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$1400 i5-2500k Sandy Bridge Build -Critique Please- WTB ASAP

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March 6, 2011 7:48:20 AM

I am building my first computer and would like to start buying my parts asap. I have been doing some extensive research over the past week on the best parts for my price range/value and have came up with the following build. This site has been fantastic! Please, look over my following chooses and tell me how it looks, fits and if I would be best suited to go in another direction or if I have created a solid piece. I hope to start buying this week.

MY USAGE: I will be using this computer primarily for playing WoW and using CS5 (Adobe Creative Suits). It will be my Gaming/Graphic Design/Website Design/Entertainment Center. My gaming will only really consist of MMOs and I would like to play them at there maximum performance. My designing consist of running multiple applications simultaneously, with multiple files/projects being opened at the same time. The faster my programs run, the better.

I am leaning towards using a Asus VW246H Black 24” Widescreen LCD Monitor and x2 when it comes to my design applications. Upgradability is important to me, I want a machine that will have some shelf life, but will be easy to upgrade.

I am right at my $1400 range, almost spot on. I am willing to bend a bit if need be, like everyone else I am looking to get the best performance per part, in my general price range.

On to the Build:

CASE: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

MOBO: ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supplyy

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

HARD DRIVE: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SOLID STATE DRIVE: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBXH

OPTICAL DRIVE: LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM

COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212

Uncertainties:
i5-2500k vs i7-2600k: From what I have been reading, it seems even though I will be running multiple applications. my value still lies with the i5-2500k.

560 Ti vs 560 Ti SC and GPU in General: I have racked my brain over this and it seems the 560 Ti is my best bang for the buck. It seems to also perform extremely well in WoW. I have no intentions of overclocking on my own, so is the extra $10 worth the SC? It seems it would be. This card might even be overkill, but I value graphics and want my card to perform well for the foreseeable future.

Everything in my build happens to be black and blue, with a yellow GPU, guessing it will aesthetically look pleasing as well =) Please throw me some feedback, I would really like to get a machine up and running! I cant wait to build and play with my lego set!!
March 6, 2011 8:42:05 AM


Play on.
Your research has definitely paid off. Good job.
The 2500K gives you a great performance/value option.

Are you planning a 2nd 560 Ti? Your PSU is up-sized for that.
Concur on the 560 Ti vs SC model. (and you probably will OC on your own once you find out how easy it is).
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Best solution

March 6, 2011 8:49:56 AM

Since the motherboard rollout won't be a smooth ride and everyone will be taking a shot at the limited supplies of the motherboards you might want to have a backup option in mind. Like having a list of MB's you'd be willing to take - Asus P8P67 Pro, Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4, etc.
Using http://camelegg.com/ might give you an advantage.

Be sure to let us know how things work out.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.

While you're waiting you can download the online version of the motherboard manual and start getting familiar with it. Same for the other parts you want to order if they have install guides or manuals available.

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March 6, 2011 10:29:23 AM

My advice is:

If u been waiting this long and for budgets nearing or exceeding $1.5k i suggest

1. Await Z68 chipsets, Zambezi AM3+ on platform front
2. Await HD 6990/GTX 590 on the GPU front
3. Await the Sandforce SATA 6GB/s SSDs to hit retailers :p  Definitely worth it over C300 hehe
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March 6, 2011 1:59:30 PM

WR2: Thank you! Excellent advice and resources. As usual, this community rocks. I am very excited! I might get a second 560 Ti down the road a bit, but no immediate plans. Is there another motherboard you suggest as a quality alternative?

batuchka: Wouldn't that up my price considerably? The GPU alone will cost me a few hundred more and I am not sure I need that much power at the moment. Also, it seems there is always the newest and greatest thing right around the corner and I would rather not wait much longer unless it would be extremely beneficial.
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March 6, 2011 2:18:21 PM

That's pretty much a perfect build. I would recommend you change nothing from that list.

The i5 2500k is beastly to overclock aswell.

