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A good long lasting gaming and multipurpose rig?

dlf

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#1
This seem like a decent rig to play most current and forthcoming PC games? . . . .

  • Budget - Within about $1500 (American)
  • Resolution - At first 1680 x 1050 - Eventually HD (and a dual monitor setup)
  • Games / Settings Desired: Everything from DOS era on, yes you read that correctly. Most should probably be high settings (if not ultra)
  • Any other intensive software or special things you do (such as: Frequent video encoding, 3D modeling, etc) - Folding at home (may run in background) - no Video editing, no modeling. Basic
  • Country - USA
  • Parts that can be reused: Not that I can think of (see current specs as to why)
  • Buying Parts: Before the end of the year, hopefully before fall or end of summer
  • Will NOT prebuilt
Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6zj0
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6zj0/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6zj0/benchmarks/

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-M Pro Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Hard Drive: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.98 @ NCIX US)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($367.55 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.98 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($145.98 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: LG GH24NS70 OEM DVD/CD Writer ($23.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1526.41
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-04-09 14:33 EDT-0400)

Current specs:

  • Case: No idea (although it is a HP slimline, gray) - that should give some idea of the sort of case.
  • Motherboard: Asus A8N-BR (Pyrite) (1 PCI, 2 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394)
  • Motherboard Chipset - nVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE, AMD Hammer
  • Power Supply: No idea (but it's less than 100 watts, I think)
  • Processor: DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2000 MHz (10 x 200) 3800+
  • CPU Cooler: A fan
  • Memory:
  • - DIMM1: Kingston 1 GB DDR2-533 DDR2 SDRAM (5-4-4-12 (at) 266 MHz) (4-4-4-12 (at) 266 MHz) (3-3-3-9 (at) 200 MHz)
  • - DIMM2: Kingston 2G-UDIMM 2 GB DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM (5-5-5-15 (at) 333 MHz) (4-4-4-12 (at) 266 MHz) (3-3-3-9 (at) 200 MHz)
  • Hard Drive: 250 GB ATA drive
  • Optical Drive HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GSA-H20L ATA Device (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:4x, DVD+RW:16x/8x, DVD-RW:16x/6x, DVD-RAM:5x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM)
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
And what I wanted in a new system:

Hardware

  • USB 2.0 speeds that are minimum of 30 MB a second
  • USB 3.0 speeds that are at lest 300+ MB/s [I will get / use an SSD]
  • Firewire (and or eSata port) --- because I have a external hardrive that has both along with USB
  • At lest a solid terabyte (1.5 TB)
  • Has either a VGA or DVI port (current monitor I have has both)
  • Also has support for HDMI (for the future monitor)
  • Multi card reader (although I mainly need SD and Memory Pro Stick Duo)
  • Able to use a PS3 controller AND A XBOX 360 controller (yes I know 360 is native support . . .)
  • I would like a quad core.
  • Multiple internal DVD drives - Also to make installations faster
  • Plenty of 3.5/5.25 drive bays . . .
Software

  • Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) (Main OS) -- Mostly for languages
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit (if needed)
  • May first run Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit - as I have both 32/64 bit discs now)
  • Windows XP (if 64 bit won't run some of the games I have) (if needed)
  • Folding@home - (although I use my PS3 for that when I'm not using it)

Gaming Software:

- Will use steam:
  • Elder Scrolls (Morrowind -> Skyrim)
  • Portal 1 & 2
  • Batman Arkham (Asylum/City)
  • Sonic Generations
  • Quake (all)
  • Doom (all)
  • Wolfenstein (3D) & 2009 - and the others
  • Commander keen (all)
  • Bioshock (1/2) (perhaps infinite)
  • L.A. Noire
  • Bejeweled 2/3
  • Peggle
  • Various COD's
  • anything else that interests me
  • - Will use CD/DVD's of the games I have:
  • Warcraft 2 - Tides of Darkness & Beyond the Dark Portal
  • Warcraft 3 - Reign of Chaos & Frozen Throne
  • Diablo 1 - 3 (when it comes out)
  • The Sims 1 - And all expansions
  • The Sims 2 (probably)
  • Simcity 4000 & Rushhour
  • May use emulation (to run up to the PS2/Wii)

Other Thoughts

  • Eventually a dual monitor setup (and one be HD resolution)
  • I will wait for some parts (hard drives, GPU, etc) to drop in price.
  • Will wait for IvyBridge. . . .
  • I WANT UEFI, NOT regular old BIOS (that this slimline has
  • May eventually like a dual GPU (crossfire?)
Monitor Thoughts:

  • First and foremost: Full HD
  • Widescreen
  • Supports: HDMI, DVI, Displayport (if the motherboard of the computer does)
  • Within 1 - 2 MS response time (current monitor is 5 MS response time)
  • Screen size - 25 to about 27 inches
 
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JrRacinFan

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#2
Everything looks astounding for the build. I can tell you did your research. One thing; since you are already getting the cpu from MC, why not look into one of the combos and get an EVEN BETTER motherboard?

PS:
If you can still find them, get the Samsung 30nm ram.

