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Old November 1, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Default Mid to Upper end gaming rig wanted

1. What YOUR PC will be used for.
Primarily gaming and streaming video, but there will also be ripping of videos via HandBrake, sound editing via Audacity and hopefully some light Photoshop. Also, I plan on doing things like Skype, Google Hangouts and the like. Gaming may be an FPS or two, but will primarily be RPGs and MMOs.

2. What YOUR budget is.
$2000 max, including taxes and shipping (to Ottawa, Canada), although I am not hell-bent on spending up to that limit.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada

4. IF YOU have a brand preference.
I would prefer Intel.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
I have Windows 7 Professional 32-Bit, but I do not know if it will work on a modern system. If yes, great, if not, I need an OS.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
I have looked around other places, but most threads are based in the US and have US prices and availability. I would like something more specific to Canadian prices. In addition, I don't know enough to know what is good advice, what is bad advice, or how to know what can be dropped down in order to upgrade something else.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
Overclocking will be done, but only as a way of extending the lifespan or future-proofing. It is not necessary, and I have absosmurfly no experience overclocking, and I am not particularly interested in learning the ins and outs of overclocking. If there is one-button overclocking, that would be awesome.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
I plan on purchasing in the next month or so and building shortly thereafter.

9. What resolution and settings do you use?
It will be for gaming, but as my build involves a monitor, I assume that will be a starting point. The limitation on the monitor is that the spot on my desk where my monitor will be going is 24 inches wide, so any monitor *has* to fit in there. I also spend a fair amount of time on Netflix and watching DVDs, so some decent resolution would be awesome. HD, 1080 (are they different??) I also plan on using the monitor to play my 360 (and eventually a PS4 and/or XBox One), so multiple inputs is a necessary.

10. Are there any specific technologies you want?
Wifi is a must. The monitor should have multiple HDMI inputs as I will also be using it as a monitor for an XBoxOne and PS4. I would like a mechanical keyboard, but have had no experience with them. An internal optical drive would be nice, but not necessary as I can access a USB DVD drive. I would really, really like the case to have headphone and USB ports on the front. (I *think* that is standard on all cases these days, but I don't know. That should give you an idea of the last time I built a PC.) An SSD would be nice, but not necessary if it doesn't fit into the budget. If I get an SSD, it would be primarily for the OS.

If possible, I would like the PC to be able to, in 3 or 4 years be able to upgrade the PC via upgrading the GPU and, if possible (although this is not predictable) the CPU.

Additional notes
My wife likes taking pictures and has a fairly large collection of music in addition to the games I will be playing, so I would prefer having a case with easy expandability with respect to HD storage.
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Old November 1, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Well...I'll let somebody else pick the monitor, as I'm not really that well versed in quality monitors. I would assume that for gaming you'd like a TN-panel (cheaper), and either 120hz or a 60hz refresh rate.

-120hz (or 144hz) is usually better for FPS games as it reduces motion blur, but is more expensive, and requires quite a bit of graphics horsepower
-60hz is pretty much a basic monitor. If you're playing mostly RTS games, this is likely all you will need.

I'll do a build based off a 60Hz monitor (as that determines the graphics card.

CPU: i5 4570K ~ $250
Motherboard: MSI Z45-G45 ~ $165
RAM: 2x4GB of 1600Mhz or 1866Mhz ~ $80 ...Kingston Hyper X, or Corsair Vengeance, G.Skill Ripjaws...they're all good
Video Card: GTX770 ~ $350 Pick whatever brand you like best....ASUS, MSI, EVGA, etc....whichever one is cheapest when you buy.
SSD: Crucial M500 256GB ~$190
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB ~$65
Case: This is really subjective. ~ $60 - $120 Corsair makes really nice cases..if you like understated, they're the ones to look at. If you like flashier cases, NZXT's Phantom line is really nice.
Powersupply: Something about 650-750W, from Seasonic, Corsair, or Antec. ~$100

Total Cost: $1300 not including the price of a monitor.

If you want to run 120Hz monitor, pick up a GTX780, or a second GTX770 to run in SLI.

