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Help building a ~$2000 gaming PC for BF3

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September 20, 2011 12:16:31 PM

Hi guys, looking to build a gaming PC from scratch for approx $2,000, with the single goal of running Battlefield 3 on the best settings I can. Apologies in advance for any ignorant statements, I've never built a PC before (or even had a half-decent one) so I'm fairly new to the finer details. I've got a rough parts list going - mainly need GPU advice - but I'll follow the template:

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of October (BF3 launch). Awaiting the Beta's launch to read some feedback on what runs it well.

Budget Range: $2,000 (give or take a couple of hundred if it's justified). Worth noting I'm in Australia but there's fairly good price parity at the moment.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Pure gaming, specifically Battlefield 3. Web browsing etc will factor in a little.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.pccasegear.com/ (not the cheapest AU store, but comprehensive and more trustworthy).

Country of Origin: Australia (assuming you mean me).

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Gigabyte mobo.

Overclocking: Maybe. Not immediately, I'm too new to all this, but I'd like to have the option down the track.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. I'm open to it - whatever GPU setup ultimately gets the best performance in BF3 within my budget.

Monitor Resolution: 24" monitor, so I assume 1920x1080?

Additional Comments: Want it to be as future-proof as possible, as I don't plan on regular upgrades. Don't care about aesthetics of the build at all. Prefer not to worry about cooling systems at this point.


So far, my rough build list is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K (is there any point considering the i7 2600K for my needs?)

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 Motherboard (had a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 in my Shopping Cart but the product has disappeared, no idea what the difference actually is?)

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 (as mentioned, the GPU is the biggest question mark for me. I'm open to Radeon cards, I'm open to SLI/Crossfire setups, I just wouldn't want to spend more than what the average GTX 580 is going for).

RAM: Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

PSU: Corsair HX-650 Power Supply

CASE: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Advanced (I hear a lot of praise for the Corsair 650T cases, but not sure I can justify paying twice this?)

MONITOR: ASUS VS248H 24in Widescreen LED Monitor (I haven't got any qualitative info to back this product up, open to other suggestions)

HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HD103SJ

SSD: Crucial M4 SSD 128GB

OPTICAL: ASUS DRW-24B3ST 24X DVDRW Drive

KEYBOARD Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

And not necessary, but also considering the Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset.


...Phew. Let me know what you guys think, like I said it's mainly the GPU I'm undecided on (which in turn affects PSU choice etc), and part of that is waiting to see which cards run the BF3 Beta best, but I'd really appreciate some feedback. Cheers in advance!
September 20, 2011 12:50:08 PM

there is no huge difference between 2500k and 2600k only 100mhz so don't worry about this for gamming 2500k is highly recommended.overclocking is a good thing for games it will help you alot to increase your fps see this link.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=287

change mobo to asus p8z68 v pro the benefit of this mobo is wide spacing for sli or crossfirex it will let you to fit 2 gtx 580 or 2 gtx 590 easily.

leave corsair hx650 this is not enough for gtx580 when you start overclocking gtx 580 go for 1200watts for sli if you want otherwise 850watts is enough.
then you are able to maxed bf3
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September 20, 2011 2:59:55 PM

1200w is for overclocking everything.
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September 20, 2011 3:10:40 PM

Don't get an i7 2600k, it would not help you in the slightest.

GTX 580s are the best you can get other than the GTX 590 which is the best out right now. One GTX 580 should be able to push max settings with decent fps rate; I'm guessing maybe 55+. The 650w PSU is just fine for ONE GTX 580.

If you want to SLI, and it may help quite a bit with BF3 or games in the future, you need a better PSU. I'd say go for an 850w PSU and you should be fine. If you want to Over Clock howerver you might as well go for a 1200w PSU.

Id suggest Over Clocking a single GTX 580 and your CPU (i5 2500k). The i5 2500k is meant to be overclocked and it is as simple as the click of a button. There is a utility tool to auto over clock. Same with the GTX 580.

An SSD is just a nice perk and won't actually help your gaming performance. All it does it give you faster boot times for say an OS or a game that is stored on it.

