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~$1,200 First time gaming build

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May 25, 2011 5:55:15 PM

Whats going on guys,

This will be my very first build and any advice you can give me about my selected components maybe anything you would change or if there are compatibility issues that would be great. I also have a few questions that any help would be appreciated.

I can wait until late August to buy, other than Bulldozer AMD chips coming out is there any chance of any new hardware releasing like GPUs? Also to compliment that do you think there will be any price drops on any of my hardware by August?

One more, since this if my first build, I've watched many tutorials and what not on how to assemble the PC, but once its together do I just pop in the OS disc and power it up? I'm not too familiar with messing with BIOS, I only know how to get to it with a OS already installed.


Approximate Purchase Date: Late August 2011

Budget Range: ~$1,200 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important:Gaming, Internet, Blu Ray

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Win7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, tigetdirect or any US based company

Country of Origin: USA

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the Future

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1200

___________________________________________________________________________________
Hardware:

Case: Cooler Master Storm Sniper Black Edition $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock P67 Extreme4 $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i5 2500K $224.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Radeon 6950 2GB - Not too sure on which brand yet

SSD: Intel 320 Series 40GB as boot drive $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bluray/CD Drive: Samsung Black Blu Ray Drive $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: SilverStone 750W $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Approximate Total Price: $1,207.92 before taxes/MIR

More about : 200 time gaming build

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May 25, 2011 8:36:03 PM

You might want to spend a little extra and get a retail blu-ray drive so you are sure to get the software required to play blu-rays. Tigerdirect still has reference 6950 2Gb models that can be unlocked into 6970's via a bios flash. Here is a much better SSD that you can combo with this M/B and save fifty bucks:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Windows alone will take up about 75% of that 40Gb drive.

And I'd spend the extra four bucks and get this PSU for the same rating except it comes with modular cabling as well (it's actually cheaper after the rebate):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Squeeze in one of these aftermarket HSF's too:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is some much cheaper ram too (still 8GB 1866Mhz cas9):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 25, 2011 9:01:08 PM

hard to argue with that ram deal
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May 25, 2011 9:48:24 PM

mlCaouette, the Silverstone is modular as well.... In fact fully modular.

I'd get the HAF 922 or HAF 932 over the CM Scout Sniper, that thing just costs way too much.
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May 25, 2011 9:59:56 PM

I'd get a Silverstone Raven RV02-E ;) 
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May 25, 2011 10:34:03 PM

Good point on the silverstone PSU, I missed that it was modular. One of the photos is slightly misleading.

On a side note, I would wait to plan your build till August since pricing and products available will be different then.
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May 25, 2011 11:42:01 PM

Thanks for all of the replys! I definitely will check all the products out as I get closer to purchase and I'm sure I will be back for some more advice, but overall is my system pretty solid?
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May 26, 2011 12:52:48 AM

Yes!
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May 26, 2011 7:04:03 AM

most of the 6950 are not reference card now(means you can't flash easily with), so make 100% it is reference even if it's 2gb, Also $90 for a 40gb ssd a bit much, intel ssd seem overprice....look at benchmark on similar size and price 40gb for $90 is over $2/gb, you can get 64gb ssd for $10 more or the same price ex:Crucial c300 . Also Z68 mb just came out, it has ssd caching =)
Also, Corsair rams are bit pricey for $110 probably can get g.skil for $70-90, i got 16gb of g.skill ram for $140, look for 1600mhz and 1.5v or less(1.6v may damage mb)

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May 26, 2011 7:21:26 AM

rraannddoo said:
most of the 6950 are not reference card now(means you can't flash easily with), so make 100% it is reference even if it's 2gb, Also $90 for a 40gb ssd a bit much, intel ssd seem overprice....look at benchmark on similar size and price 40gb for $90 is over $2/gb, you can get 64gb ssd for $10 more or the same price ex:Crucial c300 . Also Z68 mb just came out, it has ssd caching =)
Also, Corsair rams are bit pricey for $110 probably can get g.skil for $70-90, i got 16gb of g.skill ram for $140, look for 1600mhz and 1.5v or less(1.6v may damage mb)



Yea I just heard many like the Intel SSD for their reliability as many other brands including Crucial seem to break down and stop working? I'll def have a look though, bigger the SSD the better even tho I'm using it strictly as Boot Drive. And yea there was a post above that linked me to some G.SKILL Snipers that I'll probably end up getting 8GB for 79.99
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May 26, 2011 10:51:20 AM

cjrulli said:
Yea I just heard many like the Intel SSD for their reliability as many other brands including Crucial seem to break down and stop working? I'll def have a look though, bigger the SSD the better even tho I'm using it strictly as Boot Drive. And yea there was a post above that linked me to some G.SKILL Snipers that I'll probably end up getting 8GB for 79.99

Just on the PsU (This will certainly give you a better understanding / choice), this website is 1 of the 3 trusted reviewers of psu's online. His word is law!

