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Please review my ($1800 approx.) Sandy Bridge build

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May 26, 2011 6:23:35 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: One to Two weeks

Budget Range: $1800 or below

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (BFBC2, BF3 when it comes out), Photo/Video editing (very noob in this area so won't be going hardcore in this area), internets

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor (current monitors max resolution is 1680x1050)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Intel, I like EVGA mobo's and video cards

Overclocking: Yes - never overclocked before but seems easier than ever now a days, so I'll try my hand at it this time around

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: Currently 1680x1050 but I will be purchasing a 1920x1080 monitor not far behind purchasing my new computer

Additional Comments: The main reason for this build is Battlefield 3! I have a decent setup now but it doesn't play BFBC2 very well. I think it is my processor that is bottlenecking my current system. Here are the specs of my current system;Core2Duo e6400 @ 2.13ghz, EVGA GTX260 Core 216, EVGA 680i mobo, 2GB Corsair XMS DDR2 (800). I thought about overclocking the chip or buying a e8500 and using my current setup and upgrading later, maybe a month before BF3 comes out. Maybe someone can recommend a good route for me to take.

Here are the parts for my new build. Please offer suggestions or let me know what you think.

Motherboard: ASUS Z68 V-PRO or EVGA P67 SLI (supposed to be available by the end of this week)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=130-SB-E67... Family&series=Intel P67 Series Family&sw=5

Processor: i5-2500k

Graphics: EVGA GTX 580 (1.5 GB or 3GB version)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Lian Li Lancool PC-K62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Seasonic X750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Intel 510 Series 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 1TB (Seems like everyone recommends the Samsung Spinpoint)

Cooling: Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 - Already Purchased (Got it for $85 on neweggs shell shocker deals)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium

Monitor: Plan on using my current one but I know I will need one with a higher resolution to take advantage of the powerful GPU. Please recommend me one that is around $200 and I like gaming at 1920x1080.

If I purchase the new build parts I will be using my current video card GTX260 for a few weeks before I purchase the GTX580.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice!



May 26, 2011 6:36:21 PM

I suggest getting more wattage if you plan on adding more gpus down the road, possibly getting the os and microsoft office somewhere*cough* to save a few hundred bucks, the i7 2600k is great for overclocking which you should do or your crazy, you can probally overclock it to 4.8 ghz easy with that cooler. the gtx 580 sc is excellent, if your scared to overclock ur gpu fearful of breaking it or something, and i suggest getting a haf case or a corsair one. the motherboard should have multiple pcie 2x16 and usb 3.0 plenty of those. with ddr3 memory, double channel or triple but that requires three sticks. the asus one seems good, also r emeber you need a sound card and network card unless it comes on the motherboard, or if you have an awesome headset like me you still need some sort of crappy sound card. But yeh if you plan on upgrading in the future you need more pci slots on your mobo, and a case with alot of expansion slots, find one with good airflow, and neat features. You should check out my post those are really good parts.
May 26, 2011 6:58:39 PM

Get a pair of gtx 560ti instead of the GTX 580!
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May 26, 2011 7:05:02 PM

or 2 AMD 6950s

Best solution

May 26, 2011 8:03:20 PM
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MoBo - In SLI / CF, that MoBo only does x8 x8. If ya want x16 x16 you'll have to wait for the Z68 version of the WS Revolution.....or just go with the P67 WS .

With photo / video editing in the mix, CUDA capability means nVidia cards. Twin 560 Ti's (900 Mhz versions) are $60 cheaper than the 580 and outperform it by 40%. The 750 watt PSU won't handle adding a 2nd 580....tho it' fine for twin 560's

$220 each http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, 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 along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$245.00 6950 (479/751) $0.51 - $0.65
$265.00 560 Ti (455/792) $0.58 - $0.67
$315.00 6970 (526/825) $0.60 - $0.76
$220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $0.44 - $0.51
$335.00 570 (524/873) $0.64 - $0.77
$500.00 580 (616/953) $0.81 - $1.05


Unlock CUDA by following instructions here:
http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

SSD - The 510 falls bit short of the Vertex 3 ($300 for 120 GB at least until Force 3's release pushes price down) and the Corsair Force 3 (120 GB = $220) (release date on or about June 1st)

HD - There is no "best" 1 TB HD .... each excels in different applications. Pick the one that performs best in your apps.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[3016]=on&prod[2365]=on

Of course if you want something faster, you should go for the Barracuda XT series which is currently the fastest 7200 rpm drive:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

