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Please review - $1800 budget gaming PC

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April 7, 2011 7:30:27 PM

I have spent a couple of weeks doing my research and have changed (somewhat) both my budget and my philosophy. In reading advice threads here and elsewhere I have learned the following maxims:

1. Don't skimp on your power supply
2. Buy the best GPU you can afford

I have put the following build together with this in mind, and with the idea to keep temperatures as low as possible. I would appreciate it if you would looks things over and offer any last minute advice:

Case - SilverStone Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Uni-Body Frame Computer Case FT02B (Black)

At first the choice of case was at the bottom of my priority list, but I've determined that I want something classy looking and of the highest quality, hence the FT02B.

CPU - 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

MB - ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

HD - Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive

GPU - MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

PSU - CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Cooler - Noctua NH-C12P SE14 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Monitor - LG E2360V-PN Glossy Black 23" 1080p 5ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor Slim Design 250cd/m2 DC 5,000,000:1

With one combo deal and one promo code the total is - $1736.19 (before shipping).

Approximate Purchase Date: within the week

Budget Range: $1800 including monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, streaming netflix, espn3, mlb.tv, etc.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon

Country of Origin: USA (Illinois - the nearest microcenter is 3 hours away)

Parts Preferences: i5 2500K, nvidia, silverstone or lian li cases

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: probably not

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: High quality parts, cooling (my basis for choosing the FT02B, sabertooth, and Twin Frozr II), must have a classy high quality case. I intend to keep this a single GPU PC, and the build is really geared toward future game releases such as Elder Scrolls V, Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, the inevitable Fallout 4, etc. and to stay relevant for as long as possible.

If anyone has any advice on shaving dollars from the price (i.e. equivalent or better parts for less money) I would appreciate it. And I guess, as a first timer, I'm looking for affirmation and/or a thumbs up to help me pull the trigger. I want to make sure I've put this together right. Thanks!


April 7, 2011 8:12:10 PM

Personally, I'd scale back on the motherboard, the power supply (if you're keeping it single GPU) and probably even the ram. Save yourself $150, and maybe consider adding in an SSD, or even upgrade to the 2600k processor.
April 7, 2011 9:14:57 PM

I would definitely scale back your PSU the Corsair 750HX is a good one and still has enough juice to SLI GTX570's if you decide later to do so.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also go with an ASUS LCD/LED monitor, they have a better warranty for dead pixels. this is one of the best for gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and less expensive.

l like it. like you said classy build.

BTW the i5 2500k is "THE" CPU for gaming. the i7 will only gain you a FPS or two and cost you $100 more.

Related resources
April 7, 2011 9:37:10 PM

Hmm...when I replace the AX 850 with the HX 750 it actually eliminates the combo deal and makes things more expensive by $15 (counting all mail-ins). I will continue to dig for deals with your advice in mind and see what I can come up with.

I do have an iteration of this build that uses the Silverstone Raven 2, the AsRock P67 Extreme 4, the XFX Black edition 750w, and the Cooler Master Hyper 212 instead of the above listed alternatives and ends up being about $300 less expensive.
April 8, 2011 1:36:41 PM

I ordered the case (FT02B-W), HD, and monitor from Amazon, leaving the following in my Newegg cart:

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$20.99

MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video
$369.99

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active
-$20.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$169.99
$149.99

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound
$9.99

Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap
-$2.00 Instant
$6.99
$4.99

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996782
$54.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$99.99

Noctua NH-C12P SE14 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
$74.99

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
-$20.00 Combo
$424.98

Total: $1227.44 shipped. I downgraded the PSU, found a different combo with the Sabertooth and i5 2500K, and switched RAM to Mushkin to be compatible with the Noctua and maintain the all-black theme.

Am I forgetting anything? If it all looks OK I'll pull the trigger today (hopefully). Thanks for looking.
April 8, 2011 4:16:33 PM

I would go with 8GB (2 sticks) of RAM. It's not that much more $$. Any reason you have that very expensive Noctua cooler? I would get a Hyper 212+ and free up $ for more RAM. These Sandy Bridge CPUs run much cooler than those of the past. I would also drop the thermal compound. Your cooler comes with some. So does the 212+. That XFX 750w (Black Edition) PSU you had mentioned earlier is just as good as that Corsair and costs less.

That being said, your build looks good and you will be very happy with it.

Happy building!

Best solution

April 8, 2011 5:26:18 PM
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MoBo - Great pick .... check out this review and not the overclocking section
http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-sabertooth-p67-tuf-r...

CPU - Well choice of two, the 2500 doesn't give up much and saves $100

GFX - For $60 you could up ya performance by about $65%. Two of the GTX 560 Ti (900 MHz) cost $430. They get 862 total fps in SLI compared w/ 524 on the reference 570. Yes the MSI has a great cooler but even OC'd to the max, they cant match twin 560's which can be OC'd to 2000 MHz.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - The Noctua's continue to perform very well on LGA 775 which is still used as a test bed on many review sites. But on 1155 CPU's, the Thermalright Silver Arrow looks like top dog. However, both are way more tjhan is needed for Sandy Bridge as heat is not going to be the limiter on your SB OC. BMR writes:

Quote:
I think the Silver Arrow represents the ultimate air cooler than can be built and still fit within the constraints of an ATX motherboard and a standard computer case......It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling. Still, it wouldn't hurt, and as I noted earlier, there are still CPUs out there that can benefit from it.


