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Thoughts on a new gaming rig ($1000-1200 budget)

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September 26, 2011 7:49:57 PM

Hello,

I have not built a gaming rig for about 2 years now and this will be my 6th computer. I like to consider myself pretty knowledgeable and I have done my research but I want to make sure I am getting the best deal for my budget. I am going to list the parts I have picked out through Newegg with their links and I ask you guide me toward a better choice if one exists. My current budget is $1000-1200 but I would like to stay on the low end of that.

Current parts list:

[CASE] Xigmatek Utgard Window ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[MOBO] ASUS P8P67 LGA 1155 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[CPU] Intel i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" @ 3.3 GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[HSK] Corsair H80 Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[GPU] MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[RAM] G.SKILL Ripjaws X (4*4) 16GB DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 or CORSAIR Vengeance (2*4) 8GB DDR3 1600 7-8-7-20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[SSD] Patriot Pyro 60GB SATAIII
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[HDD] Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATAIII
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[PSU] hec Zephyr MX 750w ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Approximate Cost after rebates: $1050

Here are my current thoughts on this build:

I love the design of the Utgard case, plenty of space, wire management holes, screwless bays/pci and its simplistic aesthetics. I decided to go with the P8P67 because it appears to be the premiere chipset for the the Sandy Bridge processors I chose this version because the other versions appear to be different only in cooling technology, cap designer or possess added SLI functionality. I am definitely going to be overclocking this beast so I got the Corsair H80. I didn't get the H60 because it doesn't have the added fan mount for push-pull. As far as dollar per fps goes I found through studying benchmarks and comparing prices of both ATI and NVIDIA cards that the MSI R8950 Twin Frozr II was the best choice. However, this was only because of the ability to unlock the pixel shaders and overclock to near 6970 performance. I have heard A.) Conflicting accounts on whether this card can be unlocked. and B.) People saying its just a matter of time after modding it before you start to notice artifacts. I believe this video card to be the best choice for my budget but I remain unsure (PLZ HELP!). I have always used G.SKILL memory and I have never had a problem but I have a dilemma regarding this set of Corsair Vengeance. The set of Corsair has a much better cas latency and although it is not a 16gb set who is really going to be utilizing 16gb in the first place? What do you guys think 16gb vs better cas latency? The Patriot Pyro seems to be an absolute steal for a SATAIII SSD, it has much better reviews and a price tag of 89.99 after rebate vs the Corsair Force that seems to be leading the market. I want the SSD for my OS, daily use programs and my favorite games. The Seagate is also Sata III and 1tb is plenty of storage for me. The hec Zephyr has all of the power I need for overclocking, gives me the ability to add a second 6950 in the future, and reportedly has long cables for a bottom mounted PSU. I wish it was modular but I can't seem to find one in this price range.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, Brent
a b 4 Gaming
September 26, 2011 8:16:17 PM

Ditch the HEC power supply . I dont know that model but if its like the other models I have seen it will blow up around 8 minutes are you turn your pc on .

Corsair ,antec , seasonic , enermax , pc power and cooling , maybe some coolermaster models

No one needs 16gig of RAM for gaming . Even 8 gig gives no advantage over 4 gig . That corsair kit has awesome spec's though .
Unlikely that lower timings will be an advantage in gaming , but it will pay off in productivity apps
September 26, 2011 9:23:00 PM

I went with this particular HEC power supply because of the majority of good reviews and because I could easily expand to a Crossfire setup at a later date, overclock, etc.... However, my previous experiences tell me if the price and the PSU seem to good to be true they most likely are. How does this model seem?

CORSAIR Professional Series HX650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would 650 watts be enough for medium range overclocking and possibly a Crossfire setup at a later date?

Yeah, I am definitely going with the Corsair kit then, unless someone else has a different view.

Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
September 26, 2011 9:41:11 PM

PoplicoMan said:
MOBO (its a Z68 at the same price)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise Great Build
Minus the PSU
Look into that

Before you link that board or tell the OP "great build" do some homework. Neither the board you posted nor the OP's board is meant for a dual card set up. Both of those boards run dual cards @ x4 and both are meant for a single card rig.

@ the OP. The board and that HEC psu...ditch them both and also make use of combo's.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $67.48 $5 off w/ promo code EMCKAHH23, ends 9/28
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0
September 27, 2011 2:30:33 AM

I don't know I missed the shared PCI bandwidth for the mobo I chose. Thanks for rectifying that for me. However, I have always used DFI and Asus boards in the past and I am a little weary of going with a brand I have never used. Do you have any experience with Asrock? How does the Z68 chipset compare to the P67? It seems that its just a board that will be supporting the Ivy Bridge and PCI-3.0 technology. How does this model ASrock compare to some of the other more expensive Z68 offerings?

