Advice on new gaming rig


I'm planning to build a new computer once the Sandy Bridge mobo are back for retail sale (March - April from what i read). I am currently using a Dell Inspiron 537, so it is pretty dated. I will not be salvaging any parts so this will be a fresh build. I just need some advice and confirmation that everything will fit perfectly. The only parts I'm not purchasing is my monitor (1920x1080 resolution) and speakers (5:1 surround sound). My budget is around $1000-$2000, ideally $1500 but open to suggestions for plus or minus on spending. This will be used primarily for gaming, I want to future proof this to hopefully last me a good 5-7 years. I do plan to OC the CPU down the line, and SLI, but I have no experience in the matter, so I won't go crazy.
Here goes:

CPU - Intel i5 2500k (would the i7 2600k be better for future proof gaming?)

with for it

MoBo - ASUS P8P67 Pro (Need some advice on this, but seems to be the popular choice)

RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x 4GB) 1600 DDR3

Graphics Card - MSI GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr (maybe EVGA, not sure yet)

Case - Antec 902 v3 (torn between this and the Antec 300 Illusion Black)

PSU - Corsair 850W (need suggestions on this, if i SLI in the future will this be enough?)


HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD

Optical - Asus DVD/CD

Keyboard - Logitech K200 (Don't feel I need a gaming board, but open to suggestions)

Mouse - Logitech G500 (Again open to suggestions, fyi, I've used both a MX518 and a Deathadder and like them both)

Mouse Pad - Razer Goliathus Gaming Pad

OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

This totals to ~$1500 (depending on mobo price and with shipping+handling)

Thank You!
19 answers Last reply
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  1. I think the i5-2500K will be fine.

    I wouldn't go for the Antec 300 Illusion with such a large budget.

    You can SLI GTX 560s on good 650W PSUs, and that's what I'd prefer to do rather than get one of the old Corsair TXs (there are V2s around now, if you must get a Corsair TX, get one of the V2s).

    Any of these would be better:
    Xigmatek NRP-MC702 700W 80Plus Bronze Modular $110 ($8.57 shipping)

    Thermaltake Toughpower XT-775 80Plus Bronze Modular $110 ($30 rebate, $2 shipping)

    XFX 750W Black Edition 80Plus Silver Modular $130 ($6 shipping)

    The Asus P8P67 Pro is a good choice, but I would seriously consider the Asrock P67 Extreme4, doesn't really matter tho.
  2. One of the reasons the ASUS P8P67 Pro is favored by some. ASUS P8P67 Pro review
    Gigabyte and Asrock also have some excellent options.
  3. Your PSU choice of the Corsair 850TX wouldn't have raised an eyebrow six months ago.

    You'll get a lot more PSU going for the V2 model: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W
    Reviews - Corsair TX850 V2 850W @ JonnyGuru
    If you plan to OC the CPU and both video cards down the line (GTX 560 Ti or it's future equivelent) this will handle them.
  4. For things like the keyboard, mouse and mouse pad there is just no substitute for getting a hands-on test if you can manage that.
    Features take 2nd place to 'feeling good' IMO.

    Arctic Silver 5 is a great thermal compound but I prefer working with something just as good, is non-conductive, easy to work with and has no curing time. ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

    Did you have your eye on an aftermarket CPU cooler to replace the fairly weak Intel stock cooler? We almost never see a build with thermal compound and no CPU cooler.
    Maybe something to match the look of your case?
  5. Case - For the same price you could gran the new Antec DF-35. If ya watch new egg for specials you can grab the full tower DF-85 for $140 about every 2 weeks. Right now it's $160

    PSU - The TX850 ($120) is in Corsair's 2nd tier TX line. For $20 cheaper you could get the XFX Black Edition 750 ($90) which is a 1st tier level PSU comparable in quality and performance to Corsair's HX series.....The 750 is more than enough for twin 560's but if ya like the 850, the 1st tier XFX Black 850 is the same price as the 2nd tier TX850.

