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First budget build i5-2500k around $750 need help!!

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July 8, 2011 12:11:59 AM

Hey guys! I'm planning on my first ever build this month so I need some suggestions! I read that the i5-2500k is a great cpu and although I've never tried overclocking, I'm definitely going to get on it for this build. I don't know much about which mobos would be great cost/performance-wise, but the i5-2500k+biostar mobo combo at Microcenter (I live in Houston, btw) seems a great deal for a budget build. My budget is around $750 and it would be great if I could lower that without sacrificing too much on performance. So far, this is what I have:

Approximate Purchase Date:This month

Budget Range: 750 USD Before Rebates

System Usage: Mostly gaming and light photo editing, surfing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/microcenter/amazon. or any other site

Parts Preferences: i5-2500k.

Overclocking: never tried but this would be my first try! better late than never!

SLI or Crossfire: maybe in the future when games get more demanding!

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900 but will be upgrading soon to a 1920x1080. Not included in budget though.


CPU + MOBO: i5 2500k + Biostar TP67B+ LGA 1155 P67 ATX = $260 w/o tax at Microcenter

GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $200

CASE: Antec 300 Illusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $55

RAM: G.SKILL 2x2gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 46$

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $95

HDD: SAMSUNG F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65

Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!! :D 

More about : budget build 2500k 750

July 8, 2011 5:36:02 AM

hmm.. i don't really know much about RAM latencies but yeah, $5 more can't hurt that much can it? thanks!

also, will my psu be able to handle 2 6870 in the future? or should I get more than 650W? oh and I forgot to add that I already have a dvd drive from my old dell pc.
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July 8, 2011 7:06:47 AM

I would go with 750w for crossfire. I would just get this ram for 29.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Most of the time you can get the latencies down on g skill ram may require a bit more voltage but you're safe to go up to 1.65v

I would just get this video card so you don't have to worry about the rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Be sure to use promo code newcustomer10 to save ten bucks if this isn't your first purchase just set up another account with a different email address :) 
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July 8, 2011 7:32:30 AM

Agree on all points except PSU, where I think 650 will be ample.


Measured power consumption two 6870 cards

System in IDLE = 184W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 421W
Difference (GPU load) = 237W
Add average IDLE wattage x2 ~ 19W (ATI specified)
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 275 Watt

So if it's 275 watt peak, add in another 150w for highly overclocked CPU and 25w for everything else. That leaves us at 450w, which is plenty IMO, since it's running at 75% capacity AT PEAK.

However, a 750w might be wise just for the connectors required.
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July 8, 2011 8:11:09 AM

It just seems he is getting ripped off for an old model PSU with only an 80+ standard rating it should be cheaper than it is. These are very similar in price and would be worth the little bit extra:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In my opinion the PC power n cooling is the best option with an 80+ silver rating, 750w, and at only 109 dollars.
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July 8, 2011 3:10:23 PM

Oh, definitely agreed. I was just throwing it out there that a 650w could handle it. In fact, he would save money by going with the Earthwatts! Good catch!
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July 8, 2011 3:40:53 PM

Minor detail, but I find the Sentey Black Box Series BX2-4284 Mid Tower is a cheaper and better case. I have an Antec 300 and a Rosewill Challenger, and I'd buy another Challenger anyday. The Sentey has all the features of the Challenger but is cheaper and comes with an extra fan. Be aware that you will have to buy 2 120mm fans to use the top exhaust.

+1 on the Earthwatts. Not my favorite PSU (I hate multi-rails), but it's the cheaptes 750W you can get without sacrificing quality. If you go below 750 you won't have enough 6-pins to Xfire 2 6870's.
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July 9, 2011 2:30:08 AM

mlcaouette said:
I would go with 750w for crossfire. I would just get this ram for 29.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Most of the time you can get the latencies down on g skill ram may require a bit more voltage but you're safe to go up to 1.65v

I would just get this video card so you don't have to worry about the rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Be sure to use promo code newcustomer10 to save ten bucks if this isn't your first purchase just set up another account with a different email address :) 


Is there a difference in performance if I get 1x4gb ram rather than 2x2gb?

I chose that video card because of the warranty and free game... but yeah, rebates are annoying. Thanks for the tip on the code! :D 
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July 9, 2011 2:33:44 AM

grody said:
Minor detail, but I find the Sentey Black Box Series BX2-4284 Mid Tower is a cheaper and better case. I have an Antec 300 and a Rosewill Challenger, and I'd buy another Challenger anyday. The Sentey has all the features of the Challenger but is cheaper and comes with an extra fan. Be aware that you will have to buy 2 120mm fans to use the top exhaust.

+1 on the Earthwatts. Not my favorite PSU (I hate multi-rails), but it's the cheaptes 750W you can get without sacrificing quality. If you go below 750 you won't have enough 6-pins to Xfire 2 6870's.


any more suggestions regarding a good, reliable case?? I'm leaning towards the Challenger more now than the 300 since the promo on the 300 is gone...
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July 9, 2011 2:37:16 AM

striker410 said:
Oh, definitely agreed. I was just throwing it out there that a 650w could handle it. In fact, he would save money by going with the Earthwatts! Good catch!


