, 2013 5:24:32 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
Got a link? I'm not familiar with the brand, was told not to buy from them once, never really looked into it.

Also, no fricken' way I'm doing that. Not worth the 5% performance increase to risk Wasting your CPU. I'd just like to get some lower temps. I'm hitting 70C sometimes with my 212 EVO (Only at 3.9)


Just a link to the cooler, but it's what I've got:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

From what I can tell, a lot of people dislike Xigmatek, but IDK why. My experience with many of their products has mostly been great and that seems mirrored in most reviews for their products that I've read.

EDIT: It's actually more like a 20% overclocking headroom difference with the paste switched out for some high quality paste, but I do realize why many people would be intimidated by such an action on a CPU. It's actually not a difficult thing to do, just time-consuming and tedious. I've tried it with three older CPUs and it was fairly easy, but it took about 40 minutes each to get the IHS removed without causing any damage. I later put the IHS back on for all three and they all worked just fine.
January 12, 2013 5:27:12 AM

blazorthon said:
Just a link to the cooler, but it's what I've got:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

From what I can tell, a lot of people dislike Xigmatek, but IDK why. My experience with many of their products has mostly been great and that seems mirrored in most reviews for their products that I've read.

EDIT: It's actually more like a 20% overclocking headroom difference with the paste switched out for some high quality paste, but I do realize why many people would be intimidated by such an action on a CPU.

When you say "It's what I've got" do you mean you HAVE it? What temps you getting if so? What's a good thermal paste? ;p I'm perfectly comfortable installing my own thermal paste, but not removing the metal part and all that jazz. das cray
January 12, 2013 5:30:07 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
When you say "It's what I've got" do you mean you HAVE it? What temps you getting if so? What's a good thermal paste? ;p I'm perfectly comfortable installing my own thermal paste, but not removing the metal part and all that jazz. das cray


No, I don't have the cooler myself, I meant that I didn't have a link proving my claim about it, just a link to the cooler itself.

As for a good thermal paste, I'd say go for the most thermally conductive paste that you can find. Newegg lists some details about thermal conductivity for most pastes on each paste's page, so it's fairly easy. AC5 scores pretty well, some of the diamond based pastes score very well, and a few others do very well. Honestly though, the paste is made less important if you lap the cooler and CPU IHS.
January 12, 2013 5:36:27 AM

Hmm. This thread has gone pretty far off its original course. Diamond based? That sounds expensive. "you lap the cooler and CPU IHS" <all of my wot
January 12, 2013 5:37:04 AM

Go with Samsung DDR3 1600Mhz 30nm ram. Look it up if you don't believe me on the stuff. Outside of that The build is solid. Also don't forget if you need a monitor/keyboard/mouse to add that to the pricing.
January 12, 2013 5:39:20 AM

OP asked me for a build suggestion, so here's mine:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xaiM

EDIT: I noticed that I left out a case (derp) and changed my graphics to two RAdeon 7950s for their lower pricing to afford a good case (The Zalman Z9+).

I went with a fairly cheap cooler because, again, OP's goals don't seem to include huge overclocking. The Hyper 212 Evo is a little better than the Hyper 212 Plus and should easily reach a respectable 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz.

The pricing is around max of the budget, bus since one of these graphics cards is already so fast, you might simply get only one of them to save some money and also get a cheaper PSU to save even more since the PSU that I chose is overkill without two of these graphics cards.

Crucial is the best memory company IMO except maybe Samsung and the price on this 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V kit is currently the best for 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V kits. I've read incredible tales of overclocking some of Samsung's new memory, but that simply doesn't matter for Ivy CPUs and gaming because memory even at DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 is not a performance bottle-neck.

This decent 1.5TB hard drive is going for a 1TB price, so it got an easy suggestion as the hard drive for this build suggestion.

The Samsung 840 256GB is not a very high-end SSD, but it's pretty fast and really, gaming is not a very storage-intensive workload and the price simply can't be beat for such a reliable SSD with great performance. It's not easy to tel the difference between a decent SSD and an extreme SSD through regular workloads (even for regular gaming workloads).

The ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 is easily one of the most underrated boards. It's a fairly high end board with a lower mid-ranged price and that makes it an easy suggestion. I've used it myself in several builds and I've never been less than pleased with it.

I opted for the cheapest fully functioning DVD burner that pcpartpicker had in its current database.

The PSU, like I said, could be skipped out on for a cheaper model if you only get one Radeon 7950. I chose it because it is a very reliable model and has excellent power delivery, good efficiency, and an excellent price.
January 12, 2013 5:39:47 AM

I highly suggest mushkin memory. that stuff has some CRAZY low timings, + general mushkin quality

and edit: blazorthon, check yo' inbox
January 12, 2013 5:41:33 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
Hmm. This thread has gone pretty far off its original course. Diamond based? That sounds expensive. "you lap the cooler and CPU IHS" <all of my wot


Actually, many diamond based pastes are as cheap as or sometimes even cheaper than stuff such as Arctic Silver.

Are you saying that you also dislike lapping?
January 12, 2013 5:43:23 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
Hmm. This thread has gone pretty far off its original course. Diamond based? That sounds expensive. "you lap the cooler and CPU IHS" <all of my wot


The rabbit holes are educational for me and probably others as well. I don't see it as a waste of time, but I certainly will appreciate anyone adding their suggestions/build recommendations for my goals, as well. Oh and I do want to be able to overclock, I'm just scared of it. :o  But that will be fixed with research.

