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First Time Budget Gaming Build Compatibility Check

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February 8, 2013 1:49:58 PM

To start off, this computer is suppose to be meant for gaming. I'll admit, hardware isn't my forte, but I've been searching around for parts and this is what I have come up with so far:

(By the way, I am not planning to overclock unless evidently necessary)

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155

PSU: CORSAIR CX500M 500W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Case: Really have no idea here. I've heard suggestions of a COOLER MASTER Elite 430, but I have no clue

Optical Drive: Is one really necessary? I'm probably not even gonna bother unless otherwise convinced.

OS: I have a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Should I even bother with 8?


I think that's about it. I'm not really looking too spend too much more money than what this build would cost.

Tell me if I need to provide more information
Thanks for the help
February 8, 2013 2:43:56 PM

mikerockett said:
Personally there are things i would probably change. Take a look at the link below, fill out the template and post back. The more info we have the better we can help you.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/353572-13-build-upg...



Approximate Purchase Date: Next Month (March 2013)


Budget Range: Between 800-900 after shipping/rebates (Right now my rig seems to come up to $810 before rebates/shipping)


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Strictly gaming, both online and off. I've a decent laptop for all other stuff

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade: Everything from my original post (CPU, GPU, Mobo, RAM, PSU, Case, HDD, and possible optical drive)


Do you need to buy OS: No, I get to download it for free as a college student


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Really like newegg.com, but I've got free shipping through Amazon Prime so amazon.com will work too. Also frys.com may work as well.


Location: City, State/Region, Country - Indianapolis, IN, USA


Parts Preferences: by brand or type: No real brand preference, just looking for performance at a good value


Overclocking: No


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Your Monitor Resolution: Right now I've got a spare 15" monitor at about 1024x768. Though I also would like the build to work well enough with my 1366x768 TV considering how easy it would to connect it with a HDMI. Of course I would like to be able to hook it up to say 46" 1080p TVs and not have to worry too much about picture quality, but I don't know exactly what is realistic at this point.


Additional Comments: I would like it to be able to play at least medium setting at 1080i, if not p, for most new games like Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3, and Steam games


And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Need an actual gaming computer, my school laptop is just for school and I'm not really looking to upgrade it. Just wanting to build a new scratch gaming desktop
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February 8, 2013 2:57:10 PM

This should be a good gaming rig for your needs and is plenty for 1080p gaming.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.95 @ Mac Connection)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($77.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $843.82
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-08 11:56 EST-0500)
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February 8, 2013 3:07:34 PM

I'll certainly check this out. Thanks a ton.
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February 8, 2013 4:01:52 PM

I would go with the Power cooler le over the Saphire Xt
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February 8, 2013 4:04:25 PM

The Corsair 200R seems to be out of stock at newegg. If they don't get another shipment by March, is there another similarly priced case that will do just as good a job?
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February 8, 2013 4:07:50 PM

ikes9711 said:
I would go with the Power cooler le over the Saphire Xt



Any particular reason? The Saphire does seem to have a much better cooling system.
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February 8, 2013 5:00:39 PM

How about these parts? A little more than 900 before rebates and a little less than 900 after rebates(if buying the cpu amazon vs microcenter).

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 TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Mac Mall)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($66.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $873.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-08 13:46 EST-0500)

That powercolor hd7870xt has a reference style hd7900 type cooler(hotter and louder, not the best for pushing the gpu to its full potential). The sapphire has 2 fans and copper heat pipes(better for overclocking while keeping cool and quiet). HAF 912 has some great features for the price. To find out more, see its page at newegg. I suggest getting the optical at newegg for 1 penny more(free shipping vs outlet PC). Hope this helps.
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February 8, 2013 5:38:16 PM

Thanks for everyone's help so far. If anything, you've given me a lot more options to research. Not to mention more than a few dollars I'll be saving.
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February 8, 2013 5:41:42 PM

jamorales15 said:
Any particular reason? The Saphire does seem to have a much better cooling system.



The LE is basically a 7930. Its a slightly de-tuned 7950. Decently more powerful than a normal or factory overclocked 7870.
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February 8, 2013 5:53:04 PM

tiny voices said:
The LE is basically a 7930. Its a slightly de-tuned 7950. Decently more powerful than a normal or factory overclocked 7870.



Yes, but the Sapphire does the exact same thing. Both the Sapphire and the Power Color both use the Tahiti LE architecture, meaning they're both pretty much "de-tuned 7950s". And I'm definitely sure the Sapphire has better cooling. I'm willing to pay a little more for that.
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February 8, 2013 6:06:05 PM

The reason I included an i5 3570k and z77 mobo was so that you can overclock in the future(should you find the stock cpu performance lacking). Along with that is a capable cooler and low profile ram. The modular psu(I'm guessing that is a preference) will allow for upgrades in the future(like taking out the hd7870xt and putting in a custom cooled hd7970 to overclock or something else more powerful along with an overclocked i5). That way, the rig should last you for quite some time. SSD for faster game/level loads means less time waiting and more time playing. Reliable green HDD for mass storage. Omit the optical if you can install windows from a flash drive(assuming no other software or games you want to install via cd/dvd).
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February 8, 2013 6:18:56 PM

jtenorj said:
The reason I included an i5 3570k and z77 mobo was so that you can overclock in the future(should you find the stock cpu performance lacking). Along with that is a capable cooler and low profile ram. The modular psu(I'm guessing that is a preference) will allow for upgrades in the future(like taking out the hd7870xt and putting in a custom cooled hd7970 to overclock or something else more powerful along with an overclocked i5). That way, the rig should last you for quite some time. SSD for faster game/level loads means less time waiting and more time playing. Reliable green HDD for mass storage. Omit the optical if you can install windows from a flash drive(assuming no other software or games you want to install via cd/dvd).


