I5 build critique - first time builder - please comment!


I am still using a dual core with a 50 dollar graphics card and was only able to play low end graphics games. I would like to play black ops and the new diablo 3 (when it comes out) without a problem with some video editting. I am planning to get a brand new computer with all the parts purchasing except the case. This is my first build and I have been looking at similar posts. I was planning to get an i7 processor but it doesnt seem necessary as i5 is still quad core with a decent 3.3Ghz freq. The total price ~1000 seems a little steep for me but I think it is worth it when I see the next three to four years of simple upgrading without spending bulk of money. Please tell me what I need to change. Thank you in advance!

P.S. Should I get side fans for the case?

Case [$0 got brand new as a gift last year] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196

Motherboard [$160] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157229

Processor i5 Sandy Bridge 2500k [$225] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=12i370pevpgj1

Memory [$110] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231445

PSU [$140] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010&cm_re=corsair_hx-_-17-139-010-_-Product

Hard drive [$70] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&Tpk=Samsung%20F3%201TB

GPU [$243] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102921

CD Rom [$21] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

CPU cooler [$30] - http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10-212P-G1/dp/B002G1YPH0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1304923288&sr=8-1


Total without tax, rebates, & shipping: $999
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  1. HI There

    This will last you a good 3-4 years from a gaming perspective, but i would suggest changing the CPU cooler and GPU.

    GPU wise get a GTX 570, MSI make good ones as they use solid transistors and you don't get the "whine" with these that you would with some other lower grade boards.

    GPU: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280mb-msi-gtx-570-twin-frozr-ii-oc-40nm-4096mhz-gddr5-gpu-750mhz-shader-1500mhz-480-cores

    The CPU cooler you have chossen is good but i5 sandy bridge chips were made to be overclocked and you can easily (and i mean easily) get 4.4 - 4.6ghz out of this bad boy. BUT the CPU cooler needs to be bang on and not let you down. For that i recomend the following.

    CPU Cooler : http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-031-TT&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=1395

    That CPU cooler is about as good as it gets for air cooling. You could always go for a sealed water kit like: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-003-CS&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=1395

    Again a very good choice.

    Anyway, you will have a better system than me so good luck and happy gaming :D
  2. Oh and no you wouldn't need side fans as the case seems to have a high airflow ^^
  3. Looks good to me! I'm no expert on AMD cards, but this is good enough, I think. $1000 is a really good deal for this rig, don't worry... You can upgrade to Crossfre later, add more stuff, overclock... looks really good. There might be a few minor things like HDD or CD ROM which others might give you an advice about, so wait a bit more. Don't worry about side fans, if your case doesn't have them already: you can always get them later if you find that your temperatures are too high... the 120mm side fans are like $10 each =) What about the screen?
  4. Thank you so much for your replies! I have a samsung 23 inch widescreen lcd monitor that I bought three years ago and won't purchase another one. For the GPU, GTX570 is too expensive for me... that's another $100... Which GPU is the most bang for the buck? I am looking at $200~250 range. For the side fans, I will not worry about it until later. Should I spend another $30 for the CPU cooler? I don't plan to overclock too much but up to 4.0Ghz.



    Thank you :)
  5. i would recommend this ram+cpu combo:
    because i dont think the lower latency is worth the extra money. but if youre not convinced:

    your build looks excellent. you should look at gtx 560ti models as well, particularly the MSI twin frozr 560. There are 10 page long forum arguments over hd6950 1gb vs gtx 560ti. People will SWEAR that one card is waaay better than the other but this is simply not true. The facts: A stock hd6950 performs slightly better on average than a stock gtx 560ti. A gtx 560ti has more overclocking headroom than the 6950. Many gtx 560's come with a factory overclock (like the twin frozr). A gtx 560 with a moderate factory overclock will perform roughly the same as 6950, but it really depends on the game and resolution. Because of this, you will see some reviews showing the OC'd gtx 560 as the "clear" winner, and some showing the opposite. They are both good cards.

    the hyper 212 is a great and frequently recommended cooler. you should also consider the scmg-2100 aka scythe mugen:

    tomshardware review comparing the hyper 212, scythe mugen, thermaltake frio and others:
  6. I would not go with the side fan on the CM Scout,

    I've just finish a new built using this case, and it look like when you install a side fan on this case, the case whistle at you, the hiss is really annoying. And the temperature in this case without the side fan is really good. I've use a 2600K with a CM V6 GT, and a GTX 560 Ti from asus.
  7. Okay. Thank you very much. Here is the new list with the changes so far. I chose the memory + processor combo from Newegg (which saved some money), got the Scythe CPU cooler, and will have the MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr GPU. The total price actually is still around the ~$1000 mark :) Am I good to go?

