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Spending $2000+ tomorrow, advice...

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Last response: in Systems
May 26, 2011 3:35:21 AM

-So I'm building a new gaming system from absolutely scratch. I've been using laptops for the last few years but want a system that has a lot more power under the hood.
-My main goals with this build is a decent platform somewhere along the $2000 mark that I can expand on in the future.

Approximate Purchase Date: Tomorrow

Budget Range: $2000-$2200 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, video/sound editing, graphic design, coding, heavy-internet use and multimedia.

Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor, Speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Thus far I have everything queued up on tigerdirect for purchase (no sales tax)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Will definitely try my hand. I have never OC'd anything but my EVO and my Xoom.

SLI or Crossfire: Most likely in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I will probably, be upgrading components in the future and would really like to SLI when I can get enough $$$ to do so.

CPU: Intel i7-2600K
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3 Intel P67 Motherboard
Case: NZXT PHAN-001BK Phantom Full-Tower Case
GPU: EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked Video Card
RAM: Corsair CMP12GX3M3A1600C9 Dominator 12GB PC12800 Triple Channel RAM
PSU: Kingwin LZG-850 LAZER 850w Power Supply
SSD: Crucial C300 128GB 2.5 SATA Solid State Drive
HDD: Seagate ST32000641AS Barracuda XT Hard Drive - 2TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 6G, 64MB Cache
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30K 12x Blu-Ray Burner
CPU Heat Sink: Thermaltake SpinQ CPU Cooler

That about does it. Here is a screencap of my shopping cart ready for my purchase when I get paid tomorrow :bounce: 

I just want the best I can get within the price-range.

Thanks in advance!

More about : spending 2000 tomorrow advice

May 26, 2011 4:00:51 AM

I hate to be blunt but other than the last 3, there's not a component on that list that I would consider using.

Total $1995

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 i5-2600K
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
DVD Writer - $70 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS
Card Reader $50 55 in 1 Card Reader
OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Home Pro

Case / PSU - Aesthetic choice of the case , ....CP-850 gets a 10.0 performance rating from jonnyguru. Best alternate is HAF-X w/ AX850 or XFX Black Edition which get the same 10.0 albeit at much higher price.....

MoBo / CPU - Your budget allows for a 2600k but f just gaming, I'd get the 2500k and save close to $100. Photshop. video editing, 3D rendering, AutoCAD etc, get the 2600k

Cooler / TIM - Mugen beats the Hyper 212 by 7C and Noctua DH14 by 1C. Nothing tops the TIM.

RAM - Memory CAS latency won't generally matter by more than 2-4% on most systems ... most systems have the GFX sybsystem as the bottleneck. This doesn't. Low CAS can improve minimum frame rate performance by as much significant numbers.

GFX Using Guru#D's game test, suite as a barameter .... (COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead). Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below:

$245.00 6950 (479/751)
$265.00 560 Ti (455/792)
$315.00 6970 (526/825)
$220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862)
$335.00 570 (524/873)
$500.00 580 (616/953)

To my eyes, the best bang for the buck at 1920 x 1200 is the bolded one .... at 2560 x 1600, I'd get the 2GB 6950's or 6970's

SSD - The Corsair Force 3's are comparabe and when they hit the shelves will drive the price of the Vertex 3's down to $220

If ya didn't spend enuff money, get one of these:

Monitor - $350 - ASUS VG236HE Black 23"

I have built several of the above, owners are all ecstatic.....they used more expensive coolers (i.e Thermalright Silver Arrow) but to my mind, little was gained by the expense.

KB's and mice are very personal choices but I like the price / performance of this pairing

Logitech G510
Logitech G500
May 26, 2011 4:03:50 AM

That deal on the 480 is a good one, but you'd be better off with a 6950 2GB.

The ram you selected was designed for a triple channel motherboard like x58. You are getting a dual channel motherboard, I'd grab a 2x4GB kit.

Haven't seen that CPU cooler so not sure about that.

