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Gaming/Recording Build... Pretty Nervous... Please help me check!

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February 12, 2013 1:41:31 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week

Budget Range: $1200-1300 (I have already chosen my parts though, so unless I'm making a really poor choice somewhere, the build will be right at $1300.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming/Recording, Programming/Normal Usage/Game Making (Down the road)

Parts Not Required: Mouse (I have a 2012 Razer Mamba. I will be ordering a Logitech G710+ eventually), Optical Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, as I have amazon prime for free right now. Ebay is also a good choice if an exceptional deal shows up.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Maybe (Would be Slight)

SLI or Crossfire: Could someone inform me about what this is?

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 is my main monitor, though I have other smaller monitors I plan to use on the side (Not for gaming. Mostly for recording, surfing the web more easily, having multiple videos of funny cats open at once.)

Additional Comments:

Hello everyone,

I am building my first PC. When I told my father, he discouraged me at first, but after he saw that I really wanted to, he gave me the okay. I have spent the last few weeks doing research, and getting opinions from people... But I still feel like I have a lot to learn.

I am trying to build a fairly quiet computer that has a lot of RAM for recording using samples, a lot of space to store games/audio, and a good graphics card. I want it to be as future proof as I can afford ($1300 or less), and still be very usable for recording.

The main reason I am posting this is to see if everything I have listed is compatible. I will consider (and I welcome) suggestions, but I am mostly interested in the parts I have picked out. (I have specific reasons for choosing most parts)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $25.49

SSD: Samsung 840 Series 2.5 inch Solid State Drive - $92.01

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K - $304.99

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt - $76.49

Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 (GA-Z77X-UP4-TH) - 184.99

Case: Corsair 550D - $123.83

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 3 TB 7200RPM - $115.64

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) - $94.99

Video Card: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition - $299.99

Total (With $20 rebate): 1,298.42


Why I chose each part:

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $25.49

This seemed like a logical choice due to its low price and popularity. I don't plan on over clocking for a while, and even when/if I do, it will be just a small amount.

SSD: Samsung 840 Series 2.5 inch Solid State Drive - $92.01

I didn't go too deep into SSD research. I just picked one with a low price and good reviews on amazon.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K - $304.99

I wanted the best CPU possible in my price range.

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt - $76.49

I think 650 watts will be more than enough. I plan on powering a bunch of USB stuff, so I don't think it will be overkill. From the reviews, it's supposed to be quiet, and very high quality. I was going to go with the ModXStream Pro PSU, but I read that its cables aren't long enough for the case I'm getting. I actually emailed the company, and they told me that they weren't sure if it would work. So I went with a Corsair unit for my Corsair case.

Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 (GA-Z77X-UP4-TH) - 184.99

This motherboard was recommended to me. It seems to be pretty full featured. As long as it's compatible with everything, I think it will do me just fine! It has plenty of USB slots, including 3.0, and thunderbolt ports, which I may find useful in the future.

I debated over this board and the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 for a long time. The ASUS seems like it's more durable for sure, but in the end, I really couldn't afford the extra money that it cost.

Case: Corsair 550D - $123.83

A really nice looking solid case that is made to be quiet. Excellent for recording. :D 

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 3 TB 7200RPM - $115.64

3TB for cheap. It had good reviews, so it seemed like the best choice.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) - $94.99

It seems like all RAM does about the same thing (If it is from a reputable company). I need 16GB to write music using samples. (My laptop has 8, and that isn't enough for what I'm doing.) I thought this RAM looked the coolest, and it was the same price as everything else. I would definitely go for uglier RAM if cheaper quality RAM exists.

Video Card: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition - $299.99

I researched graphics cards for quite a while. It seemed like the 660 Ti was a great deal for the money. And the research I found said that the GIGABYTE 660 Ti was the best one.
a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 1:50:28 AM

Just strip the code off and post the links the way I edited the first one please, or do it as shown in this guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

I have no idea about your total atm, but I think it can be improved.
What specific software will you be using?
What monitor resolution?
What kind of games?
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February 12, 2013 2:05:55 AM

Proximon said:
Just strip the code off and post the links the way I edited the first one please, or do it as shown in this guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

I have no idea about your total atm, but I think it can be improved.
What specific software will you be using?
What monitor resolution?
What kind of games?



Thank you, I will edit it accordingly.

I'm not really sure what games I will be playing. I have over 100. Ranging from little indie games to big name titles.

As far as software goes, I will be using Logic to record, Windows 8 (I already have a copy), Microsoft Visual Studio 2012... Steam to play games... The Dolphin Wii emulator.

My current monitor's resolution is 1680x1050. I have two other monitors (smaller) that I also want to be able to connect simultaneously.

