I7 2600 Build Advice

Hey guys,

I haven't built a desktop since about 2006, so forgive me if my part selection is rusty or downright incompetent. That's why I'm making this thread. Looking mainly for improvements/suggestions and making sure everything is compatible.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the beginning of April 2011

Budget Range: $1300 USD max before rebates, can be flexible up to 1400 if absolutely necessary

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming for the next several years, watching blu-rays, playing music, word processing

Parts Not Required: Peripherals and Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (have also used TigerDirect but not often)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel and Nvidia (flexible on this, no idea what video cards are good right now, the specs since 2006 seem almost foreign haha)

Overclocking: Not interested, but should I be?

SLI or Crossfire: Haven't considered it - again, should I be?

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: would like this to be somewhat future proofed for gaming, with the possibility of easy upgrading over the next few years to achieve this. Don't care about noise or size. Planning on using the SSD for OS and common apps, and the other drive for storage. Want to make sure everything is compatible. Also wondering if I need any extra cooling and recommendations if so.

My Build so far:
CASE: Antec Nine Hundred Two V3

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 650W

CPU: i7 2600

Mobo: Biostar TH67 (clueless on mobos so pardon if this is a terrible choice)

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB (is Radeon currently better?)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 64GB

HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM

Media Drive: LG LightScribe 10x Blu-Ray Burner
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  1. Best answer
    bbqsauce87 said:
    Overclocking: Not interested, but should I be?
    SLI or Crossfire: Haven't considered it - again, should I be?
    Monitor Resolution: 1440x900
    Hello bbqsauce87;
    Good job putting together a complete & compatible parts list, and choosing all quality parts.
    You could buy it and build it today if you'd want to push ahead.

    But you did have a few questions, and those questions might lead to some alternate parts choices.
    No doubt you noticed something different about the new CPUs. That extra K suffix thrown in.
    Sandy Bridge CPUs: i5 2500K $255 / 2600 $300 / 2600K $329
    Intel is now offering unlocked CPU clock multipliers similar to AMD's Black Edition CPUs.

    If we can talk you into thinking about overclocking we think the i5 2500K is the sweet spot for a gaming rig.
    Even if you don't start out overclocking in a few years when it's time to refresh the video card with an upgrade you could also overclock the CPU from 3.1Ghz to 4.2~4.4Ghz safely and with very little effort on your part. A CPU/GPU upgrade to keep the system "somewhat future proofed".

    MSI P67A-GD55 (B3) 1155 P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 CFX/SLI Motherboard supports overclocking and CFX/SLI dual graphics cards
    Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 95W Quad-Core CPU
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
  2. The Crossfire/SLI question is closely tied to the monitor resolution IMO.
    @ 1440x900 a single video card in the GTX 560 Ti or HD 6950 range is 'just about perfect' for top gaming performance IMO.

    If you upgrade to a 1920x1080 resolution monitor, or you get a 2nd 1440x900 monitor (2880x900 'virtual resolution') then a 2nd graphics card starts make more sense to keep your games running at the highest graphics and 'eye candy' settings.

    About 'which is best'? You might find that one game or another has a 'preference' for ATI or Nvidia.
    What games are you looking at now and in the year or so ahead?

    Since we already opened up the CFX/SLI option with that P67 motherboard we have you covered on either AMD/Nvidia for a 2nd graphics card.

    More than anything else it's the graphics card(s) that determine what PSU is a good fit for your system.
    That excellent Antec EA 650W PSU is good for any single GPU graphics card right now out, and probably coming out in the next couple of years. It's just about at the limit though, of being able to support dual graphics cards. If you add some overclocking, CPU & GPU, and a few more upgrades in the years ahead I think bumping the PSU up a notch is a good idea.

    You'll also get a full dual set of PCI-e power connectors for a dual graphics card setup. A few good choices:
    XFX Core Edition PRO750W / CORSAIR TX750 V2 / XFX Black Edition 750W / Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W
  3. With a SSD in the build as your boot disk you don't need to spend quite so much on the HDD. SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB $65 saves $23

    which we can use to upgrade the SSD from that Vertex 2 'E' model with the Corsair Force 60GB SATA II Solid State Drive $144
    OCZ was up to some shenanigans by changing out the NAND flash chips without changing model numbers, got caught and had to change the model # to include an E.
  4. Incredibly helpful information here WR2, thank you.

    In my continuing research after posting this build, I did see a lot of love for the i5 2500K as a cheaper solution for my goals, so I will be making the switch to that and using the extra $$ for one of the Mobo upgrades and cooler you've suggested.

    I did notice the K, and my untrained eye couldn't spot a difference (other than price, ha) betwen the 'K' version and the regular, thanks a bunch for clearing that up.

    I was never very tech savvy, and I remember attempting to overclock some of my gear back in '05/'06 and being turned away by the complexity of it all, but from what I understand there seems to be a movement towards more user-friendly Mobo BIOS setups, so I may fare better in round 2.

    I plan to upgrade to a better monitor (1920x1080) depending on extra money over the next year or two, but I'll probably never go dual monitors. It's good to have the option for a second video card though, as I'm sure games will begin outpacing my equipment, even on a single monitor, in a couple years.

    The current games I'm thinking of playing: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Fallout New Vegas, Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, Starcraft II, Dragon Age II (wow lots of great sequels out right now)
    Future games: Diablo III, Portal 2, Mass Effect 3, Fable III, Elder Scrolls V
    - Every single game is a sequel... interesting.

    Good point about the PSU, I'll definitely look into upgrading that for a 2nd card in the future, and I'll keep an eye on grabbing the proper connectors. Modular PSU kits are probably best for dual video card setups, no? At least that's how I remember it.

    I've actually decided to hold off on the SSD for a few weeks so I can take a peek at the new Vertex 3 that's supposed to be out "any day now". Would you happen to know anything about that? I know the transfer rate is significantly higher than the current SSDs, but I know nothing about the price point. And I will look into the Spinpoint, I've heard nice things about it, and it gives me the option for a RAID setup over the Caviar Black.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions, you put forth many thoughtful considerations in improving my build and getting me back into the game haha. Now, how exactly do I give out a "Resolved by" or "Best Answer"? I'd like to give you at least some form of appreciation for your time.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I wasn't logged in and couldn't see the Best Answer button, we're good.
  5. Best answer selected by bbqsauce87.
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