First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

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First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 9:34 am

Hello guys! I have not built a PC since 2007. Been using Macs and my iPad, but now it's time for to build another gaming rig. Not going for super high end here, as I used to typically adhear to the "approx $200" rule for all major components (CPU, GPU, Mobo). Here's what I have. I actually took a mix of Sweat Spot and Editor's Choice builds from the March 2012 TR System Guide. I've never been much of an overclocker, I typically will run things stock unless compelled otherwise. I am sure there are a few ways to drop the price (for example not getting the "K" processor and getting a cheaper Mobo) but I like to get quality stuff that will last me at least 2 years. Would love your thoughts! (will get this all from Newegg!) :D

Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge)
Asus P8Z77-V PRO
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
eVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked
Antec 900 (V3)
Seasonic M12II 620 Bronze PSU (Modular)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel Monitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK SATA 24X DVD Burner (no interest in Blu-ray)
Windows 7 64-Bit OEM

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

UPDATE! Here is what I actually ordered!

You guys are great, thanks for the all suggestions! Really made me think. So I pulled the trigger on this last night, and made some changes based upon your feedback, my wallet (currently) and a few other things. I'll update the OP for posterity as well. What do think of my changes? I'll use the template from the sticky....



CPU: Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3550 (dropped from the 3570K, no need to OC right now and saved me $35 which I used elsewhere)

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO (saved $20 on combo deal with HDD, plus the built in WiFi is a huge plus as my cable modem is not in the same room as this rig will be)

Memory: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600

SSD and/or Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Ok, so I went back and forth on the SSD as you guys suggested and I decided against it for now because of price and the fact that I didn't want to deal with two drives now. Coming from 5 years in the Apple world I want to ease my way back in and I can always use an SSD later in my next build!)

DVD and/or Blu-ray Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD

Video Card: XFX Double D Radeon HD 7850 2GB (used some of my savings from the CPU and SSD here to get this card instead of 560 Ti, this will be my first ATI card since the 9700 Pro!)

Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular (Upped this to 620 as 520 just didn't seem future proof enough :D)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred (v3) Black Steel ATX w/ Upgraded USB 3.0

Keyboard: Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: Logitech G400 Black 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming Mouse

Speakers: Logitech Z323 30 Watts (RMS) 2.1 Speaker System

Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel

Operating System: Windows 7 Home (OEM)
Last edited by PerfectCr on Tue May 22, 2012 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 9:52 am

Looks very good. If you intend to overclock then purchasing an aftermarket cooler is a must. If you need any recommendations, I'll gladly give you some.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 9:56 am

I'd get a cheaper motherboard and put the difference towards a 7850. The 2GB of memory and better performance would probably suit you better at 1920x1200.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 10:26 am

The build looks solid except for the video card. I mean that card is quite old, i bought one at the end of 2010, beginning of 2011 and we are now in May 2012...

Also i don't agree with a 620W PSU for such a rig, it's overkill unless you want to instal dualies in the future, but then it might be undepowered....
My suggestion would be to buy a cheaper 520W Seasonic PSU and a custom cooled HD 7850.

PS: there isn't much point to getting a K series Ivy, they suck at OCing anyhow. You could choose a cheaper quad core SKU, it won't bottleneck ur mid end card at 1080p anyhow.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 11:04 am

Thanks guys. I can certainly pair down the mobo, PSU, and get the non K Ivy Bridge, but I can't really justify spending $400 on a video card. I've never spent that much ever on a GPU. Even $250 is pushing it for me. When are the 600 series mid-range cards coming? When I looked at benchmarks the 560 Ti looked pretty decent. Is it really that bad vs the 680?

