Design my gaming rig TR

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Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:43 pm

So I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my own high performance gaming PC. Problem is I'm completely overwhelmed on where to start. Keep in mind that I'm not at all technically inclined, and most of the terms and numbers I see thrown around make my head want to explode, so bear with me here. You might be wondering how I'll install everything if I'm not tech savvy - let's just say I'll have plenty of help from people far more knowledgable than I.

Anyways, my goal is to build a gaming PC with an emphasis on performance. I want to be able to run all of the latest games at the highest settings at the highest FPS reasonably possible. That probably means Overclocking, a term I know a little bit about but as I understand it optimizes gaming performance and signiificantly improves frame rate. Again, these aspects are of the utmost importance to me.

My budget is anywhere from $750-$1500. Of course I'd like to stay on the lower end of that scale but you get what you pay for. Then again I've seen some very impressive gaming PCs built for cheap, so I know you don't necessarily have to splurge to get something great. Sometimes the small increase in quality just doesn't justify the increase in price, and that's where I'd like to save money, by getting the best bang for my buck.

I hope I gave enough information to point me in the right direction. As you can tell, gaming performance is the most essential part of what I want out of this PC. However if there are other factors to consider than just things like raw performance, I'd like to know about it so I can re-assess my priorities. The most important thing here is getting the best value for my money. What's the optimal build for my gaming PC given my needs and budget? I would very much appreciate some in-depth explanations on why I should go for one particular part or another, so I can take it into consideration. At the end of the week, if not sooner, I plan on cherrypicking the best parts that you guys recommended to me and and ordering them online. When it's built I'll be sure to post pictures as well as updates on how it turned out. Thanks a lot guys!
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:56 pm

Keep Calm and Read the Lastest System Guide.

That should answer most of your concerns regarding price/performance :D . Each system is built with price point in mind, and while some end up farther out of budget than others, you'll know where the value points are.

Now, I have questions:
1. What resolution are you aiming for? 1080p is going to require more power than 720p, and it's best to aim for your performance at native resolution for best results.
2. Is a monitor included in that budget, or do you already have something to use? This is important because the gerbils here will probably try to max out that budget.
3. Do you need to account for a copy of Windows in that budget? Same reason as 2.
4. Do you need any other odds and ends from this computer (mice, speakers, keyboard, etc.)?

Now, some comments:
1. You should probably get a SSD. You'll see explanations in the system guide, but the performance increase will be worth it, and even on the low end of your budget, it would be of great value.
2. Don't tie yourself to FPS. Here at TR, we focus more on frame times, which are much better indicators of smoothness. You can have high FPS with choppy animation. If you're going to join the PC enthusiast cult club, you should focus on smoothness over FPS.
3. Overclocking might squeeze more performance, but you don't necessarily need it. A solid GPU will be a better investment.

Good luck and have fun!
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:52 am

superjawes wrote:Keep Calm and Read the Lastest System Guide.

That should answer most of your concerns regarding price/performance :D . Each system is built with price point in mind, and while some end up farther out of budget than others, you'll know where the value points are.


That's a hefty guide. Very useful information though, thanks.

Now, I have questions:
1. What resolution are you aiming for? 1080p is going to require more power than 720p, and it's best to aim for your performance at native resolution for best results.


1080p.

2. Is a monitor included in that budget, or do you already have something to use? This is important because the gerbils here will probably try to max out that budget.


Right now I have an Asus VW246 that I use with my 360. Very pleased with it and it is my intention to use it with my PC as well. Native resolution is 1920x1080.

3. Do you need to account for a copy of Windows in that budget? Same reason as 2.


I do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
4. Do you need any other odds and ends from this computer (mice, speakers, keyboard, etc.)?


Good question. I need all of these things as well. I didn't feel the need to include that here however since that research is pretty simple to do on my own.
Now, some comments:
1. You should probably get a SSD. You'll see explanations in the system guide, but the performance increase will be worth it, and even on the low end of your budget, it would be of great value.


Noted. I'm leaning towards it myself based on the reviews the featured Samsung SSD got on Newegg.

2. Don't tie yourself to FPS. Here at TR, we focus more on frame times, which are much better indicators of smoothness. You can have high FPS with choppy animation. If you're going to join the PC enthusiast cult club, you should focus on smoothness over FPS.


