$1500+ build graphics card choices

Well I have decided to get my build in the cart at newegg and wait for the motherboards to drop into stock so I can click order.
This is what I have come to so far budget is 1500ish. I can work around there up to 1700. Trying to keep it closer to 15/1600
CPU: Intel 2500k
Cooler: Noctua D14
GPU??? My ideas are 6990 or 6970 CF, am open to other ideas
MOBO: Dependent on GPU configuration
RAM ripjaws x 1600 8gb?
PSU 850HX
Case Dependent on GPU config Been looking at HAF 932 and lancool K62

Extras: 1tb WD black? or SSD?


Will be used for: Gaming on all the latest games at max settings and high levels of AA at 1080p with an upgrade to triple screens down the road. SC2, Warhead, Crysis 2, Dragon Age 2, Metro 2033 and such. Battlefield bad company 2 and BF3 when it comes out.
12 answers Last reply
More about 1500 build graphics card choices
  1. Since peeps been waiting this long for the top end i suggest for healthier/fatter budgets to
    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
  2. batuchka said:
    Since peeps been waiting this long for the top end i suggest for healthier/fatter budgets to
    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

    Put those into your signature to save time xD

    Ok let's put a nice high end build for you ;P actually 3 exact builds with different graphic card configurations.

    Config 1:

    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 (You need a hell lot of cooling for the graphic cards and the cpu overclock and this is the perfect case for this)

    Psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151100 (Very high quality very efficient and it's made by seasonic)

    Cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 (This is 1 beast of a processor)

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130574 (very high quality mobo and easy for overclocking)

    Gpu+Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.604579 (gtx 580 is a great card and when in sli it's beast)

    Heatsink,fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018 (best air cooler on the market)

    Hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 (again very reliable and fast Hdd)

    Odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289 (it's an optical drive xD)

    Subtotal: $1,401.90

    Config 2:
    same as above but change the Gpu+Ram to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.604218 (unlock the the 6950 to a 6970 using the bios tweak for free)

    Subtotal: $1,193.90

    Config 3:

    same as config 2 but with 2 6950's
    GPU+RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.604218

    2nd GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102914

    Subtotal: $1,470.89

    Hope i helped and good luck!
  3. Nice build.....go for i7 2600,it will cost you $100 more but will make your system future secure by another year than the i5....you can go for 2 6950's than the 6990....
  4. How mush plus is there in $1500 + ? :)

    Case - $160 - Antec DF-85
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129087


    The two best cases IMO are this and the HAF-X ... The HAF-X (942) is the "latest" version of the HAF full tower series and "supercedes" the 932. The additional features in the HAF-X are definitely worth the difference in price. Having built with both, I prefer the DF-85, one of the reasons being I can put a CPX Form Factor PSU in a DF-85.

    PSU - $120 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371024

    CPX Form Factor allows for extreme low noise operation combined with unsurpassed performance. Of course, requires compatible Antec case. If you don't do the case, HX850 (not TX), Seasonic X-850 would be good choices but the XFX Black Edition 850 matches all aforementioned PSU's in performance but is cheaper than all but the CP-850.

    MoBo - $390 - ASUS P8P67 Pro Combo deal not back on newegg yet

    CPU - incl. - Intel Core i5-2500K w/ above

    Other consideration would be Asus Revolution of ya want two x16 PCI-E lanes (NF200 chipset) or the Asus Maximus Extreme which can do x16 x16 x8

    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080

    Outperforms the Hyper 212 by 7C making the $10 price difference well worth it. Outperforms the Noctua DH14 by 1 - 3C on 1366 / 1155 chipsets depending on fans used. NOTE: Other sites (i.e. frostytech) show the Noc doing much better but comparison is based upon test on LGA 775 socket. As your not building on LGA 775, you should only consider tests on 1366 / 1155 chipsets as being relevant as heat signatures for LGA 775 don't match 1155 / 1366.

