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Desktop Build for $1000-$1500 AUD

Approximate Purchase Date: Early February.

Budget Range: $1000-$1500 AUD (I am flexible, though I would prefer it to be towards the lower-mid end of the spectrum)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: University work (eg. creating documents, web browsing, etc.), gaming, watching movies.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, software, monitor, optical drive.

Preferred Website for Parts:

Country: Australia

Overclocking: No

SLI/Crossfire: Potentially down the track if it's a worthwhile alternative to upgrading to a newer single GPU.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

My current plans are as follows (please let me know if there seem to be any compatibility issues, etc.):
MSI GTX 560 Ti Hawk 1GB - $279
Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $109 (Will be buying another HDD once prices come down)
2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz - $55
i5 2500k - $235
NZXT H2 Black - $109
I'm currently trying to choose a motherboard from this list. I'm thinking that I might go for the Gigabyte GA-Z68M-D2H Motherboard at $109, purely because it seems to be compatible with everything (as far as I can tell?).
As for the PSU, I was considering either a Corsair CX-600 V2 Power Supply or a Corsair GS-600 Power Supply
I'm also in need of a network card (and have absolutely no previous experience with wireless connections). Maybe a TP-Link TL-WN951N Wireless N PCI Adapter for $35?

I'm wondering if everything here appears to be compatible and would like to hear any suggestions for alternative hardware to the above. Thank you in advance! :)
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  1. Best answer
    Hi mate. Just a couple of other solid options with your some of your choices:

    Intel Core i5 2500K $235 - Are you really not overclocking? If not, no reason to get the 'K' model with unlocked cores. OCing your processor isn't a difficult process and gives a great performance boost. Easily get upto 4.0 - 4.3Mhz without even adjusting voltage.

    CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO $39 - If you do go down the OCing path... extra CPU cooling at a low cost.

    ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 $179 - See below

    ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II $389 - Out of stock atm. I like this model, but if you need more urgently go Gigabyte or EVGA. gtx 570 is a good choice for your budget and gives great gaming performance at 1080p

    Corsair Vengeance 1600C9 8GB $55 - Like low profile RAM

    Corsair TX-650 V2 $115 - Ample juice for this build from top notch manufacturer

    CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer $99 - Just 1 option... It's not over priced and cools well

    Seagate Barracuda 500GB $89 - If your buying another when prices come down... save some money now

    Total = $1200 + shipping

    Ever considered an SSD? Put your OS and favourite apps and games on it for amazing data read/write speeds

    OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD $189

    Reviews on that Mobo:

    Sorry, haven't had much experience with wireless gear besides putting few in and setting them up... couldn't recommend one from another :)
  2. +1 @Formata the only change on your building is for 20$+ ill buy that 1T HDD what @Emmuh put on his build instead 500gb.
  3. Thank you for the replies.

    My only reservation would be buying that ASRock board, I haven't heard good things about their durability or reliability. I think I'd be happier with maybe a Gigabyte or Asus board if anyone could recommend one?

    As for OCing the 2500k, I'd like to have the option to do it in the future if need be. And in that instance I'll then buy an aftermarket CPU cooler, etc.

    Oh and. If I was to add either another 560 Ti or 570 at a later date, would the PSU (and the other hardware, incidentally) manage to run these in SLI?
  4. I would definitely encourage buying brands you are comfortable with. Personally I think Asrock are the real deal now. Unless your aiming at extreme overclocking, they are my pick and I'd rather have a feature packed Asrock Mobo than a similarly priced Asus with less features... just because it's Asus.

    ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 - A really nice Asus board

    SLI gtx 570 = 850W
    SLI gtx 560 Ti = 750W

    Many would argue you can get away with less depending on your OC... but this way you have plenty of head room and allowing for decreasing output over the life of the PSU, however that is less of a huge factor with quality like Corsair.
  5. What would be the difference in practical terms between that ASUS board (at $219) and some of the cheaper Gigabyte Z68 boards? For instance, the GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 for $155, the GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 for $135 or the GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 at $139.

    As far as I'm aware, all I need is SATA3 compatibility, USB 3.0 capability, compatibility with the rest of the hardware listed above and sufficient PCI slots for a GPU and a network card (SLI is really only an added bonus, I mightn't even worry about it in the future). Will I receive any discernible performance boost or increased longevity? Is it even worth buying a Z68 board if I mightn't use SLI in the future?

    Thank you once again!
  6. GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 is a micro-atx board.. not necessarily a deal breaker.

    The GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 look fairly basic feature wise, but hey... they have USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 ports (might be needing in the future) and can run dual GPUs. Provided you're not doing any extreme overclocking or big network stuff... they are a great price. My only problem with the cheapest Mobos in any line is that you'd expect 'cheap' construction (see small MOFSET heatsink etc) but you get a 3 year warranty like any other good board. Maybe post in Mobos see if anyone has had any specific experience.

    In regards to your last question, if you can find a good deal on a P67 board I still think they are a great option, if you are looking for more performance/features for the money, and don't need any z68 features... although they are becoming more scarce.

    On another note. If you can find a local retailer that sells a case you're happy with you'll save half of your shipping from PCCaseGear. Are you near an MSY?

    I usually just download that pdf pricelist and call my local to check stock availabilty.
  7. Sorry for a very belated reply - went away to Tassie for a week or two. I've been doing a heap of reading on mobos and think I agree with you on the 'cheapness' of the Gigabyte options I've listed. A great compromise (according to the reviews I've read) appears to be the ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 board (which has had $20 dropped from it while I've been away). Looks very nice for a $200 board, has everything I can envisage needing from this build and has a three year warranty.

    So that means the full parts list will look like this:
    ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 Motherboard - $199
    GTX 560 Ti - $275
    8GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Kit - $55 ASUS doesn't list this as compatible RAM, however the 'high profile' version is compatible. Would I be correct in assuming that the low profile would therefore work, too?
    i5 2500k - $229
    NZXT H2 Black - $109 or maybe $20 more for the Fractal R3
    Corsair TX-650W V2 PSU - $115
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $109
    Equals ~$1100 plus postage, leaving me plenty of headroom to buy an optical drive, network adapter, monitor, etc. etc.

    Unfortunately I'm nowhere near an MSY dealer (I live in rural WA) so don't have much option with the postage charges.
  8. The Asus p8z68 -V is a great board. Awesome features and top build quality.
    The low profile Corsair Vengeance RAM is pretty new... board manufacturers might not have updated their lists yet... just check you get a DDR3 1600 1.5v 8GB kit (like posted above) and you'll be right.

    Rural WA!... Your shipping charge will be high (bummer), PCCaseGear is over in Vic so your going all the way across country.

    If you like the Fractal cases... have you seen the Arc? The R3 isn't to my personal tastes 'style' wise. I just don't like the whole 'door' on the front mini bar fridge look. It is a popular case though.
  9. Fantastic to hear that it's a nice board, sounds like I'm almost set to order once I decide on a case! :P

    You get used to crazy shipping charges over here and just accept that it's an inevitability. But it's worth it if it means I get exactly what I want.

    Thank you so much for all the help, I feel a lot more comfortable with my order now. Very, very much appreciated. :)
  10. Best answer selected by Emmuh.
  11. Best of luck with your build... its an impressive list of parts you got there :)
  12. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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