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First time gaming build/ 1200-1500$/ need advice

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May 19, 2011 1:46:09 AM

Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting. I'm going to be ditching my 5 year old PC and building a new one. I haven't been following computer trends lately and I would like your advice in choosing the correct components.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next week


Budget Range: 1200 target/1500 max


System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, programming, using Altium and solidworks for PCB design, watching movies, internet and email.)


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, recommendations are welcomed.


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: No preference


Overclocking: Yes, this will be my first time.


SLI or Crossfire: Yes in the future


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: I'm looking for a build that is upgradable.


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Motherboard:

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:

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...

Case: I need help on this one. I was looking at the Silverstone Raven RV02, Corsair Graphite 600T, or Corsair Obsidian 650D, but any suggestions are welcomed. I am not a big fan of the HAF series.

Raven ---- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphite 600t ---http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Obsidian -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: I was looking online and it seems everyone is recommending the 6950s. Does Nvidia have anything in this range that contends with the 6950? I was looking at XFX for their lifetime warranty.

XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 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...

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling: I am clueless as to what aftermarket cooler is good.

I'm not sure about getting and ssd right now, is there an advantage to them besides faster level loading and boot times?
May 19, 2011 3:27:28 AM

The 6950 2GB is a nice niche for AMD atm for the 300 dollar mark. 560 ti is slightly lower performance and cheaper and 570 is a wash with the 6950 but costs 30 dollars more and only has 1.2vram.

You can save with the i5 2500k cpu. Same performance 100 dollars less.

The corsair cases aren't the best with air flow. The antec 1200 is really nice http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the nzxt phantom http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... both solid cases.

cpu coolers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or if you want to go water http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 19, 2011 3:58:59 AM

those 2 cases are good with airflow you are thinking of the 800d. i do think the nzxt phantom is the way to go though. 750w psu is enough for 6950 cf. get the corsair tx/hx750 they are both great choices. as for cpu cooling go with the scythe mugen 2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . get a intel 320 series 80gb ssd put your os and most used applications (like games) for faster loading times. i dont know if programming uses over 4 cores if it does get the 2600k and if it doesnt the 2500k. and the 6950 is the way to go.
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May 19, 2011 12:43:20 PM

+1 for the i5 2500k, there is hardly a difference that its better for you to save your money or invest into a good cooler. I still like the HAF 932, as it is old but websites offer good prices of it and it still has great airflow

Best solution

May 19, 2011 4:12:14 PM
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Quote:
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good choice. The Extreme4 gets great reviews and has a lot of functionality for the price. I would have purchased it for my build but I managed to snag a better board for a lower price on a forum.

Quote:
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...

I'm not sure if you'll gain anything from hyperthreading when using Altium or Solidworks. If you find out that you will, go for it; otherwise, the i5-2500K is all you need.

Quote:
Case: I need help on this one. I was looking at the Silverstone Raven RV02, Corsair Graphite 600T, or Corsair Obsidian 650D, but any suggestions are welcomed. I am not a big fan of the HAF series.

Raven ---- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphite 600t ---http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Obsidian -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I own the Raven RV02 (NOT the RV02-E) and love it. It's a nice looking case with an ingenious design. I would also suggest looking at the RV03 which should be out about now and for about the same price. They redesigned the internals and added the newer AP181 fans.

Quote:
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a great choice and should handle a second GPU easily.


Quote:
GPU: I was looking online and it seems everyone is recommending the 6950s. Does Nvidia have anything in this range that contends with the 6950? I was looking at XFX for their lifetime warranty.

XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 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...

I was in your shoes a month or two ago. I upgraded from GTX 470s and was considering the GTX 560Ti or the 6950. I decided to go with the 6950 due to its better performance at higher resolutions (namely 1920x1080 and up), and it's been great. If you get a reference 2GB model, you might be able to unlock it to a 6970 and get more performance out of it.

Quote:
RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Solid RAM and a good price. Can't really go wrong.

Quote:
Cooling: I am clueless as to what aftermarket cooler is good.

If you're just gaming for the time being and not sure about overclocking, the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ would be a great pick. It's a great cooler and only runs ~$30 on Amazon.com (+ free shipping). It also handles OCs really well; over 4.5GHz in a good case.

Quote:
I'm not sure about getting and ssd right now, is there an advantage to them besides faster level loading and boot times?

Depending on the size of the drive, you could get a better feel out of your system. A ~120GB drive should be able to hold your OS, Solidworks, and maybe a couple of games, which would load noticably faster than if they were on a platter drive. It doesn't make a huge difference for games, but it does for the bigger programs.
May 20, 2011 2:01:10 AM

Thanks for the help guys. Yeah, I was originally going with an i5 but one of my friends is selling me an i7 cheaper than retail so I might go with that. I know I said I didn't like the HAF cases but I am reconsidering my stance on it. It seems they are excellent cases for air cooling. What HAF case would you guys recomend? I will look into the SSD and see if I can get a good deal on one.
May 20, 2011 2:12:20 AM

The HAF X or 932 (full towers) are definitely the best ones, but even the 922 and 912 (mid towers) are very large, have good airflow, and have a lot of the more "premier" options (cable routing, toolless installation, etc).
May 27, 2011 1:06:02 AM

Best answer selected by juanf100.
May 27, 2011 1:11:42 AM

Thanks guys for all the help. I have began ordering some parts and will post the build once it is done (Trying to find a reference 6950).
!