Anyways:

Silverstone Strider 750W - $130 (+$5 shipping):

review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Its given 9/10 rating by him.

HX750W $125 AR: Can't find a review by jonny for the 750w, but the 850 w is almosts identical so.. http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
9.6/10. HX > Silverstone..

But heres the clincher.. the High Class Gamer 900W by Antec is $110 ($110 for 900watts !)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
9.5/10. So it got 0,1/10 less than the HX 750, but it gives out 150 more watts and is at least $15 cheaper. Furthermore, you can SLI GTX 580's with this psu, or HD 6950s with ease. The other PSU's will not SLI/overclock 6950's with much headroom to spare. If you are sli'ing or looking to, buy this psu; best deal imho.

Also, have you considered the GTX 570?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is $25 more than the one that another user recommended (They recommended the 6950 2GB twin frozr OC); if you want a factory OC'd gtx 570 here is one by EVGA (you can swap the graphics cards to 'step up' in EVGA's step up program, allowing you to upgrade to new graphics cards within 90 days, and only pay the difference in price). OC'd EVGA SoC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $315AR.

Heres why the GTX 570 owns the HD 6950 and HD 6970...

HD 6950vsGTX 570: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=306 The first 5 tests are equal (benchmarks), but after that the GTX 570 shows its class; it wins 91 fps vs 66 fps in one test etc.. It averages around 10-15% more fps after you add up the FPS's of each card..

HD 6970 vs GTX 570: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306
The 6970 wins the first few, and then gets dominated somewhat. GTX 570 by 5-7% overall. A big win includes 91fps vs 72...

Really, consider it; for $25 more you are getting a non-overclocked graphics card that will still beat the $265 overclocked 6950. Overclock the graphics yourself and you have a winner.
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May 26, 2011 1:56:48 PM

vibhas said:
Just on the PsU (This will certainly give you a better understanding / choice), this website is 1 of the 3 trusted reviewers of psu's online. His word is law!

Anyways:

Silverstone Strider 750W - $130 (+$5 shipping):

review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Its given 9/10 rating by him.

HX750W $125 AR: Can't find a review by jonny for the 750w, but the 850 w is almosts identical so.. http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
9.6/10. HX > Silverstone..

But heres the clincher.. the High Class Gamer 900W by Antec is $110 ($110 for 900watts !)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
9.5/10. So it got 0,1/10 less than the HX 750, but it gives out 150 more watts and is at least $15 cheaper. Furthermore, you can SLI GTX 580's with this psu, or HD 6950s with ease. The other PSU's will not SLI/overclock 6950's with much headroom to spare. If you are sli'ing or looking to, buy this psu; best deal imho.

Also, have you considered the GTX 570?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is $25 more than the one that another user recommended (They recommended the 6950 2GB twin frozr OC); if you want a factory OC'd gtx 570 here is one by EVGA (you can swap the graphics cards to 'step up' in EVGA's step up program, allowing you to upgrade to new graphics cards within 90 days, and only pay the difference in price). OC'd EVGA SoC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $315AR.

Heres why the GTX 570 owns the HD 6950 and HD 6970...

HD 6950vsGTX 570: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=306 The first 5 tests are equal (benchmarks), but after that the GTX 570 shows its class; it wins 91 fps vs 66 fps in one test etc.. It averages around 10-15% more fps after you add up the FPS's of each card..

HD 6970 vs GTX 570: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306
The 6970 wins the first few, and then gets dominated somewhat. GTX 570 by 5-7% overall. A big win includes 91fps vs 72...

Really, consider it; for $25 more you are getting a non-overclocked graphics card that will still beat the $265 overclocked 6950. Overclock the graphics yourself and you have a winner.



Thanks! The reason I was really considering the Silverstone is because it is fully modular, which the High Gamer I found on newegg are not. However, I looked up the Corsair HX750W and that is actually 124.99 after MIR and fully modular, so would this be the better choice to go with?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, I would go for the 570, but many tell me its must better bang for the buck to buy the 6950, and if its not enough eventually xfire them. Also it seems that the 570 runs hot, and quite a power hunger monster num num num. Would this be a problem with the HX750? How well would 570s Sli under the 750w?
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May 26, 2011 2:29:12 PM

All corsair HX are great PSU's, you cant make mistake to go for one.
2xGTX570 in SLI with I5-2500 can be easily handled by HX750, unless you plan add 3rd later on you are good. Each is rated 220W so it still leave you 360W for rest of system.

