New $2000 Summer Gaming Build

Hey I am trying to build a gaming computer for the summer. I want to be able to play at max settings and get good eye candy. I also want to be able to play BF3 near max setting when it comes out. Can you help me get a build ready for it?

Approximate Purchase Date: In two weeks.

Budget Range: $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mostly gaming, all gaming and internet and movies. I have a BOSE speaker system set up just need the big controlling box to get good sound.

Parts Not Required: Speakers, mouse, headset, I need a desk though.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: From any place that's cheaper I also live near a microcenter

Country of Origin:

Parts Preferences:
Nothing really preferred.

Overclocking: Yes
I want to get 4.5 GHz at least

SLI or Crossfire:
Yes, depending on if I buy a single powerful card and add one later please suggest. I am lost here.

Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments:
How do I make it look cool.

Liquid cooling is a possibility if I need it when overclocking.

Thanks Guys!
25 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Hey molite, welcome to the forums! Thank you for filling out the form by the way, makes it easier on you because we'd ask you to fill it out anyway :p

    Here's what I came up with. I left room for some monitors and a desk in the budget :)

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $180

    Mobo: ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 $185

    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 $99

    PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W $105

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $95

    HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM (x2) $130

    DVD drive: LG Black blah blah blah DVD burner $20 (or grab a blu-ray if you want)

    CPU fan: ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler (for that 4.5GHz) $55

    GPU: HIS H695FT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit (if comfortable with flashing to 6970) $480 for 2


    MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit (if not comfortable with flashing) $480 for 2

    Win 7: $99


    Mouse: Logitech MX 518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse $38

    Keyboard: Saitek Cyborg V5 CCB44026N002/06/1 Black USB Wired Gaming Keyboard $47

    The total is $1,532 with mouse/keyboard included and before rebates :D This should leave you plenty of room for a desk and monitor. (or maybe 3 monitors? :P )
  2. bulldozer will be

    190 for 4 core FX-4110
    240 for 6 core FX-6110
    290 for 8 core FX-8110
    320 for 8 core FX-8130P
  3. brpeden82 said:
    bulldozer will be

    190 for 4 core FX-4110
    240 for 6 core FX-6110
    290 for 8 core FX-8110
    320 for 8 core FX-8130P

    Just curious, but how is that statement relevant?
  4. not sure just sseen it on techreport not sure if it relevant otherwise it looks like a good build to me
  5. Since the OP can afford it, I'd say skip the 6950s and just go for the 6970s. You'll get better performance out of them as opposed to flashing, and IMHO it would be silly not to get them if there's such a big cushion. One 6970 will be way more than you'd need for 1920x1080; two would just be obscene. Think about getting more monitors at that point ;)

    I'd also get a big SSD for holding your OS and several games. Go for a 120 or 240GB Intel 510/320 or OCZ Vertex 3. W7 will take up about 30GB after updates and such.

    For your sound system, I'd recommend looking into a decent sound card. The onboard chipset is usually *ok*, but you can tell a huge difference in the amplification of the signals from an onboard and a dedicated sound card. I have the HT Omega Striker, which is a pretty moderately priced card at $90, but it works really well. I've noticed a huge difference between that and my onboard chipset using my Roccat Kave 5.1 headphones. The bass is now loud enough that the headphones will literally jump off of my head.

    If you're interested in liquid cooling, let me advise you now to get a full tower case that can really support a good set up. Most of the ones out there (HAF 932, HAF X, NZXT Phantom, etc) will only support one triple radiator (3x120mm fans), which is plenty (depending on brand) for a CPU + GPU, but not CPU + 2 GPUs. In a way I'm constricted by my case, but I also wanted to do an i7-930 + 2 GTX 470 loop internally, which needed 2 rads. MountainMods makes custom cases, but expect to spend no less than $270 for something you need and $300 for what you want.
  6. So far this is what I have. I want a monitor and keyboard (I play A LOT of SC2). Good mousepad lol. Liquid Cooling (If Needed for OC both CPU and GPU. I want to clock the CPU at around 4.5 GHz. I also want easy and cool mods to make my rig look awesome. Please help me refine and suggest other products/deals. Also please advise on CrossFireX setup!

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $225
    (Micro Center Was Sold Out)

    Mobo: ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) $185

    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X $200

    CPU Cooler: Can you suggest one for OC/Liquid Cooling?

