First Gaming Build in a While

Hey all,

I used to have an account here and then I went inactive for a while. I've been back to the site lately and now I've got a new account.

I'm really wanting to get into PC gaming again, so I've been looking over some parts lately. Here is a rough draft of a new build. My ideal budget is around $1500, excluding the monitor/keyboard/mouse.

i7 2600K


GTX 580 (from PNY)

8GB DDR3 1600MHz (probably Corsair Vengeance, but need recommendations)

150 GB WD Raptor


Need recommendation; preferably not anything too flashy; not interested in neon

Looking at Corsair 750W

Windows 7 Home Premium OEM

How's that looking? The total comes out to $1650 using the above options (and estimated costs for things that I'm not yet sure on). I'll definitely be wanting to overclock, so whatever RAM I get needs to be good to go for that.

I'm not terribly interested in going SLI with the GTX 580. It seems that I'd get a better price/performance ratio out of dual 570s, in which case I'd get one now and then another later down the road as they further drop in price. However, as I have no experience with SLI, and am uncertain about what I'd do for future upgrades. As I wouldn't be getting dual 570s to start with, it seems that by the time I got a second one I might as well just wait a little longer and buy a nice single-card solution in the future.

How about the Raptor? Worth it? Will I see a noticeable improvement in FPS?

I'm assuming I'll need some better-than-stock fans for cooling, too. If there are any cheap recommendations on those, that'd be helpful.

That's all I can think of for now. This is my first hypothetical build in a while, so if I've left out any necessary components, I apologize! If you see any ways to cut back a bit on the cost, that'd be great.

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. For what it's worth, I've configured a similar build at Cyberpower for around $1580, which includes a gaming keyboard/mouse (from Razer) and a dedicated sound card but no Raptor hard drive. I ordered a gaming PC from them back in 2005, which lasted me until I got my MacBook Pro in Summer 2009 (17" with 9600M GT; actually does a decent job at Crysis but I'm craving some serious power). This is mostly just to say that I'm entirely fine with ordering them as I've never actually gone through the building process myself, and I've been happy with them in the past. Their pricing is also pretty competitive.

    I know there's a separate CyberPower forum, but I thought I'd include it in New Build as I would prefer to build myself if it ends up being cheaper. Here is my configuration as done on CyberPower (this link should be good for 7 days; I've never used this feature of there's before):
  2. Frankly, I'd look at 560 Ti's .... they overclock like crazy whereas the 570 doesn't have any where as much room such that the OC'd 560 is 1 or 3 fps behind the 570.

    The performance was good right out of the box with both of these cards and when it came time to overclock them, I was able to hit over 1GHz on the GF114 cores of both cards and well over 1150MHz on the GDDR5 memory. These bumps in performance from overclocking were not just small bumps, but significant jumps in performance, allowing the GTX 560 Ti from NVIDIA and ASUS to wipe the floor with the HD 6870, its direct competitor. Either AMD has some price drops coming soon or it will be conceding the $250 price point to the performance of the GTX 560 Ti.

    Going with a newly updated case (dual chamber design, inlet air filters, includes front USB port) known for it's sedate looks and superb noise reduction.

    Case - $190 - Antec P193 V3
    PSU - $90 - Antec CP-850
    MoBo - $390 - ASUS P8P67 Pro
    CPU - incl. - Intel Core i5-2500K w/ above
    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
    RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Muskin CAS 7
    GFX - $250 - MSI 560 Ti (880 MHz) OC
    GFX - Later - Same
    HD - $160 - Spinpoint F3 1 TB
    SSD - $245 - Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB
    DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS
    OS - inc Win 7 Home Premium Included w/ HD

    Total $1,547
  3. ^+1

    The raptor is useless now. Save you money and get a SSD later or just get a SSD. For gaming you dont need hyperthreading so get the 2500k and save the money for a gfx card or SSD.
  4. Best answer
    Couple things,
    Unless your running programs like 3DS Max, C4D, Maya, or video editing at 4k resolution, you dont need a 2600k, save a $100 and get a 2500k they both can OC to 4.7 ghz on air and higher. Get Hyper 212+ for a CPU Cooler,

