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Building a new rig - time to update my gaming PC!


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#1
ravens_creed

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Hi folks,

I'm a big PC gamer guy and love my desktop, so much so that I have no need for a tablet, and I only use my PS3 for watching blu-rays and playing a few exclusive games (MLB The Show, for example). Otherwise, I spend most of my time in front of my desktop.

I took advantage of the Steam summer sale last week, and I'm really excited about my new haul and the gaming that is in front of me. To give you an idea of the awesomeness that immediately awaits, among my new purchases was the entire Assassin's Creed franchise, something I have yet to delve into (not due to lack of interest). Sadly, however, I have come to the realization that my dear desktop PC is in serious need of an overhaul. For a guy who depends on his PC as his primary means of gaming, my current machine is just so 2009 in too many ways. :P For practical purposes, it means it is incapable of running many of the more demanding games, or having to do so on lower settings, and really, who likes playing on low settings, knowing there's a better experience to be had?! It's not just that, I have avoided certain games entirely because I know I can't run them (Crysis, BF3, Far Cry 3, Metro, etc.). It's time to change that! Here are the specs on my current machine:

ASUS P5K SE/EPU motherboard (socket 775)
P4 core 2 duo E7200 @2.53 GHz CPU
4 GB DDR2 RAM
EVGA variant of an Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT


*insert clip of The Simpson's Nelson "ha-ha-ing me here*


I've been doing some research on what I'd like my new machine to be, considering both performance and value (prices). I think I have reached a verdict, but I'm open to suggestions, and I'd like to run things by the G2G community, as I have only ever had positive helpful experiences here whenever I drop by. :)


Proposed new specs:

Motherboard: I'm going to go Socket 1150 with a Z87 chipset, allowing myself to upgrade to Broadwell chips down the road, rather than saving a bit and getting an 1155 board. I'm not too picky about which board to get, and price will play a role here more than anything else, I'm thinking. I was first looking at the ASUS Z87 boards, but there is such a huge discrepancy in price in the product line. The "K" version is the cheapest, if I recall, and from what I could tell, it had everything that I would need. Then there was the "A", and the "Plus", followed by the "Pro" as steps up in my range, and the others are in a totally different (more expensive) price bracket, and I don't see the need to get that fancy. What is the difference between variants? I know I could look it up, but it might not mean a lot to me in technical terms. At the bare bones, they all seem to be sufficient, and that's if I even go with an ASUS Z87 board. I'm also looking at a few Gigabyte boards, as well as an MSI gaming board. I will provide links:

the MSI Gaming board: http://www.tigerdire...3&Sku=M452-1153

Gigabyte boards: http://www.canadacom...&item_id=060879 and http://www.canadacom...&item_id=060878


CPU: My decision on the cpu came down to price, as good i5 chips are a solid $100 less than good i7 chips, or at least of the ones I have been looking at (Z87 chips). I have my eye on the i5 4670 @3.4 GHz. The standard is $225, the "K" version is $245. Is it worth the extra $20 to get teh better chip? Or should I even be considering going in the other direction, perhaps one of the i5 4570 chips, and then upgrade down the road, as I set myself up to do by getting a socket 1150 mb? The 4670 seems to be about the right price/performance balance for me at the moment.


Video/Graphics Card: Ahhh, the most important and most fun component to upgrade! I think I'm pretty well decided here, going with this bad boy right here: http://www.tigerdire...3216&CatId=7387
ALTHOUGH... for $10 more, I could have this bad boy right here... http://www.tigerdire...3217&CatId=7387


Memory: Pretty safe to say I'll be getting 16 GB of DDR3

Hard Drive: I already have 3 working drives that do what I need nicely, including a 1TB internal drive as my primary. I do need a fresh copy of Windows, however. I've been running 7 SP1 64-bit and would be happy to continue to do so, unless there is a strong argument as to why I should be looking at getting a copy of 8 64-bit.

Power Supply: Another hold over, I purchased a beastly 650W upgrade power supply a while back, and I'm sure it will handle all my needs nicely in my new rig.

Case: I'd be happy keeping my current case. It's a full tower with good circulation. It's seen some wear and tear, though. The power button on the front is partially broken (the plastic holding parts on the inside, the button itself still functions). It is a Cooler Master. I'd be open to getting a new tower, but I wouldn't want to overspend on one. I'd say I have a $100 limit on a new tower if I got one. I'd be willing to go with a mid-sized tower also if it was advised that I didn't need the extra space of a full tower. However, having always had a full tower, the size doesn't bother me.


The end goal: Play games like Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Crysis series, etc. on maxed out settings, and get my game on!!



Thanks for taking the time to read my thread. All comments welcome and appreciated!
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#2
heartgrave

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http://www.newegg.co...VirtualParent=1
Your 2nd badboy is $10 cheaper than tigerdirect :) I am going with your 2nd choice myself!

You might want to check out newegg for your parts, so far I seen your motherboard and GPU $10-$15 cheaper than tigerdirect.

Edit: did not realize that you were in Canada! SORRY! Prices will probably be different!

Edited by heartgrave, 30 July 2013 - 01:44 PM.

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#3
ravens_creed

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There is a NewEgg Canada, and some of their stuff is indeed cheaper on a few of those parts... the kicker is that there is a Tiger Direct outlet store 10 minutes from my house, and if impatience plays a role, I could be walking away with everything IN HAND tonight. :)
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#4
heartgrave

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Oh, well, in that case, best of luck to you! Be careful walking with that much $ in merchandise!
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#5
ravens_creed

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I should consider bringing some muscle? lol

What about the MB situation? Your thoughts there?
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#6
heartgrave

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I am not a tech, so I do not want to answer to something I do not know. However, I seen the prices of the products you selected and figured I would help you save some money, no matter how small the difference.

