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January 18, 2013 3:04:06 AM

Good evening folks,

Like many of my peers here I have decided to join this lovely community and ask everyone for advice for a new gaming pc I have in mind. Now I wish to avoid building it if I can (because I just don't feel confident enough in my ability even after watching a few videos.) What if something is doa and I keep trying to hook it up thinking I put it in 'wrong' the first time? You get the gist. But at the same time DIYs are super cheap. (I have a budget of roughly $1700, but I'd like to do it in less if I can.)

My second option is to go with either cyberpower, IBuyPower, AvaDirect, etc but it makes me cringe thinking I may be overspending. Also the fact how they take forever to ship, add in a few horror testimonials to that and you know what I mean. Nonetheless after much research here's what I've picked so far and I wanted to run by you all, see what you have to say and if there are any tips/things I should be aware of if I do end up going the DIY route.

I do wish to OC sometime, however it keeps making me wonder if it'd cut my CPU life (maybe a bizarre question). I was also debating between an AMD FX-8350 and the Intel I have listed, but decided to go with the latter since I may decide to upgrade later. Intel also seems slightly more impressive as far as games are concerned.

Thank you very much and have an awesome weekend in advance. =)

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Plextor PX-M3S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital VelociRaptor 500GB 3.5" 10000RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black/Orange) ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

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January 18, 2013 3:16:15 AM

Quote:
My second option is to go with either cyberpower, IBuyPower, AvaDirect, etc but it makes me cringe thinking I may be overspending. Also the fact how they take forever to ship, add in a few horror testimonials to that and you know what I mean. Nonetheless after much research here's what I've picked so far and I wanted to run by you all, see what you have to say and if there are any tips/things I should be aware of if I do end up going the DIY route.


Not only are you overpaying that route - you're getting inferior hardware at that.

Quote:
I do wish to OC sometime, however it keeps making me wonder if it'd cut my CPU life (maybe a bizarre question). I was also debating between an AMD FX-8350 and the Intel I have listed, but decided to go with the latter since I may decide to upgrade later. Intel also seems slightly more impressive as far as games are concerned.


Only if you start messing with the voltages would you need to worry about shortening your CPU's lifespan. But if you're just tweaking the multiplier you're fine. On your budget for a gaming rig you shouldn't even consider an FX-8350, it's a good CPU, but not for a gaming rig.

That build is decent but for gaming you're definitely doing it wrong. There's absolutely no reason to pay that much for storage and RAM - and the Velociraptor HDs ARE NOT WORTH IT. Period. You do not come out ahead by purchasing one.

This would be a better rig:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($60.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ 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 ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ 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: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1301.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-18 00:16 EST-0500)
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January 18, 2013 4:01:36 AM

I was thinking about going down the pure SSD route, but it always made me wonder if its worth it. Thanks for Velociraptor HD tip, I was always curious since the reviews on Newegg do tend to range from informative to downright silly. I'll go with your HD suggestions.

Is there much of a performance difference between GTX 670 and Radeon 7870? I have looked at the benchmarks and most seem to side with the 7870 but we all know how they are performance tends to differ.

The RAM; does it make much of a difference in a game's startup time if you have more RAM? (Common sense dictates it doesn't, but I've been curious.)

To give an example what sort of a game I have in mind (ones I'd like to play on ultra therefore a proper video card is most crucial); think Shogun 2 Total War: Fall of The Samurai, Witcher 2 and the latest Assassin's Creed.
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January 18, 2013 4:11:21 AM

you got pretty solid build dude :)  256 samsung ssd, 670 4Gb for high resolution gaming, and it is normal to get 16GB at this budget

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 4GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.64 @ Newegg)
Total: $1409.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-18 01:12 EST-0500)
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January 18, 2013 4:14:11 AM

Big difference in performance between a 7870 and 670. You might be getting confused with the 7970.

The amount of RAM you have doesn't impact performance until you run out of it, 8GB is plenty for a gaming rig. That being said RAM is cheap, so getting 16GB isn't that wasteful, just dont expect to see a performance increase.
The speed at which programs start up is dictated by your storage's speed mostly. So any programs/games on the SSD will start up pretty quick, while ones on the HDD will be a bit slower.
Put things like your internet browser, Microsoft Office and other commonly accessed programs on the SSD.
Games and such can go on the HDD, they don't benefit much from the SSD's speed. Exceptions are games like Skyrim and Fallout with loading screens every 5 seconds, game is much better to play with them on the SSD.

Don't expect to completely max out The Witcher 2, its Ubersampling setting is impossible to run smoothly on any graphics setup. It basically makes the GPU draw the frame 4 times and layers them to make a very high quality image, as you can imagine that causes the FPS to tank.
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January 18, 2013 12:41:35 PM

You know I've heard some of me friends say similar things about Witcher 2, I'll keep that in mind.

I looked at some of the benchmarks for GTX 670, it IS a superior card to 7870. I was confusing it with the GTX 660. Last time I owned a gaming rig I used to have a GTX 285 and it used to rip through games, sadly I had to sell it months after buying it due to change in location/circumstances.

Would you guys have any assembly/building/putting together tips for me since this is the first venture I am undertaking. Perhaps on how to tell something's not 'put' wrong but arrived doa or there are other problems. (I know there's only ONE way with most of the items to assemble them right, but it still makes you curious if you're doing it the first time, doesn't it... especially spending so much money.) I swear if the Newegg reviews are to be believed 6 items out of ten that arrive are doa, but it could be a case where doa reviews are more often documented online than normal experiences. Thanks folks.

Edit: One more thing I was curious about; do the motherboards/cases/cards come with a sort of a 'manual'?
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January 19, 2013 12:23:27 AM

The way to tell if items are DOA before you get it properly assembled is to bread-board (or test bench) the system. Basically assemble the machine outside the case and see if it works.

This build guide shows how to do this, as well as just generally building a system.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84NvDMMrCNU
Note that this is not a "gaming" build, it is very overkill.

Only the people who are wronged bother to go online about their experiences. So the unsatisfied customers make up a loud minority.

Lets just say that near every component comes with a manual, including those components.
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January 19, 2013 3:34:17 AM

That was a very informative video. I do understand the trick is in watching a lot of these and once I've got all the equipment reading the manuals beforehand. Also making a checklist of sorts should help. Cheers, pal... this should work splendidly well.
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January 19, 2013 5:07:01 AM

Best answer selected by Gilead86.
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