    Ditch the MSI board and either get an ASRock Extreme4 P67 $159 or an Asus P8p67 Pro $189

    Those are the two best sub-$200 boards on the p67 platform.
    The ASRock Extreme4 P67 would probably be the best due to the fact it does what the other two do but for cheaper.

    for RAM Just grab some 8GB GSkill Ripjaws X Series 1600mhz $100
    and OC those puppies

    Also to consider with the whole GTX 580 vs. 570 you can get three 570's for the price of 2 580's
    You can also get 2 560 Ti's for the price of 1 580
    Best Option is grab a single 570 now and see if you need more or if its doing all you want it do, if need more just grab another card.
    Should also realize if your running on a normal 60hz monitor the extra frams wont do anything for you. I Recommend a 120hz monitor. which lets you see an extra 60fps if its there.

    Raptor's are worth it in a price/performance type way, but they do get crapped on by SSD's and when the new sandforce controller is implemented in the next wave of SSD's it'll only get worse for them, but if just in the world of Mechanical drives yes the Raptor's are good. Should note they don't offer anything in the world of fps you'll just boot apps faster and load games quicker.

    Ditch the Caviar Black 1tb $100 and grab the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $54 from Amazon.

    For a case look at the CM 690 II Advanced $89.99

    Recommend a Modular PSU unless you wanna deal with wires everywhere.
    Personally like the Silverstone ST75F-P $129.99 80 PLUS SILVER or XFX Black Edition 750w $129.99

    Are you reusing an optical drive?
    if not you can grab them for $20

    Also if you know anyone in college chances are they can get windows 7 either free or for a reduced price below $100
  5. Thank you for the great replies so far! I had nearly forgotten how helpful the community is here. You're all awesome.

    I'm glad I've been steered in the direction of the 560 Ti over the 580. The following information is what especially got me to fully change my mind (560's in SLI crush a single 580 on Crysis Warhead and Metro 2033):

    Considering dual 560's are around the price of a single 580, I'm now thinking I might as well start off at with a 560 Ti SLI setup; not totally sure yet.

    Thanks for the feedback on the Raptor. I'll just remove that entirely and stick with a standard 1TB drive.

    HeyImGodly, thanks for pointing out how unnecessary the i7 2600k is for my needs. I do a little bit of light video editing, but nothing serious. I do some audio work/music production as a side hobby, but that all runs incredibly well on my Macbook Pro. As such, the i5 2500k will do just fine for this build. Thanks.

    Taking the above into consideration, I'm looking at the following:

    i5 2500K

    Asus P8p67 (I'll look into the ASRock Extreme4 P67 as well; just factoring in the more expensive one right now)

    GTX 560 Ti OC (900MHz, up from 822 stock; Gigabyte)

    8GB DDR3 1600MHz (Muskin 2x4GB CAS 7)

    1TB WD (I see these on sale all the time; I'll get a WD or some other good brand depending on what's on sale at the time)

    CM 690 II (looks great and isn't going to kill my budget)

    Modular 750W (will look at specific brands)

    Windows 7 Home Premium OEM (as a pretty tech-savvy college student myself, I'm familiar with the less-than-legitimate ways to get this; I'd just really like to go legit this time around)

    Optical Drive
    I'll just find whatever's on sale and good; no Bluray

    Total: $1225

    Awesome recommendations. Thank you so much! It also looks like I could go ahead and throw in a second 560 Ti OC (bringing me to $1475) or put it towards a nice monitor upgrade.

    If anyone's got some additional changes they'd recommendation, please send them this way.

    EDIT: In looking around more at motherboards, it appears that the Socket 1155 boards are pretty much all getting recalled. Looks like I'll be waiting a bit before making a move at all. This also explains why Newegg had so few 1155 boards available when I was checking them out.
  6. They'll be back soon enough, before Friday night there were zero boards available, the few that you see have just started to come back, give or take in about two weeks they should start to come back in full force.

    Don't get the gigabyte 560 Ti either get the Asus or the MSI
    The Gigabyte has a problem with not being able to run stable at 900mhz for long.
  7. Best answer selected by andrewmc.
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