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Final Advice / $1500 well spent?

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September 5, 2011 8:09:47 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas


Budget Range: $1500 after rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, programming projects, college use, casual multimedia


Parts Not Required: Mouse and Keyboard


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences:
I have already posted a rough draft of my build and after taking all the replies and comments into consideration, I've created a final build which shouldn't need much changing. What im looking for are any suggestions on cheaper alternatives that do not sacrifice performance and any other suggestions you may have. The prices are after rebates and before tax/shipping, but the grand total takes those into account.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K - $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - $234.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: LEPA B850-MA 850W ATX12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $69.99 (Are you kidding me?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B - $52.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 - $27.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Including tax and shipping this comes out to be $1468.82 on newegg, and I didnt bundle anything.


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: In the future


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200


Additional Comments: I'd like to thank aznshinobi and cgleckman for their help in the construction of this build. I was expecting to spend around $1600+ honestly since I needed a monitor, decent SSD, and OS included but with the help of you fine folks I am extremely happy with the build and savings. I personally read the reviews for every single item on this list and I'm (mostly) happy with what I saw. I'm going to go to bed after I post this so I was hoping to catch some late night/early morning feedback so I wont be able to reply right away, but I'll check the post out first thing in the morning. Thanks for your time and feedback!

P.S: Here is my original build if anyone is interested in seeing the changes.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320212-31-1500-gaming...
September 5, 2011 8:20:07 AM

All I have to say it is a very solid set-up... not too far away from my own in fact.
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September 5, 2011 8:20:31 AM

acefusion said:
Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas


Budget Range: $1500 after rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, programming projects, college use, casual multimedia


Parts Not Required: Mouse and Keyboard


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences:
I have already posted a rough draft of my build and after taking all the replies and comments into consideration, I've created a final build which shouldn't need much changing. What im looking for are any suggestions on cheaper alternatives that do not sacrifice performance and any other suggestions you may have. The prices are after rebates and before tax/shipping, but the grand total takes those into account.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K - $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support - $234.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: LEPA B850-MA 850W ATX12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $69.99 (Are you kidding me?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B - $52.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 - $27.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Including tax and shipping this comes out to be $1468.82 on newegg, and I didnt bundle anything.


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: In the future


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200


Additional Comments: I'd like to thank aznshinobi and cgleckman for their help in the construction of this build. I was expecting to spend around $1600+ honestly since I needed a monitor, decent SSD, and OS included but with the help of you fine folks I am extremely happy with the build and savings. I personally read the reviews for every single item on this list and I'm (mostly) happy with what I saw. I'm going to go to bed after I post this so I was hoping to catch some late night/early morning feedback so I wont be able to reply right away, but I'll check the post out first thing in the morning. Thanks for your time and feedback!

P.S: Here is my original build if anyone is interested in seeing the changes.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320212-31-1500-gaming...


Got a few more additions for you :D 

I would spend the extra $10 and get this GPU (same gpu just factory Overclocked

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $245
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then since the shipping on that case is $5 i would spend $5 and get

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This case comes with the fans youll need for cooling and has free shipping currently and your case only comes with 2 and i dont think would have the right amount of cooling. The illusion comes with 4 fans.. 1 of which is 140mm so you get 2 more fans then u would with the HAF 912
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September 5, 2011 8:20:58 AM

sorry i know its more changes >< lol
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September 5, 2011 8:31:51 AM

cgleckman said:
Got a few more additions for you :D 

I would spend the extra $10 and get this GPU (same gpu just factory Overclocked

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $245
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then since the shipping on that case is $5 i would spend $5 and get

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This case comes with the fans youll need for cooling and has free shipping currently and your case only comes with 2 and i dont think would have the right amount of cooling. The illusion comes with 4 fans.. 1 of which is 140mm so you get 2 more fans then u would with the HAF 912


Well, you never dissapoint XD. Thanks for the gpu upgrade, small stuff like that is what i was looking for with this post. As for the case you suggested, it seems solid and all but I was already worried about space with the smaller HAF case i chose and your Antec one is even smaller than that. I'm not too worried about spending an extra <$50 or so on the fans i would need with my case if the size is more reliable. Or should I be fine on space with the stuff I have? Thanks for your help!
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September 5, 2011 8:39:49 AM

acefusion said:
Well, you never dissapoint XD. Thanks for the gpu upgrade, small stuff like that is what i was looking for with this post. As for the case you suggested, it seems solid and all but I was already worried about space with the smaller HAF case i chose and your Antec one is even smaller than that. I'm not too worried about spending an extra <$50 or so on the fans i would need with my case if the size is more reliable. Or should I be fine on space with the stuff I have? Thanks for your help!


Lol :D , and I know the gpu would fit but im not sure if it will with the heatsink I cant find anyone whos tried it. I will do some more research but as long as you get another fan your 912 case should be fine. If you keep the haf 912 case I would suggest getting a 200MM fan for the top just to help with the circulation if u can..

COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AR-GP 200mm Red LED Case Fan $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You wouldnt need the extra 120mm fan if u get the 200mm
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September 5, 2011 3:15:39 PM

ya keep the 912. you dont even have to add the 200mm fan. if you sli then add it
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September 5, 2011 4:13:44 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
ya keep the 912. you dont even have to add the 200mm fan. if you sli then add it


I feel like with on this case with his build he will need to have better airflow then just 2 or 3 120mm fans.
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September 5, 2011 5:13:49 PM

This GFX card is cheaper, faster an OC's above factory settings w/ ease....and its in stock

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo only has chinsy 2 year warranty

RAM is outta stock and too tall to clear many aftermarket coolers. Look at these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-233-196^20-233-196-TS%2C20-233-186^20-233-186-TS%2C20-226-219^20-226-219-TS

I'd get the Antec Illusion w/ an XFX C ore Edition 750

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hyper 212 is a decent cooler for a $800 build, in a $1500 build I'd want something better....like the Hyper 612 which is still not on shelves yet.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

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September 5, 2011 5:54:02 PM

The 912 is fine the way it is. Also Why does it matter that it has to be an XFX 750w? They're practically the same price but if Lepa honors the rebate it's way cheaper. The Lepa also performs on specs as HardOCP and KitGuru have reviewed it to actually be 80+ Bronze and solid as well.
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September 5, 2011 6:27:12 PM

Wait, dont spend extra money getting an overclocked GPU, its the exact same card except they do the OC for you, which means if that overclocked card doesn't crash then getting the standard card and then overclocking it yourself (which is really easy to do in OS) doesn't make any difference except 5 minutes of your time. Also, I have used both those Antec and 912 cases. Get the 912, it is a much nicer case, and just buy a few fans for it. Trust me, it is well worth it.
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September 5, 2011 6:37:41 PM

powercroat783 said:
Wait, dont spend extra money getting an overclocked GPU, its the exact same card except they do the OC for you, which means if that overclocked card doesn't crash then getting the standard card and then overclocking it yourself (which is really easy to do in OS) doesn't make any difference except 5 minutes of your time. Also, I have used both those Antec and 912 cases. Get the 912, it is a much nicer case, and just buy a few fans for it. Trust me, it is well worth it.


Ah yes thats what i was thinking factory overclocked meant but since ive never done it wasnt sure. And thats what i wanted to hear about the case as well. Thank you sir.

JackNaylorPE: "RAM is outta stock and too tall to clear many aftermarket coolers. Look at these:"

Is there any difference between these two Corsair Vengeances?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 5, 2011 6:47:57 PM

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

Does anyone know of a similar motherboard with a better warranty? PCI 3.0 is a must as i dont intend to upgrade it soon, z68 is preferred and price can be flexible if its really solid.
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September 5, 2011 7:50:40 PM

^ The board is good just stick to it. 2 Years is quite awhile for the board especially since Haswell (next Intel platform with new arch, unlike SB-E) will be in 2013.

As for stock overclocking. Just stay with the 560 Ti TFII OC the normal one (not stock OC'd) is just $5 less.
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September 5, 2011 11:03:12 PM

For the RAM, the only difference is that one pair have smaller heatsinks. Obviously, the bigger heatsinks disperse heat better than the smaller ones. Will only become a problem if you plan on overclocking the RAM. I prefer G-Skill Rip Jaws, as their heatsinks are just the right size.

HOWEVER, if you are serious about overclocking, I would recommend getting the Vengeance with the bigger HeatSinks, Getting fans for your RAM, and Then Getting a Water Cooler for your CPU.

If you get the 912 case the Corsair H100 can do some serious work for cooling the CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are also smaller versions of the H100, such as the H50, H60, and H80 I believe? anyways the cooler on the CPU is very small and wont get in the way of RAM Heatsinks.

Like I said though, you should still give G-Skill RAM a look, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have used both and I can only say in my personal opinion that I give the Rip Jaws the Edge only because they stay cooler than the vengeance per amount of space taken up by heatsink. But I am not going to fret enough to really TRY to get you to switch. Also, that RipJaws have slightly smaller Timings, but you would hardly notice a difference IMHO.
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September 5, 2011 11:22:20 PM

I'd get a little larger SSD (90 or 120 GIG), it gets quite full with OS, swap file and basic applications...javascript: validform(this);
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September 6, 2011 7:31:52 AM

I lol at your Hydro series advice. Those CPU coolers aren't even worth it.
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/Cors...
A $50 Hyper 612 performs virtually at the same level except it is air and you save $50.

With that said, the Hyper 212+ performs at the level of an $80 H70. The Hyper 212+ is only $25-$30.

Edit: That ram stick rec. is also overpriced, most 8GB DDR3 1600 kits are only $50-$60. Even though it's CL8 you wouldn't even notice the difference from that and CL9 in reality.
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September 7, 2011 10:40:48 PM

Yeah, well im not an overclocking guru, but my friend Danny got an i7-2600k to 5.5 ghz stable on that water cooler. :p 

I think that's pretty good, right? (No seriously, I don't even know if that clock is impressive or not for water cooling)
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September 7, 2011 10:43:17 PM

It's rather good. In fact very good. However ACTUAL LCing could do better. Closed loops are far from an actual custom loop water cooling, many LC enthusiasts hardly call the Hydro series LC because it doesn't even offer performance close to actual loops.
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September 7, 2011 11:33:45 PM

Yeah hes been messing with computers since he was in his mothers womb, she just swallowed pieces of silicon and he started building right away once they passed to him.

His real machine does have a fat pump hanging off the side of it and loops to his CPU, his two EVGA GTX590s and RAM. But he told me that the Corsair Coolers are really nice. Perhaps I should get him on Toms rather than repeat what other people say and do -____-
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September 7, 2011 11:43:06 PM

That still wouldn't convince me that they are good if that's what you're trying to do. Corsair Hxxx are ripoffs for the price.
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!