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Hardware  » Help buying a new desktop

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  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

2/28/13 8:36:30 AM#21
Originally posted by dauntSilver

ok I'll bump it up to $1500.. as an ABSOLUTE maximum (since i get paid friday). preferred around $1000-1250

and as far as equipment goes, I can salvage a monitor, speakers, mouse and keyboard. I have nothing else though, not even a case.

and i pretty much just want this computer for gaming tbh. I mean I always have my laptop for documents and such.. I can always upgrade the storage capacity later if I really need it, cant I? so yes, around 256 gb storage capacity is fine with me. and whichever you think is better, windows 7 or 8.. Ive always heard 7 is better though. so probably windows 7.

Thank you for that information.  I'll start with what I would consider baseline that will provide a very decent gaming machine falling just under $1200 before S&H (this varies too widely for me to calculate plus you could opt for "free shipping" by using a 30-day free trail).  Afterwards I'll post some upgrade options that you can either take or leave depending on how comfortable you are going over the original budget.  I'll try and stick with one vendor to make things easier (though shopping around when it comes time to buy it is always a good thing).  I use a Chrome Web Browser extension called Newzon that allows me to automatically compare Newegg prices to Amazon.  It makes life a LOT easier.

 


This can be found under public wish lists as your name "dauntSilver".  Though I've found it usually takes time to post up.

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price
1 SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB
SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM
Model #:SH-224BB
Item #:N82E16827151256
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$15.99   $15.99
1 LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:PC-K65
Item #:N82E16811112354
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$89.99 -$20.00 Instant $69.99
1 SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:100354XTL
Item #:N82E16814202024
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$259.99 -$10.00 Instant $249.99
1 SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:M12II 620 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151095
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$124.99 -$35.00 Instant $89.99
1 CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Model #:CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Item #:N82E16820233196
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$55.99   $55.99
1 ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Model #:P8Z77-V LK
Item #:N82E16813131837
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$149.99   $149.99
1 Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Model #:BX80637I53570K
Item #:N82E16819116504
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$229.99   $229.99
1 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$99.99   $99.99
1 ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
Model #:ACFZI30
Item #:N82E16835186058
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
1 Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:CT256M4SSD2
Item #:N82E16820148443
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$209.99 -$16.00 Instant $193.99
Subtotal: $1,195.90
 

The total price for the exact same parts on Amazon were nearly identical.  The video card comes with a rebate for two free games too.  Amazon doesn't carry the Lian Li case in this build so I swapped it for a Cooler Master CM Storm Enforcer case instead.

Speaking of cases those are very much a personal preference so I went ahead and picked the ones I did based on ease of use for a first time builder (both are standard layouts) and cost effectiveness.  The Lian Li is as basic looking as it gets while the Coolermaster case is a bit more "modern gamer" themed.  I also tried to keep a similar "theme" in the color scheme of parts without overspending just for the sake of it.

 

That leaves you with about $300 you can play with should you decide you want to spend up to your maximum (and you get free shipping via the 30-day free trial on either Amazon or Newegg).  Here are some basic options:

1. Add a hard drive for storage purpose beyond what the solid state drive can offer.  This is actually quite typical these days.

2. Add an additional solid state drive.  Personally I would opt for the above but some people want everything to be fast. 

3. Upgrade to a larger solid state drive.  Not a bad choice if you were going to choose 2 solid state drives anyway 

4. Add a sound card.  While most people are fine with on-board sound if you are an audiphile this is a good option.

5. Add a second GPU.  This has the potential to boost gaming performance substantially but it's a gamble based on proper coding for the game to work with Xfire/SLI.  This might also require an upgrade to the power supply.  Before going this route I'd choose the next option first.

6. Upgrade your GPU.  $299 for the 7950, $399 for the 7970 and $429 for the 7970GHz edition (AMD's top single GPU card).  You also have the option of Nvidia but I would personally only recommend the GTX 670 at $349 if you were going to.