And no I won be doing an SLI setup. Thanks!
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 11:16 am

Ok. Did some more searching and I see the HD 7850 is more recent and is a better mid-range ($250) performer than the 560 Ti. Any particular brand I should look for?
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 11:16 am

PerfectCr wrote:Hello guys! I have not built a PC since 2007. Been using Macs and my iPad, but now it's time for to build another gaming rig. Not going for super high end here, as I used to typically adhear to the "approx $200" rule for all major components (CPU, GPU, Mobo). Here's what I have. I actually took a mix of Sweat Spot and Editor's Choice builds from the March 2012 TR System Guide. I've never been much of an overclocker, I typically will run things stock unless compelled otherwise. I am sure there are a few ways to drop the price (for example not getting the "K" processor and getting a cheaper Mobo) but I like to get quality stuff that will last me at least 2 years. Would love your thoughts! (will get this all from Newegg!) :D

Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge)
Asus P8Z77-V PRO
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
eVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked
Antec 900 (V3)
Seasonic M12II 620 Bronze PSU (Modular)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel Monitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK SATA 24X DVD Burner (no interest in Blu-ray)
Windows 7 64-Bit OEM


Nice choices, why not go to 16GB of ram , it's only $50 bucks or so more.
560 Ti is sort of questionable to me ,given Nvidia is releasing their 600 Series, although no word
when 560 successor is coming out that Ive heard.
I might look at the ATI camp, see what's available at the $200 price point.
I like the Antec 900 V3, I just bought one myself at Bust Buy, ( thankful for their outdated business model)
that they had it in stock for $95. Whereas it's deactivated at the Egg.
Monitor is nice, waiting for mine to come myself.
How about an SSD? Like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 47163-L05C
I'm sure JAE will echo in with his choices when he sees the thread.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 11:28 am

What does a SSD get me in this case? I have one in my MacBook Air (which I am selling, see the BB ;)) but I'd rather out that $$ elsewhere.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 11:39 am

PerfectCr wrote:What does a SSD get me in this case? I have one in my MacBook Air (which I am selling, see the BB ;)) but I'd rather out that $$ elsewhere.


Personal experience, I can't comment on ..yet.
I ordered mine this morning for a new build.
From what most people say here is that it makes
a substantial difference in overall snappiness in their
systems. Additionally , if this build of yours is going to
be it for 2+ years , might as well get as much of the latest
tech in it as possible, at least that's what I told myself when I
finally decided i to get one myself.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 1:08 pm

I strongly recommend getting a SSD, something like a Crucial M4 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148443) would be a good choice (which is what I have), though I've had this drive for a while, so there might be better choices now. Get at least 256MB, anything less is just too small, especially for a gaming rig. This might not seem like a necessary purchase, but it is. Everything will feel so much smoother, and y'know those little brief pauses you get now? Those go away with a decent SSD. You wouldn't get a substandard screen, would you? So do this right and get a SSD. I don't think you'll regret it.

Get 16GB RAM. No, you don't need it, but the price diff is so small, and if you don't upgrade your system for another 5 years like your last one, you WILL use it.

The 560 ti is an ok match for your 24" (assuming you'll run it at 1920x1080).. it's certainly not a bad card.. and if you intend to upgrade that in a year or two, it's a pretty good choice. I have one. But... a 680 gtx is literally 2x to 3x the speed, and if you want to run everything with maximal eye-candy, and if you want the card to be viable for an extra year or two, get one.... well, if you can, they're very scarce right now, though that's going to change. Me, I'm waiting for "Big Kepler", which will probably be x2 the speed of the 680gtx.. but then again, I *am* running a 30". :)

The rest is great, and I ordered a bunch of parts myself a few days ago, and I'll end with something pretty similar to what you'll have... though, in my case, I am paying extra to make my system much more quiet. Now, given that, if low noise matters to you, there's some tweaks you might consider making:

Seasonic makes great power supplies, but consider getting one of their "X-series" power supplies, maybe a Seasonic X750 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151087). Note that those will automatically run passive up to a certain load (25% I think) and slowly ramp up from there. Not sure if your current M12II has that feature, but I know the X750 does.

