Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

HELP me shave $$$ off this build...

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 27, 2011 12:34:03 AM

Budget: $1700 (I'm hoping to get this to below $1600!)
Priority: Running Battlefield 3 on ULTRA at 60+ FPS
Order Date: First week of December



I was unfortunately originally going to get the HD 5970 that was on sale and save myself $275...but then Newegg ran out of stock just as I was about to checkout. Ava Direct is selling one for $350, but I don't know if it'll be worth it considering that A) I've never heard of the GPU brand B) I've never heard of Ava Direct and C) the HD 5970 could potentially run into driver related issues due to being a dual GPU. I might also have to spend $100 extra to get Windows 7 if my friend can't get me a free copy like he promised to (but I have $70 worth of rebates).

I'm getting the expensive Sapphire HD 6950's because 2GB is a great way to future proof and also primarily because they're unlock-able. I know a lot of you will start recommending cheap-o $10 mice, but I like playing twitch shooters so I'll definitely need some decent peripherals. I'm also going out of my way to future proof i.e., I won't mind spending $20 extra today so that I don't have to spend $100 tomorrow.

CASE: NZXT Black Phantom Case
$109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

NZXT White/Red (From Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/NZXT-Crafted-Tower-Steel-Chassis/...
$99

MONITOR: ASUS VH236H Black 23"
$179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PROCESSOR: Intel i5 2500k
$235
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOX80623I52500K-Core-i5-250...

GRAPHICS CARD: (x2) SAPPHIRE HD 6950 2GB
$559.98
($279.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWER SUPPLY: Mk II 950W 80Plus Silver PSU
$139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM
$149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KEYBOARD: Logitech 920-000914 Ultra-thin Keyboard
$69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOUSE: Logitech G9x
$60.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermal Paste
$12.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA
$179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FAN: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
$25.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WIFI: TP-LINK TL-WN722N USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter
$9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL DRIVE: SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo SH-B123L
$59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GRAND TOTAL: $1,794

More about : shave build

November 27, 2011 12:49:18 AM

You can save about $50 on your CPU at Microcenter. They are currently sold out because I can't link from their website for you. I got an i5 2500k there for black friday for $149.99 but they sell them regularly for $179.99.

I mean aside from cutting cost on your keyboard and mouse the only other place I can see you cut would be your optical drive...do you really need a Blu ray Burner? You can cut that in half with a good OEM DVD burner that even has Lightscribe.

I know it is only 10 bucks but why use Wifi when a hard wire ethernet is more reliable?

The AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 will save you about $50 to $60 with a $10 rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That my drop things to your liking because you are looking at close to $200 dollars in taxes either way.



November 27, 2011 12:58:28 AM

gripssl said:
You can save about $50 on your CPU at Microcenter. They are currently sold out because I can't link from their website for you. I got an i5 2500k there for black friday for $149.99 but they sell them regularly for $179.99.

I mean aside from cutting cost on your keyboard and mouse the only other place I can see you cut would be your optical drive...do you really need a Blu ray Burner? You can cut that in half with a good OEM DVD burner that even has Lightscribe.

I know it is only 10 bucks but why use Wifi when a hard wire ethernet is more reliable?

The AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 will save you about $50 to $60 with a $10 rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That my drop things to your liking because you are looking at close to $200 dollars in taxes either way.

No, I absolutely don't need a burner, let alone a BluRay burner. I just thought that it would be nice to be able to watch all the BluRay discs I have lying about the house (I absolutely have no clue about optical drives, so if I sound like I'm being a complete idiot then please correct me).

So could you recommend me a regular bargain lightscribe drive? The only thing I'll need a drive for is basically installing games and possibly watching movies, but if I can save $40 but not being able to watch BluRays then so be it (are they redundant for PCs?).

I unfortunately don't have the luxury of using a cabled connection where I'm hoping the PC is going to go. My WiFi connection is fine, 0 packet loss and a consistent 15+ mbps down.

