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Please Advise/Critique

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July 22, 2011 5:37:43 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week.

Budget Range: Not overly concerned.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming.

Parts Not Required: Case (Antec 900), keyboard (G11), mouse (MX Revolution), monitor (Samsung Syncmaster 27" (X2), speakers (Yamaha TSS-10), DVD/BR burner(s), OS (Windows 7 Professional).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, but all parts listed are from Newegg.

Country of Origin: U.S.

Parts Preferences: None.

Overclocking: Possible, but unlikely.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future, but prefer one high-end GPU.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080.

Additional Comments:

(1) Will dedicate the 60GB SSD to Windows 7 only.
(2) No additional cooling components needed, will use heatsink and fan included with CPU and current case fans.
(3) Thinking about the future rather than present needs.



Current proposed build:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
$314.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBSR
$124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$349.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$142.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Cannot buy from Newegg as I'll need one that runs on 220 volts with a different plug shape.

Total: $1282.94


Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

More about : advise critique

July 22, 2011 5:59:12 PM


That's a really expensive mobo, why so much? Why not Z68?

Everything else looks good.
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July 22, 2011 6:23:59 PM

Some thoughts for you:

1) If the price premium does not bother you, the 2600K is very good.
But for gaming, there is negligible benefit for gaming over a 2500K. Few games use more than two cores, so the 2600K hyperthreading will not be of much benefit. The 2500K will OC to the same levels as the 2600K.

2) If your purpose is gaming, and budget is not a big issue, consider a GTX580.

3) a 60gb SSD is a bit small, particularly if you want to install a few games on it.
Look to a 120gb unit at least.
In the past, Intel has had a better track record for fewest returns:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...

Get either the 320 series or the 510 if it does not cost much more.

4) Get an aftermarket cpu cooler up front. It is better to install it initially. I hate to take a working pc apart to do it later.
A decent cooler will keep your cpu cooler, and quieter under load. It will let you oc easier and higher.
A good unit need not be expensive. The Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper 212 should be about $30.

5) Get a quality psu. My short list of quality brands would include Antec, XFX, Seasonic, Corsair, and PC P&C.
A 600w quality psu will power a GTX580. A 700w unit will power a GTX590. Anything past that brings decreasing marginal returns on performance.

----good luck-----
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July 22, 2011 6:40:29 PM

geekapproved said:
That's a really expensive mobo, why so much? Why not Z68?

Everything else looks good.



Thanks for your input GeekApproved!

Being pretty new at this, I think I got a little confused on that MoBo with regards to not needing a z68 since I'll have a discrete GPU and OS-only SSD. Was I mistaken?

If so, what do you think about this?

ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$244.89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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July 22, 2011 6:50:09 PM

Yeah I like that board much better, still too pricey for my tastes though, but obviously your not worried about it so go for it.

That Gigabyte board doesn't even have UEFI bios, which is really nice. Not sure why Giga is so behind on bios, just about everyone else is using UEFI bios by now. Even my $60 motherboard has it.



I definitely would pay the premium for the 2600K over the 2500K, while the 2500K is just as good for gaming, the 2600K will keep you happier longer, due to it's hyperthreading and binning, which will in most cases allow it to overclock higher than a 2500K.

GTX580 is much faster than 6970, but then again, that's why it's over $100 more.

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July 22, 2011 6:53:45 PM

geofelt said:
Some thoughts for you:

1) If the price premium does not bother you, the 2600K is very good.
But for gaming, there is negligible benefit for gaming over a 2500K. Few games use more than two cores, so the 2600K hyperthreading will not be of much benefit. The 2500K will OC to the same levels as the 2600K.

2) If your purpose is gaming, and budget is not a big issue, consider a GTX580.

3) a 60gb SSD is a bit small, particularly if you want to install a few games on it.
Look to a 120gb unit at least.
In the past, Intel has had a better track record for fewest returns:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...

Get either the 320 series or the 510 if it does not cost much more.

4) Get an aftermarket cpu cooler up front. It is better to install it initially. I hate to take a working pc apart to do it later.
A decent cooler will keep your cpu cooler, and quieter under load. It will let you oc easier and higher.
A good unit need not be expensive. The Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper 212 should be about $30.

5) Get a quality psu. My short list of quality brands would include Antec, XFX, Seasonic, Corsair, and PC P&C.
A 600w quality psu will power a GTX580. A 700w unit will power a GTX590. Anything past that brings decreasing marginal returns on performance.

----good luck-----



In response to your suggestions:

1. I realize I'm paying a hefty premium for a minor benefit in the i7-2600K, but I think I decided that I'm looking a little bit more into the future in terms of the CPU. Plus, I'm a little wary of overclocking (never done it before).

