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Advice on ~800-1300AUD Gaming Build

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December 12, 2011 7:23:12 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP. Though I'm willing to wait till after Christmas if you guys think that I'd be able to save some money with after-Christmas sales.

Budget Range: ~ $800-1300 AUD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet Browsing, Gaming, Audio Editing, Video Editing, Photoshop

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Windows 7 Ultimate, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Country: Australia

Parts Preferences: No preference.

Overclocking: In the future, not right now though.

SLI or Crossfire: In the future, not right now though.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

So far, I've picked out, and like the look of these parts.

CPU: $228 Intel Core i5 2500K

Mobo: $135 ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

RAM: $49 G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB

HDD: I'm thinking that I'll rely on my 2 1TB external HDDs for now until HDD find their way back down.

SSD: $239 Crucial M4 128GB

GPU: $379 EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD


ODD: $22 Samsung SATA, Double Layer, Internal 22X DVD±RW Drive, OEM

PSU: $69 Antec VP550P 550W

Case: $129 CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced with Window

Monitor: $219 Asus ML248H 24" LED Widescreen Monitor 2Ms

Shipping: $80

All together, that's around $1530, which puts me around $230 over budget. Where do you guys suggest I should target to lower costs? I was thinking that I should perhaps opt for an Elite 430 with a 500w power supply ($89) over the CM 690 II Advanced and the Antec VP550P 550W ($109 saving), a Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD ($199) over the Crucial M4 ($40 saving) and a MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Hawk ($279) over the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD ($100 saving). All together that'd save me $249. Do you guys think that the cuts I've made are wise? I'm particularly unsure of the implications of buying the case with a PSU already built in, would you guys recommend that?
December 12, 2011 10:42:11 AM

The 500W PSU that comes with Elite 430 is not very high quality, I would avoid buying it if possible.
Going for a cheaper case would be a good idea if you knew that you could live with your case choice and not end up having to buy another one because you are not satisfied with the cheaper one.

Getting a cheaper graphics card is a good idea for saving money IMO.

Sandforce 2000 series based drives (like the Corsair Force 3) have had firmware problems in their early life, if I was you I'd double check that they have been sorted out by now. I would do so by going to Corsair's forums.
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December 12, 2011 11:06:14 AM

Jamekae said:
Do you guys think that the cuts I've made are wise? I'm particularly unsure of the implications of buying the case with a PSU already built in, would you guys recommend that?


Given that gaming is your #2 priority, dropping the cpu instead of the video card is much smarter FPS-wise, a non-k or even a 2400 will drop the frames marginally compared to a video card drop.

And given that "looks good" isn't in the priority list, get a no-name 25$ case and keep the better psu.

Ram is so cheap, so saving 10 bucks on 4 gigs instead feels inconsequential but if it comes to it that's a good last effort, for now it makes little difference in games and later on you can just buy more ram.

There are other z68 motherboards sub 100$ that work just fine for these other parts, what makes you want to use this more expensive one?
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December 12, 2011 11:17:59 AM

I wouldn't skimp on the PSU, you don't need the headaches not having enough juice can cause. Even that Antec 550 won't leave you a lot of headroom to play with and definitely restrict your OC.

Just a thought... Can you pick up most of the parts from that Austin Computers? Shipping those bigger, heavier parts over from PCCase in Vic is what killing your shipping.

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December 12, 2011 11:32:16 AM

Could you grab the SSD in a few months when you've got the cash and install it in then? Reinstalling your OS and all your games and applications is a pain of a job... but at least you'll have your dream system...

From Austin Comp (Assuming pick up)

CPU - i5 2500k $228
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...

Optical - Samsung DVD - $25
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...

PSU - Cooler Master 650W Extreme Plus - $85
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...

Case - CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer - $105
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...

Screen - Asus ML248H 24" LED - $219
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...

Sub Total = $662

From PCCase Gear

GPU - ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II - $389 (EVGA in your list is gone?)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Mobo - ASRock Z68 Extreme3 - $135
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB - $49
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Shipping to WA - $35

Total - $1270

From Austin Comps later
SSD - Corsair Force Series 3 120 SSD = $189
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...
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December 12, 2011 12:56:30 PM

Formata said:
I wouldn't skimp on the PSU, you don't need the headaches not having enough juice can cause. Even that Antec 550 won't leave you a lot of headroom to play with and definitely restrict your OC.

Formata said:
PSU - Cooler Master 650W Extreme Plus - $85
http://www.austin.net.au/ProductList/ProductDetail/tabi...


There is no good reason for suggesting that he replace the VP550P, which can provide its stated wattage at high temperatures, with a unit that is much lower quality and only has two 18A 12V rails, which means that in the unlikely event that it can provide 18A on both of those 12V rails at the same time, continuously, it isn't even as powerful as the VP550P.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Antec/VP550P/
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...

As for a 550W unit not being enough to run a system with a GTX 570. According to all evidence I've seen systems with GTX 570s only consume more than 400W under the unrealistic torture test that is Furmark, so typical load will be much lower. Bare in mind that all the systems below use processors which are much more power hungry than i5-2500Ks.

i7-965
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2010/12/07/nvidia-gefo...
Idle = 150W
Load - 3DMark06 Canyon Flight test, 1,280 x 1,024 0xAA 16xAF = 330W

i7-965
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-review/8
Idle = 181W
Load = 369W
Load - Furmark = 409W
These numbers were measured at the wall.

i7-980X
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/geforce-gtx-570-gf110-per...
Average (Metro2033) = 329W

i7-920
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5153/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...
Idle = 169W
Load - Crysis = 361W
Load - Furmark = 446W
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December 12, 2011 11:39:20 PM

Formata said:
Could you grab the SSD in a few months when you've got the cash and install it in then? Reinstalling your OS and all your games and applications is a pain of a job... but at least you'll have your dream system...

From Austin Comp (Assuming pick up)


I don't know why I didn't think of scouting around more on Austin, thank you very much! Would you say that Storm Enforcer is comparable to the CM 690 II Advanced?

Also, if I plan to SLI with another 570 in the future, what type of PSU should I be looking at now? If I wait till after Christmas, I may have a little more of a budget meaning I can get the futureproofing PSU now, I don't want to have to replace it when I decide to SLI, I'd rather just pay that little bit more now!
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December 13, 2011 8:12:46 AM

I'd save till you've got the money for exactly what you want. Considering you'll only need another $50-100, you're not going over the top, and will have a better system for it.

You need to find somewhere local you can grab a quality PSU... might need to look beyond Austin.

Can you get to an MSY?

http://msy.com.au/

Don't let the horrible website layout scare you. I just download the pdf price list and then call my local stores to check for stock.

From there you'll be able to get a Antec TP 750W for $135 which will run 2 gtx 570

Review on PSU:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-psu-efficien...

More info on PSU for gtx 570 SLI
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...

If not, adding to your PCCaseGear shopping list hopefully wont add too much.

The CM Strom Enforcer is comparable to the CM 690 II in many ways. It has a few less features eg HDD hotswap bays etc that you might not need anyhow.

My personal system is in a CM 690 II... It's a little more solid than the Storm Enforcer in my opinion, and doesn't look too blingy. However I have friends with the Storm Enforcer that wouldn't change it for a CM 690 II any day. Personal preference I guess. Both are great to build in, cool well for the price (important if your thinking 2 x 570s) and hold big GPUs.
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