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Need help on final parts for -$1500 game rig

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January 18, 2012 3:29:33 PM

This is my first post, and I believe I have read all the stickies, etc. in order to do it right, so please forgive me for any unintentional newbie post errors. Here's my situation:

I'm currently ready to order (as in wanted to yesterday) the components for a new system but am confused/unsure of a few issues listed below.

Approximate Purchase Date: a.s.a.p.

Budget Range: below $1500 (preferably lower)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Almost exclusively gaming, but I do use it for internet quite a bit.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Speakers, Mouse, Monitor (Dell 2407WFP (Digital) [24" LCD] (CC30272627US))
Monitor info: Max resolution 1920x1200


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/amazon

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Video card will be EVGA (love their service), Intel processor and Z68 chipset

Overclocking: Yes, but not very experienced with OC

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not ?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x 1200

Additional Comments: Need new OS, and wireless adapter/card. I have room for a full tower and like the power supplies at the bottom. Quiet is key. Not interested in liquid cooling. Want 16GB Ram

I'm "rotating" out an old household desktop (still running xp!) by using the kids desktop gaming computer and replacing theirs with my current system (this is how married guys convince their wives that an upgrade is necessary...). At the risk of posting too much, I posted my current system specs at bottom of this post. I'm currently playing Skyrim, but can't run it at ultra settings and would like to. The system should last 3-5 years. Biggest concerns are motherboard choice? (reading posts it looks like asus has a good board but service stinks) Do I go with a I5 2500k or 2600k chip? SSD drive? (Didn't know they existed until after reading all the posts...) Saw a post that warns about using memory over 1333mhz with Intel chip, but a lot of the memory is listed at 1600mhz? Would like opinions on how big a difference to expect from my current system. I greatly appreciate any help thrown my way.



Current system that I am replacing:

Computer:
Computer Type ACPI x64-based PC
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
OS Service Pack [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421 (IE 9.0)
DirectX DirectX 11.0
Computer Name GAME-PC
User Name Jim
Logon Domain [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Date / Time 2012-01-18 / 10:57

Motherboard:
CPU Type DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2400 MHz (9 x 267)
Motherboard Name EVGA 680i SLI (NF68) (2 PCI, 2 PCI-E x1, 3 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Dual Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)
Motherboard Chipset nVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
System Memory [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DIMM1: OCZ Titanium XTC OCZ2T800C42G 2 GB DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM (5-5-5-18 @ 400 MHz) (4-5-5-15 @ 333 MHz) (3-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)
DIMM2: OCZ Titanium XTC OCZ2T800C42G [ TRIAL VERSION ]
BIOS Type Award (09/04/08)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)

Display:
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB)
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB)
3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Monitor Dell 2407WFP (Digital) [24" LCD] (CC30272627US)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter Realtek ALC885/889A/890 @ nVIDIA nForce 680i SLI (MCP55PXE) - High Definition Audio Controller

Storage:
IDE Controller NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller
IDE Controller NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller
IDE Controller NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller
IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
Storage Controller Microsoft iSCSI Initiator
Disk Drive Generic Flash HS-CF USB Device
Disk Drive Generic Flash HS-COMBO USB Device
Disk Drive ST330062 0AS SCSI Disk Device (300 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)
Optical Drive TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S203N SCSI CdRom Device (DVD+R9:16x, DVD-R9:12x, DVD+RW:20x/8x, DVD-RW:20x/6x, DVD-RAM:12x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM)
SMART Hard Disks Status Unknown


January 18, 2012 3:55:17 PM

Are you a Scribe or something?, Woah there cowboy we didnt need that much info. Please Reply to this with just your Simple parts :Mother Board-CPU-PSU-Graphics Card-Memory
January 18, 2012 4:06:41 PM

I maked a build with silent case, I5 2500K , Sapphire 6970,16gb ddr3 , 64gb ssd for OS and other aplications, 500gb hdd, 650W psu 80+ bronze modular, os 64bit.
MOBO : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD-RW : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOTAL : $1,449.90 without rebates.
You can drop the price if you choose this 8GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... in gaming you don't need 16GB RAM.
You can also drop the price if you choose an 560Ti or 6950 video card. That 6970 will be good for another few years.And you can drop another 100$ if you don't buy the SSD.
Related resources
January 18, 2012 4:11:26 PM

