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My First Build - Starcraft 2 Machine

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June 27, 2011 8:25:44 PM

Hi guys, this is my first build. Up to this point, I had been playing Starcraft 2 on my Lenovo T400 laptop, with settings all set to low. Surprisingly, it ran quite well...up until patch 1.3.4. Since then, I get 1 FPS in battle scenes - literally, I cannot click and command my units. It's freakin' frustrating.

While I am more mad at Blizzard (they claimed Starcraft 2 would not require a "new" computer) for changing something in patch 1.3.4, I figured it's about time to build a decent computer not just for gaming, but other things - video conversion, etc.

So here is my build - let me know what you think. Again, the goal was to be somewhat price conservative but also build a mean computer for SC2.

COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS700-PCAAE3-US 700W ATX 12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill RTK-001 Premium Anti-Static Wrist Strap
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


June 27, 2011 8:35:51 PM

Try getting a z68 mobo instead. The 1156-pins are discontinued.

You might also want an HDD in addition to your SSD since 64gb is only enough to install windows and 2 games (and even that is pushing it).

This is also an excellent resource.
June 27, 2011 8:37:20 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

Starcraft 2 eh? We got this in the bag.

The first thing I'm going to say is that you are building off last gen tech. Look at the i5-2400 and a Z68/H67 motherboard.

I have a few other suggestions, but I need you to fill in this form first: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... it gives us what we need to help you.

I'll get back to you!
Related resources
June 27, 2011 8:43:37 PM

grody said:
Try getting a z68 mobo instead. The 1156-pins are discontinued.

You might also want an HDD in addition to your SSD since 64gb is only enough to install windows and 2 games (and even that is pushing it).

This is also an excellent resource.


Yes, I planned to at some later point. I actually have a couple hard drives lying around, but the plan is to get a 1 or 2 TB at some point later.
June 27, 2011 8:45:01 PM

Go with a sandy bridge setup, LGA1156 is mostly dead atm.

MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 $129
For transcoding videos you want Virtu so you can use the CPU graphics part for that. Thus the Z68 MB.

CPU: i5 2500k $219

Get a quality PSU from Corsair, Antec or XFX. For example.
Corsair TX650 V2 $79.99 after rebates.

If you plan on going SLI maybe go with a 750W model.

For video card you might consider a Radeon 6870, which can be had for about $170:ish after rebates. If you want to go with NVidia try to find room in your budget for a GTX 560 Ti, they can be had for about $190-200 after rebates and offer quite an improvement in performance over the GTX 460.

Since I'm recommending the i5 2500k, also get an after market cooler for it for overclocking, such as:
CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, which you can get for $30 with free shipping from amazon.

I assume you have SATA a HDD and a SATA DVD drive since those are not listed above.

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB as recommendation if you do end up needing a HDD
June 27, 2011 9:12:50 PM

Alright guys, let's try this again:

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video: EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD1 (OS): Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD2 (Storage): SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Questions for you guys:

1) There seem to be many versions of the GTX 560 Ti. I have no idea what the difference is between them, or which is better.

2) Is cooler necessary? Not sure I plan on overclocking at this point. Shouldn't need to for SC2?
June 27, 2011 9:23:02 PM

If you don't plan on OC:ing you could probably do with i5 2400 and save a few bucks.
If you do plan on overclocking at some point in the future, get the i5 2500k so you can OC. ( it's actually only 10 bucks more that 2500, so it's worth it to have the option )

And you only need the CPU cooler if you plan to OC, if you don't the cooler that comes with the CPU is fine.

The EVGA one that is 199.99 after rebate should do fine: EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR
June 27, 2011 9:35:19 PM

Not bad! I would change the SSD to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Just look at the read times! Much faster than the M4 for not much more.

Agreed, drop the cooler.

I would go with a 6870 GPU personally. Since you aren't an OCer, no reason for the 560 Ti really. The 6870's come close for less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

In Xfire, the gap narrows http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=312 (470 performs about the same as 560Ti)
June 28, 2011 5:25:32 PM

Hey guys, so I looked at my dvd-r drive and didn't see any reference to Sata 3 compliant. It's fairly old, like 5 years old.

Do you think it'll work or should I get a new one?

If new, any recommendations on a good drive?
June 28, 2011 5:33:13 PM

striker410 said:
Not bad! I would change the SSD to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Just look at the read times! Much faster than the M4 for not much more.

Agreed, drop the cooler.

I would go with a 6870 GPU personally. Since you aren't an OCer, no reason for the 560 Ti really. The 6870's come close for less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

In Xfire, the gap narrows http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=312 (470 performs about the same as 560Ti)


Striker - I looked at the Agility 3 SSD drives, and while they have good specs, they have alot of reliability problems. Many have reported the drives randomly disappear and cause BSOD. The M4 is supposedly much more stable, which is important to me as I'll be using it as my main OS drive.

I heard good things about the Radeon 6870, but I personally have a preference for nVidia, perhaps due to my horrible past experiences with 2 radeon cards.
June 28, 2011 7:50:45 PM

Wangta said:
Can anyone confirm this drive will work with my setup/motherboard (sata 3?) - I'm getting confused on whether the drive needs to be Sata 3, etc.

ASUS 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks so much - you all have been extremely helpful!!!


SATA 3 is just the new revision there will be SATA 2 ports on the motherboard anyway. I think SATA 3 ports are backwards compatible anyway.
June 28, 2011 9:12:57 PM

metal orient said:
SATA 3 is just the new revision there will be SATA 2 ports on the motherboard anyway. I think SATA 3 ports are backwards compatible anyway.


Thank you sir!
!