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Need opinions on new gaming build

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November 4, 2011 3:24:16 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Early-Mid December

Budget Range: $1300-$1500 (Parts here are slightly higher priced)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (mainly BF3 now) > surfing the net

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: Singapore

Parts Preferences: No preferences

Overclocking: Nope

SLI or Crossfire: May SLI in the future (check comments)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I will be using newegg links for referencing but will be buying the parts from local stores. This is going to be my first build.
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Mobo:
ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU:
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

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

HDD:
Will be getting 2 of the cheapest 1TB HDD available at the stores. (Any specs to look out for?)

GPU:
ASUS ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

DVD:
Getting the cheapest DVD-RW Drive available at the stores.

Sound Card:
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

PSU:
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Casing:
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

More Comments: I’m unsure about the power supply. Also, in the future, will adding another ENGTX570 to SLI be better than upgrading to a new GPU? I will be sticking to using one monitor.

Well this is the build I’m looking at. Any opinions, advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. And if there are any issues compatibility-wise (I hope not) or parts not being able to fit, do tell! :) 

More about : opinions gaming build

November 4, 2011 5:58:52 PM

ditch the sound card . The onboard sound is easily good enough for gaming
November 4, 2011 6:34:36 PM

I'm not a CM PSU fan. I prefer Antec/Seasonic/PCP&C/Corsair for my personal use. They tend to be pretty stable and come with good warranties to back up their products.

If you going to x-fire/SLI sometime soon than I'd consider one of these:

** These come with at least 4 x 6 pin PCI-e power connectors (which is needed for GPU's that require 2 x 6pin PCI-e power connectors EACH!)
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

If you stick to 1 powerful GPU, than I'd consider something a bit cheaper:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

These are just examples and there are many other options, but I'd stick with the brands that I listed above for the reasons I listed.

I would also ditch the sound card unless you are very picky with your sound needs. I use headphones 99% of the time and a sound card doesn't make that much of difference for me, but that is just my opinion.

The rest of the build looks pretty good though.
Related resources
November 4, 2011 6:40:58 PM

anyone know the difference between that board and this one?

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

aside from the name and color?





And also, you need a PSU w/ at least 38A on the 12v rail, and that cooler master's specs are not listed...ok, I looked at the pic, its 50A on the 12v rail, plenty for 1 570, but not 2, keep that in mind
November 4, 2011 7:33:59 PM

1. Can't get behind the one MoBo manufacturer that doesn't offer an industry standard 3 year or 5 year warranty. Saved $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. When the Corsair Vengeance, low profiles are $3 more, I don't see putting GSkill on my buy list....Spent $3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Not a fan of 3 slot cards....check to see if ya cud fit two of those in ya case and at $350, I'd rather spend $80 - $100 bucks more ($430-450) for a 65% performance boost from twin 900 MHz 560's.....Spent $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If ya was thinking well I was gonna SLI the 570's ...

Twin 570's = 873 fps in Guru3D game test suite at $700
Twin 900Mhz 560's = 862 fps in Guru3D game test suite at $450

$250 extra for 11 fps isn't my idea of a good return on investment .... and the factory OC'd 570 doesn't OC near as well as the factory OC'd 560

As far as "cost effectiveness" goes or "dollars per frame", the winners are highlighted in bold

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 210.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.44 - $ 0.56
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 360.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.68 - $ 0.87
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 350.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.67 - $ 0.80
$ 480.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.78 - $ 1.01
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61

The 900 Mhz 560 Ti has the lowest single card cost at 43 cents per frame, the 6950 is close behind at 44 cents per frame....the 570 and 6970 follow quite a bit (50% more) behind at 67 and 68 cents per frame.

In SLI/CF, the 900 MHz 560 wind tho this time by a bigger margin at 50 cents per frame. Again the 6950 is close at 56 cents per frame.....at 80 and 87 cents per frame, the 570 and 6970 are falling fast at 60% and 75% more expensive on a cost per frame basis.


4. I wouldn't bother w/a sound card with a quality MoBo.....saved $60

5. 700 watter way big for one 570, too small for 2

XFX Core Edition 850 for $90 is a steal, same price as the 750 watter....9.5 jonnyguru performance rating....saved $30

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

All my changes cost ya $17 and ya are now 65% faster w/ a higher quality PSU that can do twin cards and a MoBo with an extra year warranty....also saved ya another $350 on that 2nd 570.

oooh one more thing,....ya case is a bit outdated ..... has no front USB ports. This would add another $25

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 4, 2011 7:42:27 PM

In general, I tend to prefer one big video card up front and perhaps a second one at the same time later if it gets to the point that the one doesn't perform adequately anymore.