7. Add more Ram.  Really 8Gb for gaming today is enough but 16Gb isn't really all that expensive so what the hell.

8. Choose a different case.  I wouldn't recommend you go below $60 on cases as at that point you are getting to where the companies are having to cut corners.  That said there are great cases at the $100-$200 mark but remember for the most part you are paying for looks and convenience more than performance at that point.  This one is very personal so I won't delve too far into what you "should" look for.

9. Pay a local brick and mortor computer store to put it all together for you and provide a warranty for their services.  If you are gun shy about building your own system this is THE best use of the extra cash.  Just be sure you do a little research on the builders before you hand over your money to ensure they are reputable.

There are a lot of other ways you could spend that money but the ones I listed above is where I would begin if I were you.  If you are satisfied with the original build and the peripherals (monitor/mouse/keyboard/speaker or headset and surge protector) you have could use an upgrade then I would probably prioritize those first.  That is especially true if you don't have a quality surge protector.  

 

EDIT:  Just to give you an idea of what it would cost to build a "similar" system on iBuyPowers website feel free to compare here.  Be aware the two major differences are the CPU cooler (liquid vs air) and GPU in the iBuyPower build is actually worse than the one I selected.  That XT branding means is actually a Tahiti chip, the same that are in the AMD 7900 series cards.  This build was the closest I could get with their parts selector.  Windows 7 and 8 are the same price.

 

2013 Paladin E
http://www.ibuypower.com
Case 1 x CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-3570K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard 1 x ASUS P8Z77-V LK -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Memory 1 x 8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x AMD Radeon HD 7870 - 2GB - HIS IceQ - Cooler, Quieter-Single Card
Case Lighting None
Power Supply 1 x 650 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2-Free Upgrade to 750 Watt Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2 ($20 Savings)
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System-Standard 120mm Fan
Video Card Brand 1 x Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 240 GB Corsair Neutron GTX SSD-Single Drive
Data Hard Drive None
2nd Optical Drive None
Optical Drive 1 x 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Speaker System None
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Monitor None
Operating System 1 x Windows 8 + Office 2010 Trial [Free 60-Day !!!]-64-bit
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service 1 x Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
Video Camera None
Meter Display None
Flash Media Reader / Writer None
2nd Monitor None
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE Game Download] - Tomb Raider + Bioshock Infinite-Free with purchase of any AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series Graphics Card
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE Game Download] - Sleeping Dogs-Free with purchase of AMD Radeon HD 7870 or above
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion None
iBUYPOWER PowerDrive None
Intel Smart Response Technology None
Case Engraving Service None
Subtotal $1,333.00
 
  User Deleted
2/28/13 8:51:37 AM#22
Originally posted by miguksaram
Originally posted by dauntSilver

ok I'll bump it up to $1500.. as an ABSOLUTE maximum (since i get paid friday). preferred around $1000-1250

and as far as equipment goes, I can salvage a monitor, speakers, mouse and keyboard. I have nothing else though, not even a case.

and i pretty much just want this computer for gaming tbh. I mean I always have my laptop for documents and such.. I can always upgrade the storage capacity later if I really need it, cant I? so yes, around 256 gb storage capacity is fine with me. and whichever you think is better, windows 7 or 8.. Ive always heard 7 is better though. so probably windows 7.

Thank you for that information.  I'll start with what I would consider baseline that will provide a very decent gaming machine falling just under $1200 before S&H (this varies too widely for me to calculate plus you could opt for "free shipping" by using a 30-day free trail).  Afterwards I'll post some upgrade options that you can either take or leave depending on how comfortable you are going over the original budget.  I'll try and stick with one vendor to make things easier (though shopping around when it comes time to buy it is always a good thing).  I use a Chrome Web Browser extension called Newzon that allows me to automatically compare Newegg prices to Amazon.  It makes life a LOT easier.

 


This can be found under public wish lists as your name "dauntSilver".  Though I've found it usually takes time to post up.

