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New $1500 gaming rig

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January 13, 2012 6:05:08 PM

I finally got 1500 bucks saved up to build my new system. I'm probably going to be ordering the parts in the next day or two. I'd like some feedback/critique on my parts choices.

The system will be used primarily for gaming, on the monitor I'll be listing, with some photo viewing/editing. streaming movies to hd tv, and general internet browsing/email.

I probably will overclock both the processor and video card

I very much want to stick with Intel processors, and EVGA Nvidia on the video card, anything else is changeable, as long as the brand has decent reviews for reliability.


Antec 1100 case 129.99 I chose this case because it has plenty of room, USB 3.0 ports in front, and lots of cooling possibilities
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus p8z68v/gen3 mobo 179.99 I chose this motherboard because of the USB 3.0 ports(internal and external), bluetooth, sata 3 for ssd and hard drive, UEFI Bios, Intel SmartCache technology, Ivy Bridge ready, PCIe 3.0 ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Enthusiast Series 750w PSU 99.99 Good brand, 80+ bronze certified, SlI ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I5-2500k 224.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair force series 3 60gb ssd 99.99 I chose this SSD based on high benchmarks according to Passmark.com, and positive newegg reviews. This is the area where I really have no idea(other than the research ive done from home) on what to choose. I want a fast drive(both read and write), as i will be using the intel smartcache technology on the motherboard. I also want something that is gonna last several years.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 1tb 64mb cache 7200 rpm sata 3 129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 24 inch monitor 209.99 I chose this because of good newegg reviews, HDMI input.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech g300 mouse 33.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus DvD RW 18.99 Don't need blu ray, just got cheap, good brand writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler master 120mm Blue Led Case fanx2 15.98 Case only comes with 2, will add these 2 for more cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Zalmann CPU cooler 39.99 One of the top rated CPU coolers on newegg, seems easy enough to install
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTX 560ti 448 core classified 299.99 I chose this card because according to several reviews I've read, it can get to gtx 580 reference performance if overclocked, at only 300 bucks. Chose EVGA for the step up program.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8gb Gskill Sniper series 46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total 1535.86, plus shipping

All in all I think i have a very solid system, but I haven't built one in about 8 years(my last 3 have been prebuilt). I want something I'm not gonna have to do a complete new system on for several years, but with options to upgrade processor, video card, etc as needed. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

More about : 1500 gaming rig

January 13, 2012 6:26:25 PM

The 448 can get to 570 performance. No way it'll hit that of a 580. If you follow my suggestions, though, especially on the mobo, you'll have enough money for a 570, which is (of course) better overclocked.

A good case should come with more fans. With the one's you're forced to add here, this 1100 costs $145, and I don't think it's worth that. Your opinion may be different:
Choose your case by looks, not by performance. Unless you're doing liquid cooling (don't), most cases over $60 will perform perfectly well, and many under will as well. Just trawl Newegg and see what catches your eye. Go for the 1100 if you particularly like the look of it, but know that you don't have to spend that much to get a good case.

Get a cheaper motherboard. You could do with a close-to-$200 one in a super-high-end build, but here you can't afford it and don't need it. Go with the Z68 Extreme3, $120.

I'm personally a fan of the Razer DeathAdder ($45), but do whatever you like there. Mice are very subjective.

You might as well go Hyper 212 EVO. $5 more and, I think, significantly better.
January 13, 2012 6:35:45 PM

kajabla said:
The 448 can get to 570 performance. No way it'll hit that of a 580.

A good case should come with more fans. With the one's you're forced to add here, this 1100 costs $145, and I don't think it's worth that. Your opinion may be different:
Choose your case by looks, not by performance. Unless you're doing liquid cooling (don't), most cases over $60 will perform perfectly well, and many under will as well. Just trawl Newegg and see what catches your eye. Go for the 1100 if you particularly like the look of it, but know that you don't have to spend that much to get a good case.

Get a cheaper motherboard. You could do with a close-to-$200 one in a super-high-end build, but here you can't afford it and don't need it. Go with the Z68 Extreme3, $120.

I'm personally a fan of the Razer DeathAdder ($45), but do whatever you like there. Mice are very subjective.

You might as well go Hyper 212 EVO. $5 more and, I think, significantly better.



I would definitely like to get a cheaper motherboard, but the one you listed doesnt have an internal usb 3.0 header, how about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the 560 448 not being able to reach 580 performance, check out this link: http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/video-cards/14955?s...

I will swap out for the Hyper 212, doesnt look like it will cut me up installing nearly as bad as the zalmann :-)
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January 13, 2012 7:10:58 PM

Use these combos:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now use that money saved to get a 570.