Does the mobo you recommend have good on-board audio and will it adequately support the CF'd 6950s? It looks pretty small.

**EDIT: Newegg doesn't have sales taxes where I live!
Related resources
November 27, 2011 1:05:08 AM

I didn't see any RAM in your build. I saw a combo the other day for a 500GB drive for only $45 with the RAM; I'll go look again...

Edit: Yeah, this 7200.12 drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $45; oooh no, all the combos but one are gone, for essentially an entire AMD system; you don't want that. I'll keep looking.

Edit 2: Nope; didn't see any. I'd suggest a SSD plus a cheaper "green" drive for storage, but that would likely defeat the purpose of lowering the cost.

But...does BF3 play nice with Crossfire? What if you got a single GTX570, with perhaps a 750W PSU? This X750 is $110 shipped right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and will support another GTX570 if you decide you need it. That puts a SSD+Green drive in reach.
November 27, 2011 1:16:19 AM

Onus said:
I didn't see any RAM in your build. I saw a combo the other day for a 500GB drive for only $45 with the RAM; I'll go look again...

Edit: Yeah, this 7200.12 drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $45; oooh no, all the combos but one are gone, for essentially an entire AMD system; you don't want that. I'll keep looking.
I'm getting the Ripjaws 4gb x 2 pack. Do any of you recommend shopping for GPUs on ebay? Thanks for helping so much! BTW, do you know of any cheap but high quality mice and keyboards? So should I stick with the HD 6950s x2 or get the $350 HD 5970 off Ava Direct? I've noticed that there's a 1.5mb GTX 580 on Newegg about $70 cheaper than the twin HD 6950s.
November 27, 2011 1:24:40 AM

Sailor Moon said:
No, I absolutely don't need a burner, let alone a BluRay burner. I just thought that it would be nice to be able to watch all the BluRay discs I have lying about the house (I absolutely have no clue about optical drives, so if I sound like I'm being a complete idiot then please correct me).

So could you recommend me a regular bargain lightscribe drive? The only thing I'll need a drive for is basically installing games and possibly watching movies, but if I can save $40 but not being able to watch BluRays then so be it (are they redundant for PCs?).

I unfortunately don't have the luxury of using a cabled connection where I'm hoping the PC is going to go. My WiFi connection is fine, 0 packet loss and a consistent 15+ mbps down.

Does the mobo you recommend have good on-board audio and will it adequately support the CF'd 6950s? It looks pretty small.

**EDIT: Newegg doesn't have sales taxes where I live!


Samsung 22x DVD burner with lightscribe $20 bucks. I like lightscribe to easily label disks you burn.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the MOBO sound it has on board Realtek ALC892 so that is pretty standard across all MOBO manufacturers. If that doesn't give the sound quality you might want you can add a cheap sound card but it should be good enough. It will also support if/when you go Crossfire just fine but you may need a slightly beefier PSU closer to 750W upping your cost now slightly.
November 27, 2011 1:29:35 AM

I wouldn't touch a Diamond GPU except perhaps with a sledgehammer; my reasons are numerous. Last time I bought one (a HD3870, back when many of them had fan problems), the drivers didn't work, ATI's site didn't even recognize that Diamond was a partner and the drivers from there would not install ("no supported device found," or some such); Diamond's web site was a nightmare and the "technician" I finally reached was a gibbering idiot. I was ultimately unable to obtain support. With so many competent GPU companies out there, I have no excuse to ever buy Diamond. They suck the nether orifice of a donkey; simple as that.

November 27, 2011 1:39:13 AM

Onus said:
I wouldn't touch a Diamond GPU except perhaps with a sledgehammer; my reasons are numerous. Last time I bought one (a HD3870, back when many of them had fan problems), the drivers didn't work, ATI's site didn't even recognize that Diamond was a partner and the drivers from there would not install ("no supported device found," or some such); Diamond's web site was a nightmare and the "technician" I finally reached was a gibbering idiot. I was ultimately unable to obtain support. With so many competent GPU companies out there, I have no excuse to ever buy Diamond. They suck the nether orifice of a donkey; simple as that.


