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Opinions please on this gaming system

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April 25, 2011 4:38:00 PM

Hi, I'm building a gaming system for/with my nephew and I'd like some opinions from the hardcore performance system builders out there. I know my way around a computer and built my first PC (IBM XT) back in the 80's and have been building them on and off since then, mostly for productivity purposes and never for high-end gaming purposes. That's why I'm not up to speed on what makes a great gaming PC nowadays.

Here's our list so far:

1) Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core

2) ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

3) HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

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

5) CoolMax V-600 Power Supply

We've already bought #4 & #5 (ram and power supply) but can take a loss and resell those online if you really think it's important (we're past the return period)

Here's a few thoughts we're working with:

1) The entire system is just under our $1k budget right now including all the other hardware and before software (Win7 Professional or Ultimate). We're trying to stay with that budget but can be flexible in the actual hardware
2) The video card is about $200 with a $20 rebate so we're looking for something in that price range so if you think there's a superior card for a similar value we're all ears.
3) The power supply was a gift from a friend, unopened, so we're inclined to keep/use that unless there's some good reason not to use it.
4) The 1600 Mhz ram ($75) was already bought but after reading up on the board it says it can go up to 2200 Mhz. We saw a good deal on 2000 Mhz ram (4 sticks of 2GB) on Amazon (search PGV34G2000ELK) and wanted to know if it's worth selling what we bought, take a loss and then spend $110 on 8GB of the faster ram
5) I probably should have said this earlier on, but we're open to other system boards also. We wanted an i7 unless there's a good argument for something else, I'm listening

Thanks for your feedback!
-Jason *Smile*

More about : opinions gaming system

April 25, 2011 4:50:51 PM

Want to add our pricing for your consideration:
$270 for CPU (Microcenter)
$155 for Asus Sysboard (NewEgg)
$75 for Ram (NewEgg) - see comments above
$200 (-$20 rebate) for Video Card (NewEgg)

We're also spending $90 on a Cooler Master Storm Enforcer but it's not really relevant to the question I suppose.

We're planning to use the integrated sound, add in a 1TB drive and a DVD-writer to round out the hardware list

Thanks!
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April 25, 2011 5:15:55 PM

save yourself some money and get a i5-2500K Sandy Bridge...for a gaming system there are no advantages to an i7, you dont need the hyper-threading and are throwing away $$.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2011 5:48:46 PM

Fill out the form in the sticky, link in my sig. Couple questions there that'll help us with this build.

PSU, definitely get rid of that thing. I've never even heard of that company before.

Couple other suggestions:
1. GPU wise, best deal out right now is a 5850 for $140. Same performance as a 6870 for a lot less. Where the 68xx makes sense is for xfire where they scale better. However, even then, the cost difference is large enough that the performance improvement to not be worth it right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Sandy bridge CPU's aren't affected much by RAM speed and timings, less so than even the old nehalems which differed by only a couple percentage points from slowest to fastest RAM. That said, this g skill 8gb kit for $90 after promo code is prob best buy right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Bad PSU is a quick and easy way to turn your shiny new PC into a shiny new doorstop. PSU is most important part of a high end build, don't skimp on it.
This XFX 650W is a great choice for your needs and only $59 after rebates.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. using i5-2500k instead of the 2600k as mentioned above.

We can give you more info once you fill out the rest of the questions in the form.
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April 29, 2011 12:57:32 AM

Thank you VERY MUCH for your advice so far. It's been really helpful.

I've also filled out the template as you suggested and included a few more comments and questions below:

Approximate Purchase Date: this weekend

Budget Range: Final after rebate cost of < $1k not incl. monitor or software

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming such as dragon age or mass effect games, also future dabbling in autocad for drafting and photoshop

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Right now newegg.com, FRY's (local) & Microcenter (local)

Country of Origin: USA (if you mean where we reside)

Parts Preferences: i5 or i7, Radeon GPU

Overclocking: Maybe (conservatively)

SLI or Crossfire: NO

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

So in reference to your post:
1) We're going to buy the PSU you recommend
2) Based on our usage mentioned in the template, do you still recommend the i5 2500k and the 5850 GPU?
3) If so, we'll buy the GPU you recommend, unless we decide we'll want more than one screen and go back to the 68xx with dual ports ($180 after rebate)
4) For ram, we'll use the 1600 Mhz G.SKILL Ripjaws 2 x 4GB we already bought since you said putting in 2000 Mhz won't make much difference.
5) Last question, for the system board is it okay to stick with the Asus P8P67 (REV 3.0 "B3")? I found the LE version of the board for $145 at Fry's.

Thanks!!!
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April 29, 2011 1:18:36 AM

If you opt for the 2500k over the 2600, put that savings into the 6950(2gb), about $260 at Newegg....; great card for the money
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April 29, 2011 6:07:49 AM

Do you think the 6950 is worth $120 more than the 5850 we're now considering in terms of noticeable performance and that the intended usage would be "Gaming such as dragon age or mass effect games, also future dabbling in autocad for drafting and photoshop"?
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a b 4 Gaming
April 29, 2011 9:18:32 AM

2500K is $179.99 @ microcenter (walk in only).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99
XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern... $59.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare-OEM Drives, HD103SJ

http://www.amazon.com/Lite--LightScribe-Layer-Drive-IHA... $24.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $274.99 - $244.99 after mail-in rebate
XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
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a b 4 Gaming
April 29, 2011 1:39:19 PM

2) Based on our usage mentioned in the template, do you still recommend the i5 2500k and the 5850 GPU?
Gets a little tricky. How much exactly are you gonna be doing CAD and photoshop? The 2600k does make a significant difference in those, if it's something you're doing once a month as a hobby, the time saved isn't probably isn't worth the cost. If your a professional for whom time is money, then it's different and probably worth it.

3) If so, we'll buy the GPU you recommend, unless we decide we'll want more than one screen and go back to the 68xx with dual ports ($180 after rebate)
5850's will run 3 screens fine. Won't game at that high a res, but it'll run 3. Just need the a display port and/or HDMI adapter if you don't have those ports on your monitor.

5) Last question, for the system board is it okay to stick with the Asus P8P67 (REV 3.0 "B3")? I found the LE version of the board for $145 at Fry's.
That board won't do crossfire, so it cuts off a potential upgrade path. However, since you're not interested in it, that's fine.

One other thing to consider is that if you plan on extensive CAD work, you'll want to get an Nvidia GPU to take advantage of CUDA, which will greatly speed things up.

1 great buy at your price range would be a GTX 560. This EVGA is $220 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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