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Semi-Hardcore Gaming

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January 15, 2013 9:32:08 PM

This is my first time building a computer. This new rig is designed to handle Semi-Hardcore gaming.

What I am Really looking for in this build is:

1. Performance without Overclocking ( I have never overclocked before and am not confident enough with my computer skills to try. I want this build to handle anything thrown at it without Overclocking. )

2. High Frames per Second @ 1080p ( I plan to game on a single monitor. I am not a fan of multi display and i plan to use 1080p to future proof my investment. )

3.Use of Ultra Quality Graphics and Anti-Aliasing ( I believe that presentation is a big part of gaming and story telling. Low res graphics break immersion. I have never had a high performance rig before and plan to make this investment count. )

4. A Future Proof Build ( While I realize there is no such thing when it comes to computers I would like to get as close to the mark as possible.)

What I plan on Playing:

1. Guild Wars 2
2. Planetside 2
3. Final Fantasy XIV : A Realm Reborn
4. League of Legends
5. Pretty much anything I can get my hands on

Time Range: Late summer 2013

Country: USA

Budget: $2000 - 2500

The Parts:
All Prices With New Egg Deals as of 1/14/2013
None Reused

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $149.99

CPU: Intel I-5 3750K @ 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $214.99

CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $44.99

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $144.99

Memory: G. SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $79.99

Storage SSD: SanDisk Extreme 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $113.99

Storage HDD: Western Digital WD Black 1TB 7200RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $104.99

Video Card: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 660 Ti 2GB ( Factory OC ) X2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $598.98

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850W 80plus Gold
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: 139.99

Keyboard: Gigabyte Black USB Wired Gaming Aivia Osmium Mechanical Keyboard ( Cherry Red )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $129.99

Mouse: Logitech G9x Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $79.99

Monitor: Asus 23.6" Full HD Widescreen
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $169.99

Headset: Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $49.99

Total Price: $2023

SLI: Yes

Questions:

1. Is the Power Supply big enough to support the SLI(ed?) Video Cards and every thing else?
2. How can I save Money? ( I don't want to switch the processor or the Video Cards )
3. Is a mechanical Keyboard worth its price?
4. What is a Cherry Red switch? ( Related to Keyboard)

Other Comments:

I have the OS so it is not included in the Price.
I Currently do not have a HD Monitor that is why it is included in price.
I also have an optical Drive that is why there is not one in the parts list.
I choose the headset because it was cheap and had good ratings it can change.

Thanks in Advance
Edited by ArcaneGamer00 - Yesterday at 7:05 pm

More about : semi hardcore gaming

a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 9:49:56 PM

everything that you have stated doesnt require overly high end hardware. 1 660ti can pretty much max out guild wars, the most demanding in the bunch. ill leave that option open if you want to venture into more demanding games like metro 2033 and others (i have a extra metro 2033 key if you want)

heres what i would get
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xNrO

-750w is enough to handle most video cards in SLI (7970s would be safer on a 850)
-take out one video card and you can still max out the games you are playing now
-yes. i type 10-15wpm faster on a mechanical than before
-red switches are linear (no bump) and have very little resistance. good for gaming. the black switches are the same as reds, but with more resistance. i personally use blues. they are loud (2-2.5x the volume of a generic mouse click) and have a bump when its actuated. VERY comfortable to type on

there are better headsets out there. but generally, i just use a rock band mic and a set of earbuds to game. if you are a bit more hard core, the vengeance 1300s from corsair are pretty good

a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2013 9:50:49 PM

you better have tried out the g9x before buying it. some people love it some people hate it. i use a deathadder black edition from razer. much less problems than the regular apparantly
Related resources
January 15, 2013 9:58:09 PM

1) PSU will be fine
2) If you won't overclock, get the i5 3570 non-K and H77 chipset motherboard
3) I'd suggest Steelseries 6gv2 instead, yes it's basic looking, but it's PS/2 which negates ghosting and comes with Black and Red switches
4) It's a mechanical switch that has equal actuation force (pressing and releasing the key), slightly lighter to press than MX Black (I like black personally though), Blue and Brown are more typing oriented with their unequal actuation force

Something else I'd add, if you do choose to stick with 3570K/Z77 motherboard I'd advise you to get a better cooler than that. Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is roughly the same price as the one you picked but quite a bit better. There are better, more expensive options such as Noctua NH-D14 (heavy air) and Corsair H100i (240mm rad, closed loop liquid cooler which is also the best when it comes to motherboard physical strain due to the weight difference between its' waterblock compared to massive heatsinks).
Another thing, it's better to get a single high end card (670/680 or 7970) and SLI/CF later on when you need it, which won't be anytime soon if you're going to play at 1080p and 60Hz. 120Hz is a different can of worms though.

Edit:
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: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($139.91 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH242H 23.6" Monitor ($164.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1417.79
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 19:07 EST-0500)
January 15, 2013 11:44:26 PM

Hey guys I did some revisions based on what you guys said.

Here is the link to the build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xOpk

I went with the 4GB 680 because I plan to play newer games. This will also help to future proof my investment.
I changed the SSD and CPU Cooler.

