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Thoughts on Build

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October 28, 2011 7:28:18 AM

Ok, so after a LOT of help from members and specifically vx53c, I have pretty much finalized my list. I'm going to grab:

SAPPHIRE 100312-3SR Radeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video ...

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible ...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


I just want to make sure I made the right decision with the mobo. I chose a slightly more expensive one, because the original only had a x16 and x4 pci express slot. Later down the road, I plan on running two 6950s and I read the x4 slots severely impact the cards performance. The mobo I went with has a x16 x8 and x4. I really don't want to spend a boat load of money on a mobo for 2 x16 slots. I know I will also need to get another PSU. I will cross that bridge when it comes. I just need to worry about the mobo. But something else crossed my mind, will the 6950 fit in my case? Some people say yes, others say no.

More about : thoughts build

October 28, 2011 7:48:20 AM

Buy a phenom 955 and just overclock it the extra 100Mhz .....and maybe a little more

ditch the green drive. It wont save you power and it will slow loading and boot times .
The Samsung F3 is the fastest hdd .

I'd spend less on the case . Maybe an Antec 300 illusion , or Antec 300 so I could buy a 24 inch monitor . I never look at the case while Im gaming ..........
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October 28, 2011 8:08:42 AM

I guess my biggest concerns are compatibility between all of the parts, and the GFX card. I dropped it down the the 300 series case, and I'm not looking for an amazingly fast hard drive. It's crazy that the GFX card costs more than the processor. I currently own a Sager laptop that while decent, a 500$ desktop matches it. I'm going to sell it and purchase all of these parts, but I want to be sure before I sell my only gaming pc. (desktop is an ancient core 2 duo with a 7300le)
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October 28, 2011 8:47:09 AM

For that budget you should be able to scrape together an i5 2500K/Z68 build instead, with either the 560 Ti or 6950. Maybe have a look at the last few Tom's system builder marathon $1000 builds for inspiration.

I've built both Phenom II 955 and 2500K systems for friends recently and while the PII was a plucky enough little machine, an i5 is definitely the way to go if you can manage it. I'm in Australia, where prices are egregiously inflated, and right now I can build a crossfire-ready i5 2400/Z68/6870/4gb machine for $800 (no monitor).

I just noticed you need a monitor too - so that might impact your options a little. Maybe drop your ram to 2x2gb (definitely @ 1.5v), look for a quality ~500w PSU instead (unless you want dual-card support in which case the TX650 should be enough with the cards you're looking at).

+1 for the Samsung F3, green drives can be slooooooooooooow.
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October 28, 2011 8:55:54 AM

Graphics card does most of the work , and chews up most of the power while you are gaming . The chip is many times the size of a cpu in order to do all that work
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October 28, 2011 9:11:10 AM

A good comparison of how well the CPU and the GPU will fare together is the results over Futuremark. Go to http://3dmark.com/search , enter your cpu and possible card. See how much of a step from each card you get. There might be a point where your CPU bottlenecks your GPU and the stepping seems unreasonable. That is possibly the best way to determine which GFX card is best suited to your CPU.
An example is my phenom ii 840. With a single 6850 it gets 4302 marks, with a single 6870 it gets 3950 marks, with a single 6950 it gets 4645. Certainly the best results are on overclocked systems but you get a rough idea of what happens.
While with a 6770 i had 2950 marks the leap to 6850 is amazing.
Drop in performance for the 6870 and stepping from 6850 to 6950 suggests a possible bottleneck beyond the 6850. It could also mean that not many people have the 6870 (which from what i see on the results is not the case) or all of them have configured their rig poorly or that they didnt overclock as well as the 6850 owners. Again, this is a rough idea of how they fit with eachother. Weigh those results against your budget, your needs and possible marks of a i3 2100 with the potential to upgrade later on (gen3 mobo will allow you to change just the processor and the gpu later on to an ivy bridge equivalent of higher power).
Regarding your monitor of choice, i personally would put the money on a 23-24 inch monitor. Go and look around, sit and play on a 21 inch monitor, do the same for a 24 inch. Perhaps you can get a decent one for a little more money.
Regarding your choice of motherboard, it is too expensive. You can get an AM3+ motherboard with much less. Starting from 60-70$ and compromising dual pci-e and less sata3 controllers (i dont see why you would need so many sata3 controlers. Even 2 are enough to run your possible ssd and sata3 hdd). IMHO get a nice AM3+ mobo (i dont see the reason for AMD though since they blew it with zambezi) with 2sata3 and 2usb3 ports. Any NB of 710 and higher and 8 phase is enough to overclock your CPU of choice nicely.
In regards of the hdd i am against a green single drive. If you are not going ssd then you must go for either wd caviar black/seagate barracuda 7200.12/samsung f3. Green and blue drives will work poorly and they are designed solely for being bulky storage mules. Search for the best price per gb among those drives and you can't go wrong with either of them.
I like the PSU, i advice against the chosen ram. You can get a 1600 kit of 8 for 50$ or so. Make sure your aftermarket cooler (if you are going for overclocking) clears your ram if they are high profile. I advice against high profile ram.

