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New gaming/multimedia build...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
November 16, 2011 5:27:11 PM

I've been doing some research, and want to virtually replace my current machine, which I will probably sell. Current specs are as follows:

ASrock N68-S UCC motherboard
thermaltake 570W PSU
old Sidewinder case
AMD Phenom II X4 945 @ 3.3GHz (push it to 3.6GHz when playing, say, Skyrim or Starcraft II)
4GB DDR2 (have 8-12GB laying around but no 64-bit windows!)
Nvidia GTX 460 MSi cyclone 1GB
2x250GB WD Caviar Black SATA HDD RAID0
Win 7 32-Bit

Got all of the stuff on sale or open-box, when it was basically still new tech, and obviously it has served me for quite some time. As it gets older, I want to jump to a new platform for future upgrades. Looks like Intel is about to convert another AMD junkie. I've had AMD since my first K6-2 500MHz. It was paired with a Voodoo 3 3000. Good times.

Anyway here is what I have spec'd out so far:

MSi P67A-G43 (B3) Motherboard
i5 2500k (surely I can take it to 4.0GHz pretty easy right?)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cooler
Thermaltake 600-700W PSU
HEC Blitz airflow case
+1 ZOTAC GTX 460 1GB card (to pair with MSi cyclone GTX 460 card for SLi)
6GB (3x2GB) Mushkin Redline DDR3 1600 (HOPEFULLY overclock to 1866)
OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD 2.5" Drive
2X500 WD Caviar Black HDD RAID0
1TB Storage Drive
Windows 7 64-Bit

The reason this pertains to NVIDIA is:::

1) Will my MSi Cyclone GTX 460 be compatible with the ZOTAC GTX 460? The specs are identical, the memory, clocks, bit-rate, virtually everything so...would BIOS be factor?
2) It looks like 2XGTX 460 SLi can (for now) hang with virtually any $500-700 single card on the market. Is that a good upgrade path, or should I wait and get a better card later as the technology tree unfolds?

Thanks for reading all that!
Ch3rok33 Jo3
November 16, 2011 7:11:34 PM

Hi Joe, I don't see a pb with the sli, the cards should be compatible. Each card would have its own BIOS, so I see no need for concern.
The rest of the build looks pretty good.
I did a mod with the HEC blitz and for the price its pretty sweet. However it is a budget case and cable management was a bear. I'm finding as I get older that I am less forgiving of companies that don't put some effort into cable management. In this case, there is very little room for stuff behind the mobo. However, it is a very sharp looking case and I've seen worse in that price range.

Also, if it were me I'd make room in the budget for the Vertex III. You're getting SATA III, why not use the bandwidth? You could definately skip the raid 0 as it won't be any help with accessing your data. Just get one decent HD, wait no scrap that. You have a couple of smaller data drives, just use those for now and wait for prices to drop on HD until next year. Take the money you save on overpriced hard drives and get a Vertex III 120GB. Your best option.
November 16, 2011 8:22:35 PM

Whoa thanks, buzznut 4 prez
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November 16, 2011 8:39:07 PM

NP. BTW, you should have no problem with the ram, I have DDR3 1333 mushkin 2X4GB radioactive chips OC to 1600 MHZ with same cl9 timings. Mushkin is quality memory, and redline and blackline series are built to overclock. Just make sure they are on the approved list for you mobo.