~1500 Skyrim, BF3, WoW Gaming Build

Okay so with the release of BF3 I have finally dropped the ball on myself to build a good gaming computer. I will be purchasing this around Christmastime. Obviously my top priority is going to be gaming. I will only be needing the tower, no software, but I will be using Windows 7 home edition x64. I will be assembling this in the USA, and I would prefer to get my parts off tiger direct, newegg or micro center. There is a tiger direct store near my house and a micro center store close also, so I am pretty much in the right place. I dont know if I should SLI or not so I need some pros and cons. I will be overclocking my GPU(s?) and CPU. And my current monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080.

The Build:

CPU - Intel Core i5 2500k

GPU - MSI GTX 580 Lightning Extreme Edition

MoBo - MSI Z68A-GD65

CPU Cooling - Corsair H100

HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB

PSU - Corsair HX850

RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)

Case - Corsair 600T White

DVD Writer - Asus 24x OEM

Okay, the total comes to a little under $1700

Some other questions, how could I lower my final price without changing GPU, CPU, or Cooling. And what would you rate my build overall.
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  1. Sorry I am so dumb I forgot to include links.

    CPU - Intel Core i5 2500k

    GPU - MSI GTX 580 Lightning Extreme Edition

    MoBo - MSI Z68A-GD65

    CPU Cooling - Corsair H100

    HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB

    PSU - Corsair HX850

    RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)

    Case - Corsair 600T White

    DVD Writer - Asus 24x OEM

    Here they are, please inform me of any broken links.
  2. Consider this motherboard (only draw back is the 2 year warranty):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

    Case (though this depends on taste/what you prefer):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010

    Everything else looks good. However a GTX 580 with 1.5GB of VRAM is more than enough (3GB is really for high resolutions). Having 3GB is a bit more future proof as some games tend to be very demanding (Crysis 2 is known to use over 2GB of VRAM).

    Pros of SLI (GTX 580 SLI):
    -Approx. 30% performance boost
    -Futureproof (SLI GTX 580 will probably last a good 3 to 5 years)
    -Bragging rights

    Cons (GTX 580 SLI):
    -Heat
    -Noise
    -Power consumption
    -Not all games work well with SLI (though a single GTX 580 will max out most if not all games)
  3. That case hideous
    the one he chose is much better
  4. So harsh and don't be so quick to judge the 600T, 650D, 400R and 500R are all based off mostly the same structure. and I really like the window to show off my eventually dual GTX 580s.

    The reason I am getting the 3 gigs of VRam is because I forgot to mention this but I have a huge projector screen in my house, and would like to sneek in there every so often and play BF3 with full HD surround.

    Thank you Abdul I like that mobo, and the twin frozr III cards are known to do pretty well on cooling and since i am WCing my CPU, the cards should work just fine.

    Any recomendations on cases Im open, I really like rubber grommets for cable management and the case will have to have space for a dual 120mm rad.
  5. You can't really beat the 600T. However, the 500R should be enough for you. The case is really a matter of personal taste (features, cooling, noise, and size also matter). Which ever you prefer.
  6. I really like the 600T. But there is a special on the 650D that comes with the same HX 850 PSU
    Combo So I don't know which would be the better way to go.
  7. Right after i posted that I found this, Combo so I think I am going to go with that but I am still always open.
  8. mrwhit30ut said:
    I really like the 600T. But there is a special on the 650D that comes with the same HX 850 PSU
    Combo So I don't know which would be the better way to go.

    There's one for the 600T as well:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.761478
  9. You should be going to Micro Center for your CPU and mobo. It will save you about $100. Their i5-2500K is $180 and they give you $60 off the mobo.

    If you fill this out, we could do a bit more to help with your build: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

    How serious of an overclocker are you? Obsessive or just a quick moderate OC and be done with it?
  10. I can't recommend that HDD. It's just not worth close to $160. I bought 4 myself (6 if you count ones for work) between $53 to $58 and I can't justify suggesting that at $160 to anyone.

