New rig (after 4 years)

wfalcon

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Wanted to get some additional eyes after pouring through a ton of reviews and research over the last couple weeks. Anyway, here is what I came up with:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $120

Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) Processor $210

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card $400

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $50

Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite ATX Mid Tower Case $100

CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular PSU $130

Total - $1010 (Not included is HDD or DVD burner or aftermarket CPU cooler - planning on stock.)

Primary usage is gaming with a couple VMs off the side for occasional self-study which won't be powered on while I'm playing. Have considered bumping up the RAM to 16GB for the VMs. However, I'm pretty much at my budget limitation already. I have no intention of overclocking (Not as [H] as I used to be due to time constraints.) and thus the i5-3550 selection.

That being said, a few questions: (1.) Any areas I can trim? (2.) Anything I'm messing up? (3.) Any areas that would be drastically improved with a little additional investment?

Thanks.
 

wfalcon

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Looks like I forgot a couple things. I already have Win7 Ultimate - so OS isn't an issue. I'm planning on keeping my existing 24in LCD, so gaming is at 1920x1200 res as much as possible.

I live in WA state - so mostly shop online. There's a Fry's up north, but nothing around my area.
 

zandor

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Premature welcome to the ex-dinosaur club! I upgraded from a dual Opteron 285 (socket 940) system to a 3820 rig last month.

People will be along shortly to harass you for not answering all the questions in the sticky. @see sticky for details.

You might look at a Sandy Bridge CPU rather than an Ivy Bridge. The main advantages of IB are better onboard graphics, PCI-e 3.0, and lower power consumption at stock clocks. IB has slightly better IPC, but it's a pretty small improvement of just a few percent. The thing is the power draw isn't that much better in desktop (power bill) terms, you won't be using the onboard graphics, and PCI-e 3.0 isn't important with one card. I haven't done a detailed analysis and actually I haven't even looked at prices in a few weeks, but the word around here is that Sandy Bridge is worth looking at so you should give it some thought. It might loosen up your budget enough that you can get 16GB, which would be nice to have with a couple VMs runnning.
 

wfalcon

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Ooops - Hmm - let me scan through to see what I missed:

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within the next couple weeks

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
None of the above. Only running one mechanical 1TB SATA drive. Will never go crossfire or SLI, so that's not an issue.

Anyway, didn't really give Sandy a second look, as it doesn't appear that prices have dropped too much (at least at the egg). You think I should take a look at a CPU with a little less umph? Was concerned with letting that 670 run free and any future CPU-intensive games.
 

Dangman

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Nah he just need to answer these three questions since he's basically answered most of the sticky:
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video? UEFI? etc.
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? 32bit or 64bit?
 

wfalcon

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I indicated full-blown Win7 Ultimate above - guess I should've added 64-bit and yes, legit.
 

Dangman

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8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within the next couple weeks
.

Damn, if only you were buying within the next week. You can shave off $25 with this CPU + mobo combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.909520

You can shave off another $18 if you buy the PSU and case from this combo link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.913238

The combo deals generally expire at the end of the month. Sometimes they reappear the next month but sometimes they don't.

RAM wise, no need for DDR3 1600 RAM. You can shave off $10 with DDR3 1333 RAM:
40$ - G.Skill Value Series F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
 

wfalcon

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Damn, if only you were buying within the next week. You can shave off $25 with this CPU + mobo combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.909520

You can shave off another $18 if you buy the PSU and case from this combo link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.913238

The combo deals generally expire at the end of the month. Sometimes they reappear the next month but sometimes they don't.

RAM wise, no need for DDR3 1600 RAM. You can shave off $10 with DDR3 1333 RAM:
40$ - G.Skill Value Series F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

Hmm - good to know about the RAM - might help make 16GB more tolerable to the budget. Also thanks for the heads up on the combo deal - could actually purchase now if I needed to - was just giving it some time to make sure I wasn't overlooking something. You don't think the clock speed increase between the 3450 and the 3550 would be worth $25? I don't want to bottleneck the GPU.
 

Dangman

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You don't think the clock speed increase between the 3450 and the 3550 would be worth $25? I don't want to bottleneck the GPU.

Nope not worth it at all. Hell barely worth the $10 difference in MSRP.
 

E4g1e

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Hmm - good to know about the RAM - might help make 16GB more tolerable to the budget. Also thanks for the heads up on the combo deal - could actually purchase now if I needed to - was just giving it some time to make sure I wasn't overlooking something. You don't think the clock speed increase between the 3450 and the 3550 would be worth $25? I don't want to bottleneck the GPU.

I agree with Danny: Not worth the $25. In fact, barely worth even $10. A 200MHz bump in the stock clock speed is far too small to see a noticeable increase in performance - to the point that one small downgrade in either the GPU or the HDD can make that 3.3GHz CPU perform slower overall than a given 3.1GHz CPU within that exact same line.
 

wfalcon

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Thanks for the input. What about the vid card - originally considered a GeForce 560 Ti for a significant price drop. I know that it also comes with a significant performance drop too. Is it viable for 1920x1200 gaming? Saving that kind of cash would allow me to put a budget box together for the wife.
 

Dangman

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Thanks for the input. What about the vid card - originally considered a GeForce 560 Ti for a significant price drop. I know that it also comes with a significant performance drop too. Is it viable for 1920x1200 gaming? Saving that kind of cash would allow me to put a budget box together for the wife.
The GTX 560 TI isn't that great of a choice due to its limited VRAM. The HD 7850 2GB is close to the GTX 560 TI in price. With that said, both cards are viable for 1920x1080 gaming as long as you're fine with medium to high settings. If playing Skyrim, avoid all the texture mods with the GTX 560 Ti due to its limited VRAM.

FYI, the performance difference between the HD 7850 2GB and the GTX 670 is roughly 30% to 50% depending on the game. IMO, the GTX 670 is worth it if you can afford it.
 
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