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~$1000 Gaming Build needs final shakedown

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June 17, 2011 4:35:45 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: < 1 month

Budget Range: $1000 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, Microsoft Office

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com (or anything cheaper that ships US)

Country of Origin: The Old Dominion

Parts Preferences: I'm only leaning towards reliability this build, no particular brands(s)

Overclocking: In the future

SLI or Crossfire: In the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

-I'm trying to build something that can last upwards of 3-5 years, competitively, with overclocking and Crossfire.

-Have I overlooked compatibility issues?

-Have I forgotten a crucial component?

-I didn't list a cooler because I won't be overclocking soon (and it seems one can overclock easily on stock air) but I was thinking of getting a Hyper 212+ when I do.

This is what I've come up with so far; I mostly used this website and newegg reviews to choose items:

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

SAPPHIRE 100312-1GSR Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDP118-04 - OEM

Comment, and tell me what you like or dislike, or what would be a better deal, or what you would get instead (and why).

Thank you for the help.

Best solution

June 17, 2011 5:06:59 AM
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^ Good choice of components,...

Some suggestions -
1. PSU - Get the newer more efficient one, retails for the same price
Corsair 750TX V2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. GPU - In the same price range, you get the 2GB version,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. RAM- For $5 more you get the 1600MHz, which are in general better,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Low voltage one -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With rebates -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. DVD - Dont get IDE drives - Thick cable hence more clutter inside the case,... get the SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also there are many combos, so when you make the purchase, make use of them...
June 17, 2011 6:01:46 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Good choice of components,...

Some suggestions -
1. PSU - Get the newer more efficient one, retails for the same price
Corsair 750TX V2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. GPU - In the same price range, you get the 2GB version,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. RAM- For $5 more you get the 1600MHz, which are in general better,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Low voltage one -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With rebates -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. DVD - Dont get IDE drives - Thick cable hence more clutter inside the case,... get the SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also there are many combos, so when you make the purchase, make use of them...


Thanks for the timely reply, and the excellent suggestions.

I took you up on the DVD, low-voltage RAM, and the Corsair (cheaper for more amps).

About the GPU, it seems to me that HIS was second tier, and i don't want it breaking because I went cheap, and you don't get all the goodies Sapphire gives you in the box. But all three reviews on the IceQ are positive, and it is the 2gb version for the same price. Might as well sleep on it.

Related resources
June 17, 2011 7:14:28 AM

I like to put this out there, It's good to look up a store called Microcenter and see if you have one located near you because of their sales there. Assuming "The Old Dominion" means Virginia there is a microcenter in North Virginia in Fairfax, If you live near there You can save a pretty penny if you take the time to go there and buy from some of the sales. I'll give you an example and use the i5-2500k you would like to purchase.

Newegg has online and readily available at 219.99 with free shipping.
Microcenter has it on sale right now in stores for 179.99.

Pretty good difference huh?
June 17, 2011 6:30:34 PM

I'll think about the HIS some more, I guess when thinking of the future, it would be better to have the 2gb, but I don't have a need for it now, and I can't guarantee I will in the future, but $20 now might translate into Eyefinity and that new game i want 3 yrs down the line. It's also looking like a good idea especially considering the savings I'll get when I return from from Fairfax with my new i5 and $40 burning a hole in my pocket.

Definitely going to make that trip infidus, thanks for the heads up on Microcenter.
June 17, 2011 10:45:48 PM

If you want to SLI that 6950, and overclock, then looking at this psu might be a good idea:

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

900 watts, same quality as the tx 750 v2( both got 9.5/10 from jonnyguru), but only $10 more, for 150 more watts. That'll leave a lot more headroom for whatever you want to do.

Before you buy, check that the GTX 570, in particular, the EVGA ones aren't $280-295.
If they are only $25/30 more than the 6950, you get arguably the best gpu maker, with lifetime warranty, and a far superior card.

