Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advice on gaming build through AVA Direct, $2,500 budget

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 24, 2013 9:51:46 PM

Thanks to any of you who might take the time to give me some advice and opinions. I read a fair amount of other posts here and elsewhere about gaming builds before I put this together; this is pretty similar to a number of others I've seen.

I tried to be concise but I have quite a few questions, so my apologies if this is long.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as I'm confident this build is what I want

Budget Range: $2,500 max, including shipping (so far this is coming in well under that)

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1) Gaming - new games that I would like to play (Witcher 2, Diablo 3, other new games I haven't paid attention to as my current pc can't play them), older games I haven't gotten around to yet (Gothic series, Wizardry 8, Thief, Half Life, etc etc), emulators (Playstation most likely), and even older games on DOSBox
2) Internet - often have 50 + tabs open in Firefox; streaming video, etc.
3) Watching movies (Netflix and other streaming, or from files using Media Player Classic)
4) Burning cds & dvds (would like to have a bluray player/burner but need advice on what kind and whether I need both a cd/dvd drive and a bluray or not)

Are you buying a monitor: Not right now, I have a couple already

Parts I'm looking at based on various builds people have posted:

CPU: INTEL Core™ i5-3570 Quad-Core 3.4 - 3.8GHz TB, HD Graphics 2500, LGA1155, 6MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST VT-d VT-x XD, Retail

or would it be wise to get an i7, and if so, which one?

CPU cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler, Socket 1155/1156/1366/775/AM3/AM2, Copper/Aluminum, Retail

Motherboard: ASROCK Z77 WS, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-3000 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /2+2*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /6, SATA 3Gb/s RAID /4, HDMI, USB 3.0 /8, HDA, FW /2, GbLAN /2, ATX, Retail

RAM: G SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL7 (7-7-7-21) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

Graphics card: SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 7870 GhZ 1000MHz, 2GB GDDR5 4800MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI + HDMI + 2x mini-DP, Retail

Boot drive: OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD, MLC Indilinx Everest 2, 550/420 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail

Storage drive: WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD1002FAEX), SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache

Multi-card reader: SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB

DVD drive: LITE-ON iHAS124 Black 24x DVD±RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM

Bluray drive: need some advice here

CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF X (RC-942-KKN1) Black Tower Case w/ Window, EATX, 9 Slots, No PSU, Steel/Plastic

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series™ TX850 V2 850W Power Supply, 80 PLUS® Bronze, 24-pin ATX12V v2.31 EPS12V 2.92, 4x 8/6-pin PCIe

OS: MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM

Preferred Website: I've been looking at AVADirect.com to do this (though if there's anywhere else that will do as good a job, suggestions would be welcome). I don't have the time / inclination / space to build my own at home so I'm willing to pay for a pre-built.

Overclocking: Maybe - I don't anticipate needing it, but down the road I would probably do it myself if needed.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - at the moment I only plan on using one monitor; maybe at some point I'd hook up a 2nd, to game on one and have the web or something else open on the other; I don't think I would ever go for 3.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024, may eventually get something new

Additional Comments & Questions: I don't care about the case appearance too much, a simple black case will do. If it can be relatively quiet that is a plus.
AVA has lots of options for thermal compounds, other fans, etc. - should I get a brand-name thermal compound instead of standard?
Also, should I go with the integrated audio controller or get something else? I honestly don't need more than left-right stereo sound, but surround sound for movies might be nice down the road.
I have about 6 usb 2 external hard drives; will this system allow me to hook them all up? It looks like the mobo has 8 usb 3 ports, am I reading that right? Do I need to think about having some usb 2 ports also?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current PC is an Alienware from 2003 which has had a couple of near death experiences, runs pretty slowly at this point, and is starting to struggle with newer games. It works surprisingly well and has had a great run, but it's time to get something new.

Many thanks!
January 24, 2013 9:56:44 PM

whats ur country of origin, do u mind buying from other companies, and maximum budget.

January 25, 2013 12:43:05 AM

USA, I don't mind buying elsewhere, and as I mentioned maximum budget is $2,500.
Related resources
January 25, 2013 12:55:41 AM

do u need tower+os+key+mouse+screen?

