Gaming Build, $1500+


I need assistance to make a powerfull gaming pc! I've read alot of requests on this forum, hardware reviews and some other articles before making this post.
But still i couldn`t make it by myself and alot of questions raised on my head and the anwsers ive seen so far did not convinced me which way to follow.
I built a pc gaming like 4 years ago, and the performance is still acceptable. But its starting to fail(had to replace vga and mems, and sound is dead).

That being said, let me start raising a few questions:
For mainly gaming purpose, which way is better?
- Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155
- Intel Core i7 Processor i7-960 3.20GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU BX80601960

I was convinced by articles that 2600k is 10-30% better than i7-960 for gaming... But then when i was looking for mobo, i found that LGA1155 mobos are 4 mem slots on dual channel while i7-960 is 6 mem slots tripple channel. And thats bugging me.
I will fill in the blanks for either way. Ill mark LGA-1155 or LGA-1366 to distinguish it, when needed.

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of June 2011

Budget Range: $1500 - $1800. Might be willing to foot an extra $300 after all is said and done if it means significantly better performance.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1) Gaming
2) Gaming
3) Home entertainment (watch movies, series, etc. And maybe using an HDMI cable to plug this into a 42” LED TV)
4) General use/internet surfing/downloading/etc

Parts Not Required:
-keyboard & mouse(i have logitech g15 kb and g9 mouse)
-mousepad(i have gaming mousepad)
-monitor(i have a viewsonic 28" lcd)
-speakers(2.1 set and 5.1 headphone)
-power supply(I have to buy it in my city because it is too heavy)
-case(i have a Chieftec CX-01B-B-SL W/P. Will use if fits)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Preference for amazon is the seller), but willing to buy from newegg.

Country of Origin:
Brasil, but my brother will bring it to me from USA.

Parts Preferences:
Intel CPU. I had some traumas from using AMD.
Im thinking on RADEON vgas, but willing to switch to Nvidea if you convince me its better.

Overclocking: Maybe
I dont want a pc that makes too much noise and i don`t wanna see my hardwares dieing again after < 2 years. I plan to stick with this baby for another 4-5 years.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
My plan is to buy 2 cheaper vga or 1 powerfull now and another in 4-6 months. Suggestions are welcome.

Monitor Resolution:
1920x1200, 28"

Additional Comments:
I don`t know how many 120 and 60 fans i should use.
I would like it quiet as possible, my actual pc sounds like a old microwave lol. Its impossible to sleep when its on. But im willing to give it up for performance.

Some itens have more than 1 link, thats because i didnt make up my mind yet and those are the options im thinking of.

Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155 CPU BX80623I72600K
Price: $319.99
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-960 3.20GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU BX80601960
Price: $289.88

Hard drive
Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Black SATA 6GB/s 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD2002FAEX
Price: $154.99

I plan on buying a SSD of size 32 gigs to install OS and faster boot etc.

Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
Price: $25.99

Creative Labs SB0570L4 Sound Blaster Audigy SE Sound Card
Price: $28,50

Multimedia station
Antec 30126 VERIS Premier Multimedia Station
Price: $57.62
This is a maybe, to save money for better vga,mem,etc.

Sata Data Cable:
SATA 2.0 Data Cable, 20in - 2 Pack
If not comes with mobo.

I have Vista 64 ultimate. But will switch to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Cooler / # Fans
No idea yet, will decide after decide which CPU.
Maybe Cooler Master.

ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported Intel P67 DDR3 2400 ATX Motherboard
Price: $189.99

ASUS MAXIMUS IV EXTREME LGA 1155 Rebublic of Gamers Intel P67 DDR3 2400 ATX Motherboard
Price: $364,99
If u enter the specs link of maximus-extreme, go to memory/device suport and download Maximus IV Extreme QVL list.
i was thinking about using G.SKILL mem on this mobo, but aparently it only supports 1 pair.

ASUS Rampage III Gene LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX Motherboard
Price: $229.99

Dual channel,
2 x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X + Turbulence II Series DDR3 PC3-17600 2200MHz RipjawsX Series + Cooling fan for Sandy Bridge (7-10-10-27) Dual Channel Model F3-17600CL7D-4GBXHD
Price: 2 x $172,99
Ill get this set if i buy MAXIMUS-EXTREME. If you please, download the file i told you at Maximus Specs. Im not sure if 2 pairs will work with this mobo... I don`t want less than 8 gigs.