    Case [$0 got brand new as a gift last year] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196

    Motherboard [$160] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157229

    Processor (i5 Sandy Bridge 2500k) + Memory (G-Skills) combo [$297] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.644264

    PSU [$140] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010&cm_re=corsair_hx-_-17-139-010-_-Product

    Hard drive [$70] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&Tpk=Samsung%20F3%201TB

    GPU [$255] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127565&cm_re=msi_gtx_560-_-14-127-565-_-Product

    CPU cooler [$40] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142&Tpk=scmg-2100

    CD Rom [$21] - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204


    subtotal without shipping, tax, & rebates : $1004.00
  8. might want to consider this combo as well, but it looks great:
  9. Dude, all of the aboive is valid, but you are going to kick yourself if you fit that hard drive.

    I respect money doent grow on tree's but you AT LEAST need a 6GB/s interface. Your MOBO you have listed has two connectors, and the extra $ you will spend on this will make your experiance sooo much better.

    When people ask about upgrading PC's they seem to overlook the HDD. If you haven't experienced an SSD yet i suggest you try and find someone with one and ask how much they love it.

    I would think that an SSD is out of your current budget, but my point is, why settle for 3GB/s interface when you have the hardware for 6GB/s?

    Your call dude but i think the HDD section should be given more thought as a wicked fast CPU coupled with a slow HDD, still amounts to an overall slow experience.

    Cheers! :D
  10. GPU
    Don't go for anything but a 6950 2GB
    u should be able to find one as low as 245$ after rebates.
  11. Why is everyone discounting Nvidia?

    to nip this in the bud, "What games do you play?"

    If for example its World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2 then guess what.... THESE ARE OPTIMISED FOR NVIDIA CARDS!!!

    Why buy an ATI card for an NVIDIA optimised game?

    Just a thought........

  12. Well if u consider every other games the 6950 is better over all.
    I wouldn't think those are the only games he will be playing. 6950 does great even in those games so why not? It's just better value for money.

    Heres an article that seconds what I said.

  13. I'm not saying the 6950 is a bad card, but adding another perspective to the question.

    Given that money is finite and cant be changed, is it not wise to look at what games you would play to see what card they would run better on?

    Also another question to ask, " Will you be using folding@home?"

  14. haphestus said:
    Why is everyone discounting Nvidia?

    to nip this in the bud, "What games do you play?"

    If for example its World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2 then guess what.... THESE ARE OPTIMISED FOR NVIDIA CARDS!!!

    Why buy an ATI card for an NVIDIA optimised game?

    Just a thought........


    Hey, we're not skipping nVidia :) I'm more pro-nVidia, myself.. it's just that if everyone suddenly starts suggesting AMD, we go with the flow =)

    A very good observation, indeed! I didn't know these two games are nVidia-optimized... so do they use OpenGL, then?

    I personally suggest GTX 560 Ti, you can get it on average $240 and it's a hell of a card. Driver support is wonderful, too: had all kinds of ground artifacts and stuttering in Dragon Age II if using DX11, next driver comes out - all issues gone. MSI offers a 2GB version of GTX 560, I think... go for that?
  15. If you are located near a microcenter definitely check out their prices on the CPU and CPU cooler...
  16. Okay... Now the question is which video card I should go with it... I would like to play CD4:Black Ops, Diablo III (when it comes out), and Battlefield4. The price is about $35 lower for the 560GTX-Ti... There are no microcenters in Illinois... I wish there was one.

    MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950


    MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC


    For the SSD, which SSD would you recommend? I am a total newbie in the hard drive field... Thanks to you all :)
  17. GTX 560 runs Black Ops like a charm... obviously. Seeing as Blizzard tweaks their games towards nVidia (Starcraft 2, WoW), I suggest GTX 560 Ti. By the way, take a look: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-roundup-asus-engtx560-graphics-card-overclocking,2858.html MSI GTX 560 isn't the best, Asus and Sparkle are also quite good...
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