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New computer build in $1800-$2000 range

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February 3, 2013 1:24:33 AM

I am building a new computer. My last one lasted me about 7 years and I would love to have this one last me five or so.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: $1800-$2000 after shipping and rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Gaming (Fallout 3, Minecraft, Skyrim)
Programming (Java, Visual Studio)
Normal internet usage (email, etc)
Possibly some video editing, audio editing

Are you buying a monitor: No (I will be using my 1080p television)

Parts to Upgrade: ALL (New build)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, but I have contacts at Microsoft and will be buying it through them. I plan on running Windows 7 Ultimate.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Spokane, WA, United States

Parts Preferences: No preference on most things, but definitely prefer Intel to AMD

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not now but possibly will upgrade to SLI config if this rig can't run my games reasonably well

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I keep my computer case in a (well-ventilated) cabinet out of sight so I don't care too much what the whole thing looks like. My basic software list:
Windows 7 Ultimate
Google Chrome
Java
Visual Studio
Netbeans
Open Office
Blender, Audacity, Lightworks
Skyrim, Fallout 3, Minecraft, Caesar IV, Civ 5, Winboard
VMs (Linux distros, old Windows flavors just for kicks)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current system is 7 years old. I have been happy with it but am definitely feeling the pinch now ... it's time for a new computer.

PARTS LIST
========
My entire wishlist can be seen at Wishlist

Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9Q-32GXM
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x ...
EVGA 02G-P4-2683-KR GeForce GTX 680 Superclocked, Signature 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ...
CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC ...
Intel 330 Series Maple Crest SSDSC2CT180A3K5 2.5" 180GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
TOSHIBA PH3200U-1I72 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
LG Black 12X Blu-ray Combo Drive SATA Model UH12NS29 - OEM
Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel ...

My peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc) are still fine and I will be re-using them. I appreciate any comments or advice I can get.

Thanks for your time.
February 3, 2013 2:19:09 AM

Hey,

Looks good, but I made some changes:

Unless you need a full-tower case, I would recommend a Phantom 410.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't want to overclock, you probably don't need the CPU cooler and you really don't need the thermal paste.

32 GB of RAM is a lot. 16 GB would probably be fine if you only do a little bit of video editing.

With the extra money, you could even upgrade to a larger SSD.

Good Luck!
February 3, 2013 2:35:32 AM

mastrom101 said:
Hey,

Looks good, but I made some changes:

Unless you need a full-tower case, I would recommend a Phantom 410.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't want to overclock, you probably don't need the CPU cooler and you really don't need the thermal paste.

32 GB of RAM is a lot. 16 GB would probably be fine if you only do a little bit of video editing.

With the extra money, you could even upgrade to a larger SSD.

Good Luck!


Thanks for the input. That Phantom case looks interesting, and its slightly cheaper. I notice that it comes with a water cooling solution. Would I need to use a water-cooled CPU cooler for that as well?

I read in several places that the stock cooler that comes with Intel CPUs is crap, and the thermal paste that comes with it is even worse crap. Thus the aftermarket cooler and thermal paste.
Related resources
February 3, 2013 2:48:36 AM

If you're not goign to overclocking it will be better to get the Xeon 1230v2 since it is quite a bit cheaper (50) than the i7's and while 100mhz slower (diff between 3470 and 3570) it has more cache to make up for it
Put the extra cash to a bigger SSD

32GB of ram seems quite a bit OP

I am sure you will fun fine witht he stock cooler unless you are going to using it 24/7 load
The 212+ is nice and cheap though and comeiwth it's own heat paste
The intel cooler is fine for normal use (crap in turns of allowing OC and 24/7 stock load)
The Phantom just allows you to use water cooling and has the right holes for it that's all

Minor brand changes
16GB of 2x8 (upgradable to 32 in future if needed)
Xeon 1230v2 will work perfectly fine for $50 cheaper
Same mb
Samsung 250GB SSD
A 650W PSU will do fine unless you plan to SLI (might still be fine then but a bit risky)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($444.99 @ TigerDirect)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.84 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1378.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-02 23:57 EST-0500)
February 3, 2013 3:09:31 AM

DaveInSpokane said:
Thanks for the input. That Phantom case looks interesting, and its slightly cheaper. I notice that it comes with a water cooling solution. Would I need to use a water-cooled CPU cooler for that as well?

I read in several places that the stock cooler that comes with Intel CPUs is crap, and the thermal paste that comes with it is even worse crap. Thus the aftermarket cooler and thermal paste.


No, you don't need to use water-cooling. The Intel stock cooler is pretty bad but it will work. The Hyper 212 EVO comes with fairly good thermal paste though.

If you have a bit of extra money and want to keep your components as cool as possible, the Hyper 212 EVO or even plus are excellent choices.
February 3, 2013 3:18:41 AM

@stickmansam

if going xeon, no need for z77 board just get an H77. Also no need for a 680, the 670 has 95% of the performance of the 680

you seriously don't need a lot for the things you will be using it for. a better all around and cheaper build would be going AMD FX 8320/8350 build as it does pretty well against i5 in games and performs a tad slower than the i7

for the case, i do not prefer the NZXT brand, they tend to be of lower quality compared to brands like fractal, Cooler Master, Corsair, and such until you get up to there high priced cases like the switch 810

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($139.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($80.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($386.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($110.49 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Kingwin Lazer Platinum 750W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1437.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 00:14 EST-0500)

an example of my build taking the route of AMD and putting more money into things like:
CPU cooler- for better cooling and less noise, also lets you OC pretty good for the FX 8320
SSD-Vector series fastest on the market, can exchange for another SSD if wanting to save money. if you do i recommend Vertex 4, Samsung 830, or Samsung 840 pro
PSU-pretty good price for a plat PSU while maintaining a quality brand. Of course changeable to different ranks, i recommend Rosewill CapStone series(gold rank) for $20 less

This build also allows for SLI if you so want to.
February 3, 2013 3:26:59 AM

part preferrence and os?

