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$1500 Gaming Rig - Requesting Input From Community

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March 14, 2011 7:38:22 PM

Hey Community!

I'm a first-time poster here at Tom's Hardware just wanting to reach out to the community to get your thoughts on a new gaming rig I'd like to put together. I fully admit I am not an expert when it comes to hardware but this is what I've come up with so far.

First and foremost, I do not need a monitor, keyboard, mouse or case as I already am set on all those. That said, here is what I have so far for my build. I realize it is incomplete thus far:


HDD: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black HD
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Motherboard and CPU: B69-5260 ::MSI X58M Motherboard and Intel Core i7-950 Processor BX80601950 Bundle(3.75 lbs)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5. miniDP/HDMI/DVI
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

With the $55 in mail-in rebates, the above comes in just under $1000. That gives me $500 to play with for a power supply, cooling, disc drive and (possibly) a small SSD drive just for the OS and my primary game. I've chosen the graphics card I did because I am primarily interested in playing the game Rift which shows benchmarks of 28 FPS on the absolute maximum possible graphics at 1920x1280 resolution on a 6950. My research has shown that a 6970 is reasonably priced at the moment for the performance. In the future, I would like to grab another 6970 and run in Crossfire which the motherboard I've chosen supports.

In addition to the above, I'm going to need a good power supply but I'm not sure which to buy. Also, I'd like your thoughts on cooling. For the above system (with whatever updates/changes you would make) would you recommend anything beyond just a few fans in the case?

Thanks in advance!

Best solution

March 14, 2011 7:48:36 PM

You should get an SSD for boot.
Also, why do you want that mother board?
It's decent, but I'd get one with SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0.

Also, I would be getting a Sandy Bridge setup. More performance for the same money.
X58/1336 have been trumped by sandy bridge. Sandy Bridge + MB should be about $500 or less. You'll save money on ram because it's not triple channel. X58 takes three sticks of ram, which you only spec'd out 2 sticks.

TigerDirect prices are not the best. Newegg usually has the best prices 9 times outta 10.
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March 14, 2011 8:00:38 PM

masterasia said:
You should get an SSD for boot.
Also, why do you want that mother board?
It's decent, but I'd get one with SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0.

Also, I would be getting a Sandy Bridge setup. More performance for the same money.
X58/1336 have been trumped by sandy bridge. Sandy Bridge + MB should be about $500 or less. You'll save money on ram because it's not triple channel.

There's no specific reason I wanted that motherboard other than it was very affordable yet offered most of the features I wanted such as being Crossfire-ready, having four or more RAM slots and supporting RAM frequency beyond 1333. Do you have a specific motherboard/CPU combo in mind?

I had heard about Sandy Bridge but a friend of mine pointed out that there were some technical issues with it but didn't know if they since have been resolved.

Lastly, the USB 3.0 isn't that important to me as I've been lead to believe that really only helps in data transfer rates from external drives connecting via USB with my internal HDD. I suppose that would include any external HDDs I buy in the future though so perhaps it would be useful.
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Related resources
March 14, 2011 8:35:47 PM

I've added a new build based on feedback thus far. Please let me know your thoughts:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M Pro B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $159.99

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99 (w/ $20 mail-in rebate)

RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $89.99


The above comes out to $829.96 which is almost a $200 savings over my previous build for, what seems like, identical performance.

Thoughts?
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March 14, 2011 8:39:38 PM

JoshDBoyle said:
There's no specific reason I wanted that motherboard other than it was very affordable yet offered most of the features I wanted such as being Crossfire-ready, having four or more RAM slots and supporting RAM frequency beyond 1333. Do you have a specific motherboard/CPU combo in mind?

I had heard about Sandy Bridge but a friend of mine pointed out that there were some technical issues with it but didn't know if they since have been resolved.

Lastly, the USB 3.0 isn't that important to me as I've been lead to believe that really only helps in data transfer rates from external drives connecting via USB with my internal HDD. I suppose that would include any external HDDs I buy in the future though so perhaps it would be useful.



Yes, there was a SATA controller issue with all the P67 motherboards, but that has been fixed and the new revisions are already out. The issue was with the SATA 3Gb/s controllers and not the SATA 6GB/s controller.
If you were going to build for what's good right now, I'd still recommend P67/i5 2500K or i7 2600K.

