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Mainly gaming rig for $1300

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December 22, 2011 3:51:52 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: February or March

Budget Range: No more than $1300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games, Blu-ray movies, Photoshop and internet.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard and speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.netplus.com.au/

Country: Australia.

Parts Preferences: Meh.

Overclocking: Nope.

SLI or Crossfire: What?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I bought my last desktop in 2008 and buy a new one every four years, so anything that will do well enough till 2016.

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I've picked out a few stuff, but I'm not even sure if they're compatible with each other. I may have over done it on a few things. Yep, I'm a computer noob.

Case: AeroCool VS-400 VS400 Value: http://www.netplus.com.au/product/CAAEVS400/AeroCool_VS-400_VS400_Value_Series_Case_550W_Power_Supply_Fits_Upto_380mm_Video_Cards- $78
Note: It says 550W, but I'm not even sure how much I need.

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600 LGA1155 CPU: http://www.netplus.com.au/product/CPINPDI7-2600/Intel_Core_i7_2600_LGA1155_CPU_3.4Ghz_8Mb_Cache_Sandy_Bridge_4C8T_Turbo_Boost_SB2600- $309

Fans and Cooling: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo CPU: http://www.netplus.com.au/product/FNCOHYPER212/CoolerMaster_Hyper_212_Evo_CPU_Fan_Cooler_All_Sockets_LGA2011- $39

Graphics Card: ATI AMD HD6970 2Gb: http://www.netplus.com.au/product/VDAT6970-04/ATI_AMD_HD6970_2Gb_DDR5_PCI-E_2.0_16X_Radeon_6970_DX11_HDMI_Display_Port- $369

Hard Drive: Hitachi 1TB SATA2 32MB 3.5": http://www.netplus.com.au/product/HDHI72RSATA1000G/Hitachi_1TB_SATA2_32MB_3.5_Deskstar_7200RPM_7K1000.C_Japan_brand_Hard_Drive_HDD- $109

Do I need an SSD??

Motherboard: Intel DZ68DB B3 LGA1155 MB http://www.netplus.com.au/product/MBINDZ68DB/Intel_DZ68DB_B3_LGA1155_MB_Z68DB_4DDR3_16XPCIE_GLAN_eSata_14USB3_SATA3_ATX- $159

Memory: 8Gb Dual DDR3 1600Mhz KHX http://www.netplus.com.au/product/MYD316-8192KKHX/8Gb_Dual_DDR3_1600Mhz_KHX_Kingston_KHX1600C9D3T1K28GX_Double_Dual_Channel_Kit- $109

Monitor: LG E2441V-BN 24" Slim LED Wide http://www.netplus.com.au/product/MNLGE2441/LG_E2441V-BN_24_Slim_LED_Wide_LCD_Monitor_24_5ms_DVI_HDMI_Full_HD_1080P_Tilt_1920x1080- $169

WiFi: Asus PCE-N15 Wireless 11n http://www.netplus.com.au/product/NWCAASPCE-N15/Asus_PCE-N15_Wireless_11n_WiFi_PCI-E_PCIE_True_300Mbps_UL_&_DL_Network_Adapter- $69
Note: I have a Netgear DGN2200.

Disk Drive: LG CH12LS28 Blu RAY Combo http://www.netplus.com.au/product/OPLG-BR-R03/LG_CH12LS28_Blu_RAY_Combo_Reads_BluRay_Writes_DVD_12X_BD-R_SATA_DVDRW_Lightscribe- $69

OS: MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit- $99

Total: $1,578

As you can see I'm a dollar or two over budget and need some help!

More about : gaming rig 1300

Best solution

December 22, 2011 5:48:29 AM

It all looks compatible but you can do better.

First of all, if you want to save some money go for the i5-2500K. There will be no difference in gaming between the 2500K and the 2600K. There will be a difference in intense photoshop applications but the 2500K is more appropriate on your budget. It's the best CPU for the money right now. If you're not going to overclock then you can get the i5-2400 which performs the same as the 2500K with no overclock.

A side note before we go on: SLI and crossfire are ways to use two graphics cards in one system. SLI is the nvidia version and crossfire is the ati version of that concept.

