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$1200-$1400 Gaming PC - Need Advice

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April 26, 2011 5:52:52 PM

Hey there, I'm currently embarking on building my first PC in about 4 years, and the friend I usually get advice from has since moved to another country so I thought I'd turn to these boards for advice.

Approximate Purchase Date: mid-late May

Budget Range: $1200-$1400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (specifically: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, OOTP Baseball, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age 2)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca (I have a $250 gift card for it, so something needs to come from there), anything that will ship to Canada

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: My last computer had a lot of OCZ and ASUS in it, but if I can be convinced otherwise, I will look elsewhere

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: If I am correct in assuming this means two or more graphics cards, then no.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 on a 22" display to start, 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 on a 32" display by the time Skyrim is released in November

Additional Comments: Will come after parts list.

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


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 BX80623I52500K


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS EAH6950 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Thermaltake V4 Black Edition Gaming Chassis Mid Tower Steel Computer Case Fully Black Powdered Interior VM30001W2Z

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM

OCZ ZX Series OCZ-ZX850W 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply Compatible with Core i5 & i7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Essentially, I'm looking for advice in some particular areas:
1) Will the parts I have listed work together?

2) Should I get a different motherboard or is this sufficient for my purposes? Perhaps one such as ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard? Or something different?

3) From reviews, G. Skill seems like a good choice for RAM. Would this be correct? I wanted OCZ, but could not find any 1.5V, was I correct to only look for 1.5V RAM? Is 8 GB too much? It seems as though the 8-8-8-24 vs 9-9-9-24 timing will not matter too much for my purposes.

4) I want a Radeon HD 69xx for my video card. Am I paying too much for the ASUS 6950 when I could have a Sapphire at $60 less or an MSI at $30-$40 less? Should I go for the 6970 instead? I've looked at some benchmarks found on this site, and plan on upgrading from a 22" LG 720p TV to a 32" 1080p display in the next few months, would that make a difference as far as which video card to get? This is the main part that I am beginning to re-think, and would love input as to what brand I should go with here or if it even matters, or simply a brand to not go with.

5) Is the PSU a little much at 850? Would I be fine with say this Corsair at 800? Would I be better off to stick with the 850? I like OCZ, and have never had anything Corsair. I tried a link to the Thermaltake web site that I found in another thread that allowed me to see what I needed, and based upon my understanding of what it was asking me, I seemed to require about 683 W of power for the system I'd like to build. Note that this is assuming I understood what the questionnaire was asking and that I filled it in properly, I very well may have missed something.

6) I have an LG DVD RW drive that is about 6 years old that I would like to continue to use, please let me know if that would not be possible or if you need more information to answer this question. I'm assuming it will work, but have read comments where people cannot get older drives to work with new motherboards. Although, I suppose a new one would only be about $20.

7) Any other recommendations on cases? I guess I just need to make sure it will provide enough circulation so the system does not overheat, and I would like to have a couple USB connections on the front.

8) Is there anything else that I am missing? I read in one link that extra cooling fans would not be necessary due to not overclocking the system, and I did not get anything with my last system build, so I am hoping I can avoid purchasing a new one here.

I set my budget at $1200-$1400 after taxes and shipping charges, but if I can get away with paying less, I'd be quite happy.
April 26, 2011 8:15:33 PM

I could be wrong, but because intel/nvidia work together and amd/ati as well....makes more sense to get an nvidia card.
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April 26, 2011 8:33:03 PM

nvranka said:
I could be wrong, but because intel/nvidia work together and amd/ati as well....makes more sense to get an nvidia card.

This isn't true, no matter what brand it is the graphics cards will work well with any cpu.
On the subject of your card, you should go with a hd 6950 2gb reference card since you can 'unlock' them into full fledged hd 6970s
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April 26, 2011 8:49:36 PM

1) All the components would work fine but if you plan to overclock you should get a good aftermarket cooler such as the thermaltake frio.
2)Your MB in fine and you don't need the p8p67 unless you plan to sli/crossfire
3)G-skill is great, but personally I think the best RAM around is the corsair dominator.
4)XFX is a great brand to buy graphic cards from because of there double lifetim warranty and a hd 6950 is a great card.
5)850w is a bit too much for your build you should consider downgrading to an anter trupower new 750w and putting the leftover money towards a good ssd such as a 64gb ocz vertex 2.
6)you might have to get a new optical drive because your old one probabley uses the PATA interface instead of the newer SATA drives
7) Coolermaster HAF 912 is a great value case
8)With an aftermarket heatsink and maybe one extra case fan you'll get pretty good temps on your Oc'd CPU
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April 26, 2011 9:05:58 PM

No over clocking and no dual vid card set up, no need for a P67 board and 2500K. Also any orders over $75 @ Direct Canada and Best Direct are Free Shipping. If you click the "Contact Us" on those sites you will see they are both located in the same building in Richmand, BC...yet they have different prices and product...go figure. That psu down below will be more than sufficient to power a 6950 2GB.

http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/234545/GA-H61M-USB3-B... $84.51
Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3-B3 mATX LGA1155 H61 DDR3 1PCI-E16 1PCI-E 2PCI DVI RGB Video Sound Motherboard

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD4322&v... $201.53
Intel Core i5 2500 Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD8579&v... $78.06
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1333 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/231689/HCG-520/ANTEC/ $68.80
Antec High Current Gamer 520W 40A 24PIN ATX12V V2.3 Active PFC 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply 135mm Fan
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April 26, 2011 9:22:51 PM

The Intel® Core™ I5 2500K is still about the best processor you can get your hands on for gaming at this time. Also if you use a P67 series board it will allow you to overclock in the future with the Intel Core I5 2500K. Since you are going to use an 3rd party video card the H67 chipset doesn’t make a lot of sense for you because you won’t be using the on board graphics. Otherwise your build looks good.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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April 27, 2011 4:23:46 AM

Wow, thanks for the replies and suggestions.

