Advice on my possible mid-level gaming build please? *First Build*

Here it is as of now:

CPU: 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

Motherboard: MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Video Card: Galaxy 57NKH3HS4GXK GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

HDD: [url=
Item=N82E16822136073&cm_re=western_digital_500gb-_-22-136-073-_-Product] Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case

And I've got a few questions if that's okay.

1) Does this build even work, as in do all the parts fit in the case and will it run?
2) Do I need a sound card or can I do without?
3) Would it be better to keep the P67 Mobo or possibly get a Z68 Mobo for the Quicksync and possibility of SSD caching if I ever upgrade my HDD, or just stick with the 16x, 8x P67?

I'll be going to a Micro Center for most of these parts, so after the rebates and all, it settles in at about $990. Is this a good build?

Please let me know what you think, I'd like to hear if I should change anything out, since I'm still new to this whole thing. Thanks!
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  1. 1) This will definitely fit in the case and run. Are you planning to overclock the CPU? If yes, you might need a better cooler (stock cooler can only keep the CPU temperatures sane without OC)

    2) That's up to you. Onboard sound cards nowadays are good, you will only need a sound card if you have very good headphones/sound system, in which case it might make a difference.

    3) If you manage to find a good Z68 mobo for the same price as P67 or just a bit more, why not?

    Is this PSU modular or not? Newegg doesn't say =) It better be modular, so that you can disconnect unneeded plugs.

    CPU is good. Tasks to be done on this rig - gaming, I presume?

    GPU is nice, but let's wait for AMD users, I'm sure they'll suggest an AMD card of similar pricing and better performance =P
  2. 1) I'm definitely looking into overclocking it at some point once I do more research on it. I know that the Cooler Master 212 is a very good heat sink so I'll probably invest in one of those as well.

    I'm not entirely sure about the PSU to be quite honest. Could you recommend a 750W or close to it PSU that is modular maybe?

    And yes, gaming. I'm new to it but I figured I'd be a mid-level build and place some money into it so it lasts and performs well. I'll also be doing engineering work on it with Auto CAD and Autodesk and all that good stuff.

    I'm just going off of the research I've done thus far and I found that the GTX 570 was superior to many many GPUs and since I'm new I figured it'd be easier to install a single card. I'm open to suggestions though!

    Thanks so much, amk! I appreciate the in-depth comments!
  3. Everything seems good, I see no incompatibilities.

    Might want to save 10$ on the RAM and get F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL instead.

    Cound also consider eVGA for the graphic card; assuming you want/need a GTX 570, you can get this factory overclocked model for 3$ more.

    For cooling, I would also consider the Antec 300 Illusion, all 4 fans are 120mm so it will run cooler and/or quieter. If you really want a side-window, you can also check the Zalman Z9, 4x120mm too.
  4. On my Intel Core i7-2600K I am using the Cooler Master 212+ with the second fan on it and it works very well. As far as the power supply I see that you like Corsair so you should like their tx750 is very nice

    Have you had a chance to take a look at the Z68 boards and some of the features that it offers over the P67?

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  5. The PSU is not modular, it's a pretty nice deal at that price though. If you want to go semi modular Corsair HX750 can be had for $109 atm after MIR and Discount code.

    The GPU is fine for your use if you intend to run at 1920x1200 or 1920x1080. You should be able to max out most things.

    You motherboard however does not support SLI so if you intended to SLI sometime in the future that's not possible. It does support Crossfire. Here comes the AMD based suggestion: 6950 will cost less than the 570 and perform close to the same on those two resolutions above. But either one works and you may play games that favor Nvidia or use the GPU for productivity apps that prefer CUDA. So i'm not here to judge your choice :)

    Check for memory with the same specs as the vengeances but with low profile heatsinks in case you decide to overclock the 2500k with an after market CPU cooler. You can easily run into clearance issues with the fans.

    I would recommend getting Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB instead, faster than the 500G you have listed. Granted it's also more expensive, but twice the capacity too.

    Don't forget a DVD+/-RW drive. Like Asus 24x DVD+/-RW. Will be a pain to install the OS otherwise. $20 bucks or so usually.
  6. Corsair HX750W is a solid PSU and is modular.

    Be careful with CM Hyper 212+, it's massive and your case needs to be wide enough. My CM Gladiator 600 is 202mm wide and I cannot install the case top side fan, because the 212+ is almost touching the wall. Make sure that your case is at least 200mm wide.

