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Gaming Build Advice for a first time builder

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December 16, 2011 4:04:29 AM

hi im about to build a new gaming rig and i just want to run it past you guys and see if i can make any improvments or savings tnx to all.

processer/Intel Core i5 2500K 235$

graphics card/Powercolor Radeon HD6950 2GB times two 558$

chipset/ASUS P8Z68-V LX Motherboard 135$

ram/G.Skill Ripjaws Z F3-12800CL9Q-16GBZL (4x4GB) DDR3 99$

psu/Corsair AX750 Gold Power Supply 185$

harddrive/Corsair Force Series 3 60GB SSD 119$

cooling/CoolerMaster MegaFlow 200 Blue 19$

I havnt made up my mind on a case yet but was hoping to get a few sugestions,im all so puting in a hdtv card/Avermedia AVerTV CaptureHD Dual Hybrid PCIE 109$

cost/1459$ without case

a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 4:09:33 AM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

First off can you fill this form out for us? Gives us some more information so we can give you better advice.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

Second, it looks okay. The PSU is a little overkill, I'd get a decent 850w instead. You could also save some money by getting a set of RAM that is dual-channel instead of quad-channel. Plus you really only need 8GB

lastly, I'd step up to an OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD. Some people complain about OCZ's reliability (it was indeed an issue earlier this year) but you really can't beat the price.

I'll get back to ya once we get that form ;) 
Cheers!
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December 16, 2011 4:17:16 AM


Approximate Purchase Date:early january

Budget Range: 1400$/1700$

System Usage from Most to Least Important:gaming, internet,recording live tv

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ive been using pc case gear.com/ but willing to buy from overseas if cheaper

Country: australia

Parts Preferences: i want to use intel processer and build around that

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments:im after something that is going to see me through at least a couple of years without many upgrades
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 2:42:22 PM

Do me a quick favor. Do you live near a MSY? http://msy.com.au/ That's the norm for Australians on here I believe.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 3:39:56 PM

It is helpful if you can include links to the parts you are considering.

Here are some of my thoughts:

the 2500K is as good as it gets today, and will still be good when ivy bridge arrives.

For gaming, the graphics is very important, but you can go overboard. At 1080P, a single 6950 will do very well. Is cf6950 really necessary for you? If you will be using them for triple monitor gaming, or a 2560 x 1600 monitor, then OK.
My thought is to get a great single card. A 6970, or even a GTX580. It will cost you less up front for the single card, your psu requirements will be less, and your case cooling issues will be less. At upgrade time, you will be able to get a GTX590 or 6990 today, but more likely, the upcoming 7970 or GTX6.. 28nm cards will be out. Some games do not perform well with dual cards.
Dual graphics cards show impressive fps results in synthetic benchmarks, but may be more prone to microstuttering which can be annoying. Read about it here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

No game made today uses more than 2 or 3gb by itself. 8gb will be sufficient. If you do lots of multitasking, or will use 64 bit enabled apps, then 16gb is fine. Considering the low cost of ram today, I mught get 16gb anyway. Look for low cost DDR3 1.5v 1600 ram. Look for ram with no, or low heat spreaders. They are not needed for 1.5v ram, and fancy heat spreaders can get in the way of cpu coolers.

Your 850w psu is a fine one, but probably not needed except for dual graphics cards. A quality 650w psu will drive even a GTX580, and cost much less.
For quality, my short list would include Corsair, Seasonic, PC P&C, Antec, or XFX.

I love SSD's for the os , and perhaps a few games. 60gb will work, but it is perhaps a bit small. If you can, 80gb or 120gb will be better. FWIW, I use 85gb with the os, 8 games, and 4gb of phogos on my 120gb ssd. Today, Intel, and perhaps samsung seem to be the least problematic brands.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/831-7/components-ret...

Hard drive prices are crazy today. If you can, wait a bit to buy a large storage drive for video storage.

The cooler you mentioned is only a fan. I would suggest a modest tower type cooler with a slow turning 120mm fan. Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper212 is really all you need, and they are not expensive.

Cases are a personal thing. For adequate cooling, you only need one with two 120mm intake fans or equivalent. A perfectly adequate case might be the Antec 100/200/300 cases. But, research cases and be prepared to spend extra to get one that appeals to you. You will not regret it. You will be seeing and touching it every day for this build, and several more.

For a first time builder, take the time now to download and read, cover to cover, the manuals for the motherboard and case. You will learn much.

--------good luck------------
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a c 227 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 3:48:55 PM

Here ya go.....$1619 with case, and it will be significantly faster than ya original build ....