    If ya decide to pop for the DF-85, the CP-850 is another 1st tier PSU (all 1st tier's mentioned get 10.0 performance rating on that also is $120. The V2 850 is a good PSU, but it still only gets a 9.5 performance rating. The XFX Black 850 gets the 10.0 and is $10 cheaper.

    MoBo / PSU - The Asus P8P67 pro / i 2500k combo is a popular choice and for good reason. Other options to consider are the Asus Sabertooth (5 year warranty) and WS Revolution. I'd consider the latter if you were using 570's or 580's as it can do both cards in SLI at x16 x16 rather than x8 x8.

    RAM - Skip any RAM w/ tall heat sinks as they interfere w/ most CPU coolers .... on top of that, they do nothing for RAM performance. Leftover from a day when RAM actually needed cooling, the only reason they are still here is that they 'look cool" and peeps are willing to pay extra $$ for them. I'd stick w/ either of these:

    Corsair CAS 9 DDR-3 1600

    Mushkin CAS 9 DDR-3 1600

    or if ya want lower latency

    Mushkin CAS 7 DDR-3 1600

    KB - That's a very cheap KB .... has horrible feedback
    Keyboard - $65 - Logitech G110

    Cooler - OC'ing a SB CPU shoud be an automatic.....Guru3d hit 4.6 Ghz in 5 minutes with the Sabertrooth.

    To go beyond that, you'll need a cooler..... under $50, this is the current top performer.

    Cooler - $40 - Scythe Mugen 2
    TIM - $5 Shin Etsu 751

    Here's the top coolers

    Here's the top 20 TIM's in order of increasing performance
  6. I also want to throw this RAM in here:
    Geil Value Plus DDR3 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 MHz CAS9 1.6V $97
  7. Sorry took so long for me to reply, I went out for a bit, was surprised to have this many replies, and some good insights, thank you! Yea I forgot to add that I was looking for a good CPU heatsink&fan, but had doubts because I read that the i5 2500k can OC to 4.5GHz on stock cooler and be stable, which tbh is more then enough for me. That Scythe Mugen 2 looks pretty good for the price and I will consider it.
  8. O btw the reason why I went for that RAM is because I read that lower voltage was better? another set I was considering was this:
  9. Yea that looks like a good set as well.
  10. How loyal are you to NVidia? just slightly curious. the 560 is a pretty good deal, and it's currently in the top 10 in terms of 3DMark benchmarks (#5 I believe) (for standard desktop video cards, that is). The reason I ask is because I've had nothing but nvidia cards for about 10 years until just last week when I picked up a Radeon HD 6950 and flashed it to a 6970. It runs beautifully, beats the 560 slightly in overall benchmarks, but also costs slightly more.

    A couple advantages that lead me in the 6950 direction was
    1) the higher memory bandwidth and 2GB graphics memory,
    2) It's supposed advantage with tessellation over the 560.

    There were, however a few setbacks by not going with the 560, one being the lack of Physx and CUDA cores, so if you do any video editing, I'd stick with the NVidia route.

    As far as I know the 6970 (which you can get for the price of a 6950) is number four in terms of benchmarks (followed by the 570, 480, and finally the 580 way at the top). I usually like to get the best card I can reasonably afford at the time of purchase of a video card upgrade, as I want it to last the longest time possible.

    I guess it's just something to consider, but don't rush the decision, for your video card is probably the most critical piece of a gaming machine.

    I picked up the Sapphire model of the 6950 (mainly because it was on sale at the time) for $275 (which is about the price of a 560Ti).

    Also, if you're worried about keeping your GPU cool (after you unlock the shaders and up the clock to 6970 speed you probably will be), this thing is a beast:
  11. For the Scythe Mugen 2, is there pre-applied thermal paste? if so what are some recommended thermal paste removers?

