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Inexpensive i5 2500k Build

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August 23, 2011 5:00:32 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month

Budget Range: 600-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, autocad, movies, programming

Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Case

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: In the future. Yes

Monitor Resolution: 32 inch tv so its 1366 x 768 I believe


I already have an idea of a build and I basically wanted your opinions on it.

CPU- I5 2500k $180
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Mobo- Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 $140
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Ram- G.Skill Ripjaw 8gb 2x4 $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU-Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD- Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm 1tb
CD Drive- Asus 24x Dvd Burner
$75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU- BIOSTAR VA6875NPG2 Radeon HD 6870 $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Price (After rebates)- $660 +tax but ive seen people on here talk about a deal at microcenter where they give you $40 off when you an i5 2500k and a motherboard,, so the total should be $620 + tax if thats true.

TOTAL- $620 +tax

Please let me know what you guys think about my build. I know the 6870 isnt that great of a card, but i plan to crossfire it in the future.
August 23, 2011 5:21:01 PM

Not bad...

There are MB + CPU bundles at Microcenter, but I am not finding them on their web site. As you stated, plan on the bundled price being lower.

The HD 6870 is no slouch and is arguably the best "bang for the buck" for a gaming GPU at the moment. Don't under estimate it...

I would go with the Antec EarthWatts over the High Gamer Series (+$5).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The memory you choose is DDR3-1066 and you can definately do better. Shoot for something like the modules linked below.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 23, 2011 5:32:28 PM

Alright thanks alot! I'll make sure to make those changes, but I was wondering if this setup would be easy to upgrade in the future? Thanks!
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August 23, 2011 5:43:10 PM

Looks like you have a good build there. The memory selections that Sadam04 made are smart moves that would give you some performance with a very small cost increase. Also before you overclock the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K make sure that you pick up a good 3rd party HSF (heatsink/fan) to deal with the increased heat.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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August 23, 2011 5:58:59 PM

My only suggestion would be to get a cheaper psu. Your current configuration while overclocked should pull about 450w. Add another 6870, and you'll be at about 600-650w. A reliable 700w PSU could be about 20-25$ cheaper.
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August 23, 2011 6:11:44 PM

(1) By almeans go with sadams04 on memory. DDR3-1600 is the "Sweet spot" for a SB build, and the cost diff from 1333 is just to little. On PSU, mucks nixs, I'd probably go with your orginal choice slightly cheaper and altho does not have the "green", specs are almost idenitcal.

(2) As IntelEnthusiast pointed out GET a 3rd party HSF even if you were not OCing that would be my recommendation. Stock HSF is just to probmatic (Look at the number of post where problem is traced to improper seating), also the stock HSF is at the bottom of the todum pole in terms of performance. Most common recommend one is the Hyper 212 . Me I want the new "Baby" to run as cool as posible, so i normally opt for a higher end HSF - Ofcoarse more mula. Love my Zalman 9900Max, but only cost effective if on sale, otherwise to high.
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August 23, 2011 11:25:34 PM

Alright thanks ill definitely buy that CPU cooler, but how will this setup be in terms of upgradability? Also ive been hearing about micro stuttering with crossfire and sli setups. Is this something that can be avoided? If it cant then I would look into getting a single card setup. I will be playing on my 32 inch tv which has a 1366 x 768 resoultion, maybe that will help and lower the microstuttering? (im just wondering if it would because it doesnt have to put out a really high resolution.

And so how much wattage should i get on my psu? Alot of people are saying different things.
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August 24, 2011 2:57:38 AM

For PSU size, what I would do is google a review of the cards you whabnt to xfire. IE ATI 6870 crossfire then look at the review. It will normally have a page that specifies the Power requiremens. Need to see if it is for the system (normal) and what THEIR system was. Add a fudge factor say 20/30% and go for it.

