Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[New Build] Gaming Price/Performance

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 4, 2012 3:23:33 AM

The hd on my laptop just crashed, and I was planning on making a home pc for a while now and it seems it has been rushed a bit. I can spend between 1000-1300 and know pretty much everything I want. My problem is deciding the motherboard and to make sure everything runs together without any problems. I have nothing on hand and will be building the entire computer from scratch.

Approximate Purchase Date: Planning on buying within the week

Budget Range: $1000-1300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, Movies

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 for price and compatability

Additional Comments: Relatively quiet and efficient rig

Case COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1

Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68

HD Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM

Wireless Adapter ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n

PSU CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Extra Fan COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AB-GP 200mm Blue LED Case Fan

Drive SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM

Cooling COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

Monitor Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED

Keyboard Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim

$1050

GPU
PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
Flashed into a 6970

Total $1290 Perfect

The case comes with a fan in the front and back, I plan on leaving the one in the back, moving the front to the side and adding the 200mm fan to the front and putting the radiator to the cpu cooler on top.

The plan is to have one GPU now and adding an SSD and second GPU in the future, so that is why I need a MB and PSU that is prepared for 2 GPUs.
January 4, 2012 3:31:52 AM

Everything looks great to me. I personally dislike AMD CPUs, but it should work I guess.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 3:53:39 AM

For the level of performance that your parts offer, you shouldn't pay more than ~$700 for it. Check my sig for what you should be getting for $1000. More in the region of i5 2500k + HD6970.
m
0
l
Related resources
January 4, 2012 4:51:19 AM

You're builds are great, but you do not include a PSU which adds to the price. My cost will include that and that of the monitor as well.

The CPU may have .3GHz less power per core, but at almost $100 under with more cache and the high chance of being able to unlock 1 or 2 more cores which turns the favor considerably, but even without that it is basically paying $100 more for .3GHz per core and the name Intel and I can't see the value in that.

The cost of what I have includes the PSU and does not have the MB priced in, but the price of your 1k build comes close to the same, the difference being the CPU price, the GPU price although a good quality upgrade, and the cost of the MB. I didn't want to sacrifice MS support, so instead of the OEM version of Windows 7 Home, mine also included the full version adding $80, but I may get the OEM anyways since Windows 8 is on the horizon and that will help shave some cost now. Also you shave some cost at sacrificing Blue-ray playback, which I cannot since I will be also using this for movie watching.

Since I still need a MB and a monitor and both will probably cost 125ish, I do still need to cut some cost off of my build, but adding the quality pieces that you have chosen on yours will not help, seeing as the PSU is not included.

Comparing our two builds there is not a great deal of difference besides the huge cost increase of the CPU for minimal upgrade besides name, the huge cost increase for a better quality GPU that is understandable, and the lack of a PSU, which is the only reason my price looks high for the quality on my end.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:04:18 AM

The build is good, but here are some suggestions...

For your budget...
Intel i5-2500K
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W
RAM, HDD, GPU, and case are good
ODD is fine if you want BluRay 3D, if not get SAMSUNG SH-B123L http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS only needs to be... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Check out frostytech.com for a better CPU Cooler...I would go with a Hyper 212 EVO or something a lot less expensive. I think the H60 is pretty loud too at times. The cooler is going to take a lot of research to find something that is quiet yet a decent performer. Thermalright Archon is another good one...

Look into getting an SSD, like the Crucial m4 128GB instead of getting 2 GPUs for CrossfireX or SLI. Only get 1 GPU for now and then later add in a second for an awesome upgrade later on down the road.

Check out the GTX 560Ti if your budget can allow it...

I would look into a PCIexpress wireless card, something like the ASUS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Here the important thing is 300Mbps and PCIe will probably allow for future SLI or CrossfireX(not get in the way of the GPUs)

If done correctly, I think you can hit $1300.

Be sure to post your final build so we can give it a final check over before you buy it.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:15:41 AM

altaeir said:
The CPU may have .3GHz less power per core, but at almost $100 under with more cache and the high chance of being able to unlock 1 or 2 more cores which turns the favor considerably, but even without that it is basically paying $100 more for .3GHz per core and the name Intel and I can't see the value in that.