Otherwise, everything is looking good. Let us know if you have any other questions.
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September 20, 2011 3:57:50 PM

Processor : Intel Core i5 2500K - $220
HSF : CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - $70
Motherboard : ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 - $125
RAM : 2 x (G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600) - $100
Graphics : MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 - $500
Hard Disk : Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
SSD : Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $180
Optical Drive : LITE-ON Black 12X Blu-ray Burner with Blu-ray 3D feature SATA - $100

PSU : CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $190

Case : Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $280

Monitor : ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - $230

Total : $2055 before rebates

You can cut the costs on case, PSU and RAM.
Getting a non-modular 80+ bronze PSU and 8GB instead of 16GBs of RAM.

Still,
This should do the job. No hassles of SLI. A single GTX 580 is enough to maxx out any game you throw at it at 1080p. Liquid Cooler for overclocking the CPU beyond 4.5Ghz. Even if you don't overclock it, liquid cooler will keep the CPU cool and thus make it last longer. 16GB RAM = Future Proof. ASRock Gen3 motherboard with two PCIe 3.0 slots. Support for Ivy Bridge CPUs and also new gen. PCIe graphic cards. Stable and Fast Corsair Force series 120GB SATAIII SSD to be used as a boot drive and apps storage. A liteon blu ray burner, a cheap and fast Samsung Spinpoint HDD. A wonderful looking case, and a 850W Corsair Modular PSU with 80+ Gold Certification which is capable of GTX 580 SLI.
Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. :) 
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September 20, 2011 4:32:56 PM

Quote:
This should do the job. No hassles of SLI. A single GTX 580 is enough to maxx out any game you throw at it at 1080p. Liquid Cooler for overclocking the CPU beyond 4.5Ghz. Even if you don't overclock it, liquid cooler will keep the CPU cool and thus make it last longer. 16GB RAM = Future Proof. ASRock Gen3 motherboard with two PCIe 3.0 slots. Support for Ivy Bridge CPUs and also new gen. PCIe graphic cards. Stable and Fast Corsair Force series 120GB SATAIII SSD to be used as a boot drive and apps storage. A liteon blu ray burner, a cheap and fast Samsung Spinpoint HDD. A wonderful looking case, and a 850W Corsair Modular PSU with 80+ Gold Certification which is capable of GTX 580 SLI.



I think your name is rohit(correct me if i am wrong) coz once i saw a boy on facebook with same name.any ways why do you usually suggest this same build to everyone.nowdays theres no need of liquid cooling kits as you suggested coz dh-14 and silver arrow beat the *** out of these kits in terms of both cooling and noise level without any mess up.
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/corsair_h60/4.h...

theres no need of 800d unless you are going to liquid cool every compnent.
a HAF 932,NXZT phantom,azza hurricane 2000 are good and affordable.
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September 20, 2011 5:00:14 PM

I don't suggest a single build to everyone. I only suggested modified version of this build to another person with similar requirements and budget.
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September 21, 2011 8:58:35 AM

Thanks for the feedback so far guys, I'll sift through the information a bit.

Just to be clear, my budget only allows for spending up to around $550 on the GPU setup right now, so SLI GTX 580s are not an immediate option. If someone can recommend 2x Radeon cards to run in Crossfire for a similar price as one GTX 580, I'm open to considering that too.

Looks like I'll bump up the PSU to at least 850w to be safe... is the Corsair HX series reliable enough? The Corsair AX-850 looks good, but pushing the price a bit further than I'd like. I know the PSU is nothing to cheap out on, but the HX-850 seems like a good option too?

I was pretty set on a Gigabyte motherboard but y'all seem to be pushing the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3, other than the greater space for SLI/Crossfire support is there any other specific benefit in getting this?

Thanks again.
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September 21, 2011 11:53:26 AM

One of the DICE community managers recently commented on Twitter that 2x GTX580s would be needed to run BF3 on 'ultra' settings...

But from what I understand, the difference between 'ultra' and 'high' on PC games can be a lot of technical fluff that is a heavy burden on the machine, but barely visible to the eye?
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September 21, 2011 1:10:58 PM

I'm 100% sure two 580's won't be needed to run BF3 at ultra.

and yeah, the difference is barely visible to the eyes.
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September 21, 2011 7:28:42 PM

2 GTX 560 ti's in SLI should run a little bit better than a single GTX 580 I'm pretty sure, and it would cost about the same.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2011 7:59:42 PM

008Rohit said:
You don't need anything more than a single GTX 580 to max out BF3 anyway.