January 25, 2013 1:02:44 AM

ntel X79 Core i7 Configurator
1 x Case ( Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Gaming Case - Black )
0 x Case Lighting ( None )
1 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( Basic - iBUYPOWER Harmony SRS Sound Reduction System - Reduce System Noise )
1 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( iBUYPOWER Internal USB Expansion System + Bluetooth Module )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 3820 Processor (4x 3.60GHz/10MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i7 3820 w/ Intel Performance Tuning Protection )
1 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( PowerDrive Level 2 - Up to 20% Overclocking )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System - Standard 120mm Fan )
1 x Memory ( 16 GB [2 GB X8] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 - 4GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 1046MHz - Single Card )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS P9X79 LE -- 2x USB 3.0 )
1 x Power Supply ( 850 Watt - XFX Core Edition PRO )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 240 GB Intel 520 SSD - Single Drive )
0 x Data Hard Drive ( None )
1 x Optical Drive ( [12X Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive - Black )
1 x 2nd Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
0 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( None )
1 x Meter Display ( AeroCool Touch1000 Touch Screen Fan Controller & Temperature Display )
1 x Sound Card ( ASUS Xonar DSX )
1 x Network Card ( Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card )
1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard )
1 x Keyboard ( Logitech Deluxe Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Precision Gaming Mouse - Midnight Black )
1 x Mouse ( SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad - MLG Wall Edition )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
0 x Speaker System ( None )
1 x Media Center Remote Control ( MS Media Center Remote Control and Receiver )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
0 x Case Engraving Service ( None )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
1 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )

Protect Your Investment More Info
Upgrade your desktop warranty for extended protection. Select one of our warranty options below:


Three Year (3 Years Labor, 1 Year Parts) Standard Warranty [+$0]
Four Year (4 Years Labor, 2 Years Parts) Extended Warranty
$399 - $100 Instant OFF = $299 [+$299]
Five Year (5 Years Labor, 3 Years Parts) Extended Warranty
$599 - $100 Instant OFF = $499 [+$499]


Sub Total: $2,389.00


ibuypower.com :) 

January 25, 2013 1:05:38 AM

iceclock said:
do u need tower+os+key+mouse+screen?


I'll need a case and OS, as I mentioned in the list of parts in my post. I don't need a mouse or keyboard or monitor.
January 25, 2013 1:07:00 AM

everything is in that build i made for u, they give good support and 3years warranty.

January 25, 2013 1:09:04 AM

iceclock said:
ntel X79 Core i7 Configurator
1 x Case ( Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Gaming Case - Black )
0 x Case Lighting ( None )
1 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( Basic - iBUYPOWER Harmony SRS Sound Reduction System - Reduce System Noise )
1 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( iBUYPOWER Internal USB Expansion System + Bluetooth Module )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 3820 Processor (4x 3.60GHz/10MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i7 3820 w/ Intel Performance Tuning Protection )
1 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( PowerDrive Level 2 - Up to 20% Overclocking )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System - Standard 120mm Fan )
1 x Memory ( 16 GB [2 GB X8] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 - 4GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 1046MHz - Single Card )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS P9X79 LE -- 2x USB 3.0 )
1 x Power Supply ( 850 Watt - XFX Core Edition PRO )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 240 GB Intel 520 SSD - Single Drive )
0 x Data Hard Drive ( None )
1 x Optical Drive ( [12X Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive - Black )
1 x 2nd Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
0 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( None )
1 x Meter Display ( AeroCool Touch1000 Touch Screen Fan Controller & Temperature Display )
1 x Sound Card ( ASUS Xonar DSX )
1 x Network Card ( Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card )
1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard )
1 x Keyboard ( Logitech Deluxe Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Precision Gaming Mouse - Midnight Black )
1 x Mouse ( SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad - MLG Wall Edition )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
0 x Speaker System ( None )
1 x Media Center Remote Control ( MS Media Center Remote Control and Receiver )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
0 x Case Engraving Service ( None )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
1 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )

Protect Your Investment More Info
Upgrade your desktop warranty for extended protection. Select one of our warranty options below:


Three Year (3 Years Labor, 1 Year Parts) Standard Warranty [+$0]
Four Year (4 Years Labor, 2 Years Parts) Extended Warranty
$399 - $100 Instant OFF = $299 [+$299]
Five Year (5 Years Labor, 3 Years Parts) Extended Warranty
$599 - $100 Instant OFF = $499 [+$499]


Sub Total: $2,389.00


ibuypower.com :) 


Thanks, Iceclock. I'll have to look your build over in more detail. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
January 25, 2013 1:12:42 AM

well ive looked at alienware quite expensive, ibuypowers pretty good for the money, theres other companies but are more expensive 3k and up.

