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Looking for help with a new Gaming PC ($1200 budget)

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January 30, 2013 10:24:57 AM

I'm looking for something that I can run any new game on Ultra settings with no problem, no overheating, and a nice monitor.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a week

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) = After Rebates / After Shipping $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming - Programming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com (Would like to get it all from here in 1 order)

Location: Iowa, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: No idea

SLI or Crossfire: No idea

Your Monitor Resolution: a nice one

Additional Comments: I really don't want it to have any problems with overheating

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: my laptop isn't doing it.. i miss having a PC

More about : gaming 1200 budget

January 30, 2013 11:19:44 AM

This is my suggestion

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 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($353.48 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 620W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Zalman MZ215ED 21.5" Monitor ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1164.34
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 08:19 EST-0500)

Sorry its not all from newegg, but you can find all the parts there. It might cost a little more though.
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January 30, 2013 11:40:41 AM

Hi, and thank you for posting your build. I have been saving money for a computer for quite some time now, so forgive me for being a little hesitant, but could you please explain why you chose what you chose?
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January 30, 2013 12:00:51 PM

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 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G236HLBbd 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1203.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 09:00 EST-0500)
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January 30, 2013 12:53:06 PM

Any chance you live near a Microcenter? Normally able to save a big chunk of change there (~$80) on a 3570K/Z77 mobo combo.
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January 30, 2013 2:00:29 PM

I made this build for you

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($78.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 – MAX IOPS Edition 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 620W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: LG IPS231B-BN 23.0" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Full (64-bit) ($80.00 @ Newegg)
Total: $1187.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 10:54 EST-0500)

Compared to EzioAS's build it has a CPU that is slighly slower at stock and slightly faster when overclock, a much better motherboard, a low profile memory kit which will ensure that there will be no problems with CPU Cooler compatibility, a higher capacity slightly slower hard drive and a faster, higher capacity SSD.It's graphics card is pretty much the same speed but doesn't overclock as well, the power supply used is lower end, but they are both high quality so you'll never notice a difference.
And finally it uses a MUCH better monitor which will make a huge difference in gaming, watching movies and pretty much everything else.
The operating system is also changed to windows 8 which like it or not is the future and i've also added an optical drive.
It also uses a slightly better case.

Compared to tenaciousk's build, it uses a slightly slower graphics card (<10% difference) while everything else is either on par or better in my build.
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January 30, 2013 2:05:57 PM

EzioAs said:
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 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G236HLBbd 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1203.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 09:00 EST-0500)



Little under powered GPU, for this price. wouldn't recommend anything less then a 670 for a $1200 build...

On that note, you cant go wrong with the first build posted. only thing i would do is up the ram a bit to 8 gb (yeah, i know it will only need 4 gb but ram is dirt cheap, may as well get more)

i will try to elaborate on some of the parts.

i5 3570k: Very solid CPU, the center piece of any gaming rig. hands down, best gaming CPU for the money at the moment. anything higher and you get diminishing returns, hyper threading from i7's are not used in games. unlocked, so make sure you get a Z77 chipset mobo.

GTX 670: also the best value GPU there is, MSI's Variant is about 1% faster at factory OC then Nvdia's GTX 680 reference card, and 100 bucks cheaper. I believe MSI's is also on the 680's PCB, but don't quote me on that. Solid card, will max BF3 on 1080p, so new games will not be slow for a few years.

ASRock Extreme4's are very well rated.

The PSU that tenaciousk sugested looks sketchy to me... too cheap.... maybe its just a good value, but i wouldent trust my 1100 dollar parts to a 30 dollar PSU that could easly overvolt and fry the gpu/cpu/mobo....







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January 30, 2013 2:13:46 PM

@ Kamen_BG

Nice build.

In my defense, the MSI Z77A-GD55 is a pretty high end board. It's basically the GD65 without Lucid Virtu MVP. The GD80 is pretty much the GD65 + thunderbolt. So, the GD55 is a great motherboard for those not looking into Virtu MVP and thunderbolt.

I had trouble finding that monitor on PCPartPicker. I was going to suggest that as well although now that I've seen it, seems a little bit too expensive on Newegg.
I'm pretty sure I saw it cheaper on some other sites.

I wouldn't say the Storm Scout is better than the HAF912. They probably perform similar in most cases.