Gotcha. I guess I kind of assumed they were one in the same since every video I've seen of somebody overclocking with a ridiculous FPS number was ridiculously smooth. In any case, I'd like to have a machine that excels in both regards on the highest possible settings. If that means forking over a bit more for a higher quality video card or GPU, so be it. I just want quality.
3. Overclocking might squeeze more performance, but you don't necessarily need it. A solid GPU will be a better investment.


I've heard similar sentiments before and you might be right. I really don't plan on going nuts with Overclocking, I just want to have the option to do it, even if that means easing into it. I certainly don't want to overstep the limits of what my system is capable of and do damage to the computer.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:38 am

IBYCFOTA wrote:I do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copy budgeted.

Good question. I need all of these things as well. I didn't feel the need to include that here however since that research is pretty simple to do on my own.
Research is one thing. Experience is another. Don't be afraid to bounce those off us, too. On the keyboard front, you'll quickly notice that we're fans of mechanical switches over the rubber dome designs found in most keyboards, but we can talk more on that later...

Gotcha. I guess I kind of assumed they were one in the same since every video I've seen of somebody overclocking with a ridiculous FPS number was ridiculously smooth. In any case, I'd like to have a machine that excels in both regards on the highest possible settings. If that means forking over a bit more for a higher quality video card or GPU, so be it. I just want quality.
FPS is tied to frame times, but those are averages over a whole second, which is a long time in this world (one second equals 60 monitor refreshes). A bunch of fast frames paired with a bunch of crappy frames can still average to high FPS but microstutter like crazy. When TR switched to these metrics, SLI/Crossfire setups were awful on this front, even though they often had excellent FPS averages (/soapbox).

I've heard similar sentiments before and you might be right. I really don't plan on going nuts with Overclocking, I just want to have the option to do it, even if that means easing into it. I certainly don't want to overstep the limits of what my system is capable of and do damage to the computer.
Then check out three things. First, make sure you get the K version of an Intel processor. The "non-K" versions won't be overclockable. Second, investing in an aftermarket cooler will be better at cooling your system, and be quieter than the stock cooler. Finally, I don't think I see a lot of GPU overclocking, but manufacturers often have overclocked versions of cards that do squeeze more performance without requiring extra effort on your part.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:01 pm

Okay, so I've done quite a bit of research over the past several hours and I've learned a ton about all of the different components and researched them thoroughly. Here's what I've got so far on my build:

Intel Core i5-3570k - Reviews seem excellent, good price, and has OC potential.

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) - Was leaning towards a different G.Skillz 8GB RAM model but thanks to the poster who posted directly after me I found this one, which is a slight upgrade on the other one I was looking at while having a better heatsink design and costing the same amount.

MSI GTX 660 Ti - Seems like the 660 is the best bang for my buck at 1080p, where as the 670 and 680 need higher resolutions to unlock their potential. The 660 also outperformed the newer Radeon models according to an article on this site, and by a good margin too. I'm sold.

Samsung 840 120GB SSD - SSD's seem to be very highly recommended, and none more so than the Samsung 840.

WD Blue 1TB Hard Drive - Not sure if I need this much space but it's pretty cheap and the other alternatives don't seem all that great. Seems like a lot of these internal hard drives go bad on people. From the reviews, WD appears to be better in that regard than SeaGate, so I'm sticking with this one.

AS Rock Z77 Motherboard - Looks like it has everything that I could possibly need and then some. Little worried about the reports of recieving faulty motherboards, but Amazon's return policy is second to none and I have full confidence they'd replace it if it arrived with a defect.

ASUS CD / DVD Burner - Can't go wrong here for 20 bucks.

FWIW, the above totals to $920. No tax and shipping is free thanks to Amazon. I believe all I'm missing now is a case, a power supply, and perhaps a sound card. Any suggestions for those given the rest of my build would be highly appreciated, and if anybody has any comments or suggestions on improving what I already have down, I'd like to hear that as well.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:55 pm

Do you live near a Microcenter? You could get the 3570K + AsRock Extreme4 there for $285 + Tax. They have many other combos to choose from also. Are you sure you NEED a full ATX mobo? Would mATX provide everything you need?

