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Good gaming computer? ~$1000

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August 26, 2011 10:59:09 AM

Need your advice on whether this is a good gaming computer or not. Please comment on any parts that I should get or switch. I have a couple of questions:

1. Is the cooling system good or should i go with the Asetek 550LC cooling system.

2. Is the motherboard good? Are these two better?

- GigaByte GA-Z68A-D3-B3 Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 Dolby Home Theater Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 3 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI

- MSI Z68A-G43 (B3) Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ Lucid Virtu + Intel Smart Response Technology, OC Genie II, Winki 3 & 7.1 Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe & 2 PCIe X2

3. Do I need a flash media reader/recorder? what does it do?

MY SPECS:

Cooling Fan: Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan

Case: Xion Predator 970 Gaming Series Mid Tower Case w/ 2 External Removable HDD Bays

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155

Motherboard: [CrossFireX] Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard LucidLogix Virtu and Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID,2 3 PCIe Gen2, 2 PCIe X1 & 2 3CI

Memory: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module

Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card

Power Supply Upgrade: * 750 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2 80 Plus Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready

Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)

Optical Drive: Sony 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive

THANKS

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 11:32:03 AM

Ok, i have a few questions for you. Do you plan to ever use SLI/CrossFireX technology? What type of memory are you using? If this is a gaming pc, i would recommend possibly a larger case, as the gpu you picked out might be a tight fit, but it will limit your potential for extra hardware in the future. There are cheaper Full Towers out there, and i would recommend going with one. AZZA 1000 series is a great case for around $100, and will give you the upgrade capability you might be looking for. also, depending on your SLI/CrossFireX expectations, you may want to upgrade to 1000W if you aren't going to use an 80 PLUS Gold Certified psu. Bridging your video cards will put a lot of demand and stress on your power supply. 1000W might be overkill for the stated equipment, but for future use, it may be necessary. also, if you are looking for good RAM, Kingston has an 8Gb (2x4) set out for under $50. Any reason you are going with Intel? Could be cheaper to go with say a Phenom II x 4 970 series, with an ASUS 970 MoBo. Just some things to think about, might save you money for basically the same output. Nice GPU!
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August 26, 2011 12:14:06 PM

i wont be using 2 video cards, i will most likely not be OC'ing, but I will later on. I also have enough power. Are you sure my case is small? on the video from cyberpower the pc had a massive liquid cooler, 2 evga video cards and 1000w psu. i think the size wont be a problem. what motherboard do you think i should get? what is flash media reader/recorder? is my liquid cooling good? or do i not need such a good cooler.
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August 26, 2011 5:23:23 PM

If you are not planning on OC'ing then you will probably not NEED water cooling. Most people would probably recommend something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for around 30 bucks which is a great air cooler. If you have the extra 30-40 bucks to spend and want the water cooling though it will definitely not create any problems. Just make sure your case can support whichever cooler you get measurement-wise. The media reader is the little contraption that sits in one of the cd bays that you can insert your sd/camera cards into in order to get pictures/data off of. A rosewill brand media reader can be found on newegg for about 10 bucks. So if you will use it then go for it.
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August 26, 2011 5:56:50 PM

Overall, looks good but one thing I would like to point out is that whichever HDD you choose, dont spend extra just because its SATA III 6 Gb/s... mechanical drives cant even fully utilize SATA II 3 Gb/s, so dont focus on that as much.

I would really suggest buying a small SSD (60-120 Gb) so you can fully utilize your mobo's Z68 chipset, as it has SSD caching for faster performance.
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August 26, 2011 6:50:39 PM

out of the asus, msi, and gigabit motherboards, which one do you suggest?
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August 26, 2011 7:01:09 PM

I would say the Asus board, but thats mainly just personal preference: I like the Asus overclocking tools.

All three of those boards are essentially the same.
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August 26, 2011 11:44:29 PM

For me it is MSI...

