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First Timer, i7 960 vs. i7 2600k; Suggestions Please!

Last response: in Systems
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May 21, 2011 9:28:17 AM

Hey All,

I need some help building a new computer. This is going to be my first time building a computer, and I've been researching for the past week, trying to figure out what is best for me. I will have some experienced friends helping me install/setup the rig once I have all the parts bought. Here are some reference points to consider while deciding what to buy for my build:

Purpose - Gaming (MMOs, RPGs, FPS)
I will be playing games such as WoW or Rift, and the new Star Wars of the Old Republic Game and Diablo 3 When it comes out.
Photoshop and Video Making/Editing
I have CS5 and I plan to be using Photoshop and After Affects for media creating/editing purposes.
Movies and Entertainment
I am a big movie-buff so I will be watching tons of movies with this machine.
Overclocking
Because I am fairly new to the whole computer-building/performance world, I don't really know what overclocking truly is. But I see how people are really into it, most likely I will catch on and be into it later on.

Budget - My budget will be roughly around $1200. This is my first rig, and I want it to be future proof for the next 3+ years. Some other things to consider for purchasing parts are-- I have Amazon Prime and I live near a Microcenter location. I currently don't have all the money to buy everything, but I do plan to have enough money and purchase everything by August, so if anyone knows when prices will be dropping, please let me know!

So far this is my plan. I can't decide what I want between an i7 960 or an i7 2600k. When I first planned everything out I had plans to get an i7 960, but now I've been hearing differently. I have all the parts for an i7 960 in mind, but haven't figured out everything for an i7 2600k because of the socket difference (new things I've learned about).

i7 960 Build
Case-
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP) ($150 - microcenter)

Motherboard-
ASUS Socket 1366/Intel X58/SATA3&USB3.0/A&GbE/ATX Motherboard P6X58D-E ($220 - microcenter)

Processor-
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-960 ($200 - microcenter)

Ram-
Corsair XMS3 12GB ( 3 x 4GB ) 1333mhz PC3-10666 240-pin DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kit for Core i7 12 Triple Channel Kit DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CMX12GX3M3A1333C9 ($135 - Amazon)

Video Card-
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SE 1 GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 01G-P3-1366-TR ($150 - Amazon)

Hard Drive-
Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 GB/S 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Bulk/OEM 3.5-Inch Desktop Hard Drive ($85)
or
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ ($60 - microcenter)

Power Supply-
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 ($110 - microcenter)

DVD Writers-
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x 8x 16x (DVD) 48x 32x 48x (CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST (Black) ($25 - microcenter)

Sound Card-
Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card ($80 - Amazon)

Operating System-
Windows 7 ($30) [Student Discount]


i7 2600k Build
Case-
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP) ($150 - microcenter)

Motherboard-
ASUS P8P67 DELUXE LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported Intel P67 DDR3 2400 ATX Motherboard ($240 - microcenter) **

Processor-
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155 CPU BX80623I72600K ($280 - microcenter)

Ram-
?

Video Card-
?

Hard Drive-
Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 GB/S 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Bulk/OEM 3.5-Inch Desktop Hard Drive ($85)
or
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ ($60 - microcenter)

Power Supply-
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 ($110)

DVD Writers-
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x 8x 16x (DVD) 48x 32x 48x (CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST (Black) ($25)

Sound Card-
Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card ($80)

Operating System-
Windows 7 ($30) [Student Discount]

* For other peripherals, I already own a good set of Logitech Mouse/Keyboard, Klipsh speakers, and an Asus vh238h HD LED Monitor
** Oh and can someone tell me the difference between the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe and the P8P67 Pro motherboards? Is the difference worth the $50 price difference?

Please feel free to offer me any advice for suggestions for anything, I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks in advance!
May 21, 2011 10:17:10 AM

please buy a i5 2500k with a z68 mobo.But you can however save a few bucks with the p67 it limits you in two areas but these two areas are aimed at more niche market.

I also think you could save money from i7 and buy a gtx 560 ti(dont go for Non TI versions.).

