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First time builder, budget of 800-900 intel based

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July 21, 2011 5:05:52 PM

Alright excuse my negligence if this is posted in the wrong spot. I'm a first time builder and have been doing some research in the last few days and have a few questions.

First off is now a good time to purchase the i5-2500k or should I wait for the Ivy Bridge processors? I know they will be a lot more expensive and personally I can't justify waiting for something much more expensive for not that much of an increase in capability. I don't think it would make that big of a difference. Plus it would mean new mobo as well.

2. Should I wait for the IB to come out just so the sandy bridge prices go down? Do they go down? Or is now a good time to purchase?

3. I'm looking to spend around 800 to a max of 900, after taxes but not after rebates. That said I'm looking at getting:
-i5-2500k 219.99
-ASrock fatality professional 219.9
But from here I'm lost as to what to get. I'm looking at making something that can play games on basically high, to ultra settings. In fact the mobo isnt even set in stone. I've been looking at cheaper ones that do what I want them to do but they all have reviews on like newegg detailing problems, so I figured I'll get these 2 and then get a great graphics card and cut down on other things like case. Also I'll probably do overclocking half the time. And quick question what difference does it make to have a P67 or Z mobo? I know its like on board GPU but in my case with an external GPU does it make a difference?

I was thinking either GeForce GTX 460, Radeon HD 6850 in either SLI for the GTX or Crossfire for the Radeon. Of course that wouldn't be till I saved up more money. Or anything else that fits the budget and gives me the best graphics. I might mention that I'm hesitant to go for AMD/ATI because I've always used Nvidia and have had great success. But I'm open if its price based.

I also need helping getting a PSU that will have the capability of handling SLI or Crossfire in the future. I have a DVD drive so that's covered. And I have 2 SATA drives unless you have to recommend one that is 500gig+ for relatively cheap.

Also I need some kind of memory. Is 8 gigs overkill or will 4 gigs be too little? I saw recently some Ripjaw 8 gigs for 70$.
So things I need: PSU, memory, video card, mobo suggestion or advice for the one I have.

Thanks for the input!!!!

Cheers,

Mario

Edit: Add another question on difference b/w P and Z mobo
July 21, 2011 6:53:09 PM

I'll try to answer some things here.

First, the difference between P67 and Z68. Z68 adds Quick Sync capability and SSD caching to P67. Quick Sync allows (faster) video transcoding through Intel's HD3000 IGP. SSD caching allows a small (20GB is recommended) SSD to be used in conjunction with your HDD to allow for quicker access times on commonly used programs. From what I read, it's not that great.

I don't think Sandy Bridge prices will drop that much, because Ivy Bridge is geared more to the "enthusiast" market.

That Fatality motherboard sure looks nice, but it's more than what you need, and will cut into your GPU funds.

Optical drive and HDD is covered. Btw, a new 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 is $60, OEM DVD drive is $20.

What resolution is your monitor? This can make a huge difference. I will assume it is 1920x1080.

Here is what I would do with $900....

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
MOBO: MSI P67A-G43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$329.98, $7.87 shipping ($20 MIR available)

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

RAM: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 CL9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99, free shipping

GPU: 2x Sapphire HD 6850 (Crossfired)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$329.98, free shipping ($15 MIR available)

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 620w PSU 80+ Bronze
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping ($20 MIR available)

Case: Rosewill GEAR X3 Gaming Mid-Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping

Total: $892.30 shipped, before rebates...$837.30 after
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July 21, 2011 9:01:44 PM

Yeah monitor is 1920x1080.

I like it. Pretty damn good build. But how bout chucking these in
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 2x4 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for a mere $15 I'd be willing to get those. It's not necessarily that I have to be at $900 shipped, but I'm going to be a full time student, and at my job by the end of summer Ill have only 5k and I want to limit my expenses and this build though I don't need it, would love to build and so if I can justify spending 800 and limiting it to great hardware for cheap then I'll do it. And by the sound of it, this works great.

Quick question, those Sapphire gpus why Sapphire and AMD? Im more of a Nvidia guy because of the relative sureness Ive had with those cards. I'd love to keep using them if I can find something for the same price 2x but Nvidia.

And is it worth it to get a Mobo with USB 3.0 headers in it, because the combo you have doesn't have a USB 3.0 header on the board. just 2.0

Thanks for the reply. Was waiting a bit. Lol.
Great build by the way. I'm just really picky and cost conscious. Trying always to get the most spectacular things for as little as possible.