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price
1 SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB
SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM
Model #:SH-224BB
Item #:N82E16827151256
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$15.99   $15.99
1 LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:PC-K65
Item #:N82E16811112354
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$89.99 -$20.00 Instant $69.99
1 SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:100354XTL
Item #:N82E16814202024
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$259.99 -$10.00 Instant $249.99
1 SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:M12II 620 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151095
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$124.99 -$35.00 Instant $89.99
1 CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Model #:CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Item #:N82E16820233196
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$55.99   $55.99
1 ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Model #:P8Z77-V LK
Item #:N82E16813131837
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$149.99   $149.99
1 Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Model #:BX80637I53570K
Item #:N82E16819116504
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$229.99   $229.99
1 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$99.99   $99.99
1 ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
Model #:ACFZI30
Item #:N82E16835186058
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
1 Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:CT256M4SSD2
Item #:N82E16820148443
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$209.99 -$16.00 Instant $193.99
Subtotal: $1,195.90
 

The total price for the exact same parts on Amazon were nearly identical.  The video card comes with a rebate for two free games too.  Amazon doesn't carry the Lian Li case in this build so I swapped it for a Cooler Master CM Storm Enforcer case instead.

Speaking of cases those are very much a personal preference so I went ahead and picked the ones I did based on ease of use for a first time builder (both are standard layouts) and cost effectiveness.  The Lian Li is as basic looking as it gets while the Coolermaster case is a bit more "modern gamer" themed.  I also tried to keep a similar "theme" in the color scheme of parts without overspending just for the sake of it.

 

That leaves you with about $300 you can play with should you decide you want to spend up to your maximum (and you get free shipping via the 30-day free trial on either Amazon or Newegg).  Here are some basic options:

1. Add a hard drive for storage purpose beyond what the solid state drive can offer.  This is actually quite typical these days.

2. Add an additional solid state drive.  Personally I would opt for the above but some people want everything to be fast. 

3. Upgrade to a larger solid state drive.  Not a bad choice if you were going to choose 2 solid state drives anyway 

4. Add a sound card.  While most people are fine with on-board sound if you are an audiphile this is a good option.

5. Add a second GPU.  This has the potential to boost gaming performance substantially but it's a gamble based on proper coding for the game to work with Xfire/SLI.  This might also require an upgrade to the power supply.  Before going this route I choose the next option first.

6. Upgrade your GPU.  $299 for the 7950, $399 for the 7970 and $429 for the 7970GHz edition (AMD's top single GPU card).  You also have the option of Nvidia but I would personally only recommend the GTX 670 at $349 if you were going to.

7. Add more Ram.  Really 8Gb for gaming today is enough but 16Gb isn't really all that expensive so what the hell.

8. Choose a different case.  I wouldn't recommend you go below $60 on cases as at that point you are getting to where the companies are having to cut corners.  That said there are great cases at the $100-$200 mark but remember for the most part you are paying for looks and convenience more than performance at that point.  This one is very personal so I won't delve too far into what you "should" look for.

9. Pay a local brick and mortor computer store to put it all together for you and provide a warranty for their services.  If you are gun shy about building your own system this is THE best use of the extra cash you can possible consider.  Just be sure you do a little research on the builders before you hand over your money to ensure they are reputable.

There are a lot of other ways you could spend that money but the ones I listed above is where I would begin if I were you.  If you are satisfied with the original build and the peripherals (monitor/mouse/keyboard/speaker or headset and surge protector) you have could use an upgrade then I would probably prioritize those first.  That is especially true if you don't have a quality surge protector.  

 

Hmm... my only grip with the above is the Asus MB, prefer Gigabyte or hell even MSI over Asus (had a bad experience with my 2nd desktop, got a defective Asus MB, spent a couple of years learning how to read lips because I had a choice between being able to hear something or see something, installing both drivers at once shot one of em up (usually the first installed) ).

