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Help/advice on a new PC build, $2000 Budget - First Time Builder

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September 29, 2011 11:43:10 AM

Hey guys!

I am now in the process of building a new PC, and I'd love your tips and advice! This is my very first time, and I found that picking the parts and components took a lot of research, and I'm still not sure I have it all down correctly.

My goal is to be able to take games like Battlefield 3, and run them on Ultra settings with little-to-no problems.

Thanks for any/all advice!

EDIT: UPDATED LIST DOWN BELOW

p.s. I already have Windows 7, keyboard & mouse, and speakers
September 29, 2011 4:57:08 PM

Get the i5-2500k over the i7-2600k because the i7 does not give any significant boosts to gaming over the i5.

The motherboard is really expensive, you'd better get a cheaper one to save money.

Do you plan to SLI because 850w for just a single card is really overkill. A good 650watts would do you better and save you money.

September 29, 2011 6:31:32 PM

Thanks for the advice!

I was thinking of also doing some fraps-ing, uploading to youtube, that kind of stuff as well...would the i7 make a difference there? Or am I really just wasting my money?

Are there any motherboards that you recommend?

Also yes, I forgot to mention that I expect to be SLI-ing by christmas time (hopefully get some cash from loving parents haha).
Related resources
September 30, 2011 12:25:49 AM

you will still be wasting your money.

i5 2500k & Sony 24x DVD Burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 220$

Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 133$ shipped

MSI GTX 580 Twin Frozr II- http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N580GTX-TWIN-FROZ... 475$ get this asap they will run out very soon

Crucial M4 128gb ssd- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004W2JKZI/?tag=pcpapi-20 185$

Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Profile-PC3-128... 48$

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2=120$ faster than the WD Caviar blacks and cheaper.
Scythe Mugen 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 50$ quieter and cools better

PC power and Cooling 950w PSU- http://www.amazon.com/PC-Power-Cooling-Performance-comp... 128$ more watts and cheaper at the same efficiency

Silverstone Raven RV03- http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Mo... 140$ cools better than the HAF X thanks to its unique design.

Monitor- good choice

Total=1687$
Now that is a gaming build
September 30, 2011 1:08:49 AM

my advice is to wait for bulldozer to be launched, supposed to be sometime in the next two weeks or so, then even if you decide not to go with AMD (price vs performance CHAMP IMO) then the prices for intel chips should be dropping just to stay competitive. personnally though I find 8 cores with a stock clock of over 4 gigs pretty hard to not at least give a good hard look.
September 30, 2011 2:43:47 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
you will still be wasting your money.

i5 2500k & Sony 24x DVD Burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 220$

Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 133$ shipped

MSI GTX 580 Twin Frozr II- http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N580GTX-TWIN-FROZ... 475$ get this asap they will run out very soon

Crucial M4 128gb ssd- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004W2JKZI/?tag=pcpapi-20 185$

Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Profile-PC3-128... 48$

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2=120$ faster than the WD Caviar blacks and cheaper.
Scythe Mugen 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 50$ quieter and cools better

PC power and Cooling 950w PSU- http://www.amazon.com/PC-Power-Cooling-Performance-comp... 128$ more watts and cheaper at the same efficiency

Silverstone Raven RV03- http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Mo... 140$ cools better than the HAF X thanks to its unique design.

Monitor- good choice

Total=1687$
Now that is a gaming build


Wow thanks very much!!! I am very excited for the build that you have recommended, it really looks like a beast. Obviously, this puts me under budget, which is awesome. Is there somewhere I can put the last $300, that will really give me a bang for my buck? If not, I will save up some extra money, then get the 2nd GPU to run SLI with the first. Thoughts?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Also, with the 2x1 TB HDD's...would you RAID them, so that they "look" like a single hard drive? Or would you just leave them be, and have a total of three different hard drives on my computer? (2x1 TB, 1x 128 SSD).