EDIT
UD3H+2500k Specifically.
http://img.techpowerup.org/120410/Capture028087.jpg
 
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#3
Why not wait for Ivy Bridge? Then get a Z77 board.

You have one SSD too many. I'd use the money for that extra SSD for adding to the GPU budget. I'd rather get a GTX 680/HD 7970.
 

Kreij

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#4
Power Supply: No idea (but it's less than 100 watts, I think)
I'm pretty sure it's larger than that. That wouldn't power a 100 watt light bulb. :D

Build looks good to me, and should last you for quite some time.
My rig (in specs) still does everything I need it to do.
 
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#5
looks good for the most part.
Though have you considered any other 7870's? The HIS card has good reviews with low temps, and it comes with a card support beam to improve it's lifespan. Plus it is a blower so it pushes out the back (for the most part); (it's also a bit cheaper right now) HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB ...

And yeah that samsung RAM is pretty awesome too; SAMSUNG 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600...

And here's an idea for a monitor perhaps? (unless you're going 120hz.) ASUS VE278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 2ms Full HD HDMI L...

Oh and yeah, with Ivy bridge about here, maybe cut off the 90GB SSD and put that money towards an IB i5 and a Z77 motherboard?
 
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#6
The 90GB SSD seems kinda pointless. Scratch it and go 7970/680 on the GPU.
 
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#7
The 90GB SSD seems kinda pointless. Scratch it and go 7970/680 on the GPU.
^^ This

Good amount of ram, looks like it will last for a while - I would also go either 680 or 7970
 

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#8
I like his SSD setup.
90 for OS, 240 for games, 2TB HDD for media.
Very fast if gaming is the rig's primary objective.


Oh btw ... Welcome to TPU dlf :toast:
 
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#9
but if gaming is the objective a better gpu would be better long term imo, especially considering how much an ssd costs per gb. that will go down and if more space is needed it can be added - a gpu though generally gets bought and you wait as long as possible to replace it - unless he is considering crossfire/sli
 
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#10
This is an impressive first post I must say. Give it a month (ish) and get ivy bridge of course :)

Assuming it clocks as good in a given temperature envelope that is. Not sure this will happen TBH

I would agree no need for 2 ssd maybe get one bigger SSD or reinvest the money!
 
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#11
I like his SSD setup.
90 for OS, 240 for games, 2TB HDD for media.
Very fast if gaming is the rig's primary objective.


Oh btw ... Welcome to TPU dlf :toast:
That would work if you're constantly swapping games on and off the drive as you need them. Just came up with an idea for an app... the Steam Games Re-location App....

Take the internal folder of steam games, and relocate them to secondary storage, and then put them back when needed, instead of re-downloading. Stuff you could do manually, but an app would be awesome. And not just steam games, any mappable directory, so one doesnt have to keep track of them all.

Still GPU> HDD speed IMO (take with some salt). I would pour the money on those SSD's into a better videocard (he will feel the difference more when he upgrades the monitor), go with a regular 500GB spindle and just max out the card, any decent modern hard drive will handle gaming loads just fine.
 
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Kreij

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#12
I guess the components I upgrade most often are the GCs, so I tend to max out everything else on build and plan for GC upgrades in the nearer future. But both methods have merit depending on the way you deal with your rig updates.

Hmmm ... a Steam relocation app ... ponder, ponder. Would be a little more involved than just moving files as you would want Steam to be able to update files when they were in secondary storage, but quite doable, methinks.
 

dlf

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#13
Actually the 2nd SSD is for items that would normally take long loading times on a HDD - I'd think some more recent games - Wolfenstein, LA Noire, Skyrim, etc would have longish loading times on a traditional HDD. The 2 TB is for other games and probably ~ 20 GB of music. I may use about 100 GB of the 2 TB for a partition of XP or I may get a small HDD for that -- specifically for the games that won't run on a multicore system or require XP.

Also I will wait for Ivy. I don't have nearly enough for the system yet. If I got a dual GPU - like two 7970's could one be solely for folding@home? I will also wait till the HDD go down (some?) in price. As parts get cheaper (HDD/SSD, ETC) I can probably get more recent parts.



Take a look at a picture of a slimline, it's quite small compared to a normal sized tower, and there is literally no room what so ever in it for anything besides RAM.
 
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#14
Actually the 2nd SSD is for items that would normally take long loading times on a HDD - I'd think some more recent games - Wolfenstein, LA Noire, Skyrim, etc would have longish loading times on a traditional HDD. The 2 TB is for other games and probably ~ 20 GB of music. I may use about 100 GB of the 2 TB for a partition of XP or I may get a small HDD for that -- specifically for the games that won't run on a multicore system or require XP.
If you go Dual GPU then I would go with nVidia for two reasons:

SLI support is way better than Crossfire support - multiGPU drivers are everything
They consume slightly less power and are slightly quieter.

But as a general rule, stay as far away from multi GPU as possible, unless you absolutely need the horsepower right now. Video cards depreciate the fastest in your system, which is why Kreij was saying stick with the build and plan on ugrading VC in a year.

