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Building a gaming pc.. need advice..

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October 21, 2011 7:22:02 PM

hei there im currently building a decent gaming pc that will play most games on high quality.. my budget is around 1500 USD.. here is the spec ive built myself

Asrock Z68 extreme 4
intel i5 2500k
coolermaster vortex plus
sapphire radeon hd 6950 2gb flex
corsair vengeance 1866MHZ 8gb
WD caviar black 640 gb sata 3
coolermaster haf 912
cooler master gx 750W
samsung bx2335
sony dvdrw 24x

these adds up to around $1512 in my country.. and then i asked a computer expert and he came up with a new built which seems better and cheaper.. which is..


Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4Ghz Cache 8MB [Box] Socket LGA 1155 - Unlocked
ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 Lucid Virtu supported (LGA1155, Intel Z68. USB3, SATA3)
WDC 1TB SATA3 64MB - Caviar Black - WD1002FAEX
Gskill DDR3 PC12800 4GB RM RIPJAWS MID Dual Channel F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM / 7-8-7-24
Zotac Geforce GTX 570 1280MB DDR5
Azza Toledo ( W/O PSU )
FSP Aurum 80 600W
LG 22\" E2241T LED
Lite On DVD RW 24X SATA [OEM]
Thermaltake Frio (By Megakom Distributor)

adds up to $1400

i need help deciding whether the 2nd spec is really worth the value, performance wise.. thanks alott!!

More about : building gaming advice

October 21, 2011 8:03:46 PM

both have strengths

to help you decide .
for gaming even intel recommend the 2500k

you dont need 1866MHz RAM. 1600MHz is fine , just make sure its 1.5 volt or less

the 600 watt psu in the second build is very close to the minimum requirements . Much more comfortable with 750 watt IMO



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October 21, 2011 8:25:43 PM

I will give you my input on both builds as general insight.

1) Everyone has their favorite mobo brands. I love ASUS and will always buy ASUS. ASRock has really taken off the last year or two and built a good name for itself. Between the two boards, they are both Z68 so you are basically looking at features. If you are trying to stay in a budget make sure you get the best bang for the buck.

2) Intel 2500K is the way to go if you are planning to OC, if not you can save $20 with the 2500. My assumption is you are going to juice this bad boy.

3) I have never liked CoolerMaster Power Supplies. I'd go with the FSP. It has multiple rails, 80+ gold, 5 yr warranty. Has alot going for it.

4) Monitors are subjective. I like the Dell Professional LCD's, even for gaming. They are great. More of a suggestion.

5)Cases are subjective as well. As long as it holds together and has decent airflow it doesn't matter. I always look for free shipping, since some can charge up to $20 and I rather have an $80 case with free shipping than a $60 with $20 shipping. Also look for ones what come with all the fans. Free fans are nice.

6)I Like G.Skill RAM. Never had any issues with it and is usually a good value. Corsair is good stuff, but you can end up blowing extra money one sticks with fancy coolers.

Hope some of that helps. Look for combos. They are your friend.


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October 22, 2011 12:45:49 AM

thanks for the replies.. then should i go for the second set changing the processor to i5 2500k? probably the PSU as well to 750w..
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October 22, 2011 2:35:00 AM

pleeman said:
thanks for the replies.. then should i go for the second set changing the processor to i5 2500k? probably the PSU as well to 750w..


Yes .
and a 24 inch monitor too , IMO
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October 22, 2011 4:10:47 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Yes .
and a 24 inch monitor too , IMO

I have to admit I love my 24" 1920x1080 display. I was aiming for a 1920x1200, but they all but stopped making them except IPS panels. I came from a 22" Dell 1680x1050 to a 24" LED 1920x1080 and I do enjoy the larger display and wider aspect ratio. I am a big fan of the Dell professional displays. The base alone is by far better than any others I've seen and they carry a 3 year warranty.

