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First Time Build/Bottom-Up/Upgradability/~$1300

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next few weeks. Basically once I feel comfortable enough that I understand the parts and how to put them together.

Budget Range: Self imposed budget of around $1300. I have some give in this area, always looking for a bargain though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: I would like to think that I won't play any games on this since I was given an xbox 360 not too long ago, but lets be real. This should be able to handle at least mid ranged gaming, and maybe the higher end stuff on lower settings. Will be using this for Word, Excel, ect. too.

Parts Not Required: Pretty much all parts required. Can do without a separate sound card and depending on the monitor, speakers might not be required either.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Open to anything, but prefer reliability and good return policy. Tigerdirect, newegg, amazon (I have a prime account). Also this store is a possibility for purchasing components in person.

Country: Waco, Texas area

Parts Preferences: Intel, going full tower for ease of construction on my first build and for upgrade capacity in the future.

Overclocking: Yes? As you'll see in the parts I've chosen, I went with the OC ability. It's something I would like to know how to do and I think will allow me to save a bit on parts knowing I can OC to that next level.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, MOBO I picked is capable of both. Again, looking to the future.

Monitor Resolution: Not sure what to do about a monitor. I even might consider this outside the budget of the PC build. This will also be my TV; so I'm not sure if I should get a high end monitor or low end TV. It should be able to hook up to the xbox360 and have HDMI capabilities.

Additional Comments: This doesnt have to be great, simply good would be fine for now. I don't want to buy fancy parts on my first build and then screw something up. Will be running Windows 7 (64 bit).

Parts
I have some selected. Some I have an idea. Some I have no clue. All of these are open to suggestions.

MOBO $140
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel Z68 Chipset, 2133MHz DDR3, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 7.1-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, CrossFireX/SLI Ready

CPU $220
Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500 Unlocked Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.70 GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 95W, Fan, Retail Should I buy thermal paste or is that included?

Hard Drive $120
Western Digital WD5002AALX Caviar Black Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200 RPM, 32MB
Would a SSD really be worth it for me? Having a hard time justifying it with only mid level gaming.

Blu Ray Burner $115
Lite-On iHBS212-08 12X Internal Blu-Ray Writer - BD-R SL 12X, BD-R DL 8X, BD-RE SL/DL 2X, DVD±R 16X, DVD-RAM 12X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, CD-R/RW 48X, LightScribe, Black
Looking to make this one time purchase to cover all my CD, DVD, BD needs from now till the next new revolution in disks comes out. I see this as my only external CD component, feel free to correct me if that is wrong.

My narrowed down list of Video Cards The 'Yes' is for the OverClocked option. Not sure if I need an OC video card to really OC it. I would like to have HDMI quality from my computer. I see there is an HDMI output option but I'm not sure what that means, or if I even need that for HDMI since there is an HDMI port on the MOBO above. Also, should I go double VC, or do that later? MOBO is SLI capable.

Roughly narrowed RAM selection All I know is that the MOBO supports DDR3 and its 240 pin. It can handle 32GB, has 4 slots and can do a max of 8GB per slot. I'm not really sure about memory modules, channels, or sockets so I just stopped there.

Need help with cases. I like the vented sides but that's probably just because I'm coming off an Alienware thermal bomb of a laptop and want lots of nice airflow. Would like a Full Tower for ease of construction and airflow, also potential to upgrade. Am I going to need to buy extra fans? Also I was toying with the idea of water cooling but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Might not even need it with such a big case.

I'm not sure about the MOBO having a built in wireless card but if not then that is definitely something I will need.

I'm waiting to see parts suggested and more of a final product before I focus on PSU. Makes no sense to guess at Wattage. Will be going 80 PLUS at the very least.

I'll work on keyboard & mouse and throw that in later, I'd rather have help on the above items.

Main concerns are that I have the right connections. I just don't want to get all my parts together and realize that part X has no place to go. Also I don't like a lot of wasted power, I don't want something running slowly because another part I bought can't keep up.

