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New Gaming Rig - Need Advice!

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October 18, 2011 12:53:32 AM

Hey Everyone,

This is my first build in a while. My main priority is gaming - I hope to be able to run/potentially max out several games on the horizon, including BF3 and Skyrim. Really, I'm just searching for feedback on my potential system. The inclusion of an SSD is my biggest question mark...trying to decide whether I should just save the money instead. I also need help selecting a good PSU.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week.

Budget Range: $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editing, web surfing.

Parts Not Required: Case (HAF 922), Hard drive, Optical

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon or Newegg

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: None, really.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

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GPU: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heat Sink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Switching to a Corsair HX850 modular PSU for increased efficiency.

Motherboard: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Switching to a Z67 chipset (AsRock Extreme3) upon suggestion. Equivalent features for the same price, but slightly less-intuitive overclocking from the sounds of it.

SSD: ....still a maybe on this one. If I get one, I'll only be using it for boot and a few applications, so big capacity isn't a must. I'm thinking of going with the Crucial m4. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Decided on the Hyper X 120GB SSD, as per suggestions in the thread.
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How does this look to you guys? Pretty solid? Any suggestions about the SSD/anything else?

More about : gaming rig advice

October 18, 2011 4:20:24 AM

Anybody have feedback? Anyone?
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October 18, 2011 4:53:11 AM

.if you don't to spend much on ssds than get a crucial m4 64gb for you OS and "main game".the motherboard suggested by cutebeans is a better choice.go for it.cooler is good.for psu,get this one-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a well reputed PSU for reasonable money.
Xellent RAM choice.+1
BTW what case are you going to put alll these parts in???
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October 18, 2011 6:55:50 AM

Thanks for the feedback, all. I'll consider the AsRock Extreme3....I like that it's $30 cheaper while offering basically the same features. And now that I'm researching it more, the Z68 does sound like the better chipset.

However, I've heard in reviews that the Extreme3 has trouble overclocking because its BIOS is kind of broken. Any truth to this?

Oh, and I'll be putting my parts in my HAF 922. Love that case :) 
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October 18, 2011 7:17:13 AM

1. I'll get a 560ti SLI system for more FPS per dollar, or spend a bit extra and get a single 580 for future expandability. Great card as it is, the 570 is a bit neither here nor there.

2. Nobody spends $100 on a case in a 1K system. The HAF 912 will be absolutely fine for the 560/570 right outta the box. For the 580, just removing the modular HDD bays will do the trick.

If you however want a 100$ case, get the Corsair 400R.

PSU: Corsair 650TX V2 for 570/580. Get the 850 only if you're SLI'ing the 560ti/570.
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October 18, 2011 7:39:30 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I already own the 922 - bought it on sale at Fry's for dirt cheap a couple of years ago, and have loved it ever since.

I might consider getting a 560ti or a Radeon 6850....although I already placed an order for my GTX 570 Twin Frozr. Is the difference between the 560Ti and the GTX570 really that miniscule?
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October 18, 2011 7:40:12 AM

hellfire24 said:
.if you don't to spend much on ssds than get a crucial m4 64gb for you OS and "main game".the motherboard suggested by cutebeans is a better choice.go for it.cooler is good.for psu,get this one-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a well reputed PSU for reasonable money.
Xellent RAM choice.+1
BTW what case are you going to put alll these parts in???


This PSU has had problems - in two separate reviews it shut down and it failed to make its power rating.

Right now the Corsair HX850 is on sale for $143 which is only $13 more than the Antec. The Corsair put out over 1100W in one review and it remained stable. It is modular, has a 7 year warranty and it will stay quiet and cool under load. I own it and it is an amazing PSU. For the loads your build will run at, the HX850 will be over 90% efficient.

The Crucial M4 128GB is a great SSD. Move your budget up to include a 120GB SSD, you won't be sorry. The Kingston Hyper X is on sale at Newegg for around $180 right now and it is a top performer.
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October 18, 2011 7:46:22 AM

Redivivus said:
Thanks for the suggestions. I already own the 922 - bought it on sale at Fry's for dirt cheap a couple of years ago, and have loved it ever since.

I might consider getting a 560ti or a Radeon 6850....although I already placed an order for my GTX 570 Twin Frozr. Is the difference between the 560Ti and the GTX570 really that miniscule?


Look at the ATI 6950, the 560Ti and the 570 and buy the one that your budget can afford. They are all great performers. The 570 is the fastest and most powerful, but it is also the most expensive. The 6950 is considered by most to be the best price vs performance card.