You don't want to buy an Intel brand motherboard. Also, if you're not overclocking or using crossfire then you can get some of the cheapest motherboards out there without sacrificing any performance. The website you listed has a pretty low selection and I don't know where to shop for things in australia, but here are some links on newegg.com (it is my understanding that US prices and Australian prices are similar). If you *need* to buy from that site then we can talk.
($88) MSI H67A-G43: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($105) ASUS P8H67-V: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($125) ASRock Z68 Extreme3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need an SSD. They're extremely fast hard drives but are very expensive so usually you need a small one plus a larger HDD for storage. Using just one large HDD like you listed is fine, though - especially on your budget. If you want to save a little money you can go for a 500GB or 250GB hard drive, although 1TB is a good size. Just make sure that your drive is 7200RPM (which yours is).

You don't want to buy a case and power supply together. The included power supply is going to be pretty crappy and that's a bad situation. You're much better off buying them separately. Again, I don't really know where to shop but here's a really good power supply reference:
http://www.johnnylucky.org/power-supplies/ranking.html
You're going to want either one of the lower powered units from the "35 to 42 Amps On The 12 Volt Rail(s)" section or one of the higher powered units from the "22 to 34 Amps On The 12 Volt Rail(s)" section. You also need an eight pin and a six pin connector to power a 6970. You can basically get whatever case you want as long as it fits an ATX motherboard and has enough room for a somewhat-long graphics card.

The memory you picked is fine but it's more than you need to spend. Newegg prices list 2x4GB kits of RAM around $40. On netplus.com the G.Skill 2x4GB are cheaper and will have the exact same performance.
http://www.netplus.com.au/product/MYD316-8192GK/8Gb_DDR...

You should know that a blu ray drive won't play blu ray disks without the proper software. Blu ray playback is kind of a pain in the butt right now.

Now, finally how can we save a little money.
*You can get a cheaper wifi card. I know in the US $70 is a lot to spend on a wireless card. Mine was $25 and it works great.
*You can downgrade your GPU to a 1GB HD6950 (or GTX560ti). The 6970 is a bit of a stretch on your budget (it is worth the extra money, though, if you can afford it).
*If you're not going to overclock you don't need the aftermarket cooler. The cooler that comes with the Sandy Bridge processors will be fine.
*Like I said before, the i5-2400 will be cheaper for the same performance. If you really want to save some money you can go with the i3-2100 processor. It's a dual core but you won't notice much of a difference (if any) in gaming.
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December 22, 2011 4:28:14 PM

Quote:

Hard Drive: Hitachi 1TB SATA2 32MB 3.5": http://www.netplus.com.au/product/ [...] _Drive_HDD- $109

Do I need an SSD??


Hitachi hard drives are bad news. They have one of the highest fail rates of any of the major HD makers. Stick with Seagate or Western Digital.

As for SSD that all depends on your budget. You really don't but you can always add one later on.


Quote:
You don't want to buy a case and power supply together. The included power supply is going to be pretty crappy and that's a bad situation. You're much better off buying them separately. Again, I don't really know where to shop but here's a really good power supply reference:


I agree here. Cases with built in PSUs are bad news as well. If the PSU isn't certified and rated 80+ Bronze or better, don't buy it. I had a *supposedly* top of the line Ultra X3 850W when I first got my system but it crashed my PC left and right. I swapped it for a Corsair TX 750 - certified 80+ Bronze, been problem free ever since.

Quote:
*You can downgrade your GPU to a 1GB HD6950 (or GTX560ti). The 6970 is a bit of a stretch on your budget (it is worth the extra money, though, if you can afford it).


Yeah with the 6950 you can actually flash the firmware and it will boost the performance to the equivalent level of what a 6970 would be. And it's cheaper at that.

Quote:
WiFi: Asus PCE-N15 Wireless 11n http://www.netplus.com.au/product/ [...] rk_Adapter- $69


DEFINITELY see if you can find a cheaper wifi card - that's a lot to pay for one card.

Quote:
*Like I said before, the i5-2400 will be cheaper for the same performance. If you really want to save some money you can go with the i3-2100 processor. It's a dual core but you won't notice much of a difference (if any) in gaming.


Both are excellent CPUs no question, but only get those if you don't plan to overclock. If you want to overclock, it's i5-2500K or i7-2600K but that's it. You definitely want to get a good cooler to ensure longevity of your CPU though.
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December 23, 2011 2:50:35 AM

Hey guys, thanks for your input. I didn't expect that much information. I'd prefer that all the parts come from Netplus. I don't think Newegg ship internationally and registering a US address might be a bit of a hassle. Using Bongo, I would have to pay $200 for shipping if the total package was 33lbs (guessing weight). I'll try and find the same/similar parts and see what it'll come out to on Newegg.

