Advice/Opinions on $1200 Gaming Rig

Hello Board!

I am currently building a $1200 gaming rig (future-proof to Diablo3) that will also serve as a home office (triple monitors). I've been doing as much research to make sure there is no bottle necking or unnecessary parts, but no one's perfect. I'm more than happy to receive advice if there are any obvious flaws to the rig. Here is the rig as follows:

CPU: i7 - 2600K
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
GPU: Radeon 6950 MSI Twin Frozr III (will get a second one right before D3 releases)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 Deluxe
Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws X 8gb @ 1600
Read HDD: Intel SSD 120GB 510 series
Write HDD: Caviar Black 750GB 7200RPM
Optical: Random Lightscribe
Case: Antec Nine Hundred
Power Supply: Corsair HX Series 850W

My current concern are about the motherboard (is the Deluxe overkill? or is there a more suitable motherboard?). In addition, is there any component that is either too high or too low compared to the rest of the system? Please let me know if there needs to be additional clarification. Thanks for the responses!
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More about advice opinions 1200 gaming
  1. Best answer
  2. Thanks for the advice mjmjpfaff! I wanted to give an explanation for some of my choices, and please let me know if the reasoning is valid.

    1. In terms of the processor & SSD, I choose the i7 and the 510 because I have a friend w/ a employee discount (~40% off). I know current games don't take advantage of hyperthreading, but is there a possibility in the future that they will? (D3?)

    2. Heard there isn't a big difference between the 6970 and the 6950 performance wise. However, I do plan on doing triple monitors (and possibly triple monitor gaming) and I haven't read a lot of reviews regarding high-resolution gaming 6950 vs 6970. Is there something I am missing?

    3. Advice from a couple of friends who built computers last summer, I was under the impression that Caviar Black was the best. I know the Spinpoint is a lot cheaper, but I can't seem to pinpoint the downgrade disadvantages from the Black --> Spinpoint. Does anyone know more information about this subject matter?

    Thanks for the advice on the mobo & heatsink though. I've heard a lot of people used the UD3 but wasn't sure if the motherboard was right for me. This tips the scale towards gigabyte. I'll look into the case and compare, since both are priced the same. Once again, thanks for the input!
  3. the samsung spinpoint is the ONLY hdd recommended by tomshardware users.
    why you ask?
    Because its the best in speed (performance), and is the best value. The caviar blacks are a tiny bit slower, and much much more expensive.

    You won't find more than 2 people who regularly contribute here who actually recommend the caviar black.. basically, you gain performance and you don't spend as much money.

    2. you really ought to provide links, we don't know what price your are buying the products at, and as every product that won't blow up is good 'at a price point(s)' then we can't recommend as easily; a gtx 570 is good at $285, but not at 600 etc.

    Also, lastly, you ought to fill out whats in here (use the template);
    its one of the links inside the "FAQ HOW TO REQUEST A BUILD" and is essential so we can more easily help you buddy :D
  4. Approximate Purchase Date: August 8th, 2011

    Budget Range: $1100-1300

    System Usage from Most to Lease Important: Gaming, home office [triple monitor a must for home office - possible eyefinity for gaming)

    Parts not required: Soundcard, Wifi card, mouse, keyboard

    Preferred website for parts: &

    Country of Origin: Maryland, US

    Parts preference: Intel CPU, MSI graphics card, Intel SSD

    Overclocking: 80-90% probability

    SLI or Crossfire: 80-90% probability (Q4-2011)

    Monitor Resolution: At purchase, 1920x1080. Eventually (by October) going for 5760x1080 (22inch) or triple 24inch.

    Additional Comments: Very concerned about airflow and cooling [don't want to go liquid though] as my last GPU in '06 hit 127*C and fried my 6600. Noise level should not be excessive.

    CPU: i7-2600K [$180 - friend's employee deal from Intel]

    CPU Fan: Noctua 7 Dualpipe with 140mm/120mm [$75]

    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3P [$169.99]

    GPU: Radeon 6950 MSI Twin Frozr III [$299.99]

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8 GB 1600 [$83.99]

    READ HDD: Intel SSD 120GB 510 Series [$169.2 - friend's Employee deal at Intel]

    WRITE HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB 32MB Cache [$59.99]

    CASE: Stuck between Antec Nine Hundred and Rosewill BLACKHAWK [both $99]
    Antec 900:
    Rosewill BLACKHAWK:

    POWERSUPPLY: Corsair HX Series 850W [$139.99]