I have been paying attention to combo deals and in fact the one you listed for the Dvd Drive and Seagate Barracuda I have already planned on taking.

Is the 16 dollar savings on the combo the reason you are suggesting the Nvidia card? In benchmark tests and reviews it seems that this particular card performed as well as a GTX570 and with shaders unlocked and an ample overclocking it was matching 6970 and GTX580 cards well beyond its price range. Should I really sacrifice this quality for the miniscule change in price of going with the GTX560?

Thanks for the reply! = )
September 27, 2011 2:45:55 AM

16GB of RAM is a waste for now.. The 8GB lower latency RAM would serve u far better. Corasir PSU is highly recommended as previously said. I'd go with a Coolermaster 212 CPU cooler instead of the water cooler listed. Same cooling without the water or cost. Crucial SSDs are the highest rated SSDs for a reason. I'd go with a Z68 chipset mobo if you can get for about same price. 6950 or 570 GTX are about the same.. "both are great video cards".
September 27, 2011 3:06:07 AM

I had already decided to go with the Corsair 8gb set but I wanted to make sure I was correct in assuming the 16gb to be superfluous.

I am trying to figure out whether to go with the Corsair Enthusiast 750 Why_me suggested over the Corsair Professional 650. I am using a PSU watt calculator to assist me and I don't think I would need more than 650 for Crossfiring and overclocking unless I went overboard on the latter.

Crucial SSD are rated highly but sometimes competitors get forgotten in the mix. Looking at the Patriot SSD 60gb's specs and its wonderful reviews I think I am willing to take a chance unless someone has a more specific reason not to go with them.

I have been looking into this ASrock Z68 and I must say I am impressed. I will most likely end up going with it.
September 27, 2011 3:25:59 AM

Well the professional series is modular which is nice. I have the 750 in my machine for over two years now and is still great. The professional is the way to go even if its $20-30 more. I've used several of the Crucial SSD's and couldnt be happier.. Havent used a Pyro but I've just seen too many problems with Sandforce SSDs in this generation. If I were to go Sandforce it would be Kington, Mushkin, or OWC.
a b 4 Gaming
September 27, 2011 4:34:53 AM

Nightlull said:
I don't know I missed the shared PCI bandwidth for the mobo I chose. Thanks for rectifying that for me. However, I have always used DFI and Asus boards in the past and I am a little weary of going with a brand I have never used. Do you have any experience with Asrock? How does the Z68 chipset compare to the P67? It seems that its just a board that will be supporting the Ivy Bridge and PCI-3.0 technology. How does this model ASrock compare to some of the other more expensive Z68 offerings?

I have been paying attention to combo deals and in fact the one you listed for the Dvd Drive and Seagate Barracuda I have already planned on taking.

Is the 16 dollar savings on the combo the reason you are suggesting the Nvidia card? In benchmark tests and reviews it seems that this particular card performed as well as a GTX570 and with shaders unlocked and an ample overclocking it was matching 6970 and GTX580 cards well beyond its price range. Should I really sacrifice this quality for the miniscule change in price of going with the GTX560?

Thanks for the reply! = )

I used to use Abit boards but now their out of business...and as far as I know DFI isn't around anymore either. It's a new day and age. Those Asrock boards are solid boards. Z68 boards are handy if your into video editing, CAD, etc... If this is primarily a gaming build then either the P67 or the Z68 will suffice.

If your looking for decent board that will give you a higher o/c than that board take a look at the this board down below. It also has the front usb 3.0 headers that the extreme3 doesn't. Just so you know though, anything past 4.4ghz gives you near zero more FPS in regards to gaming. Anything past 4.4 - 4.6ghz is for bragging rights only.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
September 27, 2011 6:01:32 AM

I don't have any experience with Abit but it seems DFI did get out of the consumer motherboard business. As for the Mobo, I don't think I will need to overclock past 4.4 which has also made me decide, after some research, to use the Coolermaster Hyper 212 you are suggesting. Thank you so much for the help.

New Build Specs

[CASE] Xigmatek Utgard Window ATX
[MOBO] ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
[CPU] Intel i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" @ 3.3 GHz
[HSK] Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus
[GPU] MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC 2gb
[RAM] Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (2*4gb=8gb)
[SSD] Patriot Pyro 60GB SATAIII
[HDD] Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATAIII
[LDD] ASUS SATA 24x DVD Burner
[PSU] Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750

Any other suggestions?
!