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1st build - Gaming - Please review

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January 17, 2012 5:22:46 AM

Hey, first-time builder here. Just wanted to know what opinions there are for this build. I'm buying from Amazon because I live in Alaska and need the free shipping, but I'll post the links for Newegg so it provides better info on the products. Because of this the prices may not line up, though.

Budget: $1000

Uses: Gaming

Current Config:

Case - Cooler Master Storm Scout - $69

Motherboard - ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional - $190

CPU - AMD FX-8120 - $200

CPU Cooler - Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler - $109

Fans - Cooler Master SickleFlow Red LED (2 for push/pull on H100) - $20

Power Supply - Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W - $105

Graphics Card - HIS IceQ Radeon HD 6870 1GB - $170

Memory - Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 - $45

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RMP - $85

Optical Drive - Asus DVD Burner - $19

Anything I may have missed or personal experiences/preferences with any of the products would be greatly appreciated.
January 17, 2012 6:07:24 AM

Thanks, that could work out! :D  Do you know how well those mobos overclock? I was planning on overclocking the CPU and I've heard that the higher gaming mobos have more stable overclocks. Or do you suggest a better GPU next to an overclocked CPU?
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January 17, 2012 6:10:27 AM

why you don't go with intel?it's way better than FX series when it comes to gaming
January 17, 2012 6:30:23 AM

I considering that, but after doing some research the FX-8120 is closer to the performance of an i5-2500k than some let on, and also has more overclocking potential
January 17, 2012 6:39:10 AM

even if you overclock it to the limit,you can't compare it to 2500K in gaming...just do some research and you'll see
January 17, 2012 7:09:31 AM

Please go for a Core i5 setup if your main purpose for the PC is gaming.

Off the bat, you save $60 on the motherboard, but the CPU is $20 more expensive. Get a good air cooler (CM Hyper 212 Evo) for ~$40, and save another $60. Get the Antec Earthwatts 650W for $65 off Amazon and save another $40.

That's $140 more you can put into graphics. Get a HD6970 for ~$320.

Check the $1000 build on my sig to get an idea of what I'm talking about. All the links are from Amazon (except the motherboard).
January 17, 2012 7:38:59 AM

As someone who has owned both an fx series and now currently using a 2500k i can tell you first hand that for gaming 2500k leaves them in the dust and i dont know what you mean by better overclocking. I can overclock mine to 4.8gHz with one button click and have 30 degrees at idle and 60 while playing BF3 with a hyper 212 evo (same cooler zero was talking about) if you are a hellbent AMD fanboy then by all means go for the fx but in all honesty for dollar for dollar performance not much comes close to the 2500k. other than that my only advice on your build would be as an above poster suggested if you can swing it id go for a 6950 as a 6970 is below recommended settings for games like BF3 maybe ditch the liquid for a 212 and save $60 towards the GPU (the i5's also run a lot cooler than AMD chips)
January 17, 2012 8:22:06 AM

Zero_ said:
Please go for a Core i5 setup if your main purpose for the PC is gaming.

Off the bat, you save $60 on the motherboard, but the CPU is $20 more expensive. Get a good air cooler (CM Hyper 212 Evo) for ~$40, and save another $60. Get the Antec Earthwatts 650W for $65 off Amazon and save another $40.

That's $140 more you can put into graphics. Get a HD6970 for ~$320.

Check the $1000 build on my sig to get an idea of what I'm talking about. All the links are from Amazon (except the motherboard).


+1

Perfect advice and this is going to destroy the performance of the initial build listed. 6970 is leagues above the 6870.

EDIT: Also to note, with a SandyBridge (i5) build, your going to want 1.5v RAM. 1600Mhz, CL9 is the best price vs. performance. An 8GB (2x4GB sticks) can be picked up for about $40. Corsair Vengeance and G.Skill Ripjaws are popular choices.