Edit: If I made it 900 after rebates what can I upgrade to improve my build?
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July 22, 2011 2:01:27 PM

vulcanus said:
Yeah monitor is 1920x1080.

I like it. Pretty damn good build. But how bout chucking these in
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 2x4 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for a mere $15 I'd be willing to get those. It's not necessarily that I have to be at $900 shipped, but I'm going to be a full time student, and at my job by the end of summer Ill have only 5k and I want to limit my expenses and this build though I don't need it, would love to build and so if I can justify spending 800 and limiting it to great hardware for cheap then I'll do it. And by the sound of it, this works great.

Quick question, those Sapphire gpus why Sapphire and AMD? Im more of a Nvidia guy because of the relative sureness Ive had with those cards. I'd love to keep using them if I can find something for the same price 2x but Nvidia.

And is it worth it to get a Mobo with USB 3.0 headers in it, because the combo you have doesn't have a USB 3.0 header on the board. just 2.0

Thanks for the reply. Was waiting a bit. Lol.
Great build by the way. I'm just really picky and cost conscious. Trying always to get the most spectacular things for as little as possible.

Edit: If I made it 900 after rebates what can I upgrade to improve my build?



Regarding USB 3.0. I referenced and linked the wrong one, lol. The price threw me off. The MSI P67A-G45 is the one I meant. It has a front-panel USB 3.0 header yet costs less. Here's the link to that combo...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The AMD vs. nVidia debate. You mentioned getting a 460 or two. I don't like that because it is previous-generation tech. It's a great card, don't get me wrong, but why handicap yourself right off the bat? You mentioned wanting to game on the highest settings and you just confirmed that your monitor is 1920x1080. This is going to require either one beefy card (GTX 570, HD 6970) or two lesser cards in Crossfire or SLI. A GTX 570 is currenty ~$315 (most are $300 or less after rebates). In comparison, Crossfired HD 6850s offer considerably higher performance, on par with a GTX 580, for about the same cost as a 570. It seems to be the best compromise when taking your budget and graphics requirements into consideration. I will mention that GTX 460s in SLI offer similar performance to Xfired 6850s for about the same cost. But then I revert to my previous argurment...old tech, more power consumption. You'd want to upgrade the PSU to a 750 watt unit for some headroom, which raises the budget.

That memory is fine too...the only thing I don't like is the tall heatspreaders. If you want to overclock then you will want an aftermarket cooler and those heatspreaders could get in the way (they will if you use a Hyper 212+). You can use slots 2 and 4, but then you are limited if you want to add memory at a later date.

If you were to raise your budget, I would suggest a better case than the one I mentioned. I really like the HAF 932 Advanced, but it's twice as much. The HAF 922 is good in the $100 range. If you want a quiet case with a sleek, refined look, check out the Fractal Design R3.
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July 22, 2011 2:29:22 PM

I was reading through this build and was curious myself, is that 650W PSU going to be enough if he is looking to SLI or CrossFire in the future?
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July 22, 2011 3:54:08 PM

techo said:
I was reading through this build and was curious myself, is that 650W PSU going to be enough if he is looking to SLI or CrossFire in the future?


Good question. It is more dependent on the GPU choice than CPU choice. First off, I only recommend quality power supplies. To me, this means Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and XFX. My recommendations are below. Keep in mind, these leave some headroom if you want to overclock yet includes the worst-case scenario...stress testing or hardcore gaming (high res, max settings); let's face it, you don't buy two cards to stream Netflix.

650w
HD 6850 CF
HD 6870 CF
HD 6950 CF

750w
GTX 460 SLI
GTX 560 Ti SLI
HD 6970 CF

850w
GTX 470 SLI
GTX 570 SLI

1000w
GTX 480 SLI
GTX 580 SLI
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July 22, 2011 4:06:33 PM