Thanks a bunch for a response. I will be cleaning up original message here shortly in order to fit the normal format.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 2:21:50 AM

If you're not planning to OC the CPU you can consider grabbing the Xeon E3 1240v2 which is basically the i7 3770 but without the IGPU and with 2mb more L3 cache but is $30 cheaper and will OC to 4.2ghz on the z77 using the turbo method if you do need an slight OC

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February 12, 2013 2:29:33 AM

I understand this is your first rig. Doing video and editing takes up a lot of resources in a computer. Here's a system i think will do you fine

Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I recommend a Full tower case, that way you aren't worried with things not fitting, or running out of space later if you decide to add another GPU or hard drive
CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You saying this is your first rig, a locked CPU would be plenty unless you really want that extra bit speed.This will save you money on a After market cooler and on the CPU itself. You can use the saving to buy some other hardware or software to edit and record videos if thats what you want to do
GPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is comparable to the GTX 670 for less. Not exactly the same, 670 would beat it, but comparable for $100 less.
MB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These are 8gig sticks, so if you choose to get 4 for your system you could put up to 32gigs if you really wanted to. But for price i put 2 sticks, which gives you 16 gigs
PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gives you plenty of power left if you want to overclock, and its a solid PSU
DVD Player:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Kingston is just my personal preference in SSD's. Your welcome to choose your own
HDD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A 3TB HDD is a little over board. So is a 2TB in retrospect. I have a 2TB one of these in my system. Have had it for 2 years. Around 30 steam games, plus movies, still have over a TB left. 3TB still scare me because the amount of data is so compacted.2TB would be a safer bet. Add another and have 4TB, do just get the biggest drive you can find

Total was $1,188
Judging by the fact everything came from amazon i'd assume thats where you're getting it, so the prices will vary a little from Newegg
That gives you $100 you can spend on extra software if you want, or upgrade the I7-3770 to unlocked core and an after market CPU cooloer with no issue
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February 12, 2013 2:30:23 AM

stickmansam said:
If you're not planning to OC the CPU you can consider grabbing the Xeon E3 1240v2 which is basically the i7 3770 but without the IGPU and with 2mb more L3 cache but is $30 cheaper and will OC to 4.2ghz on the z77 using the turbo method if you do need an slight OC


Thank you for your reply. I think I will stick with the 3770K two have the option of OC. In the future I just might realize that I want to do it. Additionally, Dolphin highly recommends using a i5/i7 intel chip.

I really appreciate the response!
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 2:38:33 AM

The Xeon is the same arch and stuff as the i7 so performance is even better due to more L3 cache but if you do OC alot the i7 3770k is better
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February 12, 2013 2:39:16 AM

Thank you for the response, Tator_80. You clearly put time and effort into formulating it.

I will have a look at it, but I think I will most likely be sticking to the parts I have chosen. I need the 3TB because sample libraries take up a ridiculous amount of space. (MANY are 50-100GB or more.) I also have over 100 steam games, and would like to have them all installed at once. I have about all of the software I need, so I'm not too concerned with saving money.

I really appreciate the advice!

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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 2:44:49 AM

From a quick look, it seems like your software may benefit a bit from the i7. This benchmark is pretty impressive
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...

I strongly recommend you jump on this PSU deal now... with the promo code it's $90 and a $20 rebate and free shipping. The HX650 is made by Seasonic and will be quieter and a better built unit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(offer expires in a few hours)

Don't worry about SLI, it's using two video cards to increase performance. If you wanted to do it you would need a PSU with more connectors and really you don't need the noise.

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February 12, 2013 2:50:12 AM

I strongly recommend you jump on this PSU deal now... with the promo code it's $90 and a $20 rebate and free shipping. The HX650 is made by Seasonic and will be quieter and a better built unit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(offer expires in a few hours)

Wow! Thanks a bunch!

EDIT:

Darn... Apparently it has a terrible chirping issue that is extremely common. Unfortunately I can't have that while recording.
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February 12, 2013 11:50:05 AM

Proximon, I was able to find the same power supply that I was originally going to get for $20 off (due to a rebate) on the site. So thank you very much!

Also, would anyone be able to verify that my selected build will work without issues?

I know it's a lot of work for me to ask of you... But it's a lot of money to throw out there, and I am very nervous about making that kind of commitment without having a few experienced people have a look.

Thanks so much!
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February 12, 2013 6:44:17 PM

Proximon said:
The only possible issue I can see would be the tall heatspreaders on the RAM.

Here
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Desktop-Memory-...


Thank you very much. Just curious- what is the problem with tall heatspreaders? I ask because reviewers of the other RAM are saying that it doesn't operate at 1600mHz like advertised. (It does 1300 instead.)

Also, if no one else has any objections, I will be ordering tonight! (Exciting! Scary!)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 8:14:52 PM


The Corsair Vengeance ram will fit under the 212+ but you have to install the ram first before putting on the heatsink or its gonna be hard to put the ram in (that said, there is nothing wrong with getting the low profile ram as in future you may have a different heatsink, etc)

I have used and seen corsair ram before, the same 1600mhz set you're planning to get without issues, just have to set XMP before it goes to 1600mhz, it defaults to 1333mhz if you don't

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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 8:27:19 PM

^ This ram you chose is the same as the other one you had chosen but its just blue so go ahead :) 
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February 12, 2013 10:30:22 PM

burritobob said:
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)

Better GPU at a lower price (this is the "new" 7870 btw) Performs about at a 7950, and performs better than the 660ti.


Wow. That seems like too good to be true or something. All of the reviewers are ecstatic about it... Do you know where I can find more information on the card? I thought I was for sure going with the 660 Ti, but this looks like too good of a deal to pass up.. I just want to see some comparisons or more information.

Thanks a bunch for the response!
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2013 11:13:44 PM

^ yep that is the right card
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February 13, 2013 12:01:28 AM

Thanks to everyone who helped me out. I'm currently purchasing my parts. I really appreciate the advice. I think I made some smart choices because of you guys! :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 13, 2013 12:15:42 AM

Have fun building :) 
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!