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Need some help picking out Mobo, Heatsink, and GPU please...

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August 8, 2011 4:50:51 PM

Hey guys,

So far I have an Antec 600 case, XFX 850W PSU, and 8GB GSKILL 1600 CL8 Ram. I'm planning to get the i5-2500K CPU. I was also wanting to get the Scythe Mugen 2 rev. B or whatever that huge heatsink was called, but it doesn't look like newegg carries it any more.

I'm thinking I want a Z68 mobo (I like the looks of the Asus boards, but that is not a huge factor...just a tiebreaker maybe) although I'm open to different opinions if I don't really need it. I'd also like to have the option to xfire or SLI if I wanted to later.

I have no idea what to get now for a Heatsink as the Mugen was rated very high in cooling, had a pretty decent price (especially on sale), and I didn't mind the looks too much. I'm kind of at a loss now. I guess the Hyper 212+ would be the way to go, but that is just so boring/ordinary to me. I want something that cools better and looks better for the same price or less, lol. I heard you don't really need super cooling with the 2500K too, but I would like to oc to 5 if reasonable.

I had the GPU (maybe GPUs?) narrowed down to the 560ti or 6950 and unlocking the extra shaders or w/e (not messing with the memory) to perform like a 6970. I keep seeing te 460 and 6850 for close to $100 though and wonder if I won't be paying twice as much for something I don't really need. I had planned on getting a 30" monitor (2500x1600 res if that is the max on that size), but I don't think I can justify it at $1000ish vs. $300ish for a 27" one. I'd mainly be playing games (possibly faux dual-boxing an MMO or 2, not really into 1st p shooters) and surfing the net.

I really like getting the best bang for the buck, but tempering that with as much future proofing as is reasonable.

Thanks for any help,
-Jed
August 8, 2011 6:31:06 PM

Hmmm....If you want to get to 5.0GHz on air, you are looking at a high-end cooler in the $80-$90 range. Examples off the top of my head are the Megahalems (plus two fans, sold separately), Thermalright Silver Arrow, and Noctua NH-D14. Even with those, anything past 4.5 isn't guaranteed.

I think this ASRock board would do you well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would suggest going with two HD 6850s in Crossfire. You get perfomance on par with a GTX 580 for around $300.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/302?vs=305
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August 9, 2011 12:11:46 AM

The Scythe Mugen 2 has been discontinued, apparently because the performance of the Scythe Mugen 3 is good enough to justify doing so.
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August 9, 2011 7:57:15 PM

I should probably start looking into SSDs too now. I'm not sure what way to go though...is it better to get a 120GBish one and put the OS and games on that, or use a 64GBish one and use it for cache?

There seems to be a lot of variables when it comes to SSDs...it's still kind of confusing to me.
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August 12, 2011 2:17:03 PM

The SSD caching seems like it's more hype than anything. Yes, it does slightly improve some access times. But if you have the budget, then a full blown SSD boot drive is the way to go. Stay away from Sandforce-based drives. Intel is having issues too. I think the way to go right now is the 128GB Crucial M4. Fast read times (write times are not impressive, but you only write an OS or app to it once) and a good price make it my first choice. I'm going to wait it out a few months and then might finally take the plunge to an SSD. Hopefully by then it's under $200 on sale.
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August 12, 2011 10:08:06 PM

nd_hunter said:
The SSD caching seems like it's more hype than anything. Yes, it does slightly improve some access times. But if you have the budget, then a full blown SSD boot drive is the way to go. Stay away from Sandforce-based drives. Intel is having issues too. I think the way to go right now is the 128GB Crucial M4. Fast read times (write times are not impressive, but you only write an OS or app to it once) and a good price make it my first choice. I'm going to wait it out a few months and then might finally take the plunge to an SSD. Hopefully by then it's under $200 on sale.


That sounds like a pretty good idea. Won't 128 GB be a little bit more than needed for OS and games, or is that the sweet spot?
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August 18, 2011 4:58:43 PM

TopGun said:
That sounds like a pretty good idea. Won't 128 GB be a little bit more than needed for OS and games, or is that the sweet spot?


Hey, sorry it took so long to get back to you...I think 128GB is the sweet spot. It's got room for the OS, Office, CS5, and plenty of games. The 64GB drive would take a little more planning. I've read you want to leave at least 10% free for the best performance, but don't remember where. If you've got the cash then 256GB would definitely be better, but they cost a bit much...
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