~$2.5k build, taking liberties with the marathon systems

Hello All,

Been around here since I built my first system in 10th grade, but I guess my account got deactivated. I just signed my formal offer letter for my new job, and I've decided to throw down on a new rig to celebrate! My last build was 4 years ago when I got some extra cash from working the coffee shop during college, and that PC needs to be resigned to being a file server at this point. I've kept up to date with the goings-on, and I've put together a system based loosely around the $2k builds, but with a few liberties in areas that I like. Just looking for any thoughts people might want to offer up before I pull the trigger.

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon

Budget Range: $2500 (I come up just short of that. Considering a second 6970 or a 6990, or doubling the size of the Vertex)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Music/Video Conversion/Encoding, General Use.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Headphones, Killer Network Card

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com (Click parts for redirect)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel, don't have brand favorites, but do like bigger names.

Overclocking: Very much so.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. Would rather have 1 solid card and add to it in the future because of current resolution.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: See below list for details/explanations.



Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Lite-On Blu-Ray Drive


ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler

PowerColor PCS+ AX6970 2GBD5-PP2DHG Radeon HD 6970 Call of Duty Edition 2GB

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB

Total Price: $2,374.89


The CPU is my first choice, clearly.
The RAM, while double what I really need, is $40 off with the CPU, and I like RAM.
I opted for the single 6970, as my current monitor is only 1920x1200, so the XFire wouldn't really help me that much. Would rather just get a powerful card now (and the 6990 is tempting, believe me) and possibly add a second in the future, rather than going XFire/SLI off the bat with lesser cards.
Might just go for the 240GB Vertex 3 when it comes time to order for the extra $250.
The Samsung is just a data drive, if you know a better deal/solution, please say so. Don't need a Velociraptor or anything that extreme for pictures/music/vids/etc.
I just like the case, and I'm fine paying the extra $100 for what it provides.
Might throw $100 at a sound card, but it's not needed right away.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you guys care to share.

3 answers Last reply
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  1. I think the 6970 will be fine. I would hold off on the SSD, as they will come out with sata 6gb/s ones and the prices will go down significantly on the sata 3 ones. I've seen people get pretty high speeds by RAID 0'ing those F3's. And do you really need 16GB of ram? I think 8GB would be plenty, even for futureproofing. Other than that, Good build!
  2. I'm considering the 570, as I've had good recent success with the nVidia cards, but I like the overhead of RAM that the 6970 provides. Nothing will use it, but I can push some things up to 1gb even at my resolution.

    The SSD is simply the fastest one out there right now, and I've never been able to afford a SSD on a desktop before (but I use one in my netbook that saves my life). The fact that people are actually getting the 500MB/s speeds writing and reading on similar systems is what really has me going.

    As you mentioned "future proofing", that is what I'm really considering with this build. The SSD is large enough for me to have the OS and the handful of games and programs that I regularly use. The $300 is steep, though.

    The RAM is just something I want to do. I always end up buying a lower amount of RAM and telling myself that I'll add to it, but I rarely ever do. The $40 off was what sold me on the idea of such excessive gigs, as it would cost more long-term to add that extra 8 on at a later time.
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