Need some input on my (potential) new $2000 gaming build.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month

Budget Range: 2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming >> Music Production

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,, (have to get it shipped to a US address across the border)

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: Always had Intel processors, been using an Nvidia gtx 260 for the past three years.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

So I'll likely be ordering the computer from a local computer shop that has a good reputation (both my brother and I have purchased rock solid gaming PCs from them in the past), but from the time I purchased my current rig from them until now, it seems they've put a bigger profit margin on the builds.

I got a quote for $CAD 2099 (not even sure if that includes tax or not?) ($US 2016)

These are the specs I was given:

Intel i7-2600K Boxed
MSI Radeon HD 7970
Asus P8Z68-V/GEN 3
Kingston 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz
Corsair HX850 850W PSU
Cooler Master HAF 932
OCZ Synapse 128GB SSD SATA 3
Seagate 1TB 7200rpm
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
2yr In Store Warranty if we build, no extra charge.

I've just got a few questions regarding the build:

1. Is the 2600K worth it over the 2500K? I'll be using it for gaming, but I mess around with recording/music production in DAWs (I personally don't think this is enough to warrant the upgrade).

2. I know it's only ~10 reviews, but I noticed the OCZ Synapse got some bad reviews on newegg. Has anyone had any experience this drive? I noticed it was a cache drive, meaning that only 64 GB is allocated to storage, the rest is used for caching "hot" data. Is there any benefit/downfall of using a cache SSD instead of a standard one? Should I be getting something like the Crucial M4?

3. I've heard something about there being issues with Sandy Bridge CPUs and using a higher end PCI sound card for music production, can anyone elaborate on this? Also, is there any real reason to get a good sound card other than this? (I've got a nice set of headphones that would benefit from a nice amp, apparently some soundcards have built in amps).
3. I feel like $2099 is a bit much for this build. I was able to build the same/similar computer on iBuypower as well as make a shopping cart with all the components on newegg for around ~$1900. I feel like it would be rude to walk into the PC shop and ask if they can "lower the price" or something to that effect, but I do think $2099 is a bit high.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. 1. I agree, even the i5 is more than fine for 99% of people for audio.

    2: Since you have a high budget, surely it would be best to just get a larger SSD and have your OS and all your programs on it rather than going with a cache drive. The Crucial M4 is nice, the Samsung 830 is good too. It's just as reliable (if not more so) and faster, It's a bit more expensive though.

    3: This isn't something I'm aware of. If you're even semi serious about recording though I would imagine you would want an audio interface. This is effectively an external sound card with inputs for MIDI and mics etc.

    4: That build looks a bit pricey to me too, if you're happy to build your own I would do it that way.

    850W seems like waaaaay more power than you need too, especially if not going Crossfire. 550W+ would be fine.
  2. I might just ditch the SSD idea entirely, it looks like a larger SSD like the crucial m4 256GB runs for about ~350. Or just buy an SSD at a later time and install it myself.

    I would love to build a computer, since it would be my first one and I'm sure it'd be a fun task but at the moment I don't have time with my workload in school. I'd have to wait until the summer to build it.

    Would it be poor etiquette to go in to the store with a couple prices for components/a PC built from ibuypower/a similar site and show them the price and ask if they have any room to adjust the quote they gave me?

    As for the PSU, would something like the HX650 be more suitable? It'd save me about 50 bucks from the HX850.
  3. That case is a dust Magnet, pick up a Silverstone Raven RV03 or RV02 usb 3.0
    Drop the Kingston ram and pick up some G.skill Snipers 1600 Kit @1.5v
    Your PSU is excellent the HX series is still the best
    Drop the Seagate and pick up a SamsungSpinPoint F3 1TB
  4. You only need a big enough SSD for your OS and programs, 128GB is fine for most people.

    650W is more than enough

    Many stores offer a price match service which basically encourages you to do this, it's certainly worth a try.
  5. I would try to go for the SSD. They really make a big difference in your day to day activities and I would imagine your audio software would benefit from it as well. It doesn't need to be huge, a 120Gb to put your most used programs should more than take care of your needs.

    I'm actually a junior studying mechanical engineering, so I completely understand what you mean about not having a lot of time. However, it doesn't need to be built in one sitting. Taking an hour or 2 off one of your weekends for 2-3 weeks would be more than enough time to build it, even for a beginner.

    If you do decide to go prebuilt (I wouldn't) I would definitely bring it up. That's a lot of money you would be spending, no harm in trying to cut off a few more bills.

    And yes, that is an outstanding PSU. It should more than take care of your needs.
  6. So you guys would recommend either the Samsung 830 or Crucial M4 128GB drives over the OCZ Synapse 128GB Cache Drive?

    My brother has a HAF 932, it seems to provide excellent airflow, but you're right, it does collect a lot of dust.

    My final build is looking something more like this:

    MSI Radeon HD 7970
    Asus P8Z68-V/GEN 3
    8GB DDR3 1600, maybe Kingston Hyper-X or G. Skill Ripjaws/Sniper
    Corsair HX650 650W PSU
    Cooler Master HAF 932
    Crucial M4/Samsung 830
    Seagate 1TB 7200rpm
    LG 22x DVD-RW
    Cooler Master Hyper 212+

    All components (w/ HX750W, no HX650W available.) from, after shipping and tax = $CAD 2075 - $40 rebate = $2035

    So a bit better than the quote of $2099 (which if it doesn't include tax would come out to 2371) except this build includes a 2500K rather than a 2600K. It looks like I might be better off setting some time aside to learn how to build a computer on my own. The one thing I would miss is the fact that if any part fails on the computer within 2 years, I can bring it in and they'll replace it no questions asked, and it's only a 15 minute drive from where I am.
  7. You would do much better for yourself by going to newegg...