    Instead, why don't you spend $160 for a 120GB SATA III SSD? That'll be big enough for you to use for now and you can leave all your data on whatever disks they're already on. That's ideal anyhow since you'd want to install your OS to the SSD anyways.

    Then when HDDs drop in price in a couple months, you can just move your Steam folder to the new drive or reinstall your other games. I just cannot, in good conscience, recommend something that costs so much with no performance benefit. In terms of extravagance, at least the Corsair H100 is the best self-contained water cooler out there. But the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB isn't nearly as fast as a good SSD.

    Honestly though, I'd get the Antec Kuhler 920 or Corsair H80 since both can keep an i5-2500K at 5.2GHz under 60C--which is plenty low to prevent CPU damage: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1278/pg7/corsair-h100-liquid-cpu-cooler-vs-h80-and-antec-920-review-maximum-overclock.html
    I'd only bother with the H100 if you don't air condition your house (like me).

    Until you tell me what monitor(s) you're using, I have to question the GTX 580 decision. $600 for a GTX 580? A $300 GTX 570 can OC and match that performance. You could argue that a GTX 580 can OC too...but many have been known to barely OC and the benefit of making that card faster is very situation-dependent.

    If you're playing on a single monitor at 1080p, I can't think of any reason two GTX 570's for $600 (then you OC them too!) is not better than a single GTX 580. If this is a BF3 build, as you said, then the GTX 570's will get you better performance. Now if you play at larger resolutions than 1920x1200, the 3GB GTX 580 may yield benefits. But the merits of that card are still very specific and not easily justified if this build is focus driven at BF3.
  11. He did say he was going to play on a projector once in awhile with HD surround. If the resolution of the projector is considerably large, a GTX 580 3GB is still an option. Then again, there's a GTX 57 2.5GB as well...
  12. I'd go to Micro Center for the i5-2500K + one of these mobos:
    $270: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0366192
    $305: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0366192
    $300: ASUS P8Z68-V http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364996

    The ASUS has 3x full lenght PCI-e slots, which is good for triple SLI/CFX, or dual CFX w/ PhysX.

    Also, I've seen GTX 570's for $250. If I were you, I'd keep an eye on slickdeals.net and wait for some good November sales this month.
  13. AbdullahG said:
    He did say he was going to play on a projector once in awhile with HD surround. If the resolution of the projector is considerably large, a GTX 580 3GB is still an option. Then again, there's a GTX 57 2.5GB as well...
    Oh thanks, I missed that. Like you said though, we still need the projector resolution. Chances are it's no higher than 1080p, in which case the special expensive versions with tons of VRAM aren't that useful.
  14. The projector is 1920 x 1080, thanks for the input. I will change it up then. So GPU options come to a GTX 570, HD 6950, HD 6970, I will be CFXing or SLIng if I go this route. Please no flame wars and I dont think I will be using physX much as I will be playing mostly BF3, WoW, and Skyrim(skyrim is DX9 I'm pretty sure there is no physX involved there hehe. But it's still a great game.)

    And I will go for the corsair H70 now because I aircondition my house and my house temps are around 75F most of the time. Oh and also I have seen this gainward i think company that makes Nvidia cards. Are they worth looking into?
  15. I think I am going to go with the SSD also and change back to the MSI GD65, Ivy Bridge compatible, and PCIe 3.0. On those topics, I dont think the new GPUs are going to be PCIe 3.0, just because these cards have probably already been manufactured and PCIe 3.0 is a relatively new think. And the cheapest Ivy Bridge is going to be like $400 I've heard and wont bring that much gaming performance. If anyone has any good articles on this please post.
  16. What if I CFXed and unlocked 2 6970s? wouldn't that amount to greater performance than the 6950s? I most likely won't 3D game It just has never crossed my mind and I don't care for it that much. I will eventually be upgrading to 3 monitors so that is what makes me want to lean to the Radeon HDs. Does anyone have an estimate on the prices of the HD 7xxx? I don't think i will get one I would just like to know the price points for comparison reasons.
  17. I'm a big aesthetic appeal kind of guy and the 500r though it is up to date just really doesn't flash like I want it to. I would have to add a window, and that seems to be a PIA because I would need to get a few saws and things to do the cutting. So, what are some cool looking up to date cases with cable management grommets.
  18. For clarification, it would be CFX'ing 2 unlocked 6950's. The 2GB will matter if you do three monitors (but not on one) and 2GB is a MUST if you plan on unlocking. Most of the cards no longer unlock, so you'll have to do your research. You could buy two that should unlock and crossfire them right now. Or you could buy one now and a second when 6000 series prices bottom out in Q1 2012 when the 7000 series launches. But then your chances of finding an unlockable card go down.

