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Critique my $1k gaming build

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February 12, 2012 7:10:28 PM

Thank you all so much! It's really great that helpful internet communities like this exist.

Intend to order this ASAP.
Use is gaming at 1900x1080 resolution.
Assembly in USA.
Purchasing parts from Newegg.
Already have picked out monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers.
No overclocking or SLI/Crossfire.

Case - Corsair Obsidian 650D
Motherboard - MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) (PCI 3)
CPU - i5 2400 3.1 GHz
GPU - GeForce 560 Ti
PSU - Antec BD 550 Plus modular
Memory - Corsair Vengence 2x2 GB DDR3 (PC3 16000)
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250 GB 16 MB cache
Optical Drive - Sony Optiarc 24x DVD burner
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Specific questions:

-I think (hope) there are no compatibility issues...

-Are there any bottlenecks? Will by CPU or my memory bottleneck my GPU?

-Is the power supply enough?

-I would like to play modern and upcoming games such as SC2, LoL, Tribes:Ascend, and Guild Wars 2 at 1900x1080 resolution and 60 fps and medium settings. Will this be enough?

-Upgradability: As the computer becomes outdated, I would like to be able to upgrade the PSU, GPU, and memory to keep up with modern games. Is there anything that will prevent me from doing so a year or two down the road? Also, I intend to upgrade to SSD in the future.

Thank you all so much. This website and the community have already been extremely helpful to me in putting together this build!

-Austin

More about : critique gaming build

February 12, 2012 7:40:28 PM

Quote:
-Are there any bottlenecks? Will by CPU or my memory bottleneck my GPU?


Actually your choices are good but I would not get such a high end case on a $1K build as that's almost 1/5 of your budget.

Quote:
-Is the power supply enough?


You'll need minimum 600W on a 560 / SB build.

Quote:
-I would like to play modern and upcoming games such as SC2, LoL, Tribes:Ascend, and Guild Wars 2 at 1900x1080 resolution and 60 fps and medium settings. Will this be enough?


It's a good start but that case is way overkill for this build.

Try this instead, it's more balanced:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 - $89.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H - $149.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 - $29.99
RAM: PNY 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $42.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB - $84.99
Optical: Samsung 22X DVD Burner - $15.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560TI - $249.99

Total: $953.91

With this build the case isn't as good but it's one of the best on the market for the price - but the motherboard, CPU, and cooler are a huge upgrade from what you have listed. Take that difference and invest it in a better motherboard, CPU, and CPU cooler. That will enable you to overclock your CPU (the i5-2400 can't be) and that will be better for playing games like Skyrim and such on 1080p without hiccups.
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February 12, 2012 7:54:00 PM

you do not need a 600w power supply for that gpu. a 500w supply would be enough. i use a 500w for my build with a 6950 which is very similar in performance to that card.
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February 12, 2012 8:45:32 PM

Good point about the case. The Obsidian seemed like it would make the build easier with nice cable routing etc., but I should instead invest in a better gaming experience. Thanks for telling me that the 2400 doesn't overclock. Didn't know that.

A couple questions about your suggestions:

-What is the advantage of the motherboard you suggested over MSI Z68A-GD65?

-I wasn't planning on overclocking. At least not at first. Will it really make a big difference in gaming at this level? This is the first time I'm doing a full build by myself, so I was just going to stay away from aftermarket CPU coolers. Would it be reasonable to overclock later as part of a CPU upgrade?

-I notice you recommended more memory. Also I notice that it is PC3 12800 instead of PC3 16000. What does that mean and is it important? Are the heat sink/fins on memory sticks important? Or mostly decorative?

Thanks for the detailed reply!

EDIT: Also, one of the reasons the Obsidian case appealed to me is that I live in a dusty environment (old building in middle of city), and the Obsidian comes with removable dust filters. Is this important or is dust usually not a concern?
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February 12, 2012 10:04:22 PM

Quote:
Good point about the case. The Obsidian seemed like it would make the build easier with nice cable routing etc., but I should instead invest in a better gaming experience. Thanks for telling me that the 2400 doesn't overclock. Didn't know that.