Consider getting a good aftermarket cpu cooler, such as a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099). Not only will your CPU run cooler, but if you run your CPU at stock speeds, you can probably get away with running your CPU without a fan. Yes, that's possible, as long as you have a (weak) fan nearby at the rear of your case.

Consider replacing any case fans with Nexus or Noctua quiet equivalents. Only run the minimum fans necessary to keep temps at a reasonable level... which is probably one at the front near your HD or SSD, and one at the rear of the case.

Consider getting a case oriented towards silent computing. I have no idea if the Antec 900 is one of those cases, but I suspect not. You will pay more for a case if you want low noise, but for some of us (=me) it's well worth it.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 1:31 pm

PerfectCr wrote: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
Would you consider 2x 8 GiB?

PerfectCr wrote: Windows 7 64-Bit OEM
Home Premium 64-bit supports up to 16 GiB. If you expect that you'll ever want to go to 32 GiB, you'll need the Professional or Ultimate edition of the OS.

PerfectCr wrote: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
You need an SSD in the 90 to 256 GB range for your OS and most-used programs.

PerfectCr wrote: eVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Superclocked 01G-P3-1563-AR for $255 +fs -30MIR
Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB OC Edition 11188-22-20G for $200 +fs is a stronger performer for less money.

XFX Radeon HD7850 2GB Core Edition FX-785A-CNFC for $240 +fs performs even better and uses less energy while still costing less than the card that you selected.

EVGA GeForce GTX480 1½GB 015-P3-1480-KR for $230 +fs performs similarly to Radeon HD7850 or slightly faster, but it uses several times as much energy.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/22573/12
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 2:16 pm

All good suggestions. Not sure if my budget can absorb a SSD right now. That might be a future consideration. I'll dump the GTX 560 Ti for a HD 7850, seems like that makes sense. That's a wash in terms of price. I'll drop the "K" variant of the i5 and get the i5-3550 instead. I can also drop back to the Seasonic 520W PSU. Really though, that's only saved me about 70 bucks. Not sure that's even worth it at that point. :)

RE: 8GB vs. 16GB.....I can always drop in 8GB more later if need be, right? The price difference is $75. I might be able to drop my 1TB drive down a bit, probably don't need that much, but again, we are only talking a small amount of overall savings. :)
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 2:40 pm

PerfectCr wrote:All good suggestions. Not sure if my budget can absorb a SSD right now. That might be a future consideration. I'll dump the GTX 560 Ti for a HD 7850, seems like that makes sense. That's a wash in terms of price. I'll drop the "K" variant of the i5 and get the i5-3550 instead. I can also drop back to the Seasonic 520W PSU. Really though, that's only saved me about 70 bucks. Not sure that's even worth it at that point. :)

RE: 8GB vs. 16GB.....I can always drop in 8GB more later if need be, right? The price difference is $75. I might be able to drop my 1TB drive down a bit, probably don't need that much, but again, we are only talking a small amount of overall savings. :)


There's only $40 difference between the 3550 and the 3570k. That'll get you another 100MHz plus the ability to get another 40% total speed or so later on by overclocking if you need it. Is it worth it?

The price diff between 8GB and 16GB is only about $40 or so. The thing to watch for if you get it later is that the timings are exactly the same. Ideally, to avoid problems, you'll want to get the exact same memory for that latter 8GB, which is why it probably makes the most sense to just get a set of 4x4GB (16GB) and not have it as a worry :) . I should add to not worry about memory speed in general, chances are you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between the cheapest stuff from a known vendor like Corsair and the most expensive.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Hey Perfect,

You'll be in good shape with either the base specs you first mentioned, or most of the variations discussed. In general I do agree with going after the beefiest video card you can swing within your budget.

What games are you thinking about installing on this baby?
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 3:03 pm

Lucky Jack Aubrey wrote:Hey Perfect,

You'll be in good shape with either the base specs you first mentioned, or most of the variations discussed. In general I do agree with going after the beefiest video card you can swing within your budget.

