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Parts for my First Gaming Desktop ~$2.5k

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September 1, 2011 10:25:37 AM

Hi, I will be building my first desktop soon, to be used mainly for gaming and last 5-6 years.
Im been doing some research for a few weeks now and these are the parts ive been looking at.
My budget is $2000-2500 but i dont want to waste money on better parts for little improvement to the performance of my build.
Any advice, comments or possible substitutions will be appreciated.

CPU: Intel i5 2500k - $220

Mobo: Asus P8Z68-V PRO - $220
(Is the Z68 Deluxe much better than Pro?)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz DDR3 - $100

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX570 Superclocked - $390

SSD: OCZ 120GB Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Edition SATA3 - $260

HDD: Western Digital Cavier Black 1TB SATA3 7200rpm - $90

Case: Nzxt Phantom White and Red Full Tower - $140

PSU: Antec 650W TruePower ATX Power Supply - $130
(Is this enough power? I plan on SLI GTX 570 in the future and dont want to have to buy another power supply then)

Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P-SE2 - $85

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST - $20

Keyboard: Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110 - $65

Mouse: CoolerMaster Storm Spawn Mouse - $50
(Not sure about this, any alternatives <$60? Does not have to be a gaming mouse.)

Headphones: Plantronics Gamecon 377 - $50

Speakers: Logitech Z523 2.1 Speakers $100

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT $90

Total: $2100
(Under my maximum buydget so upgrades are possible but only if there are significant improvements in performance.)

Thanks

More about : parts gaming desktop

September 1, 2011 10:46:19 AM

It sounds like a quality build in general.

I would up the PSU to an 800W model if you are going to use SLi on powerful cards.

Also, personally I would go for 2 cheaper SSD's and raid 0 them. I recently got the Kingston V100+ 96GB for super cheap. It is not a lead performer, but in RAID 0 at the same cost as your Vertex model, you would have 190GB capacity and much faster throughput.

I see that you are going for premium brands though, so I can understand it if you feel like you don't want to go the cheaper, better performing option.
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September 1, 2011 11:16:13 AM

Overall well done. You would be happy with that machine. A couple thoughts, though:

The P8Z68 Deluxe is not really worth the extra $50 over the P8Z68-V Pro. You get a nicer port cluster with the deluxe (including two ethernet ports) but you still only have x16/x4 or x8/x8/x4 on the PCIe 2.0 x16 slots on both models.

In your budget you could fit a 3GB gtx 580 (about $550) if you're willing to spend that.

You will probably want a bigger PSU with two 570's and you will definitely want a bigger PSU with two 580's. 800W-850W is a good number, I think.

You can find a very good air cooler for considerably cheaper. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 and Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro are good options under $30.

The Western Digital drive is good but they have a reputation for being kind of loud. A Samsung Spinpoint F3 is quieter, cheaper, and the same performance.
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September 1, 2011 11:24:58 AM

I've asked this before but WHY in the name of Little Orphan Annie would anyone need or want to Raid 0 a pair of very expensive ssd's????
Also, 2X96 GB drives do NOT make a 190 Gb capacity. You have the same capacity as a single drive with double the chabce for failure. Matter of fact, it's downright dangerous. Lose 1 drive and all the data is lost. Avery possible outcome given the tendency of ssd's to go 'belly up' without warning.
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September 1, 2011 11:28:49 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
I've asked this before but WHY in the name of Little Orphan Annie would anyone need or want to Raid 0 a pair of very expensive ssd's????


Same reason you would want to RAID0 any drives - theoretically double the speed.
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September 1, 2011 12:04:23 PM

DelroyMonjo said:
I've asked this before but WHY in the name of Little Orphan Annie would anyone need or want to Raid 0 a pair of very expensive ssd's????
Also, 2X96 GB drives do NOT make a 190 Gb capacity. You have the same capacity as a single drive with double the chabce for failure. Matter of fact, it's downright dangerous. Lose 1 drive and all the data is lost. Avery possible outcome given the tendency of ssd's to go 'belly up' without warning.


Actually, RAID0 DOES (nearly) double capacity. I'm running 2x OCZ Vertex 3 60Gb in raid0, getting over 1 GB/s bandwidth (on large file chunks) in ATTO, with a total disk size of 111GB or so. And with regards to losing data, if you keep all your valuable data on an SSD, you deserve to lose it, only keep essential crap on there (OS, a few games, maybe ms office) that can be easily replaced. Big platter hard drives as backups. Know about it.

oh and no need to worry about setting up ssd raid0 for win7, its remarkably easy, i didnt even need a driver disk (mobo - ASUS maximus iv extreme-z)
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September 1, 2011 12:07:26 PM

Looks like a good build though mate. Definately up the power supply, and maybe the gc too if you can afford it. though if you are going for a beasty card now, its unlikely(?) youll upgrade again later? Also, it MAY be worth waiting a month or two to see what ivy bridge/ the new sandy bridge processors perform like. I highly recommend RAIDing two smaller SSDs, just dont keep important stuff on there, only OS etc.
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September 1, 2011 12:40:10 PM

i7 2600K - $315
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 - $290
G.SKILL RipjawsX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $100
ASUS GeForce GTX 590 (Fermi) 3072MB 768-bit GDDR5 - $750
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
Optical Drive : Asus 24x DVD R/W - $20
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Steel ATX Full Tower - $140
CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ - $30
Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200 1200W - $220
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $170

Total : $1995 after rebates
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September 1, 2011 12:41:32 PM

Quote:
I would go for 2 cheaper SSD's and raid 0 them.

