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$700 i5 2500k build critique/advice

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July 21, 2011 4:16:59 PM

Been lurking tomshardware for sometime now, finally registered!

Anyway, I am planning a build sometime soon and have pretty much all my parts picked out. So far, only case and ram are bought, so the other parts can still be changed. The price is around $700 right now, and I'd like to get it lower if possible.

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Approximate Purchase Date: Between now and the end of August

Budget Range: 600-700 with rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, MS office, movies, photoshop

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, microcenter, amazon

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but in the future. I plan on one 6950 now, and one sometime next year.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (plan to do 3 of these for eyefinity)

Additional Comments: Will do eyefinity in the near future. Already have 1 21.5" 1920x1080 monitor, will buy two more when I find good prices.

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Parts:

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHZ
Motherboard: MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 ATX
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$292 for combo/deal ($15 mail in rebate)

RAM (already bought): G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$34

Graphics: HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB
http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-256bit-Mini-DisplayPor...
$260 ($20 mail in rebate)

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$65

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75

Case (already bought): Rosewill Smart One ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$35

DVD: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$20

Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper 212+
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
$30

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This adds up to about $886 right now. I'm definitely gonna wait until I find the spinpoint is around $50, and also the 6950 around $250. The PSU I have no clue about. Is there a cheaper one that can crossfire thats reliable?
July 21, 2011 4:58:45 PM

Check amazon.com for the Spinpoint and even the GPU. Actually, you should compare prices on anything that isn't already purchased or part of a combo deal. A quality (Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX) 650w PSU will enable you to crossfire two 6950s and even get a decent OC on your cpu. Which brings me to my next point -- I don't see an aftermarket cooler in your list.
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July 21, 2011 5:17:32 PM

nd_hunter said:
Check amazon.com for the Spinpoint and even the GPU. Actually, you should compare prices on anything that isn't already purchased or part of a combo deal. A quality (Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX) 650w PSU will enable you to crossfire two 6950s and even get a decent OC on your cpu. Which brings me to my next point -- I don't see an aftermarket cooler in your list.


Yeah I will definitely check other sites before buying a part. As for the PSU, would it be better to get at least 700w just to be safe? I did a little research before making this thread and 650w seems like pushing it.

And yeah, I have no clue what aftermarket cooler to get. Any suggestions?
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Related resources
July 21, 2011 5:43:26 PM

I think 750W is better. Go here to see for yourself.
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July 21, 2011 6:02:18 PM

Well, a build with an i7-2600k OCed to 4.0GHz with two 6950s pulled 432 watts from the wall in a review that Tom's did (link). Figure in about 90% efficiency and the PSU was outputting about 390 watts. I really don't see you finding a quality PSU for less than $75, other than the Earthwatts 650 for $60. You'd have to use molex adapters to power those cards though, since it (PSU) only comes with two PCIe connectors and each card needs two 6-pin plugs. As far as coolers go, the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is the gold standard for price/performance.

Here are some links...

Antec Earthwatts 650 Green PSU
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EA-650-Green-Energy-Certifi...
$59.99, free shipping

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern...
$59.99, free shipping

HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB
http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-256bit-Mini-DisplayPor...
$259.99, free shipping, $20 MIR available

Coolermaster Hyper 212+
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
$29.49, free shipping

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July 21, 2011 6:49:41 PM

DXRick said:
I think 750W is better. Go here to see for yourself.


Hmm I'll probably just buy one a reliable brand on sale, 750w or 650w. I used the psu calculator and it said I only needed less than 600w.

nd_hunter said:
Well, a build with an i7-2600k OCed to 4.0GHz with two 6950s pulled 432 watts from the wall in a review that Tom's did (link). Figure in about 90% efficiency and the PSU was outputting about 390 watts. I really don't see you finding a quality PSU for less than $75, other than the Earthwatts 650 for $60. You'd have to use molex adapters to power those cards though, since it (PSU) only comes with two PCIe connectors and each card needs two 6-pin plugs. As far as coolers go, the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is the gold standard for price/performance.

Here are some links...