January 17, 2012 6:05:45 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I'll look into an i5 setup now! I'll post the parts once I get everything worked out.
January 18, 2012 2:44:01 AM

Okay, here is my new i5 build:


Case - Cooler Master Storm Scout - $69

Motherboard - ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $122

CPU - Intel i5-2500k - $204

CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $41

Power Supply - Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W - $105

Graphics Card - MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G - $260

Memory - G.Skill Sniper Series 8 GB - $50

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RMP - $85

Optical Drive - Asus DVD Burner - $23

Case Fans - Cooler Master SickleFlow Red LED - $20


I decided on the 6950 because it's cheaper than the 6970 and is factory overclocked. Also kept the same power supply so I can crossfire in the future. Any other ideas?
January 18, 2012 3:20:20 AM

Looks pretty sweet.

If you plan to CF in the future, go for a 2GB card. 1 GB will bottleneck 2x HD6950's in the future. Take a look at the HIS IceQ 2GB OC cards on Amazon. They sell for around $270, so almost the same.
January 18, 2012 4:28:41 AM

Thanks for the tip! I was actually looking at the card too, but I didn't think the 2GB made much of a difference unless you had multiple monitors from what I had read. But if that is the case, I guess I'll go with the HIS IceQ 2GB.
January 18, 2012 5:47:39 AM

much better build. zero is also right about the 2gb games are starting to use more and more vram. BF3 will run on a 1gb card but it does make use of more to render textures farther away my 6970 runs at 1.6gb usage when i play 64 player maps
January 18, 2012 7:39:15 AM

New build looks bang on. Don't have much experience with 2GB cards vs 1GB but the rest of the build looks great :) 

Just one question though, why are you spending $20 on a fan....? The Storm Scout comes supplied with front, rear and roof fans. There are fan slots on the side for up to 2 fans - HOWEVER with the Hyper 212 cooler, im not sure the case is wide enough to fit side fans, unless you fit them on the outside of the case.

I use a Storm Scout myself, and while its an amazing case and I have installed 2 Xilence Red Wing fans ( http://images.overclock.co.uk/product_images/large/1510... ) myself on the inside, I'm only using the Arctic Freezer 13 which is a much smaller CPU cooler and the space is still pretty tight.

My recommendation would be to buy all other components first, and then buy a side fan AFTERWARDS once you can see if you will have enough space or not.
January 18, 2012 10:33:00 PM

AdrianPerry said:
New build looks bang on. Don't have much experience with 2GB cards vs 1GB but the rest of the build looks great :) 

Just one question though, why are you spending $20 on a fan....? The Storm Scout comes supplied with front, rear and roof fans. There are fan slots on the side for up to 2 fans - HOWEVER with the Hyper 212 cooler, im not sure the case is wide enough to fit side fans, unless you fit them on the outside of the case.

I use a Storm Scout myself, and while its an amazing case and I have installed 2 Xilence Red Wing fans ( http://images.overclock.co.uk/product_images/large/1510... ) myself on the inside, I'm only using the Arctic Freezer 13 which is a much smaller CPU cooler and the space is still pretty tight.

My recommendation would be to buy all other components first, and then buy a side fan AFTERWARDS once you can see if you will have enough space or not.


The $20 is actually for 2, not 1, fan. Sorry for specifying that. But I didn't think about the space limitations, so I may wait on those fans until I get everything else. Thanks for bring that up.
January 18, 2012 11:44:02 PM

Also, without the fans I got another $20 for the GPU, so what do you guys think of the MSI R6950 TWIN FROZR III PE OC? It's clocked the same as the HIS IceQ X 2GB, but has dual fans. Are the dual fans worth it, or does the HIS IceQ X cool enough?
January 19, 2012 1:57:44 PM

The MSI Twin Frozr cards are really good for cooling. They are low noise and very efficient.

This could be a good advantage, especially if you plan to SLI and the cards sit on top of each other. The more cooling the better. Generally speaking.

That being said, I've heard good things about the ICEQ card too, so take your pick :) 
January 20, 2012 1:58:42 AM

Thanks for the input. I think I'll go for the MSI card, I read you can unlock the shaders whereas you can't on the HIS card.
!