Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

$2000 gaming PC - Need advice

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 27, 2011 6:53:15 PM

Skyrim is about to come out so I decided it was time to build a new PC. However I built my own PC in about 5 years and I'm kind of lost. I've managed to save $2000 and I've been looking at parts. I have no idea what's good these days so I don't have anything concrete at the moment and the game comes out in 2 weeks. So I decided it might be time to ask for some help.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Approximate Purchase Date: Before November 11.

Budget Range: $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Skyrim in particular), watching movies, surfing, Skyrim again.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS. May not need a case either as I have an NZXT Apollo. I don't know if it's any good, to be honest I only chose it because it looks cool (I have the black one).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Scorptec

Country of Origin: Australia.

Parts Preferences: Intel, ATI.

Overclocking: Maybe.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Is Crossfire worth it? I've been hearing conflicting opinions on it. Basically I'll go for what ever is best for gaming. I've also never overclocked a PC before. I'm open to the idea of it but seeing as I've never done it before, I'm hesitant to try in case I do some damage.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay, so I think I'm ready to order. This is what I have now. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. If you see anything wrong, let me know.

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 Z68 - $165

Corsair 8GB Low Profile Kit (2x4GB) - $79

Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX Power Supply - $165

Cooler Master HYPER 212+ UNIVERSAL CPU Cooler - $37

Pioneer DVR-219LBK - $35

EVGA Geforce GTX580 SuperClocked - $599

BenQ GL2440HM - $195

Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 x3 - $387 ($129 each)

Intel Core i5 2500K - $227

NZXT Phantom - $169

Total: $2092

More about : 2000 gaming advice

Best solution

October 27, 2011 10:46:52 PM

Intel i5-2500K $227
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/39853-bx80623i52500...

Asus P8Z68-V $200
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/41911-p8z68-v

Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CAS9 1.5V CML8GX3M2A1600C9 $80
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/41589-cml8gx3m2a160...

HIS Radeon HD6950 IceQ X 2GB HIS-6950-2GBD5-IQ $295
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/41737-his-6950-2gbd...
26cm according to the HIS website.

Antec Truepower New TPN-650 80Plus Bronze Modular $130
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/31326-tp-650
Or
Corsair AX-650 80Plus Gold Modular $190
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/42095-cmpsu-650ax
6950s aren't that power hungry so it is perfectly possible to run two of them on a good 650W PSU

However, if you want a 750W unit then I would suggest either of these:
Toughpower XT 775W 80Plus Silver Modular $165
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/37159-ttpx775
Or
Antec High Current Pro 750W 80Plus Gold Modular $195
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/41497-hcp-750

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB HD502HJ $80
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/35078-hd502hj
HDDs are quite expensive atm due to the flooding in Thailand, so personally I would try to get by with as little storage as possible in the hopes that it will last long enough for prices to begin to fall again. If you need as much storage as possible immediately then you will have just accept the higher than normal prices.

Any SATA DVD writer, unless you want Blu-ray. ~$30/90

Total: $1047-1107
Then get a high end 24-27" LED IPS monitor. Unfortunately I don't know the monitor market that well so I can't make a recommendation.

You might also be able to afford an SSD for faster booting times. This depends on how much you spend on a monitor and how much you want to use all your $2000 budget.

The Apollo is going to restrict your graphics card choices, this is because, according to the NZXT website, it is "8800GTX compatible" (which, if like other Nvidia cards, is 10.5"/26.7cm long), whether this means it can take longer cards than that I don't know, but I would think 10.5" would be the limit and a sensible limit to stick to unless you know that it can take longer cards, which I don't.
I also think that it wouldn't be the best choice for a crossfire system, as the airflow doesn't look that effective to me.

So I think that you should look around for other cases which are less restrictive and if you can find one that you would want to replace the Apollo with then I you should do so, but if you can't then you will have to be prepared to accept the limitations of the Apollo.

