Author Topic: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build  (Read 42756 times)

Ari Altman

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The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« on: March 04, 2014, 01:45:35 PM »
Here's the thread to discuss the "$1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build" on The Tech Buyer's Guru.

The original article can be found here.

Feel free to start your own threads to discuss your personal builds in this category!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 11:41:45 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 09:08:18 AM »
We recently received the following question from a TBG reader:

"I'm new to building my own computer and have been checking out your $1500
gaming build. Everything in it sounds perfect for what I'm looking for
except the case. How do I choose a case that is still compatible with all
the components of the $1500 build? Is it just an issue of size and space,
or are there other factors? Do you have a list of cases, even more
expensive ones, that would also work?

I would like the case to be a mid tower, but just have a little more style
to it. I'm not too concerned with having it light up or anything like that,
but maybe more color options and less of a straight forward rectangular
look."


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the response we sent to our reader, which we hope others will find helpful too:

"First off, you can see some of the best cases on the market by viewing the
"slideshow" in the right-hand column of the Build Guide page.

To answer your question directly, things can be a bit more complicated
than just size. Any ATX format case should in theory work for the $1500
build ("ATX" specifies 7-slot motherboards and power supplies of a certain
dimension), but the truth is that not all cases will work. There are a
number of constraints, including:

(1) the size of the video card,
(2) the size of the CPU cooler, and
(3) the cooling requirements of the video card and CPU.

The final consideration is of course the builder's style preferences. Now, style can be very personal, but
here are three highly-rated cases that are both stylish and functional (and honestly great deals too):

(1) The NZXT Phantom 410

Awesome "Stormtrooper" style, great features, available in a number of
colors. Amazon only has graphite in stock, but you can also get a few
other colors at Newegg. I've pulled them together for you at this link.

(2) The Corsair Carbide 500R.

Available in black or white, similar in size to the Phantom, but with a
more "professional" look.

Just a tip - the follow-up to the 500R is the cube-shaped Air 540.  It's very
different, and maybe it will appeal to you:

(3) The NZXT H440.

This brand-new case is really wild - it might look like a standard case,
but it's very cutting-edge. It drops all external drive bays, so you can't
install a DVD burner, but it adds a wall of fans behind the sleek front
panel, plus a clean interior with a shroud for the power supply, which
completely hides the cables. It also has edge lighting inside to provide a
cool display of the internals. To get around the lack of DVD drive mounts,
you could buy this external drive."
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 11:45:38 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 11:41:04 AM »
Ready to build your own High-End PC, but looking for a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process? Then check out TBG's new Guide to Assembling a High-End PC. It should answer just about all your questions!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 10:40:27 AM »
We recently received an e-mail from a reader who had put together the High-End Gaming PC and ran into a few problems getting the system to boot up. We thought we'd walk through the symptoms and the resolution for everyone's benefit. Here's the e-mail, edited for brevity:

"So, it seems I've run into a problem.... I received all of the parts for my build and have carefully assembled my PC, but I'm unable to get a display to show up when I power it on.

I'm not sure if this is something you'll be able to identify, but here are the details:

- All fans and LEDs turn on and seem perfectly functional (including those on the GPU, case, and CPU).

- A few seconds after powering on there is a single short beep from the motherboard speaker. (Beep codes Seemed to indicate that meant successful POST, but I'm not sure since I can't find the official list)

- No display on monitor (I tried connecting to a TV with HDMI cable, and a pretty old monitor with a screw in connection....)

- I don't believe any parts were damaged by static electricity, I was careful and did not notice a shock of any kind during assembly.

I tried re-seating the RAM, but that didn't change anything. I also tried removing one of the sticks of RAM and booting up, but that didn't have an effect either.

Any advice on what I should try next?"


-------------------------------

After working through a trouble-shooting checklist with the builder, we identified two issues, both of which were resolved with a few simple changes:

(1) The builder had plugged the VGA cable into the motherboard out, rather than the video card's out. While the motherboard in theory should have been able to auto-detect the use of the on-board video, in this case it didn't. Simply switching to HDMI and plugging it into the video card solved this problem.

(2) But the system still wouldn't boot - and this is where a minor hardware problem was identified. It turns out that the normal procedure of installing two RAM sticks in the second and fourth slots away from the CPU (technically DIMM slots A2 and B2) didn't work. Eventually, the builder was able to get the system to POST with one stick in A2, adjust some RAM settings, and then got a POST with sticks in A2 and B2.

