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Old December 7, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Default Basic gaming build to take home

Hi folks,

I've been doing some reading and I'm stuck picking parts for my PC. I'll try to give you some input on what I need and what I've found and parts I've picked so far. My major questions would be how much power and cooling I would need, but also to try and cut the budget for a similar end-result.

One important detail: I'm currently in Canada (and would buy stuff here) but will take this to a different country (I'm moving back home within 6 months). I can spend a bit more for a bit more performance on some items, because the same stuff bakc home is at least twice the price - and not everything would be available.

The most demanding things the PC is meant for is working with databases (Access and Excel) and gaming (FPS, RPGs and strategy as Civ 5). I'm not crazy about max settings, but like to play smoothly on medium at least.
Budget 1500-2000 canadian dollars
I'm used to Intel processors and Nvidia videocards but I'm open to your suggestions if similar results could be obtained with AMD or Radeon components.
I'm using no old parts. I've read some threads and that's why I reached the current set up.
No overclocking. Resolution is also not extreme (I currently own an Asus laptop X-50 and play on 1280x600, if memory serves) but maybe 1600xsomething.

Components I've picked, based on what I've read on other threads:

- Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K
- ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
- CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX16GX3M4A1600C9
- COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS500-PCARD3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply
- Galaxy 55NPH8HX4LXZ GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card or a GTX 560 with 1 GB of RAM
- Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F240GB3-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Subtotal is 1,672.43.

Rationale is:
- this processor is much more affordable here
- that processor along with that motherboard it should make use of the quad channel RAM
- this GeForce is good and I'm not planning on 3D or anything (I can afford the 560, but all I found have 1GB of RAM)
- SSD just because it's so much cheaper here than home

Major questions:
- Decent build?
- Spending money on stupid choices (stuff that's not compatible, can't make use of full potential)?
- Could build similar build cheaper?
- How much cooling should I use? Preference for liquid vs fan?
- Shoud I go for the GeForce 560 with 1 GB or 550 with 2 GB?
- Am I missing important stuff?

Thanks for your time and help
Dexter
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Old December 7, 2011, 03:59 PM
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There are some parts that are just as affordable back home (monitors, keyboards, mouse, etc).

I do wonder if it's worth buying a sound card - I play HD videos into my 50' plasma TV and I'm hoping to bring a 50-60' LED TV back as well.

Thanks, once more
Dexter
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Old December 7, 2011, 04:12 PM
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I'd change the powersupply to something else as cooler master psus aren't the best as you can find better quality ones for a similar price such as the
NCIX.com - Buy Antec Earthwatts Green 500W Power Supply ATX12V V2.0 Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze 80MM Fan - Antec - EA500D-Green - in Canada
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair Builder Series CMPSU-500CXV2 500W ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan *3 Year Wrty* - Corsair - CMPSU-500CXV2 - in Canada

For your gpu it'd help if you name specific games you play since a gtx 550 can handle CS no problem but for BF3 it might run into some hiccups because FPS is a bit vague.

CPU wise the i7-3930k is a beast but if the most demanding thing is running excel, I just think that's a waste and unesceary as you can get away with something much cheaper if you're just running excel.

For cooling, you'll be fine with air cooling because you stated you have no intentions to overclock, the stock heatsink will probably do the job for ya.
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Old December 7, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Thanks!

Right now I'm playing Call of Duty MW3 and Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. I intent to get Diablo 3, Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and a few more this holidays.

I know most of that stuff is overkill for amateur gaming and mild Excel and Access databases (and your usual web surfing, HD video and all) but one of the reasons I'm looking at the more expensive stuff is because it's actually afordable up here, while down there the same build could come to 5000 canadian dollars (while it's now less than 1700). Also, my countries law allows me to not pay any import tax because I lived abroad for more than 1 year...

Just the price difference on this PC (Canada vs home) pays for the container for the rest of my stuff...
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Old December 7, 2011, 10:18 PM
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I can also see the monitor makes a difference: I intend to use a 23' one - LG or Samsung, probably.
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Old December 7, 2011, 10:50 PM
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3 things to change apart from the PSU mentioned above.
1 CPU, your running excel... really really don't need this thing, save yourself a fortune and get a 2500 (no k as you don't oc)
and a h67 board to match it.
On the not over-clocking, all intel k or x chips are ment to be overclocked.. infact they charge you more for them so that you can overclock.
Point: Don't buy a k chip if your not going to overclock.

