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$1200 Gaming rig - Part advice

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September 2, 2011 3:22:05 AM

Apparently, one of my favourite hobbies is piecing together parts online for my next rig. ;)  Been doing that for about a year now, always waiting, for something (money, next gen cpu, etc.)

Now that my current machine is starting to give up the ghost, it seems to become more urgent. I'm looking at something around $1200, but would consider spending more if the value added by that extra spent is worth it. I tried to go for good value, good brand components, but have questions around motherboard and memory:

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/13dB

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair CAFA70 61.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($26.42 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI P67A-G43 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS-324-98B DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1126.31
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

This is for gaming on 1080p. I realize that XFire 6870 is slightly overkill, but at the same time I don't want to upgrade for at least a couple of years.

Thanks in advance.
September 2, 2011 7:18:07 AM

No, it's not overkill. I'm going to be running two 6950's OC'd for BF3...

Overclock the i5

You can probably cut $5 from the DVD drive ;) 

PSU is a bit expensive, but make sure that your one is good, as a crappy PSU will really, really be bad. You can probably be fine with around 700w.
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September 2, 2011 7:23:01 AM

That looks a really well pieced together build.

Only suggestion id make to save you a little bit is consider the Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HDD over the Caviar Black.

You could also save a little money by dropping down to a 700w/750w PSU aswell.
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Related resources
September 2, 2011 9:02:44 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $147.98 - $15.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING $10 off w/ promo code EMCKAKH34, ends 9/5
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING $10 off w/ promo code EMCKBGK32, ends 9/5
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AT-6950_3R $264.99 - $244.99 after rebate Free Shipping
Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card (Dirt3 Edition) - 100312-3SR

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <----- a better look at that board
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September 3, 2011 6:41:38 AM

Thanks! I've heard the spinpoint recommended a lot. Will check them out. I was definitely planning on some minor oc, hence the cooler and case.

The msi seemed cheap for a xfire board with decent reviews. What's the quality on the as rock boards like?

Is the premium from 6870 to 6950 worth it? In xfire that would be $200 more.
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September 3, 2011 7:23:09 AM

Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K $220
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ $30
Mobo: Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX $130
RAM: Gskill RipjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $55
GPU: HIS IceQ Turbo H697QT2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $370
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200rpm $60
SSD : Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $80
DVD: LG DVD R/W $20
PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 - $110
Case : COOLER MASTER HAF 922 BLUE RC-922M ATX Mid Tower : $100

Total : $1175

* You can overclock the processor upto 4.5Ghz with the Hyper 212+ if you need. Basically turbo boost does its job pretty fine, still, if you are an enthusiast or freak then....

* The motherboard offers PCIe 3.0 slots. SLI/CF at x8/x8 dual mode.

* The RAM being 1.5v is ideal for Sandy Bridge.

* The GPU comes with special HSF from HIS. Highly overclockable, it can maxx out BF3 at 1080p alone.

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.
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September 3, 2011 8:06:54 AM

orionite said:
Thanks! I've heard the spinpoint recommended a lot. Will check them out. I was definitely planning on some minor oc, hence the cooler and case.

The msi seemed cheap for a xfire board with decent reviews. What's the quality on the as rock boards like?

Is the premium from 6870 to 6950 worth it? In xfire that would be $200 more.


A single 6970 will run all current games maxed out. Your best option is probably just buy one card for now, and then in a few months buy another cheaper, or wait untill you see a nice deal on where you can save some money. That way your getting the best of both worlds.
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September 3, 2011 8:12:31 AM

@ AdrianPerry

Agree.
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September 3, 2011 8:21:46 AM

orionite said:
Thanks! I've heard the spinpoint recommended a lot. Will check them out. I was definitely planning on some minor oc, hence the cooler and case.

The msi seemed cheap for a xfire board with decent reviews. What's the quality on the as rock boards like?

Is the premium from 6870 to 6950 worth it? In xfire that would be $200 more.


YES it's very worth it. Go with a single 6970 though, and ignore what I said previously about the 6950. If you overclock the 6970, it's a beast. Once you have enough cash, buy a second one and then run Xfire, and it'll be able to run anything you throw at it for years.
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September 3, 2011 6:41:22 PM

Thanks everyone. The 6970 makes sense. With the option of running those in XFire sometime down the road and overclocking both cpu and gpu, I have a feeling that the Corsair 750Watt is probably going to be cutting it kinda close. I couldn't find that GFX card on partpicker, so I just used a placeholder. The Corsair Ram is also at 1.5V, and I kinda like the brand :) 

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14Lv

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB Video Card ($348.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS-324-98B DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1169.26

This seems like a really nice build to me, for a reasonable price. The 'upgradeability-premium' is only minor - for the board and Power Supply. Thanks everyone for your input.
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September 3, 2011 8:09:55 PM

orionite said:
Thanks everyone. The 6970 makes sense. With the option of running those in XFire sometime down the road and overclocking both cpu and gpu, I have a feeling that the Corsair 750Watt is probably going to be cutting it kinda close. I couldn't find that GFX card on partpicker, so I just used a placeholder. The Corsair Ram is also at 1.5V, and I kinda like the brand :) 

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14Lv

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB Video Card ($348.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS-324-98B DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1169.26

This seems like a really nice build to me, for a reasonable price. The 'upgradeability-premium' is only minor - for the board and Power Supply. Thanks everyone for your input.

Part's picker is ok, but what it doesn't do is it doesn't "combo" anything. Combo that psu with the Corsair RAM.
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September 3, 2011 8:45:52 PM

OS- win 7 pro: 140$ (or) win 7 home: 130$
CPU- intel core i5 2500k 3.3 ghz: 220$
RAM- 6gb Crucial ddr3/ 1330: 70$
MOBO- ASrock z68: 190$
Fans- 4x 120mm blue led fans: 15$
Case- coolermaster centurion 5 II: 70$ or coolermaster HAF 922: 99$ or xion predator: 80$
GPU-ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card : 250$
PSU-XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 750 Watt Power Supply: 130$
Thermal compound- arctic silver 5: 18$
Anti static- 8$ wrist strap/20$ mat.
Monitor- 180$
HSF-COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus: 30$
HDD-samsung spinpoint f3 1TB: 60$
DVD- 10$

that includes OS, and a monitor, it was one i planned on before i realized it was 1500$ all together, so if you have those it will be cheaper than what this is.
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September 3, 2011 8:48:45 PM

^ all from newegg, fans are coolermaster, i wasnted to add more cuz the were led and they were really really cheap. also i would probably (now) instead of the RAM i listed i would switch to 4gb crucial ballistix sport 2x2gb its probably plenty and it has heat spreaders, ( 30$ ) and i dont know why i picked the asrock, i have seen similar asus mobos for less. get a different mobo (p68 or z68 if you want to wait on the GPU) and get an ssd, which i hadn't thought of month or two ago when i configured this list, prob shoud hav elooked at it before i c/p and posted, i was actually somewhat new to configuring computers when i made that, most of it was actually pretty good choices though, so i think its worth taking a look at it.
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September 3, 2011 8:57:55 PM

crap now that i look over my list again there was so mcuh wrong with it, i also included the wrist strap because it was my own parts list lol. also i recomend the HAF 912, its cheap, and a nice case with good airflow. also i would have actually used a radeon 6770 nd crossfire later on, they are good for gaming, cheap (like 200$ cheaper than the 6970 with performanc ethat really isnt that much less), and you can upgrade it later anyway if you want to. my asus gpu was more than i shou;d have bothered looking at. crap now i want to go design more configs lol
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September 3, 2011 9:15:08 PM

mildgamer001 said:
OS- win 7 pro: 140$ (or) win 7 home: 130$
CPU- intel core i5 2500k 3.3 ghz: 220$
RAM- 6gb Crucial ddr3/ 1330: 70$
MOBO- ASrock z68: 190$
Fans- 4x 120mm blue led fans: 15$
Case- coolermaster centurion 5 II: 70$ or coolermaster HAF 922: 99$ or xion predator: 80$
GPU-ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card : 250$
PSU-XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 750 Watt Power Supply: 130$
Thermal compound- arctic silver 5: 18$
Anti static- 8$ wrist strap/20$ mat.
Monitor- 180$
HSF-COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus: 30$
HDD-samsung spinpoint f3 1TB: 60$
DVD- 10$

that includes OS, and a monitor, it was one i planned on before i realized it was 1500$ all together, so if you have those it will be cheaper than what this is.

You have DDR3 Triple Channel RAM meant for a socket 1336/X58 board. You want DDR3 Dual Channel RAM...and is 2x4GB kit.
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September 3, 2011 9:18:27 PM

mildgamer001 said:
crap now that i look over my list again there was so mcuh wrong with it, i also included the wrist strap because it was my own parts list lol. also i recomend the HAF 912, its cheap, and a nice case with good airflow. also i would have actually used a radeon 6770 nd crossfire later on, they are good for gaming, cheap (like 200$ cheaper than the 6970 with performanc ethat really isnt that much less), and you can upgrade it later anyway if you want to. my asus gpu was more than i shou;d have bothered looking at. crap now i want to go design more configs lol


Yeah, they're cheaper for a reason. 6970 is worth the $200 spike.
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September 4, 2011 5:09:51 AM

orionite said:
Thanks everyone. The 6970 makes sense. With the option of running those in XFire sometime down the road and overclocking both cpu and gpu, I have a feeling that the Corsair 750Watt is probably going to be cutting it kinda close. I couldn't find that GFX card on partpicker, so I just used a placeholder. The Corsair Ram is also at 1.5V, and I kinda like the brand :) 

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14Lv

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB Video Card ($348.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS-324-98B DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1169.26

This seems like a really nice build to me, for a reasonable price. The 'upgradeability-premium' is only minor - for the board and Power Supply. Thanks everyone for your input.


Yeah, the 850W PSU leaves more headroom and will make less noise while running two 6970's.
IMO, You should spend $20 more on the HIS card. That has a better cooler so it can be overclocked better.
Other than that, you pretty much went with my build. Do tell us after you finally assemble those parts an get the PC running. ;) 
Good job finding those SuperBiz deals.
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September 4, 2011 5:34:02 PM

Why_Me said:
You have DDR3 Triple Channel RAM meant for a socket 1336/X58 board. You want DDR3 Dual Channel RAM...and is 2x4GB kit.

that was one of my first designs, thats why i said to go with 4gb ram 2x2gb, and i know it wasnt a good setup, thats why i was trying to fix a lot of the mistakes. im not as stupid now lol.
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September 23, 2011 5:40:05 AM

I have finally ordered the parts. Thanks all for the input. I did of course scour the interwebs for more info and deals. I actually found that Amazon was the best place to buy all the parts I wanted. In CA and Amazon Prime member there is no shippping or tax. That helps a lot.

Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus -- $27.54
Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz -- $47.98
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW -- $20.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB -- $79.99
Intel Core i5-2500K -- $219.95
Corsair Enthusiast Series 750-Watt -- $109.99 ($15 rebate)
Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2 GB DDR5 -- $359.99 ($20 rebate + Deus Ex)
Case Corsair Carbide Series 400R -- $99.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 -- $177.39
OCZ SLD3-25SAT3-120G Solid 3 Series Solid State Drive - 120GB, 2.5", SATA III, 6Gbps -- $159.99 (tiger direct deal)

Overall Price: $1303.80 (without rebates)

Decided to go with a (hopefully) high quality motherboard and a "normal" Radeon 6970. According to the Extreme Power Supply Calculator the recommended PSU for a single 6970 with medium overclocking is 453W. With dual 6970s it is 638W. So I think I'm good with the Corsair 750, even if I get another gfx card later. Also, all components are black (coincidence), which should make for quite a sleek look.



I will appreciate your feedback, although of course, now it's too late ;) 

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September 25, 2011 5:19:17 PM

nice case. never heard of it but looks great.
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September 30, 2011 6:00:15 AM

System assembled... Dead.

The first-time builder's nightmare has come true. I've assembled everything and when I press the power button, the fans (CPU and system) spin up, the motherboard leds briefly light up and then everything is off again. I have tried disconnecting all drives, but no joy.

I'm not sure what to do. I've tested all the connectors and everything looks ok...

I would be extremely grateful for any ideas.
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September 30, 2011 6:13:46 AM

Ok first hurdle taken. Forgot to connect the 8-pin power connector to the MB. Next problem: My monitor explains to me that I should change the resolution to 1920x1080 or any other listed timing...

Well, needless to say, it's hard to change that, if you can't even get to the bios.
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September 30, 2011 6:48:08 AM

Using dvi-vga adapter and it worked. Sorry, I'm sure no one cares about the play-by-play here. Installing windows. Might post a picture eventually, once I have everything working.
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