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Help With First Build! $1200-$1300 Limit

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August 25, 2011 9:28:30 AM

Hello all,

I'm planning on going back to PC gaming (eff consoles ;)  ) and would like some opinions on the build im working on. I'd like to keep the budget around $1200 but am willing to go up to $1300 provided that there's compelling reasons.

I should note that I do plan to overclock in the future, and eventually crossfire or SLI. I'd like this pc to last me a good while too :) 

So any and all opinions on how to get the most out of this build and futureproof this bad boy would be greatly appreciated.

Here's what I have so far...

Case - NZXT Phantom - $140
CPU- i5 2500k - $220
Mobo- Asus p8p67 pro - $170
Video Card- Sapphire Toxic 2 GB HD 6950- $290
Hard Drive- Samsung Spinport F3 1TB - $60
Memory- Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - $60
Blu ray drive- Samsung SH-B123L (read only) - $55
Power Supply- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W - $110
& Hyper 212 Fan - $28

Total- $1133

All prices are from newegg btw. Thanks!

More about : build 1200 1300 limit

August 25, 2011 10:29:48 AM

That Asrock board down below comes with the new PCI-E 3.0 slots for the new generation vid cads due out whenever.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 + $7.87 Shipping
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $264.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 - $69.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
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

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <---- a better look at that ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
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August 25, 2011 11:23:14 AM

Thanks for the suggestions Why_Me,

I've been looking into ASRock, and I have to say that the mobo you suggested looks VERY tempting, especially at the price point. But my only concern is reliability? I remember reading about ASRock having reliability issues because it was a sub-brand under Asus, but then again I've also heard that they've broken off and are doin their own thing :)  I'm also a little worried about pulling the trigger on this mobo cause it's new and there's no reviews. guess i could take one for the team and try it out :D 

Any thoughts?
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August 25, 2011 3:06:02 PM

Case: Cooler Master Haf 932 Advanced (Great airflow and low noise) $140 after mir @newegg
CPU&Motherboard combo at microcenter: Intel Core i5 2500k & Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 $280 after mir on mobo
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 water cooler $55 after mir @newegg
Video Card: MSI GTX 480 Lightning $300 after mir @newegg (Very Nice video Card
PSU: ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ ERV1020EWT 1020W $200 @newegg
Blu-ray Drive: Get whatever you want
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB $60 @newegg
HD: WD Caviar Black $80 @newegg

That would set you up with a very overclockable and upgradable gaming rig. with the ability to SLI Later on. Hope this can help.
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August 25, 2011 6:00:08 PM

suhw33t said:
Thanks for the suggestions Why_Me,

I've been looking into ASRock, and I have to say that the mobo you suggested looks VERY tempting, especially at the price point. But my only concern is reliability? I remember reading about ASRock having reliability issues because it was a sub-brand under Asus, but then again I've also heard that they've broken off and are doin their own thing :)  I'm also a little worried about pulling the trigger on this mobo cause it's new and there's no reviews. guess i could take one for the team and try it out :D 

Any thoughts?

Since Asrock and Asus split ways, Asrock has taken off big time. Although there's no reviews on that board yet, there are one or two on the Asrock extreme4 Gen3 and they were favorable.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2739...**Official**-Asrock-Z68-Gen3-Extreme7-amp-Extreme4-thread <----- You can see the links on those reviews on page 1 of that thread. :) 
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August 25, 2011 6:58:37 PM

Why_Me said:
Since Asrock and Asus split ways, Asrock has taken off big time. Although there's no reviews on that board yet, there are one or two on the Asrock extreme4 Gen3 and they were favorable.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2739...**Official**-Asrock-Z68-Gen3-Extreme7-amp-Extreme4-thread <----- You can see the links on those reviews on page 1 of that thread. :) 


Ok. you've convinced me on the ASRock :) . But I did have a question about my card. Is it worth it to get the Toxic overclocked 6950? as opposed to getting a reference 6950 and overclocking that one? If i can save $40 that would be great, but if not it's not gonna kill me. I did read that the Toxic version had all its shaders unlocked tho...
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August 25, 2011 7:08:23 PM

suhw33t said:
Ok. you've convinced me on the ASRock :) . But I did have a question about my card. Is it worth it to get the Toxic overclocked 6950? as opposed to getting a reference 6950 and overclocking that one? If i can save $40 that would be great, but if not it's not gonna kill me. I did read that the Toxic version had all its shaders unlocked tho...


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055Y66A4/ref=ox_sc_a... $264.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Sapphire DIRT 3 EDITION Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100312-3SR
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August 26, 2011 11:27:17 PM

Thanks for all the insight. I know this is a late post, but i had one more question. If i plan to overclock my processor and flash my 6950 to 6970, is 750 watts gonna be enough?
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August 27, 2011 12:02:43 AM

suhw33t said:
Thanks for all the insight. I know this is a late post, but i had one more question. If i plan to overclock my processor and flash my 6950 to 6970, is 750 watts gonna be enough?

