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$2000-2500 Gaming build, Advice+Feedback welcome

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June 5, 2011 6:09:34 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 weeks


Budget Range: ~$2000-2500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (looking forward to BF3)> Watching Videos > Surfing


Country of Origin: Bahrain


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm going to have to use retail shops, no access / too expensive shipping for online


Overclocking: Probably, CPU most likely


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (Using Samsung 40 inch C530 tv)


Additional Comments:
-Using computer retail shop for my purchases, this slightly restricts me for some pc parts
-First time building, researched extensively

Parts already bought:
- Samsung C530 40 inch TV
- RAT 7 Mouse
- Goliathus Speed Fragged Mat
- Logitech G19 Keyboard
- Logitech Gaming Headset + Desktop Mic
- REUSING HDD: Seagate 700 gb barracuda 7200 rpm

CURRENT TO BUY LIST:


CPU: Intel i7 2600k: Hoping for a stable overclock

Motherboard: Asus p8p67 WS Revolution

Case: Coolermaster HAF X: getting red LED fans all over

Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14

GPU: Crossfire 2x XFX Radeon 6970 2 gb (I'm guessing I can just hook one of the cards via hdmi to the tv and I should be set and good to go? Any advantage Nvidia has with this?)

SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 120 gb: Using for OS+frequently used apps+games (using steam so gonna throw most commonly used 2-3 games there while rest in HDD)

HDD: Already got a 700 gb seagate, Looking for 1 TB
either: 1 TB Seagate 7200 3gb/s for $68
OR: 1 TB Western Digital 6 gb/s for $100


Is there a clear performance upgrade?


PSU: 1)Corsair TX950, 950W
2) Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold 1000w
3)Silverstone Strider Plus Gold 1000w
4) Corsair HX 1000W

Note: between #1-3 very small price difference like $10-15, #4 is $50 more expensive, I don't mind paying if it's better quality

Memory: This is sadly quite limited, I couldn't find any corsair or g.skill 1.5v 8gb ram, options currently found:
1) Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model PXD38G1866ELK, 9-11-9-27 1.65v 1866 mhz CAS9
2) Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory w/FrostByte Heatsink Model 996989, 8-9-8-24 1.6v 1600mhz CAS8
3) Corsair 1600 mhz 8-8-8-24 1.65v CAS9 not sure if it's either this or this, think it's the first one, not sure

What's the best option? I'm worried about the voltages and the intel i7 2600k, as I planned on doing a stable overclock to 4.5 if possible and I'm afraid the voltage might cause harm. Price isn't a problem for this.

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Optic:some cheap LG, don't find a need for blueray as I don't rent/buy blueray movies and don't think theres another use for it?


Questions:

1) HDD advice / feedback

2) PSU advice / feedback

3) Memory advice / feedback

4) This is my first time building, I've got a tool box with lots of different screws I can use. What do I need to get as well? Anti-static wrist? What do I need for cable management? Does it come with the case/psu or whatever or is it completely separate?

5) I've got a TV, headset, and desktop mic. I wanna combine the TV and desktop mic when using speakers and headset when more private stuff like ventrilo, is there a problem in terms of managing that setup or is it really just simple and done in the control panel or whatever and plugging/unplugging?

Advice / Feedback for overall build is appreciated!
June 5, 2011 6:37:36 PM

Wow, huge post, huge budget.

I'm gonna go ahead and say you are pretty close on the money. Where are you? I saw no mention of it in the post.

Anyways, the 2600k/2x 6970/8GB of ram is one hell of a PC. Here's what i'm gonna say.

-drop to the 2500k. Nearly identical scores in gaming.

-get one 6970, leave room for another. at 1080p, you will have no issues maxing BF3 in my opinion.

-Get the Asus P8P67PRO instead of WS revolution. The only real difference is the NF200 chip, which you really don't need.

-Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB hdd. One of the fastest HDD's out there.

For a psu, I would check out the Corsair 850AX. It's a top of the line PSU, and has all the power you could want.

-Unfortunately, the only ram you linked that was 1.5v was the Patriot. I'd look around a bit more in your local shops.

-Get a Scythe Mudgen 2100, much cheaper/smaller than the nocta but just as good.

And there you go! I left some stuff about because the other members know a bit more and I don't wanna give my opinion unless I know what i'm talking about.
June 5, 2011 9:31:09 PM

Bahrain is the second line.
Yep, 2500K. Even if money is no object, it's really not worth it.
With the extra money, and a little off your piles of the stuff, you could get yourself a pretty beastly multi-monitor or giant-monitor setup. 2560x1600 ftw. If you do, keep the xfire.
You should be fine on any of those PSUs.
Related resources
June 5, 2011 9:36:50 PM

Just because it's a 40" TV doesn't mean it has more pixels than a 19" monitor. For that resolution a 6970 is more than sufficient as stated above by others. The additional card will just consume more energy, produce more heat and give more possible driver problems than the single card without providing an improvement in performance.

