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1000-1500$ Gaming rig - First Built - Need advice

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November 25, 2011 4:40:33 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Now.

Budget Range: CAD* $1000-$1500 (*quite the same as the USD nowdays anyway)

Note: My initial budget was 1000$... then I started researching, reading and shopping, and it just seems that reliability cost a lot of money. My priority, and primary concern, is reliability. I want parts with longevity with a high rate of "problem free". I read a lot of horor stories on Newegg.com / .ca and those scares the Noob out of me.

I need advice on which part to buy more than how much they cost. But I can't really spend more than $1500.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:: GAMING. That's it.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

Note on the OS: I have a genuine windows7 32b CD... I heard that you can use your 32b CD-key to install a 64b version. Basically the only thing I would need is finding a win7 64b CD and install it with my win7 32b CD-Key. Is that right ?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None. But here, up North in our already-freezing Canada, I guess it comes down to Newegg.ca (for good deals) or DirectCanada.com (for free shipping), but I'm open to any possibilities (e.g. would buy great deals in the US with the extra shipping and customs cost if it comes cheaper than buying in Canada).

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: None. As previously mentioned, I'm looking for reliability first, performance second.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Note: I would like to keep the door open for overclocking and SLI, since I assume that in a year or two, to be able to keep great gaming performance on new released game, I will simply need to overclock and get another GPU to plug in SLI (buying the same card in 2 years should not cost much). Is that a good logic ?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (32'' HDTV, via HDMI)

Additional Comments:

- I have serious issues trying to choose a motherboard. They seem to all have pros and cons and mixed reviews. I did not found a MOBO that stands out of the crowed for reliability and performance within my budget.


Here is what I got so far:



Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527
CAD $219.69

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe REV3.0 ATX LGA1155 P67 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD5917
CAD $205.92

OR (???): ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
CAD $234.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211
CAD $46.70

EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD Fermi 732MHZ 1280MB GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11610BD5365
CAD $355.66

OR (Is the superclocked worth it???): EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked Fermi 797MHZ 1280MB GDDR5 2XDVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E Video Card
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11610BD7504&v...
$360.80CAD

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC0554
CAD $31.05

Corsair Professional HX750W 750W ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC5235
CAD $139.69

LG GH24LS70 24X SATA Lightscribe Internal DVD Writer Burner DVDRW Optical Drive Black OEM
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12600DR0411
CAD $19.69

HAF MINI 922 10BAY MID TWRATX MICRO ATX INCL TWO 200MM FAN
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=19461BE0217
CAD $106.68

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... (not available at DirectCanada)
CAD $204.99

Grand Total, including the Canadian rip-you-off taxes: approximately 1550$.

So, how does that look ?

Where can I save some money without compromising reliability, and without compromising too much performance ?

November 25, 2011 6:28:19 PM

Anyone ?!?
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November 26, 2011 12:57:53 PM

...
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November 26, 2011 1:19:46 PM

Looks good to me, but...
You might go for little bit bigger PSU than that for future SLI.

I'd recommend this one plus bit cheaper than above one:
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC4847&v...

The rest is good, how much will you overclock your CPU? Considering your cooler and choice of mobo tells pretty much. How much?
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November 26, 2011 3:04:00 PM

As the gtx 570 shows a max pull load of 215w you will be more then ok running sli 570's on a 750.
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November 27, 2011 3:17:40 PM

Thank you both for your comments.

As for this:

naqqash said:
The rest is good, how much will you overclock your CPU? Considering your cooler and choice of mobo tells pretty much. How much?


As mentionned above, this is my first built and besides what I read from various posts on this forum, I have no idea what I am doing. Especially for the choice of MOBO. That's why I'm seeking good advices.

I chose the cooler based on its good reviews; did I overshot ? Can I save a few buck by downgrading the MOBO and cooler ?

