First build; GPU, HDD and general advice please =)

Hey everyone. First time builder/poster. Working on an i5 based system and am looking for some GPU/ HDD advice.

Approximate Purchase Date: sometime this month, hopefully… (comments below)

Budget Range: $1,000-$1,500

System Usage:
Gaming/ web browsing, probably office suite later

Parts Not Required:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible

DVD: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 – OEM

Case: NZXT Apollo ORANGE NP Orange SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
--Have to admit, bought this one for aesthetics/price point. Seems to have sufficient cooling and good reviews, but will I have to buy another case fan if I want to overclock?

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg/ Tigerdirect, but otherwise open if there’s a better price


Parts Preferences: ??? (I was hoping you guys could help with this) 

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: probably not, unless there’s a good reason to 

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 

Additional Comments: I would like some advice on a good GPU for around $350 or so (a little flexibility with the price, but of course want the biggest bang/buck ratio.) I have read that a single GPU is better at 1080 and this price range, is that true?

Also, it seems that I picked a bad time to need to buy a HDD... since the flooding in Thailand made prices increase dramatically. Is it the opinion of this forum that HDD prices will calm down anytime soon, or will they stay at these levels for the foreseeable future?

and of course, I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction about what's good for both of these components. ^_^

Projected component purchases:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
hoping to catch a good deal on Tuesday (internet blew out in the morning, sold out by the time I got it back. =P )

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Will this PSU be good for the system that I’m building?

Thanks for your input!
6 answers Last reply
More about first build general advice
  1. ATI 6950!

    Make sure you get this HDD fast! It's a promo! 500gb $60

    Prices are projected to go down by december next year. So getting that 500gb is pretty good.
  2. Thank you so much for that HDD find, snagged one as soon as I saw your post earlier this morning =D

    SO, with my HDD problem cleared up for now, I'd like to look at the GPU more in-depth. I'm not as knowledgable about the GPU as I'd like to be- I've read a couple of resources here on TH but I still have some questions. For instance... I know the manufacturers are AMD and Nvidia, but otherwise what's the difference between, say, these two GPUs?

    SAPPHIRE 100312-3SR Radeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

    MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    I know you recommended the first type over the second but.. again, what's the difference?

    Also, does the PSU that I picked have sufficient wattage for my setup (with OC?) it has 750.
  3. The good thing about the 6950 you picked is that it can be flashed to a 6970. So buying that card will be a better pick. also, the 6950 performs better than the 560ti :).

    It also has a Eyeinfinity if you plan to go to a multi monitor setup.

    Actually, 750w is enough for Crossfire and OCing the 6950.

    Although, I'm not sure if it will fit in the case you chose.
  4. hmm, well that would be a problem, wouldn't it?

    I'm not quite sure what you mean though, I just looked at the physical specs...
    the PSU is 5.9"(W) x 3.4"(H) x 7.09"(L)
    and the case is 21.10" x 8.58" x 17.24"
    so it should fit inside... do you mean that it would get in the way of other things, like the MOBO or the GPU?
  5. No no no. The GPU i mean. It's pretty big. it's 11 inches. I can't find the dimensions of the 6950 too :(

    That's the manufacturer's site for that GPU, and the physical dimensions are
    "260(L)x110(W)x35(H) mm Size."

    converted to inches that's about 10.24''(L)x 4.33''(W)x1.378''(H), and my case is 21.10" x 8.58" x 17.24", so it still seems okay to me... or am I missing a measurement?
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