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Review my first build! $1000-1300 Gaming RIg

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May 28, 2011 4:00:54 AM

Hi everyone! I've been poking around here for a bit as I am gearing up to build my first computer. I'm very excited as I have enjoyed playing with internals in the past and am ready to make the jump into making the whole computer my own. Anyway, here is what I am looking for in this build. Any input/comments are welcome and appreciated.

Approx. purchase date: Mid June

Budget: $1000-1300

Primary uses: Gaming, internet, Netflix. For games, I am looking to play WoW, Portal 2, Bad Company 3, and possibly a few others. More important than the games themselves is that I want the settings to be set very high on a 1920x1200 monitor

Parts not needed: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers

Country of origin: USA

Preferred website: Newegg, though I'm willing to bargain hunt a bit

Overclocking: Possibly down the road

SLI or Crossfire: Again, possibly down the road

Monitor resolution: 1920x1200

Additional information: For the moment, I am going to skip SSDs, as I think they are still a little overpriced per GB. I will also skip on a sound card. As for GPU, I have selected an AMD rig because I have a monitor already and it has a mini-display connector. I am also looking into wireless adapters as the modem and router in the house are not in the same room as this rig will be, but I need one that is reliable and provides decent speeds. Also, the Corsair Graphite 600t is pretty much non-negotiable. I have fallen in love with the case (or like it as much as anyone can like a case, I think) and am willing to pay a bit of a premium for it.

Anyway, input/suggestions/comments from some people with experience would be helpful!!!

==============================================
My proposed rig:

Case: Corsair Graphite 600T:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec 900W:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

RAM: G.SKill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) 1600:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: Asus Black 24x:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium OEM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung spinpoint F3 1TB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Comes in around $1100 (before shipping and any available MIRs) which is great. Again, I am looking for general input as well as specific recommendations on wireless adapters. I would prefer that it not be USB, but if people here have had success with them I am open to those suggestions as well. Thanks!!!

Updated to add HDD
Update 2: New DVD, PSU
Upate 3: RAM upgrade to 8GB
May 28, 2011 4:12:08 AM

after shiiping this one is cheaper: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Graphite-Mid-Tower-Gaming...
also have you looked into the nzxt phantom
this dvd drive- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with money saved get this psu so you are ready for cf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
hdd: samsung spinpoint f3 1tb at amazon for 60$ (maybe get 2 and go raid 0?)
wireless adapter (not reccomended for gaming can you move the router to the room your computer is in?0- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 28, 2011 4:24:45 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
after shiiping this one is cheaper: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Graphite-Mid-Tower-Gaming...
also have you looked into the nzxt phantom
this dvd drive- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with money saved get this psu so you are ready for cf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
hdd: samsung spinpoint f3 1tb at amazon for 60$ (maybe get 2 and go raid 0?)
wireless adapter (not reccomended for gaming can you move the router to the room your computer is in?0- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks mjmjpfaff! I looked at the Phantom but settled on the Corsair after scoping them both out because I prefer the Corsair's aesthetics. But I appreciate the heads-up on the discount on Amazon.

Can't believe I forgot the HDD. Knew there would be something missing. But the 1TB spinpoint is what I had planned on getting.

On the PSU front, I had a concern that 650W wouldn't be enough for CF, but the AMD website says the 650 V2 can handle 2x6950s in CF: http://sites.amd.com/us/game/products/certified/Pages/c...

And the wireless router is me planning on worst-case scenario, but I hope to move the router as I know wireless isn't ideal for gaming.
Related resources
May 28, 2011 4:39:41 AM

you will need adapters for the 650w psu just go with that antec i posted.
do you have a cable output for that room because moving a router is really easy
May 28, 2011 4:43:43 AM

hudyoung said:
Thanks mjmjpfaff! I looked at the Phantom but settled on the Corsair after scoping them both out because I prefer the Corsair's aesthetics. But I appreciate the heads-up on the discount on Amazon.

Can't believe I forgot the HDD. Knew there would be something missing. But the 1TB spinpoint is what I had planned on getting.

