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Windows 7: Building my first gaming desktop. Need advice on hardware selection.


21 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Building my first gaming desktop. Need advice on hardware selection.

Hi guys! First post here. I am looking to build a gaming desktop for around $1000. I approached a local PC repair store that builds custom gaming PCs but the price quote they gave was way out of my budget. So I took to various sources on the internet and came up with a list of parts that fits close to my budget. Here it is:
  • Cooler Master HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ABS Plastic ATX Mid-Tower Case
  • Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Motherboard
  • EVGA Superclocked 01G-P3-1563-AR Geforce GTX 560 Ti GPU
  • Coolmax CUG-950B 950W PSU
  • Intel Core i5-2500K CPU
  • Kingston HyperX 8GB RAM (Model No. KHX1600C9D3K2/8G)
  • Samsung Black Blu-ray SH-B123L/RSBP
  • Cooler Master RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 CPU Cooler
I know the PSU may be overkill but I was able to find it for around $130 MINUS an instant $30 rebate from Newegg and on top of that there is a mail-in rebate. I also have a copy of Windows 7 Pro 64-bit so that takes at least $100-$200 off the total.
I have a few questions however.
First, the PC shop I went to recommended a Asus SABERTOOTH P67 Socket H2 LGA-1155 Motherboard. The Gigabyte listed above is around $60-$70 cheaper though. Will I be sacrificing too much going with the Gigabyte vs. the Asus?
Next, what hard drive should I go with? I would like at least a 1TB drive for storing music,videos,photos,etc. I found a Crucial M4 64GB SSD for a good deal so I got one to use for storing the OS and system files on. For the normal HD, I was thinking something along the lines of a Western Digital but I haven't made my mind up.
Finally, is the Cooler Master CPU Cooler listed last really necessary right now? I am considering overclocking the CPU maybe in the future but I could shave off some dollars by omitting the cooler. Will the case fans sufficiently cool the system in its current state? The case has front and rear 120MM fans.
Thanks in advance for the help or advice. If I forgot to ask anything else, I will post a follow-up.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jan 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Might want to reconsider that power supply,

Coolmax CUG-950B 950W Review

After reading that if they haven't changed the design since that review was written, I would definitely be looking elsewhere.

As far as the motherboard goes it comes down to a few extra features between them,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%2050001315%20600008069&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&CompareItemList =280|13-128-495^13-128-495-TS%2C13-131-702^13-131-702-TS

a couple of more USB 3.0 and SATA 3 ports. The rest would be any bios options (would have to compare the manuals for both), and any vendor specific software.

For the heatsink, might as well get it now if planning to overclock. If nothing else it is much easier to install when doing the build than after. that and it will cool much better and be quieter than the stock fan.

For the case fans the two it comes with should be OK, but you won't really know until it is built and run. If you decide you need them they are relatively easy to add later. If you do look for the highest airflow and lowest noise fans you can find.

Only other thing is you seemed to have missed adding a video card to it. I realize that the Gigabyte board will allow the use of the integrated Intel video, but I definitely wouldn't want to game with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

Nope he didn't..
Quote:
EVGA Superclocked 01G-P3-1563-AR Geforce GTX 560 Ti GPU
All looks good (running X58 for now myself)
Never heard of coolmax so can't give advice.. all I know is Antec, Corsair, Coolmaster and a couple more make good PSUs (Im guessin some might disagree on CM but the Silent Pro Gold 1000 W I have does it's job fine)
And oh yea as for the HD.. not sure how availabilty and prices are atm (after the thailand flood..) but either way mechanical is only way to go for TB disks (for now, SSDs are "expensive" and such)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Only other thing is you seemed to have missed adding a video card to it. I realize that the Gigabyte board will allow the use of the integrated Intel video, but I definitely wouldn't want to game with it.
^Agreed. Most Low-end video cards will give you better results than integrated video. You should always get a good card when building for gaming.