Take advantage of the 6Gb/s SATA ports and put in a hard drive or SSD that uses 6Gb/s. OCZ Vertex 3 is just around the corner. Intel's G3 SSDs are kicking ass. If you've never experienced an SSD before, you're missing out. You'll never go back to platter drives for boot and applications.

X58 is sooo 2009. The i7 2600K is at the top of the charts of almost every benchmark and is neck and neck with Intel's extreme line of processors. Chances, AMD's bulldozer won't even come close to it.
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March 14, 2011 8:44:00 PM

JoshDBoyle said:
I've added a new build based on feedback thus far. Please let me know your thoughts:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M Pro B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $159.99

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99 (w/ $20 mail-in rebate)

RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $89.99


The above comes out to $829.96 which is almost a $200 savings over my previous build for, what seems like, identical performance.

Thoughts?


Now that's more like it. You'll be proud to own a rig like that one than the previous one. The i5 2500K is a great CPU, more than enough for most people's needs.
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March 14, 2011 8:45:49 PM

Welcome! Congratulations on your planed build :) . I've made a few notes / recommendations below, but it would help to know what some of your priorities are. Is this computer for gaming (primarily Rift) mainly? Would you rather have a quieter PC or a less expensive one? Are you comfortable upgrading your computer in the future, or are you trying to get the best possible and hold for as long as possible before starting again from scratch (you get less value this way)? Are you building it yourself? Etc.

Regarding your processor, Intel's Core i5 will suit your needs very well; the Core i7 is $70 more and you may not notice a significant difference for gaming: the core i7 excels at CPU-intensive tasks like photoshop, video editing/encoding, etc., but it depends on what your priorities are. Also, be sure to get a Sandy Bridge motherboard with a post-recall fix (see this post on Bit-tech for more info).

Also a note on your hard drive options: in gaming (especially MMOs), your loading time is affected by how quickly your hard drive can fetch data. You'd notice this most when loading into large cities in MMOs, for example: all the textures of buildings/characters etc. have to be loaded from your local machine, potentially causing a lot of slowdown. Rift looks like an MMO, so for a budget of $1500 I'd strongly recommend getting an SSD (I'd recommend an SSD to any new build above $800 these days, frankly...). I use and recommend Intel's X-25m which is 120GB and is going for about $230. I highly recommend installing Windows to the SSD, as it will make your computer very smooth and responsive in general usage. You can get a smaller SSD, but 120GB is a good amount of space because you can install Windows plus maybe 4-5 big games to it (Windows 7 takes roughly 10GB plus your RAM, so if you had 8 gigs of ram it would be about 18GB, roughly, fyi. Large games usually take up 10-15ish GB). It's nice to have a regular HDD for storage and a SSD for Windows and games (or other large apps you'd like to load quickly, maybe Photoshop) to be installed to.

Onto your graphics card: that's a pretty high end card for Rift, you could probably go with a GTX 460 (or maybe 480) for now since it would be more than adequate for your gaming needs, and upgrade later when newer games come out. By doing this, you'd save yourself about $160 and probably not notice any significant difference in performance. On another note, I'd recommend just going with a single graphics card at a time: SLI/Crossfire can introduce stability issues and hassle, and it can often be more cost effective to upgrade to a single powerful card rather than two older cards linked. Others may disagree on this, you may want to do your own research. It also depends on how much of a power user you are.

As for the power supply: a 750 watt PSU would be all you need, it's likely you could get away with a 650 or less without issue. (If you go Crossfire with 2 of those cards, though, you'll probably need 750, though I defer to others users here who may know more specifically). I've used this Corsair 750w and can recommend it highly, its reviewed very well and is incredibly quiet. (In general, Seasonic make excellent PSUs, high end Corsair PSUs are re-branded Seasonics).

As to the case and fans, it really depends on the case you're going with. I can think of great cases for cooling performance, quietness, or budget friendly, it all depends on what you prioritize (and what your aesthetic tastes are, perhaps). Please tell us more and we can give you better answers!
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March 14, 2011 9:09:55 PM

To answer Illumina's questions:

My priority is gaming on this build. In particular my goal is to be able to play Rift at the maximum possible settings (beyond Ultra default config). I've played WoW since launch and have since transitioned to Rift. The following post is where I am drawing my need for the 6970 from in order to run Rift as I've mentioned (Rift is a fairly demanding MMO graphically yet Trion Worlds has done an absolutely INCREDIBLE job balancing graphics/performance while still making the game look absolutely beautiful on low specs):

http://www.dpigaming.com/rift-benchmark-custom-quality/

The guy from the site above actually pushed the graphics quality beyond ultra default settings and tested it on all the cards listed. A 6950 runs it at 28 FPS and a GTX 570 does so at 31. I can only assume from this that a GTX 580 or ATI 6970 could get 35 or better on average.