On the PSU front, I had a concern that 650W wouldn't be enough for CF, but the AMD website says the 650 V2 can handle 2x6950s in CF: http://sites.amd.com/us/game/products/certified/Pages/c...

And the wireless router is me planning on worst-case scenario, but I hope to move the router as I know wireless isn't ideal for gaming.


CF 6950's 2gb is really really really really pushing at it on that PSU.
Much less if you overclock ANYTHING.
The 2 gpu's take 509Watts at load. That leaves 140watts that the tx 650 is rated at. The processors another 100. 40 watts for everything else really isn't enough in a worst case scenario; you are meant to leave 100watts - The HDD will spin around 20 watts max too..
I'd really have to recommend the HCG 900watter - Its great and will run your 6950's with around 250watts to spare. You can get the 750W TX for $100, but the hcg 900 got better scores in jonnyguru's review, and is only $10 more, and 150watts more too.

We here can't really recommend anything under 750 watts- 700 is pushing it, for 2x 6950's 2gbs. Especially with overclocking in mind. If you want a psu greater than 650 watts, then you ought to get the hcg900 - Terrific deal at the $110 price.
May 28, 2011 4:56:28 AM

Updated first post with HDD as well as new DVD and PSU.

Excellent input. vibhas, thank you for the power ratings and AznShinobi for the build guides.

mjmjpfaff- I would ideally move the router and modem as I do have a cable hookup in the room where the computer will live. But I am not sure my roommate (who also happens to be my landlord) would want them moved, so I am just looking at alternative solutions for the moment.
May 28, 2011 5:10:08 AM

sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place.
May 28, 2011 5:22:07 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place.


I mean it's a pretty great living arrangement and we get along well I'm just trying not to hassle her with this.

Also, a general system question: I just realized that I had selected 4 GB of 1600 RAM. Is there much difference in performance between 4GB of 1600 vs. 4GB of 1333 vs. 8GB of 1333?
May 28, 2011 5:26:33 AM

in gaming you really wont get worse framerates with 1333mhz ram its just for overall performance i reccomend 1600mhz ram
May 28, 2011 6:05:40 AM

^+1

1600 you will not have any noticeable diffeerence at all in the memory. 8GB is typically the best because you have more RAM to archive/file create with. I would recommend going 8GB if you can even 1333 would be good. Typically 1333 is good enough.
May 28, 2011 12:22:26 PM

OK I think I will go with 8GB. Seems worth it for longevity's sake and allows me to max out at 16 instead of 8 without having to trade RAM in. I also decided to stay with 1600 sticks because once I made the upgrade the relative price between 1333 and 1600 is negligible.

Another question I thought of last night: is an uninterrupted power supply worth the investment or do your run-of-the-mill surge protectors offer sufficient protection for the computer?
May 28, 2011 3:18:33 PM

i think the run off the mill surge protectors are fine
May 29, 2011 6:24:56 AM

8GB 1333MHZ is better compared to 4 gigs of 1600mhz ram. However buying this ram is better than both: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$80 for 8GB of 1866MHZ RAM. The cheapest 1333MHZ 8gb of ram you can find online isn't much cheaper than that, and well.. this RAM is the equivalent of the "X" series - Its not the lowest tier g.skill ram. I'd really have to recommend this ram.. and you ought to order it now before they up the price/out of stock.
May 29, 2011 2:16:12 PM

While the price of that RAM is nice and low, isn't it unnecessary to get 1866 RAM? Won't it just clock down to 1600 MHz?
May 29, 2011 5:30:43 PM

^ Still cheaper than 1600 DDR3 8GB ram so it doesn't matter. DDR3 1600 ram costs 90$ while that only costs 80 for a higher speed if the mb can handle it.
May 30, 2011 5:41:27 AM

hudyoung said:
While the price of that RAM is nice and low, isn't it unnecessary to get 1866 RAM? Won't it just clock down to 1600 MHz?


Yeah it would. But you can clock down and tighten the timings to make it faster :) 
1600CL7>1866cl9
!