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First Build - $2000 Gaming PC

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February 17, 2013 5:50:59 PM

Hi,
This is my first build, so any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $2000-$2300 before shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Skyrim, Civ V, Sims, Crusader Kings 2, etc...), Programming, Watching Movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca ncix.ca amazon.ca

Location: Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560x1440


This is what I have so far:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.90 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($184.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($93.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27.0" Monitor ($606.98 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $2081.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-17 13:56 EST-0500)

My main concern with this build is whether it's worth it to get a second 7970. I currently have a 24" 1080p monitor, so the options I'm considering are to upgrade to the 1440p with a single 7970, splurge and get the 1440p and two 7970s (which I'd rather not do), or forget the new monitor and game on my 1080p with 2 7970s. My concerns are that one 7970 would not be sufficient for gaming at high settings on a 2560x1440 monitor but that two would be overkill for a single 1080p monitor. Any advice about this or any of the parts I've chosen would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

More about : build 2000 gaming

February 17, 2013 11:50:40 PM

Overall that's a great build, but I'd go with a different motherboard.
The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 is a good popular board for OC'ing and not overpriced.
Another choice is the ASUS P8Z77-V LK, which I use, but not for OC'ing since I don't have an unlocked CPU.

There's really nothing else I'd change about your build, but you really don't need 16GB of RAM. I don't know anyone, even gaming enthusiasts, who taps into even 8GB of DDR3-1600 on full settings.

Regarding existing vs dual monitor is all about preference...do you feel like you need two screens for your gaming? I agree that 2 7970's would be HUGE overkill for a single 1080p monitor, but I'm curious as to why you can't just have twin 7970's on dual 1080p monitors, why the need for 1440?
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February 18, 2013 5:17:37 AM

Quote:
Overall that's a great build, but I'd go with a different motherboard.
The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 is a good popular board for OC'ing and not overpriced.
Another choice is the ASUS P8Z77-V LK, which I use, but not for OC'ing since I don't have an unlocked CPU.


The original motherboard is fine - it's one of the best on the market and it has Thunderbolt support.

That monitor is ridiculously overpriced. You could get one of those Korean IPS displays that are going on eBay for $350 - you still get 27" and 1440p.

Then you could change things up a bit and get a dual GTX 670 setup:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($60.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($182.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($137.28 @ TigerDirect)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($72.42 @ TigerDirect)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1715.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-18 02:16 EST-0500)

Yeah I know the Micro Center thing but this is what you should go with. Then for a monitor consider something like this as it's 1/2 the cost of that Asus: http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Sale-Only-YAMAKASI-Catleap-Q...
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February 18, 2013 12:31:57 PM

@ the korean IPS...

I'd look to buy one from a retailer instead, that way you actually get a warranty. Monoprice and Microcenter both have versions.
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February 18, 2013 2:27:19 PM

Switch the monitor WAY to overpriced.

Sticking with the 7970 is the best choice it will max any game @ 1920x1080.

Everything else is fine really, if you want to go 2 monitor route get a 2nd one, and then they will still eat up everything at max setting without a problem.
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February 18, 2013 3:22:34 PM

eyeage said:
@ the korean IPS...

I'd look to buy one from a retailer instead, that way you actually get a warranty. Monoprice and Microcenter both have versions.


Most eBay retailers I've seen offer a warranty for an extra $40. Probably worth it if you ask me. I saw the Crossover 27Q going for $289, I may have to pick one up when I get my tax refuund.

Quote:

Maybe a better PSU? http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seaso [...] upply-x850
or 750w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151087


Those are both good choices, the Hale 90 I picked is made by Super Flower which is an OEM that's on par if not better than Seasonic.
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February 18, 2013 9:47:21 PM

Quote:
Regarding existing vs dual monitor is all about preference...do you feel like you need two screens for your gaming? I agree that 2 7970's would be HUGE overkill for a single 1080p monitor, but I'm curious as to why you can't just have twin 7970's on dual 1080p monitors, why the need for 1440?


I'm considering the 1440 because I only plan to use one monitor for gaming. I'm not a big fan of multi-monitor setups for gaming (I can't get past the bezels). I just don't know if a single 7970 will be able to handle 2560x1440 on high settings. I guess I could always upgrade to a second one later.

Quote:
That monitor is ridiculously overpriced. You could get one of those Korean IPS displays that are going on eBay for $350 - you still get 27" and 1440p.


You're right, it's pretty expensive. But I'm not really comfortable buying a monitor off of eBay. Also, I'm in Canada. I haven't been able to find a cheaper monitor from a Canadian retailer.

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February 18, 2013 10:04:11 PM

I have the 7870XT (couple steps down from the 7970). I just bought a 1400p monitor, so I'll let you know if I have any trouble in a couple hours.
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February 18, 2013 11:22:33 PM

I would downgrade the motherboard to a GA-Z77X-UD3H. I don't think you'll need much more than that on air.
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!