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Rookie Build - Gaming System

Last response: in Systems
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May 3, 2011 1:22:06 PM

I'm a Systems Engineer but I've never actually built a computer. Looking for some advice. I primarily want a gaming computer that's got the wiggle room to be upgraded for the future without blowing the bank today.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: 1000-1500 (monitor not included)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon

Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: No preferences.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

So here goes:


Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total for me is coming out to: $1,368.38

Any suggestions? Is 1000W needed for a future SLI setup?
May 3, 2011 1:25:37 PM

Also, I see many people are using the i5 2500k, is there not much difference between the i7 and i5 in terms of game performance? I have an i7 Sandy Bridge laptop that I know performs quite admirably. I also realize the case is expensive, I like the full size case and I want to make sure I don't burn anything I build up, that one seems to have a lot of fans, which would be nice.
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May 3, 2011 2:02:05 PM

I would downgrade to the Corsair 850HX PSU. That will be plenty of power for SLI. Also, look at the HAF 932 Advanced. It's USB 3.0 plugs into the motherboard headers instead of the rear I/O shield. The Hyper Threading of the i7 will be not be utilized in gaming, so go ahead and get the i5-2500k instead. In some instances, Hyper Threading has been shown to actually slightly lower fps while gaming. For that budget (closer to $1500), I would add an SSD for the OS and programs and go with a Samsung F3, WD Black, or Seagate 7200.12 HDD for media and other files.
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May 3, 2011 2:13:11 PM

I'd also suggest the HAF 932 advanced, i5 2500k, and Samsung spinpoint f3 1tb hd
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May 3, 2011 2:23:53 PM

Lots of good stuff here... 750W seems iffy to me as far as burning up a computer with SLI down the road, would that not be an issue? Any recommendations on a decent priced SSD?

How about the MOBO I listed above, the MSI? I've also found this Gigabyte one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any major differences, quality differences between the two manufacturers?
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May 3, 2011 2:25:00 PM
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May 3, 2011 2:28:57 PM

The GTX570 is more powerful. MSI alongside Asrock comes second to Gigabyte and ASUS when talking about quality. I have had several of their products and have had no issues.
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May 3, 2011 2:29:04 PM




All good links. However I am not a fan of OCZ. I'll take reliability over speed, especially when you won't notice the speed difference in day to day use.

Intel 510 120GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$285

Intel 320 120GB SATA II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$240
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May 3, 2011 2:30:14 PM

fair enough! I'm still trying to convince my wife I need a SSD ;) 
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May 3, 2011 2:30:28 PM

rolli59 said:
The GTX570 is more powerful. MSI alongside Asrock comes second to Gigabyte and ASUS when talking about quality. I have had several of their products and have had no issues.


So would you view that Gigabyte MOBO I listed as a better buy than the MSI one I listed in my first post?

Appreciate everyone's help so far, wow, didn't expect this many replies! Great knowledge base here.
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May 3, 2011 2:39:40 PM

gpellis87 said:
So would you view that Gigabyte MOBO I listed as a better buy than the MSI one I listed in my first post?

Appreciate everyone's help so far, wow, didn't expect this many replies! Great knowledge base here.

I would consider them equal, if it was me buying I would take the cheaper one between the two. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-574^13-130-574-TS%2C13-128-488^13-128-488-TS
In this case the Gigabyte.
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May 3, 2011 2:51:16 PM

Alright, there is actually a deal with the MSI and Corsair RAM that makes the price difference about 7$.

That said, here is where I am at at right now:

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0 and Black Interior - $154

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $69

MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $324.99

Seasonic SS-850HT 850W ATX12V v2.31,EPS12V v2.92 80Plus Silver Certified, Active PFC Power Supply - OEM - $124.99

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B - Combo $259.98

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K - $224.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM - $99.99

I can use OEM Windows 7 right? Also as a first time builder, is there anything else I need? Does the CPU come with a stock cooler or do I need to also buy a cooler and buy some extra thermal paste? Everything else look good?

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May 3, 2011 2:51:16 PM

Reference 2GB 6950 is about $275. GTX 570s are on sale for what, $340ish? Crossfired 6950s come within 98-99% of the performance of SLI'd 570s. As a single card, however, yes the 570 is more powerful.
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May 3, 2011 3:08:50 PM

nd_hunter said:
Reference 2GB 6950 is about $275. GTX 570s are on sale for what, $340ish? Crossfired 6950s come within 98-99% of the performance of SLI'd 570s. As a single card, however, yes the 570 is more powerful.


I checked the Crossfire of that versus the SLI GTX and you're right, but for the time being I'm running single. The MSI GTX 570 is running $325, the referenced 6950 earlier is running $300. $25 difference is not enough to sway me, especially with the difference in single card GPU.

My biggest concern is having a PSU that can power 2 GTX 570s in SLI when I do decide to add another, I like the 850W posted earlier because it was $125. However it is not modular, but I have changed out a PSU before and I'm not too concerned with the cable management aspect.
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May 3, 2011 3:30:21 PM

The 850HX is $165 and is modular. Keep in mind that you can do SLI'd 580s safely (300 watts under load each) on 850 watts. 750 watts for SLI'd 570s is safe. Mind you, I'm talking about quality PSUs here (Seasonic, XFX, Corsair, Antec), and I also understand the breathing room and ease of mind with having a little bit more power than you need. I wasn't trying to turn you off of the 570, just hoping to give you enough information for a well-informed choice. You'll be happy with it.

The build you posted about looks good. The CPU comes with a cooler, but you will need an aftermarket one if you plan on overclocking above 4.0GHz. Most (if not all) aftermarket coolers come with decent thermal paste.
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May 3, 2011 3:31:20 PM

The HX750W would be adequate to run 2 GTX 570's and its modular. If you want the peace of mind though, get the 850W, it will be more than enough....
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May 3, 2011 3:35:48 PM

Can you recommend a good CPU cooler? I would like to OC in the future.
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May 3, 2011 3:46:50 PM

CM Hyper 212+ or Scythe Mugen 2
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May 3, 2011 3:52:40 PM

^ They work well. However, they will cause clearance issues with the first memory slot if you use RAM with tall heatspreaders (Ripjaws and Vengeance come to mind). You can place them in slots 2 and 4 though and be fine. If you upgrade to 16GB of RAM in the future, you will need to find something else (Corsair H50/60/70 or similar style liquid coolers work well).

EDIT: You can use low-profile memory with no problems, the downside is it is harder to find these.
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May 3, 2011 4:01:50 PM

supposedly the ripjaws fit under noctua dh-14, should fit under most anything at that rate
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May 3, 2011 4:21:58 PM

cmadrid said:
supposedly the ripjaws fit under noctua dh-14, should fit under most anything at that rate


The fan on my 212+ barely clears my low-profile Corsair XMS stick (these) in slot one. Both it and the Mugen 2 have been well-documented with having clearance issues.
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