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New Gaming/Multimedia Build... Need help with Video Card!!

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January 27, 2011 5:48:10 AM

Ok, I've been reading TH for years now, but I am only NOW joining the forums! I haven't built a PC since the original Athlon came out... so yeah... should be interesting... I'll try and post in the right format:

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Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: ~$1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, internet browsing

Parts Not Required: Monitor (Asus 23" M238H 1920x1080), mouse, keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (although I pay tax), Amazon, Microcenter (but it's a hike, so I may not want to drive there)

Country of Origin: USA, specifically, NJ

Parts Preferences: 2500K Processor, I like ASUS, but price and bang for your buck prevail over all

Overclocking: Maybe, never really did it in the past, but I think I'll OC as necessary.

SLI or Crossfire: I will add another card in the future, but not anytime soon.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Aesthetics don't really matter to me, functionality and performance are key, I want to be able to play the new games that are coming out in high res with max settings, I'm tired of playing on my Macbook =P

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Parts List

CPU: Intel i5 2500K (Newegg, $225 + tax, but $180 + tax from Microcenter)

MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (Newegg, $156 + tax)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800), (Newegg, $89 + tax (15% off special))

HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Newegg, $60 + tax)

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply (Newegg, $80 + tax)

Case: Antec Six Hundred Black Computer Case (Newegg, $80 + tax, $65 after MIB)

DVD/BD: LG Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM (Newegg, $60 + tax)

HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Newegg, $60 + tax)

Video Card: I am clueless... Too many to choose from. I have researched, looked at benchmarks and stuff, and I like a couple of cards. nVidia wise, I like the 570, but the 580 is way out of my budget, and the 560 looks a little too meager for now, but I could be wrong. For ATI/AMD, I'm leaning towards a 6950 w/ 2 gigs of VRAM over a 6970. I don't need to flash it, or at least right away, because I think I might be satisfied with that. But at 1920X1080, what would be the best bang for my buck? I can get a HIS 6950 2GB for $260 after rebates from Newegg....

Anyways, critique if you like, the total for that build completely from Newegg costs $1063 before taxes, rebates and the 15% of memory.... I'm also not sure about the case and the PS. Thanks in advance, I enjoy reading all of these!

More about : gaming multimedia build video card

January 27, 2011 12:41:07 PM

So that TP-750 is good for possible Crossfire in the future? I'm just making sure I'm not under powering myself. I don't mind spending a little extra on quality parts, so long as they last. Also, the case I had chosen, will that be able to fit 2 6950's? I know they are large... I also forgot to mention I can get Win 7 at a student discount, so that won't be an issue either. I just want to make sure I can upgrade from what I have down the line...

..Also, I never installed extra case fans or cooling before. That wasn't necessary way back when, how necessary would it be now?
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January 27, 2011 8:01:17 PM

Reports of max draw on CF 6950 put it well under 400W for the two cards. The system should stay well under 600W, and so a quality 750W is OK. Yes you can upgrade to something around 850W... like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you can deal with the looks that is a top of the line Seasonic-made PSU.

I haven't had my hands on that particular case, but from the pics it looks fine. It has all the fans you need.

A good CPU cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It comes with adequate thermal paste but you can upgrade to TX-4 if you like:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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January 27, 2011 8:27:08 PM

You mention adding a 2nd card and liking the 570 .... so that knocks out a 750 watt PSU....the 560 Ti can be done w/ a 650 watter tho.

The Antec 600 I didn't like too much... to "plasticky" .... I'd suggest a DF-35 case w/ an XFX Black Edition 850 (10.0 performance rating at jonnyguru, which will handle twin 570's

The 570subnstantially outperforms the 6950 and matches up very well with the 6970....closer than any two competing cards from these camps that I have seen in along while (526 vs 524 fps total adding up a series of varied games over at Guru3D). However, in Guru3D's SLI / X-Fire testing, the 570 edges out a more significant win with 873 total fps to 825.

Asrock is a subsidiary of AsusTek, originally developed to fill the OEM market for budget oriented consumers. .... for $9 more, you can get the Asus version of the board and get the game Civilization V thrown in to boot
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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January 27, 2011 8:42:51 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
You mention adding a 2nd card and liking the 570 .... so that knocks out a 750 watt PSU....the 560 Ti can be done w/ a 650 watter tho.

