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SandyBridge system prices expected to drop any further?

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October 9, 2011 8:46:27 PM

Would it be worth waiting for a few more months to buy a SandyBridge build?

DDR3 prices seem to have hit rock bottom (2x4GB sometimes for $20 AR!) and the i5-2500k can often be had for $150 at MicroCenter

I am thinking of buying:

1. i5-2500k

I wanted to ask if the IGP inside this is enough to play CounterStrike and Quake 3TA?

I don't intend to do a lot of OC.

2. A reliable Z68 MB.

Intend to buy the Z68 not to overclock but with hope that it would be more reliable than a P67 as the MB makers would have sufficient time to learn from their mistakes last time around?

Got the Asrock Z68 Gen3 or Gen4 Extreme on my radar, but have been a die-hard Gigabyte fan (Could not get a decently reviewed Z68 from them, but do recommend if you know one)

I am a bit worried about this Asrock MB as I really want to use the IGP inside the i5, but read a review that said this MB becomes unstable when doing so and only using external GPU makes that go away!

Never used an Asrock before, and their CS does leave a lot to be desired, but seems like a good sub $200 deal.

Of course, a HSF, SLI GPU (thinking of 2x 560 Ti) will come later, but not now if I can do with the IGP.
(As an aside, the upgrade would be done to play BF3, Rage and possibly DOOM4!)

Please suggest if using these parts for a build will allow me the upgrade path I want.

Here are my typical uses :

1. Virtual machines (running either full Windows XP SP4 or Ubuntu under Win7 host)
2. DOOM3/HL2 (I am old :-) ) will be running, occasionally, in the evening, specially during weekends
3. A BIG IDE will always be running - either Visual Studio 2010 or Eclipse/Netbeans
4. Dragon Naturally Speaking will always be running
5. SkyPe will always be running

I will stock up on DDR3, and would run it ATLEAST @1500Mhz.

Latency of the RAM is not an issue for me - I think buying faster and larger RAM at higher latency is more useful than the other way round for my use case :-D
October 9, 2011 9:11:12 PM

I'd expect SB prices to drop some on 10-12.
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October 9, 2011 9:14:50 PM

I bought an i5-2500k for $180, Corsair Vengeance 1600 mhz 8 GB for $40, and Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 for $99, after rebates, I'm happy with it. The computer hasn't froze one time. While doing basic things like web browsing, the CPU usage is between 0-10% and the memory usage is between 2-3 GB. I also went with a micro atx case, the cooler master elite 343, which I like but regret because I wanted the CM elite 341 for it's 120mm fans for better air movement. The cpu temp in windows is between 25-35 with the stock fan so the better airflow would only matter with heavy cpu/gpu usage. I'm not sure what aftermarket cpu fans will work for me though, I might try the genesis 2 but it'll be a close fit with the ram and future gpu being so close to the cpu.

It will play Starcraft 2 in 1080p, high texture, low detail, with good framerates, but as soon as the detail is set to medium the framerate will jump around between 3-33, and cpu temps also raise up to around 54-58 C so I'd recommend a video card and aftermarket cpu heatsink/fan for gaming, but its still playable without one.

I tried the system with a GTX 570 and it will play SC2 in ultra detail extreme graphics while still quiet, cpu temps go into 40s and the gtx 570 was around 60-72 C. Of course with the case I chose I can't do SLI but SLI isn't perfected yet so my personal choice is to wait until the 570 price drops or 600 series comes out and buy one of those.
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October 9, 2011 9:19:17 PM

If you want to do any gaming, at the very least pick up something cheap from last generation like a HD5670. I think the aggravation it will save you will be worth its price.
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October 9, 2011 9:29:48 PM

beenthere said:
I'd expect SB prices to drop some on 10-12.

You mean next week?

I am wondering if the MicroCenter deals would still be on then.

triplej said:
I bought an i5-2500k for $180, Corsair Vengeance 1600 mhz 8 GB for $40, and Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 for $99, after rebates, I'm happy with it. heavy cpu/gpu usage. I'm not sure what aftermarket cpu fans will work for me though, I might try the genesis 2 but it'll be a close fit with the ram and future gpu being so close to the cpu.

Why not try the Coolermaster Hyper 212+?

triplej said:

It will play Starcraft 2 in 1080p, high texture, low detail, with good framerates, but as soon as the detail is set to medium the framerate will jump around between 3-33, and cpu temps also raise up to around 54-58 C so I'd recommend a video card and aftermarket cpu heatsink/fan for gaming, but its still playable without one.

Onus said:
If you want to do any gaming, at the very least pick up something cheap from last generation like a HD5670. I think the aggravation it will save you will be worth its price.

Indeed I do a bit of gaming, but to me, DOOM 3 and HL2 is as far as I have gone :D 

It looks as if HL2 runs well with the IGP on the i5?
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October 19, 2011 1:42:47 AM

Best answer selected by KamalS.
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