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Help with ~$1500 Gaming Rig

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March 17, 2011 1:04:42 AM

Its been a bit since I've built a rig as I've been Mac-only for the last 3-4 years (last full system built about 5 ago) but miss PC gaming and want a system to do so. I always enjoyed building my own rigs but got tired of it after a while and am now really looking forward to getting back into it.

The system will be used only for gaming/Blu-Ray as I'll use my Macs for everything else. My goal is 1500ish with an upper limit of 2k$. Any advice of where a couple of hundred bucks could be saved/spent to make the system better is much appreciated. So, without further rambling, here are the questions/answers and links to the products I am looking at.

Approximate Purchase Date: Now or a slight wait (if need be) but within 2 months.

Budget Range: 1500ish (2000 upper limit)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming. Primarily RTS but some MMO and RPG. Little if any FPS (too many friends on Xbox to switch)

Parts Not Required: No need for mouse, keyboard or monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Always used Newegg before but willing to change

Parts Preferences: Have always used AMD/Nvidia in the past but no real loyalty here.

Overclocking: Sure, if it will get more bang for the buck.

SLI or Crossfire: Not right now. Would rather get a decent card now and add-on a 2nd card when its starts to get dated.

Monitor Resolution: Using a 27" dell widescreen LCD

Additional Comments: Not sure if I will need full-tower or mid-size and not sure if extra cooling is/will be needed beyond factory heat sink.

All parts/links are to new egg.

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V

ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard EDIT: Probably going with the ASROCK once its available easily.

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

CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB EDIT: Changed to the enterprise version

LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo EDIT: Swapped out blu-ray burner for combo drive.

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

EDIT. Forgot the GPU
GIGABYTE GV-R695D5-2GD-B Radeon HD 6950 2GB

EDIT; added CPU cooler.
Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

As it is right now this totals up to about $1600. Is there anything I am missing?

Thanks for all the help, its amazing how the tech has changed in 5 years.

More about : 1500 gaming rig

March 17, 2011 2:00:10 AM

We were just comparing on another thread and I have to say the more I look at the P8P67-M pro the less I like it. Reasons:

It's mATX and the two PCI-E slots are separated by only one slot.
None of the sites, including Asus, mention the voltage regulation for this board.
Does not have the built in Blutooth the full sized boards have.

So go with the non-crossfire P8P67 (full ATX board)
Or get the P8P67 Pro (mine arrives tomorrow :p  )

You should have caught the Crucial SSD last night, it was even cheaper :)  Guess they caught the error.

I think the enterprise grade drive would be a nice upgrade:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your whishlist doesn't work and I don't see your GPU. The Antec is a good choice for PSU as long as your GPU choice is conservative in crossfire.
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March 17, 2011 2:05:12 AM

This Asrock mother board will be on newegg within the next two weeks for the same price as listed down below.

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P67-EX4&tit... $153.99
ASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA1155/ Intel P67/ DDR3/ Quad SLI & Quad CrossFireX/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard - P67 EXTREME4


http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/article/1000116#axzz1... <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e... <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4080/welcome-to-sandy-bri... <--- Review before the latest bios...and it still smoked the Asus and Gigabyte boards :) 

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P67%20Extre... <----- ASRock P67 Extreme4 Motherboard
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March 17, 2011 2:09:47 AM

Am I missing the video card in that list?
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March 17, 2011 2:09:58 AM

And that board was my second choice. It's great too.
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March 17, 2011 3:13:29 AM

Doh, edited to add the video card. Too many browser tabs open :) 

I knew that was too good of a price on that SSD last night, ah well still a nice looking drive for the price

The asrock mobo looks nice. I had never heard of the company (like I said been 5ish years since I last built a system) and went with ASUS due to good luck in the past. After the mention above I looked and there seems to be a ton of good talk about the ASROCK board.

What does the enterprise drive gain me? Same cache size however enterprise uses 3gb/s while on my build uses 6gb/s connection. While either one take full advantage?

As of right now, no intent to go crossfire/sli, down the road?...maybe but unlikely.

thanks again.
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March 17, 2011 4:25:46 AM

What are you using the blue ray burner for?
That seems like a waste if you don't have a very specific need.

Also, when setting up Windows try to point your user folder (w/ documents, music, etc) at the Hard Drive rather than SSD. That will help save you space on the SSD.
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March 17, 2011 5:53:02 AM

Copa is right about the Blu-ray burner. I find a combo drive fits my needs well, plays Blu-rays and burns DVDs, costs less.

There are guides regarding the user folder.

The RE4 is faster, will RAID 0 wonderfully if you ever get the urge, and will also do RAID 1, something the Caviar Blacks cannot do as they lack error checking. 6GB/S SATA will not get you anywhere on any mechanical drive. They simply can't use the width.

It's also more reliable a drive supposedly. Never had a problem with WD myself though, but added quality can't be a bad thing.

You'll want a good cooler to take advantage of the unlocked multiplier.

An adequate solution is the Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or a fancier route, quieter and a bit cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 17, 2011 1:02:32 PM

Thanks for all the answers, answered most of the questions I had.

As far as video cards go, is this a place to spend a little more money, or does this price point end up being a decent card/decent money.

In the end will probably go with the ASROCK board and I swapped out the bluray burner for a combo drive. Total now is about 1800 which I am ok with.

Thanks again.


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March 17, 2011 4:05:21 PM

I think that GPU you chose is just about perfect for your budget. I got the MSI version ($10 cheaper after rebate). It performs better than the 560 Ti for about the same price. In fact, it performs almost as good as the GTX 570 for about $100 less. Have you checked out Tom's Best Graphics Cards for the Money: March 2011? That's what I based my 6950 purchase on.
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March 17, 2011 4:12:09 PM

nd_hunter said:
I think that GPU you chose is just about perfect for your budget. I got the MSI version ($10 cheaper after rebate). It performs better than the 560 Ti for about the same price. In fact, it performs almost as good as the GTX 570 for about $100 less. Have you checked out Tom's Best Graphics Cards for the Money: March 2011? That's what I based my 6950 purchase on.


:) I actually used that guide heavily in picking the card
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March 17, 2011 6:35:44 PM

jcaramis said:
:) I actually used that guide heavily in picking the card


Yeah, I was dead set on getting the ASUS 560 Ti until I read that guide.
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