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$850 Gaming build. Last minute advice please!

Last response: in Systems
September 21, 2011 5:24:50 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: One week from today

Budget Range: 850 before rebates.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Disc drive, Windows 7, monitor. I only need what I list in my build.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, but I have done my list on Newegg. If there is a cheaper solution, I'll take it.

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel Cpu/Nvidia graphics card. (i5 2500k/560ti, seems best for budget but open to suggestions).

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: In the future yes, but not now. (I realize my psu isn't enough wattage for SLI for the current time, but I'm getting a 750w at Christmas).

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Pure gaming system. Wanting to maintain at least 50-60 frames on almost every game with at least high settings. I DO plan on using SLI but not for awhile, so don't bother recommending a higher wattage psu as I'm getting one for Christmas as you read above: the 550W will cover one card until then easily. However, I do want a mobo that is SLI capable now, cause I will not be receiving one of them for Christmas. Just wanna hear some other opinions and make sure this is all compatible. Thanks guys for the time/input.


COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Hard Drive-
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Graphics 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 Video Card


ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU/RAM combo-
Cpu-Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155

Ram- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Total: 853.93. Don't wanna go more than a few bucks past 850. I feel the build is pretty solid, but wanted some last minute critiquing/advice from you guys. Open to any and all suggestions (Except PSU suggestions, as stated). Thanks guys.

September 21, 2011 8:18:25 AM $148.98 - $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 $124.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $448.98 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
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
September 21, 2011 8:56:01 AM

How about:

i5 2500k + Asus 560Ti TOP $453.98 ( before $20 rebate, save $16 on the combo )

PSU & Memory:
Corsair TX 750W + Corsair 2x4GB LP $148.98 ( before $10 rebate, save $15 )

Case: Antec 300 Illusion $69.99 or possibly HAF 912 for $59.99 ( before $10 rebate )

HDD: Same Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $59.99

Mobo: Same Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 $124.99

Total: $857.93 ( with the antec 300 illusion )

Slightly smaller case, but with still great airflow, there has been nice deals on it in the past, unfortunately none going atm.
Gets you the 750W PSU now, and you don't waste $55 getting one.


Or the twin frozrII like Why_Me suggested.
Related resources
September 21, 2011 1:30:45 PM

550W Antec isn't recommended for a GTX 560 Ti, especially if you plan to add another one in the future.
Still, if you want a PSU in that range, I'd recommend Corsair CX600.

Like, Why_Me and rvilkman suggested, you can save a few bucks by finding combo's and get a better PSU with the saved money.
September 21, 2011 1:32:12 PM

Forgot to mention,

if you plan to overclock the processor I'd recommend an aftermarket heatsink. A CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ is a great CPU Cooler for $30.
September 21, 2011 11:32:06 PM

Okay guys thanks for the suggestions. I'm just very skeptical to go with the Twin Frozr, I've known 3 people in real life who have all gotten them either dead or it died in a weeks time. On top of that, I've read a ton of reviews online about, claiming they've come in dead or in a months time it was done. I've used EVGA in the past and it seems much more durable and stable.
September 21, 2011 11:38:22 PM

You save money with the graphics and cpu bundle and also on shipping. All reviews of the 560Ti's have some bad reviews. I too am worried about getting an MSI one. But I hear that they put out new drivers. I've always heard good things about EVGA but there are no good bundles with that card.
September 21, 2011 11:51:33 PM

I suppose I'll take a leap of faith and go with the MSI. It'll save me some money and I can probably get a 750 psu now instead of waiting. Contrary to my skepticism, I have heard that the amount of RMA's for the MSI are just as high as all of the other 560 ti's. Even at that, it's still an "average" amount of RMA's for the 560 ti compared to other cards, so it's not like the card sucks. I think more people just tend to go on forums/newegg and bitch about their bad products whereas people who had a working one don't bother. You figure 60,000 people bought it, but you see 50 bad reviews on Newegg, doesn't really mean anything. I'll go with the MSI.
September 21, 2011 11:58:46 PM

Are you ordering from newegg tomorrow? I was gonna order this morning but I could not find a monitor for the price I want to pay since I don't want to spend more than 1k. I will order monday since then I know it will arrive soon as opposed to waiting through the weekend.
September 22, 2011 12:17:27 AM

I'm ordering on Tuesday of next week (my payday). With the 3 day guaranteed shipping it should arrive in the week. Here's to hoping for a working MSI lol.
September 22, 2011 12:26:04 AM

Nice set up.

Only think I would recommend is to go with 2GB 6950 rather than 560Ti.
6950 is faster at higher resolutions and the greatest advantage is that you can flash it with ease to 6970. But if you do that I'd suggest upgrading cooler or buying dual fan card. So you get performance of 580 for the price of 560Ti
I was Nvidia fan, had GTX285 but switched to 6950 just to try it...and I'd never go back!!! I was astonished by the image quality in games. Huge difference. ( +$10) (+$20) for dual fan solution.

You won't regret

September 22, 2011 12:45:14 AM

Is the 6950 the same size as the 560 ti? I was only wondering because I never tried an AMD card and I am probably gonna go with the 560 ti anyway. It says it needs PCIE 2.1
September 22, 2011 12:49:56 AM

your motherboard is fine and it will work with it.
it is slightly longer but worth every inch :) 
September 22, 2011 12:58:00 AM

selayan said:
Is the 6950 the same size as the 560 ti? I was only wondering because I never tried an AMD card and I am probably gonna go with the 560 ti anyway. It says it needs PCIE 2.1

I was with Nvidia since Geforce 256, Geforce 3 Ti200, Geforce, TI4600, Geforce6800GT, Geforce 7900GS, Geforce8800GT(SLI) Geforce285 GTX and then
BAMM AMD HD6950 and that was the best upgrade i ever made. Starcraft become much much more vivid and you could see effects that were not seen on GTX285.
And that game is not even dx11!!!

Flashing to 6970 was just a cherry on top of a cake! Flawless. Never again I go back unless Nvidia comes with something worth buying

Good luck
September 22, 2011 2:30:14 AM

@ maxi

Even if you flash a HD 6950 with 6970's firmware, it may become 6970 but 6970 performs worse than a GTX 580. (as you mentioned)
It falls in the middle of 570 and 580.
September 22, 2011 3:04:51 AM

Interesting so its just a software flash and as long as you have 2 fans it should be good? Can the 1gb model also be flashed?
September 22, 2011 8:06:23 AM

The flashing is by no means guaranteed to succeed. The recently reviewed Sapphire 6950 Vapor-X ( at ) comes at about $260-270 pricepoint and at least for the review versions already had a 6970 bios flashed to the 2nd bios on the card. Which is great and all making it a solid value. But still a good $50 increase in price for this build.

When you OC the 560Ti you will match the regular 6950's performance fine and in some cases exceed it.
But of course if you can fit the 6950 in the budget it is a great alternative.
But also take into account that if you want PhysX or CUDA then Nvidia is the way to go.

PCIe 2.0 and 2.1 are backwards compatible so you are fine on that front with either one.
September 22, 2011 12:34:51 PM

I will go with the 560ti. I'm not a very heavy gamer but when I do play I want to use high settings too.