$800 gaming PC, asking for review/tips

Hello and a wonderful Christmas to you all,

This is what I’m considering so far:
PSU: I have my old Zalman ZM750-HP
As for the other parts, they are basically straight from Tom's hardware charts. But what I would like to ask are they compatible?
GPU: GeForce GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II $290 (215€)
Or Radeon HD 6950 DirectCU II, 2GB $360(€265)
CPU: Core i5 2500K, LGA1155, 3.3 GHz, 6MB $275 (€205)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 $175 (€130)
Memory: As for memory, no idea. I suppose I'd go for 2 x 4Gb Kit, maybe Kingston? The price range would be around the same as the mobo: $100-140 (€75-100)
HDD My old HDD Western Digital 750GB

Total: $850 (€625)

PSU: The old PSU should be enough, right?
GPU: Is it worth paying $70 (€50) more for the 2GB Radeon?
CPU: Any suggestion for silent but efficient cooler if I’ll overclock? Scythe perhaps?
MOBO: I'm really not sure about this. I guess I'd go for Z68 rather than P67 but what Z68 model? No idea really. I don’t need any fancy things though. Ideally it would only cost around $100 - 160 (€80 - 120)
HDD: Will upgrading my HDD and perhaps even SDD yield much performance gain?

Approximate Purchase Date: In a week or two, before Christmas anyway (unless there is a really good reason to wait)
Budget Range: Approximately $750 - 850 = €550 - 650, take into consideration that parts cost more here in Finland.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (80%), Internet (15%) and school work/Office (5%)
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: A site that searches best prices in Finland

Here are few independent sites:
Multitronic - The only one with english as option but all the rest have the basic searchbox which should be enough, I presume.

Country: Finland
Parts Preferences: No preferences, just looking for the best price/performance ratio
Overclocking: Maybe, never done it before but this might be a good time to start.
SLI or Crossfire: No, I'm running SLI now and don't have much positive to say about it.
Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC, period. I'm running a 3,5 - 4 year old computer on SLI and my ears are bleeding. I want silence but not too much on the cost of performance. I'm also hoping to keep the next system for another 3 - 4 years as well, so keeping the future in mind would be great.

I'd really appreciate any comments and tips. If I left out any info I'll be happy to answer.
Thanks in advance!
9 answers Last reply
More about gaming review tips
  1. I think I'm settled for the CPU. As for the Z68 motherboard, is Virtu really worth that?
  2. GPU: €213
    RAM: €40
    At your resolution you don't need 2GB Radeon. 1GB will be enough. Everything else in your build is excellent!
  3. I agree get the 1 GB 6950. However given your resolution you don't really need anything above a 6850 :lol:

    I'd get the ASRock Gen3 mobo: http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/Z68-EXTREME3-GEN3
  4. Thanks for the tips. I've been thinking about the ASRock as well, I suppose I could go with it. Could you say why ASRock rather than the Gigabyte?

    As for the memory (the site I gave is lousy when searching memory) you'd suggest 1600MHz? Sorry I really should study memory more.
    Would this be fine? http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

    As for the GPU. What if I in a year or two I'll buy a larger display with higher resolution? You'd still suggest going for 1GB? What about the possible firmware update that would turn 6950 into 6970?

    Also what I really liked in both of the cards I suggested is that they are silent.

    PS. You don't need to use the sites I gave, as long as I get product names I can search them myself =)
  5. best cpu cooler imo = coolermaster hyper212+

    120mm fan is so quiet, brought my phenom ii x6 1090T BE down by 15C at load and all but eliminated noise

    i prefer the 560ti over a 6950, but it depends on what you play and what drivers/chipsets theyre optimized for
  6. That G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB memory kit will be great.
    If you buy a display having resolution more than 1920x1080 & run games with 8xAA or more, then you might be able to get some advantage depending on the game. But for that kind of gaming, you'll need crossfire/SLI.
    This setup can play any game at 30+ FPS on Very High/Ultra settings with 2xAA/4xAA upto 1680x1050.
    About unlocking 6950, see http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/159
  7. Thanks for the tip on the CPU cooler. But does it fit a S1155 board, say that ASRock Extreme3 board?

    As for games: Witcher 2, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, SWTOR etc. I know that some games are optimized for Nvidia, others for Radeon so yeah it depends.
  8. I have an 6950 2gb , i play BF3 with minimum 50 FPS , everithyng on high with 16xAA,on a 22'' 1920x1080 monitor.And is not moded in 6970.
  9. Thanks for the tips and help! I think I'm set up with these:

    Memory: 8GB Dual Kit Ripjaws X (2x4GB) DDR3 1600, $61/€45 (http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/BX80623I52500K)
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K, $278/€206 (http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL)
    MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3, $174/€129 (http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/Z68-EXTREME3-GEN3)
    GPU: GeForce GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II TOP, 1GB + MW3, $304/€225 (http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/ENGTX560-TI-DCII-TOP-MW3)

    Total: $820/€605

    I'll buy a CPU cooler bit later, overclocking can wait a while. Otherwise looks good to me. Thanks once more!
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