If anything spend the extra money on a nice monitor. That's always a huge upgrade to a computing experience. Also if you are looking for a small machine, take a look at the SG08 with an h60 cooler combo... that can build a nice little monster rig.
 
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#15
Hmmm ... a Steam relocation app ... ponder, ponder. Would be a little more involved than just moving files as you would want Steam to be able to update files when they were in secondary storage, but quite doable, methinks.
well you could just do a mklink whenever it is moved, and it will still find the files AND be installed, no problems. I like that :)

I know there is a mklink app floating around to move steam installs - but last i looked it was very basic. still, if you want to move it might as well link it so it stays accessible and installed :)
 
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#16
well you could just do a mklink whenever it is moved, and it will still find the files AND be installed, no problems. I like that :)

I know there is a mklink app floating around to move steam installs - but last i looked it was very basic. still, if you want to move it might as well link it so it stays accessible and installed :)
mklink you say....

gonna have to spend some time on the googles tonight... here is hoping I can make this work through vbasic lol.
 

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#17
Might aswell go Skt 2011 or AM3+
 

dlf

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#18
A week ago I had a 256 GB SSD for the OS and other files but if I have to reinstall the OS - or it goes bottom up - than there goes the OS and the files.


As for a steam relocation app: Steam Mover. Guess I could get a HDD for solely just steam games.
 
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#19
I am also preparing for a new build, and while my overall budget is different due to my deep-seated lust for a Caselabs M10/TH10, as well as water cooling, I do have similar overall usage goals as you.

I am personally waiting for Ivy Bridge to launch and see how production units fair and how the first few months after launch go, with the 3770K being what I am intending on purchasing (4c/8t benefits HD video/audio editing). For the same reason, I am looking to I with 2x Vertex3 SSDs (90-120GB/each in RAID0) for 180-240GB of wicked fast OS speeds, as well as plenty of room for editing software and games. I personally am complementing the SSDs with a RAID10 array of WD Cav Black 7200rpm 1-2TB HDDs (size depending on how hard drive prices go). Keeping media, less-used software and games, and backups (including a full "virgin OS" copy) on the array gives the benefit of not only redundancy, but also pretty quick sequential read speeds which is beneficial for 500MB 1440p videos and 100MB uncompressed audio files.
I may end up finishing it off with a pair of WD Velociraptor 10krpm 300-600GB drives in raid for "in-between stuff", such as current projects that I don't want to eat up flash chips with the constant writes.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend going with one larger SSD to start, with fast 120GB Vertex3 drives being as low as $130 or less on sale lately. Then you can add another later, but still have your OS on a SSD from the get-go.
Then you can save money there to put towards the top of the line Kepler card out when you buy, which will give you lots of power with just one card while allowing the option of adding more down the road.
I might also suggest a bigger case, as I personally have always regretted buying a small-ish case to start, which ends up costing more to replace down the line, not to mention the downtime to transfer the entire system over.
I would recommend looking at the 800D which is a case that will certainly grow with you, or even the 650D. The 800D is going for around $270 with the 650D being $180. It is very nice to have the PSU sectioned off from the motherboard area, the vast amount of drive bays (take unused out to improve airflow, put back in when you fill them), and the support for multiple radiators if you decide to go that route. Bonus is top quality cable management, probably the best for "consumer case" (i.e. Not Case Labs, Danger Den, Mountain Mods, etc).

Hope this gives you some idea. You have a good plan for sure, just wanted to give my own opinion :)

Best of luck with your build!
 

dlf

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#20
I did find a OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk for the same price as the 90 GB I have in my first post. Also odd that since yesterday the end price of the entire system went down about $5.

When I do get a new monitor (like the one monitor that's been suggested) I could get a different GPU as well.

As for 'doing' research, this isn't the first thread I've posted, I've posted atlest 2 dozen (I'd think by now). Newegg, Neowin, Corsair, and dozen of other forum posters have suggested the parts you see in the first post. This is my first build I am somewhat tired of prebuilt and them not being that flexible (atlest the last two I had).
 
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#21
I guess the components I upgrade most often are the GCs, so I tend to max out everything else on build and plan for GC upgrades in the nearer future. But both methods have merit depending on the way you deal with your rig updates.

Hmmm ... a Steam relocation app ... ponder, ponder. Would be a little more involved than just moving files as you would want Steam to be able to update files when they were in secondary storage, but quite doable, methinks.
There is one oddly enough called steam mover it a gui that uses symbolic links for the folders and xcopy to move the files they still work as if they are in the steam directory, only limitation is valve games that use .gcf files cant be moved.

http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover
 
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#22
why not grab 2600k/2700k having the xtra thread later on would prolonged the rig, my 2cent
 
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#23
why not grab 2600k/2700k having the xtra thread later on would prolonged the rig, my 2cent
Good point, especially if the 8 core PS4 rumor and 16 thread Durango rumors are true, games might become heavily threaded within a half-decade.
 

dlf

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#24
I hope the rebates work when I buy or that the prices just go down 30 - 45% (doubtful). Right now with the rebates it does go about 10 below what I'd like to pay at most. When does Ivy bridge fully come out? 20 something of this month?
 
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#25