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$1200 Gaming Build

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July 3, 2011 4:30:01 PM

My budget happily increased since my last build post (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/314392-31-gaming-buil... Thank you everyone who helped with version 1), so I've beefed it up.

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 days
Budget Range: Approx. $1200 after rebates, including OS.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, home office, web, photo editing
Parts Not Required: Case, HD, DVD, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe later
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

I’m re-using these parts from old PC:
Antec P180B Case
DVD writer
1TB Sata II HD
320GB Sata II HD

Build - prices are after rebate:

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit – OEM - $85 (already purchased)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

Combo: ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131706

Combo: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - $379
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $63 (already purchaed)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231445

GIGABYTE GV-N580UD-15I GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $459
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $100 (already purchased)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~$40 for CPU cooler, haven't decided which yet.

Total: $1107

Comments:

The 850w PSU I bought with the intention of SLI or CF a lesser GPUs, but I just can't ease concerns over mirco-stutter. I'm fairly sure I would notice and hate it. So I may exchange the PSU for something less expensive (suggestions?) to support the single card.

And then, I at some later date I decide to try SLI 580s, I'd get a new another PSU as well. IDK, writing this out now makes me feel I've not thought this through well enough.

Also, the mobo may be a bit overkill but I really want a board that will OC well and support SLI/CF, just in case. I've read mobo reviews that show the mobo itself can affect the OC's performance gain, even with identical OC. Since I'm getting the 2500K, I want it to be worthwhile and the combo makes it tolerable.

Thank you for taking a look.

More about : 1200 gaming build

July 3, 2011 4:55:35 PM

I would just scale back and save a it of cash for an SSD.

Get this combo instead, saves you ~$70 and gives you Z68: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
WOuld still OC well despite its "shortcomings", probably wont notice a difference unless you go into water.

Get a GTX570 instead also, ~85% of performance for only $305, and you get a nice cooler: http://www.amazon.com/Sparkle-GeForce-PCI-Express-MiniH...
With the 570, 850W would do dual card also, so more option for upgrading...

The GTX570 would do 1080 fine, so it pretty much saves you ~$220 with a tiny difference in performance.


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July 3, 2011 5:09:31 PM

Maybe I'm mislead, but aren't both biostar and sparkle considered unreliable brands?
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July 3, 2011 5:12:52 PM

Not unreliable, just "mainstream", quality I've heard is actually pretty decent and I've seen more people having problem with Asus than Biostar.

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July 3, 2011 5:22:19 PM

OK that's cool then.

The GPU was really hard decision for me, and ultimately I went with the "most powerful single card" route, but SLI/CF is very, very tempting. But I just cant seem to find a straight answer about micro-stutter, other than anecdotal.

Regarding 570 vs. 580, yes its a big premium for the 580, but I don't think I'd call the performance different tiny. Down the road, 15% can mean the difference between playable and unplayable FPS.

Does my logic make sense?
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July 3, 2011 5:26:41 PM

With the 570 vs 580, that is one way to think about it, but another is that you're getting ~115% of performance for 160+% the price. Besides, when the 15% starts to make a difference (ie. 35 vs 30), the GTX580 is way outdated by then.
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July 3, 2011 5:44:43 PM

Both good points

Edit: Though at $315 for 570 vs. $459 for that 580, the price diff is closer to 30%, not %60. But still a valid point.
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July 3, 2011 6:19:19 PM

Dual 560's in SLI > gtx 580

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $454.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $434.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Here's a few boards that are worth taking a look at imo.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 FREE SHIPPING
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P67X4B3&tit... $154.99 Free Shipping
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 B3 LGA1155/ Intel P67 B3/ DDR3/ Quad SLI & Quad CrossFireX/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2011/01/27/ms... <------ MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Review / Benchmarks
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July 3, 2011 7:22:27 PM

OK I'm almost sold on dropping down to a 570 or maybe 6970, which at least allows for the possibility SLI later with the current PSU, without sacrificing very much performance at the start.

I'd get duel 560 TI or 6950 right now, but for the spectre of micro-stutter.
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July 4, 2011 3:53:24 AM

If I buy a single 570 now but intend to get another later, is it best to buy one that is stock clock and RAM speed so that the next one can match. as opposed to an OC model?

Is that important for optimal SLI?
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July 4, 2011 3:59:20 AM

ramble235 said:
If I buy a single 570 now but intend to get another later, is it best to buy one that is stock clock and RAM speed so that the next one can match. as opposed to an OC model?

Is that important for optimal SLI?

Get whatever one has decent cooling and is at a decent price. You can dl MSI afterburner proggy (free proggy) and down clock, o/c...whatever with any make and brand of vid card with that proggy. You want an 850w psu to push two of those cards.
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July 4, 2011 4:06:29 AM

I ordered an 850w so good to go there. Will look for good cooling/price now as the watershed.

Thanks
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July 4, 2011 4:37:17 AM

Why_Me said:

Here's a few boards that are worth taking a look at imo.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 FREE SHIPPING
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P67X4B3&tit... $154.99 Free Shipping
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 B3 LGA1155/ Intel P67 B3/ DDR3/ Quad SLI & Quad CrossFireX/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard


I apologize for not responding to your post earlier. I felt it called for more thought than I was able to give it before now that my young son is asleep. The day sort of got away form me.

The gigabyte board does seem very good, but does not offer a combo, and other than SSD I don't know why else it would be compelling for $20 more.

The Asrock I know is a favorite, but again don't see how its better than the ASUS P8P67 PRO. Maybe I'm missing something? Price-wise they are a toss-up (after rebate).

Regarding SSD Caching: Yep, that would be nice, if less than stellar. But my priority (if anything) would be larger SSD for boot drive, and only then another (or partition) for caching. If I played more online map-repeating games or something it may be more important, but I don't. I never said that bfore now though, so I can definitely see why you would recommend it. I do appreciate your help.
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July 4, 2011 4:46:07 AM

Timop said:
Heres a great 570 for under $307 shipped.
http://www.amazon.com/Sparkle-GeForce-PCI-Express-MiniH...


I did look into that card earlier, and it does seem worthy. But 3-slot requirement is a definite drawback. I know it infers better cooling, but still. If SLI was off the table, then no problem.
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July 4, 2011 6:15:59 AM

OK, so:

Replace the 580 with the Gigabyte 570 = minus $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This really is the smarter choice.

And I think that's it. I did see the GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 also has the same combo with 2500K now, but the Asus offers more for the same price.

Whew.

I have to say, I don't believe I would be in self-building club without this forum. Your offering of such constructive advice to relative novices such as myself is a great benefit. It may all seem like child's play to many of you, but for me this forum has been invaluable. Not just the replies in this thread but also the countless other threads here which spawned countless+5 links to investigate.

Seriously. Thank you. I love you, man.

P.S. But I haven't bought yet, so there's still time to tell me I've done something wrong or could do better!
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