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Midrange gaming system upgrade 600-700$

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October 13, 2011 9:07:42 PM

Hello, I've to admit that it has been years since I haven't done any home built thus I'm not fully up to date on what's worth the price.

Following a few reviews and friends advises, this is the config I plan to buy soon:

I will keep my current tower, HDD, DVD drive.

MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3, Intel Z68 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128500&Tpk=GIGABYTE%20GA-Z68X-UD3-B3) 140$ (not ouf of stock where I live)


CPU : INTEL Core i5-2400 "Sandy-Bridge D2", 4x 3.1GHz, Socket 1155 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074) 190$


GC: Radeon 6870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121418&Tpk=asus%206870%20radeon) 190$

In 6-12 months I'll buy a second and go to crossfire to boost it some more


RAM: 3x 4GB, DDR3-DIMM, PC3-16000 (2000MHz), heatspreader (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220518) 160$


I'm wondering if the i2400 isn't too expensive compared to the rest and if a i3 2100 would do the trick sparing around 100$.

Regarding the RAM, could 8 gig be enough, not that RAM is really expensive. Is it worth it to use DDR 16000 or would some 12800 be enough, sparing a few bucks there too?

Thanks in advance
a b B Homebuilt system
October 13, 2011 9:58:27 PM

Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

First, what are your current specs? It's important, since some parts may not work with the new ones.

MB is an alright choice.
I would step the graphics up to a 560 Ti, allowing you to go longer without upgrading. a 560 Ti is pretty capable at 1080p.
CPU is good, but you may consider the 2500K for $30 more if you ever want to overclock. If not, the 2400 is a great choice.
Woah woah WOAH! Expensive ram. You need to look for 1600MHz, NOT PC3-16000. 8GB is MORE than enough, even 4GB is more than enough. Save money here, and put it into a better GPU.
October 14, 2011 6:30:18 AM

Hello and thank you for the help and sorry for the missing informations

Most of my old components are 5 years old. The GC is a bit "younger" since my previous card (EN 8800 GTS) broke.

MB : GA-P35C-DS3R Rev 1.0 http://www.gigabyte.us/search/search.aspx?kw=GA-P35C-DS3R+%28rev.+1.x%29

The CPU : E8400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

RAM: 2 x 2x 2G DDR2 DDR800 (PC2-6400) Corsair http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590

The power supply : TX650W http://www.corsair.com/tx650w.html

HDDs: Samsung F1 1T http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102 in RAID 1.0 with a WesternDigital 1T http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

The case is: Matrix VX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133008

GC: Asus Radeon 4770 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121326

I don't think I'll overclock my system, so I'll probably stay with the i5 2400.

Ok, I'll take cheaper RAM, I got way to enthusiastic on this one.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 2:01:35 PM

Alright, cool! Be aware that the CX600 can't run 2 6870's in Crossfire, because it doesn't have 4 PCI-e Connectors.
Looks like you'll have a lovely system. Any other questions?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 4:45:54 PM

the cx600 *can*, you just have to dedicate a total of 4 molex powers to convert to PCIe connectors
a b B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 6:14:25 PM

Eh, I never was a fan of converters. I suppose if he split it up so that one molex line when to one card, and the other to the second card it wouldn't be so bad.
October 19, 2011 5:38:21 PM

Thanks, I'll consider it.

I realize that the MB I've chosen (but not yet bought) doesn't support SLI/Crossfire in x16 and switch to x8 as soon as both ports are used.

Could you advise a nice MB (socket 1155) that support this dual x16?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 5:43:47 PM

No, it does support SLI/Crossfire.

And 16x is overrated. Excluding VERY high end cards like the 6990 and GTX 590, no card can take advantage of 16x. 8x is totally fine, it provides MORE than enough bandwidth for a pair of 6870's.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 6:23:52 PM

the actual difference on even those high end cards (like 6970 crossfire, or gtx 580 sli) betwseen 8x/8x and 16x/16x is 2%. Its even less on smaller cards.

That means if you get 100 FPS on 16x/16x, you get 98fps in 8x/8x. a pair of 6870s in CF will have even less difference.
!