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New Gaming Computer


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#1
Inveigler

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I'm looking into building a new gaming computer. I've created the following three builds, but I'm not very experienced and I'm trying to find the best value for my money. I've recently moved back to New Zealand and I've found it's rather expensive to build a computer here, so would definitely like to make the best of what I can.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If you need any more information, just let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Build 1 - $3,037.80
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4-B3 ATX LGA1155
Graphics 2x Gigabyte GV-N580UD-15I GTX580 PCIE
Processor Intel Core i7 2600K 3.40GHz 8MB LGA1155 - HD GRAPHICS
Memory 2x XPG 4GB DDR3 1600G CL9 DIMM 3yr wty
System Drive ADATA S510 120GB SATA3 SSD 2.5
Storage Drive WD Caviar Greenpower 2TB 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
Optical LG GH24NS70 24X SATA DVDRW OEM 2yr wty
Case Coolermaster Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case Black 500w PSU
PSU Adata HM850 850W ATX PSU 3yr wty
Heat Sink Coolermaster SickleFlow Blue LED Case Fan 120mm

Build 2 - $1,974.80
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155
Graphics Gigabyte GV-N570OC-13I GTX570 PCIE
Processor Intel Core i7 2600K 3.40GHz 8MB LGA1155 - HD GRAPHICS
Memory XPG 4GB DDR3 1600G CL9 DIMM 3yr wty x2
System Drive ADATA S510 120GB SATA3 SSD 2.5
Storage Drive WD Caviar Greenpower 2TB 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
Optical LG GH24NS70 24X SATA DVDRW OEM 2yr wty
Case Coolermaster Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case Black 500w PSU
PSU Highpower HPC650 650W ATX PSU 80plus Cable Management
Heat Sink Coolermaster SickleFlow Blue LED Case Fan 120mm

Build 3 - $1,388.30
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX DDR3 AM3+
Graphics Gigabyte GV-N56GOC-1GI GTX560 PCIE
Processor AMD Phenom II X4 960T Quad Core 8MB 3.0GHz AM3 - Black Edition
Memory XPG 4GB DDR3 1600G CL9 DIMM 3yr wty x2
System Drive ADATA S510 120GB SATA3 SSD 2.5
Storage Drive WD Caviar Greenpower 2TB 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
Optical LG GH24NS70 24X SATA DVDRW OEM 2yr wty
Case Coolermaster Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case Black 500w PSU
PSU Highpower HPC650 650W ATX PSU 80plus Cable Management
Heat Sink Coolermaster SickleFlow Blue LED Case Fan 120mm
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#2
Digerati

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I personally don't recommend specifics (because I cannot keep up with all the offerings) but I do have a few comments.

Build 1 costs nearly 2 1/2 times that of Build 3. There's no comparison there so I don't know what you expect of us. It doesn't really seem budget matters that much with such a wide spread on prices.

I don't see an operating systems listed with any of the builds. Understand only full "boxed" Retail licenses can be transferred to new computers. It is illegal to use an OEM license that came with or was purchased for another computer on a new computer. If the disk says OEM/System Builder, Upgrade, Academic Edition, or "For Distribution with a new PC only", then it is not transferable to a new PC (or upgraded motherboard) under any circumstances. These OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "original equipment".

With 8Gb of RAM in each build, you will need a 64-bit OS. I recommend 64-bit Windows 7, or one of the many free Linux alternatives.

I personally will never buy a case that does not have removable, washable air filters. Lugging computers outside to blast out all the dust gets old fast. Washable filters greatly reduces the number of times that needs to be done. And fancy lights on a case do nothing for me (or performance). I tend to pay attention to what's on my monitors and expect my case to sit quietly and discreetly off to the side.

Also, you may not be aware and for many enthusiasts it is not a concern, but it is important all readers understand that both Intel and AMD warranty their “retail” boxed versions of their CPUs that come with supplied heatsink fan assemblies as “a unit". Consequently, both Intel and AMD require the use of the supplied coolers with their CPUs and using any alternative cooling solution violates the terms of the CPU warranties. Note this IS stated in the CPU warranty booklets that come with each CPU (or can be viewed online here and here).
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#3
Inveigler

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Thanks Digerati.

