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[Advice] $1500 - $2000 Gaming Build

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October 11, 2011 5:29:39 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid-November 2011


Budget Range: $1500 - $2000 Before Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the Internet, Folding@Home, Photo Processing


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com


Country of Origin: U.S.


Parts Preferences: High Quality parts with solid warranties.


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment, but want the option in the future.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: This will be my first home-built PC. I'm pretty sure that I've got a good game-plan in mind, but am looking for additional suggestions that I may not have thought about. I'm really having trouble picking a good case. I really like the design and quality of the Lian-Li cases, clean straight lines without a lot of flash. The price of the cases is somewhat off-putting though. I want a solid air-cooled case with the potential of being water-cooled in the future. Take a look at my pics so far, and feel free to offer any suggestions that you have! Looking forward to seeing where I can improve my build. thanks for your time!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

MOTHERBOARD: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$154.99

PROCESSOR: Intel i5 Core 2500K
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.phtml?...
$179.99 (Microcenter in Denver)

POWER SUPPLY: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (Prefer modular power supply for build cleanliness, with enough wattage to support SLI in the future.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$189.99


POWER SUPPLY: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$169.99

REASON FOR CHANGE: The gold rating on the AX wasn't necessary because I'm only planning on a modest overclock so I'll put the $20 saved elsewhere.

MEMORY: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$51.99

HDD: 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB (Ideally, I would like a SSD for my operating system, but there seems to be a lot of problems with the drives not working after a few months. I would like to avoid those problems until reliability with the SSDs gets a little better. But, if you can convince me otherwise, go for it.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$159.98

VIDEO CARD: EVGA SuperClocked GTX 570 (Might be willing to bump it to a 580 if there is justification at 1080 resolution.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$349.99


VIDEO CARD: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$369.99

REASON FOR CHANGE: Based on input from Ares and good reviews. I plan on getting a good quality case with good airflow so the ambient temperature of the interior of the case shouldn't be affected too much. Decided to stick with the 570 vs the 580 because I'm operating at a 1080 resolution and we're nearing the end of the 500-series cycle, prepping for the next generation of NVIDIA cards.


CPU COOLER: CORSAIR H100 (I like the look of it and it has pretty good performance according to some reviews.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119.99


CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99

REASON FOR CHANGE: Decided the performance of the H100 wasn't necessary as I'm only looking at doing a 4.2 - 4.5 GHz overclock. Chose the Hyper N over the EVO because of the looks.

BLU-RAY: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$68.99


REASON FOR CHANGE: Seemed like an unnecessary cost at this point for something that I'll rarely, if ever use. At least until PC games go Blu-Ray.

DVD RW: ASUS 24x DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$19.99

CASE: This is the piece that I just can't decide on. Like I said, I want a case with clean lines, good construction, and relatively quiet, but with great airflow. USB 3.0 on the external hub is a must also. I would prefer to have a window. Lights are ok, as long as they are not blue. If you suggest a case with blue lights, also suggest a replacement for the fans, think warm colors. Here is what I'm looking at so far:

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I like the reviews and good airflow. I'm not hot about the blue LEDs in the fans. Also, it seems to look dirty (I.E. Dusty) in a lot of the home video reviews.
$99.99

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K63 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Equivalent almost to the K62, but I don't know if I'm a fan of the rounded front plate. I do like the grill on this one better than the K62 though. The window looks a bit nicer too.
$119.99

LIAN LI ARMORSUIT PC-P50 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Nice clean look, but pricey.
$199.99


Corsair Obsidian Series 650D - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$189.99

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Total price before case - $1295.90
Total price before case - $1206.91
Total price before case - $1126.91
Total price before case - $1146.91

If you could also suggest a nice looking fan controller and any additional accessories that would help with a clean build image (I.E. wire sleaves). If I do the side plate, I would like to go for a Red/Orange & Black theme. Thanks a lot for reading, and I'm looking forward to your suggestions!

More about : advice 1500 2000 gaming build

October 11, 2011 6:41:37 PM

A few suggestions:

PSU: The HX850 is roughly $20-30 cheaper, there really isn't all that much better about the AX

SSD: I highly suggest getting a SSD. Some brands such as OCZ have been known to have a lot of problems, but others work perfect. I use a Crucial M4 128 GB, it is likely the most recommended SSD you will find.