1 x G.skill Ripjaws X Series 16gb (4 X 4gb) 240-pin Ddr3 Sdram Ddr3 1600 (Pc3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800cl9q-16gbxl
Price: 1 x $209.99

2 x Corsair Vengeance Blu 8 GB PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit for Intel and AMD Platforms CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
Price: 2 x $89,00

Tipple channel,
1 x Corsair CMD12GX3M6A1600C8 Dominator 12 GB PC3-12800 1600Mhz 240-pin Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Kit
Price: 1 x $244,99

2 x Corsair Dominator 6 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-pin Triple Channel Core i7 DDR3 CAS 8 Memory Kit CMP6GX3M3A1600C8
Price: 2 x $109.99

2 x Corsair 6 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Triple Channel Memory Kit CMX6GX3M3A1600C9
Price: 2 x $69,99

Video Card
2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 XTREME 1 GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100282XTREME
Price: 2 x $149,00

1 x Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100312SR
Price: $302,49
Apparently, it can be unlocked to HD 6970.

2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1 GB GDDR5 VGA/DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/Display Port PCI-Express Video Card 100315L
Price: 2 x $188,48

1 x HIS Radeon HD 6970 2GB (256bit) GDDR5 Eyefinity 2x Mini-DisplayPort HDMI 2x DVI (HDCP) PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card Retail (RoHS) H697F2G2M
Price: $349,99

Suggestions? How many W do i need?
Price: ?

Uff. Thats it!
Thank you very much,
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming build 1500
  1. Welcome to the forum.
    1. The 2500K would be best for gaming.
    2. Triple channel has no positive impact on gaming FPS
    3. Yes that case is compatible with uATX and ATX so it should work
    4. I wouldn't start off with 2 gpus, it's fine for upgrading but if you need the power right now get one powerful card instead
    5. 2-4 120MM fans will be good - if your old PC is that loud you may want to get a new more quiet case

    CPU: 2500K
    HDD: Maybe get a cheaper non 6Gb/s version to save a few bucks, there's no performance difference
    SSD: 32GB is a little small - it will fit Windows, Office, and a few other things but it will be a hassle to work with and almost always be near 100% capacity.
    Sound card: you shouldn't need a discrete one, the motherboard has onboard audio
    Cable: the mobo and/or hdd will come with a cable
    Cooler: since quiet is a priority and you don't plan on overclocking, skip the aftermarket HSF and use the stock Intel one
    MOBO: the P8P67 Pro is plenty
    RAM: get a 2x4GB (dual channel) set @1600MHz
    GPU: I would get the 6950 2GB
    PSU: Corsair TX650TX V2 should be plenty

    Also, if someone is ordering for you in the US, maybe look at for some of the parts.
  2. Best answer
    First things first. The best gaming CPU currently on the market is the Intel Core i5-2500k. Second, games don't use more than 4GB of memory, so what's the difference if you max out at 16- or 24GB? The only thing LGA 1366 offers is more PCIe lanes and more memory bandwidth. Both of these will go unnoticed. That being said, here's how I would spend $1500 on a gaming rig...

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
    $224.99, free shipping
    * Like I said earlier, the best gaming CPU, beats the $1000 i7-990x.

    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Frio
    $57.99, free shipping
    * Great cooler at a reasonable price, very quite at low fan RPM, almost as good as the $90 Noctua NH-D14.

    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
    $209.99, $7.87 shipping
    * Solid board, and you might as well go with the latest chipset. The onboard audio is better than that Sound Blaster card you listed.

    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 CL9 1.5v
    $84.99, free shipping
    * You won't notice any difference between 1333MHz and 1600MHz memory, except in your bank account.

    GPU: MSI R6970 Lightning
    $386.99, free shipping, $25 MIR available
    * Good brand, nice factory OC, runs cool and quiet, more than enough horsepower for gaming at 1920x1200

    SSD: Intel 320 40GB SATA II
    $95.25, free shipping
    * Room for OS and productivity apps (Office, CS5) if used for boot, otherwise you can take advantage of SSD caching on the Z68 chipset

    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
    $59.99, free shipping
    * Start with one. If you need more space, add one at that time. SATA III is a joke for mechanical drives, they don't use all of the bandwidth that SATA II offers.

    Optical: Lite-On 24x DVD Burner
    $19.99, free shipping
    * OEM version, use the cable that comes with the motherboard.