4gb of ram is really enough for you.
And if you want for upgradability go for ASrock p67 extreme4

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
May 21, 2011 11:52:56 AM

Since you're looking at doing some video editing, I'd recommend going for the 2600k. You can always turn off hyperthreading on this processor. People constantly recommend the 2500k which kind of makes sense if all you're doing is gaming. But you can't turn hyperthreading on with a 2500k when you want to do any video or audio editing.

Additionally, if you're going to be doing any editing with any sort of video effects processing, you're going to want a respectable amount of RAM (8GB or more).

If you're going for more than just gaming and you're not looking to the processor as your way to save money on your build, I'd go for the 2600K.

If you do want to save money anywhere, look to the case (in your case). An HAF 912 is great way to go. I just built a DAW using an HAF 912 case and because of how it's designed (if you're using any of the previous gen longer video cards, you can remove the center drive bay), even though it's a mid-tower, you can get two of the latest video cards in it as well as a couple of SSDs and HDDs without a problem and it's an HAF design so there's plenty of air circulating through it. It runs around $50 at Microcenter. That saves you $100 right there. That power supply is a great choice.

Grab a GTX 560 Ti (be careful... they just released a non-Ti version) video card to stay within your budget.

When you look to OC, the 2600K is king. These things seem to have been made for OC'ing. Also know this, you give up any CPU's warranty once you OC it. A Coolermaster Hyper 212plus offers great CPU cooling for the price. The 212plus with only one fan beats the snot out of my Corsair H-50 with a push/pull after-market fan setup while costing around $75 less when it's all said and done.

Additionally, on-board sound has come a long way. If I were you, I'd initially forgo the sound card and see how you like the sound off any given motherboard. If you can't stand it, pick up a separate sound card later.

----------
edit--- I have a 960 myself with two GTX580s and can max details, AA, turn HBAO on and everything else and still get extreme frame rates. There is honestly nothing I've thrown at it that brings it to its knees and I don't OC anything. The only reason I don't recommend it for a new build is that there is newer technology out there. I'm fairly confident the setup in my signature will bring me through another couple of years no problem, though it's not the newest tech available. There is currently a deal at microcenter by which you can get a 960 and an X58 Sabertooth board for around $350. That's a great deal. I'm using a Sabertooth board in my DAW and it's doing a great job so far. Just an FYI...
May 21, 2011 1:18:20 PM

I see the point that you are making, makes a lot of sense. The reason why I'm actually pretty solid about the 2600k is because it will end up being a birthday present from my gf, so I dont really have to worry so much about the price :D 

But thanks to everyone who has given me some input thus far, I have come up with an updated setup.

Case
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP) ($150 - microcenter)
Cooler Master HAF ATX Mid Tower Case, RC-922M-KKN1-GP ($100)
Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1) ($50)
Motherboard
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($220 - Microcenter)
Processor
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155 CPU BX80623I72600K ($280 - microcenter)
Ram
Corsair Memory Vengeance 8 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 ($100 - Amazon)
Video Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - Lifetime Warranty 01G-P3-1561-AR ($210 - Microcenter/Newegg/Amazon)
Hard Drive
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ ($60 - microcenter) x2
Power Supply
Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 ($80)
DVD Writers
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x 8x 16x (DVD) 48x 32x 48x (CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST (Black) ($25)
Heat Sink
XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V REV.W with ACK-I5361 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler I7 i5 775 1155 and AMD compatible ($50 -> $30- Newegg)
NH-D14 ($80 - Amazon)
Operating System
Windows 7 ($30) [Student Discount]

I've also been told many different things in regards to my Case. What are you guys' opinions? Can the HAF 912 or 922 fit everything into it? Or overall should I just bite the bullet and get the HAF 932?

Also, I've taken out the expenses of a sound-card, in order to fund for a CPU cooler. Which one of the two options do you guys recommend if not others? <edit> Oh and regarding CPU cooling, the HAF is capable of liquid cooling, which I am planning to take advantage of. Does this make a difference in anything?

Am I missing anything else in this setup? Or is something in need of modifying?

Thanks so much again everyone for helping me plan out making my first rig!
May 21, 2011 1:26:11 PM

Buying in August..!! Wait for suggestions a bit longer then.. Bulldozer (AMD's new line up) will most probably be out well before that and will hopefully have enough performance to even get recommendations.. Might bring down prices too..
May 21, 2011 1:44:58 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
!