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$1200 First Time Build

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January 15, 2013 2:03:20 AM

So I'm building my first ever gaming PC. I have been a console gamer for years but want the challenge/pride of building my first gaming rig. With that being said, I have little to no knowledge of building a PC (When I say no knowledge I mean I'm still trying to learn all the parts I even need :pt1cable:  ). I have looked around and done some research but for a newcomer it can be a bit overwhelming.

I would like to get a PC that can play all the current games and have some longevity (I realize there are always new parts coming out but I prefer to build with the future in mind rather than compromise to save a few bucks. I also want to use my computer to watch blu-rays and surf the web.

Parts I have already settled on are:

Case: NZXT Crafted Series ATX Full Tower Steel Chassis - Phantom White
Processor: I'm leaning towards an Intel Core i5 3570K (I have read that for gaming the i7 3770K is overkill)

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within the next 2 weeks

Budget Range: $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching Videos/Blu Rays, Surfing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any website in the U.S. (Have a Micro Center 2 minutes from work)

Location: Cincinnati, OH, United States

Parts Preferences: Leaning towards Intel CPU

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes/Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

More about : 1200 time build

a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:07:20 AM

Pick the i5-3570k+z77 asrock extreme 4 in microcenter for a combo discount of 40$ on the asrock mobo too.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 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: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1097.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can change the case for the phantom, if you like : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-phan001wt
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:24:20 AM

^good build.

I suggest upgrading the PSU to 750w though so you have an open option to SLI in the future.

The i7-3770k is $100 off @ $230 in Microcenter, you probably won't need the HT just yet but if I were in the US, I wouldn't miss out on that great of a price. :lol: 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:44:14 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xGby
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xGby/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xGby/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.26 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: G.Skill Phoenix III 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ TigerDirect)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($86.13 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1020.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 23:42 EST-0500)




the 7950 can easily overclock to 7970 levels and thats faster than a gtx 670 anyday.

also got u a 750watt ps ready for a second 7950 , and got u the case u wanted :) 
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a c 276 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:46:00 AM

excella1221 said:
^good build.

I suggest upgrading the PSU to 750w though so you have an open option to SLI in the future.

The i7-3770k is $100 off @ $230 in Microcenter, you probably won't need the HT just yet but if I were in the US, I wouldn't miss out on that great of a price. :lol: 


Good build but didn't include the OP's case of choice. The 3770K is a good deal but it's not really needed for a gaming rig.

Try this:

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 ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($135.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($118.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1266.74
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 23:45 EST-0500)

If you want to stay under $1200 then drop the SSD.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:53:04 AM

He did say:
djangoringo said:

You can change the case for the phantom, if you like : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-phan001wt


Yes, i7 isn't needed for a gaming rig, though it's at the price of an i5 from Newegg and he's 2mins away from a Microcenter.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:58:07 AM

tru dat, 230 is a nice price and he lives 2mins from a microcenter :D , im jelly. but yeah def dude if u can go to microcenter and get the 3700k, with 4 physical cores and 4ht cores its gonna future proof u alot more.

thats like 20$ more than the 3570k and alot more bang for bucks, 120$ off is great!

http://www.microcenter.com/product/388575/Core_i7_3770K...

get it while its on sale :) 

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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 2:58:50 AM

Even though NZXT cases are not my favorite choices, it is your preference.

Also @iceclock i now remember the reason why i wanted to go Nvidia, it was because they had new beta drivers(they pretty much update drivers when ever a new main stream game comes) and they usually have a pretty good performance boost.

Not to mention they are usually more stable than AMD cards.

As for a full tower choice, i would spend $20 more for a Storm styker from cooler master.

Also while at microcenter you can just pick up these DIMMs
http://www.microcenter.com/product/382101/Ballistix_Spo...(PC3-12800)_CL9_Dual_Channel_Desktop_Memory_Kit_(Two_4GB_Memory_Modules)

only a $4 difference, of course if you want to save those $4 you can just order from online. Pretty much makes no difference since they are both great.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 3:02:29 AM

The only reason most people want i5 over i7 is because i7 does not offer much more for a $100 price. As for futureproofing, it will not really do much until your GPU/s actually bottleneck your CPU and the HT does not provide much of a boost anyways as it can actually make your FPS go lower if you didn't have HT.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 3:24:48 AM

still, 20$ more for a 3770k is a great deal, ud be mad to pass it up.

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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 3:35:33 AM

iceclock said:
still, 20$ more for a 3770k is a great deal, ud be mad to pass it up.


