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Gaming build help: 650-800, what do i really need?

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October 17, 2011 10:14:25 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next 2 weeks

Budget Range: 650-800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (starcraft 2, lol, bf 3) web movies and little bit of photoshop

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, but anywhere ships to california

Country of Origin:US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case)

Overclocking: Maybe, if i can learn how to

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x 1080

Additional Comments: Hey all, im new to custom builds, this will be my first. I game quiet a bit and do basic school, web, movie, and photoshop stuff.


i was looking at this build
CPU: i5 2500k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157271

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6950 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150552

PSU: OCZ ZS Series 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341049

Case: Antec 300 Illusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129066

RAM: GSkills Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231428

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065

HD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185

Optical: Samsung DVD/CD Burdner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151233


This build would be ideal, but its a tad pricey. i was wondering if given my type of computer usage, would i be happy with an i3 or phenom x4 , given they are considerably cheaper and also seem to be above average as far as processing power?

would downgrading from a 6950 to a 6850 be significant? if the performance is worth the money ill get a 6950, but the 6850 would save some money


open to any and all help! thank u!


More about : gaming build 650 800

October 17, 2011 10:41:13 PM

If you want to save some cash I would just give up on the idea of future SLI, it isn't that great an upgrade option anyway. By the time your card is old it won't be worth it, noone recommends SLI'ing old cards. Also the good price/performance comes at a price of high power consumption and heat which also equals a noisy pc. I'd just drop the PSU down to 500W and maybe get a Z68 PRO3 instead of the Extreme3. If you needed to save more you could also drop the CPU cooler for now and just get it when you need to overclock.

P.S. Yes the HD 6850 would be a noticeable decrease in performance. Not huge but noticeable I think.

EDIT: D'oh I meant Crossfire, not SLI :p 
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October 17, 2011 10:44:52 PM

great thanks for the advice,

and what about the processor? is the i5 2500 worth the extra $100 over the i3?
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October 17, 2011 10:48:03 PM

The 2500k is a massive improvement on an i3 assuming you're going to overclock at some point because you can't overclock on a Sandy Bridge i3.
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October 17, 2011 11:02:45 PM

jmsellars1 said:
The 2500k is a massive improvement on an i3 assuming you're going to overclock at some point because you can't overclock on a Sandy Bridge i3.

plus it's an actual quad core, not a dual core
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October 18, 2011 12:03:08 AM

You have done your homework, a good build.

1) Your links do not work for me.

2) The graphics card is the real engine of gaming. Try not to skimp there.
Your basic parts list is very good, and if you are close with your budget, here are a few ideas:

3) I like the 2500K, there is nothing better. If you are near a microcenter, they will sell you one for $180, last I heard.
You might do better initially by trading down a bit on the cpu in favor of the graphics card, but the 2500K is such a superb longer term buy, that would be the last thing I would do if you are reasonably close with your budget.

4) How many expansion slots will you use?
A ATX motherboard will have 7
A M-ATX will have 4,
You can get a M-ATX Z68 motherboard from Asrock or gigabyte for <$95,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It will be impractical to use cf/sli, but there is really no need for dual cards when s good single card will do the job.

5) Nothing wrong with overprovisioning a psu, but 750w will drive even a GTX590.
A 6950 or GTX560ti needs only a 500w psu with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.
Even a GTX570 only needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.
There are often good sales on psu's, keep your eyes out. My short list of quality units would include Seasonic, PC P&C, Corsair, Antec and XFX.

6) You could defer on the cpu cooler. The stock cooler will do the job, and even be OK for a mild OC. The main problem will be the fan noise when it spins up under load.

7) You can get a cheaper case. The NZXT GAMMA was used in tom's $500 gaming build, and looks decent For $35:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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October 18, 2011 12:38:12 AM

Swoll I like your build. The PSU is excessive, and I can not reach the links to view the price but it seems like a great build for 800 bucks
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October 18, 2011 1:09:48 AM

Thank you all for your input, really helping me put the pieces together and see what i would use and dotn necessarily need. Geofelt i agree with your point on the long term buy in the 2500k, going to go with that.

as far as a mobo, im not too sure on those. im just following basic reviews on those, and i want 4 memory slots for more ramm eventually.


would a board like this work? great price as well
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and how about a power supply similar to this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 18, 2011 1:55:24 AM

SWOLsauce said:
Thank you all for your input, really helping me put the pieces together and see what i would use and dotn necessarily need. Geofelt i agree with your point on the long term buy in the 2500k, going to go with that.

as far as a mobo, im not too sure on those. im just following basic reviews on those, and i want 4 memory slots for more ramm eventually.


would a board like this work? great price as well
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and how about a power supply similar to this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I like Gigabyte, and I think that board will do fine. It seems like a great price for a Z68 motherboard.

It does not have cf/sli capability, and I am fine with that.
You graphics expansion will probably come in the form of the 28nm amd or nvidia parts due out next year.

It also lacks usb3.0 onboard. If you need that, you can get an add-in card later.

Antec is usually a reliable brand, but I think as a 550w unit, the one you linked is underpowered with only 37a on the +12v rails.
Here is a unit I have not looked at before, but even though it is 520w, it delivers 40+12v amps Cheaper too. You might give it a try.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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