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Help with first intel gaming pc build

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January 9, 2012 12:29:09 AM

I am upgrading my pc but I have no clue on intel based systems, I run AMD. I wanted to stay AMD but it really seems I will do better by going the intel way. I want something simple and reliable, capable of gaming and that supports ivy bridge for future upgrades.



Approximate Purchase Date: first/second week of february

Budget Range: 600-800 usd; I can wait and save some more if the parts are really worth it

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, music player

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I will be purchasing locally

Country: Mexico

Parts Preferences: it is all the same, I want the best possible deal. The i5 2500k seems a great CPU for what I want. I would love to get a mobo that can take ivy bridge cpu for later upgrades. As for PSU Cooler Maser Silent Pro is widely available here; not the same for other brands. Case could be Cooler Master HAF 912

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No, never due to space limitations

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I do not really care about the brand of the parts, I want a nice up-gradable system that I can overclock. Intel seems the way to go right now. The PC will be on at least 10 hours a day every day

More about : intel gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 12:34:01 AM

Most people will just see 800 and try to use as much of it as possible. Since you disclude Monitor, this should be able to be at your budget will more quality parts.

I recommend the i5-2500k if you ever want to OC in the future, even if you're not sure right now. If not at all, just get the i5-2400.

If you have an HDD that you can reuse, this will cut down in costs even more. Just post if you have an HDD or not so others can suggest even more quality parts. :) 
January 9, 2012 12:38:56 AM

I do have HDD I can reuse.

I am clueless regarding a suitable mobo for my build and the right chipset.

I want to overclock from day one, not a super high OC.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 1:09:39 AM

What kind of HDD is it? As in, what Interface? SATA? IDE?

For the i5-2500k, any MicroATX or ATX LGA 1155 Socket MOBO above P67 would be able to OC. I recommend Z68 because if you ever want to add an SSD to your build, it will get SSD Caching.

4 GHz, imo, is a good OC.
January 9, 2012 1:23:36 AM

HDD are a Seagate 1 T unit SATA and a Seagate 250 G SATA .

Thanks for the chipset suggestion, z68 sounds nice for future upgrades. Do you have a good budget MOBO suggestion? I mean model and manufacturer please; I would love it to be ivy bridge compatible
January 9, 2012 1:32:56 AM

You may want to check out the ASUS P8Z68-V LE. It is a Z68 motherboard at a good price and has good reviews on Newegg.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think the motherboard manufacturer will have to release a BIOS update for the motherboard to support Ivy Bridge CPUs.
a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
January 9, 2012 3:34:38 AM

1) sandy bridge 2500K is as good as it gets today for gaming. It will drive any sane graphics configuration well.
A 4.0 + OC is very conservative.
2) To permit easy multiplier oc, you will want a P67 or Z68 based motherboard. All such motherboards will be suitable, and oc well enough. Buy the brand you trust with whatever features you need. Link to a couple of candidates for us to be sure.
3) most current 1155 motherboards will be ok for ivy bridge with a bios update. Ivy bridge will be perhaps 10% faster on a clock for clock basis. With a 2500K, you will have no compelling reason to change it out for just 10% more.
4) For gaming, buy the best card you feel comfortable paying for. A GTX570 or 6970 would be very good.
5) Such a card will need a quality 550w psu or better.
My short list of quality psu's would include Antec, Seasonic, XFX, PC P&C, and corsair.
6) Get an aftermarket cpu cooler up front. It will keep your cpu cooler and quieter than the stock intel cooler. An OC caan go easier and higher.
Look for a cm hyper212 or Xigmatek gaia. They are $30 in the us.
7) Ram is cheap. get the cheapest 8gb(2 x 4gb) kit you can find. Sandy bridge is insensitive to ram speeds.
8) As a bit of a luxury, can you afford a 80gb SSD for the os and a few games? It will make your pc very responsive. Use your hard drives for any overflow.
Look for Intel, Samsung, or crucial, in that order for reliability.
9) take the time now to download and read the manuals for the case and motherboard. They will answer many questions.
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 3:38:55 AM

ASUS, GIGABYTE, and ASRock are all good brands, with ASRock a mixbag.
January 9, 2012 1:27:20 PM

Is this OK for mobo?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68xp-ud3-dz68db,29...
I am still trying to locate the Asus mobo you guys recommend.

SSD is not an option right now; but it is a great option for a 6 month update.

CM hyper 212 is a great option that I can get here.

are CM PSU just crap? the mentioned brands seem to be extremely rare here or super expensive, but if the CM is crap I will go to them.

I was looking at GTX570 or 6970 GPUs but they turn super expensive compared with the previous models GTX550 Ti and HD6870; it is a 120 usd price differential (why? no idea); can I go 550/6870 and be ok? or shall I save more and go high end?




a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
January 9, 2012 2:28:33 PM

DAROBA said:
Is this OK for mobo?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68xp-ud3-dz68db,29...
I am still trying to locate the Asus mobo you guys recommend.