A HD 6950 or a GTX 570 are the most cost effective top of the line cards right now. 6870s or 560s one step below that. I would try for one of the first 2 if you want to play new games on the highest settings with reasonable frame rates.

As for Power Supplies, never ever sacrifice here to bring down the cost of your PC. You wouldn't put a Dodge Neon engine in a Dodge Viper you were planning to drive, and cheapy PSUs are just that sort of equivalent. Stick with Antec, Corsair, XFX, or Seasonic and you won't be sorry even if it costs you twice as much.

Also, I wouldn't sacrifice on wattage either. PSUs work most efficiently for the longest time at about half their stated maximum usage. Ideally if you want to take 400 most of the time from it then get an 800w.

I agree with no sound card like the others said, they tend to be overrated.
November 5, 2011 6:40:32 AM

I never realised I double posted my thread. This thread didn't show up at all under the 'My Threads' tab :( 

After reading through the posts,

I will be ditching the sound card.

JackNaylorPE, thanks for giving info on cost per FPS. Actually, you convinced me on getting twin ENGTX560s right away and avoid the single ENGTX570.

As for the mobo, I will be changing to what JackNaylorPE suggested.

The problem now is the PSU. It's a pretty limited selection at the stores, and sadly I won't be able to order from online stores. I am looking at the 850W version of the PSU in my build currently.

This:
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RS850-AMBAJ3-US 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Or what lunyone suggested:
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

There is also the Antec HCG-900 that's priced the same as the Cooler Master Silent Pro M850.
So which PSU should I get? :??: 
EDIT: I would like a modular PSU instead for better cable management.
November 5, 2011 6:46:34 AM

The 750w would suffice since it is only dual 560.
November 5, 2011 7:19:02 AM

And JackNaylorPE, ain't there two front USB ports for the Cooler Master HAF922?
November 5, 2011 8:34:36 AM

The Antec PSU has a combined 62.5A on the 4 12v rails, so your covered. I like it more than CM PSU's, but that is just my preference. BTW it's overkill for the single 560 GPU, but will leave quite a bit of room for upgrades later. If you feel the 560 GPU is getting a bit slow for your needs in a 12-24 months from now, I'd just upgrade to the latest single GPU out.
November 5, 2011 9:10:30 AM

lunyone, I will be getting twin 560s right away. For the power supply, I am looking into modular PSU instead for the better cable management. I only chose the 850W CM PSU because of it's modular, with a lot of headroom for upgrading in the future. Any other modular PSUs to recommend?

What do you mean by the Antec PSU having a combined 62.5A on the 4 12v rails? Sorry for asking. Newbie here :??: 
November 5, 2011 2:41:55 PM

Amps are the most important thing about a PSU.

12v basically multiplies by the 62.5A to come out with 700ish to 800ish watts deliverable to whatever is connected to the 12v wires.

If that were to say 16a, then it would be about 200w capable of being given to whatever was on the 12v wires.

That is an important difference, because the CPU is going to be about 125w itself, which doesn't leave a lot of juice for things like Video Cards that also go on the 12v wires.

Different companies divide power differently among the wires so without further research I can't really say if each of the 4x 12vs gets 1/4 of the juice or if you can take all of it out of the same wire or things like that, but given that it is Antec it is probably good enough for whatever you are doing.

If you get the Antec, you won't be sorry about it. PSUs work most efficiently and last the longest when you take about 50% of the max from them and thus extra juice doesn't usually hurt you and often helps you.

Others suggest going an extra 100 or 200 higher than what you expect to draw and routinely operating at 80%, so I am kinda the minority opinion on saying x2 and 50% instead.

In any event, the only thing that everyone will agree on is sticking with Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or another brand made by those same companies like XFX.
November 5, 2011 4:37:59 PM
November 6, 2011 4:52:33 AM

Looks like a pretty good build. Let us know how it all goes together and let us know if you have any issues with it.
November 6, 2011 5:35:39 AM

Will do, lunyone. Thanks for all the help guys! :) 
!