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What is the best possible build for $1200?

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August 13, 2011 7:23:34 PM

I have received a few different builds along with people's opinions and i would like to see what other people think is the best possible build for $1200

-thanks (this desktop will be used for gaming and this does not include keyboard, monitor, mouse)

and i am flexible with the budget, like i will pay a little more for better quality parts, and sli video cards sound pretty fun

More about : build 1200

August 13, 2011 7:34:26 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 weeks

Budget Range: ~1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, newegg

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: no preference

Overclocking: maybe if suggested

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
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August 13, 2011 7:43:48 PM

Why not just go look at the many reviews done by different sites already showing the best builds at different budget levels, or just read the many posts here for different systems. For instance this THG one:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc,2969.htm...

If you have a specific system you want critiqued - post it and ask for comments.

The forums also already had a sticky recommending several different best build models, but apparently there is some problem with the database it is on and it is not accessible at the moment.
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August 13, 2011 8:06:10 PM

I managed a $1000, 2500k/crossfire 6950 build. The os would add another $100 making it a $1100 build.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/315016-31-1000-gaming...

My last build towards the bottom is the one, some links are now dead, so you will have to search on newegg for something close.

-There are better budget crossfire p67 and z68 boards out now, keep in mind the gigabyte 1155 board uses "dynamic cpu voltage control" that some people say is a pain when overclocking. Some cheaper boards use windows software based overclocking too, check out the board specs and blogs on them first.





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August 13, 2011 8:51:25 PM

-If there is some cash left over for the build a decent aftermarket cooler would be good since the oem intel cooler wont let you overclock much.
A pair of seagate sataIII 500's in raid 0 might also be worth it since they are pretty cheap to buy.
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August 13, 2011 9:03:56 PM

need4speeds said:
-If there is some cash left over for the build a decent aftermarket cooler would be good since the oem intel cooler wont let you overclock much.
A pair of seagate sataIII 500's in raid 0 might also be worth it since they are pretty cheap to buy.


Cooler Master Storm Enforcer USB 3.0 Mid Tower ATX Case with Window and Black Interior (SGC-1000-KWN1) $88.59
Cooler Master Computer Case Cooling R4-LUS-07AR-GP Red LED Case Fan $14.31
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $94.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Virtu, Touch BIOS, Smart Response SSD, 2-Way SLI, HDMI $118.99
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $266.98
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1 $28.57
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ $59.79
Sony 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive AD-7260S-0B - Bulk (Black) $19.99
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card3 $239.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $94.99

Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

$1,027.19

what about this build? (this is without all the mail-in rebates, etc)

i would want to probably upgrade the mobo and put on the crossfire 6950, idk how much that is though...what do you think?
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August 13, 2011 9:16:20 PM

bump, the video cards are the same price...which is better? what about the 570?
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August 13, 2011 10:56:27 PM

If you configure it right, using that $45 sentry case with 4 12cm fans/fan controller, and cheaper kingwin 850, you can make a crossfire hd-6950 system work into $1100 plus tax/shipping.

The 560ti is neck and neck with the hd-6950, the hd-6950 uses less power and crossfire boards are a bit cheaper to buy. Crossfire scales a bit better than sli.
Two hd-6950's kicks a 580 and comes close to beating a hd-6990 and 590.
So does a pair of 560ti's. a pair of 560ti's in sli would also do really good.
The antec 750 is cutting it close for a pair of 560ti's. The hd-6950's are easier to power.

The 570 is faster, but also uses more power, it is not a good card for sli. You could get a 570 and a cheaper single slot or non-sli board and a 650 watt antec or 600 watt corsair. for sli 570's you will need a expensive ps like a 900 watt antec or 1000watt seasonic. The 570 uses a insane amount of current under load so it's hard to find a ps that puts out enough amps on the 12volt rail to run a pair of them.
Once you go overboard the costs skyrocket.

-The 570 would be good if you want to go the single card/single slot board route.
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August 13, 2011 11:33:03 PM

i want to go dual cards, so the 6950s are better than the 560s? and if i did the sli/crossfire, how can ou explain how it works? thanks, this is my first pc build ever.
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August 14, 2011 12:14:34 AM

The crossfire cards come with connector ribbons that you plug onto the top of the cards after the cards are installed. You only need one ribbon, but most people put both on cause they look cooler and so they don't misplace the spare. Each card comes with a ribbon.