As far as the remaining questions, the only upgrade I currently have planned is to add another 6970 in Crossfire mode in the future when their prices drop significantly. Other than that upgrade, I am fine starting over from scratch on a new build. Lastly, the noise of the PC isn't that important to me as I have a home office with double doors that can be shut. I play with noise-cancellation headphones so it's not a big deal if it's loud.
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March 14, 2011 9:25:18 PM

Why not go with a 6950 and unlock it to a 6970? I believe there are several 6950s on Newegg for ~$250 after rebates? I just ordered an MSI for $244 after MIR (I see now that that particular one is currently sold out).
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March 14, 2011 9:36:34 PM

Generally, humans only notice a difference if the framerate is + or - 10 (and this is for gamers, some people can't tell if the difference is 40), I'd be very surprised if you could perceive a difference between 31 and 35. Considering the money you could save, I'd recommend a GTX 560/570 or similar.

Edit: also, be aware that differences in framerate are most obvious in first person shoots/racing games, etc. For a MMO like Rift, you likely wouldn't notice a difference.

I looked at the post you linked to, and it may be valuable to know that framerate doesn't correspond directly to how nice the graphics look. As long as your graphics cards lets you run the game smoothly, (i.e., can render the graphics without stuttering) a slight difference in FPS won't be detectable and won't make a graphics look nicer.

Good luck with your new build. :) 
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March 14, 2011 9:49:47 PM

SSD - The biggest thing you will notice when installing a SSD is boot time. After that, it gets far less noticeable .... no 'wow" here. Intel has little video test for example with Starcraft 2 getting a 44 second load off the 510 series SSD and 66 seconds off a HD..... Hey bud, if I'm waiting more than 10 seconds, I'm off to take a bio or to the fridge for a snackie and it don't matter if it's 44 or 66 cause I ain't getting back before either is done.

Most SSD buyers are on hold these days as the new generation SSD's are supposed to hit the channel this month. If I had to buy today, it would be the Intel 510 series.....$315 for 120 GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But as it says here in THG's 510 series review, the SSD to get is the Vertex 3 and that is also supposed to land in the channel this month.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-510-solid-state...

MoBo - As for the MoBo, I'd drop the "-M" from the model number ....

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

And I'd wait till it hits newegg again as they were running a Asus P8P67 Pro / I5-2500k combo that saved a decent amount of money.

GFX - The GTX 570 and 6970 are the two closest matched cards from the two camps as I can remember. There's an article on THG's home page extolling ATI's superiority in CF over the 570 in SLI in a test they did, but as it only included 4 games, I found it a bit suspect, especially when a wider variety of games were used. However, of late, I find a lot of the people that I am building for (who had wish lists containing the 570 or 6970 but didn't pull the trigger while waiting for B3 stepping 1155 MoBos) have revised their builds to include the latest round of factory overclocked 560 Ti's which are missing the performance of the 6970 / 570's by just a few fps....for $100 less.

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

RAM - Good choice.....stick w/ the low profile stuff.

PSU - Tough call w/o knowing ya case. If getting a 6970 or 570 and thinking you *may* CF or SLI someday, I'd go w/ a 850 watter. If ya sure never gonna SLI / CF, then 650 or 750 works. With 560 Ti's, again assuming a 2nd added later, I'd do a 750 watter.

In an CPX form factor case (Antec DF-85, 1200, P193 or P183) .... it's a simple choice. The Antec CP-850 is the easy choice. Jonnyguru writes that in one of the above cases the CP-850 is untouchable.

Quote:
It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


Silentpcreview.com is a bit more glowing in its review:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

Antec CP-850 - $110 (10.0 performance rating)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In a standard ATX case, there's no longer any reason to skimp as 10.0 performance rated PSU's (jonnyguru.com) are available at the same price as other well known manufacturer's 2nd tier items.

