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looking for new gaming build advice, $1400ish budget

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July 17, 2013 12:23:27 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: ideally before sept. 9 (my birthday) :) 

Budget Range: $1300-1400, but that is a little flexible if it buys me some good future-proofing. obviously, the less i can spend the better, but i want some good stuff and would like this machine to last.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming will be the most taxing thing i do to the system

Are you buying a monitor: no, at least not at first. i'm going to try and use my 42" hd sony tv as my primary monitor

Parts to Upgrade: everything. my last gaming rig is 10 years old. i had hoped to re-use my lian li case (a lian li pc-62) but have been advised that it likely won't be up to par with the heat generated by today's components.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. i've seen reports that suggest win8 gains some performance in games vs win7, and with the upcoming dirextx 11.2 stuff, i'm not sure which way i should go. i'm not opposed to win8 though.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any of the usual suspects; newegg, tigerdirect, amazon, etc.

Location: new orleans, la, usa

Parts Preferences: i've leaned intel/nvidia over my last few builds

Overclocking: Maybe. i had initially thought that i wouldn't, but some reading on this site makes it seem easier to do than it was 10 years ago and that the gains to be had could be very noticeable.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080. as mentioned above, i will be at first using an hd sony tv. if that proves cumbersome for non-gaming, i might get something a little higher than that, probably in the 1600x1200 range, but that purchase would be a few months behind the system itself. i would also prioritize max graphics settings and framerate over resolution, so if playing at 1080 with full settings was a smoother and better looking experience than playing at 1200 with reduced settings, i would pick the 1080 choice.

Additional Comments: quieter would be nicer, so as not to annoy the wife or on-the-way child, but i don't think i'm ready to take the water cooling jump after having done some reading on it. a case window and colored lighting would be fun though, but certainly not required. :) 

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: circumstances over the last 7 years required me to have a dedicated laptop as my computing device, but that has recently changed and i'm getting back into having a dedicated desktop rig. my laptop is a sony vaio i7-2630qm @ 2.0gghz w/ an nvidia gt 540m, which has been a really nice laptop, but nothing i've owned since my last desktop rig has ever truly met my gaming needs and i want to change that now.

as far as games that will be played on it, my steam backlog includes "fallout: new vegas", "battlefield: bad company 2", "metro 2033", both batman arkham games, "the witcher 2" and "deus ex: human revolution". i'll also be playing some "guild wars 2" and "final fantasy 14:arr". "skyrim" and "dishonored" and the upcoming game "watch dogs" are on my radar as well. i haven't played most of those games yet due to knowing my current laptop just wouldn't be up to snuff in giving me the gaming experience i want.

here's a build i've put together that i would like some feedback on.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1hFYc
is the 4 gigs on the video card worth it? or is that overkill with my 1080p hd tv?
i'm split on the i5/i7 choice for cpu also. would an i5 be ok or should i go i7? i've seen lots of recommendations for both. i'm ok with an i5 if that leaves me an upgrade path to something better in the next year or so. i don't mind having to do small upgrades over time, but i would like the bulk of this system to be good for at least a year or so before needing an upgrade.
the cooler master case came recommended on other threads, but i don't think i really care for it visually. i liked the simple elegance of my previous lian li case, but haven't done a lot of case research yet.
same goes for power supply. they've changed so much since i last bought one.

thanks in advance for any thoughts, suggestions, etc you might have.
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2013 12:33:24 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($71.37 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.61 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($93.49 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1319.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-17 15:28 EDT-0400)

Personally think this is a better build. Grabbed a Hyper 212 Evo instead - tried and tested and a VERY popular air cooler. Also downgraded to a G45 as it's all you'll need for this build. Also got low profile ram to it's compatible with the cooler. This SSD is newer and is the best SSD currently on the marked - and this 1TB was a few bucks cheaper than the 750gb version - so you can't go wrong there! Only got a 2gb card, as that's all you'll need for a 1080p monitor/TV. The EVGA card is better in my opinion, as there warranty and customer service is second to none, and the ACX cooler is incredible. This case has both a window and silence-promoting foam on the inside of the doors and side panels; no lights, though. Coolermaster do not make good PSUs - stick with XFX, Corsair, Antec or Seasonic. 650w is plenty for your build, so good shout there. :) 

