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Seeking Advice for i7-26000K First-Time Gaming Computer Build

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September 12, 2011 5:52:30 PM

Hello friends, I am seeking people's advice, opinions, and experience with computer building. Also advice for good online vendors with good service and return policies.

I have been researching for 2 months now.

I am NOT a novice to Microsoft-based personal computers and have limited experiences with computer hardware. However, this is my first computer build and I am building it specifically to play Battlefield 3 (BF3).

I will use this computer for playing BF3, watching videos and TV shows, listening to music, storing pictures, downloading, browsing the web, occasionally burning some CDs and DVDs, and maybe light video editing. (I want to eventually get TV Capture card or device to record my favorite TV shows and probably edit out those boring commercials.)

I would like to gradually get into basic overclocking as well.

My budget is under $2,000.

Anyways here are the components I am considering with links provided (from NewEgg):

CPU:
Intel i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo:
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6GB/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 850W (CMPSU-850AX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
EVGA GeForce GTX-580 Fermi 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 (EVGA 03G-P3-1584-AR )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0 GB/s (WD1002FAEX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner OEM (DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
Cooler Master Storm Scout (SGC-2000-KKN1-GP)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Future Component Purchases:

Sound Card:
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Liquid CPU Cooling:
Corsair H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I look forward to hearing different advice and opinions on the matter.

Thank you everyone. ;) 
September 15, 2011 12:29:03 PM

You will have better luck in the home brew section. I am going to make a request to move this thread there.
September 15, 2011 12:43:54 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Area51reopened
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September 15, 2011 1:09:00 PM

That's one impressive build :D 

Your motherboard allows for SLI if you ever wanted to add a second GTX580, however 900-1000w PSU is recommended for this.

16GB is overkill for your RAM. 8GB 1600MHz CL9 would be plenty for gaming.

If gaming is your primary use you could save yourself $100 or so by getting an i5-2500k. In terms of gaming performance, it is the same as the i7-2600k (since games don't make use of hyper threading).

Do you really need to sink $180 into a sound card? The motherboard comes with onboard 7.1 audio. Id at least recommend don't buy the sound card with the initial build, try the onboard audio, then if your not satisfied - buy a sound card after.

My Suggestion would be:

Drop to an i5-2500k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comparison to i5: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=287

Up to a 1000w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Review Here: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Drop to 8GB RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Add a nice 60-120GB SSD into your build :)  Something like Crucial M4 or Corsair Force GT.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 15, 2011 1:20:48 PM

forget intel BULLDOZER AMD will be released in a few days.
September 15, 2011 1:34:27 PM

yeah i'm waitig for bulldozer benchmarks before making new build
September 15, 2011 1:43:29 PM

The extra cores wont be to any advantage gaming. Its still the same 32nm chip as SandyBridge.

The only potential advantage is the cores will overclock a little higher. But since i5-2500k will already clock to 5GHz with the proper cooling, unless BullDozer is very competitive price wise, its unlikely to work out "better value for money".
September 15, 2011 2:07:03 PM

Awesome rig!

I would add a SSD as the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO has a SSD caching feature to get your mechanical HDD running much faster
I would recommend an Intel SSD
September 15, 2011 2:09:24 PM

Load your OS onto the SSD :) 
September 15, 2011 2:10:02 PM

Caching is over-rated. 120GB SSD, shove OS and all your applications on there and a few games as well and your away. Will provide leaps and bounds better performance than caching.
September 15, 2011 2:37:20 PM

Hey thanks everyone, I really appreciate your input and suggestions.

I am still researching A LOT and already bumped the RAM down to 8GB which is more than enough.

Also, I already own the Corsair 850W PSU, Cooler Master Storm Scout Case, and the Asus ODD. And I am sticking with the 2600K as opposed to the 2500K.

As for the SSD, I am heavily considering buying one. Possibly an 80GB or so to put Windows 7 OS, BF3, and the programs I use daily such as VLC, Foobar, Chrome, etc. I have to check out my home PC to see how much GBs I actually use to make the decision on the size of the SSD. I am assuming 80GB is plenty, but this is just an educated guess.

I will still get a 1TB HD for my media that I have been collecting for years now. The HD will strictly be for storage.

I am researching Mobos now mainly. Is there anything comparable to the Asus P8Z68-V Pro that isn't Asus? Like how does Gigabyte, MSI, Biostar, EVGA, or Asus's little brother ASRock compare to the Asus P8Z68-V Pro or Asus in general?

I plan on overclocking, should the UEFI and BIOS be a deal breaker on my decision for the Mobo company I go with?

Thanks again guys. By the way, I am so F***ing hyped to build my first computer! :pt1cable: 
September 15, 2011 3:07:24 PM

This Gigabyte Motherboard is comparable. They are more or less the same and the Gigabyte comes in at a cheaper price, usually.
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

Windows 7 64-bit will take you for about 20GB, generally leaving about 30GB is recommended for your OS (leaves room for updates, patches, service packs ect). Another 10GB or so for applications, web browser and regularly used programs ect. then finally another 20GB or so for games. Leaving 60GB SSD a good budget choice.

Almost ALL in fact probably ALL motherboards (other than INTEL) for this sort of build will have UEFI BIOS.

September 15, 2011 3:39:50 PM

Great Advice Ill avoid using SSD caching Then :) .

I'm planning my 3rd build soon and The specs will be pretty much the same except with only 8gb DDR3 and swapping the GTX580 for a 570 as my budget is lower.
I'm exited about having Windows on a SSD though as it really shows how much of a bottleneck the seek time of a mechanical HDD is.
Read some reviews of SSD's though as I hear that some manufacturers build less stable ones that others particularly regarding the firmware.
September 15, 2011 4:34:25 PM

That windows index score should start to show above 5.9! Haha!
!