Thanks for the insight. I agree. I like the 6850 xfire setup. But after looking at the msi mobo from the most recent combo, I'm hesitating to get it. I mean i'd much rather spend a lot more money on a motherboard that I can rely on for a long time, than get something relatively cheap and have it potentially fail. Then there's wasted time, and possibly money if I can't get it exchanged. To be honest I'm not even sure if I'll over clock anything right of the bat, but I'd like it to be there. And as for case I'm thinking either the Haf 922 or the 932 since it is only 129 after rebate. to be really honest, i think im going to exceed my budget and just go with sound options and use it for the next 4-5 years. Sure technology will improve, but the point that we are at right now really gives us options to last a while. PLus by then I'll be out of college and be working and have more money to spend. So here's what I'm thinking:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the blue version although it is 10$ more. Havent decided yet. Prolly red just b/c its an awesome color. 129.99 after rebates

CPU: i5 2500k 219.99

PSU: this is still debatable but this i think will do the job http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 74.99 priced down from 139.99

heatsink fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 29.49

DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 19.99 just because i realized my dvd was IDE connection

HD: Figured since im going head first into this might as well get one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 44.99

memory: 2x2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 36.99

mobo: either this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 159.99 or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 219.99 im liking either. not sure if the jump in price would be worth it considering they are very similar.

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 164.99, 149.99 AR

Total comes out to 1038.85 with shipping and taxes pre rebate. after rebate its less than 1k, but note that this includes the fatal1ty mobo, HD, DVD, and the much expensive haf 932. But money well spent in MHO. i think this is a solid build that could last me 4-5 years +

let me know what you think, and if there are certain things that can be swapped to lower the price, such as maybe psu, memory, and if i should go with the asrock mobo thats 159.99 then i could get 2x radeon hd 6850
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July 22, 2011 6:25:14 PM

vulcanus said:
Thanks for the insight. I agree. I like the 6850 xfire setup. But after looking at the msi mobo from the most recent combo, I'm hesitating to get it. I mean i'd much rather spend a lot more money on a motherboard that I can rely on for a long time, than get something relatively cheap and have it potentially fail. Then there's wasted time, and possibly money if I can't get it exchanged. To be honest I'm not even sure if I'll over clock anything right of the bat, but I'd like it to be there.


I think your priorities are a little skewed. While the motherboard is an important part of any build, more emphasis needs to be placed on the GPU(s) in a gaming build, because this is what provides for the fps. Going all out on a motherboard that causes you to skimp on graphics is foolish. I hope you are not basing your want for that Fatal1ty board based on its looks, which begs the question: why are you set on the Fatal1ty? The MSI board in that combo is a quality board that will fullfil your needs for less cost. Any board can fail, whether it's an EVGA SR-2 ($580) or Foxconn 740G ($40). MSI is a reputable motherboard manufacturer and offers a respectable 3 year warranty on that G45 board. I am by no means an MSI fanboy nor am I dogging ASRock...I actually have an Asus in my rig. I am a fan of getting the most bang for your buck, and the MSI fills this role, especially when you consider the combo savings and possible rebate into the mix (making the MSI almost three times less expensive than the ASRock). The Extreme4 is a decent compromise, however, again, this board is twice as much as the MSI (after figuring savings and rebate).

vulcanus said:
And as for case I'm thinking either the Haf 922 or the 932 since it is only 129 after rebate. to be really honest, i think im going to exceed my budget and just go with sound options and use it for the next 4-5 years. Sure technology will improve, but the point that we are at right now really gives us options to last a while. PLus by then I'll be out of college and be working and have more money to spend. So here's what I'm thinking:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the blue version although it is 10$ more. Havent decided yet. Prolly red just b/c its an awesome color. 129.99 after rebates

CPU: i5 2500k 219.99

PSU: this is still debatable but this i think will do the job http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 74.99 priced down from 139.99

heatsink fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 29.49

DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 19.99 just because i realized my dvd was IDE connection

HD: Figured since im going head first into this might as well get one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 44.99

memory: 2x2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 36.99

mobo: either this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 159.99 or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 219.99 im liking either. not sure if the jump in price would be worth it considering they are very similar.

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 164.99, 149.99 AR

Total comes out to 1038.85 with shipping and taxes pre rebate. after rebate its less than 1k, but note that this includes the fatal1ty mobo, HD, DVD, and the much expensive haf 932. But money well spent in MHO. i think this is a solid build that could last me 4-5 years +

let me know what you think, and if there are certain things that can be swapped to lower the price, such as maybe psu, memory, and if i should go with the asrock mobo thats 159.99 then i could get 2x radeon hd 6850


Good choice in that 932 Advanced; that side fan and great airflow well keep those GPUs nice and cool.