It will be plenty, but I don't think it's possible to flash any of the 6950's like that anymore....not sure but I read it on here from a few posters.
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August 27, 2011 12:12:46 AM

One question, sorry for hopping in your thread here (I'm working on my own build to post before buying parts).

I've seen a couple people mention getting a motherboard that supports PCI-E 3.0 as a step towards future-proofing part of your system.

For those of us who can't afford to/try to avoid upgrading too often, I'm wondering if a Socket 1155 board is worth the money. With Intel releasing a their new socket and chips before the end of this year, I really have to wonder if any 1155 board is going to be worth holding on to that long. I can see it if I were planning on getting new GPUs next year or something, but for those of us hoping our cards last a couple years I wonder if Socket 1155 will be worth having that far down the line.

Thoughts?
Much appreciated.
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August 27, 2011 1:17:21 AM

FuseAQM said:
One question, sorry for hopping in your thread here (I'm working on my own build to post before buying parts).

I've seen a couple people mention getting a motherboard that supports PCI-E 3.0 as a step towards future-proofing part of your system.

For those of us who can't afford to/try to avoid upgrading too often, I'm wondering if a Socket 1155 board is worth the money. With Intel releasing a their new socket and chips before the end of this year, I really have to wonder if any 1155 board is going to be worth holding on to that long. I can see it if I were planning on getting new GPUs next year or something, but for those of us hoping our cards last a couple years I wonder if Socket 1155 will be worth having that far down the line.

Thoughts?
Much appreciated.

The socket 1155 has an upgrade path due out next April/May, and that upgrade path is the 22nm Ivy Bridge cpu which these 1155 boards will run with a bios flash. As far as that new PCI-E 3.0 slot, Gigabyte has a bios download that supposedly changes their slots to the newer 3.0. Asrock has it stock on those new Gen3 boards, and MSI has those boards coming out sometime soon. Not sure about Asus but I'm sure they will have a bios update for that also.
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August 27, 2011 10:16:20 AM

Awesome. Thanks for the helpful reply, Why_Me. Some how in nearly two months of looking at parts I'd never come across an article on Ivy Bridge. Looks very promising.
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August 27, 2011 6:49:25 PM

Hey guys. So in the spirit of future proofing, I have decided to go all out and get a EVGA GTX 580 :D 

I know i asked a question about the power supply above, but 750 watts gonna cover overclocking my cpu and the 580? actually is 750 watts gonna cover it at all before overclocking? lol...

Oh, and just for fun check this article out. Asus mars II ftw! LOL

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/27/asus-mars-ii-gets-re...
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August 27, 2011 6:57:04 PM

suhw33t said:
Hey guys. So in the spirit of future proofing, I have decided to go all out and get a EVGA GTX 580 :D 

I know i asked a question about the power supply above, but 750 watts gonna cover overclocking my cpu and the 580? actually is 750 watts gonna cover it at all before overclocking? lol...

Oh, and just for fun check this article out. Asus mars II ftw! LOL

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/27/asus-mars-ii-gets-re...


Here's some reasonably priced yet quality non modular psu's to consider if your going with a 580.

For a single gtx 580 with no plans of every adding another one in the future for SLI then this psu down below.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 - $49.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

For a psu to push two of those cards in SLI then this one


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 - $109.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
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August 28, 2011 3:37:24 AM

For what it's worth, I'd seriously look at a modular PSU for that case; especially if you have any interest in the 2nd HDD rack, but also because I'm not a fan of having the front fans pointing in sideways like that instead of towards the back and worry about all the extra cords disturbing already less than ideal airflow.

Modular PSUs are much easier when dusting your PC, as well, since the cables aren't just a big bundle of dust sitting in your case.

That's just my 2 cents, though.
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August 28, 2011 8:41:35 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Now i have one final question. And you'll have to excuse my total lack of computer know how... (i'm trying to learn lol)

I've found out all the information about what components I want and how to install everything. But, I cannot find anything on what you do after you turn your system on. I know you go through your bios settings and change whatever you will, but then what? Do you pop in win 7 disc and install your os?

Again forgive the newb-ness, but I'd like to change that :) 

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August 28, 2011 9:14:04 AM

I've only done one Win7 install, so I'm not sure how critical it is, but usually once you have everything working you install windows then install drivers and system critical stuff in a some-what specific order. Drivers are usually best downloaded from the web and put on a USB or something, since the disk that came with your equipment may no longer be current. Then run Windows Update and get your copy of Windows current with all the latest fixes once all your devices are installed and working with their latest drivers. Google can probably tell you the exact driver install order on Win7. Usually your PC will work fine if you install in a different order, but may not perform to its best (again, at least this is how it used to be).
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