Thanks for all the help in advance, this site has been an invaluable tool in getting me started. All these guides and articles are great!
59 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first time build bottom upgradability 1300
  1. On second thought, Might do an SSD for Windows 7 and office, ect. Anyone have experience with HDD/SSD hybrids?
  2. If you are looking for a cheap good case with great airflow, go coolermaster storm scout, looks great and boasts 3 large fans in a big setup.. Although if you are looking for better cable routing abillities, corsair cases work better( but no preinstalled led fans)

    Also if i may say so, blue ray burners tend to be useless... Unless u are using this as you sole media player, a blue ray player for your tv is a better option.. Ive just never been able to justify more than $100 on a $20 part. But its all prefrence...

    This build also seems to be a little pricey, i build a computer that runs ultras on all modern games for around $900... Then again i went with the AMD FX 8 core black edition @3.4 ghz for $200.. Ive always gone amd over intel, intel is just too pricey. For example the 8core in my build benchmarks way higher than your i5, and costs $20 less; however it is all preference

    Last remarks: if you are planning on crossfire, do it now or you will never do it, or youll have to buy 2 new cards since the one u had is no longer available...
  3. Wmharris96 said:
    If you are looking for a cheap good case with great airflow, go coolermaster storm scout, looks great and boasts 3 large fans in a big setup.. Although if you are looking for better cable routing abillities, corsair cases work better( but no preinstalled led fans)

    Also if i may say so, blue ray burners tend to be useless... Unless u are using this as you sole media player, a blue ray player for your tv is a better option.. Ive just never been able to justify more than $100 on a $20 part. But its all prefrence...

    This build also seems to be a little pricey, i build a computer that runs ultras on all modern games for around $900... Then again i went with the AMD FX 8 core black edition @3.4 ghz for $200.. Ive always gone amd over intel, intel is just too pricey. For example the 8core in my build benchmarks way higher than your i5, and costs $20 less; however it is all preference

    Last remarks: if you are planning on crossfire, do it now or you will never do it, or youll have to buy 2 new cards since the one u had is no longer available...


    Thanks for the case advice, I like the scout but am not a fan of the led.

    I really don't have any experience with blu ray burners. I just figured that it could do everything I needed as far as a CD goes. I actually don't own any Blue Ray movies but I would occasionally burn something that might take more than the average CD or DVD. This is something I would consider paying less in.

    I'm just not used to AMD stuff, this is my first build anyway so I'm not exactly familiar with either, but I just felt a little more comfortable with intel. Also I wasn't too impressed with the new AMD bulldozer stuff so I took that to mean intel would be stronger in the next few years.
  4. Intel does boast better processors, but only at the high end, i.e when youre looking for a $350+ cpu, then go intel.
    If i can find the benchmark comparison ill post it here. The only processers faster for gaming than the fx 8 core are the high end i7's
    Also, the scout has a button on the face to turn the leds on and off, and a clear side case to show off parts

    Blue ray is a personal choice. If you have the money and think youll use it, by all means

    As far as gpu's, nvidia or amd?
  5. Sorry but some of your advice is horrible, please don't listen to him. An i5 benchmarks way higher than the FX 8 core. The i5 does way better than the FX with half the cores. You won't have to buy two new cards if you CF or SLI because you can use different brands of cards just the same processor in the card. Example you can crossfire two 6870 one ASUS the other Sapphire, the cards just have to be set at the same clock for memory and the core clock, you can't crossfire a 6850 and a 6870. If you don't like flashy cased but want a good case look at this one. Please if you don't know what your talking about don't respond.

    Case- Depending on the style you like consider these. You can spend much more but on your budget it seems absurd to do that.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811553002 $95
    The cougar case does have USB 3.0
    Also if you get the Cougar case I would also consider adding more case fans. It comes with two and can support seven but I would only install four more. Three 120 mm and one 140 mm, the stock cooling is good but this makes it much better.
    120- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553001
    140- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553003

    GPU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127578
    This is the best stock one but should still overclock more. Others would be these.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050001312%2040000048%20600094002%20600107147&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&CompareItemList=48%7C14-127-594%5E14-127-594-TS%2C14-127-565%5E14-127-565-TS%2C14-127-578%5E14-127-578-TS%2C14-127-608%5E14-127-608-TS

    CPU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    proof that its the better model- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bulldozer-990fx,3043.html You can overclock this model if you ever want.

