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Last response: in Systems
June 15, 2011 10:02:52 PM

A friend is interested in getting a decent gaming rig, and I told him I could put one together for him cheaper than buying from a retailer. I already have some of the parts in mind but would like some advice on the rest. This isn't going to happen for a couple months, but I wanted to start the research now.

Approximate purchase date About 2 months from now.

Budget range up to $1200

System usage Gaming, watching movies

Parts not required Monitor, mouse, OS

Preferred web sites Microcenter (in store pickup, Cambridge, MA), newegg, Amazon

Country of origin US of A

Parts preference none

Overclock Maybe

Crossfire Not to start, but down the road definitely

Monitor resolution 1920x1080

Additional comments Things he wants: blu-ray drive (blu-ray burner if it can fit in the budget) and a wireless keyboard. We want something with some upgrade potential (2nd vid card, SSD)

Here is what I have selected for parts"

CPU i5 2500k $180

GPU Sapphire 6950 $280

PSU Corsair XT 750 $110

Mobo Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 $150

Memory G Skill Ripjaw 8 GB 1600 $85

Case HAF 922 $100

That leaves HDD, keyboard and optical drive. Also, is a stock CPU cooler sufficient if not overclocking?

More about : build advice

June 15, 2011 10:48:43 PM

Assuming he goes for the SSD/HDD combo, when I set it up, I would put the SSD on the SATA3 and the HDD on the SATA2. Then install windows on the HDD, then go through the gigabyte EZ setup?
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June 15, 2011 11:28:21 PM

yes install the ssd on sata3 hdd on sata2 and load the os on the SSD. in duel card setup the 6950 beats the 560 ti
June 15, 2011 11:37:30 PM

You better overclock. Just get a $30 Hyper 212 or something.
OS on the SSD for sure. Also probably one or two of your/his favorite games.
Keyboard: It all depends. The latest Tom's article had a lot to say.
Personally, I use an Apple Keyboard for its low-profile keys and because I'm used to it, but if you've never tried a mechanical keyboard you should get on it ASAP. They're pretty great for gaming.
Also, you know you don't need both the bluray and normal drives, right?
June 15, 2011 11:55:27 PM

So what would get better performance, the SSD cache with OS on HDD or just install OS on SSD? Also, is the Z68 the only chipset capable of OC'ing Sandy Bridge?
June 16, 2011 2:36:21 AM

os on ssd! no caching! p67's can oc sandy bridge too. but that mobo crewton posted is the best deal.