Video card recommendation is good though. I never thought that 7870 LE could be found less than $250 now but the cooler is a bit disappointing. It's a great deal but personally, I would rather take some other manufacturers custom cooler. Might not be a turn off for everybody though.
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January 30, 2013 2:18:51 PM

@masterman467

It's $1200 including an OS monitor. I was suggesting parts that are not tailored specifically for gaming only. Plus, an HD7950 is still a great card and will have no problem playing most games with max settings at 1080p. Taking overclocking into the matter, it could even rival the GTX680.
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January 30, 2013 2:23:03 PM

If you don't want to overclock, I would go with this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cougar Solution (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: LG IPS231B-BN 23.0" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1133.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 11:22 EST-0500)

23" IPS monitor, 550W Gold certified and modular PSU. Case has front USB 3.0 ports (usually overlooked). You can select the 3570 and still be under budget.
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January 30, 2013 2:34:13 PM

EzioAs said:
@masterman467

It's $1200 including an OS monitor. I was suggesting parts that are not tailored specifically for gaming only. Plus, an HD7950 is still a great card and will have no problem playing most games with max settings at 1080p. Taking overclocking into the matter, it could even rival the GTX680.


i dont doubt that its a fine card. realize he said give or take 300 bucks. you can easly fit a gtx 670 in there, and a half way decent psu, too.
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January 30, 2013 2:34:17 PM

About the motherboard yes.The GD55 is a very good motherboard.No doubt about that.
But getting the GD80 and a 2500K both saves you money and provides you with a potential for a better overclock in the future.

The LG monitor i included in the build is actually priced very well. Remember it's a high quality 23 inch IPS panel. It's not one of the cheap TN ones. It's pretty good in terms of response time too.

The Storm Scout vs HAF 912 debate is kind of subjective. The cases are evenly matched really. The only significant difference is in aesthetics and in that the Scout wins in my opinion. Plus it's only 5 dolars more so i think it's a good invesment.

About the graphics card, yes. It is a bit slower than a GTX 670 but the difference is minimal while the price delta is huge. It just doesn't seem reasonable to pay 60% more for a 10% performance boost. Yes you do get the reduced power consumption at load but increased at idle.
The cooler however can get a bit loud, so if you really need your PC to be silent, consider switching the card to an overclocked HD 7870 like this one.

The Asrock Z77 Extreme4 is a good board, if you ignore the fact that it's VRM cooling is terrible.
Take a look at its review at Tom's. It heats up a lot more than its competitors.
And i'm pretty sure they're performing their tests in a test bench which insures lower temperatures.

The Antec Neo Eco 620 is a pretty good power supply actually.It's that cheap because it's an old model and is now replaced by the Antec High Current Gamer 620.
The Neo Eco 620 is more than good enough for the system, even if it's overclocked to the maximum.

The Core I5 3570K is like a 2500K except that it consumes less power and overclocks worse.It also has some features that are nice for a HTPC, but are pretty useless for a gamer (PCI-E 3.0).
The 2500K is faster when overclocked which is why i chose it instead of the 3570K.
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January 30, 2013 2:35:52 PM

maybe i read that wrong, nvm.
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January 30, 2013 3:00:58 PM

Kamen_BG said:
The LG monitor i included in the build is actually priced very well. Remember it's a high quality 23 inch IPS panel. It's not one of the cheap TN ones. It's pretty good in terms of response time too.


Yeah, I know that although I'm pretty sure it was significantly cheaper last time I saw it. Maybe not at Newegg.

Kamen_BG said:
The Storm Scout vs HAF 912 debate is kind of subjective. The cases are evenly matched really. The only significant difference is in aesthetics and in that the Scout wins in my opinion. Plus it's only 5 dolars more so i think it's a good invesment.


Case is always a subjective thing.

Kamen_BG said:
About the graphics card, yes. It is a bit slower than a GTX 670 but the difference is minimal while the price delta is huge. It just doesn't seem reasonable to pay 60% more for a 10% performance boost. Yes you do get the reduced power consumption at load but increased at idle.
The cooler however can get a bit loud, so if you really need your PC to be silent, consider switching the card to an overclocked HD 7870 like this one.


I was comparing it to the 7950, and like I said before, at $220, that card is a steal.

Kamen_BG said:
The Core I5 3570K is like a 2500K except that it consumes less power and overclocks worse.It also has some features that are nice for a HTPC, but are pretty useless for a gamer (PCI-E 3.0).
The 2500K is faster when overclocked which is why i chose it instead of the 3570K.


You mean faster than a stock clock 3570K? Sure. Don't forget the 3570K can be overclocked as well and if both CPUs are at the same clock speeds, the 3570K is better. Getting a 3570K to 4.5GHz on a good motherboard is no problem. Most people only target that high anyway. Why would you consider PCIe 3.0 nice for HTPC? I'm curious.
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January 30, 2013 3:03:20 PM

Wow, thanks a lot guys for all the builds, I admit I'm not up to date on all the new hardware that is out now days; it' has been awhile since I've been on the market for a computer.

@Kamen I would definitely pay 60% more for a 10% improvement on graphics. Speed and quality are my top priorities.

