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Planning a Gaming Rig; Part List Incomplete, need help suggestions app


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#1
Roentijen

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Hello everyone!

I VERY recently joined the forums here at GTG admittedly mostly for the purpose of receiving advice on how to go about building a desktop computer. Currently I’m using a 15” Mac Book Pro that’s “bootcamped” into Windows 7 64bit. For the most part it performs well but it is by no means a competent gaming machine, and recently both the HDD and disc drive have shown signs of giving up the ghost quite soon, so I decided it was time to build a desktop myself rather than pay superfluous amounts to get my laptop fixed.

My main goal with this build is to achieve a rig that can handle any current game on “ultra” settings without breaking a sweat (games like Crysis 2, Skyrim, and Battlefield 3 with the graphics settings maxed out). That is to say the only noticeable decrease in performance should be seen from my somewhat lack luster internet connection. This shouldn’t be too difficult a goal to meet as I don’t plan on using anything more than a single 23 or 24 inch monitor at basic HD 1920x1080p resolution.

I’ve been chatting with a friend of mine on Steam who’s built a computer or two in his time but (no offense meant to him) it seems as though his personal preference is swaying his suggestions a bit too much and thus I decided to ask the experts here. What I’d like to know is recommendations for certain parts of the build and suggestions based on what I’ve selected already, and if necessary changes to my selections.

After reading a few other build topics I’ll try and provide all the information you need, and all the questions I’d like answered in this initial post. I apologize in advance as I believe this will be quite long. In my head my budget is somewhere in the $2400 USD range, but realistically I’d rather the cost come to around $1500-$1800. I’m situated in the United States and as such will purchase all the components within my native country (most likely the majority of them will come from Newegg). Unfortunately I have no peripherals so I’ll need to purchase a mouse, keyboard, and monitor at least. I have a pair of Grado SR-60s that perform superbly so sound will not be an issue initially. I’d like to have a nice microphone for chatting though, especially on that would work well in conjunction with my headphones. Parts that I have already selected that I’d rather not change (unless you know of a substantially better product) are the Case, Mouse, and Keyboard.

I plan to build in the summer (hopefully around June) so I’m waiting for the new Ivy Bridge processors to be released, and the motherboards which support them of course. After doing some research on RAM it appears that, as far as gaming goes, there isn’t much point to purchasing ram with clock speeds higher than 1333 or 1600 so long as they have a respectable cache latency. Is this true? It would be a place where I could save some money. Considering my graphics proficiency goal, I was considering the nVidia GTX 680 graphics card, but I’ve heard that it’s a bit overpriced (just because it out-performs the HD 7970) and most people believe it should be around $300 instead of $500. Is that enough to forgo that card or is it worth the price it’s currently set at? Would it be more worthwhile to wait for the GTX 780 or will that card be even more expensive? And finally I’ve selected a group of remarkably thin monitors from which I’d like to select the most “bang-for-buck” unit. Ultra slimness isn’t exactly a necessity so if there’s a monitor in the $200 range that you think would be fenominally better than any of the ones in my list please do not hesitate to suggest it, otherwise I’d really like to go with one of these slim ones. I will provide links for the monitors that I have selected after the parts list:

Motherboard – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (most likely some variant of the Z77 to ensure compatibility with Ivy Bridge)

CPU – Intel i5-3570K (no link for this item as it’s not yet released, sorry)

RAM – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (waiting for suggestion, not sure if beneficial to go above 1333 clock speed)

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 680 (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

PSU – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (not sure what wattage to shoot for; been told that 1k wattage is required?)

SSD – Crucial M4 64GB (to be used as boot drive, subject to change if better suggestion is made)

HDD – Seagate Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200rpm (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

CD Drive – ASUS 24x DVD Burner (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Case – NZXT H2 (preferred to keep but subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Monitor – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (see monitor link list below)

Keyboard – Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (preferred to keep but subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Mouse – Mionix Naos 3200 (preferred to keep but subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Monitor Links:

HP x2301

LG E2360V-PN

Gateway FHX2402

Dell S2330MX

One final note I'd like to make is that this computer will (at least initially) not be able to be hooked up via hardline to the internet so some sort of wireless solution will be needed. As with all the other components any and all suggestions on this matter will be very much appreciated. Please let me know if there's any other info I missed that may be relevant. I greatly look forward to your insights on this matter. Thank you for taking the time to review my inquiries.

Edited by Roentijen, 02 April 2012 - 11:20 PM.

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#2
iammykyl

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Hi Roentijen, Posted Image

Good Post, Posted Image

Is you windows install disc a boxed full retail version?