Antec Earthwatts 650 Green PSU
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EA-650-Green-Energy-Certifi...
$59.99, free shipping

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern...
$59.99, free shipping

HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB
http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-256bit-Mini-DisplayPor...
$259.99, free shipping, $20 MIR available

Coolermaster Hyper 212+
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
$29.49, free shipping


Thanks! I'll definitely add the cooler to my list of things to buy. That HIS 6950 seems good, but the reason I chose the Sapphire Flex was because it came with the appropriate adapter to do an eyefinity setup, saving me some money. However, since I won't get my second card anytime soon, I think your card is better for now :D  Spinpoint I can wait for a sale around $45-$50. I remember it being $50 on newegg a few weeks ago. PSU, I'll also wait for a sale on either a 650w or 750w.

Aside from those, how does the rest of the build look? Everything compatible and will fit? This is my first build so I'm a little worried something isnt compatible with another haha
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July 21, 2011 7:20:33 PM

Everything in your original list looked good, I was just trying to help you save some money. Here's another PSU to consider

Antec High Current Gaming 620w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping, $20 MIR available
*This one has two 6-pin PCIe and two 6+2-pin PCIe connectors
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July 21, 2011 7:57:35 PM

nd_hunter said:
Everything in your original list looked good, I was just trying to help you save some money. Here's another PSU to consider

Antec High Current Gaming 620w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping, $20 MIR available
*This one has two 6-pin PCIe and two 6+2-pin PCIe connectors


Thanks! I'll keep that one on my radar. So far, if I hold out for a $45 HDD and $50 psu, it comes out to about $699 after rebates and a $22 newegg giftcard. Not bad at all...
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July 25, 2011 9:23:59 PM

nd_hunter said:
Everything in your original list looked good, I was just trying to help you save some money. Here's another PSU to consider

Antec High Current Gaming 620w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping, $20 MIR available
*This one has two 6-pin PCIe and two 6+2-pin PCIe connectors


Hey quick question...

Can you explain to me what it means that a card is dual slot? I read that its harder to crossfire with a card (or two) that are dual slot.

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

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

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

I know the sapphire is dual slot from the reviews I read, but I'm not sure about the HIS. Would it be difficult to crossfire two of these three cards with the motherboard I have?
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July 26, 2011 3:09:11 PM

If you look at the layout of that G43 motherboard you will notice that the blue slots (the PCI-e x16 slots), where you will install graphics cards are three slots apart. There are two PCI-e x1 (the small, black slots) in between. This is done on purpose to allow more airflow between the cards when two are used in Crossfire or SLI. A dual-slot card will install into the blue slot and cover the small black one below it. Older generation motherboards (P55, X58) typically had only one slot between the x16 slots. With little clearance between the pcb of the bottom card and the intake of the top card, cards that ran hot by themselves (GTX 480 and HD 5970, for example) would really be stressed in SLI and Crossfire configurations.

The HD 6750 and higher cards in AMD's lineup are all dual-slot cards, with some ASUS branded 6950s and 6970s being triple-slot cards.
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July 26, 2011 3:41:25 PM

I have heard that there are some compatibility problems with the MSI P67 motherboards and G.Skill RAM. It's discussed on the G.Skill forums here. Granted, this may have been fixed with a new BIOS update since.
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July 26, 2011 4:03:35 PM

nd_hunter said:
If you look at the layout of that G43 motherboard you will notice that the blue slots (the PCI-e x16 slots), where you will install graphics cards are three slots apart. There are two PCI-e x1 (the small, black slots) in between. This is done on purpose to allow more airflow between the cards when two are used in Crossfire or SLI. A dual-slot card will install into the blue slot and cover the small black one below it. Older generation motherboards (P55, X58) typically had only one slot between the x16 slots. With little clearance between the pcb of the bottom card and the intake of the top card, cards that ran hot by themselves (GTX 480 and HD 5970, for example) would really be stressed in SLI and Crossfire configurations.

The HD 6750 and higher cards in AMD's lineup are all dual-slot cards, with some ASUS branded 6950s and 6970s being triple-slot cards.


Ahh gotcha. Thanks! I guess the only issue might be decent air flow as these cards seem big.

Priox said:
I have heard that there are some compatibility problems with the MSI P67 motherboards and G.Skill RAM. It's discussed on the G.Skill forums here. Granted, this may have been fixed with a new BIOS update since.


That's....worrisome :??:  I hope this wont happen on my first build.........

EDIT - seems like the issue has been fixed. phew...
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