Sounds like a good idea. Ill look into it.

Quote:
I see that you are going for premium brands.

I assumed that the better brands would have a better performance, or am i just paying for the brand name?

Quote:
I would up the PSU to an 800W model.

Any recommendations of good PSUs?

Quote:
I highly recommend RAIDing two smaller SSDs, just dont keep important stuff on there, only OS.

I plan to put my OS and my main games on there. So will two SSDs in RAID0 be a good idea for that?

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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September 1, 2011 1:14:58 PM

Quote:
i7 2600K

I heard a lot that for gaming , there is no advantage of the i7 over the i5.

Quote:
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

A few people have told me this is a cheaper and equally good alternative so i think ill go with this.

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September 1, 2011 1:21:20 PM

CPU: Intel I5 2500K - $220]

Mobo: Asus Maximus iV Gene-Z- $180 (very fast and nice featured mobo)

RAM: Gskiill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2x4GB)- $60

GPU: MSI GTX 580 Lightning Extreme Edition 3GB- $600

SSD: Kingston Hyper X 120GB SSD- $215

HDD: Keep the Same HDD

Case: Cooler Master Haf 932 Advanced- $140

PSU: Enermax Revolution85+ 1020w- $200

Cooler: Corsair A70- $27 (it cools as well as the Noctua you listed)

Keep everything else the same.
Price ( including peripherals and software) : $2115 \
This will give you a very fast, SLI capable, and overclockable gaming rig.

Hope this helps.
TheComputerGeek_48
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September 1, 2011 1:32:50 PM

Quote:
Asus Maximus iV Gene-Z

Im looking for a ATX board, rather not mATX.

I realised my RAM was a bit expensive. Whats are thoughts on the G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT (2x4GB) DDR3 - $50

Quote:
MSI GTX 580 Lightning Extreme Edition 3GB

I dont plan on playing many high graphic games. Only games like WOW, SWTOR and Diablo 3, so i think the GTX 570 should be fine.

Quote:
Enermax Revolution85+ 1020w-

Too much power for me since im not getting a high-end GPU. Instead looking for a good 800-850W one. Any recommendations?

Think im going to go with the CM Hyper 212+, has a lot of good reviews.
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September 1, 2011 1:39:33 PM

2381171,10,971196 said:
Quote:
i7 2600K

I heard a lot that for gaming , there is no advantage of the i7 over the i5.

agreed.
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September 1, 2011 1:59:16 PM

For the PSU I would get this: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850M 850W Modular High performance power supply- $150.

Since the GTX 580 is too powerful I would get this: MSI N480GTX Lightning (Same level as the GTX 570 but more overclockable and a better cooler)- $300

And because you want an ATX mobo you should get this: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 $210

Don't get the Cooler master Hyper 212 Plus because the Corsair a70 is better and is cheaper. Look at this performance chart http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3568/corsair_air_serie...

Hope this helps.
TheComputerGeek_48
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September 1, 2011 6:19:59 PM

Lammaz, To answer some of your second round questions

Premium Brands... PSU is worth it, most other stuff it doesn't make that much odds, I like Gigabyte mobos as they are pretty reliable but you won't notice a lot of performance difference between brands. HD's are not so different nowadays avoid seagate though, their reliability is not great. SSD's, there are some noticably better performers, but hell you pay for it. RAM, it depends if you want to fool around with it (OCing, tighten timings etc.) if not standard issue stuff is usually no different from premium brands.

PSU advice: ^+1 to the computergeek4's suggestion, in that price range a modular one is nice to have, and 850W should really be sufficient for a long time to come.

As to the use of SSD's, exactly the right stuff to use it for, game load times almost "disappear", OS boots SO fast, as does loading apps up to run. DO NOT PUT IRREPLACABLE DATA THERE, at least not exclusively there, backup up to other storage too.

DelroyMonjo obviously is confusing Raid 0 and Raid 1, actually combining the disadvantages of both and disregarding the advantages of both.
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September 1, 2011 6:43:53 PM

The i7 2600K shows its advantage in heavily multithreaded apps and games. (none yet)
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September 2, 2011 10:43:06 AM

Would the AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 ($150) be better than the Asus P8Z68-V Pro ($220)?
It has PCI-E 3.0 but doesnt have USB 3.0 headers.

The AsRock Extreme4 Gen3 ($200) is just like the AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 but has USB 3.0 headers for $50 more.

Which is the best choice and why?
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