My main goal with this build is to achieve a rig that can handle any current game on “ultra” settings without breaking a sweat (games like Crysis 2,

No single GPU is capable of achieving the optimum 60fps on ultra setting. http://www.anandtech...tx-680-review/7 Now whether this will change when your selected card is installed on a Mobo/CPU platform using the bandwidth of PCI-E 3.0, will only be known when benchmarks are available.

Have to sign off now, but I, or another member, will get back to your, answer your question and look over your build.
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#3
Roentijen

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Is you windows install disc a boxed full retail version?

No single GPU is capable of achieving the optimum 60fps on ultra setting.


Thank you very much for your response Iammykyl. I was hoping to hear from you specifically because I've seen how nice and helpful you are for others. To answer your question, a friend of mine who worked at the tech department of Walmart (he's in sporting goods now) has a copy of Windows 7 Professional 64bit that he's going to let me use as he has no need for it. He's also offered to help me assemble the components once I've gathered them.

A bit unsettling to read that AnandTech article. It could be due to early drivers that the 680 isn't stacking up in their test. Though I find it hard to believe that their numbers would be incorrect. However that doesn't explain this comment from the Feedback tab on the Newegg page for the EVGA rendition of the 680:

"-Very fast, battlefield 3 ultra 4xaa at 1200p averages about 70fps"

This is currently the second feedback comment on the graphics card listed in the above components. What is also peculiar about the Warhead test in the AnandTech review is that the HD 7970 consistently outperforms the GTX 680 which is odd considering nearly every other article I've read about the new nVidia card states that the 680 outperforms the 7970 by a margin of 10%. I'm not sure what to believe now. What are your thoughts?

Don't worry about replying quickly either, I can and will wait patiently for a response. :)
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#4
happyrock

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don't go with a 60GB SSD...at least a 120 like here or here
just be sure to get one with a sandforce 22xx controller...they are the best/fastest at this time

RAM – 16 Gb 1600 like here

the PSU has to be 80+ certified...preferably silver or above...but that decision should wait until you have selected the video card/s and other components
get some headroom to so if you decide later to upgrade some components the PSU will not will not have to be one of the components
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#5
Roentijen

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don't go with a 60GB SSD...at least a 120 like here or here
just be sure to get one with a sandforce 22xx controller...they are the best/fastest at this time

RAM – 16 Gb 1600 like here

the PSU has to be 80+ certified...preferably silver or above...but that decision should wait until you have selected the video card/s and other components
get some headroom to so if you decide later to upgrade some components the PSU will not will not have to be one of the components


Thanks for the tip on the SSD, I'll keep my eye out for deals on the type you mentioned. :)

Is 16gigs of ram necessary? A lot of articles and reviews I've read say that 8gigs is plenty and I'm still trying to reduce the cost of the build to about $1500-1800. Changing to a 120 SSD will significantly increase the price tag so I need to find ways to save anyway I can.

The information on the PSU is much appreciated I will definitely take those points into account when I start looking for a unit after I've selected the other components as you suggested.

Edited by Roentijen, 03 April 2012 - 12:31 PM.

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#6
happyrock

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16 GIGS or ram allow you to have no swap/paging file necessary...

this is my list of components from a build six month back...notice the 60 GB SSD...that was where the OS lived for about 3 months until I realized that the 60 was filling up fast so I cloned it to a OWC 120GB and left the 60GB right in the machine...that way if the drive ever acts up I can just plug it back in to the 60 and be up and running in about 4 minutes
these prices have probably fallen some or lots since I wrote this up


MY NEW BUILD WITH LINKS + COST

Corsair Obsidian 650D...$170

ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe..$244

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost)..$319

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 $100

60GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD
...$120

Crucial M4 128GB SATA III MLC SSD
,,,$214

Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB SATA III ...$180

MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II OC
..$332

LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support
...$99

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-S223Q LightScribe Support ...$30

total cost...$1808
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#7
phillpower2

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SSD suggestion http://www.tigerdire...75&Sku=C19-8025

Just to pitch in with my 2 cents worth, 8GB of Ram is ideal for W7 64-bit, but for now forget about your Ram until you have decided on the MB and CPU - see my canned speech below;

For the best and most stable performance you should where possible purchase a CPU and Ram that have been tested and approved by the motherboard manufacturer, this is referred to as the QVL ( qualified vendors list ) understand though that there are too many products released for them all to be tested so other hardware will be compatible but not proven to be.
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#8
happyrock

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for the benchmarking on SSD's go here
and here...
and here
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#9
Roentijen

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Thank you so much for the tips guys, I'll update my parts list once the Z77 boards and Ivy Bridge processors make their debut and get back to you. At that time it should be easier to zero in on the secondary components. However I'm really liking the looks of that SSD that phillpower2 suggested. I'm curious does this drive have the sandforce 22xx controller?
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#10
happyrock

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yep...