Should I go with the Earthwatts or the High Gamer Current Series?? Is the extra $10 worth it for that 80 plus bronze rating??
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July 9, 2011 2:48:08 AM

spending a bit extra on a PSU always helps, with the higher quality ones, you might find that you can extract more "power" then what its rated at. also higher quality PSUs will probably have higher quality parts. try to find a review for both of them and compare, jonnyguru is a nice place to start
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July 9, 2011 2:59:21 AM

kipay11 said:
Is there a difference in performance if I get 1x4gb ram rather than 2x2gb?

I chose that video card because of the warranty and free game... but yeah, rebates are annoying. Thanks for the tip on the code! :D 

If you want free games, check this combo right here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Comes with Shogun2 AND DiRT3!
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July 9, 2011 3:38:40 AM

Well you will lose dual channel mode, I don't know how much performance decrease that will amount to. If you spend an extra $14 you could get two of the ones I listed and regain the dual channel as well as have 8Gb instead of four. Sorry I didn't look closely at the ram I put up, I originally thought it was 2x2gb.
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July 9, 2011 5:34:14 AM

hmm.. isn't 8gb of ram too much for my usage? I read somewhere that most games usually don't use more than 4gb of ram. :p 
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July 9, 2011 5:44:35 AM

That may be so, but for fourteen dollars I think it is worth it to be a little more future-ready.
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July 9, 2011 5:46:00 AM

mlcaouette said:
That may be so, but for fourteen dollars I think it is worth it to be a little more future-ready.


Good point. Can't argue with that!
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July 9, 2011 5:47:18 AM

what do you guys think of the biostart mobo?? is the x16/x4 sufficient if I'm going to crossfire in the future (2-3 months prolly) or not?
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July 9, 2011 6:07:05 AM

x16/x4 is not ideal and biostar is not recommended very often, but then again you are only paying like $50 for the board and you usually get what you pay for.
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July 9, 2011 6:08:45 AM

Umm, no. Biostar usually makes crappy boards, and you want 8x8x to not worry about bottlenecking. Check out Gigabyte's Z68 line, it has some high quality and low cost options.
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July 9, 2011 6:22:04 AM

striker410 said:
Umm, no. Biostar usually makes crappy boards, and you want 8x8x to not worry about bottlenecking. Check out Gigabyte's Z68 line, it has some high quality and low cost options.


How about this mobo?

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

unfortunately, the local microcenter doesn't have that many options for a z68. seems like everything's sold out. :( 
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July 9, 2011 7:56:34 AM

striker410 said:
hmmm.... A P67 board like this will work quite well: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... Same as Z68, really. And yes, it's 100% compatible. So, why can't you order from newegg?


It's not that I can't order from newegg.. it's just that microcenter has this promo with the 2500k.. $40 off any compatible board. :D 
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July 9, 2011 6:16:01 PM

Ahh ok. Well that board I linked will work well!
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July 9, 2011 10:37:09 PM

^+1 for going with the msi board instead of the biostar one
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July 10, 2011 1:51:52 AM

that msi board is out of stock at microcenter!

What's your take on these boards?

ASUS P8P67 R3.1 LGA 1155 P67
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MSI P67A-GD55-B3 LGA 1155 P67
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 mATX
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

although they are more expensive than the MSI, I figured if I factor in the $40 savings from microcenter, it would more or less be the same price if I buy the $130 MSI board from newegg..
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July 10, 2011 2:24:06 AM

Umm, I guess I would get the P67A MSI board for it's SLI compatibility. The Gigabyte board is MicroATX, so kinda a no-no. And I think the P8 Asus is 16x-4x PCI-e lanes, also a no no.
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July 10, 2011 5:02:14 AM

if you have sufficent case fans, then m-atx shouldn't be a problem, but it will still run hotter than a full atx. i would go with the gigabyte mobo because it is running z68, but like striker said it is m-atx, but this means less cable worries...
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July 10, 2011 5:09:30 AM

Actually, full size ATX is better for cable management since they can be spaced out on the MB. Also he won't really be using the Z68 features, although it would be nice to have if he ever got into media creation.
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July 10, 2011 3:51:17 PM

The MSI board has some better features, if you like the onboard start/reset/clear cmos buttons. I'd go with the MSI between those three options.
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July 10, 2011 6:50:35 PM

I decided to get this one together with the 2500k
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
total $324.73 w/ tax

and these are the rest that i'm going to get from newegg today

GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150521 $205

CASE: ANTEC 300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60

RAM: G.SKILL 2x4gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
60$ with $10 each off promo code

PSU:Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99

HDD: SAMSUNG F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185 $65

Okay, so what do you guys think? I'm not as sure as I should be about the case and psu though... should I go for the rosewill challenger instead? and will the cheaper 750 earthwatts make more sense for my build?