@vibhas: Check review on hardccp for Antec HCG 900, it shut down on full load which is big fail in my eyes as good PSU should be even able handle small overload for short time. They tested more then one unit to make sure it was not just single unit issue:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/15/antec_high_cu...
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May 26, 2011 5:48:35 PM

xrodney said:
All corsair HX are great PSU's, you cant make mistake to go for one.
2xGTX570 in SLI with I5-2500 can be easily handled by HX750, unless you plan add 3rd later on you are good. Each is rated 220W so it still leave you 360W for rest of system.

@vibhas: Check review on hardccp for Antec HCG 900, it shut down on full load which is big fail in my eyes as good PSU should be even able handle small overload for short time. They tested more then one unit to make sure it was not just single unit issue:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/15/antec_high_cu...


So 360 is plenty for my 2500K, ram, MB, and whatever else? I feel like its a little low, but like I said this will be my first build so I don't know much.
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May 26, 2011 5:59:47 PM

one 6950 is 500w, each is rated at 250w, a gtx 570 is 550w, each is rated 220w, so if u sli two gtx 570 u'll need a bit higher then 750w to be on the safe side, Silverstone psu are great PSU. You dont really need full modular psu, you can get half modular which has 24 pin and 4+4 pin connected connected already which is a bit cheaper.

TBH, you dont need to cf or SLI unless you want triple monitor game, because a 2gb 6950 or a 1.5gb gtx 570 will have enough ram for large monitors and will run a lot of things on max. On a single monior cf/sli is bit overkill unless playing like a 60 inch tv
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May 26, 2011 6:10:49 PM

rraannddoo said:
one 6950 is 500w, each is rated at 250w, a gtx 570 is 550w, each is rated 220w, so if u sli two gtx 570 u'll need a bit higher then 750w to be on the safe side, Silverstone psu are great PSU. You dont really need full modular psu, you can get half modular which has 24 pin and 4+4 pin connected connected already which is a bit cheaper.

TBH, you dont need to cf or SLI unless you want triple monitor game, because a 2gb 6950 or a 1.5gb gtx 570 will have enough ram for large monitors and will run a lot of things on max. On a single monior cf/sli is bit overkill unless playing like a 60 inch tv


Yes I was going over some benchmarks and the GTX 570 definitely performs better at 1900x1200 however, are the temps it reaches and its power consumption a problem for my setup?
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May 26, 2011 6:15:43 PM

cjrulli said:
Yes I was going over some benchmarks and the GTX 570 definitely performs better at 1900x1200 however, are the temps it reaches and its power consumption a problem for my setup?


My cf 6950 reference card runs LOUD i mean LOUD, so i went wc. If you are concern about heating problem go for manufacture fan coolers. Like MSI Twin Frozr II, for one card 600w is fine, if you two 6950 750w is requirement, gtx 570 is 770w so you need 800w, I would get a 800w or abv, 900w+ is a bit overkill unless they sell for cheaper =)

Google the specific cooler on specific card, there usually benchmark of temps at some clock speed
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May 26, 2011 8:06:41 PM

Ok after reading over reviews of the HAF X and watching some videos, I love the case. On newegg they have a combo deal with the HAF X and a Cooler Master Silent Pro m850W for $309.99 before a $10 MIR and ~$11 shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

My question now is, other than being big is this case all that its cracked up to be? And are Cooler Masters PSU's reliable? More specifically the Silent Pro m850W?
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May 26, 2011 8:38:41 PM

google some reviews of the psu.. the case is good, the HAF X at least has some filters
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May 26, 2011 10:25:17 PM

rraannddoo said:
that is a reference card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... same thing, but bit pricy for 6950, i got mine for 255 each with $20 mir, if you can probably get gtx 570 for same price,

The haf-x are fine, but the psu idk.....you can easily find haf-x for $150


A 570 for the same price as a 6950? I haven't seen any 570's under ~$300 and the 6950/6970 are almost just as good.
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May 26, 2011 11:42:17 PM

cjrulli said:
A 570 for the same price as a 6950? I haven't seen any 570's under ~$300 and the 6950/6970 are almost just as good.


I've seen couple of times, but they are in Canada prices, newegg isnt the only place that sell computer parts....ncix is pretty common parts for canada, idk about us
comes with $20 ncix gift card and bunch of other stuff(hawx 2, mafia2, just cause 2, in canada it's a MIR of $20 idk shipping fee
http://www.ncixus.com/products/index.php?sku=58683&vpn=...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
if you dont mind $40 mir, EVGA has really good customer service
The 6950 reference card runs really loud, I thought it's going to break at 80% fan speed, i keep it idle at 30%, at 40% its a bit loud, If it's just $10-$20 difference between 6950(flashed and oc) and gtx 570(oc), see which benchmark is mark is higher
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May 27, 2011 12:14:29 AM

$300 is defiantly not the price of a 6950 2GB, but that is a great deal.