The HAF 912 is a good case for the price and it's one of the few in it's price range that actually has cable management features. If you want to spend a bit more and get a Corsair case - check out the Carbide 400R - it's a bit more (about ~$99) but it's the same quality build and cable management.

Quote:

A couple questions about your suggestions:

-What is the advantage of the motherboard you suggested over MSI Z68A-GD65?


MSI doesn't have the best reputation on the market - people either love them or hate them. Gigabyte is much higher quality and will have quite a few extra features that the MSI won't.

Quote:
-I wasn't planning on overclocking. At least not at first. Will it really make a big difference in gaming at this level? This is the first time I'm doing a full build by myself, so I was just going to stay away from aftermarket CPU coolers. Would it be reasonable to overclock later as part of a CPU upgrade?


Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. I actually recommend the aftermarket coolers as the Intel heat sink is just a piece of aluminum with a plastic fan on it. Something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo will be much higher quality than anything else you can get for the price range. The aftermarket fans will also improve the life of your system by circulating the air flow better and moving the hot air out of the case. I'd suggest reading this about air cooling:
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...

Quote:
-I notice you recommended more memory. Also I notice that it is PC3 12800 instead of PC3 16000. What does that mean and is it important? Are the heat sink/fins on memory sticks important? Or mostly decorative?


Intel actually frowns on using RAM above 12800 (actually in some cases above 10666) and if you ever have to RMA your CPU and Intel finds out that you've been using a speed they don't recommend they will void your warranty.

As far as the tall heat sinks - they don't do anything. And if you do get an aftermarket fan like the Hyper 212 it will make installing coolers extremely difficult.

Quote:
EDIT: Also, one of the reasons the Obsidian case appealed to me is that I live in a dusty environment (old building in middle of city), and the Obsidian comes with removable dust filters. Is this important or is dust usually not a concern?


Not as much as it used to be. Most case makers have become really wise to users' concerns about dust and have adjusted their products accordingly. Even the cases in the $50 - $100 range will have better ventilation than anything you can get for the price.
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February 12, 2012 10:20:26 PM

I think that you didn't make a mistake by picking the 650D. Unlike the other parts, the case ( along with the psu ) will outlive the hardware. Therefore it is a good idea to get a good case.
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February 12, 2012 11:28:39 PM

Check out my $1000 build in my signature. It will almost be double the performance of your build with dual 6870's. It will be able to max all those games with loads of FPS. I estimate 250 fps on Starcraft with overclocking on the i5.
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February 13, 2012 1:43:50 AM

Is PCIe 3 important? I know this GPU is PCIe 2, but if I think about upgrading in the future, will I thank myself for getting a motherboard with PCIe 3?
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February 13, 2012 2:10:00 AM

I think the 650D is super overkill for the build. I myself am going to build a nice comp for myself too. But my suggestion is to wait for April if you can. Newer graphic cards like 7800 series or Nvidia 600 series will come out along with Ivy Bridge CPU.

But if you don't need those high end, g-unit1111 made for you a nice list of parts. $954 is almost 1k already. Throw in Hyper 212+ for $25 Amazon and maybe a better RAM (I don't like PNY since I myself and a lot of people have gotten trouble with their products). No hate but better brand = better like Gigabyte > MSI for Motherboard. G.Skill has 8 GB for around $50. Good luck on your build.

I am going to wait until summer for my build

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February 13, 2012 2:49:22 AM

Can't wait till summer :)  need computer now!