    CPU Cooler- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065
    This should be fine for the overclocking you will don and comes with thermal paste.

    PSU- Both of these are good PSU and modular only difference is that one has a rebate to make it cheaper, so comes down to your to pick.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341041
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371049

    Motherboard- I only look at these brands, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock.


    Memory-

    HDD- Depending on how much space you need I would get one of these two. SSD's still have some reliability problems and are very small (240GB) for these prices. The first has lower capacity but a much faster speed while the second one isn't slow but has a much higher capacity. You can pick up the first faster one in 600GB version for only a little more and its listed in bottom link.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136557
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136793

    Optical Drive- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135252
    I like the option to get a blue ray burner. If you want to make your on blue ray disks for any reason, such as home video you can, and it plays blue ray disks if you plan on connecting it to your TV so you don't have to buy a blue ray player.

    OS- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

    For a monitor and a TV I would just get a TV for about $600-700. Such as one of these.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889005260
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889253280
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889262064
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889005209

    I would put all of the parts into this website to see where they are the best price.
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3wmd
  6. Thanks for the different opinion. The CPU link you gave is the for the same product I have linked too, correct? As for cases, your choices were good, I'd say the $95 one was more my style. Not looking for flashy but I can deal with it. I'm also looking for 3.0 USB on my cases, but maybe that is a misguided thought? Just didn't want to be getting 2.0 when 3.0 is out there.

    I like your choice of burner over mine but will check out reviews...in the morning too lol
  7. Benchmarks pulled from a graph at Hot hardware using pc mark 7 on entertainment
    Fx 8 core scored a 3480
    Intel i5 scored a 2956 (sandybridge model)
    And the i7 blew both away with a 3734 (not the 2600k however)

    My advice is not "horrible" its actually grounded in tests. I will concede that the intel processors are generally a lot better, but the cost difference between the two sways me to AMD

    And i had trouble mixing an xfi and a his card before.. I fixed it eventually, but it took some work, both hd6950 cards
  8. Updated Parts:

    GPU

    HDD

    SSD

    Case

    CPU

    MOBO

    Blu Ray Burner

    Still looking for a wireless card, keyboard/mouse, RAM, monitor, and PSU when the rest is done.
  9. Good possibility for my RAM. CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB).
  10. Corsair mem is solid. Im using that in one of my rigs.

    As far as psu, if ur looking to have a highly upgradeable rig, go big on the psu, and never skimp to shave money here, that will be the death of your rig! A bad psu can destroy your computer
  11. Yeah that's what I'm looking to do, something 80 PLUS and maybe a few hundred over my actual requirements so I don't have to get a new one once I upgrade.
  12. Would get one of these three memory kits if I was you. Some are the same speed just different heat skins, so personal opinion, but speed is increasing as list goes down.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231455
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231460
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231519
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468
    I only look at memory that is 1.5v and speed the timings don't make much of a difference for how much more expensive they are.

    The PSU I listed are all solid and will handle SLI (2) 560 Ti
    Actual requirements after upgrades are about 520w. I use this because its one of the most accurate PSU calculators. http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    Sorry still finishing my list from earlier post.
  13. I was reading reviews that the Corsair ones I linked had flimsy heat sinks, these prices are competitive so I might go with GSkill after all. Thanks for the links, very helpful.
  14. Corsair brand is way better than cooler master.
  15. Agreed, put the link up but I all ready decided I didn't like it. Short term memory. Sometimes I get so hungry that I
  16. Only brands I look at for PSU are these Corsair, Antec, OCZ, XFX, PC Power & Cooling, Enermax (only higher end modles), SeaSonic and Silverstone.
  17. Ocz has great stabillity and since all their volts are on a single rail for even distribution.

