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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#2881 chibilaharl

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:03 AM

Thermaltake a good PSU? there is a 700w one at newegg

#2882 j-cart

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

I am a fan of the Seasonic PSUs.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817151119

Unless you plan to SLI and overclock, this guy will be more than enough to power a gaming rig

#2883 JBaz

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

So I knew for the last two years I needed a new pc, I even asked for help here and almost pulled the trigger once or twice. Last night my 8 year old HD finally conked out, so I am taking that as a sign that it's time to get a new one.

Thing is I am not sure what I want. Traditionally I have spent $1,000-$1,300 and bought a rig from someplace like ecollegepc and then with upgrades stretched it 8 years. Now I am thinking both about building my own and also building something more economical.

The only musts I have is that it run at least Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2. Outside that there isn't anything I am dying to run. So, am I better off buying a cheaper machine and upgrading in a few years or is it smarter to just build the power machine now. Just trying to debate my options and see what economically makes the most sense.

Honestly? The $600 box that I listed on the last page could easily run Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2 on High @ 1080p, no sweat. The biggest downside with building a cheap box like that is that you are getting a 3 year old CPU, paired with the latest graphics card. Is it bad? No, but that setup won't exactly age well to another 8 years if your gaming tastes get more demanding down the road. The CPU will bring down the efficiency of the GPU ability despite being a very good value right now.

It's also hard to say how your computing needs will change in 8 years as well. What new software or games will stress what and how is all guess work here. You never know, PC's could be a thing of the past and we all revert back to a terminal style computing of where our PC's are nothing more than simple display boxes and all of the computational needs (both CPU and GPU) are offloaded to a massive server farm. It's not that far fetched when cloud computing is the new thing, like Amazon EC2, but we'll talk about what is now and real.

I'd say go with the beefiest PC you can budget out right now to give you the best chance of "future-proofing" this system for your expected 8 years stretch. I'd say $1000 would get net you the best value per buck and still be viable down the road with a GPU upgrade here and there.

Here's an idea:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: GeIL EVO CORSA Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Diamond Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($55.73 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $910.63
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-13 12:12 EST-0500)

This nets you a modern i5 quad core ivy bridge chip that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, giving you a lot of value for the money; it's also very overclocking friendly with it being an unlocked multiplier chip. I matched it up with the extremely good value Asrock Extreme 4 z77 motherboard and the $20 Cooler Master 212+ cpu cooler just in case you do want a little more power with overclocking. Usually I'd recommend the Extreme 3 z77 mobo here since you can find them on sale usually for $100, but its actually back up to $132, making the 4 more sensible idea despite giving you barely a few new features over the 3.

I picked up the cheapest avaliable 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 speed, cas 10, 1.5v, which is going for $65 from Geil on Newegg, to help maximize the amount of RAM you can stuff in the machine while still giving you room to upgrade to 32GB down the road. I do have to note that even 8GB is more than enough for a system down the road, but lets future proof this as much as possible and still have room to grow. I also have to note that the Similar Corsair sets were going for $40 not to long ago, so I'd keep a keen eye out on deals for RAM this holiday season again. I'd suspect the recent sales is the reason why all the similar corsair sets are out of stock otherwise I would have chosen them over Geil.

Next up, I didn't really invest too much though on the storage here since its really up to you on how you want to do this or invest in what. I just picked the good value Seagate 2TB 7200 drive. I left about a $100 wiggle room here if you wanted to throw in a 120GB SSD drive or put that savings into a better graphics card like the HD 7950 3GB or GTX 660 ti. I also have to note that the Seagate 3TB 7200 drive was on sale for the same price two weeks ago and the 3TB is actually the fastest 7200 drive on the market, beating out some of the last generation SSD's in sequential throughput.

Personally, I'd just sport the normal HDD for a while and wait till large capacity SSD's become cheaper. At their rate of price decline in just the last year (512GB SSD was $1000 just 9 months ago, now $300), I wouldn't be surprised to see value branded, large capacity drives to start hitting towards the $.25/GB or cheaper price point. Even though 120GB SSD is a good size for the value right now, if you can 'tough' it out for a 6-12 months without it, you'll most likely net a better value on your system without really loosing that much abilities. SSD's are still considered luxury parts, even if your budget allows for it like yours. Go with the bigger GPU, just my 2 cents.

