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$1500 Gaming Build need suggestions

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December 12, 2011 11:34:19 PM

First Build :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid January

Budget Range: less than $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (BF3, Skyrim, Minecraft server), internet (HD Videos), Word Processing

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: intel i5 2500k, corsair 500r case (cable management is key), G Skill ram

Overclocking: Yes (around 4.5ghz hopefully)

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (42" HD TV) :love: 

CPU: i5 2500k is the way to go
GPU: Not sure open to AMD or Nvidia
RAM: Have G Skill now and love it, not sure what frequency to get probably 8gb though
MOBO: Prefer a P67 Board, no ties to any manufacturer though
PSU: Open to suggestions
Case: Like the cable managemant in the Corsair Cases
Software: Need Windows 7 and Microsoft office
Disc Drive: Don't need or want a blu ray drive
Hard Drive: SSD would be nice, would rather dump some cash into a GPU though

Best solution

December 13, 2011 12:38:58 AM

For RAM you want 1600mhz, 1.5V, and CL9. G.Skill makes Ripjaw ram with those stats which are nice but Corsair, Mushkin, and Kingston also makes quality RAM. 8GB is a good size for gaming these days but go 2x4GB instead of 4x2GB so you can upgrade.

For a good overclock I'd look at Gigabyte or ASRock boards in the $150 range. The ASRock P67 Extreme4 is on sale right now on newegg and it's the board I'd recommend even if it weren't:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 is also a good choice:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

When you get Win7 make sure you get the OEM version. Home Premium should run you about $100.

In a build of this size I'd say either the HD6970 or the GTX570 are good card choices for around $340. You'll get a lot of opinions as to which one is better, but they are very similar cards. If you're going to be doing any video editing I'd go with nvidia just to be safe, but otherwise it doesn't really matter. The next step up is the GTX580 at around $500. You might need to pinch pennies, but if you can afford a 580 on your budget then you should probably do that.

Your PSU choice is going to depend on what card you get and whether you plan to add a second card in the future. If you want to eventually power two 580's with a healthy overclock then you're going to need a pretty big PSU. 950W+ is going to be enough from a good manufacturer and if you're going with the lesser cards or abandoning SLI/CF then you can go lower. There's more to picking a power supply than total wattage, though, so when you pick cards we can get specific. PSU brands are important and the top tier in my opinion is Corsair, Seasonic, and Antec. Some people include PC Power & Cooling and XFX in that list.

As you probably already know, this is a bad time to need to buy a hard drive. You'll want a 7200RPM HDD (regardless of whether it's your boot drive or for mass storage) and I'd say get the cheapest drive you can find with the capacity that you want from Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, or Samsung. Look out for good deals from now until you buy in January.

I agree that in a gaming build you're better off putting money into your GPU than putting it into an SSD, but if you want an SSD my standard recommendations are the Crucial M4 or the Samsung 830. They're proven drives with speed and reliability. It's only fair to mention that the OCZ agility and vertex drives are gaining popularity, though, now that they claim to have fixed their firmware. I still don't trust OCZ, though.

Finally, you forgot to list a heatsink. If you want a healthy overclock then you're going to want a cooler that's better than the stock cooler.
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December 13, 2011 12:50:14 AM

Would two GTX 560 ti GPUs in sli be a good substitute to the gtx 580? With that I probably won't need to upgrade until my next build which will probably be in 4-5 yrs.

Other than that I think I will go with this:

Corsair Carbide Series 500R White Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student 3-User
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 13, 2011 1:02:35 AM

That build looks great. That's definitely a build I would approve.

Two 560ti's in SLI is a competitive graphics situation for sure, however it's more expensive than a single 580 (at least for the 560ti that you chose). Two 560ti's will be more powerful than a single 580, but there are some annoyances with a dual card setup. At resolutions above 1080p with certain AA settings there are some issues with 1GB cards, but if you get two 2GB cards then that's not really an issue. Two cards will have issues with micro-stuttering and scaling, though. Some people hate that and some people don't seem to care at all, but that's the downside.

Here are some articles that might help clear things up:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
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December 13, 2011 1:13:25 AM

Thanks for the help, I think I will go with the gtx 580, micro-stutter seems like it would be the kind of thing to annoy me. I shouldn't have a problem with any resolution above 1080p seeing as I don't have a regular computer monitor. Will have to wait til christmas rolls around to get the funds.
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December 13, 2011 1:13:39 AM

Best answer selected by manahnen.
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December 13, 2011 1:16:44 AM

Sounds good, have fun with it.
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