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$1000 build - i5 2500k

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March 30, 2011 3:01:43 AM

Hiya! I've never built a system before, but it's something that I've wanted to do for a while, and I finally have the excuse (and spare change) to do it. I've been looking into this for the past few months, and I think I've finally narrowed down the parts I'd like to get to a few select picks. Seeing as this will be my first build, I'm not too sure if it's all in order and entirely suitable to my needs, so I'd love some feedback on it.

I should probably mention that, for a number of reasons, ordering the parts online would unfortunately be inconvenient for me. Without boring anyone reading this with too much detail, suffice to say that I'd much prefer to shop locally for this. On the bright side, I live in Ottawa, and while there may not be as many computer hardware stores as in a more tech-centric city, there are still a number of reputable places that I'm looking at for pricing and product availability.

Anyway, all that out of the way, here's the build I'm looking at (all prices are in $CAD):

Case: Antec 300 ($59,99)
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k ($229,99)
Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 [B3] ($179,99)
PSU: Antec EA-650 Green EarthWatts 650W ($89,99)
GPU: Asus EAH5770 CUCore/2DI/1GD5 ATI Radeon HD 5770 ($129,99)
Optical: Samsung SH-S223C/BEBE SATA 22X DVD-Writer ($23,99)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB ($84,99)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333MHz 8GB [2x4GB] ($85,99)
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($29,99)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ($99,99)

Sub-total + HST: $1014,90 + 0,13%
Total: $1146,84

For some context, I do play video games every now and then when a new title interests me; largely, though, the most intensive application I run is Photoshop, alongside a few other heavy-ish programs. I run Windows and Linux in a dual-boot setup (currently, my distro of choice is Arch Linux), so the hardware needs to be supported by both. As far as I can see, it is, but I'm nervous that I may have missed something. Finally, I'd like to overclock the CPU, and I don't think I'll be going with an SLI or Crossfire setup in the near future, which are really the main things giving me trouble with my choices: I'm really not sure if the power supply I've listed is appropriate for the system's needs.

Anyway, if you've managed to read through all that without crying tears of blood (I apologise for my tedious writing, honestly I do), I'd love to hear any advice you guys have to offer! :) 

More about : 1000 build 2500k

March 30, 2011 3:55:21 AM

This build is set up so you can add another one of those factory over clocked gtx 560's later on for SLI.

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=6... $54.99
Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1)

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=26415&vpn=CMPSU-750TX&man... $89.99 CAD Savings Code 26415-1302. SAVE $25.00 off our regular price of $114.99 if you buy today! Special price ends 03/30/2011
Corsair TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=59093&vpn=P67A-GD53%20%28... $150.14 CAD After Mail In Rebate: $130.14 CAD
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) P67 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 3PCI-E 2PCI SLI CrossFireX SATA3 USB3 Motherboard

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $219.99 FREE SHIPPING
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

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=8... $29.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 4 Heat Pipes, Copper Base

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=58303&vpn=N560GTX-TI%20Tw... $249.99 CAD
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr OC 880MHZ 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI DX11 PCI-E Video Card

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2... $39.88
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1333MHz (PC3-10666) 4GB (2x2GB) Dual Channel Kit (F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL)

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=1... $64.99
Western Digital Caviar Black (WD6402AAEX) 640GB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3... $24.99
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $99.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

Total: $1,024.94 CAD *not including mail in rebates
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March 30, 2011 3:58:38 AM

Swap the WD Black with a Samsung F3. It's cheaper, faster (yes, even with SATA II), and just as or more reliable.
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March 30, 2011 10:36:07 PM

@Why_Me: I'm not interested in an SLI or Crossfire setup; a single video card is sufficient for my needs, I think. I don't game intensively, and my graphical resolution is only at 1280x1024 -- the best I'm able to get out of my 5-year-old 17" monitor, which, while unimpressive, is something I only plan on replacing in a few years. It's always nice to leave room for future upgrades, I know, but I just don't feel like I'll need something that powerful in the near future. That said, I do have some questions about some of the suggestions you've made:

For the case, aside from the five dollars between the two, what advantages does the HAF 912 have over the Antec 300? Both look to be well-built, but I prefer the minimalistic appearance of the Antec case to the HAF's army-inspired look.