The HD 7850 2GB is more than enough for anyone I would assume in this price range, but one who likes all the eye candy and better image quality might want to think about upgrading the GPU and future proof for newer games that would take advantage of the performance down the line. Even then, I'd still expect a high end card like the 7950 or 660 to only really last about 4-5 years before it gets bogged down and suffer frame rate issues on games that far in the future. But I'm speculating based on past experiences.

As for case, I used the very basic NZXT Source 210 ATX case since its on sale for $22 shipped that will work very well and still be of good quality. I've built a Xeon workstation rig with a cheap Source case before with good results; if your tastes are minimal and don't want something flashy, just a box, this is a slick deal. However, usually at your budget, I would splurge double or triple that for a better case with more features and room when you pack all of this nice hardware. The $50 HAF 912 or $90 HAF 922 comes to mind first, but if you want a more in depth talk about it, hit up my post about $40-130 budget cases from a few pages ago.

Power. Another huge, but important topic. I picked the nice XFX 550w 80+ bronze power supply for this rig. It is more than enough power for this rig and even have some head room to do a bit of overclocking on the CPU without reaching 100% load, even then, this unit can handle that easily and then some. For $50, it's not too bad of a deal (cheapest it's been is $45) and beats the value off of most other 500-600 80+ PSU units in this price range, but you can find better deals if you wait. If you plan on no overclocking, then the Corsair CX500 for $40 on newegg is a good buy and saves you $10 (cheapest was $30) or even try to find the Corsair CX430 v2 for under $20 (cheapest was $17). This system at stock speeds wouldn't even hit 300w under full load (77w cpu, 130w gpu, 50w misc), just to bare in mind.

If you want a bit more future proof, then you could try to find a deal on a 650-800w mid/high level PSU from any of the name brands in the $60-100+ price range to give you the option of both adding a 2nd GPU and overclocking headroom down the road. The usual suspects to look at are Antec, Corsair, Coolermaster, Seasonic, Silverstone, OCZ, PC Power & Cooling, XFX and Thermaltake; just to name a few.

Lastly, I threw in the Asus Blu-Ray writer into the mix. You could just easily get away with a dvd burner or scrap one up from your current old rig to save money, but lets say you want to watch and write Blu-ray material, this is the cheapest solution and works pretty well.


What do you guys think of this build?

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter) *bundle
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $343.96


I already have a XFX HD7850 and 8GB of RAM. Haven't decided on storage yet, but I don't think I can afford an SSD big enough for the games I want to keep installed. How does a Seagate Barracuda compare to a WD Caviar Black?

If you got a microcenter nearby, definitely pull the trigger on the i5 & mobo bundle deal. However, I'd maybe see if you can upgrade that Pro4 to the Extreme3 or 4 for not much more if all possible. Pretty sure I saw the Extreme3 for $79.99 with the savings.

As for the case, I would probably look at the cheaper NZXT Source 210 for $22 shipped (promo EMCJHJF73 & $10 AR) @ newegg over the Zalman; shit I'd would rather get the Source 220 for $40 @ amazon.

Power supply, as I said in the huge above post to the other guy, is a huge topic. While the Antec HCG series PSU to be of high quality, their price/performance value isn't very good and at that price, you could find a SeaSonic G series 550w 80+ Gold rated power supply for cheaper when on sale ($55 3 weeks ago). I'd look at the cheaper XFX 550w for $50 as it's comparable to Antec in terms of quality and performance, although it lacks the modular feature, but you are paying a premium for this.

And lets face it, you would be putting this into a cheap, windowless case so cable management isn't going to be a huge factor, nor will the idea of "better air flow with less cables" really warrants the price premium on this budget. If you were building a bigger computer with multiple fans, gpu's, hard drives, and so on, then modular would be a good feature to get, but when you are putting only a few things in, you're really not saving that much 'clutter' in the box, and the extra cables are easily tucked away on the bottom of the case to where it won't impact airflow at all.

Even the $40 Corsair CX500 V2 would be another solution to save a few bucks on this build.


Thermaltake a good PSU? there is a 700w one at newegg

Thermaltake makes some good products, most of their PSU line up offer great value and good performance. I was getting excited when you mentioned this until I realized this is the TR2-700 instead of the award winning and popular TR2-700P. Common mistake.

