Building a PC for someone else -- need recommendations.

#1 Posted by Flabbergastrate (270 posts) -

This is what I have so far:

CPU - Core i5 3570K

Motherboard - Gigabyte Z77-UP4 TH

RAM - Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB

Graphics Card - XFX Radeon HD 7870 Core

PSU - Coolermaster GX650

OS - Windows 8 Pro

Display - ASUS VH236H

Keyboard - Nighthawk-X8

Case - Antec P280

Based on this initial build. He had a laptop before this, so all he has is a mouse. The current total, looking at Newegg, TigerDirect, and Amazon, comes to $1,239. Maybe a little more. We're wondering if he should step up to a more future-proof CPU. He is also interested in getting an SSD instead of an HDD, but he isn't sure if it's worth the money. With Steam, he would be able to install and uninstall games to mediate the space so he was thinking of buying a 120GB SSD for about $100 to store the OS, games, and applications and 500GB HDD to store other stuff. He mostly streams music and we have more than enough devices to play DVDs and Blu-Rays so he opted to let the Disk drive go. He also plans on doing some game development on it. I just wanted recommendations from you guys. He wants to keep the total (minus monitor/keyboard) under $1000.

#2 Edited by Jnal (204 posts) -

If you can get a ssd and a regular hdd get both. If storage isn't much of an issue you could cut down on the hdd size opening a bit of of cash for the ssd. You can get one somewhat cheap and small just to load the os and and your most used programs. If the motherboard supports UEFI then Windows 8 will load stupid fast compared to a regular hdd. Also with Steam and its games you could install everything on the traditional hdd or do this http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/11/finally-an-in-built-way-to-choose-steam-install-locations/. Other than that everything looks pretty good. I just built my new computer yesterday it ran $1480 but I overkilled a lot.

#3 Edited by Flabbergastrate (270 posts) -

Thanks, I'll go ahead and give him the okay. So the processor will work fine for a while?

#4 Posted by LassieME (224 posts) -

It'll be fine for atleast 3-4 years, minimum.

#5 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

If you are looking for a slightly cheaper MOBA. I would recommend this one. I am more a single gpu card kind of guy, though this board will support sli and crossfire if need be.

#6 Posted by golby (7 posts) -

I'm with WasabiCurry. I just built a new system with the ASRock extreme4. Great board and pretty cheap. If you've got a Microcenter by you, the 3570K is $169 and extreme4 is like $134.

#7 Posted by Hunkulese (2525 posts) -

An i7 isn't anymore future proof than the i5. You're fine until the tech changes and you'd be in the same boat with an i7.

The one thing you should consider is a better psu. 650 isn't going to cut it if he decides to add another gpu or hard drive later. Go for a minimum 750w psu. That isn't going to add much to the cost.

#8 Posted by Gonmog (572 posts) -

Don't.

#9 Edited by Flabbergastrate (270 posts) -

Thanks guys!

Is it at all possible to install Windows 7/8 on the thing without a disc drive? I don't think a disk drive is really worth getting for any other reason, really.

Edit: The Windows 8 Upgrade version works on a fresh install, right? I don't see any other version.

#10 Posted by Jnal (204 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: I don't know about Windows 8 but Windows 7 upgrade does not work on a fresh install. Also I think it is possible to boot from a flash drive, but I don't know for certain because I've never looked into it.

@WasabiCurry: @golby: I just put that board in and so far its awesome. Still need to mess around in the bios but I installed a GTX 680 on it and its handling everything great.

#11 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@Jnal: Congratz on the successful installation. I am using the same board for my build, though I am debating whether to do SLI (two 660 ti, most likely from MSI) or not [leaning towards not, just dump it into a 670 FTW or 680].

It is simply an awesome MOBA for that price. I am happy that PC gaming is progressing the way it is.

#12 Edited by Jnal (204 posts) -

@WasabiCurry: I'm not much of an expert on SLI but from my understanding it can be hit or miss depending on the game. Sometimes it will be worse than if using just one card and sometimes I've heard that you have to disable one for certain games to run. Again I don't have any experience with SLI and gaming that's just some of the worst case stories I've read on Tom's Hardware. I've only been using the 680 for two days but it easily maxed out Crysis 2 for me. If the 2 660ti setup is similar in price to one 680 I would go with the 680 wait till they drop to a better price and throw a second 680 later if you really want SLI.

Edit: Also I've heard that the 670 is similar in power to the 680 and is better in the price vs. performance when compared to the 680.

#13 Edited by Devildoll (829 posts) -

@Jnal: you'd use something like this to prepp a usb stick for windows 8.

regarding sli/crossfire, its pretty good, but, if you can get a single card with the same performance, its usually the better option.

somtimes there'll be a graphics card in the midrange for a sick price, and then it could be a good idea to double up on those, but otherwise, try to keep it at one card.

I wouldn't say an ivy bridge will last for 3-4 years, cause I'm no fortune teller.

However, it doesn't matter, a 3570 or 3770 is what you buy if you are going to game today, its as simple as that.

It'll last as long as it does, be it 10 years or until the next consoles come out.

#14 Posted by WasabiCurry (415 posts) -

@Jnal: Yeah, I was reading about the same issues that SLI and especially crossfire brings. People do tend to stay away from crossfire due to horrible experiences that they have with these cards. Seems like a total nightmare to get them running properly. Anyways, I think I should stick with a EVGA 670 FTW. Maybe there will be price drops in these cards when the 700 series do come out so that I can afford a 680 card.

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