I'm still not sure on a few things. I'm hoping that someone would recommend a case, PS, cooling and a network adaptor from Netplus for now. This is what I have so far:

Case: ?
Power Supply: ?
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k Unlocked- $225
Fans and Cooling: ?
Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI AMD HD6950 2Gb- $299
Hard Drive: 500Gb Seagate SATA3 16Mb Cache- $119
Motherboard: Asrock Z68-Extreme 3 LGA 1155- $169
Memory: 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill 2x4Gb- $78
WiFi: ?
Monitor, OS and ODD- $337

Total: $1227

Ignoring the budget for a second, what would you suggest I do? If you asked me the things I wanted to keep, I'd say the CPU and the graphics card= $524

As for playing Blu-rays, I do have PowerDVD 11.
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December 23, 2011 3:17:41 AM

Quote:
Hey guys, thanks for your input. I didn't expect that much information. I'd prefer that all the parts come from Netplus. I don't think Newegg ship internationally and registering a US address might be a bit of a hassle. Using Bongo, I would have to pay $200 for shipping if the total package was 33lbs (guessing weight). I'll try and find the same/similar parts and see what it'll come out to on Newegg.


Do you have links to these stores? It's kind of hard to pick parts if we don't know what's available where you live.

Quote:
Ignoring the budget for a second, what would you suggest I do? If you asked me the things I wanted to keep, I'd say the CPU and the graphics card= $524


All the hardware you have so far is pretty solid. I'd suggest providing links to stores though that way we can further assist with picking out cases, PSUs, etc. The PSU is something that will be drastically different as to Australia vs. America.
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December 23, 2011 5:08:47 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Hitachi hard drives are bad news. They have one of the highest fail rates of any of the major HD makers. Stick with Seagate or Western Digital.


I've never heard that. Hitachi drives are high-performance drives that get recommendations as often as Seagate, WD, or Samsung. Can you provide documentation of those failure rates? With the current hard drive prices I generally recommend finding the cheapest 7200RPM consumer-grade hard drive you can find at the capacity that you want from Seagate, WD, Hitachi, or Samsung.

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah with the 6950 you can actually flash the firmware and it will boost the performance to the equivalent level of what a 6970 would be. And it's cheaper at that.


If you want to flash the firmware then you should get a 2GB 6950 instead of a 1GB 6950. Also, there are not that many cards left that allow you to flash a 6950 to a 6970 and when you find one it's a difficult process.

g-unit1111 said:
Both are excellent CPUs no question, but only get those if you don't plan to overclock. If you want to overclock, it's i5-2500K or i7-2600K but that's it. You definitely want to get a good cooler to ensure longevity of your CPU though.


Yes, as I mentioned you need a -K processor if you want to overclock, but if you're not overclocking then the i5-2400 and the i5-2500K will perform the same. Also, if you're not overclocking then you don't need an aftermarket cooler in order to keep your card cool. The Sandy Bridge stock coolers can get loud so it can be nice to replace the cooler to cut the noise, but at stock speeds the stock coolers keep the processor plenty cool.
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December 23, 2011 5:23:31 AM

asdfa said:
Case: ?
Power Supply: ?
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k Unlocked- $225
Fans and Cooling: ?
Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI AMD HD6950 2Gb- $299
Hard Drive: 500Gb Seagate SATA3 16Mb Cache- $119
Motherboard: Asrock Z68-Extreme 3 LGA 1155- $169
Memory: 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill 2x4Gb- $78
WiFi: ?
Monitor, OS and ODD- $337

Total: $1227


The parts that you have here are good.

Power supplies are more expensive that I would expect on netplus, but I recommend the Corsair CX500 for $100
http://www.netplus.com.au/product/PWPSAX-CX500/Corsair_...
It won't power two 6950's but it's plenty of power for one. As g-unit1111 mentioned, your power supply needs to say 80+ somewhere. That is a bare-minimum requirement and if it doesn't say 80+ then don't buy it.

Looking through the cases on NetPlus, I recommend the cheapest one they have, the CoolerMaster Elite 371 for $65
http://www.netplus.com.au/product/CACOELI371-04/CoolerM...
Everything should fit just fine and have sufficient cooling for what you're doing. I also like the Antec Three Hundred, but that one doesn't deliver. Cases are a lot about personal preference so get whatever you like. I would imagine any of the cases on NetPlus without a PSU will do the job just fine.

