First Gaming Build ~$1500

Hi, I'm looking for some advice on my first gaming build. I also have a problem with something in particular that I'll discuss later in the post.

Approximate Purchase Date: Around Black Friday or Christmas (possibly sooner)

Budget Range: ~$1500-1600

System Usage: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitor

Preferred Website for Parts: I like having it custom built through CyberPowerPC, but if I can get the parts significantly cheaper, I don't mind having to build it myself (good experience, I guess)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preference: Intel Processor, everything else I don't really care

Overclocking: Leaning towards yes, but my main problem will address that

SLI or CrossFire: Leaning towards no, but again, my main problem will address that

Monitor Resolution: Well, I'm not sure, but 24'' sounds right for the size of it

Additional comments: I'd like it to look pimpin', but if that means going way over my budget, forget it.

Here's a computer I picked out at CyberPowerPC, if you're looking for a reference (monitor will be bought separately).

But here's my main issue. CompUSA is selling a pretty decent computer with an i7 2600 processor for $750.

I'm debating between buying a custom built/personally built with parts computer or buying this computer and upgrading its graphics card to Crossfired Radeon 6950s/GTX 580. I'm looking for the best value here, but something doesn't seem quite right regarding CompUSA's pricing. There's just way too much of a price gap between my selected computer and theirs. (I researched the prices of my selected parts on CyberPowerPC, and there doesn't really seem to be much difference between CyberPower's pricing and the cheapest pricing online)

In addition, apparently the i7 2600 doesn't OC very well, so that also factors in.

So in summary- my selected computer can overclock quite well, CompUSA's can't, CompUSA's pricing allows me to afford beastly CrossFired graphics cards, while my selected computer doesn't leave room for an epic graphics card (GTX 570 is good enough for me though). But again, if there's something that I'm not getting with the CompUSA computer (crappy power supply/motherboard/etc.), I'll probably end up going something different.

If anyone has a different suggestion for my new computer, please post it. I really appreciate additional input (a reason why I posted all that stuff in the beginning).

Thanks for reading, and I hope to get some good responses :D
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  1. Best answer
    I think that with any prebuilt PC you are going to get sub par quality components to be honest. Also the i7 isn't a good idea, that one can't overclock at all and a cheaper i5-2500k would perform better even with the slightest of overclocks.

    If you are looking for pure value, maybe try SLI GTX 560Ti's. That graphics setup would be quite a lot better than a more expensive GTX 580. The CPU would also be on par with (and much cheaper than) the i7 at stock and much better when overclocked.

    ASRock Z68 Extreme3
    8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
    2 x MSI Twin Frozr II/OC GTX 560Ti
    Corsair TX-750M PSU
    Crucial M4 128GB
    Coolermaster HAF 922

    That comes to $1300 on Newegg, leaves you plenty for your choice of optical drive, CPU cooler and hard drive.

    Also gives you great cooling, SSD speed and a modular PSU.
  2. +1 with JMstellar!
  3. Hmm that indeed does sound good, but is there any information on future proofing in terms of the i5 2500k vs the i7 2600k? Currently there aren't many games that utilize multi-threading but in the near future would we see a lot more games utilizing it? I just don't want my i5 to become obsolete in 2 years.
  4. Hyperthreading has been with us for at least 10years. By the time, HT is used in games. The i7-2600k will be like a pentium 4 in our time.

    Oh yeah, the i5-2500k will be obsolete next year since Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge will be out by that time lol.
  5. O.o I'm hoping for this computer to at least get me through college xD

    So you're saying I should get an i7 2600k?

    Also, about the 560 Ti SLI, wouldn't it be better to get a single 580?
  6. NO. I'm telling you. The i7-2600k is a waste of money. Get the i5-2500k.

    Computers parts are obsolete every 2 years since new parts always come out.
  7. Ahh, okay sorry about that. I understand. But about the 580 vs 560 Ti SLI?
  8. A single card is always better. Anyway if you are waiting till christmas, there will be newer cards that will be out that are twice as fast. I'd grab those AMD Series 7000 GPU.
  9. Hmm, but I imagine those cards if they came out by then (read something about AMD delaying them) would have quite a hefty price tag along with it.
  10. Encendi said:
    O.o I'm hoping for this computer to at least get me through college xD

    So you're saying I should get an i7 2600k?

    Also, about the 560 Ti SLI, wouldn't it be better to get a single 580?

    X2 560ti's in Sli can outperform a single gtx 580 but only support 2-way Sli, as for the radeons(6950's and 6990's are very unstable, if you plan on playing games like bf3 and Skyrim it will crash continuously if I were in your shoes I'd go for the gtx 560ti gainward glh x2

    -Two factory overclocked (900MHz) 560 Ti - 900 Mhz get 862 fps for $410 at a cost of $ 0.48 per frame. They can be OC'd another 10-12% where as one 580 gets 616 fps for $480 at a cost of $ 0.78 per frame. They can be OC'd another 4-6%.
  11. SLI can be worth it, it has advantages and disadvantages like anything. You usually get very good price/performance at the price of high power consumption/heat/noise.

    Anyway, an i5-2500k won't be obsolete in 2 years. Obsolete is a strong word, obsolete is what a floppy disk is. An overclocked i5-2500k is still going to be great for games in a few years. There are still plenty of people using core 2 quads and they are still fine even in the most demanding games.

    I would go with the i5, even if games did utilise hyperthreading I don't know if it would be worth another $100.
  12. I'd imagine the 580 would be more future proof though. I mean once my 560s stop being able to run new games at relatively decent settings, I could simply buy another 580 and SLI that for a good boost in performance, prolonging the lifespan of my computer.
  13. That's not a good way to do SLI, by the time a 580 doesn't cut it buying another won't be smart. Notice how noone recommends SLIing GTX 280's etc.

    There is nothing wrong with a single 580, just don't buy it with that purpose.
  14. Hmm I see, but what would I be looking at in terms of a power supply with 2 560s?
  15. Something like that ASRock I mentioned with a 650W+ PSU would be ok.

    If you want to go with the 580 don't let me stop you.
  16. Go for the gainward goes like hell gtx 560ti's
  17. All righty then, sounds like a plan! Thanks a lot for your help, all of you.
  18. Best answer selected by Encendi.
  19. So what's the final build?
  20. Well I'm going to do what you suggested, with the i5 and 560 Ti SLI, etc. etc. It makes the most sense to me since I won't really need an i7 for video editing and stuff and the SLI gives me the most power for the price. I just had a few extra questions about the processor and graphics card choice that have already been answered.
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