Alas, the issue was not solved - the system only recognized one DIMM! Checking each DIMM separately revealed that the issue was not the RAM sticks. Ultimately, we discovered that this builder's particular board didn't have fully-functioning A2 and B2 slots, but that installing the RAM in slots A1 and B1 worked perfectly. He was then able to POST, install the OS, and get full access to all of his installed RAM. Mission accomplished!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 01:45:19 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 10:29:52 AM »
We recently received an e-mail from a reader asking about the cooling setup of the $1,500 High-End Gaming Build. We provided an explanation for our component picks, and hopefully our response will be helpful to others as well:

Here's the original question:

"During assembly i had an issue with the Thermalright true spirit 140bw Rev A fan. It was pretty big and had to remove the fan on the side panel of the Blackhawk case. I wanted to ask if this is smart move to remove the side fan since it's blowing air in the direction of the cpu."

--------------------------------

And here's our response:

"The truth is that you're much better off with a high-end cooler like the Thermalright in the system than a lower-end cooler and the side fan. The reason is that the side fan actually disrupts the natural flow of air, which is from front to back and bottom to top. It's definitely useful if using the stock Intel cooler, but when you move up to a tower cooler, it serves little purpose, even if it could fit.

We're putting together a CPU cooler comparison article and have just tested the Thermalright Macho, which is a close cousin of the True Spirit. These are simply fantastic coolers, far superior to 120mm coolers that might be able to squeeze under that side fan. We've had to remove side fans even when using the comparatively small Cooler Master Hyper 212, which isn't even in the same class as the Thermalrights, so it's likely that that the Rosewill case fan would need to be removed with any tower cooler. Just keep it around as a spare or for another build - that way it won't go to waste."

HPzota

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 08:59:55 AM »
Greetings,

I have been reading the site for a few months and finally gathered the courage to build my own system, my very first one. I decided to follow the May 2015 High-End 1500 build. (In hindsight, I should had started with a $500 build).

So I bought everything, tried to follow the building guides the best I could, and to make a long story short, I can see lights and fans moving, but the screen tells me the system can not boot. On the boot menu I can see the names of both SSD and HDD. I just get a black screen saying select proper boot location or something like that.

On a happy note, all that SSD set up was done by default when I tried to do it. :)

What should be the first things to check before freaking out and running to a computer store?

Thanks in advance.

HPzota

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2015, 02:56:24 PM »
Greetings,

I have been reading the site for a few months and finally gathered the courage to build my own system, my very first one. I decided to follow the May 2015 High-End 1500 build. (In hindsight, I should had started with a $500 build).

So I bought everything, tried to follow the building guides the best I could, and to make a long story short, I can see lights and fans moving, but the screen tells me the system can not boot. On the boot menu I can see the names of both SSD and HDD. I just get a black screen saying select proper boot location or something like that.

On a happy note, all that SSD set up was done by default when I tried to do it. :)

What should be the first things to check before freaking out and running to a computer store?

Thanks in advance.

HPzota

Welcome to the TBG forum, and congratulations on building your first system! First things first, don't freak out! You're already way ahead of most first time builders.

It sounds like what you need to do is set the boot priority of your drives so that the DVD drive is the first option. Make sure of course that it's plugged in and that you can open it when the system is powered on. If it's set as the first boot drive and your Windows disc is in the drive, the system will automatically begin loading the operating system, allowing you to select your SSD as the OS drive.

If you need more help, just post here and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

HPzota

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2015, 06:28:49 PM »
I am happy to announce that I am posting this reply from my new High-End gaming PC.  ;D

Ari,

Your reply helped me think calmly and clearly. I opened the case and it clicked right away... I had power on the DVD unit, but failed to connect it to the MB. (noob error, D'oh!)

Everything seems to be running pretty well, EXCEPT... I'm unable to find the HDD and I am working off the SSD, which is ok, since it is supposed to house the OS and the games, right? Anyways, I am downloading my favorite game right now, WoT (not to be confused with Wow) and I can't wait to see how it looks all maxed out!

Thanks for this fantastic site!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2015, 08:03:23 PM »
I am happy to announce that I am posting this reply from my new High-End gaming PC.  ;D

Ari,

Your reply helped me think calmly and clearly. I opened the case and it clicked right away... I had power on the DVD unit, but failed to connect it to the MB. (noob error, D'oh!)