Another question: I have a 2 TB external drive right now, that I would love to use to back up this computer. A friend recommended that I crack open the casing, and just throw that thing in the tower as well. Thoughts on this? What would you do, in my situation?
September 30, 2011 3:42:35 AM

FubsyGamr said:
Wow thanks very much!!! I am very excited for the build that you have recommended, it really looks like a beast. Obviously, this puts me under budget, which is awesome. Is there somewhere I can put the last $300, that will really give me a bang for my buck? If not, I will save up some extra money, then get the 2nd GPU to run SLI with the first. Thoughts?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Also, with the 2x1 TB HDD's...would you RAID them, so that they "look" like a single hard drive? Or would you just leave them be, and have a total of three different hard drives on my computer? (2x1 TB, 1x 128 SSD).

Another question: I have a 2 TB external drive right now, that I would love to use to back up this computer. A friend recommended that I crack open the casing, and just throw that thing in the tower as well. Thoughts on this? What would you do, in my situation?

if you have a 2tb external hdd get only 1 samsung 1tb and use the 2tb to back up and store things like movies and music. just leave the 2tb outside because if you put it in there it will block airflow pretty badly.
September 30, 2011 3:44:59 AM

and you cant get any more bang for the buck if you spend 300$ more. maybe a bigger ssd though. but putting that money to a second 580 is a better idea
September 30, 2011 10:53:56 AM

So, I've updated my build, and with the extra $$ I decided that a second monitor is never a bad idea, right?

So, here's the "new" build I'm looking at. I have to be honest...I've been looking at the difference between the 2500k and 2600k...and everywhere I seem to look, the answers almost always seem to be "the 2500k is just fine, but if you can afford the 2600k, there's no reason not to get it." I can't seem to stay away from it lol.

The only updates I might make sometime are to add another 580 in SLI, as well as a 3rd monitor for 3-monitor gaming.

Let me know what you guys think!

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ CompUSA)
CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-3000 74.2 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($185.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 950W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($150.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7260S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1914.74
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2011-09-30 07:16 EDT-0400)
September 30, 2011 2:32:03 PM

why that corsair psu? it is bronze rated and the pc power and cooling is silver. the pc power and cooling has a 7yr warranty so it shows how much trust they have in their product. that model btw (the MKII) is a seasonic psu. and everyone knows how good seasonics are. for 3 monitor gaming you might be prohibited by the low memory in the 580. drop down to the 2500k (the one i posted from newegg with the dvd burner) and get this gpu- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this one- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . here is a review on the hrrv03 backing up what i said about superior cooling- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dragon-rider-chaser... . i support your 3 screen setup idea. i think high res setups are awesome.
September 30, 2011 6:29:31 PM

Guys, I want to thank you all for your awesome inputs so far! I have posted my build on several different forums, gotten some great insights, and am in the process of finalizing my build (I'll post here again once I'm happy with it).

p.s. I went ahead with the PSU that you recommended, mjmjpfaff (:

I have a few more questions:
1- I have finally "given in" and will be getting the i5 2500k, with the intention of overclocking it to 4.5 GHz. Will I need a more "powerful" CPU cooling unit? Or will something like the CoolerMaster 212+ do just fine?

2- I am taking a closer look at monitors, as someone recommended that I beef up the quality of my monitors. I don't mind dropping the second one, and going for a single monitor. I did some research, and it looks like I want a 120hz monitor for optimal results (the person recommended ISP monitors). However, I've never used a 27" monitor at 1920x1080 (the 2560x1440 are out of my budget, I think). Any recommendations on an awesome monitor I can use?

3- When purchasing a case, if I plan on doing some overclocking, will I need to purchase additional fans? If I end up SLI-ing or Crossfire-ing cards, maybe I'll even do liquid cooling. But, for now, will the stock fans be ok in any of the top cases? If not, what do you recommend?

Thanks again, you guys rock (:
September 30, 2011 10:33:55 PM

a hyper 212 plus will be fine but your cpu will last longer with a better cooler
!