Have fun with the build.
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March 6, 2011 2:24:40 PM

ASUS P8P67 PRO / ASROCK Extreme4 / GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4

We haven't seen any prices yet on the Z86 boards but as the 'enthusiast class' part you could expect them to run over $200 is what I'd guess. Some P67 boards will run over $200. The main features of the Z68 that the elite enthusiasts are looking forward to are SSD caching and having a discrete video card, being able to overclock with unlocked multipliers AND make use of the HD 3000 CPU video chip for Quick Sync video encoding.

I'm kind of surprised no one has jumped in to say wait for the X-58 replacement - the socket 2011 stuff due out this summer. ;) 
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March 6, 2011 4:38:17 PM

Akilleez said:

batuchka: Wouldn't that up my price considerably? The GPU alone will cost me a few hundred more and I am not sure I need that much power at the moment. Also, it seems there is always the newest and greatest thing right around the corner and I would rather not wait much longer unless it would be extremely beneficial.


If 'leaked' benches are to believed the wait could very well be worth it - if it was a matter of 6mths or longer i would not advise as such but at 2-3 mths and top of the food chain GPUs incoming (and we could see price revisions trickle down the food chain possibly) : it's each individual's call though :D 
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March 6, 2011 5:17:15 PM

PSU - The HX series is a great PSU but seriously overpriced....and ya only need a 750 for twin 560's; nVidia actually certifies several 650 watters for twin 560's

$150 HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$130 XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$127 HX750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 XFX Black Edition 750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here's the performance review comparison

XFX Black 850 - 10.0 performance / 9.6 overall
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

XFX Black 750 - 10.0 performance / 9.7 overall
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

HX850 - 10.0 performance / 9.6 overall
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

SSD - Vertex 3's are expected this month
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...

CPU - 2600k will show significant difference is CS5, so may be worth forking up the $100

RAM - Also CS5 will benefit from lower latency (CAS 7) / higher speed (DDR3-1600) RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX, yes the OC'd 560's are worth it. The Asus is the same price as the regular one.....but good luck finding one.

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nvidia_asus_gtx...

Quote:
Seeing as how this card from ASUS looks like it was built for balls-out overclocking, that is the expectation I had when I first laid eyes on this card. With clock speeds 80MHz on the core and 50MHz on the memory faster than the reference card specifications, out of the box, the question was how much head room was going to be left? What I found out was that there was some head room, but not as much as I had hoped for with the ASUS-designed PCB and cooling solution. That really comes down to what the silicon will yield more so than anything with the build quality. By using ASUS's Smart Doctor utility, I was able to boost the clock speeds up to 1004MHz on the fixed function units, 2008MHz on the CUDA cores, and 1202MHz (4808 MHz QDR). To do this required the voltage to be increased up to the 1150mv limit in Smart Doctor. The clock speeds I reached were stable throughout the entire test suite, not just a quick run through a single benchmark, so this may seem a little lower than some of the other numbers seen, but stability is where it's at. When it came to cooling, the DirectCUII cooling solution benefits from the installation of a second fan delivering temperatures better than the reference card in both stock and overclocked scenarios. When it comes down to it 100+MHz out of the core and 150+MHz out of the memory, that's not a bad trade off for your time on a factory-overclocked card. You may see results that are similar, higher or lower, but regardless, if this is the median, the 1GHz on the core ain't to bad
.

Cooler - You went all out on everything so I didn't quite understand the Hyper 212. Long popular for its extremely low cost, the Scythe Mugen 2 SCMG 2100 at $40 brings you a substantial improvement for just $10. It was the No. 2 performing cooler on BMR's last roundup (NOTE: BMR does their tests on 1366 chips, not the long outdated LGA 775 ... since heat signatures are vastly different, LGA 775 results don't correlate with 1155/1156/1366 performance)

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Since that test a few new coolers have been introduced which are compared here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
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March 6, 2011 5:21:17 PM

>.< you seem to have this build down perfectly, and i've been revising my sb 2500k build for about a month now (killing time waiting for new mobos) :D 
no real suggestions, but in terms of monitors, i suggest the Acer GD235HZbid Black/orange 23.6" monitor, i found it for 180 at a store near me and it's usually 350 :D  great buy if looking into high end gaming
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March 6, 2011 5:23:55 PM

