New Gaming Rig Parts List (suggestions and thoughts requested)

I'm looking to build a gaming rig. It will be my first in about 6 years. I found this template on another thread, so I filled it out already.

Approximate Purchase Date: sometime between 7.18.2011 today and 8.15.2011 a month from now
Budget Range: $1300 - $1500 (before any Mail in Rebates)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming - I'm hoping to max most mainstream First Person Shooters specs for at least 18 months.
Parts Not Required: peripherals (keyboard, mouse, external hard drives, monitor, printer)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon. I'm open to Tiger Direct and, but I've never used them.
Country of Origin: no idea what this is for. I live in the USA.
Parts Preferences: part by part basis (see listing below)
Overclocking: Yes. I've never done it, so experimental at first, then hard core as I figure it out.
SLI or Crossfire: Yes (but not right away, or I'll go over budget :). I'll probably get another GTX 570 in about 3-4 months.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (not sure which, but under 2000 for width and height)
Additional Comments: I'm open for suggestions, but I'm also open for an education. I'd love to know WHY you're recommending apart, or WHY you think a part won't work.

Here's my parts list. I was hoping that you guys could take a look at it and let me know if I've hit the mark.

CPU - i5 2500K
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 BX80623I52500K

ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
OR (make suggestions)
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM - G. SKILL Sniper 8GB
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR

EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support

CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

CASE - Cooler Master HAF 912
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

solid state drive
-none so far-

A few questions, if anyone can lend a thought...

1) Are these parts actually compatible? I'm hoping I didn't overlook anything obvious. I know that the CPU Socket on the CPU must match that on the motherboard, for instance. I also know that the Motherboard Memory pin count needs to match the RAM pin count. But then I see a Motherboard North Bridge and I'm not sure how that relates to other components. Or I see Memory standard on the Motherboard and I'm not sure how that relates to the RAM Speed.

2) Will any of these parts cause significant bottlenecks (ie will the Mobo prevent the CPU from reaching its full potential?). I know that parts can be compatible, but still not be optimal for each other.

3) I'm Planning to do some overclocking (CPU, GPU, RAM). When prices come down, I'm planning to do some SLI with the GTX 570. Will these parts support that (so far, I've never overclocked. Still have to read about it)? Will the PSU support SLI and overclocking?

4) Since I plan on doing some SLI, would I be better off with a Radeon 6950 in Crossfire instead? If so, would a Radeon 6950 be compatible with the rest of the parts? Note: I have a 22-inch screen and will not be going over 1920x1200 and will not be using multiple screens (I heard Radeon takes the lead in screens over 2000 or multiple screen layouts).

5) I gave very little thought to the Case/Tower, the Optical drive, and the hard drive. I basically just picked out cheap stuff. Does anyone have any better suggestions?

6) Regarding the CPU fan and the Cooler, someone from work suggested them. I don't have any idea how the cooler works yet. Is this worth looking into (or possibly even necessary to look into - I don't know what kind of overheating to anticipate. I still have to read up on overclocking and SLI/Crossfire).

I'm even more interested in an education than in just suggestions. If you recommend a part, I'm very eager to know why, if possible. But I'll take what I can get.
I know that I'm terribly wordy. Sorry about that. I know I've said a lot and asked a lot. Any insights or suggestions are appreciated.
Looking forward to your thoughts, and thanks in advance.
2 answers Last reply
More about gaming parts list suggestions thoughts requested
  1. From among your motherboards, I would choose the Asus P8Z68-V PRO. They are the same in all the most important aspects (same compatiblies, storage options, etc.) but the Z68 board will leave the option open for integrated video (the P67 board won't allow that) and it has more EGGs (which has never steered me wrong in the past).

    now for your questions:

    1. All the parts are compatible and won't cause any bottlenecking. You've picked the almost fastest of everything so it matches up pretty well. The memory standard on the motherboard refers to the speed at which the RAM can communicate with your processor. In this case, the RAM you've chosen is DDR3-1600Mhz, which should be compatible with the motherboard right out of the box.

    2. Nope :D

    3. This motherboard will run both AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI and the power supply will support it. The important thing to look at when judging if a power supply can support SLI/CFX is the number of amps output through the +12V rail on the Power supply. Look at the PSU ad you've linked from EGG. This PSU outputs 70A via one +12V rail. If you look at the video card ad on new egg, you'll see it requires at least 38A through the +12V rail. So it will easily support two GTX 570's (the second won't require the full 38A 'cause it will be running at half speed). The power supply won't support three cards however, so if you're planning on going nuts you'll need something beefier.

    4. Benchmarks show the GTX 570 to be faster than the HD 6950 by a fair bit. However, with a screen size of only 22" on a single display, your video setup is kind of overkill. At that screen size you could run all games on max with much less power. I'd suggest getting a bigger display if you really want to take advantage of all this gear your getting.

    5. The case is fine, it doesn't have to be anything special unless you're super picky about looks or crazy about noise level, temps, etc. I haven't used this case, but you can't really argue with 5 eggs and 437 reviews. The dvd drive is also fine, no reason to go nuts. Your hard drive is really the only critique i would offer about your system, the drive you've chosen is great for a storage drive, but you really should invest in a SSD for your boot drive. This will really reduce boot times and loading times in games. It really makes a huge difference. You need to go big either, i've got a 60GB boot drive that I use for Windows and a couple of the games that I play the most often. The rest I install onto a 1TB storage drive (of which i've used about 80GB). If cost is an issue, you could go cheaper on the video card (yours really is a bit overkill, especially if you're planning on running two) to free up the cash for an SSD. It really is worth it.

    6. Your CPU fan/cooler looks great, I'd recommend throwing in some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste though, it's cheap and will shave your temps down a couple more degrees.

    Anyway, I hope I answered all your questions and enjoy your rig, it's gonna be great!

    (P.S. Buy a bigger monitor and an SSD :D)
  2. I would go for the Noctua NH-D14, as you eliminate any possibility of pump noise.
    Or one of these alternatives:
    Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $70
    You'd need to buy a fan for it.

    NZXT Havik 140 $70 ($3 shipping)
    These two both receive positive reviews and are suitable to be used with quiet fans, but also perform well/keep temps well down when the fan speeds are turned right up.

    For a thermal compound I think I would choose this:
    Gelid GC-Extreme 3.5g $13
    Arctic Silver 5 might perform extremely well, but the curing time and the fact that it's electrically conductive mean that it probably falls behind other thermal compounds, which perform just as well but don't have those problems.

    You could also go for this, which was the top performer in that benchmarkreviews comparison:
    Masscool G751 Shin Etsu $5
    But it only looks like it's good for one or two applications.

    Cases are a personal choice area of a build so it is difficult to suggest cases, but I know if I had a substantial budget like that I think I would want to get the nicest case I could - not that there's anything wrong with the HAF 912, just not to my taste.
    Lian Li Lancool PC-K60B $80

    Lian Li Lancool PC-K59 $90 ($10 shipping)

    Fractal Design Arc Midi $100 ($20 shipping)

    NZXT Phantom Black $125
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