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First build, system check and advice for GPU

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December 21, 2011 2:03:37 AM

Hey Everyone,

I would like to make sure what I've decided to build is actually going to work and get some advice on what GPU is right for me.


Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better)) Some parts already bought, CPU and mobo this week, GPU 2 weeks or so

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates: Between $500 and $550 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies): Watching blu-rays, gaming, surfing

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, HDD and blu-ray drive possibly

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.com, ncix.com -- to show us selection & pricing): Newegg, Amazon

Country: (e.g.: India) we need to know where these parts are being assembled: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case): Would prefer Nvidia GPU but could also go ATI if the price is right

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe: Not now but might consider in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe: Most likely not

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200): 1366 x 768 720p and 1920 x 1080 1080p

Here's the build:

CPU:
i52500k
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$179.99

MOBO:
Asus P8Z68-V LX
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$69.99 after $50 Micro Center promo

Case + PSU (Already purchased):
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

bundled with:

1x Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$130.98

Memory (Already purchased):
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$37.99

Any suggestions for improvement are more than welcomed. I hoping to use a spare HDD and blu-ray drive which will leave me $100 - $150 after rebates for a GPU. I am looking to watch blu-rays in full HD and play games such as Diablo 3 and Skyrim on high settings at both resolutions. A concern I have with my build is the 500W PSU. Will 500W be enough to power this proposed system and whatever recommended GPU? Thanks in advance for the help.
December 21, 2011 4:04:11 AM

I don't know Skyrim's requirements but I can say that it is unlikely you can play it at high settings with a $150 video card. 500w PSU will definitely not be enough, I'm thinking 850w to be best.

Watching 1080p video isn't a demanding task and that can be done great even with Intel's current integrated graphics but Skyrim is a newer game that would require more serious GPU horsepower to be run at high settings then anything available new for $150.
December 21, 2011 1:39:12 PM

Thanks for your reply. I have been hunting around in the meantime for similar questions about the 500W PSU. Many of the responses seem confident that 500W is enough however I think I would feel more comfortable bumping it up some. 850W I feel might be overkill for my setup (stock CPU, 1 HDD, 1 blu-ray, 1 GPU). Would 650W be a conservative PSU for my build? If so I am going to try and talk to Newegg about exchanging the CX500 for the TX6500 and only paying the $30 difference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 21, 2011 1:41:46 PM

A 500W PSU will be fine there is no need for you to upgrade (as long it's from a reputable company like corsair) I ran 2 450 GTS/AMD phenom quad core/10 fans and all the other necessary components off a 500W PSU and still had headroom.
December 21, 2011 7:32:41 PM

Thanks! I went ahead and spoke with Newegg and they were more than reasonable with me about exchanging for the 650W PSU. In fact it looks like I will only be paying about a $15 difference which can't be beat. As far as GPU I have read some reviews and a few benchmark tests and think the GTX 550 ti (or ATI equivalent) will be enough. However, it did appear that the GTX 460 was significantly better and I would consider this (or ATI equivalent) at a reasonable price. I am willing to stretch the $150 budget a bit if I can justify its worth it for what I want to be able to do. Unfortunately there are an unbelievable amount of options when considering these 4 cards and all the different manufactuers. Any advice on the best bang for my buck would be more than appreciated.

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December 21, 2011 7:54:43 PM
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blazorthon said:
I don't know Skyrim's requirements but I can say that it is unlikely you can play it at high settings with a $150 video card. 500w PSU will definitely not be enough, I'm thinking 850w to be best.

Watching 1080p video isn't a demanding task and that can be done great even with Intel's current integrated graphics but Skyrim is a newer game that would require more serious GPU horsepower to be run at high settings then anything available new for $150.



do not listen to him... he has no clue what he's talking about...500w will be plenty...shoot you can run it on a 400w if you wanted since your going w/ intel.

tbh your budget is gonna get killed by your gpu/cpu if you buy the i5 2500k

Look for a gtx 460 or ati 6850/6870...you can find these within 120-180$. Performance wise it goes 460/6850/6870. if you can stretch the budget then 560 would be the next jump around 180-220$

Personally since your $ conscious I would stay around the 6850 its a good card and can get killer deals on it if you have patience.
December 21, 2011 7:57:51 PM

The Nvidia cards at your current budget aren't really worth it. The 550 Ti is the same price as the 6790 but it's performance is worse than the 6790. The GTX 460 is so inflated in price that it costs more than the 6870 for less performance. As for the GTX 560, it sits just above your budget.

So my recommendation is to get the 6870. It may be AMD but sometimes it's best to not be bias.
6870 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
6790 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
6850 $140 (This'll be the sweet spot for your budget)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

December 25, 2011 2:41:41 PM

Best answer selected by drhughes5.
!