When you install the catalyst driver from amd, you simply check off the crossfirex option, it might want a system reboot after, its pretty simple. After it is working it will show up as saying crossfire is enabled. Also both cards will show up in amd overdrive, you can even set the clocks separate for each card.

-The instructions are on the amd site and also with the card.

-Sli works pretty similiar, it also uses a connector ribbon, but with sli the connector usually comes with the motherboard and not the cards.

-only some boards support sli, sli must have two x8 speed pcie slots too, crossfire works with x4 to x16 slots and there are more crossfire boards to choose from.

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August 14, 2011 1:00:25 AM

need4speeds said:
The crossfire cards come with connector ribbons that you plug onto the top of the cards after the cards are installed. You only need one ribbon, but most people put both on cause they look cooler and so they don't misplace the spare. Each card comes with a ribbon.

When you install the catalyst driver from amd, you simply check off the crossfirex option, it might want a system reboot after, its pretty simple. After it is working it will show up as saying crossfire is enabled. Also both cards will show up in amd overdrive, you can even set the clocks separate for each card.

-The instructions are on the amd site and also with the card.

-Sli works pretty similiar, it also uses a connector ribbon, but with sli the connector usually comes with the motherboard and not the cards.

-only some boards support sli, sli must have two x8 speed pcie slots too, crossfire works with x4 to x16 slots and there are more crossfire boards to choose from.


interesting, what does the catalyst driver come with? and i guess ill be going with 6950s to crossfire, what mobo do you suggest to run these cards?
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August 14, 2011 7:58:13 AM

Ok i made a build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99 Sentey Black Box Series 4284 Mid Tower Case w/ HD Audio/ SECC .7mm 2x USB/ 4x 120mm Fans (3x w/LED)/ ATX-MATX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$52.48 LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive Black SATA Model GH22NS50 Bulk - OEM
bundled with:1x Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99 Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM (2nd drive so you can run raid-0)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$479.98 ($239.99 each) Get two of these.
GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Free Dirt3 game w/ purchase,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$29.99 $19.99 after mail-in rebate Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99 BIOSTAR TZ68A+ LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$219.99 $15 off with promo code ($204.99) MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE CODE SO YOU GET THE $15 OFF!!. Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 $10 off w/ promo code ($84.99) $59.99 after mail in rebate, Free Shipping
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W MAKE SURE YOU ENTER CODE FOR $10 OFF.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$28.99 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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$8.85 COOLER MASTER R4-C2R-20AC-GP 120mm Case Fan
(for cpu cooler so it has two fans on it)

Grand Total:* $1,200.23 ($1,175 after promo codes are entered, not counting mail in rebates)





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August 14, 2011 6:18:42 PM

mrmotion said:
Please read the following. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

At the res your planning on playing at, you dont need crossfire or SLI. Yeah its cool but your wasting your money at this point. Unless your playing Crysis and metro 2033, you dont need it. Just a thought...


if i do go a single card, which one do you suggest? i would probably make it crossfire/sli in 2 years or something like that

and thank you need4speeds
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August 14, 2011 6:26:03 PM

-I suppose that system above would be $239.99 cheaper with a single hd-6950.

-The hd-6950 is a common video card that is selling well, so later on used hd-6950's or hd-6970's should be easy to find for sale used. The hd-6950 crossfires with the hd-6950,6970 and hd-6990. The memory can be different too, so one can be a 1gb card and the other a 2gb card. So that makes finding a used card fairly easy later on if it starts to get too slow.
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August 14, 2011 6:32:26 PM

This can actually work out quite well. I bought a used hd-4870 for $60.
Now i have two 4870's in crossfirex for a total of 1600 shaders.

-The first 4870 was $200 used when it was a few months old, about 4 months after they first came out.

yes for the 6950 to drop that much you will have to wait until it is about the age that a 4870 is now.

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August 14, 2011 6:46:42 PM

well good luck i hope the system works out well any everything.

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August 15, 2011 11:21:58 AM

For nvidia go with the 560 you picked out and youll be just fine
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August 15, 2011 4:26:21 PM

mrmotion said:
For nvidia go with the 560 you picked out and youll be just fine


i was thinking about just going a single card and then going crossfire/sli in the future..can anyone link a 580 video card?

thanks
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August 15, 2011 7:49:34 PM

so this is just a "pipe dream build" then?
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August 16, 2011 4:28:17 AM

need4speeds said:
so this is just a "pipe dream build" then?


a what?
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!