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Final thoughts on $1500 computer

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October 24, 2011 9:14:48 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week or next

Budget Range:$1400 up too $1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, VMs (Windows as Host, Linux(Fedora/Ubuntu as Guest), VHDL simulation/builds

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin:US

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in future

Monitor Resolution: Primary: 1920x1080 Secondary: 1440x900

Storage: I would like to have SSD's in raid 0 as my OS drive/Gaming drive


I have done a bit of research mostly using this site, but I still don't feel 100% with the parts I have selected and just wanted to get some input. I would especially like to make sure I have a good Mother Board, one that is able to handle a stable overclocking hoping for (4.5 or greater). Also I am concerned about SSD's in raid 0 I guess I haven't read up enough on them as I seem to get mixed reviews on whether to put them in raid0 or not in terms of performance and reliability over a larger single SSD. But anyways here are the components I have selected:

Cpu: Intel Core i7-2600K or should I get the Core-i5-2500k I am not sure what performance gains I might see running a VM and Synthesizing/Simulating VHDL.

Cpu Cooler: XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gpu: EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR
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...

SSD: 2 in RAID0 - Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any input would be greatly appreciated! Also this build is ~$1500 with i7 but I have some room to grow if needed.

October 24, 2011 9:43:21 PM

Skip the SSD's in RAID and go for a larger single SSD (120/128GB). Look for a 950w - 1000w psu to push two of those cards in SLI, and I would size up on the case. A larger mid tower like a Cooler Master or Corsair. Usually those cases can be found cheaper @ amazon along with the free shipping. Corsair 400R goes for $100+ free shipping at amazon and gives you better cooling and more room for that cpu h/s along with the SSD cage and front 3.0 USB ports.

As far as the 2600K vs 2500K...I have no idea if what you use utilizes hyper threading.

Here's two gen3/PCI-E 3.0 boards worth taking a look at. And I believe MSI has those gen3 boards out now.

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

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

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0
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October 24, 2011 10:03:08 PM

Considering your resolution, I'd say the GTX 580 is overkill. You could spend $150 less on graphics for the same tangible performance.
I would assume hyperthreading would benefit running virtual operating systems, but is it worth the extra money? Up to you to decide, it appears that WIN8 may be better able to use more than 4 cores. For me it wouldn't be worth an extra $100, unless I was certain of seeing a clear benefit.
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October 24, 2011 10:48:23 PM

Thanks for the responses. I think I will go for the single SSD I always seem to end up having problems whenever I use raid0 anyways. Any SSD's worth mentioning?

As for the motherboard the board I picked out is a Gen3 that was reviewed on this site and came second to the extreme7 gen3 asrock if my memory serves me but only because it didn't handle 3 way sli which I never plan to use.

Maybe I was going over board with the GTX 580, but will going with GTX 570 impede my future use or is the difference in performance not worth the jump to the 580?

Looking at the Corsair 400R it does look very nice and its free shipping at $100 on newegg as well.

Final note if I save money by going with the the 570/i5 what kinda of SSD would be worth purchasing in the 300-350 range. I see this as a potential buy:

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F180GBGT-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 24, 2011 11:24:52 PM

If gaming is primary concern I would go with the i5 2500k. I5 & i7 have about the same gaming performance. I7 if need to do a lot of video editing. If not put money saved to GPU. Also SSD are still very expensive. I would go with a good large Hdd and wait until SSD prices come down. I have a high end gaming PC and I returned my SSD because I was not impressed during gaming for how much money it was. Mostly seen is OS and boot times. Save that money and put towards GPU also. GPU is one of the most important components for high end gaming. If u have to have a SSD the m4 are one of the best reviewed.

Don't listen to what buzznut said about the 580 being overkill for 1920x1080. Completely not true and very opinionated. Gamers like their games played with maxed out graphics and high, extremely smooth lifelike framerates. Games locked at 60fps look absolutely gorgeous! I have the EVGA 590 Classified and even this beast of a GPU dips below the 60 FPS(on 1080p) mark with a couple of the GPU demanding games, like Crysis 2, Metro 2033, Witcher 2, and we will see with Battlefield 3 on ultra.

I would used that money saved on i5 & SSD towards a 590. But that's just my opinion. Plus EVGA 590 classified comes factory overclocked to get better performance than the standard 590. But if you are a heavy overclocker stick with the 580. I got the 590 for a great price so I went with it plus evga put a lifetime warranty on the card that even covers overclocking.