GPU: Get a card with dual fans, highly recommend the MSI Twin Frozr III or if you want a triple slot; ASUS Direct CUII

CPU Cooler: The H100 is great, but it is not necessary unless you plan on going close to 5 Ghz. For a normal overclock (4.2-4.5) a good air cooler is all that you need. Recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or EVO

Case: I have a HAF 932 Advanced, I think you would like it very much. It has the advantage of being full ATX, meaning you have a lot of room to fit anything you like with good airflow.
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October 12, 2011 3:02:46 PM

ares640 said:
A few suggestions:

PSU: The HX850 is roughly $20-30 cheaper, there really isn't all that much better about the AX

SSD: I highly suggest getting a SSD. Some brands such as OCZ have been known to have a lot of problems, but others work perfect. I use a Crucial M4 128 GB, it is likely the most recommended SSD you will find.

GPU: Get a card with dual fans, highly recommend the MSI Twin Frozr III or if you want a triple slot; ASUS Direct CUII

CPU Cooler: The H100 is great, but it is not necessary unless you plan on going close to 5 Ghz. For a normal overclock (4.2-4.5) a good air cooler is all that you need. Recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or EVO

Case: I have a HAF 932 Advanced, I think you would like it very much. It has the advantage of being full ATX, meaning you have a lot of room to fit anything you like with good airflow.


Thanks for the input Ares. I definitely think I'll take a few of your suggestions.

PSU: Good point on the PSU. I'm not planning to do a MONSTER overclock, so the gold rating on the AX is probably unnecessary. I'll edit my post to reflect that. Question...850 will be enough to SLI in the future?

SSD: I'm still not entirely sold on the SSD. My computer generally stays on most of the time, so I guess I'm not too concerned about windows boot times, especially if it the SSD has the potential to add some frustration. Most of the SSDs on newegg have almost a 10% 1-egg rating due to stability issues. I'm still leaning towards going with the traditional disk drive, with 6Gb/s, at least until SSD reliability matures a little bit more or someone can convince me otherwise.

GPU: Good recommendation. I'm going to look at reviews and I might go that way. I'm also considering bumping it up to a GTX 580. The 570 doesn't seem to get a lot of attention and I don't want to go the GTX 560 Ti route.

CPU COOLER: Good point about the cooler. I wouldn't mind saving $90 and going with something else. I mainly just liked the aesthetics of it. The EVO gets great reviews, but I don't know about the look. I like the look of the Hyper N 520 much better. Any other suggestions? It doesn't have to be a super performer, as I'm only looking at an average overclock and can put the money elsewhere, but it does need to be quiet and look good in a Black / Red themed case.

CASE: I actually considered the HAF 932 or even the HAF X. The problem is that they look like gamer cases which kind of detracts from the environment I'm trying to achieve in my office. Which is why I was leaning more towards the Lian-Li / Lancool cases. They seem to be a little more subdued. My ideal case would be a something that looks like the Corsair 800D, but smaller and cheaper and obviously with better proven air-cooling. Nice clean lines on that case with no gaudy plastic fenders.

I'm also dropping the Blu-ray player. It seems like an unnecessary cost for something I would use very little, until PC games move to Blu-Ray.

Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll edit my original post with the changes.
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Related resources
October 12, 2011 4:17:22 PM

there are certain parts that you can get cheaper while performance won't be far off compared to your selection... i5 2500k is a much better choice for gaming compared to bulldozer as games yet to fully utilise power of 8 core...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $125

you can get a good z68 at a cheaper price so why not?

