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$1000-1400 Gaming Build including Monitor

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January 12, 2011 2:05:13 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: prior to the end of Jan

Budget Range: US$1000-1400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (FPS+RTS+Racing+Flight)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers/headphones/mic

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, but not afraid of better deals elsewhere

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Need 21"-23" 1080 monitor, case with window, N wifi, Core i5-2500K, Win7 Home Premium or better

Overclocking: In the future

SLI or Crossfire: In the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: This rig will sit around turned off unless I'm gaming, I have a laptop for the day-to-day stuff. Gaming is with headphone/mic setup instead of speakers. Will travel to LAN parties 2-3 times a year. I want this base rig to last for 4-5 years, altering CPU/GPU/RAM until I can't run the new games I want to play. This is nowhere near my first build, but I am relying on the awesome people on this forum to recommend the best combo of parts for my needs. :D 


Final Setup:

GPU - ATI Radeon HD 6950 2GB - $299.99 ($289.99 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX HD-695A-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K - $364.98 combo with... ($224.99 alone)
PSU - Corsair CMPSU-850HX ($169.99 alone)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

RAM - 2x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series - $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL

Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26.70
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler

Therm - Tuniq TX-2 - $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

HDD - 1TB Samsung Spinpoint 7200 - $59.95
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3S5S0
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ

Optical - ASUS 24x DVD Writer - $16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

NIC - ASUS PCE-N13 - $27.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS PCE-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64-bit/128-bit WEP, TKIP, and AES WI-Fi alliance WPA, WPA2

MOBO - Asus P8P67 PRO - $184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

OS - Win 7 Home Pre x64 - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Case - Lian Li Lancool PC-K62 - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Monitor - Asus VH236H Black 23" 2ms - $179.99 ($159.99 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speakers

EPS-12V Extension Cable - $7.99
http://www.svc.com/mod-8peps-bk.html
ModRight 12" Black Single Braid 8-Pin (4-pin + 4-pin) EPS 12V Extension Cable

Newegg: $1,331.89 + 21.99 S/H
Amazon: $86.65
SVC: $7.99
Total: $1426.53 + 21.99 S/H = $1448.52
Total after MIR: $1396.53 + 21.99 S/H = $1418.52

Purchased on 2011-01-13. Waiting on build. Will update thread after it's built an benched.
January 12, 2011 3:58:00 PM

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026FCI2U/ref=s9_simh... $99.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master RC-922M-KKN1-GP HAF 922M ATX Mid Tower Case (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$30.00 Combo Price: $364.98 $10.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $354.98
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99 FREE SHIPPING
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99
MSI P67A-GD53 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3S5S0/ref=s9_simh... $59.99 this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $21.99 FREE SHIPPING
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support

http://www.buy.com/prod/evga-012-p3-1570-ar-geforce-gtx... $349.49 FREE SHIPPING
EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 Graphics Card - PCI Express 2.0 x16 - 1.25 GB GDDR5 SDRAM 2560 x 1600 - SLI

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS PCE-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64-bit/128-bit WEP, TKIP, and AES WI-Fi alliance WPA, WPA2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99 $159.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speakers

Total: $1,441.86 *not including rebates, shipping, etc..

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Best solution

January 12, 2011 6:33:33 PM

I've heard negative comments about Corsair PSUs.

Here's a rig I might suggest to you.


Case: Coolermaster Storm Scout (Good for carrying, but crappy aesthetics) Or NZXT Lexa Blackline (If you like aesthetics as well as a very good case, blue led available)
PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 750w 80+ Silver (Great reviews)
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 PRO <- this is a great mobo :]
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 4Gb (2x2) DDR3 1600
GPU: XFX Radeon HD6870 Black edition (I don't think GTX 570 really fits in your budget, and you're at 1080p so this one is more than enough. There's a non-black edition if you're going to OC it yourself. XFX has lifetime warranty which is why I suggest this brand over others)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
OD: ASUS 24X Black DVD burner
Monitor: Samsung BX2330 LED backlit 23" 1080p Monitor

Total = $1410 (1390 if you get the non-black edition)
This includes monitor, windows 7 home premium 64bit, and 2500k.