I didn't even hear about Diamond until that HD 5970 sale yesterday. I went to visit their website to see if I could contact them directly and the place didn't look too professional. The cheap search bar used one of those "squatter domain-name website" search engines and referred me to zones.com (never heard of it either), which was selling the card at $850...but at the end of the day, a HD 5970 is a HD 5970 and it is ridiculously tempting.

@Gripssl, thanks so much. I tossed out that BluRay and go the one you recommended me instead. We've saved $50 so far!
November 27, 2011 1:44:49 AM

Switch your monitor to either:
Acer 23" 1920x1080p $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus 23" 1920x1080p $170 with $10 MIR and $30 off Promo available
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know why the first poster assume you live near a Microcenter but if you do then that's great! If you don't, Newegg usually sell the CPU for $220 but it should be sold out at the moment.

You're limiting your upgrade path. I would purchase one GPU first and see how that goes. Kepler and 7xxx series are set to release 2012 AND I have no idea how that will affect the current stock of GPU so it's your decision.

You're making a high end system. 800+ watt is recommended for your build. I'll choose any one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-029^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C17-341-044^17-341-044-TS%2C17-139-022^17-139-022-TS
OCZ review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-ZX-Series-85...

Instead of spending $150 on a 1TB hard drive that cost no more than $60 a few months ago.. you should invest into a SSD drive. You can buy the hard drive again when the prices begin to decrease back to its original position. The highest cost ones have good MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-148-441^20-148-441-TS%2C20-167-050^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C20-227-542^20-227-542-TS%2C20-227-706^20-227-706-TS

You don't need to spend $131 on keyboard and mouse. You need to prioritize where your money goes.

Cooler Master Hyper 212+ comes with its own stock of thermal compound. It's not the best but it works. Will save $13 if you just stick with what's already supplied.

$60 Blu-ray is up to you. It's your preference!

I hope you follow some of my suggestions. If you save more money than you thought you would, you should consider buying your own set of speakers. Some monitors come with speakers but they're way inferior to actual speaker systems if you know what i mean :p 
November 27, 2011 1:49:15 AM

I recommended Microcenter because they also can ship merchandise and at $179.99 plus shipping should still beat newegg.
November 27, 2011 2:10:23 AM

wintermint said:
Switch your monitor to either:
Acer 23" 1920x1080p $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus 23" 1920x1080p $170 with $10 MIR and $30 off Promo available
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know why the first poster assume you live near a Microcenter but if you do then that's great! If you don't, Newegg usually sell the CPU for $220 but it should be sold out at the moment.

You're limiting your upgrade path. I would purchase one GPU first and see how that goes. Kepler and 7xxx series are set to release 2012 AND I have no idea how that will affect the current stock of GPU so it's your decision.

You're making a high end system. 800+ watt is recommended for your build. I'll choose any one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-029^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C17-341-044^17-341-044-TS%2C17-139-022^17-139-022-TS
OCZ review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-ZX-Series-85...

Instead of spending $150 on a 1TB hard drive that cost no more than $60 a few months ago.. you should invest into a SSD drive. You can buy the hard drive again when the prices begin to decrease back to its original position. The highest cost ones have good MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-148-441^20-148-441-TS%2C20-167-050^icn_ironegg_overlay%23%2C20-227-542^20-227-542-TS%2C20-227-706^20-227-706-TS

You don't need to spend $131 on keyboard and mouse. You need to prioritize where your money goes.

Cooler Master Hyper 212+ comes with its own stock of thermal compound. It's not the best but it works. Will save $13 if you just stick with what's already supplied.

$60 Blu-ray is up to you. It's your preference!