The Thermaltake TR2 700w that is on sale at newegg for $40 is actually a 650w and only runs around 72-75% efficient. Their marketing of product lines are also very confusing for normal customers since this is the TR2 stardard line (or the very basic) and not the better value line of TR2 Bronze (TR-700 vs the really good TR-700P). The TR2 standard line also shares the same name of the older PSU models from a few years ago that were just terrible, but I'd say those basic older units were flukes as everything they make are solid.

I wouldn't have any hesitation with using the TR2-700 standard, but I wouldn't exactly put much faith in its ability to provide me with stable, clean power at 700w, nor expect it to handle the stresses of a hot environment. Hard to tell since this unit has been updated recently with very little in depth reviews on its performance (and I wouldn't expect any in depth reviews since most enthusiasts wouldn't waste their time testing a generic unit like this). I'd expect a PSU like this would be paired well in cheapo barebones kits or entry level "gaming" pre-built PC's just for the caption "it has 700 watts!!!" when all they are powering would be a 6450... but I'd treat this as a 500w unit.

If you want something cheap, the TR2-700 will work; its a decent value (cheapest it's been is $33), but I'd say invest in a proper 80+ certified PSU that is known to give you the clean wattage, stability and efficiency you expect while having quality components. I'd grab a good 500w 80+ over this for the same price, like the Corsair CX500 for $40 or the XFX 550w for $50 if you can't wait for better deals.


I am a fan of the Seasonic PSUs.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817151119

Unless you plan to SLI and overclock, this guy will be more than enough to power a gaming rig

Great PSU, terrible price. It was $55 3 weeks ago. Loads of other options at the $90 price point to choose from before this unit.

Edited by JBaz, 13 December 2012 - 06:34 PM.

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#2884 MSI Magus

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

Wow that was a lot of really good info! It sounds like the smartest plan then isnt to buy a cheaper $600 budget rig but instead invest in a good PC to carry me through the next decade(or most of the way hopefully!!!). So I think ill just commit to a good PC and plan on skipping most of the next console generation. Doing this I can affford to up the budget to $1,100ish(I could go just over for tax or shipping if I must). Going off the suggested build from before what would you sub in? I think the power supply is the most obvious thing, but any final suggestions like GPU vs HD or what?

From the research I have been doing today and all the input and thought you have put in I can tell I can trust your advice ;) Thanks a ton for all the help man, its greatly appreciated!
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#2885 j-cart

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:56 PM

Wow that was a lot of really good info! It sounds like the smartest plan then isnt to buy a cheaper $600 budget rig but instead invest in a good PC to carry me through the next decade(or most of the way hopefully!!!). So I think ill just commit to a good PC and plan on skipping most of the next console generation. Doing this I can affford to up the budget to $1,100ish(I could go just over for tax or shipping if I must). Going off the suggested build from before what would you sub in? I think the power supply is the most obvious thing, but any final suggestions like GPU vs HD or what?

From the research I have been doing today and all the input and thought you have put in I can tell I can trust your advice ;) Thanks a ton for all the help man, its greatly appreciated!



Also factor in electronic disposal tax that comes with buying any PC. I think I paid $55 on my $700 worth of PC parts, not including the general tax costs.

If you plan to spend upwards to $1100, highly advise you to enter the high end GPUs ie (gtx 580, ati 7890 or if you want to spend more, go with the newer 680 and 7970). This will set you up for future proofing and you'll know you have the best of the market products.

#2886 elessar123

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

Also factor in electronic disposal tax that comes with buying any PC. I think I paid $55 on my $700 worth of PC parts, not including the general tax costs.

If you plan to spend upwards to $1100, highly advise you to enter the high end GPUs ie (gtx 580, ati 7890 or if you want to spend more, go with the newer 680 and 7970). This will set you up for future proofing and you'll know you have the best of the market products.


I had similar intents, and went with a 670. I plan on eventually popping in a second one for SLI. It handles everything I can throw at it now, so it'll be a long time before I get second card.

#2887 chibilaharl

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

This might be a dumb question, but any reccomendations on a wireless card?

#2888 j-cart

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

This might be a dumb question, but any reccomendations on a wireless card?



Buy this:

http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2

Much cheaper and VERY reliable.

If this is not a possibility, then hopefully someone else can chime in. I am completely against wireless cards :D

#2889 JBaz

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:36 PM

Also factor in electronic disposal tax that comes with buying any PC. I think I paid $55 on my $700 worth of PC parts, not including the general tax costs.