Thanks for the help! :) 
a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 12:24:24 AM

-the u12p SE2 cools a lot better than the hyper 212 evo
-if you want 16gb of ram, i can go why not but generally 8 is enough
-caviar black is a waste in my opinion. its a blue drive with more warranty. at that rate, i can get a seagate 2tb
-samsung performs better and is cheaper price/gb
-670 performs the same as the 680 out of the box. more vram is useless. by the time you need vram, it wont help whatsoever given the GPU itself doesnt have enough horsepower to drive the game by then
-my case is a lot better than yours given the silence and cabling space. but if you want a gamer-esque case, get the haf xm
-my power supply is a lot better than yours. its modular (the thing you want in power supplies) and is more efficient. its made by superflower, on par with seasonic who makes corsair tx series units
-i trade a bit of speed for a much clearer and vibrant picture produced by a IPS panel anyday
-your keyboard might be nicer with the wider feature set but its double the price for not much of a difference in overall typing experience.
-make sure you have tested out the mouse before buying. note that the mw3 edition is cheaper usually
January 16, 2013 3:15:44 AM

Okay Re revised: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xQSP

I Like Zalman Coolers I have one currently and like that it is very quiet and cool ( my current case is open and when I turn the fan up the temp under my desk drops ) I upped to the 9700 over the 9500.

I am going to get the tower because:
- I like the space
- I like that it can hold up to 8 fans ( will get the other 4 later )
- I like the look
- And noise is not a concern I plan to have a nice headset so noise really will not matter

I have heard that Seagate has had quality issues of late and every drive I have ever own has been WD ( never have had one crash )

Opted for the larger Samsung SSD

I want to go with the 680 ( although I did drop it down to 2GB vram ) because this build is going to need to last the next 2 - 3 years. In addition the next generation of consoles is coming out this year ( that's is what I have heard anyway ) which means the new PC ports will be more graphic intensive, so I need every advantage I can get. ( If the price drops any time soon I might get another 680 to SLI with this one)

I went with a little heftier PSU in the thermal take I want t have head room with power in case i do get the extra 680. Plus the other two that were recommend had some bad reviews.

I did replace the Asus LED monitor with an LG IPS.

I switched the Gigabyte board to the Storm Trigger as it was a bit cheaper had the black switchs which had a higher amount of recommendations. ( Plus it is the same series as the case and has Red LEDS.)

I have used a g9x and find it to be fine.
a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 9:36:54 AM

-even the hyper 212 evo cools better than that zalman.
-there isnt any point of a full tower, id still get a haf xm
-as i said, a 670 performs the same as a 680 out of the box. literally no point of paying more
-thermaltake psus arent as good as something made by seasonic or superflower. more wattage means nothing when the cards can never reach half its wattage even in SLI
-the asus is better. the stand is very adjustable and sturdy
-i personally hate black switches. reviews mean nothing. i can go search up a blackwidow from razer and there are tons of good reviews, but that doesnt prove its good at all
a b 4 Gaming
January 16, 2013 9:37:54 AM

and more fans are not necessarily going to improve performance. in my case, it makes almost no difference if i have all 3 fans running or no fans running
January 16, 2013 9:12:47 PM

Ok How about this:

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: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($139.91 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: LG IPS235V-BN 23.0" Monitor ($199.00 @ Adorama)
Keyboard: Cooler Master Storm Trigger Wired Gaming Keyboard ($88.49 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Cooler Master Recon Wired Optical Mouse ($34.65 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1683.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-16 18:36 EST-0500)

I have looked at the benchmarks and the 680 gets about 6 fps more while running at ultra with 4x AA on lots of games. Those 6 frames allow it to run at 58-64 fps as apposed to under 60 all the time on the 670.

Still going with the full tower. I have read reviews that the storm trooper has more air flow than the haf x ( Full Tower ). Plus the case has all the storage I could ever need. I consider the tower a part of the long term investment. Maybe it is just bred into me, my father has had the same tower case since before I was born lol.

Dropped to the Rosewill Power Supply

Kept the Intel SSD. I only plan to use the SSD as a boot drive and for the current game I am playing so I dont need a really big one. ( also $80 Cheaper )

Newegg has the Storm Trigger in red switches so I might get that one instead. ( Red switch is not listed on PC Part Picker so black is still in the build.

I have seen the LG IPS Monitor I choose in use so I went with it.

Switched cooler to Hyper 212 Evo.

Changed the mouse to the Cooler Master Recon. It had multiple DPI settings, Leds, and Macro Keys and was $20 Cheaper.
a b 4 Gaming
January 17, 2013 12:17:14 AM

6 fps is meaningless given i can overclock a 670 to the same level and beyond. 6 fps is never worth 100 dollars.

large towers are pretty useless given the board you are using will never occupy that much space. if it does, theres a problem. and airflow isnt really a issue. i have a 550D (the hottest and most air restrictive case) yet i have 50c temps all around

the 330 is a pretty nerfed sandforce drive compared to the 520. if you want to go ahead with it, i dont mind given the price is pretty good

the k60 is in red switches. and is half the price.

i personally use the pa series and they are built to last. plastic but the really strong plastic and there is features for professional work such as quickfit. lets you size documents to the size they would appear in print. helps me out a lot

the hyper 212 evo doesnt nearly perform as well as the noctua.

dpi settings are pretty useless for most. most people never play at a mouse's max dpi anyways (i do though but its 3500)
!