For the PSU go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and save some money; Corsair is overpriced and you should really look into OCP PSUs for that wattage such asn Antec's.

If you can afford it go with 1.5V DDR3 such as Corsair Vengeance.
June 6, 2011 8:06:56 AM

Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it.

- I think I'll stick with the i7 2600k

- About the GPU, you think I'd be able to easily run BF3 (With all the new frostbite engine and all the new and enhanced graphics) and future games on Max settings with only one 6970 for now using a 1920x1080 screen? Thus having really NO reason at all not going crossfire from the start?

BFBC2 Benchmark, see: 1920x1080

- I really want 1.5v RAM though as I said earlier I can't manage to find it currently, the main shop I'm buying at has the patriot+corsair listed above, while another reputable I checked has only that mushkin, which are 1.65v and 1.6v

Can anyone shed some more light relating to the RAM and voltages issue?

- Only got those options currently for the PSU/HDD which I listed, think I'll stick with the noctua NH-D14 too (very reputable and I don't think I can actually get a scythe Mudgen 2100)

- Umm, concerning the motherboard, is there a better suited (like the asus p8p67 pro you mentioned) one for my setup/needs?


I opted to go with a TV instead of possibly going an eyefinity/3d setup just because I'm getting a couch and building a customized comfortable table for the keyboard+mouse. I really miss having a couch when watching videos and feel overall it's just a lot more comfortable :p  (big 2-seater couch being electrically adjustable <3)
June 6, 2011 3:13:56 PM

No problem. Here's the ram issue.

When Intel designed the Sandy Bridge platform, they designed it with lower voltage ram (1.5v) in mind. I don't know why they didn't raise the threshold a little, but I assume there is a very good explanation. This means that if you use 1.65v ram, it could damage the controller on the chip.

With that being said, you might be ok with 1.6v ram, I don't know. Try and get 1.5v volt though.

And as cooler, you really do not need to nocta. You really don't. Do they stock the Hyper 212+ there?

The p8p67pro is an excellent motherboard. as well as the p67 b3 ud4. and the ASRock extreme4. Pick whichever is cheaper in your area.
June 6, 2011 3:44:09 PM

With the RAM, I'm now thinking of ordering them online from amazon:
Corsair Vengeance 8 gb 1600mhz 1.5v 8-8-8-24

What do you think? Yeah I think I can get the hyper 212+ (currently out of stock though), I just thought that the noctua NH-D14 was completely worth it if you got the cash from what I read? If I decide to go with either of them is there a problem with the CPU cooler + ram sizes? (heard the D14 is a not too big that you need specific ram sizes to fit, which further encourages getting the hyper 212+).

Thanks again strider, appreciate it.
June 6, 2011 3:47:59 PM

Careful with Vengence RAM and big coolers, even if you use slot 2/4 like you should with 2 sticks it might clash with the cooler. Look at Noctuas website I believe they have a guide that shows MB/RAM configs and if they fit with a D14. That being said I have a Hyper 212 with the fan mounted ram side blowing towards the back of the case, and it doesnt clash with my RAM on a p67Pro and Vengence RAM.

I still would go D14 though, its silent, extra cool, and looks sweet especially if you have the money.
June 6, 2011 4:04:41 PM

I agree the noctua is sweet, but is it $60 sweet? You will never use the super OC abilities of it, so why pay for what you won't use?
June 6, 2011 6:20:30 PM

I have a Hyper 212+ with Vengeance RAM; one of the slots I can't use but the heatsinks don't really block the huge fan/heatsink much. I can move the single fan to pull from the other side if I wanted to install 2 more Vengeance sticks or I can just remove the heatsinks (which are mostly marketing).

Go with Corsair Vengeance, the best performance RAM for the price.

The 6970 should be more than sufficient to max out any decently coded game and assuming FB3 engine of BF3 is built on FB2 of BC2 then it should be plenty with a single card. You can always get another one for CF if you get a 30" monitor or something.

The RAM voltage doesn't matter if you don't mind messing with BIOS; the IMC controller (VTT for Lynnfields, etc.) should be within 0.5V (might be different for SB) of the RAM voltage. But obviously just buying 1.5V ram makes this a non-issue. The Vengeance RAM also has good timings and overclock well (no two sticks of RAM are the same so take this with a grain of salt).
June 6, 2011 6:46:36 PM

The brand doesn't matter. It's the Cas latency and speed that matters. Any brand will do.
June 6, 2011 11:39:12 PM

Except the Vengeance kits come with lifetime warranties unlike some cheapo Chinese brand.
!