January 25, 2013 1:31:35 AM

The only companies I'd recommend prebuilts from are Falcon NW and Origin. (The falcon Tiki will blow both these builds out of the water for the same price, and is about the size of an xbox.)

That being said, original poster? I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you buy these parts yourself. They'd cost you about 1.2-1.5k, which means these builders are taking about $1000 of your money that you don't have to spend.

It only takes a few hours and a screwdriver. It's as easy as LEGOS: you look up a video on youtube, watch it once, then go back and do it again, while pausing to complete each action. You also get a warranty on parts, with Tom's and plenty of other forums here to help you solve any problem. (Your computer will likely be fixed faster than if you had to ship it back to the manufacturer anyways.)
January 25, 2013 2:09:48 AM

well i agree, but he seems he doesnt have the time or the place to build.

ibuypower is quality tho.

heres an origin pc a bit more expensive.


Configuration

Bitfenix Shinobi XL
Exterior: Not Painted
Truly Custom PC's. Want a component that is not on our site? Call or email us and we will include it in your system.
Red LED
Standard Case Fans
ASUS P8Z77 V PRO (Thunderbolt, WiFi, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s)
ORIGIN FROSTBYTE 120 Sealed Liquid Cooling Systems
Overclocked Intel Core i5 3570K Quad-Core (4.0GHz-4.6GHz), 8MB Cache
850 Watt Corsair TX850M
Single 3GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 7970
ORIGIN Professional Graphics Card Overclocking
16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600Mhz (2x8GB)
Genuine MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition
mSATA Cache Drive For Use with Mechanical Drives Only
120GB Intel 520 Series
None
None
None
24X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability (No DVD Playback Software for Windows 8 Included)
None
On Board Audio
Onboard Network Port
ORIGIN Wooden Crate Armor
2 Year Part Replacement and Free Shipping Warranty with Lifetime Labor/24-7 Support
ORIGIN Recovery USB Flash Drive
2 Year Evolve Part Upgrade Service with Free Shipping
ORIGIN PC T-Shirt Large
Microsoft Internet Explorer

Subtotals:$2,466
Shipping:Calculate 100 lbs.
Taxes:
Discount:
Total:$2,466

January 25, 2013 1:38:35 PM

Darksable, thanks for the advice; as I said I don't have time/space/desire to build my own at this time.

$2,500 is what I've put aside for this, but not in the sense that I intend to max that amount out, I'd be happy to spend less, but I'm willing to go up to that amount to get a good solid pre-built computer that'll last me 3 - 5+ years. If consensus is AVA Direct or Ibuypower or some other pre-builder is better than another I'll take that into consideration. I'll also take a look at the Falcon and Origin machines.

I'll also look at the builds Iceclock suggested, going to take some time later as I'm at work.

Could I get some comments on my initial build in the first post as to whether any components could be better for my purposes (gaming, watching movies, multitasking), whether or not this build is overkill for what I want to do with the machine, and some specific questions:

i5 or i7? I know I don't necessarily need hyperthreading for gaming, but is it useful for multitasking (by which i mean running multiple programs at once - say browser window open, game running, downloading/uploading something, library management program open, etc. all at once) or video playback?

Should I get a brand-name thermal compound instead of the standard AVA or whoever might offer?

Should I go with the integrated audio controller or get something else? I honestly don't need more than left-right stereo sound, but surround sound for movies might be nice down the road.

I have about 6 usb 2 external hard drives; will this system allow me to hook them all up? It looks like the mobo has 8 usb 3 ports, am I reading that right? Do I need to think about having some usb 2 ports also?

