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~$2000 Build, Possible Eyefinity

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November 1, 2011 6:14:20 PM

I had a great time building my first computer with assistance from the wonderful people on this forum, I'm sure this will be the same.

Approximate Purchase Date: Around the end of December/beginning of January, I may purchase some parts during Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Budget Range: ~$1200 Before Rebates, then up to $900 on top

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Skyrim, ME3, new GTA, AC3, Batman AC, not too concerned with FPS), office work (database, excel)

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Seagate Barracuda 1 TB, Lite-On ODD, OS, see below for rest

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Comfortable with Newegg but no strict preference

Country of Origin: U.S.

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920X1080, at least 2 maybe 3

Additional Comments: This is a Christmas list for the family, they've given me a budget of ~$1200 (lower is better) and I am willing to put up to $900 more of my own money after.

Theoretical Build:
MB: Asus Maximus IV or Gigabyte Z68XP
I don't have a form factor preference, I am considering waiting for IVB and I think I read that the it would take advantage of the UEFI bios on the Asus.
HSF: Xigmatek Gaia
Other suggestions welcome, looking for a quiet fan that does not sacrifice too much on the thermal performance.
SSD: Crucial M4 64 GB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2X4GB 1.5V 1600 DDR3
PSU: Seasonic X750 or Corsair AX850
I am planning on CF/SLI, I believe the Seasonic should be enough with the Corsair as a second option if it's not. I would be willing to step up to the Seasonic X850 if it's worth the extra $20.
Case: Cooler Master 690 II or Corsair Carbide 500R
I prefer the aesthetics of the 500R and I hope to keep the case for a few builds so the price should be worth it. I currently have a Rosewill Blackbone that I can live with if it will house a CF/SLI setup with good cooling performance.
Monitor: Asus VH236H or Dell U2312HM
The Dell is a bit more expensive but I do not think it is a issue if I keep them for some time. Other options welcome.
CPU: i5 2500K
This should be enough to handle the office work, will consider a 2600K if suggested.
GPU: Sapphire Toxic 6950 or MSI N460GTX
The Sapphire is the card I plan on using for CF but with the low end 7XXX series at the end of the year and the rest in Q1 2012 I thought I might wait. If I do wait, I'll probably get another MSI to SLI with the one I currently own.

Edit: Other parts I currently own - Corsair XMS3 4 GB, Asus M4A785TD, Athlon II X3, OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
Anything I should reuse?

What I am thinking about doing is creating a parts list like this and one or two screens. I will wait until IVB and the 7XXX series comes out and buy the CPU/GPU with my money. Will two MSI's in SLI be able to drive an Eyefinity setup with current/near future games? Or should I just stick to the Toxic 6950's? Can one 6950 hold its own in the games I am looking at for a small period of time or should I purchase both at once? Any and all criticism, information and suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

More about : 2000 build eyefinity

a c 93 B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2011 9:47:58 PM

Do not reuse the RAM. It mainly has to do with timing, voltage, and other issues. On an i5-2500K build it could really mess up your system if you reuse the RAM. Stay away from the Xigmatek Gaia - it has way too many loose parts and if you don't install it correctly it could really do some damage to your system (I know from experience).

Your PSU could possibly be reused, but a decent Crossfire with Eyefinity setup will eat some serious power, you should definitely consider a new one. And Corsair and Seasonic are good brands but you may want to check out PC Power & Cooling - they have a 7 year warranty and their PSUs are higher rated than most Corsairs are.

Don't get a 460 either if you're going to be putting serious money in your system. Go for a 570 or a 6950.

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $179.99
CPU: 3.30 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance PC12800 1600 MHz 1.5V - $74.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $209.99
Video Card: 2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB - $349.99 each ($699.99 total w/ rebates)
Monitor: Asus VH234H 23.6" HD 1080p - $179.99

Total: $1822.99
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2011 9:56:10 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Do not reuse the RAM. It mainly has to do with timing, voltage, and other issues. On an i5-2500K build it could really mess up your system if you reuse the RAM. Stay away from the Xigmatek Gaia - it has way too many loose parts and if you don't install it correctly it could really do some damage to your system (I know from experience).

Your PSU could possibly be reused, but a decent Crossfire with Eyefinity setup will eat some serious power, you should definitely consider a new one. And Corsair and Seasonic are good brands but you may want to check out PC Power & Cooling - they have a 7 year warranty and their PSUs are higher rated than most Corsairs are.

Don't get a 460 either if you're going to be putting serious money in your system. Go for a 570 or a 6950.

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $179.99
CPU: 3.30 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance PC12800 1600 MHz 1.5V - $74.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $209.99
Video Card: 2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2GB - $349.99 each ($699.99 total w/ rebates)
Monitor: Asus VH234H 23.6" HD 1080p - $179.99

Total: $1822.99


+1, but I would go for a 2x6950 instead. Offers similar performance and doesn't differ by much (plus it's cheaper):

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/299?vs=298

Maybe a cheaper MoBo, such as the AsRock Extreme3 Gen3.
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November 2, 2011 12:44:08 AM

Thanks g-unit1111 I will look into that PSU. I forgot to mention that I prefer a modular PSU and that's why I picked the Seasonic.
Do you have any recommendations for a alternate HSF?

I thought I would get a 460 to SLI it with one I own until the performance of the next generation cards is known. Still deciding if I want to wait for those though.

Thanks AbdullahG, I'll look into that motherboard.

Z68 is supposed to be compatible with IVB isn't it?

Edit: About the monitor, the reviews for the cheaper monitors are mixed, will getting the more expensive Dell panels make a significant difference?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2011 12:56:39 AM

TomH03 said:
Thanks g-unit1111 I will look into that PSU. I forgot to mention that I prefer a modular PSU and that's why I picked the Seasonic.
Do you have any recommendations for a alternate HSF?

I thought I would get a 460 to SLI it with one I own until the performance of the next generation cards is known. Still deciding if I want to wait for those though.

Thanks AbdullahG, I'll look into that motherboard.

Z68 is supposed to be compatible with IVB isn't it?

Edit: About the monitor, the reviews for the cheaper monitors are mixed, will getting the more expensive Dell panels make a significant difference?


The GTX 460 SLI does not perform very well in high resolutions with 1GB of VRAM. Most if not all LGA 1155 MoBos will support Ivy Bridge. The one I chose does so, and include 2 PCI-E 3.0 (for next gen cards).
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2011 1:27:32 AM

ZALMAN CNPS12X 120mm Long Life Bearing High Performance Triple Fan CPU Cooler

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For cpu cooler Zalman always makes a good piece of equipment.

for a build of about $2000 I don't know why you would go with an outdated 460.I know you wouldn't go with a 580 but how about a 570. By getting one now you can play all your games and then later on get another for having the ability to play at high settings and high resolutions.

EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-TR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $349.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There will surely be some good sales coming on Black Friday and Christmas and the release of the new 600 cards.
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November 2, 2011 2:42:42 AM

Thank you for the information AbdullahG.

Thanks, Inzone. That pretty much settles the GPU question. I'll look some more into Frosty Tech's charts and the Zalman coolers.

Anyone care to offer advice on the monitors? Should I go with the Asus or will the Dell have much better quality?
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2011 3:13:16 AM

I think either one will be good for what you want , they both make good monitors , with maybe the Dell being just a bit better but not enough to be decisive.
I would go with the seasonic 850w psu if you are getting two video cards.
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November 3, 2011 4:50:58 PM

Thank you everyone for all the advice and replies.
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November 3, 2011 4:51:05 PM

Best answer selected by TomH03.
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