On the 560Ti 448-Cores reaching 580 performance:

A) Your specific chip may have difficulty maintaining stability at that voltage.
B) Remember the noise that the GPU fans will produce to keep that cool.
C) Consider the life of the chip if you decide to maintain that overclock long-term.
January 13, 2012 7:19:12 PM

steadywaters said:
Use these combos:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now use that money saved to get a 570.

On the 560Ti 448-Cores reaching 580 performance:

A) Your specific chip may have difficulty maintaining stability at that voltage.
B) Remember the noise that the GPU fans will produce to keep that cool.
C) Consider the life of the chip if you decide to maintain that overclock long-term.



Great idea on the combos. Ive been looking at the 7-8 pc combos, but hadnt found one with the parts that I liked, the two you linked are perfect, and should give me budget room to get a stock oc'd 570.
January 13, 2012 7:50:43 PM

First of all if you live anywhere close to a MicroCenter they were offering the i5 2500k for $179 and additional $50 off mobo when bought together. If this system is primarily for gaming I would invest more in the GPU and try to shave some money off in other areas. You will see the most gaming performance increase in a better GPU. I would wait on an SSD until they become cheaper, an ssd will not help gaming performance exept for loading times, ex.10 seconds load instead of 20. You can also wait on a CPU cooler until a later date because stock cooler and speeds will be all you need for now and overclocking the i5 2500k will not help gaming performance noticeably on 99% of games. If u have to have a cooler now I would get the CM hyper 212, it outperform the Zalmanns at half the price.

Use the money saved a get you a new 7970. You will be able to play any game @ maxed settings with amazing performance framerates. It makes BF3 on ultra extremely smooth. http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review...

Don't listen to the 560ti 448 being able to reach the 580. That takes some extreme skill and luck of not blowing up your card and investment. Real world the 448 actually doesn't overclock that well.
January 13, 2012 8:02:09 PM

If you want to go a cheaper route and still have great performance I saw an amazing sale for the 560Ti 384 core for $185 (-$20 if you use American Express)= $165 each. Get 2 of those and run them in SLI. BONUS- the cards come with Batman AC. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
January 13, 2012 8:11:15 PM

I would really like to stay away from AMD. I don't mind waiting the few months until the Nvidia 6 series cards come out, which is also the reason I said i wanted to stick with EVGA. My luck with AMD cards has been very bad, and playing City of Heroes (which is one of the games i play the most), even the highest performance AMD cards don't do well. The drivers always have issues with the CoH client for some reason.

I've decided to go with a 570. I don't know if I should get the superclocked version for ~350,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or the 2560mb version for almost 400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 13, 2012 8:16:34 PM

Oh, and unfortunately I don't live anywhere close to a microcenter, though that would be very nice.
January 14, 2012 12:08:55 AM

Skip the LE. It would be a good choice for a single-card build, but you've set yourself up for SLI, and it can't do x8/x8. This'll probably be the best option if you really want internal USB, at $140 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get the Superclocked. You don't need more VRAM on 1920x1080.
January 14, 2012 2:30:30 AM

jeremyp1979 said:
I would really like to stay away from AMD. I don't mind waiting the few months until the Nvidia 6 series cards come out, which is also the reason I said i wanted to stick with EVGA. My luck with AMD cards has been very bad, and playing City of Heroes (which is one of the games i play the most), even the highest performance AMD cards don't do well. The drivers always have issues with the CoH client for some reason.

I've decided to go with a 570. I don't know if I should get the superclocked version for ~350,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or the 2560mb version for almost 400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Ya I hear ya. Nvidia driver support is much better. And i have an EVGA 590 Classified i got lucky and picked up for $500. EVGAs customer support and warranties are top notch. If you can wait a few months for the 600 series that will be your best solution. Because even though the 570 is a great card it will be outdated in a few months when the new card come out. Plus 600 series will use less power and produce less heat.
January 14, 2012 4:24:40 AM

The SC version is $350 with free shipping. Default version is $340 + $7.56 shipping.

$2.43 for you not having to OC it yourself (though it is ridiculously easy to OC).

Unless you pick up a free ShopRunner membership (gives 2-day free shipping at Newegg):

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1161317/

January 14, 2012 4:34:40 AM

steadywaters said:
The SC version is $350 with free shipping. Default version is $340 + $7.56 shipping.

$2.43 for you not having to OC it yourself (though it is ridiculously easy to OC).

