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Feed Back on a $1500 or less gaming build please

First I would like to Thank anyone who reads this in attempt to help me. I'm trying to create a gaming/media center for my living room. I would like to get as long of a life span out of this build without having to change numerous things everytime I want to upgrade a single aspect of the system, eg - if I want to go CFX or SLI later I'd like to not change mobos or PSUs as well because the current won't handle it or something similar. I'm a bit of a data packrat, for lack of a better term, so I have 5-6 sata HDDs that I would like to have as many hooked up as posible without needing to go into the case or using slower external usb devices if posible. I know I might be wanting a lot because I'm an enthusiast at heart but only have a mid range budget right now. This started with a budget of $600-$800 so I wouldnt go nuts like a kid in a candy store and I just can't help it, I want to order all these high end parts so I keep bumping up the budget. So if any of you more knowledgable or realistic people can point out a few things I could drop now & add or upgrade later once prices drop, I would be glad to but am just unsure of where I should cut costs now if I even should at all. I was thinking use the onboard graphics for a little while in case of 7970 price drops or availability issues. I would like the GPU asap but I have all the new consoles so could wait if anyone thinks it will make a significant difference.

I've been kind of obsessing over this since early Oct. and sometimes get lost in my thoughts & ideas, so if I have left anything out or failed to add some kind of key info please forgive me and let me know.


Approximate Purchase Date: Sooner than later

Budget Range: $1000-1500 USD before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mostly/media sever

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, 60" 1080p HDTV, speakers, Win7 x64 ultimate

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: seems to have the best selection for one stop shopping, but I'm not opposed to other sites that have better deals for the same parts.

Country: I am in San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

Parts Preferences: I5-2500k unless someone thinks I could better spend $ elsewhere, don't care AMD vs Nvidia whichever is better price/performance.

Overclocking: probably not at first unless things lag, but eventually because it seems to get the most out of a system

SLI or Crossfire: yeah, once eyefinity or Nvidia's counter part drops in price

Monitor Resolution: 60" sony 1080p HDTV, but would like eyefinity or the Nvidia equivalent sometime down the road.

Additional Comments: it will ideally live in the computer compartment in my wood desk, the back is completely open but no side openings. my current del inspiron or whatever doesnt get hot but also isn't a 1/3 of the machine I'm hoping this will be. I read that while liquid cooling is great for higher OC'ing and such it's not usually justifiable for your "average" user, I wonder if it would help the longevity of my overall system which I usually don't turn off and would be essentially living in a box with one always open side. would it be best to just get a 212 evo and maybe a few extra case fans? I don't usually have time for the epic 7-8+ hrs of straight gaming and I don't do any overly strenuous media tasks or benchmarking.


CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
$220 reg. $230 right now, it's sold out.

Mobo - ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$255 + 10% off until 1/18

Cases - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
or Rosewill FUTURE Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Four Fans - 2 x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm Fan,1x Rear 120mm Fan, Support up to 6 Fans
$60 - I would like mid tower with as many HDD bays as posible, not a fan of the LEDs but not a deal breaker.

PSUs - SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$160 & 5yr warranty
or PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply
$130 & 7yr warranty - I would prefer an 80PLUS gold or platinum for long term usage and usually higher build quality, I do realize the 2nd is silver rated and as I said, I usually don't turn off my PC too often.

Memory - G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2

GPU - XFX Black Edition FX-797A-TDBC Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$600 with lifetime warranty but sold out right now. I know this is complete overkill right now, but I figure witha lifetime warranty this will last for a loooong time especially if I CFX 2-3 GPUs some years down the line.

Cooler - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

SSD - No idea how big I should get or company/models I should go for. I hear that like PSUs you should try to keep them under 80% capacity.

That would be roughly $1360 with the cheaper case & PSU to $1400 for for the more expensive case & PSU, not including SSD

Thank you again for all of the help, advice, and comments anyone might have for me!!!
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about feed back 1500 gaming build please
  1. Motherboard seems "unnecessary". You will most likely get better value from the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 at ~$190

    Crucial M4 is a well recommended SSD.

    PSU: 550w is the recommended for a single 7970. The 750w you've listed is enough for a Crossfire set up however if you wish to go this route.
  2. AdrianPerry said:
    Motherboard seems "unnecessary". You will most likely get better value from the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 at ~$190

    Crucial M4 is a well recommended SSD.

    PSU: 550w is the recommended for a single 7970. The 750w you've listed is enough for a Crossfire set up however if you wish to go this route.

    Would using a 550w with a 7970 or a 750w with 2x 7970's be putting those PSU's close to 90-100% load quite often? I have read in a few places that if posible you should keep your PSU & SSD under 80% capacity to help the lifespan of the unit. Have I been misinformed? or am I just assuming this components use a lot more energy than they actually do?
  3. Best answer
    Measured power consumption

    System in IDLE = 163W
    System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 355W
    Difference (GPU load) = 192W
    Add average IDLE wattage ~3W
    Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 195 Watts

    Taken from:


    355w is the most the system pulled running totally maxed out on a very power hungry system. For general gaming its likely your PSU will be around the 50-80% mark its obviously going to vary constantly though. Some parts of the game will require more power than others.

    If you think 750w might be cutting it a little close for a Crossfire set-up, by all means grab an 850w unit for peace of mind but certainly no higher than that as its just a waste of money that could be better spent else where on the build.
  4. Best answer selected by uber415.
  5. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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