HX series is good too...

So is this XFX Unit : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is that a fact? You have tested BF3 on ultra high settings with a 580? The beta testers for that game said they could not max out all the settings with a 580.
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September 21, 2011 8:08:22 PM

Apparently it takes two GTX 580s in SLI to run it at Ultra. Right from a manager.

If you think about it really though, high settings should really be good enough for most people, if not medium.
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September 21, 2011 8:12:23 PM

@ the OP. Look to make these changes down below.

Mobo... something with the new PCI-E 3.0

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $139.00
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

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

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <----- a better look at that board

PSU... one that will push two of those cards in SLI.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $157.00
Antec High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply HCG-900

or...

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $219.00
OCZ Technology ZX Series 1000W Power Supply

RAM...something with lower heat spreaders so you don't get screwed with the cpu h/s.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $65.00
G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL (2x4GB) DDR3

or....

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $65.00
G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

Headset. I would avoid any USB headset and go for one that plugs straight into the mobo like this one down below.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $75.00
Corsair Gaming Audio Series HS1A Gaming Headset

CPU cooler... this one down below is cheap yet effective and it comes with decent thermal compound. It will take you to any easy 4.4ghz

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $33.00
CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler
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September 21, 2011 8:29:13 PM

Gutterkisser said:
One of the DICE community managers recently commented on Twitter that 2x GTX580s would be needed to run BF3 on 'ultra' settings...

But from what I understand, the difference between 'ultra' and 'high' on PC games can be a lot of technical fluff that is a heavy burden on the machine, but barely visible to the eye?

that guy u talking bout didnt say anything bout hardware he just said that if u running bfbc2 smothly then u shouldnt worry about runing bf3
the released sys reqs r always more than the real sys reqs jus 2 avoid being sued the cards that will prolly run bf3 maxed out r:
GTX 560 least expected tho
GTX 560 ti im expecting that 1 to be the minimum runin it maxed
GTX 570 that will surely run it maxed
ull never know what r the exact sys reqs till the game is out
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a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2011 9:05:08 PM

+1 on the ASRock. I've got the big brother ( Z68 Extreme4 Gen 3) and it's rather nice, but a bit overkill in hindsight. The Extreme3 will be more than adequate. ( PS, the main difference between the Z68X and the Z68XP was the HDMI jack on the board. ) The main differences between the ASRock Extreme2 Gen 3 and GB Z68X(P)-UD4:

ASRock Extreme3:
+ PCIe 3.0 ( If that's even a big deal to you, maybe it will be utilized soon, maybe not. )
+ Video output jacks ( DVI, VGA, & HDMI if you want them. The Gigabyte P model only has an HDMI port. )
+ On board operation buttons ( power, reset, CMOS clear. ) Not a requirement, but definitely useful.
+ Lower Price ( And this might be the biggest. )

Gigabyte UD4:
+ 2 extra SATA III ports.
+ eSATAp ( Wish I had one. )
+ Extra eSATA port ( Definitely useful. )
+ eSATA RAID ( But really who RAIDs external drives? )
+ Extra USB 2.0 ports ( You might need 8 ports, but I rarely use more than 4, especially with the hub on my monitor. )
+ Coax Audio ( Does anyone even use these anymore? )

If you're willing to pay $200 for the Z68XP-UD4, I'd recommend looking at the ASRock Extreme4 Gen 3 for $180. It has everything the Extreme3 has, plus a display port, 2 extra SATA III ports, and an extra PCIe slot if you want to do triple SLI/CrossFire, and a useful USB 3.0 header cable with card slot and 3.5 bay. At that point, the Z68XP has one extra eSATA port ( with USB combo ) and coax audio while the Extreme4 has extra video out jacks and PCIe 2.0 slot.

On the i5-2500K vs i7-2600K debate, 100 MHz is NOT the only difference. The i7 also supports hyper-threading and has an extra 2MB L3 cache. Current games won't take advantage of either, but some of the more serious design programs, like advanced CAD or 3D stuff, will perform better. I've also heard, though I can't confirm, that the i7s are generally the higher quality chips and they can often be OC'd higher than i5s. It's up in the air whether future games will use hyper-threading, but for ultimate future-proofing, and if you've got the money, I don't see a reason NOT to grab the 2600K.

