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$1400 gaming pc, first time build, advice?

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May 10, 2011 5:12:33 PM

hi everyone, I'm looking to buy a new pc primarily for gaming. any advice for a first time builder? I appreciate any suggestions/advice possible!


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Approximate Purchase Date: about a month


Budget Range: ~$1400 after rebates but before tax, but I can be a little flexible


System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, internet,


Parts Not Required: monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon


Country of Origin: U.S.A.


Parts Preferences: open to any suggestions, please don't suggest something purely out of personal preference


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: Later, down the line.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments:
I haven't really made any decisions on a MOBO or power supply. suggestions on what is appropriate for mainly gaming?
What MOBOs would offer superior overclocking capability? What power supply unit is appropriate if I overclock and have crossfire 6970s some point down the line? I was thinking 750W but should I allow more headroom with 850W?


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Graphics: ~$350
SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: ~$225
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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: ~$90
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: ~$95
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB), DDR3 1600Mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Harddrive 1: ~145$
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX90G 3.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...

Harddrive 2: ~$62
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...

Heat Sink: ~$35
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...

Optical Drive: ~$25
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Lite--LightScribe-Layer-Drive-IHA...


May 10, 2011 7:29:22 PM

That's a pretty solid build as is. A quality (XFX, Corsair, Seasonic, Antec) 750w PSU will give you plenty of headroom for Crossfire and a healthy CPU overclock. For a motherboard, the ASRock P67 Extreme4 for $160 will offer more than you need and overclocked the best in Tom's roundup of sub $200 boards. For 'extreme' overclocking, look at getting a better cooler. The Scythe Mugen 2 will allow for a higher OC than the 212+ for $7-10 more. The HD 6950 offers slightly less performance for $100 less. It's a better buy in my eyes, and scales wonderfully in Crossfire.
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May 11, 2011 1:10:18 AM

get a single zotac gtx 570 at tigerdirect 300$ after 30$ rebate- better than 6970 and sli has less problems than crossfire. also an 850w xfx psu for 100$ after rebate at tigerdirect too that is enough watts to go sli. that mobo is very good. get the i5 at amazon free shipping no taxes. also with rebate the haf 922 is cheaper at amazon because of taxes at newegg (98$-newegg w/rebate 97$ amazon no rebates to deal with). also the 90gb ssd link is the f3 link. oh and the 212+ is 29$ if you go to buy new from link right by the ppicture on amazon and you can order it from amazon. the corsair memory i think is just as good as gskill also it is easy with that mobo to turn up the mem speed to 1600 or even 1866:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002G1YPH0/ref=d...
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May 11, 2011 6:55:07 AM
May 11, 2011 12:48:16 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
get a single zotac gtx 570 at tigerdirect 300$ after 30$ rebate- better than 6970 and sli has less problems than crossfire. also an 850w xfx psu for 100$ after rebate at tigerdirect too that is enough watts to go sli.


You're statement is true about previous generation cards (GTX 4xx vs. HD 5xxx), but the 6xxx series cards from AMD scale better than nVidia's 5xx series cards. Two HD 6950s in Crossfire get about 99% of the performance of GTX 570s in SLI for $100 less. Also, 750w is more than adequate to power a system with two GPUs (GTX 580s in SLI is the exception).
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May 11, 2011 6:10:51 PM

thanks for all the replies so far everyone. I'll make sure to take into account all the suggestions before making any purchases. nd_hunter I think will take your advice about buying a 6950
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May 11, 2011 9:58:05 PM

i was going to get the 6950 untill my friend showed me what was happening with his crossfire setup. since i was definitely looking into cf in the future i was going to touch the 6950. (he had downloaded all of the latest drivers and he had some screen splitting and really low minimum fps)
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May 13, 2011 9:31:35 AM

Read Tom's Hardware reviews on the the ATI 6950 in crossfire - they are supposedly the best buy according to Tom's
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May 13, 2011 2:23:51 PM

ya ok but they dont shed light on their extremely low minimum fps
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May 13, 2011 11:31:24 PM

i haven't run into an fps issue on a single card...
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May 14, 2011 2:20:25 AM

awesome go cf then tell me
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May 14, 2011 7:03:27 AM

