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Please critique my $1000 build

Last response: in Systems
January 28, 2012 9:51:44 PM


First I'd like to say thank you to all the contributing members of this forum. It's because of this forum that I feel confident in purchasing and assembling my very first pc on my own!

Approximate Purchase Date: Anytime (some of the offers end in a couple days but those can always be changed)
Budget Range: sub $1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (starcraft 2 mostly), photo editing, general usage
Parts Not Required: Need everything
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, I also have a microcenter about 45 min away
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: Would like to use Intel (no particular reason), hoping to buy a 24" monitor later as well
Overclocking: No for the time being, but may learn how in the future
SLI or Crossfire: No for the time being, but may learn how in the future
Monitor Resolution: Something a 24" monitor would have
Additional Comments: Definitely want a quiet pc that doesn't put out tons of heat or absorb tons of power. And this is my very first time building a pc.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $230

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $122

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB $47

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W $90 (randomly chosen based on reviews and sandy bridge compatibility)

GeForce GTX 560 Ti $210

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB $160

Crucial m4 SSD $105 (Don't absolutely need it)

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower $55

CPU Cooler $30

Subtotal: $1,048.91

I'm completely open to suggestions, I also want to confirm if all these components would work together well. I don't necessarily need the SSD, just figured if I'm building a brand new comp then might as well include it now. I also don't need a full 1TB of hdd space, but since it's on sale then might as well grab it. Basically anything I build will be multiple times better than the 6 yr old core 2 duo laptop :) 

Also since this is my very first time every building a pc, is there anything else I should get (like the wrist strap grounding cable, misc wires/cables or the cpu paste). I also need to get a keyboard but I have a mouse!

Thank you very much in advance!

More about : critique 1000 build

January 28, 2012 10:03:58 PM

You know what your are doing, absolutely no problems with your build. I don't have anymore to say.
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January 28, 2012 10:34:40 PM

Thanks Avieor! I researched a ton before writing this :) 

I do have a second question though, if I wanted to make this an $800 build, would it be ok to get rid of the SSD and change the the gpu to a 550ti? Or would it be a significant decrease in performance changing from the 560ti → 550ti?

Oh and I noticed many others actually have a 750w PSU instead of the 700w that I posted. Should I try to find a 750 instead?

Thanks and thanks for the monitor suggestions!
January 28, 2012 10:42:22 PM

I don't know why you'd want to get rid of the SSD
January 28, 2012 10:47:28 PM

this PSU is $119 with promo code EMCNJHD24 unitl 2/1

560ti is much better than the 550ti. if you want to drop down to a cheaper GPU, go ATI. I feel that anything under a 560ti from nvidea isn't worth the money, but the 560ti and up are.

for your build, 650W would be fine. the PSU i listed is amazing, but only on sale until 2/1
January 28, 2012 10:48:09 PM

Why do people pair a 2500k and a 2600k with such average gpu"s...
January 28, 2012 10:51:44 PM

If you intend on going with an $800 build, I'd cut the SSD and bring the capacity on the HDD down before stepping down to a 550ti. The 560 has about twice the CUDA cores, which is quite a lot to lose. Most people (myself included) don't end up using all that much space. I've had a 1.2TB raid setup for a couple of years now, and I've never gone above 250GB. Obviously, though, it really depends on what you intend on doing with it. Another place you could cut back would be the PSU. While I'd imagine you're sticking with a 700 Watt for future expandability, even if you get a second 560 down the road, you still won't approach that wattage.

Assuming a rather highly overclocked and overvolted Core i5 2500K @ 130W and 2 GTX 560s @ 150W apiece and a combined (exaggerated) system consumption of about 100W, you'll still be under 600W usage.
January 28, 2012 10:55:44 PM

Nice system. With a microcenter so close you can pick up the i5-2500k for $180. Worth the drive.
January 28, 2012 11:02:33 PM

^ +1

def get the cpu from Micro Center
January 29, 2012 3:47:03 AM

Thanks for all the replies guys!

I totally forgot about downgrading the hdd instead of the gpu. Maybe I'll just go with the 500gb to keep it under $1000.

And thanks for the power supply recommendation, but if the 700w can handle the 560ti then maybe I'll stay with it, we'll see cuz it does seem really advanced.

So the case is ok? I know it's "toms hardware recommended". And any additional wires/cables I should get while I'm ordering?

January 29, 2012 4:12:38 AM

you should be fine on cables. both HDD's have sata cables, as does the mobo. case has front panel cables and PSU has the rest needed.

i'd still recommend the PSU i linked rather than the OCZ
January 29, 2012 4:26:56 AM

Why would you want to cut the SSD??? These are apparently the biggest upgrade ever seen