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

2/28/13 9:04:37 AM#23
Originally posted by Dihoru

Hmm... my only grip with the above is the Asus MB, prefer Gigabyte or hell even MSI over Asus (had a bad experience with my 2nd desktop, got a defective Asus MB, spent a couple of years learning how to read lips because I had a choice between being able to hear something or see something, installing both drivers at once shot one of em up (usually the first installed) ).

Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and these days AsRock are all pretty much equal so it usually boils down to preference here too.  They all offer similar performance at a given price point and so it's usually experiences such as yours that determines which to use/not use.  Much like AMD vs Nvidia.  Although currently AMD offers more bang for your buck at just about every price point (minus the Titan mind you).  For the record my computer runs an AsRock board while my wifes uses a Gigabyte.

  dauntSilver

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 148

 
OP  2/28/13 9:03:01 PM#24
would it be better if I got an Intel core i7 processor instead of an i5?
  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/01/13 2:21:58 AM#25
Originally posted by dauntSilver
would it be better if I got an Intel core i7 processor instead of an i5?

For strickly gaming purposes into the next few years I, and many others, would argue it's not worth the cost benefit.  That is roughly a $100 difference that you MIGHT see a BENEFIT from in a VERY SMALL pool of games.  That same $100 on the otherhand could be spent on any number of others options I listed and you would see direct benefits that are gauranteed.

An Intel i7 3770k's only real benefit over the Intel i5 3570k I listed is the potential to utilize virtual cores.  The problem is that is only a benefit if the coding of the software allows the program to use more than the 4 physical cores present in both CPUs.  Considering that most games only take advantage or 1 or 2 cores at current, with the aforementioned small portion using the full 4, it's just not worth the cost unless you have the extra money to throw around.  And by that I mean you have opted for all the upgrades I listed and still have another $100 to throw at it.

Remember this only applies to a pure gaming machine.  There are photo/video editing programs that would highly benefit from the extra virtual cores but you stated this machines purpose was gaming so I provided an appropriate build with that in mind.

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

3/01/13 2:53:02 AM#26

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GJT5

 

^ that site is pro too :)

Really when it comes to peripherals those will be up to you. I included base low cost stuff just to show you rough estimate.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/01/13 3:09:48 AM#27
Originally posted by jimdandy26

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GJT5

 

^ that site is pro too :)

Really when it comes to peripherals those will be up to you. I included base low cost stuff just to show you rough estimate.

PCpartpicker can be a great tool but I would caution anyone from utlizing it's cheapest price per part builds.  This is because parts will have to be ordered from various sites, each with their own shipping costs/times/quality control.  You really won't know if you have a functional machine until it's all put together and a core part taking too long can result in not knowing if you received a lemon until it's too late.

Not knocking it by any means but just a word of caution to those who don't order computer parts online too often.  When it comes to computer parts EVERY company produces lemons, it's just the nature of silicon.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/01/13 6:20:32 AM#28

If you really wanted to see how much system you can get for your money you could consider using the following link a "guide".  I say guide because I personally wouldn't choose the exact same parts they did but it's hard to deny the performance price tag they are touting.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-benchmark,3441.html

  User Deleted
3/01/13 6:29:34 AM#29
Originally posted by miguksaram

If you really wanted to see how much system you can get for your money you could consider using the following link a "guide".  I say guide because I personally wouldn't choose the exact same parts they did but it's hard to deny the performance price tag they are touting.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-benchmark,3441.html

Here's a question though: This summer the next iteration of Intel CPUs are hitting the market (Haswell I think they're called), wouldn't it be wiser to wait for them to come out and either the OP pick one of the newer chips or get a better price on a current Ivy one? sure it's gonna be around 6 more months ti'll the PC is purring under his desk but you could squeeze in a bit more power in if he gets a cheaper Ivy after Haswell's out and there are gonna be other GPUs coming out around then too.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/01/13 6:42:07 AM#30
Originally posted by Dihoru
Originally posted by miguksaram

If you really wanted to see how much system you can get for your money you could consider using the following link a "guide".  I say guide because I personally wouldn't choose the exact same parts they did but it's hard to deny the performance price tag they are touting.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-benchmark,3441.html

Here's a question though: This summer the next iteration of Intel CPUs are hitting the market (Haswell I think they're called), wouldn't it be wiser to wait for them to come out and either the OP pick one of the newer chips or get a better price on a current Ivy one? sure it's gonna be around 6 more months ti'll the PC is purring under his desk but you could squeeze in a bit more power in if he gets a cheaper Ivy after Haswell's out and there are gonna be other GPUs coming out around then too.

