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First ever gaming rig--pretty sure I'm screwing up somehow(<2k budget)

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December 18, 2011 5:10:46 AM

Let's just assume for now that it isn't a stupid idea to build a rig from scratch with improved CPUs and new GPUs around the corner (but if this is irredeemably idiotic, then please tell me).

Also, I've gone through about a thousand different configurations on paper and my brain is starting to fry, so if something here is hilariously out of place, that's why.

CPU: 200$ or 320$
i5 2500k OR i7 2600k
Leaning towards the i5, but I actually DO use a pretty significant amount of video editing/encoding software, etc, which I believe the i7 would give a decent boost in. Worth an extra 120 bucks? Probably not, but that's just me.


MoBo: 115$
ASRock Z68


RAM: 50$
Kingston 4x4GB

SSD: 205$ after MIR
Corsair Force Series SATAIII 180GB

HDD: 60$
Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM

Power Supply: 110$
1000W Xion
This is an area where I'm exceptionally ignorant.

Case: ?????
This is giving me so much trouble. Right now I'm leaning toward: 80$ Cougar, but I'll be damned if I know.

GPU: 2x 250$ HD 6950 = 500$
HD 6950

DVD drive: 20$
It's a DVD drive.

total with i5: 1210 + case price
total with i7: 1330 + case price

I'd like to hover around the 1300 - 1600 range, but anything up to 2000 is acceptable, ESPECIALLY if it yields a noticeable increase in quality or performance.


Any comments or advice would be very much appreciated!
December 18, 2011 5:14:26 AM

My bad!

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few days, preferably.

Budget Range: <2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: OS, Speakers, Mouse, Monitor, Keyboard

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes or No.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200
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December 18, 2011 5:39:38 AM

Compare the numbers. 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:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50

As ya can see, with twin cards, that's 103 more fps for $25 less per card

I'm ntried to spend the last dollar of ya $2k budget :)  But all I could spend was $1988

Case - $ 270 - Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fan - $ 12 - Thermaltake Blue120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 150 - Corsair HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yeah its a lotta money for the case but you did say $2k and not only is it gorgeous and win design awards but it's features are unequaled. Antec 1200 V3 or DF-85 w/ CP-850 is a $275 alternative to the $420 above. Another option would be the Corsair 500R w/ HX850 ($265)

$115 Corsair 500R 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 - $ 320 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p8z68-v-pro-review/2...

Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Arrow will give ya 7 - 10C above the Hyper 212 and get yiu, CPU willing to 4.8 - 5.0 GHz with temps in low 70's. At $50 ya can go with Hyper 612 PWM or Scythe Mugen 3 which will get ya 5 - 7C over the 212. Hyper 212 is $25
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

RAM - $ 50 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Can throw more money here but improvements will be 3 - 5 % for faster speed or lower CAS memory

GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz Same

These OC very well (30+% over reference speed possible). Outta the box, they 10 % slower than twin 580s which cost twice as much...they 14% faster than twin factory OC'd Twin Frozr 6950's and 5 % faster than twin 6970's in Guru3D's game test suite
http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

HD - $ 110 - Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 210 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Chronos makes Tier 3 along with the Patriot Samsung 830, and Vertex 3 Max IOPS ....other well knon models go from Tier 5 to 8 at 129/128GB size. The Force 3 is Tier 8 (about 61% slower according to the chart's 10% per tier statement)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

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...

That takes care of blue ray movie watching, fan control and and card reading req'ts

So yes at $2k ya can have a monster performer....wanna cut it down and the Corsair or Antec Case/ PSU combo will save ya $150 (If noise is an issue, Id take the Antec)..... as everything else is top notch, cutting will have an effect on performance. May wanna go to 16GB and maybe faster RAM id video editing is a regular thing:

+27 16 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+29 16 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+89 16 GB DDR3-1866 CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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