If you plan to spend upwards to $1100, highly advise you to enter the high end GPUs ie (gtx 580, ati 7890 or if you want to spend more, go with the newer 680 and 7970). This will set you up for future proofing and you'll know you have the best of the market products.

Disposal tax is dependent on what state you live in, so its very YMMV. I believe only 17 states have such a tax, some not on PC parts, but mostly on full oem/pre-built computers. I'm not versed with the tax as I should be since I live in a state that has no such tax laws.

Plus, what I call "PC disposal" is more like 'shove it into the attic to play with in 40 years'. Like what my dad has done since the 80's. lol


Wow that was a lot of really good info! It sounds like the smartest plan then isnt to buy a cheaper $600 budget rig but instead invest in a good PC to carry me through the next decade(or most of the way hopefully!!!). So I think ill just commit to a good PC and plan on skipping most of the next console generation. Doing this I can affford to up the budget to $1,100ish(I could go just over for tax or shipping if I must). Going off the suggested build from before what would you sub in? I think the power supply is the most obvious thing, but any final suggestions like GPU vs HD or what?

From the research I have been doing today and all the input and thought you have put in I can tell I can trust your advice ;) Thanks a ton for all the help man, its greatly appreciated!

I also would say if you got an extra $200 budget, get a beefy single GPU like others have suggested. I'd probably wouldn't spend the $400-500 for a GTX 680 or HD 7970 since they barely add a 5-10% performance increase over their $100 cheaper counter parts (GTX 670/HD 7950), but its really up to you if you deem it a good buy. Best in value in this upper/high end tier is still going to be the AMD HD 7950 3GB ($275) since it performs on par or better than the more expensive GTX 670 2GB ($340) for $50+ less and with an extra 1GB of VRAM.

Granted, you don't get phsyix with AMD cards, but honestly, its been a hit or miss (mostly miss) with how developers use physix in games today. They could be so much more if they did add more features into the core gameplay of what physix could do, but most aren't so willing to alienate AMD fans or older nvidia users who don't have beefy enough cards to run modern iteration of physix correctly.

Until developers get on board more and we finally see some cool stuff instead of flying debris, better broken glass, more particle smoke effects or more accurate flailing flags/cloth, I'd save the $50 for a good game or two instead of the idea that the card could have this neat feature that is barely being utilized in even the most modern games.

As far as SLI/xFire, multi-card gpu solutions, they are only worth it if you build out right with 2 or more gpu's or buy the 2nd card within 6-12 months of the build; otherwise, it would probably be more prudent to wait till newer generations of gpu's come out that would be faster than two of you current cards in SLI/xfire for the same cost. GPU's have incredibly short shelf lives as most products tend to have a product cycle of about 12-18 months before being put into end of life production. New gpu cores come out every 2-3 years and they grow progressively faster in speed and abilities than cpu development; they are also incredibly more complicated.
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#2890 Prota

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:49 AM

It shouldn't matter if you are using hdmi, dvi or display port; the system will recognize what monitor is hooked up automatically on boot. It could be an issue with the cpu, maybe something isn't flush or something blocking a pin or two. Open it up and see if you see any debris in there. Might even have a faulty cpu, but that's rare as hell. More than likely, you could have a bent pin on the LGA socket so I'd check that over with a magnifying glass.

As for thermal paste, it would take something around 100-200+ hours at full load to "bake" or set the thermal paste to harden/dry. It shouldn't be hard to pop it off right now, but just pull away from a corner to reduce overall stress when taking the cpu cooler off. It's not hard to "force" it off and the cpu rips out of the socket and do major damage. I've seen it happen in person, drop my mouth in amazement with the person going "is that good?"...


Okay, I've tried removing and reinstalling the cpu several times and I've seen no difference. The arrow on the cpu matches the arrow on the motherboard, and I make sure to drop it into place and slightly move it to make sure it's secure. I haven't been able to find a magnifying glass (I'm going to search again), so I can't 100% confirm that the pins are completely straight, but they don't seem to be bend. I haven't completely reinstalled the cpu cooler yet, just the fan to see if the error disappears. I've also moved the cpu power supply connector to both slots on the motherboard and the result ends up the same with either.