I hope you follow some of my suggestions. If you save more money than you thought you would, you should consider buying your own set of speakers. Some monitors come with speakers but they're way inferior to actual speaker systems if you know what i mean :p 
As for speakers, I can't really afford those right now, let alone a good sound-card. I'm thinking about getting these headphones for now. I'm also currently deliberating between the two monitors you linked. I'm so far leaning towards the second one, but the sale is probably going to end before I order all the parts.

Thanks for the heads-up about the thermal compound. Also, the PSU I selected is 950W (you're the second person that missed this :kaola: ).

As for SSD, I'm only going to get an SSD if the price magically drops under $200 and is at least 500GB. I do a lot of video-editing, handle a lot of server files (you'd be surprised just how large Minecraft world saves can be) and then of-course I'll be downloading and installing a *** ton of new games while bringing in my current library. I can easily see myself exceeding 400gb by June.

I'm really in a tight squeeze because unlike most other people, I can't just continue using whatever GPU I have or SLI/Crossfire them until 7XXX drops because I don't have one. I REALLY want to game this Christmas- I honestly don't think I can wait any longer. If only AMD didn't *** around with us and just gave us a solid release date.

P.S.,

Can anyone please link me to that Tom's Hardware (I think) page where you can select and compare any two GPUs side-by-side from a drop down menu?
November 27, 2011 2:10:59 AM

God looking at these HDD prices makes me sick.

Here's another SSD that's on sale http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Samsung 830 $95 Free Shipping. Though I'd probably go for a higher capacity ssd

For mouse and keyboard I'd get some cheapo keyboard and a G500 or G400 from logitech.

Also sucks that you missed a few blackfriday deals at newegg.

You might want to wait until monday for some "cyber monday" deals.
November 27, 2011 2:40:49 AM

Thanks for helping guys! I've recalculated everything after a few adjustments and cuts so the total is now $1,646. I'd still like to cut down some more until I get below $1600. Either that or I stay at relatively the same price but possibly find a way to squeeze in extra fans and possibly a sound card.

I still also don't know if I should still buy those HD 6950s with the 7XXX right around the corner...anyone got any solutions? Do you think I should still get them and then wait until Q3-Q4 2012 for whatever Nvidea has in-store for us? I doubt that the CF 6950s will grow outdated that quickly...
November 27, 2011 3:03:52 AM

Sailor Moon said:
As for speakers, I can't really afford those right now, let alone a good sound-card. I'm thinking about getting these headphones for now. I'm also currently deliberating between the two monitors you linked. I'm so far leaning towards the second one, but the sale is probably going to end before I order all the parts.

Thanks for the heads-up about the thermal compound. Also, the PSU I selected is 950W (you're the second person that missed this :kaola: ).

As for SSD, I'm only going to get an SSD if the price magically drops under $200 and is at least 500GB. I do a lot of video-editing, handle a lot of server files (you'd be surprised just how large Minecraft world saves can be) and then of-course I'll be downloading and installing a *** ton of new games while bringing in my current library. I can easily see myself exceeding 400gb by June.

I'm really in a tight squeeze because unlike most other people, I can't just continue using whatever GPU I have or SLI/Crossfire them until 7XXX drops because I don't have one. I REALLY want to game this Christmas- I honestly don't think I can wait any longer. If only AMD didn't *** around with us and just gave us a solid release date.

P.S.,

Can anyone please link me to that Tom's Hardware (I think) page where you can select and compare any two GPUs side-by-side from a drop down menu?



No. I saw right. You only need 800+ minimum and you want to cut money so I thought I'll find some cheaper solutions. What I did wrong was not clicking the link :(  As for the drop menu I don't know about tomshardware but anandtech has their own: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU11/188
November 27, 2011 3:20:29 AM

wintermint said:
No. I saw right. You only need 800+ minimum and you want to cut money so I thought I'll find some cheaper solutions. What I did wrong was not clicking the link :(  As for the drop menu I don't know about tomshardware but anandtech has their own: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU11/188

Thanks man! You've been so helpful! :D 

Anyone got any more advice? I'll close this thread tomorrow morning if nobody else has any suggestions. I'm still hoping to save an extra $50 so if you guys got anything, please throw it out there!
November 27, 2011 6:31:05 PM

You can choose a different brand of motherboard/graphic cards unless you're completely set on those. Other than that, it seems like all the suggestions have been thrown out there for you to read lol
November 27, 2011 6:50:23 PM

I recently read a good article that discusses micro-stuttering and how it is extremely awful in x2 video card setups.