On the SSD, I too have the Crucial M4 and I love it. No, it won't have a huge impact in the middle of the game, but it substantially speeds up boot time, Windows updates, game launching, and system shutdown. It's a luxury item, but well worth it if you can afford it.

As for the CrossFire/SLI, I like Radeons since they're generally quieter and use less power ( current gen seems to be shaking that a bit. ) But here's a thought for right now: If you get a CrossFire/SLI with two good ( but not great ) cards right now, you'll have the power and performance right now, but any changes, any upgrades in the future will require you to replace both cards ( unless you want to add a third. ) A single, top-line card now may have a few features that the cards one tier down don't have. It may not have quite the speed of a lesser SLI combo right now, but an upgrade six months or a year down the road would only require one extra card. Personally, I'd go with a single great card right now instead of two good cards.

And really, so what if you can play the game on Ultra over High? Most action games don't give you the time to look around and appreciate all the pretty visuals anyway. It's just bragging rights ( but I know that some people consider that important and of course the choice is yours. )

I'd recommend a 1920 x 1200 monitor if you can find one, though 16x10 ratios are getting rarer. I find them better for basic computing than 16x9s, but YMMV.

Lastly, I wouldn't go above $150 on a case. The HAF is a nice case, lots of ventilation, plenty of room for drives and components. If you're looking for something a little sleeker, a Raven RV03 runs a little extra and I'm quickly becoming a fan of mine. But $200+ on a case robs you of money that can go for actual performance instead of just looks.

A few thoughts, as always, YMMV.
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September 22, 2011 8:56:06 AM

Quote:
Is that a fact? You have tested BF3 on ultra high settings with a 580? The beta testers for that game said they could not max out all the settings with a 580.



i agree with you that a single 580 1.5 gb is not enough for maxing out BF3.
recommended ultra settings say for a card with 2 GB VRAM for 1080p
but i am damn sure that i am gonna max the game with a single msi lightning xtreme 580 3 gb(cant afford two)
most of the people say that why do we need more than 1 gb?BF3 is the answere....................
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September 22, 2011 9:12:39 AM

Awesome, thanks again guys. I'd say you've sold me on the ASRock Extreme3, I suspect the extra features on the Extreme4 would be wasted on me.

@Why_Me, regarding the G.Skill RAM you suggested, I notice they're designed for the Intel P67 chipset... is that an issue if all the motherboards I'm looking at are Z68? Also, for an idiot like myself, what is the actual difference between the two G.Skill products?

That OCZ 1000w PSU looks like a good buy, if it's a safe bet for the possibility of running two GTX 580s down the track (and probably overclocking the CPU too) I'm definitely interested.

Regarding the GPU I'll still wait to see the BF3 Beta go live, but I'm pretty set on a GTX 580 at this point. Seems like the MSI Twin Frozr II might be the one to roll with.

@RedJaron that's some killer info mate, I'll have to read through in more detail later but you've already been a massive help.

Hopefully you guys don't have to hold my hand through this too much longer, but I'll probably run a final build past you before committing to any purchase. Thanks again, really really appreciate the guidance.
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September 22, 2011 9:19:33 AM

you may also think about rosewill bronze series 1000w PSU @ $130/-
you should go with ripjaws X or vengeance 8 gb ram IMO
yeah you are right but try to get 3 gb VRAM version that provides better performance at 1080p
some people think why we need more than 1 gb BF3 is the answere
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September 22, 2011 12:47:14 PM

hellfire24 said:
you may also think about rosewill bronze series 1000w PSU @ $130/-
you should go with ripjaws X or vengeance 8 gb ram IMO
yeah you are right but try to get 3 gb VRAM version that provides better performance at 1080p
some people think why we need more than 1 gb BF3 is the answere

u ll only need more than 1 GB if u runing at a high resoloution and bf3 does not need this huge amount of power most people r expecting
dual GTX 580 to run a game maxed out is this a joke ppl should use their minds not all people have those kind of pcs u wont need all this power
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September 22, 2011 3:09:41 PM

u ll only need more than 1 GB if u runing at a high resoloution and bf3 does not need this huge amount of power most people r expecting
dual GTX 580 to run a game maxed out is this a joke ppl should use their minds not all people have those kind of pcs u wont need all this power


it was just suggestion lol :pt1cable: 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 22, 2011 4:12:56 PM

Gutterkisser said:
@RedJaron that's some killer info mate, I'll have to read through in more detail later but you've already been a massive help.