I also notice that when I power up the system, after the initial booting up fails, the yellow light signifying that my ram is good turns off. At first it sounds like it's starting up and then just stops, no beeps. The computer doesn't turn off at this stage, and won't turn off if I use the power button. I always have to hit clear cmos in order to power it down safely. One of my friends said this sounds a bit similar to what happened to him, as pc wouldn't start up due to overheating of the cpu, but I don't see how that would be happening in my situation. I honestly can't figure out where I went wrong, could I really be unlucky enough to have gotten a faulty cpu? And if so, is microcenter usually good with this sort of thing? I was already less than enthusiastic when they told me how small their return period was, not sure if they would replace it after the period ends.

#2891 Prota

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:35 AM

I've been doing some research on the motherboard, and it seems that this is a fairly common problem. My motherboard may have been DOA since everything else seems in order. Here's one example of someone who had the same issue:http://www.evga.com/...1309195&mpage=1

I figured I'll call the manufacturer in the morning and see what they say. This is a little depressing though as I was really looking forward to having this thing up and running soon, especially since I was going to give my current laptop to my father for Christmas.

#2892 TheLongshot

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

I might go ahead and pick up the Samsung 840 256GB SSD for my system, on sale for $150 at Newegg today.
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#2893 j-cart

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

If anyone is looking for a high end GPU, the 670 2GB from tigerdirect is going for $305 after rebate.

http://slickdeals.ne...-2-game-coupons

Include Borderlands 2 and Assassin's Creed 3.

#2894 JBaz

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:55 PM

I've been doing some research on the motherboard, and it seems that this is a fairly common problem. My motherboard may have been DOA since everything else seems in order. Here's one example of someone who had the same issue:http://www.evga.com/...1309195&mpage=1

I figured I'll call the manufacturer in the morning and see what they say. This is a little depressing though as I was really looking forward to having this thing up and running soon, especially since I was going to give my current laptop to my father for Christmas.

If everything else you've tried hasn't worked, then it could very well be a DOA motherboard. I'd definitely contact EVGA and get a replacement asap, they are pretty good with speedy customer service.

If anyone is looking for a high end GPU, the 670 2GB from tigerdirect is going for $305 after rebate.

http://slickdeals.ne...-2-game-coupons

Include Borderlands 2 and Assassin's Creed 3.

Stay away from Galaxy cards.

Be warned, they use shit for components and will die way more frequently than any other brands, plus they always seem to install the worst possible air coolers (or just use really bad thermal paste) and even on stock clocks they are always hotter than normal; many people tend to underclock galaxy cards just to get them to run and be stable. Seriously, if you are going to be spending $300 for a graphics card, you should really buy a good quality product from a trusted manufacture like Evga, MSI, Asus, PNY or Gigabyte.

Even though its a front page deal on slickdeals.net, You are only saving $30; still would recommend the AMD HD 7950 3GB for $25 less that's equal or better performance.

Edited by JBaz, 14 December 2012 - 06:30 PM.

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#2895 chibilaharl

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

can someone explain to me the differance between these two HHd?

Option 1

Option 2

#2896 HumanSnatcher

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

The first one, the WD Blue is meant for everyday computing needs

The second one, the WD Black is meant for more high performance minded uses.

Really, you'll want the Caviar Black, option 2 if your going for gaming

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#2897 chibilaharl

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

i read that, but what makes it differant? they are the same size, sama SATA rating, infact same stats across everything i saw on amazon.

#2898 JBaz

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

Screw either, go with Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, they are faster than WD blacks and cheaper. I've got four that I've had for a couple years and they are by far better than the one WD black I have.

WD Cavier Black:
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Samsung F3:
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Honestly, if you are willing to spend $90 on a hard drive, you might as well grab a newer seagate 2TB 7200 drive that use 1TB platters.

Seagate 2TB:
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#2899 theycallmeryan

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

Not sure if this is the right topic to post this in, but could someone give me some advice on this build for gaming? This would be the first PC I've ever built. I want to max out most, if not all, current games and games coming out in the next year or so. Any advice?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ B&H)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($83.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Wired Gaming Keyboard ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech Anywhere Wireless Laser Mouse ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1541.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 14:18 EST-0500)

Edited by theycallmeryan, 15 December 2012 - 07:18 PM.