How about a 550W 80Plus Platinum PSU. You can use a PSU calculator to determine the size PSU you need. You can expect to see ~400W power draw with everything overclocked and 100% CPU+GPU load. (with a similar system to what you're building here) That 100% full system load will rarely happen, but the 450W recommendation of the PSU calculator can be your minimum target wattage for a non(or slightly) overclocked system. A 550W gives you ample headroom for overclocking, especially with a good quality PSU. There are many other 500 - 600W PSUs to choose from.

Cases are tough to recommend. Can't go wrong with Silverstone, Corsair, and Fractal Design

Don't forget to check out TR's system build guide when the time comes to put this thing together.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:57 pm

IBYCFOTA wrote:Samsung 840 120GB SSD - SSD's seem to be very highly recommended, and none more so than the Samsung 840.
Careful, you may be confusing the 840 with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast. For just a little bit more, you can get much closer to the 840 Pro's with a Corsair Neutron or an Intel 335 (see the last graph on this page).

IBYCFOTA wrote: a case, a powersupply

You can see TR's Case and PSU section here. It really depends on how much you want to spend. Many people wouldn't ever spend more than $100 on a case but there are plenty of people that would pay extra for the aesthetics. I'd suggest looking at any of Corsair's lineup and Antec is always a solid choice. Both companies actually make solid PSUs (Corsair more so than Antec recently). You should also look at Seasonic. Your system looks like it could use something in the 500W range (use a calculator to be sure, though!) but I personally like to add a little extra on top for future expansion and long term degradation of the PSU.

IBYCFOTA wrote:perhaps a sound card.

If you don't have half-way decent speakers or headphones, you might not hear a huge difference between onboard audio and discrete audio. Personally, my X-Fi Titanium sounds great when coupled with my AKG K271 MKIIs but somewhat less so with the Logitech z5300-e 5.1 system I use for most of my gaming. TR's editors recently gave their Editor's Choice award to the Xonar DSX.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:22 pm

Follow the advice of the gerbils above. It is good.

Now if you want advice on cases...there are tons of options. What do you want? Personally, I'm looking for something like this for easier cable routing, good cooling, intake filters...but I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of my next case, so that might be a bit excessive. Pick out the bits you want most and any aestetic features you want and I am sure you can find something.

Dpete actually hit on something good as well. Full size ATX boards are a bit excessive these days. Most people only ever use one GPU, and mATX boards still leave room for more expansion cards (like your sound card). This also means you can shink your case a bit to have a smaller footprint, be more portable if you need it, etc. There's nothing really wrong with a full-sized board, but mATX sizes might even save you a bit of money.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:23 pm

Micro-ATX motherboards like the Asus P8Z77-M Pro and the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M are good choices with four PCIe slots and four DIMM slots. This gives you enough room for a double-width graphics card, a sound card and a TV tuner card, for example.

Mid-tower ATX cases like the Antec Three Hundred Two and the Corsair Carbide 200R provide plenty of room for micro-ATX or ATX motherboards.

Micro-ATX tower cases like the Antec NSK3480 and the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-e are a bit tighter for PC assembly with a micro-ATX motherboard, but they are quite compact on the outside (less than 25 liters total volume).

For reasonably-priced aftermarket CPU coolers, the usual recommendation around here is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo.

Mechanical keyboards with Cherry MX Brown switches like the Rosewill RK-9000BRI or the CoolerMaster CM Storm QuickFire Pro provide the best typing experience.

High-precision laser mice like the Logitech G500 or the Razer Imperator provide a good gaming experience.

A Blu-ray reader / DVD writer costs only $40. That's just $17 more than the old-fashioned DVD-only drive that you were considering.

Windows 8 64-bit will set you back $80 (includes PowerDVD 12).
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:30 pm

superjawes wrote:
IBYCFOTA wrote:I do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copy


The 7 vs. 8 thing is vastly overblown considering the generous array of free and paid software available that both re-enables the Start Menu and allows you to boot directly to the Desktop.

