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Christmas build for SWTOR: $900-1k

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December 7, 2011 12:50:20 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas

Budget Range: $900-1k (A little flexibility if it warrants)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, web surfing, streaming, etc

Parts Not Required: Keyboard/Mouse/OS/Monitors/HDD/SSD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No cheap crap brands

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Not now, but want option

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 primary, 1920x1200 secondary

Additional Comments: After Parts list

Here is what I have put together so far;

CPU: Intel i5-2500k

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Z68

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 1600

Video Card: XFX HD6950 1GB

Power Supply: XFX Pro 750w

Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout

CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

DVD : Samsung DVD burner

So my first question is on the motherboard. I was looking to an Asus board, but the ASRock one seems extremely popular and to have gotten very good reviews. Is there any reason to spend the $80 or so extra on an Asus board?

I know most people say 16gb RAM is way overkill, but RAM prices are so cheap right now I'd rather have extra.

I was planning to go with a GTX 560ti as I've always favored Nvidia cards, but the SWTOR review posted here yesterday said it favors AMD. It is worth the switch to AMD? Also on the 1GB vs 2GB version of the 6950, what are the chances it's worth the extra?

The Power Supply I'm probably the least set on. I want a quality modular bronze or higher certified PS, with enough headroom to allow a second video card later. If you could suggest a cheaper one that fits these criteria then I'm game.

For the case I want something lighted with a black interior that's easy to route all the cables out of the way. If there's one under $100 that is significantly better then I'm up for it.

Can anyone like me the proper fan to add a second fan to that CPU cooler?

I have a Vertex 3 120GB SSD I bought over thanksgiving that I plan to use for a primary drive, and I can pull an extra HDD out of my current PC for more space until HDD prices come down a bit. I'm also planning to move my sound card from my current PC to the new one. (Creative Fatal1ty X-Fi) I game on a 1080p 32" TV, and use a 24" 1920x1200 monitor as a secondary display for web browsing etc. I'm planning to overclock into the 4.2ghz range, maybe 4.4 if I get a lucky on the CPU, but nothing too crazy. What sort of voltage will I likely need for this range? I'm asking for some of the parts for my birthday + Xmas, so combo's are kinda hard to fit in because they wont all be bought together.

Any other comments/thoughts? Thanks :) 
December 7, 2011 2:09:10 AM

So Thoughts on swapping to this power supply?

OCZ ZT Series 750w

$20 cheaper initial investment, and fully as opposed to semi modular.

Also, how good is the thermal compound that comes with the Hyper 212? should I get something different, or is it good?

Thinking about trying to bump the build up to get it finished by SW:TOR release as well if I can get early gift cooperation from my dad. :D 
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December 7, 2011 6:05:48 PM

Nothing? So its the most perfect build ever? Or the worst?
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December 7, 2011 6:30:42 PM

I am doing the same research myself. I will watch your thread and see if I can get any information. That is if anyone decides to reply to it. lol
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December 7, 2011 6:36:42 PM

Well, I'm starting 2 consider going back go the 560ti.I know technically the 6950 is slightly better, but OC'd 560ti's are the same price, and I've always really been an Nvidia fan over AMD. But I can't decide.

Only other question is if I should get a slightly better CPU cooler.
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December 7, 2011 6:42:46 PM

From the reviews I have read that CPU cooler is very good if you look at Tom's Hardwares System builder they used the previous version of that in their $2000 build.

Another quick observation, from what I have read in these forums, 16gb of ram is slight overkill and the most anyone is ever gonna need unless performing really heavy tasks is 8gb.

Personally i would go for the 560ti mainly because of Nvidia fanboyism but there isnt that bigger difference between the two cards and if you do go dual GPUs in the future I believe the 560ti scales better.

Anyway hope this helps.
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Best solution

December 7, 2011 7:25:11 PM

I just built a computer for around $1,000 so I've been looking at a lot of the same parts you probably have in the past month, anyways here are a few of my thoughts:

Do you need a modular PSU? I've heard many good things about this PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750

I got the 850 version for my computer, which I plan to go x-fire in the future. You might want to check a PSU calculator to see if the extra 100W would be helpful or not

I would look for a case with filters, I went with the Corsair 500R the white LED's look nice, not sure if you care about a side window but I didn't

Here is a CPU cooler that is dirt cheap right now and is good: XIGMATEK LOKI

I would also get some good thermal compound, you can get some good stuff for under $10.

I ended up going with MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III, I did the 2GB for x-fire scaling reasons, plus the 6950 is a great value since you can flash it to be equivalent to a 6970

That is a HUGE video card, fits fine in the case I ended up getting but there were a few others I was looking at that wouldn't of had a chance of fitting that card in.

Like others have said 16GB of RAM is overkill, save the money or it would be better spent on the graphic card than the RAM.

Not an expert by any means but I hope I've been some help to you.
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December 7, 2011 8:11:29 PM

^+1 you have a good point about flashing the 6950 to 6970 however I have heard that that can be quite unreliable in some circumstances. But if you do go with a 6950 you should definitely go with the 2gb version for future proofings sake.
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December 7, 2011 8:47:53 PM

I think I'm going to go back to the 560ti and get this one here. I'm just more comfortable with Nvidia cards.

That cooler only has a 92mm fan not a 120mm also.
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December 8, 2011 12:20:00 AM

Best answer selected by Yargnit.
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December 8, 2011 12:20:56 AM

Went with a few different tweaks, but picked for best answer based on effort you put in. :) 

Should have parts in time for SWTOR early access. :) 
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