I would like this built to last at least 5 years, and overcloking and SLI'ing somewhere in the middle of the way. It's hard to guess how much will I need to overclock in a couple of years to keep up with new released games.
Therefore, which cooler and mobo would you suggest ? And how much should I plan to overclock (approximatly)?
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November 27, 2011 4:42:42 PM

lol @ ''Canadian rip-you-off taxes''.

I'm looking to build something like that as well.
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November 27, 2011 7:27:22 PM

That, how much should you overclock.

4.2-4.5GHz on an i5-2500k is enough to eliminate any sort of bottlenecking caused by CPU. The motherboard you've picked is an extremely hard-core overclocker 5GHz+.

You should be fine with anyone of the following motherboard without sacrificing reliability:

$130 - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$155 - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$125 - ASRock Z68 Extreme3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And with this CPU cooler:

$26 - CM Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All the best.
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November 27, 2011 8:34:22 PM

Hey you've got a good looking build. The ASRock motherboard naqqash linked is a good one. I'd get that. Keep the cooler you linked. It's great price/performance. Factory overclocked cords=not worth it. If you want to run it at those speeds it's very simple to overclock to those speeds. Both of those PSU's support GTX 470 SLI according to nvidia, so they will run GTX 570 SLI, as they have almost the exact same max power draw.


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November 27, 2011 10:27:35 PM

Two large and related mistakes in this build:
1) The case does not have front panel USB 3.0
2) The motherboard does not have internal USB 3.0 headers.

If you're going to spend $100 on a case, get one with USB 3.0. There are ways to work in motherboards on this budget that have the internal USB 3.0 header.

Any Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte, or MSI Z68 motherboard is good enough in my opinion (you'll want SLI capable & USB 3.0 though). The Hyper 212 Evo is a hair better than the 212+. Either will be adequate to cool this build if you're not a hardcore overclocker.

You should be attempting to price match Micro Center at NCIX.com for your CPU price. NCIX.com might be the best place to find parts in Canada.

Any Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX 750W PSU is good enough. I'd get the Corsair TX750 for CA$80 after CA$25 rebate: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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Best solution

November 28, 2011 6:59:25 AM

FFM said:
Note: My initial budget was 1000$... then I started researching, reading and shopping, and it just seems that reliability cost a lot of money.
No it doesn't. The better brands charge a slight premium in most cases and yes, it's worth paying that in the case of critical components like Mobo, PSU, GPU, SSD etc.
FFM said:
My priority, and primary concern, is reliability. I want parts with longevity with a high rate of "problem free". I read a lot of horor stories on Newegg.com / .ca and those scares the Noob out of me.
You need not be a noob to be scared of unreliable components. It's extremely frustrating and annoying when your build doesn't get off the ground for a dead board or a dead PSU or something. It's prolly even worse when something fails just after the 30/45 day RMA period or weeks after the guarantee period is over. But do realize that nothing is absolutely guaranteed not to fail. The difference between the better brands and the lesser ones is that the better ones are less likely to fail, not guaranteed not to fail.
FFM said:
Note on the OS: I have a genuine windows7 32b CD... I heard that you can use your 32b CD-key to install a 64b version. Basically the only thing I would need is finding a win7 64b CD and install it with my win7 32b CD-Key. Is that right ?
Yes and no. If you do not already have a 'RETAIL pack', which comes with both the DVD's, you will technically need to re-buy Windows 'coz the OEM DVD that you have does not come with the 64/32 bit interchange license nor does it come with the portability license (from one PC to another).

But people who've had to deal with this normally simply get past it by calling up MS, and telling 'em bout a dead mobo that you need to change, and a little bit of pleading generally gets you a new license that you can then use. This is because Windows attaches itself with the mobo and changing that means Windows recognizes your system as a new PC (even if you're genuinely changing a bad mobo) and this necessitates a new serial number.