    Although other brands do this too. And i suggest fully modular, at least.
  18. Depending on graphics, go for the Corsair 850 w modular, should fully handle 2x560ti in SLI :D
  19. Drunkenmunkey said:
    Depending on graphics, go for the Corsair 850 w modular, should fully handle 2x560ti in SLI :D


    850 is a good idea. Maybe more, but i know my 750w cant handle xfire with 2 6950s

    At this point, use a psu calc. Newegg has one, but its really general; its numbers will work, but it might be off by 25w in either direction, so play it safe
  20. Best answer
    This is one of the most accurate PSU calculators and says you only need 520w to run two 560Ti and your processor overclocked to use 130w. That is why I wouldn't spend the extra money to get a 850w PSU but instead just a 750w PSU, doing this will save you enough money to get a modular PSU. (If anyone bothers to actually read before jumping in I already went through this) http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    I wouldn't get that 460 but spend more on the 560 Ti its a worthy upgrade so you will have the power when you want to play games on higher setting and it scales well when you SLI it it is only 10% worse than two 580's for $500 cheaper (1/2 the price).
  21. Does the psu calc account for mobo, ram, optical drive, hdd and case fan power usage?

    It seems odd that my single gpu setup and amd cpu rig pulls about 580 watts, and this dual setup pulls less.
    I know my tech is more recent, but still. Interesting
  22. Yep that PSU calculator ( http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp ) does account for those things, if you use the newegg one you will be way off though along with some others.
  23. I've been hunting for another videocard, I knew that 460 was too much of a low ball. $100 extra for the 560ti is a little painful but should be worth it. Build as of today, minus monitor and wifi card. Not sure if I want to hook it up to the motherboard or just get a USB version. What do you guys use? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3BKT
  24. The 2 GB card isn't needed it will be faster to just got this one it is stock overclocked and has the best potential overclock if you want to overclock it even more.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127578
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n560gtxtihawk
    Personally I would bother getting a SSD rather just get a Caviar Black or even a VelociRaptor drive.
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd2002faex
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd1502faex
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd1002faex
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd7502aaex
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd4500hlhx
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd3000hlhx

    Besides that it looks good, although you don't need a separate CD/DVD drive. The blue ray drive does the same thing, would rather save the $20 if it were me.

    Lastly I wouldn't want to spend that much on a PSU when you can get this one that is better (personal opinion) and cheaper. These are all links to the same PSU
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ocz-power-supply-oczzx850w
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341044
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0356836
    Or another option slightly cheaper is this
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/silverstone-power-supply-st75fg
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GGUASQ/?tag=pcpapi-20
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256066

    For monitor do you plan on buying that now? I would get an ASUS if I were you.
    I see that the pc part picker website helped.
  25. Just wanted to pop in here in reference to choosing a PSU.

    1. Wattage isn't half as important as amperage on the 12v rail.
    2. A 750 Watt PSU doesn't mean it can actually do 750 Watts. A quality PSU will come close and might be able to hit that.
    3. A system at full load in SLI or Crossfire can hit up to 650 Watts, if you are using two 580 GTXs. Two 560 Ti can hit just over 400 watts. This has been tested, and it accounts for the entire computer - ram, HDD, MB, everything.

    A QUALITY 750 Watt PSU with high amperage on it's single or multiple rails is what you will want. Hell, you can probably get away with a 600 Watt PSU (though I like to play it safe and go higher) DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE PSU! Seriously, if I was building the cheapest PC I can, it would buy cheap everything but the PSU.

    Though by cheap, I mean brand and cost. Some quality PSUs can be had for a good cost. Corsair I know is quality. A little research can help with the other PSUs that the others have mentioned.

    Finally, I also wanted to mention that 2 GB of memory on that 560 might be too much. If you use a TV, you are capped at a max resolution of 1080 P. 2 GB would be overkill for that. If you want a high quality monitor (IPS panels is the way to go, btw) with a higher resolution, then you'll need that 2 GB. Granted, if you don't plan on upgrading for a while, 2 GB might be more 'future proof'.
  26. Wmharris96 said:
    Benchmarks pulled from a graph at Hot hardware using pc mark 7 on entertainment
    Fx 8 core scored a 3480
    Intel i5 scored a 2956 (sandybridge model)
    And the i7 blew both away with a 3734 (not the 2600k however)


    Actually, the reason it scored higher is because it has more cores, but this is a synthetic test and more cores doesn't mean better performance. In just about every test, both synthetic and real-world, the 2500K whoops the FX processor.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=434

    You can't go by a single test. The FX has its place in terms of price/performance and in areas that utilize all cores. For a do-all processor, the 2500K is the better option per the price (unless AMD finally dropped their price, that would be nice).