And 16GB of ram is silly ammounts. what size are the spreadsheets and databases? they want to be enormous for wanting that ammount of ram.
8GB is LOADS, it may be cheap but it's wasted money IMO..
and as it's cheap you can simply by another 2 4GB sticks later if you feel you need it.
No waste and no problem getting more either.


With your extra cash get yourself either a 570 or a 580. this will be the biggest improvement you can make to this system for your games.
(the processor and ram are still pleanty and then some for office.

On gaming and resolutions, you generally want to keep to the monitors native res.
in a 23" your probably going to be at 1920X 1080. For BF3 and the like you will want a larger card.
More ram on the card won't benifit you as the resolution is low and especially with a card that isn't running max setting 1 gb is fine...
that said the 570 and 580 will give you some head room with both ram and graphics power as they should play fine with everything max on 1080 in current titles and as new stuff comes out you should still have enough memory on the cards to handle what they can process
(ie as games get more intense on the GPU you will have to lower the graphic settings which will result in less ram needed)

Last edited by Dzzope; December 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old December 8, 2011, 10:06 AM
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^^^ seconded. Excel doesn't benefit from 4 cores let alone 6. The most intensive thing you'll probably be doing with your computer would be BF3 and your planned GTX 550 would get eaten alive by it on 1920x1080 res. Since you plan on getting an ssd, that would already make excel and office snappier and more responsive than having it waste 6 cores.

An i7-3930k is beyond overkill for what you're doing, heck even a 2600k would be overkill for excel. The parts maybe cheaper for you to buy in Canada but buying a 3930k and not even overclocking it destroys the purpose of getting a "K" processor. It's not the price that is the problem here but its a waste to not utilize those 6 cores, maybe get into folding if you're dead set on the 3930k haha.

The most demanding thing your pc is used for is gaming so it would be better to cut back on the cpu and get a non k 2500 and beef up in the gpu department since the 3930k will only help your fps in a miniscule amount. If you're getting a GTX 570 or 580, you'd need a 650w psu IF you're not overclocking anything at all. Get a higher wattage psu like a 750 or maybe a 850w if you're planning on overclocking anything.
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Old December 8, 2011, 10:29 AM
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It looks like you are trying to future proof by going to the 3930K, but unfortunately the rest of it is not very future proof.

I would go with a 2500K/2600K and Probably something around an Asus Z68 V-Pro Gen 3 and save yourself $500 on those components, then put that $500 into better graphics and a better PSU. Get a single GTX 580 and an AX 850 for room to grow instead. BF3 really does need the 580....or dual 560 Tis.

I like 16 gigs of RAM and would pay the extra $50 myself, but I use a lot of applications that make use of drive caching.

I'd also go Crucial M4 or Intel for the SSD.

Even if you stick with everything you have on the list...get a better PSU.
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Old December 8, 2011, 11:14 AM
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What type off power comes out off the wall back home 240 volt. ???

North America its 120 Volts 15 amps.

Make sure Power supply is compatable with Home electric power ?????
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Old December 8, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great tips!

I'm already looking into prices for the suggested processors and motherboards. I really appreciate all opinions and I'm considering using all your tips.

Wall power at home is similar to North America.

So far I'm pretty sure the video card will upgraded at least to the 580 (590 if I can afford it). I'll probably step back on the other components, as you suggested, but if I can make my budget a bit bigger I might go ahead with the overkill processor. I'll more than likely not be able to afford it (as I'll haul a whole bunch of stuff back as well). I guess future proofing, if such a thing is possible, is the major driving force of this build.

I'm keeping in mind, as everyone's suggesting, that I can cut back costs by overkilling a lot less. I'll make some calculations and keep checking back to see what else everyone might suggest.

Given I still have a little time before I buy it (a few weeks) I'll keep checking back. Once I make up my mind I'll let everyone know.

Thanks, again, for the feedback! All of it was really helpful and great! Please keep commenting! ;-)
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