Not that those of us on this site are the end all be all but there are certainly some fairly well educated hardware guru's that lurk these forums.  Most of them (I don't really include myself in that group as I just enjoy building systems and helping others so it's much more a hobby that I spend about an hour a day educating myself on). agree that if you are in the market for a new computer today there is pretty much no real benefit in waiting for Haswell.  It's a "tock" but not a significant enough one ot avoid buying something you want/need today.

Hardware is always evolving so holding out for the next thing on the horizon is usually a wasted effort as if you stuck to it you would end up with nothing.  That's not to say it's never a good idea but all private/professional reviews at this point say there is no real reason to hold out for Haswell.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3573

3/01/13 10:46:10 AM#31

The one thing I would caution about PCPartspicker:

Like miguksaram said, not all companies are the same. You may not want "the cheapest price" because part of that price is the service you get at the company.

All components have a chance to be DOA, or fail early - higher quality parts just mitigate that chance. The real issue, though, is when you need to return something. A bargain basement place may not be the easiest to deal with when it comes time to work an RMA.

There's also a convenience factor. When you are ordering a bunch of different parts from a bunch of different vendors - you are going to get a bunch of different boxes, shipped by a bunch of different carriers, arriving on a bunch of different days, with your credit card now on file with a bunch of different places. If you order all your parts through the same vendor, it may come in a couple of different boxes, but probably ship via the same service and arrive on about the same day, and your credit information only at a single place.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4029

3/01/13 11:26:25 AM#32
Originally posted by miguksaram
Originally posted by Dihoru
Originally posted by miguksaram

If you really wanted to see how much system you can get for your money you could consider using the following link a "guide".  I say guide because I personally wouldn't choose the exact same parts they did but it's hard to deny the performance price tag they are touting.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-benchmark,3441.html

Here's a question though: This summer the next iteration of Intel CPUs are hitting the market (Haswell I think they're called), wouldn't it be wiser to wait for them to come out and either the OP pick one of the newer chips or get a better price on a current Ivy one? sure it's gonna be around 6 more months ti'll the PC is purring under his desk but you could squeeze in a bit more power in if he gets a cheaper Ivy after Haswell's out and there are gonna be other GPUs coming out around then too.

Not that those of us on this site are the end all be all but there are certainly some fairly well educated hardware guru's that lurk these forums.  Most of them (I don't really include myself in that group as I just enjoy building systems and helping others so it's much more a hobby that I spend about an hour a day educating myself on). agree that if you are in the market for a new computer today there is pretty much no real benefit in waiting for Haswell.  It's a "tock" but not a significant enough one ot avoid buying something you want/need today.

Hardware is always evolving so holding out for the next thing on the horizon is usually a wasted effort as if you stuck to it you would end up with nothing.  That's not to say it's never a good idea but all private/professional reviews at this point say there is no real reason to hold out for Haswell.

I agree. For more than 3 yeas now CPU technology has been on a plateau where the changes from one process to the next have been slight incremental increases. The advances have been mostly about power consumption, not performance. This has been good news for laptops and ultrabooks which are catching up in performance to their desktop counterparts. Haswell is mostly just another step in that direction.

The "should I buy now or should I wait?" eternal upgrade question is not nearly as relevant now as it used to be 5 or 10 years ago when the performance differences from one iteration to the next were noticeable.