Here is 590 vs 580. http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-590-review/16
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October 24, 2011 11:47:22 PM

If you are doing something that utilizes the hyper threading then keep the 2600k otherwise if gaming is your main interest or use for this computer then get the 2500k and use the $100 you will save on a really good motherboard. The sweet spot for SSD seems to be 240gb and it's large enough for your OS nad the current games your are playing and your most used apps. The GTX 580 is the card to use as in the future by adding another for sli you will have extreme video computing power the GTX 590 is not all that great as two 580's in sli will get higher fps than a 590. You don't atually get two 580 gpu's in a 590 , you have to get the $1500 Asus Mars card for that. Check out the Cooler Master Haf 922 or 932 cases for good size well ventelated cases.
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October 25, 2011 12:00:46 AM

inzone said:
If you are doing something that utilizes the hyper threading then keep the 2600k otherwise if gaming is your main interest or use for this computer then get the 2500k and use the $100 you will save on a really good motherboard. The sweet spot for SSD seems to be 240gb and it's large enough for your OS nad the current games your are playing and your most used apps. The GTX 580 is the card to use as in the future by adding another for sli you will have extreme video computing power the GTX 590 is not all that great as two 580's in sli will get higher fps than a 590. You don't atually get two 580 gpu's in a 590 , you have to get the $1500 Asus Mars card for that. Check out the Cooler Master Haf 922 or 932 cases for good size well ventelated cases.


Yes that is true the 590 is is 2 580s downclocked on one board. And of course 580 sli will beat a 590, but u are talking about $700(590) vs $1200(580sli) Now IGN just released BF3 review and states you need 580 SLI to max out game. http://pc.ign.com/articles/121/1210387p1.html If u can afford 2 580s now go for it. On the other hand $100-$150 more for the 590 vs the 580 for a lot of extra performance is worth it in my book. Also future proofing by adding another 590 in future for quad SLI and your system will be on fire, and you would only have to use 2 pci-e slots to get the most performance on the least expensive motherboard.
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October 25, 2011 12:07:34 AM

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan $159.99 and a $20 rebate and free shipping.

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

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 BX80623I52500K $219.99 and free shipping.

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

COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible $33.99 and free shipping.

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

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $129.99

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

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C7R $96.99 and free shipping.

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

ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $274.99 and free shipping.

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

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $139.99.

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

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F240GBGT-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $419.99 and free shipping

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

EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-TR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $499.99.

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

Here is a list of components I put together for you to compare and if nothing else consider the motherboard the I listed as it does have the Tomshardware Best Enthusiasts choice Award. This might be a little bit over your budget but you can mix and match and switch out here and there or maybe like it so much you will find more budget money . The total is $1955.91
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October 25, 2011 12:11:06 AM

Swolern said:
Yes that is true the 590 is is 2 580s downclocked on one board. And of course 580 sli will beat a 590, but u are talking about $700(590) vs $1200(580sli) Now IGN just released BF3 review and states you need 580 SLI to max out game. http://pc.ign.com/articles/121/1210387p1.html If u can afford 2 580s now go for it. On the other hand $100-$150 more for the 590 vs the 580 for a lot of extra performance is worth it in my book. Also future proofing by adding another 590 in future for quad SLI and your system will be on fire, and you would only have to use 2 pci-e slots to get the most performance on the least expensive motherboard.



Two GTX 580's @ $499.99 = $999.98. You can find them lower than that as well. I would still like two 580's in sli.
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October 25, 2011 12:20:30 AM

inzone said:
Two GTX 580's @ $499.99 = $999.98. You can find them lower than that as well. I would still like two 580's in sli.


Ur right. I was looking at 3gb version. Sorry. And yes 580 sli is a smoking system also. OP would just need to buy both now to max out some of these GPU intensive games @ 60 FPS.
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October 25, 2011 1:53:08 AM

Wow, wasn't expecting so many replies on this. I think I am going to stick with one 580 now with the possibility of getting a second. I think I am going to go for a 120GB SDD as that should be more than enough to handle OS and select games.

inzone thanks for the input on parts I have looked at them. I was considering the cpu cooler, but they are both so similar looking at reviews I will keep the one I originally had.

Updates:

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Patriot Wildfire
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
--This SSD seemed the best deal as it was recommended in SSD review here and with a rebate it is 200. I can always upgrade/get a new SSD in the future I think 120GB will be more than enough.

Case: Why_Me recomended - Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:see inzones recomendation
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October 25, 2011 2:07:01 AM

Man that's an expensive ssd. U know the ssd will not affect your gaming performance framerate. But if you decide to go that route you are going to need a HDD for main storage. 120gb will fill up very quickly. Some of the new games are massive size and take up past 20gb each. First you get around 110gb to use then plus OS. U will need more trust me.

I got a 2000gb HDD for $59 and it works great. I bought a 550 write/read speed ssd and noticed no gaming performance difference. It just shaved A few sec off the load time. Wasn't worth it to me. So I put that $200 towards gpu = huge gaming difference.
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October 25, 2011 2:36:29 AM

I thought I had mentioned that I have plenty of HDD space to spare and was only looking for an SDD, my bad. I think the SSD is well worth it for me as I rarely ever keep my computer on and would benefit from the os boot up time and reopening of the multiple programs I use on a daily basis.
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October 25, 2011 4:03:25 AM

OCZ Vertex III 120GB. best available.
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