Under the hood Windows 8 is a superior OS. The TR Guide recommends you take the plunge and I'm inclined to agree. Having the latest version of Windows is in the long run going to be worth the temporary hassle of understanding Windows 8 and configuring the interface towards your tastes.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:36 am

Thanks for all the responses guys. You've all been very helpful. Wall of text incoming, beware!

DPete27 wrote:Do you live near a Microcenter? You could get the 3570K + AsRock Extreme4 there for $285 + Tax. They have many other combos to choose from also. Are you sure you NEED a full ATX mobo? Would mATX provide everything you need?


This is where I need the most help, as I'm not sure what MoBo is necessary for my needs and what is overkill. As long as it has room for the build I posted above, then it works for me. MoBo's are mainly what determine the potential to upgrade the system though, correct? If that's the case I'd like to go a little above what I need, just in case I want to make some improvements in the future. But again, I don't need anything ridiculous. Something that's designed for the mid-range specs I laid out earlier would be just fine. Compatibility is what matters most.

As for being near a Microcenter, there's one an hour and a half away from me. But with gas, tolls, and the time wasted driving, I don't know if it would be worth it to make the trip unless I was saving a couple hundred bucks in total.

How about a 550W 80Plus Platinum PSU. You can use a PSU calculator to determine the size PSU you need. You can expect to see ~400W power draw with everything overclocked and 100% CPU+GPU load. (with a similar system to what you're building here) That 100% full system load will rarely happen, but the 450W recommendation of the PSU calculator can be your minimum target wattage for a non(or slightly) overclocked system. A 550W gives you ample headroom for overclocking, especially with a good quality PSU. There are many other 500 - 600W PSUs to choose from.


That PSU calculator is a bit intimidating. NVIDIA says the 660 Ti requires a 550 PSU, so I figure 600 should be adequate. Seems to be the recommended power level for most mid-level gaming rigs in general. Thinking about buying this one, although looking at it closer the 700 watt version is only an extra 12 bucks. Any good reason not go with the 700 then? According to the pictures they are the same size.

mortifiedPenguin wrote:
IBYCFOTA wrote:Samsung 840 120GB SSD - SSD's seem to be very highly recommended, and none more so than the Samsung 840.
Careful, you may be confusing the 840 with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast. For just a little bit more, you can get much closer to the 840 Pro's with a Corsair Neutron or an Intel 335 (see the last graph on this page).


Thanks for the headsup. That explains why the 840 I was looking at was 120gb and not 128gb. A little bit of research indicates the pro has a better warranty (5 years to 3) and is more reliable, so I might go that direction instead. A bit tempting to go with the regular 840 at 250gb which is the same price as the 128gb 840 pro, but I doubt I'd be using all of that storage anyway. Anything non-pertinent can be just be stored on the 1TB hard drive.

You can see TR's Case and PSU section here. It really depends on how much you want to spend. Many people wouldn't ever spend more than $100 on a case but there are plenty of people that would pay extra for the aesthetics. I'd suggest looking at any of Corsair's lineup and Antec is always a solid choice. Both companies actually make solid PSUs (Corsair more so than Antec recently). You should also look at Seasonic. Your system looks like it could use something in the 500W range (use a calculator to be sure, though!) but I personally like to add a little extra on top for future expansion and long term degradation of the PSU.


Looks matter less to me than being able to comfortably house everything. Most cases have some form of a cooler / fan - is this generally adequate for most mid level rigs or should I look at some kind of standalone cooler / fan? This is another aspect that has me a bit confused.

If you don't have half-way decent speakers or headphones, you might not hear a huge difference between onboard audio and discrete audio. Personally, my X-Fi Titanium sounds great when coupled with my AKG K271 MKIIs but somewhat less so with the Logitech z5300-e 5.1 system I use for most of my gaming. TR's editors recently gave their Editor's Choice award to the Xonar DSX.


That seems to be the consensus on sound cards. I don't have a PC compatible headset yet, but I plan on making it one of my first purchases after building my PC. Also need a half-way decent set of speakers, at least to start. Sound is of some importance to me, and sound cards appear to be fairly cheap so I think I'll look into purchasing one. The Xonar DSX looks good.

superjawes wrote:Follow the advice of the gerbils above. It is good.