As I said in a post abpve I'm still using a 3-yr old CPU--an i7-930. Based on performance, there still aren't any consumer CPUs out there that would give me a performance boost large enough to make upgrading worthwhile...and there still won't be when Haswell chips start rolling out later  this summer. 

  dauntSilver

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 148

 
OP  3/01/13 6:34:58 PM#33
Originally posted by miguksaram

Thank you for that information.  I'll start with what I would consider baseline that will provide a very decent gaming machine falling just under $1200 before S&H (this varies too widely for me to calculate plus you could opt for "free shipping" by using a 30-day free trail).  Afterwards I'll post some upgrade options that you can either take or leave depending on how comfortable you are going over the original budget.  I'll try and stick with one vendor to make things easier (though shopping around when it comes time to buy it is always a good thing).  I use a Chrome Web Browser extension called Newzon that allows me to automatically compare Newegg prices to Amazon.  It makes life a LOT easier.

 


This can be found under public wish lists as your name "dauntSilver".  Though I've found it usually takes time to post up.

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price
1 SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB
SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM
Model #:SH-224BB
Item #:N82E16827151256
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$15.99   $15.99
1 LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:PC-K65
Item #:N82E16811112354
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$89.99 -$20.00 Instant $69.99
1 SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100354XTL Radeon HD 7870 XT w/Boost 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:100354XTL
Item #:N82E16814202024
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$259.99 -$10.00 Instant $249.99
1 SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:M12II 620 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151095
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$124.99 -$35.00 Instant $89.99
1 CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Model #:CML8GX3M2A1600C9B
Item #:N82E16820233196
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$55.99   $55.99
1 ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Model #:P8Z77-V LK
Item #:N82E16813131837
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$149.99   $149.99
1 Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
Model #:BX80637I53570K
Item #:N82E16819116504
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$229.99   $229.99
1 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$99.99   $99.99
1 ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler for Intel with 120mm PWM Fan and 4 Direct Contac Heat Pipes
Model #:ACFZI30
Item #:N82E16835186058
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
1 Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:CT256M4SSD2
Item #:N82E16820148443
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$209.99 -$16.00 Instant $193.99
Subtotal: $1,195.90
 

The total price for the exact same parts on Amazon were nearly identical.  The video card comes with a rebate for two free games too.  Amazon doesn't carry the Lian Li case in this build so I swapped it for a Cooler Master CM Storm Enforcer case instead.

Speaking of cases those are very much a personal preference so I went ahead and picked the ones I did based on ease of use for a first time builder (both are standard layouts) and cost effectiveness.  The Lian Li is as basic looking as it gets while the Coolermaster case is a bit more "modern gamer" themed.  I also tried to keep a similar "theme" in the color scheme of parts without overspending just for the sake of it.

 

That leaves you with about $300 you can play with should you decide you want to spend up to your maximum (and you get free shipping via the 30-day free trial on either Amazon or Newegg).  Here are some basic options:

1. Add a hard drive for storage purpose beyond what the solid state drive can offer.  This is actually quite typical these days.

2. Add an additional solid state drive.  Personally I would opt for the above but some people want everything to be fast. 

3. Upgrade to a larger solid state drive.  Not a bad choice if you were going to choose 2 solid state drives anyway 

4. Add a sound card.  While most people are fine with on-board sound if you are an audiphile this is a good option.

5. Add a second GPU.  This has the potential to boost gaming performance substantially but it's a gamble based on proper coding for the game to work with Xfire/SLI.  This might also require an upgrade to the power supply.  Before going this route I'd choose the next option first.

6. Upgrade your GPU.  $299 for the 7950, $399 for the 7970 and $429 for the 7970GHz edition (AMD's top single GPU card).  You also have the option of Nvidia but I would personally only recommend the GTX 670 at $349 if you were going to.

7. Add more Ram.  Really 8Gb for gaming today is enough but 16Gb isn't really all that expensive so what the hell.

8. Choose a different case.  I wouldn't recommend you go below $60 on cases as at that point you are getting to where the companies are having to cut corners.  That said there are great cases at the $100-$200 mark but remember for the most part you are paying for looks and convenience more than performance at that point.  This one is very personal so I won't delve too far into what you "should" look for.

