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First Computer build help- 1200-1300 budget.

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January 29, 2012 5:04:11 AM

Hey all, I'm going to be buildling my first system soon, and I'm looking for some help and advice.

First, a question; i noticed that people will build on their motherboard before inserting it into the case. Is this to avoid issues where the backplate for the cooler cannot be accessed without the motherboard being out of the case? I'm not talking about breadboarding, I'm talking about putting components on the case before

I would assume that it would be easier and more stable to build it in the case....?


Anyways, here are the details for my new system.

Approximate Purchase Date: 2/8/12

Budget Range: $1000-1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (D3, WoW, SWTOR, other pc only games), web browsing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard and Mouse, sound card (will use integrated) will take suggestions on moniters, see below.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: wherever is cheapest
Country: US

Parts Preferences: Pretty much set on a i5 2500k.

Overclocking: Most likely trying, yes. Nothing too extreme

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, eventually

Monitor Resolution: see additional comments

Additional Comments:
I'm interested in possibly doing a dual moniter setup, but not at the time that I am doing the build. And current moniter is in need of replacement. So I'm looking for decently priced moniters that can be used for a dual (or maybe in a tri?) moniter setup.
Being that I know nothing about how to do a dual or a tri moniter setup, I dont know if I'm going to need more then one gpu for that, or if I can do two off of one graphics card...

I want to upgrade as well: I.e. SLI, more hard drives, liquid cooling, etc. you know, fun stuff.

I am also interested in doing liquid cooling down the road, so a case that would make that possible is a plus, as well as a case that can show it off.

I have some ideas for parts so far, but definitly want help and advice- specifically on the power supply, or any other places that I might be able to trim some fat.
here they are:

case: COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Gpu: ASUS ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Disk Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler:EVGA M020-00-000234 Superclock CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


thanks in advance, I really appreciate it!

January 29, 2012 6:19:26 AM

Change the CPU COoler to the Hyper 212 EVO, much better value.
OCZ Agilities suck, get a Corsair Force GT or Crucial m4
Get a case like the Antec 300 an use the money saved to get a 6950 or 560Ti.
January 29, 2012 6:20:01 AM

Also, do you really need 1TB? GO for 750GB beacause prices r high atm,
Related resources

Best solution

January 29, 2012 9:03:21 AM
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Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda LP 1TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Hard Drive: Kingston SSDNow S100 16GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($57.74 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card ($264.57 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH222H-P 21.5" Monitor ($129.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1205.10
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-01-29 06:01 EST-0500)

6950 2GB is a solid card with plenty of potential to be crossfired down the road. Everything here is setup with that in mind.

I even managed to toss in a 16GB gen2 SSD for SRT.

Edit: Sorry, that's the wrong mobo, The Asrock extreme3 $121.99 is the one you'd want
January 29, 2012 5:12:12 PM

Thanks for all the help so far, you dont know how much it is appreciated.

As far as the ssd goes, I'd much prefer using a ssd drive as a boot drive then using it for cacheing, and I'm willing to pay more for it.

The harddrive size can come down, in fact I would rather have a small, faster hard drive then a larger slower one, and that is reflected in this new list of parts.

The moniter, while not expected to be included in my build, was nice to see, although I want bigger, and agian, am willing to pay for it.

Will this setup run two moniters? if I can get two for 300, then I am interested in doing so. Additionally, I'm hoping to run at ultra or high grapics resolution- I know I didn't mention that in my original post, so I'm hoping that this build will be able to do this...



Anyways, here is my latest Idea.


Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($117.94 @ Adorama)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card ($264.57 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1320.18
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-01-29 13:56 EST-0500)


as always, any help is greatly greatly appreciated!
January 29, 2012 8:12:01 PM

Xero1234 said:

Will this setup run two moniters? if I can get two for 300, then I am interested in doing so. Additionally, I'm hoping to run at ultra or high grapics resolution- I know I didn't mention that in my original post, so I'm hoping that this build will be able to do this...


The build looks really solid. A few things to consider based on the things you've brought up:

The 6950 2GB while a great card, is going to be challenged at the highest of settings in a couple of games, namely BF3 and Metro2033. If you don't mind turning off AA it's typically still quite capable. If you decide to add a 2nd 6950 at a later date it'll perform similar to the 6990, which outpaces the 7970.

Now, if you want a single card solution that will max all the games today you'd probably want to look at a minimum of the nVidia 570 but I'd recommend looking at the $449 7950 when it ships Jan 31.

The reason I'm sticking with AMD here is twofold. One, they tend to hold the edge in value/performance ratios. More importantly is their ability to support up to 3 monitors via a single card.

This technology is called Eyefinity and it treats multiple monitors as if they were one large screen. There's nothing wrong with starting off with 2 monitors, but at the same time you might consider adding a 3rd at some point as with only two you end up with a Bezel directly down the center of your field of vision. With three you have a full screen dead center with the bezels offset.

If this is something that interests you then I'd most assuredly wait for the 7950. It has 3GB of VRAM which is quite important in these multiple monitor setups.

If however you just want two screens and you don't mind running a couple of games at near max settings you can start with a 6950 2gb, and upgrade to crossfire if you're unhappy with its performance.

I hope this helps some, and really I think you have a great build going, keep at it.
January 29, 2012 10:31:04 PM

a4mula said:
The 6950 2GB while a great card, is going to be challenged at the highest of settings in a couple of games, namely BF3 and Metro2033. If you don't mind turning off AA it's typically still quite capable. If you decide to add a 2nd 6950 at a later date it'll perform similar to the 6990, which outpaces the 7970.....

I hope this helps some, and really I think you have a great build going, keep at it.


You have no idea how much it is helping!