Heat and noise are the major downsides of crossfire, occasionally newly released games might have driver issues for a short time before the driver can be updated. Personally I think that unless you are running very large resolutions (3 displays) then it is not necessary to have crossfire except as an upgrade option. Sometimes it is possible to just replace the single card in a few years with another single card, altho it is conceivable that the better option in a few years is to just buy another 6950/6970.
Share
Related resources
October 27, 2011 11:55:20 PM

Daioh said:
I would suggest this motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why? After a quick check the only differences I can see are that the Pro has firewire ports and a reset button.

g-unit, he is in Australian, so that build might not be attainable with a budget of $2000 AUD.
m
0
l
October 28, 2011 12:10:15 AM

Silvune said:
Why? After a quick check the only differences I can see are that the Pro has firewire ports and a reset button.

g-unit, he is in Australian, so that build might not be attainable with a budget of $2000 AUD.


Actually he probably could if the exchange rate I just looked up is true:

Mid-market rates: 2011-10-28 00:09 UTC

2,000.00 AUD = 2,141.90 USD
Australian Dollar US Dollar
1 AUD = 1.07095 USD 1 USD = 0.933750 AUD
m
0
l
October 28, 2011 12:32:57 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-sli-s...

practically the best computer you can get right now and can probably run any game max. If you wanted to save a little money you could change to crossfire 6970s and 2500k and 1600mhz ram and you'd save about 3-400 dollars which you could use to get 3 21-23in monitors and run a 3 monitor setup and you would have a truly amazing skyrim experience.

m
0
l
October 28, 2011 6:52:53 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your replies, you've been a real help! :) 

After reading your replies I spent a few hours working up a list I'm considering. I'm pretty bad at this, and I may have made a mess of things. So any input you guys have would be great.

This is what I have at the moment:

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 Z68 - $165

Corsair 8GB Low Profile Kit (2x4GB) - $79

Thermaltake ToughPower XT 775W - $165

Cooler Master HYPER 212+ UNIVERSAL CPU Cooler - $37

Pioneer DVR-219LBK - $35

EVGA Geforce GTX580 SuperClocked - $589

BenQ GL2440HM - $195

Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 x3 - $327 ($109 each)

Intel Core i5 2500K - $227

NZXT Phantom - $169

Total: $1988
m
0
l
October 29, 2011 4:13:17 AM

That's a much better list.

Instead of the Thermaltake PSU, I'd go with something from PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Antec, or Corsair.

There's a new version of the Hyper 212 called the Evo that'll run you a few bucks more, get that if it's available.

Do you necessarily need 3 1TB hard drives? I'd go with a single 2TB hard drive and get an SSD initially, you can always add more hard drives if you need them later. And if you need a drive for backups, I'd suggest investing in a blu-ray burner if you haven't already got that on your list.

The Phantom is a great case but I'm not sure how good it is for cable management, the ones Corsair makes are great cases for cable management, I have the Graphite 600T and it is one of the best cases I've ever worked with.
m
0
l
October 29, 2011 6:38:51 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I had a look at some other PSU's with the brand you recommended and I was thinking about this one:
Corsair Micro CMPSU-750HX

They don't have the Evo, so I'm assuming I should stick with the one I have.

I spend a good while thinking about hard drives. I'm just not convinced that SSD is worth the money right now. I decided to change to 2 2TB drives instead of the 3 1TB ones, it also looks like they're better and only $11 more for two drives than I was paying for the three with an extra terabyte.
Western Digital WD20EARX x2
m
0
l
October 29, 2011 6:55:25 PM

Quote:
I had a look at some other PSU's with the brand you recommended and I was thinking about this one:
Corsair Micro CMPSU-750HX


Corsair's HX series is among the best in the business. However, the TX series is also very good, and the TX750V2 should be significantly cheaper, and would make more sense. With only a single GPU, there's not much of a reason to spend the extra on a modular PSU. Just my 2 cents.

Quote:
They don't have the Evo, so I'm assuming I should stick with the one I have.

The 212+ is a great cooler. Had 2 - one on my i7-930 and on my i5-2500K, and both ran under 55C @ 100% load.