Are there parts that I left out of the build that I would need? There is integrated internet connection in the motherboard, right?

Thanks!
January 25, 2013 2:21:21 PM

the i5 has only 4cores versus i7 4 physical cores+hyperthreadingcores,

useful for multitasking and heavily cpu intensive programs.

ava seems alright, but id recommand origin or ibuypower instead.

u can just use onboard sound for now than upgrade to an add-on sound-card.


u can always just buy a usb hub for ur extra hard-drives.

yes theres integrated lan port on that mobo.

falcon does good also. do u have a preference id say ibuypower,falcon,origin are all good, but ibuypower gets u better deals.



January 25, 2013 2:25:20 PM

i checked out falcon but there prices are somewhat higher than ibuypower.

origin is more expensive also, and alienware the same, at this point id recommand ibuypower as theyve got the best pricing.

January 25, 2013 2:35:43 PM

Pricing is not always the most important aspect of a purchase; lord knows I've been burned in the past by saving some money, when the superior option was worth the additional cost.

Personally, I would go with whatever feels most comfortable for you. Have you tried talking to any of the companies you've researched? I've noticed that the knowledge of the sales staff almost always directly reflects the companies abilities. Try asking them some of your questions, that you posted on here, and see if they're able to answer them, even remotely, that should help you make more of a decision.

January 25, 2013 2:37:17 PM

well im just saying tried to get a similar build that i made from ibuypower, with alienware, originpc and falcon norwest all like 300$+ atleast. not worth it to me

January 25, 2013 3:38:31 PM

Thanks Iceclock, I'll spend some more time doing research. Thanks for your help so far.
January 25, 2013 3:47:21 PM

no problem, if u require more assistance let me know, just saying did a few builds, and they come up alot more expensive at other shops versus ibuypower.

unless u wanna spend 400$ extra, i dont find its worth it.

January 31, 2013 6:44:43 PM


I've done some more reading about individual components and came up with this revised build, taking various suggestions into account as well.

This is from the AVADirect.com configurator, coming in way under my budget (so I might go ahead and get a new monitor from Newegg as well)

GAMING PC Core™ i5 / i7 Z77 2-way SLI® / CrossFireX™ Custom Gaming System $1884.63


INTEL Core™ i7-3770K Quad-Core 3.5 - 3.9GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 8MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST HT VT-x XD, Retail
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler, Socket 1155/1156/1366/775/AM3/AM2, Copper/Aluminum, Retail
ARCTIC SILVER Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound, Polysynthetic Silver, Electrically Non-Conductive
ASUS Maximus V Gene, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-2800 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /1+1*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 3Gb/s /2, DP + HDMI, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, GbLAN, mATX, Retail
G SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL7 (7-7-7-21) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5, Radeon™ HD 7870 1010MHz, 2GB GDDR5 4840MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI + HDMI + 2x mini-DP, Retail
OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD, MLC Indilinx Everest 2, 550/420 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail
WESTERN DIGITAL 2TB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD2002FAEX), SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache
SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM
ASUS BW-12B1ST Black 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD/CD Blu-ray Disc™ Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, Retail
FRACTAL DESIGN Define R4 Titanium Grey Silent Mid-Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Plastic/Steel
CUSTOM WIRING Standard Wiring with Precision Cable Routing and Tie-Down
CORSAIR Professional Series™ Gold AX850 850W Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V v2.31 2x EPS12V 2.92, Multi-GPU Ready
MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM
SERVICE OEM System Recovery (bootable CD/DVD only)
ACCESSORY AVADirect System Documentation and Media Binder
WARRANTY Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

I like the Fractal Design cases; I assume this one is a good size for what I'm putting in it here, but is there room to add another graphics card down the line if I decide I want to do that?

Do you think there's enough cooling and ventilation here, and if not what would be a good addition to this?

I'm still debating the motherboard and graphics cards, but these seem like good ones for what I want to do. Any additional thoughts or advice on them would be appreciated.

Any thoughts about the G-Skill Ripjaws memory? It's highly rated and I've seen a lot of recommendations, but read something recently about the form factor making it awkward with some motherboards. Will it be ok in this build?

I guess that's it for the moment. Thank you!
!