Do some research based on what i and other people on this thread have told you. Don't rush it. It might be painful but as you clearly said yourself it's better done right.
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October 28, 2011 9:26:05 AM

For low profile RAM, go for Corsair Vengeance.
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October 28, 2011 9:26:14 AM

vx53c said:
A good comparison of how well the CPU and the GPU will fare together is the results over Futuremark. Go to http://3dmark.com/search , enter your cpu and possible card. See how much of a step from each card you get. There might be a point where your CPU bottlenecks your GPU and the stepping seems unreasonable. That is possibly the best way to determine which GFX card is best suited to your CPU.
An example is my phenom ii 840. With a single 6850 it gets 4302 marks, with a single 6870 it gets 3950 marks, with a single 6950 it gets 4645. Certainly the best results are on overclocked systems but you get a rough idea of what happens.
While with a 6770 i had 2950 marks the leap to 6850 is amazing.
Drop in performance for the 6870 and stepping from 6850 to 6950 suggests a possible bottleneck beyond the 6850. It could also mean that not many people have the 6870 (which from what i see on the results is not the case) or all of them have configured their rig poorly or that they didnt overclock as well as the 6850 owners. Again, this is a rough idea of how they fit with eachother. Weigh those results against your budget, your needs and possible marks of a i3 2100 with the potential to upgrade later on (gen3 mobo will allow you to change just the processor and the gpu later on to an ivy bridge equivalent of higher power).
Regarding your monitor of choice, i personally would put the money on a 23-24 inch monitor. Go and look around, sit and play on a 21 inch monitor, do the same for a 24 inch. Perhaps you can get a decent one for a little more money.
Regarding your choice of motherboard, it is too expensive. You can get an AM3+ motherboard with much less. Starting from 60-70$ and compromising dual pci-e and less sata3 controllers (i dont see why you would need so many sata3 controlers. Even 2 are enough to run your possible ssd and sata3 hdd). IMHO get a nice AM3+ mobo (i dont see the reason for AMD though since they blew it with zambezi) with 2sata3 and 2usb3 ports. Any NB of 710 and higher and 8 phase is enough to overclock your CPU of choice nicely.
In regards of the hdd i am against a green single drive. If you are not going ssd then you must go for either wd caviar black/seagate barracuda 7200.12/samsung f3. Green and blue drives will work poorly and they are designed solely for being bulky storage mules. Search for the best price per gb among those drives and you can't go wrong with either of them.
I like the PSU, i advice against the chosen ram. You can get a 1600 kit of 8 for 50$ or so. Make sure your aftermarket cooler (if you are going for overclocking) clears your ram if they are high profile. I advice against high profile ram.

Do some research based on what i and other people on this thread have told you. Don't rush it. It might be painful but as you clearly said yourself it's better done right.



Wall of text crits you for 9001 damage.

Ontopic: get a spinpoint F3 its faster cheaper and more reliable :)  mine gets an average of about 100-120mb/s
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October 28, 2011 10:13:19 AM

Yeah, I threw this list together insanely fast. I won't be purchasing this until my laptop sells, which could take a little while. This is my current list so far.

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
(OR GIGABYTE GA-Z68P-DS3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard)

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible ...

ASUS VS Series VS247H-P Black 23.6" 2ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor

Over the past few hours, I have really thought about it. I would much rather run dual 560tis than 6950s. I have always preferred nvidia over the radeons. Also, load times do not bother me AT ALL. If I can get 60fps with a 2 minute load, so be it. I can always upgrade it later. All of this totals to around $1115 before MIR. (with MIR its 40 off)

If i go with the second mobo, it's 30 cheaper.

1st. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2nd.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 28, 2011 10:45:46 AM

The hdd you put there is 5400rpm. I know you said you dont care about load times, still, for less money http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... faster, same capacity and sata3 but i don't know about the availability and price at your region.
I like the mobos you put there. Consider this one too http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you run dual cards your PSU will not be enough. Especially if you OC CPU and GPUs. What you got there is good for one card and one processor but going dual will give you BOSD when you press the system.
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October 28, 2011 11:01:35 AM

Much better hardrive there, alright, editing the list. Also, what size PSU would I need if I grabbed another gtx560ti? And is an aftermarket cooling system necessary if I'm just going to run a single card for now?