    Anyway, the guy already choose his processor. But this may help shed some light as you why your advice earlier was called "horrible." Mostly because, in some ways, it was.
  27. phyco126 said:
    Actually, the reason it scored higher is because it has more cores, but this is a synthetic test and more cores doesn't mean better performance. In just about every test, both synthetic and real-world, the 2500K whoops the FX processor.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=434

    You can't go by a single test. The FX has its place in terms of price/performance and in areas that utilize all cores. For a do-all processor, the 2500K is the better option per the price (unless AMD finally dropped their price, that would be nice).

    Anyway, the guy already choose his processor. But this may help shed some light as you why your advice earlier was called "horrible." Mostly because, in some ways, it was.


    I can post more test results if you really feed the need to get into a processor battle.. Just saying, in every test minus mp3 encoding, the fx 8150 trumps the i5

    Even though you will simply counter with "tests dont matter" but they really do. Processors that score higher preform higher, thats a fact. And as far as entertainmant scores go, the fx outpreforms the i5 that costs more. Even though generally speaking, the fx wasnt super impressive at launch.

    If theres one thing that annoys me, its fanboys, either intel or amd. People who dont see facts because of predilections.
  28. I'm not a fanboy on either side, I go by facts. If you have facts that back your claim, feel free to PM them to me. I'm open minded, and if my information is lacking then I'm all for learning more.

    Also, I think that tests do matter. However, synthetic tests aren't always indicative of real-world performance. There are tests where the FX out performs the i5, I am not denying this. My claim is that gaming and general use the i5 is better, in tasks that utilize all of the FX's cores will do see a benefit to the processor.

    But anyway, lets take this to PM.
  29. I appreciate all the advice from you guys. I might be more inclined to the intel CPU but I do like knowing about my other options.

    I'm definitely sold on the PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341044&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=9fg7hnrydul8 I like it a lot better.

    I'm pretty set on getting the SSD. I really would like to try it out. Plus with that other HD and the external I have, I'm not worried about space for the time being.

    The main reason for the other optical drive is just in case one of them fails or is DOA. I really would prefer not to be out of luck while waiting for an RMA. To me that's worth the $20.

    I went with the 2GB because some reviews were saying that games such as BF3 were using 1.25 GB. I'll try and pick my monitor and see if you guys still think I should change the card. I've decided on a monitor and not a TV because I want the higher resolution achievable with a monitor. Depending on the monitor I might need speakers too.

    What do you guys use for wifi, or are you all wired? I don't feel like running an Ethernet cord from my room upstairs all the way downstairs to some obscure corner of my apartment.

    On a positive note I am so glad to be a student still. Bought Win7 Ultimate 64bit and Office 2010 Pro for like $30. Hell yeah.
  30. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009206 just a thought, dumping the link here so I don't lose it. Still searching.
  31. A build I fixed up, thought you'd might light it. Within your budget, defiantly lots of features, future proofed (In the sense that you can SLI in the future and upgrade to Ivy Bridge) plus you'll have an SSD and HDD.

    i5 2500K + Patriot 8GB DDR3 1600 $241
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.805911
    Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $122
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271
    Cooler Master HAF 912 $60
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003ZM7YTA/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
    OCZ ZS 750w $100 ($25 MIR)
    http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-80PLUS-Bronze-Performance-compatible/dp/B005A2RJOI%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB005A2RJOI
    MSI 560 Ti $230 ($15 MIR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127616
    Crucial M4 128GB $180
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442
    Seagate 500GB $85
    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Internal-ST500DM002/dp/B005CT56R6%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB005CT56R6
    Asus DVD Drive $19
    http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-24x8x16x-48x32x48x-DRW-24B1ST/dp/B0033Z2BAQ/ref=pd_bxgy_pc_img_b
    Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $27
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10-212P-G1/dp/B002G1YPH0%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB002G1YPH0
    Total: $1064 before rebates
  32. A Nice $1,300 build with Monitor

    Core i5 2500k 3.3Ghz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072


    ASUS P8Z68-V-PRO Mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 813131730R