I would like to mention to be careful when selecting a heatsink. I recently rebuild the inside of my computer, and needed a new heatsink for the new CPU I got, and got a good one with good reviews. The only problem is that it was TALL. I couldn't close my case because of it. I returned it and got this one instead. It's quite a powerhouse, and isn't very tall. It's a bit wide, but it's not a problem if you attach it to your motherboard and plug in the cpu power, before installing the motherboard in the case. They make heatsinks very large these days, so that's something to consider.

I also think it's best to find a PSU with good ratings and more power than you need. That way you don't have to get a new one when upgrading.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Only other thing is you seemed to have missed adding a video card to it. I realize that the Gigabyte board will allow the use of the integrated Intel video, but I definitely wouldn't want to game with it.
I did add a video card to the list, the EVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked. I've heard it's one of the best cards for the money right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bazkook View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Only other thing is you seemed to have missed adding a video card to it. I realize that the Gigabyte board will allow the use of the integrated Intel video, but I definitely wouldn't want to game with it.
I did add a video card to the list, the EVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked. I've heard it's one of the best cards for the money right now.
that's a good choice, you will run games at high resloutions without a problem with that
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WolfSoul View Post
Never heard of coolmax so can't give advice.. all I know is Antec, Corsair, Coolmaster and a couple more make good PSUs (I'm guessin some might disagree on CM but the Silent Pro Gold 1000 W I have does it's job fine)
And oh yea as for the HD.. not sure how availability and prices are atm (after the Thailand flood..) but either way mechanical is only way to go for TB disks (for now, SSDs are "expensive" and such)
Thanks. The Coolmax was recommended by the guy at the shop I went to. Even though I set the budget at $1000 and have seen numerous quality builds online for that budget,the guy at the shop was pushing me towards a higher end model that I couldn't afford ATM. Heck he quoted me at $1375.28 after tax with the following parts:
  • Intel Core i5 i5-2500K 3.30 GHz Processor - Socket H2 LGA-1155: $252.82
  • MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti Graphic Card - 822 MHz Core - 1 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - PCI Express 2.0 x16: $301.97
  • Cooler Master HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Chassis: $110.10
  • Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8G 8GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory Module: $60.80
  • Samsung SH-B123L Internal Blu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer - Bulk
    Pack - Black: $66.63
  • Coolmax CUG-950B EPS12V Power Supply: $114.46
  • Asus SABERTOOTH P67 Desktop Motherboard - Intel - Socket H2 LGA-1155: $225.43
  • COOLER MASTER V6 GT RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 120mm DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket & Dual Fan: $68.99
  • Labor: $90
That quote does not even include a hard drive which pretty much adds another $100 or so to the total. By the time I would've purchased a monitor and any other accessories,it would have been well over my budget. Plus I don't know where the guy was getting his prices from but on Newegg and Tigerdirect many of those parts are going for way less than what he quoted and some have free shipping. He said he checked 3 different sites but I'm not so sure about that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by M1GU31 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bazkook View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Only other thing is you seemed to have missed adding a video card to it. I realize that the Gigabyte board will allow the use of the integrated Intel video, but I definitely wouldn't want to game with it.
I did add a video card to the list, the EVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked. I've heard it's one of the best cards for the money right now.
that's a good choice, you will run games at high resloutions without a problem with that
That's what I've heard. With the overclocking done by EVGA,I've also heard that the card should approach or slightly surpass the performance of the GTX 570.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Should the Crucial M4 64GB SSD I already purchased be large enough to store the OS,system files,and a few games? I was also recommended by man who works at the shop to purchase another Crucial 64GB SSD and run the two in RAID 0 and connect an external hard drive,instead of an internal one,so that the normal HD isn't being accessed all the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

BTW,I play on running mostly first-person shooters. I have Far Cry 2,Steam with several Half-Life games,and Elder Scrolls Oblivion Anniversary Edition. The Half-Life games run fine with maxed out settings on my PC now but I have to dial down settings a fairly good bit for Far Cry 2 and Oblivion. I hope to be able to run Crysis 1 and 2 and Battlefield 3 though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Building my first gaming desktop. Need advice on hardware selection.




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