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Final Check - 1500 $ Gaming Build

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June 24, 2011 4:48:38 PM

Let's just get straight to it shall we ? :D 

Approximate Purchase Date: Planning on ordering this weekend - Beginning of next week
Budget Range: 1500 MAX for the build itself. 350 for the monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming , the normal internet/school stuff. No graphic design or anything
Parts Not Required: Mouse/keybord, will go look for them in a store nearby. Or use my old ones

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tones or Alternate . But the sites are in dutch. So, if required, I will go see if I can find the proper parts on those sites myself. ;)  But if you know of some diffrent site, where I can get better/cheaper parts. I would love to hear it ;-)
Country of Origin: Belgium

Parts Preferences: I really like the case, but if it's a bad idea. I can change it ofcorse
Overclocking: Yes, I have never done it before but it seems like a good idea with the I5-2500k :D 

SLI or Crossfire: CF Yes
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 - New monitor Acer S273HLbmii 27'' Monitor

Additional Comments: I have done a quite lot of research on this build (mostly on this site itself). Sinds it has been my "only source of joy" the past few weeks, something to look forward to during the exams :D  .
But anyway. You guys helped me with my previous build a few years back, and it has never let me down. So, I was hoping to get your opinions on this one as well. :sol: 
Let's get started.
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GPU : 2 of these XFX HD6950 (HD-695X-CNFC) In Cross Fire. - 440 $

CPU : INTEL Core™ i5-2500K - 185 $

CPU cooling : SCYTHE Mugen II Rev.B 5x Heatpipe for all Intel - 38 $

Motherboard : GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 - 182 $

RAM : 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB) 1600Mhz DDR3 9-9-9-24 CORSAIR Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 - 99 $

Hard disk : Samsung Spinpoint F3 1000GB 32MB SATA300 7200rpm HD103SJ - 50 $

DVD-RW : DVD-RW Intern Sata Zwart Plextor 24x Retail PX-L890SA - 42 $

PSU : 850W Modular CORSAIR High Performance Serie 80Plus CMPSU-850HXEU - 175 $

Case : IN WIN Dragon Rider Full Tower - 140 $

= +/- 1351. + 340 for the monitor
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Why no SSD ? - Diden't seem worth the money at this point + this build is mainly focussed on gaming. So.. I dont realy see the need

Why CF 6950 ? - Well, I think I changed my mind about the GPU I wanted about 7 times now xD. I started out with 6970, went to a 570 cause they appeared better. Then realised that I wanted a realy futur proof system and I found some more money in an old sock. So I went for the GTX 580. Reading the posts hear I heard that CF 6950 beats a 580 GTX easily.
BUt, I wasen't realy convinced, cause I have never actualy had a SLI or CF set-up. And I was affraid that It would't work properly. xD

Now, after some reading. Apparently, CF and SLI work fine for almost all the games that recently game out. And for the older ones a single 6950 should suffice so... I endid up with the CF 6950 :D 

That pretty much sums it up, thx for reading. And I would love to hear your comments/ advice ^^

Question: does the 1 or 2 GB on the 6950 in CF make a diffrence at that resolution ? (not realy planning on adding extra monitors. I prefer just one :p  )


June 24, 2011 5:08:16 PM

your rig is very nice.yes a 1 gb 6950 will be enough at your resolution and their will be a 2-4 % performance difference between 2gb and 1gb versions.higher resolution will use more memory and their 2gb will give better performance.
Good Luck
June 24, 2011 5:10:58 PM

looks pretty good nice job :) 
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June 24, 2011 5:12:55 PM

great build. you would be fine with a 750w psu, but the one you have picked is excellent.
might have some issues with the super tall heatsinks on the vengeance ram and the scythe mugen. my mugen clears my gskill ripjaws, but just barely. the mugen's great, so id just get some lower profile ram.

cant tell you if you could be getting better deals on alternative parts, but the parts themselves all look excellent to me.

id go with the 6950 2gb if the price difference is $20 or less.
June 24, 2011 5:24:36 PM

Thanks for the quick reply.

So, The 750W Modular CORSAIR High Performance Serie 80Plus CMPSU-750HXEU Should be enough not to run into trouble any time soon ? :-)

Mhmm, to bad about the ram, It looked cool ;-). But won't be looking into my case that much so that's alright. I went for Corsair, just because I hear their quality is great :-)
Will this do ? CORSAIR XMS3 Classic CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB Kit (2 X 4GB) 1600Mhz DDR3 9-9-9-27

On the GPU. For some reason there is no price diffrence between the 2gb and the 1 gb version. Altough the 1gb version seems to have 2 fans instead of 1.

2 GB - XFX HD6950 (HD-695X-CNFC)

1 GB - XFX HD6950 XXX (HD-695X-ZDDC) (Retail, HDMI, 2x DVI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort)

So.. just go for 2 cards of the 2gb version sinds they have the same price tag ?
June 24, 2011 6:50:41 PM

genghiskron said:
great build. you would be fine with a 750w psu, but the one you have picked is excellent.
might have some issues with the super tall heatsinks on the vengeance ram and the scythe mugen. my mugen clears my gskill ripjaws, but just barely. the mugen's great, so id just get some lower profile ram.

cant tell you if you could be getting better deals on alternative parts, but the parts themselves all look excellent to me.

id go with the 6950 2gb if the price difference is $20 or less.



