First time PC build (gaming, game design, graphics work) update

Last summer I submitted a post to this forum looking for input and advice in selecting components to build a PC for the first time which you can view with the following link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&cat=31&post=314426&page=1&p=1&sondage=0&owntopic=1&trash=0&trash_post=0&print=0&numreponse=0&quote_only=0&new=0&nojs=0

I unfortunately was not able to finalize my components and complete this PC build within the summer. In addition, I was tied up with college work for the entire fall. This winter break is my last window of opportunity to at least get my components ordered before being forced to delay the build again until next summer. At this point I will forced to start over as a result of the new technologies that will be available at that time period. I again come here to ask for advice in being able to pick the right components.

Approximate Purchase Date: The spring semester begins on the 17th of January. I am hoping that I should be able to at least order my components within the few weeks leading up to the 17th

Budget Range: $2000 not including the monitor.

System Usage: Gaming (I must be able to run well the custom content creation tools that are included with many games), game design, graphic design (including Adobe CS applications such as Photoshop & Illustrator), 2D/3D animation, regular schoolwork, and general entertainment (music, films etc.).


Parts Not Required: Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Parts Preferences Intel for CPUs. I have no specific preference for the other components.

Overclocking: This may be a compelling project to try at some point in the future. The prospect of it happening though is unlikely.

SLI or Crossfire: I plan on starting with a single graphics card. The possibility of setting up multiple graphics cards down the road depends on if I can do this with a dedicated sound card occupying one of the PCI Express 1x slots.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200; I cannot go for a monitor bigger than 24in at this resolution as a consequence of budget restraints.

Additional Comments: The computer system that I am looking for must be able to comfortably play bleeding-edge games at rock solid frame rates and their complete visual glory. I need advice and suggestions in finding a monitor that is strong for both graphics work and gaming. I am concerned a certain tinting issue that affects the monitor I am learning towards potentially rendering it useless for serious graphics work . I ask for advice on keeping the temperature of the computer system (and its individual components) cool enough to ensure longevity. Not too much has changed with respect to my component selection since the last time I posted here on this forum. However, I am still hung up on finding a power supply despite having reading relevant articles on how to buy a power supply from both Computer Shopper and Tom's Hardware. I am also curious with respect to how much space on a SSD I should require. I plan on storing my OS, Microsoft Office and my content creation apps on the SSD. The mechanical hard drive will used to store my games and media files. My question is if I can use SSD caching to improve load times for my PC games stored on a mechanical hard drive. The reason why I am asking for a dedicated sound card is because of the fact that I have a Logitech z5500 digital speaker system. I personally prefer a Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 based graphics card but I am concerned about the performance of such a card in rendering apps compared to AMD's Radeon 6970. One of respondents in my previous post brought this to my attention. I am curious if anyone else here is aware of and can confirm of crippled open GL performance on Nvidia GeForce GPUs

Current component selection

CPU- Intel Core i7 2600k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

CPU Cooler- Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118074

Motherboard- ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe/GEN 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131791

RAM- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
(PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233147

Hard Drive- Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
3.5” Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

SSD- OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706

Optical Drive- ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Graphics Card- XFX Radeon 6970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150531

Sound Card- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102033

Case- NZXT Phantom (White Steel)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146067

OR
Corsair 600T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139007

Power Supply- ?

Monitor- Dell Ultrasharp U2410
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&sku=320-8277

Keyboard- RAZER Black Wired BlackWidow Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823114011

SteelSeries Ikari Laser
http://shop.steelseries.com/us/mice/steelseries-ikari-laser.html

Operating System- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116997
6 answers Last reply
More about first time build gaming game design graphics work update
  1. ^ bump ^
  2. I've used corsair PSUs for years without any problems, they are well built.
  3. Bumping threads is against forum rules.
  4. here's the list that i've compiled... take a look....

    cpu: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589
    Intel Core i5 2500K - $180

    mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $115 after rebate

    ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231461
    G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 - $47

    hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181011
    CORSAIR CAFA70 - $24 after rebate

    hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840
    Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB - $130

    ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249012
    Plextor PX-M2P Series PX-128M2P 2.5" 128GB - $200

    odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136236
    LG DVD Burner 24X GH24NS70 - $19

    psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703028
    PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W - $140 after rebate

    gpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130587
    EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 1536MB - $490 after rebate

    case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053
    Rosewill THOR V2 - $130


    total: $1475 after rebate excluding shipping...
  5. phenom90 said:
    here's the list that i've compiled... take a look....

    cpu: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589
    Intel Core i5 2500K - $180

    mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $115 after rebate

    ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231461
    G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 - $47

    hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181011
    CORSAIR CAFA70 - $24 after rebate

    hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840
    Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB - $130

    ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249012
    Plextor PX-M2P Series PX-128M2P 2.5" 128GB - $200

    odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136236
    LG DVD Burner 24X GH24NS70 - $19

    psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703028
    PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W - $140 after rebate

    gpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130587
    EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 1536MB - $490 after rebate

    case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053
    Rosewill THOR V2 - $130


    total: $1475 after rebate excluding shipping...


    I appreciate your hardware suggestions, as some of these (such as the mobo, and hdd) seem to be comparable to what I picked for less money. I do however, have several gripes with this list, the first being the CPU. I am quite aware that there is no benefit in game performance with any CPU above a Core i5 2500k. The reason why I am looking at the Core i7 2600k, is the needed performance boost provided in the productivity and content creation applications I will be running on this system. The RAM your suggesting has timings of 9-9-9-24 as opposed to 8-8-8-24. I would think that I would be better off with RAM that has lower timing, especially for content creation and productivity applications. Anyone can correct me, if I am wrong about the memory timings the RAM I pick should have.
  6. ok... so if you do feel that you need i7 2600k and lower timing memory then go ahead... because your budget allows to... also i didn't do those work with my pc... but still... i would stick to i5 2500k as i7 2600k will boost in those area... but not much to me...
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