Check some reviews and bench test...you are buying a much more than just .3GHz per core and the intel name...

altaeir said:
I didn't want to sacrifice MS support, so instead of the OEM version of Windows 7 Home, mine also included the full version adding $80, but I may get the OEM anyways since Windows 8 is on the horizon and that will help shave some cost now.


MS support? Is it really worth $80...

Do you still need a monitor? I would look at an ASUS 22in LED Backlight one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Ive got 2 of those and am quite impressed especially for the price.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:17:31 AM

The PSU and OEM OS is a good point to save, since Windows 8 will be coming out soon and I don't need that much support for it, since that is what you sacrifice OEM. The i5-2500 is a $100 price increase for a small upgrade in GHz, while lacking the chance at the extra cores which makes the value of the CPU I chose a lot higher than just cost. Also, I was not planning on getting 2 GPUs at this moment, but did want to plan for the second one. The SSD is also something I want to wait for right now, but is also one of the future things that I want.

Your recommendation of changing the CPU means the MB you chose works only with Intel, so doesn't help me if I am not changing the CPU, which for the value of the price and chance at the cores seems like a costly move. Also the MB you chose is currently out of stock, so even if I were to change the CPU, the MB is unavailable.

Without knowing where I can cut costs, until I decide on the actual MB and CPU, I cannot look into getting a better single GPU.



Thanks for the response to my last message, too. You took into consideration my qualms. But in saving from the PSU and the OS, the increase in the cost of the CPU will offset that.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:21:17 AM

altaeir said:
You're builds are great, but you do not include a PSU which adds to the price. My cost will include that and that of the monitor as well.

The CPU may have .3GHz less power per core, but at almost $100 under with more cache and the high chance of being able to unlock 1 or 2 more cores which turns the favor considerably, but even without that it is basically paying $100 more for .3GHz per core and the name Intel and I can't see the value in that.

The cost of what I have includes the PSU and does not have the MB priced in, but the price of your 1k build comes close to the same, the difference being the CPU price, the GPU price although a good quality upgrade, and the cost of the MB. I didn't want to sacrifice MS support, so instead of the OEM version of Windows 7 Home, mine also included the full version adding $80, but I may get the OEM anyways since Windows 8 is on the horizon and that will help shave some cost now. Also you shave some cost at sacrificing Blue-ray playback, which I cannot since I will be also using this for movie watching.

Since I still need a MB and a monitor and both will probably cost 125ish, I do still need to cut some cost off of my build, but adding the quality pieces that you have chosen on yours will not help, seeing as the PSU is not included.

Comparing our two builds there is not a great deal of difference besides the huge cost increase of the CPU for minimal upgrade besides name, the huge cost increase for a better quality GPU that is understandable, and the lack of a PSU, which is the only reason my price looks high for the quality on my end.


No PSU? It has a Antec EArthwatts 650W. The extra $100 paid on the CPU does infact make a big enough difference to warrant the price. You only need to take a look at any of the benchmarks to confirm that. My build + monitor + blue ray drive will cost $1200, and easily rape a 960T + HD6870 setup.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:27:44 AM

I completely missed that when I saw it, thanks for pointing that out. The recommendation of delirious was 80plus certified at not much higher cost than yours with the same specs, but is comparable.

Lowering the price of the OS, cooling, and PSU will make it possible to increase the cost of the CPU, but I am still not quite sure with the monitor and blue-ray if I can afford a better GPU.

All in all, the MB that both of you recommend is currently out of stock.


Now that I look at it, I think the Amazon add was covering it at the time, as the ad covers others when I reload the page. Kind of annoying, but I understand how that works.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:34:17 AM

altaeir said:
The PSU and OEM OS is a good point to save, since Windows 8 will be coming out soon and I don't need that much support for it, since that is what you sacrifice OEM. The i5-2500 is a $100 price increase for a small upgrade in GHz, while lacking the chance at the extra cores which makes the value of the CPU I chose a lot higher than just cost. Also, I was not planning on getting 2 GPUs at this moment, but did want to plan for the second one. The SSD is also something I want to wait for right now, but is also one of the future things that I want.