Now if you want advice on cases...there are tons of options. What do you want? Personally, I'm looking for something like this for easier cable routing, good cooling, intake filters...but I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of my next case, so that might be a bit excessive. Pick out the bits you want most and any aestetic features you want and I am sure you can find something.


Very nice case. Little steep for me at the moment though. I think I'll go with one of the highly reviewed mid-tower cases in the $60-100 range. Any recommendation of one in that price range that has enough built in coolers / fans that I don't need to install anything else? Or is that not being realistic, especially given my desire to experiment with OCing?

Dpete actually hit on something good as well. Full size ATX boards are a bit excessive these days. Most people only ever use one GPU, and mATX boards still leave room for more expansion cards (like your sound card). This also means you can shink your case a bit to have a smaller footprint, be more portable if you need it, etc. There's nothing really wrong with a full-sized board, but mATX sizes might even save you a bit of money.


Good call. You and others have convinced me to get an mATX mobo instead. Going with this one now, and about $30 cheaper too.

JustAnEngineer wrote:A Blu-ray reader / DVD writer costs only $40. That's just $17 more than the old-fashioned DVD-only drive that you were considering.


First off, thanks for your input. I'll be sure to take all of it into consideration. As for this, I don't know if it's necessary. I already have a PS3 that is hooked up to my Panasonic Viera, and I can't forsee ever wanting to watch Blu Ray movies on my 24" ASUS over a 50" Plasma. More importantly, the reviews indicate that I still would need to purchase software to watch Blu Ray content. If it were a Blu Ray burner as well I'd buy it, but it doesn't have that capability it appears, and overall it just doesn't seem worth it in my situation.

Grape Flavor wrote:
superjawes wrote:
IBYCFOTA wrote:I do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copy


The 7 vs. 8 thing is vastly overblown considering the generous array of free and paid software available that both re-enables the Start Menu and allows you to boot directly to the Desktop.

Under the hood Windows 8 is a superior OS. The TR Guide recommends you take the plunge and I'm inclined to agree. Having the latest version of Windows is in the long run going to be worth the temporary hassle of understanding Windows 8 and configuring the interface towards your tastes.


I'm not even savvy with Windows 7 (been using Mac for the past several years, haven't used Windows extensively since XP), so I might just go ahead and get Windows 8 and figure it out. All I'm worried about is compatibility in terms of games and programs alike, and of course general support. If these things aren't a major issue, I think I'll go with Windows 8. Going to do some more research on it now.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:19 am

IBYCFOTA wrote: NVIDIA says the GeForce GTX660Ti requires a 550 watt PSU.
I would be surprised if you needed more than 38 amperes from the +12 volt DC rail (38x12=456 watts). Consider some of these power supplies:

$146 -36 code "EMCYTZT3071" -20MIR SeaSonic SS-660XP: 80+ Platinum, Modular (55 A @ +12 V)
$ 90 SeaSonic SSR-550RM: 80+ Gold, Modular (45 A @ +12 V)
$ 82 Antec EarthWatts EA-650 Green: 80+ Bronze (54 A @ +12 V)
$ 60 -20MIR Corsair CX500: 80+ Bronze (38 A @ +12 V)


mortifiedPenguin wrote: You may be confusing the Samsung 840 Series SSD with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast.
IBYCFOTA wrote: A bit tempting to go with the regular 840 at 250 GB which is the same price as the 128 GB 840 pro.
The slightly-slower SSD is still extremely quick (0.03 ms vs. 12.00 ms) compared to mechanical hard-drives. Given the pricing difference, the regular 840 series SSD looks okay to me.


IBYCFOTA wrote: Most cases have some form of a cooler / fan - is this generally adequate for most mid level rigs or should I look at some kind of standalone cooler / fan? This is another aspect that has me a bit confused.
The cases linked above include sufficient cooling fans to get the heat out of the case. If you want to install additional fans, a 120x25mm fan with PWM speed control up to a maximum of 1350 to 2000 rpm is a good choice (assuming that your case doesn't have a mounting point for a larger fan).

If you're talking about replacing the stock Intel CPU cooler, I linked to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo above.