The reason for the jump in the cost is that the first build is the complete limit of my budget. I put it there to show that, if need be for something of quality, I'm willing to spend a little more. However I guess I wouldn't feel entirely comfortable doing so. Furthermore I want to actually make an effort rather than just get people to put together a build for me. That's pretty much the best I could come up with, but then I don't really know much about this.
I'm looking at spending around NZ$1000-2000 (keeping in mind I have no screen or keyboard or speakers). I use my computers primarily for gaming, music, internet and TV shows. I will be buying a generic copies of Windows 7 64bit as I know bugger all about linux and since I don't buy manufactured desktops, I have no OEM software. I think I have a generic copy of Windows 7 sitting around somewhere from my previous computer.

I don't care about fancy cases or lights. But when researching cases, they seemed to be the ones with the most amount of fans and built in cooling. I like a practical, discreet and versatile computer. Flashing lights don't really do anything for me.
I didn't know that about the CPUs, I'll keep that in mind.

Thank you for you help.
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#4
Digerati

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I will be buying a generic copies of Windows 7 64bit

There is no such thing. Windows licenses are either genuine or illegal. If you buy OEM, it is exactly the same Windows as a full Retail license. The difference is (1) the OEM license becomes tied to the original hardware (motherboard for self/custom builds) it was purchased for and cannot be transferred to another computer and (2) you (as the system builder) are responsible for the tech support. Microsoft does not provide any free tech support for OEM licensed software - a primary reason it is cheaper.

I know many cases come with lights - and that's fine if the case is nice. Same thing with PSUs that come with cases - they often are tossed in to make the case sale but just end up on the bench as spares, or for testing fans. I mentioned the issue with lights because you said you were buying additional fans with lights. For a no-nonsense good case the Antec 300 is nice.

I use my computers primarily for gaming, music, internet and TV shows.

There's the problem. For music, Internet and TV shows (and Office/school work), you don't need much horsepower. But for gaming, that is about the most demanding task we can ask of our systems. So you need to decide what your priority is. If gaming, then the more money you throw in, the better.

You don't need speakers right away - so if budget is tight, you can set that purchase aside for now.

You probably need to decide in the beginning what monitor you want. I do recommend one with DVI or HDMI digital inputs. And note many monitors come with built in speakers. They are not the best sound by any means, but better than nothing until you can get a nice set of surround sounds.
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#5
Inveigler

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My mistake; then I guess I should keep to the OEM as I'm not looking to upgrade the computer regularly. But that's something I can decide on once I've finalised my hardware.

Clearly gaming is my priority, as the title of this thread is "New Gaming Computer". I listed the other activities so you would know what else I am using this computer for. Not that it's going to change anything of course, but more information is better. Gaming is definitely what the focus of this machine will be used for.

As for a screen, I was looking at this: Viewsonic VA2448m-LED 24" Wide LED 1920x1080 5ms Black. Seems good for my needs.
That case looks very handy for my needs. I'll see if i can find that here in NZ.

Thank you.

Edited by Inveigler, 15 December 2011 - 04:36 PM.

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#6
Digerati

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then I guess I should keep to the OEM as I'm not looking to upgrade the computer regularly. But that's something I can decide on once I've finalised my hardware.

Assuming you are planing on keeping this computer for several years that makes financial sense.

That monitor looks good. My only problem with it is it does not have an adjustable height stand. I personally like to adjust my monitor height to match the height of my eyes, rather than adjust the height of my chair to match my monitor. Plus I have a hutch the monitor must fit under. Just something you may need consider.

So, if gaming is you priority, good graphics is essential, as is lots of RAM (and 8Gb is good), and a decent CPU. Both AMD and Intel make good CPUs.

Though in US dollars, this is still a good read: Toms Hardware, Best Graphics Card for the Money, December 2011.
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