The 6850 is a good card but the 560Ti is about the same price and it beats its brains out. The 6950 costs a little more and is about in the middle between the 560Ti and the 570.
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October 18, 2011 7:49:54 AM

well i am having coolermaster silent pro 1000w 80+ gold PSU.no complaints,issues and all.so i think the same about the silent pro 850w psu.i agree that HX850 is very good but expensive in comparison to others.+1 for SSD.i am also having m4 128gb drive.Hyper X has also got some good reviews.
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October 18, 2011 7:50:30 AM

The difference between the 560ti and the 570 is not miniscule, but I talked 'boout a 560ti SLI system (dual graphics cards).

That would have cost you more than the 570, but would have given you great frames. But worry not, the 570 is plenty good.

The Radeon HD 6950 is a wonderful option for the price as well, especially if you can flash it to a 6970 :) 
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October 18, 2011 7:54:24 AM

Again, if you already have a PSU, well and good, but if you're planning to buy one, get an 80+ rated 600-650 watt one MAX if you don't intend to add a 2nd card any time soon.
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October 18, 2011 8:01:12 AM

Thanks for your suggestions. I don't mind coughing up an extra $100 on the GTX570, especially since I got a $40 discount on the TX850 PSU and will be receiving Batman: Arkham City (which I was going to purchase anyways) for free. Taking into account those breaks, I "basically" got a GTX570 for ~$290. Good deal, in my book.

I think 128GB will be a bit much for me, since I typically don't keep many games installed on my computer at one time. I'll give it a little more thought, though.

And since I'm getting the discount, I'm hesitant to switch to the HX850. Is it significantly more efficient than the TX850? The numbers I'm looking at don't seem to suggest so (only a couple of percentage points)...but the seven-year warranty is something to consider.
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October 18, 2011 8:02:53 AM

hellfire24 said:
well i am having coolermaster silent pro 1000w 80+ gold PSU.no complaints,issues and all.so i think the same about the silent pro 850w psu.i agree that HX850 is very good but expensive in comparison to others.+1 for SSD.i am also having m4 128gb drive.Hyper X has also got some good reviews.


A lot of people who post in Tom's Hardware have recommended the Antec 950, however it is not that great a PSU (read Johnny Guru's review). Like I said above the Corsair HX 850 is far superior and it is only $13 more right now.

I agree also that the Hyper X is a great SSD. It is perhaps the fastest 120GB SSD for the cheapest price right now ($180 on Newegg).
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Best solution

October 18, 2011 8:13:11 AM

calguyhunk said:
Again, if you already have a PSU, well and good, but if you're planning to buy one, get an 80+ rated 600-650 watt one MAX if you don't intend to add a 2nd card any time soon.


I run only one GPU, the XFX 6950, in my 2600K build and I selected the Corsair HX 850 because I spec'd my PSU to run at 50% capacity. At this capacity, the HX 850 is nearly 92% efficient and the fan hardly ever turns on and so it is silent. True I don't need a 850W PSU, but in this case you get all of the advantages of nearly a Platinum rated PSU for a cheap silver rated price. It is also modular and carries a 7-year warranty.

The problem with the 650W PSUs is that if you get a decent one you end up spending over $100 (unless you go with the very cheap units which are far less quality). So with the HX 850 at $143 right now at Newegg, you are painfully close in price to a far superior PSU. This is why for a build with a $1000 budget or more, the HX850 is the better choice.

Yes a 650W PSU will run my build but it will he far less efficient, less stable, run much hotter and heat up my case, it may not be modular and it will be much more noisy. Frankly for $43 there really is no comparison.

Really, the smart way to spec your PSU is to have 50% extra capacity at max load. This will always keep your PSU in its maximum efficiency range. This will save you money and will also give you far superior performance.
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October 18, 2011 8:17:48 AM

Redivivus said:
Thanks for your suggestions. I don't mind coughing up an extra $100 on the GTX570, especially since I got a $40 discount on the TX850 PSU and will be receiving Batman: Arkham City (which I was going to purchase anyways) for free. Taking into account those breaks, I "basically" got a GTX570 for ~$290. Good deal, in my book.

I think 128GB will be a bit much for me, since I typically don't keep many games installed on my computer at one time. I'll give it a little more thought, though.

And since I'm getting the discount, I'm hesitant to switch to the HX850. Is it significantly more efficient than the TX850? The numbers I'm looking at don't seem to suggest so (only a couple of percentage points)...but the seven-year warranty is something to consider.