Unless you pick up a free ShopRunner membership (gives 2-day free shipping at Newegg):

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1161317/


Yeah the SC version is actually 339 right now, so I'm going to order it. My last question for this build is will this memory Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb cause any issues mounting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo on the Asus P8Z68-V/Gen3? I've done quite a bit of internet searching and have not come up with a definitive answer.
January 14, 2012 4:41:06 AM

@SteadyWaters, I had both of the combos you listed in my shopping cart, but then figured out the ram with the psu combo is not on the motherboards' vendor list.
January 14, 2012 4:43:56 AM

Sorry for posting with a different name, my brother was on my computer earlier, didn't notice until now he had been logged into Tom's. The last two post from Jnlp31 are actually mine.
January 14, 2012 5:55:22 AM

jnlp31 said:
Yeah the SC version is actually 339 right now, so I'm going to order it. My last question for this build is will this memory Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb cause any issues mounting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo on the Asus P8Z68-V/Gen3? I've done quite a bit of internet searching and have not come up with a definitive answer.


I have the Asus z68 Pro with the 212. If you place the fan on the side of the heats ink towards the ram slots it will be a close fit, but no problems.
January 14, 2012 7:47:59 AM

The RAM in the PSU combo is the same one as the RAM you listed - only with different heatspreaders.

The tall heatsinks may prevent you from mounting the RAM sticks in the slot closest to the CPU. The low profile version guarantees that you'll have that slot open if you ever need it, without worrying about conflicts with large CPU coolers.
January 14, 2012 4:35:25 PM

steadywaters said:
The RAM in the PSU combo is the same one as the RAM you listed - only with different heatspreaders.

The tall heatsinks may prevent you from mounting the RAM sticks in the slot closest to the CPU. The low profile version guarantees that you'll have that slot open if you ever need it, without worrying about conflicts with large CPU coolers.


I'm just going by the listed acceptable part numbers under the qvc list on the asus web site, I'll take another look though. Getting the combo would save me approximately 20 bucks.
January 14, 2012 4:39:23 PM

Kind of a moot point, the combo is no longer available apparently.
January 14, 2012 6:10:27 PM

OK, here is the final build I came up with

CM Storm Enforcer 89.99
Seagate Barracuda 500g 84.99
Asus 24" Monitor 209.99
EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked, lifetime warranty 339.99
Corsair Enthusiast Series 750W PSU 104.99
Gskill Ripsaw Ram 8gb 46.99
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 179.99
CM 200mm red led case fan 22.99
Aerocool Shark Red Led Fan x2 29.98 (for push/pull on the CM 212 evo)
CM Hyper 212 Evo 44.99 (also comes with free 10ft HDMI cable to attach computer to my HD TV)
Corsair Force Series 3 60g SSD 99.99
I5-2500k with Asus Sata DVD burner 236.98

Brings my grand total to 1491.86, and I'll join ShopRunner for the free 2 day shipping.

Best solution

January 14, 2012 6:23:40 PM
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Skip the extra heatsink fans. You really don't need 'em. You won't have to do crazy OCing to handle your 570 anyway, so heat shouldn't be an issue. You'd be fine without that other extra case fan, too. Those three are $50 together (!), and without them you can afford a 120gb SSD (Patriot Wildfire, $145 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
January 14, 2012 6:37:31 PM

kajabla said:
Skip the extra heatsink fans. You really don't need 'em. You won't have to do crazy OCing to handle your 570 anyway, so heat shouldn't be an issue. You'd be fine without that other extra case fan, too. Those three are $50 together (!), and without them you can afford a 120gb SSD (Patriot Wildfire, $145 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)


The fans I selected were as much about aesthetics and keeping everything quiet as about cooling, my reasoning behind this is more fans=the less rpm's the fans need to run at, making the system quieter. I'm kind of new to the current generation of systems(I'm currently using a 5 year old Dell Inspiron 519 with an Nvidia 9500gt), and would like something comparable noise wise.

As for going with a bigger SSD, how much room do I need for a windows ultimate install and a couple of games? I was thinking 60g would be more than enough, but I could be mistaken.
January 14, 2012 7:00:40 PM

Yes 60gb will only fit OS and one game. Even 120gb doesn't fit vary much because many modern games are 20gb plus. I myself am waiting until SSD come down in price and get much larger. The small performance increase is not worth it to me at this time. I bought an SSD for my new system I built and lucky was able to return it because it just wasn't that much difference and was a pain in the butt changing games back and forth from HDD. If you want the best gaming performance with the highest graphics and the smoothest gameplay put as much as possible towards GPU.


Agree with Kajabla you wont need to overclock your i5 for some time. There is no performance increase from a 570. When you get 570 SLI the CPU might reach a bottleneck and u can overclock then. I bought the hyper 212 for $20 and never overclock because there is no performance increase even with my overclocked GTX 590.

