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Building a system for a friend

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January 10, 2012 4:51:03 AM

Hey guys, a friend of mine wants to get a high-end gaming PC, and wants me to help him with choosing parts as he's a noob to this kind of stuff. His budget is roughly $1000, definitely no more than $1300

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next 3 weeks

Budget Range: $1300 at most

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, some photo editing, internet browsing, school stuff

Parts Not Required: mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:it HAS to be amazon as he'll be paying it using the no-interest financing options

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type obviously intel CPU and obviously AMD GPU as nvidias suck in WAY too much power

Overclocking: Yes ( i will be helping him with this)

SLI or Crossfire: maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: either 1680x1050 or 1920x1080

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)


CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EBUXHQ/ref=ox_sc_a...

MOBO: ASUS LGA 1155 Intel Z68 DDR3 2200 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported ATX Motherboard P8Z68-V
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050HZ7AQ/ref=ox_sc_a...

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2GB
http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Radeon-256bit-Mini-DisplayPor...

RAM: G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz
http://www.amazon.com/G-SKILL-Ripjaws-1600MHz-PC3-12800...

SSD: OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q81CKY/ref=ox_sc_a...

HDD: Western Digital 750 GB Caviar Blue SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461LT7C/ref=ox_sc_a...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005E98FVS/ref=ox_sc_a...

CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=ox_sc_a...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZM7YTA/ref=ox_sc_a...

final outcome: $1,277.

his budget might wind up being less than this but i don't think so. i thought the SSD was a necessity in a rig that he wants to last 2-3 years. i wanted a 6970 for him but that was too much money; he could always add another 6950 in xfire in a year and get a good performance boost. otherwise, i think this is a pretty high-end rig that should play most games at high/ultra settings for the next year or so.

what do you guys think? thanks.

More about : building system friend

January 10, 2012 5:54:00 AM

Unless you're shooting for a 6970 bios flash, there's no reason for the 2GB variety of the 6950 at 1080 or 1680x1050. Might as well save a few bucks and get the 1GB version.

Also if your friend is as big of noob as you claim you might consider going with the OCZ 64GB Synapse Cache SSD $145.86.

While this seems to be a step down from the Vertex 3, it uses the same exact nands only they've been reprovisioned for redundancy. The reason I recommend this is that it's a Cache Drive, you install it, then you forget about it. No need to worry about how to configure/optimize, no need to worry about runaway growth or write thrashing. Also it's going to boost all of his most used programs, not just the ones that he'd install to a standalone SSD.

Good luck.
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January 10, 2012 6:16:40 AM

just a note here, newegg I believe has no interest financing for 6 months with bill me later, and everytime I have done a major build I have gotten no interest for a year with a premier account. not sure if they are still doing it but you may want to price compare and look into it.
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January 10, 2012 6:29:29 AM

a4mula said:
there's no reason for the 2GB variety of the 6950 at 1080


Actually, there is. Just like with the GTX 560 Ti, the 1GB versions struggle with BF3 and Skyrim (with visual mods) with regards to VRAM.
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January 10, 2012 6:32:29 AM

I agree with a4. Not worth the extra $ unless you play at 1920*1080 or higher.
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January 10, 2012 6:34:18 AM

a4mula said:
there's no reason for the 2GB variety of the 6950 at 1080


Actually, there is. Just like with the GTX 560 Ti, the 1GB versions struggle with BF3 and Skyrim (with visual mods) with regards to VRAM.
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January 10, 2012 6:43:01 AM

not sure if they are still doing it but you may want to price compare and look into it.
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January 10, 2012 6:55:44 AM

Andre, we saw your msg the first time...

@ OP: does he need a monitor or does he have one? If he does, for the first res, an ASUS 22" HD Monitor is good for it. Otherwise, 24" of the same model works. Otherwise, great build. I'm sure he will love it. :) 
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January 10, 2012 6:59:16 AM

Sorry mr Azeem40. I went back and double posted. I apologize to anyone who got hurt in the process of reading the same message twice.
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January 10, 2012 7:06:40 AM

Andre2807 said:
Sorry mr Azeem40. I went back and double posted. I apologize to anyone who got hurt in the process of reading the same message twice.

Just FYI, sarcasm doesn't work on me. :p 
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January 10, 2012 7:12:11 AM

Lol fine.
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January 17, 2012 5:58:19 AM

thanks for the suggestions guys. he's most likely going 1920x1080, so we're going to stick with the radeon hd 6950 2gb, but we're also most likely going to be dropping the SSD to a 64 gb and use it with the caching, or just drop it entirely. either way, it will fit inside his budget i'm pretty sure. thanks for the help!
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January 17, 2012 6:07:28 AM

I've not read many good things about the reliability of OCZ SSD's. Might go with a Crucial m4 or a corsair force series 3 instead( the corsair got some bad reviews as well, but were fixed in the latest firmware release). Other than that, a great build IMO
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!