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~$1000 gaming PC, need some advice

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October 20, 2011 2:17:50 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: by the end of 2011, ideally end of November

Budget Range: around $1000 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the web, watching hd video

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I'd like to use an Intel CPU w/ Gigabyte mobo and mid tower case, also want HDD+SSD as boot drive

Overclocking: Probably, never tried it before but am generally pretty competent with these things and would really like to try it and experience performance boosts

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I want a PC that can handle new games (specifically the upcoming Skyrim and BF3) very well on very high settings with good framerates. also want it to perform really well for web browsing, having several applications open at once, watching video, everyday tasks etc. Quiet would be nice, but not a priority. Same goes for energy efficiency.

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This is my first build, and I've spent a good amount of time researching and have what I think is a good setup, but not positive whether my PSU has a high enough wattage, and overall would like some tips and advice, so all are welcomed.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF: 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...

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Current total comes out to $1,009.90 before rebates (I've got some combos in there)

Thanks a lot for the help!

-Charlie

More about : 1000 gaming advice

October 20, 2011 2:26:47 AM

cutebeans said:
It's pretty good.

I'd get this
Corsair CX600w + 8gb ram combo. Cheaper i think with promo code.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

What you picked is pretty good. Nothing big to change. My suggestion is just to cut costs.



Thanks. That would save me $30, but is 600W definitely enough assuming I'm going to overclock my CPU and possibly GPU?
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October 20, 2011 2:37:44 AM

Yep

You need 500w for a 6950. :)  You have about 100+ watts free for anything.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-6950-6970-review/1...

You might want to buy this coolermaster evo than what you bought.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is kinda like an upgraded version.
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October 20, 2011 3:23:58 AM

my advice would be to get at least a 750 watt since that motherboard supports crossfire and leave the option open
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October 20, 2011 3:39:07 AM

jordanjr23 said:
my advice would be to get at least a 750 watt since that motherboard supports crossfire and leave the option open

I had considered that, but I'd like not to have to spend the extra money. Do you think that it's really worth it? Would adding another 1gb 6950 and running them in crossfire be my best option down the road anyway when I want to upgrade?
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October 20, 2011 3:39:35 AM

If ya interested in the latest and greatest, GEN3 is it. Personally, I don't as yet exclud P67 but if ya thinking ya need Z68, I'm thinking ya shud be considering GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dump the Vengeance with the tall heat sinks for the low profile models. The only cooling effect of these big coolers is that they "look cool". While they served a purpose (when they were effective) w/ DDR2, they are absolutely useless on DDR3.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
At more than 2" tall in certain areas the Corsair Vengeance could pose a problem for users like me who use large coolers such as the Scythe Mugen 2. I was able to use the Corsair Vengeance only after I mounted the fan on my cooler on the backside. Size is definitely a concern with heat spreaders of this size and therefore I encourage users to check that they will have enough space under their heatsinks before purchasing the Corsair Vengeance kit.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
The problem I have with the Corsair Vengeance is the same I have with many kits of RAM on the market. Companies insist on putting large coolers on their RAM and it limits the choice in CPU heatsinks that can be used within users system. DDR3 does not require these elaborate coolers with its lower voltages which translate to lower temperatures then RAM saw during the DDR, and DDR2 era. Corsair is correcting this with low profile versions of its Vengeance line but ultimately I would like to see the average size of coolers drop instead of having to look for specific low profile versions of a memory line.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd stick with the TX650 V2

http://support.amd.com/us/certified/power-supplies/Page...

As you can see in the link above, the 650 will allow an upgrade to a 2nd 6950....the C600 will close that door.
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October 20, 2011 3:51:16 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
If ya interested in the latest and greatest, GEN3 is it. Personally, I don't as yet exclud P67 but if ya thinking ya need Z68, I'm thinking ya shud be considering GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dump the Vengeance with the tall heat sinks for the low profile models. The only cooling effect of these big coolers is that they "look cool". While they served a purpose (when they were effective) w/ DDR2, they are absolutely useless on DDR3.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
At more than 2" tall in certain areas the Corsair Vengeance could pose a problem for users like me who use large coolers such as the Scythe Mugen 2. I was able to use the Corsair Vengeance only after I mounted the fan on my cooler on the backside. Size is definitely a concern with heat spreaders of this size and therefore I encourage users to check that they will have enough space under their heatsinks before purchasing the Corsair Vengeance kit.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
The problem I have with the Corsair Vengeance is the same I have with many kits of RAM on the market. Companies insist on putting large coolers on their RAM and it limits the choice in CPU heatsinks that can be used within users system. DDR3 does not require these elaborate coolers with its lower voltages which translate to lower temperatures then RAM saw during the DDR, and DDR2 era. Corsair is correcting this with low profile versions of its Vengeance line but ultimately I would like to see the average size of coolers drop instead of having to look for specific low profile versions of a memory line.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd stick with the TX650 V2

http://support.amd.com/us/certified/power-supplies/Page...

As you can see in the link above, the 650 will allow an upgrade to a 2nd 6950....the C600 will close that door.