In terms of cooling I recommend not getting an cpu cooler. The one that comes with the processor will do just fine. I would, however, recommend getting at least one 120mm (or 140mm) fan to put in the front to cool the hard drives. There's a 120mm AeroCool model for $12 (that also comes in a blue LED model if you like that)
http://www.netplus.com.au/product/FNCHASSIS120-02/AeroC...
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December 23, 2011 5:31:50 AM

I didn't recommend a wifi card because I don't really know much about them. I could pick one but it wouldn't be an educated choice.

I don't know anything about purchasing parts in Australia (it's true that newegg won't ship to you), but I do know that I've helped people with Australian builds before and I don't remember the prices being this high. It always seemed to me that the prices were pretty comprable to US prices whereas netplus.au is considerably higher than US prices. I guess what I'm saying is that you might want to try and find a different site with better prices and a better selection. I would start a discussion thread and ask what sites others use.
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December 24, 2011 5:03:47 AM

Ok, I’ve managed to find a couple of more websites with better prices on a few things.

http://www.msy.com.au/index.jsp
http://www.ple.com.au/Default.aspx

CPU (2500k), graphics card, monitor and OS- $793

Case: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7726- $43
Power Supply: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7319- $77
Cooling: Sorry, I forgot to mention in my last post that I might as well OC the 2500k. I still need a cooler, right?
Hard Drive: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7386- $103
Memory: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7262- $52
WiFi: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=8597- $25
ODD: DVD- $18. I thought I might as well buy a stand alone Blu-ray player later on for a few dollars extra. Probably better quality anyway.
Motherboard: Anything you can find on the other sites?

Total so far: $1111

I better ask...is OC worth it for what I'm using the computer for? I mean you need to buy a cooler and spend more money on a motherboard and what not.
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December 24, 2011 5:40:00 AM

The 2500K overclocks very well. I have a 2500K at stock right now and I've never felt like I needed the extra clock speeds, but it depends on what you do. That being said, even if it's not useful now, you'll be able to squeeze a lot of extra life out of your chip with a healthy overclock and it is very easy. It's up to you whether you want to spend the extra money or not.

Now, if you do want to overclock then you will need a motherboard that can do it and an H67 chipset will not do it for you. The following two are great all-around motherboards for overclocking and for crossfire.
($132) ASRock Z68 Extreme3: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=8247
($149) Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7963
If you don't want to overclock and/or crossfire then we can talk again.

If you want to overclock then you will also need a cooler, like you mentioned. The best option I found was on netplus and it's the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.netplus.com.au/product/FNCOHYPER212/CoolerMa...
Most tower-style coolers are going to do a pretty good job of cooling, though.
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December 24, 2011 5:40:55 AM

asdfa said:
Ok, I’ve managed to find a couple of more websites with better prices on a few things.

http://www.msy.com.au/index.jsp
http://www.ple.com.au/Default.aspx

CPU (2500k), graphics card, monitor and OS- $793

Case: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7726- $43
Power Supply: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7319- $77
Cooling: Sorry, I forgot to mention in my last post that I might as well OC the 2500k. I still need a cooler, right?
Hard Drive: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7386- $103
Memory: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7262- $52
WiFi: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=8597- $25
ODD: DVD- $18. I thought I might as well buy a stand alone Blu-ray player later on for a few dollars extra. Probably better quality anyway.
Motherboard: Anything you can find on the other sites?

Total so far: $1111

I better ask...is OC worth it for what I'm using the computer for? I mean you need to buy a cooler and spend more money on a motherboard and what not.


Oh, and I forgot to mention that the parts you've chosen here all look good.
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December 24, 2011 10:18:53 PM

Looks like you're well on track now. Another couple of sites to check for Aussie builders:

http://pccasegear.com/

http://www.mwave.com.au/

PCCase is a nice looking website and has better info than many others... but TBH I usually get most of my parts from MSY (saves on shipping and is pretty much the cheapest anyhow)... but you'll need to get things like quality SSDs or gtx560 Ti from other sources as MSY range is limited.

You can OC your CPU using the stock intel cooler... and given that you're purchasing a 'k' model processor it will give you a performance boost and is relaitively easy to do. Whether you get an after market CPU Cooler is obviously up to you. As a fraction of the total cost of your budget, $30 for something like the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo will significantly reduce core temperatures.
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December 25, 2011 1:08:24 AM

danraies said:
If you want to flash the firmware then you should get a 2GB 6950 instead of a 1GB 6950. Also, there are not that many cards left that allow you to flash a 6950 to a 6970 and when you find one it's a difficult process.


