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New build - seeking opinions

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August 4, 2011 7:16:33 PM

Hey guys,

I'm relatively new to the whole building a PC business, usually I just go about buying a pre-built one and be on my way. But I've decided to give it a try. I've done quite a bit of research and have tried to find hardware that will work nicely and suit my needs.

My intentions of the PC I wish to build is of course main stream gaming for the most part along with regular stuff such as downloading, browsing etc. The results from the PC I want are of course being able to play on a relatively high graphics setting with optimal FPS. The games I'm interested in playing aren't too demanding or so I've heard... World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, The Elder Scrolls to name a few. I also haven't yet decided on a monitor but I'll probably be looking at something like 1920x1080 at least.

The build I'm settling with is:

CPU: Intel i7 2600k
Motherboard: Asus P8P67-Pro
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 1GB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600mhz
HDD: Western digital caviar black 7200RPM 1TB
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster hyper 212 plus
PSU: Antec 750W Earthwatts 80+ certified
Case: Antec 900
OS: Windows 7

The total comes to around $1500 AUD (with shipping costs) which is an okay price to me.

However I am looking for some second opinions for the build overall,

And (if any) recommendations on anything I could change or add to either:

1. Cheapen the price without sacrificing too much performance.
2. Increase performance without drastically increasing the price tag.

EDIT: Also, is it worth having the i7 2600k? Or would a i5 2500k suffice for what I'm looking for?

Thanks for your time.

More about : build seeking opinions

August 4, 2011 7:41:38 PM

Great choice!! Building yourself is much more fun. A couple things you could change:

Change the 2600k to 2500k. Games do not use hyperthreading and you can save $100 for a negligible performance change. 2500k vs 2600k (http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288)

With the games you listed, i would change your GPU to a gtx 560ti. Blizzard games and MMOs (SC2 in particular) tend to run faster on NVIDIA GPUs
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August 4, 2011 7:43:17 PM

I'd suggest downgrading to the i5 2500k, and upgrading video to the 6950 2gb. I own the 2500k with the hyper 212+, great combination. Other than that, I don't think you can save much money w/o sacrificing performance or longetivity.
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August 4, 2011 7:51:59 PM

Thanks for the input.

I think I will downgrade to the i5 2500k to save that extra bit of money.

The GTX 560 TI was the other card I was looking at, however I read the 6950 would be better overall where as Llama noted, the GTX 560 TI would excel with Blizzard games. But I'll still take it into consideration.

Also, performance wise with the GPU, what difference exactly would the extra 1GB on the 6950 have?

Lastly, with the power supply, I was concerned I may be over compensating. Is 750W a bit too much for what I need? Or could I lower it a bit to save a bit more money?
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August 4, 2011 8:05:40 PM

At 1920x1080 the difference is very small. Even in heavy games like metro 2033 the difference is around 1 fps. larger resoloutions and high levels of AA is where the extra memory helps
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
If you want to stick with one card you can drop to 550w. If you ever want to SLI or crossfire keep the 750w (applies to either card)
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August 4, 2011 8:10:33 PM

When building a new platform, you should always consider your upgrade path.

So if you're concerned about your PSU being overkill, take into account that next year you can plop in another GPU in SLI/Crossfire for a significant upgrade without worrying about your power requirements.

The 2500k is great for probably years, but if another -much- better CPU comes out for that socket next year, you won't feel like you wasted $100 a year before trying to buy the highest end chip.

the extra 1GB on the 6950 would prove useful if you like to crank up Anti-Aliasing or if you run a high-resolution, multi-monitor setup.

In addition, you may consider getting -more- of a slightly cheaper RAM, Gskill is a great alternative, I believe they have a 16GB kit for $90 (US) right now on newegg. Alternatively, this is an upgrade that can be saved for the future, as RAM prices continue to drop.

The best upgrade you could do is spending $100 or $200(US) on a 64GB or 128GB SSD, as a boot drive. I'm never going back to spinning drives, myself. Tom's just did an article on Crucial's m4, which is reliable and snappy at 128GB especially (Tom's Recommended)
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August 4, 2011 8:35:03 PM

Great info, thanks.

And yes with upgrades in mind I'll stick with the 750W for now.

I'll be sticking to one monitor so the extra 1GB upgrade on the 6950 would be unnecessary for the moment.

RAM doesn't bother me too much as it is rather cheap but the insight is helpful.

Cheers to you all, helped my decision a lot.

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August 4, 2011 8:57:10 PM

A 2500K is OK
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!