Comparison: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=306

In fact, I'd argue, even at the current price of $300 after rebate (For the superclocked EVGA 570 797mhz version), the gtx 570 is a better option; it only uses up 4.5% more of your budget ($45 at present, as the prices are volatile, and right now the prices of the 570's are $5-15 more than regular..), that a performance gain of 12-15% is pretty good for using 4.5% more of your $1000 budget. Think about it; 3% more performance per extra $10..
June 17, 2011 11:19:36 PM

Does triple sli work? maybe 3 of them? I am not sure on the tri-sli thing.
June 17, 2011 11:24:15 PM

Oh, Ok, I just saw what the 3rd 4x slot is for, the third card can be a dedicated physx card if you want but only x8 works for sli. My systems are 4870 cards, it is why i am asking since i don't have nvidia cards.
June 18, 2011 12:25:13 AM

need4speeds said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$129.99 Galaxy 60XGH3HS3CUD GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB

Two in sli would be $260. for a total of 704 shaders.


The GTX 465 is an old, hot and inefficient card with high power requirements.
The GTX 460 768mb is $10-20 cheaper, yea, about 7% slower, but also is tonnes more efficient; max temps are 20 degrees centigrade lower, wattage is 100 lesser etc. Plus, the 460 768mb can be overclocked much higher, and in SLI beats the 465 (better scaling).

Have a looksye..http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/161?vs=156
^Gtx 460 768mb vs GTX 465 (460 is $15~ cheaper).

Now, consider the $185 gtx 560ti... we can't directly compare them, so we'll compare them to the 5870...

5870 vs GTX 465: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/161?vs=162

5870 has a striking victory - It's a MASSIVE victory.. in every benchmark, and even in temps and power usage its lesser than the 465, also generally by a large amount

5870 vs 560ti: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=294
This is much closer, but after a slow start, the 560ti asserts its dominance and emerges the clear winner, and wins by a good margin in temps/powerconsumption etc... So basically,

HD 5770 ($100) < HD 5830 < GTX 460 1GB SC ($150~) < GTX 460 768mb ($115) < GTX 465 (130) < GTX 460 1gb (140) < HD 5850 ($235, inflated price since so low supply) << HD 5870 < GTX 560Ti ($185) ~HD 6950 1gb (200) = HD 6950 2gb ($230) < HD 6970 (315) < GTX 570 ($300, generally $290 however) < GTX 580 (440) < HD 5970 < HD 6990 (723) ~ GTX 590. (750)

basically, the 560Ti will **** the gtx 465, the 5870 is no longer sold at newegg, and the 465 has poor scaling (Having 2 in sli doesn't yield as much fps benefit as other cards.. like the 460 768mb actually is an overall better setup in pure terms of fps than the 465 SLI'd, let alone power consumption / temps....) tri sli is even worse.. for every card, the 3rd card hardly offers any benefits, but a lot more temp/bigger psu etc..

You may think the HD 6950 1gb = 6950 2gb is bs?

"So first off, did you guys check the difference in-between the 1GB and 2GB 6950 versions as well, yeah ... the results are nearly NIL. The added benefit of an extra full GB is excruciatingly hard to measure, even with all games setup with the best image quality settings, hefty shaders and massive textures. The reality is that for 98% of you with today's games 1 GB is absolutely sufficient." The 1GB version actually beat the 2GB version in the 10¬ tests he did... no point paying extra for the 2gb at present, unless you have the 2560x1600p monitor (in which case you should get at least a 570..)

Heres the link to the quote http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-vs-gef...

In anandtech the 6950 1gb also beats the 2gb by 0.1%...

In summary: The prices in the comparison of gfx cards are after rebate, and only from newegg at time of posting this comment..

The 69501gb = 69502gb, so if you want to get the 2gb, get the 1gb if its cheaper, but get the gtx 560 ti instead of the 6950 1gb as its 98% performance for $20 less.

Instead of 2x GTX 465/460's, get the GTX 570. The cost of 2x 460's is $230, of 2 465s is $260, and both consume more power than a single 570, and the 570 offers similiar performance (i think its better perf, off top of my head). Plus, there is upgradeability options, lesser $$ on a psu.So get the 570, and the hcg 900w that i selected! With an eye to a second 570 if you need it, down the line (you wont on a 1920x1080 monitor, for any game :D ).
June 18, 2011 12:39:09 AM

Ok maybe the 465 is on sale for a "reason" and the 460 is better.

Ok i seen this, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-sli...

Two 460's beat the single hot running 480 shader geforce480.

The 570 is the replacement for the 480. The 570 is over $300.

Im not a nvidia guy, but i can see pairing two 460's together you get alot of shaders for the money.