2. The GTX 580 is a great card, but I think I'm going to stick with the 6950.

3. I will only use the SSD for the OS.

4. I've considered an aftermarket cooler, but since I will not likely be overclocking, I'm not overly worried about noise. Maybe I'll change my mind on that, though.

5. Unfortunately I do not have access to a lot of the major brands due to my current location...not to mention, I'll need one that runs on 220V with a specific plug type.

Thanks for the reply!
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July 22, 2011 7:18:53 PM

DeF21 said:
In response to your suggestions:

1. I realize I'm paying a hefty premium for a minor benefit in the i7-2600K, but I think I decided that I'm looking a little bit more into the future in terms of the CPU. Plus, I'm a little wary of overclocking (never done it before).

2. The GTX 580 is a great card, but I think I'm going to stick with the 6950.

3. I will only use the SSD for the OS.

4. I've considered an aftermarket cooler, but since I will not likely be overclocking, I'm not overly worried about noise. Maybe I'll change my mind on that, though.

5. Unfortunately I do not have access to a lot of the major brands due to my current location...not to mention, I'll need one that runs on 220V with a specific plug type.

Thanks for the reply!


1) For gaming, the 2600K will not be any better in the future than it is now. Today, the 2500K is as good as it gets for gaming, and not even the 22nm ivy bridge follow on cpu's will cause 2500K users to want to change. The reason you get a "K" is to be able to overclock. It is simple. Just increase the multiplier in small steps from 33 to 40 or so, and you are done.

2) Gaming performance is determined by graphics, not the cpu for the most part. Nothing wrong with a 6950, but for the same price, a 2500K and GTX580 will give you superior performance. Your minimum frame rates will be better.

3) 60gb is OK for just the OS, it takes about 15gb. Level loads will be faster if you at least install your current game on it.

4) Another reason for an aftermarket cooler: Intel standard pushpin coolers are notoriously difficult to install properly. You will have a much easier time using a backplate type installation.

5) Whatever you do, do not go cheap on a PSU. See if you can't find some reviews from a knowledgeable web site of your candidate psu.
A poor psu will not deliver the wattage claimed and may cause intermitten problems. As a benefit, to you, 220v psu's will usually be more efficient than the 115v types.

6) As to your choice of motherboards, do not ignore the slightly cheaper P67 based offerings. The capabilities that Z68 brings are irrelevant to you.
No need for anything super expensive either. The high end boards are intended for record seeking overclockers, and triple + graphics cards. Look for 6gb sata, and usb3.0. If you plan on dual graphics cards, then you will need a more expensive motherboard with two separated x8/x8 slots and sli/cf capability.
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July 22, 2011 7:38:14 PM

Current proposed build (REV.1):

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
$314.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$244.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBSR
$124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$469.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$142.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Cannot buy from Newegg as I'll need one that runs on 220 volts with a different plug shape.

Total: $1357.94
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July 22, 2011 7:57:16 PM

Why do you need a different plug shape?

I did a bit of research, since I am no expert here.
Most modern psu's have active power conversion(PFC) that will convert power form almost any input voltage.
The PC P&C silencer950 for instance can handle input from 90 to 264v AC
http://www.pcpower.com/products/description/Silencer_Mk...

Could you not use a power cable such as this to meet your needs?
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_id=1025&sku=0...|23201|european%20power%20cable||S|b|6319190541&gclid=CK6-sLfclaoCFQpU7AodBUvtyQ
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July 22, 2011 8:51:40 PM

@geofelt - Oh wow, great find!

I'm currently working in South Korea where it's 220-240V AC and sockets require a "Type C" Europlug or the "Type E" and "Type F" Schuko.

I'm not an electrical expert, so I was going to err on the side of caution and just buy a domestic PSU. However, the links to the two products you provided appear to be capable of working here. I'll definitely be looking into this more.

Thanks again!
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July 22, 2011 8:56:00 PM

I never stated that the 2600K would be better than the 2500K in gaming in the future.

What I said is:

"the 2600K will keep you happier longer, due to it's hyperthreading and binning, which will in most cases allow it to overclock higher than a 2500K".

Please pay attention next time you decide to critique someone's comments.


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Best solution

July 23, 2011 12:57:38 AM

Here's an idea. That mobo you have is for someone that's going to run tri vid cards and/or do some hard core o/c. The 2600K isn't going to do you any better on gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $259.98 save: $35.00 FREE SHIPPING
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F60GB3-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $674.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $654.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.49
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
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July 23, 2011 2:26:19 PM

Best answer selected by DeF21.
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