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Old 11-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

Hello! I've been wanting to build my own PC for a while and with the holidays rolling around, now seems like a good time to put together a wishlist for components. Its main function will be gaming, although I plan on doing a bit of music production on the side. I have a gaming laptop that I've been using for about 2 years, but well, it's a laptop.

Currently, the laptop I'm using has as follows:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz
8 GB of RAM
500GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M

I'm getting less-optimal performance than I'd like to, and only 2.00GHz concerns me. My laptop struggles occasionally to run games at high settings, and gets very hot, being a laptop in the first place. I'd like to have a more permanent, upgrade-able machine.

That said, I'm not sure how to start off looking for desktop components. For starters, I'd like to stay with Intel and Nvidia's GTX cards, as I'm used to them. I don't have a lot of experience with PC parts, but I'd like to significantly out-perform my laptop, of course, and maintain high-tier visuals. I'm also looking for more space, as I'm constantly uninstalling games to make room for phasing in new ones. I'd like to have a mid-sized tower if I can get away with it; space is more a luxury, being in a dorm environment. Because I'm not as experienced with tinkering with computers, I'd like to look at proven, reliable components and reduce the risk of having to get too hands-on with something I'm not familiar with.

Games I'm looking at playing on a desktop include Planetside 2, Battlefield 3, the Total War series, Mechwarrior Online, Skyrim, etc.

Any suggestions or tips would be much appreciated!
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

A budget would be nice lol.

Just an FYI, your CPU isn't holding you back. The 560M is.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

Ah, I forgot! Well, I'd rather not weigh down my relatives; if anything, buying the parts would be a join-effort. Maybe $1k-$1.6K would be optimal.

I suspected it might have; I honestly don't know much about how cards and things work; only that some are better than others, haha.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

CPU:
Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-3330 Ivy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.2GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53330

Motherboard:
Newegg.com - ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM:
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

GPU:
Newegg.com - EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

HDD+SSD:
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU:
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Case:
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Optical:
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224BB - CD / DVD Burners

OS:
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - Operating Systems

$1240

Gives you plenty of room to choose any mid tower. Also, with the extra cash left over, we can even make the rig mATX or mITX. Up to you since room is an issue.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

What's the main difference between i5 and i7? I understand i7 is supposed to be higher-end, but just how much so? I hear i5 can be a better bang for your money, but does the i7 always outperform it?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

i7 just has HT. It's better performing on things that use absolutely 100% CPU. Not exactly worth the extra 100 though.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

Probably not going to like this, but basically what you did is switched the parts to a bunch of things I would not buy, and swapped to some things that you don't need at all.

For instance, that motherboard is meant for maximum overclocking and you paired it and the EVO (a very budget cooler), with a CPU that can't overclock.

You also went with the slowest DDR3 you can buy in favor of having more, but probably not really necessary. I understand you are working with music production but unless you are going to have a ton of large samples open at once 16GB probably is too much. IF you intend on keeping 16GB make it 1600MHz.

My next deal, is that GPU. No. 3 things wrong here, for that price you can almost afford a 680, the cooler will cause the card to sag due to weight, and you wont need 4GB of VRAM for any gaming. I linked the eVGA because their CS is #1 and their boards are solid. Not to mention almost 100 bucks cheaper than that mammoth junk from Asus.

The WD Black is fine, but I don't recommend Kingston for their SSDs. RAM, sure. SSD, no. If you want it to be cheaper then the 830 Samsung is only slightly more expensive but for a good reason.
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128N/AM 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Notebook Upgrade Kit

The PSU is also over rated for your system. 650w is plenty. If you want the modular design you can get the HX650 or TX650m.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

Shows just how much I know, ha. After reading through forums and articles a bit, I'm starting to wrap my head around compatibility between parts.

Let's try this again:
-NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case (It'll fit the EATX mobo)

-ASRock Z77 OC Formula LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

-EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

-Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)

-Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

-SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

-CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile

-COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler

-CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi Modular High Performance Power Supply

Comes in at under $1.6k. Took your advice into account: Changed out the power supply to 650W, switched the GPU, made sure the case was EATX compatible, switched the memory and dropped to 8GB.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a first gaming PC; looking for parts

Quick question, are you going to water cool and overclock this CPU to around 5GHz and later on buy RAM that is over 2400MHz? If the answer is no to any of these then you don't need that board.
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