$40 actually, but yea, still a great deal either one he chooses.

I would just prefer i5 3570k over it just because he could spend that extra $40 on a better cooler if he wanted to OC
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 3:39:34 AM

+1 to boulbox, good recommandation :) 

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January 15, 2013 12:52:46 PM

Thanks for all the quick replys! It looks like I have some things to consider.

The i7 being only $40 bucks more is very tempting so I will think on it today and probably decide by the end of the week so I don't miss the sale. (Anyone else have input on this?)

It seems as though everyone agrees on the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus as the go to CPU cooler so I will go with that. (Is it decent for OC?) Everyone also seems to agree on the MOBO. So I will more than likely go with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4. Does that board allow for SLI or Crossfire? Again thats not my main concern at this point but for the future it wouldnt hurt having a board that could I'd assume.

For the Video Card many have suggested the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card while one suggested the PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB. There is a price difference and was wondering the thoughts on those two being the best for what I want. With money not mattering for those to video cards which is best for current games, surfing the net, watching videos. Are either compatible for SLI or Crossfire?

Again thanks for all the replys everyone. Any more feedback is greatly appreciated!

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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 12:58:53 PM

well the 7950 is 3gb, and overclocks well to 7970 levels and thats faster than a gtx 680 at times, so its the best bang for ur bucks atm, also that board is sli and crossfire compatible, thats why i chose a 850watt powersuppy to supply ur next 7950 if u wanna add one later on.


and yes asrock is a decent brand, its owned by asus one of the leaders in motherboard manufacturing today, and whats neat is asus makes all there own products,

also got u ur full tower phantom white :) 

a nice ssd.

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January 15, 2013 1:04:25 PM

iceclock said:
well the 7950 is 3gb, and overclocks well to 7970 levels and thats faster than a gtx 680 at times, so its the best bang for ur bucks atm, also that board is sli and crossfire compatible, thats why i chose a 850watt powersuppy to supply ur next 7950 if u wanna add one later on.


and yes asrock is a decent brand, its owned by asus one of the leaders in motherboard manufacturing today, and whats neat is asus makes all there own products,

also got u ur full tower phantom white :) 

a nice ssd.


Yea I checked some benchmarks and from what I understand of them the 7950 seemed very good for the price. The board also seems like a good buy. Is it worth it to look into more expensive boards like the sabertooth Z77 or the ASRock Z77 OC Formula or is that uneccesary for what I'm looking to build?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 1:06:37 PM

not really, thats uncessary and more expensive, unless u do super overclocks, even with that board ull overclock nicely ;) 

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January 15, 2013 1:08:27 PM

iceclock said:
not really, thats uncessary and more expensive, unless u do super overclocks, even with that board ull overclock nicely ;) 


Yea I'm not trying to do any super overclocks. It's my first time ya know. Just trying to get the feet wet a bit :D . Thanks for all the help so far! It's starting to come together here!
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 1:14:43 PM

yea no problem anything else missing?

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January 15, 2013 1:17:57 PM

iceclock said:
yea no problem anything else missing?


Nothing at the moment. I'm at work so when I get home I'm going to sit down and flesh it all out see where I stand money wise and see if there is a place where I can afford to maybe trow a little extra money or maybe scale it back some. I think I'm going to pick the i7 on my way home from work today. For the extra $40 I don't see why I wouldn't
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 1:22:37 PM

well if u can afford it, u get 4 physical cores, and 4ht cores, for 40$ more thats a steal.

when u get back and have more questions, private messageme if ud like.

ill be glad to help mate.

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a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 1:32:01 AM

iceclock said:
and yes asrock is a decent brand, its owned by asus one of the leaders in motherboard manufacturing today, and whats neat is asus makes all there own products.

Actually, ASRock used to be a sub-company of ASUS.
They bought out all their shares though a couple of years ago and now are an independent company, ranking #3 on the world's top motherboard manufacturers.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 1:53:36 AM

I actually prefer ASrock>ASUS. I feel that ASrock is a much better chance of ranking up to the top of the list with all the things they put inside of there motherboards and makes it at great prices.

And what excella said, i was going to say it but i was too lazy to say it incase of some one say "that is not true" and didn't want to get into that business.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 2:21:30 AM

i was shur asrock was still owned by asus, but yeah regardless there old products were inferior theyve really stepped up there game.

i like asrock alot, i find they give more goodies for less price than asus.

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January 21, 2013 2:18:29 PM

Best answer selected by NONPROFITGNOME.
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