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"Welcome Home" Build, advice?

Last response: in Systems
November 18, 2011 5:09:29 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a few days

Budget Range: 800-1500?

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, HDD, Disc Drive, mouse, monitor, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: the U.S.

Parts Preferences: Intel/Nvidia/Asrock

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Getting near the end of my deployment here in the Afghanistan and I gave my old rig to a friend when I came here (he basically built the last one). Trying to do it on my own this time. My vision was a single card nvidia setup, with an overclocked intel i-5 or i-7. I only game on this beast. The working copy of my build is currently:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
I would work with an I7 26k or 27k, it just doesn't seem like the difference in gains is justified by the $ for what I want.

CPU Cooler: I have never overclocked, so I don't know what would suffice here. I'd like to try to stay air cooled, but water cooling is fine with me as I learn how to maintain it. My goals for OC are the 4.0-4.5k range.

GPU: ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video
This card is on the list of compatible cards with the MB I have selected, and it's about the ceiling on what I am willing to spend on a single card.

Memory: G.SKILL ECO 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBECO
low voltage, good speed, acceptable price, mb compatible list. I don't plan on ever oc'ing the ram (should I?), ddr3 1600 is the highest non-overclocked that the mb supports, so I went with that.

MB: ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
This is my first option at MB, but I am thinking more and more that I should select the alternative mb below, which will allow me to flex to an SLI to couple with the other one instead of shelling out 800 bones in a year for a new gpu upgrade.... Thoughts?

ASRock Fatal1ty P67 PROFESSIONAL (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

hd: HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
I should probably care more about the hard drive than I actually do... W/E. It's a tb, and its fast enough

Case and PS: Bundled
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W High Performance Power Supply
Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Computer Case

Case looks classy imo, ps is good for single card, but won't run two 580's I don't think.

CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W High Performance Power Supply
Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Computer Case

Same classy case, but bundled with a ps which should run two 580's when if I go the SLI route

I appreciate anyones help or advice on this. Thank you

More about : home build advice

November 18, 2011 5:30:29 PM

An i5-2500k is the best choice for a purely gaming build (if you can afford it).

Air cooling is fine for 4-4.5GHz. A Cooler Master Hyper 212+ is the cheapest good solution. There are some really cool Zalman coolers if you want something that looks cooler. There are definitely better coolers than the 212+ but it is effective.

Good speed for the RAM. There really isn't a reason to OC it. If you were really stressing it, then yea, but you won't notice the difference in normal use.

Your motherboard isn't SLI capable. The ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 is only a few bucks more and is PCIe3.0 compatible, and is SLI/CF capable. It also has USB 3.0 and Sata 6Gbps.

Bestbuy has good prices for HDDs because they haven't adjusted their prices yet due to the flooding. You might be able to snag one for cheap.

Good PSU, but it won't handle SLI. If you don't care if you have to upgrade it later then it is a good option. I'd have to run the numbers but I think you need at least a 750W PSU to run 580's in SLI and overclock the i5.

Best solution

November 18, 2011 5:31:19 PM

I would go with unless you're in love with fatal1ty, in which case go with the second pro mobo. The first mobo you listed only has 1 PCIe slot so you can't do SLI on that.

PSU: 650w will enough to run a 580 on a 2500k build, but definitely not enough for 2 of them. Go with if you want to run 2.

Case: The 600T is pretty expensive for a mid-tower IMO, but if you like that case and are not interested in a full-tower then keep it.

If you want low-voltage memory then keep that, otherwise go with

CPU Cooler:
Best for the price is
Best cooler for that case is
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November 22, 2011 9:59:29 AM

Thanks for all of the help. I have some more questions, if someone would be so kind?

The motherboard I got has two pci-e slots, listed as (x16, x8) I understand that this is basically a speed. 16 lanes running to pci-e slot 1 and 8 lanes running to slot 2. If I moved to an SLI setup, both lanes would run at x8 and x8. I may have misread, but I was looking at an article that suggested that the following was possible:

If I were to place a gt 560 TI in the top slot, running at x 16... is it possible to place another non identical card in the x8 pci-e slot and use it to run phys x... or is the second slot basically only usable in x8 x8 sli setup with an identical card?

Second, the card I went with is the msi 560ti 2gb card, which is said to be oc friendly. How would you suggest cooling the card if it were oc'd?

Third... Is it even worth it to OC ram? I've read about people doing it, and I've read about people saying it is pointless.

and lastly, just to clarify. I'm not currently at my monitor, but I'm pretty sure it's native resolution is 1980x1020. I will never in my lifetime use dual monitors... Will I ever need two video cards in sli, or just one good one to utilize it's native resolution for gaming?
November 22, 2011 12:03:29 PM

I've never done it, but I've heard you can do what you suggest with the PhysX card. But why wouldn't you just use the PhysX on the 560Ti. That is a lot of money for little to no benefit (only a handful of games use it). I would think you'd be better off upgrading to a 570 vs buying a cheaper card.

A 2GB graphics card isn't needed unless you have really high resolutions (over 1080p, or multiple monitors). If they have a 1GB version it'll save you a few $.

You can get a benefit from SLI for single monitors, however it is never needed for good frame rates with high/max settings on most games. Adding a second card a year or two from now would extend the life of your system for cheap. However, you do not need SLI and could always just do an upgrade to a new more powerful graphics card.

From what I understand, there is no point in OC'ing ram unless you are also overclocking the CPU to a really high clock rate. Even then, I don't think you'll notice that much of a difference.
November 22, 2011 12:48:44 PM

Thank you all for the answers, I believe I'm going to upgrade the card to a 570 or 580, depending on how much of my $ I can commit to the build. I heard that the 110 on the 560 cards has some glitches still, even after patching? I also heard that's why the new 560 ti is running a limited version of the 114 that is in the 570's. Anyway, thank you all for taking the time to answer my slow minded questions!
September 18, 2012 11:39:01 PM

Best answer selected by joshmbu.