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Gaming build <$750 need advice, insight, input to finalize parts

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December 19, 2011 11:00:51 PM

Greetings everybody,
After reading many systems posts here, I have selected the following list of components and am looking to see if firstly I missed anything, secondly to see if the selections will work well together and lastly any other selections that I could improve on without breaking the "under $750 budget" I have.
I plan on buying some parts immediately (depending on what sales jump up) or shortly after Christmas (hoping for some good deals on sales there to stretch the budget a bit further) I mainly like to use Newegg, but am open to others like Amazon, Tiger-direct or any others that are recommended. I am based on the US East Coast but NOT conveniently near to a micro center unfortunately.

I already have a copy of win 7 64bit and a mouse and monitor (monitor I will be replacing a bit further down the road with something better than my current resolution of 1680 x 1050)

I mainly play games and watch movies, and would like to play skyrim at a decent setting.

I have never overclocked before and would like to try some mild safe for newbies overclocking, so I am imagining that air flow will be a critical factor for the case.

I will need another Hard Drive but due to the increased costs lately I have not been able to even find something that will work as a stop-gap until prices come back down. Open to suggestions for that one and still be able to fit the budget

Looking at getting . . .

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
OR
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

GIGABYTE GA-P67X-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

XFX Double D HD-679X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP

SILVERSTONE Strider Essential series ST60F-ES 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

PNY XLR8 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - B OEM

Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard

All this brings me to approximately $740.

Thank you all in advance for your considerations.

Anonymous
December 20, 2011 12:39:49 AM

Get the antec 300. Quality is a lot better. Haf 912 airflow sucks(personal experience).

Think about getting a mechanical keyboard! They're great. They're costly but you'll see a big nice difference :D  . You'll use it for a long time. They're costly but if you can't afford it, than I don't think its worth spending money on a non-mechanical premium keyboard. Try looking for a cheaper keyboard if not mechanical. Benefits are nil.

Get this power supply.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get a 6850. With MIR you can get it with sometimes less money than a 6790.

December 20, 2011 11:06:52 AM

Thank you,

It was great to get some personal insight into the HAF 912, going with the ANTEC 300.

I had not noticed that the 6850 prices had come down so much, trying to find a dual fan model (in the hope that they are quieter than single fan models) for a similiar price at the moment.

About the power supply, would a modular one be better? or is that just the latest buzz word for marketing?

For the keyboard, I am pretty ignorant about those, I have been using the same old microsoft keyboard for the past 12 years or so, and honestly there is nothing wrong with it. I am trying to find a decent and cheap option for a keyboard that is illuminated/backlit or otherwise more visible in a darkened room. Open to any suggestions there.

With the intent of doing some mild overclocking, is the stock cpu cooler ok or should I put my sights on something beefier? Also if I went with the stock cooler, is thermal paste/compound included or is that something I need to consider as well. I couldn't tell from the retail box descriptions.

Thank you for your insights!

Upon further inspection and self education, I indeed do already have a mechanical keyboard (probably why it has lasted so long), I just wish it was illuminated/backlit or something.
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December 20, 2011 12:25:01 PM

i doubt you have a mechanical keyboard :D 
Anonymous
December 20, 2011 1:10:53 PM

.

Best solution

December 20, 2011 1:26:16 PM
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1) modular is definitely not a buzzword. being able to remove unnecessary cables is nice, but at a $750 price point, i wouldn't worry too much about it. i think the $30 is better spent elsewhere.
2) like a video card -- i do recommend bumping up to a 6850 if you can find a good deal on one.
3) the stock cooler will have some sort of thermal junk already applied, but if you want to overclock you should get an aftermarket heatsink. the biggest thing there is to make sure you get something that will fit in your case. look for a 92mm cooler from cooler master, noctua, or zalman -- you should be able to find one in the $20-$30 range. you'll have no trouble overclocking an i5-2500k to, say, 4.2GHz with one of those.
4) i'd recommend getting a 1.5V RAM kit, something like corsair vengeance or g.skill ripjaws.
5) in the motherboard department, the asus z68 pro3 is cheaper than your current board, with solid vrms and the nice additional bells and whistles of a z68 board.
December 20, 2011 4:53:01 PM



I am so glad I asked here before jumping in and buying.
Updated parts list taking into consideration all the suggestions so far . . .



Antec 300 Case

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68

SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V

XFX Double D HD-685X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB

i5 2500k

ASUS 24X DVD Burner OEM


Still looking at all the different cpu heatsink/fan options and will update again shortly. For now, am dropping the keyboard since the illumination goes under the category of "Nice to have" instead of "Needs". All this brings me up to about $757 which is doable for my budget.
On another thought, has anyone ordered an "Open box" or "Recertified" item with a happy ending?

Thanks again for all the input
December 20, 2011 5:10:55 PM

d'oh - i typed asus when i meant asrock. asrock z68 pro3. however, it looks like they don't have it in stock except as an open box. which brings me to your question -- i'd be leery of any open box deals, especially motherboards.

the mobo you have selected looks good.
December 21, 2011 11:39:10 AM

No worries on the mistype,

I was a bit leery of the open box deals . . . although was tempted by the lower prices. Would probably wind up being more expensive for me in the long run with my luck.

What do you think about this cpu heatsink/cooler? Add a second fan to it for a push-pull effect across the cooler?

COOLER MASTER Hyper TX3 92mm CPU Cooler

Any potential issues with fit in the case that anyone can see? or with expelling the heat from the case with this kind of cooler?

Thanks again all for the advice!

Edit: Looking again at the motherboard, it says it only has 1 cpu fan connector, would there still be a way to add a second fan for a push-pull across the cooler? or would that be overkill?
December 21, 2011 12:17:31 PM

that cooler will be fine

a second fan is probably unnecessary, but you should be able to plug it into a molex output from your psu. at the very least, i know that connector exists even if it doesn't come with your power supply.

that said, i just helped a friend of mine build a pc, and he's got his 2500k running at 4.2GHz, cooled by a 92mm cooler with a single fan, and his temps are quite low.
December 21, 2011 12:54:09 PM

That is good news, I will forego the 2nd cpu fan, but still nice to know it is an option. Thank you again for all of the information and insight.
December 22, 2011 9:03:26 AM

Best answer selected by cinder888.
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