Glad I could be of help. I did a lot of research before building my last system, so much of this I learned recently.

Gutterkisser said:
@Why_Me, regarding the G.Skill RAM you suggested, I notice they're designed for the Intel P67 chipset... is that an issue if all the motherboards I'm looking at are Z68? Also, for an idiot like myself, what is the actual difference between the two G.Skill products?

Regarding Ripjaws vs. Ripjaws-X, yeah I'm not sure of the difference either. The "X" says it's designed for Sandy Bridge CPUs, which is probably mostly marketing hype, but I think it's also partially about the 1.5V Sandy Bridge RAM standard. I bought these and the packaging listed all three chipsets, H67, P67, and Z68, so you won't have any compatibility problems there ( I've even read about people throwing these in AMD builds so there you have it. ) Anyway, Sandy Bridge chipsets tend to freak out if the RAM voltage goes over 1.5V. After comparing models, it looks like the X series has a lower stock voltage. While the two CAS9 sticks look identical, the two CAS8 sticks show the non X version running at 1.65V, which could give Z68 fits. So perhaps the X uses the higher binned chips that can run on lower voltage. That certainly seems to be the difference with their Sniper RAM, which is rated at 1.35V stock, which is intended for OC'ing.

Regarding the heat spreader clearance, I'm using Ripjaws X with a Xigmatek Gaia CPU cooler ( fan mounted as low as possible for extra VRM cooling, ) and I have plenty of clearance between the two. I'd be more worried about Corsair Vengeance chips with their much higher heat spreader.
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September 24, 2011 1:12:41 AM
a b 4 Gaming
September 24, 2011 1:28:11 AM

That's a solid looking build. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 24, 2011 1:49:11 AM

Indeed, solid. You don't need that big a PSU, though. A good 850W is enough to SLI 580s ( check current SBM. If you don't care for SLI, you can drop even as low as 600W, provided you get a quality rail.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 24, 2011 1:54:31 AM

RedJaron said:
Indeed, solid. You don't need that big a PSU, though. A good 850W is enough to SLI 580s ( check current SBM. If you don't care for SLI, you can drop even as low as 600W, provided you get a quality rail.

They used that psu for benchmarks that probably took them less than a day to do. If your running two of those cards along with o/c it's going to be maxing your psu and eventually something has got to give....as in the psu.
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September 24, 2011 2:02:16 AM

The reason I liked that PSU was it wasn't much more expensive than the lower wattage Corsair PSUs I was originally looking at, and seemed a good 'better safe than sorry' option.

Is it going to make a noticeable difference on power consumption though? I.e, electricity bills? Or is the 80+ Gold cert part of the guarantee that it doesn't drain more than it needs...?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 24, 2011 2:10:37 AM

Gutterkisser said:
The reason I liked that PSU was it wasn't much more expensive than the lower wattage Corsair PSUs I was originally looking at, and seemed a good 'better safe than sorry' option.

Is it going to make a noticeable difference on power consumption though? I.e, electricity bills? Or is the 80+ Gold cert part of the guarantee that it doesn't drain more than it needs...?

Your psu uses what it's called to use. If your only using 600w then that's what it's going to put out. As far as gold, silver, bronze, and 80+ effiency...it's a fine line. With two of those cards running it comes down the watts and AMPS. You might run those cards for a year or more on an 850w but that psu is going to be running balls to the walls and it's going to run hot seeing how it's going to be maxed. When those components in the psu get hot, they wear out quicker. It's the law of averages.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 26, 2011 6:13:49 AM

Why_Me said:
They used that psu for benchmarks that probably took them less than a day to do. If your running two of those cards along with o/c it's going to be maxing your psu and eventually something has got to give....as in the psu.