Rockdpm said:
Are you a Scribe or something?, Woah there cowboy we didnt need that much info. Please Reply to this with just your Simple parts :Mother Board-CPU-PSU-Graphics Card-Memory


Rock,

Thanks for you reply. Sorry for the long post, just didn't want to leave something out. The current system I'm replacing is:

Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI (NF68)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
PSU: Seasonic (not sure what wattage)
Graphics card: EVGA 8800 GTX 768 mb
January 18, 2012 4:15:34 PM

Quote:
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Video card will be EVGA (love their service), Intel processor and Z68 chipset


You really can't go wrong with EVGA - they're pretty much all I use. I just bought their CPU cooler this week and it's been amazing so far.

Quote:
Biggest concerns are motherboard choice? (reading posts it looks like asus has a good board but service stinks)


If you're concerned about motherboard technical support you're probably not going to be doing too much better. I usually get all of my support for my systems handled through Newegg.

Quote:
Do I go with a I5 2500k or 2600k chip?


I'd say go with the 2500K. You're going to be hearing a lot of "wait for this, wait for that" ad nauseum. I personally don't think you're going to be seeing a lot of difference between CPUs at this point. Where you'll see the most difference is the GPU. I doubt we'll be seeing the NVIDIA 6XX before the summer but the Radeon 7970 has been owning 3-D Mark records left and right lately.

Quote:
SSD drive? (Didn't know they existed until after reading all the posts...)


Getting an SSD for a boot drive is a good idea for sure. But that's all I'd really use it for - get a 64GB and then something like a 1TB Spinpoint for storing your games and larger files.

Quote:
Saw a post that warns about using memory over 1333mhz with Intel chip, but a lot of the memory is listed at 1600mhz?


I don't know who was posting that but that doesn't make sense at all. You for sure shouldn't go over 1600MHz as a lot of motherboards won't be able to handle the tested speed, but you'll be able to use 1333 and 1066 fine. Just make sure it falls under the guidelines of your manufacturer's QVL.

Quote:
Would like opinions on how big a difference to expect from my current system.


I upgraded from 775 to Z68 as well - HUGE, HUGE difference.

Quote:
GPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127581


EVGA was specifically requested as the video card vendor - this one won't work.

Try something like this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 - $194.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $44.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $46.99
SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 - $109.99
HD: Samsung Spinpoint 7200 RPM 1TB - $169.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 570TI - $339.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,504.68 ($1404.90 without OS)
January 18, 2012 4:44:00 PM

Thanks a bunch for the replies, I'm already clicking links and looking at what your suggesting.

The article I saw on here about the memory was posted by Proximon just recently. Here's the link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333313-31-warning-int...

I'm not a really smart guy on all this stuff, just don't want to make any mistakes I could have avoided.

Haven't worked with a Gigabyte board before, is there a reason to look at them vs. the ASUS and other popular boards (really bummed EVGA doesn't make a good one).

Looks like I was over-reaching on memory, I'll scale that back.

Is there a good link to learn about the SSD drives and how they are installed/work? I've built a half dozen systems in the past, but none with that technology.

Just curious, why the GTX 570ti over the 560ti? Big price difference, is it worth it? I'm not doubting, just asking because I don't know. Thanks again.
January 18, 2012 4:53:41 PM

case: Fractal design R3 - 109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyet GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - 159.99
PSU: Seasonic X650 Gold - 139.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - 229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - 44.99
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory - 49.99
SSD: SAMSUNG 830 64GB - 119.99
HD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB - 159.99
ODD: Asus DVD - 19.99
GPU: EVGA 560ti Super Clocked - 249.99
OS: Windows Home Premium 64bit - 99.99

Total: 1,384.89 with OS

The define R3 is the best silent case at that price point IMO. Can't go wrong with either the samsung or crucial m4 SSD. If you live close to a microcenter, the 2500K is only 179.99
January 18, 2012 5:03:57 PM

I agree with G-units build almost completely, with the exception of the hard drive. I would go with a seagate or western digital, and with the price of hard drives right now, I wouldn't get over a 500g data drive. They are about twice as much as normal due to the whole flooding issue in thailand or something to that affect. Something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... would be nice, then you can spend 70 or 80 bucks when the prices come down and get a 1 tb hard drive.
January 18, 2012 5:11:43 PM

Quote:

The article I saw on here about the memory was posted by Proximon just recently. Here's the link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] tel-builds


Whoa!! I had no idea Intel was that strict on overclocking. I run my system with 1600MHz RAM but I don't set the memory multiplier over that. :ouch: 

Quote:
Just curious, why the GTX 570ti over the 560ti? Big price difference, is it worth it? I'm not doubting, just asking because I don't know. Thanks again.