That Earthwatts PSU is a good one, if not a bit dated, which is reflected in its discounted price. There are newer PSUs out that offer better design and higher efficiency. If you want the peace of mind that goes with a 750-watter, then I would recommend one of the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- XFX 750 XXX Edition $129.99, $109.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- Antec High Current Gaming 750, $94.99, $69.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- Corsair TX750 v2.31, $119.99, 109.99 after rebate
All are top quality PSUs, though the Antec would be better for your budget.

That Hyper 212+ has free shipping on amazon.com

A WD Blue drive is okay for storage, but not recommended for a boot drive. For $15 more, you can have a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 which is the best of its class for price/performance/reliability. Newegg and amazon.com offer the same price and free shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern...

You don't need more than 4GB of memory for gaming. That being said, RAM is so cheap right now, it's really hard not to recommend 8GB with a $500+ budget. This allows an upgrade in the future for a total of 16GB instead of 12GB. Once again, be wary of the tall heatspreaders. I really like the modules I recommended earlier, plus they dropped the price $5 and included a free 4GB flash drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I already let you know my thoughts on the motherboard. From the sound of it, you're not interested in hardcore overclocking, which is the only reason I would recommend the Fatal1ty over the MSI G45. The G45 will allow for 4.5GHz which is about the upper (safe) limit of a Hyper 212+. Here's a link (again) to that G45 combo :lol: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Whether you follow all, some, or none of my suggestions here, you will have a decent rig that will serve you well for years to come.
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July 22, 2011 6:58:04 PM

Yeah I figured. So I think I'll take your advice and go for that combo. It really lowers the cost down. And about the HDD I had completely forgotten about the spinpoint. I remember reading about it like 2 hours before that. The revies on newegg were what were making me speculate whether the msi board would last. And what kind of difference would I expect to see from no heatspreaders on the memory?
and personal preference would you go with red or blue haf 932?
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July 22, 2011 7:43:01 PM

Well any overclocking is pretty much CPU only so you shouldn't expect any differences. In some rare instances, RAM works better without heatspreaders...weird, I know. G.Skill heatspreaders are secured by thermal tape and can be removed. If you would need to RMA them for any reaon you can just put them back on. I read that statement from one of their customer service reps in their forums in reference to a clearance issue between the heatspreader and an aftermarket cooler.

I quit putting all my faith in newegg reviews after reading over and over where people have had the same part replaced several times, all through no fault of their own :sarcastic: . Whatever. All hardware naturally has a 1-2% failure rate, so keep that in mind. It's pretty rare that you would receive two defective parts back to back.

I'm partial to red. My baby HAF (912) has red-led megaflow fans and it looks fantasic. The power and hdd leds are red. The mouse has a red glow from underneath. And I have my keyboard set to red backlighting.
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July 22, 2011 9:49:28 PM

I like red, but my Razr mouse is blue ;( Dislike. But it was a great buy for a gaming mouse. And im debating whether I should get the 912 or 932 HAF. what do you think? And 2 of those PSU have no mention of sli/xfire capabilites..does it matter? I think I'm set for this build. Going to start ordering things. Any other GPU combinations to recommend? Also do you think it would be a good idea to buy all the things with free shipping together and then order things separately that dont have free shipping?

Mario
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July 22, 2011 10:02:14 PM

In my opinion, the HD 6850s are the best bang for your buck when it comes to dual-card setups. All of those PSUs have enough power and enough connections for Crossfire/SLI. You're good to go. I like my 912, but you will have to add fans for your Crossfire setup. Your're good to go with the 932. I'm saying that a lot, but it's true, lol. As far as ordering, if you have the money, order it all at once.
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July 22, 2011 10:27:45 PM

Sigh. This whole set up is slightly more than I wanted. Im very stingy with my money being a damn college student sucks. First year too. I like the 932 but $ is low so I think i might just go with the 922. Ive decided to basically go with everything you listed including RAM, but for some reason I'm still hesitating with that MSI board. IDK what it is.
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July 25, 2011 1:56:08 PM

The 922 is a good case also, you won't be disappointed.

I built a rig for my dad back in March, right after the B3 boards started showing up. The MSI P67A-C43 was the first available on the egg, so that's what I bought. It's working like a champ...rock-solid stable. It's on 24/7 and hasn't had a single hiccup. That's more than I can say for the ASUS in my rig.
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