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I5-2500k / ASUS P67 / 8GB RAM / HIS 6950 / Crucial m4

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October 29, 2011 1:55:32 AM

After two educational weeks of reading forums and reviews, I think it’s finally time to post this new build. Please share your thoughts to my proposed questions. Thank you ahead of time.

What I'm looking for in this build:

1. Performance > Quietness > Efficiency
2. Gaming > Movies > General Use
3. Roughly $1000-$1200
4. I expect it to last 2-3 years
5. I'm trying to find the "sweet spot" for the hardware. I don't want to pay excessive amounts of money for a small increase in performance, but at the same time, I don't want to under-buy

Notes:
I have time to wait for the BF deals next month. I'm hoping this ~$1500 build will drop to ~$1000. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I have only posted Newegg links, but Amazon has many of these components for less.
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I have decided on the following components:

CPU:
i5-2500k - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF:
CoolerMaster 212+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo:
ASUS P67 Sabertooth - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G. Skill 2x4GB Ripjaws X - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:
Crucial m4 128GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
(2x) WDC Caviar Black 2TB 7200rpm - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE:
Antec 300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
Corsair 650TX - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
HIS 6950 1TB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Various 120mm and 140mm silent fans, from $5-$20, will be purchased as necessary. I want to test the cooling and noise levels before I buy more hardware.
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My questions and comments:

CPU:
1. I plan to OC ~4.0GHz
____a. Does anybody know the life expectancy for an OCed 2500k? I haven't been able to find that info anywhere.

HSF:
1. I believe it will fit in the ANTEC 300 case, but I would like somebody to clarify if possible.
2. I don't need the evo, the plus is just fine.
3. Does it make sense to add a 2nd 120mm fan in a push/pull configuration? It might be over kill because the top 140mm fan in the case might be more effective.

MoBo:
1. I might CF in the future. (if I feel like paying the extra money).
2. I don't plan to OC the RAM, just the CPU.
3. I don't want a Z68 chipset because it can only utilize a 64GB SSD Cache. So I definitely want the P67.
4. I have been trying to decide between the following 2 boards, they both have features I want/need:
____a. ASRock P67Extreme4 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
________i. Is the ASRock a good board? I've never used one before, and ASUS tends to have much higher reviews.
________ii. The 3rd PCIe slot is useless to me. I don't plan to triple CF.
____b. ASUS Sabertooth P67 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
________i. The ASUS has terrible reviews regarding the "thermal armor." Has anybody used this board? Is it terrible?
________ii. Has 2 PCIe slots, perfect.
________iii. It needs a 50mm w/o the stock cooler. $8 at Newegg
____c. Has a 5yr warranty, the ASRock only has a 2yr.

RAM:
1. I don't plan to OC, so I chose 8GB of the highest rated 1600MHz RAM
____a. I've never used G. Skill, so I hope it works. Would Kingston/Crucial be a better buy even for the extra cost?
____b. 2x4GB will allow me to upgrade to 4x4GB later if necessary.
2. I don't really have a preference when it comes to RAM. I just want it to work with my system and not die.

SSD:
1. I plan to use the m4 as my primary drive. I'll delete programs as needed make room
2. I read that the Crucial m4 is the best performing SSD on the market (due to the Marvell controllers). I just want to make sure that the MoBo will support it.

HDD:
1. I plan to use both 2TB drives in Raid 1. That is, if I can justify the extra $200.
2. Will be my main data drives.
3. I chose WDC for their great ratings. I don't trust Samsung/Hitachi/etc...
A sidenote: I'm really disappointed this drive costs $230 now. When I first started researching this build, it only cost $150.

CASE:
1. The ANTEC 300 has excellent reviews. I just need to know if will support all my hardware. It would be embarrassing to not be able to fit everything in.
____a. I don't want to by a cheap/lame case, but apparently this one is a great buy.
____b. Will I need to replace the fans with silent versions?
____c. Will I need to add extra 120mm fans to keep it cool enough? Should I have negative or positive pressure?
____d. I don't want a "flashy" case. I hate the LEDs on other cases.

PSU:
1. 500W or 1000W? The online PSU calcs have given me a huge range of necessary power. Any help would be appreciated.
2. I might CF the HIS 6950s in the near future, so I need a PSU large enough to handle the second card.