It only works on the 2GB model instead of the 1GB? Interesting, didn't know that.

Quote:
Yes, as I mentioned you need a -K processor if you want to overclock, but if you're not overclocking then the i5-2400 and the i5-2500K will perform the same. Also, if you're not overclocking then you don't need an aftermarket cooler in order to keep your card cool. The Sandy Bridge stock coolers can get loud so it can be nice to replace the cooler to cut the noise, but at stock speeds the stock coolers keep the processor plenty cool.


I know you don't but I've never been a big fan of the stock coolers anyways - on my previous i7 build I took out the Intel cooler and replaced it with a Zalman 9500 and the thing was so cheap that the plastic part broke in half, and it's basically just a piece of aluminum with a plastic fan on top of it.

Quote:
I've never heard that. Hitachi drives are high-performance drives that get recommendations as often as Seagate, WD, or Samsung. Can you provide documentation of those failure rates? With the current hard drive prices I generally recommend finding the cheapest 7200RPM consumer-grade hard drive you can find at the capacity that you want from Seagate, WD, Hitachi, or Samsung.


I know a lot of this from personal experience - we've bought quite a few of them where I work and one I remember the HD failed after like a month and we sent it back for two replacements and neither of them would format out of the box. We've been exclusively Seagate and WD ever since. Although I bought a Samsung Spinpoint off a Newegg sale when they were like $79 and it's been a really great drive so far. Very fast, very stable.
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December 25, 2011 10:58:30 PM

g-unit1111 said:
It only works on the 2GB model instead of the 1GB? Interesting, didn't know that.


The 2GB 6950 was the first flavor of 6950 to come out and it's on the same board as a 6970 they just dialed some things back (clock settings and total cores used from what I understand). So really a 2GB 6950 and a 6970 are the same hardware. Later they realized that a 6950 didn't need 2GB of memory (and actually performs a little worse in some situations with 2GB) so they released a new version with 1GB. I don't strictly know that it is not possible to flash a 1GB 6950 to a 6970 but people don't really talk about that much and (in theory) such a card would underperform compared to a 6970, whereas there is no difference at all between a 6970 and a 2GB 6950 that has been flashed to a 6970.

g-unit1111 said:
I know you don't but I've never been a big fan of the stock coolers anyways - on my previous i7 build I took out the Intel cooler and replaced it with a Zalman 9500 and the thing was so cheap that the plastic part broke in half, and it's basically just a piece of aluminum with a plastic fan on top of it.


I hate the stock coolers too because they're so darn loud. From a performance standpoint they do a fine job of cooling stock clock speeds but they're really loud and are of poor quality, like you say.

g-unit1111 said:
I know a lot of this from personal experience - we've bought quite a few of them where I work and one I remember the HD failed after like a month and we sent it back for two replacements and neither of them would format out of the box. We've been exclusively Seagate and WD ever since. Although I bought a Samsung Spinpoint off a Newegg sale when they were like $79 and it's been a really great drive so far. Very fast, very stable.


I can't say I particularly like Hitachi drives, I just know they're middle of the pack compared to the rest and I've never seen an outrageous failure rate on them. Before the flood I always recommended seagate and samsung (I think WD are a little overpriced and can sometimes be loud) but any more I just recommend that people get whatever drive they can find cheapest at the capacity they want that is 7200RPM and from either Seagate, WD, Samsung, or Hitachi. I know there's a small portion of people that swear by Hitachi hard drives.
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December 27, 2011 5:57:19 AM

Formata said:
Looks like you're well on track now. Another couple of sites to check for Aussie builders:

http://pccasegear.com/

http://www.mwave.com.au/

PCCase is a nice looking website and has better info than many others... but TBH I usually get most of my parts from MSY (saves on shipping and is pretty much the cheapest anyhow)... but you'll need to get things like quality SSDs or gtx560 Ti from other sources as MSY range is limited.

You can OC your CPU using the stock intel cooler... and given that you're purchasing a 'k' model processor it will give you a performance boost and is relaitively easy to do. Whether you get an after market CPU Cooler is obviously up to you. As a fraction of the total cost of your budget, $30 for something like the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo will significantly reduce core temperatures.


I'm not a real fan of looking for parts online, but thanks anyway.

Thanks for the help guys (esp. danraies). I saved like 300 bucks!
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December 27, 2011 5:58:08 AM

Best answer selected by asdfa.
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