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Budget i2600k system

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March 16, 2011 9:12:15 AM

Hi, i read through a lot of posts and compiled the following list and would like comments/suggestions. thank you.

My budget is 500-800.
I will not be using SLI or Crossfire and I doubt i will anytime in the future.
I will not be overclocking but like to have the option of doing so.


** The following prices include tax and shipping, so feel free to provide better suggestions.


CPU - i7 2600k 300$

MOBO - Asus P8P67 Pro REV 3.0 170$

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - 80$

HSF - Hyper 212 Plus Universal CPU Cooler - 26$

HDD - need recommendation preferably supporting 6gb/s and sata3 - 500gb or higher.

PSU - Thermaltake TPX-775M - 75$

GPU - Radeon HD 5770 - 110$

Case - Need recommendation.

Also can i get the asus p867 m-pro since that is a micro atx and get a micro atx case to fit all of this?.

As you can see i am already above budget so i would also like to know where i can cut down on cost without taking a big performance hit. i would like to use the 2600k as i feel its much more future-proof than the 2500k.

More about : budget i2600k system

March 16, 2011 12:48:21 PM

You're not going to get all of that for under $800. You're already at $756, and a good 500 GB HDD, like this Samsung Spinpoint F3, is going to cost you at least $58 (with shipping), and even then, I'd highly recommend stepping up to a 1 TB model, as it's only $7 more.

So, some quick ways to save money. First, don't get a SLI/Crossfire enabled board if you're not going to use that. Here's a good one for a lot less: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3.

Second, since you're not Crossfiring, drop the PSU down to a 450-550W unit. And get a quality one. Thermaltake's pretty horrible. After looking on Newegg, it appears the high quality units are either out of stock or overpriced. So here's an amzing 650W instead: XFX 650W for $60 after rebate. Even if you want to leave in the option to Crossfire, this would easily handle dual 5770s.

Third, if you really want to get the main build under $800, drop the heatsink. Since you said you're not overclocking right away, you don't need it yet. That's a very easy way to cut out another $27

Finally, you can get a cheaper 5770. This one is only $100 after rebate.

So with those changes, I've cut about $87 out of the build. That means you've got $131 for the case and HDD. I wouldn't get anything other than the F3 1 TB I linked above. SATA III is useless for mechanical drives, as they simply can't spin fast enough to actually need the expanded bandwith. Plus, the best SATA III HDD is the Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB (the FAEX model number), and it's $90, only only a touch faster than the F3. It's not worth the nearly 50% premium. So after the HDD, you're down to $66.

The best cheap case is the Rosewill Challenger for $55.

However, my main question is what are you doing that you think you need an i7 for? Hyperthreading isn't that useful in the vast majority of applications, especially games, and likely won't be that useful for a number of years. Most applications today still only use two cores/threads, and will only likely expand to four when most consumers have quad core CPUs, which is easily a few years away. Even after that, you'd need another several years before you need more than four threads. If I had to guess, I'd say most people are a good 5-6 years from needing a quad core with hyperthreading. All of this makes the i5-2500K much, much more attractive at $110 less (the i7's actually $330, but you might have some deal for it).

Basically, if you're not planning on using the computer for doing a lot of rendering, video eiditng or similar tasks, you don't need the i7. In addtion to that, if you're not doing those tasks, you don't need 8 GB of RAM. drop from 8 GB of RAM to 4 GB. Unless you're doing a lot of video editing, rendering or similar tasks, having more than 4 GB of RAM isn't necessary. You could easily drop to G.Skill's 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CL 9 kit is only $48. That'd save you another $27 (the RAM kit you linked is actually $75 after promo).

The extra budget freed up by the i5 and 4 GB of RAM could be reallocated to the parts that greatly influence what you're using the build to do.

Of course, if you are planning on doing a lot of rendering, etc., I'd highly recommend looking at the GTX 460 768 GB instead of the HD 5770 for $30 more. nVidia GPUs are a lot better at non-gaming video tasks, which make them almost a requirement for those builds. This would force you into a pretty difficult decision, as you won't be able to get all the "required" parts for a great intensive non-gaming build (an i7, 8 GB of RAM, a good nVidia GPU).

What I'm really saying is that in order to really help you get under budget and get the best possible build for your uses, we need to know what you're going to use the build for.
March 16, 2011 9:02:00 PM

Thank you for the detailed reply. First of all sorry for not putting down my uses for the system, my number one concern is to make it last as long as possible, so i would sacrifice performance over longevity. Other than that i will be using it at home for lots of media, heavy-multitasking, surfing, encoding videos occasionally, running cs5, light gaming such as need for speed or something, but basically it will be used as my main computer for surfing, multitasking and lots of movie watching. I might also be adding a rs232 card to run some car diagnostics software but that shouldn't be a big deal as even my 5-6 year old low-end laptop can handle that.


Hard drive: I had seen the samsung spinpoint f3 before but felt that 6gb/s would be a better improvement but seeing as it is a popular recommendation i will get the 1tb you posted from amazon as its listed for 62$ shipped and no tax.

For the mobo, i feel that the asus would last me longer and i believe easier to overclock, i have never overclocked before so i would like for it to be as easy as possible. I think spending extra money on the board would give me a longer lasting system. what i would like to know is if the ASUS P8H67-M PRO is a good option or should i look for the ASUS P8H67 PRO.