    As far as the motherboards...Is there a reason you're partial to MSI over Gigabyte? Typically Gigabyte is regarded as a higher-end brand than MSI (still very solid).

    The Corsair HX850 you linked earlier is a great PSU, but more than dual 6950's need. a 750W would be safely adequate if you'd like to save some cash. Also, it gets a lot cheaper than that, so keep your eyes peeled for a sale. Any Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX PSU is good enough. I'd probably get this XFX PRO850W XXX for $125 AR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207017

    EDIT: Mobos... The ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 is an excellent choice as well. I'd probably just go with the $149.99 Gigabyte (linked above) because it's the cheapest one from a good manufacturer (ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI) that will facilitate decent overclocking. I figure it doesn't matter if you go to 4.7GHz with one or 4.9GHz with another. If that matters to you, then you should be looking at the $190+ mobos.
  19. Here is the page MSI Z68A-GD65 and Which over clocks better MSI or Gigabyte? I am going to probably use the MSI cards with a twin frozr III and I am pretty sure those are ulocked. I dont think I am going to be changing my PSU for $10. So which 6970 CFX with overclock or 6950 CFX with Overclock?
  20. And also what are some good gigabyte boards for gaming.
  21. Yep, I hear the MSI Twin Frozr III's unlock.

    As far as the PSU, the XFX 750W is $99 AR--$60 cheaper and the XFX 850W is $35 cheaper AR. But if you don't submit rebate forms, I guess it's only $10.

    Now the motherboard...
    I looked up some reviews on the MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3): http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/09/22/msi_z68agd65_g3_lga_1155_motherboard_review/7
    And that's got me pretty convinced that it's the board to go with. That Gigabyte I was suggesting is a bit weaker of an overclocker than I thought: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4-asus-p8z68-v-pro-gigabyte-z68x-ud3h-b3,2939-17.html
    But it's also in a different price range ($40 cheaper). But I prefer to go really cheap or really good, so I'd go with the MSI if I was buying for myself. That or the $120 Gigabyte's that are SLI-capable and OC to 4.3GHz+.
  22. Honestly, your motherboard's not going to impact your gaming beyond stability and max CPU overclock. And once you're at 4.0GHz with an i5-2500K, you probably can't find a game that will dip under 60fps due to a CPU bottleneck.

    So all you really need is a motherboard that's SLI/CFX capable and has adequate slot spacing to facilitate cooling (most are fine nowadays). I'm pretty sure every single one we've linked had adequate spacing. They used to put slots only two spaces apart so that dual slot graphics heatsinks would be right up against each other.

    At the end of the day, you'll just want to focus on your graphics cards and what allows them to run at top speed.

    RAM can make an fps difference from 0%-7% or so, depending on what tests you look at:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3/6
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-bridge-ddr3_7.html#sect0
    I generally say get 1600CL9 or a little faster if it's about the same price.
  23. As of now my build is been revised:
    CPU Intel i5 2500k
    Cooling TBD <--- Suggestions?
    GPU Radeon HD 6970
    MoBo MSI Z68A-GD65
    RAM Corsair Vengeance 8GB
    PSU Corsair HX 850
    Case TBD <--- Suggestions?
    SDD Corsair Force GT 120 GB
    DVD Read Asus 24x

    Okay so to clarify, I will buy the second GPU later, so It does not count toward the $1500 budget.
  24. Don't see the SLI board, 580 and 850 watt PSU ...... the 850 is good for everything up to a 570. Check nVidia SLI zone and you wont see a single certified PSU under 900 watts....and that's stock 580's, not OC'd ones.