So you're saying that Tom's Hardware, a globally trusted and respected recource in all things computer, is going to give a recommended build for a computer system ( a high-end performance build no less, ) a recommendation and an example to all their readers of what a kick-ass computer can and should be, and then they'd under-power it? Worse, that they'd underpower it and not put a huge asterisk and warning saying that while this computer shreds everything in benchmarks, it is not intended for long-term use, much less long-term gaming sessions? Uh, no, I don't buy that.

GK, that system almost mirrors your own proposed list. Even under massive OC'ing and under full load, total system power draw stayed around 700W. That's 82% of an 850W PSU's load which is in no wise maxing the PSU. If you constantly run it at 90% or above, then yes, you might be going a little hard on it, but an 80% load is more than acceptable for a quality PSU.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 26, 2011 6:49:15 AM

RedJaron said:
So you're saying that Tom's Hardware, a globally trusted and respected recource in all things computer, is going to give a recommended build for a computer system ( a high-end performance build no less, ) a recommendation and an example to all their readers of what a kick-ass computer can and should be, and then they'd under-power it? Worse, that they'd underpower it and not put a huge asterisk and warning saying that while this computer shreds everything in benchmarks, it is not intended for long-term use, much less long-term gaming sessions? Uh, no, I don't buy that.

GK, that system almost mirrors your own proposed list. Even under massive OC'ing and under full load, total system power draw stayed around 700W. That's 82% of an 850W PSU's load which is in no wise maxing the PSU. If you constantly run it at 90% or above, then yes, you might be going a little hard on it, but an 80% load is more than acceptable for a quality PSU.



As far as "Toms recommended builds"...Iv'e seen them goober more than a few builds. Toms isn't perfect and they do make mistakes, like recommending an 850w psu to push dual 580's in SLI. Again go to the Nvidia forums and/or EVGA forums and post that same question..

There's peeps on this board running dual 580's with SB cpu's pulling close to 800+w from the wall. And these are guys that aren't full of crap. If they say their pulling that much wattage, then I trust they are.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 26, 2011 4:31:13 PM

Why_Me said:
As far as "Toms recommended builds"...Iv'e seen them goober more than a few builds. Toms isn't perfect and they do make mistakes, like recommending an 850w psu to push dual 580's in SLI. Again go to the Nvidia forums and/or EVGA forums and post that same question..

There's peeps on this board running dual 580's with SB cpu's pulling close to 800+w from the wall. And these are guys that aren't full of crap. If they say their pulling that much wattage, then I trust they are.

Of course they're pulling 800W from the wall. No PSU is 100% efficient, meaning they ALL pull more power from the wall than they deliver to the internals. If the internals are drawing 700W and the PSU is pulling 800W from the outlet, that means it's operating at 87.5% efficiency ( which isn't unheard of since many 80 Plus Gold certified PSUs can reach +90% efficiency at certain load ranges. ) And if the PSUs are less efficient, like a regular 80 Plus or Bronze rating, they're delivering less power to the system itself, as little 640W, meaning you have even more headroom. PSUs are rated at how much power they can deliver, not how much they're capable of drawing.
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September 27, 2011 2:01:06 AM

Hey guys, once again thanks for all the good info and discussion around my planned build. I'm not really sure how the 'best answer' thing works, and tbh both RedJaron and Why_Me deserve it :p 

I just pulled the trigger and bought the following build. I really hope I didn't stuff anything up... the case, for instance was a relatively last-minute decision. Why_Me, sorry to disappoint but I just rolled with an 850w PSU... realistically I can't see myself getting a second GPU anytime soon so I think it'll be fine.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts, did I make the right compromises?

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K
BOARD: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Motherboard
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock
PSU: Corsair HX-850 Power Supply
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM (2x4GB) DDR3
CASE: Corsair Carbide 400R Case
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HD103SJ
SSD: Crucial M4 SSD 128GB
OPTICAL: ASUS DRW-24B3ST 24X DVDRW Drive
MONITOR: ASUS VS248H 24in Widescreen LED Monitor
KEYBOARD: Microsoft SideWinder X6 Keyboard
HEADSET: Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM
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September 27, 2011 2:02:58 AM

Best answer selected by Gutterkisser.
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