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Advice needed: Gaming system ($700-800)

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December 2, 2011 10:43:08 PM

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Approximate Purchase Date: Mid-January, 2012

Budget Range: $700-$800 (a little flexible over the upper limit though)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming!

Parts Not Required: Only desktop, have monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Wherever I get the best deal.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel preferred, Don't think I need to spend extra on SSD

Overclocking: Not a priority but if it helps in reducing future investment then why not!

SLI or Crossfire: Again if just adding an extra GPU will increase the longevity of the system then sure.

Monitor Resolution: 1600x900 (20'' widescreen monitor)

Additional Comments:

- Would like to play games like COD and Battlefield 3 at medium to high settings. Mostly an FPS and racing game person.
- Already have a Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit DVD
- I don't plan on upgrading too often but if adding another GPU helps in prolonging the life of the system that would be perfect!

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>>>Here is the configuration I started with: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2MOo <<<<<

I have been out of touch with hardware technology so I really don't know which motherboard, case, PSU and cooler to go with.

I have done some reading recently and that's why I selected the i5-2500k. I also understand that the PSU is an important part in a gaming rig.

If anyone has questions they would like to ask me please feel free to do so and please dont hesitate to get technical. If there is something I don't know I will be happy to educate myself about it. Just point me in the right direction :) 
a b 4 Gaming
December 2, 2011 11:03:22 PM

It's best to spend more the GPU than the CPU when gaming.
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December 2, 2011 11:24:08 PM

Agreed cutebeans. Do you think the i5-2500k is an overkill for this budget and purpose?
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December 3, 2011 12:59:01 AM

The h67 board in your build will not allow overclocking of the i5 2500k so getting the K-unlocked version is a bit of a waste. You should go with a p67 or z68 model of motherboard but it will cost you a little bit more.

Or you can get a core i3 2100, i think its almost half the price of the i5 2500k. Spend what you saved to upgrade your video card.

now about the video card, my advice is to get the 560ti since it will be faster for newer games and have much better dx11 support than the 460.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
December 3, 2011 1:20:56 AM

i5 2500K + PNY Optima 8GB DDR3 1333 $242
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte 560 Ti 1GB $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hitachi 500GB $53
http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/105934/Hitachi-De...
Antec EA650 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Gamma $36
http://www.amazon.com/GAMMA-Classic-Interior-Chassis-Bl...
Samsung DVD Burner + Litescribe $19 (Free shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $765 before rebates.

For $65 more, you get the ability to OC (Since you have a Z68/P67 motherboard) a motherboard that can SLI/CF at 8x/8x, a much better graphics card, and more power, the power supply is pretty good and could maintain SLI 560 Ti plus the 2500K (Not OC'd)
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December 3, 2011 1:46:17 AM

hybr33d said:
The h67 board in your build will not allow overclocking of the i5 2500k so getting the K-unlocked version is a bit of a waste. You should go with a p67 or z68 model of motherboard but it will cost you a little bit more.

Or you can get a core i3 2100, i think its almost half the price of the i5 2500k. Spend what you saved to upgrade your video card.

now about the video card, my advice is to get the 560ti since it will be faster for newer games and have much better dx11 support than the 460.


Thanks for the reply! Please see the link for updates : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2MOo

- As per your comment I changed the motherboard to a Z68 model and as "aznshinobi" also suggested above I selected the AsRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- For the video card there are multiple manufacturers for the 560 Ti videocard. I just went ahead and selected the one from Gigabyte. Let me know what you think about this.
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December 3, 2011 1:55:21 AM

aznshinobi said:
i5 2500K + PNY Optima 8GB DDR3 1333 $242
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte 560 Ti 1GB $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hitachi 500GB $53
http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/105934/Hitachi-De...
Antec EA650 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Gamma $36
http://www.amazon.com/GAMMA-Classic-Interior-Chassis-Bl...
Samsung DVD Burner + Litescribe $19 (Free shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $765 before rebates.

For $65 more, you get the ability to OC (Since you have a Z68/P67 motherboard) a motherboard that can SLI/CF at 8x/8x, a much better graphics card, and more power, the power supply is pretty good and could maintain SLI 560 Ti plus the 2500K (Not OC'd)


Excellent ! I went ahead and incorporated your suggestions in here : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2MOo

A few questions now:

- Do you think an extra CPU Cooler is required at this point of time?
- For the RAM is there any significant performance difference between 1333 vs 1600?
- Will the suggested case have enough space left to 1) Add an extra cooler if required 2) Add an additional GPU in the future?
- If an additional GPU is added will the 650W PSU be capable? I am guessing probably not. But that's okay.

I wonder if there is any website which gives benchmarks for completed systems having different configurations. Any ideas?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 3, 2011 2:01:08 AM

Don't get the parts off PCpartpicker, if they are newegg, click on the links I posted and buy from there. PCPartPicker doesn't incorperate Combos like what I did.

As for the questions.

1. No the stock cooler is fine, the one you chose isn't even worth spending money on. When you decide to overclock, get this cooler, it's the best bang for the buck
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
You should just get it now while it's only $20, usually $25-$30.
2. No the performance difference is minimal
3. Yes the case size is fine for both.
3. It's can, but if you do I would be very minimal with the CPU overclocking. The 650w can handle SLI 560 Ti with the 2500K but be aware of your overclocking on your 2500K as it'll raise the TDP. I'd normally recommend a 750w (specifically the OCZ ZS 750w) but you're on a budget.

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December 3, 2011 2:10:21 AM

aznshinobi said:
Don't get the parts off PCpartpicker, if they are newegg, click on the links I posted and buy from there. PCPartPicker doesn't incorperate Combos like what I did.

As for the questions.

1. No the stock cooler is fine, the one you chose isn't even worth spending money on. When you decide to overclock, get this cooler, it's the best bang for the buck
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
You should just get it now while it's only $20, usually $25-$30.
2. No the performance difference is minimal
3. Yes the case size is fine for both.
3. It's can, but if you do I would be very minimal with the CPU overclocking. The 650w can handle SLI 560 Ti with the 2500K but be aware of your overclocking on your 2500K as it'll raise the TDP. I'd normally recommend a 750w (specifically the OCZ ZS 750w) but you're on a budget.


Appreciate the time you are spending on this! I think I will go ahead with the OCZ 750W ATX12V Power Supply. Hopefully then I wont have to upgrade it at a later stage if I change some other components.

I am going through the link in your signature, got to know a few things I didn't know. Thanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
December 3, 2011 6:08:22 AM

AMD CPUs aren't very good at your price range Intel offering the best performance especially for high end price (200-ish) as for GPUs AMD is pretty good. The 6950 1GB performs like the 2GB version only cheaper. The 560 Ti is just cheaper by a bit and a bit easier to overclock and the Gigabyte version had a solid cooler, The 6950 1GB is a great option though.
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December 9, 2011 10:56:05 PM

Best answer selected by adicha.
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