    I don't mind the GTX 570 at all, but I happen to lack knowledge about similarly priced AMD cards, which might be better, so we'll need more answers from people who know.

    Autodesk... not sure where I've heard it, but someone was complaining that nVidia 400/500 series cards are not so great in 3dsMax. Not sure if it's true, you might want to research that and find out what kind of performance people get with these cards.
  7. The Sapphire 6970 is in the same range as the 570 -

    Or you could just go with something thats almost just as powerful and save $100 Sapphire 6870 FLEX -
  8. I think your original PSU was a great choice; cabling might be a bit more of a mess but if your case has good cable management it won't matter.
  9. So first off, thank you so much everyone for all of the input, it's beyond useful!

    I'm definitely going to swap cases to the ZALMAN Z9 as it still looks awesome (yes it needs to be aesthetically pleasing haha) and provides more cooling. Do I still need to add the Cooler Master 212 into it, and if so, does it fit?

    Secondly, regarding the GPU, I'm considering switching to the Sapphire 6870, but how much of a difference would that make when playing games? Also, can anyone elaborate on the issue that may exist with nVidia GTX 400/500 series and Autodesk and whatnot?

    What does modular mean? Sorry to ask such a beginner's question.

    And when you mention more cables, how many more cables are we talking? I'm already worried about messing up this build, so I'd rather not add more possible issues if not needed.

    Thanks so much, guys!
  10. You'll most likely need Hyper 212+ if you want to OC, Intel stock cooler is useless, and it's not enough to just have better case cooling (though, it helps).

    Modular PSU is the one where you can disconnect the power plug wires from the PSU - very nice feature. For example, my PSU is NOT modular and there're about 10 wires that just hang inside the case unused. (Okay, not hang, they're nicely hidden, but still...) Had I bought the a modular PSU, I could just disconnect them and take them out.

    Don't be worried, the build looks solid so far... Even with a non-modular PSU you can easily organize the extra cables so they don't mess around.

    I'm sorry for bringing up that issue with 400/500 series, but I've seen a thread about it on Tom's and some people were not happy about it at all. Seeing as you work with these applications, I decided to mention it =) Better to know all pros and cons before buying. Here's the thread, by the way:
  11. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 is a very good card for the price. The Flex is a good version -

    It is not that much different than any of the higher end cards, just more useful for higher resolutions.
  12. Just bought the Asus z68 PRO.........Stoked, should arrive monday!!!
    thats 3 items down 7 to go on 1st build. Smashing!
  13. So I've modified my build to this:

    CPU: 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
    Motherboard: MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Video Card: SAPPHIRE FleX 100314FLEX Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
    Case: ZALMAN Z9 Plus Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    With the change from the Nvidia GTX 570 to the Radeon 6870, should I keep the 750W PSU or lower it or what? I'm not exactly what to do there. I think I'll be keeping my motherboard since I'm not as well-versed in that area and it seems to be okay. I swapped out the memory for the G.SKILL Ripjaws, hopefully that is still okay. The HDD was upgraded to a 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint to add a bit more space in the HDD. The case I upgraded to allow for 4 120mm fans to run along with the ability to add 2 140mm fans to the top and bottom of the case.

    I plan on attaching a Master Cooler 212 Plus to my CPU, and after looking into it, my case measures 207mm, will that be enough room to house the aftermarket cooler?

    I really appreciate all of the help guys.
  14. 207mm wide? Should be enough.

    750W PSU? I don't know, do you want to add a second GPU later (Crossfire)? If yes, keep the 750W. Though, we need AMD people here, I don't know if 750W is enough for Crossfire with 6870.

    Ripjaws is the most popular RAM choice that I see on Tom's, so I assume that's good.

    How's your budget? You sure you can't spare some more money to add an SSD as a boot drive? And why not upgrade to Z68 chipset mobo? Or you're fine with P67? (Not much difference, just Z68 allows you some new SSD caching thing)
  15. According to reviews on newegg someone is using 212+ on that case and it fits, so you should be good on that end.

    Good 750W should be enough to SLI 6870's.
  16. ^ You mean, CF 6870's :D
  17. Yeah, sorry about that. Don't you be hacking the SLI bridge for Crossfire setup ! :)
  18. Yes, 750w will be enough for the 6870 single or CrossFireX. And you will def. enjoy the Sapphire!
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