There is a lot of knowledge and passion about technology being floated around. It's awesome.
January 12, 2013 5:44:01 AM

I don't even know what lapping means, but I have to admit my mind went dirty places.
January 12, 2013 5:47:48 AM

Zed_Spooge said:
I don't even know what lapping means, but I have to admit my mind went dirty places.


Lapping is basically just sanding down the IHS and the bottom of the CPU cooler a little to get a more flushed thermal connection between them. It's a much safer thing to do than removing the IHS.

For example, I've lapped a few of my CPUs by getting a few various grit pieces of sandpaper and a little alcohol to keep the CPU die and bottom of the cooler clean while I sand it down for a few minutes. It's pretty easy.
January 12, 2013 5:48:59 AM

Actually for thermal paste, you should look into how long you have to cycle it to have it working fully. Forgot the name and brand of this one paste but it takes about half the time of artic silver and pretty much no difference in temps not to mention cheaper.
January 12, 2013 5:49:26 AM

I'm CTRL + Ding this, I have to flippin sleep. You have my interest with the overclocking thing. hmm. well, I inboxed you My skype just in case. BBL.

Also, OP, don't be scared of overclocking. just take you're time, there's no way to screw up your cpu without knowing about it. You have to change the settings for something to break, so once again, just, take your time.
January 12, 2013 5:51:59 AM

blazorthon said:
OP asked me for a build suggestion, so here's mine:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xaiM

EDIT: I noticed that I left out a case (derp) and changed my graphics to two RAdeon 7950s for their lower pricing to afford a good case (The Zalman Z9+).

I went with a fairly cheap cooler because, again, OP's goals don't seem to include huge overclocking. The Hyper 212 Evo is a little better than the Hyper 212 Plus and should easily reach a respectable 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz.

The pricing is around max of the budget, bus since one of these graphics cards is already so fast, you might simply get only one of them to save some money and also get a cheaper PSU to save even more since the PSU that I chose is overkill without two of these graphics cards.

Crucial is the best memory company IMO except maybe Samsung and the price on this 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V kit is currently the best for 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V kits. I've read incredible tales of overclocking some of Samsung's new memory, but that simply doesn't matter for Ivy CPUs and gaming because memory even at DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 is not a performance bottle-neck.

This decent 1.5TB hard drive is going for a 1TB price, so it got an easy suggestion as the hard drive for this build suggestion.

The Samsung 840 256GB is not a very high-end SSD, but it's pretty fast and really, gaming is not a very storage-intensive workload and the price simply can't be beat for such a reliable SSD with great performance. It's not easy to tel the difference between a decent SSD and an extreme SSD through regular workloads (even for regular gaming workloads).

The ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 is easily one of the most underrated boards. It's a fairly high end board with a lower mid-ranged price and that makes it an easy suggestion. I've used it myself in several builds and I've never been less than pleased with it.

I opted for the cheapest fully functioning DVD burner that pcpartpicker had in its current database.

The PSU, like I said, could be skipped out on for a cheaper model if you only get one Radeon 7950. I chose it because it is a very reliable model and has excellent power delivery, good efficiency, and an excellent price.



Thank you very much! I like the build and I especially like your explanations behind your choices. Just one follow up question... if I can drop a GPU, why did you build it with two originally? Again... just trying to learn.
January 12, 2013 5:55:33 AM

Frontman15b said:
Thank you very much! I like the build and I especially like your explanations behind your choices. Just one follow up question... if I can drop a GPU, why did you build it with two originally? Again... just trying to learn.


Ehh, I was just trying to see what I could do with your full budget.
January 12, 2013 5:55:41 AM

Frontman15b said:
Thank you very much! I like the build and I especially like your explanations behind your choices. Just one follow up question... if I can drop a GPU, why did you build it with two originally? Again... just trying to learn.


pretty much more horsepower
January 12, 2013 5:58:06 AM

boulbox said:
think i found it
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i was thinking "i don't think this is the right brand" but i was actually thinking of the actual name of the product


I'm not familiar with that paste, but after reading some of the reviews, I think that I'll consider it in one of my next builds.
January 12, 2013 6:00:18 AM

boulbox said:
pretty much more horsepower


But you believe I can still achieve my goals with only 1 GPU?
January 12, 2013 6:02:06 AM

Frontman15b said:
But you believe I can still achieve my goals with only 1 GPU?


I think so, especially if you consider some overclocking. Radeon 7950 is one of the best cards for overclocking safely and the particular model that I suggested is not only the cheapest that I could find, but also possibly the best.
January 12, 2013 6:25:47 AM

To be honest, 1GPU is a lot more stable than 2GPUs, there are a few headaches when you do SLI/CFX like "if the new driver allows it", "why am i getting lower FPS than if i had 1 GPU" and a few other ones. But there is a whole lot more pros about it than cons like
"my GPU is getting outdated, should i buy the new top of the line GPU or add another one that is cheaper and would get better performance of the new one"

in a way, if you are not buying the second GPU right away, you would be able to save more money than if you wanted to constantly buy low end rigs to keep up with technology.
!