It shows it beating the 480 and 5870, so that would beat a single 6950 and 570 as well.
June 18, 2011 2:38:11 AM

You make some good points vibhas. I like the Antec you suggested, but I'm not feeling rail balancing, unless you could show me a good how-to, if there is one (a cursory google didn't yield anything).

The 570 is nice, but even the $300 or $290 you say (from the $350 it's at now) is a little too much me. However when I go to buy I'll look at everything, and if replacing the 6950 with the 570 still keeps me under $1000 which it could very well, I'll make the switch.

Something no one has spoken on are the new Z68 mobos. Does anyone think that the QuickSync with LucidLogix Virtu is worth the money (that's really the only reason I would use it, and for the redundancy of having the HD 3000 if my graphics card breaks)? Can anyone recommend a worthwhile Z68 motherboard, that is at a similar price to the one I have now?
June 18, 2011 5:42:28 AM

ABlackandTan said:
You make some good points vibhas. I like the Antec you suggested, but I'm not feeling rail balancing, unless you could show me a good how-to, if there is one (a cursory google didn't yield anything).

The 570 is nice, but even the $300 or $290 you say (from the $350 it's at now) is a little too much me. However when I go to buy I'll look at everything, and if replacing the 6950 with the 570 still keeps me under $1000 which it could very well, I'll make the switch.

Something no one has spoken on are the new Z68 mobos. Does anyone think that the QuickSync with LucidLogix Virtu is worth the money (that's really the only reason I would use it, and for the redundancy of having the HD 3000 if my graphics card breaks)? Can anyone recommend a worthwhile Z68 motherboard, that is at a similar price to the one I have now?


Z68 isn't really worth it to the general consumer at the moment, the 570 is $290-300 after rebates; the nvidia 5XX series has a habit of having a large initial price, but then a large rebate to offset it; so its $350-50 after all rebates (The superclocked version).
June 24, 2011 3:57:14 AM

I can get the HIS Radeon 6950 2gb from newegg for about $260. Or after looking around it would seem that I could get an EVGA GTX 570 for $277.

The 570 is used, but Amazon says it is certified to work. How do you guys feel about second-hand video cards?

Has anyone experience with Amazon Warehouse? If not, would you trust it for something like this? Amazon says it will give you the "A-to-Z Safe Buying Guarantee" which seems to cover this purchase.

Anyway the final question is should I make the purchase?
June 24, 2011 4:27:57 AM

^Video card - If you are okay meddling with BIOSes and firmware of cards/ boards then you can unlock the HD 6950 2GB to 6970 2GB with a firmware upgrade,...but like all modding this too has risks, but there is nothing which doesn't...its upto you though,...
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

As for the boards, it is a good idea to go for Z68 if the those features interest you also a backup graphics onboard,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 24, 2011 4:38:58 AM

Far as I'm aware these cards out now are not reference cards, and you can't do the BIOS flash without a reference card (I'd love to be wrong).

What do you think about that 570?
June 24, 2011 4:55:13 AM

^ You are right about that particular card,...but many have reported success on other non-reference boards, but only with some models though...
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?p=...
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=4018316
http://www.overclock.net/amd-ati/978546-msi-6950-2gb-vs...

As for the GTX 570, it is no doubt a very good card with performance in between the 6950 and 6970,...
But as for the used warehouse ones I dont have much idea,...
June 24, 2011 10:44:30 AM

gkay09 said:
^ You are right about that particular card,...but many have reported success on other non-reference boards, but only with some models though...
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?p=...
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=4018316
http://www.overclock.net/amd-ati/978546-msi-6950-2gb-vs...

As for the GTX 570, it is no doubt a very good card with performance in between the 6950 and 6970,...
But as for the used warehouse ones I dont have much idea,...


No? The GTX 570 in a single card setup is stronger than both the 6970 and 6950.

Proof: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306

Very close, but the gtx 570 has a reasonably higher total fps count etc...

Plus, don't GET THAT GTX 570 for $300!!!!!
After rebate:

$290 GTX 570 AFTER REBATE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$300 EVGA GTX 570 AFTER REBATE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Only 13 year warranty...)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $310 Superclocked GTX 570 EVGA...


Basically, cheaper than the HD 6970; the cheapest is $315...(from MSI) So $25 less for a better gpu in single gpu systems...
July 6, 2011 4:50:19 PM

Best answer selected by ABlackAndTan.
!