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Sub-$1k system feedback, ready to buy

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January 21, 2013 1:49:41 PM

So I'm ready to buy and put together my new build and would appreciate some feedback to make sure I'm getting the best value for money I can get.

Approximate Purchase Date: now

Budget Range: Around $800 would be ideal, but there's a little flexibility there

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, editing photos in Lightroom while
listening to music, streaming video from web (WatchESPN)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: everything, but peripherals

Do you need to buy OS: Yeah, most likely getting full version of Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: soft spot for newegg.com, but whatever is cheapest and reliable

Location: Virginia near a MicroCenter

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe in the future to extend the life of the machine

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: primary monitor is 1920x1080 IPS. A friend gave me another one that I'd like to use in dual monitor setup if possible, but I'm not sure of resolution.

Additional Comments: Games = TF2, Assasin's Creed, SC2, and maybe the new SimCity. Lightroom4. I'd like the machine to last me for 5 years or so.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: current machine is about 5 or 6 years old now.

Here's what I've selected so far:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tnLS
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tnLS/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tnLS/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($48.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($227.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS524-T98A DVD/CD Writer
Total: $816.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-21 10:47 EST-0500)
January 21, 2013 1:53:33 PM

Looks good to me. For $25 you can get a really nice CPU cooler and overclock it. Its well worth it imho.
January 21, 2013 2:04:25 PM

blake1243 said:
Looks good to me. For $25 you can get a really nice CPU cooler and overclock it. Its well worth it imho.


On my first build (current system) I used stock cooling and didn't OC; I was afraid of frying my system so a couple of questions:

- Is OCing fairly easy to do without frying the system these days?
- Do 3rd party CPU coolers come with the needed thermal paste on the plate, or do you have to add that?
- Is installing the 3rd party cooler any different than install the stock fan?
Related resources
January 21, 2013 4:28:13 PM

Looking at a couple of other threads on here got me wondering. What would I be giving up by switching to an ASRock Pro 4 instead of the Extreme? Would it be worth the cost savings?
January 21, 2013 4:35:17 PM

Oc'ing is becoming a lot easier and safe, in fact you motherboard will do it for you. Most 3rd party coolers do have thermal paste and the cooler will give you step by step directions to install it. I would recommend a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 21, 2013 4:45:57 PM

Since you you're going to a microcenter store, pick the i5-3570k and a mobo there, if you want to cut costs, the msi z77a-g41 is at 40$+190$ the cpu combo.
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/cc7faafd#/cc7faafd/...

Also you need to have parts which totals 100$ in ncix, to have free shipping, since you're going to buy the hdd there, there's cheaper ram in that place : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/patriot-memory-pv38g160c9k

With that it totals more than 100$, and you get free shipping and cheaper ram.
That psu is overkill, get either those two good cheap psus : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550sxxb...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-hive... (this one is modular)

In my opinion the antec one is better : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-case-one

You probably could get a better card with those savings(it's recommended) :

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr795...

or http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n660titf3gd...

If you want to oc get an aftermarket cooler : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...
January 21, 2013 10:33:06 PM

djangoringo said:
Since you you're going to a microcenter store, pick the i5-3570k and a mobo there, if you want to cut costs, the msi z77a-g41 is at 40$+190$ the cpu combo.
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/cc7faafd#/cc7faafd/...

Also you need to have parts which totals 100$ in ncix, to have free shipping, since you're going to buy the hdd there, there's cheaper ram in that place : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/patriot-memory-pv38g160c9k

With that it totals more than 100$, and you get free shipping and cheaper ram.
That psu is overkill, get either those two good cheap psus : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550sxxb...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-power-supply-hive... (this one is modular)

In my opinion the antec one is better : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-case-one

You probably could get a better card with those savings(it's recommended) :

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr795...

or http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n660titf3gd...

If you want to oc get an aftermarket cooler : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...


Thanks for the thoughts, man. I do appreciate it.

I actually went over to MicroCenter and picked up the ASRock board, 3570k, and heatsink today. I'm still not sure if I'm going to OC right away, but I think I'll probably try it in the future; maybe once my warranties run out. (I'm kind of risk averse when it comes to stuff like this)

I haven't really looked at the more expensive GPUs that much. Is the performance gain going to be worth the cost increase?

re: the case, I actually already had that one so that one was already decided.

I'm thinking about ordering two of the hard drives b/c I want to turn my old system into network storage/media server so that could get my the free shipping.
January 22, 2013 12:06:38 PM

djangoringo said:
if it's for gaming, yes, one of the two cards above mentioned will prove to be a better choice.
You can get a 2TB for 89.99$ there no point in getting two 1TB for 140$.
See here : http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=66010&vpn=ST2000DM001&...


The reason for two drives is b/c I want to put them in two separate boxes. One for my new main computer, and one to convert my old machine into a network storage/media server box.
!