These are the best/highly suggested parts I could find through lots of help and research. Hope it helps. I highly suggest Silverstone PSU btw :D .
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January 12, 2011 6:56:32 PM

Quote:
I've heard negative comments about Corsair PSUs.


Those negative comments for Corsair must be few and far between. The Corsair 850HX is manufactured by CWT. A very respectable PSU maker. The other Corsair HX variants are manufactured by Seasonic, another great PSU maker. I've only ever heard great things for Corsair PSUs. I, myself, run a 650TX Corsair PSU. Its been going strong for over 2 years now. I'd say its a great choice. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
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January 12, 2011 7:13:47 PM

Some comments on above suggestions.

If you're looking to overclock, I would recommend RAM with slightly faster timings. The same class of GSKILL Ripjaw ram can be found for 15 more. 7-8-7-24 vs. 9-9-9-24.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both the Lancool and 922 are great cases, but the Lancool is a little narrower and lighter and so if you're moving around, it may be advantageous. Understand, though, that these cases are both mid towers, and are therefore still quite large and cumbersome. The price you pay for having a full on build. I have the Lancool and it's great, especially it's black-painted interior (HAF 922 is just the naked steel), completely toolless design, and slightly smaller profile. Still big enough to fit a cooler though.

212 is a great cooler, as is the Mugen 2 from Scythe. It cools a bit better, but is $10 more expensive. If that's a big deal, I would save the $10 here and put it in the ram!

Corsair is a TOP NOTCH PSU provider, but I would also highly recommend the XFX 850 (but not so much the 750). It's super cheap on newegg right now, so if you're purchasing while it's still $110, I would jump at the chance. The johnny guru review for the XFX 850 is stellar.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you're savvy with your computer, you can unlock your 6950 to run equivalent to a 6970 (which is pretty much on par with a 570). Hard to argue with that performance at $300. This DOES void your warranty though, although it's almost impossible to brick these cards, since they come with dual firmware switches (if you botch it up, you can boot into the other one).
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January 12, 2011 8:10:03 PM

Quote:
If you're looking to overclock, I would recommend RAM with slightly faster timings. The same class of GSKILL Ripjaw ram can be found for 15 more. 7-8-7-24 vs. 9-9-9-24.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product


The timings aren't really noticeable, at all.

Quote:
If you're savvy with your computer, you can unlock your 6950 to run equivalent to a 6970 (which is pretty much on par with a 570). Hard to argue with that performance at $300. This DOES void your warranty though, although it's almost impossible to brick these cards, since they come with dual firmware switches (if you botch it up, you can boot into the other one).


Yes, you can reflash a 6950 to 6970 but once again, his budget doesn't call for TOP tier gpu, and he's running a 1080p resolution so it isn't needed either.
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January 12, 2011 8:18:49 PM

Sandy-Bridge K-class overclocks won't touch the RAM Timings anyway, so 9-9-9-24 should be fine. You're talking about a difference of microseconds
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January 13, 2011 3:30:18 AM

Thanks for all of your suggestions, you saved me days of work!

I've updated with the components I'm thinking about (missing links to come later). Feel free to suggest good deals/combos you find.

It's mostly locked down now unless someone sees a problem. I played with a few options for the GPU, Case, and PSU and those are still completely open for debate if anyone cares. I made a build with all the "best" of those 3 components and with the "worst", the difference was less than $200 so I'm opting to get the "best" lot and save some trouble.


