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Help fine-tuning a $1500-2000 gaming system

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December 5, 2011 9:25:47 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before Xmas this year
Budget Range: Approx $1500-2000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Parts Not Required: Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
-NB: Would be open to other online companies based in Brisbane / Sunshine Coast if anybody knows one better than Umart
Country: Australia
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Midtower case
Overclocking: Not inititally, would be fun to tinker with later on down the track, especially if fps starts dropping with new release games
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: Not 100% sure (Hasn't been used for a while - 22inch panasonic LCD, cost $500 when i got it in 2005)
Additional Comments: please NO window or bling, a nice standard case that hides a gaming monster would be preferred!

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CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Processor LGA1155 3.3GHz CPU ($230)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: no1 CPU for gaming?

CPU Cooler: No Idea, will an aftermarket cooler be needed if not overclocking? I could purchase this later on down the track if i decide to play with OC?

MOBO: ASRock Z68-EXTREME7-GEN3 Intel Z68/4x DDR3/D-Sub/HDMI/DVI/DP ($285)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: I want either this or a similar motherboard that is relatively future proof and xfire capable

GPU: 2x Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E ($574)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Thoughts???

MEMORY: No idea, i'm pretty sure I need double-channel memory... I've seen good things and several people recommending the G.skill Ripjaws, but 1333,1600,1866,2133? How important is this? Is 8GB sufficient?

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 120G SATA3 SSD ($195)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Cheaper than the revo series, i doubt that the speed difference would ever be that noticeable?

HHD: Seagate SATA3 1TB 7200RPM 32mb Cache ($139)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: I just need anything for a secondary storage drive, 1TB should be plenty as will be LAN connected to a media server with 6TB of space if needed. This was the cheapest 1TB drive I could find on umart.

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3LT 24x DVDRW SATA LightScribe ($29)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Something cheap, Blue ray is not needed (Have a PS3 already in room)... LIGHTSCRIBE!

CASE: Also, not much of an idea. I would like a mid-tower, something big enough to physically fit everything in with adequate cooling to prevent overheating. (It gets bloody hot over here...) Something sleek, no windows, LEDs, fan LEDs etc. Either all black or white preferably.

PSU: Anything adequate, is 750W minimum considering twin HD6950 GPUs?

Mouse and Keyboard: ?
NB: I've been out of the gaming circles for a long time, I would like something that works well without looking like the super crazy gaming setups.

Speakers: Something cheapish, I live in a unit so I can't crank the tunes anyway.



Cost currently = $1452.
Still need to decide on Memory, Case, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers and whether aftermarket cooling is needed.



Comments more than welcome, assuming that I spend ~$400 on Case, PSU and Memory that puts me almost bang on the $2000 budget.

The aim of this system is to be future proof for approx 5 years, able to destroy games with ease. Hopefully its high-end enough...

Thanks in advance for any help you can give guys!!

Nathan. :) 
December 5, 2011 9:27:52 AM

Sorry guys just realised my links to Umart aren't working correctly, hoping the descriptions are enough for you. If you want to see what is available you can navigate the site using the left-frame of the site!

Thanks!
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December 5, 2011 9:46:51 AM

What games do you usually play and want to play?
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December 5, 2011 10:10:31 AM

I want to have the ability to play everything, at exceptionally good quality and a high screen res. I'm mainly interested in the various new FPS titles being released. Will def be playing skyrim and have a soft spot for the diablo series so will get the 3rd installment of that once released.
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December 5, 2011 10:27:45 AM

Your PSU is not enough though you need 800 or 850W ^^

And you should consider buying a aftermarket heatsink ^^

Crossfired Sap ATI 6950's are good enough to play good games such as BF3 and more you can also play BF3 with a single 6950 ^^ but it depends on you if you want a duo ^^

I would recommend you to buy a case with a 200mm fan like CoolerMaster HAF 912 xD its more silent ^^ or pick a case with more fan ^^
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December 5, 2011 10:33:18 AM

nath_zipf said:
Approximate Purchase Date: Before Xmas this year
Budget Range: Approx $1500-2000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Parts Not Required: Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
-NB: Would be open to other online companies based in Brisbane / Sunshine Coast if anybody knows one better than Umart
Country: Australia
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Midtower case
Overclocking: Not inititally, would be fun to tinker with later on down the track, especially if fps starts dropping with new release games
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: Not 100% sure (Hasn't been used for a while - 22inch panasonic LCD, cost $500 when i got it in 2005)
Additional Comments: please NO window or bling, a nice standard case that hides a gaming monster would be preferred!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Processor LGA1155 3.3GHz CPU ($230)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: no1 CPU for gaming?

CPU Cooler: No Idea, will an aftermarket cooler be needed if not overclocking? I could purchase this later on down the track if i decide to play with OC?

MOBO: ASRock Z68-EXTREME7-GEN3 Intel Z68/4x DDR3/D-Sub/HDMI/DVI/DP ($285)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: I want either this or a similar motherboard that is relatively future proof and xfire capable

GPU: 2x Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E ($574)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Thoughts???

MEMORY: No idea, i'm pretty sure I need double-channel memory... I've seen good things and several people recommending the G.skill Ripjaws, but 1333,1600,1866,2133? How important is this? Is 8GB sufficient?

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 120G SATA3 SSD ($195)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Cheaper than the revo series, i doubt that the speed difference would ever be that noticeable?

