First Gaming Build

Hey guys,

I was looking for some input on my first gaming build. I'm open to suggestions, but the build right now is stretching my budget so there's no room to switch to more expensive parts - better, sure, but not more expensive. Anyway, here's the build's specs as it stands right now.

Mobo: P67

CPU: i5-2500k

GPU: MSI GTX460 Hawk Talon

RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR31600 2x2GB

PSU: Coolmax CL-700B

Case: Raidmax Tornado Blue

DVD: Asus 24x Burner w/ Lightscribe

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB

OS: Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

I have a few different shopping sources, but mostly I'm using Newegg, and the build as it stands is around $950 with shipping right now.

Any input? (I'm particularly curious about how the different GTX460 cards stack up in terms of performance.)
22 answers Last reply
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  1. Hello jalexbrown;

    Already have a DVD burner?

    Everything is looking good except your PSU choice.
  2. What is your budget?

    Mobo suggestion, get the Extreme4 P67 from Asrock. Refer to my sight for more info on the Extreme4 and the 2500K.
  3. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371025 $89.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157217 $152.99
    ASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.584425 Combo Price: $238.98
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel
    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=N82E16820226092 $42.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996768

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127551 $179.99 (Before $20.00 Mail-In Rebate ) FREE SHIPPING
    MSI N460GTX -M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136177 $16.99 FREE SHIPPING
    LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.591429 Combo Price: $159.98 FREE SHIPPING
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    Total: $838.93 *not including shipping, rebates, etc..
  4. I have a DVD burner, but it's pretty old and I don't mind plucking down a few extra bucks for a new one.

    What's wrong with the PSU?
  5. ^ Broski your combo doesn't exist. @ Why_Me
  6. Are you planning on getting a 2nd GTX 460?
    As long as it's the GTX 460 1GB model there isn't much difference between the models running at the same GPU clock and RAM speeds. Most of the time you can OC a standard model to the factory OC settings yourself to save a few $$.

    The Raidmax case has 2x 80mm LED fan? They tend to be louder than the slower turning 120mm fans to move the same amount of air.
  7. @aznshinobi: My budget is at or around $950. I could maybe squeeze it up to $1,000, but I'd rather not.

    @Why_Me: Is there any reason to not use the stock cooler on the i5? I have a local store where I can get the i5-2500k for $179. Also, why go with the MSI GTX460 OC instead of the Hawk Talon?
  8. jalexbrown said:
    What's wrong with the PSU?
    We're not exactly sure. But Coolmax has a reputation for budget PSUs and if you can't find a independent review you have to assume its overpriced, underpowered and probably using cut-rate parts.
  9. @WR2: I might get a second GTX 460 in the future, but not right away. So you think it would be better to just get a stock card and overclock it myself? I've never tried overclocking before, so I thought it would be safer to spend a bit extra for one that comes OC'd.
  10. This is the type of independent review you want to see if you're picking a PSU to run your high end parts reliably.
    Antec TruePower New 750 W (TP-750) Power Supply Review @ Hardware Secrets
  11. Well you could try out the 1000$ build I have, it should work out really nicely since you can get the 2500K so cheap and you can always change the case I have in the build to accomadate the cost. You don't want t the SSD so if you just did the 1K build I have w/o the SSD and get your 2500K so cheap. It'd cost 920$. Plus if you don't want the 6870 etc. etc. Then you save another 60$ going with the 460, which will accommodate the Win7 into the budget.
  12. If your budget is tight it's one easy way to go. It's actually quite easy the GPU OC'ing tools.
  13. @WR2: Can you reach the performance of the OC cards using all software tools? I've always assumed "light overclocking" would be pretty much worthless.
  14. jalexbrown said:
    @aznshinobi: My budget is at or around $950. I could maybe squeeze it up to $1,000, but I'd rather not.

    @Why_Me: Is there any reason to not use the stock cooler on the i5? I have a local store where I can get the i5-2500k for $179. Also, why go with the MSI GTX460 OC instead of the Hawk Talon?

    That was the combo (cpu + h/s) on newegg before they pulled those 1155 mobo's. Chances are they will be there again. But if you can get that cpu for $180...Microcenter I'm guessing...then you can squeeze a gtx 560 in that build. That 750w psu I posted will easily push two of those cards if you decide to add another one in the future. That CM h/s I posted can be picked up @ Amazon for $28 & free shipping. You can always add one of those later on down the road. But that microcenter deal is going to be the icing on the cake so to say. That just put you into the gtx 560 range. :)
  15. The top OC models are the same video chip that just tested better and was 'cherry picked' to run at higher clocked GPU and RAM. And of course you can still OC' the top models even past the standard OC settings. They usually have better cooling solutions too.
    When you look at the performance difference between the best OC models and stock models with an OC you can do yourself you don't usually see a large jump in performance.
    Almost never see a game that is 'playable' with the OC model but not playable the stock model.
  16. Stock coolers actually pretty good now because of 32nm, they OC the 2500K to 4.6 max (maybe 4.7 for some) just on the stock hsf. The Hyper 212+ will pull you to 5.1ghz and give you some cooling head room.
  17. @Why_Me: What sort of difference would I see performance-wise between the GTX460 and GTX560? I figured out the build you gave above with a GTX560 and the i5-2500k from Micro Center (glad someone else knows them) comes to $920 with shipping and tax, and that's before I buy a case. I'm afraid it might be stretching my budget a little bit (it sucks being a college student). Do you have any case recommendations?
  18. ^ You'd see A huge increase in performance. I recommend the 922. That or the NZXT Phantom.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=313
  19. jalexbrown said:
    @Why_Me: What sort of difference would I see performance-wise between the GTX460 and GTX560? I figured out the build you gave above with a GTX560 and the i5-2500k from Micro Center (glad someone else knows them) comes to $920 with shipping and tax, and that's before I buy a case. I'm afraid it might be stretching my budget a little bit (it sucks being a college student). Do you have any case recommendations?

    Ya I admit I spoke too soon. I added up the numbers... :(

    The best case imo for the $ (tight budget) that has the size for two large vid cards and an after market h/s is the CM HAF 912. Granted if and when you add another card and/or decide to o/c you will want to throw some fans in that case, but it's set up for that.

    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=19&product_id=3009 <---more info on that case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233 $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Dimensions(L x W x H) - 19.50" x 9.10" x 18.90"
  20. ^ I actually kind of dislike the 912. I don't know why, but I find that it just doesn't give you enough airflow versus some cases of its price.

    I find the V6 to give you pretty good flow, you could always move the rear fan to the front. The 912 only gives you one rear 120 fan. 62$ (50$ AR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133180

    At that point the M59 would also be a good choice from NZXT.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146058&Tpk=m59

    The A60 coming at 75$ is the most expensive, but would give you the most airflow. Plus 50$ AR.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133181
  21. Can anyone recommend a PSU that's cheaper than $90?
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