    OPTICAL: Asus 24x DVDRW Serial ATA [$25.48]

    GRAND TOTAL: $1304.41


    1. Which case is better? Or is it a aesthetics preference issue?

    2. Do I need to care about a better optical drive?

    Thanks again for all the feedback so far. I hope this helps clarify my purpose and my rig. Please let me know if you have additional questions!
  5. better make sure by october you have crossfired those cards so you get good performance at that high resolution.
    buy the dvd drive from amazon saves you on shipping since you will be ordering over 25$-

    Here is a psu you may not have heard of the brand but tomshardware trusts it and it has gotten great reviews on newegg-

    if it was me i would go with the rosewill blackhawk since i am a cable management freak but you cant go wrong with either choices form this place it ships free-

    for 20$ more you can get a 6970-

    here is some cheaper ram-
  6. I'm also a fan of that Rosewill case. They ship it with all the fans (Antec, like most other companies, usually only gives you half the fans the case can use).

    And that ram is not only cheaper but better (CAS 8 instead of CAS 9).

    I think the 6950's use two 6-pin PCIe connectors, but that Corsair uses 8-pins (which is kinda weird, it must be designed specifically for 570's or something). The Raidmax doesn't have that issue, but it's got four 12v rails rather than a single, which I'm not a fan of (you might not care though).

    I would suggest either this non-modular Seasonic, or if you care about modular or not, this modular Corsair (note that modular carries quite a premium). Of course, if money is no object for you psu, there's always this.
  7. Thanks for all the input everyone! I just had one more question: I have been doing a bit of research on eyefinity (3x) and it seems that there are a lot of problems setting up a 6950 with three monitors. The main reason is that it doesn't have three ports that are the same type, so when you use 2x DVI and 1x Mini-DP you get some weird screen tearing. Has this issue been addressed yet? If you do crossfire and use ports on the other card, doesn't this turn off crossfire? Thanks in advance!
  8. ya that is what i said better have 2 6950's by october
  9. This is a bit off topic but he's getting the 2600k that expensive? One of my friends is able to get them for ~87 dollars using the intel summer sellers program.
  10. farsuka said:
    This is a bit off topic but he's getting the 2600k that expensive? One of my friends is able to get them for ~87 dollars using the intel summer sellers program.

    What is that? Sounds more like your friend is getting his chip off the back of a truck.
  11. Best answer selected by apark301.
  12. Hey everyone,

    Just finished building my computer, wanted to update this post to what actually was bought and put together.

    Cooler Master HYPER 212 Plus
    16GB Ripjaw X Series
    ASUS Sabertooth P67 1155
    Intel SSD 120GB 510 Series
    Caviar Black 1.5TB
    Antec Lanboy Air
    Cooler Master 1000W Gold

    If anyone is doing the same build as this, I'd like to list some things that would have been very helpful before building this computer.
    1. First off, the EAH6970 actually fits inside this case, although it will cover your 3GB/6GB SATA ports unless you use it horizontally. If you do use it horizontally, don't apply your SSD to the bottom of the Lanboy otherwise it will not work.

    2. Choose a different cooler, or deal with the hardship of inserting the motherboard panel directly into the case [versus sliding it in, which is what it is originally meant to do]. Reason being, the 212+ is too wide for the case, so it won't fit after being attached to the mobo. Unless you wanna apply your Hyper212+ inside the case, this is going to be a problem. I fixed it by having a buddy with me insert the mobo and having him screw in the mobo mounts while I manually help up the mobo/hyper212+ which is not fun.

    3. As of this moment, it doesn't seem like you can crossfire the EAH6970 because its so damn large. It almost covers up the other X16 slot, so I don't know if I'll be able to fit another one in [only time will tell]. Will keep you guys posted later on if I do choose to buy another one and try to fit it in. Looks like there will be about 2-3cm of space inbetween the two cards if I do, which is going to be horrible for cooling. And also heard that the EAH6970 is not compatible with other reference cards, so that's a bummer.

    4. Screw in your top fans [if you choose to buy extras] first and correctly, since the screws that come with the case aren't long enough for normal fans and after the mobo/heatsink are in, you won't be able to get the angle to screw it in.

    That's all for now, I don't seem to have any problems. Sometimes the mobo fan [bought separately] will go bonkers and do 3500RPM+ which is loud and annoying, trying to figure out the reason why since the sabertooth is pretty cool at all times. If you are thinking about a similar build and have questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Thanks for all the advice guys.
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