My first build - 2600k worth it?

Hey guys,
I have been spending a good portion of my summer trying to put together the perfect build for a computer. My goal is to make this computer last as long as I can before the parts become too out of date and I need to replace it, but I am willing to upgrade some of the parts. Trying to keep it ~$700, less than $800. Here's what I have right now:

Intel 2600k - microcenter $280
Sunbeam Transformer Full ATX -used $40
Corsair Enthusiast 750W - newegg $110
BIOSTAR TZ68A+RCH LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - newegg $130
Ripjaw g.skill 2x2GB 1600 - newegg $46
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 - from a friend $60
WD Caviar Blue 250GB - newegg $39.

My plan is to use this computer for gaming/everyday use over the next couple of years. I am aware that the used items will need to be upgraded soon and when I plan on overclocking my cpu I will want an aftermarket cooler. Other than the used items, any suggestions would be helpful. Is the 2600k worth it when the 2500k is $100 cheaper? Clearly I don't plan on spending much on everything, but I have always in the past spent the most money making sure I have a good processor.
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  1. Hi there, welcome to the forums.
    Please fill out this form, it will give us the info we need to help you:
    But the tip I can tell you right now is do NOT buy that GTX 260. It's a pretty bad card for gaming, considering you have an otherwise high caliber system.
    No, the 2600k is not worth it. Save the money and use it for a better GPU.

    I'll get back to you on the rest.
  2. Sorry, thought I had covered everthing. Here you go:

    Approximate Purchase Date: beginning of next week

    Budget Range: less than $800

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, everyday use, some streaming

    Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, OS

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

    Country of Origin: usa

    Parts Preferences: -I will be using buying the intel 2600k or 2500k.
    liked the biostar z68, but impartial between z68 or p67

    Overclocking: Yes

    SLI or Crossfire: not for now

    Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

    Additional Comments: I really prefer to spend the most money on a processor so that I wouldn't have to upgrade later in this rig. My head is telling me that I should be OK with the 2500k, especially overclocked, but my heart is telling me that the 2600k is the one for me. However, if I can talk myself into the 2500k, I will be getting a better heatsink and fan and possibly faster RAM.
    Regardless, I would be willing to upgrade almost anything else at a later date, and most certainly will be upgrading the RAM and video card.
    Also, Im not getting the GTX 260, Im buying a discontinued card off of a friend, the GTS 250( ). I will be updating to a better one probably before HotS comes out, just cutting corners now.

    Anyway, here is what I have as of now:

    Intel 2600k - microcenter $280
    Sunbeam Transformer Full ATX -used $40
    Corsair Enthusiast 750W - newegg $110
    BIOSTAR TZ68A+RCH LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - newegg $130
    Ripjaw g.skill 2x2GB 1600 - newegg $46
    EVGA GeForce GTS 250 - from a friend $60
    WD Caviar Blue 320GB - newegg $42.

    So, any thoughts on this build relating to the processor or how it will run games/light streaming. Is the PSU enough to oc sandy bridge, is it more than I need? I probably won't ever have dual gpu's. Thoughts on me going the z68 route? Suggestions on similar quality boards? First timer here and I need some help.
  3. Well, a 2500k could feed frames to about 6 GTS 250s (just an illustration, obviously not in practice), so you should be good stopping at that and saving yourself some cash. That PSU is a quality unit and will be enough even if you wish to upgrade to a CFX/SLI config in the future.
  4. Alright, thank you for that.
    First thing, 2500k is the way to go. It is not an "alright" CPU, it's the best value CPU on the market! You will not even be able to utilize it's full potential unless you spend ~$1,000 on GPU's. In gaming, the 2500k and 2600k perform almost identically:
    Next thing, DO NOT get the GTS 250. It's even worse than I thought. If you get the 2600k and save that $160, you can get a 6870 (AR) Here's a roundabouts comparison: The 5850 and the 6870 are close, and the GTS 250 and GTX 260 are close. When you consider the 6870 is slightly better and the 250 is worse, It's not even a fair fight. Your friend is certainly on the winning end of the deal.

    Instead of going with a biostar mobo which are low quality, get a Gigabyte Z68.

    You can save a bit on the PSU since you don't plan on doing a dual card config save some money by getting a nice 500w PSU, letting you upgrade to something like a 560 Ti for a GPU.

    Remember, you should ALWAYS spend more on the GPU than the CPU for a gaming machine. It's usually not negotiable.
  5. Ok, so this is how its changed:

    EVGA GTX 550Ti - $150

    Gigabyte z68 - $140

    Corsair 600W - $70

    Also, these are all the prices without rebates calculated in since I don't wanna get my hopes up. Also, I'll probably shop for better prices, this is just to get the idea that I know what to look for.

    Edit: plus I'm doing the 2500k - $180
  6. Get this Mobo: Save $10.
    Get this card, $170 after rebate (I know it's after rebate, but XFX almost always honors them.) And it comes with DiRT 3 and Shogun 2!

    We might be able to find a cheaper PSU, dropping the price further. I'll look in the morning.
  7. You do not NEED an unlocked processor for overclocking. Especially if this is a first build, look for cheaper end GOOD chips. It's your choice and your money but, do know you can overclock locked multiplier processors; which may be best so you don't over do it. Intel i7 K processors are fairly cheap so, you CAN get an affordable unlocked proc. (Not like the old days! 775 Core 2 Duo's for 900+ extremes!) but, you do risk novice mistakes that can make them bricks. (Haven't really heard much about that though)

    As for the graphics card, I have 2 MSI GTS 250's 1GB RAM and they are "okay". I would shell out $40-45 for a used one just to have a decent card until I could upgrade but $60 is a bit high. DO NOT buy his if it is a 512MB card. 1GB is the sweet spot on GPU RAM at the moment. Look on eBay to see what the going rate for AUCTION style listings are. (Buy It Now can list for any price they want. Won't sell though) This are is no doubt the biggest draw-back in your rig up there.

    Personally I would stay away from the Biostar board but, many claim having good luck with Biostar units so, your call. I Buy Asus, Gigabyte, Intel...(occasionally an MSI will slip in on sale, or a Foxconn but seldom). I can't say that the board you are looking at is a bad board, I just stay away from them. period.

    Sorry I didn't offer more help, let us know how it turns out!
  8. I'm not really questioning the processor anymore. Cpus become outdated so quickly just because of new parts coming out that I even debated for a moment to wait to buy a new comp for ivy since sandy bridge has been out for a few months. It is a first build but not a test build. I want this to last.
    now, for the video card, I'm happy with the 6870 posted above. In my research, I kinda neglected to find out what a video card should be today and that's why I needed help. I'd rather shell out $150-$200 now then $50-$60 now and $200 very soon.
    Also, I like how that gigabyte board looks, I just didn't have personal experience with what brands to choose.
    As for the psu, I'm happy with spending $60 for a corsair since I have heard so many good toons about them. Unless someone has additional advice, I think I have my build. Thanks guys.
  9. Don't forget an Optical drive!
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