Love to. You have $300 for me? I accept paypal and money orders. :)  Just commenting on my experience. Does his CF have less min fps that a single card? If so, that would have been noted by lots of people, let alone in that Tom's article. And it wouldn't be their recommended buy at the $550 price point. Either his situation is an anomaly or you're not getting the full story from him.
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May 14, 2011 12:07:28 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
ya ok but they dont shed light on their extremely low minimum fps


There are several CF reviews of the 6950 out there by different computer review sites and none of them list the problem your friend is experiencing. ALL of the CF vs SLI reviews state that the new ATI 69xx series in crossfire beat the equivalent GTX cards in SLI as far as fps/dollar. The GTX 570 in SLI is also very formidable but much more expensive.

The downside of CF is that it is more difficult to install than a single card. The upside is that two 6950s in CF beat any single card out there and cost less that the GTX 580 and ATI 6990. According to the reviews, they also run quieter that the 6990 and run cooler than the 580 and the 6990. I think they are similar in noise to the 580.

The ATI cards also produce better video (assuming you have quality monitor) than the GTX cards.
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May 14, 2011 12:42:04 PM

1. Go with the Vertex 3 120GB - it isn't that much more and it is twice as fast and has better garbage collection. I started *** thread on the V2 vs the V3 and EVERY person that owns BOTH the V2 and the V3 said the Vertex 3 is the ONLY way to go because it is far superior. The V3 blows the doors off of the Corsair also.

2.The Corsair 850 HX is on sale at newegg right now for $119 which is an insane price for what may be the number one rated PSU. The 650 is too small for any real upgrades. Note that the 850 HX is modular and will make your build easier and cleaner. I also has an abundance of cables that come with it.

3. The Corsair 2 x 4GB 1600 DDR3 RAM is about the same price as Gskill and it overclocks better at CL9 - I own the Gskill 2 x 4GB

4. XFX 6950 has *** double lifetime warranty and doesn't cost that much more. The XFX 1 GB 6950 is around $200 on newegg and it is nearly as fast as the 2gb version. The 1 GB version saves you $45.00

5. The CM 932 includes more fans than the 922 and is *** lot larger (I have the HAF X 942). Make sure that you want something that large. If you add fans to the 922 it is *** great case but it doesn't have USB 3.0. I like the HAF X (which is about the same size as the 932) but it is VERY big.

6. BTW I have read in some forums complaints about CF failure, but also for many it is working just fine. Im not sure what the issue is. I'm still getting the 6950 for myself.

7. I think you should go with the ASUS pro motherboard in either the Z68 or P67 platform. The reviews of the ASUS boards are sterling by different computer websites. You can tell that the reviewers love this board.
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May 14, 2011 1:18:49 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
ya ok but they dont shed light on their extremely low minimum fps


You really can't judge *** card's cf ability because of 1 bad case. If everyone else is running it fine, there is no reason to believe that the entire card line is like that.
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May 14, 2011 1:49:18 PM

ok i think you guys have convinced me . i lose
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May 15, 2011 5:52:52 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
ok i think you guys have convinced me . i lose


Hey now, it's not about winning or losing it is about helping you. Before I chose my case I started a thread in Tom's Hardware and asked for opinions based on MY needs and wants. Many people who owned cases were nice enough to provided first-hand experience and it helped me greatly to work my way through the maze of cases out there. I didn't agree with every opinion I got but I appreciated that they took the time to give it.

Hopefully, we have helped you.

The Corsair 850 HX is still on sale for $119.00 at newegg, the link is here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You won't find a better deal on a top quality PSU right now. In different reviews, this PSU put out over 1000 w of power while remaining stable and cool. It is always in the top five highest rated PSUs and sometimes is number one. For example it beat out the Antec 850 PSU which costs more than twice as much and Antec is considered one of the best PSU makers out there.

Good luck with your build - I hope you are very happy with it.
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