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=432&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=20

    Quote:
    Stock Fan
    Cogage Arrow 28.80°C over ambient
    Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 29.00°C over ambient
    Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 29.71°C over ambient
    Titan FENRIR TTC-NK85TZ 29.80°C over ambient
    Thermolab BARAM 29.84°C over ambient
    Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 30.09°C over ambient

    High Output Fan
    ProlimaTech Megahalems 24.29°C over ambient
    Thermalright Venomous-X 24.47°C over ambient
    Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 26.03°C over ambient
    Cogage Arrow 26.53°C over ambient
    Titan FENRIR TTC-NK85TZ 27.92°C over ambient
    Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 28.08°C over ambient
    Coolink Corator-DS 28.38°C over ambient
    Cogage TRUE Spirit 28.39°C over ambient
    Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 29.10°C over ambient


    RAM - $99 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226099
    If ya want CAS 7, get the Redlines @ +$50

    GFX - $315 - EVGA GTX 570 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130613
    GFX - Later - Same

    The 6970 (526 fps total in 7 popular games) runs neck and neck with the 570 (524 fps) as a single card, but the 570 scales better garnering 873 in SLi versus 825 for the 6970's in CF. Forget the 6990....read this if considering.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6990-antilles-crossfire,2878.html

    HD - $160 - Spinpoint F3 1 TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.591409

    Pick this, the WD Black or Seagate 7200.12 based upon what does best in the specific applications you are going to use. As you will see here, there is no "best" choice, just the best for any particular set of apps.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-hard-drive-charts/compare,1016.html?prod[2777]=on&prod[3016]=on&prod[2365]=on

    SSD - $245 - Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348

    That's just a placeholder for the Vertex 3 which will be released in about 7 - 10 days.

    DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135221

    OS - inc Win 7 Home Premium Included in HD Combo

    Total $1562
  5. 1200-1700 1200 seems low, but there has to be a floor somewhere. :P

    I have read that there are some troubles unlocking the newer 6950s. I thought about the 6990, but its just a slower, louder 6970CF setup. I decided 6970 CF over 570 SLI, as the 6970 CF setup seems to compete with the 580 SLI setups.
  6. JackNaylorPE said:
    How mush plus is there in $1500 + ? :)

    Case - $160 - Antec DF-85
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129087


    The two best cases IMO are this and the HAF-X ... The HAF-X (942) is the "latest" version of the HAF full tower series and "supercedes" the 932. The additional features in the HAF-X are definitely worth the difference in price. Having built with both, I prefer the DF-85, one of the reasons being I can put a CPX Form Factor PSU in a DF-85.

    PSU - $120 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371024

    CPX Form Factor allows for extreme low noise operation combined with unsurpassed performance. Of course, requires compatible Antec case. If you don't do the case, HX850 (not TX), Seasonic X-850 would be good choices but the XFX Black Edition 850 matches all aforementioned PSU's in performance but is cheaper than all but the CP-850.

    MoBo - $390 - ASUS P8P67 Pro Combo deal not back on newegg yet

    CPU - incl. - Intel Core i5-2500K w/ above

    Other consideration would be Asus Revolution of ya want two x16 PCI-E lanes (NF200 chipset) or the Asus Maximus Extreme which can do x16 x16 x8

    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080

    Outperforms the Hyper 212 by 7C making the $10 price difference well worth it. Outperforms the Noctua DH14 by 1 - 3C on 1366 / 1155 chipsets depending on fans used. NOTE: Other sites (i.e. frostytech) show the Noc doing much better but comparison is based upon test on LGA 775 socket. As your not building on LGA 775, you should only consider tests on 1366 / 1155 chipsets as being relevant as heat signatures for LGA 775 don't match 1155 / 1366.