The 560TI is about minimum of the road in terms of performance. The 570TI and 580TI are currently the top of the line, and the model I picked is superclocked version which means that it's factory-tweaked by EVGA to deliver the best performance it can get.

Quote:
Is there a good link to learn about the SSD drives and how they are installed/work? I've built a half dozen systems in the past, but none with that technology.


It's a bit tricky to explain. Maybe try this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-array-hard...

Quote:
Haven't worked with a Gigabyte board before, is there a reason to look at them vs. the ASUS and other popular boards (really bummed EVGA doesn't make a good one).


Definitely don't rule them out. I use the UD3P and it's been a really good board so far - been running for nearly 5 - 6 months now with no problems. I think a lot of people are really nit-picking EVGA's current motherboard offerings. The thing is where most of your troubles lie is with installation errors. If you take your time you should be trouble free.

Quote:

The define R3 is the best silent case at that price point IMO. Can't go wrong with either the samsung or crucial m4 SSD. If you live close to a microcenter, the 2500K is only 179.99


I'll second this recommendation for Fractal Design, but Micro Center isn't available to everyone so that might not always be a possibility.

Quote:
I agree with G-units build almost completely, with the exception of the hard drive. I would go with a seagate or western digital, and with the price of hard drives right now, I wouldn't get over a 500g data drive. They are about twice as much as normal due to the whole flooding issue in thailand or something to that affect.


I have a Spinpoint and it's been a really good drive so far. I'll definitely agree that HD prices are insane but if the OP has the budget, why not get anything over a 500GB?
January 18, 2012 5:59:22 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I have a Spinpoint and it's been a really good drive so far. I'll definitely agree that HD prices are insane but if the OP has the budget, why not get anything over a 500GB?


For what people are paying for 500g drives now, a few months ago they could get a 1 or 1.5 tb. So in a few months(hopefully) when the hard drive prices go back down, get twice as much data storage for your money. 500g is plenty for the average user i would guess, and with the ~50 bucks you would save going from the 1tb to a 500g, you could almost pay for the difference in picking up a 128g ssd.
January 18, 2012 5:59:51 PM

This is very helpful, more than I expected! Ok, so now I've already narrowed down a few things with all of your help.

I5 2500k cpu
EVGA 570ti video card
8gb memory (but still not certain on speed?)
An SSD drive with a HDD - I really don't need a lot of space as I keep my computer really clean and delete games when I'm done. I think I saw a benchmarking link for SSD drives on here, but I will have to study that more. Where do they mount? Like a normal HDD?

Motherboard choice is still worrisome. I looked at the gigabyte boards recommended, but not sure what I should be looking for. I know I've read that a lot of people like the ease of overclocking an asus board, but is that the same with others? Is there an EVGA board that is decent that I don't know about? My current board (EVFA 680sli) had issues when I first built it, but EVGA had an actual person that was able to help me out - hard to get over that type of service, but not if they don't have a decent product to begin with.

Power supply wattage? I know 950w would definitely do the trick, but do I have to look for other criteria?
January 18, 2012 6:05:45 PM

nick_atnite said:
This is very helpful, more than I expected! Ok, so now I've already narrowed down a few things with all of your help.

I5 2500k cpu
EVGA 570ti video card
8gb memory (but still not certain on speed?)
An SSD drive with a HDD - I really don't need a lot of space as I keep my computer really clean and delete games when I'm done. I think I saw a benchmarking link for SSD drives on here, but I will have to study that more. Where do they mount? Like a normal HDD?

Motherboard choice is still worrisome. I looked at the gigabyte boards recommended, but not sure what I should be looking for. I know I've read that a lot of people like the ease of overclocking an asus board, but is that the same with others? Is there an EVGA board that is decent that I don't know about? My current board (EVFA 680sli) had issues when I first built it, but EVGA had an actual person that was able to help me out - hard to get over that type of service, but not if they don't have a decent product to begin with.

