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Buying Today/Tomorrow--Need Advice on $1250 Gaming Build

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September 14, 2011 6:45:10 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Today or tomorrow.

Budget Range: $1250 after rebates (this is pretty strict, so please no "for just $50 more stuff" :p )

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and graphic design.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel, minimum 64GB SSD, minimum 1 TB HDD, minimum 8GB RAM.

Overclocking: As much as I'd like to, I'm deathly afraid to, so we'll just say no.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080.

Additional comments: I really wanted to go with an EVGA graphics card initially, but I've been told they're just too overpriced and that I should go with MSi. Any input on that would be appreciated. The EVGA card I have listed is bundled with the i5 2500k and so it's an additional $20 off, but if the card isn't as good as it should be (or could be) PLEASE let me know. I'm trying to save money, but I don't want to save on quality. I want to be as high-end graphics-wise and speed-wise as allowable in the budget.

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LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811112239
$99.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
$59.99

TP-LINK TL-WN722N USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter
Item #: N82E16833704045
$18.99

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139028
$69.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
Item #: N82E16820231428
$51.99

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157265
$154.99

ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135247
$68.99

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820148441
$114.99

EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814130593
+
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
$529.98
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The total, after a couple of coupon codes, comes to $1150.53

I know I'm missing a CPU cooler, so to keep within the budget, I could probably do an $80 max cooling unit. I just have no idea what I need and what I should get in regards to those. If there is ANYTHING else I need or should get in regards to the build please let me know (such as thermal paste, cables, anything). First-time builder so I don't want to miss anything! Also, if you notice any incompatibility with the parts, speak up!
September 14, 2011 7:51:33 PM

If you plan on overclocking then getting a Hyper 212 cooler should be fine and its only $35 max. The card is fine its good for sli also, and you wont find anything else that fits in your budget for a better price.
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September 14, 2011 7:58:25 PM

Your build looks pretty good so far. The only tweaks I would consider would be a bigger PSU and a different motherboard.

The Corsair CX series is ok, and that PSU will provide the Amps necessary to run your 570. However, your PSU would run a little healthier if you ran a good 750W in that system. I'd consider the Corsair TX750V2 and the PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W since they're both great power supplies and have good efficiency ratings. I'm not sure about the Corsair but the Silencer is OEMed by Seasonic, who is the best in the business.

As for your motherboard, I'd recommend the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3. It's a solid board and can support SLI and overclocking if you decide to upgrade down the road. You also get integrated graphics which can come in handy and doesn't hurt to have. The best part is that it's about $25 than the P67 Extreme4 Gen3.

As far as your GPU goes, EVGA makes great cards and yours would come with a lifetime warranty. I found their customer service to be very helpful and never had any issues with my 5 GPUs. Most of the MSI recommendations come about because of the cooler. The Frozr cools very well, but that doesn't mean the EVGA card won't cool well either (mine ran at 60C though most hit 70-80C). As long as the case airflow is setup properly your temps will be well within normal ranges.

For a CPU cooler I'd recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212+. it's only $30 and does a fantastic job. It can support good OCs if you ever decide to go that route a few years down the road.

Other than that you picked quality parts that should serve you well!
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September 14, 2011 7:59:55 PM

You don't suggest sli gtx 570 with a 600w psu. My opinion is that this build will last you for a good time. Bulldozer is highly unlikely to match sandy bridge but I hope bulldozer will be competitive in the market. As for GPU, AMD 7xxx series will be out at Q4. If you don't want to wait, you can get the gtx 570 now with no worry. I would recommend at least 750w-800w minimum if you want to run 2 gtx 570 and overclock.
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September 14, 2011 8:02:47 PM

Since you will be using a SSD, you would be better off going with the Z68 version of your mobo here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its about $30 more but if you dont plan on OCing the Intel stock fan will work just fine. If you plan on dabbling into the OC arena, do like Vigilante says and get the Hyper 212.

With both of these added you still come just under your $1250 budget.
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September 14, 2011 8:46:30 PM

Quote:
Since you will be using a SSD, you would be better off going with the Z68 version of your mobo here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


It doesn't make a difference which chipset the OP uses since the SSD is large enough to hold the whole OS. Z68 only becomes useful with small SSDs (20-40GB) because it can use the SSD as a caching drive and dramatically increase the read speeds. However, the write speeds aren't accelerated, and a boot drive is a better option.

In regards to the board itself, the Extreme3 Gen3 gets the OP the same usefulness for much much less.
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September 14, 2011 9:12:55 PM

$15-off code for 2500k (thru midnight PT): EMCKAJG23

Other than the usual suspects (Dirt, Civ5), the HD69502GB reference design dual-BIOS are still floating around, and beat up on the GTX570 pretty good at $270 or so after rebate and mod. Some versions (a Diamond version IIRC) already has the second BIOS flashed to an HD6970 unlock.

Not sure what the rush is being that Bulldozer (supposedly) will be out next week -- if anything, might knock the 2500k down in quite price a bit if it does show up.

And the obligatory: THG Radeon 78xx series alert for Q4 - more price jumbling likely in the next couple months



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September 15, 2011 2:36:54 AM

Just wanted to give a quick, huge THANKS to everyone who made suggestions. Bought all the parts about an hour ago! I definitely wouldn't have gotten anywhere near a purchase without you guys! I will be taking some pictures and maybe some videos to let you guys know how my first build goes. The only thing I changed from my original posted build was the mobo to the Extreme3 Gen3, the psu to the Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W, added the Hyper 212+, and threw in a g9x mouse :)  Total came to $1235.05 after shipping.
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September 15, 2011 3:28:33 AM

too late, but since you kind of don't want to overclock, you would have been fine with an i5 2500, except then you don't get a discount with it, and you can always oc later
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!