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$1400 - $1600 2500k Gaming Build

Approximate Purchase Date: sometime within the next two to three weeks

Budget Range: $1400-$1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (I basically only play Star Wars: The Old Republic and World of Warcraft), Photoshop and Programming, Home Theater

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, dvd drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: America

Parts Preferences: I do not have a preference

Overclocking: Yes (However this will be my first time overclocking)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 (possibly 1920x1080 in the future though)



Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $229.99

I have been looking at Z68 motherboards. A good motherboard for overclocking is what I am looking at. Along with plenty of sata ports for hdds.

I am not sure about what memory to get but I was thinking either 8 or 16gbs at 1600.

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC $189.99
Is this SSD any good? I want something in this price range with around 120 or so gbs of storage.

Video Card:
I am wanting to get a pretty nice video card. I was looking at the GTX 580. I am willing to spend 400-500 dollars on a video card. I was unsure whether or not if I should go with doing SLI/Crossfire though. I am willing to do dual video cards. I just want the best performance for the money. I am not loyal to ATI or Nvidia so either one is fine.

Power Supply:
I looked at a power supply calculator and they recommended I have at least 800 watts. This is probably because I am planning on having 7 or 8 hdds as well as some externals hooked up. The watts I need may not be exactly correct. I am okay with spending a good amount on a PSU. I was looking at a PSU's with modular cables and good power efficiency.

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $159.99
This case has good reviews and seems to have basically what I want.

Cooling & Fans:
CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler $119.99
This was recommended to me by a friend. I would like to do liquid cooling. I am not sure about this selection though. Will this be enough to keep everything cool? Do I need to purchase anything else? Additional fans? Is their something just as good that is cheaper?


Question: On my current PC I have many hdds connected (7 internally and 5 dual bay cases via USB 2.0). Does adding more HDDs have a great affect on performance? It seems to increase boot time (atleast the externals do). I was just curious as I do not want to build a new PC and have my older hdds affecting the performance. All of the hdds are sata 7200rpm. They are not setup in a raid or anything. Most of the hdds are 2 tbs or 1 tb.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1400 1600 2500k gaming build
  1. Hello.

    So to all of your quesitons that have a "are they any good" quesiton i would recommend using amazon's rating system. Since i consider that to be the best for checking reviews to determine if the product you want is worth it. But yes that particular SSD seems to be pretty good. If you get a good one that is. Its one of those products that either work perfectly or simply awfull because thet unit has defects.

    I don't know al lot about I5 motherboards or if its true that having a lot of hard drives increase PSU requirements. but it does make sense. So any decent 800 watt PSU would probably fit your needs perfectly. otherwise no comment.

    As for the GTX 580, that card is a little old. Its been out for almost a year now, i think. Something that came out more recent for the same price would be better. If your willing to cough up an extra 50 bucks you can buy the Radeon 7970 which i believe at the moment is the best single GPU card out their. If not the 7950 would probably be a perfect too.

    Having extra HDDs shoudn't effect boot up performance or anything. Only the HD that has the OS would effect that.

    I've used both the H100 and the H50 on the same system. With very little difference. atleast with me. Too me thats just throwing away 50 dollars. 50 Dollars you could use to buy a better graphics card ;)

    Oh yeah, the ram. I would suggest 8GB. 16GB is overkill and I've never seen anyone utilize that much no matter what application their using or the number of apps running. I have no doubt that their out their. I've just never seen it. Make sure you also check the RAMs latency not just the frequency. The lower the better.

    Hope this helps.
  2. Thank you for the information. I will definitely take a look at the 7970 and 7950 for video cards.
  3. Best answer
    As the previous poster said, you can use seller web site reviews as a general guide, but it is best to go to independent sites that do actual reviews and testing. Sites such as Tom's, Anandtech, HardOCP, X-Bit Labs, JohnnyGuru, and Guru of 3D are trusted sites for such things. You can make it easier using a Google search for the item name and/or part number followed by the word review.

    As for the z68, you can choose any of the various models offered by ASUS or Gigabyte. ATX, uATX, low or high priced really does not matter. Just pick the ones with the features you want/need.

    One option for you right now would be if you lived near a Microcenter. They have the best CPU prices and are currently running a promotion on a Gigabyte z68 motherboard for around $50 when purchased with the processor. Just look for the location drop down at the top, and the Advertised specials link.

    Memory for such a rig would be 8gb(2x4gb) DDR3 1600. This will allow for some overclocking room over the standard DDR3 1333. Good brands are Kingston HyperX, Gskill RipJaws, Crucial, and Corsair.

    Since you are willing to spend so much on the video card, you might as well get the best out there right now which is the AMD 7970. This will require a z68 motherboard with PCIe 3.0 slots.

    For a single 7970, a 650 watt Bronze Certified PSU would be fine. For dual cards, 850 watts would be good. Trusted brands are Antec, Corsair(not Builder Series), Seasonic, Silverstone, and XFX(these are basically Seasonic).

    One thing that might help the hard drive situation is to load up software called Intel Rapid Storage Technology. It has multiple uses for both SSD and HDD applications. You would just have to research which would be best for your situation. The best scenario would be to have the SSD, and the single fastest of the HDDs as storage. You can use this setup guide.

    Unless you access the data on them all the time, I would relegate the other HDDs to external use. You could label them in some fashion so you know what is on them. You would not necessarily need an enclosure for them either. I have an enclosure, but typically just use the back plate to hook into the bare drive as needed. You can buy some sort of storage bin for them to keep them from dust, etc.
  4. Best answer selected by Rocketaka.
  5. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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