RAM - I think the Vengeance might hit the Hyper 212. The Scythe Mugen 2 by the way beats it by 7C in benchmark reviews tests. I keep my RAM heights to 40mm so can't tell ya if its gonna be a problem w/ either.
May 26, 2011 8:52:41 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
MoBo - In SLI / CF, that MoBo only does x8 x8. If ya want x16 x16 you'll have to wait for the Z68 version of the WS Revolution.....or just go with the P67 WS .
Looks like both the boards I picked only does x8 x8 in SLI. Can you explain the difference to me? I'm noob in this area but x16 x16 sounds like the better route. Is the P67 WS made by Asus? Does it have good reviews?
With photo / video editing in the mix, CUDA capability means nVidia cards. Twin 560 Ti's (900 Mhz versions) are $60 cheaper than the 580 and outperform it by 40%. The 750 watt PSU won't handle adding a 2nd 580....tho it' fine for twin 560's
Thanks for this information! This is a no brainer and I'll be going with the Twin 560 Ti's. Any particular brand you would recommend? Good to know my PSU will handle that load.
$220 each http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, 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 along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$245.00 6950 (479/751) $0.51 - $0.65
$265.00 560 Ti (455/792) $0.58 - $0.67
$315.00 6970 (526/825) $0.60 - $0.76
$220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $0.44 - $0.51
$335.00 570 (524/873) $0.64 - $0.77
$500.00 580 (616/953) $0.81 - $1.05


Unlock CUDA by following instructions here:
http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....
I had no idea, thanks again for the information.
SSD - The 510 falls bit short of the Vertex 3 ($300 for 120 GB at least until Force 3's release pushes price down) and the Corsair Force 3 (120 GB = $220) (release date on or about June 1st)
So what would you recommend? I'm guessing to buy the Vertex 3 if purchasing before June 1st and the Corsair Force 3 if after?

HD - There is no "best" 1 TB HD .... each excels in different applications. Pick the one that performs best in your apps.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[3016]=on&prod[2365]=on

Of course if you want something faster, you should go for the Barracuda XT series which is currently the fastest 7200 rpm drive:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

RAM - I think the Vengeance might hit the Hyper 212. The Scythe Mugen 2 by the way beats it by 7C in benchmark reviews tests. I keep my RAM heights to 40mm so can't tell ya if its gonna be a problem w/ either.
I know the Hyper 212 and Vengeance fit, at least I've seen numerous posts where people have used that combo. Since The Scythe Mugen 2 beats it, I'll have to research to see if the RAM will fit. If so, I'll go with the Scythe.


Thanks for the wealth of information, you flipped my build on it's head! I'll make those changes to my build and bring up another list for you to review before I purchase, if you don't mind? Thanks again!
May 26, 2011 9:55:21 PM

same card but no shipping cost at amazon- http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004XUCCRM/ref=d...
you can always put the ram in the 2 and 4 spots and you can be sure the scythe mugen 2 will fit.
for your mobo i reccomend an asrock p67 extreme4 for 160$ at newegg because you dont need a z68 with that big of an ssd also that motherboard is great i have one and love it. running 2 560 ti's at x8 x8 will not bottleneck the cards.
with this psu's m.i.r. it it the best bang for your buck- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb hdd is at amazon for 60$-best price
May 26, 2011 11:03:04 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
same card but no shipping cost at amazon- http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004XUCCRM/ref=d...
you can always put the ram in the 2 and 4 spots and you can be sure the scythe mugen 2 will fit.
for your mobo i reccomend an asrock p67 extreme4 for 160$ at newegg because you dont need a z68 with that big of an ssd also that motherboard is great i have one and love it. running 2 560 ti's at x8 x8 will not bottleneck the cards.
with this psu's m.i.r. it it the best bang for your buck- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb hdd is at amazon for 60$-best price


How is the overclocking on that board (asrock p67 extreme4)? Is it pretty easy because I have never oc'ed before and it'd be nice if the mobo made it as simple as possible? The scythe and vengeance will fit as long as you use the 2 and 4 slots? That is good to know! What kind of setup do you have with that board? Just curious.
May 26, 2011 11:20:34 PM

Can someone suggest a good monitor? I like 1920x1080 resolution. I'd like to spend around $200 but if it's not much more than that I will take a look at it too.
May 27, 2011 1:25:29 AM

i have a single gtx 560 ti on my board that i oc'd from 850 to 920 mhz (use msi afterburner for this). im looking to get another one soon. i have a 2500k that i oc'd to 4.2ghz by just turning up the cpu multiplier to 42x. here is a monitor- http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VH238H-23-Inch-LED-Monitor/d... check it out at newegg to see the specs and reviews. amazon has the best deal though
June 4, 2011 3:51:39 AM

Best answer selected by GovtCheese.
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