The Antec 600 I didn't like too much... to "plasticky" .... I'd suggest a DF-35 case w/ an XFX Black Edition 850 (10.0 performance rating at jonnyguru, which will handle twin 570's

The 570subnstantially outperforms the 6950 and matches up very well with the 6970....closer than any two competing cards from these camps that I have seen in along while (526 vs 524 fps total adding up a series of varied games over at Guru3D). However, in Guru3D's SLI / X-Fire testing, the 570 edges out a more significant win with 873 total fps to 825.

Asrock is a subsidiary of AsusTek, originally developed to fill the OEM market for budget oriented consumers. .... for $9 more, you can get the Asus version of the board and get the game Civilization V thrown in to boot
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...




Just asking but the 570 is about the same price as the 6970 and about 60-80 bucks more compared to the 6950... wouldn't the 6950 be a better choice for him?

Also I personally think basing the quality of a manufacturer like asrock on its history is the wrong way to go, their new boards got excellent features and the only reason to choose the asus is because of a free game.
I'm not trying to make this personal I just think it unjustified to bash asrock based on its past.
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January 27, 2011 8:54:36 PM

As appealing as Civ 5 is... I think I might stick with the ASRock, I have too many games to play as it is right now! I also remember how addicting the original Civilization was back in the day... I'll probably end up downloading it from steam anyway when they have a crazy weekend deal.

I also realize I can get some of the components from Amazon which would give me free shipping as well as no tax. That would save me some cash... possibly enough to upgrade to a 580 if I wanted to... (If I were to go with a 570 originally), the only thing that scares me about the 6950's is the supposed reliability of AMD/ATI drivers, as well as if I were to flash it to a 6970, I don't want to end up with a brick. But for the price, dual 560's seem pretty sweet, if they were to be OC'd. That's why I am asking for people's opinions, I keep flip flopping!

@mrsh4dy: I don't believe he was bashing ASRock, just stating what their original intentions were.
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January 27, 2011 9:07:03 PM

Yeah your right I over reacted.

I have an 6950 on order so i'm sort of biased. But in doubt I would check out some benchmarks to see the difference. Also I believe amd has or will release a driver update for their new 6900 series which should improve their speed on certain benchmarks and games.
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January 27, 2011 9:17:58 PM

Why not go for a 6950? You can just flash it to 6970 speeds.

If you encounter problems, you can just flash it back. There's a BIOS switch on the card for just such an occasion.
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January 27, 2011 9:42:23 PM

@Sartorius: Good point. 6950 2gb is my current winner....

If I go with a 6950, then a 750W power supply should be ample, even if I flash it to a 6970? What about dual 6950's flashed to 6970's? I was looking at all the suggested power supplies, but there is one that looks like a pretty good deal... it's a Corsair 750W on Newegg for a pretty sweet deal. It's $99 plus $20 MIR. If that will be ample for Dual 6950's flashed to 6970's then I am going to pull the trigger.

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January 27, 2011 9:55:50 PM

Dude, a 500 watt is more than enough for a 6950 and 6970. Even a good 80+ rated 400 watt PSU is good enough for a single 6950.

That 750 watt will be just fine for two, especially since it's a Corsair.
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January 27, 2011 11:28:25 PM

dj1001 said:
GTX 460 1GB will play any game at 1080p res with eyecandy.
And they can be gotten for about 150 on newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Don't go and get me confused now!!! Honestly, for a couple extra bucks I would probably just go with the new 560's...
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Best solution

January 28, 2011 12:33:35 AM

I still say you should go with a 2GB HD 6950, especially with a 2500K. You'll have yourself an amazing build.
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January 28, 2011 12:38:22 AM

Yes, I'm sticking with the 6950... I was just saying if I were gonna go 460's, I would just go 560's... but I'm gonna stick with the 6950, seems to be the most bang for the buck! Thanks for the advice everyone!
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January 28, 2011 12:38:44 AM

Best answer selected by justbrewit.
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