#2900 JBaz

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

Not sure if this is the right topic to post this in, but could someone give me some advice on this build for gaming? This would be the first PC I've ever built. I want to max out most, if not all, current games and games coming out in the next year or so. Any advice?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ B&H)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($83.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Wired Gaming Keyboard ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech Anywhere Wireless Laser Mouse ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1541.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 14:18 EST-0500)

Here is what I tweaked from your budget to give you a better value and a cheaper price tag of $200. Even this would be considered overkill and could trim the parts a bit to save a bit more or wait for better deals.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($65.48 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G245HQLbd 60Hz 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Wired Gaming Keyboard ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech Anywhere Wireless Laser Mouse ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1337.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 14:40 EST-0500)

Unless you actually live near a microcenter to take advantage of the local in-store only prices of the cpu & mobo, combo, this is what I picked out for you.

I stuck with the same processor, but I 'downgraded' the cpu cooler from the CM 212 EVO to the older 212+; the $10 premium doesn't really justify the little performance increase you get with the updated 212, even though its awesome. For $20 and this being your first PC, I wouldn't rush into extreme overclocking just yet; maybe bump it up slightly to 4.0-4.2Ghz to get your OC experience wet.

Next, I ditched Asus z77 p8 pro motherboard for the better value Asrock (owned by Asus) z77 Extreme 4 mobo that offers similar abilities. The only reason one should look at the higher end boards is if you really need to run triple SLI/xfire instead of Dual SLI/xfire; both will handle overclocking the same. You could try to find the Extreme 3 for $100, since it hovers around that price a lot or even downgrade to the Asrock Pro4 for $80 (which only lacks SLI and may not handle higher overclocking abilities due to the cheaper power phase layout/components).

I replaced the decent G.Skill 8GB set of ram for another decent set of ram from Patriot. It really doesn't matter too much these days so get the cheapest name brand 1600, 1.5v, cas 9 set that you can find on sale; easy to find something for $20. Since the DDR manufacturing shake up for the past few years, there really isn't that many companies around that actually make the memory modules anymore so in the most practical sense, vendors like G.Skill, Corsair, Patriot and others could very well use the same chips from the same supplier made in the same factor. There's like three huge companies left who make the modules, samsung being one.

I threw out both the Samsung F3 1TB and Crucial M4 128GB SSD choices for the better, faster and more modern choices that offer more value: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 and the Samsung 840 120GB SSD. Nothing wrong with your choices, but the drives I picked out give you more space, performance and bang for the buck. You could even make it better if you find deals on the same drives; each have dipped to $70 AR, shipped recently so keep a keen eye on sales.

I downgraded the $400 7970 3GB for the better value 7950 3GB for $275. You are not loosing that much performance here, maybe 10% in most games at 1080p resolutions. The 7970 does outshine the 7950 in larger resolutions like 1440/1600p or triple monitors, but even then, a single 7950 3GB will still play dirt 3 at 5760x1200 on ultra at 47.4 fps. Since you will be force to play at 1080p, even a single 7950 would be overkill; could easily drop down to the $163 7850 2GB that will run any modern game at 1080p flawlessly. If you find that one 7850 is too slow down the line, easily pop in a 2nd one in a year to essentially double the performance, which will easily over take the GTX 680 in almost every game for about $100 less.

The Cooler Master HAF 922 is a great choice and since its on sale for $70 right now AR and AC, its a great buy. If you are unsure about your other parts, at the very least, buy this RIGHT NOW, before the rebate or coupon expires within the next few days. I might pick this up myself right now since I know a friend will probably hit me up to build them a new PC before the week is out for Christmas.

As for power, huge topic, big choices. I stuck in the XFX 650 to give you overclocking potential and headroom to throw in a 2nd gpu, which ever tier you choose. 650 watts is more than enough to power the 77w i5 and two 195w GTX 680's, even with room to spare to overclock the i5 to a respectable 4.2 or higher. However, if you don't plan on adding a 2nd card, then you could save some bones and go with a 500-550w unit for $15-25 less, XFX 550 for $50 comes to mind first, but if you can wait for sales in the next week for parts, you should be able to find something from any name brand psu maker for a better price.

Finally, I replaced the aging Asus VH236H 23" monitor for a more modern LED backlit Acer 23.6" monitor. It's not going to win any awards, but for $10 cheaper, you get LED, a little larger screen and better contrast. You do loose a bit on pixel response from 2ms to 5ms, but that's still incredibly fast for most people to not even see the difference; even then, you are still limited to 60Hz refresh rate cap on either monitor so it really doesn't matter.
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#2901 chibilaharl

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

This might be a little off topic, but i wasnt too sure of anywhere else to ask:

I am thinking of putting a TV tuner card in my new rig to record the few tv shows i get (dont pay for full cable). Anyone have suggestions on this topic?