GPU:
1. I don't plan to OC my card. Pretty please, don't bring up the 560ti. ;) 
2. Might CF in the future.
3. I chose the HIS for it's low wattage, low noise levels, and physical (short) size. It's not as great a performer as the Gigabyte, but it's not that big of a deal to me.
4. Now for something a bit different...
____a. I already own a 2009 version of the XFX ATI 5770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
____b. It's "good enough" for now, but might not be in the future. (it's free though, it's hard to beat that)
____c. I'm also considering buying another 5770 to CF instead of a single 6950.
________i. The 5770s would perform about the same, at a lower power level.
________ii. I could CF another 6950 later, but I don't know if it'll be necessary.

Another big question:
Did I miss anything? Did I forget to include a necessary component? I'm new to this.


Lastly, thank you for reviewing my build. I've had a blast reading through the forums the last couple weeks.
All thoughts and comments are welcome, but please keep them germane.
October 29, 2011 2:39:23 AM

ja b tebe pomog .. no bol'no mnogo ty napisal .. zanudno chitat' ... i k tomu zhe ty pidor

a mne vse pohuj .. ja sdelan iz mjasa .. samoe strashnoe chto mozhet sluchitsja ... STANU PIDORASOM
:) 
October 29, 2011 2:46:58 AM

madchemist83 said:
ja b tebe pomog .. no bol'no mnogo ty napisal .. zanudno chitat' ... i k tomu zhe ty pidor

a mne vse pohuj .. ja sdelan iz mjasa .. samoe strashnoe chto mozhet sluchitsja ... STANU PIDORASOM
:) 


I'm sorry madchemist, but I only speak English. :( 
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October 29, 2011 6:48:03 AM

oops
ok then ur name means gay person in worst way in Russian
October 29, 2011 8:37:22 AM

Omg this is a big wall of text bro.
I like your setup i will tell you this.
The motherboard.. mmm. Anything you go for, Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte they are all solid and will net you great OC results. Asrock z68 extreme3 (and extreme4) gen3 and Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 are my motherboards of recommendation. If you are hell bent on p67, well, just check prices, buy whatever is cheaper.
Any fancy ram 1600 that is low profile (don't get ram with headers or you might have problems with your cooler) and at CL9 is good. Kingston, Geil, Gskill, Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin... doesn't really matter. Make sure it is CL9, has a heatsink (wrapped in pretty aluminum foil) and it is not high profile. Unless you are into video editing 8gb is more than enough.
The SSD, it is not the best performing SSD but it is the best bang for buck. Your motherboard will support it, make sure you plug it in your sata3 controllers, otherwise it will run saturating your sata2 controller.
The HDD. There is no reason not to trust samsung and seagate. Especially if you are gonna run it raid? I mean... what are the odds of both your hdds failing. Make sure they are on different power rail anyhow :p  Simply get the less cost per GB from either WD Caviar Black/Seagate 7200.12/Samsung f3. Sata2 or Sata3, real life difference doesn't exist.
The case... In terms of airflow you are going to need 1rear exhaust and one front intake for a normal climate and moderate use. If you intend to OC heavily i suggest 2 intakes on front or front and bottom (300 case only has front) and 2 exhausts top and rear. My experience tells me that you shouldn't install any side window fans. Your case will come with one fan, you will have to buy the other 1 or 3 depending on what you are aiming at. If they are 4pin molex you don't need an extra wire. If they are 3pin then you will have to check how many your mobo can host, buy Y splitters for the rest. Rubber grommets aid for vibrations. Choose whichever fan you like. Just buy any fan with more than 45CFM and bellow 20db.
PSU, yes, if you definitely plan on CF pick a quality 850watt.
Don't Xfire the 5770s, get any 6950 that is good bang for buck. If you are looking for performance get a gigabyte or one of those asus DCII.

I hope i answered all of your questions. Take it slow though. I can't explain everything in one go.
October 29, 2011 5:47:54 PM

Sorry about the wall, I tried to make it as clean as possible. I also wanted to include a lot of the information for others, so that they don't necessarily have to spend days searching for it like I did.

Thanks for the info, I'll keep it in mind over the next few weeks. I just bought the case today for $45 instead of $60.
!