as for psu a 80+ gold psu is very efficient, yet expensive at the same time....
here is a 80+ bronze psu with modular cables that you need.... your pc will be safe with that psu as it is also manufactured by another psu giant enermax...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LEPA B850-MA 850W - $80 after MIR

as for hdd... samsung spinpoint f3 1tb is very popular choice considering its price while not much slower than WD... ssd really speeds up your windows boot time and your apps loading time... but not your bf3's frames per second...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $120

as for graphics card i would prefer a reference card with blower style cooler as it exhaust all the heat outside the pc... yes the dual fans card is better cooler.... but one downside is it'll exhaust heat inside your pc... possibly raising temp surrounding your components... but it shouldn't be a problem as long as your case provides sufficient airflow... if you're looking for good warranty... evga is the brand to choose... if you're going to sli eventually... i'll suggest you taking gtx 570 as this route would be alot cheaper... i saw a cheaper gtx 570 but not an evga brand... take a look...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x ECS NGTX570-1280UI-F GeForce GTX 570 - $590 after MIR

just less than $600 if you just buy two right away... you'll need to splash another $3xx if you want to buy two evga gtx 580...

for cpu cooler... as long as you just doing mildly overclocking... any sub $30 cooler will do the job well....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $24 after MIR

as for case... corsair has made some good quality cases and look beautiful too...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Graphite Series 600T - $140 after MIR

this case is very roomy for 3-way SLI despite classified as a mid tower....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Carbide Series 500R - $125 after MIR

both cases also available in white...


i hope this helps...
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October 12, 2011 7:17:29 PM

snowhut1011 said:
Thanks for the input Ares. I definitely think I'll take a few of your suggestions.

PSU: Good point on the PSU. I'm not planning to do a MONSTER overclock, so the gold rating on the AX is probably unnecessary. I'll edit my post to reflect that. Question...850 will be enough to SLI in the future?

SSD: I'm still not entirely sold on the SSD. My computer generally stays on most of the time, so I guess I'm not too concerned about windows boot times, especially if it the SSD has the potential to add some frustration. Most of the SSDs on newegg have almost a 10% 1-egg rating due to stability issues. I'm still leaning towards going with the traditional disk drive, with 6Gb/s, at least until SSD reliability matures a little bit more or someone can convince me otherwise.

GPU: Good recommendation. I'm going to look at reviews and I might go that way. I'm also considering bumping it up to a GTX 580. The 570 doesn't seem to get a lot of attention and I don't want to go the GTX 560 Ti route.

CPU COOLER: Good point about the cooler. I wouldn't mind saving $90 and going with something else. I mainly just liked the aesthetics of it. The EVO gets great reviews, but I don't know about the look. I like the look of the Hyper N 520 much better. Any other suggestions? It doesn't have to be a super performer, as I'm only looking at an average overclock and can put the money elsewhere, but it does need to be quiet and look good in a Black / Red themed case.

CASE: I actually considered the HAF 932 or even the HAF X. The problem is that they look like gamer cases which kind of detracts from the environment I'm trying to achieve in my office. Which is why I was leaning more towards the Lian-Li / Lancool cases. They seem to be a little more subdued. My ideal case would be a something that looks like the Corsair 800D, but smaller and cheaper and obviously with better proven air-cooling. Nice clean lines on that case with no gaudy plastic fenders.

I'm also dropping the Blu-ray player. It seems like an unnecessary cost for something I would use very little, until PC games move to Blu-Ray.

Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll edit my original post with the changes.


PSU: 850 watt is the sweet spot for SLI 570, it has more than enough room for two cards + huge overclock

SSD: Boot times are only a small part that are effected. ANYTHING you put on the SSD will load 2-4 times faster than a standard HDD. Put your OS + all your programs on it, and your main games if you have room. It is well worth the price, even if you only get a 64gb. Certain brands of SSDs have been known to be less reliable, such as OCZ. Do a lot of research before picking one. My suggestion is Crucial M4.

GPU: The 580 is $150 more than the 570 on average, for a 10-15% gain in performance. It really isn't worth it in my opinion. I would absolutely recommend getting a dual fan version though.

CPU Cooler: There are sites with rankings for CPU Coolers, if you do not like the look of the EVO then just research one that is effective that you do like


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October 13, 2011 6:41:47 AM

phenom90 said:
there are certain parts that you can get cheaper while performance won't be far off compared to your selection... i5 2500k is a much better choice for gaming compared to bulldozer as games yet to fully utilise power of 8 core...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $125

you can get a good z68 at a cheaper price so why not?

as for hdd... samsung spinpoint f3 1tb is very popular choice considering its price while not much slower than WD... ssd really speeds up your windows boot time and your apps loading time... but not your bf3's frames per second...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $120

as for case... corsair has made some good quality cases and look beautiful too...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Graphite Series 600T - $140 after MIR

this case is very roomy for 3-way SLI despite classified as a mid tower....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Carbide Series 500R - $125 after MIR

both cases also available in white...


i hope this helps...