And for $40 more to get that monitor, its definitely worth it, I had the 23 inchers blocked out when I was searching.
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October 28, 2011 11:04:41 AM

850 is the minimum if you are gonna crank everything up leaving some space for aging capacitors. Problem is that you can't go cheap on a PSU. The difference in price will be substantial.
Also have a look above in what i told you about monitors. If it is a matter of space then ok, but if it is a matter of money, you will notice quite a difference for those 2 inches.
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October 28, 2011 11:08:19 AM

As for the aftermarket cooling, if you overclock the stock cooler wont do. Simply put.
You need to spend another 30-50 bucks on your aftermarket cooler. Personal fav is the Xigmatek Aegir. Can't go wrong with Corsair A70 but if we are running too high on the budget even a CM hyper 212 will do for a decent OC
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October 28, 2011 11:11:27 AM

Well, assuming my laptop sells for my asking price, thats about 1000 right there, I'm going to need to buy windows 7 64bit along with a computer desk. If you count the laptop amount as a "credit" towards the total, I can spend roughly 400 more. I'm looking at the aftermarket cooling now. I won't be grabbing another 560ti until after christmas.

I'll end up buying a new PSU and the cooling system when I buy the 2nd 560ti. For now, I just plan on OC'ing the GFX card.
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October 28, 2011 8:46:52 PM

Ok, so I have pretty much finalized the build. I just want to double check a few things. 1. Are all of the parts compatible ie the psu and gfx card. 2. I've never built a pc before, do I need wires or do these things come with them? 3. if I'm only running one card and that's the only thing I plan on over clocking, do I need aftermarket cooling?
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October 28, 2011 9:03:13 PM

You will need your rig to have at least 2 fans, rear as exhaust and right infront of the hdd rack as intake. If you want to keep your rig better cooled then you need another exhaust on top and one more in the front panel as intake.
Aftermarket cooler is for your cpu and yes you need it for OC. For a medium OC you could use the CM hyper 212 and 2 rig fans, for more heavy OC i'd suggest a better cooler. My favourite being the Xigmatek Aegir but i find Zalman CNPS x10 performa and Corsair A70 just as good (though both are a little louder than the Aegir).
GPU overclocking can be done without an aftermarket cooler taken it is in reasonable amounts. Go one step at a time and run tests after each overclock.
Speaking of the gfx card, we have reached a point where the rest of your computer's components are a tier higher than your gfx card. See if you can cough up a lil something for a 570 or a 6950
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October 28, 2011 9:19:11 PM

oh yes i forgot about the wires of course.
The PSU will have all necessary parts for the connections to the motherboard (24atx socket, 4 and 8 pin cpu v12 rail, 6 and 8 pin plugs for your gfx card, sata power cables for your hdd and dvd-r.
Your mobo will have 2 sata cables, and the backplate
Your case will have hex-screws (usually 9) to host your motherboard accompanied with bolts to fasten the mobo in place. Also front panel connectors will exist to plug to your motherboard.
Maybe your mobo will also have extra rear usb connectors.
What you won't have is a 4pin molex Y splitter to 3 or 4 pin. Your case fan will have at least one 3pin socket to sit on your motherboard. The gigabyte mobo you chose has just one 3pin socket for chasis fan and 1 4pin for your cooler. molex splitters give you 2 12v 3pin (Yellow cable) to connect an extra fan on each. Of course if the fan you get powers from a 12v rail molex you don't even need the splitter since your psu will provide some 12v molex cables.
Read a lot before you attempt to assemble your rig alone and you dont know what you are doing. Most definitely, don't use force. If it doesn't go in easily you are probably doing something wrong.

BTW i read again, you said you don't plan on overclocking anything other than the gfx card. In which case the 2500k is extra money you had better spend elsewhere. 2500 (without the k) or 2400 will do nicely. In fact you won't notice a difference so go for the 2400
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October 29, 2011 6:43:45 AM

Yeah, I will more than likely get a buddy who works as an IT tech for the city to help me build it. I think I'm going to stick with the 2500k I'll end up ocing it down the road when games require it. I'm a little iffy about the 570gtx, I heard they run pretty hot.
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October 29, 2011 8:06:47 AM

they do run pretty hot this is why i always propose for 6950. 560ti is kind of ok, but then again 6950 better.
Yeah this case is awesome.
PSU recap:
No OC whatsoever and 1 card --> 500watt
1 gfx card OC + CPU OC --> 650watt
2 gfx card OC + CPU OC --> 850watt
in the case of 2 6970 or higher cards 850watts is probably not enough. (just on a side note)
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October 31, 2011 2:47:10 AM

Bumped, re did the list and have 2 more questions in the original post. 1. Will a mobo with a x16 and x8 slot be ok with crossfire 6950s? 2. Will the 6950 fit in my case?
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October 31, 2011 5:27:25 AM

Yes and yes.
Consider ga-z68xp-ud3 (2 more usb3, 2 more sata3, tom's award)
for crossfire you will need a 850 psu.
Add an aftermarker cooler (namely Corsair A70)
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October 31, 2011 5:31:20 AM

I had an issue finding this thread, so I started a new one with one final question. I was reading that for 10$ more the AsRock Extreme3 is a better choice, you will probably see it.
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October 31, 2011 5:32:02 AM

Best answer selected by nikryj.
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