9. Pay a local brick and mortor computer store to put it all together for you and provide a warranty for their services.  If you are gun shy about building your own system this is THE best use of the extra cash.  Just be sure you do a little research on the builders before you hand over your money to ensure they are reputable.

There are a lot of other ways you could spend that money but the ones I listed above is where I would begin if I were you.  If you are satisfied with the original build and the peripherals (monitor/mouse/keyboard/speaker or headset and surge protector) you have could use an upgrade then I would probably prioritize those first.  That is especially true if you don't have a quality surge protector.  

 

EDIT:  Just to give you an idea of what it would cost to build a "similar" system on iBuyPowers website feel free to compare here.  Be aware the two major differences are the CPU cooler (liquid vs air) and GPU in the iBuyPower build is actually worse than the one I selected.  That XT branding means is actually a Tahiti chip, the same that are in the AMD 7900 series cards.  This build was the closest I could get with their parts selector.  Windows 7 and 8 are the same price.

 

2013 Paladin E
http://www.ibuypower.com
Case 1 x CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-3570K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard 1 x ASUS P8Z77-V LK -- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Memory 1 x 8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x AMD Radeon HD 7870 - 2GB - HIS IceQ - Cooler, Quieter-Single Card
Case Lighting None
Power Supply 1 x 650 Watt - Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2-Free Upgrade to 750 Watt Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2 ($20 Savings)
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System-Standard 120mm Fan
Video Card Brand 1 x Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 240 GB Corsair Neutron GTX SSD-Single Drive
Data Hard Drive None
2nd Optical Drive None
Optical Drive 1 x 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Speaker System None
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Monitor None
Operating System 1 x Windows 8 + Office 2010 Trial [Free 60-Day !!!]-64-bit
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service 1 x Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
Video Camera None
Meter Display None
Flash Media Reader / Writer None
2nd Monitor None
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE Game Download] - Tomb Raider + Bioshock Infinite-Free with purchase of any AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series Graphics Card
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE Game Download] - Sleeping Dogs-Free with purchase of AMD Radeon HD 7870 or above
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion None
iBUYPOWER PowerDrive None
Intel Smart Response Technology None
Case Engraving Service None
Subtotal $1,333.00
 

ok so for what you posted earlier, how good would you say the build was? also, if i just said my budget was $1500, would you switch out any of the parts you listed? (obviously not the i5 for the i7 because you said the change in gaming performance wouldnt be much).

  dauntSilver

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 148

 
OP  3/01/13 6:45:03 PM#34
if you wouldnt change anything, im probably going to go ahead and order those parts tonight
  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/01/13 10:40:06 PM#35
Originally posted by dauntSilver

ok so for what you posted earlier, how good would you say the build was? also, if i just said my budget was $1500, would you switch out any of the parts you listed? (obviously not the i5 for the i7 because you said the change in gaming performance wouldnt be much).

If you are fine with either of the cases I chose or are going to settle on a different one in the same price range the only real upgrade I'd consider would be exchanging the GPU out for this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202026

It's the latest version from that vendor and pretty much all user/professional reviews are giving it praise for great OC'ing potential (a good chip can easily surpass a stock 7970 Ghz edition and those run $430 and up) and excellent cooling without sounding like a wind tunnel.  Just be sure you get that exact model, 3L version NOT 2L.  The 2L is the older card and doesn't cool or OC as well.  It is however $20 cheaper but I'd still recommend the 3L version based on reviews of the two models.

The SSD could be "upgraded" to a Samsung 840 Pro version (same capacity) but honestly the money you spend there will most likely not provide you a visible performance boost so I leave that to you. 

As was previously mentioned you could choose a similarly priced motherboard from Gigabyte, MSI or AsRock if you have a color preference.  The ram I linked comes in multiple colors as well.  Not sure if a window to see your internals are something you want as the Lian-Li doesn't offer that.