Also, I am thinking about perhaps putting in a Capture card to record my trophy runs on certain games. Anyone have a brand they like?

#2902 TheLongshot

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

Probably best to go someplace like here to find out:

http://www.avsforum....eater-computers

I'm sure it wouldn't require much searching to find good options for you.
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#2903 Mako1215

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:00 AM

This might be a little off topic, but i wasnt too sure of anywhere else to ask:

I am thinking of putting a TV tuner card in my new rig to record the few tv shows i get (dont pay for full cable). Anyone have suggestions on this topic?

Also, I am thinking about perhaps putting in a Capture card to record my trophy runs on certain games. Anyone have a brand they like?


Ceton for tuner. Loved mine.

First, how can you claim prior non-existance to devalue a movement? I am sure the civil rights movement would love that. "Well, there was no movement to free the slaves before, so why is it relavent now?"

518793.png


#2904 JBaz

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:21 AM

Ceton for tuner. Loved mine.

+1 if you want a very nice digital tuner like the Ceton InifitiTV. Well worth the expense IMHO, but if you have just regular cable, don't bother spending that kinddddddddddddddddd of cash for it.

As for capturing in game video... Fraps is easy and cheap.
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#2905 chibilaharl

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:46 AM

+1 if you want a very nice digital tuner like the Ceton InifitiTV. Well worth the expense IMHO, but if you have just regular cable, don't bother spending that kinddddddddddddddddd of cash for it.

As for capturing in game video... Fraps is easy and cheap.


YEa....ionly have coaxial cable, and i dont pay for my cable service so i cant go ask for a card.

Also, isn't fraps only a program? i'll still need the HDMI I/O to capture it off the ps3.

#2906 JBaz

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:06 AM

YEa....ionly have coaxial cable, and i dont pay for my cable service so i cant go ask for a card.

Also, isn't fraps only a program? i'll still need the HDMI I/O to capture it off the ps3.

There is no card for regular cable. Card is for digital service only.

If I had the need to capture regular TV, then the Hauppauge WinTV tuner would probably be my choice that isn't too pricey, but you will lack the features to hookup your console directly to it using HDMI input. You could get some sort of pass-through box to connect the PS3 to the coaxial port, but I'm not too sure how pricey that would be over just spending the money for a proper TV tuner with HDMI support or some USB HDMI capture box. I lack the knowledge here since I don't play console games or have the need to record video through the HDMI port.

And yes, Fraps is for PC video capturing of what I assumed you would be doing since this is the "build a pc" thread in the PC section of the gaming forum...
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#2907 chibilaharl

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:26 AM

Ah well, it would be insterted into my pc i am building so i asked here ^^

#2908 theycallmeryan

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:03 AM

Here is what I tweaked from your budget to give you a better value and a cheaper price tag of $200. Even this would be considered overkill and could trim the parts a bit to save a bit more or wait for better deals.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($274.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($65.48 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G245HQLbd 60Hz 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Wired Gaming Keyboard ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech Anywhere Wireless Laser Mouse ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1337.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 14:40 EST-0500)

Unless you actually live near a microcenter to take advantage of the local in-store only prices of the cpu & mobo, combo, this is what I picked out for you.

I stuck with the same processor, but I 'downgraded' the cpu cooler from the CM 212 EVO to the older 212+; the $10 premium doesn't really justify the little performance increase you get with the updated 212, even though its awesome. For $20 and this being your first PC, I wouldn't rush into extreme overclocking just yet; maybe bump it up slightly to 4.0-4.2Ghz to get your OC experience wet.

Next, I ditched Asus z77 p8 pro motherboard for the better value Asrock (owned by Asus) z77 Extreme 4 mobo that offers similar abilities. The only reason one should look at the higher end boards is if you really need to run triple SLI/xfire instead of Dual SLI/xfire; both will handle overclocking the same. You could try to find the Extreme 3 for $100, since it hovers around that price a lot or even downgrade to the Asrock Pro4 for $80 (which only lacks SLI and may not handle higher overclocking abilities due to the cheaper power phase layout/components).