Edit:
So I've tried to figure it out all night, and I just can't fit a bigger desk in the space I have available. So, the three monitors are a no go, at least till the warm weather comes back (I'm not building a desk in the wintertime......)

So I'm going to stick with the 6950, and run with that. Perhaps when the 7950 hits, the price for the 6950 will drop and I will go with a straight crossfire setup out the gate.


Thanks again for all the help!
January 30, 2012 12:37:28 AM

Also it is better to look at a screen than an edge. :p 
January 30, 2012 3:26:34 AM

I think that every single part you've selected is quality. On the monitor front there are a few things you could consider, though I wouldn't deem either of them must have.

I'm currently going between two different builds right now. The first revolves around a single 120hz screen. This is a 3D monitor that runs at twice the normal frames per second of a 60hz screen. Now, I don't particularly care for the 3D aspect, but there is a side benefit of these 120hz screens. In 2D because they effectively double the viewable fps, the ghosting, lagging and artifacting of a 60hz screen is diminished. These screens behave like an older CRT monitor. They also offer a certain level of built-in anti-aliasing as there is less screen tear, and less jaggedness to lines.

The other option I'm considering is what I posted earlier which is the 3x Eyefinity IPS build. I run a 3x 1680x1050 setupnow. I go back to this point because of the IPS aspect. There are two major screen types in monitors TN, which is the basic run-of-the-mill screen and IPS. IPS screens typically offer better color depth and viewing angles. IPS is preferred if you run monitors in Portrait due to the limited viewing angles of TN. When turned sideways they have a tendency to look really bad.

The other part of monitors that requires consideration is aspect ratio. 1920x1080 is without a doubt the defacto standard today. That's not to say it's the ideal gaming resolution. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio that was designed for HDTV. 16:10 had been the gaming standard and it offers greater vertical resolution. It's not quite so elongated.

It's tough to find 16:10 screens today but their resolutions are 1680x1050 1920x1200 and 2650x1600 (30" screens).

I can't show you 120hz, but I can show you the setup I currently run to give you an idea of what Eyefinity portrait looks like. Keep in mind that the bezels (black bars) really vanish as you play.

January 30, 2012 3:55:27 AM

See that is just amazing. I'm used to console gaming, and just looking at your setup vs what I see on my tv w/ ps3 is an immensly noticable difference.



Last question.

What do you think of this motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] ID=rewrite

as opposed to the one I currently have in the build? I found it for 150 or so.


Ok- as far as that being the last question...

I promise nothing.
January 30, 2012 3:57:46 AM

Xero1234 said:


What do you think of this motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] ID=rewrite



For whatever reason the link isn't working. Do you have the name of the mobo?
January 30, 2012 11:05:33 AM

CPU -> Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard -> ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)

Memory -> Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive -> Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card -> MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5 Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 ($579.99 @ Newegg)

Case -> NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.99 @ Amazon)

Power Supply -> Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ Newegg)

DVD Writer -> SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner ($17 @ Newegg)

Monitor -> Acer G245HQABD 23.6" LCD Monitor Black 5ms Full HD ($139.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1237.78

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-01-29 10:42 EST-0500)


50 dollars over budget but i think worth it- if you ever want to crossfire your going to need a more powerful powersupply though. Like 650 to 700 watts-possible this one ? OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply like 20 dollars more after rebate then the 500 watt power supply
January 30, 2012 10:39:26 PM

I googled "what is the difference between 6950 and 6970" and learned you can flash the 6950 to be very similar to a 6970.

And that sounds just absolutely ducky. Saying that will make me sound very tech savy "Well, I went with the 6950 for 70 bucks less then flashed the bios and cleared the cache so it runs like a 6970."

I dont even know if that makes any sense, but by god i think it sounds good.

I have no idea why a 6950 over the 6970. I'm learning as best as I can as I go along!



Subrata, as far as your build goes, I'm looking to use an ssd as a boot drive. I would use it as an srt, but can't justify not spending the money for the larger capacity ssd, especially with the increased costs of HDD's right now vs the decreased performance of the srt cacheing- just not worth it.

I think I know what most of that statement means.

As far as the motherboard:
this one- http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z68extr...

as opposed to the one I have on my current build.


and a4mula: what moniters are those, I cant get over your setup. Just looks absolutely amazing.


thanks again!



January 31, 2012 1:54:23 AM

Xero1234 said:

and a4mula: what moniters are those, I cant get over your setup. Just looks absolutely amazing.


Those are 22" IPS 1680x1050 Dell 2209wa @ 75hz. Great monitors but next to impossible to find at reasonable prices anymore.

The closest thing to them today is the Dell u2412m which are 24" IPS 1920x1200 and run about $329 a pop. They also have a 22" IPS the u2212hm, unfortunately it's 1920x1080.

If you don't mind refurbished monitors you can get the Dell 2007WFP which is 20.1" IPS 1680x1050 for about $150 a pop on Ebay.
January 31, 2012 3:51:13 AM

Xero1234 said:
Subrata, as far as your build goes, I'm looking to use an ssd as a boot drive. I would use it as an srt, but can't justify not spending the money for the larger capacity ssd, especially with the increased costs of HDD's right now vs the decreased performance of the srt cacheing- just not worth it.

I think I know what most of that statement means.

As far as the motherboard:
this one- http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z68extr...

as opposed to the one I have on my current build.


and a4mula: what moniters are those, I cant get over your setup. Just looks absolutely amazing.


thanks again!


Asrock z68extreme4gen3 is a very good choice. :ange: 
Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $79.99
**Later you get a hard-disk when it's price dropped.[2013]
February 6, 2012 2:16:03 AM

Best answer selected by xero1234.
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