It was on the front page of this website, iirc.

Having read it, I don't think I can suggest any 2x video card suggestions.

The easiest way to explain micro-stuttering is that 2x video cards render like this:

Card 1 renders
5/1000sec
Card 2 renders
15/1000sec
Card 1 renders
5/1000sec
Card 2 renders
15/1000sec
Card 1 renders

In case it isn't clear, the video cards alternate rendering between themselves by taking turns, except they don't take turns evenly they take turns as quickly as possible with 2 going almost instantly after 1 and then having a long cycle time until 1 is ready again.

This makes 2x video cards in some cases "feel" like they are performing straight up worse than 1x which always renders evenly.

- Edit - Even though the 2x video cards will have a higher FPS than 1, they "feel" like they are worse than just 1, in case it isn't clear.

Those problems are alleviated by either going with 1x a fatter card or 3x a smaller card instead of 2x. It doesn't have to be 3x cards, it could be, for example, a 4870 x2 with 2 processors on one card + a regular 4870 for a total of 3x 4870 processors.

Micro stuttering is almost completely eliminated in both 1x and 3x configurations.

Consider a 6850x2 + 6850 configuration instead of 2x 6950s, the performance will both look and feel better.
November 27, 2011 11:25:03 PM

Raiddinn said:
I recently read a good article that discusses micro-stuttering and how it is extremely awful in x2 video card setups.

It was on the front page of this website, iirc.

Having read it, I don't think I can suggest any 2x video card suggestions.

The easiest way to explain micro-stuttering is that 2x video cards render like this:

Card 1 renders
5/1000sec
Card 2 renders
15/1000sec
Card 1 renders
5/1000sec
Card 2 renders
15/1000sec
Card 1 renders

In case it isn't clear, the video cards alternate rendering between themselves by taking turns, except they don't take turns evenly they take turns as quickly as possible with 2 going almost instantly after 1 and then having a long cycle time until 1 is ready again.

This makes 2x video cards in some cases "feel" like they are performing straight up worse than 1x which always renders evenly.

- Edit - Even though the 2x video cards will have a higher FPS than 1, they "feel" like they are worse than just 1, in case it isn't clear.

Those problems are alleviated by either going with 1x a fatter card or 3x a smaller card instead of 2x. It doesn't have to be 3x cards, it could be, for example, a 4870 x2 with 2 processors on one card + a regular 4870 for a total of 3x 4870 processors.

Micro stuttering is almost completely eliminated in both 1x and 3x configurations.

Consider a 6850x2 + 6850 configuration instead of 2x 6950s, the performance will both look and feel better.
No. That setup would cost $600+, and my budget for GPUs $550. So do you recommend I go with a GTX 570 or GTX 580?
November 27, 2011 11:49:46 PM

A GTX 580 is $500 alone last I checked.

The 2x 6950s you selected is $550.

You also mentioned you wouldn't mind shelling out a little bit extra now in order to avoid shelling out more extra later.

3x6850s like I discussed thoroughly dominates 1x580 or 2x6950.

If you don't want the advice, feel free not to accept it, but that is the advice.
November 28, 2011 12:01:47 AM

My suggestions:

1 - Dual video cards are massive amounts of overkill. Just get one for now - add the second later if you really need it. Try a Geforce 570.

2 - You don't need a $120 keyboard and mouse combo when a $40 Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse will do.

3 - do not include small items like wifi adapters, power cords, card readers, fan controllers, tool kits, that sort of thing in your budget. That can really throw it off. It's like buying a car and having the wiper blades affect whether or not you can get the GPS and premium sound system.
!