That's what I figured when you chose the 3570k over just the 3570, and the CPU cooler was kind of a tip off as well. I have been considering future need vs what I'm happy with now. And perhaps I do need to give more though to overclocking.
One question. I noticed on your Rig list you put the Z75 rather than a Z77. I was a bit worried, but in your comment just now you said you chose the Z77. Which one did you actually mean for me to buy?
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February 8, 2013 6:49:59 PM

Sorry. That is a z75 mobo. After looking at newegg user reviews, people seem pretty pleased with it. Some of the higher rated reviews show decent overclocking with 3570k. No proper sli/crossfire support, but I'm not a fan of that tech for several reasons. It's better to get a decently powerful card and then upgrade to a better card in the future, selling your old card to help recoup the expense of the new card. I also took a look to make sure hyper tx3 was good at overclocking 3570k. I figured it would be since many folks seem to be able to exceed 4ghz on a 125w 965BE while keeping cool and quiet, but I double checked to make sure it would easily push a 77w 3570k to a larger degree with similar sound and temperature levels. Seems quite capable.
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February 8, 2013 6:56:09 PM

Wow, thanks. That just saved me a lot of research. And it sounds good.

Question about the CPU cooler. Do they come with their own thermal paste? Our do I need to buy that separately? Or is it really even necessary at all?
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February 8, 2013 8:51:28 PM

A few nuts out there say thermal interface material(TIM) isn't needed. You do need something to help fill in the gaps, for better heat transfer between the CPU's integrated heat spreader(IHS) and the CPU cooler(fact:Vegemite and toothpaste work surprisingly well for a relatively short period of time).

Cooler master includes thermal paste with their hyper line of air coolers(like tx3, 212, and 612 but not sure about their hydro coolers). Some say you should spring for something like arctic silver 5, but the included TIM is fine. It's designed to work with the cooler, doesn't require a lot of curing time for best performance like as5, and doesn't run the risk of shorting out your system with improper installation like the silver in as5. Differences in performance are minimal(like a degree or two). The hyper tx3 is easier to install than the likes of a hyper 212(push pins versus installing a backplate behind the cpu socket), but there's something to keep in mind about the direct contact heat pipes on the bottom of the cooler.

First install the mobo in the case. Then place the cpu in the socket. probably best to save attaching the fan to the cooler for last. place the cooler upside down and screw on the mounting brackets(see manual for details). Make sure you use the right screw holes when attaching the mounting brackets to the cooler(outside screw holes for LGA775, inside screw holes for LGA 1155/1156). Apply a tiny amount of paste to the bottom of the cooler and wipe it with a lint free cloth to fill in cracks between the heat pipes and aluminum base. Wipe away any excess on the surface of the cooler(flat areas of copper and aluminum). Apply a bb size amount of paste to the center of the cpu(some say the size of a grain of rice or a small pea). Set the bottom of the cooler straight down on the cpu.

You want it so when the fan is installed it pushes air through the heatsink and out the back of the case(drawing relatively cooler air from the vicinity of the optical bays). If you install it so the airflow will point up(the HAF 912 has top vents), you are drawing relatively warmer/hotter air from above the back of the gpu. Insert the push pins 2 at a time(manual shows adjacent pins, but I'm thinking opposite corners). the pressure will spread the paste and squeeze out any air. It will take some elbow grease and the mobo may flex a little bit, but the process shouldn't damage the mobo(some install the cooler on the mobo outside the case). After the cooler is installed, install your ram. Finally, attach the fan to the heat sink above the ram(rubber goes inside, hologram goes outside, fan cable at the bottom close to motherboard). The cooler includes extra fan mounting brackets in the box if you decide you want to add a second 92mm fan on the other side of the heat sink for some extra cooling via push/pull action. Hope this helps.
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February 9, 2013 1:27:05 PM

If I were to someday overclock, would a 500 or even 520w PSU be enough?
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February 9, 2013 2:04:43 PM

As long as its a good quality unit you should be fine
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February 9, 2013 2:38:46 PM

A corsair cx500 is ok(better than many, not as good as some). Seasonic is a top tier supply.
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February 9, 2013 2:53:14 PM

I've got to admit, the PSU is what scares me most about this rig. Don't want to get all this stuff, then one day decide to overclock and realize it's not enough. But considering what you guys have said and the power my parts consume, I think that Seasonic will do ok.
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February 9, 2013 8:58:39 PM

The seasonic unit i linked will be perfectly adequate. Its a high quality unit.
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