As far as windows is concerned, don't reuse your 32bit copy of Windows 7. You'll be limited to about 3.5GB of total memory, and that includes video memory. If you have a video card with 2GB of video memory, you'll have 1.5GB left over for System memory, which windows will pretty much fill up. Go and buy yourself a nice 64-bit copy of Windows 8.

The motherboard I selected is capable of one-click overclocking from within the bios. If you plan on doing that though, you'll want to get an aftermarket cooler. A nice cheap one is the Coolermaster Hyper 212. If you like to spend a little more money, the H80i AIO liquid cooler is about $80. If you're going to keep it at stock, staying with the stock heatsink is just fine.

Oh, and you'll probably want to look into a wireless network card, too. I'll let someone else knowledgeable with networks deal with that. I think 1Gigabit wireless networks are coming of age these days, so it's something to be looked into.
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Son's Rig: M5A97; 1055T; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; ASUS GTX650Ti Boost; 80GB Intel 520 SSD; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;

Last edited by great_big_abyss; November 1, 2013 at 01:32 PM.
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Old November 1, 2013, 01:50 PM
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Agree with most of the above.

I'll start with the monitor. This depends totally on what is more important to you.. For me I would go IPS as it's better colours and viewing angles very much suit the editing and media consumption along with the preference of rts / rpgs.
That said if you like smoothness then a 120hz screen is what your after. much poorer colours as it will be a tn panel but should make everything buttery smooth.
If your go 120/144hz tn based then look at either lightboost or nvidia's g-sync.
If IPS is your thing then a 1920x1200 will be much better for editing and rts/rpg games..
Not ideal for movies as you'll have a larger letterbox (1920x1080(HD) is 16:9 whereas 1920x1200 is 16:10) but is so much better for everything else

CPU, the i5 will be plenty for light editing and everything else, go i7 if you do a reasonable amount(look at benchmarks) and think it's worth the extra $100
Motherboard, I don't like the specific board above but thats just a preference.. I would look at Asus hero or MSI mpower.. yes they are a bit more but they are really really good wuality boards.. you may need a wifi card / dongle but I'm sure thats not a big issue. ac is the newest (really fast) wireless.. probably better off the mobo anyway.
Memory, 8gb again should be fine but more will be used for large picures and the encoding.. again benches are your friend to see if it's worth spending the extra.
Agree with the GPU. 770 should be plenty though with the price-drop and your budget I would be VERY tempted by the STUNNINGLY good Asus 780 DCII.. so cool, quiet and powerful.
SSD is a solid mid level choice, a few seconds here and there worth more? then something like a samsung 840pro or Intel 520 is the next step up thats good good kit.
HDD, I would suggest at least 2TB as you said you have large storage needs. Movies, pictures etc all take up massive amounts of space, especially in raws or editing. I do agree to go WD, very solid products.
Case, as said above, is very very subjective, moreso than anything else. Corsair, coolermaster, Fractal, Bitfinix, NZXT amongst others are all good kit.. find a style you like and then look at features.
PSU, good 550W-650w is plenty for a single card, go 750w-850w if you plan to add another at some point. Brands above are solid, you can find other good kit but check out a professional review of anything before buying.. there are DANGEROUS psu's out there and very good one with the same brand on the front (coolermaster comes to mind)
Cooling.. you can go air or all-in-one water(closed loop).. you'll be trading blows but air is better value at the bottom end and water is better at the top.. middle is a throw-up.

Upgrade your copy of windows to 64bit for the reasons above.. you DO want 64bit. Win 7 or 8 is your choice.. MANY people hate 8(horrible ui, try before you buy) but to each their own. (8 actually should perform slightly better in games)

As your not buying for a month you have loads of time to look at reviews etc. There should only really be 2 significant releases in that time (AMD 290 and Nvidia 780ti).
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Old November 1, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzzope View Post
Motherboard, I don't like the specific board above but thats just a preference.. I would look at Asus hero or MSI mpower.. yes they are a bit more but they are really really good wuality boards.. you may need a wifi card / dongle but I'm sure thats not a big issue. ac is the newest (really fast) wireless.. probably better off the mobo anyway.
I disagree with buying a high end motherboard unless you're really overclocking the stink out of a processor. The mid-range boards from MSI, ASUS, etc. are almost as feature rich as the higher end boards, and still offer a good degree of overclocking. I just don't see the need in spending money on ultra-high end products (any ROG product) unless you really really need it.

