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$1500 Extreme Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
April 11, 2011 4:10:46 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: in the next week or two

Budget Range: up to $1500, give or take

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HD video playback, a lot of web surfing

Parts Not Required: all peripherals. i only need the tower

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU's but open to nvidia or ati GPU's

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: not sure yet, haven't decided on a monitor


MoBo: ASrock Fatal1ty P67
CPU: Core i5-2500k
CPU Cooling: Corsair H70
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3-1600
HDD: Western Digital Black 750GB
PSU: OCZ Fatal1ty series 750W
Graphics: Choice 1: EVGA GTX 570
Choice 2: XFX Radeon HD 6950
SSD: no idea, any suggestions?

This is my first ever build and I want to get it right. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated
April 11, 2011 7:11:52 AM

This build includes Windows 7, dual factory over clocked gtx 560's in SLI, after market cpu h/s (thermal paste included), 8GB of low voltage RAM, etc.. $89.99
Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-922M-KKN1-GP) $119.99
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 High Performance 750W Power Supply Mail-in Rebate -$5.00 $174.99
ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3)Socket 1155 Intel P67 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066Mhz 7.1 CH HD Audio Gigabit LAN 4x SATAIII 6.0 Gb/s 4xSATAII 3.0Gb/s 3x USB 3.0 6x USB 2.0 ATX $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 $29.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 4 Heat Pipes, Copper Base $97.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800) 8GB (2x4GB) Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL) Mail-in Rebate -$25.00 Sale Price$ 234.99
Gigabyte (GV-N560OC-1GI) nVidia GeForce GTX 560Ti (900MHz) 1GB (4000MHz) GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI/Mini-HDMI PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card Mail-in Rebate -$25.00 Sale Price$ 234.99
Gigabyte (GV-N560OC-1GI) nVidia GeForce GTX 560Ti (900MHz) 1GB (4000MHz) GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI/Mini-HDMI PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card $84.99
Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) 1000GB (1TB) SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM) $24.99
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM $99.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

Total: $1,467.89 CAD *not including shipping, mail in rebates, etc.. <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update <--- Review before the latest bios...and it still smoked the Asus and Gigabyte boards <---- Asrock two year warranty <----- ASRock P67 Extreme4 Motherboard
April 11, 2011 12:28:56 PM

kicl, those all look like fine choices and it seems you've done your research on what ncix can make available in Canada without too much extra fee.

A few comments:

1.) Please don't spend that much on a P67 motherboard. You buy ASRock for the budget, not for performance. And do you need that many PCIe expansion slots? Save about $80 and go for something like the ASUS P8P67 Pro. It's a great featured board and ASUS has done a top notch job with their custom UEFI.

2.) The Corsair H70 isn't great. And if you're going to spend near $100 on a CPU cooler, you want it to be top notch. You'll have to do some comparisons with your case, but take a look at the Noctua C14. It's low profile and low noise, but other manufacturer's are having a hard time knocking it off the Top 5 List.

3.) I would not use OCZ for your PSU choice. OCZ makes some great memory and they are dominating the Sandforce SSD market right now, but they're not a PSU manufacturer. The Power Supply is the most important part of your build and you want to make sure you aren't skimping just to save some money. Look to Corsair, like the HX750, or Antec, such as the TPN 750W. Ever since Seasonic started selling direct to the consumer, I've been in love: NCIX doesn't have the X750, but my God is it amazing. The X760 is new, but you'll pay a premium for its fanless superiority.

4.) One question you have to ask is: "Will I ever buy a second GPU?" I say no. Unless you're triple-screening, which is mostly a gimmick, or running at some ridiculous resolution, and you aren't doing either if a new monitor has to go in this budget, you don't need more than the GTX 570. You didn't list what games you play, but it will handle them. Adding a second GPU is an expensive hassle that most people don't need when they're building a brand new system.

That being said, if there's something in the back of your head that just has to have two GPU's at some point, the first thing I'd do is buy the 850 version of any of the PSU's mentioned above. With a hearty overclock and two of the previously mentioned GPUs, 750 pushes a threshold that's best to avoid. Also, the only reason I'd consider AMD over NVIDIA in this case is if you are definitely going dual-card, you'd save going with the 6950's and if you ever do triple-monitor, AMD's Eyefinity is loads better than NVIDIA's 3D Surround. (But if you want 3D, another gimmick/headache IMO, then obviously NVIDIA is your choice.)

5.) If you aren't partial to that case, take a look at what Cooler Master and NXZT have to offer. You'd save some going with the CM 922, but some don't like that industrial look. The NZXT Tempest Evo is another budget-friendly favourite of mine. It's all personal preference, and I do like the conservative look to that Corsair, if you end up getting it, please let me know your thoughts. The only thing a case needs to do is: Have decent airflow capabilities, fit your CPU Cooler and GPU, and not be annoying to work with.

FINAL.) I'm not sure where that leaves your budget or what monitors you're looking at. I can help there as well if you toss some ideas out. I would highly recommend an SSD, but only if a reputable brand (Intel, OCZ, Crucial/Micron) fits in your budget at a capacity that makes sense. NCIX puts a premium on that WD HDD and they don't have a great selection, you might try saving some by looking elsewhere. My personal favourites are the Samsung Spinpoint F4's.

Building a new machine is an exhilerating experience, but take your time! Patience allows you to find the best deals and save quite a bit. Watch, you may find a better deal even after shipping it from the states. Good luck and keep us updated.

EDIT: The post above me screams cookie-cutter copy/paste, but maybe not. Why_Me's recommendations on the case and motherboard are along the same lines of what I mentioned, but I would not go dual-560's over a 570. It's just not worth it. That CPU cooler is THE budget cooler to get, but it won't let you sit comfortably at 4.8+. Also, Why_Me brings up a good point, don't forget to add ~$20 for a DVD/RW drive if you don't have one to cannibalize, that ASUS one is solid.