Thanks for the help so far guys! Appreciate it! :D 
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July 10, 2011 6:54:20 PM

oh total cost comes at ~$780
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July 11, 2011 3:20:24 AM

All looks good in my opinion, but the f3 should only come out to $50 with the promo code listed on the newegg page
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July 11, 2011 3:32:46 AM

^^ Keep the antec 300, but you can check out the HAF 912 (better case IMO) and the earthwatts would be just fine.
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July 11, 2011 4:09:37 PM

I'm telling you the Antec 300 is junk. I mean, it works, but you'll get it and wonder why everyone recommends it.
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July 11, 2011 4:54:16 PM

Meh, It's a well ventilated, roomy, sturdy case. I think it's an excellent $60 case. However, I prefer the HAF 912 for looks and ventilation. I have used a challenger and they have close to no cable management and can be a little cramped. The HAF 912 would be my pick.
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July 12, 2011 5:40:42 PM

Hmm.. I do like the look of the HAF 912 and it's only $50 at Best Buy...

One more thing guys, what do you think of this PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know that you shouldn't skimp on the PSU but for $75 is it worth it? I'm not familiar with xigmatek brand PSUs but from the reviews I read, it seems okay... Or would I just be better of going with a brand name PSU for ~$100?
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July 12, 2011 6:52:42 PM

Hmm, tough to say. I doubt it has the required 4x6pin PCI connectors, so I would say no. The $90 Antec Earthwatts is worth it to me, just because I know it won't fail.
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July 12, 2011 10:23:30 PM

It has 2x6 and 2x6+2, so it has the connectors if you xfire 6870s (it was unnecessarily hard to find this info, I'll give you that). I say go for it. It has fair reviews. Nice find.

My only concern is that it splits the 12v rail, so you have 30 amps going to the mainboard and peripherals and 30amps going to the video cards. I suppose that's enough for 6870s, but you might want to double check that.
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July 13, 2011 3:32:57 AM

Okay, so I already picked up the 2500k and mobo today. Got the HAF 912 too. Just about ready to order the rest of the parts from newegg but saw this Thermaltake XT TPX-775M + G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 combo for $155...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I'm thinking this is a better PSU than the earthwatts or the xigmatek since it's modular (partial) and according to reviews actually has 80+ silver rating. With the combo, the PSU comes at around 95$ vs the earthwatts at $90, Antec HCG 750 at $95 ($70 w/ rebate)

edited: forgot to put the link :p 
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July 13, 2011 3:41:05 AM

Seems like a lovely PSU. Not better or worse, but good. It's got good reviews, and I would say go for it! However you will not be disappointed with any of them.

P.S. it's 80+ bronze ;) 
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July 13, 2011 3:45:42 AM

striker410 said:
Seems like a lovely PSU. Not better or worse, but good. It's got good reviews, and I would say go for it! However you will not be disappointed with any of them.

P.S. it's 80+ bronze ;) 


haha yeahhh, but read something about it possibly being 80+ silver here
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

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July 13, 2011 4:13:45 AM

Okay so far this is what I finally have! PSU and RAM not yet ordered.. still making up my mind lol

CPU + MOBO
i5 2500k + Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0364085
total $324.73 w/ tax

GPU: Sapphire 6870 1gb $175 + $8 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: HAF 912 from Fry's $60 with tax

HDD: SAMSUNG F3 1TB $50 with promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65

Total: $608 with $10 off (newcustomer10) :p 


Looking at:

PSU+RAM combo: Thermaltake XT TPX-775M + G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.681254

or

PSU: Xigmatek 750W $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks so far guys! You've all been a greaaaaaaat help! :D 
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July 13, 2011 4:43:57 AM

striker410 said:
Might I suggest this GPU? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It's $2 less after shipping, and is quieter/cooler/more awesome and has a rebate! Just saying....


lol i've already ordered the sapphire 6870 :pt1cable:  thanks, though!

oh and another question.. what's the difference between these two g.skill rams besides looks?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 13, 2011 4:47:21 AM

Nothing. I would get the 1st stuff, it's a bit sexier.
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July 13, 2011 5:30:24 AM

sry to hijack thread, but op asked if

1x 4gb was better tahn 2x2 gb? i was wondering the same thing but for 2x4gb or 4x2gb memory

wat are advantages/disadvantages other than using up ur memory slots?
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July 13, 2011 5:57:06 AM

2x4 is better. Why? Room to expand. I would see no reason to go 4x2, since no mobo's support quad channel ram. Also, some mobo's have compatibility issues if RAM is in all 4 slots.
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July 13, 2011 9:11:16 AM

in reply to that, it seems the first one is designed for the p67/ z68 chipset, it might suit you better, also the first one is the "X" series so it might be a bit higher quality, but looking at the latency, speed etc. they seem the same
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