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Building a new Gaming PC - Opinions.

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April 22, 2011 11:25:08 AM

This is the Gaming PC i'm thinking of building:

Case: CoolerMaster Haf 932 Black Case *Full Tower*
Power Supply: Corsair Gaming Series GS800 800W
Processor: i5-2500K
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 Pro (B3 Revises version) *ATΧ sized*
RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3 2133 MHz 2x2GB kit *PLUS the FANs*
Graphics Card: ASUS ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5
Monitor: LG series for sure... but either W2363D-PF ...or M2280DF-PZ...or W2486L
Hard Disk Drive: 1) SSD: OCZ Agility 2 120GB 2,5" OR OCZ Vertex 2 120GB 2,5" (not sure about which one to choose to be honest)
2) Just a SATA 3 / 1 TB with 7.2 RPM (or maybe 10 RPM)
Optical Drive: Just any DVD-R pretty much...

Ok now...i m thinking of throwing an extra 100-200 euros if i can boost anything quite much...was thinking of i7-2600K for example...or an extra RAM 2x2 kit of those Corsair Dominators...(not sure about the FAN by the way...i think it's large enough to cover all the 4 slots...so i should't consider an extra FAN in case i m getting the extra kit...am i correct?)...maybe a Cooling System since i don't know if i'll be able to overclock otherwise...would i be? if not... is it worth the money and what kind of cooling system should i establish? Hydro...Air flowing?
Was also considering 2x HD 6950 cards as well but if i gotta buy Cooling systems for em and probably a more powerfull Power supply...then it would exceed the extra budget i got.

Anyway...What do you think of my setup in general? Good compatibility? Any different suggestions?


April 22, 2011 12:11:08 PM

The setup looks pretty good! Going through the options by part:

CASE ... That case is fine. As long as you are prepared for a full tower (they are quite large) then It'll be good with excellent airflow!

Power Supply ... I wouldn't recommend the Corsair GS series as they are of lower quality. See if you can get a Seasonic X850 (top notch modular) or the standard Seasonic 850 watt power supply as these are of better quality and are completely modular (not that it is necessary as there is plenty of cable hiding spots in the HAF 932)

Processor ... The i5 2500K is more than adequate for a gaming computer as most games only benefit from 2-4 cores anyway and the i7s have 8 "Virtual" due to HyperThreading. If you were going to do a lot of encoding and media creation then the i72600 may be a consideration but even then the i5 2500K will hold up fine to that! (I have an i5 2500)

Motherboard ... All good there. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD5 is also a good choice here though!

RAM ... DDR3 2133 RAM is completely unnecessary! The CPUs generally only use 1600 at maximum anyway! I'd save some money and get the GSKill RipJaws X 8 GB (2*4GB) with the CAS 7 latency for best performance! That way you have 8GB from the start and can upgrade to 16GB in the future.

GRAPHICS ... All good here. The Radeon 6900 have excellent dual GPU scaling aswell!

Monitor ... Without looking at each monitor. Just go with the one that pairs the best resolution, latency, and price for your needs!

SSD ... I have personal experience with the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB and it is quite fast. I'd go with the Vertex 2 as they are faster (SANDFORCE CONTROLLER) and use the new 25nm NAND flash!)

HDD ... WD Caviar Blue is good pairing 7200RPM with 64MB Cache. Go for the black edition if you want the games to load faster!

OPTICAL DRIVE ... I personally like the SONY Optiarc. Pretty much any drive will do though!

**************************************************************************************************************************************

For the cooling system ... I don't know much about water cooling but I do know that the Sandy Bridge platform can be overclocked considerably on stock cooling so you should be fine with an aftermarket air cooler like the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+. For the GPUs however you could consider getting the ASUS Direct CU versions for better cooling as the stock cooling on the AMD radeon is a bit noisy. The Cooler Master HAF 932 has lots of case fans so that should cool fine and don't forget that the GPUs exhaust to the exterior of your system.

Hope everything goes well and happy computer building ...

Luke
a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2011 2:09:30 PM

I pretty much agree with ukee1593 in all areas, but on the SSD. the Vertex 2 - 25nm's have issues:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ocz-vertex-2-25nm-s...

Go with - Mushkin Callisto, Corsair Force series, Patriot inferno, G.skill Sniper/Phoenix Pro. they are all about the same in performance so price shop for the best deal.


Also addtional PSU's to consider (850W is the right size if you want to Xfire HD6970's):
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series
CORSAIR HX Series
Seasonic X series
Silverstone
XFX Core series (Seasonic is the OEM)
April 22, 2011 2:24:10 PM

Case: The case is fine if you like it. If you're pressed for room in your budget I would consider cutting to a 922 among your first cuts as it is practically as large.

PSU: You want a nice one, I would go with the XFX Black Edition 850. Its a re-branded Seasonic and very nice.

CPU/MOBO - Great, very popular choices.

RAM: 2133 is super unnecessary, you will get much better performance gains out of a 2x4 1600 set. Getting that CL7 set would be great, but you can cut a $20 going with CL 8 or 9 (I got that same ripjaws series 2x4 CL9 for $75 for my rig and don't regret it at all, great price/performance). Also, 1.5v RAM DOES NOT NEED FANS. They're a gimmick and provide no better performance or cooling, but may make your system louder.

GPU: I'm an admitted NVIDIA fan, but your AMD/ATI cards will do fine. If you go with a single dual slot GPU (6970) rather than your 2x Xfire you can go with a 750w PSU without any worries. The one I recommended conveniently comes in 750 and 850w varieties.

SSD: I've not yet read the article linked by jerreddredd, but I would still look for a Sandforce controlled SSD as its the best controller out there, not only in performance, but also in protecting the life of your SSD by limiting the write cycles.

HHD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 is your best bet at the 1TB level. Fast and reliable. Please do not go with a 10RPM raptor, they're just another gimmicky item that you wont see appreciable returns for your money on.

As ukee mentioned the 2600k isn't necessary at all if you're just planning on gaming on this rig as it would not provide a visible difference in any games and it even hampers some games which interact poorly with the logical cores (although again, not an appreciable difference, if you decide to buy a 2600 its not like games wouldn't function). It will help with photo editing, video encoding, and folding, but if you're not super serious about any of those things save your hundred bucks.

Without overvolting the Sandy Bridge CPUs have shown the ability to get to 4.1-4.4 mhz. This would keep the CPU closer to its highest stock voltage more of the time, but could *probably* be handled by the stock cooler. Even at stock I would recommended at least a CM Hyper 212 Plus at $30 or a Scyth Mugen Rev 2B at $40 to keep things nice and cool inside the case, but it would not be absolutely required of a light OC.

IMO water cooling for a personal desktop is never worthwhile, especially as CPUs and GPUs have gotten much cooler over the last couple of years. The HAF has good fans, put a decent heatsink on the CPU and you're good to go.

If you've got a bit of money left over at the end buy nicer peripherals, like a second screen (a single 6970 will run 2 screens well), or a nice keyboard/mouse.
!