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$1200-1500 gaming PC

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June 14, 2011 12:15:38 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: in the next month

Budget Range: between $1200 and $1500 CAD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: internet, gaming, movies, working (mostly programming)

Parts Not Required: OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca mostly, if necessary ncix.ca or tigerdirect.ca

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel for CPU, not really any preferences for the rest

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: at least 1680x1050, possibly full hd

Additional Comments: Ideally not too loud. I need a monitor too.

Here is what I found so far:

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 89,98$

Asus VE248H Black 24" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers - 209,99$

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K - 219,99$

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - 9,99$

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

and

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 - 298,98$ for the two

Total : 889,47$


Thanks for your advice.

More about : 1200 1500 gaming

June 14, 2011 12:27:23 AM

Hi there! Welcome to the forums. Looks like you have an OK outline, if not a bit overkill.

I'm gonna point you to the Bestconfig Intel Budget thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312822-31-bestconfigs... It has a bunch of really wonderful builds that are right at your pricepoint ($1000 for pc, $150 for monitor, $50 for keyboard/mouse) And are very good guidelines to building a PC.

Check them out and report back!
June 14, 2011 1:17:16 AM

Is it really that important to have 2 video cards? It seems nearly all of the builds have 2 but is it really better to have 2 mid-range video cards than one high-end?
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June 14, 2011 1:27:39 AM

No! Most certainly not. It is better to have 1 card. However, 2 cards can provide much more performance than a single card at the same pricepoint. With the $1000 budget, we try to pack as much performance as we can into the build while staying under the mark. This is why it was done.

And at your budget if you are only going with a single screen, a single card like a GTX 570 or 6970 would be perfect. This allows you to add another one in when your build starts to slow down in 2 years or so. It gives a cheap but large boost in performance.
June 14, 2011 1:32:42 AM

Also should I take a P67 chipset motherboard or a Z68? It seems Z68 is the latest but pretty much everyone recommends getting a P67. Why is that?

Thanks
June 14, 2011 1:36:31 AM

Well for gamers, there's no real reason to get Z68. Most of the time a P67 suggestion would be because of price. Gamers don't use any of the cool features in Z68 (Except maybe SSD caching; google it) so P67 or Z68 will work.
June 14, 2011 1:46:19 AM

Currently I'm mostly hesitating between the GTX 570 and the Radeon 6950 for the video card. Which one is better/cheaper? Also, from which manufacturer should I buy it? I know there's a lot of them but I'm not sure which one is best...

Thanks
June 14, 2011 1:52:37 AM

The GTX 570 is $330, the 6950 is $260. The GTX 570 whoops the 6950's butt. You should really be comparing the 6970 ($350) to the GTX 570. Here's my 2 picks:
GTX 570: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $325
OR if you want the lifetime warranty instead of 10 year (IDK why)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $345

6970: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $350

Here's a benchy: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306 As you can see, they trade blows pretty evenly. It's up to you. Whichever your apps prefer.
June 14, 2011 2:09:48 AM

I've heard that it's possible to flash the bios of the 6950 to make it a 6970. Is it really possible and if so, is it easily/safely done?
June 14, 2011 2:12:19 AM

It once was possible. however, I believe it's been confirmed that all the flashable GPU's have sold out. You'd be better off going 6970 from the start, as some people had serious heat issues after flashing their cards. IF you get your card to flash (which I doubt you can anymore :(  )
June 14, 2011 8:57:53 PM

I have added a few things to my build:

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 89,98$

Asus VE248H Black 24" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers - 209,99$

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K - 219,99$

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - 9,99$

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

and

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 - 298,98$ for the two

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM 21,99$

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 74,99$

EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - 329,99$

Total : 1345,39$

I still need a PSU and a cpu fan. For the PSU I'm really not sure, I'd like a modular PSU if possible but a lot of the ones that seems good aren't modular. Also I'm not sure if modular is really better than not modular, but I think since it's my first build modular would be best. Any suggestion for the PSU?

Also I'm hesitating between a Samsung hard drive and a WD. I've had bad experiences in the past with WD external hard drives but it seems like they are pretty good for internal hard drives. Also the samsung one is quite a lot cheaper.

As for the CPU fan I have absolutely no idea what to get. I know some are very good but I'm always afraid it won't fit my case or will be too difficult to install. Any suggestion on that one?

The last thing is the case. I kinda like it but it seems a bit expensive for a case. Would there be any alternative that would be a bit cheaper while still having quite a lot of space?

Thanks.
June 14, 2011 11:57:26 PM

First thing is don't get the P67 deluxe. It's a waste of money. Something like this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item... Has almost all the same features at 2/3 the price. Also in a bundle so yay!

That monitor seems a tad expensive. Might wanna shop around.

For a CPU fan, the hyper 212+: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... Is hard to beat. Look around at different stores to see if it's in stock. It's a VERY popular heatsink.

