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$800-$1000 Gaming PC, need feedback/help/suggestion.

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July 20, 2011 8:02:43 AM

Hey! I'm pretty new to purchasing and building my own build but I've been asking around a lot and asking a few friends of mine for some help. So far I've come across this setup.

General information:

Region: Canada
Main uses: Gaming (Doesn't need to be MAX settings on games like Crysis 1-2, I am fine with Mid-high settings on games like Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Guild Wars 3, Battlefield 3, etc.) I do multi-task on occasion (multiple videos, tabs, programs while gaming). Mild-movie viewing and once-a-month-multimedia stuff (video editing & Photoshop).
Crossfire/SLI: No
OC: Yes
Monitor: Currently 1280x1024, planning to upgrade to Dell U2311H (23" @ 1920x1080) & might use dual-monitor/Eyefinity.
Purchase date: Preferred mid-august. If needed, it can wait seeing as there are still some upcoming summer sales on NCIX. But I am hoping I get to purchase it with the best deal (free shipping, rebates, discounts, PM, ETC) and before the end of summer.

Build specs:

MOBO: Intel P67 or ASUS P8P67 or ASUS P8P67 PRO
CPU: i5 2500k (comes with free shipping for entire order) Link
CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD6950 Link
RAM: Kingston 2x4 (8GB) DDR3 1333mhz or G.Skill Ripjaws x F3 2x4 (8GB) DDR3 1333mhz
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 520w Link
HDD: WD Black 1TB, wanted the Samsung F3 but NCIX doesn't have that so it cant go with the free shipping from the CPU deal.
CASE: Cooler Master HAF 912 Link (I will remove the mid-HDD bay to fit the GPU) xD

Any changes, insight, comments are appreciated.

Links on demand, I will try to pricematch most of the items on various sites such as: NCIX.ca, Newegg.ca, directcanada.ca, memoryexpress.com, tigerdirect.ca, etc. anything within canada.

My main concern is to achieve the best "bang for buck" and for the build to last for several years, to be somewhat "future-proof" with minor upgrades.

Thank you!
a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2011 11:22:06 AM

Mobo: go with the Pro model. Having the option to SLI/Crossfire is good to have available.
Consider Asrock P67 Extreme 4 as an option if it's available for you.

You might want to splurge a bit on the CPU cooler, get a nice effective and quiet cooler.
Maybe Scythe Mugen 3 or even the Noctua NH-D14

GPU: Well you probably couldn't max out crysis 2 with 2 6950's, but the 6950 will max out most of the other games at 1920x1080.
Another good option would be to get a GTX560Ti instead, but obviously if you intend to use eyefinity then the 6950 would be the way to go.

RAM: Go with the ripjaws or snipers, the difference is small so maybe get 1600Mhz memory.

PSU: should run your system ok.

Don't forget a DVD drive, will be harder to install win7 otherwise.
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July 20, 2011 8:23:10 PM

rvilkman said:
Mobo: go with the Pro model. Having the option to SLI/Crossfire is good to have available.
Consider Asrock P67 Extreme 4 as an option if it's available for you.

You might want to splurge a bit on the CPU cooler, get a nice effective and quiet cooler.
Maybe Scythe Mugen 3 or even the Noctua NH-D14

GPU: Well you probably couldn't max out crysis 2 with 2 6950's, but the 6950 will max out most of the other games at 1920x1080.
Another good option would be to get a GTX560Ti instead, but obviously if you intend to use eyefinity then the 6950 would be the way to go.

RAM: Go with the ripjaws or snipers, the difference is small so maybe get 1600Mhz memory.

PSU: should run your system ok.

Don't forget a DVD drive, will be harder to install win7 otherwise.


Thanks for the reply!

I dont know much about motherboards, but i'm a little curious. Whats the difference between the P8P67 PRO & the Asrock P67 Extreme 4? Why should I choose this over that? I just wanna know what I'm buying xD.

I couldn't find the Scythe Mugen 3 on NCIX but I see the Noctua NH-D14. That thing is HUUGE!! Will it fit in the Cooler Master HAF 912? I mean I already have to remove the mid-HDD bay to fit the GPU. Would I need to get a larger case to fit everything nicely? Also, is the difference of the coolers that much of a difference? Because the Noctua does seem a little expensive compared to the CM Hyper 212+.

Is the PSU ok even if OC'd?

I already have a DVD drive in my 5-year-old PC, hopefully I can use that one. It's a LG GSA-4163B.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2011 8:40:02 PM

Well the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ is fine, just tried to give options on something less noisy. Both coolers should fit the HAF 912 though, it's quite big.

As for the motherboards they are pretty similar, so both work for your scenarios, and both are good motherboards. So you can choose on brand preference or price.
Both are well reviewed.

Well depends how big of an overclock you plan on doing of course, but generally it should be enough.
But if you would get something like 650W that would let you run it at closer to the peak efficiency which is usually around 50%

Your old DVD drive won't work since it is an IDE drive. The new motherboards rarely have an IDE connector anymore, they are all SATA connectors now.

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July 21, 2011 3:39:42 AM

Alright, I think I'm going to go with a cheaper GPU. The 6850, Link, seeing as my monitor's resolution is currently only 1280x1024.

Still a little hesitant about the motherboard seeing as I don't plan to crossfire/SLI anytime soon.

Because of my old DVD drive. Which would you recommend for me to upgrade to? :o 
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
July 21, 2011 7:27:48 AM

Check out 6870 prices as well, there have been pretty nice sales on them lately and they are 15% or so faster than the 6850.
And once you upgrade your monitor, it would still run games decently at 1920x1080. Looking at newegg.ca the price difference between the two is like $5-$10 which makes the 6870's a nice deal indeed.

Well the mobo's give you the option. Obviously you can go with a cheaper board that doesn't have that option. If you intend to do your graphics upgrades by buying a replacement video card.
MSI P67A-G45 $119.99 actually supports crossfire. But is much cheaper than the other recommended boards. Other features are pretty much on par with the other 2 boards so i think you would be fine with this one as well.

DVD drive: Asus, Lite-On, Sony 24x DVD+/-RW drives ~$20 or so, so not a big investment.
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July 28, 2011 5:36:58 AM

Best answer selected by kitchenraider.
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