Maybe somebody who's got 1st hand experience can clear this up for you, but this is to the best of my knowledge.
FFM said:
Note: I would like to keep the door open for overclocking and SLI, since I assume that in a year or two, to be able to keep great gaming performance on new released game, I will simply need to overclock and get another GPU to plug in SLI (buying the same card in 2 years should not cost much). Is that a good logic ?
Your i5 won't bottle neck any GPU even at stock - now or 2 years down the road, but yes OC'ing will result in better performance. Expect your chip to reach 4.5-5.0Ghz stable on that board. But more and more games are becoming more GPU intensive than ever before anyways.

CPU: $219 i5-2500K in your link

Mobo: $145 ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 - Gen 3 board with PCIe 3.0. Will have full functionality for the gen-next gfx cards, should you decide to plonk one in, in the future.

RAM: $47 Ripjaws 8GB in your link

HDD: $135 (After rebate) Intel 320 Series 2.5" 120GB - because you've mentioned reliability so often. It is SATA II, but a super reliable SATA III drive costs closer to 300. Is the extra 150 dollars worth it? NO! IMHO. Don't worry, the difference will be minimal. As it is, you'll see a great difference going from a mechanical to a solid state drive.

ODD: $20 LG DVDRW Optical Drive in your link

Case: $106 HAF 922 in your link.

Total: $672 (Including rebates) Plus taxes/shipping etc.

Wait for a couple of days for GTX 560ti 448 or better still, for a few more days for GTX 600. The PSU choice obviously depends on your GPU choice. The HX series is plenty good, but if you don't need modular, you can save some money with the TX version. The bronze/silver rating shouldn't make any difference.

I'll just get a $490 EVGA GTX 580 with lifetime warranty and a $88 Corsair TX650 V2 along with this if you really wanna build it now and be done with. That build will last you for some time to come. Rather than worry 'bout SLI, get a 680/780 what ever is available and in you budget when you do feel like changing it in 2-3 years from now.

In any case, I won't SLI current gen mainstream Nvidia cards because of this.

Total with GPU+PSU: $672+490+88=$1250. By far the best most reliable build your money can buy you as of today.
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November 28, 2011 2:53:05 PM

Let me express my sincere thanks to all of you for your comments. They are really helpfull and give me a much clearer idea of the built that will suit my needs... and on top of that makes me save more than 200$.

Regarding the following:

calguyhunk said:
I'll just get a $490 EVGA GTX 580 with lifetime warranty and a $88 Corsair TX650 V2 along with this if you really wanna build it now and be done with. That build will last you for some time to come. Rather than worry 'bout SLI, get a 680/780 what ever is available and in you budget when you do feel like changing it in 2-3 years from now.

In any case, I won't SLI current gen mainstream Nvidia cards because of this.



Thank you for this first-hand information; I see how I am better off with a top GPU right away than SLI'ing lessers ones in a near futur.

Cheers
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November 28, 2011 6:16:23 PM

All the best and good luck.
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November 28, 2011 10:02:21 PM

FFM said:
Thank you for this first-hand information; I see how I am better off with a top GPU right away than SLI'ing lessers ones in a near futur.

Cheers
True that you don't want to SLI mainstream GPUs, but if you SLI a high-end GTX 560Ti or stronger, you should do just fine.

I can't recommend the GTX 580 because it's performance isn't enough better than a GTX 570 while costing substantially more (125% performance for 160% of the price). I say buy a GTX 560Ti and OC it. If you don't want to do that, then a GTX 570 and OC it (for 98%+ of a stock GTX 580's performance). And GTX 580's seem to have hit or miss overclocking headroom--often almost none at all.

Other than that, I agree with calguyhunk's advice completely.

Buy parts while they're on sale though--you don't have to get them all in one go. Just pick them up over the course of a week or two and save yourself a bundle buying on deals rather than all at once.
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November 29, 2011 12:38:17 AM

dalauder said:
a GTX 570 and OC it (for 98%+ of a stock GTX 580's performance).
:ouch:  Link please!
FFM said:
Let me express my sincere thanks to all of you for your comments. They are really helpfull and give me a much clearer idea of the built that will suit my needs... and on top of that makes me save more than 200$.