1. Why Gen3? What's better about it? Is it really worth $70 more?
2. Got it. I'll get the low-profile ones. Thanks a lot.
3. The AMD site's guideline probably doesn't take into account overclocking of any components, though, does it?
Thanks for the help. I appreciate the advice.
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October 20, 2011 4:27:47 AM

i have the antec 300 illusion case with a 6870 radeon. however, it does have points u might want to consider. the hard drive bay is not hot swappable nor is the 5.25" bays so u do have to screw/unscrew everytime. the side area to hold the wires is quite small and flat, not as practical as you may think when you see it. mines is kinda cramped already with wires hanging in certain places. the control for the fans just dangle if you don't tape it down. i am using an ocz semi modular 550w power supply. also. my psu has the fan facing downwards in this case, with about half an inch of space between the psu and case bottom.
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October 20, 2011 5:42:09 AM

Okay, first off I would go with a nVidia 570 unless you are a dedicated AMD fan. The 6970 is a bit more expensive, and the 570 has better performance.

Okay, the build that I have hatched.

Newegg.com items:
CPU/ CPU Cooler: Intel Core i5-2500k + Corsair Cafa70
$252.98 - $20 mail in Rebate = $232.98

Motherboard/ Ram: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
$184.98

GPU/ PSU: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III + CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 + Batman Arkham City Game Coupon
$459.98 - $15 mail in rebates

Case/ Optical: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout + LG DVD Burner
$93.98

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 rpm 32 mb cache SATA 6.0 gb/s
Amazon $58.97 + free shipping
Newegg $64.99 + shipping


THE MONEY IS HERE!

Total: $1070.20 (before rebate) $1035.20 (after rebate)

So, you have one of the best Quad Cores available, a great cooler with it, a good motherboard, 8 GB ram, the absolute best GTX 570 (Itself one of the best video cards available, within the top 4, with the other 3 being overpriced as hell) so that you can overclock it, an extremely reliable and powerful PSU, a great case, and a 1 TB HDD that is just as fast as that little 500GB one that was recommende earlier. Plus, you get a great game to test it out on, Batman Arkham City (comes with the nVidia GPU).

So, I know that I ran $35 over budget (or $70 if you are too lazy to mail in the rebates). Do you want me to slice it down to $1000? I could do it pretty quick.
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October 20, 2011 7:35:22 AM

There's no point in going Crossfire now since the new cards that will come out next year will be faster and twice as powerful if rumors are correct. So you'd only be wasting your time buying another 6950.

The 6950 will be a beast for another 2-3 years.
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October 20, 2011 3:12:11 PM

Cy4N1d3 said:
Okay, first off I would go with a nVidia 570 unless you are a dedicated AMD fan. The 6970 is a bit more expensive, and the 570 has better performance.

Okay, the build that I have hatched.

Newegg.com items:
CPU/ CPU Cooler: Intel Core i5-2500k + Corsair Cafa70
$252.98 - $20 mail in Rebate = $232.98

Motherboard/ Ram: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
$184.98

GPU/ PSU: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III + CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 + Batman Arkham City Game Coupon
$459.98 - $15 mail in rebates

Case/ Optical: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout + LG DVD Burner
$93.98

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 rpm 32 mb cache SATA 6.0 gb/s
Amazon $58.97 + free shipping
Newegg $64.99 + shipping


THE MONEY IS HERE!

Total: $1070.20 (before rebate) $1035.20 (after rebate)

So, you have one of the best Quad Cores available, a great cooler with it, a good motherboard, 8 GB ram, the absolute best GTX 570 (Itself one of the best video cards available, within the top 4, with the other 3 being overpriced as hell) so that you can overclock it, an extremely reliable and powerful PSU, a great case, and a 1 TB HDD that is just as fast as that little 500GB one that was recommende earlier. Plus, you get a great game to test it out on, Batman Arkham City (comes with the nVidia GPU).

So, I know that I ran $35 over budget (or $70 if you are too lazy to mail in the rebates). Do you want me to slice it down to $1000? I could do it pretty quick.

Well that's definitely enticing, albeit a big change from my build before. Is the Storm Scout definitely a good case? And does it have good cable management? Also, yes, cheaper might be nice, what would you consider downgrading?
Thanks a ton.

Edit: Ooh, just realized this has no SSD–I'm pretty dead set on having one of those, and with it, even after I switch the HDD to 500GB, this build is $1150, which is too much. What would you suggest to bring the price down to $1000 WITH an SSD?
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October 20, 2011 3:13:27 PM

itsxiao said:
i have the antec 300 illusion case with a 6870 radeon. however, it does have points u might want to consider. the hard drive bay is not hot swappable nor is the 5.25" bays so u do have to screw/unscrew everytime. the side area to hold the wires is quite small and flat, not as practical as you may think when you see it. mines is kinda cramped already with wires hanging in certain places. the control for the fans just dangle if you don't tape it down. i am using an ocz semi modular 550w power supply. also. my psu has the fan facing downwards in this case, with about half an inch of space between the psu and case bottom.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take that into account (although I may be switching cases anyway).
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October 30, 2011 12:30:53 AM

Best answer selected by cskoler.
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