    CPU Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
    $229.99 +FREE s/h
    CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
    $29.99 +FREE s/h
    Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    $179.99 +$4.99 s/h $184.98
    Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    $46.99 +FREE s/h
    Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    $139.99 +FREE s/h
    Case Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case
    $149.99 -$20.00 +FREE s/h $129.99
    Power Supply Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
    $119.99 -$20.00 +FREE s/h $99.99
    Optical Drive LG GH22NS90B DVD/CD Writer
    $15.99 +FREE s/h

    Total $877.91

    That price is not including the 7970 of course, because newegg is currently sold out, but you can just order that somewhere else. The savings would be considerable over the $2035 you quoted.
  8. 120gb crucial or corsair force gt is good enough for you, then get a 2tb/3tb hdd on your extra budget and grab an i5 2500k and a nice noctua nh-d14 if your case allow, if not a cm hyper 212 evo is the best choice, you don't need to overclock anything just the cpu if you really want to go with safe overclocking just overclock the i5 2500k to 3.7-3.9ghz no need to go over that,

    for hdd go with seagate barracuda 7200rpm or the western digital caviar black,

    but hell with your budget, go grab some nice msi gtx560ti tf2 2gb/oc or a msi 7970/xfx 7970 (those dual fan ones) and grab a HAF X if not a cosmos II, you got way more budget so go get some nice eye candy and still got some money left, go with samsung blu-ray optical drive too, a nice msi z68a-gd80 (g3) (gen 3) as mobo and your good to go, you should still have some more money left so go grab another set of 2 g.skill ram for a total of 16gb 1600mhz cl9 rams, then you should still have more money left so go buy some nice drink and pizza and enjoy your system
  9. btw i based my post from grand _admiral's post since he actually had a good deal on his post, but well if you want just tone down some items too it's worth it for your money, even with your money you can grab a i7 3930k system i posted one just yesterday too
  10. look at my post here if the link below are having problems

    [LGA 2011]

    Processor: 599.99$
    Intel i7 3930K SB-E [...] 6819116492

    Mother Board: 289.99$
    MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) [...] 6813130624


    219.99> 189.99$ after mail-in rebate
    MSI X79MA-GD45 [...] 6813130623

    Video Card: 349.99$> 329.99$ after mail-in rebate
    ASUS GTX570 [...] 6814121432

    Memory: 84.99$ > 64.99$ after mail-in rebate
    Patriot Extreme Performance 16gb (4x4GB) [...] 6820220609
    (free 8GB micro sdhc w/ purchage, limited offer)

    Hard Disk Drive: 129.99$
    Western Digital Caviar Blue [...] 6822136767

    Solid Slate Drive: 176.99$
    Crucial M4 128GB SSD SATAIII [...] 6820148442

    Optical Disk Drive:

    Power Supply:
    Seasonic x850W 210.99$ [...] 6817151102


    Seasonic x1250W 269.99$ (w/ 15% promo code) [...] 6817151109

    Chassis: 199.99$ > 179.99$ mail-in rebate
    Cooler Master Haf X [...] 6811119225

    CPU Cooler: 89.99$
    Noctua NH-D14 [...] 6835608018

    edit: ok this is with all after rebate + the 15% off from the psu of x1250W
    gd45 + x850w

    gd45 + x1250w (15%off)

    gd65 8d + x850w

    gd65 8d + x1250w (15%off)
  11. I don't think the i7 3930K is necessary, he will see a very small improvement over the i5-2500k for 3x the price. Also 8GB RAM really is more than enough.

    I see the point you are trying to make though, building it himself on Newegg looks like it will save a fortune.
  12. yeah i do agree with you there an i5 2500k vs an i7 3930k on gaming hardly any difference, i have both and i can vouch that if you will be for gaming even an i5 2400 if you won't over clock is plenty powerful, but with his budget and doesn't mind spending really that much he might as well go with a bang at least but anyways with his music production he might need the i7 2600/k

    " Music Production " well i'm not sure on what he do with it actually, more like what programs or will he be having any benefit with HP and the likes but overall pretty much the same in price difference is he can have dual gpu with the other and single gpu with the 3930k, and the only difference would be better bragging rights and self satisfaction of owning an i7 3930k
  13. A build that i think is good for $2000 is
    i7 3820 - Not out yet but should be $290. Comes out Feb 12th so not long to wait

    AsRock Extreme 7 LGA 2011 - - $260

    GSkill 8gb Ram - - $60

    Rosewill Case - - $90

    HD 7950- - $450

    Crucial SSD- -$180

    Corsair PSU- - $105

    Seagate 1tb- harddrive- - $125

    Corsair H80- - $95

    LG Blu-Ray player- - $80

    Total: 1735 with out rebates

    Basically everything , besides the 7950, is better on this rig and its cheaper. There even room for a 7970 in the budget but I don't think it's needed. But you should probably wait until Ivy Bridge and Keplar comes out to see what those have to offer.
  14. The problem for me is that I can't order from since I live in Canada. :( It seems like the cheapest prices available to me are at (a sister site of NCIX) but I'm not sure how reputable of a site they are, I've seen some shipping complaints/not receiving items.
  15. ^ it's total is less then $2k.get speakers and all other stuff for your music production thing ;)
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