What games are you thinking about installing on this baby?

Probably my whole Steam Library :) But Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, UT3, and Fallout 3/New Vegas to begin with!
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 4:15 pm

If you don't have a limitless budget, then there's no need to get more than 2x4 GiB of memory for $45 or $50 and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit right now. Stick with a Z77 motherboard and the Core i5-3570K processor.

From the front page deals (and Rogue's earlier post and Yawn's hot deal):
$120 -10 code "EMCNEJB27" +fs 128 GB Samsung 830 SSD

You could save $10 by using a 1TB Samsung HD103SJ SpinPoint F3 drive in place of the Caviar Black. If you've got your OS and most-used programs on an SSD, the very slight difference in performance won't be very noticeable. There's even a combination deal with a cheap DVD burner.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 4:36 pm

Oooooooooo nice deals! Thx! So how does the SSD thing work? Install Windows on the SSD and everything else that's big (games) on the normal HDD?
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 4:40 pm

That's pretty much it, yes. There are some threads around giving more detailed suggestions.

I suggest installing the OS with just the SSD connected, then connect the HD once the OS is up and running. You'll want things like your browser, media player, etc. to be on the SSD. Your steam directory, downloads, videos, etc. can live on the HD.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 4:54 pm

PerfectCr wrote:Oooooooooo nice deals! Thx! So how does the SSD thing work? Install Windows on the SSD and everything else that's big (games) on the normal HDD?


Install everything on the SSD (that's what I do). If you want the SSD to help speed up your games, that's what you'll want... though if you get only a 128 GB SSD, you might not have a lot of choice (that's where having a 256 GB drive is a big plus).... though even having just Windows on the SSD will definitely help.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 5:05 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I suggest installing the OS with just the SSD connected, then connect the HD once the OS is up and running. You'll want things like your browser, media player, etc. to be on the SSD. Your steam directory, downloads, videos, etc. can live on the HD.


This is exactly what I do. Highly suggest this method and division of data.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 5:16 pm

Ok. But really, other than faster boot and maybe load times, how much faster is the system in real world; especially in games (assuming they are installed on the HDD)
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 5:22 pm

PerfectCr wrote:Ok. But really, other than faster boot and maybe load times, how much faster is the system in real world; especially in games (assuming they are installed on the HDD)


It's hard to quantify, though I think Anandtech.com has done so before. You notice it mainly when any sort of multitasking is going on. Overall, the system just *feels* faster... any time the system touches the disk (and it happens a LOT in Windows, even for things you might not think it would), the SSD shines.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 7:00 pm

.
Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 7:02 pm

clone wrote:I laughed when I read the title because a 5 year old computer can do almost anything just fine even today.

it's not like it's 2004 and we'd be discussing going from single core 800mhz to a 2000+ mhz dual core.

I literally do not have a PC right now. I am building from scratch. ;) I have not actually built a PC since 2007.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 1:47 pm

clone wrote:I laughed when I read the title because a 5 year old computer can do almost anything just fine even today.

it's not like it's 2004 and we'd be discussing going from single core 800mhz to a 2000+ mhz dual core.


It depends on what you're using the computer for. When it comes to reading web pages and social media stuff (facebook etc.), I agree, and my 4 year old Penryn system agrees with you :) ... but there's lots of other things you can do that will take all the CPU/GPU cycles you can throw at it, and beg for more... Gaming, well, that's somewhat screen res dependent, but it can be pretty hungry for computer power too.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 4:04 pm

videssian wrote:There's only $40 difference between the 3550 and the 3570k. That'll get you another 100MHz plus the ability to get another 40% total speed or so later on by overclocking if you need it. Is it worth it?