IBYCFOTA wrote: Sound is of some importance to me, and sound cards appear to be fairly cheap so I think I'll look into purchasing one. The Xonar DSX looks good.
Don't forget the Sound Blaster Recon3D or Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium from Creative Labs. In this decade, sound cards are primarily useful for their superior analog output compared to whatever is built into your motherboard. If you were going to use digital output (HDMI, SPDIF, etc.) from your PC to a receiver, then a sound card wouldn't matter.


IBYCFOTA wrote: I already have a PS3. I still would need to purchase software to watch Blu Ray content. If it were a Blu Ray burner as well I'd buy it.
The $40 LG UH12NS29 drive that I linked reads Blu-ray discs, but it can burn DVDs and CDs. A Blu-ray burner costs another $30. Cyberlink's PowerDVD is the best software for Blu-ray playback on the PC. It was included for free in the Windows 8 deal posted on TR's front page. You should be fine with the PlayStation 3 if you don't want to spend more money for the Blu-ray drive.
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Re: Design my gaming rig TR

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:36 am

Alright, so I made a few tweaks and have come to a final build. Spent hours and hours doing research on every single part, from performance to reliability to compatibility to making sure everything would fit (by doing things like choosing a modular PSU, buying RAM with low profile heat sinks, getting an adequate MoBo and a good sized case), so I'm pretty confident in what I've assembled. Purchased everything on Amazon and was fortunate enough that every single item I bought was eligible for Prime free two day shipping thanks to their generous free trial. Also avoided taxes, which I wouldn't have on NewEgg and other sites. Estimated delivery for each product is March 13th, though those aren't always accurate. Will have to wait until they actually ship out to trust any deliver estimates. Nevertheless, everything should arrive within the week and I'm very excited.

Rather than copy and pasting all the URLs to the parts I selected I'll just link to the build via pcpartpicker.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/IK3f

Mostly I stayed with what I had or made very small changes. Stuck with the two most important components, the 3570k and the 660 Ti GPU. You'll notice I did decide to forgo the mATX board with the regular ATX version, mostly because the size was immaterial given the case I selected (more on that later), and looking around at the other completed builds with my GPU and processor it seemed like very few if any were using the mATX z77 compared to the ATX. I also switched my RAM from the G.Skill ARES to the Corsair Vengeance. Both had low profile heatsinks but the Corsair seemed to be more popular, probably since most people who go choose G.Skill tend to go with the RipJawz series. The difference is probably moot, but there you have it. Also caved in and purchased a Blu Ray burner after hearing some good arguments for it's usefulness.

I also went with the Windows 7 OS instead of 8. I just couldn't get over some of the negative reviews it got and the complaints about it's awkward UI. Seems like you either love it or hate it, and I didn't want to take the gamble that I might fall in the latter category, and chose 7 based on it's status as the tried and true OS of this generation and it's general user friendliness. Perhaps I'll upgrade in the future.

For the PSU I settled on the 650 watt from Corsair, choosing the modular version for the sake of installation. I was going to choose the 750w until they jacked the price up $15 or so out of nowhere, and the appealing thought of having all of my parts arrive at the same time ruled out shopping outside of Amazon, so I settled with the 650w. Should be more than enough for my needs, and even an upgraded processor or GPU down the road. We'll see. I also went ahead and bought the 212 EVO cooler master. With the cheap price, good reviews, and the fact that every other build I saw seemed to include this thing, it was hard to pass up. I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel here. :D

Last but not least, the case. I ended up choosing the NZXT 410. It's black with a white finish and looks very, very sleek. More importantly it's got a ton of space and recieved plenty of praise from reviewers for the ease of installing. Given that I've already selected parts which should be easier to install for one reason or another, putting everything together in this case should be a breeze, and I certainly won't be limited my lack of space. Overall it seems like a high quality case at a decent price. Hopeully it lives up to the hype.

I also bought a basic logitech keyboard and speakers, as well as a new mouse, the Razer Abyssus. That should get me all setup for when everything is up and running. In total, I spent just shy of $1400. More than I wanted to spend, admittedly, but I wanted quality and I think that's what I got with this package.

It goes without saying that I really appreciate all the advice given here, and I look forward to providing updates when I'm finished building and can finally put my system to the test.
IBYCFOTA
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:08 pm


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