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$1500 ~ Gaming PC — I need your help!

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December 1, 2011 7:05:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.
Budget Range: ~ $1500 (CAD)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming — I really don't plan on using it for much else. I use my MacBook for work, casual browsing, etc.
Parts Not Required: I have a mouse, monitor (Dell 24" 1920x1200), speakers, maybe HDD? (See note after build listing)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I find NewEgg.ca usually has the best prices. But I'm open to other places if the deal is better (NCIX, TigerDirect, and so on.)
Country: Canada, eh?
Overclocking: Probably. But nothing too expensive or crazy.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

It's been about 5 years since I built my last PC (in fact I remember posting to these forums then as well!) Now I'm back, excited to build brand new gaming machine. Especially so I can play Skyrim like all the cool kids. Anyway, the problem is I'm kind of out of the loop, as you know it goes. I've been reading up a lot for the last few days, and I have a possible build put together, but I would love your help in making sure I get the best machine for my money.

Here's what I have right now:

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified ...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Notes: You'll notice I don't have a regular HDD. Just the SSD. That's mostly because I'm put off by the current inflation of HD prices, and I'm thinking I can wait until they go down. Or perhaps take an older HD from my last build and use it; I think it was a standard Seagate SATA drive or something, I don't remember the specifics. That would work, right? Otherwise I can just use the SSD alone, correct? — Let me know if I'm thinking wrong here.

The case is a little expensive, but I like the look and it seems to be very nice. I'm open to other options though. In the end I just want something with good airflow so things stay cool. Speaking of which, would you recommend buying a new fan/heatsink for the CPU?

Thanks for your time and help!

More about : 1500 gaming

December 1, 2011 7:29:37 PM

Pretty good build, however:

64GB SSD is NOT going to be enough. You'll barely get Windows on there with a few apps, and definitely not any games. So you will need a HDD, and yeah maybe just use an old one for now.

600T is a really, really big and awesome case. It's probably more than necessary, but if you like the looks of it you can use it for years. I just built a really high end system (2600k, GTX 590...) in one and it is just such a nice case - and HUGE! No doubt though you can save money there and get something a bit smaller. Antec 900 II, HAF, Corsair 500 are all good options.

You also may want to consider a CPU cooler, and also a Z68 motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D2H-B3
December 1, 2011 10:20:05 PM

Thanks wolfram! Yeah, you're probably right about the SSD. I'll grab my old HDs when I go back home for Christmas.

What would be the advantage of that motherboard?
Also, any suggestions for CPU cooling? I've always just used stock.
Related resources
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2011 11:00:08 PM

Actually you can get one or two games onto a well-managed 64GB SSD, but I agree it's not practical.
December 1, 2011 11:22:08 PM

Will it make much of a difference gaming-wise if they're installed on an SSD? Is it mainly shorter load times?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2011 11:27:05 PM

Quote:
Will it make much of a difference gaming-wise if they're installed on an SSD? Is it mainly shorter load times?


Yes and no. I have my games setup on a dedicated 320GB hard drive that I used from an old build. I really don't notice any lag per se, but my SSD won't hold a ton of anything so I offload that stuff to other drives and save my SSD for the main programs only.

Pretty good choices for the most part. I think I would advise against going with MSI since I've never personally had good luck with their motherboards.

I do have the Graphite 600T - it is a NICE, NICE case but it is HUUUUUUUUUGE. If you want something a bit slimmer go with the Carbide 500R.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2011 11:29:26 PM

There was an article on this VERY recently, I think it was here or Anandtech. Check the front page. "Impact of SSDs on gaming performance" or some such.
December 2, 2011 2:46:51 AM

Proximon said:
There was an article on this VERY recently, I think it was here or Anandtech. Check the front page. "Impact of SSDs on gaming performance" or some such.


I think I found it. Thanks mate!

I'm thinking I might scale back a bit on the case and get a ~120GB SSD. Any recommendations?
December 2, 2011 3:53:28 AM

Corsair Force Series GT is awesome, as is the OCZ Vertex 3. They're a bit pricier but you might still find sales, I just got one over the weekend (GT) for $110 off including MIR :) 
December 2, 2011 1:45:35 PM

Yeah, a Vertex 3 is awesome. You could also go for an Agility 3 or Force Series 3 which should be a tad cheaper and while also slower, it's probably not something you could even notice.

Mushkin also makes good ones, I think it's the Chronos Deluxe or something. And Intel drives are among the slowest because they don't use Sandforce controllers, but they are also extremely reliable. The 310 and 510 series are nice.

Actually, Tom's just posted an article on the "best SSD for your money" that you should check out.
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