Best Value Sandy Bridge Build-Seeking Advice/Insight

Greetings, I've decided to build a new sandy bridge pc, because my old one is around 6 years and doesn't seem to be able to do the things I need it to do anymore. So I've come here to seek some advice on part choices and such.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 week - 1 month (waiting on new mobos to show up)

Budget Range: Up to $2000, hoping to spend less.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and Video Editing ( plan to keep the pc continually running 24/7)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, possibly psu and boot HDD, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (,, microcenter)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Nvidia Graphics

Overclocking: Yes (have heard it is possible for the k series to)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (Not sure if I want to just yet, but the option is nice.)

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (24" ASUS VW246H x2)

Additional Comments: I am looking for the best value for my dollar, I don't necessarily need or want to spend the full 2k, but if it's needed I can go above it. I want to be smart with my money, not necessarily buying just the most expensive parts if I can overclock or get better results on slightly cheaper parts. My friend is also offering me a SSD and a PSU for relatively cheap, which together is considered about $200 of my budget. I would also like a minimum of 6-8gb of ram.

If possible feedback on all hardware choices and recommendations for replacements is greatly appreciated. Thanks to anyone that helps out.


CPU: i5-2500k - $230 (Have heard that for the value it is better than the i7-2600k.)

CPU Cooler: ???

MOBO: ??? (Have been recommended the Biostar TP67XE and the ASROCK P67 Extreme 4)

GPU: ??? (Prefer to stick with NVIDIA)

RAM: ??? (Have heard G.Skill is widely recommended)

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 - $140 (I just adore this case look and I want to stick with air cooling if possible)

Boot HDD: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 2.5" 120GB - $230 (Friend bought two of these and wants to sell me his extra for $130 otherwise I think I would have gone with just a 60gb boot drive, thoughts on this drive?)

Storage HDD: ???

PSU: Thermaltake Black Widow W0319RU 850W ATX Modular - $120 (Plenty of power and another extra my friend acquired, he's willing to part with it for $70, thoughts on this psu?)

Optical: ??? (I guess any cheapo drive that can burn dvds and possibly a 2nd separate drive for blurays)

Other: Anything extra I may need.
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More about best sandy bridge build seeking advice insight
  1. Do you need OS?

    HSF wise, I'd recommend either a CM Hyper 212 Plus or a Scythe Mugen $30 and $40 repsectively.

    Mugen won't work with tall RAm so I'd recommend a G Skill Eco kit.
    2 of these ddr3 1600 cas 7 kits would be nice $65

    Mobo- well there aren't any SB mobo's out right now, so we can't actually recommend you one.

    GPU- GTX 570 would be my rec.

    Case- Stick with a HAF 922. Add in a side fan if you want. It uses the same exact same fan as the 932. (the specs are diff, 200cm for 922, 230 for 932, but in actuality they're the same, go go marketing).

    Intel SSD is fine. Make sure it's the gen 2 one though.

    Storage HD- SPinpoint F3 $55 for 1tb right now.

    Optical- just grab cheapers SATA one you can find. Don't bother with blue ray unless you have an actual use for it. Digital distribution is where everything is headed.

    PSU- not a very good one that TT. Stick with seasonic, XFX black edition, antec TP or earthwatts, or corsair's HX/TX/AX.
    xfx 750w $100 AR
  2. Thanks for the response, I forgot about the OS, but I figure I'll just use my copy of windows 7 64 bit, I have lying around.
    As for the Mobo, I was under the assumption that the "fixed" sb boards were just re-releases of earlier boards that came out with the platform.

    Case: The problem with the 922 is it's a mid tower, I'd prefer a full tower to maximize space.

    SSD: How do I tell what is a generation 2?

    PSU - What is generally looked for in a PSU other than wattage? What exactly makes the TT bad? Asking because seemed like a good deal for the wattage.

    Thanks again for the response and any from anyone that follows.
  3. 922 is as big as most full towers, really not an issue.

    Look at drive model number on your friends.

    Active PCF, 80+ rating, I'd recommend a silver at least these days.
    Also important is who actually makes the thing. Most companies do not make their own PSU's, they buy em from a PSU OEM and throw their name on it.

    Seasonic is the top PSU OEM. They have their own line, make many Corsair PSU, the XFX PSU's and Antec TP line.

    That TT is made by HEC. Known best for making PSU's that work at 2/3 their rated wattage at best before blowing up.
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