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ADVISE ME?! $2500 Gaming/mutitask Build

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December 27, 2011 6:34:59 PM

Hello:
I'd like to complete the build as soon as possible...would wait til March 2012 if necessary. I greatly anticipate Diablo 3; want to play Crysis 2. I also multitask; browsers, music, stock market programs, and an antivirus suite (I prefer ESET, but have not used 64-bit.) Started with a $2000-2500 budget, to build my "dream machine" to be viable for 4-5 years; but after all the knowledge (I've tried to) gain from Tom's, cnet, et al; here are my selected components:

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB DDR3 1333 (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
OCZ Vertex 3 Series – 120GB MAX IOPS Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
PCPC Silencer 910W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
XCLIO Blackhawk Extreme Cooling Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
ASUS 16X DVD-ROM Black SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">
Koutech IO-RCM630 Card Reader
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">

Total = about $1300

-I recently purchased an EVGA 550Ti, 2Gb ddr5 PCIe2.0 for my current machine. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank"> Willing to SLI, or simply upgrade to a single, better card; was going to wait to see its full potential before deciding what to do.

I'm building this system in the United States of America.

1) Will these components jive? Any flaws in my choices? Better solutions? Where would a bottleneck occur?

2) Opinions about GPU? Should I wait, SLI another, or upgrade the 550Ti? What GPU solution would I need for a 60" Sony Bravia TV? (currently not running on that TV).

3)Should I wait til the Ivy Bridges release? I read, can't recall where, a new GPU chip, or something like that, will also drop in my timeframe? What other products should I wait for in 2012? Or, considering the track record (of failure and glitches) of new technologies, should I not bother waiting and pick "tried and true" components?

Reliability and performance are of great importance. I do plan on overclocking as much as I can, but I only have exp doing so with my current system, which was my first build 5 years ago. -I'm novice OCer; meaning water-cooling scares me! However, I'm good at working with my hands and figuring things out...not bragging; just letting everyone know so they can help better.

Thank you ahead of time for any responses, and more thanks for assistance and knowledge exceeding my own!
The GradMan (hope those edits help. Thanks Animal, for the template I loosely followed.)
December 27, 2011 6:45:37 PM

No preference of manufacturers or for vendors. The least-expensive places would be preferable! ;) 
December 28, 2011 5:52:41 AM

If future proofing is your main objective and you have the money (as your original budget would imply) then you probably want to take a look at LGA2011 and X79. 4-5 years is really a stretch for mainstream components. 1155 is a great platform and while it does have a clear upgrade path in Ivy Bridge I can't imagine it being relevant that far into the future.

If we look into the past 4 years can we find pcs that are still relevant today? We sure can. 1366 and X58 systems are still being used as a measuring stick for current systems. The mainstream choice of the day was p35/p45 and c2d and c2q chips. While it's still possible to squeeze life out of these, modern games like BF3, Civ5, Metro 2033, Shogun really bring the 'mainstream' chips of old to their knees. Meanwhile guys that invested in a 920 (x58) still have a ways to go before their rigs give up the ghost so to speak.

Just something to keep in mind.
Related resources
December 28, 2011 5:59:57 AM

That is quite interesting; thank you! I suppose I can afford the LGA2011 options, and you may be correct: that I should go that route for better future proofing. I'll definitely look into it! I couldn't find much on the Ivy Bridge; but, I suppose it will be available for both LGA sockets we're speaking of?
December 28, 2011 6:14:21 AM

GradMan10 said:
That is quite interesting; thank you! I suppose I can afford the LGA2011 options, and you may be correct: that I should go that route for better future proofing. I'll definitely look into it! I couldn't find much on the Ivy Bridge; but, I suppose it will be available for both LGA sockets we're speaking of?


It can be said with 99% certainty that LGA1155 will support Ivy Bridge. At this point it's all but given. Short of some last minute fiasco via Intel it will be the case.

LGA2011 on the other hand is less certain. There are reports that Ivy Bridge-E will be compatible with X79 but then again early reports also had Sandy Bridge being compatible with 1156 and we see how that turned out. If I had to guess I'd say that yes IB-E will be a LGA2011 cpu, but I cannot say with absolute certainty that this will be the case.

As far as Ivy Bridge and IB-e they are the die shrinks of the current cpus. There won't be architectural changes but smaller dies = less heat, less power draw and higher overclocks. There will also be new features like RDRAND and support for PCI-e 3.0 added (though it should be noted that LGA2011 cpus already support this even if it is currently unadvertised)
December 28, 2011 4:24:54 PM

That helps! Thank you, again.
February 4, 2012 4:47:58 PM

BUMP, please?

After much research, and deciding to build up from 0, instead of down from an arbitrary spending limit at 2500- Besides, much of it was ego-choices. I need more advice please? a4mula helped me realize some things:

At the end of the day, I want a kickass gaming system. Future-proofing is a silly notion, I now think. I'll upgrade GPU, and CPU as needed in the future (Ivy Bridge).

I've gone through so many build forums, component breakdowns, and new system setups it's dizzying! I still do not have a great consensus, though. A few components I am confident purchasing, others I would really like to hear some pros/cons for, and maybe some actual data discussioin by many of the experts on here. A compelling statement would help my decision making immensely. Raidden created an awesome post about PSUs that went a bit over my head (lost the link, sorry), so I need some good advice there.