Also, if you don't NEED blue-ray burning capabilities, you can sheer about 100$ off your build :) 
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March 6, 2011 6:25:26 PM

Don't mean to thread hijack at all, but what sacrifices should be made to get this build around $1000? After researching this processor seems to give the best bang for the buck. The MSI gtx 560 also looks good for my variation of this build. I do plan on overclocking after reading comments on how easy it is. I feel like this machine would run Esprit, Mastercam, Pro E, and autocad with no problems. I would like to pull the trigger on this build within the next week. This will be the first computer build for me. PM's will be fine so the OP thread will not get cluttered. Thanks in advance!
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March 6, 2011 6:39:52 PM

na300zx - check my pm for the advice
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March 6, 2011 7:40:52 PM

I would definitely spend the extra $100 on the 2600K. Your getting 4 more virtual cores and more cache.
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March 6, 2011 8:48:05 PM

WR2: I just picked up a Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB for $109 at Micro Center! It was the last day of the sale so I jumped on it. Good enough value to lay put right?

JackNaylorPE: PSU: I thought 850 might be a bit of a overkill but, given the important of the PSU I figured it would not hurt. I based part of my decision on the reviews you supplied from jonnyguru. I also have read that Corsair's quality in PSUs are superior to XFX. The 850 HX series was awarded and highly regarded on several websites, I am not sure if those high remarks then apply to the lower power units of the same series?

The SSD: See above, what do you think?

The CPU: I thought my mind was set in stone on this.. however I can not decide. Micro Center has the 2500k for $199! However, the 2600k is less expensive as well.. so I guess that is somewhat irrelevant. Saving the extra $100 is nice, but in the near future will the hyperthreading be something I wish I would have obtained? I have heard both ways on whether or not the 2600k would actually show me a difference in running CS5 so I am still a bit unsure.

RAM: I did go with the 7 latency. Is the 1600 worth the extra $50? I know I will end up buying another set sometime down the line in my upgrading process.

GPU: The EVGA SC is available on buy.com, there is only a $10 difference, I might just have to get one.

As for the cooling, I just bought a 212+ for 25$. I could certainly return it. Given its popularity and high praise for its cost, I figured I would just roll with it and thanks for the feedback!!
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March 6, 2011 8:53:06 PM

Ajrslg: Thanks. I will definitely look into that monitor. Hopefully it will be at one of the local stores around me. I would rather see them in person before I purchase one on-line, if of course the price is better. Not sure how much I will use the blueray on my computer, but figured for the cost it is a nice feature to have.
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March 6, 2011 9:38:50 PM

I think you did really good on the SSD especially @ that price.

It's not like the i5-2500K/P67/1333 CL7 RAM/GTX 560 Ti/Crucial C300 is going to be slow at anything.
The i7-2600K/Z68/1600 CL7 RAM/GTX 590/Vertex 3 is faster/better but you pay extra for that speed.
We're talking about very fast and even faster. Either option will get the work/stuff done.

The Hyper 212+ is a very good cooler and that is a great price. I don't think BenchmarkReviews has tested the Hyper 212+
but anther site that did had a test result that showed a near equal performance with the Prolimatech Megahalems which
BenchmarkReviews says is a top performer. CM Hyper 212+ & Prolimatech Megahalems compared @ HardwareCanuks
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March 6, 2011 9:44:59 PM

Why is the motherboard P67 out of stock everywhere? the ASrock extreme4 p67 also? Both of thiese boards are comparable?
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March 6, 2011 10:01:57 PM

Ajrslg's suggestion about the Blu-Ray burner and JackNaylorPE's suggestion about a PSU change have a lot of merit.
And the combined change will let you slip into a i7-2600K without going over your budget.
I still think the 2500K is an excellent price/performance choice.
You could always pocket the $100 savings and feel that much better about the great system coming in under budget.

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March 6, 2011 10:48:57 PM

na300zx said:
Why is the motherboard P67 out of stock everywhere? the ASrock extreme4 p67 also? Both of thiese boards are comparable?