SandForce Driven: Seven SSDs on SF-2281 Controller...here
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#11
happyrock

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one more thing that I consider to be required reading for setting up a SSD with windows 7

Optimize Windows 7 for use with a Solid State Drive (SSD)
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#12
Roentijen

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I've found some information via cpu-world.com that gives some insight as to the Ivy Bridge schedule and the boards that will support them. "It seems that the 7 series desktop chipsets - Z77, Z75, H77 and B75 - will be available from retailers on April 8, but Ivy Bridge processors will start rolling out 3 weeks later, on April 29."

Hopefully we'll start seeing listings for the 7 series desktop chipsets on Newegg, Tigerdirect, etc. tomorrow or some time soon so I can pick out a motherboard and get on with finalizing the parts list for this build.

UPDATE: Newegg has updated their inventory with the new Z77 motherboards that I was waiting for. I'm reviewing their stock and I'll update my parts list with the motherboard as soon as I choose one and clear it with the experts here.

Edited by Roentijen, 08 April 2012 - 06:12 AM.

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#13
Roentijen

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Greetings again to all! Here's my revised parts list so far. Please keep in mind that this list is still very much subject to change and I'll most likely use this as more of a guideline rather than a concrete outline of my rig as there will no doubt be price changes and sale in between now and when I get ready to order the parts. As always if you have a suggestion or comment please feel free to post it here.

The revised list:

Motherboard – ASRock Z77 Extreme6 (subject to change however unlikely)

CPU – Intel i5-3570K (I have a spec link for this now, but I'll update it to a product page when the CPU is released)

RAM – G.SKILL Sniper Series (subject to change however unlikely)

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 680 (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

PSU – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (not sure what wattage to shoot for; been told that 1k wattage is required?)

SSD – SanDisk Extreme 120GB (subject to change; not sure if this one is Sandforce 22xx driven or not)

HDD – Seagate Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200rpm (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

CD Drive – ASUS 24x DVD Burner (subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Case – BitFenix Shinobi (subject to change; this case will require additional fans; I may decide to go with the more affordable Antec 300)

Monitor – NOT SELECTED/Suggestion appreciated (see comments below)

Keyboard – Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (preferred to keep but subject to change if better suggestion is made)

Mouse – Mionix Naos 3200 (preferred to keep but subject to change if better suggestion is made)

NOTES: As seen above I still have not yet selected a PSU as I'm not sure just how much power this unit will require and I'd like to get something that's the minimum requirement, but with some breathing room so the computer isn't stressed in the power department.

The SSD (and many other components for that matter) I selected from Newegg simply because at the moment I am too tired to go searching the net for better deals. I will, when the time comes, search for better deals on certain parts in this list and adjust it accordingly.

I'm not sure whether or not a 7200rpm HD is necessary or if I could go down to 5400 rpm. This would either A: allow me to save some money on a hard drive of the same capacity, or B: allow me to step up to a drive of larger capacity (say, 1TB) without drastically increasing the cost.

The new case I selected because my previous choice seemed lack-luster, however this new one will require the purchase of additional fans to ensure that it stays at a respectable temperature when playing the more hardware demanding games.

I still have not decided on a monitor, but as for the ones in my list on the first post, I have narrowed it down to either the Gateway FHX2402 or the Dell S2330MX.

Suggestions and critiques still welcome and appreciated; thank you.

Edited by Roentijen, 08 April 2012 - 05:27 PM.

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#14
iammykyl

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Hi.

I selected from Newegg simply because at the moment I am too tired to go searching the net for better deals. I will, when the time comes, search for better deals on certain parts in this list and adjust it accordingly


Have a look at this site, select your country at top right, register so you can save and alter your selection, gives you a running total, you can post the permalink on G2G.
It is still advisable, when the build is finalized, to search each individual part as the site does only source prices from a limited list of suppliers.

Some sites here in OZ have a "beat any valid price by ?%" My Local store will nearly always undercut others total price if spending $500 or more.

ADIT. missing link, http://pcpartpicker.com/

Edited by iammykyl, 09 April 2012 - 03:50 AM.

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#15
Roentijen

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Hi.

Have a look at this site...


I'm sorry I don't quite follow...there's no link in your comment. Do you mean I should look at Newegg again? I apologize for my misunderstanding.
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