PSU: I like your suggestion for the XFX 650W, but i would also like to get your opinion on Ultra LSP750 750 as it is about the same price and also available in 650W for 10$ cheaper.

For the HFS, i have heard the stock one is pretty bad and shouldn't an aftermarket one keep it cooler even if i don't overclock hence prolonging cpu life?. But i guess your right, i can always put that in when i plan to overclock.

GPU, is this 5770 better than the one you recommended. Which one should i get?

Case, I really like the case you recommended even though its 10$ more expensive than this one that i was thinking about.

For the i7, pretty much my only reasoning is that its more future-proof than the i5. And the deal i have for the i7 is from microcenter as they have it for 304$ w/tax but if you think that 2500k is going to be good for atleast 4-5 years then i will consider it.

For the ram, i really would like to keep a minimum of 8gb as i will be beginning to use design programs that will use a lot of memory next year for my classes.


Thanks again for the advice and hope to see another reply from you. I would like to order and start building as soon as i have a definitive list of everything i need.

MadAdmiral said:
You're not going to get all of that for under ..........

we need to know what you're going to use the build for.

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March 16, 2011 9:26:27 PM

Ultra PSU are pretty terrible as well. That XFX PSU is easily the cheapest high quality PSU on the market.

There is very little difference among GPU models and brands. I tend to either recommend the cheapest or the one with the best warranty.

The Coolermaster Elite series is also a good choice in cases. Either of those two would be fine.

The stock HSF are good enough for what they're designed for. They'll keep the CPU cool at stock speeds.

As for the i7 vs. i5 choice, for your uses, the i5 is definitely good enough. It's still a beast in terms of performance. Though, I'm fairly certain that if you got the i7 with the original changes, you'll be under budget. I'd check that first. Then the first thing I'd drop is the i7.
March 16, 2011 9:48:29 PM

Can i also get some advice on mobo? asus m-pro vs pro vs regular.

And is the ram i picked out good enough or is there some other 8gb that would be better?

MadAdmiral said:
Ultra PSU are pretty terrible as well. That XFX PSU is easily the cheapest high quality PSU on the market.

There is very little difference among GPU models and brands. I tend to either recommend the cheapest or the one with the best warranty.

The Coolermaster Elite series is also a good choice in cases. Either of those two would be fine.

The stock HSF are good enough for what they're designed for. They'll keep the CPU cool at stock speeds.

As for the i7 vs. i5 choice, for your uses, the i5 is definitely good enough. It's still a beast in terms of performance. Though, I'm fairly certain that if you got the i7 with the original changes, you'll be under budget. I'd check that first. Then the first thing I'd drop is the i7.

March 17, 2011 12:36:06 AM

The only differences between the i5-2500K and the i7-2600K are
  • 100Mhz
  • 2MB cache
  • Hyperthreading
  • ~100$

    Will those really make a difference in the software you use, I don't know, but since you are on a budget, you should check.

    Another thing, check if the software you use will make use of QuickSync, if they do, waiting for the Z68 chipset could be interesting (check the MediaExpresso benchmark at the end of this page).
    March 17, 2011 1:21:23 AM

    Yes, I feel like I should just go with the 2500k since by the time the i2600k is fully able to take use of its 8 threads, there will be many more better options available. And the 2500k should last me atleast 4 years hopefully :) .

    anyone got any other tips for my first built ever?
    March 17, 2011 9:55:43 AM

    Some application do take advantage of the virtual cores, but not all and as you said, by that time maybe other technology will make the difference trivial. I'm sure it will last you 4 years, even more so if you OC.

    I still run a C2D E8400 and most of what I run runs smoothly and it must have been +3 years that I had my machine.
    March 17, 2011 8:59:39 PM

    I am about to order parts within a week so would like final advice and any compatibility issues with my build.

    I think i could get either the 2600k or the 2500k, but I would like to know if i will have any compatibility issues with either.

    So here is the build i chose, i am still open to alternate suggestions so please let me know. :) 

    CPU - i7-2600k 304$

    Mobo - Currently I am having troubles locating an Asus p867 pro but I hope its available soon. Approx. 160$

    Ram - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin - 75$

    HSF - Stock

    HDD - Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB - 65$

    PSU - XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W - 60$

    GPU - HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 - 99$

    DVD - LITE-ON Black - 19$

    Case - Cooler Master Elite 430 - 40$

    Case Fans - 140mm Front Fan - $5

    3 x 120mm - 13$

    Thermal Compound - Comes with heat sink

    Newegg total = $450 before rebate
    = $380 after rebate
    Fry's total = $43.50


    Micro center total = 2600k = 304.49$
    = 2500k = 195.74$

    Asus mobo approx = 160$

    i2600k Grand total = before rebate = $958
    = after rebate = $888

    i2500k Grand total = before rebate = $849.24
    = after rebate = $779.24


    I greatly appreciate any advice from this forum. Thank you :) 


    March 18, 2011 10:54:51 AM

    You don't need all the extra case fans. I'm not even sure the 430 can use 5 fans. Looking back at the case, spending $40 for it to get a single fan isn't that great of a deal. You'd do better to just buy a case with the fans already.
    !