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$1,500 graphics processing/gaming rig

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July 17, 2011 12:59:53 AM

I'm helping a friend build a computer (only built one for myself last year with great support of the community here and he never built anything).

Approximate Purchase Date: in about 2 weeks


Budget Range: 1,500 USD before rebates. May be able to stretch it just a bit


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Maya/Photoshop (graphics/animation as well) software, gaming, everyday use

Parts Not Required: monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com


Country of Origin: US (NYC)


Parts Preferences: I am personally partial to intel CPU's (I'm looking at i7 2600), and Corsair power supplies and Corsair case (but case brand can be changed to fit into budget). I personally liked ASUS mobo's but that is also not a must. Also, thinking this should be a nvidia GPU but we need to discuss what's better for graphics and 3rd modeling and animation software.


Overclocking: Somewhere between seriously doubt it and when hell freezes over


SLI or Crossfire: Not in the budget and probably no need for a while


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (possibly 1920x1200 not 100% sure but i think that's moot at these resolutions since he uses a 23 inch samsung monitor)

Additional Comments: Now, this is his first build so i want to impress him. I'm thinking of using the 600T case with a window (650D if i can fit it into budget) so i want to add a little bit of bling (i'm thinking like a couple of led strips but i'll figure that part out myself). This will be a Win 7 build for someone who is not a hardcore techie (i like to call him a Luddite really haha). I haven't had time to really look at any parts but here are some and by some i mean the cpu all of you know:

Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Graphite Series 600T CC600TM Mid-Tower Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for your feedback! I couldn't have done my first build without you guys and gals so here's hoping you can help me out with this too!
July 17, 2011 12:01:44 PM

CPU: i7 2600k $314.99
MB: Asus P8Z68 Pro $209.99
Memory: Gskill Ripjaws X 2x4GB Cas8 1600Mhz $79.99
GPU: Palit GTX570 $329.99 ( before $30 rebate )
HDD:Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $64.99
DVD: Sony 24x DVD+/-RW $18.99
Case: Corsair 650D $169.99 ( with cc, before $20 MIR )
PSU: Corsair HX850 $147.10 ( with CC ( CSAVE10 ) , before $10 mir )
HSF: Corsair Hydro Series H60 $69.98
OS: win7 home premium 64-bit $79.99 ( with CC )

Total: $1498.75 ( before $60 in MIR's, shipped to the continental US )

Obviously I have no idea what kind of HDD solution you were looking at or if SSD was needed.
But this one will run everything allow OC and SLI.

You could probably squeeze in a small SSD like Crucial M4 64Gb, by removing the HSF and changing to 2600 since you didn't intend to OC.
If you didn't need the OS then a 120GB SSD would be in order.
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July 17, 2011 12:33:52 PM

THanks for the reply. I knew I forgot something. DATA HDD will be a WD Caviar Black 1TB but I heard good things about Spinpoints too. And yes, it will definitely be the locked 2600 since he will never overclock. And I'm thinking maybe putting in an air cooled aftermarket solution instead. But overall this looks great! Thanks again!
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July 17, 2011 12:46:53 PM

Personally I'd get a more well known graphic card brand like asus or msi as personally I've heard bad reviews of pally cards :) 
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July 17, 2011 12:51:23 PM

Generally I just picked one, since they didn't really stand out much in features.
But yeah check what is good, that one just looked good with a 2 fan non standard cooler.
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July 17, 2011 1:47:39 PM

yeah, I was a little skeptical of the Palit brand since I never even heard of it so I was def going to change that (same prices practically on the 570 cards).

2 questions:

Does this rig really need a 850 power supply? I have a similarly specked system from last year running on a corsair HX750 (same product line)?

And what do you guys think of cheaper air coolers? Any suggestions? (I personally run a prolimatech megahalem in a push/pull but that is $70 plus fans)
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July 17, 2011 2:26:24 PM

According to other people on the forum a 750w is enough for even 570 sli so I think a HX750 would be a good choice as then in the future you could get a new card.

many also on the forum say the hyper 212+ is the best bang for the buck :) 
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July 17, 2011 2:49:22 PM

Interesting. So, it would seem nothing new in cooling solutions has come out in over a year then since the argument for 212+, megahalem and noctua as being top of the line in their respective price ranges stands. Good to know.
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July 17, 2011 4:28:50 PM

There are other solutions but with price drops of the hyper 212 I think its still doing well :D  Also just another point. If your not gonna get a SSD I don't think there is any point of the z68 motherboard and if you know you won't be OC I think a H67 board would be good but do get other people's advice :D 
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July 17, 2011 5:30:57 PM

The Hyper 212 is like 2-3 years old. There are much better coolers for the price.

Get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Runs cooler and is much quieter.

If you're going to be doing Maya the GTX 570 is a horrible choice. Nvidia crippled their OpenGL performance so they could sell Quadros. Get a HD 6970.
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July 17, 2011 5:33:03 PM

Mecha will be great for this build too, with 1 or 2 good fans beats the crap out of the 212+ :) 

And yes the 750W will be fine. I just listed that hx850 cos it's really good and fit the budget, leaving room for expansion :) 
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July 18, 2011 4:27:47 PM

browsingtheworld said:
The Hyper 212 is like 2-3 years old. There are much better coolers for the price.

Get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Runs cooler and is much quieter.

If you're going to be doing Maya the GTX 570 is a horrible choice. Nvidia crippled their OpenGL performance so they could sell Quadros. Get a HD 6970.


I missed your post before. Since this is for a friend I wasn't as aware of the nvidia crippling maya performance. Are ATI's really much better?
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