    http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

    The HX850 gets a 10.0 jonnyguru performance rating which is nice for an OC'd CPU and 2 OC'd 560's or 2 570's. The XFX Core Edition saves a bunch of money for a 9.5 rating. The HX1050 is not in the same class

    As for the GFX, at 1920 x 1200, two 900MHz 560's (862 fps) beat the single 580 (616 fps) by 40% .... they also substantially top the OC'd 6950 (759 fps) and the 6970 (825 fps)....at $430 - $460 for the pair depending on branbd, the price / performance ration is tops.

    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:

    $ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
    $ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
    $ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
    $ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
    $ 480.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.78 - $ 1.01

    Don't get the water cooling thing on SB processors.....the better air coolers take a SB CPU over 5 GHz ....what's the point of the WC.

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=674&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=5

    Quote:
    It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling.
  25. I like the 6970 for now and then the next one will be really cheap when the 7000 series launches (like the 5870's got cheap).

    Wow...that's a lot of Corsair. I can't really tell you what to do with the case. I got an Azza Solano 1000R for $80 (after $20 rebate) and have been very happy with it. You want to spend more though, so that's really a matter of personal preference.

    Cooler? The Antec Kuhler 920 is similar to the Corsair H80, but has a PWM pin so you don't have to open the case to manually change fan speeds: http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t356455.html

    The H80 seems to consistently get 1C cooler: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1218/pg10/corsair-h80-vs-antec-kuhler-h2o-920-review-maximum-overclock.html
  26. Jack, I read your comment but your like a terms of service agreement, not to be rude, what are you trying to say? you don't really put any points forward all you do is state facts, and what you have read. Please restate what you were trying to suggest.
  27. mrwhit30ut said:
    Jack, I read your comment but your like a terms of service agreement, not to be rude, what are you trying to say? you don't really put any points forward all you do is state facts, and what you have read. Please restate what you were trying to suggest.
    Jack's stating the math behind the fact that a GTX 560Ti is the best price/performance graphics card up to 1920x1200 resolution (half his posts on all threads say this). While that's true...if you fully intend to get three monitors, you will find those cards to be lacking.

    @JackNaylor--read through the thread a bit because he's not still talking about a GTX 580 and never was talking about 1920x1200 resolution.

    He's absolutely right that a high-end air cooler is sufficient for an SB CPU if your ambient temps are typical 70F. It's 87F and humid in my house (in Guam), so I really need to upgrade my Nehalem i7 cooling. You're somewhere in between and I can pretty much guarantee you the H80 is more than you actually need.

    But judging to your adhesion the the Corsair Brand (great brand, but you do pay for the name)--it's more about what you feel like buying than getting what you need to play BF3 as cheaply as possible, so I haven't been stressing some of those points.
  28. I also have the TX850 (1st Gen), which I picked up for $90 AR. I think the HX850 is more expensive than you really need, IMO.

    I guess a high-end air cooler actually costs the same as a water cooler though--at least if the water coolers have rebates or go on sale. In that case, it's hard to say one or the other. I guess I'd go with water because it sounds cooler?

    You're right though, I can't knock a Corsair Force GT (although I'm not certain the GT is worth much more than non-GT) or the RAM at that price.
  29. Dalauder, I don't have to stick with corsair brand products its just that these things on my build list are some of the best items I could find for particular price points. If you have any non corsair suggestions that will make my build better than shoot. But I just choose corsair because their customer service is great and they make good products. As for cooling I think I am just going to go with the H100, because it will fit in the case no problem. The reason I don't like the double wide rad is that its to thick and I don't like how it looks in cases. Still would like to see some good suggestions on cooling tho. NO NHD-14! I hate how it looks.
  30. And also the force GT is a $300 SSD on sale for $200, $100 discount? I'm down with that.
  31. I really don't know though, Should I get an NH-D14(its ugly I would have to get different fans probably an extra $20), or the Thermalright Silver Arrow (I like the looks, sort of, still would replace fans), or do I get the H100 or some other form of WCing (works with my case, expensive though)?
  32. I was thinking more along the lines of the Thermalright Silver Arrow. The Noctua colors are too ugly for me. Mwave's got the Silver Arrow for $75 right now. Although I'd probably pay $90 and get a Antec Kuhler 920. How hot is your house and how high do you want to OC? Personally, I push it as far as my cooler will let me.