As for the Case+PSU combo, the Cooler Master Silent Pro is a solid PSU no problems there. They are actually really silent, can't hear my 700w Silent Pro in my case, and the modular helps plus there sleeved modular cables and it's actually quite efficient. Now I did read some reviews where it ran a little hot but the reviewers stated it wouldn't be a big problem. So, accounting my personal usage and reviewers I'd say it is defiantly a great buy for a cheap price.
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May 27, 2011 5:15:08 AM

aznshinobi said:
$300 is defiantly not the price of a 6950 2GB, but that is a great deal.

As for the Case+PSU combo, the Cooler Master Silent Pro is a solid PSU no problems there. They are actually really silent, can't hear my 700w Silent Pro in my case, and the modular helps plus there sleeved modular cables and it's actually quite efficient. Now I did read some reviews where it ran a little hot but the reviewers stated it wouldn't be a big problem. So, accounting my personal usage and reviewers I'd say it is defiantly a great buy for a cheap price.


Thanks you!
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May 27, 2011 5:25:47 AM

rraannddoo said:
one 6950 is 500w, each is rated at 250w, a gtx 570 is 550w, each is rated 220w, so if u sli two gtx 570 u'll need a bit higher then 750w to be on the safe side, Silverstone psu are great PSU. You dont really need full modular psu, you can get half modular which has 24 pin and 4+4 pin connected connected already which is a bit cheaper.

TBH, you dont need to cf or SLI unless you want triple monitor game, because a 2gb 6950 or a 1.5gb gtx 570 will have enough ram for large monitors and will run a lot of things on max. On a single monior cf/sli is bit overkill unless playing like a 60 inch tv


Single 570 rated at 550w ??????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_500_Serie
Here is little overview of whole 5xx series, 219W TDP for 570 and even 590 have only 365W.
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May 27, 2011 8:24:37 AM

cjrulli said:
Ok after looking over some more MB's I ran into this puppy. P67 AsRock Fatality Professional. I'm reading mixed reviews and really don't know what to believe...what do you guys think?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-157-...


The mb is good, Asus/Gigabyte are good option too, if you looking for good OC mb, get higher phase power, this one comes with 16+2 same as p8p67 deluxe which both are nice mb, the z68 are newer version mb, they come with ssd caching, allows a hybrid of a ssd and hhd together, ie: 1tb hdd with an avg ssd, will out preform standalone hdd, but a ssd byself will out preform a hybrid ssd+hdd. I would pick z68 series board, dont be attracted to *gaming* mb,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
that is about the same, not as pretty looking but it has the same spec, without the x4 slots which isn't used for cf/sli
If you dont mind the p67 series board, p8p67 pro/deluxe are usually are on sell get rid of stocks they good boards too,

PS: i have p8p67 deluxe, cf 6950 with 2 ssd, with 4 hdd, on i7 2600k, runs nicely =)
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May 27, 2011 8:26:25 AM

cjrulli said:
Ok after looking over some more MB's I ran into this puppy. P67 AsRock Fatality Professional. I'm reading mixed reviews and really don't know what to believe...what do you guys think?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-157-...


Bought it 2 weeks ago and doesn't regret it. Tts maybe not best on market, but others with similar features cost almost double.
I like it because it have 10 internal sata ports (other offer 6-8), dual NIC (can use separate internal and external network to increase security) can run 2x8 lanes PCIe and 1x4 lanes PCIe thru PLX chip.
Reset bios button accessible from back side is big plus for overclocking.

For the price its unbeatable.
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May 27, 2011 7:46:50 PM

mlcaouette said:
Looks like newegg restocked some reference HD 6950's here are the links:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks, I saw them a little earlier as well. Unfortunately I won't be building my rig until late August when I have all my money saved up. =/ Hopefully there will still be Radeon 6950 reference cards left. The only good thing about waiting is I guess prices could drop some, doubtful but heres to hope.
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Best solution

May 28, 2011 4:15:48 AM

I strongly recommend you save money and get the Asrock Extreme4 P67 or the Z68 that Rando recommended, the Gigabyte Z68 UD4 is a solid buy for the price. The Extreme4 P67 is probably the best board for its price. And is still better than the Deluxe (or comparable) or the Fatality.
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June 4, 2011 12:14:50 AM

Best answer selected by cjrulli.
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