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

I bought mine directly from Dell. They occasionally have $50 off and free shipping. I got mine like that and even found an additional coupon that got it down to $230 shipped. I definitely makes my gaming experience very pleasant.
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October 22, 2011 4:16:00 AM

pleeman said:
thanks for the replies.. then should i go for the second set changing the processor to i5 2500k? probably the PSU as well to 750w..

I would lean toward the 2nd system and tweek it a bit. The 2500K instead of 2600K, and change out some other items. I do like the Asus DU cards, especially if you want to OC. You could also switch out the WD Black drive for a Samsung F3. They are a bit cheaper and I think they have pretty comparable performance. I believe I read some articles that put Samsung and Hitachi drives in the most reliable spotlight. Seagate was the worst and there were some WD models that did not fare to well.

It's all about optimizing your cash.
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October 22, 2011 4:45:41 AM

The 2nd one is better balanced by some distance. Not the brands I'd have gone with personally, but no red flags either.

I'll stick with the 2600K though, if you can afford it - Anandtech bench - 2500K vs. 2600K

Not a biggie, but more power never hurts (Tim 'the toolman' Taylor would have agreed) :pt1cable: 

1. Better RAM choice for a bit of future proofing as well - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB

2. Monitor is your own personal preference as to whether you want a 24" one or a 27" one.

3. Now for the real decision - do you intend to overclock your CPU? Because if you don't, you can save a whole lotta money (over a 100 dollars) on the board and the cooler.

4. You also didn't say anything 'bout possible future SLI. If you don't need that, get a 600 watt PSU (650 absolute max).

5. With the money saved, a GTX 580 will let you max out Metro, BF3, Crysis2 on 1080p (4XAA, PhysX turned on).
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October 22, 2011 7:17:03 AM

im still learning about overclocking right now so just wanna keep it open..
yea definitely going for 8gb ram..
gtx 580 is way out of my budget right now.. im currently deciding whether i should stick with 570 or get radeon 6970..

this is my current plan

Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz Cache 6MB [Box] Socket LGA 1155 - Unlocked
ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 Lucid Virtu supported (LGA1155, Intel Z68. USB3, SATA3)
WDC 1TB SATA3 64MB - Caviar Black - WD1002FAEX
Gskill DDR3 PC12800 2x4GB RM RIPJAWS MID Dual Channel F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM / 7-8-7-24 OR Corsair vengeance
Zotac Geforce GTX 570 1280MB DDR5 or MSI GTX 570 Fermi Rwin Frozr III/OC
Azza Toledo ( W/O PSU )
FSP Aurum 80 600W
LG 22\" E2241T LED
Lite On DVD RW 24X SATA [OEM]
Thermaltake Frio

need help deciding on video card and the brand.. for radeon ill get sapphire radeon hd 6970 2gb.. i will probably stick with just 1 monitor.. both video cards works well with the same price range..
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October 22, 2011 7:46:41 AM

Brands are mostly personal preferences, but for me, yeah, it's Sapphire for Radeons and EVGA for Nvidia if reliability is what you're after (what with their warranties and all).

Asus is obviously a perennial favorite and GPU OC'ers like MSI 'coz you get superior cooling without loosing the guarantee.

The parts that you've listed in your latest post looks plenty good to me in general. I'll ask you to refrain from getting the cooler for now though, since you're not OC'ing right outta the box. Get an aftermarket cooler only when you decide to OC. Till then, the Intel cooler that'll come with your boxed retail processor will be plenty good :) 
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October 22, 2011 8:22:54 AM

i see.. i need cooler originally because i thought it would run pretty hot when im playing games at the highest setting possible..

for the warranty.. i have to check with the distributor in my country first.. would be too much trouble if i have to ship it to the US..

well then i guess im all set.. =)
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October 23, 2011 4:25:15 AM

^ With decent OEM coolers and great upgraded coolers coming from the manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI, I haven't found much of a need for aftermarket VGA coolers. They are usually $50+ fans and not worth it. My last aftermarket cooler was for a x1900xtx. Stuck with OEM and factory upgraded coolers since than and have gotten pretty good OCs.