    DVD Drive: SONY Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM $100

    HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 $65

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $95

    PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 $105

    GPU: HIS H697F2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB $340 x2 = $680

    Total so far: $1655

    Again, thanks guys for helping a newbie out!
  7. If you are going 6970 Xfire, you pretty much HAVE to get 3 screens to take advantage of it. Here's some inspiration :)

    EDIT: Youtube not allowed?
  8. any more advice on liquid cooling/mods or some monitor suggestions?
  9. I can't help with water cooling, but I can help with monitors. I suggest 3 full HD screens, with LED back lighting (more prettier IMO) 3 of those = super epic rig. The other option is to go NVidia and get 3D.....
  10. liquid cooling isnt worth it with the 2500/2600 k's. You can get pretty good temps with the option above.
    Pretty good monitor right there. Good price and you can get three with your budget
  11. I believe 6970's perform better than 570's. If you do any rendering or anything, definately get the 570's as adobe can use them for hardware acceleration. But, the 570's have 3D.... I personally would go Eyefinity (amd) instead of 3D (Nvidia) just because they would both cost the same, and I think Eyefinity is more awesome =p
  12. I don't really want Eyefinity. The thing is I want to be able to run Metro 2033 and BF3 at near 60 FPS. 60-45 fps at average. Will I get them from the 6950's? Will it last for BF3 if I OC? I just want to be safe and have enough power to run these games at max settings, at at least 1920 x 1080 res.
  13. With dual 6970's on one screen... You won't even use them all the way and you will MAX out those games at 60FPS minimum most likely. I would highly suggest either dropping one of the 6970's, or grabbing something that will actually take advantage of them. (ie triple screens)
  14. For reference I was benching Crysis:Warhead today with my 570s at 800/1750 and they were running it at 1920x1080 with Enthusiast settings at a minimum of around 65-70 fps. Two 570s is an absolutely brutally fast combo, and they overclock well under 1.1V. When I run them at 850/1900 I can get up tp 87fps on Unigine Heaven Benchmark. On the other hand the VRAM of the 6970s is very tempting if you ever feel of running multiple monitors or a 2560x1600 monitor. I don't think you can really go wrong, but I'll tell you that it is relatively easy to find 570s around 300-320 after MIR.
  15. If I go for a single GPU right now, and for one screen only which GPU would you recommend? I might play a bit higher than 1920x1080 depending on the monitor. I want this GPU to take Metro 2033, Crysis 2, SCII, and hopefully BF3 on max settings when Over Clocked (I want near 50-60fps). Sorry, this is my first build so I want to be very careful in what I buy.

    3D Guru says a single GPU like the 6970 and GTX 570 will get around an average of 33 fps in Metro 2033 near the same Resolution. Should I value these benchmarks very highly?
  16. Yeah its a well tested site, if you look at the results you can see that the 6970s pull ahead when the resolution goes up, or you go to multiple screens. The vram is needed when you get to that level. On the other hand, the 570s can run PhysX graphics which add a bit of eye candy.

    If you are going to stick with one card for now, step up to a 580 and then you have the potential to get another when they become cheaper, and trust me 580s will run anything you want to playable levels even on max settings. An overclocked 580 is not to be messed with, and two of them can demolish any graphics now or in the next few years.
  17. Case / PSU - I have built with both and would recommend the Antec DF-85 over the HAF-X. The TX-750 is a 2nd tier unit (AX and HX series are 1st tier) and in a $2k box, I'd do 1st tier. it's $305 for the HAF-X / TX750 .... $275 for the DF-85 / CP-850. If ya stuck on the HAF, move up to a HX or AX series.

    MoBo / CPU - Ya spending $405 for your combo. At a $2k budget though, I'd want x16 x16 GFX and that means NF200 chip. Read why here:,2910.html

    The WS Revolution will cost ya $60 more

    Cooler - Liquid Cooling is so outta place on andy Bridge. read this comment on the better air coolers:

    I think the Silver Arrow represents the ultimate air cooler than can be built and still fit within the constraints of an ATX motherboard and a standard computer case......It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling. Still, it wouldn't hurt, and as I noted earlier, there are still CPUs out there that can benefit from it.

    If ya want overkill, ya can do it w/ the Silver Arrow..... I have built several systems w/ the DF-85, CP-850, WS Revolution, 2600k/2500k and one of them has a Silver Arrow. Was easy fit though did have to rotate the thing 0 degress. Performance is phenomenal and is completely inaudible at 4.8 GHz. But ya can do more than ya need with the Scythe Mugen 2 at half the price.

    Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 29.00°C over ambient
    Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 29.71°C over ambient
    Titan FENRIR TTC-NK85TZ 29.80°C over ambient
    Thermolab BARAM 29.84°C over ambient
    Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 30.09°C over ambient

    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu

    RAM - Save $20 for the same performance

    $75 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9

    or spend $35 for lower latency CAS 7

    Thinking of going with 2 GTX 570's instead of 6970's.

    At 1920 x 1200, ya can beat the 6970's a lot cheaper .

    At $310 each, twin 570's get 873 total fps in Guru3D's game test suite (COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead)....