The TX 850 is a very good PSU. No it is not as good as the HX 850. The HX850 is one of the highest rated PSUs made as judged by professional reviewers. If you are getting a good deal as you mention, don't be afraid to go with the TX 850, it is solid PSU and a lot of people have recommended it.

Before you make a final decision, check out the pricing separately for the HX 850. Sometime the combo deals are not really that great.
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October 18, 2011 8:29:56 AM

Best answer selected by Redivivus.
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October 18, 2011 8:30:37 AM

Thanks for all the great counsel everyone, especially re: the PSU and the SSD. I'll definitely revise what I'm buying based on your advice.
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October 18, 2011 9:00:31 AM

flong said:
The problem with the 650W PSUs is that if you get a decent one you end up spending over $100 (unless you go with the very cheap units which are far less quality). So with the HX 850 at $143 right now at Newegg, you are painfully close in price to a far superior PSU. This is why for a build with a $1000 budget or more, the HX850 is the better choice.
The Corsair 650TX V2 is only 70 dollars on Newegg. It's probably the best 650 Watt unit in the market today. Yes, modular ones are more expensive, that's why, if you don't need one, stick to a non mod and get the quality without having to spend an arm and a leg.
flong said:
I run only one GPU, the XFX 6950, in my 2600K build and I selected the Corsair HX 850 because I spec'd my PSU to run at 50% capacity. At this capacity, the HX 850 is nearly 92% efficient and the fan hardly ever turns on and so it is silent.
Congratulations, you're not the first gentleman to go overboard on the power supply, nor will you be the last. A bit of headroom is always desirable and the manufacturers always recommend something far higher than the actual requirement. It's not the wattage but the amperage on the +12V rail(s) that matter. A good 650 will have about the same as an average 750 Watt unit.

NVidia recommends 42 Amps on the +12V rail(s) for the GTX 580. That means you can actually run it on lower amps, even though it is not advisable. Most good 600 watt units have between 45-48 Amps the last time I checked. Even furmark will be in agreement with the 53 Amps that the TX 650 V2 has. I recommended it precisely because it has that extra headroom.

But to each, his own, I guess. Hey, long as it works for you...
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October 18, 2011 5:02:08 PM

calguyhunk said:
The Corsair 650TX V2 is only 70 dollars on Newegg. It's probably the best 650 Watt unit in the market today. Yes, modular ones are more expensive, that's why, if you don't need one, stick to a non mod and get the quality without having to spend an arm and a leg.Congratulations, you're not the first gentleman to go overboard on the power supply, nor will you be the last. A bit of headroom is always desirable and the manufacturers always recommend something far higher than the actual requirement. It's not the wattage but the amperage on the +12V rail(s) that matter. A good 650 will have about the same as an average 750 Watt unit.

NVidia recommends 42 Amps on the +12V rail(s) for the GTX 580. That means you can actually run it on lower amps, even though it is not advisable. Most good 600 watt units have between 45-48 Amps the last time I checked. Even furmark will be in agreement with the 53 Amps that the TX 650 V2 has. I recommended it precisely because it has that extra headroom.

But to each, his own, I guess. Hey, long as it works for you...



You say "congratulations, your not the first to gentleman to go overboard on a power supply," really? I can't believe you made such an asinine, arrogant statement. Let's go to real life, first-hand experience for a moment, not amperage charts and manufacturer's recommendations.

My previous computer was an I-7 920 that came with - you guessed it a 580W cheap PSU. I upgraded the GPU to a ATI 5850 and went to an HX 750, which will put out over 900W and remain stable. Now with this GPU, a TV card and one HDD, the HX 750 under load would go to high fan all of the time, it ran hot and you could easily tell it was running out of its max efficiency range. Now the HX 750 is a very good PSU but even it is really annoying at high fan. The high fan would come on, then shut of, come on then shut of - I hated the noise. Keep in mind that HX 750 has much more capacity and efficiency than the TX 650.

Fast forward to my current build. I have a 2600K, XFX 6950, 2 HDDs, one SSD, an Asus Xonar sound card, the Noctua NH-D14, one DVD optical drive, one blu-ray drive and an HDTV Card. So my current build is running a whole lot more components than my I-7 920 build. With this build I upgraded to the HX 850.

Now with my current build, the HX 850 is so efficient that I have never heard the fan even turn on. It runs COMPLETELY silent and cool. It was a joy to build with BECAUSE IT WAS MODULAR and did not have a tangled mess of unused chords to clutter up the interior of my case. I have a 7-year warranty and so I will be able to use this amazing PSU for my Ivy Bridge build - how is that for saving money????

