Sub $1,250 gaming system - need advice

Hi Guys,

It's been about 5 years since my last build so I would appreciate it if you reviewed my proposed rig and provide any comments or suggestions. Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 7 days

Budget Range: ~$1,250 or better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, multimedia, surfing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: & I do live near a Micro Center

Country: USA - KS

Parts Preferences: I plan on picking up a i5-2500k + Asus P8Z68 V PRO/GEN 3 bundle at Micro Center for $339.98 ($120 savings)

Overclocking: Maybe a little

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in a year or more but not now

Monitor Resolution: currently 1680x1050 but will eventually upgrade to a 1920x1200 24" monitor

Additional Comments: Don't need any bling. I'll pay a little more for quality and longevity.

After a great deal of research and reading, here is what I am thinking:

CASE COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $85

Mobo ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 $160 (Microcenter bundle)

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K $180 (Microcenter bundle)

CPU Cooler COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO $35

MEM G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL $47

GPU EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $230

SDD Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC $180

HD Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $160

OPT ASUS 24X DVD Burner - OEM $20

PSU SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $140

OS Windows 7 Home Premium x64 $100

Random questions:

1) Is the memory low profile enough to work with the 212 Evo?

2) Is the 212 Evo a good fit for this case?

3) On the 560 Ti, I say it is worth it to save $20 to downgrade from lifetime warranty to 3 year warranty. Do you agree? Also, it was tough to pick between the several EVGA 560 Ti models...

4) I like my SSD drive choice. However, I don't feel too strongly on the storage drive. I can get by with 500GB since prices are so high. Any suggestions?

I welcome any other comments. Thanks guys!
8 answers Last reply
More about gaming system advice
  1. 1) not sure about that cooler but they worked for me on a Gaia sd1283 which I think is pretty similar.


    If you plan on ever adding more RAM you may want to choose another option: those don't play nice with additional RAM. Its a crap shoot as to whether they will work with future RAM.

    I like these personally:
  2. That cooler looks good to me. :P
  3. I have the Cooler Master 690 II Advanced case & the regular CM Hyper 212+ with duel fans for push/pull & they work just fine with plenty of room to spare. Now I do have to say that one of my ram slots is very very close to the front fan (so keep that in mind if your going to have 2 fans)

    I only use 8GB (4GB x2) of G.Skill Sniper, but if I was to have all 4 of the slots filled up I couldn't do that, but that's ok with me.

    I'm not in expert in picking out parts, but from what I see all looks good to me :)
  4. @Vollman1 - Thanks for the heads up on the RAM upgradability. I checked out the low profile vengeance and it seems that many mobo's default the speed to 1333 instead of 1600. I guess it's not a huge deal as the BIOS can easily rectify that.

    @Gators fan - I'll check out the temps before I decide to go the push pull route. I appreciate you mentioning that. I'm not planning on a huge OC.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the EVGA 560 Ti model I am targeting?

    Also, any feedback on the WD 750gb drive I selected? It seems a little on the expensive side...

    I'm heading to Micro Center tomorrow to pick up the CPU and motherboard. I'm curious to find out if the manager will price match some of the other components.

    Thanks guys!
  5. All HDDs are expensive now.

    I am personally going to get by with an SSD which has enough capacity to hold me over until the HDD prices drop.

    Then, I'll get a HDD for storage and keep the SSD for OS and gaming. Hopefully that will not be too long out.

    And, if HDD prices are still high, SSD prices should still be falling, so I could always pick up another SSD depending on prices.
  6. The EVGA 560 Ti looks & sounds good based on the feedback & specs from Newegg :)

    I'm actually running 2 Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti Super Overclocked cards in 2 way SLI which are doing me just fine. IMHO go with a 560 Ti & down the road you might find a good deal on one to add a second for increased performance

    the Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti super overclock cards I have are;

    core clock: 950
    shader: 1900
    memory: 2290 (4580 data rate)
  7. I feel a little better. I just found the hard drive at Tiger for $120 and free shipping.
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