As far as GTX570. If you want a good cooler, get this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for your updated build list. Looks good. How does the price fair?
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October 23, 2011 7:06:06 AM


asus and msi cards both look decent..
as far for the price, after changing back to 2500k instead of 2600k i saved some.. if i really dont need the cooler i might even slip in an SSD =)

actually i dont mind spending more if its really necessary and worth every dollar..

my biggest worry is only the graphic card.. i read alot of review between gtx 570 and radeon hd 6970 2gb but each card has their own strength and weakness.. im leaning towards gtx because i dont plan to play games on highest screen resolution or use dual monitors.. any thoughts?
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October 23, 2011 9:09:34 AM

im not planning to overclock now.. 2 gtx 400 series overclocked will surely beat.. but im going for the conveniency for now..
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October 23, 2011 11:39:39 PM

I'd stick with a GTX570. Evenone I know that has one is super happy with it. Some of them leave it stock some have overclocked and are happy. I sort of fell into my GTX 580, but if I had to pay flat out for a card, I was going to get the 570 and OC it. It's a far better value. The 6970 is a good card as well. My last 3 cards were ATI, but I've tended to lean toward Nvidia recently. I was tired of the monthly ATI driver updates and small issues ATI had with certain games. That was the 5000 series. The 6000 may be different.
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October 24, 2011 12:18:57 AM

pleeman said:

this is my current plan

Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz Cache 6MB [Box] Socket LGA 1155 - Unlocked
ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 Lucid Virtu supported (LGA1155, Intel Z68. USB3, SATA3)
WDC 1TB SATA3 64MB - Caviar Black - WD1002FAEX
Gskill DDR3 PC12800 2x4GB RM RIPJAWS MID Dual Channel F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM / 7-8-7-24 OR Corsair vengeance
Zotac Geforce GTX 570 1280MB DDR5 or MSI GTX 570 Fermi Rwin Frozr III/OC
Azza Toledo ( W/O PSU )
FSP Aurum 80 600W
LG 22\" E2241T LED
Lite On DVD RW 24X SATA [OEM]
Thermaltake Frio


Do you also want to futureproof your build ?

1) The Extreme3 doesn't have connections for front USB3.0, if that is a concern for you. The MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) does, has more SATA3 connections and has received awesome reviews. Around 40$ more though. But I see your case doesn'T have front USB3, so the point is moot Oo
2) If you are overclocking and running a high end GPU, 600W is very low, especially after capacitor aging. I suggest the SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W, around the same price as your 600W (at least where I live, gold rating and modular). If you don't care about the modular or gold rating, the CORSAIR TX750 V2 750W is a very good PS for the same price as your FSP
3) You don't need RAM with 7-8-7-24 timings. You'll only notice the difference in benchmarks. You can get 8GB for the same price and OC close to those timings. G.Skill F3 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 1.25V is a good alternative.
4) Try to find a way to fit an ssd in there, you won't regret it.
5) For video cards, I'm not great on advice. I've had AMD and Nvidia, no diff. IF you want to take a slight risk, take the 6950 2GB. A LOT cheaper than the 570, and some people have had luck modding it (firmware update I think) into a 6970... if that doesn't work, you still have a card that will rock at 1080p.
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October 24, 2011 6:45:56 AM

Dersid said:
Do you also want to futureproof your build ?

1) The Extreme3 doesn't have connections for front USB3.0, if that is a concern for you. The MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) does, has more SATA3 connections and has received awesome reviews. Around 40$ more though. But I see your case doesn'T have front USB3, so the point is moot Oo
2) If you are overclocking and running a high end GPU, 600W is very low, especially after capacitor aging. I suggest the SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W, around the same price as your 600W (at least where I live, gold rating and modular). If you don't care about the modular or gold rating, the CORSAIR TX750 V2 750W is a very good PS for the same price as your FSP
3) You don't need RAM with 7-8-7-24 timings. You'll only notice the difference in benchmarks. You can get 8GB for the same price and OC close to those timings. G.Skill F3 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 1.25V is a good alternative.
4) Try to find a way to fit an ssd in there, you won't regret it.
5) For video cards, I'm not great on advice. I've had AMD and Nvidia, no diff. IF you want to take a slight risk, take the 6950 2GB. A LOT cheaper than the 570, and some people have had luck modding it (firmware update I think) into a 6970... if that doesn't work, you still have a card that will rock at 1080p.