Yeah. If it was me, I'd get 8GB of memory and use that extra money for the 3570K. You can always buy another couple sticks of memory later for $40, but you can't buy a "K" to slap on to your CPU and unlock it (without completely re-buying the CPU for $200+). Overclocking is so easy with SB/IB too, it's almost a waste to not use at least a moderate overclock (unless you don't have aftermarket HSF)

If you really need more than 8GB of memory you'd probably already know it too. There are really only a few specific things that can use up that much memory (VMs, certain servers, and heavy photo/video-editing). Even running the most demanding games (like BF3) won't come close to using 8GB, even with a bunch of stuff running in the background.
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 10:19 am

You guys are great, thanks for the all suggestions! Really made me think. So I pulled the trigger on this last night, and made some changes based upon your feedback, my wallet (currently) and a few other things. I'll update the OP for posterity as well. What do think of my changes? I'll use the template from the sticky....



CPU: Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3550 (dropped from the 3570K, no need to OC right now and saved me $35 which I used elsewhere)

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO (saved $20 on combo deal with HDD, plus the built in WiFi is a huge plus as my cable modem is not in the same room as this rig will be)

Memory: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600

SSD and/or Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Ok, so I went back and forth on the SSD as you guys suggested and I decided against it for now because of price and the fact that I didn't want to deal with two drives now. Coming from 5 years in the Apple world I want to ease my way back in and I can always use an SSD later in my next build!)

DVD and/or Blu-ray Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD

Video Card: XFX Double D Radeon HD 7850 2GB (used some of my savings from the CPU and SSD here to get this card instead of 560 Ti, this will be my first ATI card since the 9700 Pro!)

Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular (Upped this to 620 as 520 just didn't seem future proof enough :D)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred (v3) Black Steel ATX w/ Upgraded USB 3.0

Keyboard: Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: Logitech G400 Black 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming Mouse

Speakers: Logitech Z323 30 Watts (RMS) 2.1 Speaker System

Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD IPS Panel

Operating System: Windows 7 Home (OEM)
Asus P8Z77-V PRO | Core i5-3550 | MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti GAMING | 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 | Seasonic M12II 620W PSU | Fractal Define R4 | Dell U2712HM LCD | Win 8 64bit
Steam/Xbox LIVE/PSN: PerfectCr
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PerfectCr
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 12:18 pm

Looks good to me! :)

Since this'll be a gaming rig for you, what are the main games you plan to play on it?

I should have some parts arriving today myself, as I'm doing an upgrade as well. Fun times! :)

For sheer amusement value, you might want to run some benchmarks on your old system, and run those same benchmarks on the new one, just to get some hard numbers on just how much faster the new system is. I plan to... part of the fun, after all!
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Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:37 am

videssian wrote:Looks good to me! :)

Since this'll be a gaming rig for you, what are the main games you plan to play on it?

I should have some parts arriving today myself, as I'm doing an upgrade as well. Fun times! :)

For sheer amusement value, you might want to run some benchmarks on your old system, and run those same benchmarks on the new one, just to get some hard numbers on just how much faster the new system is. I plan to... part of the fun, after all!

I saw the new System Guide posted today, looks like I am really close to the "Sweet Spot" build, so that was encouraging! :)

videssian, I mentioned this above but probably my whole Steam Library! :D But Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, UT3, and Fallout 3/New Vegas to begin with! I actually don't have a current PC setup (haven't since 2007) so I'd be benchmakring against a MacBook Air! Not exactly fair. :lol:
Asus P8Z77-V PRO | Core i5-3550 | MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti GAMING | 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 | Seasonic M12II 620W PSU | Fractal Define R4 | Dell U2712HM LCD | Win 8 64bit
Steam/Xbox LIVE/PSN: PerfectCr
My gaming tattoos
PerfectCr
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Location: Orlando, FL

Re: First PC Build in 5 Years! Check me out :)

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:32 pm

PerfectCr wrote: I'd be benchmakring against a MacBook Air! Not exactly fair. :lol:


John Steinbeck wrote: If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!
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