I'm definitely happy about the power supply being a bit much. I'll check out some of the lower powered ones now. Since two of you seemed to recommend Antecs, but with a very wide margin of power output (520 vs 750), I'll start with that brand and compare the two.

I was not aware of the lifetime warranty on the XFX products, but that will deduct about $50 right there. On another note, the XFX version ships from Canada whereas the Asus version ships from elsewhere when using newegg.ca. That should save me a bit on shipping as well.

As far as the RAM goes, I'll look into the Corsair versions. But, Why_Me, is there a particular reason why you recommended the 1333 instead of the 1600?

Thanks for those other two sites, I'll look through the same products I intend to buy and see which is less expensive, those or Newegg. I bought the products for my last build from pccanada.com, but they do not appear to have good prices on many of the things I've looked at for this one.

As for unlocking the 6950 into a 6970, I was unaware of that. I'll have to look into it before buying.

I know very little about SSDs (I had to look up what the letters stood for before typing this message), so I'll need to read a bit more about them before committing to anything on that end. At first glance they seem like small hard drives, but I'll try to learn more about them over the next day or two.

I will admit that I am not completely ruling out overclocking in the future, it's just not something I know enough about at this time.
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May 15, 2011 12:33:44 AM

Best answer selected by overkill2020.
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May 15, 2011 8:02:59 AM

overkill2020 said:
Hey there, I'm currently embarking on building my first PC in about 4 years, and the friend I usually get advice from has since moved to another country so I thought I'd turn to these boards for advice.

Approximate Purchase Date: mid-late May

Budget Range: $1200-$1400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (specifically: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, OOTP Baseball, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age 2)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca (I have a $250 gift card for it, so something needs to come from there), anything that will ship to Canada

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: My last computer had a lot of OCZ and ASUS in it, but if I can be convinced otherwise, I will look elsewhere

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: If I am correct in assuming this means two or more graphics cards, then no.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 on a 22" display to start, 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 on a 32" display by the time Skyrim is released in November

Additional Comments: Will come after parts list.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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


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 BX80623I52500K


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS EAH6950 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Thermaltake V4 Black Edition Gaming Chassis Mid Tower Steel Computer Case Fully Black Powdered Interior VM30001W2Z

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM

OCZ ZX Series OCZ-ZX850W 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply Compatible with Core i5 & i7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Essentially, I'm looking for advice in some particular areas:
1) Will the parts I have listed work together?

2) Should I get a different motherboard or is this sufficient for my purposes? Perhaps one such as ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard? Or something different?

3) From reviews, G. Skill seems like a good choice for RAM. Would this be correct? I wanted OCZ, but could not find any 1.5V, was I correct to only look for 1.5V RAM? Is 8 GB too much? It seems as though the 8-8-8-24 vs 9-9-9-24 timing will not matter too much for my purposes.

4) I want a Radeon HD 69xx for my video card. Am I paying too much for the ASUS 6950 when I could have a Sapphire at $60 less or an MSI at $30-$40 less? Should I go for the 6970 instead? I've looked at some benchmarks found on this site, and plan on upgrading from a 22" LG 720p TV to a 32" 1080p display in the next few months, would that make a difference as far as which video card to get? This is the main part that I am beginning to re-think, and would love input as to what brand I should go with here or if it even matters, or simply a brand to not go with.

5) Is the PSU a little much at 850? Would I be fine with say this Corsair at 800? Would I be better off to stick with the 850? I like OCZ, and have never had anything Corsair. I tried a link to the Thermaltake web site that I found in another thread that allowed me to see what I needed, and based upon my understanding of what it was asking me, I seemed to require about 683 W of power for the system I'd like to build. Note that this is assuming I understood what the questionnaire was asking and that I filled it in properly, I very well may have missed something.

6) I have an LG DVD RW drive that is about 6 years old that I would like to continue to use, please let me know if that would not be possible or if you need more information to answer this question. I'm assuming it will work, but have read comments where people cannot get older drives to work with new motherboards. Although, I suppose a new one would only be about $20.

7) Any other recommendations on cases? I guess I just need to make sure it will provide enough circulation so the system does not overheat, and I would like to have a couple USB connections on the front.

8) Is there anything else that I am missing? I read in one link that extra cooling fans would not be necessary due to not overclocking the system, and I did not get anything with my last system build, so I am hoping I can avoid purchasing a new one here.

I set my budget at $1200-$1400 after taxes and shipping charges, but if I can get away with paying less, I'd be quite happy.


The Corsair 850 HX is on sale at newegg right now for $119.00 which is a steal. It is one of the top rated PSUs you can buy right now.

I would go with at least a 750 W psu.
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