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Gaming System Approx $1000

Last response: in Systems
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December 12, 2011 6:05:54 PM

Build for a new gaming system:

Approximate Purchase Date: by the end of this week
Budget Range: $850 - $1200 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: WoW and SWTOR, web browsing
Parts Not Required: optical drive, Windows 7, mass storage drive 500GB HD, keyboard, mouse, monitor – will use Dell e248wfp LCD 24" widescreen max res 1920x1200
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg
Country: US
Parts Preferences: no great preferences
Overclocking: maybe in the future
SLI or Crossfire: Yes, now or in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: This will be the first time I have built/assembled a PC so I’m hoping not to make things too complicated. I want a pretty strong system that can run SWTOR in high mode but also want to have some upgradability in the future. Based on my reading at Tom Hardware below is what I’ve come up with. Also, having not done this before, I am concerned about part integration – parts not matching with one another. So if something seems awry please say so.

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case -- $50 ($40 w/ rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard -- $174
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz -- $219
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Seasonic SS-850HT: 850 W, ATX12V v2.31, 80 PLUS Silver -- $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W -- $95 ($85 w/ rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) -- $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD Sys and Major App Storage: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal -- $190 ($160 w/ rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Gigabyte Radeon 1GB 6950 (upgrade to crossfire later) -- $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS Radeon 1GB 6850 x 2 crossfire ($280 w/ rebate $240)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Price: $1038 (w/ rebates $948)
December 12, 2011 6:58:40 PM

At first glance I would look into that case to make sure it will hold the card you picked out without interference, that is a really big card. I just got the MSI Twin Frozr III and its almost a 1" shorter and still took up massive space.

I went with the Corsair 500R but the 400R is also a good choice if you want to save a few $$ over the 500R.

Do you happen to live anywhere near a Micro Center? You can save some big $$ on CPU/Mobo combos there.

Also when I was building my computer (3 weeks ago) it was suggested to get the 2GB version of the 6950 for better scaling in x-fire.

Here is another PSU to look at (its what I bought) Corsair TX850 V2, its the same price and they are one of the best PSU manufacturers out there imo.

That RAM is no good, you want something that is 1.5V, here is some that saves a couple bucks for you, G. Skill 8GB

You will want an aftermarket heatsink/fan: CM 212+ is good from what I've read

Hope this helps some, good luck!
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December 12, 2011 7:09:21 PM

Lokster nailed it on that case. My wife has the 300 and tbh I'd be very skeptical of it holding the 10.9" 6950. The HDD cages are not removable and they sit dead in the center of where the GPU will mount. The Lian Li K62 and CM 692 are both great options there as well as what was recommended.

Another thing to keep in mind is with the Z68 board you can opt to go with a smaller SSD and use it in SRT to cache all of your software. I'm pretty sure Tom's is recommending the SLC based Intel 311 which comes in at $110. It'll save you a few bucks, offer better performance for your most used applications and it's a plug-in and forget solution.

You've also got a really nice PSU there, but 850 is a little overkill even for Crossfired 6850s. The Silverstone 700w 80+ for 84.99 will get the job done, is a quality product, and saves you a chunk of change.
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December 12, 2011 7:47:12 PM

@Lokster1 - thanks for that advice - talking with others, I think it may make more sense to go with Radeon 6850x2. I don't think I will ever have the need for dual 6950s, especially since I'm running at 1920x1200. Although, its not the reason for the change, that should solve my case issue. Sadly I'm no where near a Micro Center. I'll change my Ram to your suggestion.

@Lokster1 - do I need an aftermarket heatsink/fan if I'm don't intend to overclock anytime soon?

@a4mula - I had originally put a 6950 for the build thinking I might crossfire 2 of them down the road. But as above, that is probably too much for my present and future needs. With 6850x2 - I'll probably take your PSU suggestion.
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December 12, 2011 8:03:07 PM

dmo999 said:
@Lokster1 - do I need an aftermarket heatsink/fan if I'm don't intend to overclock anytime soon?


I think your fine at stock speed, I would get something before you start to OC though.
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December 12, 2011 8:26:59 PM

I beg to differ - get a cooler now - save yourself the hassle of mobo removal to install the cooler.
-Bruce
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December 12, 2011 8:43:46 PM

dish_moose said:
I beg to differ - get a cooler now - save yourself the hassle of mobo removal to install the cooler.
-Bruce


You shouldn't need to remove motherboard if you have Antec Three Hundred Case. There's a hole to access the back plate for something like CM Hyper 212 Plus.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/antec-three-hundred...
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December 12, 2011 11:27:35 PM

If I upgrade from dual 6850s to dual 6870s, will my listed 650w PSU be sufficient?
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December 12, 2011 11:29:32 PM

dmo999 said:
If I upgrade from dual 6850s to dual 6870s, will my listed 650w PSU be sufficient?


Here's a nice website to check if your PSU will be sufficient.
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