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$1500-$2000 1st Build: Gaming (Advice)

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June 1, 2011 1:37:48 AM

$1500-$2000 1st Build: Opinions, Advice, etc.

Plan to purchase just after Computex 2011 is finished (NLT 10 June). Waiting to see if AMD debuts anything worth waiting for..

Primary use: Gaming > Fraps'ing > Internet > Misc.

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

SSD: OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" (OS, main applications only)

Video Card: ZOTAC AMP! ZT-50302-10M GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply

Secondary HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD4500HLHX 450GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" (Games, misc.)

CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler

Optical Drive: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM

Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower

Montitor: Acer GD235HZbid Black/orange 23.6" 2ms Widescreen 1080p 120Hz 3D LCD Monitor

Sound: ??

Future upgrades: SLI; GTX 560 Ti, 1TB HDD for back up/extra storage, second monitor (for multitasking while gaming)

Mostly purchasing from Newegg & Amazon. Based off shipping, sales, tax, etc. This 'build' totals around $1850-$1900

Ps. Thanks for any insight!!






June 1, 2011 3:54:52 AM

what state are you in?
what games will you be playing?
how high will you oc the 2500k?
will you go 3d?
ocz solid 3 60gb
i5 2500k
asrock p67 extreme4 160$ at amazon
corsair tx 750w at amazon for 95$
hdd- samsung spinpoint f3 1tb ata amzon for 60$ no need for a 10k storage drive
cpu cooler- 28$ hyper 212 plus at amazon
optical drive 19$- ZOTAC AMP! ZT-50302-10M GeForce GTX 560 Ti
case 50$- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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Best solution

June 1, 2011 9:53:17 AM

Hello, following are some options for you to consider:

1. PSU, since you are going to SLI later you might consider the Corsair HX850. With an SLI configuration your efficiency will be near 91%. It is also modular and it carries a 7-year warranty. Depending on sales and rebates you can find it for $119 - $155. It is silver rated, the Corsair TX series is bronze rated. The TX series is also a good choice but you appear to have the budget for the HX850.

2. There is a performance benefit of moving up to 2 x 4GB 1866 RAM and frequently you can find it on sale for $80 (CL9)

3. From the early AMD Bulldozer reviews, the 2500K still rules

4. Check prices on the 120 GB OCZ Agility 3 - it is faster than solid and about the same price - note I have not read any reviews on it but the Agility 2 was a solid drive

5. There are several HDDs that are as fast or nearly as fast as the Velociraptor. Seagate has a new 1 TB on a single tray coming out which may be faster and cheaper than the current HDDs

6. For storage the Samsung F3 spinpoint (already mentioned above) is recommended a lot

7. With your budget I would suggest moving up to the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler. It is perhaps the most effective air cooler on the market that still remains quiet on high fans (46 DB rating). This will help you overclock more efficiently

8. The 560Ti is a great card no doubt - however the stock non-overclocked ATI 6950 keeps up with it or beats it for most game titles and it is not overclocked.

After reading the reviews of the 560Ti I have mixed feelings. Either the 6950 or the 560Ti would be a great choice.

9. Since you are going with a Z68 board make sure your Gigabyte board supports all of the Z68 functions. Gigabyte has released several Z68 boards that do not. A lot of people are high on the Asus Z68 boards, there is a recent review of several boards here at Tom's Hardware


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June 1, 2011 10:09:10 AM

(Barring the infamous Chinese benchmark from months ago showing a nice round 50% relative increase in performance, there have been no Bulldozer reviews, no released benchmarks from anyone reputable, and likely will be none for months.....; Bulldozer has been forecasted to '3rd quarter/2011')
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June 1, 2011 11:32:07 AM

Best answer selected by Sambidexterous.
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June 1, 2011 12:01:33 PM

flong said:
Hello, following are some options for you to consider:

1. PSU, since you are going to SLI later you might consider the Corsair HX850. With an SLI configuration your efficiency will be near 91%. It is also modular and it carries a 7-year warranty. Depending on sales and rebates you can find it for $119 - $155. It is silver rated, the Corsair TX series is bronze rated. The TX series is also a good choice but you appear to have the budget for the HX850.