Consider saving some cash and Getting the Scythe Mugen 2 for $40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - save $15 with these Corsairs

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PSU - The Corsair AX and HX get 10.0 ratings on joinnyguru.com But so does the XFX Black Edition also gets that same 10.0 rating.

The 750 watter is good for twin OC'd 560's tho an 850 provides welcome headroom, the 850 watter for twin 570's. Since the MoBo is SLI capable, if ya don't go SLI from the get go its a nice upgrade.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$130 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This caught my eye today ... and IPS panel for $210 ($20 off w/ promo code EMCKFKC55, ends 4/13)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other favorites:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




April 8, 2011 5:54:22 PM

I love my mobo. Great choice!
April 8, 2011 7:31:19 PM

majin ssj eric said:
Thumbsup!


I thought the idea of the "TUF Thermal Armor - Total Airflow-Boosting Heat Dissipation" was to use a top-down CPU HSF, to blow air through the ducts.

Why use a CM Hyper 212 that blows air front to back?

does it work? well?
April 8, 2011 8:05:29 PM

If you look closer you will see that I installed a 50mm fan into the armor itself for just that reason. ;) 
April 8, 2011 8:39:41 PM

jerreddredd said:
I thought the idea of the "TUF Thermal Armor - Total Airflow-Boosting Heat Dissipation" was to use a top-down CPU HSF, to blow air through the ducts.


Yeah that's why I choose the Noctua. I know it's extreme overkill for what I'm doing but I choose the best top-down cooler to go with the Sabertooth P67. I think I might use the Scythe SCR-1000 instead and save $30. Thanks for the help!

I wanted to keep it a one GPU setup, but the two 560 Ti's is mighty tempting. Probably overkill, but what about this rig isn't, I guess. I'm getting close to a final configuration and there is still a lot to wrap my head around...
April 8, 2011 8:42:35 PM

Best answer selected by okdaddio.
April 8, 2011 8:46:59 PM

okdaddio said:
Yeah that's why I choose the Noctua. I know it's extreme overkill for what I'm doing but I choose the best top-down cooler to go with the Sabertooth P67. I think I might use the Scythe SCR-1000 instead and save $30. Thanks for the help!

I wanted to keep it a one GPU setup, but the two 560 Ti's is mighty tempting. Probably overkill, but what about this rig isn't, I guess. I'm getting close to a final configuration and there is still a lot to wrap my head around...


You can go with a heatpipe hsf like my hyper 212+ if you add a $5 50mm fan to the armor itself. Just remove the access panel directly below the CPU socket with four screws and place your fan there blowing down. There's even a chassis fan header right there to plug into! I love this motherboard!
April 9, 2011 1:04:28 AM

I found this card on weekend special for $314.99 with a $15 Mail-in rebate: MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - net price $299.99. Hard to argue with I guess - although the following issue seems widespread:

I'm taking an egg off because MSI failed to appropriately set voltage for the card. Out of the box it's set to .975 and, as a result, DX10 titles CtD non-stop. Just Cause 2 and Crysis Warhead were essentially unplayable as they would crash at some point in a range from instantly on load to ~15min. Even putting the card down to reference GTX570 spec did not alleviate this. It was not until I started pushing voltage up that these issues went away. I can run DX9 and DX11 titles nonstop for days with no issue at factory OC or ref settings but, any DX10 title brings crashes. Don't expect stability from anything running DX10 unless you've got Afterburner running and your voltage up to .985+ (YMMV). This issue is referenced and complained about in a LOT of forums at this point.

And the G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory sticks have a $25 off instant rebate code right now - $74.99.

That's my above list, with 8 GB of memory instead of 4, for $1182.45 shipped.

Anyone have any experience with that GPU?
April 9, 2011 1:13:13 PM

Hopefully this is my final build (can you tell I'm a waffler...?). I know I said that I wanted to keep it a one GPU but the price/performance of the twin 560 Ti's is hard to argue with. Plus I found some nice combo deals - I figure I might as well jump in with both feet. Any final thoughts before I pull the trigger?

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$24.99
1

RiDATA 4.7GB 16X DVD-R Inkjet White 50 Packs Disc Model DRD-4716-RDIW50N2 - OEM
-$9.99 Saving
$9.99
$0.00

GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
-$10.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$249.99
$239.99

Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap
-$2.00 Instant
$6.99
$4.99

G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR
$99.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$99.99

Noctua NH-C12P SE14 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
$74.99

GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

-$35.00 Instant
-$30.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$439.98
$374.98


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

-$20.00 Combo
$444.98
$424.98

Subtotal: $1,344.90
Shipping: $20.26
Remove EMCKFKC44 Discount From Promo Code -$25.00

Grand Total: $1,340.16
April 9, 2011 4:51:07 PM

Done!
April 9, 2011 7:42:24 PM

I'd still add the 50mm assistant fan to the Sabertooth. You can't have too much airflow and it looks cool too!
!