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Longevity Gaming Build ~$900

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January 4, 2012 11:32:59 PM

Hey all,

I am in the process of pricing a new computer to build as I have gone through 3 "Gaming" laptops in the past 4 years and am not ready to drop another $1500-$2000 to have it fail or not be upgradeable.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 - 2 weeks

Budget Range: ~$900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, music burning, internet

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, case (have a rosewill challenger), wifi adapter

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country:USA

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I am wanting something relatively future-proof. I.E. I don't want to have to upgrade anything for a year or so. I mainly play WoW and the Call of Duty series, but would like to get into SWTOR and BF3.

Here is what I have so far:

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any help is greatly appreciated. Mainly, I am concerned with the lifespan of the MoBo. Will this last me through a few upgrades of video/RAM/CPU? Do I have enough power for this? I checked Neweggs calculator and it came in around 430W. Also, I am new to overclocking, but understand the basics and that this will allow me to get more out of the system for long term use as well.

Thanks in advance!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2012 11:46:40 PM

The motherboard is too expensive...there is no way that a motherboard will "last a few upgrades of video/RAM/CPU"...a motherboard can only support a specific type of CPU and RAM (this case LGA1155 and DDR3). I would go with this board, it's cheaper and does the same job...you can also SLI/CF another GFX card later:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you really don't need 1TB, then this is a perfect drive for you:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Reuse the Challenger case...The HDD prices are WAY up, I would wait for it to go down before buying 1 TB drives.

Go with this cheaper RAM, same thing, only without heatspreaders:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The heatspreaders don't really make a difference, even when overclocking slightly.

With the money saved, you can buy this graphics card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and this PSU (for SLI later):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: I would buy a larger PSU because of potential SLI later and Overclocking also will generate the need for more power. Also, overclocking will shorten the lifespan of your components...not elongate them

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January 4, 2012 11:51:25 PM

Get a z68 mobo from asrock instead, and drop the hdd if you have another one you can use for a little while.

With the ~$150 you save from the hdd grab a 60gb ssd, the performance boost from ssd's are the single best upgrade you can do to any pc nowadays. I would also recommend a more powerful PSU, it lists 500w that is the peak, so you won't be pulling 500w hardly ever (most likely you never will). the 80% efficiency basically means 80% of 500 which is 400w that you can rely on.

As for 'future-proof' there is no such thing. You won't have to upgrade this build for a few years, unless you want to. Any mobo can handle multiple upgrades, but with your budget you won't be able to upgrade ram speed, probably just quantity. The $300 mobo's are the ones that can handle 2133, etc.


Other than that it looks pretty solid for your budget. Even if you don't OC it stick with the hyper212, the heatsinks intel packages with cpu's are garbage.
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Related resources
January 4, 2012 11:53:52 PM

Just noticed there was a reply as I was typing mine. Don't listen to his RAM suggestion, it's garbage. Spend the $8 and get faster, better RAM. The sticks you picked out are fine
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2012 11:54:34 PM

Cripple13 said:
Get a z68 mobo from asrock instead, and drop the hdd if you have another one you can use for a little while.

With the ~$150 you save from the hdd grab a 60gb ssd, the performance boost from ssd's are the single best upgrade you can do to any pc nowadays. I would also recommend a more powerful PSU, it lists 500w that is the peak, so you won't be pulling 500w hardly ever (most likely you never will). the 80% efficiency basically means 80% of 500 which is 400w that you can rely on.

As for 'future-proof' there is no such thing. You won't have to upgrade this build for a few years, unless you want to. Any mobo can handle multiple upgrades, but with your budget you won't be able to upgrade ram speed, probably just quantity. The $300 mobo's are the ones that can handle 2133, etc.


Other than that it looks pretty solid for your budget. Even if you don't OC it stick with the hyper212, the heatsinks intel packages with cpu's are garbage.


Agree with everything except about the last statement...if you don't OC, just go with the i5 2400...no need to go with the i5 2500k. The performance of the i5 2400 and the i5 2500k are similar only that hte i5 2500k can overclock...also, the stock cooler is fine if you don't overclock. My 2500k (with stock) is running at a cool 30 C
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2012 11:56:22 PM

You're ignorant aren't you Cripple...you're saying the G.Skill RAM is garbage???? The value RAM is basically the same thing as the sniper series...only the sniper series has a heatspreader to look cool...they really don't do anything to cool the RAM.
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January 4, 2012 11:57:10 PM

I appreciate the replies. Since you both have recommended Z68 boards vs P67 boards, am i correct in that the main difference is Z68 supports IGP and P67 doesnt? Also, I do not have a HDD to reuse so I need something. I can lower to a 500gb variety and wait for a SSD.
Thanks for the information about the PSU's as well.
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January 4, 2012 11:57:25 PM

1600 is the sweet spot, spend the 8 bucks and increase performance, my post had nothing to do with the heatspreaders
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January 5, 2012 12:00:53 AM

As for the RAM, I originally selected 1600 ram, not 1333. Wont this give me at least a little bit of an upgrade or is it really not going to be noticed? I do like what I have read about the G.Skill RAM. I don't need to have the spreaders since I don't think I will be OC the RAM.
Like I said earlier, I think I will want to at least have the ability to OC if I want to. I haven't done it in the past, but this CPU seems pretty good for this, and pretty rocking at baseline!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2012 12:06:36 AM

First, the Z68 has multiple features that the P67 doesn't:
It supports something called "Virtu", meaning that you can plug your video card output to the normal (non graphics card) port and when you're not doing graphics intensive tasks (web/word) it uses the onboard video and when you're doing graphics intensive tasks (gaming) it uses the gfx card. This will save some power in the future.
The Z68 also supports SSD caching, which, if I'm right, stores important info on an SSD so everything would run faster with an SSD (if your system has an SSD)
Also, you'll see no performance increase with 1600 RAM vs 1333 RAM
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2012 9:48:01 AM

I like your build aznshinobi, but you really should find another HDD, I think the NCIX HDD is out of stock
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January 5, 2012 11:03:14 AM

Thanks guys. I am going to be taking all this into account. I will post an update to the build later!
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January 5, 2012 11:19:29 AM

Ok, a question about that software supplier. Is this a new, branded version from Microsoft? Seems something is a little off. Just curious!
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January 5, 2012 1:09:53 PM

I just built a system for exactly 900...

Rosewill challenger (3 fans included)

Asrock z68 pro3-m mobo

I5-2500k

Evga 560ti 448 core classified (benchmarks like a 570)

500 gb sata3 7200rpm hd

Blu ray player

Ddr3 1600 ram from rip jaws 8 gigs

Seasonic 620w psu

Found windows 7 on CL sealed for 75 bucks 64 bit

Using all stock coolers mobo idle temp 29 CPU idle 35-38

GPU 99% load temp 62-64

Also everything I bought had great ratings, so there's no cheap components
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2012 10:13:07 PM

Thanks roaring! But yeah I'll catch a deal somewhere.

As for the Windows 7, the software isn't brand new, it's OEM off the refurbished computers. So it'll work the same, but it's not exactly new new.
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