As far as performance is concerned if you are playing on a 1900x1080 or 1900x1200 (and below) resolution screen this build will be more than sufficient for pretty much any game.  If you are used to laptops I guarantee this will change your mind about gaming a laptop.

 

EDIT:  After another round of research today should you decide to go with one of the cases I originally recommend I would now personally say the CM Storm Enforcer is the better case for the asking price.  In the event you haven't decided on a case and wanted to learn a bit more about whats out there I'd suggest checking out some of the group reviews of various case styles available at Tom's Hardware and Anandtech

http://www.tomshardware.com/t/cases/

http://www.anandtech.com/tag/casecoolingpsus

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/02/13 6:03:20 AM#36

(I'll update this with more links as they come to mind)

 

Should you decide you want to delve into building the system yourself I'd highly suggest the following reading:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html  (Think of the PSU as the heart of a PC)

  dauntSilver

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 148

 
OP  3/02/13 12:06:56 PM#37
I appreciate everything buddy. Im going to finalize my research today and decide on what to get. Hopefully Ill have all the parts by next weekend :]. oh and keep me updated if anything else comes to mind.. I'm gonna be looking at this stuff all day
  dauntSilver

Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 148

 
OP  3/02/13 1:37:15 PM#38
  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 828

3/02/13 6:25:43 PM#39
Originally posted by dauntSilver

Ok, this is what I plan on getting so far:

I have yet to choose a PSU and Motherboard because the ones you suggested had quite a few negative comments. There are complaints on the PSU having a 6-7 month lifespan and the Motherboard seems to have errors or problems with the slots not working. I have no experience with either of these, so I dont know how much weight those reviews hold.. Do you highly recommend these items, or are there alternatives you'd like to suggest?

Mind linking the reviews.  As with ALL things silicon related you will find negative reviews if you look.  It's better to view multiple credible sources before you make a personal choice on whether a product is worth the "risk".  That very same PSU is in TWO of my computers at home that are over the 6-7 month mark.  But if you are willing to spend the extra cash you could easily consider these instead.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151119

These are Gold quality and in the case of your system will be fine in powering it.  If you think however you will at some point add a second card (Xfire) then I'd suggest you look at the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151087

The Corsair TX and or AX line are also very good if you would prefer those, they tend to be more popular but that has more to do with name recognition (Corsair "makes" a lot of computer parts afterall) than it does quality.  Point in fact the majority in the lines I just mentioned are actually made by Seasonic.

 

As far as the MB goes I don't have personal experience with it and based it off of reviews.  If you would like me to recommend off personal experience in this case I would suggest either the AsRock z77 extreme4 or the gigabyte ga-z77x-ud3h (both in systems I use at home).

Also not to derail from your questions but just something else to not from personal experience.  I have the Asus DirectCU II GTX 680 OC edition in two of my home systems and the cooling system that is near silent at load is amazing.  It does come at the cost of taking up 3 slots (I only use a single GPU so it doesn't matter to me).  I mention this because that same cooling system is available on their AMD 7950 card (though it's not nearly the bargain the Sapphire card is).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121716&Tpk=asus%207950

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3573

3/02/13 6:57:47 PM#40

I built a rig using the Asus P8Z77-M model, essentially the same motherboard only in mATX form factor - it works fine. All of my personal builds use Asus boards, I find them to be a very reliable brand with good driver support, strong warranty support and a 3-year warranty. Sure, I've had some motherboards fail, but Asus tend to fail less often and I've never had a problem getting a RMA from Asus.

The only brand I'd put up there with Asus based on personal experience is Gigabyte. I'd strongly consider MSI based on reviews, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

The P8Z77 line is definitely their lower end line, but it's still a decent product. You just aren't going to push any envelopes or turn any heads with it.

Seasonic is one of the few PSU brands that make their own power supplies. In fact, most of their models are so good, they are rebranded as other brands - including many Corsair models. So you can go buy a Corsair AX650, but your getting identical components, and both roll off the Seasonic assembly line - just one gets a Corsair sticker.

However, it's your money.

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