Quote:
I spend a good while thinking about hard drives. I'm just not convinced that SSD is worth the money right now. I decided to change to 2 2TB drives instead of the 3 1TB ones, it also looks like they're better and only $11 more for two drives than I was paying for the three with an extra terabyte.
Western Digital WD20EARX x2

These are 5400RPM green drives though. They're substantially slower than the F3s (fastest platter drives out there), and are really only good for excess storage. I wouldn't even think about using them as an OS drive.
m
0
l
October 30, 2011 4:37:14 AM

Quote:
Corsair's HX series is among the best in the business. However, the TX series is also very good, and the TX750V2 should be significantly cheaper, and would make more sense. With only a single GPU, there's not much of a reason to spend the extra on a modular PSU. Just my 2 cents.

To be honest, I went for the modular just as a personal preference. My current PC has a modular PSU and it made it much easier to get around in the case with less cables. Although I was thinking of buying another GPU (and a few more monitors) somewhere down the road, so it modular would be helpful there it's probably best to buy one now rather than replace it later.

Quote:
The 212+ is a great cooler. Had 2 - one on my i7-930 and on my i5-2500K, and both ran under 55C @ 100% load.

Cool. I was disappointed when I couldn't find the Evo so it's good to know that this one is still good.

Quote:
These are 5400RPM green drives though. They're substantially slower than the F3s (fastest platter drives out there), and are really only good for excess storage. I wouldn't even think about using them as an OS drive.

I'm not sure if Scorptec has a really low range of HDD's or I'm just not looking at the right things, but I don't really know what a good choice is. Is there particular drives you'd recommend?

Thanks again for your help guys. You've been great. :) 
m
0
l
October 30, 2011 7:15:18 PM

cixwow said:
Quote:
Corsair's HX series is among the best in the business. However, the TX series is also very good, and the TX750V2 should be significantly cheaper, and would make more sense. With only a single GPU, there's not much of a reason to spend the extra on a modular PSU. Just my 2 cents.

To be honest, I went for the modular just as a personal preference. My current PC has a modular PSU and it made it much easier to get around in the case with less cables. Although I was thinking of buying another GPU (and a few more monitors) somewhere down the road, so it modular would be helpful there it's probably best to buy one now rather than replace it later.

Quote:
The 212+ is a great cooler. Had 2 - one on my i7-930 and on my i5-2500K, and both ran under 55C @ 100% load.

Cool. I was disappointed when I couldn't find the Evo so it's good to know that this one is still good.

Quote:
These are 5400RPM green drives though. They're substantially slower than the F3s (fastest platter drives out there), and are really only good for excess storage. I wouldn't even think about using them as an OS drive.

I'm not sure if Scorptec has a really low range of HDD's or I'm just not looking at the right things, but I don't really know what a good choice is. Is there particular drives you'd recommend?

Thanks again for your help guys. You've been great. :) 


The Evo is just a newer version of the 212+, so it might be a while before it's available. It's really just a slightly better fan and a couple of added heat pipes. I have a 212+ and I second that it's a great cooler - I use one on my i3-2100 workstation build and it keeps it cooler than the Silver Arrow I have installed on my i7-920 gaming system. :lol: 

If you're going with an SSD though, pairing it with a 5400 RPM drive or a 7200RPM drive really wont make that much of a difference. Maybe slightly faster load times but that's it.
m
0
l
October 31, 2011 4:58:48 PM

Okay, so I think I'm ready to order. This is what I have now:

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 Z68 - $165

Corsair 8GB Low Profile Kit (2x4GB) - $79

Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX Power Supply - $165

Cooler Master HYPER 212+ UNIVERSAL CPU Cooler - $37

Pioneer DVR-219LBK - $35

EVGA Geforce GTX580 SuperClocked - $599

BenQ GL2440HM - $195

Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 x3 - $387 ($129 each)

Intel Core i5 2500K - $227

NZXT Phantom - $169

Total: $2092

I went back to the original 3x 1TB drives. I know it might not be the best choice, but I just can't bring myself to sacrifice the space for an SSD at that price. Call me crazy.

Other than that, everything is the same as my last edit (the one with the different PSU).

I just wanted to make a post to make sure it's all compatible, etc. If I get the all clear I should be ordering it sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone for helping me out. I know I'm a bit hopeless, but without all your help, I'd probably still be stuck with no idea where to start. :D 
m
0
l
November 6, 2011 4:13:34 AM

Best answer selected by cixwow.
m
0
l
!