February 3, 2013 3:45:04 AM

boulbox said:
@stickmansam

if going xeon, no need for z77 board just get an H77. Also no need for a 680, the 670 has 95% of the performance of the 680

you seriously don't need a lot for the things you will be using it for. a better all around and cheaper build would be going AMD FX 8320/8350 build as it does pretty well against i5 in games and performs a tad slower than the i7

for the case, i do not prefer the NZXT brand, they tend to be of lower quality compared to brands like fractal, Cooler Master, Corsair, and such until you get up to there high priced cases like the switch 810

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($139.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($80.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($386.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($110.49 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Kingwin Lazer Platinum 750W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1437.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 00:14 EST-0500)

an example of my build taking the route of AMD and putting more money into things like:
CPU cooler- for better cooling and less noise, also lets you OC pretty good for the FX 8320
SSD-Vector series fastest on the market, can exchange for another SSD if wanting to save money. if you do i recommend Vertex 4, Samsung 830, or Samsung 840 pro
PSU-pretty good price for a plat PSU while maintaining a quality brand. Of course changeable to different ranks, i recommend Rosewill CapStone series(gold rank) for $20 less

This build also allows for SLI if you so want to.


That NZXT is rated very good.

I wouldn't pick an AMD CPU after this on a build where SLI is a viable option: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-core-i7-377...

Just my opinion
February 3, 2013 4:02:38 AM

iceclock said:
part preferrence and os?


Prefer Intel to AMD. OS will be Windows 7. It was in my original post also.
February 3, 2013 4:20:16 AM

stickmansam said:
If you're not goign to overclocking it will be better to get the Xeon 1230v2 since it is quite a bit cheaper (50) than the i7's and while 100mhz slower (diff between 3470 and 3570) it has more cache to make up for it
Put the extra cash to a bigger SSD

32GB of ram seems quite a bit OP

I am sure you will fun fine witht he stock cooler unless you are going to using it 24/7 load
The 212+ is nice and cheap though and comeiwth it's own heat paste
The intel cooler is fine for normal use (crap in turns of allowing OC and 24/7 stock load)
The Phantom just allows you to use water cooling and has the right holes for it that's all

Minor brand changes
16GB of 2x8 (upgradable to 32 in future if needed)
Xeon 1230v2 will work perfectly fine for $50 cheaper
Same mb
Samsung 250GB SSD
A 650W PSU will do fine unless you plan to SLI (might still be fine then but a bit risky)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($444.99 @ TigerDirect)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.84 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1378.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-02 23:57 EST-0500)


It appears that the primary difference between the i7 and Xeon processors is the absence of onboard graphics on the Xeons. If that is the case a Xeon would make better sense. But looking at http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html# it appears that the E3-1230 underperforms the i7-3770 by a small margin. (9194 to 9477). The E3-1240 v2 performs virtually identically to the i7, for $15 less. At any rate, thanks for the suggestion. I will research that option more.

Might be right about the RAM. If I get 2x8 sticks now I can always drop in two more if I feel that I need them.

I also think the larger SSD is a good idea. Several commenters have suggested it. The Samsung you recommend is only $10 more than the Intel drive I had picked out. Change accepted :wahoo: 

I might in fact do an SLI setup in the future (one of the reasons I am going with a PCI-E 3.0 build .. it gives me the flexibility to upgrade in the future). So I think for $30 having the larger PSU is probably not a bad idea.

Oh, and I definitely want a Blu-Ray drive. I noticed a couple of the commenters have substituted a DVD drive for the Blu-ray I had selected. I probably should have included movie watching as one of my intended applications.

Again, thanks for the useful input.
February 3, 2013 4:22:11 AM

NZXT is rated well but many other brands are of better quality. Like comparing Phantom 410 vs 500R and CM Haf XM, i would choose the 500R/CM HAF XM over it even if it is paying a $20 extra for it.

Best solution

February 3, 2013 5:22:14 AM
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Adjusted a bit to incorporate some of the other suggestions (670) and the 1240v2
The Z77 offers SRT and a potential to turbo higher and better power delivery and quality


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1240 V2 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($260.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.84 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS29 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1325.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 02:20 EST-0500)
February 3, 2013 6:59:12 AM

stickmansam said:
Adjusted a bit to incorporate some of the other suggestions (670) and the 1240v2
The Z77 offers SRT and a potential to turbo higher and better power delivery and quality


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1240 V2 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($260.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.84 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS29 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1325.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 02:20 EST-0500)


I am really liking this system. I am not sure if I want to deal with getting shipments from half a dozen different suppliers so I will price this using only Newegg, but I think this is probably the way I am going to go. Thanks a lot for the help!
February 3, 2013 7:07:39 AM

No problem :) 
See if you can get all the parts from ncix.us They will pricematch items and you can get the cheapest prices and 1 supplier :) 
February 3, 2013 7:22:14 AM

Best answer selected by DaveInSpokane.
February 3, 2013 2:32:05 PM

cheers
!