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First time Builder seeking Advice! $1200 budget

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October 15, 2011 2:10:59 PM

Hello Tom's forum! New here, but have been lurking around for over a month trying to create my build. I've learned a ton so far from you, and I thank you all for that! Finally made some decisions and hopefully you can give some advice! Here it is so far:

Approximate Purchase Date: In the next month or so. Waiting for deals if I see them.

Budget Range: $1000 to $1200 US. Pre rebates/shipping. Trying to keep it as low as is reasonable though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Skyrim, Civilization 5, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Starcraft 2).

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor, Keyboard, speakers, OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Tiger Direct. Anywhere with good deals or free shipping

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: No real preference as this is my first real gaming computer. I think I decided on a GTX 500 level GPU, not a Radeon 6000. Also I decided against an SSD, load times don't really bother me and I figure the $100 bucks I'd spend on one would be better spent somewhere else.

Overclocking: Most likely going to put on a low OC on my processor since it seems pretty easy to do these days. Probably won’t OC my GPU as that seems trickier/dangerous

SLI or Crossfire: Possibly in the future. Want one card now and maybe a second in 6 -12 months if needed.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050. Not the highest I know, but it looks great to me so far. I see no reason to waste money on a new monitor yet.

Additional Comments: Like I said before this is my first build so I’m not going into anything really crazy, no water cooling, no extreme OC. Here is what I have so far:

Build so far:

Intel i5-2500K

ASROCK Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3

Cooler Master 212 EVO

ASUS 24X DVD Burner

TP-Link TL USB 2.0 Wireless Adaptor

Western Digital 500GB 7200RPM HDD

Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600t

Corsair Professional Series HX750 Modular, Silver Certified

I already bought 8 GB of Gskill Sniper 1600 Ram. CAS 9

Finally a GPU. . . not sure at all here. These are what I’m thinking of:
GygaByte GTX 560Ti

MSI GTX 560 TI Hawk

GigaByte GTX 570


I do have a couple of Questions:
1 – I really am not sure on a GPU. Is it worth paying to get one with a higher out of box OC (MSI Hawk) for a fair amount more money? Or is that essentially money wasted? Also at my resolution (1680 x 1050), will a 560TI provide more than enough power for awhile, maybe until next year when the 6XX and 7XXX series have a few non-reference models out?

2 – Case questions. Is it really worth spending 160 bucks just to buy a case I like the looks of? Is it common/practical to reuse cases in future home builds? I’m really stuck on how this one looks and I haven’t seen a single other case I like as much.

3 – What power supply wattage would I need for either a GTX 570 or 560 TI if I plan a slight OC with my CPU? For SLI for those both?

October 15, 2011 2:19:19 PM

hmm....you say two different resolutions, but i'll assume it's actually 1680x1050. A 560 ti should do great, but a 570 would be nice, if you can afford it, especially if you get a new monitor. It really depends on the out of the box oc, because they often come with much better coolers (msi twin frozr series), but oc'ing a video card is much easier than a cpu. You do often reuse cases in future builds, so i'd recommend getting one that is of high quality and that you like, but you can always spend less if you want. For 560ti sli, you want 750w, and for 570 sli you want 850w.
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October 15, 2011 7:59:08 PM

Thanks for the responce morgoth. I did mean 1680x1050, I just made a typo.

I think I'm starting to lean towards the 570. I guess for $100 bucks I'd get a gpu that would last longer before having to be upgraded. Also, since it won't be utilized or overclocked as heavily as the two 560 ti versions, would it run colder/better? Please tell me if I'm completely wrong in that idea. I'm still not sure on what model though because looking at reviews of the MIS 560 TI Hawk, it looks like it runs much better than a reference model 570, and none of the none of the 570's on Newegg look to be overclocked much, unless they are really expensive.

How big of a PSU would I need if I only went with a gtx 570, and never planned to SLI it? Am I right in thinking that Corsair seems to have the best quality for the most reasonably price of PSU's right now? I saw the sale for 10% off on Newegg and would like to jump the gun on atleast part of my build by this Wednesday.

Lastly did I miss anything in my build? Does the Hyper 212 EVO come with thermal paste, or should I buy some to be safe?
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October 15, 2011 8:42:23 PM

I think you should be fine 600w for no sli, maybe even 500w. However, 570s have a ton of oc headroom, and you can sometimes get them to perform better than a stock 580, so i'd recommend getting an msi twin frozr gtx 570 for the cooling.
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