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=432&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=20

    Quote:
    Stock Fan
    Cogage Arrow 28.80°C over ambient
    Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 29.00°C over ambient
    Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 29.71°C over ambient
    Titan FENRIR TTC-NK85TZ 29.80°C over ambient
    Thermolab BARAM 29.84°C over ambient
    Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 30.09°C over ambient

    High Output Fan
    ProlimaTech Megahalems 24.29°C over ambient
    Thermalright Venomous-X 24.47°C over ambient
    Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 26.03°C over ambient
    Cogage Arrow 26.53°C over ambient
    Titan FENRIR TTC-NK85TZ 27.92°C over ambient
    Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 28.08°C over ambient
    Coolink Corator-DS 28.38°C over ambient
    Cogage TRUE Spirit 28.39°C over ambient
    Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 29.10°C over ambient


    RAM - $99 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226099
    If ya want CAS 7, get the Redlines @ +$50

    GFX - $315 - EVGA GTX 570 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130613
    GFX - Later - Same

    The 6970 (526 fps total in 7 popular games) runs neck and neck with the 570 (524 fps) as a single card, but the 570 scales better garnering 873 in SLi versus 825 for the 6970's in CF. Forget the 6990....read this if considering.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6990-antilles-crossfire,2878.html

    HD - $160 - Spinpoint F3 1 TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.591409

    Pick this, the WD Black or Seagate 7200.12 based upon what does best in the specific applications you are going to use. As you will see here, there is no "best" choice, just the best for any particular set of apps.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-hard-drive-charts/compare,1016.html?prod[2777]=on&prod[3016]=on&prod[2365]=on

    SSD - $245 - Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348

    That's just a placeholder for the Vertex 3 which will be released in about 7 - 10 days.

    DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135221

    OS - inc Win 7 Home Premium Included in HD Combo

    Total $1562


    I actually have windows 7 ultimate signature edition. :) So i dont think I need another OS.

    Also, whats a good card card combo for playing at max settings at 1080p with a high level of AA? I have noticed that the 570s in SLI beat 6970s in SLI on some games, but the 6970s win at 2560x 1440.

    What would be the best for me? I have considered SSDs, but I really dont see the point of them. Insta loading the OS doesnt seem worth 250 bucks to me.
  7. HD6950 CF Toms
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-radeon-hd-6950-cayman,2818-22.html
    Quote:
    But wait, there’s more. What about the Radeon HD 6900s in CrossFire? After all, AMD claims to have made some notable improvements to its scaling.
    You’re only going to buy two high-end graphics cards if you’re running at the top resolutions with visual details maxed out. That’s where the 2 GB frame buffers featured on both 6900-series cards come in handy. In many cases, two $300 Radeon HD 6950s outperform a pair of $350 GeForce GTX 570s, saving you $100 total for better frame rates.
  8. batuchka said:
    HD6950 CF Toms
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-radeon-hd-6950-cayman,2818-22.html
    Quote:
    But wait, there’s more. What about the Radeon HD 6900s in CrossFire? After all, AMD claims to have made some notable improvements to its scaling.
    You’re only going to buy two high-end graphics cards if you’re running at the top resolutions with visual details maxed out. That’s where the 2 GB frame buffers featured on both 6900-series cards come in handy. In many cases, two $300 Radeon HD 6950s outperform a pair of $350 GeForce GTX 570s, saving you $100 total for better frame rates.



    this is where i am at.

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
    $219.99

    Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
    $74.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
    $99.99

    2 - XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate X 2
    $749.98

    LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    $99.99


    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
    $199.99 (MOBO PLACEHOLDER FOR PRICE)


    CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    $15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $239.98
    Grand Total: $1,684.91 - 55 in rebates

    Anything I can or should change?

    I know EVGA has gtx 570s for a total of 50 bucks cheaper. These also run a bit cooler and quieter, and offer just about the same performance. Any reason to pick the red or the green side?
  9. How important are warranties on the graphics card? After having my 8800gt burn out not long after the warranty expired, I am nervous about getting one that is only 2 years. Some people say you will get a new PC before then blah blah blah, but I think that the extra ten to twenty bucks is worth it for being able to replace it whenever it goes out. Is anyone else like this?
  10. batuchka said:


    You really aren't being very helpful. I don't care about BD, as I am not waiting until june/july to build. Also, I don't care about z68 because I don't convert videos EVER. Everything I have chosen so far is fine with me. I am looking for ideas and critiques not a million reasons to wait. By the time BD comes out there will probably be some info about Ivy bridge, and SB2011 and people will just say to wait some more. I have already waited two months for building because of the SB mobo problems. I need a new computer NOW, not in a few more months.
  11. Anyone else have any helpful ideas or opinions?
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