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$600 - 700 Build; Your thoughts welcome

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January 20, 2012 2:48:27 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: mid February

Budget Range: $600 - $700; I'm flexible, but lets keep it realistic

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and other miscellaneous computer functions (browsing, word processing, nothing else demanding)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, and (maybe) HDD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm comfortable with Newegg, but open to other trusted and reliable options.

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Generally N/A

Overclocking: Maybe, but probably no.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, I want to reserve that option for the future, thus x2 PCIE 16 is mandatory.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments:

(1) I built my existing computer, thus have some limited experience building / troubleshooting

(2) I have an existing HDD (something like 250gb 7200rpm sata) that I can use, but would be open to the potential of an SSD; this would depend on getting my usb based copy of win7 onto the ssd (it was easy enough with the HDD I have, that is if I can find the usb drive or win7 files...)

(3) The level of interest I have in attempting to overclock the computer would be about 20%; as the computer gets older, this may increase, but not significantly. I've had my current PC for, give or take, 4 years and haven't ever bothered with it.

(4) I'd like, at least and even if its not beneficial at the moment, to keep the possibility for SLI / Crossfire open. If you feel the desire, provide a concise argument for one 'awesome card' as opposed to a decent one now, only to double up in the future.

(5) In the future, I'll grab a second monitor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After some poking around, this is what I've come up with

Processor: i5-2400 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
This is based on the fact that I probably will not try to OC

Power: Antec HCG-750 / 750w (80+ certified) - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Please keep in mind that I'd like to have the option for dual GPU

Board: ASrock z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Memory: Wintec AMPO 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Pulled this from the recent builder marathon, open to other options if the quality is significantly better

Case: NZXT Source 210 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Very flexible here as long as it's just a normal, stable, no excessive frills, good ventilation case

GPU: Sapphire 6870 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
I'd just Crossfire two of these at a later date if I did so at all

SSD: Crucial M4 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Puts me over, at least with these parts, but I'd heard good things about this model and wouldn't mind running a primary SSD with a secondary mechanical

Without SSD = 666.xx
With SS = 766.xx

This is where you come in... Where can I save some money and still have a decent rig (expected to last 2-3yrs, or longer with minor upgrades)?

I figure I can save on the case, the mobo (maybe), and the PS (provided it will have enough for dual GPU in the future). Furthermore, I am aware that all the prices will vary, with mail-ins or instant rebates, etc... I've no problem buying a component at a time and waiting a month or so. Just looked, there is a Microcenter near me, so I can save on the Processor, either the i5-2400 or the i5-2500k.

Any thoughts / comments are much appreciated.

Thanks.

More about : 600 700 build thoughts

January 20, 2012 3:00:48 PM

Just so you know, you dont get 2x 16 pci with as rock 3 gen 3, it will run 8x8 in sli/xfire, however 16x16 vs 8x8 is like no difference.

You cant save on the mobo if u want socket 1155 and sli/xfire. Dont really think you can get a cheaper case either that doesnt completely suck. The only obvious thing you can save money on is ditching the SSD, or straying away from the sli/xfire route, then u can get cheaper mobo and psu.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 3:01:09 PM

My advice is drop for now the SSD and buy an 2500k.The build is good.The mobo what you choosed is ok. support future Crossfire or SLI.
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January 20, 2012 3:02:03 PM

I would go with OCZ, kingston, or Geil on the memory. Unless the reviews in newegg are really good. Seems to me like you got a good build I would prefer the 2500K over what you have, but cost is a concern so what you have go will do the trick. Its nice case. If you already have drives you can go without the SSD for now and get it later.
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January 20, 2012 3:08:48 PM

Never heard of Wintec AMPO, but Knigston HyperX 8gb is really good. Same price. Good motherboard. Since your not OCing, just get the i5 2400. I say go with the M4 SSD cause it will make you load into games and OS much faster. Other than that, looks good.
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January 20, 2012 3:12:57 PM

You've made some good choices, and my agreement has more to do with timing than particular parts.

For example, that is decent RAM at a decent price, but if you wait for a shellshocker on RAM (very common) you can get a good set at a lower price. I've seen good 8GB kits as low as $20.

The same goes for your graphics, PSU, and your SSD. If you wait to buy a quality product at a special price, you'll save $10 or $20 here and there. I love looking for combo deals that save me $30 somewhere, or allow me to get a better product for the same price.

I totally agree that you should get one card now and Xfire/SLI later, but I would argue that you buy a little bit better card now, because graphics are going to outpace a 6870 soon enough, and then two after that, but consider that a pricier card now will have had a more significant price drop by the time you decide to buy a second.

I would suggest a GTX560ti or a Radeon HD 6950 1GB, as they're both likely to be in stock 1+ years from now. That being said, a 6870 still is a solid card and will also be available later.

The last thing you should buy would be graphics, if you can use an old card to hold you over until you find the right price. Next month will see the launch of all the newest cards, and we all hope that will drive down prices on current gen options.

Finally, a SSD is absolutely worth the upgrade, as there are few components on which spending that $100 would give you a comparable performance upgrade.

