New build - upgrading from Nvidia 6800 AGP :(

last pc i bought was a 8600m from asus with a dual core, laptop, currently struggling to write this using an old pc i built that my mom now uses single core 3.4Ghz/nvidia 6800gt/1gb ram. Anyways, long overdue for an update so ima build one with lotsa "umph"

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP!!!

Budget Range: <$2000 but as little as possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet

Parts Not Required: monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:prefer but any will do as long as respectable, not near microcenter at all

Country: US

Parts Preferences: intel/nvidia

Overclocking: Yes, im the set it and forget it type

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, will add another later if i need it

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 - monitor listed below

Additional Comments: Need keyboard, mouse

Here is what i got so far, subject to change.....

CPU - i5 2500K Sandybridge

GPU - Nvidia 580 for sure i think EVGA or MSI?

PSU - Corsair Professional HX1050 1050W

Mobo - ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

RAM - Corsair Vengeance 2x4Gb DDR3 1600

SSD/HDD - Crucial M4 64GB

DVD - ASUS 24x burner

****monitor (already paid for it) - ASUS 24" 2ms response (GTG?) VW246H - 1 day deal on newegg for 20% off :D

No ideas for case/cooling/mouse/keyboard, i have a usb 360 controller though :D

TOTAL so far = 1270 + 180 (monitor) - 45 in rebates = 1405 (1295 with the evga)
adding in ~300 for case/cooling(air)/keyboard and mouse and 100 more for games = Grand Total = 1805 (1905 with 3gb)

Then later i will get a blu-ray drive, maybe a joystick, but will **definitely** get a HDD as 64GB wont cut it for long, and 90% sure about getting another 580 for SLI in 6 months or so (maybe later/sooner)

Will be playing: Skyrim, GTA4, possibly BF3 on the little 64GB SSD.

ive done enough research for one day but now for my questions:

1.) Im going to call EVGA about the "step-up Program" so i might want to upgrade to a 3gb card later, if i cant i might just get the 1.5 gb MSI on newegg, maybe even the 3gb MSI if i feel like spending the money....which i dont.

2.) i picked the mobo for futureproofing (USB 3/PCI 3) and SSD cache ability, which i know nothing about yet, all i know is that i want it.....ill find more about this tomorrow but any info now is good.

3.) should i get the 64GB or 128GB SSD for cache (remember i dunno how it works yet) **I also didnt shop around or look into SSD specs at all, or possible cons of using a SSD for OS and HDD for Storage** i have a 500GB external to hold me over til i get the internal HDD

4.) Is that RAM any good? 1.5v vs 1.65? low profile vengeance recommended? do those silly heatsinks really interfere with CPU cooling on that Mobo?

5.) 1050W PSU? can i get that Corsair 850W and be totally safe? i plan on doing some "set it and forget it" type GPU/CPU overclocking.

6.) Need Case recommendation, or i might go for the ones on toms the one for $60? ($2000 or $1000 builds) or should i go for a better one? Asthetics < Efficiency and preferably minimal LEDs.....high airflow ***silent as possible*** (might pay extra for silence)

7.) Did i waste money on that monitor? is there something better for less? its pretty good for what i want, didnt look into 120Hz refresh at all, i just jumped on that 20% off deal. I will also be using a 4:3 15"-17" for internet/music streaming, it is really old, has the blue connector (DVI?) and i might hook up a TV to it. TV or monitor, not both. The TV has a 1360x720 ratio (not 100% on this, maybe 75%). Basically, are there any concerns about hooking up these to my PC? Like do i need to turn power off before connecting/disconnecting cables? I think i fried my laptop by doing this.......will also research tomorrow.

8.) Any concerns about fitting stuff into a case? Compatibility issues? Issues with specific components?

Any feedback whatsoever appreciated, i know i still need to do alot but i think ive covered everything i hope. Please try to answer everything if you can!!

Big Thanks!
10 answers Last reply
More about build upgrading nvidia 6800
  1. 1.) First call for EVGA, send a e-mail or anything. Ask if going from GTX 580 1,5GB to GTX 580 3,0GB is considered a 'step-up program'. It could be that they consider only going to a GTX 590, no matter the memory onboard.

    2.) Pretty much for future proof you can buy any Z68 Gen3 motherboard (Asus P8Z68 /Gen3 mobos is a example)

    3.) For cache 20gb SSD are used, not bigger. But remember that using SSD have some drawbacks. When turning on the system, ALL the data is stored in HDD. So, when first time using a data it will be loaded from the HDD, and will be loaded into SSD and in the ram memory too. IF, only IF, you gonna use this data again, and it wouldn't be wiped out from cache, only then you gonna access this data in a faster way. (But not faster than a dedicated SSD)
    My recommendation: do not even bother about using SSD cache. Grab a 64GB or 128GB for OS + some apps only. And use a 1TB+ HDD (when price is lower) for massive data like music, movies, steam games installed, etc

    4.) For Sandybridge stick with 1.5V ram, 1.65V shall damage your CPU.
    Go for low profile, and yes, those silly heatsinks CAN interfere with CPU cooling

    5.) 850W Corsair within a future SLI GTX 580? Maybe not a good idea. Stick within the 1k PSU range.