I'm trying to understand this PCIe 3 thing. If I understand correctly, future upgrade to a PCIe 3 GPU will be bottlenecked by my processor since it is Sandy Bridge based (LGA 1155). Therefore, I probably shoudn't worry about PCIe 3 compatability because it would require a new mobo to take advantage of it fully. Can anyone confirm/deny this?
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February 13, 2012 3:09:11 AM

From what I have read the PCIe 3.0 slots on MOBO like Z68 series are compatible with all prior PCIe's 2.1, 2.0 so if you have a MOBO that has 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and you plug in you're GPU that runs on a PCIe 2.1 or 2.0 it will double the speed X32. However you cannot unlock the 3.0 until you put in an Ivy Bridge processor. I am looking to make my first PC and I am debating on if I should wait for the Ivy Bridge processors to release or not. I also have no clue as to how much more performance it will bring having you're GPU run at x32 vs. x16

So the answer to you're question is yes if you do not have an Ivy Bridge processor then you will not reap the rewards of having PCIe 3.0 or a GPU that can run on it as far as I have read that is.
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February 13, 2012 3:10:08 AM

Spend WAY LESS on the case

An Antec 300 two is all you need . Add two extra fans .

Spend the money you save on an SSD cache drive and a bigger hard drive
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February 13, 2012 3:45:15 AM

Ah, I see about the Ivy bridge. But, I also just realized that Ivy Bridge will use LGA1155, so there should be no compatibility issues with my motherboard. Right? Which means if I get a motherboard with PCIe3 I will be able to upgrade the CPU and GPU in the future and take full advantage of the performance. Which means I should get a motherboard with PCIe3.

I plat to upgrade to SSD in the future, that's why I'm getting a cheaper HDD.

OK, here's what I'm sitting on now.

Case - Cooler Master Haf 912 - $59.99
PSU - Corsair TX650M - $109.99
Motheboard - MSI Z68A-GD65 - $149.99
CPU - i5 2500k - $229.99
Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 912 - $29.99
GPU - GeForce 560 Ti - $229.99
Memory - Corsair XMS 3 2x4 GB DDR3 (PC3 12800) - $49.99
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX - $74.99
Optical Drive - Sony Optiarc 24x DVD burner - $18.99
Operating System - Widows 7 Home Premium 64 bit - $99.99

Total of $1054.

How does this look? All the advice so far has definitely helped a lot, as I'm sure you all know. :) 
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February 13, 2012 4:06:51 AM

AustinNH said:
Ah, I see about the Ivy bridge. But, I also just realized that Ivy Bridge will use LGA1155, so there should be no compatibility issues with my motherboard. Right? Which means if I get a motherboard with PCIe3 I will be able to upgrade the CPU and GPU in the future and take full advantage of the performance. Which means I should get a motherboard with PCIe3.

I plat to upgrade to SSD in the future, that's why I'm getting a cheaper HDD.

OK, here's what I'm sitting on now.

Case - Cooler Master Haf 912 - $59.99
PSU - Corsair TX650M - $109.99
Motheboard - MSI Z68A-GD65 - $149.99
CPU - i5 2500k - $229.99
Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 912 - $29.99
GPU - GeForce 560 Ti - $229.99
Memory - Corsair XMS 3 2x4 GB DDR3 (PC3 12800) - $49.99
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX - $74.99
Optical Drive - Sony Optiarc 24x DVD burner - $18.99
Operating System - Widows 7 Home Premium 64 bit - $99.99

Total of $1054.

How does this look? All the advice so far has definitely helped a lot, as I'm sure you all know. :) 


That is a much better build - it should last you a long time. Yes, an SSD would be a logical upgrade in a couple months. The HAF 912 actually includes a mounting bracket for 2.5" drives and if you need more you can order them from Cooler Master's website for like $10 for a 3 pack.
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February 13, 2012 4:14:22 AM

Speaking of sigs, ;) 

have to agree, the case is overkill for the budget.
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February 16, 2012 8:54:20 PM

Build completed! I changed the motherboard to ASUS and got different memory. Runs League of Legends at 60fps.

I tried to save money by getting a cheap keyboard. Whoops. Like typing on mashed potatoes!

Thanks so much for all the help guys!
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