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$1300 gaming pc, need advice

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March 21, 2011 5:41:51 PM

Hello
Approximate Purchase Date: April-June 2011

Budget Range: $1300 Before rebates (For everything including OS, monitor,etc)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the web, schoolwork, video editing.

Parts Not Required: Speakers/headphones, keyboard and mouse.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Amazon ( I have no access to microcenter)

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: I5 2500k, a quiet case with good airflow and dust filters (im not interested in fancy lights) I want a psu that can run 2 cards (gtx 560 sli, radeon 6950 2gb crossfire), no water cooling

Overclocking: In the future


SLI or Crossfire: Yes planning to add another card on 1 year or so. (Im not crossfiring/sli more than 2 cards)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or any resolution that looks good

Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC with good airflow and to be able to play current games

Thank you

Here is what im planning to buy so far, im open to suggestions and will appreciate them:

CPU: I5 2500k $224

Mobo: Asus P67 pro, Asrock P67 extreme4 ( I want to sli/crossfire)

Case: Fractal Design Define R3 Black ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case (open to suggestions) $110

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB or MSI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB (Open to suggestions also considering the gigabyte super overclock series of the gtx 560, and im going crossfire/sli in the future so the one that scales better will be my choice) $250-300

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply (sli/crossfire in the future, open to suggestions) $140

HDD: Samsung spinpoint F3 1 TB $65

Ram: 8gb low voltage (open to suggestions) $100 max

Optical drive: any $20ish drive (open to suggestions)

OS: Windows 7 home premium oem $100

Monitor: 24 monitor 1920*1080 resolution, open to suggestions samsung monitors look nice $200 max.

Total comes around $ 1300-1400 right now.

More about : 1300 gaming advice

March 21, 2011 6:25:48 PM

Everything you list is pretty solid. I think you should go with the GTX 560 if you're planning to go with more than one card in the future. Based on my own personal experience, driver support sucks for the AMD crossfire customer. One thing you'll always be doing as a crossfire customer is eagerly awaiting next month's driver release only to be disappointed yet again.

For the RAM, you could go with just about any offerings at that $100 price point, though I'd recommend something low voltage and lower profile (without the spikes on the heat sink):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you're shooting for looks, keeping the heat sink low allows you more room to work in the system without having to remove your RAM to move drives in and out or anything like that.

The optical drive... These things are $20-30. I always just pick up a name brand combo drive and let it roll. For the most part LGs and Sonys are reliable, cheap drives.

If I were building a new PC today, considering a solid expandable cost-effective gaming solution, it would be almost identical to what you've chosen. The only things I would consider changing are the following:

Case: I like the case you've chosen. I've always liked the HAF 922 in this price range, though that Define R3 looks pretty good, too. You should consider either. When you go silent, you usually give up a degree of airflow, so you have to consider that.

The HDD: I'm loyal to the WD because they have never failed on me. I always ending up using them from one PC to the next as I upgrade or build new. I really hope they start doing more in the mainstream SSD space or they're going to become extinct. You could go with a WD Black Edition 1TB?

Looks like a great build otherwise.
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March 21, 2011 6:37:20 PM

ubercake said:
Everything you list is pretty solid. I think you should go with the GTX 560 if you're planning to go with more than one card in the future. Based on my own personal experience, driver support sucks for the AMD crossfire customer. One thing you'll always be doing as a crossfire customer is eagerly awaiting next month's driver release only to be disappointed yet again.

For the RAM, you could go with just about any offerings at that $100 price point, though I'd recommend something low voltage and lower profile (without the spikes on the heat sink):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you're shooting for looks, keeping the heat sink low allows you more room to work in the system without having to remove your RAM to move drives in and out or anything like that.

The optical drive... These things are $20-30. I always just pick up a name brand combo drive and let it roll. For the most part LGs and Sonys are reliable, cheap drives.

If I were building a new PC today, considering a solid expandable cost-effective gaming solution, it would be almost identical to what you've chosen. The only things I would consider changing are the following:

Case: I like the case you've chosen. I've always liked the HAF 922 in this price range, though that Define R3 looks pretty good, too. You should consider either. When you go silent, you usually give up a degree of airflow, so you have to consider that.

The HDD: I'm loyal to the WD because they have never failed on me. I always ending up using them from one PC to the next as I upgrade or build new. I really hope they start doing more in the mainstream SSD space or they're going to become extinct. You could go with a WD Black Edition 1TB?

Looks like a great build otherwise.


Thank you for your reply, I think I stick with the samsung spinpoint f3 what about the mobo im thinking about the Asus P8p67 pro or the asrock p67 extreme4, any recommendations? I want enough space to sli/crossfire, Im not buying any MSI mobo I heard bad things about them.
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March 21, 2011 6:58:02 PM

CarlosGrosso said:
Thank you for your reply, I think I stick with the samsung spinpoint f3 what about the mobo im thinking about the Asus P8p67 pro or the asrock p67 extreme4, any recommendations? I want enough space to sli/crossfire, Im not buying any MSI mobo I heard bad things about them.

ASUS is a brand I have come to trust over the years. The ASrock board seems to offer an additional slot of spacing the first and second x16. This is an intriguing design and you wonder why more producers aren't doing something like this just from an airflow point of view. Just going by experience though, I have two 580s running next to each other at stock speeds and they work just fine and stay as cool as 580s stay.

Knowing this, I'd go with the ASUS board. You'll have enough space to SLI (or crossfire).

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