The stock i5 cooler is very quiet.
January 14, 2012 7:11:40 PM

Swolern said:
Yes 60gb will only fit OS and one game. Even 120gb doesn't fit vary much because many modern games are 20gb plus. I myself am waiting until SSD come down in price and get much larger. The small performance increase is not worth it to me at this time. I bought an SSD for my new system I built and lucky was able to return it because it just wasn't that much difference and was a pain in the butt changing games back and forth from HDD. If you want the best gaming performance with the highest graphics and the smoothest gameplay put as much as possible towards GPU.


Agree with Kajabla you wont need to overclock your i5 for some time. There is no performance increase from a 570. When you get 570 SLI the CPU might reach a bottleneck and u can overclock then. I bought the hyper 212 for $20 and never overclock because there is no performance increase even with my overclocked GTX 590.

The stock i5 cooler is very quiet.


Would it be better then to use the SmartResponse option that comes with the motherboard? It supposedly creates a sort of raid/hybrid set up with an ssd and hdd, but what would kind of real performance gain would there be over a traditional HDD only? I'm honestly not sure I even really need an ssd, as it just improves boot time and loading times, which really don't seem too bad on my old dell. Would I get better performance dropping the fans and SSD and upgrading to a GTX 580 ?
January 14, 2012 8:44:17 PM

Best answer selected by jeremyp1979.
January 14, 2012 9:44:55 PM

Intel SSD caching doesn't work as well as managing the data manually, and it's usually only a good strategy when you want some extra storage performance but can't afford more than a 20-30gb SSD.

Well, the biggest difference I've noticed is in my whole startup sequence. People usually measure boot times by timing from power button to desktop, but on my old HDD the machine would then sit, slowly loading up background apps and junk, for a solid two minutes, and I couldn't launch any applications. This was very annoying when I wanted to use my computer and didn't have much time. The second-biggest thing for me was game and level loading times, which are now almost ignorable.

It depends what matters to you more. Do you want to bypass a couple of minutes' wait every time you play a game, or do you want the gaming performance of a 580? "Performance" doesn't follow a solid spectrum; SSDs and other hardware confer totally different benefits.
January 15, 2012 2:01:07 AM

kajabla said:
Intel SSD caching doesn't work as well as managing the data manually, and it's usually only a good strategy when you want some extra storage performance but can't afford more than a 20-30gb SSD.

Well, the biggest difference I've noticed is in my whole startup sequence. People usually measure boot times by timing from power button to desktop, but on my old HDD the machine would then sit, slowly loading up background apps and junk, for a solid two minutes, and I couldn't launch any applications. This was very annoying when I wanted to use my computer and didn't have much time. The second-biggest thing for me was game and level loading times, which are now almost ignorable.

It depends what matters to you more. Do you want to bypass a couple of minutes' wait every time you play a game, or do you want the gaming performance of a 580? "Performance" doesn't follow a solid spectrum; SSDs and other hardware confer totally different benefits.


I finally just bit the bullet and got both, brought my total build price to almost 1600, but that will be ok. I don't think my wife is gonna totally kill me over it.
January 15, 2012 2:23:17 AM

kajabla said:
Intel SSD caching doesn't work as well as managing the data manually, and it's usually only a good strategy when you want some extra storage performance but can't afford more than a 20-30gb SSD.

Well, the biggest difference I've noticed is in my whole startup sequence. People usually measure boot times by timing from power button to desktop, but on my old HDD the machine would then sit, slowly loading up background apps and junk, for a solid two minutes, and I couldn't launch any applications. This was very annoying when I wanted to use my computer and didn't have much time. The second-biggest thing for me was game and level loading times, which are now almost ignorable.

It depends what matters to you more. Do you want to bypass a couple of minutes' wait every time you play a game, or do you want the gaming performance of a 580? "Performance" doesn't follow a solid spectrum; SSDs and other hardware confer totally different benefits.


I finally just bit the bullet and got both, brought my total build price to almost 1600, but that will be ok. I don't think my wife is gonna totally kill me over it.
January 15, 2012 3:10:10 AM

jeremyp1979 said:
I finally just bit the bullet and got both, brought my total build price to almost 1600, but that will be ok. I don't think my wife is gonna totally kill me over it.


Nice one. The 580 is a beast. You going to have one badass PC. Enjoy.

Btw. The wife will get over it, mine did.

BF3 on ultra setting will blow ur mind! So realistic! Join our clan if you get on. http://www.ecs-tactical.us/news.php
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