    Corsair Vengance LP Black DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 813131730R


    MSI Radeon 6950 2GB Twin Frozr III OC - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127575


    Antec High Current Gamer 620W PSU Bronze Cert - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371048


    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820227706


    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB Sata 6Gbps HDD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769


    Coolermaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065


    ACER 23 Inch 5ms LED 1920x1080 Monitor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824009315


    Coolermaster CM690II Black Steel Tower Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119216


    ASUS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204


    Total - $1,398.89


    Total with Rebates - $1,333.89



    PROS -
    i5 2500k is rediculously fast
    Radeon 6950 is a wonderful card for 1080p
    ASUS P8Z68-V-PRO has amazing stability and performance and allows for "One click" Overclocking (For noobs xD)
    Coolermaster Hyper 212+ has excellent cooling performance and will keep your processor extremely cool even when OC'd
    This one has the renowned Vertex 3 120GB SSD - And one of the fastest ones. Install windows on this beast and You'll go from off to fully booted in ~5 Seconds
    Fast, Corsair Low Profile RAM so pretty much any CPU cooler can fit over the top with no issues
    Coolermaster CM690II is a tried and tested Mid tower of high performance and high quality
    High Quality Antec PSU providing enough power to drive even 2 Radeon 6950s


    CONS -
    Slighly over budget.
  33. deadjon said:
    A Nice $1,300 build with Monitor

    Core i5 2500k 3.3Ghz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072


    ASUS P8Z68-V-PRO Mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 813131730R


    Corsair Vengance LP Black DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 813131730R


    MSI Radeon 6950 2GB Twin Frozr III OC - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127575


    Antec High Current Gamer 620W PSU Bronze Cert - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371048


    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820227706


    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB Sata 6Gbps HDD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769


    Coolermaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065


    ACER 23 Inch 5ms LED 1920x1080 Monitor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824009315


    Coolermaster CM690II Black Steel Tower Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119216


    ASUS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204


    Total - $1,398.89


    Total with Rebates - $1,333.89



    PROS -
    i5 2500k is rediculously fast
    Radeon 6950 is a wonderful card for 1080p
    ASUS P8Z68-V-PRO has amazing stability and performance and allows for "One click" Overclocking (For noobs xD)
    Coolermaster Hyper 212+ has excellent cooling performance and will keep your processor extremely cool even when OC'd
    This one has the renowned Vertex 3 120GB SSD - And one of the fastest ones. Install windows on this beast and You'll go from off to fully booted in ~5 Seconds
    Fast, Corsair Low Profile RAM so pretty much any CPU cooler can fit over the top with no issues
    Coolermaster CM690II is a tried and tested Mid tower of high performance and high quality
    High Quality Antec PSU providing enough power to drive even 2 Radeon 6950s


    CONS -
    Slighly over budget.


    I dont think 620 watts is enough to run 2 hd6950s
  34. ^+1 a 620w is defiantly not enough for a 6870 CF if it is it's barely enough.
  35. He had the parts chosen mostly because of things he wants, such at it not being too flashy and a gold rated PSU. For what he wants the parts he has chosen are fine. For a monitor I normally look at the ASUS ones I perfer them. So depending on size consider these. Price is low to high along with size.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236112
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236174
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236154
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236123
    For speakers I would get them seperate I run the speakers on an ASUS monitor and they are good sound quality but very quiet.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007679%2050001080&IsNodeId=1&name=Logitech&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007679%2050001137&IsNodeId=1&name=Creative%20Labs&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=100
    If you are gaming I would also consider a headset.
    Would much rather run an Ethernet cord once and then always have the best connection.
  36. my conservative guess is it would be at least 800 watts to CF 6950s.. and i wouldnt be comforatable maxing out the psu like that so id want at least 900 to 1000 watts with good amperage on the rail(s)
  37. ^ A 750w would be good enough for most cards in CF/SLI, until you get to the 6970 and 570 above of course.
  38. Hmm, if i could get a few more opinions on that, then i might consider cf'ing my hd6950s, not that i dont trust yours, but id like to be sure before i spend the 250 on a new gpu