Do you see why it is that the 2 cards have the same price, but one has 1 GB the other has 2 GB of ram ? :=)
June 24, 2011 7:04:42 PM

the 1gb version has two fans. generally, that will make the card quieter and cooler. Id still go with the 2gb version, but keep that in mind.

its recommended to use 1.5v ram for sandy bridge, whereas the xms3 you linked runs at 1.65v. i know that people run 1.65v without problems, however. i see that you dont have many options in belgium :( 
June 24, 2011 7:17:08 PM

lordseni said:
Do you see why it is that the 2 cards have the same price, but one has 1 GB the other has 2 GB of ram ? :=)

On Newegg the price difference is about $5, with the obvious result being that all the 2gb cards are sold out. I do find it odd that the 2gb card has one fan while the 1gb card has two, but that could be because the 1gb card is slightly overclocked, at 830mhz rather than 800mhz. Get the 2gb card, definitely, but be aware that you probably can't overclock it (not that you'll need to anyway).

My only other thoughts would be to check out ram that is CAS 7 rather than 9 (I think it's worth it even if you drop to 1333), maybe save some money with a non-modular psu, and picking the UD3 board over the UD4 board (again, just to save money).

Btw, you are listing prices with dollar signs, but I think those are all prices in euros. Which means your $1300 computer is closer to $2000.
June 24, 2011 7:51:37 PM

grody said:
On Newegg the price difference is about $5, with the obvious result being that all the 2gb cards are sold out. I do find it odd that the 2gb card has one fan while the 1gb card has two, but that could be because the 1gb card is slightly overclocked, at 830mhz rather than 800mhz. Get the 2gb card, definitely, but be aware that you probably can't overclock it (not that you'll need to anyway).

My only other thoughts would be to check out ram that is CAS 7 rather than 9 (I think it's worth it even if you drop to 1333), maybe save some money with a non-modular psu, and picking the UD3 board over the UD4 board (again, just to save money).


Thank you for the reply ^^

Okay, I will get the 2 cards of the 2 gb version then :-).

On the motherboard, yea. The main reason for chosing that one over this one GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3-B3 is realy my love for black motherboards xD.

On the RAM, do you really notice the difference between CAS 9 and CAS 7 ? So this RAM GeIL 8 GB DDR3-1333 Kit 7 7-7-24 would perform better ? + Should I be concerned about the motherboard not being able to cope with 1.65 V ram ?

Regarding the PSU. I was realy in search for a half modular, cause in my other build there are quite a lot of power cables that I have to try and hide(that do nothing).
A mate suggested that I even switched to a 650 W psu like this 650W Modular CORSAIR High Performance Serie 80Plus CMPSU-650HXEU. But would that give enough power for this system ?

The reason I used $ signs instead of € is cause I have a qwerty keybord on my laptop and it has no € sign on it ;-). But I realise that the prise in dollars would be quite a lot higher :-)
June 24, 2011 10:47:20 PM

For whatever reason, even though 1155 boards all demand 1.5v ram, there are hundreds of 1.65v kits available for it. From what I hear they all work fine, as long as you enable the XMP profile in the bios.

I'm a firm believer in tight timings over fast ram. The Mhz ratings are misleading, since they only run at half that speed, but CAS latency is something that they have to adhere to.

I think 650W might be too small for a dual 6950 build with an OC'd cpu. But going half modular isn't a bad idea. If you're going Corsair, just avoid the Builders series, they are not modular at all. Use this to find a good psu size.
June 24, 2011 11:11:44 PM

grody said:
For whatever reason, even though 1155 boards all demand 1.5v ram, there are hundreds of 1.65v kits available for it. From what I hear they all work fine, as long as you enable the XMP profile in the bios.

I'm a firm believer in tight timings over fast ram. The Mhz ratings are misleading, since they only run at half that speed, but CAS latency is something that they have to adhere to.

I think 650W might be too small for a dual 6950 build with an OC'd cpu. But going half modular isn't a bad idea. If you're going Corsair, just avoid the Builders series, they are not modular at all. Use this to find a good psu size.


Mhmm okay :-).

I think go for these then GeIL 8 GB DDR3-1333 Kit 7 7-7-24 with 1.5 V. Just to avoid any complications (with voltage and/or hight xD )

Same thing goes for the PSU, as someone said to me earlyer, better not to cheap out on the PSU xD. The half modular 750W Modular CORSAIR High Performance Serie 80Plus CMPSU-750HXEU it is.

Thank a lot everyone !
June 24, 2011 11:31:07 PM

genghiskron said:
the 1gb version has two fans. generally, that will make the card quieter and cooler. Id still go with the 2gb version, but keep that in mind.

its recommended to use 1.5v ram for sandy bridge, whereas the xms3 you linked runs at 1.65v. i know that people run 1.65v without problems, however. i see that you dont have many options in belgium :( 

cant you just change the voltage through the bios. thats what i did
!