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Last response: in Systems
October 27, 2011 8:29:19 PM

Hi guys, just wanted to get some feedback on a build a friend of mine and I put together. For reference, I am new to building computers and my knowledge is somewhat limited though I have put a decent amount of time into researching this build. I am also going to pose a few questions at the bottom that have been my main concerns when deciding on parts. In advance, I appreciate the feedback and suggestions!

Budget: $1000-$1150

Use: Primarily Gaming



1. GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (149.99)


2. MSI Z68A-GD55 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS (159.99)


1. Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K (314.99)


2. 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 (214.99)

Memory / Ram

1. Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT51264BA160A (49.99) -

Recommended by a friend, didnt do too much research on this aspect of the build.


1. EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (249.99) - Since this card is no longer really expensive, I would probably consider buying another one and doing a 560ti SLI in the next month or two (after Christmas shopping ect).


2. Some type of 570 series card - Havent much researched this option as my original build kind of built itself around a 560ti to start with an additional 560ti added in the near future. If I go with the i5 instead of the i7 I could spend $100 more on the gpu , but more about that at the bottom. Suggestions are welcome.


1. 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 (20.99)


Open to all suggestions.

Possible : 1. Western Digital Scorpio Black wd5000bpkt 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive (89.99)


1. COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (89.99)


Need help with this decision as well, was recommended the PSU below but is 650w enough? If I upgrade in the future how long will a 650w PSU be relevant? Suggestions welcome.

1. XFX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply


1. 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 (25.99)

Thermal Paste


Base Cost: All builds end with a base cost of 1000-1100 which is just about my budget. I do not need a monitor, keyboard, mouse , or any peripherals.


1. i5 2500k SB vs i7 2600k SB - This has really been my biggest concern when choosing parts. I know conventional wisdom will say that the i5 would be the better decision because there is no real difference in gaming performance. This could potentially save me 100$ that could be used in upgrading my GPU to possibly a 570 instead of a 560. However, I am trying to devise a long term upgrade strategy and for some reason I keep telling myself the i7 is the place to start. I may be completely wrong if you have a differing opinion please share.

2. Motherboard - I read an article on toms-hardware that rated gigabyte's z68 IGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 is a really quality MOBO but I have also heard that it can have problems. From the research I did on the MSi mobo it seemed to get some decent reviews as well. Thoughts?

3. Power Supply - As you can see I left this area of the build blank as I am having trouble picking the right PSU. Would it be beneficial for a first time builder such as myself to get a modular power supply? Input would be appreciated.

4. GPU - 560ti SLI v --- Having trouble deciding on this area of the build as well. Would it be beneficial to go with the i5 and get a 570 and possibly SLi a few months down the road, or go with the i7 2600k and SLI with 560ti in a month or two? Again, im planning for the future, how long will a SLI 560ti setup be viable for gaming at high / close to max graphics?

5. HDD - I know flooding in Asia has caused price increases on this particular item, any suggestions on a quality part for a good price would be appreciated.

I think this answers most of my pressing questions and concerns. If you made it through this wall of text I REALLY appreciate it as I am trying to do my best for a first time builder. Thanks again!

More about : build suggestions feedback

October 27, 2011 8:48:57 PM

1. For gaming, i5-2500k and gtx570 ( grabbing another down the road for SLI )

- If gaming is the systems primary purpose, then the i5 with the better GPU is easily the best way to go.

2. I like both Gigabyte and MSI mobos. I would see what the differences are in features and hardware support between the 2 you like to make a choice.

- I use a Gigabyte mobo and have been happy.

3. DO NOT get an XFX PSU. Get something along the lines of Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, etc......

- I have a Corsair HX850 to run my system, with 2 x HD6950 OC's in X-fire. I would go 850 watts or higher if you plan on running SLI with good cards.

4. See 1.

5. You will see great reviews and poor reviews for almost every brand of HDD. So many are made, that no matter if WD, or seagate, or samsung...people never have a problem, or have 2 die in a row. Go with what you feel comfortable with.

- I went with a nice Hitachi Deskstar. Great price, with same specs as more expenisve HDD's I saw.

CPU Cooler - Go with the Hyper 212 EVO. It is the new upgraded version of the Hyper 212+

Thermal paste- I would consider Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste
October 27, 2011 8:58:05 PM

Hey thanks so much for the quick response, I really appreciate it! I am definitely leaning toward the i5 with the better gpu. More feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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October 27, 2011 10:44:22 PM

Yes. That would be an excellent combo. My 6950's are MSI twin frozr 3's, and I love 'em. And I have used Corsair PSU's for my last few builds. They have always been great.
October 28, 2011 2:53:47 AM

Any more suggestions? Looking to purchase parts pretty soon! Thanks.
October 28, 2011 3:09:57 AM

get a low profile memory .. if u plan to oc look for better cooler
and for a paste go with arctic silver ceramiq