Your recommendation of changing the CPU means the MB you chose works only with Intel, so doesn't help me if I am not changing the CPU, which for the value of the price and chance at the cores seems like a costly move. Also the MB you chose is currently out of stock, so even if I were to change the CPU, the MB is unavailable.

Without knowing where I can cut costs, until I decide on the actual MB and CPU, I cannot look into getting a better single GPU.



Thanks for the response to my last message, too. You took into consideration my qualms. But in saving from the PSU and the OS, the increase in the cost of the CPU will offset that.


I prefer AMD in every budget build I recommend, and have several times defended them. Even if given slightly less performance, I will take AMD.

Get the i5 2500k. It does not just perform a little better, it rolls AMD in a carpet and kicks it down a hill.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=185

The 1075t is what your Zosma could only hope to be. I don't give benchmarks a lot of merit but when there's a consistent large difference like that?

Even if it means overspending or going with a lesser GPU, for the kind of budget you're spending, you need this kind of CPU power. An SLI/Crossfire would be wasted on a budget CPU.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:44:23 AM

Yeah his site and the ads are annoying(he is just trying to make some money from you clicking on the ads...annoying)...his build is decent...for $1000 you should be able to get an SSD and an 80 PLUS Certified Bronze PSU. Dont worry about trying to get a 6950. A 6870 will do just fine and once you add a second one it will be even better. If you cant get the SSD now, oh well, but definitely look later down the road in SSDs for a huge speed boost in boot time and loading apps time. Or maybe get the Crucial m4 64GB SSD?
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:47:06 AM

Quote:
Everyone keeps saying i5-2500k, but it seems the only difference between i5-2500k and i5-2500 is $10 and a better integrated GPU, which doesn't seem to make a difference when you are adding a GPU, so I'm assuming saving the $10 is a sure thing.


The K means "unlocked", which means you can overclock the CPU. Get the 2500K if you are going to overclock.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:47:16 AM

Quote:
Everyone keeps saying i5-2500k, but it seems the only difference between i5-2500k and i5-2500 is $10 and a better integrated GPU, which doesn't seem to make a difference when you are adding a GPU, so I'm assuming saving the $10 is a sure thing.

Also, I'd like a response on an alternate MB since the one everyone is talking about is oos.


K models are overclockable. If you aren't overclocking, a 2400 would be slightly cheaper.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 5:50:21 AM

Thanks for the explanation of the k.

I would still like an alternative to the MB since the one everyone is recommending is oos.


Also, again I would like to ask. Is the 750W PSU enough for when I get 2 GPUs or should I go with a lower PSU to save on initial cost and get a higher PSU when I get the second GPU. And if so, how much will I need and what can I use now?
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 6:00:29 AM

Yes, 750W is good enough.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 6:03:42 AM

altaeir said:
Also, again I would like to ask. Is the 750W PSU enough for when I get 2 GPUs or should I go with a lower PSU to save on initial cost and get a higher PSU when I get the second GPU. And if so, how much will I need and what can I use now?

You need ~500w PSU for a single GPU and then ~700w for a second GPU, so yes the 750w will be good enough for 2 6870s. For 6870s, you could possibly got down to a 700w to save some money, but the Corsair TX750 is a just a solid PSU. Personally, I would just buy the 750w PSU now...
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 6:04:52 AM

Delirious788 said:
Yeah, I was looking at other MBs around $125, and it is hard to say...possibly... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
then http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this is though sticking with a Z68 MB which maybe it may be worth checking out the P67 or H67


From what I understand, Z68 if he's going to overclock.

If there's no overclock, the mobo could be cheaper as well.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 7:20:29 AM

Delirious788 said:
Yeah his site and the ads are annoying(he is just trying to make some money from you clicking on the ads...annoying)

I'm sorry you think that but that's not how it works :( . I earn nothing by you visiting my blog or clicking the links (try the blogger T&C's, pay-per-click advertising is not allowed). I just use them for upto-date pricing, so that I don't have to update every few hours.