You could bring He-Man with you!
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#7
ravens_creed

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Update:

- Definitely going to stick with Windows 7 SP1 64-bit.

- CPU: going to cheap out a bit after all. There is a sale on i5 4570 chips (189.99)

- MB: going to go with the MSI Gaming board.
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#8
phillpower2

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Hello ravens_creed and heartgrave respectively

Couple of pointers for you that will hopefully save you some cash ravens_creed :thumbsup:

Memory: Pretty safe to say I'll be getting 16 GB of DDR3

You do not need and will not use anything more than 8GB of Ram for any current games and I am not aware of any that are due to be released imminently, keep in mind how much Ram that your MB can actually handle as that is for future upgrade potential and not a sign that more is better (at present at least).

Power Supply: Another hold over, I purchased a beastly 650W upgrade power supply a while back, and I'm sure it will handle all my needs nicely in my new rig.

What is the brand and model name or number of the present 650W PSU, I ask because some brands of PSU are of such poor quality you could not trust them as a paperweight in case they started a fire.

Case: I'd be happy keeping my current case. It's a full tower with good circulation. It's seen some wear and tear, though. The power button on the front is partially broken

Scrap the case or have the damaged button replaced as a minimum, you are about to invest a large amount of cash on this upgrade so don`t risk having a known damaged power button that could possibly short out and hose all of your hardware.

Two things I should also ask are what type of Windows 7 disk do you presently have as in a full retail, OEM, downloaded ISO or a burned copy - you have not list a DVD which will be needed to install Windows 7 or 8 (unless done by way of a USB device) how do you intend to install the new OS.

A list of parts for you based on your core components http://ca.pcpartpick...wer2/saved/24Fu
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#9
ravens_creed

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Hello ravens_creed and heartgrave respectively

Couple of pointers for you that will hopefully save you some cash ravens_creed :thumbsup:

Memory: Pretty safe to say I'll be getting 16 GB of DDR3

You do not need and will not use anything more than 8GB of Ram for any current games and I am not aware of any that are due to be released imminently, keep in mind how much Ram that your MB can actually handle as that is for future upgrade potential and not a sign that more is better (at present at least).

Power Supply: Another hold over, I purchased a beastly 650W upgrade power supply a while back, and I'm sure it will handle all my needs nicely in my new rig.

What is the brand and model name or number of the present 650W PSU, I ask because some brands of PSU are of such poor quality you could not trust them as a paperweight in case they started a fire.

Case: I'd be happy keeping my current case. It's a full tower with good circulation. It's seen some wear and tear, though. The power button on the front is partially broken

Scrap the case or have the damaged button replaced as a minimum, you are about to invest a large amount of cash on this upgrade so don`t risk having a known damaged power button that could possibly short out and hose all of your hardware.

Two things I should also ask are what type of Windows 7 disk do you presently have as in a full retail, OEM, downloaded ISO or a burned copy - you have not list a DVD which will be needed to install Windows 7 or 8 (unless done by way of a USB device) how do you intend to install the new OS.

A list of parts for you based on your core components http://ca.pcpartpick...wer2/saved/24Fu





I actually ended up getting only 8GB of RAM, so that worked out well. 16 just seemed like more than I would need, and apparently, my senses were correct.

The power supply is of the OCZ brand.

I ended up getting a nice new case/tower that I'm really excited about. Within my budget, and having some of the features I prefer (more than 2 USB ports on the front panel, for example).

I purchased a Windows 7 SP1 64-bit OEM dvd with the rest of my hardware, so that's what I'll be installing as my OS.



I put in my order last night, and I can't wait for it to get here! Posted Image Even though I had free shipping options available to me, I chose an expensive Purolator 1-2 day arrival option.
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#10
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update ravens_creed :thumbsup:

It would appear that you have everything in hand but if you do have any questions please ask and be sure to let us know how the upgrades perform.

Good brand of PSU btw so no worries there :thumbsup:
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#11
ravens_creed

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That's actually relieving to hear. As soon as I had come to the mental decision that I would be building a new machine, I basically spent the next 48-hours in an excited fit doing research and checking things out on every component, but I still feel like I placed my order rather quickly. I hope there weren't any oversights on my part. There are a few compatibility issues that PCPartPicker found.... http://pcpartpicker....reed/saved/24Hv I'm glad to hear my PSU is still up to snuff. Any penny saved is a plus at this point, although I'm willing to add more cooling if need be.
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#12
phillpower2

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Sorry I am a bit late with this but if you are able to change your order;

An alternative case that has a USB 3.0 port http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID= adding a front and rear chassis fan with blue LEDs http://www.macmall.c...source=zwb12166

Alternative choice of Ram that is compatible with Z87 chipset MBs http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID= and http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820233180
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#13
ravens_creed

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Rats... so will the memory not work at all, or is it just a nuisance that opens the door for potential issues? And the same with the case, I'm guessing the usb ports on the case I bought won't work? I don't mind spending an extra $50 here or there to get a new case or get better RAM. Minor slips, and I can always find use for the other parts somewhere else. I'm inevitably going to re-build what's left of my old machine into a machine for my brother (who's desktop died months ago) or something like that, so the extra case at least could be useful.
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#14
ravens_creed

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How about this one? http://www.tigerdire...430030&csid=_61
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#15
phillpower2

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The memory will work, it may just not perform to it`s full potential due to the lower voltage it is receiving.

The USB ports on the case will also work but not as fast as USB 3.0, you most likely will not notice the difference.

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