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First Rig - To last at least 8 years.

Last response: in Systems
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November 16, 2011 6:01:47 AM

Hi Everybody!
Planning to build my first desktop computer ever and I'd like some of your opinions on the best Graphics Card - CPU - Motherboard combination on a $1500 total budget.

Approximate Purchase Date: Computer to be running by January 2012.

Budget Range: ~$1500 (would consider $2000 if a rig is available that would fit all of my needs).

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1) Programming, Web Surfing, Using Office products
2) Gaming: Skyrim (Max), League of Legends (Max), Modern Warfare 3 (Max), Battlefield 3 (Best possible).
3) Watching Movies.


Parts Not Required: OS, speakers, mouse, keyboard


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebay.ca, ncix.com, canadacomputers.com, canadacomputers.com, tigerdirect.ca.

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: Good Quality – low maintenance – good cooling – parts that will last - and are quiet.

Overclocking: Maybe – in 5 or so years.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe.

Monitor Resolution: 1024x768 – Planning to purchase higher resolution monitor next year or during boxing day.

Additional Comments: I prefer a PC that will have components that would last. I’d also like a pc that is quiet, and won’t burn me when I touch it.

I plan to use this PC for the next 10 years (upgrading along the way whenever necessary).

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This is what I’m currently planning to get:
2x ASUS AMD Radeon HD 6950 (EAH6950 DCII/2DI4S/1GD5) 1 GB GDDR5 SDRAM PCI Express (found for ~$250 for one card = ~$500-$600 for two).
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121431&Tpk=ASUS%20Radeon%20HD%206950

Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I72600K Unlocked Processor
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1506371&CatId=6991

Still doing research. Am I going in the right direction in terms of how much I’d be investing for the CPU + Graphics card? What do I look for in the latest motherboards nowadays? Any resources provided that would help me make more informed decisions regarding this rig would be greatly appreciated.




Currently using a Laptop - Lenovo T400 since 2009. Only other desktop I ever used was a $20 20GB computer from craigslist that lasted 2 years. Never used high than 1024x768. This new computer will change me. Please help me!

More about : rig years

November 16, 2011 10:02:24 AM

CPU: i5 2500k is a good choice at the moment, good performance, allows overclocking.
CPU cooler: Cooler Master 212 EVO allows for good overclocks on the CPU
Motherboard: Something with Gen3 PCIe support Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 Gen3, MSI Z68A-GD65 Gen3, Asus P8Z68-V Gen3, Asus P8Z68-V Pro Gen3
Memory: 2x4GB <=1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz kit from corsair/gskill/kingston/mushkin
Optical: Any asus, sony, lite-on DVD burner ~$20-30
HDD: currently really expensive, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB would be the way to go, still quite pricy, but nice HDD
Case: Antec 300 Illusion at the low end, then Corsair 400R, 500R and antec P280 in the 100-150 range. Lots of other choices as well for good cases.
PSU: Corsair, XFX, Antec, Seasonic, Silverstone depending on graphics cards from 750W - 1050W
GPU: 2x 6950 is a good choice, 2x 560Ti is as well. Or possibly a single GTX580 then get another when you need to ( this option would need the 1050W psu )


SSD: While optional, this is a great addition nowadays. For about $200 or so you can get 120GB drive that really helps your startup times a lot and the general responsiveness of the machine is much better. If there is room for this in the budged it's a good buy. Crucial M4 or OCZ vertex 3 good choices.
November 16, 2011 9:30:27 PM

Thanks for the reply. I will stick with the 2500k and but I'm going to get one HD 6950 and waiting until the price drops when the 7000 series come out to get another one.

Question: out of all the 6950s which brand would be the best buy if I plan to flash to 6970?
Related resources
November 16, 2011 9:35:55 PM

Also, out of the motherboards that you've listed, which would be the best if I plan to invest as much of my budget as I can into the quality of this component to future proof my rig?
November 16, 2011 9:39:42 PM

Just to be completely honest with you, no PC is going to last you 8 years. However, the value of parts out right now is pretty superb, and for the $1500 you want to spend, you can definitely get something that will last quite some time.
November 16, 2011 9:49:36 PM

I disagree, I've had a previous computer last for about 6 and it had average quality parts. Didn't do much gaming though.

I hope that the PC I build would last for more since I plan to only play games for a year and have the PC be used to work-related tasks and browsing the internet.
November 16, 2011 9:52:13 PM

^A CrossFire setup seems wasteful in that case.
November 16, 2011 9:52:50 PM

HyperRainbow said:
I disagree, I've had a previous computer last for about 6 and it had average quality parts. Didn't do much gaming though.

I hope that the PC I build would last for more since I plan to only play games for a year and have the PC be used to work-related tasks and browsing the internet.


I guess if you're shooting for word processing and browsing only, you might get away with it, but I imagine you'll start feeling it's age in a few years... it's just how it always goes (for me at least). Anyway, it seems like you're pretty aware of what you want, I just wanted to share my two cents.
November 16, 2011 11:00:55 PM

Taylor422 said:
I guess if you're shooting for word processing and browsing only, you might get away with it, but I imagine you'll start feeling it's age in a few years... it's just how it always goes (for me at least). Anyway, it seems like you're pretty aware of what you want, I just wanted to share my two cents.


I appreciate the input, I didn't mean to be rude. Back then I only played Counter Strike on my PC so it wasn't that hard.. I'm just confused as to which parts I should get but I definitely want to play the latest games (Skyrim and MF3) on a good rig since I can finally afford it. I've always been a fan of the Elderscrolls series and Skyrim has prompted me to purchase a decent rig.

Of course while I plan to play games only for a year, I'm assuming that there wouldn't be any other games that come out that I would be interested in playing. I still gotta catch up on the Mass Effect series, Assassin's creed series, Fallout, BattleField 3 etc... Gotta focus on school still
!