1. yeah not really a problem for me.. i dont use usb that much anyway.. or i can probably use an extension.. for sata 3 connection i think 2 would be sufficient..

2. thanks for pointing that out.. i have no plan to overclock at the moment but ill consider a 750W PSU..

3. i dont really understand what those latency actually mean to be honest.. but will a 9-9-9-24 timing would be better in this case? the corsair vengeance has latency of 9-9-9-24 1.5v but when its tested it came out as 8-8-8-24.. again, i have no idea what those numbers mean.. please enlighten me.. =)

4. for ssd i will probably get it just to install the OS.. and maybe a game im playing currently.. i will get this last if i still have enough cash..

5. i was thinking of getting 6950 2gb at first because like you said it can be unlocked into a 6970, but some people said that it doesnt work on newer 6950.. therefore im not taking a risk.. right now i have the budget to get a 570 so why not play safe =)
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October 24, 2011 12:36:19 PM

ok i read about RAM timing so am i right to say that the lower the better? though i read it wont make so much difference since the comp will auto-adjust it..

the Gskill DDR3 PC12800 2x4GB RM RIPJAWS MID Dual Channel F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM / 7-8-7-24 has the voltage of 1.6V.. is that too much? will it run hot when i play games and multitask?
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October 24, 2011 1:29:11 PM

pleeman said:
ok i read about RAM timing so am i right to say that the lower the better? though i read it wont make so much difference since the comp will auto-adjust it..

the Gskill DDR3 PC12800 2x4GB RM RIPJAWS MID Dual Channel F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM / 7-8-7-24 has the voltage of 1.6V.. is that too much? will it run hot when i play games and multitask?
Get 1.5V DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 RAM.

How much and who from depends on you. If you ask me, I'll get 8GB of the same from Corsair XMS3/Kingston Value/G.Skill if you're not OC'ing or Corsair Vengeance/Dominators or Kingston HyperX, or G.Skill Ripjaws/Sniper for OC.

On the Sandy Bridge platform, Mhz is more important than latency - 1600Mhz CL9 being the sweet spot. On AM3(+), DDR3 1333 CL9 is the way to go in terms of real world price/performance ratio. A higher clocked processor actually makes your system much faster than any tinkering of memory speed/cas combination ever will - and this applies for either platform.
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October 24, 2011 5:53:10 PM

ok so that being said.. one of these 2 will get the job done..

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

and

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

im leaning towards the gskill ram as it gets good reviews

anyway im ordering them within 3 days so this is what im going unless someone can convince me the other way within those 3 days..

Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz Cache 6MB [Box] Socket LGA 1155 - Unlocked

ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 Lucid Virtu supported (LGA1155, Intel Z68. USB3, SATA3)

WDC 1TB SATA3 64MB - Caviar Black - WD1002FAEX (ill get samsung spinpoint F3 if its available in my country but i doubt it)

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

MSI GTX 570 Fermi Rwin Frozr III/OC

AZZA Toledo 301 (CSAZ-301) Black Computer Case

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750M 750W High Performance Power Supply

LG 22\" E2241T LED

Lite On DVD RW 24X SATA [OEM]

Thermaltake Frio


looks solid?
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October 24, 2011 7:10:16 PM

There's nothing to convince you otherwise. Looks solid alright :) 

Get the G.Skill set 'coz it comes with a 4GB SD card. Your digicam will like that.

As for the monitor, since you're spending a decent amount on the whole rig, might as well spend a bit more on a 24-27" one - your rig deserves it :) 
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