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$1500 gaming/production PC

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January 29, 2013 1:39:06 AM

Hi everyone, new user here. Hopefully someone can help me out! I am looking to get an entirely new PC sometime in the nearish future, as my current one just cannot keep up anymore. Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: Not sure, hopefully sometime in the near future (next two-three months)
Budget Range: $1500 total

System Usage from Most to Least Important: digital media production (Photoshop, AE, Premiere, Audition CS6, Maya/Max, Unity), gaming, internet surfing, writing, watching movies.

Are you buying a monitor: Probably not, current monitor is SyncMaster 2053bw, 1680x1050

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Windows 7 64

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Not sure, I have never done this before. I'll leave this up to the more experience buyers/builders out there.

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Parts Preferences: Again, not sure. I will trust more experienced judgment. As long as it can handle what I need it to handle then I am fine.

Overclocking: Maybe, if possible.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, totally open to it if it is the best option.

Your Monitor Resolution: Current is 1680x1050, but if people recommend getting a better monitor than I would be open to that.

Additional Comments: No bling necessary, I just need it to run all the programs mentioned before (the CS6 production suite, as well as rendering 3ds Max and Maya. The sort of games I play/want to play:

-Counter-strike: GO
-TF2
-BF3
-Farcry 3
-Planetside 2
-Skyrim

I do not need these games to be played at ultra settings with amazing FPS either, I just want to be able to play them on at least high, (smooth FPS), but currently I have to play CS:GO and TF2 on low, and I cannot even run BF3 or Skyrim.

I do not need any peripherals either.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading because the school program I am in requires a powerful computer (rendering and such). I also want to be able to enjoy some of the newer games that are out/coming out. My current computer is also becoming very slow and sluggish, and recently the sound just stopped working and I have not been able to fix it, so I'm thinking it is time for an upgrade.

Thank you to those of you who take the time to read this and help me out. I also have a quick question...before stumbling onto this forum, I had never heard of PCPartPicker. Can you order directly from this website and the computer will come to you assembled, or do you have to go and order each piece from the individual merchants and then assemble it at home? Thanks!

More about : 1500 gaming production

January 29, 2013 6:22:12 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($68.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($53.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($94.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($102.19 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1538.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 03:22 EST-0500)
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Best solution

January 29, 2013 3:54:01 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.98 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.88 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.73 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX)
Monitor: LG IPS231P-BN 23.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1471.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 12:53 EST-0500)
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January 29, 2013 4:11:11 PM

The Xeon E3-1230 might be worth a look if you give up overclocking. At stock it gives pretty much the same performance for $90 less. You give up overclocking and the iGPU.

Other than that, I'd get 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD and something like the GTX 670 like the second build personally.
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January 29, 2013 11:21:31 PM

What do you guys think of this? I decided to lower my budget a little more, and I realized that I have a 700W PSU in my current computer that I can just switch over. I was able to bring the price down a few hundred dollars and the benchmarks didn't suffer much at all. I also decided to pick up a case from a local retailer to save some money, and I can get a copy of Windows through my school for pretty cheap, so those are not listed either.

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

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.98 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.73 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $1139.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 20:20 EST-0500)
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January 29, 2013 11:30:14 PM

Also, what if I switch out the MSI card for the eVGA version...would that cause any problems? I heard that eVGA is the most reliable manufacturer.
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January 30, 2013 1:25:14 AM

No problem picking EVGA. I always recommend EVGA or MSI for nvidia GPU anyway. Your build looks good. What's the model of your 700W psu? I'm kinda worried it might be some cheap no-good unit.
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January 30, 2013 2:09:41 AM

It is the OCZ Mod X Stream-Pro. I'll do a quick google myself, but let me know if it is no good or not. If not then I will throw in one. Should I get 650W, 700W, or 750W if my current one is no good? Thanks for the help. Also, can you order directly from this (pcpartpicker.com) website and the computer will come to you assembled, or do you have to go and order each piece from the individual merchants and then assemble it at home?

EDIT: Reviews on Newegg are saying that this thing works well, but it is quite unreliable. I think I'll go with the original one suggested.
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January 30, 2013 2:20:26 AM

I don't trust OCZ power supplies anymore. You'll be fine with any good 500W+ unit. I recommend 600W+ if you're into overclocking but even 600W psu will give plenty of headroom. Not much for a second card though. Which one is this "original one suggested"?
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January 30, 2013 2:27:04 AM

The Corsair Enthusiast. You suggested 650W, and EasyTransfer suggested 750W. Thanks for the help.
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January 30, 2013 2:31:35 AM

No problem.
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January 30, 2013 3:03:20 AM

I would suggest this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($231.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.88 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($95.98 @ NCIX)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($87.69 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: LG IPS231P-BN 23.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1407.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 00:00 EST-0500)

Motherboard is great for SLI because it has 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots if you plan. IPS monitors are the way to go. Why not get 1833Mhz RAM for $7 more. The Corsair 300R is a great case. 750W PSU for future SLI. Xeon processor, though lacks overclocking, is $80 less than the i7 3770.
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January 30, 2013 5:31:42 AM

If you're not thinking of SLI, you only need 500W+. I think that OCZ PSU you have should be fine assuming it isn't more than 1-2 years old.
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January 30, 2013 4:14:03 PM

cball1311 said:
I would suggest this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($231.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.88 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($95.98 @ NCIX)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($87.69 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: LG IPS231P-BN 23.0" Monitor ($169.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1407.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 00:00 EST-0500)

Motherboard is great for SLI because it has 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots if you plan. IPS monitors are the way to go. Why not get 1833Mhz RAM for $7 more. The Corsair 300R is a great case. 750W PSU for future SLI. Xeon processor, though lacks overclocking, is $80 less than the i7 3770.


What is the difference between the ASRock motherboard that I have and the MSI one that you suggested? And what is an IPS monitor? I definitely want to be able to upgrade to SLI in the future.
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January 30, 2013 4:37:12 PM

IPS panels usually have better colour reproduction and almost always have better viewing angles. They usually have high response times though.
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January 30, 2013 4:41:01 PM

Okay, thanks! I think I'm going to keep the i7 because I want the option of overclocking. The MSI mobo looks nice though, has lots of good reviews. Thanks for your help.
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January 30, 2013 4:46:47 PM

jmsellars1 said:
...They usually have high response times though.


The IPS monitor that I suggested has a response time of 5ms, the same as your ordinary LCD/LED monitor. Definitely get the IPS if you can.

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January 30, 2013 7:26:42 PM

Okay I think I've settled on something, let me know what you guys think. I kept the i7 because I want that option to overclock. I also am going to get a case from a local store, so that is not included. The 750W is there in case I want to go SLI in the future.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.98 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.73 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($87.69 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Monitor: LG IPS231P-BN 23.0" Monitor ($189.99 @ Memory Express)
Total: $1420.33
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 16:26 EST-0500)

Edit: Added a sentence.
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January 30, 2013 7:53:24 PM

It will be sweeeeeeet :D 
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January 30, 2013 11:45:56 PM

Looks good. Looks almost exactly the same as the ones I've recommended except different retailers.
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January 31, 2013 1:28:14 AM

EzioAs said:
Looks good. Looks almost exactly the same as the ones I've recommended except different retailers.


Haha, honestly I have been looking at pcpartpicker too much. I didn't even realize lol. Thanks for your help!
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January 31, 2013 2:41:53 AM

Best answer selected by Travito.
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!