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New PC Advice requested

Last response: in Systems
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March 2, 2013 11:55:34 AM

Good Morning,

Thanks in advance for any and all advice as it helps me to understand the PC field and all the options available. I am rather new at picking parts and understanding things so bear with me. I have tried posting this question once already to try and understand what is written below.

Currently i have:

cpu i7 920 @ 2.67 ghz
motherboard: Dell - model number 0R849J, socket 1366 LGA
memory: 4 gigs DDR 3
Video Card: ATI Radeon 3400 series
Storage: 640 gigs

I think that's enough of the basics to let you guys know what your working with. Let me know if you need any more specifics.

What i want:

I want BOTH a high end gaming machine and I want an HTPC.

Lets be clear on the terms. A High End Gaming Machine would be a machine to play the newest online games that are presently available like Diablo 3, plus the future ones like Neverwinter, and then the future future ones that are not announced but the case has room for these along with the parts to run them. Esssentially we are trying to future proof or at least plan and build for the next 5 to 7 years which is the average length of any PC Build for High End Gaming

An HTPC would allow my machine to watch Movies on my Computer that i got from a "legal" online source, like Amazon Prime or Piratebay or EZTV. These movies and tv shows would be displayed on a nice sized monitor, like 27", so 1280 x 1020 would be ideal, but options for bigger would be tested.


I would need a good independent sound card to play i think along with a nice graphics card to display.

Using PC Part Picker i see that my budget would be around $2,000. I have social security which makes this tricky as i get $630 a month, so this entails a part by part approach. One month you buy "x" and "y" and then the next you buy "z" and then you have it installed at a local place to guarantee a nice warranty.

What do you suggest as the best future parts for both an HTPC and a High End Gaming Machine?

Current Future Build which needs critiqued, Newegg Prices listed, unless specified

CPU Intel Core i7-3770K 310.00

This allows for Overclocking, which i don't know how to do, but i see that there are BIOS controls and programs for this to allow us newbies a little more speed. Is this ok?

CPU Cooler Noctua NH-C14 85.00

The best cooler i have researched out so far, but there could be better. Which is what your here for.

Video Card MSI Radeon HD 7850 200.00

The best Price and Performance Card available, but i might need more to allow for more Future Proofing.

Motherboard Asus Maximus V Formula/ThunderFX EATX LGA1155 360.00

This comes with supposedly tremendous sound and something called a " DAC " which allows for a little HTPC.

Solid State Drive Crucial M4 256 GB 194.00

I would prefer " Msata " but this is not allowed on this board unless you can think of another option for faster boot performance

Hard Drive Seagate Barracude 3 TB 140.00

Case " Roomy Full Tower " 100.00

Very hard to find just a plain full tower box that allows for " Air Cooling " since i don't trust my luck with water and liquid cooling.

RAM 8 GB DD3/1600 or DDR3/1866 45.00

PSU Corsair AX850 Pro 850W 170.00

Optical Drive Blue Ray Burner and Writer. External also works to save space.

Wired / Wireless Networking - What parts allow for a faster online experience? Do i need a better router to enable better online play?

OS What OS would be recommended? windows 7 or 8 and 32 bit or 64 bit and why?

Speakers Is there a cheaper option than say Fluance to enable 7.1 audio thru a receiver thru the pc?

Headset also for talking online and online rpgs

Sound Card ASUS Xonar Essence STX or similar

Go with good onboard sound until time to improve

Mouse ROCCAT Kone XTD ROC-11-810 90.00

Keyboard ROCCAT Isku Illuminated Gaming Keyboard (ROC-12-701) 85.00 amazon

Mousepad Roccat Raivo 40.00

Monitor ASUS 27" VE276Q 290.00



Thanks for your advice,

Michael

More about : advice requested

March 2, 2013 2:13:15 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Sound Card: Creative Labs Z PCIe 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Speakers: Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 232W 2.1ch Speakers ($203.99 @ Newegg)
Other: Noctua NH-D14 cpu cooler ($69.99)
Other: Kingston 2x4gb RAM ($39.99)
Other: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Gray. ($109.99)
Other: Seagate Barracude 3tbHDD ($129.99)
Other: Asus DVD Writer ($16.99)
Other: Asus Blu-ray writer ($54.99)
Other: Asus 27" 1080p LED Backlit ($299.99)
Total: $1895.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-02 11:12 EST-0500)

Almost everything is from ncix.com Not sure about speakers or sound card so I just choose some good reviewed ones. Might wantother opinions on them. I personally don't think you need a sound card.
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March 2, 2013 2:21:34 PM

Michael,

We are here to help! Let me say that you're build is fairly unbalanced. You have a mid-ranged GPU with very high end MOBO/Cooler/CPU. What you may not realize is a gaming computer relies mostly on the GPU. So, that's where a bit of "splurge" should happen. And the 7870xt is currently the best p/p card, for $40 more you'll get a hell of a lot more (or right now, 7950). That said, here's what I'd suggest for you:

This has quality components, while being more balanced. That said, you could easily save a few hundred dollars, and get a computer that will perform as well. But this will do everything you need it to do and more. Not to mention you'll have the option of crossfire with the PSU in the build.