I especially like your choices for both case and PSU.

Are you on newegg's emailing list?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 3:22:14 PM

Well, for two 6870s you could go with a more modest 650W PSU, but of course most of them only have two PCI-E connectors so you would need to use those pesky adapters. I say either go without the SSD, or drop down to a Radeon 6850 (which only needs one PCI-E power connector) and get a good 550W-650W PSU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 4:03:24 PM

Considering your resolution, I think you would find a single HD6870 quite capable, for some time to come.
The microstuttering of multiple GPUs in Crossfire or SLI has me inclined to suggest a single card is your best choice. If you want to start stronger, you might look for a single GTX560Ti. You would not need a 750W PSU for it, and could get this 520W Seasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $60.
For now, I'd suggest dropping the SSD. They're great, and a wholly worthwhile upgrade, but 64GB is too small, and the money can go toward the stronger GPU. Drop it for now, then wait for a deal on a 120GB-128GB SATA III SSD later. When you reload Windows onto your 250GB HDD for this build, partition it to two equal partitions, then clone the Windows partition onto the new SSD later.
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January 20, 2012 5:05:20 PM

Here is what I come up with.

Get XFX Double D 687A-ZDFC ( better cooling, free shipping, and lifetime warranty) you save $2.56 :D 

Also you can go with AMD PII 565 calisto BE( it easily unlocks to all 4 cores and clock easily to 4Ghz) that would save you $89.99 or get PII x4 975 that would save you $29.99...these are all BE so it is very easy to oc...performance vise about the same or better than i5 2400

Also if you really want SSD get OCZ agility 3 120GB that is 129.99 with rebate
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 9:14:16 PM

The AMD BE chips do overclock pretty well (although results do vary), but unlocking cores is never a certainty. Buy the cores you need, and then view any extra you get as a bonus. If that X2 failed to unlock, you'd be screwed out of the cost.
Here's a performance comparison of a Phenom II X4 980BE (representative of a nicely overclocked 960T or 955BE) and an i5-2400:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=362
With a couple of likely irrelevant and slight exceptions, the i5 is obviously superior.
Here's the i5 vs. a X6 1100T (representative of an unlocked and overclocked 960T): http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=203
The results are similar, particularly in games; only in specialized tasks not listed among the OP's uses does the X6 manage any real victories.
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January 21, 2012 1:56:04 AM

Incom said:
Approximate Purchase Date: mid February

Budget Range: $600 - $700; I'm flexible, but lets keep it realistic

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and other miscellaneous computer functions (browsing, word processing, nothing else demanding)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, and (maybe) HDD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm comfortable with Newegg, but open to other trusted and reliable options.

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Generally N/A

Overclocking: Maybe, but probably no.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, I want to reserve that option for the future, thus x2 PCIE 16 is mandatory.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments:

(1) I built my existing computer, thus have some limited experience building / troubleshooting

(2) I have an existing HDD (something like 250gb 7200rpm sata) that I can use, but would be open to the potential of an SSD; this would depend on getting my usb based copy of win7 onto the ssd (it was easy enough with the HDD I have, that is if I can find the usb drive or win7 files...)

(3) The level of interest I have in attempting to overclock the computer would be about 20%; as the computer gets older, this may increase, but not significantly. I've had my current PC for, give or take, 4 years and haven't ever bothered with it.

(4) I'd like, at least and even if its not beneficial at the moment, to keep the possibility for SLI / Crossfire open. If you feel the desire, provide a concise argument for one 'awesome card' as opposed to a decent one now, only to double up in the future.

(5) In the future, I'll grab a second monitor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After some poking around, this is what I've come up with

Processor: i5-2400 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
This is based on the fact that I probably will not try to OC

Power: Antec HCG-750 / 750w (80+ certified) - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Please keep in mind that I'd like to have the option for dual GPU

Board: ASrock z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Memory: Wintec AMPO 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Pulled this from the recent builder marathon, open to other options if the quality is significantly better

Case: NZXT Source 210 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Very flexible here as long as it's just a normal, stable, no excessive frills, good ventilation case

GPU: Sapphire 6870 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
I'd just Crossfire two of these at a later date if I did so at all

SSD: Crucial M4 - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Puts me over, at least with these parts, but I'd heard good things about this model and wouldn't mind running a primary SSD with a secondary mechanical

Without SSD = 666.xx
With SS = 766.xx

This is where you come in... Where can I save some money and still have a decent rig (expected to last 2-3yrs, or longer with minor upgrades)?

I figure I can save on the case, the mobo (maybe), and the PS (provided it will have enough for dual GPU in the future). Furthermore, I am aware that all the prices will vary, with mail-ins or instant rebates, etc... I've no problem buying a component at a time and waiting a month or so. Just looked, there is a Microcenter near me, so I can save on the Processor, either the i5-2400 or the i5-2500k.

Any thoughts / comments are much appreciated.

Thanks.


If I were you, and you have the option of getting an hdd or not, I would wait until the prices sink to normal after the flood in thailand. The prices for a decent hard drive are currently blown waaaay out of proportion, and they should drop in a couple (3-4) months from my understanding.
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