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Building My First Gaming PC - HELP


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#1
Chunky Surprise

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Hello All,

I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my first gaming rig. I have a good general knowledge of components and how things work, etc, but any tips/suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'm trying to build a gaming rig that will play almost all games on high-max settings - Primarily I'm playing Guild Wars 2, Star Craft 2, Diablo 3, Borderlands 2, and other RPG's, MMORPG's, and FPS's. I'm hoping I can play these games at the aforementioned setting, and I want to be able to upgrade my system in the future, MAYBE SLI (not sure, but alas still an option - also I'm not entirely sure if I will overclock - Do I need to? pros/cons of overclocking for gaming and general use etc (I will still most likely not OC). Also What about Windows 8? Should I wait for a MOBO that's Windows 8 compatible (I read something about windows 8 compatibility in accordance to motherboards.) Lastly cooling... my apartment can get to be 85-90 degrees F inside for 2 months of the year (no AC) so also take that into consideration when assessing my build please and if I'll need to get liquid cooling, although I'd rather stay away from it.

I'm hoping I can get this build under 1,200 - currently it is over that mark, and if I have to upgrade my cooling then Ill have to chip away at the cost. So how do I make this build cheaper w/o reducing quality and/or capabilities for upgrading in the future.

Current Pre-Build Set-UP

CPU --- (3rd gen Ivy Bridge) INTEL i5 3570k quad core 3.4 GHz --- $230
http://www.amazon.co...keywords=i5 ivy

GPU --- EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti Superclocked GDDR5 2GB --- $300
http://www.amazon.co...ds=evga gtx 660

MOBO --- ASUS Sabertooth Z77 LGA 1155 --- $240 (***Is this over the top? Is there an alternative motherboard? And if there is red/black combo would be a nice color scheme, but not necessary)
http://www.amazon.co...motherboard z77

RAM --- Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2X4GB) DDR 1600 MHz 240 Pin --- $40
http://www.amazon.co...MZ8GX3M2A1600C9

PSU --- Corsair Enthusiast Series (TX) 650 Watt --- $90
http://www.amazon.co...rds=corsair psu

Cooling --- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus --- $25 (***Is the hot summer months going to be a problem for this cooling? What is going to be the best cooling alternative? If I HAVE to use liquid cooling, it will only be closed circuit - also will this fit in either of my case choices?)
http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B002G1YPH0

Case --- Cooler Master HAF 912 --- $50 (***Or should I get the CM HAF 922 for $100 - is it better and worth the money?)
http://www.amazon.co...af 912 advanced

Optical Drive --- Asus 12X BluRay Burner/Writer --- $70
http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B004ZMG55I

Hard Drive --- Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA 6GB/S 64 MB CACHE 7200 RPM --- $100
http://www.amazon.co...agate barracuda

SSD --- Samsung 830 Series SATA III 128GB --- $90
http://www.amazon.co...-4&keywords=ssd

OS --- Already own Windows 7 --- what about windows 8? any thoughts on this please.

Monitor --- I have a Sony LED 240Hertz 42in --- I can hook my PC up to this, is this fine? Or should I get a monitor?

---------

TOTAL --- $1235 --- Im trying to get it below 1200 if possible, what here is over the top? What here is not sufficient for high-end gaming? What should I change in the cooling department or is it sufficient (most likely not overclocking, but MIGHT eventually SLI with dual GTX 660ti cards) And is my case choice good, or should I get the CM HAF 922? Other suggestions? Will everything here work?

Thank you!
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#2
Zolton33

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The 922 has usb 3.0 ports so that is the major plus in its favor imho. You are a small bit above your mark now. If you plan on over clocking (which i think you are) you may want to move down to a k series sandy bridge. You do a bit of research you will see that it does not oc as well as sandy for some odd reason. If i were you i'd drop down to a i5 2500k (one of the best oc gaming cpu right now)

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=i5 2500k

If you are going to drop to a sandy i5 2500k for its higher clock then a sandy bridge mobo would be a good drop from the 240 price tag you are looking at. You should be able to find a great mobo at half the price of the one you picked out.

http://www.techradar...#articleContent One example of the 2500k being only 100mhz slower then the 3570k at oc (some have hit 5.0 or higher stable on air cooling with the 2500k not sure about the 3570k)

100mhz is not going to put that much more into over all fps i do not think. But really up to you only a $11.01 price difference. http://www.amazon.co.../?tag=pcpapi-20 Not a bad mobo and recommended a lot from tomshardware and only about $140.
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#3
Chunky Surprise

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Zolton33,

As for my CPU I know that I want to stay with the i5 3570k - I know i will most likely not OC, and if I do (when boredom ensues) I wont OC it too much.

