New Gaming PC need advice

Hello Tom's Hardware community,

I am currently looking at getting a new gaming computer. I am on a budget so I don't want to get anything too fancy. I have looked up and after looking at around 7 different builds with the build that I want below I found a good priced PC Configuration (Mega Special II)

Case: Thermaltake Commander Mid-Tower Gaming Case
CPU: [Black November Special - Free upgrade from i5-2500!] Intel® Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
-I don't think there is a difference from the i3 and the i5 from what I have seen on performance but I would like to know the details on how the i5 is better than the i3 Thanks!
Fan: Intel LGA1156 Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink (I think its the fan that came with the CPU)
Motherboard: [CrossFireX/SLI] GigaByte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 mATX MB w/ Lucid Virtu Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X4 & 1 PCIe X1 (All Venom OC Certified)
-I am kinda new when it comes to motherboards since there are soo many types but if anyone would like to suggest a better gigabyte type of motherboard plz do so.
RAM: [Black November Special] 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module
-I know that some people prefer the ripjaws RAM but I think that it would cost more to the price of the build that I chose, I did my homework before posting.
GFX Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card
PSU: 700 Watts - XtremeGear SLI/CrossFireX Ready Power Supply
-I hear that the PSU that I chose isn't a really good brand, and that the corsair PSU's are better.
HDD: 500GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
External Network Adapter: Edimax EW-7811Un IEEE Nano 802.11n USB Wireless Adapter (FREE)

Total: $846.00

When I did a rough calculation from Newegg the price came to 890.00 and with shipping (10%) it would be around 89.00 so total would be around $979.00. Plus my experience with computer customizing is with taking a stock PC and upgrading it so I wouldn't want to accidentally scrach anything that I didn't want to when assembling the pieces.

I am going to get the Monitor separately and Windows 7 64-bit. Since it is black friday month and the $125 from cyberpower pc looks over priced, anyone know a good cheap LCD monitor? Not looking for fancy just a good 19" monitor that can last forever. I know there are alot of brands out there the problem is choosing the right one.

Also for reference I play games like Starcraft 2, Combat Arms (I know bunch of hackers but what ever its free), Vindictus, Homeworld 2
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  1. Acer S201HLbd Black 20" 1600x900 resolution LED-Backlight LCD monitor $100
    it's been getting excellent customer reviews @ NewEgg.

    What make and model of monitor was $125 @ Cyberpower?

    2500K & Gigabyte Z68 motherboard are a good match. But you want a CPU cooler besides the free Intel cooler that came with the CPU. K models overclock nicely.

    #1 issue: -> Your GPU/Graphics card isn't where you want it. If you at your budget limit lower the CPU/MB cost and get a better graphics card.

    RAM is OK, even 4GB would be OK if it helps get you a better graphics card.

    PSU: A better 500W PSU is preferred over a no-name 700W PSU if you're getting 1 video card.
  2. What model of Cyberpower were you working on?
  3. Hello WR2,

    Thank you for replying. The cyber power configuration that I am using is the Mega Special II. With the consideration of choosing a PSU with a name I switched to the Cyberpower Z68 configurator. Which I choose the 650watt corsair PSU which I know is a good brand.

    Also I am thinking of not getting the i5 2500K CPU since I am not that much of a gamer, but I am a heavy multitasker just wanted a CPU that is good and with no problems after getting it. I also use the PC almost like 24/7 since I am still in college and I use it whe I study alot. But when it comes to it would a i3 still be good or would a i5 still be better? (still trying to cut costs)

    -and if i5 is still better what would be better the 2320, 2400 or 2500?
    After looking at I think the i5 2320 would be a good CPU

    But hey the new configuration is just about $2.00 cheaper than my configuration on Mega Special II
    Mega Special- i5 2500K but 700watt PSU brand with no name
    z68 Configuratior: i5 2320 but 650 watt Corsair or would a 600 XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready be better? it costs $77.00 less than corsair

    Starcraft 2
    Combat Arms
  4. Oh I forgot the LCD monitor Cyberpower is offering is the
    19" Widescreen 1366x768 Sceptre X195W-NAGA 5ms TFT Active Matrix LCD Display LCD (Black Color)-$125.00 (cheapest)
  5. That's way too much for a 1366x768 resolution LCD.

    Any of the quad core Sandy Bridge CPUs would be good - even Core i3-2100.

    What graphics card will you end up choosing? You base your PSU off the graphics card.
  6. I would like to keep the Geforce GTX 550. So what would be a good CPU that would go with it?
  7. A 430-500W PSU would be about right. The GT 550 is not much of a gaming graphics card.
  8. You've looked over the GT 550ti gaming benchmarks? NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 550 Ti review
  9. Well for graphics cards the lowest is the Geforce GT 520 and I hear the GTX 550 and the GT 520 are very different in performance. Also My monitor wont let me do anything but to stay at 1250x800 resolution I think, somewhere along those lines. Currently using a old Acer Aspire M1641 with upgraded RAM, processor and Graphics card.

    So with staying with the GTX 550 what would you recommend be the CPU?

    Also do you have a preference on what Brand of PSU?? (just for future reference)
  10. The 2400 was just a $10 upgrade over the i5-2320 but either one would be fine.

    There really is no correctly sized PSU offered for a i5-2400 CPU & GT 550ti graphics card.
    I was looking for a 430W-500W model and there are none on offer in that MegaII or Xtreme 1000 packages I checked.

    Try the CyberPower H67 Configurator and see if that saves you some more. You can get a 500W recommended PSU there. With a non-overclocking i5 CPU no reason to get a Z68/P67 motherboard. A H67 will be fine.
    You can see the cost of the GT 550ti they're charging you. +$156 for a card you could get yourself for $110.

    I tend to avoid recommending 'brands', instead trying to pick out specific models that get great reviews and have a good price/performance/quality combination.
  11. Thank you for continuing on assisting me. So for the PSU for the i5-2400 and the GTX 550ti, would the appropriate wattage be 500watts? I think cyber power is trying to mooch some more money off of people since the website said that the recommended wattage is 700 watts.
    -so if 500 watts being the appropriate wattage there would be no point in getting a brand PSU and stick with the standard 500watt PSU on H67?

    I will go with the H67 gigabyte motherboard since I am toning down my CPU so it would make sense if the motherboard tones down as well.

    For the GTX 550ti I would like to have a EVGA brand but that would be the same price as they have on cyberpower, and I think that the GFX card on cybeerpower is the same as EVGA since they are both made by Nvidia not sure if they are the same company. I am on good terms with the EVGA Nvidia brand since they have not failed me yet.

    Also there is an option for MSI powered by Nvidia +$5 what is MSI anyway? I did a search though google and it showed a brand title that I think makes the Geforce along with Nvidia like a partnership right?
  12. actually now that I think about it is there a possible way to get a slight downgrade of the 550 ti?? since I currently have a Geforce 9500gt and I would like to get a GFX card with a little more power Since I would like to start recording my games but when I do the Frame Rate drops a bunch and even when it is on the lowest settings. Graphics cards are soo expensive XD
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