HHD: Seagate SATA3 1TB 7200RPM 32mb Cache ($139)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: I just need anything for a secondary storage drive, 1TB should be plenty as will be LAN connected to a media server with 6TB of space if needed. This was the cheapest 1TB drive I could find on umart.

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3LT 24x DVDRW SATA LightScribe ($29)
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=5
NB: Something cheap, Blue ray is not needed (Have a PS3 already in room)... LIGHTSCRIBE!

CASE: Also, not much of an idea. I would like a mid-tower, something big enough to physically fit everything in with adequate cooling to prevent overheating. (It gets bloody hot over here...) Something sleek, no windows, LEDs, fan LEDs etc. Either all black or white preferably.

PSU: Anything adequate, is 750W minimum considering twin HD6950 GPUs?

Mouse and Keyboard: ?
NB: I've been out of the gaming circles for a long time, I would like something that works well without looking like the super crazy gaming setups.

Speakers: Something cheapish, I live in a unit so I can't crank the tunes anyway.



Cost currently = $1452.
Still need to decide on Memory, Case, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers and whether aftermarket cooling is needed.



Comments more than welcome, assuming that I spend ~$400 on Case, PSU and Memory that puts me almost bang on the $2000 budget.

The aim of this system is to be future proof for approx 5 years, able to destroy games with ease. Hopefully its high-end enough...

Thanks in advance for any help you can give guys!!

Nathan. :) 


For memory, any 8 GB DDR3 1600 Mhz CAS 9 1.5 V is fine, choose a good brand like Gskill Sniper or Ribjaw, Corsair Vengeance, Kingston or Patriot would suffice.

For PSU, I think you should consider a 850W Gold Rated PSU just to leave some breathing room since you will be overclocking your i5 2500k in addtion to that pair of unlocked HD 6950 to 6970 I assume? If so, get either a Seasonic X 850W (most expensive, best quality) or Corsair AX 850W (slightly cheaper but is a rebranded Seasonic X series) or OCZ ZX 850W (cheapest of the 3, but still very high quality) (These 3 PSU are highly rated 9+ out of 10 in many professional reviews and all of them are gold rated in power efficiency).

For Case, I guess you can go with either Corsair Carbrige 500R or NZXT Phantom White or Cooler Master Storm Enforcer. Any other more expensive cases are not really worth the money since those 3 offer good cable management and very good airflow.

For Mainboard, I think the one you listed is ok, but I do not trust Asrock as a brand as much as Asus. See if you can get Asus P8Z68V-Pro/Gen 3 over there.

Edit: I forgot to add an aftermarket cooler, you will need one to overclock your i5 2500k. Get CM Hyper 212+ Evo or Corsair A70, whichever cheaper. Note that in order to maximize performance of the Hyper 212 Evo, you need to buy a separate 120mm fan to do push/pull config. If you go with Corsair A70, both fans are already provided and no additional fan purchase is needed.

If you want watercooling set up, go for corsair H80 or H100 (expensive).
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December 5, 2011 11:41:16 AM

as for motherboard... i will choose the asrock z68 extreme4 gen3 as it has most of the feature in the extreme7 aside from 3 way sli support and two full x16 lanes for sli/xfire...

as for ram... i would take the 8gb gskill sniper low voltage 1.25v...

as for hsf... a hyper 212 plus or corsair a70 is enough...

as for cases.... i would like to recommend antec eleven hundred... as it roomy... and more cooling potential while not being overly expensive... but since you dislike window side panel so much... my second choice will be antec p280... or if you willing to spend more... my top choice will be silverstone fortress ft02... just make sure you pick the windowless version...

as for psu.... i recommend the ocz zx series 850watts gold modular....

i recommend the crucial m4 128gb over the ocz agility...
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December 6, 2011 6:38:40 AM

jacknhut said:
...in addtion to that pair of unlocked HD 6950 to 6970 I assume?


Firstly, thanks for the advice!!

Can all HD 6950s be unlocked to 6970s? Or are some not able to be unlocked?

Cheers
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December 6, 2011 8:18:46 AM

The reference boards can be unlocked, but I'm not sure about the non reference one.
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December 6, 2011 11:29:16 AM

The Asrock Z68 Ex7 Gen 3 is a great board for dual GPU setups, but only if you've got the extra cash. You get the closest thing to PCIE x16/x16 via the NF 200 chip.

For SSD... I do like the Crucial M4 120GB as mentioned above, but it's more exy over here and can be harder to find. OCZ Agility 3 120G is still a great choice and will save you a few $.

I don't like the idea of unlocking 6950's. It's dangerous and if you have 2 in XF... why do need that much power? how many FPS past 60 do you need?

A great aftermarket CPU cooler that is well priced and performs great:

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Now for your remaining parts:

A case I like that is blingless, won't break the bank, cools well, is solid, can hold big GPUs, and good to build in:

CoolerMaster CM 690 II - (you can turn the blue led on front on/off illuminating)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM - G.Skill Sniper F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 8GB - 8GB is plenty for gaming
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

PSU - Antec High Current Gamer 900W
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

All for under your $400 target.

= $332 (this is PCCase price but umart wont be far off)

Good luck :) 
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October 7, 2012 3:25:01 AM

^

That cooler master case above looks nice. I currently have the Antec P280 which exactly fits your case criteria:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

I highly recommend it. The front door is more of a gun metal rather than black but it suits really nicely. If you would prefer an all white I believe Antec are bringing out some revisions to the P280 soon as evidenced by a link I found:

http://www.antec.com/productPSU.php?id=706291&pid=4
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!