GPU Decision
Taking your advice and mixing it with benchmarks from Tom's, I looked at 4 GPU options:
Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit $260
Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit $300
Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit $390
GeForce GTX 570 $350

Of those, I'm opting for the 6950 and flashing it into a 6970. In single card performance, the 570 eeks out the 6970, but in crossfire, the 6970 blows away the 570. I felt the performance difference between the 6870 and modified 6950 (~20fps) was worth the extra $40. That alone could buy me another year before an upgrade. Couple it with a crossfire setup with another modified 6950 once it's down to ~$150 and I think I could squeeze out another year or two from it. I did notice that the P8P67 mobo only does PCI-E 8x/8x on a crossfire setup instead of a 16x/16x, but I read it accumulates to about a 3% reduction in performance. Considering the only mobo I found to do 16x/16x was almost $300, I decided it would not be worth the extra cash.

PSU Decision
Looking at your recs for PSU and browsing around a bit I came up with the following options:
SilverStone ST75F-P $120
XFX XPS-850W-BES $110
XFX P1-750B-CAG9 $100
Corsair CMPSU-850HX $160
Corsair CMPSU-850TX $120
Corsair CMPSU-750HX $120

Of those, I'm opting for the CMPSU-850HX. It was hard to beat the Corsair rep, the 7 year warranty (long enough to reuse it), and host of modular cabling options. I felt the 850W, 12 peripheral connections, 2-bearing fan, and 7 year warranty would give me plenty of room to grow if needed, and possibly let me reuse the PSU on my next build provided the major connectors don't change. I felt the ST75F-P and CMPSU-750HX were both a close second, but the CMPSU-850HX just "feels" like it's worth the extra $40 in the scheme of things.

Case Decision
I thought the cases seemed a bit expensive until I looked around some more. I decided I wanted the behind-the-mobo cable routing, bottom-mounted PSU, front facing 3.5" bays, and at least front, rear, and top fan mounts and ended up with the following options:
Cooler Master Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP $90
Cooler Master RC-922M-KKN1-GP HAF 922M $100
Lian Li Lancool PC-K62 $100
Lian Li Lancool PC-K58W $70
Xion Predator Gaming Series AXP 970-001BK $75
NZXT M59 - 001BK $50

I've chosen the Storm Scout, but I'm still not 100% sure on it. I don't really need the built-in handle since I have a GearGrip for LAN parties. It seemed equivalent to the PC-K62, but at $10 cheaper. The HAF is nice too, but I'm not sure about the view port. The side window requirement is so I can easily keep an eye on dust level, make sure fans are moving, and quickly check for loose cables after transportation without bothering to open it up. I don't really care about the aesthetics too much, they're more of a tie-breaker, but I don't think any of those are particularly ugly, though the PC-K58W is very boring. I don't really remember what the problem was with the Xion Predator or NZXT M59.



Thanks again!
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January 13, 2011 5:02:26 AM

The Storm Scout is smallish, some video cards won't fit.
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January 13, 2011 3:37:12 PM

I wouldn't suggest attempting to reflash a 6950 unless you absolutely know what you're doing.

That PSU is a pretty good psu also. And the 850watt will take you long ways in the future. :) 

You can also check out Antec Nine hundred.

Ugh the asus monitor looks so UGLY.
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January 14, 2011 4:14:34 AM

Updated with links, prices, total, and case decision. I ended up going with the Lian Li Lancool PC-K62 case. I plan on ordering either later tonight or tomorrow. Anyone notice anything that doesn't fit together, or anything I'm missing (like various cables or converters, etc)?


Quote:
I wouldn't suggest attempting to reflash a 6950 unless you absolutely know what you're doing. Ugh the asus monitor looks so UGLY.

Neither is a problem for me, though the monitor is pretty ugly.

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January 14, 2011 7:49:56 AM

Make sure you've looked into your gpu brand more, for whichever's the best for OC/reflash, etc. all that. XFX's warranty is boss, but I'm not sure if it voids if you try to reflash it or oc it.
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January 14, 2011 9:36:53 AM

XFX warranty is NOT voided on an OC
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January 14, 2011 10:35:53 AM

When it comes to monitor, I would recommend Samsung Syncmaster BX2331. It's under promotion and only 200 dollars for a great monitor. from newegg.