This could have been a new post, but I thought the continuity would be appreciated by folks out there doing what I was for the last month or so. I hope this request isn't too buried to gain attention. Here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: Prefer this weekend. No later than 02/11/2012. (Tired of waiting!)

Budget Range: Flexible. 1800 Before Rebates. Less is better but more is acceptable given a compelling statement.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, distant second Netflix, music, stock watching. Eventually I'll add a bluray drive for movies. I want the ability to play any game at max visual settings. Diablo 3 and The Witcher 2, more specifically.

Parts Not Required: Samsung
23" Widescreen LED Monitor
2ms Response Time that I'll get from Costco http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=116492...|84|1680&N=4047243 4294967156&Mo=1&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=) " target="_blank">. Need everything else.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Where ever they are the least expensive. I'll use newegg here for simplicity.

Country: United States of America

Parts Preferences: Prefer nVidia cards.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution:1920x1080

Additional Comments: I still have the EVGA gtx550 Ti (fermi) 192-bit 2GB GDDR5. SLI or replace? I've built 4 3d design systems and a file server at work the last 2 weeks; even that research didn't lead to any conclusions! The decision is much more difficult when it is MY MONEY I'm spending. ;) 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Selected parts.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $229.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $29.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

MB: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $204.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B $49.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

OS HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLHX 150GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $139.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

Extra HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive refurbished $89.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

PSU: I think I need at least 610w, according to this. http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine " target="_blank"> I prefer a highly efficient model. Considering one of these, but am not beholden to them:

Thermaltake TPG-750M Toughpower Grand GOLD 750W ATX 12V V2.3 / EPS 12V 2.92 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $149.99 Clashes with my blue/black theme. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">
-OR-
SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $139.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Blue LED Fans-1x 230mm front fan, 1x 230mm top fan, 1x 230mm side fan, and 1x 140mm rear fan $169.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

GPU: I'm open to suggestions. Otherwise I'll SLI another of these EVGA 02G-P3-1559-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 $169.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

DVDRW: Probably the typical Asus drive for $20.

I hope to get help with the psu and gpu options. I prefer an efficient PSU, silver or better 80Plus. Don't worry about shipping or rebates, unless it significantly alters the prices. The total of these is $1,249.90, before shipping and rebates, with the thermaltake PSU and a copy of ESET combo-in with the MB. I'll pick up Win7 Home and the monitor for about $300. Oh, i'll be getting bluetooth kb and mouse, unless someone convinces me not to, as I'm pretty sure the MB has it onboard. Any additional advice or suggestions will be great and appreciated! Thanks ahead of time! :) 
February 4, 2012 4:54:28 PM

One more thing; newegg is offering some good combo deals on Cooler Master PSUs, combo w/the case. How do those PSUs measure up?
February 4, 2012 6:40:17 PM

GradMan10 said:
One more thing; newegg is offering some good combo deals on Cooler Master PSUs, combo w/the case. How do those PSUs measure up?

Skip the AX650 and that Thermaltake psu....you were better off imo with the PC&P 910 in your OP. Also Cooler Master psu's are nothing to recommend on here. Keep the 560ti you have for now until the new Nvidia cards come out so you can see how they match up with AMD's new 79xx cards. Also I don't see anything on there that utilizes hyper threading. You would go with a 2500K for now until Ivy Bridge comes out in April/May and then pick up a hyper threaded enabled cpu. That way you have the board, vid card, and cpu that enable PCI-E 3.0.

The suck part is nobody knows what the power draw on those Nvidia cards will be so it makes it tough to choose a psu atm. Going too big though is always better than going to small, especially if you want to leave the option open for dual vid cards in the future. Look at XFX, Corsair, OCZ, PC&P, Silverstone, Antec, Seasonic and Enermax psu's.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
February 5, 2012 4:03:22 PM

Why_Me said:

The suck part is nobody knows what the power draw on those Nvidia cards will be so it makes it tough to choose a psu atm. Going too big though is always better than going to small, especially if you want to leave the option open for dual vid cards in the future. Look at XFX, Corsair, OCZ, PC&P, Silverstone, Antec, Seasonic and Enermax psu's.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS


Why_Me, thank you for the advice and suggestions. That does help me decide some things. I suppose you're sayin the extra 25 bucks for the V PRO/GEN 3 isn't worth a couple extra sata III ports, 2x 1394, whatever (Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller ) is, and the better sound specs? Also, my vid card is the 550ti, which is funny cuz I always think it is the 560, too! I assume that your statement still applies, tho?

System changes:

Swapping boards as Why_Me suggested. Comboed with Win7 Home for total $15 off, excluding the $25 for swapping...

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">

this psu combos+ MIR card with a 450 GB VelociRaptor = $75 off...so I'm going that route. Dropped the additional HDD, as my current disk usage only totals about 110Gb on a 500Gb Barracuda (excluding ext. media drive). This drive dropped $/Gb by half (for 10k rpm).


RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... " target="_blank">


I'll get ESET separately (which I also learned doesn't have a separate 64-bit version).

Grand total through Newegg: $1149.68. MIR for PSU covers $19 shipping :) 

Thanks for the help a4mula and Why_Me!

I will wait til this evening for any last minute suggestions/comments.
February 5, 2012 4:26:42 PM

Also: Logitech MX 5500 Revolution Black Bluetooth Cordless Desktop Standard keyboard & Mouse Kit $99.99
!