XFX Black Edition 750 - $100 (10.0 performance rating)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Black Edition 850 - $130 (10.0 performance rating)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Core Edition 650 - $94 (9.5 performance rating)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Core Edition 750 - $109 (9.5 performance rating)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Corsair HX and AX series are 1st tier as is the Seasonic X series and Antec SG series. Other 2nd tier models would be Antec TP and Corsair TX

Cooling - This will depend on budget and type. Limit ya research to tests on the 1155/1156/1366 platform as test data from LGA 775 test setups aren't much of an indicator for performance with modern CPU's:

-Air at $40 - Top Dog is Scythe Mugen 2. The Hyper 212 is prolly the next most recommended but it runs 7C hotter than the Scythe so hard to put in same category.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Air at $65 and up, new Top Dog is Thermalright Silver Arrow, ($82) others to consider are Prolimatech Megahalems, Thermalright Venomous X and Cooler Master V6 GT
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/?campid=bmr

-Self Contained Water Cooler - Antec Kuhler 620 $70
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cpu_cooler/kuhle...

HD - As for Storage Drive, watch the combos to see what deals ya can make. The big 3 at 1TB are the Seagate 7200.12, Spinpoint F3 and WD Black. Each excels in its own areas and there is no "overall top dog". Compare the results you are concerned about and pick accordingly.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2777]=on&prod[3016]=on&prod[2365]=on
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March 15, 2011 1:31:53 AM

Can you guys elaborate on the -M suffix and how it relates to expansion? I'm a bit of a hardware newbie so trying to do thorough research. I do like that non-M board you linked though Jack. Has everything I want and is very reasonable in price.

Thanks so much for the detailed responses, folks! I can't wait to get this thing nailed down and ordered!
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March 15, 2011 5:23:09 AM

Updated build based on feedback in this thread:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M Pro B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $199.99

Video Card: ASUS EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity OCd to 6970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $289.99

RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 XMS 8GB DDR3 RAM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] e7v5dRc2UQ $89.99

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX40G 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99


All of the above will be just barely over $1000 tax included. Thoughts?

Also, although I was at first excited when I heard you could OC the 6950 to be a 6970, I then saw that there is only $50 in difference between the two cards. If I eventually want to run in Crossfire, do you think I'll run into heat issues with dual OCd 6950s versus two non-OCd 6970?


EDIT: And just as soon as I submitted this I found the following combo on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PSU: Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply (the power supply that Jack highly recommended)

and

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity (the graphics card I originally wanted)

Combined these two are $429.98 after a mail-in rebate of $20.

The net result of this is that it shaves about 10-20 bucks off the difference between getting a 6950 versus getting a 6970. Sounds like a good deal to me.
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March 15, 2011 10:52:09 AM

Honestly, when I ordered my 6950, the ability to unlock it to a 6970 wasn't a priority. It just couldn't be beat at that price point. If you're worried about heat, just get a case with nice airflow, as reviews state the 6xxx series runs cooler than the 5xxx series.

If you are only interested with DDR3 1333 RAM, check out this combo. i5-2500k with Mushkin 8GB Ram
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March 15, 2011 1:30:43 PM

JoshDBoyle said:
EDIT: And just as soon as I submitted this I found the following combo on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PSU: Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply (the power supply that Jack highly recommended)

and

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity (the graphics card I originally wanted)



:hello:  Just be aware that the CP-850 is a CPX style PSu and will only fit in certain Antec cases(Antec DF-85, 1200, P193 or P183)
you will have to modify any other case to get the CP-850 to fit. :bounce: 
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March 15, 2011 2:08:56 PM

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $179.99 - DONE
Buying locally thanks to a killer deal

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 LE B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, AMD CrossFireX Support
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de... 139.99 - DONE

- I downgraded from the P8P67 PRO to this board based on a coworker's feedback (who is also building a system at this time). It turns out the above board has all the features I'm looking for in a board based on this thread's feedback among other things (Sandy Bridge, 2200 freq RAM, SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0 and CrossfireX) yet is $60 cheaper.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 - DONE

- Did a good amount of research on this RAM and for a nominal upgrade in price from the Corsair sticks I previously had listed, I get decent chunk of performance in return.