Power supply wattage? I know 950w would definitely do the trick, but do I have to look for other criteria?


For the highest quality motherboards, stick with Asus and MSI, personally, I don't use anything but Asus. Their customer service kind of sucks, but you very rarely need to use it.

SSD's are usually 2.5 in compared to 3.5 for traditional hard drives, though they mount in the same place. Most modern model cases come with the stuff to mount a 2.5 ssd where the 3.5 usually mounts, and if they don't, adapter kits are very cheap.

When you build the system, whatever ram you put in it is going to default to 1333 speed. With 1600 ram, all you would have to do is set it at the correct speed in the bios to change it, though you would see very little difference going from 1333 to 1600.

With a single card setup, I would get a 750w power supply. Even if you are going to be overvolting the processor and gpu, 750 will be plenty, and in most cases, enough to do SLI/CF as well. 900 is just overkill for most systems.
January 18, 2012 6:41:13 PM

jeremyp1979 said:
For the highest quality motherboards, stick with Asus and MSI, personally, I don't use anything but Asus. Their customer service kind of sucks, but you very rarely need to use it.

SSD's are usually 2.5 in compared to 3.5 for traditional hard drives, though they mount in the same place. Most modern model cases come with the stuff to mount a 2.5 ssd where the 3.5 usually mounts, and if they don't, adapter kits are very cheap.

When you build the system, whatever ram you put in it is going to default to 1333 speed. With 1600 ram, all you would have to do is set it at the correct speed in the bios to change it, though you would see very little difference going from 1333 to 1600.

With a single card setup, I would get a 750w power supply. Even if you are going to be overvolting the processor and gpu, 750 will be plenty, and in most cases, enough to do SLI/CF as well. 900 is just overkill for most systems.



Thanks Jeremy,

I have no problem going with any mb if folks on here are saying it's the right way to go. Which MB models would you recommend, and why would you recommend them vs. the previously listed Gigabyte boards?

Is there a particular power supply that you would recommend for the build (brand, etc.)?
January 18, 2012 7:11:14 PM

nick_atnite said:
Thanks Jeremy,

I have no problem going with any mb if folks on here are saying it's the right way to go. Which MB models would you recommend, and why would you recommend them vs. the previously listed Gigabyte boards?

Is there a particular power supply that you would recommend for the build (brand, etc.)?


This board is a very good oneASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 179.99 . While it's a mATX board, it has support for dual graphics card if you should ever use it, a high quality sound card built in, onboard usb 3.0 header for your front panel, and is very easy to overclock. It also has an onboard LED panel to troubleshoot should you ever have any issues.

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 204.99 This board has up to quad gpu support for SLI and CF, has UEFI bios(which means the bios is graphical and you can use your mouse with it), built in blue tooth(great for wireless keyboards and that kind of thing). has lucid logix virtu support(this automatically switches between your addon card and the intergrated graphics, designed to conserve power and decrease video encoding times), and is also very easy to overclock with.

Both of these might have features you think you would never use, but Asus has a reputation for being the best motherboard maker around, and I use them exclusively. I've still got a couple of systems running on 6 and 7 year old asus boards, and never had any issues with any of them.

As far as the power supply goes, Antec HCG 750 is a very good one to get. This particular PSU is made by Delta, which is one of the top PSU manufacturers around, and at 79 bucks after rebates, it's a steal. It's 80+ bronze certified, so it has pretty good efficency to go along with the low price. If you don't like Antec, some other very good brands would be Seasonic, Corsair, and Cougar(Cougar is made by HEC).
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 104.99 would also be a very good one.

You might also check out this 2500k and 8g Corsair Vengeance
It's not the low profile like Gunit suggested, but at 15 bucks off for the combo, the ram is effectively 35 bucks.