You shouldn't need to upgrade this for a couple of years. Also, stick with the i5. The only benefit to the i7 is hyperthreading, which only adds benefits when video rendering or alike.
July 17, 2013 12:53:30 PM

sophiebeth100 said:
Only got a 2gb card, as that's all you'll need for a 1080p monitor/TV. The EVGA card is better in my opinion, as there warranty and customer service is second to none, and the ACX cooler is incredible.


thanks for the reply! got a question for you though...

will the 2gb video card still be fine if i up the display to a 1600x1200 later on? at what point would i want more than 2gb on the video card?

elsewhere on the internet, people were really being negative on the evga cards. they agreed that they had good customer service, but all seemed to think they needed it due to the number of defective cards that they ended up receiving from them. that was making me lean towards something other than evga when looking for a video card. i have no experience with that myself, but i do know i've used gigabyte motherboards in the past and had an asus laptop and had no problems with either of them. i have no first hand experience with evga products.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2013 1:14:04 PM

mesterjester said:
sophiebeth100 said:
Only got a 2gb card, as that's all you'll need for a 1080p monitor/TV. The EVGA card is better in my opinion, as there warranty and customer service is second to none, and the ACX cooler is incredible.


thanks for the reply! got a question for you though...

will the 2gb video card still be fine if i up the display to a 1600x1200 later on? at what point would i want more than 2gb on the video card?

elsewhere on the internet, people were really being negative on the evga cards. they agreed that they had good customer service, but all seemed to think they needed it due to the number of defective cards that they ended up receiving from them. that was making me lean towards something other than evga when looking for a video card. i have no experience with that myself, but i do know i've used gigabyte motherboards in the past and had an asus laptop and had no problems with either of them. i have no first hand experience with evga products.


1600x1200 uses less pixels than 1920x1080, so 2gb is plenty. 4gb only comes in useful if you're playing at 1440p or 5760x1080. EVGA is a great brand - the odds of receiving a DOA card is very low, and not really something to worry about.
July 17, 2013 1:39:34 PM

sophiebeth100 said:
mesterjester said:
sophiebeth100 said:
Only got a 2gb card, as that's all you'll need for a 1080p monitor/TV. The EVGA card is better in my opinion, as there warranty and customer service is second to none, and the ACX cooler is incredible.


thanks for the reply! got a question for you though...

will the 2gb video card still be fine if i up the display to a 1600x1200 later on? at what point would i want more than 2gb on the video card?

elsewhere on the internet, people were really being negative on the evga cards. they agreed that they had good customer service, but all seemed to think they needed it due to the number of defective cards that they ended up receiving from them. that was making me lean towards something other than evga when looking for a video card. i have no experience with that myself, but i do know i've used gigabyte motherboards in the past and had an asus laptop and had no problems with either of them. i have no first hand experience with evga products.


1600x1200 uses less pixels than 1920x1080, so 2gb is plenty. 4gb only comes in useful if you're playing at 1440p or 5760x1080. EVGA is a great brand - the odds of receiving a DOA card is very low, and not really something to worry about.


ok! thanks much for the advice!
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2013 1:45:56 PM

mesterjester said:
sophiebeth100 said:
mesterjester said:
sophiebeth100 said:
Only got a 2gb card, as that's all you'll need for a 1080p monitor/TV. The EVGA card is better in my opinion, as there warranty and customer service is second to none, and the ACX cooler is incredible.


thanks for the reply! got a question for you though...

will the 2gb video card still be fine if i up the display to a 1600x1200 later on? at what point would i want more than 2gb on the video card?

elsewhere on the internet, people were really being negative on the evga cards. they agreed that they had good customer service, but all seemed to think they needed it due to the number of defective cards that they ended up receiving from them. that was making me lean towards something other than evga when looking for a video card. i have no experience with that myself, but i do know i've used gigabyte motherboards in the past and had an asus laptop and had no problems with either of them. i have no first hand experience with evga products.


1600x1200 uses less pixels than 1920x1080, so 2gb is plenty. 4gb only comes in useful if you're playing at 1440p or 5760x1080. EVGA is a great brand - the odds of receiving a DOA card is very low, and not really something to worry about.


ok! thanks much for the advice!


No worries!:)  Don't forget to pick a solution - we forum posters really appreciate it :) 
!