And the case is a little expensive, but a case does 2 things.
-It holds all the parts together
-It provides cooling to said parts.
The HAF series is very good about providing cooling. It's in their name! (High Air Flow) You actually get a $10 discount compared to us americans, seeing as usually you have more expensive parts.

For a modular PSU, there are many options. The Corsair 750HX is awesome, but expensive. This Antec is a good $60 cheaper, but only semi modular: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... It's a very good power supply.

June 15, 2011 12:39:25 AM

Thanks for the suggestions!

The motherboard you're suggesting seems to be getting a lot of bad reviews on newegg. Is it really reliable?

The cpu fan looks great, although a little big (as long as I can install it it's not a problem). The corsair PSU you're suggesting seems great but quite expensive honestly. I think I'll go with the Antec one unless I'm able to save money elsewhere.

The monitor I chose is an Asus one, and newegg doesn't seem to have a lot of other brands. It's a LED monitor and apparently it's quite a lot better than the normal LCDs. At least that's what I've heard.

As for the case, do you know any other case that are as good/better and a little/a lot cheaper?

Thanks!
June 15, 2011 12:46:29 AM

Ahh yes, I see what you are talking about. Excuse my oversight.

Well, the ASRock P67 Extreme4 is significantly cheaper, has the tom's nod, and looks super badass. I would check it out.

Honestly, $90 isn't a whole lot to spend on a quality case. But here's a very good one for $30 cheaper: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... Bout as good as it gets price/performance wise.
June 15, 2011 12:54:33 AM

The thing is the ASRock isn't in any combos :( 

Without a combo it's about $20 less than the two other motherboards? Is the Asus one worth the extra $20?

As for the monitor, do you know any good monitor at a decent price?

Thanks a lot!
June 15, 2011 6:18:57 PM

I suppose 7.1 is a technology that requires multiple speakers? I don't think I'll need that. This seems like a good motherboard though, I'll check it out. I think by this evening I should have chosen most of the components, I'll submit it here so you can see it.

Thanks again for all the advice!
June 15, 2011 6:58:18 PM

Thanks!

Also, do you know if there's any difference in quality between the samsung and the WD drives? I'm hesitating between the two...
June 16, 2011 12:18:21 AM

The Samsung Spinpoint F3 hands down. It's faster than the WD, cheaper, and are made of high quality materials. WD makes excellent drives, but they are the Apple of the computer world. They simply charge too much (and they have no fancy OS :p )
June 16, 2011 1:02:45 AM

So here is the build I've come up with in the last few days:

On newegg.ca:

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - 21,99$

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 89,98$

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 74,99$

ASUS VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers - 179,99$

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - 204,99$

EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - 329,99$

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - 189,99$

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model - 83,99$

Sub-total : 1287,27$
-50$ in rebates = 1237,27$


On ncix.ca


Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM - 29,98$


Corsair Professional HX750W 750W ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan - 129,99$

Sub-total : 159,97$ + shipping (I guess about 10-20$...)


Total : 1462,24$


I'm wondering, is G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) a good deal at 79,99$? Better than the memory I chose?

Also, don't hesitate to comment on my current build, if you have any suggestions. I need a keyboard too, and I really have no idea what to pick...

Thanks
June 16, 2011 1:50:44 AM

YES! Get that ram.

And I thought you decided to change out the case? The HAF 912 is more than capable.

That P67 Extreme4 is kinda pricey. Check this one out: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... It's the price of the Extreme4 over here, and is sexy black :D  Has more connectors, too.

Plus, I think the Antec PSU might be a bit better choice. Much cheaper.

Get this GPU: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $4 more for lifetime warranty and Step-up program eligibility (google EVGA step up)

Asides from those things, looks good. Might consider getting black ram if they have it. to fit the black theme of black case, black GPU, black mobo, black fans on the heatsink. Just a thought. If they don't have black, red will work quite well. Just don't get blue, erg.
June 16, 2011 2:19:59 AM

Isn't the Extreme4 better for overclocking?

The HAF 922 seems quite better for cooling the components since it has 3 fans vs 2 for the 912 and it also seems a little bigger and better in general. I might be wrong though. Since I plan to overclock I guess I need to have good cooling.

What's the step-up program??

The corsair PSU is quite cheap at 129,99$ but is it a lot better than the antec one? And is it easier to install with the cables and al that stuff??

Also do you think all the parts will fit in the case? I'm worried that the gpu/cpu fan won't fit because I've read some people had problems with that.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions!

Edit : Is there anything else I should buy to help me build the system?
June 16, 2011 2:37:24 AM

No, Z68 is perfectly fine. It's like P67+H67.

yes the HAF 922 is a better choice. I thought you were worried about price.

And the step up program (Which I said to google, btw >.>) is EVGA's way of making sure you futureproof. It means if you buy a GPU and 6 weeks later they come out with a brand new line or version, you can trade in that GPU for the new one. Pretty cool deal.

And BUY THAT PSU RIGHT NOW It's a 1 day offer! BUY IT!

