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Help With Multimedia/Gaming Build!! $2500 Budget- SB 2600K

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Last response: in Systems
January 15, 2011 9:59:33 PM

Hi, I've been having trouble coming up with what to buy for a few pieces of my new rig. Hopefully you guys can give me some solid suggestions. I will be using the system as my HTPC, for photography editing, gaming, video editing, and general everyday use.

All of the parts listed below are just some ideas I had. None of them are set in stone and can be changed. I'm not exactly an expert when it comes to computer hardware, this will be my first self-built desktop.

Budget: $2500 after taxes

CPU: i7-2600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070&cm_re=2600k-_-19-115-070-_-Product
GPU: GTX 570 (x2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595&cm_re=gtx_570-_-14-130-595-_-Product
Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s (x2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
PSU: Corsair AX1200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139014
Optic (CD/DVD/Blu-ray): LITE-ON iHBS212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106348
Mobo:* $300
Ram:** $250
Case:*** $300
Overclocking: Yes


*I'm really behind on the new SB mobos but I was informed to wait a little longer for mobos to be released if I could. As of now I have no clue if the released mobos are any good or if I should wait.

**I'd like to have at least 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, but once again I have not read up on the SB ram guidelines.

***I have no idea what case to buy. It should probably be a full tower and I would like to install a liquid cooling system later on.

More about : multimedia gaming build 2500 budget 2600k

January 15, 2011 10:42:05 PM

The current motherboards for sandybridge are bottlenecked by RAM speed/throughput, and PCIe channels. The highest available right now is x8 x8 for SLI/Crossfire. You can still make a killer rig, and I'm not sure the exact numbers on if it would be worth waiting, but that's what I'm going to do. I also want to see what AMD's bulldozer does, just for kicks.

But since you asked...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is actually the only motherboard I found with full x16, x16 sli support. It's also the most expensive at $319.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4 of those chips will be pretty much the best you'll find. They are the best, most reliable, and most cost-efficient chips I could find.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have that case for my liquid-cooled system. I hooked up my 2x 120mm radiator to the back of that, and it looks so nice. It's gigantic, so it'll be easy cable-management, and easy to hook up the cooling pipes to everything. The downside is that there are so many screws holding everything together. It's tough to do a HDD swap, and dust will be hard to get out of the front grille.

If you're going to wait, then wait for DDR4 to come out. Yes, it will be expensive, but DDR3 is at the end of it's evolution.
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January 15, 2011 11:01:41 PM

Thanks, your post was very helpful.

It seems like the GIGABYTE GA-P67A-would meet my needs which means theres not much reason to wait for future releases. And at the prices DDR3 is currently at, I don't mind using DDR3 over DDR4. Would you suggest waiting to build the system?

Also, someone told me this:
"No normal 7200RPM drive goes over 158MB/s currently so spending extra money to get a SATA 6.0Gb/s drive does not help, a SATA 3.0Gb/s will do just as well."

Is that true?
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Best solution

January 16, 2011 12:29:43 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- LITE-ON 12X Internal Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback LightScribe: $130

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB SATA6: $180 ($90 each)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120GB: $230

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit: $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower: $168

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX Modular 1000W: $230

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution P67 / NVIDIA NF200 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0: $270

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz: $330

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600: $115

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 2 x EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570: $740 ($370 each)

TOTAL: $2493

*that motherboard will give you full x16/x16 for SLI in Sandy Bridge
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January 16, 2011 12:54:18 AM

it's true that mechanical hard drives don't really saturate the SATA 6 yet... but those new Western Digital drives that are SATA 6; are also formatted in the new '4k sector' format, which is a more modern configuration... more suited for the Windows 7 and future platforms...
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January 16, 2011 5:15:33 AM

Wasupmike,

Why did you choose the Asus board over the Gigabyte board? Also is the PSU you posted better than the Corsair AX1200? I've been thinking about buying a mobo that doesn't have 16x, 16x PCIe because it would save a lot of money and the GPU would only take a ~3% reduction.
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January 16, 2011 10:54:23 AM

both Asus and Gigabyte are great... only reason i chose that Asus was because it's $50 cheaper than Gigabyte to get the same x16x16 (in Sandy Bridge)

if you don't mind the x8x8 configuration -> then ya, save money and go with this from Asus:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- ASUS P8P67 PRO: $185

or this from Gigabyte:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- GA-P67A-UD4: $190

as for the PSU -> you definitely don't need a 1200w one... 2 x 570's in SLI require an 800w PSU... so you're more than covered with the Corsair 1000w
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January 16, 2011 2:33:41 PM

don't start with a 4gb memory kit... that will leave you with only 2 slots left for a future upgrade. RAM had never been cheaper right now - and with a ~$2500 budget - definitely start with at least 8gb

here's some more info about the benefits of more RAM:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...
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January 16, 2011 10:01:36 PM

they're both DDR3 1600... but the Corsair kit has a Cas Latency of 9 (1.5v)... and that G.SKILL kit has a CL of 7 (1.6v)... so the latter is slightly faster

you won't see any difference in the 'real world' between the two... only in benchmarks (and very slightly at that) -> i'd recommend the lower voltage model -> the Corsair (because it runs at lower voltage and it's $45 cheaper, which is a lot for just a faster CL)
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January 17, 2011 1:41:59 AM

Thanks for the thorough explanations. I was told that for Sandy Bridges it would be better to use C7 ram over C8 or C9 and that 1.65v for SB would be fine. That's the reason I had the G.Skill in mind, but if the Corsair Vengeance will work pretty much just as well then I'll go with that.
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January 17, 2011 3:42:12 AM

Alright guys, here is my semi-final component list. If you have any suggestions on changes I should make please let me know.

Total comes out to $2424.52 after taxes and shipping (purchasing from Newegg + Amazon).

CPU
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Sl...

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Sl...

GPU
eVGA Superclocked GTX 570 (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G. Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Sl...

PSU
Corsair HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive
LITE-ON iHBS212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Sl...

Case
Cool Master HAF X RC-942-KKN1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 17, 2011 11:17:58 AM

that looks great... enjoy..!
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January 17, 2011 12:37:00 PM

Best answer selected by franklyfresh.
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January 18, 2011 10:42:17 AM

wasupmike said:
that looks great... enjoy..!



Wasupmike, I really appreciate your list. For my CPU, MB, and Memory I am going with your recommendations! The darn Asus that does 16x16 sold out at Newegg. Argh =)
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January 18, 2011 11:36:04 AM

no the ASUS P8P67 doesn't SLI (it can Crossfire - but only at x16/x4)

ASUS P8P67: x16/x4
ASUS P8P67 Pro: x8/x8 (minimum for SLI)
ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution: x16/x16
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January 18, 2011 11:57:36 AM


That hardocp article specs the same 8x8 in sli/xfire as well...
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January 18, 2011 12:00:36 PM

it does say that doesn't it... must be a mis-type or something...

off ASUS's official description of the board: "This motherboard can also easily handle 2-Way SLI in dual PCI Express X16, while 3-Way SLI works in dual PCI Express X8 and one X16 link"

makes sense... that's why it has the NF200 chip...
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January 18, 2011 12:03:00 PM


Ok cool. Thx for clarifying. What do you think is the real world difference between 8x and 16 for sli/CF? Are we talking within 5%? I can't see it being more than 10%...but I have no idea.
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January 18, 2011 12:14:18 PM

up to ~5% at most... but of course - as time goes by... the gap will grow bigger...
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January 18, 2011 12:31:52 PM

wasupmike said:
up to ~5% at most... but of course - as time goes by... the gap will grow bigger...


Ok Mike. Thanks for all your help here.
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