Also, the EA650 is 80+ Bronze certified. Just trying to point out that Corsair isn't the only brand that makes quality PSU's.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 8:34:16 AM

HAF 912
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Gigabyte GTX560Ti X2 SLI
PC Power & Cooling 760W 80Plus Silver
Intel Core i5 2400
Patriot Signature 8GB DDR3 1600
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR)
LG DVD Burner
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM


Total before shipping:1330.45

I built a rig similar to this not to long ago (except the on I built had an i7 2600k) But you will still get plenty of performance out of that CPU. This GPU set up will handle ANYTHING you want to play at the resolution 1920X1080 with ALL the bells and whistles on. Maybe not completely maxed out on some games but at least 8xAA and full AF. I don't know if you can stretch your budget to make that work but if I where you I'd really try to because you would not be disappointed with this rig. Some people might try to say that the power supply isn't enough for this set up but trust me it will work fine I'm using a very similar NZXT Hale 90 750 and I've never had a problem due to the fact of the single 12V rail design which the PC power & cooling also uses with 62A on that rail. ohhhh I forgot a wireless adapter if you need one I'll let you look that up! lol :) 
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 11:03:52 AM



That is a great setup! Take out one of the 560Ti, add in your BluRay drive, wireless card, and make it a i5-2500K to overclock with like <$40 CPU cooler. Then upgrade the GPU to a faster 560Ti(like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), and you should come right in at $1300, and now for future upgrades you add another 560Ti and an SSD and you will have an awesome pc.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 12:59:24 PM

Delirious788 said:
That is a great setup! Take out one of the 560Ti, add in your BluRay drive, wireless card, and make it a i5-2500K to overclock with like <$40 CPU cooler. Then upgrade the GPU to a faster 560Ti(like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), and you should come right in at $1300, and now for future upgrades you add another 560Ti and an SSD and you will have an awesome pc.


Unless the OP is dead set on overclocking now I wouldn't change a thing.The only part that I would wait and throw in later is an SSD because they are just soooo exspensive that the OP would have to sacrifice FPS/eyecandy for storage capacity and that's not something I would ever do. To me the SSD could wait until I could afford to get one the right speed/capacity for me. If the OP really wants to save a little in the pocket and invest elsewhere I would exchange the 560Ti's for 2 of these:
HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 =149.99

And he would still have a great system with an extra 120 bucks to sink into an SSD or blue ray player. @ the OP: Do you really need blue ray? If so then do you really need a burner? You can save about 20 or 30 bucks if you just get a blue ray ROM drive to just watch movies with. Unless you are planing on using it to actually write to blank media, to me blue ray is still to expensive to be using for entertainment media.

And here's a link to the Cheapest "good rated" SSD that I could find:
Patriot Torqx 2 PT264GS25SSDR 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive

m
0
l
January 4, 2012 3:04:12 PM

twstd1 said:
Unless the OP is dead set on overclocking now I wouldn't change a thing.The only part that I would wait and throw in later is an SSD because they are just soooo exspensive that the OP would have to sacrifice FPS/eyecandy for storage capacity and that's not something I would ever do. To me the SSD could wait until I could afford to get one the right speed/capacity for me.

I said for an SSD to be a later investment too. FYI, it is really FPS/eyecandy vs boot times/load times, not storage capacity.

He wants BluRay(probably doesnt need the burner part but I have suggested the cheap nonburner ROM), needs wireless card, and might overclock. I was just offering a way for him to still get that and to be under budget. Taking out a GPU for a later upgrade is probably one of the better options. I dont see why to have a need for a build starting out with CrossfireX or SLI, unles multiple monitors. CrossfireX and SLI create a lot of problems and are not the most stable thing. IMO, your best investment is a single better card to allow for cheaper future upgrade options. Your build is roughly what I said in an earlier post, just wait on the second 560Ti to still fit in budget and honestly, a single 560Ti is a beast.
m
0
l
January 4, 2012 10:13:14 PM

Delirious788 said:
I said for an SSD to be a later investment too. FYI, it is really FPS/eyecandy vs boot times/load times, not storage capacity.