I've been on a laptop for awhile using my internet through wireless, not sure what I need to make my PC, once I get it, pick up the signal instead of wanting an ethernet hooked up.

If the price goes up to even 1400 I wouldn't care if the performance is worth it. I mainly play World of Warcraft, but move around on games a bit as well.

I like the LG monitor, looks like the type I would want.

Also not a fan of windows 8... i'd much prefer to stay with win 7.


So my questions to all the builders:
Is this the computer you would get?
After hearing other opinions, does yours change at all?

Anyway, thanks a lot guys I really appreciate your help, and enthusiasm.
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January 30, 2013 3:10:20 PM

If you don't mind going as high as $1400, personally I'd suggest you go with the build I've posted but replace the monitor with the LG one. I've been searching that for awhile.

You could replace the case to your liking as well.
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January 30, 2013 3:10:50 PM

$1400 it is.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.20 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cougar Solution (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($125.17 @ Newegg)
Monitor: LG IPS231B-BN 23.0" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1383.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 12:09 EST-0500)

Overclocking setup. 7970 GPU. 850W PSU for later CrossFire. MSI Z77A-GD55 is good for CrossFire because of the two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots.
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January 30, 2013 3:15:57 PM

@cball1311

Very nice. Case seems a bit cheap though, although that's not for me to decide. Spend a little bit more and OP can get a Corsair 300R which is a much better case.
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January 30, 2013 3:29:33 PM

EzioAs said:
@cball1311

Very nice. Case seems a bit cheap though, although that's not for me to decide. Spend a little bit more and OP can get a Corsair 300R which is a much better case.


Thanks man. Totally agree. The Cougar Solution is a pretty good case (for the price), but, yeah, definitely would get the 300R.
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January 30, 2013 3:33:00 PM

You could suggest a cheaper psu. For a single 7950, 850W is overkill unless you have considered OP going crossfire.
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January 30, 2013 3:42:24 PM

EzioAs said:
You could suggest a cheaper psu. For a single 7950, 850W is overkill unless you have considered OP going crossfire.


Yeah. I left that option up to the OP. Just think that it is a good idea to get a larger PSU if one even thinks about CrossFire because when it is time to get another GPU, you don't have to worry about the PSU too.
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January 31, 2013 9:01:35 AM

I'm not sure what crossfire actually does, would it make things run a lot faster? How does it work?

And I really like that build cball

Thanks a ton to everyone, nice website here.
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Best solution

January 31, 2013 9:19:48 AM

This pretty much explains what Crossfire and SLI is and how it works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS5rBS8n-LM

If you don't have time to watch the video, to sum up, AMD crossfire (or SLI for Nvidia) is a way to add get better performance by adding more card to your system. If you're not interested and I highly recommend take the single GPU configuration, you could take cball1311's build above but replace the psu with a lower wattage like (something along 600-650W will be more than enough)

My recommendations:

Antec High Current Gamer 620M
Corsair TX650 V2
SeaSonic S12II 620
XFX Core Edition 650
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January 31, 2013 9:28:49 AM

Best answer selected by sinafey.
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January 31, 2013 9:30:22 AM

Oh so basically more then one graphics card. I think its a bit overboard and I agree that the non-crossfire build is the better way to go for a guy like me. I really appreciate your help and will get the cheaper GPU

So out of those GPU's what would you choose? It's hard for someone like me with little product knowledge to make a selection
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January 31, 2013 9:38:01 AM

It depends on the budget.

For $360 and above I would recommend either the GTX670 or HD7970. I honestly don't think the GTX680 and HD7970 GHz are worth it at their price.

Around $300-320, I'd recommend the HD7950 over the GTX660ti.

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January 31, 2013 9:44:41 AM

And what would you suggest for the PSU?
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January 31, 2013 9:49:16 AM

If i kept the graphics card cball suggested, which i admit i like it, this PSU: Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg) would be fine?
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January 31, 2013 9:50:55 AM

The power supplies I recommended above will be more than enough and are good qualities as well.

Personally though, I would rather get a higher efficiency, modular and better regulation like Corsair's HX/AX or Seasonic X models. They are more expensive and could be consider unnecessary by some people.

Like I said, 600-650W will be more than enough assuming they are good quality units. I only recommend Seasonic, Corsair, Antec or XFX for power supplies since they regularly have better quality models.
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January 31, 2013 9:57:31 AM

Awesome, thanks a ton.

This will be my new computer:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.20 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series Black 300R Mid-Tower Computer Case (79.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply (69.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: LG IPS231B-BN 23.0" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1367.64
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January 31, 2013 10:05:47 AM

Looks great. You're good to go. ;) 
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January 31, 2013 10:37:07 AM

I appreciate it :) 
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!