SSD is not an option right now; but it is a great option for a 6 month update.

CM hyper 212 is a great option that I can get here.

are CM PSU just crap? the mentioned brands seem to be extremely rare here or super expensive, but if the CM is crap I will go to them.

I was looking at GTX570 or 6970 GPUs but they turn super expensive compared with the previous models GTX550 Ti and HD6870; it is a 120 usd price differential (why? no idea); can I go 550/6870 and be ok? or shall I save more and go high end?


The motherboard is fine.

Since you will not be doing cf/sli, then a M-atx motherboard will suit you well. It will have 4 expansion slots(including at least 1 pciex16) vs.7 for a full atx motherboard. I doubt you have a need for anything but the X16 graphics slot.
A m-atx motherboard will be less expensive than the one you linked. I have used asus, asrock, and gigabyte with no issues.

I do not think ocz psu't are crap, but I don't think of them as quality either.
If that is the only one available to you, take the time to find a review for the specific psu from a respected site like jonnyguru
http://www.jonnyguru.com/
Do not try to economize pn a psu. A bad one can cause all sorts of damage to everything.

If your main use is gaming, the graphics card is all important.
You will do better with a i3-2120 and a better card like a GTX570 than you would with a 2500K and a GTX550ti.
Read this article on <$200 gaming cpu's. The card used in the benchmarks was a GTX480 which is comparable to a GTX570.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
January 9, 2012 3:32:42 PM

I really appreciate your help.

what do you think of this mobo:
http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3...

I love the idea of a micro ATX, do you have any suggestions? no onboard graphics I think is the way to go, right?

I want to play games but I am not an I want the best all-maxed hyper performance freak; balance is key for me. But I get the buy the best GPU you can get. After all the idea is being able to upgrade later on. The i3 2120 sounds interesting; is there a significant performance loss compared to the i5 2500k?

Thanks for the links and all the help; please keep it coming.
a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
January 9, 2012 6:46:23 PM

That gigabyte m-atx looks good to me. Unless you see a lower cost one from asus or asrock, that one is good enough.

The z68 base is good, it gives you several options.
1. It will allow you to overclock a "K", either now, or later.
2. It gives you the option to use the integrated graphics of sandy bridge. This might be of interest to you initially. It is about the power of a $50 graphics card which is suitable for non action gaming like civilization. You can defer the graphics card purchase if you want.
3. It allows you to use a small ssd to cache a larger hard drive.

The 2120 is a dual core @ 3.3, the same clock rate as the 2500K. It also allows hyperthreading which gives two additional threads that use residual cycles of the main two cores. I figure that they are worth perhaps 1/4 of a core each.

If the games you play only use two cores, you will see no difference from a non overclocked 2500K. Most games today do not use more than two or perhaps three cores.
Check the recommendations for the specific games you will be playing.
I am not much in favor of interim purchases though. If you can, get the 2500K. It is easier to start with a lesser graphics card if necessary and replace it later than to replace a cpu.
Any case with two 120mm intake fans or equivalent will supply adequate cooling.
The haf912 will do, but it is a full atx case that will be larger than you might need.
As a m-atx user myself, I can recommend the Silverstone TJ08-E M-atx case. It has a 180mm intake fan and room for a full sized cpu cooler. It is $99 in the us, but you will not regret spending a bit more for it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 11, 2012 4:10:23 AM

well I talked to some guys around here and I am thinking about this:

i5 2310
HD 6870
Z68 chipset mobo
4/8 G RAM
here http://www.jonnyguru.com/ as suggested I got info on the PSU and it got a good review.

I really need some help choosing the right MOBO for this bulit; can you guys please help me out? :sweat: 

I do not need OC or SLI/CF capable board, no 7.1 outputs since I play wearing headphones and have a DAC + HK 3490 + Polk speakers for music. I just want a MOBO I can upgrade with no extra bling bling. As I mentioned I would love to be able to pgrade to IB and all that implies, if possible.

No overclock but really capable of playing even BF3 at ultra settings I believe; what do you guys think?

Thanks in advance for your help
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2012 4:25:05 AM

IDK of any Z68 MOBO that doesnt have 7.1 surround sound.
January 11, 2012 4:42:29 AM

well I had to ask; any suggestions?
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2012 4:59:14 AM

Good MOBOs are the ASUS P8Z68, GIGABYTE Z68 UD3H, and the Z68 EXtreme3 GEN3 by ASRock.
January 12, 2012 3:20:17 AM

Thanks guys I am ready to go find me some nice parts and try to improve in the process.

I am thinking Radeon HD 6870; what do you think?
MOBO seems to be Asus P8Z68 I found it priced nice and seem a good option.
CPU i5 2xxx no k I think; it depends on pricing.

!