He wants BluRay(probably doesnt need the burner part but I have suggested the cheap nonburner ROM), needs wireless card, and might overclock. I was just offering a way for him to still get that and to be under budget. Taking out a GPU for a later upgrade is probably one of the better options. I dont see why to have a need for a build starting out with CrossfireX or SLI, unles multiple monitors. CrossfireX and SLI create a lot of problems and are not the most stable thing. IMO, your best investment is a single better card to allow for cheaper future upgrade options. Your build is roughly what I said in an earlier post, just wait on the second 560Ti to still fit in budget and honestly, a single 560Ti is a beast.


Hey man I need to start out saying that I didn't mean to come off sounding like an a-hole, I was half asleep when I typed that, so sorry about that! Also I meant to say thanks for liking the build I threw together. I really don't agree with the statement "FYI, it is really FPS/eyecandy vs boot times/load times, not storage capacity." because even though your going to get a huge increase in speed from the SSD over an HDD it still comes down to how much GB/$ your getting to me. At the same price as that seagate HDD your only going to get about 60-64GB which isn't justifiable to to me because your going to lose 440-436GB, and that's just crazy to drop that much storage for faster performance, but like you said if he dropped one of the 560's he could add everything he needs and still be okay. He would in fact drop a lot of performance at that resolution though. Also I've built both SLI and Crossfire rigs and never had a problem with either. Both of the cards I've suggested have been out for long enough to have a huge support base and lots of driver updates. I would like to say though that the 560Ti(SLI) build I put together has been used for about eight months now and not a single problem. I must be one of the lucky ones I guess, and I'm happy for that if that's the case! In Alien Vs Predators a stock 560Ti only pulls about 33FPS @ 1920 X 1080 with 8XAA and 16XAF average and to me that's not that good. While the SLI setup pulls over 60FPS at the same settings.
Toms VGA charts
So I really can't agree with sacrificing that much performance at that resolution. I know that's only one bench mark but it's shows that he'll need that second card to get the eyecandy he wants at that resolution.
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 2:34:39 AM

Case COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1

Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68

HD Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM

Wireless Adapter ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n

PSU CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Extra Fan COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AB-GP 200mm Blue LED Case Fan

Drive SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM

Cooling COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

Monitor Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED

Keyboard Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim

$1065

GPU
GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
XFX HD-687A-CDFC Radeon HD 6870 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5

There seems to still be a lot of competition with the GPU, talking about upgrading it, waiting, or getting 2 right off the bat. I would rather get 1 now and get another one later when I can afford it and the SSD which I do not plan getting now.

Cutting down some of the other pieces has added a lot of leeway with the quality, allowing the high-end CPU and the option of the higher GPU. I do need to keep it actually under $1300, since with the tax it cannot go a penny over $1400.

Many of these GPUs will push the bucket, but when people were saying to go with a higher GPU, I started seeing the 2GB RAM GPUs on the radar and was wondering if such a transition would be worth it. I would rather not go over 1300 still, but I might be able to pull with reason or if I could cut some costs on the other decided pieces.

I appreciate all of the help so far, definitely with the obvious price cuts of the OEM OS, smaller HD, I also did not notice the Bluray player had Blueray burning which isn't necessary at this moment, and more reasonable PSU which is probably one piece that can still have the price lowered. With the CPU and GPU being at the quality they are now, I am not susceptible in reducing the cooling though.

The only way to pull one of the higher-end GPUs seem to be in the PSU and the monitor, so everyone's feedback is still greatly appreciated. I hoped to get this sooner, but waiting a day or 2 for a very well educated decision is always the better option.

So far the input has been very helpful and appreciated.
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 5:52:51 AM

Updated first post with newly decided parts.

Can't find a good PSU at 700+ at a lower price and having difficulty deciding on a monitor. Perhaps http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but that is only based on the price, I'm not sure what I need to look for past screen size and 1080 resolution.