    Like I said earlier, I'd go with the XFX PSU, not the Corsair, because of the price difference. And I'd get a cheaper case--but that's your call more than anyone else's since your games would have the same framerate with a $40 Thermaltake V4.

    I own corsair stuff too though--it's great if you get a sale.
  33. My house is generally around 23C. I would like to push my cpu and cooler to the max, to get maximum performance, I'm talking around 5.0GHz.

    Things I have changed

    PSU: XFX Core Edition Pro

    Case: Back to the tedious case search. I am a particular kind of guy. I will never buy something knowing that I could have gotten something better that would have still been in my budget range. I am also huge on looks, and OCD about cable management and need rubber grommets. So if you can find a case that meets those requisites, be my guest. And also the corsair hx850 with 650d combo has a great discount.
  34. @OP--My bad, with that $25 off for the Corsair PSU + Case combos with the $25 rebates, you're getting that PSU for $135 and a great case for $125 or so (depends on which case). You won't find a case cheaper than that without sacrificing something in usability. I don't have my machine in a $40 case and it's not as nice as yours will be, so I really can't justify me talking you down on a nice case for a decent price.
  35. I am OCD as well gotta keep it nice a clean looking :D

    I got a buddy of mine who has the Corsair 600T, he is also OCD and he said it is clean as hell
  36. Then I will probably get the white 600T
  37. Eww the white I just think of all the dirt and dust that has the chance of appearing on it >.< I would need air dust more then what I do now (which is already 2 times a day)
  38. Dalauder thanks for your concern. and YAY Emelth I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!

    So the current build list

    CPU - Intel Core i5 2500k

    GPU - MSI HD 6970

    MoBo - MSI Z68A-GD65

    CPU Cooling - Still open*

    HDD - Screw you HHD prices, sticking with a Corsair Force GT 120 GB until prices drop.

    PSU - Corsair HX850

    RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)

    Case - Corsair 600T White

    DVD Writer - Asus 24x OEM

    I'll post links if it is just so necessary, and I almost forgot does the HX 850 give me enough headroom for OCing?
  39. Yep the HX 850 is plenty to OC dual 6970's and the CPU. FYI, it's SLI certified for GTX 480's--and that was intended to run with an X58 system (albeit only moderate overclocking).

    My OC'd i7-2600K won't even break 115W under load -- a 40W+ below X58 i7's.
  40. Still looking for cooling options. The h100 fits well in the 600t as shown here and also the fans are hidden here under the top grill so it seems like a good idea.
  41. I am not going to hassle with a case mod like that because by the time i have all the materials and tools I will have spent over $200 on that case.
  42. But go for it it sounds sick.
  43. Wish I can add more blue led to my case, i find it so relaxing :p
  44. Picture of case Emelth?
  45. The final build,
    This will be what I save up for until christmas:

    CPU - Intel Core i5 2500k

    GPU - MSI HD 6970

    MoBo - MSI Z68A-GD65

    CPU Cooling - Corsair H100

    HDD - Screw you HHD prices, sticking with a Corsair Force GT 120 GB until prices drop.

    PSU - Corsair HX850

    RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)

    Case - Corsair 600T White

    DVD Writer - Asus 24x OEM

    I would really like to know if anything just doesn't work. and also if there is any better gaming/ overclocking motherboards, I have about $220 to spend on a motherboard or I can get a good mobo and upgrade somewhere else.
  46. Oh yea man that thing looks like you could mod the hell out of it.
  47. Lol I'm gonna research into modifying cases to see what I can do with it or on my new rig that I am gonna make begining of next year
  48. mnpctech.com is a good place to buy mods and they have alot of good tutorials on youtube.
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