    Ive got an ocz 750watt (rated for continuous use @750) and an fx 8120. I always thought id need that 1kwatt before i could xfire my rig
  39. .... Well I'm just saying that for OP. You can google it if you'd like.
  40. The tricky thing right now for my monitor is that I also want to be able to use xbox360 on it. I don't want to buy built in speakers because I feel that I would be paying extra for a feature that isn't worth it. I would end up buying speakers anyway. The tricky part comes in with for example this monitor, http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1164507&pagenumber=2&RSort=1&csid=ITD&recordsPerPage=5&body=#ReviewStart it's pretty much what I want except there is no audio out on the monitor and no speakers and I haven't found a definitive answer on how to hook the xbox360 audio to a separate set of speakers. I'm still looking and andrew I have been scouring over Asus monitors lol, just havent been able to find one that I'm in love with yet.

    Maybe http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=458692&CatId=5469
    didn't want to go that small but oh well, also in which case I would be dropping to the 1GB 560ti

    You other guys have some nice builds, I'm just not looking to start the heartache of redoing my build from scratch lol. Almost had me on the HAF 912 but ultimately I like the bigger fans of the enforcer better, even though I wish I wasn't paying extra for the silly LEDs.
  41. That monitor is cheaper off Newegg ATM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009255&cm_sp=Cat_Monitors-_-48_Hr_Sale-_-24-009-255
    After promo only $130.

    Chap speakers would do the job1
  42. Actually, 620W is enough to drive 2 OC'd 6950s

    There someone on this forum who will agree as he's running the setup himself :P
  43. If the monitor has a hdmi input you can hook the xbox up to that. If the monitor has speakers just don't connect them and connect better ones because if you find a monitor you like that has speakers you aren't spending much extra.
  44. Maybe for speakers http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Surround-Sound-Speakers-980-000430/product-reviews/B003VAK1FA/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    azn- that is actually the S231, my link was the S230. I like the 2 HDMI ports better, however that may depend..do you guys use HDMI for your pc or DVI? I'm reading mixed reviews on which is better. If DVI is the way to go I think I'll have to pull the trigger on that sale, tonight.

    Andrew- I know I can hook up the HDMI to the monitor but that is just for the picture, right? I would need my speakers hooked up to the 360 for sound?
  45. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704045

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2911658&SRCCODE=GOOGLEBASE&cm_mmc_o=VRqCjC7BBTkwCjCECjCE

    Just some potentials. I know what your saying about being wired andrew but the amount of distance I would need to cover combined with the number of drunks that stumble into my house at any given time make that not exactly a feasible option.
  46. An HDMI cable carries both sound and video. For hooking up your computer I would just use the DVI port so you can hook up the speakers separate. If you do have HDMI hooked up and want to use speakers separate you just need to connect the sound out port to the speakers and it will over ride HDMI input. Problem with HDMI on a XBox is that if you have a headset it won't work and if your monitor doesn't have speakers then you don't have sound at all. You can fix this through an adapter though. Those speakers you have linked are very nice, a friend of mine has them.

    For the wireless care you want something better than a USB input as one is. You want one that is good and hooks to motherboard. It is way too easy to bust the USB wireless connectors, I speak from experience.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320074

    Don't forget you will also need a good router. Would get this for the best
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320062
    but if that is too much you could make do with this one
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320088
    Just don't forget you will need to use this for all internet download and upload so you want a fast one.
  47. Ahh use HDMI then blue, it's better and imo better in video quality.

    As for the 6950 2GB, add 150 (Aprox. A standard 6950 2GB TDP) to the 323 Power consumption of their build, you'd get about 473w. I guess it'd work out, I would chance it though if you constantly stress your PSU out the life shortens alot. Plus, the 150w is if the 6950 2GB isn't overclocked.
  48. aznshinobi said:


    Bought this today, couldnt pass up the deal!

    For a new videocard I'm leaning toward

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7192161&pagenumber=0&RSort=1&csid=ITD&recordsPerPage=5&body=#ReviewStart

    or even

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604

    I don't want to pay more for less VC memory, and those reviews werent all that great. Anything wrong with the cards above? I thought I found a bargain at $160 but it wasnt ti. I'm more inclined toward the first link.
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