Edit: As to why I would pick the boards over the previously suggested Gigabyte is quite plainly Asus quality. For having the same features or close to it, I would always pick an Asus board. Yes I am an Asus fanboy, but they have never had any issues for me, and I've built probably 20 systems or so in the past 10 years for family members and friends with Asus boards,and havent had a single failure or issue whatsoever. This to me is worth the extra money to spend on it in the first place. I'm not saying Gigabyte is bad, I'm saying Asus is that good.
Edit2: fixed a bunch of typos...
January 18, 2012 7:18:25 PM

Just another quick thing, the power supplies I listed aren't going to be as efficient as the Seasonic, but both are cheaper, and are 80+ bronze, instead of the Gold like the Seasonic.
January 18, 2012 9:39:47 PM

I looked at the boards, and the one Asus board has good reviews, but it's a mATX board - is that a big deal? How much use do you get out of the bluetooth? I have everything cabled in. The integrated graphics thing is another thing that confuses me. Doesn't the Intel chip have that on it also, or am I misunderstanding something?
January 18, 2012 9:44:41 PM

The IGP is actually on the processor, the board just moves to the video outs. The virtu logix basically swaps between the processors video and your video card as needed.

Being a micro atx board isnt gonna hurt anything if it has all the features you want. They are usually built to be cheaper and have less features, but the maximus is a great board.
January 18, 2012 9:58:01 PM

I see that most of these are PCI express 2.0, but 3.0 is available. Does that make a difference?
January 18, 2012 10:46:03 PM

With the system youre building, not really. Even a 7970(the fastest video card around) wont use the full data transfer capabilities of 2.0, but going with the 3.0 also gives you the option to add a 3.0 capable card when they do come out.
January 19, 2012 1:05:28 AM

Good thing I had today off! Been trying to pick these parts all day and appreciate all the help. Here's what I've come up with (except for the case which I'm still trying to decide on):












You guys see anything I'm missing or won't work? Was thinking a full tower for a case, but worried about noise. Saw the suggestion above for a quiet case but I'm concerned about heat and space (especially for the cpu cooler, etc.) since it's only a mid-tower.

Are there are any cables or anything I should get? Hate it when something isn't included. Have this all on newegg for $1,264.00 and didn't use any combos. Appreciate any advice/opinions. (hope I did the hyper-link thing correctly..)
January 19, 2012 1:32:15 AM



nick_atnite said:
You guys see anything I'm missing or won't work? Was thinking a full tower for a case, but worried about noise. Saw the suggestion above for a quiet case but I'm concerned about heat and space (especially for the cpu cooler, etc.) since it's only a mid-tower.

Are there are any cables or anything I should get? Hate it when something isn't included. Have this all on newegg for $1,264.00 and didn't use any combos. Appreciate any advice/opinions. (hope I did the hyper-link thing correctly..)


Personally, I like the simple looking cases, that arent too flashy, but enough to kind of show off your stuff if you want to. That being said, here are the 2 cases I spent days trying to decide in for what i just ordered( I ended up going with the Antec)

Corsair Carbid 400r 99.99
Antec 1100 119.99

They both are modern looking, with great cable management, lots of room for cards/hard drives, have lots of cooling oppurtunities, have usb 3.0 on the front panel, and dust filters for most of the intake fans. They both have LED's for when you want them, and even though they arent super"loud" and over the top, they can be switched off. The antec also comes with a fan controller.

If going with the Antec, even though its a bit more expensive, I'd buy at least 1-2 more 140mm fans to mount in it(the reason I ultimately decided on thsi one was the top mounted Power/Reset button)

The Corsair is a great looking case, with plenty of upgrade options, pretty much any option anyone would want.

Mostly what you look for in a case is something you like the looks of, as long as it will fit your hardware and keep it cool. Personally I wouldnt pick one without usb 3.0 in the front, not because I absolutely need it right now, but I plan on having mine for several years, and you probably do too.
September 19, 2012 7:09:09 AM

Wow... the set ups you guys have are pretty good, but price wise is just too much... I know this thread might just be dead but here's my setup purchased around... September 2011.

Intel i7 2600k
Asus P8Z68 deluxe
Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz 8gb ram
Corsair 1050watt +80gold PSU
EVGA GTX 560ti 2gb
128gb Corsair Force GT SSD
Hitachi 2TB HD
CD/DVD Burner
Bluray Writer/burner
MMC Card read
Windows Ultimate 64bit
Corsair H60 CPU cooler
Xion Gaming case of some sort(I replaced this with my 3-4year old Thermaltake Armor full tower)
Asus VH238 monitor

Total cost about $1450
Purchased from ibuypower.com

!