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$1500 gaming critique/help, want to buy tonight

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Last response: in Systems
September 30, 2011 2:58:11 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: tonight or tomorrow

Budget Range: $1000-1500 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Shogun 2, Eve 2 clients, civ5, witcher 2)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: mid tower, nvidia, intell

Overclocking:No out the gate, maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: No out the gate, maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: - Using dual Syncmaster px2370's both running at 1920x1080

Additional Comments: 1. Reliability 2. Performance 3. Price
Can't go over 1,500... would like to stay closer to 1,000 if possible
I don't want to worry about heat :)  so cooling is a high priority
Should I go for a gold vs bronze rated power supply?
Is the selected video card the best price/performance point given that I am running only one card?
Anything else that I should get? Basically I need everything that would go in the case, only have peripherals already.
Do all of these components work well together?
Suggestions of components to swap out welcome.
Recommendation on wireless adapter

Here is a build that was recommended to me earlier on the forums:

- COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer SGC-1000-KWN1 Black SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX PS2 / EPS 12

- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

- MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

- ENERMAX NAXN 82+ ENM750AWT 750W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

- G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2

- MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

- Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

- LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12LS28 OEM LightScribe Support - OEM

- Need wireless adapter

More about : 1500 gaming critique buy tonight

September 30, 2011 3:28:33 AM

All those components look great. If cooling is a high priority, I would upgrade to a Gold-rated PSU, or at least Silver. Enermax is a good brand, but Antec, SeaSonic, and Corsair make great PSUs too.

The 580 is not good for price/performance, it's just the fastest single-GPU card out there. But since you're playing above 1920 x 1080, and especially if you add a third monitor later, the price/performance leader is the Radeon 6950 2GB/6970, because they can actually surpass the 580.
September 30, 2011 4:04:25 AM

Radeon 6970 2GB appears to be approx 200 less then the gtx 580. Looking here It appears that the 580 beats out the radeon by 400 points. Are you saying that the way I am using the card I would actually see better performance from the radeon? The price is definately better.
Related resources
September 30, 2011 4:12:51 AM

Your link gives me a 404. Did they use 3DMark? If so, don't pay as much attention to that as you would real-world gaming tests, which show the following.

At resolutions higher than 1920 x 1080 like 2560 x 1600, the 6970 starts beating the 580 in some games, especially with high AA. With triple monitors at 5760 x 1080 the difference is greater. If you decide to CrossFire/SLI later, you'll see even better returns, thanks to the superior scaling of the 69** series.
September 30, 2011 4:48:29 AM

Similar performance for a $200 savings sounds like a good reason to go Radeon. Does anyone have a specific card they would recommend? I see many and not sure which would be best. I would also appreciate if anyone else wanted to speak up to validate Nim's point.

September 30, 2011 4:59:03 AM

grimsbane said:
Similar performance for a $200 savings sounds like a good reason to go Radeon. Does anyone have a specific card they would recommend? I see many and not sure which would be best. I would also appreciate if anyone else wanted to speak up to validate Nim's point.


If you won't CrossFire, this or this (make sure your case is big enough: the Enforcer will only hold them if you remove the HDD cage). If you will Crossfire, this or this, because rear exhaust cooling in general will cool 2 cards better than something that blows hot air into the case and against its twin. Those are my recommendations for the best, but you can decide if you want to save money and get something like this, which would probably be nearly as good as the Twin Frozr III card and comes with Dirt3.
September 30, 2011 5:27:47 AM

All very good picks.. Id choose a Corsair PSU 750W as is or 850+W if you want to SLI. Try to get a good Z68 chipset mobo instead. You'll get integrated gfx if you ever need and Quicksync support as well. You will not regret getting an SSD as your OS drive, about 120GB or better if u can afford. I recommend a Crucial m4 for the SSD. For memory, try to find a good set that will work at 8-8-8-24 or better at 1600MHz.
September 30, 2011 6:55:07 AM

i5 2500K + MSI 560 Ti TFII OC $449 ($20 MIR)
Corsair 8GB DDR3 1600 $48
OCZ ZS 750w $90 ($25 MIR)
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 $125
Seagate 1TB + Lite-On DVD drive $68
HAF 922 $90
Hyper 212 Evo $35
Crucial M4 64gb $95
Total: $1000 before rebates

MSI 560 Ti TFII OC (Equals 570) review:
OC it a little more to 900mhz and it'll surpass the 570.