Now this is the real world my friend, not somebody else's reviews or charts and such. In the real world, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is like going from a Yugo to a Lexus - there is no comparison.

Yeah the TX 650 is a good unit and it will run the OP's build - I agree. But it will run hotter, be far less efficient, cost more power every month, be far more noisy, it will not be nearly as stable (current wise), it is not modular and it does not have the 7-year warranty. The OP deserves to know about having a better choice. If this were a $500 build I would agree with you - the TX 650 is the only choice. But this is a $1000 build and the HX 850 is an option the OP should consider.

On a $1000 build, $50-$70 extra for a superior PSU is reasonable. Keep in mind that the PSU supports all of the components in the computer. Unstable current can cause your expensive components to fail. When you only have $500 to work with it is a risk you have to take, but this is not the case.

So many posters on Tom's Hardware are like parrots repeating what they have heard from others. My recommendation is based on experience - not what other people have parroted. You hear it like clockwork - "one GPU, all you need is a 650W PSU - anything else is a waste." I have heard those lines over and over in the TH forums. They simply don't take into account that spec'ing the PSU for 50% capacity is by far superior to any other method.

Just to let you know, Bit-Tech in its most recent build actually spec'd its recommended high-end build PSU with this method. I laughed when I read it and thought, "it's about time." I am sure other builders will follow.

So I did not "go overboard" on my PSU - I got it perfect and I would do it again in a heartbeat! You simply don't know what you are talking about because the HX 750 has far more headroom and capacity than the TX 650 and it was pushed to noisy high-fan on my first build. There is no substitute for actual first-hand experience.
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October 18, 2011 5:09:26 PM

I didn't even bother reading your boring, unnaturally long rant.

Just the 1st line -
My previous computer was an I-7 920 that came with - you guessed it a 580W cheap PSU. said:
"My previous computer was an I-7 920 that came with - you guessed it a 580W cheap PSU."
You're not seriously comparing pre-built crap with the the best of the best hand picked brands, are you?

And I didn't want to come across as arrogant and certainly not asinine. I'm sorry if i did :) 
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October 18, 2011 6:50:47 PM

calguyhunk said:
I didn't even bother reading your boring, unnaturally long rant.

Just the 1st line - You're not seriously comparing pre-built crap with the the best of the best hand picked brands, are you?

And I didn't want to come across as arrogant and certainly not asinine. I'm sorry if i did :) 



Thank you for saying that you did not intend to come across as sharp as you did. I really respect that - I mean it.

You should read what I said it is from real-world experience - you might learn something. I am not comparing pre-built crap because I essentially rebuilt the computer with quality components. That is what lead me to build my own computers. I kept having to fix and rebuild the pre-built computers I bought. I am giving you real-life experience of the problems that using a cheaper PSU with lower wats can cause.

You seem to be very young and if you are, often for your generation everything needs to be in a "text" format or it is "boring." Actually, meaningful discussions about a fairly complex subject should not be condensed to text, type formats. It does everyone a disservice and it can cause miscommunication.

Take the time to read and really answer an OP's question. You had a good point that a 650W PSU will carry the system. You should have said just that. What you failed to communicate to the OP was that the 650W PSU will run hot, go to high fan, be less efficient, be more noisy and leave no room for an upgrade. They also are less stable. Even the TX series of the high quality Corsair PSUs is rated as less stable by professional reviews.

You need to tell the drawbacks of a cheaper PSU if you are going to recommend it. In some cases it is the best choice because of limited budgets. In other cases it is much smarter to upgrade.

I respect that you are trying to help someone, but it you are going to try to help - take the time to do a good job. Hurried recommendations to new builders can cause them to have lots of problems. It is good that you volunteer your time to help others though.

Thank you again for apologizing - very few people have the character to do that.
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October 18, 2011 7:26:46 PM

Thanks for accepting my apology :) 

I use the last gen 650TX myself in my i7-920/Rampage III Gene system with a HD 5770. I bought it instead of a 450, precisely with the intention of xfiring someday if I wanted to game.

Now I'm waiting for Ivy and doesn't look like I'll ever get a 2nd card
flong said:
You had a good point that a 650W PSU will carry the system. You should have said just that. What you failed to communicate to the OP was that the 650W PSU will run hot, go to high fan, be less efficient, be more noisy and leave no room for an upgrade.
Actually, I did recommend the 850 if the OP wanted future expandability.
Quote:
PSU: Corsair 650TX V2 for 570/580. Get the 850 only if you're SLI'ing the 560ti/570.
Anyways, the OP's happy and we're not pissed at each other, so that's what matters :bounce: 
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