    At $220, the twin 900Mhz versions of the 560 Ti get 862 fps.

    At $315, the twin 6970's get 825 fps.

    Two of those factory overclocked 560 Ti's will cost ya $440 and easily fit in the $2k budget

    This is $1905 .... I have built 4 of these since March with just 1 or 2 items varying ... 3/4 has Win 7 pro 64 ... one had Silver Arrow Cooler (, 2 had 2600k's, 3 had Plextor Blue Ray 320SA, all had Asus GFX cards. Takes me about an hour if I'm not sleeving cables.

    Case - $155 - Antec DF-85
    Case Fans - $15 - Antec Red 120 mm
    PSU - $120 - Antec CP-850
    MoBo - $465 - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
    CPU - incl - Intel Core i5-2500K include din above
    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
    RAM - $130 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7
    GFX - $220 - EVGA GTX 560 (900MHz)
    GFX - $220 - Same
    HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm
    SSD - $300 - OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB
    BR / DVD Writer - $70 - Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM

    Corsair Force 3's (same performance as Vertex 3) introduction this week should knock quite a few bucks off the SSD price.,12762.html
  18. Alright guys, thanks for the helpful input. Here's what I have, will be buying in about a day or two just so I can tweak some stuff and make sure it's ready.

    I was being dumb and saw I set the wrong city at Micro Center, so instead of the combo I will be getting the CPU at Micro Center which is 10min away from me. So if I get the WS revolution separately I save around $24.


    CPU: Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 - $179.99

    Mobo: ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 - $259.99

    Case: Antec DF-85 Black ATX Full Tower - $169.99

    Case Fan: Antec 761345-75026-4 120mm Red LED Case Fan - $14.99

    CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler - $39.99

    TIM: MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material - $4.99

    BR/DVD Writer: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM - $69.99

    HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM - $64.99


    PSU: PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 $105 - THE ANTEC ONE IS SOLD OUT D:

    - Will this PSU be enough for SLi in the future and/or OC?

    RAM: (Narrowed down to 2):

    Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) - $129.99


    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 - $94.49

    - HALP, Totally lost which one is better! Here I will go over Quality over Cost since it's only like $35 difference if Mushkin is indeed better.

    GPU: Okay, still kind of lost here, might just pick a setup randomly. I will be Over Clocking any of the following cards, even if it is just a little.

    Note: Option order does not reflect preference.

    1st Option:

    EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 - $504.99

    ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) - $499

    If I go this setup, will eventually add another one later on.

    2nd Option:

    Buying 2:
    EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1567-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) - x2 = $520

    3rd Option:

    Buying 2:
    HIS H695FT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 - x2 = $480

    That's it for the GPU's.

    Sound Card: HT | OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1 Channels - $174.99

    SSD: Will wait till The Force 3's Come Out.

    Monitor: I'm lost here as well. I will be mainly going for 1 Monitor.

    D: Sorry very indecisive. Again, thanks for all the input I think it's turning out to be the greatest first gaming PC EVAR!

    EDIT: PRICES IN TOTAL (MAX): $1659.40
  19. Are you using speakers or headphones? $180 is a ton to be spending on a sound card. I just purchased a HT Omega Striker ($90) and once you figure out the drivers (arguably the hardest part of setting up any sound card) it is phenomenal. However, I have a 5.1 set of headphones, the Roccat Kave. If you're just using regular headphones, the inboard sound chip will be just what you need.
  20. I have a Bose Speaker System setup with out the system, just the speakers. It's a 5.1 setup. I have to buy a system for it though :/. I'm getting it because I might get another TV and use it also a Theatre System.
  21. Gotcha. Just wanted to make sure that you did indeed have a reason for a sound card. A lot of new builders think they need to spend over $100 to just use earbuds ;)
  22. Please help me narrow down my options.
  23. Best answer
    I would strongly consider the 6970, 570 and 580 for your build. The 2x560/6950 setups, while great (you'd probably be fine with one of either at the moment IMHO), are immediately limited in terms of their upgradeability. You'll still get amazing performance from the 6970, 570 or 580, and you'll still have room for an upgrade in the future for more demanding games.

    If you go for these bigger cards, you'll need better than a 750TX. I think the 850HX should support two of those cards, and the 850HX is a great PSU.

    As far as the RAM goes, the Mushkin set has better latency than the G.Skill kit (which I own ATM), but the voltage is a bit high for most users' tastes (generally look for around 1.5V as opposed to 1.6+).
    That said, a speed drop to 1333 MHz (see below) or a higher latency (the G.Skill kit you linked) won't noticeably hurt you. Lower latencies allow for higher frequencies when OCing the RAM.
  24. Best answer selected by MoLite.
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