Better PSU. 750 will handle anything you throw at it. Unless you try doing tri or quad crossfire, etc. It will handle and OC crossfire build without issue.

64 bit OS, if you aren't sure of which one you should get, it's going to be 64. I prefer 7.

The cooler in this build is a bit more than you'll ever need, could easily save $50 and go with the CM 212 Evo.

You could step the MOBO down to the asrock extreme 4, and be happy with the performance, especially for $100 less.

This ram is highly overclockable, while being super low profile (I'd only consider samsung ram in it's place at this point, but you won't find the samsung ram).

I gave you, arguably, the best SDD on the market (it's competing with one that might be a little faster, but has more QC issues based on what I'm reading).

Gave you a stellar HDD. I think 2TB is probably going to be enough for a long time. You can always add another down the road.

Anyway, the case, etc, personal preference.

For monitor, I'd suggest looking at the Auria S-IPS, or Overlord S-IPS. I have the auria, and while the AG is a little agressive out of the box, once calibrated this thing is amazing. These, or the BenQ2420 or The new 144Hz Asus.

Keyboard and mouse is subjective.

You don't need a sound card. The sound is plenty on the new boards (I do music creation, so I have a sound card in my music PC, but in my gaming PC I use the onboard)

You won't need a LAN card either. Wired is almost always better.

Hope this helps. :D 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($223.79 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($157.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($224.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1512.69
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-02 11:06 EST-0500)





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March 11, 2013 6:37:41 PM

Good Evening,

What i think i need is the right motherboard with the most options on it. Something like, " SABERTOOTH 990FX/GEN3 R2.0 ".

Even though i would not plan on overclocking this, i like to know that i could. This also includes 5 PCI slots:

3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 mode, black
1 x PCI

Crazy Logic - By using the most expensive Motherboard, with the most advanced features, you create a paradox. Its obviously more than i need, but at the same time it allows me to make it into whatever i want because of the expansion-ability mentioned above.

I could add a dedicated sound card, 2 or more Graphic Cards, and whatever present or future options i find that i like or that i don't know anything about, like tv tuners.

Buying the most expensive motherboard enables this approach, but again this is my opinion, and i could be wrong.

I think this is the answer to both the best pc and future-proofing. This seems to be the answer i was looking for.

Else i might as well wait for " Haswell " and hopefully those will have all the options as stated above and maybe more.

So for you to ponder: Is this the correct way to design a pc, why or why not?
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March 11, 2013 7:24:19 PM

movieholic1977 said:
Good Evening,

What i think i need is the right motherboard with the most options on it. Something like, " SABERTOOTH 990FX/GEN3 R2.0 ".

Even though i would not plan on overclocking this, i like to know that i could. This also includes 5 PCI slots:

3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 mode, black
1 x PCI

Crazy Logic - By using the most expensive Motherboard, with the most advanced features, you create a paradox. Its obviously more than i need, but at the same time it allows me to make it into whatever i want because of the expansion-ability mentioned above.

I could add a dedicated sound card, 2 or more Graphic Cards, and whatever present or future options i find that i like or that i don't know anything about, like tv tuners.

Buying the most expensive motherboard enables this approach, but again this is my opinion, and i could be wrong.

I think this is the answer to both the best pc and future-proofing. This seems to be the answer i was looking for.

Else i might as well wait for " Haswell " and hopefully those will have all the options as stated above and maybe more.

So for you to ponder: Is this the correct way to design a pc, why or why not?


Future proofing does not really work out... Some parts like the case and maybe PSU can be "future-proofed" to some extent but most other parts will be superseded by new architecture, sockets, etc. You can add 2 graphics cards and a sound card on other motherboards that are much less expensive (there's nothing really special about being able to do that), the sabertooth is overpriced. I'm pretty sure all motherboards have DACs or else you wouldnt be able to hear any sound coming from it, and I doubt you'll ever need a dedicated sound card.

I'd also get a mechanical keyboard at that price point, not an overpriced rubber dome: http://www.amazon.com/Storm-QuickFire-Rapid-Mechanical-...
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