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1st Gaming Rig... Noob Questions. (Mostly Compatibility)

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January 13, 2013 11:19:56 PM

So I've been planning to upgrade my PC for a while but recently I thought I would just save up some money and build a new rig (to get the full experience of creating my own gaming rig :D ).

I found a wonderful website called PCPartPicker.com and it has helped me out a ton with picking the parts I need for the price and quality I want. The site checks compatibility for you so you don't accidentally buy an item that wont fit with the other items you are buying.

It's a really nice feature BUT I am not quite sure it works. Here is my build so far http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xmDV I am shooting for less than $1000 so you can critique my choices in parts all you want :lol: 

My 1st problem is that I noticed that my motherboard (ASRock Z77 Extreme3) is 12"x8.6" and the case I picked (Apevia X-TRPJR-NW-BK) says it can fit a maximum board size of 11"x12". The case is an ATX Mid so it says its ATX compatible and the board is ATX but I'm not sure if the actual dimensions matter (plus the site says it is compatible so IDK). Another odd part is the fact that the same model of case that comes with a window side panel, an LED fan, and a power supply (Apevia X-TRPJR-BK/450) says that the maximum dimensions are 12"x11"... But they are the same case with a different side panel and fan. ALSO the same model with the LED fan and side window that DOESNT have the power supply says that it only has space for 11"x12". Odd... :??: 

I like the case I picked yet I'm not sure the mobo will fit... (also, ignore the compatibility issue. I dont care much about USB 3.0 in the front of my case). If it doesn't work I still need to find a case that looks nice, has fans with a couple extra spots to add fans later down the road (if I ever need them), and needs to be MAXIMUM of 17.5" tall and 17.5"long (I need to fit it under my desk).

My 2nd Problem is deciding on a CPU and graphics card :??:  Of course I want the best bang for my buck but I am not sure what I should get. Currently on the build site I just picked the best CPU they had on the list :lol:  : Intel Core i7-3770k 3.5ghz. This CPU is currently running at $319.99 but I don't know if I really need this CPU and if I could be fine with a slightly cheaper one. I'm thinking about over clocking to 4ghz... I wouldn't go any higher because I don't want to have to deal with getting a fancy expensive CPU Fan and Heatsink (I currently have the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO). I dont know if I should get sandy bridge or ivy bridge cause I have heard they each have their Pros and Cons and I am very indecisive (hence this huge post).

Moving on to the graphics card, I currently have the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 3GB picked out. I am currently debating between that and the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB. The only real difference besides price ($249.99 VS $319.99) and the small differences in clock speeds are the amount of CUDA cores (please excuse me if they are not called cores... I have no idea what I am talking about :lol:  ). The GTX 660 ti has around 360 or so more CUDA cores then the normal GTX 660 and I dont know if it is really worth the extra $70. I want to have a somewhat future proof system that runs good right now so I don't know if 960 CUDA vs 1344 CUDA is a giant leap or just a small thing that I shouldn't worry about. (I am not quite sure I understand what CUDA is anyway...) Obviously the GTX 660 ti is better but is it really worth it?

My 3rd problem is most likely power management. I don't know what I should get... The video card says it needs at least a 450w power supply (it also need a 6 pin PCI-E "power dongle"... whats a "power dongle"???) and PCPartPicker says my machine will be using around 326w. The power supply I picked is kida cheap ($29.99 after mail-in rebates) and its a 500w 80 PLUS Bronze certified. I am not completely sure what the PLUS Bronze is but as far as I know I think it has something to do with power consumption and how it manages the power. I just need to know if my choice of power supply is sufficient.

My final problem will be putting it all together. I think I have a good idea on how everything goes together inside the comp after watching a couple tutorials :lol:  PCPartPicker has a couple good video tutorials on putting together all the different pieces. It seems easy enough, most things are labeled or have certain pins and such missing so you don't plug the cables into the wrong spots (and their are no labels then their are plenty of diagrams online and more tutorials). The scary part for me is after I am done putting everything together I have to deal with software. I have to install everything, update the BIOS? (I read that on some other forums... no clue what that is, probably have to watch a tut), and probably a bunch of other stuff I don't know about... I know how to install windows 7 and update drivers and such... not quite sure about anything else I need to do.

I most likely have like 10 other compatibility issues or things I am missing that I just dont know about yet. I already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and I think ill just use the integrated audio card (maybe that can be an upgrade later). I am sorry for writing a novel but I really want to make sure I get the right parts and plan before saying good-bye to all of my money to pay for all this crap :lol: 
January 13, 2013 11:29:54 PM

if part picker has no problems you should have no problems
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January 13, 2013 11:48:35 PM

To answer your second problem: You shouldn't get the i7 3770k. I would recommend the i5 3570k. It will save you almost a $100 and you will barely notice the gaming performance difference. The i7 mainly just gives you hyper threading capability (more cores pretty much), but gaming will not use them. You should use the extra $ saved from that to buy a better gpu because that is the most important component for gaming. Out of the 2 you listed, the 660ti will be better in my opinion, and I'm sure you could find one for cheaper than the one you have listed. With the money saved from downgrading the processor, you could get a GTX 670. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... Just pick what you want. If you are feeling especially ambitious, with the $100 saved, you could upgrade to a GTX 680 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if you threw in some more cash.I don't know if you would want a better gpu than the 660 ti though. If you are using a 1440x 2560 or more resolution, you would probably want to get a radeon 7950 or gtx 670 or 680.
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January 14, 2013 12:03:52 AM

Thank you both for your answers. I don't plan at running multiple displays or running at super high display resolutions. My current display is only 1080p at 1920x1080 but later down the road I'll probably get a better display.

For video card I just want to get a good card that will let me play just about every current game on "mega man ultra t-rex power ranger mode" (They should add that as a graphics option on games :lol: ). My current comp only has 512mb of Vram so I have never really seen the Ultra side of the graphics world... I guess its about time to build a new computer!!!

But thank you both for your input. I hope PartPicker IS correct cause it just seems odd that they would say the case fits all ATX boards THEN say it can only fit boards within 11"x12"...
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January 14, 2013 12:18:33 AM

Make sure the board is a LGA 1155 socket and it will be compatible.
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January 14, 2013 12:24:21 AM

caltiger123 said:
Make sure the board is a LGA 1155 socket and it will be compatible.

yah it is. PartPicker only would show me the LGA 1155's because of its compatibility feature thing.
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January 14, 2013 12:34:58 AM

BTW this just popped into my head. If I have windows 7 installed on a Hard drive in my current computer, can I just move that Hard drive over to my new Comp with the OS still on it? I would like to not have to buy a whole new copy of windows 7 OEM... Would it work or is the OS bound to the motherboard (I have no idea what I am talking about XD). A better question is: if it is possible, is it even legal?
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January 14, 2013 2:08:18 AM

Bluesmurph said:
BTW this just popped into my head. If I have windows 7 installed on a Hard drive in my current computer, can I just move that Hard drive over to my new Comp with the OS still on it? I would like to not have to buy a whole new copy of windows 7 OEM... Would it work or is the OS bound to the motherboard (I have no idea what I am talking about XD). A better question is: if it is possible, is it even legal?

You will need to reinstall windows on your HD if you are planning on reusing it. Windows begins to "bind" itself to particular hardware (motherboard mostly) and with throwing in completely new hardware it probably won't even boot. Do you still have the key to the copy of Windows you are using now? Do you still have the installation discs? If you don't have the discs, you can just burn an .iso disc or bootable usb stick. If you don't have the key, then I think you are out of luck, but my knowledge on that topic isn't the best, so hopefully someone else can help more than I can.
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