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$1000 Intel Gaming PC, plz help cut $ THANKS!

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December 2, 2011 7:38:17 PM

Hi guys, thanks in advance for your input. This is my second build, but my first where I’m actually paying attention to what I’m doing (I fried my first computer in high school when my friend and I cut a hole in my case… the components were still inside…)

I think I would love this computer but just wanted to double check for compatibility / expert input and also it’s a tad expensive for me… maybe you can help me cut the price down a bit?

Approximate Purchase Date: December 10th

Budget Range: $900 – 1080 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games like Oblivion, Diablo 3, Battlefield 3. Watching DVDs, Making music.

Parts Not Required / Already owned: Mouse and keyboard, Monitor (Samsung SyncMaster 220BW 22”), Microsoft Windows 7.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, tigerdirect, amazon.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel, quality brands.

Overclocking: Yes - CPU (I’m not confident enough to OC anything else)

SLI or Crossfire: No – I’m terrified of micro-stuttering

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: I want to run Skyrim on ultra-high settings and I’m kind of sensitive to frame rate.
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Parts I’m thinking of buying:

MOTHERBOARD
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($150)
I was thinking about the Asus P8Z68-V PRO but have to save some money. I like the gigabyte board but my only concern is that some people seem to be having trouble with the SSD-based caching. Also the RAM slots may not leave enough room for the after-market CPU cooler.

CPU
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz ($225)
Is there an unlocked i5 2400 to save more $?

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($30)
Currently sold out…

VIDEO CARD
EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 ($250)
I wanted a 570 but again my budget wouldn’t allow it… I hope this is a reasonable substitution.

1ST HARD DRIVE
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache ($150)
How long do I have to wait for the price to drop on newegg??? I don’t need that much storage too since I have an external 1TB where I keep my movies.

2ND HARD DRIVE
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC ($65)
I really want to put my OS on this guy and also try SSD-based caching.

OPTICAL DRIVE
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer ($20)

CASE
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid ($60)

PSU
CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 ($140)

CPU FAN AND HEATSINK
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm ($26)

EXTRA CASE FAN
Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" ($14)
The case comes with two fans already, so is it worth it to get a 3rd one for OC'ing purposes?

CURRENT TOTAL = $1130

Thanks again!
December 2, 2011 7:50:53 PM

You should not be able to run BF3 and Skyrim on ultra-high settings with the card you´ve posted.
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December 2, 2011 7:54:46 PM

Dude I would hold off building a system since next gen is around the corner
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December 2, 2011 8:26:25 PM

First off microstuddering only happens in some situations, it does not happen across the board, so dont let it keep you away from a multi-gpu solution. Also, it seems to affect lower end cards more than the higher end ones, and it seems to afflict AMD more than nVidia, but if you dont want to risk it then you will simply have to fork over the money for a 580 to keep up with new games over the life of your build.

2500K is $180 at Microcenter if you have one near you, but the price is for in store only.

I paid $80 for a nice 750W power supply ($120 before rebates), $140 seems a bit high for 650W. Also 650W is overkill for a single GPU, but not enough for SLi (though it may be enough for xFire depending on the cards involved), so I would get something smaller if sticking with 1 card, or something in the 750-850W range if SLi/xFire is in the future.

Only get the extra case fan later if you need it. In all likelihood you will not need it until you get a 2nd GPU in there.

If budget is a concern then wait on the hyper 212 as you can do a little OC on the stock HSF. If it cannot keep up with what you want to do then you can always get the hyper 212 later when you can save another $30

$140 is a bit much for a case (though it is a nice case ;)  ), I would go with something quality, but in the $50-80 range if budget is a concern. I spent $40 on my thermaltake V3 black edition and it has plenty of room, and keeps things ice cold with only 2 low RPM case fans (running 750W power supply, i7 2600, 16GB of ram, 3HDDs, and a 570GT).

Get the OCZ now, but get a good sized 60 or 120GB version, and just keep using the 1TB external. HDD prices will not go down until next summer or fall. Also, you may not notice the performance difference going down to the OCZ Solid3 instead of the vertex (though there IS a difference you may be happy even with the slower drive, especially when you consider the $/GB).

I assume you got the z68 board for the sake of the SSD cashing (thus the tiny SSD), but for something that will only boost your windows load time it really isnt worth it (especially if you are like most people and put the computer to sleep rather than turning it off). Go with a quality P67 board and save some $ there unless you need the IGP access for video transcoding/rendering (rendering on the gpu/cpu is quite quick though). MSI has some great offerings in the $90-120 range with a p67 chipset.

For maxing out settings I would suggest getting a factory OC 570, a 580, or a high end AMD card. None of the games you mentioned use Physx, and you dont seem to need CUDA, so you may be better off with a mid-high end AMD card to get more bang for your buck. The 560TI simply won't cut it unless you get 2 of them, and you said you didnt want SLi so that kinda limits you. My 570 was $290 after rebates, and I am very happy with it for now (moved up from a 9800GT), but I still can't wait to throw in a 2nd one.


So ya, trim some money on a few things, and get a little better GPU and larger SSD and you should land in your budget while having a computer you should be very happy with. Even still, it was not a bad build to begin with.
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December 2, 2011 8:39:07 PM

/agree with Caeden.

Another suggestion is considering a different mobo. You can get an asrock z68 board that's feature-packed for $125. I would highly suggest looking for a microcenter, I just recently bought my i5-2500k from them last week and it was $180, which will save you a good chunk.

For your ssd, go with either the 128gb crucial m4 (around 210 i think) or the vertex 3 (more expensive). The crucial m4 is listed as being a bit slower, but recent updates to the firmware have sped it up to compete with the vertex 3.

Another way to shave a few bucks is to wait for combo's on newegg.
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December 12, 2011 11:39:34 PM

Best answer selected by dovtheglove.
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December 12, 2011 11:43:14 PM

sorry for the slow response... however all these responses were extremely helpful thank you so much for your time. I ended up saving a lot of money by buying my parts at Microcenter and doing the mail-in-rebates. I also went with Caeden's suggestion and chose not to buy a normal HDD at this time and just go with the SSD to save money. I took the Jemm's suggestion and decided to upgrade to a 570 :)  And no I am not regretting it.

Thanks again!
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December 14, 2011 4:23:38 AM

ty for best answer! Glad I could help!
Ya, i love my 570 too, it's got a lot of kick!

Enjoy!
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December 14, 2011 1:43:42 PM

elayman said:
I hope you picked up one of these bad boys. I got one and it's amazing how much faster windows loads and opens simple things like the internet.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can always get a HDD later one and 120gb should be plenty for gaming.


I got the OCZ agility 3 120gb and it seems pretty fast to me... dare I ask what's the difference?
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December 14, 2011 3:19:48 PM

That should be fine. I think they just use a different controller or something which makes the vertex 3 slightly faster. Good choice ;) 
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