But I have looked into your mobo suggestions! The AsRock z77 Extreme4 and its quite an great mobo for the price. However, how would you compare it to the Asus p8z77 v pro as in long term use/capabilities/quality etc. I found the Asus p8z77 for $205. Or are the differences negligible? (the sabertooth is out)

Additionally I will get the CM Haf 922, as the usb 3.0 ports are indeed a major concern.

So with the asus p8z77 v pro mobo and 922 case my total is 1250 (im still trying to get under 1200, if possible around 1100, if not ill save another month of $$$) and with the Asrock z77 Extreme4 The total is 1185.

Any thoughts on the cooling of this machine? And what about my PSU if I decide to SLI dual GTX 660ti cards?

---------

Thanks Zolton33!
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#4
Chunky Surprise

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Zolton33,

I think Im going with the Asus P8Z77 V PRO as its a more stable motherboard overall in its power delivery and its BIOS is better and its fan management is superior - It costs $205 - but if I can find a micro center in San Diego then its onsale instore for $160

Edited by Chunky Surprise, 03 October 2012 - 10:29 PM.

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#5
Chunky Surprise

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This is how ive changed my build thus far -

GPU is now Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 3gb --- $310 (MIR makes it $290)

MOBO is now Asus P8Z77 V PRO --- (instore sale at MicroCenter for $155)

Case - Corsair 500r --- found on sale between $110-120
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#6
Zolton33

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Microcenter has a deal once in a while that if you get your cpu through them you get the motherboard at a huge discount. It might be some thing to look into. http://www.tomshardw...epler,3280.html That has 3 builds in it. 1 for $500 1 for $1000 and 1 for $2000. And it shows the bench marks for each of those builds. It includes a few parts you chose and a few you did not. You can use it as a base template for your build and adjust it to where you like it. Their total on their $1000 build was $1065 and is a very decent and over all great gaming build for its budget.

Intel Core i5-3570K (like your choice)
Gigabyte GV-N670OC-2GD: GeForce GTX 670 2 GB (similar to your choice)
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 (their mobo is about $247)
Mushkin Blackline 997043: DDR3-1600 C8, 4 GB x 2 (8 GB) (a different brand of ram)
OCZ AGT3-25SAT3-60G: 60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD (they went with a different size ssd a 60gb)
Seagate Barracuda ST3750525AS: 750 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive (750gb over your 2tb)
Samsung SH-222BB: 22x DVD±R, 48x CD-R (a different optical drive)
Rosewill Redbone Black (a different case)
Corsair CX600 V2: 600 W, ATX12V v2.3, 80 PLUS (the one you chose is a 650)
Xigamtek Loki SD963 (a different cpu cooler)

That was the build they chose to make for $1000. You can see its bench marks next to their $2000 build. So the build you have chosen is not to far off from this one. And if you are looking to cut more costs it would not hurt to look into a few of these parts. Like dropping down a bit on the size of your ssd for one or checking different brand alternatives for the parts you picked.
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#7
iammykyl

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Just so that you are informed Re, over-clocking and/or using a after market heat-sink/cooler on a boxed retail CPU, from both AMD and Intel, will void your warranty.
>http://www.intel.com.../CS-009862.htm

You do not need a different cooler. The one supplied with the CPU is more than capable of keeping it within it's thermal footprint. Over-clocking will produce a lot more heat/stress/noise, like driving your car with your foot flat on the floor all the time, As you can gather, I am not in favour.

I do not consider dual GPU set up is worth the troubles, I would advise aiming for the best high end card you can afford.
Even if your GPU/s generate 100 + fps, a 60Hz monitoris only capable of delivering 60 whole fps, above that is starts producing parts of frames leading too artifacts and tearing. Frames generated by the GPU need to be controlled so they arrive in sync with the monitor.

Nvidia has Adaptive Vsync. > http://hardocp.com/a...hnology_review/

Compare Motherboards, Look first for what you want on the platform, then eliminate those where you do not need a function.
> http://www.newegg.co...8^13-128-558-TS

"Window7 vs Window8" Windows7 is very stable, very secure, so until W8 has been out for a while, I will be staying with W7.