Thank you for this first-hand information; I see how I am better off with a top GPU right away than SLI'ing lessers ones in a near futur.

Cheers
Cheers mate :) 
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November 29, 2011 2:10:59 AM

calguyhunk said:
:ouch:  Link please!
OC'd GTX 570 matching a 580 in BF3, beating the 580 in Crysis 2, and losing in Metro 2033: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

This review includes a bunch of games and shows stock and overclocked framerates (& scores): http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/palit_gtx_570_s...

And here's another benchmark showing some comparisons of OC'd 570s to a 580: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/gf-gt...

Here's a review of an OC'd 580 to be fair: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
It appears the 580 has more headroom left in it than I gave it credit for. And you'll see here that a top-notch card, when OC'd, absolutely stomps an OC'd 570 (just look at stock 580 scores): http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-geforce-gtx-580-clas...

Still...if you're only gaming at 1080p, a GTX 580 might be overkill. And you'll probably match whatever Kepler's flagship does with dual GTX 570's--I dunno, I like the dual GPU approach. But it's really your call OP.
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November 30, 2011 5:48:18 AM

^ Nice links dalauder, thanks.

But the thing is, getting a higher spec'ed card sets you up for much longer and with those lifetime warranty cards, this is what you might stand to gain if you happen to die or indeed if you furmark 'em to death once you start getting bored with it - without having to shell out a dime for an upgrade ;)  - LINK
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November 30, 2011 12:01:00 PM

FFM said:

Here is what I got so far:



Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527
CAD $219.69

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe REV3.0 ATX LGA1155 P67 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD5917
CAD $205.92

OR (???): ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
CAD $234.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211
CAD $46.70

EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD Fermi 732MHZ 1280MB GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11610BD5365
CAD $355.66

OR (Is the superclocked worth it???): EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked Fermi 797MHZ 1280MB GDDR5 2XDVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E Video Card
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11610BD7504&v...
$360.80CAD

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC0554
CAD $31.05

Corsair Professional HX750W 750W ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC5235
CAD $139.69

LG GH24LS70 24X SATA Lightscribe Internal DVD Writer Burner DVDRW Optical Drive Black OEM
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12600DR0411
CAD $19.69

HAF MINI 922 10BAY MID TWRATX MICRO ATX INCL TWO 200MM FAN
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=19461BE0217
CAD $106.68

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... (not available at DirectCanada)
CAD $204.99

Grand Total, including the Canadian rip-you-off taxes: approximately 1550$.

So, how does that look ?

Where can I save some money without compromising reliability, and without compromising too much performance ?

850w psu if you plan on pushing two of those cards, 750w if you want to do dual 560ti's.

Also "Best Direct Canada" is affiliated with Direct Canada and both use the same shipping addy out of Richmond, BC...and they also offer free ground shipping.

http://www.bestdirect.ca/category/?minorcatid=1066&vend... <---- these XFX psu's are manufactured by Seasonic as is that Corsair you have up above. Modular ftw.

Also like the other poster pointed out, that Asrock Z68 extreme3 Gen3 is a bargain at that price. And look at Best Direct for SSD's. They have a killer deal atm on the Corsair 120GB SATA 3's.
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November 30, 2011 2:38:01 PM

Thanks again to all of you for your comments and for keeping this thread alive. I started ordering some parts following your recommandations.

Cheers to all.


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November 30, 2011 3:52:46 PM

calguyhunk said:
...this is what you might stand to gain if you happen to die...
:ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch: 

Obviously, I meant if your card happens to die LOL :lol: 
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November 30, 2011 4:20:52 PM

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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January 26, 2012 1:03:44 AM

Best answer selected by FFM.
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