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$500 Final Gaming Build Check

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September 28, 2011 1:09:03 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: soon


Budget Range: $500 after rebates, but no more than 50 dollars in rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching Videos, Video Editing


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Windows 7 Ultimate, Radeon HD 6870


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: microcenter.com, newegg if it can't be helped


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Gigabyte or ASUS


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: Yes (later when I get a second 6870)


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: Quiet and a case with LEDS preferably

My Build so Far.....

I5 2500k w/ ASUS P8Z68-V LX 1155 ATX ($270)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM HDD ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Technology Falal1ty 750w Modular PSU ($70)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Crucial Ballistix Sport Series 4GB DDR3-1600 ($28)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Cooler Master Enforcer Mid Tower ATX ($72)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


Total: $500
September 28, 2011 1:49:26 AM

Is microstuttering an issue for you? You may want to review this link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

EDIT: I'd get one of the Gigabyte mATX motherboards that also supports SLI for the same price, but that one should do. I haven't seen a thorough review of that ASUS, so I can't tell you how it will OC--not that the low end Gigabytes are gonna OC that high. Based of the microstuttering review above, you probably want to either go with a GeForce or a higher end Radeon for dual card configurations.

From what I've heard, the Fatal1ty series of OCZ PSUs is pretty solid: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

That RAM you linked is CAS10. That is some HIGH latency. You should try something else. I'd go for 8GB just because it's so cheap right now, not that it will improve your gaming framerates. I'd get this for a 4GB kit: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Or this for 8GB: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
But I'd actually buy RAM off Newegg.

That case should be fine. If you got a bigger graphics card like the 6950, I can't guarantee it'll work. I'd get the Antec 300 Illusion for $45 w/free shipping on Newegg though.
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September 28, 2011 1:56:14 AM

I would spend less on the case and more on the power supply.
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September 28, 2011 1:57:43 AM

I don't really care about random FPS drops. Happens all the time to me anyway.
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September 28, 2011 2:18:02 AM

samuelspark said:
I don't really care about random FPS drops. Happens all the time to me anyway.
Okay, well I was also trying to balance the hardware. You'd have a better gaming experience (higher fps) with an i3-2100 and Radeon 6950 than with an i5-2500K and 6870.
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September 28, 2011 2:23:37 AM

Well, the problem is I can't afford to buy expensive graphics cards. I'll be able to pay around 150 but that's it. That's why I'm waiting for sales to get my GPU.
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September 28, 2011 2:26:40 AM

But, just in case, what would be the best (AMD) gpu I could crossfire with this PSU?
Just in case I somehow raise the money for an awesome GPU.
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September 28, 2011 3:35:20 AM

I'm mostly sure you could Crossfire a 6970 with that PSU. That said, I think a 6950 is plenty good and worth the price savings. If you're open to SLI motherboards, then the GTX 560Ti gets as low as $175 (keep an eye on slickdeals and get on Newegg's email list).

The bottom line is: if you're building a gaming rig, then the graphics card should come first. If it's a multipurpose rig, then the CPU and graphics may matter more. But you're better off saving $90 to get an i3-2100 and spending that money on graphics if your purpose is gaming. I think I gave you this link before, but you'll see an i3-2100 does great in gaming: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

Including graphics, what is your total budget? $650? Since your budget is tight, I can guarantee you won't find anything better than the Antec 300 Illusion for $45 w/ free shipping. I recommend you buy that before the deal ends or it goes OOS. Do you have any other parts you can reuse like a case, DVD, or HDD? Make sure your new mobo has connections for reused optical or disk drives.

CPU: $180 i5-2500K
Mobo: $60 Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 $99.99 AR @ Microcenter w/ $40 off
RAM: $45 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 on sale sometime
HDD: $50 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB (wait for sale)
Case: $45 Antec 300 Illusion
PSU: $70 OCZ Fatal1ty 750W

TOTAL: $450 (includes $50 of rebates)

Now spend $200 on graphics and get a GTX 560Ti (includes rebates).
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September 28, 2011 5:02:34 AM

Apparently, Micro Center's mobo + CPU deals are gone right now. I'd wait to build until those are back. Or at least wait until the weekend to see if they come back.
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September 28, 2011 10:15:43 AM

I got my bundles from the ad's they mail me. I don't understand how you found the mobo + CPU deals.
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September 28, 2011 10:22:20 AM

My dad's getting my old computer and 500 dollars is my top limit. I'm planning to wait until Black Friday or Christmas when they have a huge deal on a graphics card and buy it since my dad buys the occassional upgrade.
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September 29, 2011 2:35:15 AM

Oh? If you're willing to wait until Black Friday...well, I hope Bulldozer's out by then. If so, you should see some better prices on graphics either way. So is it $500 for the parts I listed and you already own a 6870? If so, then you could go for the cheaper mobos like the one you linked that only does Crossfire. On the other hand, you'll be able to upgrade to NVidia's Kepler in a year from your single 6870 and might decide to go SLI in 2013--which your i5-2500K will still be able to handle.
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September 29, 2011 10:32:00 AM

I might be able to get 200 dollars for the graphics card. Just might.
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Best solution

September 29, 2011 11:10:34 PM

Hey, come Black Friday, you might get a 6970 for $200. Last year when GTX 470's were $300, I got mine for $200 on 11/22. Today, Newegg has a 6950 1GB for $190.

Anyways, you'll be best served to put a new build together with the prices available when you're ready to buy in a month or so. Feel free to PM me if you start a thread then. If you want the best combo deals, you should also PM Why_Me and ask him to check out your thread. He REALLY knows Newegg combos.
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September 30, 2011 12:59:21 AM

Best answer selected by samuelspark.
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