Everything seems to be running pretty well, EXCEPT... I'm unable to find the HDD and I am working off the SSD, which is ok, since it is supposed to house the OS and the games, right? Anyways, I am downloading my favorite game right now, WoT (not to be confused with Wow) and I can't wait to see how it looks all maxed out!

Thanks for this fantastic site!

Woo-hoo! This is what I like to hear!

So, yes, games should be installed on the SSD as long as there's space.

To get your hard drive to show up in Windows, it sounds like you'll need to initialize the drive. Check out this guide and skip to the section on setting up an SSD and hard drive in the same system: http://techbuyersguru.com/SSDguide2.php

HPzota

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 05:52:41 AM »
I am happy to announce that I am posting this reply from my new High-End gaming PC.  ;D

Ari,

Your reply helped me think calmly and clearly. I opened the case and it clicked right away... I had power on the DVD unit, but failed to connect it to the MB. (noob error, D'oh!)

Everything seems to be running pretty well, EXCEPT... I'm unable to find the HDD and I am working off the SSD, which is ok, since it is supposed to house the OS and the games, right? Anyways, I am downloading my favorite game right now, WoT (not to be confused with Wow) and I can't wait to see how it looks all maxed out!

Thanks for this fantastic site!

Woo-hoo! This is what I like to hear!

So, yes, games should be installed on the SSD as long as there's space.

To get your hard drive to show up in Windows, it sounds like you'll need to initialize the drive. Check out this guide and skip to the section on setting up an SSD and hard drive in the same system: http://techbuyersguru.com/SSDguide2.php

Man, I 've been so busy playing I didn't care about this for some time. But now I need to start dealing with saving files!

So I started to set up the HDD following the guide, and found myself stuck when right-clicking on the disk (good news is that the system found it) it makes me choose between Dynamic Disk and MBR. I tried to read about all these master boot and the way the disk is split... but man.. too much info made my head hurt.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 12:34:15 PM »
I am happy to announce that I am posting this reply from my new High-End gaming PC.  ;D

Ari,

Your reply helped me think calmly and clearly. I opened the case and it clicked right away... I had power on the DVD unit, but failed to connect it to the MB. (noob error, D'oh!)

Everything seems to be running pretty well, EXCEPT... I'm unable to find the HDD and I am working off the SSD, which is ok, since it is supposed to house the OS and the games, right? Anyways, I am downloading my favorite game right now, WoT (not to be confused with Wow) and I can't wait to see how it looks all maxed out!

Thanks for this fantastic site!

Woo-hoo! This is what I like to hear!

So, yes, games should be installed on the SSD as long as there's space.

To get your hard drive to show up in Windows, it sounds like you'll need to initialize the drive. Check out this guide and skip to the section on setting up an SSD and hard drive in the same system: http://techbuyersguru.com/SSDguide2.php

Man, I 've been so busy playing I didn't care about this for some time. But now I need to start dealing with saving files!

So I started to set up the HDD following the guide, and found myself stuck when right-clicking on the disk (good news is that the system found it) it makes me choose between Dynamic Disk and MBR. I tried to read about all these master boot and the way the disk is split... but man.. too much info made my head hurt.

Glad the gaming experience has been good so far!

When formatting the hard drive, pick MBR partition, and do not pick dynamic disk.

Post back to confirm that you can access your hard drive after taking these steps.

HPzota

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 05:50:13 PM »
I think I'm in. This is what I see...

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 05:57:32 AM »
I think I'm in. This is what I see...

Yes, your hard drive is almost ready to use. Just right click and create a new simple volume. Looks like your 3GB disk has been split into two partitions, as 2GB is the limit for the standard format method. Just create a simple volume for each partition.

wabinad

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2015, 05:52:30 AM »
I ordered almost everything for the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build of August 2015, but it would be interesting to know which is the most suitable Monitor for such a build, any tips?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 10:07:13 AM »
I ordered almost everything for the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build of August 2015, but it would be interesting to know which is the most suitable Monitor for such a build, any tips?

Welcome to the TBG Forum, wabinad!

The best monitor for you really depends on your budget and your needs. If you are interested in fast-paced gaming, I would really recommend you consider the LG 24GM77, which will give you 144Hz refresh rates and blur reduction for incredibly-smooth gaming. It costs around $300. If you'd like a few more options, have a look at the TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide.