~1200 $ gaming build

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.
Budget Range: X-~1200, no rebates
System Usage: mostly gaming, then everything else; but not necessarily AAA gaming in e.g. 2013 on the highest settings
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com for comparisons, but I won't be able to buy from there
Country of Origin: Germany. I will also buy my hardware from there.
Parts Preferences: None.
Overclocking: I'm interested in it, but if it costs me a lot more, I won't do it.
SLI or Crossfire: No.
Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080 (at the latter resolution, I will also need a new monitor)
Additional Comments: If possible, I'd like a rather quiet PC. But I won't sacrifice much for this goal.

My finalized build can be found here. All items in boldface are my current (!) final choices.

That means:

Case: Fractal Design Define R3
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX650 650W (modular; I remembered I hated the mess of cables in my last (and current) build so much that getting rid of it would be worth much more than the ~40 dollars price difference of this PSU to the Corsair TX560)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Cooler: Scythe SCMG-3000, i.e. Scythe Mugen 3
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3
Graphics Card: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC
RAM: Corsair XMS3 DIMM Kit 8GB PC3-10667U CL9-9-9-24 (DDR3-1333)
SSD: Crucial CT128M4SSD2 128GB
Optical Drive: I haven't ordered yet, so I'll just order any random ~20 $ DVD burner from someplace cheap.

Do I need extra thermal paste in addition to the extra CPU cooler? Or is the thermal paste bundled with those usually good enough?
Will the CPU cooler fit into the case? Apparently, its height is 158 mm high, versus ~160 supported by the case, so it should fit?
My case doesn't seem to have 2.5'' drive bays. So what will I need to fit my SSD inside?

And in general:
Does my build work? Any major shortcomings/inefficiencies?
Is there anything I could downgrade without sacrificing a lot of performance?
Are there any better modular PSUs, Z68 motherboards and silent CPU coolers at that price point?
I've heard from several places that the Radeon 6950 HD is better in performance/cost than the GTX 560 Ti. But this article on bit-tech really liked the graphics card I picked. So who is wrong, and why?
My chosen case apparently doesn't really like graphics cards that exhaust air into the case rather than out of the back of it. Is that enough to warrant choosing another card?
Any other comments?

(I already wrote an earlier thread when I was still somewhat unsure about the scope of my build. It can be found here.)
6 answers Last reply
More about 1200 gaming build
  1. You want a 750w psu to push two of those 560's in SLI.

    Also can you link a couple of good German sites please.
  2. I have no interest in SLI whatsoever. It doesn't seem to fit into my budget; it costs me 2 graphics cards when I could just get a single, more powerful card; and getting a needlessly expensive PSU for a needlessly expensive GPU configuration sounds like a double minus to me. Plus, I do not want to upgrade this build once it's finished. I've spent a lot of time researching hardware components and I'm growing somewhat weary of it :). If possible, I'd like to finish this build and use it for the next three years without any huge hickups, preferably only opening the case to get rid of dust^^.

    I don't really browse German websites much, but for price comparisons, I recommend geizhals.at's German hardware section, found here. It is great for comparing different online hardware vendors available in Germany. Incidentally, English speakers might know the website's British section under the name skinflint.

    For benchmarks, reviews, etc., I used English websites exclusively. In my Google Docs link, there are tons of links to the Newegg pages and professional reviews to the specific components I've chosen, plus some links with more general information.
  3. Why_Me said:
    http://www4.hardwareversand.de/articledetail.jsp?aid=46922&agid=1601 91,79 €
    ASRock Z68 Pro3 (B3), Sockel 1155, ATX

    http://www4.hardwareversand.de/articledetail.jsp?aid=44314&agid=1193 40,34 €
    8GB-Kit G-Skill RipJaws PC3-12800U CL9

    http://www4.hardwareversand.de/articledetail.jsp?aid=49529&agid=1628 63,85 €
    Antec High Current Gamer HCG-520

    Wow, thanks a lot for the recommendation of that motherboard. You helped me save about 35 € :). I really didn't need all the more advanced features of that Gigabyte board, and the ASRock board has good enough reviews for what I'm going to do.

    In the case of the PSU, I made a conscious choice not to save money by choosing a cheaper model. I really really really want a modular power supply, otherwise that PSU you've recommended might be good, too.

    What did you not like about the RAM I've chosen? As I understand it, 1333 or 1600 Mhz tact rate makes no difference whatsoever, and mine was a lot cheaper (the price included shipping already, whereas the one on hardwareversand.de does not).
  4. 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

    I've included a powerful power supply because that fits in your budget. Its always good to buy a better power supply than what you require because you can keep it when you build a new more powerful PC or Crossfire.

    * 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.
  5. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    intel core i5 2500k - $220

    asrock z68 extreme3 gen3 - $125

    G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB 1.35v Low Voltage F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR1 - $60

    EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 - $330

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $60

    Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB - $193

    LG DVD Burner GH24NS70 - $21.00

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 - $28.00

    Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze W0382RU - $100

    Fractal Design Define R3 - $110

    total - $1247 before rebates....

    a gtx 570 should play any game at 1920 x 1080 with very decent detail.... the model i listed is a blower-style cooler... it shouldn't dump heat inside your case... more suitable for use with the fractal design define r3 case...
    the asrock mobo has support for pcie 3.0 standard which will be useful when you want to upgrade to pcie 3.0 compliant graphics card.... although it requires ivy bridge cpu to do so... the ram i've listed runs at 1.35v.... good for socket 1155 build... buy a 750 watts psu gives you better headroom should you want to upgrade to higher end gpu.... such as hd 6990 or gtx 590 for example....
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