Yep! You'll be fine with them fitting. The GTX 570 fits in a HAF 912, the 922's smaller brother.

And the only thing you need is this puppy right here... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...
June 16, 2011 2:43:48 AM

I meant isn't the motherboard Extreme4 better than the gigabyte one for overclocking?

I didn't see it was a 1 day offer! Thanks a lot I could've missed it =/

Well for the moment I'll buy my fan and my psu, as I'm still not completely sure about the motherboard.
June 16, 2011 2:45:26 AM

Not quite sure what you mean "better for overclocking".... Overclocking is overclocking. The same results can be accomplished with both. Can you elaborate a little?
June 16, 2011 2:49:59 AM

Well I read somewhere that overclocking was more easily achieved with a higher-end card.

Besides the prices is there really any difference between the two?
June 16, 2011 3:00:24 AM

Umm, card? I assume it's a typo and you meant board. Correct me if i'm wrong. They are both on the same level, with the extreme4 being a tinnnyyy bit nicer IMO.

From what I can see, the difference is very minimal. Like, no difference except I think the extreme4 looks better :D 
June 16, 2011 3:06:26 AM

Yeah I meant board, it's just that in my native language we use card instead of board so it's a bit confusing.

If the difference is really only about the looks of the boards then I guess I can get the cheaper one.

I'll review the whole thing tomorrow and order afterwards. In the meantime would you have any suggestion for a keyboard?

Thanks again for all the help.
June 16, 2011 3:27:23 AM

Keyboard doesn't matter so much as mouse. But I like the slimmer keys, so here's what I would buy: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The more important thing is a nice mouse.

And what is your native language? Your english is amazing, I commend you on learning are very confusing language :D 
June 16, 2011 9:45:58 PM

French is my native language. Actually it's very similar to english, so it wasn't really that hard to learn it ;) .

A few questions before I order :

For memory, do the timings matter more than the frequency or the opposite? I've read a lot of stuff on this and it doesn't seem like there is a consensus on this.

Also, is there any tool you would suggest that could be useful to build the system? I wanna make sure I don't break stuff or lack anything when I build it.

I just checked yesterday and discovered a new guide by newegg to build a complete system. By far the best guide I've seen (it's on video too) and it's released barely 2 weeks before I try it myself. I feel lucky :D .

Edit : I already have this mouse for my laptop and I think I'll use it for my desktop too. It's by far the most comfortable mouse I've ever had and it's pretty good for gaming too.
June 16, 2011 10:16:00 PM

Ahh. Still, very nice english.

What you want is 1600MHz CL9. There is a fair amount of debate, 1600MHz CL9 or 1333MHz CL7. But it's universally accepted now that 1600MHz is the better ram. I mean, there is like a 4% difference between 1600 and 1333. But it's also like $2 more so you might as well, right?

The only tools you need are knowledge and maybe a screwdriver (maybe). A knife would be handy to open all those pesky packages.

Awesome! Here's another guide that might be helpful: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g... I linked it above. I personally have used this guide and I think it's great.
However, video is even better ;) 

Oh yes, excellent mouse. It's one of the most recommended around here.

Any more questions? :) 
June 16, 2011 10:17:43 PM

Yeah I knew about this guide, I guess the best way to do it would be to combine the two so that I don't make any mistake. It would kinda suck to break something when each part costs more than a hundred dollars :D 
June 16, 2011 11:43:56 PM

I was wondering, is there a big difference between SATA 3.0 gb/s and SATA 6.0 gb/s?

This drive : Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX has the advantage of being 6.0 gb/s.
June 16, 2011 11:48:25 PM

Nope, certainly isn't for HDD's. It's a marketing gimmick used by HDD manufacturers in an attempt to get you to buy their product. An HDD cannot fully utilize the 3GB/s, let alone the 6GB/s. That line is for SSD's, which are WAY faster, but also WAY more expensive.
June 16, 2011 11:55:45 PM

I see. I almost fell for that, good thing you told me.

So I will finally be able to order tonight! Last thing is to finally decide which motherboard to take (I'm still unsure).

Thanks a lot for the help! You're pretty much the only person who answered my questions and I posted on a few forums ; I'm very grateful for that. If there was a rep button on this forum I'd definitely give you some. This doesn't seem to be the case though.

Again, thanks a lot!
June 16, 2011 11:59:12 PM

Well, there is the best answer button.... :D 

But yeah, the mobo is totally up to you. And I'm sorry no one else chimed in here! It seems to be common courtesy around here not to jump in a long thread unless they see and issue. It's a bit of a client/helper thing. 2 arguing helpers can make things difficult :p 

I'm glad you have it all worked out.

Good luck and have fun.
June 17, 2011 12:09:38 AM

I can't find the best answer button =/. Maybe it's because my thread is a discussion and not a question?
June 17, 2011 12:15:54 AM

Ahh, maybe. Whatever, I'm just here to help :) 
!