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Help: Gaming PC Build ($900)

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February 19, 2013 4:46:08 PM

After being a console gamer all my life I'm wanting to get into PC gaming. This will be my first ever build.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within next two months

Budget Range: $900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: whatever is the cheapest

Location: South Carolina

Parts Preferences: open to both Intel or AMD builds

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


I will mostly be playing Crysis 3,Battlefield 3,Skyrim,Far Cry 3,Dishonored,Bioshock Infinite,Metro 2033 and Last Light

More about : gaming build 900

February 19, 2013 5:00:37 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ez5Z
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ez5Z/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ez5Z/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: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($78.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($297.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.21 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $867.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 14:00 EST-0500)
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February 19, 2013 5:10:41 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($210.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($305.48 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DVDE818A7T/BLK/B/GEN CD Reader, DVD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $878.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 14:07 EST-0500)

Different from the above build because you stated that you will not be overclocking. No reason to buy a separate cpu cooler or spend the extra money on the "k" series cpu. Also, no reason to buy a 750w psu.

I do however think that it's worth it to buy the cooler and "k" cpu *just in case*. Add 33 dollars or so to the cost of my build and there you go.
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Related resources
February 19, 2013 5:27:47 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ezsh

CPU: i5-3470
motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS
memory:G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
storage: SSD: Plextor M5S 128GB and hard drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 EG 1TB
graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 WindForce x3
case: Zalman Z9
PSU: Antec Neo Eco 520W
optical disk drive:Samsung SH-224BB
total cost: $913.16 (or about $810 with a Gigabyte Radeon 7950 which is only about 15% slower than this Radeon 7970)

If OP is not overclocking, then there is no reason to not get a much cheaper motherboard and get an SSD along for the ride. Besides, even if OP does overclock, you odn't need a Z series board to use the extra few bins offered by the non-K series CPUs nor do you need a decent cooler. Those are for heavy overclocking IE going well over 4GHz. The i5-3470 has enough headroom to go to ~4GHz and there's really little to gain from farther with CPU overclocking anyway. Spending another $30 on the cooler, $60-80 on the motherboard, and $25-60 on the cooler only gives you another 10-20% on the CPU frequency, less practical CPU performance increase, and far less gaming CPU performance increase. That is money that can be better spent on other components.
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February 19, 2013 6:09:15 PM

Is their much of a differance between the i5-3470 and the i5-3570?
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February 19, 2013 6:25:22 PM

mcfly_2015 said:
Is their much of a differance between the i5-3470 and the i5-3570?


The i5-3570 is at most about 5% faster and that gaming doesn't normally respond linearly with increase CPU performance, especially when the CPU is already this fast, so the difference will be smaller than that in gaming except maybe in extremely CPU-limited games. Even then, 5% is the difference between about 50FPS and a little over 52FPS or something like that. It's not perceptible and I think that is reason enough to not spend the extra cash on the i5-3570.
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February 19, 2013 6:31:45 PM

Why is there no price listed for the PSU?
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February 19, 2013 6:50:53 PM

I take it I should go with an Intel cpu over AMD based on the replies or is their a good AMD option for gaming?
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February 19, 2013 6:57:43 PM

Huh. It must have gone out of stock today. I'll switch it out for a different model that's in stock:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EAwZ

Well, with a decent SSD, that puts the 7970 out of range, but still, it's not a bad compromise to go for the Gigabyte Radeon 7950 WindForce X3 instead of the 7970 WindForce X3.
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February 19, 2013 6:58:23 PM

For budget builds Amd remains a good option. However, if you are spending 900 dollars, it doesn't really qualify as a *budget* build. 900 dollars will get you what is essentially the top of the line gaming cpu, the 3570k cpu. Saving a bit of money and dropping down to the 3470 seems like a good choice though.
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February 19, 2013 6:59:22 PM

mcfly_2015 said:
I take it I should go with an Intel cpu over AMD based on the replies or is their a good AMD option for gaming?


Overall, AMD is a viable option, but Intel i5 is the best option for gaming. Anything more expensive is almost always a waste and anything less is inferior in performance. That doesn't mean that a decent CPU such as AMD's FX-6300 is bad, but it's simply not as good for gaming right now.
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February 19, 2013 7:06:41 PM

blazorthon said:
Huh. It must have gone out of stock today. I'll switch it out for a different model that's in stock:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EAwZ

Well, with a decent SSD, that puts the 7970 out of range, but still, it's not a bad compromise to go for the Gigabyte Radeon 7950 WindForce X3 instead of the 7970 WindForce X3.


If you aren't going to use an SSD, I wouldn't recommend a 5400rpm hard drive. I know the access times would drive me nuts.
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February 19, 2013 7:08:05 PM

I put an SSD in that build and one of the best of them at that ;)  That's why I threw in a cheaper 5400RPM drive instead of a very good 7200RPM drive.
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February 19, 2013 7:17:07 PM

Swordkd said:
Nevermind, thought you were taking out the SSD. I see you just lowered the GPU one notch. Is that Rosewill PSU decent? The hierarchy chart I'm looking at still shows it as a tier 5. http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx


That PSU is actually a tier 3 model. It's not in that chart (I made that mistake recently and looked into it to be sure because someone else corrected me about it). Still, it's not the only option within OP's budget and can be changed if requested. Also, the CX V1 and V2 series such as that CX 500 suggested earlier are all no better than the RoseWill Green 530 that I suggested. I've heard better things about the newer CX V3 series, but they're harder to find and I don't have personal experience with them like I do with the CX V1 and CX V2 series. I would like to give them a try soon to look at their improvements for myself :) 
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February 19, 2013 7:33:59 PM

I'm going to go with the i5-3470 and a HD 7950. Which 7950 should I get?
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February 19, 2013 7:38:19 PM

Unless anyone has a reason to disagree, I'm still recommending the gigabyte WindForce X3 model. It's one of the fastest 7950s while being the cheapest right now. It's cooler is known to have the best cooling to noise ratio. It's also not known to be particularly prone to failure or annoying issues (such as coil whine) like some other models, granted that no model is 100% guaranteed to not have an issue every time.
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February 19, 2013 8:58:58 PM

I had recommended the MSI twin frozr solely based on the cooling solution used. It's a good card with a great cooler, lending itself to OC'ing. However, I wasn't thinking about the fact that the OP originally said he wasn't interested in overclocking the cpu, let alone the gpu.
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February 19, 2013 9:04:50 PM

I had recommended the MSI twin frozr solely based on the cooling solution used. It's a good card with a great cooler, lending itself to OC'ing. However, I wasn't thinking about the fact that the OP originally said he wasn't interested in overclocking the cpu, let alone the gpu.
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February 19, 2013 9:06:38 PM

MSI's TwinFrozr model is a very good card with a very good cooler, but I wouldn't put it above the WindForce X3 models for overclocking. Still, going off stock performance, the WindForce models all have pretty big factory overclocks along with the lowest prices and that weighed much more heavily in my reasoning given OP's stance on overclocking.
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February 19, 2013 9:18:31 PM

Have you ever owned the MSI twin frozr? It is loud and does NOT cool enough to justify buying it over ASUS or other models. Other models can handle an OC without the need for the MSI's cooling.
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