Also, while I can see the appeal in getting a power supply capable of delivering more juice, is it very useful with the build I outlined above (mainly, when using a single video card)? Will a 650W unit be sufficient for a system only running one graphics card but an overclocked CPU? The difference in pricing between the two capacities may seem minor, I know, but with twenty or thirty dollars extra here and there, the prices add up, and I really want my costs for this build to stay somewhere between $1000 - $1200.

(Note that for reference I'm using local pricing on the parts you've listed, so I can't take most of the sales into consideration. Like I mentioned earlier, it unfortunately isn't convenient at all for me to order stuff online right now, so local is preferable.)

Finally, will there be a noticeable difference in performance between 4GB and 8GB of RAM? Like I mentioned, I'm a fairly heavy Photoshop user, and I like to be able to run several memory-hogging applications at the same time, should either of those have any bearing on this.

@boiler1990: Looking up the Samsung F3, and it looks like a 1TB drive will cost around $10 less than the WD drive. Looking around, I'm also seeing a lot of positive feedback on the F3, so I think I'll go with it instead of the WD Black. Thanks for the tip!
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March 30, 2011 10:44:39 PM

Airwick then there is no reason for such a powerful computer. You could run photoshop off an i3 2100. Seeing as you have a larger budget, even an i5 2300 or i5 2400 would be sufficient. Check out my 600$ build, just swap out the i3 2100 for an i5 2400 and the ram for 8gb and it'd be good enough for you @ only 700$ without the OS.
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March 30, 2011 10:59:30 PM

Airwick said:
@Why_Me: I'm not interested in an SLI or Crossfire setup; a single video card is sufficient for my needs, I think. I don't game intensively, and my graphical resolution is only at 1280x1024 -- the best I'm able to get out of my 5-year-old 17" monitor, which, while unimpressive, is something I only plan on replacing in a few years. It's always nice to leave room for future upgrades, I know, but I just don't feel like I'll need something that powerful in the near future. That said, I do have some questions about some of the suggestions you've made:

For the case, aside from the five dollars between the two, what advantages does the HAF 912 have over the Antec 300? Both look to be well-built, but I prefer the minimalistic appearance of the Antec case to the HAF's army-inspired look.

Also, while I can see the appeal in getting a power supply capable of delivering more juice, is it very useful with the build I outlined above (mainly, when using a single video card)? Will a 650W unit be sufficient for a system only running one graphics card but an overclocked CPU? The difference in pricing between the two capacities may seem minor, I know, but with twenty or thirty dollars extra here and there, the prices add up, and I really want my costs for this build to stay somewhere between $1000 - $1200.

(Note that for reference I'm using local pricing on the parts you've listed, so I can't take most of the sales into consideration. Like I mentioned earlier, it unfortunately isn't convenient at all for me to order stuff online right now, so local is preferable.)

Finally, will there be a noticeable difference in performance between 4GB and 8GB of RAM? Like I mentioned, I'm a fairly heavy Photoshop user, and I like to be able to run several memory-hogging applications at the same time, should either of those have any bearing on this.

@boiler1990: Looking up the Samsung F3, and it looks like a 1TB drive will cost around $10 less than the WD drive. Looking around, I'm also seeing a lot of positive feedback on the F3, so I think I'll go with it instead of the WD Black. Thanks for the tip!


If that's the case then no need for that mobo you have up top, and no need for that psu. Try something like this down below...