Video Card: I am pretty sold on the 6970 here. I realize I can OC a 6950 to 6970 but I feel I may run into heat issues down the line running two OCd 6950 in Crossfire and have to dumb at least what the difference would be between a 6950 and 6970 into cooling to get around it. That said, I just need to find the right deal on this.



All of the above, I am now sold on unless someone can make an extremely compelling argument against any of those parts. What is yet to be determined then is the following:

- PSU
- SSD
- HDD

I would like to stay under $400 in total for the three parts above. For the SSD, 40GB or so is sufficient as I will ONLY be installing the OS and one game on it. Everything else I'll throw on a 7200 RPM HDD.
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March 15, 2011 2:20:34 PM

JoshDBoyle said:

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 LE B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, AMD CrossFireX Support
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de... 139.99 - DONE

- I downgraded from the P8P67 PRO to this board based on a coworker's feedback (who is also building a system at this time). It turns out the above board has all the features I'm looking for in a board based on this thread's feedback among other things (Sandy Bridge, 2200 freq RAM, SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0 and CrossfireX) yet is $60 cheaper.


:non:  It is $60 cheaper than the other board because it's second PCI/Ex16 slot will only run at X4 bandwidth, and will be a bottle neck if you ever do crossfire your video cards. :bounce:  :o 
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March 15, 2011 2:21:41 PM

JoshDBoyle said:
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $179.99 - DONE
Buying locally thanks to a killer deal

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 LE B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Audio, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, AMD CrossFireX Support
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de... 139.99 - DONE

- I downgraded from the P8P67 PRO to this board based on a coworker's feedback (who is also building a system at this time). It turns out the above board has all the features I'm looking for in a board based on this thread's feedback among other things (Sandy Bridge, 2200 freq RAM, SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0 and CrossfireX) yet is $60 cheaper.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 - DONE

- Did a good amount of research on this RAM and for a nominal upgrade in price from the Corsair sticks I previously had listed, I get decent chunk of performance in return.

Video Card: I am pretty sold on the 6970 here. I realize I can OC a 6950 to 6970 but I feel I may run into heat issues down the line running two OCd 6950 in Crossfire and have to dumb at least what the difference would be between a 6950 and 6970 into cooling to get around it. That said, I just need to find the right deal on this.



All of the above, I am now sold on unless someone can make an extremely compelling argument against any of those parts. What is yet to be determined then is the following:

- PSU
- SSD
- HDD

I would like to stay under $400 in total for the three parts above. For the SSD, 40GB or so is sufficient as I will ONLY be installing the OS and one game on it. Everything else I'll throw on a 7200 RPM HDD.


I believe the Crossfire on that mobo is 16x/4x, not 8x/8x. I'm not sure what kind of difference (if any) there is. I only say this because I have the LE arriving today or tomorrow and knew this, but was impatient. I will be ordering an ASRock P67 Extreme4 when they are readily available.
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March 15, 2011 2:25:50 PM

Ah I see. I think I'll still roll with the LE for now and in the future when I'm ready to add a second card, I'll see what mobos are out then.
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March 15, 2011 3:24:47 PM

JoshDBoyle said:
Ah I see. I think I'll still roll with the LE for now and in the future when I'm ready to add a second card, I'll see what mobos are out then.


Sounds like a plan. After thinking some more about my plan to get a new board soon, I might hold off too. Z68 sounds a bit more promising, plus until I get another card, this board should do me fine. Although I've also read that the vCore voltage cannot be manually changed so that might affect how much the 2500k can be overclocked. Still, 4ghz should be easy to get and will be sufficient for some time. I will be building my rig this weekend and will let you know if I run into any trouble with the board.

ASUS P8P67 LE
i5-2500k
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Corsair XMS DDR3 1600 CAS9 (2x4GB) RAM
XFX 650W Black Edition PSU
MSI HD 6950 2GB GPU
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD
Lite On DVD Burner
Cooler Master HAF 912 Case w/ Megaflow 200mm fan (will be used for intake, moving the included 120mm fan to the side)

Also have a Logitech G110 keyboard and MX518 mouse coming :) 

In a couple weeks I will be ordering an ASUS 1920x1080 LED moniter with 2ms response time. I currently have a 1680x1050 monitor and am told by several people on my thread (here) that I NEED a 1080 monitor, lol.
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March 26, 2011 2:31:07 AM

Best answer selected by JoshDBoyle.
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