Don't really know how much upgrading the GPU really does, and if getting a 2GB one is a significant upgrade or not. I am not familiar understanding comparisons with different cards and brands.
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 7:12:56 AM

altaeir said:
Updated first post with newly decided parts.

Can't find a good PSU at 700+ at a lower price and having difficulty deciding on a monitor. Perhaps http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but that is only based on the price, I'm not sure what I need to look for past screen size and 1080 resolution.

Don't really know how much upgrading the GPU really does, and if getting a 2GB one is a significant upgrade or not. I am not familiar understanding comparisons with different cards and brands.


For moving watching alone I would go with the asus monitor but also for power consumption since the asus is LED back lit and the Hannspree is CCFL I believe. At the resolution your going to be playing at a 2GB model card will not perform any different than a 1GB card. Those cards are made to perform at much higher resolutions/multi-display setups. I would go with the the windforce gigabyte 560Ti ($209) simply because of the cheap price and it performs on par with the HD 6950 in most if not all games. You really won't need that big of a power supply if your only going with one card but you can just drop in the second card when you can get it. Oh while I'm thinking about it you could get two of those 200mm fans and put one in the front of the case and then throw the one that's already in the front to the side (since it doesn't come with a side fan). One more thing is the hard dive since you've cut a little here and there I would now suggest this:

HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721010DLE630 (0F13180) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

It's only 35 bucks more than the one you have and twice the capacity. From what I've read it's also supposed to be pretty fast since it only has one drive platter. I guess it's the first drive to have a 1TB size drive platter. Oh yea and also have you checked into whether or not you'll have to pay tax? I live in florida and did not have to pay any tax for my purchase because I guess there is no law about charging tax on online purchases in quite a few states. Just a heads up because that would free up a little more of your money to be spent on you! lol.
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 8:33:33 AM

Since the 2GB GPU would not make much of a difference at the resolution and without multi-monitors, I heard that with a firmware update, the 6950 2GB can actually be firmware updated into a 6970 1GB. And if the plan was to double up and increase graphics quality and maybe multimonitor in the future, wouldn't 2 6970 1 GB cards at reduced price make a great deal? I also heard that when considering crossfire, the 6950 2GB is "a force to be reckoned with".
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 9:30:42 AM

I don't know what the chances are for a successful flash from a 6950 to a 6970 and I don't think it would take 1GB of video memory away, but anything is possible. I can't really comment on that but i can say that two of the 2GB cards do seem to beat out dual 560Ti's in most benchmarks but not by enough to warrant 30 more bucks IMHO. I would save the money and overclock the 560's because I know they can take it (well I can't say for sure how yours would perform) and then some. The chance to turn the 6950 into a 6970 would be huge if it were reliable but I don't believe those things are ever a safe bet. It's really all up to chance from what I've read. I do know that some of the 6950's come with a bios switch so if you do try flashing and fail you can just flip the switch and it'll be back to normal so I would suggest looking into a model with that on it you decide to go that route.
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 12:13:06 PM

PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5

This card is looking promising at the price and appears to be unlockable according to the reviews and fits within the budget. This is looking to be what I use and completes the build.

Going with the better card means the 750W PSU is not going to cut it, so am trimming down to the 650W PSU for now and will have to upgrade to a 1000W PSU when I get the second GPU.

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650
m
0
l
January 5, 2012 9:08:30 PM

You can run two 6950's on a 750 Watt PSU just fine as long as it's 80 plus silver or higher. The unit I suggested has a single 12 volt rail with 62A which is plenty. You can also go back to a 500Watt unit for just a single card and upgrade later if that's what you want to do.
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

That unit is only 59.99 and it will handle that power color card just fine and save you a few more bucks. It doesn't come with a power cable which is it's only draw back but you can pick one up for 3-5 bucks and still be cheaper than the corsair model you've listed. Here's a 15ft Belkin cord for $4:
Belkin 15 ft. PRO Series AC Power

They have cheaper ones but they are only about 6ft which would be fine for most people.
m
0
l
!