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2... $139.99
ASRock P67 PRO 3 (B3)Socket 1155 Intel P67 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066Mhz 7.1 CH HD Audio Gigabit LAN 2x SATAIII 6.0 Gb/s 4xSATAII 3.0Gb/s 2x USB 3.0 6x USB 2.0 ATX

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3... $79.99 Discount -$10.00 Mail-in Rebate -$20.00 Sale Price $49.99
Antec HCG-520 High Current Gamer 520W Continuous Power Supply

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4... Discount -$10.00 Mail-in Rebate -$30.00 Sale Price $159.99
Asus ENGTX460 DirectCU/2DI/1GD5 nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Chipset (675Mhz) 1GB (3600Mhz) GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI-I/HDMI Display PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

or...

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4... Discount -$25.00 Mail-in Rebate -$40.00 Sale Price $124.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB (768-P3-1360-TR) nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Chipset (675Mhz) 768MB (3600Mhz) GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI/Mini HDMI PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

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March 31, 2011 12:01:41 AM

Just my $.02 on linux compatibility - its typically suggested to stay away from ATI cards. The 400 and 500 series cards are being supported more and more by the latest drivers, but the support isn't perfect.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=home

Has been a good source for linux compatibility and benchmarking.
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March 31, 2011 1:07:04 AM

@AznShinobi: You're right about what kind of hardware can run Photoshop -- I'm able to make moderate use of it with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 dating back to 2006, without too much masochism involved. I debated over what CPU to get for quite a while before I settled on the 2500k, and in the end it was mainly because I want to try and make this system as future-proof as I can manage, within reason. I would be lying if I said that the thought of being able to get more out of a part than its alternatives wasn't very tantalizing, too, but I like to think that I'm still able to make an informed decision, bias or not.

It may be totally unreasonable to go with a more expensive part given my current needs -- and this goes entirely against my logic for the video card setup, I know, so feel free to laugh at my silliness/hypocrisy/irrational consumerism -- but given the very central role the CPU plays in the system, I'm pretty much set on the 2500k.

@Why_Me: Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking through the feature list for the ASRock P67 PRO, and it seems to fit my needs. I'll do a bit more homework before making a decision, but you're right about my not needing the full feature set of the Extreme4. Honestly, I was looking at it based more on the good reviews it's gotten than what are to me its surplus specifications.

Given that the rebates on the power supply you've linked end tomorrow, I don't think I'll be able to grab it in time. I'll take another look once April rolls around to see if any other interesting offers come up.

The EVGA GTX 460 looks interesting, and the sale offers are on until next week, so I will be able to get one before then. I'll do some peeking around before making any final decisions, but it definitely seems like it would fit what I'll be running without too many hiccups, within reason.

@someone19: That's what I've heard, but I wasn't able to find much that confirmed that relatively modern ATI cards have significantly worse Linux support than their nVidia equivalents -- or rather, I wasn't able to find one definitive answer to the question. It is something to consider, though, so I'll take that into account before I settle on one or the other. Thanks for the tip. :) 
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March 31, 2011 1:44:18 AM

I dunno bout Linux. But I know Hackintosh's favor the Gigabyte boards. So to the Pro3 I actually suggest the UD3 more. Mainly because if you ever want to, you'll have an extra slot to Crossfire/SLI. But also it is cheaper, by 10$.
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March 31, 2011 2:46:57 AM

@AznShinobi: What turns me off about the current crop of Gigabyte boards is that they don't include UEFI -- just a standard BIOS. As far as I can tell, hardware-wise, they're very good, but when it comes to software, they aren't the greatest. Besides, while I would love to tinker around with getting OS X to run on my computer, I don't think it would end up anything more than a plaything; my current OS setup serves my needs and more already, so more isn't really necessary.

It would still be cool, though. :p 
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March 31, 2011 3:01:47 AM

I would go with the ASUS P8P67 or the MSI P67A-GD65. Ultimately, I believe the ASUS has the best board for 1155. Furthermore, the ASUS has the best UEFI setup.
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March 31, 2011 4:02:54 AM

^ Wtf.... GD65? I don't think that's worth it with competitors like the Extreme4.
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