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New Build Advice (First time build)

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September 15, 2011 4:21:33 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime later this year

Budget Range: ~$1000-1500

System Usage: Gaming

Parts not required: Mouse, monitor, keyboard, OS

Preffered Websites: newegg.com

Country of origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Tentative build below

Overclocking: No

Monitor resolution: 2560x1440

Additional comments: Trying to decide between Crossfire 6850s and a single 6970

CPU - Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

GPU - 2x XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Motherboard - ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Boot Drive - Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Case - Thermaltake Level 10 GT (VN10001W2N) Black Steel SECC / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case with Four Fans-1x 200mm Colorshift side fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift top fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift front fan and 1x 140mm rear fan

DVD Burner - LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM


This build current totals ~$1450

This is my first build so I'm looking for any advice and suggestions. I've been researching for a while but I'm still not quite ready to pull the trigger.

I realize I might be reaching in terms of $$$, so I'm looking for cheaper, comparable alternatives to any of these components. If I could shrink my total closer to $1000 I would be more than happy.
September 15, 2011 5:34:25 AM

First change: go with i5-2500. The difference between the 2500 and 2600 is hyperthreading and hyperthreading doesn't make any difference in gaming. There is no gaming performance difference between the 2500 and the 2600. This will save you $100.

I'm not sure what you need out of a mobo, but the following ASRock is a really good gaming mobo for $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
No usb 3.0 header on the board and the port cluster is a little weak, but those could arguably be good things on a gaming board. Either way you should use a Z68 mobo.

The Samsung Spinpoint F3 is quieter, cheaper, and delivers the same performance as the WD HDD you picked. And no, the difference in cache isn't going to be noticeable.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is really no good reason to use a $250 case on your budget. There are pretty good cases under $100 and very good cases around $140. A good start is the coolermaster haf 932 for $150. HAF stands for high air flow, which is good because those video cards are going to put off heat.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's just a starting point. You can knock off another $75 on the case if you want.

That's a savings of $305 from your build if you go with the HAF case I recommended and even more if you go with an even cheaper case. If you want to go lower than that you might have to start reducing your graphics but I wouldn't recommend that with the resolution you're working with.

EDIT: You can also eliminate the SSD if you want. Hard drive speed doesn't affect FPS - the only gaming benefit you get from an SSD is quicker load times. You'll get the other benefits of SSDs like boot times and random reads/writes, but it won't make a difference in gaming. Its very common on your budget to just have one standard HDD. Another $115 off.
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September 15, 2011 5:54:45 AM

Don't take offense but that build is way off balanced. You have close to $800 in a case, mobo and cpu and left yourself way light in the gpu dept. The 2600K gives you zero advantage in gaming, that board is meant more for o/c...which you state you don't plan on o/c, and even if your budget was $2,500 that case would still be a total hose job imo.

Here's an idea of how you can balance that $1,500 budget. Just add a few more case fans to this build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $107.98 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $147.98 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
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... $179.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS P8Z68-V LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $289.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.97 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper TX3 RR-910-HTX3-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" 92mm CPU Cooler

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 FREE SHIPPING
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-PCI-Ex... $264.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Sapphire DIRT 3 EDITION Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100312-3SR

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-PCI-Ex... $264.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Sapphire DIRT 3 EDITION Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100312-3SR

Total: $1,390.87 *not including shipping, rebates, and promo codes
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September 15, 2011 5:54:57 AM

+1 @ above poster, my only suggestion would be to go for 1 6970, because 1 card is cooler then two, and usually just runs better overall, I hear crossfire and SLI are a little buggy or something? I don't know, I would go for 1 card instead of 2, but thats my point of view.
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September 15, 2011 6:12:40 AM

Why_Me's build is good if you want to spend around the top of your budget. If you want to spend closer to the $1000 line, a budget/barebones build with similar performance (and some room to upgrade if you want) is below. I'm not as good at finding the combos, so you might even do a little better.

CPU: i5-2500 - $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 - $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 2x4GB 1600 - $51
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX750 - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: HAF 912 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL: Lite-On - $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Whatever 6950 makes you happy - $280
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $914. It's up to you what you want to spend - let us know if you want to know how to upgrade a little from my build or downgrade a little from Why_Me's build.
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September 15, 2011 3:23:55 PM

@Why_Me

Like I said this is my first full build so I'm not surprised I was a little off in my part selection, no offense taken.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
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September 15, 2011 3:28:19 PM

danraies said:
Why_Me's build is good if you want to spend around the top of your budget. If you want to spend closer to the $1000 line, a budget/barebones build with similar performance (and some room to upgrade if you want) is below. I'm not as good at finding the combos, so you might even do a little better.

CPU: i5-2500 - $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 - $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 2x4GB 1600 - $51
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX750 - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: HAF 912 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL: Lite-On - $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Whatever 6950 makes you happy - $280
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $914. It's up to you what you want to spend - let us know if you want to know how to upgrade a little from my build or downgrade a little from Why_Me's build.


Saving money is always a better option than wasting money for not so necessary things.
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September 15, 2011 7:36:22 PM
September 15, 2011 8:56:15 PM

That's a good board, but it's more of a budget board seeing how it's lacking a front USB 3.0 header...which means you only have the two in the back with that board. That CM HAF 922 case also lacks the new USB 3.0 ports.

This board down below comes with a nifty black USB 3.0 front panel w/a 2.5" SSD bracket that fits right on to the front of that case like it was made for it. And it supports PCI-E 3.0 for Ivy Bridge.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P67%20Extre... <----- A better look at that board. If you scroll half way down you can see that black USB 3.0 panel that I mentioned, and you can also see it in the pics on that newegg link.

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0 boards

http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=1155 <----- All the boards on there that say Gen3 are the new PCI-E 3.0 boards

One other thing...the psu. If you plan on eventually adding another one of those 6970's then a 850w psu is what's recommended for two of those cards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $162.98 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W 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... <----- Here's the modular version of that psu. With a modular psu you won't have those extra cables to deal with.
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September 15, 2011 11:42:46 PM

PepitoneConQueso said:
Here is a revised build, let me know if it looks better.


Looks good to me. Why_me is right about the usb 3.0 header on the ASRock board that I suggested. Personally, though, the usb 3.0 in the back is plenty for me although I can't say what will be necessary three years from now. Why_Me's P67 extreme4 is also good, but it is P67 instead of Z68, so gague your usage and your funds.

I'm not as knowledgable about system power requirements as other people so use Why_Me's suggestion on the 850W PSU if you want to crossfire in the future.
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