MOST mid-range to high-end cases will have many of the same features: removable HDD sleds, cable routing behind the motherboard tray, painted interior, SSD mounting points, lots of fan mounting options, USB3, headphone jacks, etc.

Things to look for are build quality (do the panels bend when you manipulate them...is it mostly metal, or does it have a lot of plastic?), dust filters on all fan intake locations (as well as the top fan holes to prevent dust from falling in), HDD hotswap bays (this is really useful for doing backups).
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Coolermaster GeminII; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI R7-260X; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 1TB WD Green, 2x 2TB WD Green; PC P&C 750W PS; Fractal Design Node 605;
Son's Rig: M5A97; 1055T; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; ASUS GTX650Ti Boost; 80GB Intel 520 SSD; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;

Last edited by great_big_abyss; November 1, 2013 at 02:20 PM.
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Old November 1, 2013, 08:21 PM
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I would choose them for component quality not features.. I agree totally that basically any z87 board is fine for some overclocking.
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Old November 1, 2013, 08:49 PM
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So, playing with things, here is what I have so far. It is subject to change as I get more advice.

Also, the case is in there as a placeholder. I plan on digging into cases to see what ones offer the best options and will allow me lots of room to put in the water cooler.

Also, I have too much of a PSU, because I can see myself adding a second GPU around the time I add a second monitor.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($341.98 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.79 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($193.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($149.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($188.00 @ Vuugo)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($339.99 @ Memory Express)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($178.50 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: Antec TruePower New 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($133.00 @ Vuugo)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($141.72 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: ViewSonic VA2448m-LED 24.0" Monitor ($202.00 @ Vuugo)
Total: $2027.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-01 23:04 EDT-0400)

Note that this is an updated one with an SSD added, and the liquid cooler exchanged for an air cooler, and the Caviar Black HDs dropped to Caviar Blue HDs.

Last edited by mudbunny; November 1, 2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old November 2, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Cheaper and IMO better... Intel Core i7-4770K, MSI GeForce GTX 770, NZXT Source 530 - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada

A whole $14 but with the exception of the case (you may not like the looks) is a better build IMO.
Even if you stick to your build, get the MSI 770... at $299 you can't go wrong and they have Canadian RMA facility and generally are regarded as very good kit and customer service.
If your going the $330 - 340 price, look at the Asus.. it is a beast (runs sooo cool cos of great components and again, Canadian based RMA)
Also, a second monitor will not require another GPU. Additiona gpu power will be required for surround gaming (3 screens) 3d or 120/144hz screens (whats the point in the fast screen if you can't draw the frames)

On the monitor, feel free to swap to something else.. but IPS is the bees knees for picture / movie editing and general computer usage is improved by the taller format.. only down-sides are games will be a LITTLE less smooth and movies will tend to have slightly larger "letterbox"
Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24 IPS Monitor Review

IMO this build gives you a better motherboard thats not loaded with stuff you generally won't use but has better components(much better sound and the wifi card is a much faster standard than the Pro), Better PSU by a large margin and a much better monitor
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Random quotes:

AKG: "So please don't piss on people and claim its raining. "
Soullessone21: "Their the only fat bitches I ever want in my wife :)"
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Last edited by Dzzope; November 2, 2013 at 08:33 AM.
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Old November 4, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Thanks Dzzope!! I appreciate the build, and have stolen it. Made only a modification to the monitor, which gave me the following:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($334.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.46 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($202.80 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($136.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($339.99 @ Memory Express)
Wireless Network Adapter: TRENDnet TEW-805UB 802.11a/b/g/n/ac USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($46.72 @ DirectCanada)
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.88 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - OEM (64-bit) ($137.67 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: Asus VG248QE 144Hz 24.0" Monitor ($279.79 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $2049.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-04 14:04 EST-0500)
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