    PSU: Corsair 850HX
    $164.99, free shipping, $10 MIR available
    * Top quality, modular, 80+ Silver rating, quiet, more than enough to Crossfire 6970s

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced
    $159.99, free shipping
    * Comes with all the fans you need, big fans = low noise, and will give proper cooling if you want to Crossfire later

    Total: $1473.03 shipped, before rebate
  3. nice build! I personally like the Silverstone Raven RV02-e case more, but thats really just personal pref.. wish the HAF had better filtration
  4. cmadrid said:
    ...wish the HAF had better filtration

    True that.

    I like the Raven also, especially the newest edition. However, I believe reference GPU coolers are recommended for builds using the Raven or Fortress. Not a big deal, the reference 6970 is like $47 cheaper. I was looking for quiet though and high-end GPUs are often the cause of the most noise.
  5. Raven rv03 looks interesting too, hoping to see more reviews of it.. and maybe something new out of Computex soon
  6. nd_hunter said:

    * You won't notice any difference between 1333MHz and 1600MHz memory, except in your bank account.
    * Start with one. If you need more space, add one at that time. SATA III is a joke for mechanical drives, they don't use all of the bandwidth that SATA II offers.


    Thank you, your setup is great and much cheaper than mine!
    I'm inclined to buy everything exactly as you listed. Only changing HD and SDD for a bigger one and maybe get HD 6950 to save a few bucks. Ill buy only one.

    - Is it worth to change the HD for 300gigs velociraptor 10000rpm from WD? To store and play games.
    - How come rams 1600mhz are not worth over 1333mhz? I may get 1600 as @jbakerlent suggested because i don't know when i will have the oportunity to buy from US again.
    - Bottom line: Stick with 3gbs and 32mb HDs?
    - I can't buy the case and Powersupply there because my brother will bring those pieces to me from usa. And those are just too heavy to bring by airplane. And here at brazil only crappy ones are sold, for a very expensive price. Ill have a hardtime finding good ones and for a reasonable price here.
    Thats why i wanted to re-use my case, because then i can spend extra money on PS and buy a cheap case to hold my old pc.

    A question: My old pc have a Thermaltake 700W PS, its 3 years old. Do you think i can re-use that?
    I think i can't crossfire if i do that.

    Just to give u an example about br prices:
    - VGA PCI-E AMD HD 6970 2GB/256bits HIS - H697F2G2M - Box is sold here for r$ 1,400.00. which is equivalent to $864.00 (without taxes and shipping).
    - PS Corsair 850W Professional Series Gold - CMPSU-850AX A - Box sells for r$ 749,00 -> $462.00

    Thanks for explaining about case, HD. Your post was very helpfull

    Im convinced now to go for i5 2500 and 8gb ram is more than fine.

    Thank you all!
    Kind regards,
  7. yes get that samsung spinpoint hard drive dont go for the 10k drives. also you can get a bigger ssd like a 120gb and you can put more games on it for faster loading times no gain in fps though. stick with 8gb 1600mhz ddr3 ram. 15 2500k is the way to go. i agree with nd_hunter's build except the motherboard since you will have a bigger ssd go with the asrock p67 extreme4 from newegg for 160$ +$8.50 shipping or the asus p8p67 pro for 180$ because you wont neeed the ssd caching.
  8. another thing, do i need a thermal compound for cpu? or only the thermaltake cooler will do the work?
  9. the compound that comes with it is good enough
  10. Im posting just so u guys know what ive decided:

    G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz PC3-12800 240-Pin Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
    1600MHz CL8 (8-8-8-24)

    ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported Intel P67 DDR3 2400 ATX Motherboard
    $189.99 - amazon

    Intel Core i5 Processor i5-2500K 3.3GHz 6MB LGA1155 CPU BOX80623I52500K
    $224.99 - amazon

    MSI Radeon6970 HD 2.0 GB GDDR5 256bit PCI Express 2.0 x 16 Graphics Card R6970 Lightning
    $386.99 - amazon

    OCZ Technology 60 GB Vertex 2 Series SATA II 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) OCZSSD22VTXE60G
    $119.99 - amazon

    Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare-OEM Drives, HD103SJ

    Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
    $25.99 - amazon

    Thermaltake Frio Overclocking Universal CPU Cooler CLP0564
    $57.99 - amazon

    PC Internal Mini Onboard Speaker

    Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP)
    $154.48 - amazon

    Corsair CMPSU-850HX 850-Watt HX Professional Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
    $164.99 - amazon

    Total: $1507.29

    Decided to ship case + powersupply to brazil... With 60% importing tax + shipping tax IS still less then what i would pay for it here...

    Thats it hehe, TY all guys that helped!
  11. congrats!
  12. Best answer selected by pedroigp.
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