    6.) Have a CM 690 II Advanced (midtower). I like the case, but I do recommend for you a full tower. Easier to keep the airflow going, specially when SLI comes into play.
    Just do not forget to get a Case with top exaust fans, and bottom place for PSU.

    7.) Can't give opinion on that

    8.) Right now I'm working, so I can't really check all the compatibility, gonna check asap.
  2. 1) The MSI cooling solution on those cards is amazing. It's quiet and it's effective, so it would be an excellent choice.

    2) for overclockability, it costs more, but get the Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 Gen3, there are better heatsinks on VRM's allowing higher overclocks.
    Extreme 3 caps very close to 4.5 mark due to overheating of the VRM:s

    3) Don't use the cache solution, simply get a 120-128GB SSD and use it as your system drive with OS and apps, with 120gb you can even have a few games there.
    It will provide much better results that simply the cache. Crucial M4, OCZ Vertex 3 for example are good choices.

    4) They interfere pretty much in all sandy bridge mobo's, but very much depend on your heatsink. For example i didn't really have issues with high heatsinks with
    my Scythe Mugen 3 or Cooler Master Hyper 212+. Sure the fan kind of rests on top of the heatsinks, but everything still works out great. Low profile is nice, but if you intend to use only 2x4GB, most HSF's work without issues with that setup. Also check Gskill RipjawsX series often cheaper than the corsairs and just as good.

    5) if you intend to get a 2nd 580 for SLI, then go with the 1050W, if you intend to use a single one and OC, you are fine with 850W, even 750W would then do.

    6) Personally i find that the best bang for buck ( sound profile, cost, cooling ) can be found on Antec 300 illusion when it's on sale. They go between $45-55 at that point and are a great purchase. They have been on sale at newegg at least once a month for the past 4 months or so. A few rosewill cases offer roughly the same value, but you might have to invest in extra fans bringing down the value. While the Antec 300 Illusion is all set with 2 adjustable intakes and 2 adjustable output fans.

    Naturally if you want to go for different looks or want a USB3.0 frontports you will have to look elsewhere, but going up to about $100 you can find a nice amount of cases that would then provide also the USB3.0 frontports. Might want to take a look at Corsair 400R, 500R and Antec 280 as well.

    7) I have a 23" version of that asus monitor and it's quite nice so i think it was a nice deal and you should be happy with it.

    8) Cases recommended above should fit everything just fine. For cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or EVO, Scythe Mugen 3 have decent prices and cooling.
    Mouse well this very much depends on preference. I would say check out the selection from Razer and Logitech.
    If you are left handed, there is a left handed version of Razer Deathadded, which is great.

    Keyboards, pretty much any USB keyboard will do, so see what you like. Logitech has a bunch of gaming keyboards but depending on what you like just pick what feels good. Pretty much the same as with the mouse.
  3. UPDATE**

    New RAM - low profile Corsair vengeance 1600 4x8gb

    New SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Case - COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    CPU cooling - CORSAIR CAFA70 120mm Dual-Fan CPU Cooler

    Going with a 3GB GTX580 MSI video card as well (vice 1.5gb)

    also added a HDMI cable for 5$ -

    new total on newegg is $1528.91 - $65 in rebates - 15% off that SSD and ODD + $180 monitor + Windows + $60 video game + mouse and keyboard ($110)=GRAND TOTAL = ~$1880

    1.)***Really need to know if this case is going to work with the mobo/gpu, and RAM/cooler

    2.) can i squeeze money anywhere else?

    3.) 15% off ocz SSDs going on today only. Is $190 - 15% - $20 worth it for that 120gb SSD?

    4.) 3GB will probably be worth it in the long run, +$100 worth though?

    5.) any problems using 5-6yr old arctic silver 5 compound?

    6.) besides the HDMI, any cables i need? any cables for the case i need?

    7.) ****how do i hook up all that stuff on the front of the case?
  4. 1) mobo, ram, cooler should work fine.
    Video card is the tough one, newegg lists the lightning at 12" long, which i'm pretty sure would not fit.
    It lists in the reviews for Cooler Master 932 Advanced that that case fits the lightnings snugly so maybe consider that one, its a little bit more expensive than the storm scout but the graphics card is huge

    3) that is quite nice for the vertex 3

    4) it will help with high AA's and multiple monitors. Worth it, hard to say.

