500 Dollar i7 Build

i7 2600k w/ GA-Z68-D2H-B3 mATX mobo ($300)

Cooler Master HAF 912 ($60)

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM HDD ($60)

Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3-1333 MHz ($25)

Antec Earthwatts 650w PSU ($70)

Total: $515 ($500 budget w/o GPU)

planning to add dual GTX 460's later but for the meantime, I'm going to use my gt240. I mainly want to game at 1080p.
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  1. You need a disecrete GPU with a Z68 chipset..Plus you didn't add a case and a HDD..What do you plan to do with your pc? monitor res? budget? need everything??
  2. There is a case and HDD.
  3. @michxymi--plenty of Z68 chipsets have integrated video outputs and don't require a discrete GPU. But you're right--there's a lot more he needs.

    @samuelspark--please answer these questions and we can help you out a lot: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice
  4. Budget: ($500) obviously
    SLI: obviously (previously explained)
    Usage: Gaming, Video Editing (already explained that)
    Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor
    USA (easily inferred from that Microcenter is in USA)
    1080p (already explained)
  5. Parts Not Required (Additional): Graphics Card, DVD Drive, Windows 7
    Please correct me if my above assumptions are not correct.

    One last question--your focus is on gaming, which means about 1/3 your budget should be your graphics card. That means something around $150 to $170--the SLI GTX 460 thing or a single more powerful card would satisfy that. But what I need to know is:

    How much more on top of $500 are you planning/willing to spend down the road? Because I won't include those parts in this build, but should design one that can accommodate it.
  6. I'm probably going to upgrade to 12gb. I''m gunna keep upgrading this for the next 4 years.
  7. My Build suggestion (to be edited after above input is provided):

    CPU: $180 i5-2500K @ Micro Center

    Mobo: $60 (after rebate + in store $40 discount) GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364087

    RAM: $37 AR Patriot 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 1.65V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558
    or I recently bought this for $50, just sign up for Newegg emails and wait until the weekend G. Skill 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL8 1.5V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231445
    Don't buy 1333CL9 for gaming: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-bridge-ddr3_7.html#sect0
    There's plenty of scenarios where it makes a 4% frame rate difference. 4% x $500 = $20, so spend that much for some faster RAM. Also, you can get 4GB (2x2GB) 1600CL9 or faster instead of the 8GB kits I linked. 8GB doesn't matter for gaming, but will DEFINITELY help with video work.

    PSU: $60 AR XFX Core Edition PRO650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207014
    The size of the PSU you need depends on the graphics cards you get. Assuming you might do dual GTX 560Ti's, then you'll want a 650W--more or less. Some will argue you need more, but that's largely not true. Let's not pull any punches with the PSU and get the one that has 2 x 6-Pin, 2 x 6+2-Pin connectors for dual powerful graphics cards.

    HDD: $50 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB--wait until Newegg has a sale. It's this price for about 1 week every month.

    Case: $45 Antec 300 Illusion http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066&cm_sp=Cat_Computer_Cases-_-Spotlight-_-11-129-066
    Cases are a matter of personal preference. My personal preference would be to get that Black Gigabyte ATX motherboard that's $149 (after coupon, before discount) that overclocks higher and a full tower case. Just make sure you have adequate cooling. You REALLY can't be beat the Antec 300 Illusion for $45 w/ free shipping. That Haf 912 will work too.

    TOTAL: $432

    Now you have to add a real graphics card or two sometime. I recommend the GTX 560Ti on a Black Friday deal or something like that. I've seen it on slickdeals.net for $173. Don't confuse it with the non-Ti version. While it loses to SLI GTX 460 1GB's, a single GPU setup is much simpler: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=330
    Besides I've never seen a deal for two GTX 460 1GB's for less than $220 for both. And $220/$173 puts price/performance pretty close.

    Notes: Despite the i7-2600K saving an extra $40 on the mobo over the i5, it's only benefits you'll see come if you're really serious about video work. Otherwise, the i5 will do it VERY well. Also, if you're serious about video work, you have to get a motherboard with Virtu to use Quicksync.
  8. samuelspark said:
    I'm probably going to upgrade to 12gb. I''m gunna keep upgrading this for the next 4 years.

    If you're planning to upgrade, the SLI GTX 460 1GB's don't leave much of an upgrade path. Also you should plan for 16GB, not 12GB. It'll run faster to get two similar 8GB (2x4GB) kits than add an 8GB kit to a 4GB kit.
  9. What about a 750w OCZ high gamer or a 750w OCZ falality? And for the mobo, a UD2H for better OCing?
  10. And isn't a i5 2500k only capable of supporting DDR3 1333 mHZ?
  11. 2500K will support RAM up to 2000MHz and beyond "depending on the motherboard".. Check the mobos specs. For PSU's, Corsair and Antec are hard to beat.. try to get a PSU with a single 12 volt rail instead of multiple 12 volt rails. This will affect your budget total obviously.
  12. Jonnycatz1990 is mostly right. Although Seasonic and XFX have also rightfully earned to be trusted without double checking their reviews (the Antec Basiq line is not so high end, btw.)

    @Samuelspark--OCZ is not Antec level. I would not trust my system to an OCZ PSU without a great thorough review--newegg reviews don't count, try jonnyguru (note the OCZ StealthXStream II has great reviews and I've recommended them).

    As far as the mobo, I'd go with the black Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. This guy took it to 5.4GHz: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=677761
    I'm not as hardcore an OC'er as him and would probably stop at 4.7GHz to save power. Of course, Tom's Hardware only hit 4.56 and HardOCP stopped at 4.9GHz with this board. So there's no guaranteeing what speed you'd hit with any board.

    By the way, they say you get to choose your CPU at Micro Center. That means you should ask the guy behind the desk for one from Costa Rica, not Malaysia, when you go into the store. Different batches hit better OC speeds. But if you're not into OC'ing...you can just stick with the first board. I'd be shocked if that can't do 4.2GHz.
  13. Erm I meant the Antec High Fatality Series.
  14. Erm WTF am I saying? Antec High Current Gamer. Because I'm worried that 650w won't be enough and I don't like ordering online so I'll probably buy it from microcenter. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0361181
  15. I've seen benchmarks that compare two OC 460's to a 580 and they're about the same.
  16. Nothing wrong with buying that PSU from Microcenter. I can guarantee you that 650W will handle two GTX 460's. If you go GTX 570's like you mention in your other thread, you'll want 750W.

    While that's true that two GTX 460's are a formidable force, you will never hear me argue for a GTX 580 on price/performance. You'd be paying a premium just because it's the top of the line. A single GTX 560Ti, and you can see this on the link I sent you before ( http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=330 ), compares to GTX 460's in SLI on price/performance while saving you a little bit of money and giving you the option of increasing your graphics capabilities in the future (while dual GTX 460's are a dead end in upgradability).

    You stated, "I''m gunna keep upgrading this for the next 4 years." And if that's the case, then two GTX 460's don't make any sense.
  17. Here's what I came up with for the "final" build http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/322280-31-final-gaming-build-check
  18. Alright, I'm posting on that thread now. Thanks for the link.
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