As to microstuttering with xfire, sorry, not a gamer so just have a single 6870.
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August 24, 2011 3:32:52 AM

Go for single GPU like 560Ti and cheaper Z68 mobo with one pcix slot
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August 24, 2011 3:33:42 AM

deal for mobo and cpu combo at microcenter ended on 16th of this month
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August 24, 2011 4:03:00 PM

Would an asrock extreme 3 gen 3 be good especially for the future and crossfire?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And I was looking at some charts and it seems to me like the 6870 is a great card. It is only a few fps off from the 560gtx and the 6950 cards so I think ill be buying it. It should last me a while and since that asrock mobo has pcie 3 slots i can buy next gen graphics card.

Also ive heard that a dual card setup wont fit in a rosewill challenger case. Is that true? Because I already have one but I can return it.
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August 24, 2011 5:07:16 PM

You don't want dual GPU. Just a get one and something like 560ti or 6950.
Are u kidding me 6950 is way faster then 6870 on higher res I guess for u it doesnt matter
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August 24, 2011 10:50:11 PM

read toms recent article about microstuttering
by the time u decide do upgrade to dual newer GPUs will come out
also save on mobo
i guess the difference is not that big
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August 24, 2011 11:32:32 PM

Alright so this is the updated build (so far)

CPU- I5 2500k $180
http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0354589

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157271

G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371049

Im gonna take a harddrive from my old computer which is a 7200rpm 500gb hard drive which should be fine and it will save me $60. Also I will take a cd drive which saves another $20.

Nvidia 560ti (i dont know which is best) ~$220


Total- $655 + tax

How does that sound on a 32 inch tv? haha
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August 24, 2011 11:46:19 PM

make sure ur CD drive is sata cause i think that mobo does not have IDE
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Best solution

August 24, 2011 11:52:34 PM

sounds good btw im getting same setup later this year
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August 24, 2011 11:57:59 PM

Yea its a sata, but thanks i think this is gonna be a beast for the next few years (atleast for me and from what im used too).
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August 25, 2011 12:16:30 AM

yeah and if u ever think u need better gaming performance just pop anothe 560ti in :D 
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August 25, 2011 2:52:58 AM

haha yea in about a year another one should be cheap compared to now... but which brand should i get right now? I was thinking evga?
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August 25, 2011 6:58:02 AM

good choice get the one that has lifetime warranty it's like 220 after rebates
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August 26, 2011 4:10:48 PM

I was thinking of maybe changing the 560ti to a 6950 2gb. There is a $250 model from saphire on newegg that I saw and I would flash it or w.e. To a6970 and I'd be set! Haha
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August 26, 2011 6:08:39 PM

does it have a reference fan? cause if it doesn't u can't flash it
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August 26, 2011 11:44:21 PM

i was looking at the reviews and I don't think it can be flashed.. How cani tell if its non reference?
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August 27, 2011 12:20:58 AM

unlock only gives u 2-3% improvement so I wouldn't worry about which ones are unlockable
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August 27, 2011 12:24:22 AM

So then is there really a point in getting the 2gb version? from all the charts ive seen it has the same performance as the 1gb model
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August 27, 2011 1:49:02 AM

yea im gonna buy it in store, but would would be a good motherboard from them? That asrock i picked had pci 3.0 slots for cheap!
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August 27, 2011 1:52:02 PM

I wont be able to use the next gen graphics cards with this right?
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August 27, 2011 2:05:18 PM

u mean pci 3.0 ? probably not. u can cross reference on newegg for more detailed specs
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August 27, 2011 2:25:58 PM

Yea they dont, I think id rather pay a little more and be safe for the future than have to replace a motherboard sooner down the road.
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August 27, 2011 3:21:45 PM

Sounds good. Only remember that Z68 mobo will not OC ur 2500k past 4Ghz
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August 27, 2011 3:26:11 PM

Im fine with that because i wont really overclock too much (if i do at all). But thanks so much for everything dude! You've helped me a ton!
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August 27, 2011 3:26:42 PM

Best answer selected by krystianb10.
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August 31, 2011 10:48:03 PM

madchemist83 said:
Sounds good. Only remember that Z68 mobo will not OC ur 2500k past 4Ghz



Why would the z68 not overclock past 4 ghz?
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September 1, 2011 12:31:48 AM

Only more expensive ones will. I think it has something to do with bios. But I read lot's of posts so far and unless it's 180$ Z68 board u not getting past 4-4.2ghz.
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