    5) mine worked ok, but i guess they might have some kind of an expiration date on them

    6) everything inside the case should be covered

    7) usually there are headers that connect to the motherboard, and for fan controllers you hook the fans up to the controller with their respective connectors.
  5. The 3GB 580 may be worth it if you don't plan on upgrading for a while, which I am assuming will be the case since you're upgrading from such an old setup.

    Good call going with a 120/128gb SSD over a 64bg, which is the sweet spot for SSDs. Still, those bits fill up quickly!

    This will be such a huge upgrade for you, it will feel like you stepped into the future 8 years :lol: Good luck!
  6. FINAL questions before i buy:

    1.) what would happen if i hooked up a 2nd monitor to mobo? does "it" come from the CPU like onboard video? will there be a performance issue?

    2.) recommendations for non-stupid looking cases for decent price? (allowing for 2x 580s) less LED = better

    3.) How will SLI work from down the road, i know that i can get different manufacturers/speeds/memory, so down the road when i feel the need to get a 2nd 580, can i theoretically get a EVGA/Higher clock/ same memory capacity 580?

    4.) How do i mount the PSU? the build i did way back when had a non-modular one installed already. Any other concerns for building? do i really need one of those shock-band-thingies?

    5.)On newegg one person said that it held a 580 in there, how reliably can i trust this? where can i get more info about these issues?

    6.) Does my mobo allow for the stuff on the front of my case listed to work? (iirc the usb header? is 3.0)

    7.) will i need any fans for the side panel of the case listed?

    big help guys, just need a case! (or make 100% sure that case i listed will hold the 580)!
  7. With the current computer you're using, I doubt you have a frame of reference for the magnitude of the upgrade you're proposing. I think you could be VERY VERY happy with a GTX 560Ti (OC it yourself) and save yourself $300. Then add a second GTX 560Ti in a couple months or something like that.

    Obviously it's your call, but on a linear performance scale from 1 to 10, a GTX 580 will give you a 10 in gaming (dual GTX 560Ti's give you a 14), GTX 570 = 9, GTX 560Ti = 8, and your current computer is a 1.5. Going from a 1.5 to an 8, 9, or 10 will seem the same to you. The difference is whether you want to save $300.

    If you're only using a single 1080p monitor, two GTX 560Ti's will only cost you $400 and they'll blow a single GTX 580 out of the water! Just something to consider...
  8. a main concern of is GTA5 i want max graphics at least until then, ill get the 2nd GPU around E3 expo :D

    i so cant wait to have a gaming console other than the wii, dont get me wrong, i love goldeneye, monster hunter, and Zelda....but im just waiting to be blown away.

    Hopefully that UEFI bios thingy makes it easy to OC my CPU a bit.

    Could really us info about SLI-ing in the future....will i need to buy the exact same card? this is one of the last things holding me back from getting that 3GB 580.

    Also, i got the 256 instead of the .5gb 6800 to save money and had regrets later.....this is payback :D
  9. If you buy a GTX 580 3GB, you will need to SLI it with anther GTX 580 3GB. The manufacture doesn't matter much, just as long as the GPU chip (580) is the same and the amount of VRAM is the same. You could potentially SLI a 1.5GB and 3GB 580, but it would be pointless as the 3GB version would only use 1.5gb of it's available VRAM.
  10. Exhalation_ said:
    a main concern of is GTA5 i want max graphics at least until then, ill get the 2nd GPU around E3 expo :D

    i so cant wait to have a gaming console other than the wii, dont get me wrong, i love goldeneye, monster hunter, and Zelda....but im just waiting to be blown away.

    Hopefully that UEFI bios thingy makes it easy to OC my CPU a bit.

    Could really us info about SLI-ing in the future....will i need to buy the exact same card? this is one of the last things holding me back from getting that 3GB 580.

    Also, i got the 256 instead of the .5gb 6800 to save money and had regrets later.....this is payback :D
    Well if money is no object, then get the $600 GTX 580. But if you aren't disgusted by PS3/Xbox 360 graphics, then know that even a GT 240 can match those consoles' performance. I can guarantee you that a GTX 560Ti will let you play all new games with high settings. However, if you must max out every setting (16x AA, DOF, tessellation, PhysX, etc.), then a GTX 580 might be the way to go.

    Notice NVidia's description of what the cards are for:
    A GTX 560Ti and 570 are for high-performance and a GTX 580 is for bragging mostly.
    The difference between a GTX 570 and GTX 580 does not justify a $200 price increase:
    At the end of the day, it's your call though. I'm only suggesting this because you said, "<$2000 but as little as possible", so I'm going as low as possible for an awesome gaming experience.

    Btw, I get the impression that most OC'ers don't care for the UEFI much. I do all my i7-2600K OC'ing from the blue bios, not the UEFI.
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