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$1500 Sandy Bridge- Suggestions welcome

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January 11, 2011 6:22:42 PM

Hello Tom'shardware,

I have put together a build list that I'm looking to purchase towards the end of this month(hopefully bios updates and bug problems are worked out for p67 by then)

Overclocking: I always *think* I might overclock but never do. I like the option to do so but dunno that I actually will. I've always been afraid to coaster my components.

GPU: I've owned an nVIDIA card since the TNT days, they've never failed to deliver for me, and I've really come to like and trust eVGA as a maker. I'm not diehard, I just think I happen to upgrade when they happen to be the best performance/value option, and given a tie, I go with what I know. I'm not looking to start a "who is better, AMD vs nVIDIA" thread at all, but if there's something I'm overlooking as to why I should go with a 6970 over a gtx570 I'm open to consideration.

vendor: I'll likely go with newegg.

CPU/Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65 + i7 2600K

RAM: Corsair Dominator 8GB(2x4) I know 8 is a little overkill but I like having a little extra. I probably won't upgrade this system much for 3 to 4 years.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA Superclocked GTX 570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair 750w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think 750 would be enough for this system even if I decide to pop in a second 570 later on.

SSD: Undecided. I would like to pick up an SSD for this system for my boot drive. the new motherboards support the faster SATA 6, but is it worth it? Would getting a SATA 3G drive be "just as good only cheaper"? I would like to see some suggestions here please.

Case: Corsair Graphite( seems I have a lot of corsair products in this build) I really really like this case. I have a CM690 case already, and I'm thinking of keeping it... so this may be put off for a "later upgrade to" list. but man I like this case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

w/o case or SSD this build sits at 1185. I'd like to keep the total build under 1500(my budget max), and need to be considering tax and shipping.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.
January 11, 2011 8:00:22 PM

I have been pondering the following on the processor choice, and I'd like to get some opinions.

Given my information above, my shying away from OC, does it make sense for me to get a 2600 without the K designator and save some money?
Related resources
January 11, 2011 9:11:06 PM

theoneyak said:
I have been pondering the following on the processor choice, and I'd like to get some opinions.

Given my information above, my shying away from OC, does it make sense for me to get a 2600 without the K designator and save some money?


It's only like $20. Sandy Bridge is supposed to overclock really well. If you're even considering it, you might as well go ahead and get the K model

Best solution

January 11, 2011 11:03:54 PM
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There's prolly 2 dozen of these in the build section:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302582-31-sandy-build...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302621-31-first-time-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302649-31-1500-sandy-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302599-31-1500-gaming...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/301558-31-1500-opinio...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302556-31-2500k-gamin...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302579-31-2500k-build...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302558-31-1400-1700-g...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302375-31-sandy-bridg...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302479-31-sandy-bridg...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/301720-31-1000-1500-g...

See if any of those look interesting to ya ?

No, the 750 can not do twin 570 GFX cards and do overclocking....and no, if ya comfy w/ nVidia no reason to go with the 6970....the cars are very well matched by the 570 scales a but better, at leats in the Guru3D test suite.

Here's my base $1600 build

Case - $160 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - Later - Antec Red 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $120 - Antec CP850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $70 - 2 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $370 - EVGA GTX 570 Superclock http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - - Later
HD - $65 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $199 - OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $80 - ASUS BR Model BC-08B1LT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Cost $1,604 w/o any combo discounts

If ya can't swing the extra $100, drop the SSD ... or wait till prices drop on the new stuff
January 12, 2011 4:00:55 PM

Taylor422: Yeah, for 20 odd dollars the K is probably a smarter buy in case I ever get a wild hair and OC.

Thank you JackNaylorPE,
I've been reading through some of those builds you posted.
I've updated my build to include an 850w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(is the +100w going to do?)

I also found this ram: For a few more bucks it has better timings(dunno if that actually makes any difference.... but sounds good)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As I understand it the stock cooler for the 2600K is pretty dern good, is something like the scythe that much better? (how about the hyper212 that I've heard about?)
January 18, 2011 2:50:33 PM

Best answer selected by theoneyak.
January 31, 2011 4:32:56 PM

Update on my build I did as a follow up in case its helpful for people.

The construction went pretty smoothly. Only places I would tell people to watch out for with this set up:

the scythe mugen 2 is pretty big(not as big as others) but space around the socket will become really tight. I installed my RAM first then put the HSF on.

the aux-ATX power up near the socket and the screw to mount the motherboard was obscured by the HSF, easily worked around with a magnetic screwdriver for the screw, and I got my GF who had much smaller hands to plug in the power up in the top left.

The Corsair Graphite case is really nice. I really appreciate the engineering on it. They obviously put a lot of thought into the case and it shows. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid mid-tower. I had a "no duh" moment and I wanted to pass it along because it wasn't obvious to me because I had never used a fan controller before. behind the back panel there are 4 plugs and a molex power connector. Connect the power as usual, and then plug all the case fans into the plugs there. I thought they were fan plugs and was perplexed why they didn't fit the usual 3 pin fan plug.

The RAM I went with was the gskill 7-8-7-24, once I set the bios to use XMP( in the overclock section) it booted up with those timings no problem at all.

The motherboard seems to "see" HDDs first before SSDs for some reason, and will give HDD's disk-0 status. Install with only the SSD installed. In order to keep the bios from refusing to see my SSD when both are plugged in I moved the HDD to a SATA 3GB port and all is well. When both were plugged into the SATA 6, the bios would ONLY see the samsung Spinpoint F3 and not the SSD.

Hope this helps.
January 31, 2011 8:15:14 PM

WOW! holy moly Thanks for the heads up Rodain.
I've already built my system, but for those who haven't, here's the skinny:

There's a flaw with the SATA controller design with the SB platform which is estimated to target about 5% of users(enthusiasts most of all pushing large amounts of data)
They have to re-design the chips. Anyone with an existing SB CPU/P67motherboard will likely be allowed to exchange at some time, but there are no details on it yet.

This is rather troubling. I build my systems hoping they will last for quite some time, this sort of design flaw hurts long term rather than any immediate fail.

I'm really hoping the manufacturers work at getting us a solution.
January 31, 2011 8:53:06 PM

That said: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4142/intel-discovers-bug-...

suggests its not a big problem if you hook everything up to your 6 Gb/s Controller.. which on the MSI GD65 board there are 4(more than enough for my needs)
surviving until the alternative is viable... my only concern is how FAST the turn around for the replacement is.
!