I would stay clear of the 660ti, > http://www.tomshardw...asing,3283.html

> http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jkpR

Need to know the resolution of the TV, video card may need to be tweaked.
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#8
Chunky Surprise

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iammykyl

So no after market cooler (i know im not OCing but isnt a cooler CPU good nonetheles? and when would I need my warranty?)

For my GPU im getting ATI Radeon HD 7950 for $300 - best for price/performance (except for nvidia enhanced games) but generally better on bigger games like Skyrim and GW2 - also the HD 7950 seems to perform better at higher resolutions (1920x1080)

For motherboards I found the Asus P8Z77 V Pro for $155-160 at microcenter, so nothing can beat that at that price.

My TV is 1080p (so it can fit 1920x1080) and its either 240 or 480 Mhz, most likely the former, and its 42 or 46 inches, and LED
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#9
Chunky Surprise

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This is my tv Sony BRAVIA KDL46EX720 46-Inch 1080p 3D LED HDTV, Black

http://www.amazon.co...ony 46in 3d led
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#10
Zolton33

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Just to let you know also if you plan to oc you will need a better cooler. The one included is only designed to run it at normal ranges and when you over clock it the temps reach higher then the stock can handle in most cases. Intel sells an insurance for over clocking their cpus http://click.intel.com/tuningplan/ 20 bucks and you are covered if you hurt the cpu by over clocking. But if you want to get technical intel also voids the warranty on their cpu's if you over clock your memory or use memory above what they list http://www.tomshardw...31-intel-speeds worth the read. Some people over clock and swear by it and others dislike it. But before i would try i would do a lot of research on it. You basically put more voltage into the cpu which causes it to become hotter then its normal running temps. With a good cooler though you can still keep those temps down to the normal operating temps. If you have zero plans of ocing i would drop out of the k series cpu. As what is the point of putting a big engine in a car if you are never going to open it up?
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#11
iammykyl

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Zolton33

Thanks for the link about over-clocking memory.

So no after market cooler (i know im not OCing but isnt a cooler CPU good nonetheles?


and when would I need my warranty?)


1. This coaling/over-clocking, is a never ending debate on nearly all forums. This is my opinion, a sensible approach to both should be taken. A cooler computer is of course better than a hot one. Much depends on having good, very good airflow through the case as well as the heat-sinks and fans on the CPU/GPU. A CPU has thermal control, if the temps go to high, ti will throttle back or shut down to protect itself

Many Motherboards come with some sort of simple press or slide CPU booster, which can be very useful. A not K has a limited amount of boost and a very limited amount for you to manually over-clock where as K CPU has more boast and virtually no limit on manual over-clocking which includes destroying it.

I live in Brisbane, Australia, NO air-conditioning. In the summer often we get 80%+ humidity, 32C+ temps. Comparing 2 of my PCs on everyday normal usage,
One on a Noctua cooler the other on the Intel stock. They both behave themselves, never had heat shut down problems and about 5/8 degrees difference between the two.

The stock cooler will come with pre applied thermal compound, so is just a matter of installing ii onto the processor. With an after market one you have to apply thermal paste yourself, the right amount, can be a bit nerve racking for the first time you do it. I would stay with a K CPU and the stock cooler. If you find that the temps are excessive, you can then fit another heat-sink and fan. Sorry, a bit of a Posted Image
2. If it was DOA or went haywire during the warranty period.

You will be OK using the TV as a monitor. Have you this type of connector? > http://www.amazon.co...d_bxgy_e_text_y or just a normal HDMI?

Video card, I have linked to the Sapphire, >

>

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jkpR

nNeeds some research to enusre that whatever one you choose, it dumps the heat out of the case and not into the case.




The Motherboard is good.




Before purchasing you part. please post the full list so that we can give a final compatibility check.





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#12
Chunky Surprise

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iammykyl,

This is how I've altered my build hence (I guess I will be doing some overclocking, but not too much, and would it be better to get liquid cooling like a Corsair H80 or H100?) --- Also yes I do have regular HDMI's and High-Speed HDMI that support 3d and audio back.

CPU --- Intel i5 3570k --- $220
http://www.amazon.co...keywords=i5 ivy

GPU --- MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 --- $320
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127667

MOBO --- Asus P8Z77 V PRO --- $205
http://www.microcent...tel_Motherboard

RAM --- Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz 240pin --- $40
http://www.amazon.co...MZ8GX3M2A1600C9

PSU ---Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze TX650 --- $90
http://www.amazon.co...rds=corsair psu

HDD --- Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 2TB SATA 6GB/S --- $100
http://www.amazon.co...agate barracuda

SDD --- Samsung 830 Series 128GB --- $90
http://www.amazon.co...-4&keywords=ssd

Optical Drive --- LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 12X BD-ROM 4MB SATA BDXL Blu-ray Burner --- $70
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827136250

Cooling --- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO --- $30
http://www.amazon.co...words=hyper 212

CPU warranty --- $20

Case --- (on the fence for this - I really want a Corsair Case but cant decide between the 400r, 500r, 600t, 650d --- $100-$150

Monitor --- I already own a Sony 46" LED HDTV 240Hz 1080p

OS --- I already have Windows 7

---------------------------------


TOTAL = $1,285-1,335 depending on case ---- I'm still trying to cut prices on this build w/ reducing quality (suggestions?), but It seems really solid and I can patiently buy parts over the course of a month or two when/if they go on sale.
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#13
Zolton33

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iammykyl no problem. I've learned over the years that putting a good pc together is really rather simple. The hard parts are choosing your parts and swimming through the red tape. There are so many rules to warranties and using operating systems that it can drive you mad trying to understand it all and get all the important information you need. Which is why forums such as these are so helpful as well as important to help learn these things. There are so many choices in parts and different builds and build types that it can be over whelming as well as very confusing. Although having all the important information is important. Many people still do not know about the oem version of windows and how they changed their terms as now you are not supposed to buy it and use it in a pc you do not intend to sell. Or that it is now tied to your motherboard so any upgrade to the motherboard voids your use of the oem. From what i read though so far windows 8 seems to allow for use of oem for personal use. But i'm not really holding my breathe on that one as windows 8 seems more for touch screen pc's then for regular desktops.
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#14
iammykyl

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Liquid cooling, personal, I do not use, would not use, you can get as good if not better with air. They still have to be maintained and many think it is more trouble than air. There is always the possibility of a leak, probable disaster. Many think there is less noise, in most case not true, espesially iwth a DAW rig, you sitill have the fan + the rythamic sound of the pump.

CPU. OK.
GPU. OK.
Mobo. OK.
RAM. Compatible but will prevent installation of many alternative coolers. I Prefer mine, the G.Skill low profile. will perform the same, definitely no issues with clearance on after market coolers. $1 cheaper
PSU. OK.
HDD. OK but consider that you will take a long, long time to get 70% optimal fill mark, you will have all your DATA in one place, if the HDD dies or gets corrupted, you loose the lot. my 1TB ST1000DM003 (later generation) better performance, add another when needed, $10 cheaper.
SSD. OK.

Optical Drive. OK. Just remember you will need software to view Blu-Ray content.

Cooler. OK, but I would use the stock one, see how it performs for you, Add later if required, costs you nothing and save $30.

Here are all your cases, > http://www.newegg.co...5E11-139-006-TS

If you case does not come with an internal system beeper, I advice getting one as it is the most useful of little items. http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html

Also I think an essential, an anti static wrist strap like this, > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16899261005




Edited by iammykyl, 05 October 2012 - 03:53 AM.

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#15
Chunky Surprise

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iammykyl,

Thanks for the tips! Ordered the beeper and wrist guard! - and i'll avoid liquid cooling.
Ill see what blue rams I can find that are low profile, but im fairly sure it wont obstruct my cooler.
I was thinking of getting a different/cheaper mobo - preferably asus since everyone claims their bios and build quality is the best so maybe a cheaper asus 1155 model since the P8Z77 V PRO is great for tons of OCing (something I wont use too much) - I still want to be able to OC but I wont OC a lot, and I want a mobo with Wifi preferably.

I think I'll buy the cooler nonetheless, sorry - I live in the desert and cooler is better!

Alrighty, Ill get a 1TB HDD --- also wht are your thoughts on the Western Digital Caviar Black HDD's? compared to the Barracuda.

I think I'll be switching the optical drive for one made by Asus!

Lastly, Im still horrible about cases - but after some people have recommended it to me I have found it appealing due to its cooling capabilities and sleek/professional design - the Corsair 550d - is this case any good for gaming?

Thanks for your time/insight! :)

Edited by Chunky Surprise, 05 October 2012 - 04:28 AM.

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