ALso, when it comes to case, have you look at Silverstone raven 2? It's under rebate so you can get this for $140 from amazon.com. Compare to lian li that costs $110 including shipping, I would add $30 for raven 2.
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January 16, 2011 2:58:40 AM

Thanks everyone! I've purchased and am waiting on parts to arrive. Should have it put together next weekend. I'll try to remember to post benchmarks after it's all together.
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January 19, 2011 10:37:19 PM

You better, ole xero....

youre still my hero...

hows the missus?
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January 20, 2011 1:35:24 AM

She's good. Working like crazy, that whole science teacher thing -- love/hate relationship with it. How about you?


Parts are all in as of today. Build happening by Sunday night.
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January 20, 2011 1:35:52 AM

Best answer selected by jokeyxero.
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January 20, 2011 12:29:11 PM

Same/Same. :) 

Looks like a pretty decent build you got going on there. :) 
How far you pushing it?
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January 21, 2011 12:30:22 AM

Not sure yet. I don't want to deal with it being unstable, so probably not too hard.
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January 26, 2011 5:09:32 AM

Got everything in and put together. Mobo had to be returned to ASUS due to the A2 DIMM being dead (seems to be a recurring issue with that board). Got everything running in spite of that so I could get software installed and make use of last weekend.

Some notes:

With that combo of mobo and cooler, the RAM I chose will not fit in the A1 DIMM, the heatsink on it is about 2mm too tall. It's not a problem now because the mobo says to install into A2 and B2 for 2 stick dual channel setup. But this means I will need to choose different RAM on an upgrade requiring use of the A1 slot.

The EATX12V cable from the PSU needed about 2" more in order to be routed behind the mobo panel instead of in the through the main area of the case. It did have enough stretch to avoid the main airway path in the case though, running closer to the window than the mobo. I'm going to pick up an extender while I wait on the mobo to get back and that'll fix that issue.

The rig is HEAVY. I forgot to weigh it while everything was in, so I'll do it later. The PSU is heavy, the case is heavy, video card is the size of a netbook but twice as heavy, and for some reason the HDD is heavier than normal.

The case lies about being truly tool-less. While the PSU will probably survive a trip to a LAN party without moving, the 5.25" bay doesn't even hold the optical in well enough to stand up to the disc spinning. I may be exaggerating a little, but it was so floppy that I went ahead and screwed it in place as well -- the tool-less clip keeps it in place with gravity and a single plastic pin. The HDD cages on the other hand are fantastic.

Case window came with a small scuff on it, no biggie though. Side panels on the case seem very slightly warped; it's always a little frustrating to get them back on smoothly. Black interior is awesome for style, annoying if you're wanting to actually see inside only by the light of the case. For my convenience, I'll probably be putting a cathode inside to add some more light (because ambient lighting and flashlights are just too much work ;) .

These forums were great at helping diagnose the busted DIMM. The machine was not POSTing initially. It would power up for a second or two with the MEM_LED solid red, power off, then reboot and never POST. After playing with RAM slots, I eventually stumbled onto the idea to ignore the book and try a single stick in a slot other than A2 and it all booted. It kept identifying the RAM at 1333 instead of 1600, but a MemOK! cycle fixed it. I got both sticks to run in the B1 and B2 DIMMs so I could do software setup.

Initial informal benchmarks are looking awesome. The most taxing thing I threw at it was a few minutes of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. 1080 and "High" preset and it was butter. I tried Supreme Commander 2 at max quality and none of the fans even bothered speeding up, I think it was insulted ;) 

I haven't o/c'd at all yet. Waiting on new mobo then a week or two of stability checks, then the GPU reflash and general o/c starts. I'm told Mr Face there got his i7 rig up to 5.1 GHz. We'll see how mine goes. I'll post benchmarks backed by numbers once that starts. Pictures will come as well.
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