If you are only gaming the i7 2600k is a waste and you can save $100 by getting the i5 2500k.
Related resources
May 26, 2011 4:08:41 AM

1. GTX 480 on a gaming system with 2k budget? Should get gtx 580 or pay $150 more for 2x HD 6970 crossfired

2. There are better airflow cases for that price range if you plan to OC & SLI/Xfire in future

3. Again if you plan on OC + SLI/Xfire there are better solutions (heat kills)

Noctua NH-D14 ($89.99 considered one of if not the best air cooler)

Corsair H60 $60 (beats air coolers at this price or lower)

I just ordered & built a gaming/rendering rig last week & you may get some ideas & it cost me 2k after shipping/taxes
May 26, 2011 4:22:23 AM

Thanks for the advice, I will check into some of your solutions.

I must also mention that I am going for a blue/black aesthetic for all of the components I can. I do graphic design and like things to look cool.
May 26, 2011 5:09:04 AM


I have a few suggestions. You did a good job of picking components but I want to present some options for you to consider.

1. Keep the 2600K you list CAD and graphic design as needed and the hyperthreading of the 2600K could help you. It also looks like you are going to be multi-tasking and the hyper threading may speed things along. It depends on what software you will be running.

2. Unless you are going to water cool I would suggest the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler. It will allow you to OC your computer and still keep it cool. It also is one of the quietest coolers vs performance on the market and is very high quality

3. Some alternate cases to consider:

1. The Cooler Master HAF X - one of the best cooling cases on the market. This is a huge case though. It is quiet, USB 3.0 compliant and well thought out

2. The Corsair 650D - This is a large mid-tower case. It is fairly quiet, cools well, it is really a conservatively beautiful case, it is USB 3.0 compliant, it has a hot swap Sata III bay and it is really well thought out to build in and nearly toolless. It is also fairly cheap for a high-end case ($180.00 on Amazon)

The DF Antec cools really well but it is noisy (from the professional reviews that I have read).

The two cases above are very highly rated in professional reviews (I own the HAF X 942)

4. I second the recommendation to go to an ATI 6950 2GB - it is a better performing card than the GTX 480 in most games and it is more efficient

5. You might save some money by going with the Corsair 850 HX PSU because it goes on sale frequently. If you are operating your system at 30% - 75% capacity then this PSU is over 90% efficient and is essentially operating at a gold level even though it is silver certified. Only as you approach 100% capacity does it drop to 84% efficiency

6. Get 2 x 4GB DDR3 1866 RAM. Almost all of the manufacturers are equal in performance - look for the best buy. Newegg had 8gb of Gskill on sale yesterday for $80.00. This is the sweet spot of price vs performance

7. For your SSD you should look at the OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB. If money is an issue look at the OCZ Agility Sata III 6 GB/S 120 GB. The Agility is only $214 after rebate and it reads and writes at over 500 MB/s (it is similar to the Vertex 3 in performance but $100 cheaper)

8. I like your mobo, I am thinking of getting it myself
May 26, 2011 6:19:33 AM

I appreciate all of the advice. Especially for the memory and coolers. Is there anything wrong with the NZXT case? I see people saying to buy some of the more proven cases but I really like the aesthetics of the the black/blue highlights and the size of the case.

Just wondering.
May 26, 2011 12:39:05 PM

It's a great case. Everyone has their preferences :p 
May 26, 2011 4:40:25 PM

The Phantom is a fine case, though you may want to look into adding additional fans(the case only supports NZXT's fans) especially if you plan on crossfire/sli in the future. When it comes down to it a lot of picking a case is the aesthetics. Check out reviewers on youtube like OC3D or 3Dgameman, since they walk you through the features and can help you get a handle on the size of the case.
May 26, 2011 5:03:14 PM

i appreciate the advice. i went with the nzxt phantom because if I want to overclock I think i will try to put together a custom water-cooling solution as a project.

I put together my purchase and will update the post with my gear.

Thank you all for your advice!