Case - $ 115 - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 90 - XFX Core Edition-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 210 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 50 - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 47 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Same
HD - $ 110 - Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - 209 - 120 GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $ 50 AeroCool FP-01 55 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 260.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.54 - $ 0.69
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05

So two 6950's, factory OC'd would get ya 759 fps while the factory OC's 560 Ti's do 862 fps......14% more fps and the 560 Ti has much more to go.

-The case gets a rocking review from benchmarkreviews
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

- The PSU gets a 9.5 performance rating from jonnyguru
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

-Cooler is the 212's big bruddah ..... and much improved at that ....it delivers 5-7C better cooling than the 212
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

-GFX card is extremely OC friendly.....some have taken it to 1070 MHz (30% OC) though in SLI, I been keeping them 980 -1020ish
http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17
I have built over half dozen boxes with these and all made 1000Mhz and never saw any microstuttering (Tho as the THG article states, the condition is far less apparent on NVidia cards than ATI, once ya pass the $200 mark, it's not really an issue. The twin 560's give ya 40% more fps than a single $500 GTX 580 for less money and really make the difference in demanding games like Metro 2033 .... single 6950 gets 25 fps at 1920 x 1080 .... the 560 Ti (900MHz) gets 26 .... game looks a lot better w/ 2 of them at 49 fps.....can pass 60 fps with a 1000 MHz OC on the 560.

HD - $40 off w/ promo code EMCJHJE29, ends 12/21

SSD - Fastest 120/128 GB SSD on THG Heirarchy chart (Tier 3).....alternatives would be OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Patriot WildFire or Samsung 830
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

DVD - Plays Blue Ray

Card Reader also does fan control
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December 16, 2011 6:31:23 PM

wow ok after reading that about micro stutering you have opened my eyes,the crossfire is not all its suposed to be and less.I think your right on going for one really good card compared to two cheaper ones crossfired.sry about not being able to put up links for the hardware ive selected but ill have another go today looking at better graphics cards and ill try msy and see if their any cheaper and put up the results with links hopefully.tnx for all whom have contributed much apreciated.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 6:34:26 PM

To throw in my opinion, microstutter is way overrated. You're not going to notice it. But that's me. In the review it says that it's really only an issue with 6870 and below, or 550 Ti and below. With a GTX 560 Ti or 6950 setup you'll be fine.
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December 16, 2011 6:42:47 PM

If you can wait a few weeks, try to buy a 6970 or 6950 only after the 7970 and 7950 are released. Prices on the 69xx will drop.

You also don't need to commit now to a CF or non-CF setup. Just get a good card, and in a year you can get a second if you are falling behind the FPS you want. Microstutter should only improve with software support from AMD and nvidia (better drivers).
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December 16, 2011 6:56:16 PM

dont really thing you will need two 6950's or two 560 tis to run on that resolution, One should be sufficient. you could opt for one gtx 570 or the newer gtx 560 ti, but hell if you have the money to burn then go for it.
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December 16, 2011 10:45:49 PM

does anyone know the release dates for the 7 series if not to far off i can wait and probably save myself 50/100$.Also does anyone know if you can still unlock the 6950 or where to get 6950's that can be unlocked. tnx again all
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December 16, 2011 11:12:35 PM

danny76 said:
does anyone know the release dates for the 7 series if not to far off i can wait and probably save myself 50/100$.Also does anyone know if you can still unlock the 6950 or where to get 6950's that can be unlocked. tnx again all


January 9, I believe. I'm not sure about unlocking.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 11:29:23 PM

danny76 said:
does anyone know the release dates for the 7 series if not to far off i can wait and probably save myself 50/100$.Also does anyone know if you can still unlock the 6950 or where to get 6950's that can be unlocked. tnx again all

Nope, they don't sell them anymore. They fixed that. The only way you'll find a card that can be flashed is secondhand, or off ebay.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2011 11:29:45 PM

danny76 said:
does anyone know the release dates for the 7 series if not to far off i can wait and probably save myself 50/100$.Also does anyone know if you can still unlock the 6950 or where to get 6950's that can be unlocked. tnx again all


The graphics market is very competitive. You mostly get fair value for your dollar at every price point.

You can expect the new cards to be priced at whatever the market will bear, and at their fair price performance value. Do not expect new retail cards of an older generation to have their prices cut much. They will sell near regular prices for some time, primarily to those who must buy them to upgrade using cf/sli. Older cards will drop in price on the used market.

The 7970 is expected to be a GTX580 competitor; possibly even better. Those who know are under NDA for a while.

My take is to get what you need/want now and not look back.
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