2. There is a performance benefit of moving up to 2 x 4GB 1866 RAM and frequently you can find it on sale for $80 (CL9)

3. From the early AMD Bulldozer reviews, the 2500K still rules

4. Check prices on the 120 GB OCZ Agility 3 - it is faster than solid and about the same price - note I have not read any reviews on it but the Agility 2 was a solid drive

5. There are several HDDs that are as fast or nearly as fast as the Velociraptor. Seagate has a new 1 TB on a single tray coming out which may be faster and cheaper than the current HDDs

6. For storage the Samsung F3 spinpoint (already mentioned above) is recommended a lot

7. With your budget I would suggest moving up to the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler. It is perhaps the most effective air cooler on the market that still remains quiet on high fans (46 DB rating). This will help you overclock more efficiently

8. The 560Ti is a great card no doubt - however the stock non-overclocked ATI 6950 keeps up with it or beats it for most game titles and it is not overclocked.

After reading the reviews of the 560Ti I have mixed feelings. Either the 6950 or the 560Ti would be a great choice.

9. Since you are going with a Z68 board make sure your Gigabyte board supports all of the Z68 functions. Gigabyte has released several Z68 boards that do not. A lot of people are high on the Asus Z68 boards, there is a recent review of several boards here at Tom's Hardware


I honestly don't know about the Motherboard. I did some more 'new build' forum searching and switched to:
-GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I also took your advice and swapped some other components around:
-HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity ($280)
-CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply ($135)
-G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR ($105)
-SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($65) Mass storage/backup
-Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler ($90)
-OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC ($150) Sized down for OS/Apps/etc

I feel better about this build than before. I like the HD 6950, it was my initial choice. I still have another week left before purchase, thanks a lot for the help.

Ps. I didn't notice the sticky "New Build" Template, oh well >.<






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June 2, 2011 12:33:12 AM

sambidexterous said:
I honestly don't know about the Motherboard. I did some more 'new build' forum searching and switched to:
-GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I also took your advice and swapped some other components around:
-HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity ($280)
-CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply ($135)
-G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR ($105)
-SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($65) Mass storage/backup
-Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler ($90)
-OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC ($150) Sized down for OS/Apps/etc

I feel better about this build than before. I like the HD 6950, it was my initial choice. I still have another week left before purchase, thanks a lot for the help.

Ps. I didn't notice the sticky "New Build" Template, oh well >.<


Glad to hear that you have gotten some answers. Building a computer and selecting the right components for your needs can be challenging. I have a couple of thoughts:

1. Check the pricing on the OCZ Agility 3 120GB at newegg, with rebates I have seen it go as low as $204 and it is nearly as fast as the Vertex 3 - ummm scratch this, I just checked and it was $279.00 (man it went up $75 in a week)

2. Look for sales on the Corsair HX850, it frequently goes on sale for LESS than the TX850 if you can believe that. I have seen it go for $119.00 after rebates on newegg

Also, the HX 850 is only about $15.00 more than the TX ($135) right now ($150 after rebate) and it is has a the following benefits that the TX does not:

1. It is Silver rated and more efficient - tests show it to be 91% at the 30% and 60% capacity which is actually within gold standards. As you reach 75% capacity it drops down to 86% - 87%. It has gotten sterling professional reviews

2. It is modular and so your internal cabling will be much easier when you build

3. It has a 7-year warranty instead of a 5-year

Note that the TX is a great unit too so if budget is a real problem go ahead and get it. Make sure you get the new updated TX unit as it is more efficient (Corsair just updated the TX series and old models are still on
sale)

4. Here is a link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. It is a little tricky to know which Gigabyte boards do not support all of the Z68 functions but one key is that they do not have a DVI connector to the internal Intel GPU so you cannot use the Intel GPU and Sync transcoding. If in doubt post a thread on the motherboard section and get some opinions - a lot of people on this forum know more than me about motherboards. I personally don't trust the Gigabyte Z68 boards because they disabled several Z68 features on them

A lot of professional reviews are recommending the Asus Pro Z68

4. I don't think you can wrong with the 6950 right now - it may be the most recommended video card currently for gamers. Look for sales. Frequently you can get the XFX 2 GB 6950 for $244 after rebates and it has a double lifetime warranty

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