And I would strongly suggest you to get a second 6850 and CF. They are at 125$ which is a really small investment for the performance you gain especially if it is a gaming PC.

You should place your money on graphical power instead of cpu power if you plan to play games, it is a smarter investment.

If you absolutely need to make the 1000$ limit, I would suggest you to go AMD and get 2 6850 in CF with better overall components. You should OC and add a Cooler Master hyper +212... they retail for 20$ on sale.

And forget water cooling, it is just a luxury.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 11:51:01 PM

Over all I'd say it looks OK BUT WHAT IS THE RESOLUTION OF THE MONITOR YOU WILL BE USING .
This is a critical bit of information since your graphics card is mid range and might not run games that fast on higher resoltion monitors .

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2011 10:23:39 AM

Outlander, this is a bit of a concern, but unless he owns a $500 monitor, 1920x1080 (ish) is his top resolution. His vid cards will be fine. But Redgarl makes a great point. AMD if you are on a budget, intel is the "luxury" cpu, just like the water cooling. the hyper 212+ is plenty of power for your system, teamed with the Phenom II x 4 980BE ($120) and the ASUS 970 mobo, you can save yourself a ton of money to put toward a 2nd gpu. Also, if you are going to go with a gaming unit, make sure you get a reliable power supply like that corsair. But seriously, for gaming? go amd. best bang for your buck.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2011 11:04:37 AM

Do you already have the OS, or are you purchasing it with the build? That is a huge difference in whether you can afford a dual gpu build. I have something put together that might make you go AMD.
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August 29, 2011 12:25:30 PM

I am buying this from cyberpower. I have an AOC 1080p monitor. My newest specs are below.

cpu- i5 2500k

cooling- astek510 LC

mobo- Asus P8Z68-V LX (p67 is +$17 on cyberpower)

overclocking- Factory overclocking: 10% or more

ram- 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz

Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6850

psu- 750 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2011 12:45:35 PM

Case - XION Predator Gaming Series AXP 970 $54.99 (after MIR)

Mobo - ASUS M5A97 EVO AM3+ AMD 970 ($119.99)

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz ($119.99)

GPU - Dual ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850 ($319.98 After MIR)

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM ($79.99)

RAM - Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($48.99)

- Free game World of Tanks

PSU - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ($99.99 After MIR)

CD-ROM - SONY Black SATA DVD-ROM ($16.99)

HSF - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 ($27.99)

Total for AMD unit - $962.41 ($912.41 After MIR)

Not trying to sell you on AMD, but for budget builds, i would like to show you the amount you could get with an AMD build. Hyper-Threading with intel isn't really needed for gaming, unless you are going to be doing many other tasks while gaming. The AMD is rated #1 for AMD gaming cpu's on Tom's Hardware, and im thinking that being almost $100 under your budget, you can even upgrade to the six-core if you want. Hope this helps, all products found on newegg. Also, this will allow you to buy the OS if you need while sticking to around that $1,000 mark. Other than that, if you are set on that intel build, a single 6850 gpu will hurt you in the long run on a "gaming" build. Best of luck!

PS - with the mobo and hsf, you should be able to hit 4.0 easily.

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August 29, 2011 6:06:18 PM

thanks man. so i need to tell you a little bit more about what I will be doing. This computer will be used for lots of torrenting, internet use, and mild gaming. I will be downloading files more than playing games but I still want a good graphics card. I am not looking for dual video cards because I wont be gaming as much. I also want to stick with the intel cpu because it can overclock better. Lastly, I cant be building it myself from newegg ( wish i could), i HAVE to get it from cyberpower. The total price of my pc above is $950 from cyberpower including shipping.
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August 29, 2011 7:55:31 PM

if you dont really care to much about the case looks I would suggest a Coolermaster 430 Black Elite
They are around $40-$50 and are a solid case with great features like tool less design and plenty of space for hard drives and optical drives
I personally have one and its fantastic for the price
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