Thanks for the suggestions Penom. Other than SSD caching, what are the other benefits of going the Z68 route? Ivy Bridge compatibility? I know they support, and there are some MBs out right now that support PCI-E 3.0, but is there going to be a noticeable difference between 3.0 and 2.0? Regardless, it's definitely an option that I'm considering now. Thank you.

I'd like to stick with SATA III for the HDDs. Not a noticeable performance difference, but if I have the capability on all the current MBs, might as well use it.

Good suggestion with the Corsair 500R. I might actually go the 650D route though. I'm not sure of the build quality and air-movement versus the Lian-Li Lancool cases though. I do like the look of the 650D a lot!

Thanks again for the suggestions, they definitely gave me some things to consider.
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October 13, 2011 6:49:29 AM

ares640 said:
PSU: 850 watt is the sweet spot for SLI 570, it has more than enough room for two cards + huge overclock

SSD: Boot times are only a small part that are effected. ANYTHING you put on the SSD will load 2-4 times faster than a standard HDD. Put your OS + all your programs on it, and your main games if you have room. It is well worth the price, even if you only get a 64gb. Certain brands of SSDs have been known to be less reliable, such as OCZ. Do a lot of research before picking one. My suggestion is Crucial M4.

GPU: The 580 is $150 more than the 570 on average, for a 10-15% gain in performance. It really isn't worth it in my opinion. I would absolutely recommend getting a dual fan version though.

CPU Cooler: There are sites with rankings for CPU Coolers, if you do not like the look of the EVO then just research one that is effective that you do like


Thanks again Ares. I think I will be sticking with the 570 as I'm working with 1080 resolution anyway, AND the next generation of NVIDIA processors should hopefully be out in Q1 or Q2 of next year anyway. The 570 should definitely be able to hold me over until then.

I was actually considering the Twin Frozer III, but there are competing thoughts on how negatively the aftermarket coolers affect the temperature of the system as a whole. Have you noticed any issues with yours? I guess it boils down to the airflow of the case you choose, as Phenom mentioned. Opinion of the 650D?

I switched out my cooler for the Cooler Master Hyper N. I like the dark color of it more than the shiny EVO, and it seems to have gotten pretty decent reviews. Good choice?

Thanks again for the suggestions man.
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October 13, 2011 3:08:31 PM

Does anyone have any opinions on the Lian-Li Lancool cases versus the Corsair 650D or Corsair 600T? I have read that the Corsair cases may need aftermarket fans installed to improve airflow, but after that's done, are they about equivalent in build quality and air movement?
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October 13, 2011 4:33:02 PM

snowhut1011 said:
Thanks for the suggestions Penom. Other than SSD caching, what are the other benefits of going the Z68 route? Ivy Bridge compatibility? I know they support, and there are some MBs out right now that support PCI-E 3.0, but is there going to be a noticeable difference between 3.0 and 2.0? Regardless, it's definitely an option that I'm considering now. Thank you.

I'd like to stick with SATA III for the HDDs. Not a noticeable performance difference, but if I have the capability on all the current MBs, might as well use it.

Good suggestion with the Corsair 500R. I might actually go the 650D route though. I'm not sure of the build quality and air-movement versus the Lian-Li Lancool cases though. I do like the look of the 650D a lot!

Thanks again for the suggestions, they definitely gave me some things to consider.



whether or not pcie 3.0 and 2.0 will have noticeable difference is depending on how the device is developed.... if the device is designed to take the extra bandwidth that pcie 3.0 provides where 2.0 is lack off... yeah there will be a performance gap between these two... but it is too early to answer that as we yet to have a pcie 3.0 compliant devices.... to have a board that supports more features particularly future devices is better than no at all... and these couple of extra features you'll get it at no extra cost compared to several other board which lacked these features... so i think "why not?"
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