They're difficult to find because the LGA1155 motherboards were recalled to fix a communication issue w/ devices on the SATA II ports. They only started showing back up on NewEgg etc within the last week or so. They're still coming in a few at a time so they will become more readily available over the next week or two.
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March 7, 2011 6:14:15 PM

Went with the PC-7FN. I love the aluminum body and sleek look. I hope the air flow will be enough off the bat, considering the fans are limited. The nice thing is the case is very upgradable.
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March 7, 2011 6:42:47 PM

Overall your system looks to be outstanding. As far as the question of the Intel® Core™ I5 2500k vs. the Intel Core I7 2600k, the best way to find out which is best for you is to check with the software that you are going to be running and see how many threads it will run on. If the software will take advantage of 4 or more threads then you will get the best performance out of the Core I7 2600k.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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March 7, 2011 7:13:19 PM

If you're happy with the HX850 there's no reason not to get it.
It was just one area you could have nudged your budget lower.

PC-7FN looks great. 50+ customer reviews @ NewEgg and really excellent ratings.
Might not fit the super long dual GPU video cards but anything in the range of GTX 560 Ti or GTX 570 will fit nicely.
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March 9, 2011 3:15:18 PM

Just got my hands on a ASUS SABERTOOTH P67. Hoping this is a acceptable replacement for the P8P67 Pro. A bit more then I wanted to spend, but I had this as a back up/alternative option. From my understanding, this will work fine all my other components? Watch, there will be a abundance of P8P67 Pro boards in the next few days now that I have bought this one.. lol. I did find the i5-2500k for a outstanding price of 179.99 which means I will be going this route.

Having a hard time with my monitor selection. Narrowed it down between these two.

Samsung BX2450 24" at $240
http://www.buy.com/prod/samsung-bx2450-24-led-backlit-l...

or

ASUS VW246H 24" at 208$ with shipping cost.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

That will finalize my build, once again, thank you very much for your input. This site and community has been a tremendous help.

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March 9, 2011 3:40:49 PM

You can check the NewEgg owner feedback and see if that can help you choose a monitor.
ASUS VW246H 24"
Samsung BX2450 24"

Where did you find the board and your CPU?
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March 9, 2011 3:49:07 PM

WR2 said:
You can check the NewEgg owner feedback and see if that can help you choose a monitor.
ASUS VW246H 24"
Samsung BX2450 24"

Where did you find the board and your CPU?


The problem is WR2, I have spent hours reading the feedback.. still cant decide! lol. I like the design of the Samsung better, but the overall reviews slightly favor the Asus.

I got them both from Micro Center. There is a location close to me. What are your thoughts on the board? Its a bit pricey, but not significantly more then what I was gonna pay for the Pro.
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March 9, 2011 3:58:15 PM

Toss a coin, choose the lower price, or pick the one you like the looks of best.
They're all valid ways of choosing when its that close.

Not enough info out yet to make an informed guess. But it's an Asus board so it's a safe bet IMO.
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March 9, 2011 4:53:47 PM

Akilleez said:
i5-2500k for a outstanding price of 179.99


Wow.
Time to head to Micro Center!
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March 9, 2011 6:04:11 PM

Going with the Samsung BX2450 24". My rig is complete! Now, time to read some more manuals/guides, sit back and collect the remaining goodies in the mail!!

WR2, your a rockstar. Thank you for your consistent and knowledgeable insight.
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March 9, 2011 6:04:37 PM

Best answer selected by Akilleez.
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March 9, 2011 7:44:22 PM

Here she be!
Final build. Ordered/Purchased and Complete:

CASE: LIAN LI PC-7FN Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
MOBO: SABERTOOTH P67 REV 3.0 - New P67 B3 Revision Intel P67 Based Military-grade Motherboard with Thermal Armor
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supplyy
GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
HARD DRIVE: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
SOLID STATE DRIVE: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBXH
OPTICAL DRIVE: LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212

$1405 ($1465 With some minimal tax and shipping.)
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