    Also, if someone can enlighten me a bit more on the PSU, decided to go with the XFX Black Edition, as someone mentioned here that it is a top tier PSU. The problem I'm having atm is deciding whether I should stick with 750W or go with an 850W. Can someone give me a scenario where both plays its maximum role in terms of SLI, OCing and components? Sorry if this sounds confusing, if it is I'll try to reword it, but basically, I want this to be as future proof as much as possible, for example:

    Someone said that the XFX 750W is more then ample for dual SLI GTX 560Ti, which is good, initially I will be getting only 1 GTX 560 Ti, since I only run 1 monitor I don't think getting SLI atm is going to be that much improvement. Say somewhere down the line, liek 1-2 years, I want to upgrade, perhaps SLI or XFire the current graphics card down the line, would that same XFX 750W PSU still hold up good with ample room for upgrades?

  12. A 750w will run dual 560's with plenty of juice to spare. This build includes a factory o/c gtx 560 w/option to add another for SLI, Windows 7, after market h/s, 8 gigs of low voltage RAM, SSD, etc... <--- detailed and in depth review of that mother board <---- get the latest bios for that board here <--- review/benchmarks gtx 560 in SLI *The cards in that review are @ stock settings, unlike the card down below in this build which are factory over clocked. $119.99
    Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $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 $155 @ newegg
    ASRock P67 Extreme4 Combo Price: $251.98 FREE SHIPPING
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR $17.99 Free shipping w/ promo code EMCKHJC29, ends 2/23
    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 $249.99
    MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $109.99 - $94.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Combo Price: $154.98 FREE SHIPPING
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 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: $1,159.91 *not including shipping, rebates, etc...

    *** 120mhz gaming monitor worth taking a look at... $469.99 Free Ground Shipping Add Promo code "Thankyou11" for 10% off
    BenQ LCD XL2410T BLACK 23.6W LED monitor 120HZ 3D 2ms D-sub + DVI + HDMI <---- more on that monitor <--- detailed and in depth review of that monitor
  13. ballisticbuddha - tbh, I went with Nvidia because I had some bad experiences with ATI graphics cards, so I thought I'd give Nvidia a shot

    JackNaylorPE and Why_Me - thank you for the suggestions, will definitely look into it, btw is that Antec PSU comparable to the XFX Black edition 750W or is one better then the other? I don't have much knowledge about PSUs tbh
  14. you should get this case, the NZXT Phantom, it has this cooling system built in, and it looks really cool.
  15. The Scythe Mugen 2 doesn't come with thermal paste preapplied, so you just have to apply whatever thermal paste you choose.

    The Antec and XFX are pretty much as good as each other, apart from the XFX having higher efficiency. I think that there are very few dual card setups that a 750W PSU can't handle, even with very power hungry processors, which Sandy Bridge CPUs aren't.
  16. 7thx said:
    O btw the reason why I went for that RAM is because I read that lower voltage was better? another set I was considering was this:

    That's the RAM you want to get imo. Not only is it low voltage, but it doesn't have those big cake cutter heat sinks that tend to get in the way of larger cpu heat sinks.

    It's the same set I posted in that build up above.
  17. Why_Me said:
    That's the RAM you want to get imo. Not only is it low voltage, but it doesn't have those big cake cutter heat sinks that tend to get in the way of larger cpu heat sinks.

    It's the same set I posted in that build up above.

    Yea, I'll be getting those, looks good
  18. Hey, if anyone can further help me a bit, I'm kinda torn between getting the XFX Black Edition 750W PSU and this one:

    the difference in price isn't really a concern, I'm more concern with stability and reliability, thanks!

    Also, I heard XFX support was bad, so I have that fear of getting a DOA unit and going through hell replacing it @_@
  19. Not much to choose between them, in almost any aspect, altho I can't comment on customer support.

    If you don't want the XFX unit, then here are some other high quality, high efficiency options, which you should also consider:
    Silverstone Strider Plus 750W 80Plus Silver Fully Modular $130 ($10 rebate, $6 shipping)

    NZXT Hale90 750W 80Plus Gold Modular $140 ($6 shipping)
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