I replaced the decent G.Skill 8GB set of ram for another decent set of ram from Patriot. It really doesn't matter too much these days so get the cheapest name brand 1600, 1.5v, cas 9 set that you can find on sale; easy to find something for $20. Since the DDR manufacturing shake up for the past few years, there really isn't that many companies around that actually make the memory modules anymore so in the most practical sense, vendors like G.Skill, Corsair, Patriot and others could very well use the same chips from the same supplier made in the same factor. There's like three huge companies left who make the modules, samsung being one.

I threw out both the Samsung F3 1TB and Crucial M4 128GB SSD choices for the better, faster and more modern choices that offer more value: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 and the Samsung 840 120GB SSD. Nothing wrong with your choices, but the drives I picked out give you more space, performance and bang for the buck. You could even make it better if you find deals on the same drives; each have dipped to $70 AR, shipped recently so keep a keen eye on sales.

I downgraded the $400 7970 3GB for the better value 7950 3GB for $275. You are not loosing that much performance here, maybe 10% in most games at 1080p resolutions. The 7970 does outshine the 7950 in larger resolutions like 1440/1600p or triple monitors, but even then, a single 7950 3GB will still play dirt 3 at 5760x1200 on ultra at 47.4 fps. Since you will be force to play at 1080p, even a single 7950 would be overkill; could easily drop down to the $163 7850 2GB that will run any modern game at 1080p flawlessly. If you find that one 7850 is too slow down the line, easily pop in a 2nd one in a year to essentially double the performance, which will easily over take the GTX 680 in almost every game for about $100 less.

The Cooler Master HAF 922 is a great choice and since its on sale for $70 right now AR and AC, its a great buy. If you are unsure about your other parts, at the very least, buy this RIGHT NOW, before the rebate or coupon expires within the next few days. I might pick this up myself right now since I know a friend will probably hit me up to build them a new PC before the week is out for Christmas.

As for power, huge topic, big choices. I stuck in the XFX 650 to give you overclocking potential and headroom to throw in a 2nd gpu, which ever tier you choose. 650 watts is more than enough to power the 77w i5 and two 195w GTX 680's, even with room to spare to overclock the i5 to a respectable 4.2 or higher. However, if you don't plan on adding a 2nd card, then you could save some bones and go with a 500-550w unit for $15-25 less, XFX 550 for $50 comes to mind first, but if you can wait for sales in the next week for parts, you should be able to find something from any name brand psu maker for a better price.

Finally, I replaced the aging Asus VH236H 23" monitor for a more modern LED backlit Acer 23.6" monitor. It's not going to win any awards, but for $10 cheaper, you get LED, a little larger screen and better contrast. You do loose a bit on pixel response from 2ms to 5ms, but that's still incredibly fast for most people to not even see the difference; even then, you are still limited to 60Hz refresh rate cap on either monitor so it really doesn't matter.


Wow, that really looks good! Thanks for providing an explanation and taking the time to help out! :D

#2909 Prota

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

If everything else you've tried hasn't worked, then it could very well be a DOA motherboard. I'd definitely contact EVGA and get a replacement asap, they are pretty good with speedy customer service.


I just got off the phone with a customer service rep who just so happened to have the same board and cpu as myself. He said that 99% of the time the c code issue is caused by the power supply. That was the case for him and, given what I told him, he believes it to be the same with me. Sadly, after today evga is going to stop all shipping services until the new year, so if it isn't a psu problem I'm screwed out of getting this done by Christmas. As a reminder, I got the corsair cx 430. I'm trying to do some research now, but does anyone know of an affordable psu that would be compatible with my evga z68 ftw?

#2910 Prota

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

I just got off the phone with a customer service rep who just so happened to have the same board and cpu as myself. He said that 99% of the time the c code issue is caused by the power supply. That was the case for him and, given what I told him, he believes it to be the same with me. Sadly, after today evga is going to stop all shipping services until the new year, so if it isn't a psu problem I'm screwed out of getting this done by Christmas. As a reminder, I got the corsair cx 430. I'm trying to do some research now, but does anyone know of an affordable psu that would be compatible with my evga z68 ftw?


According to a link I found, the motherboard is only compatible ATX 12v 2.2 and possibly EPS12v PSUs.

http://www.tomshardw...evga-mobo-issue

Are there any that could power my rig, be compatible, and isn't too expensive? Here's my rig again.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Mater Hyper 212 Plus
Motherboard: EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Case: HAF 912
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124=04 DVD/CD Writer