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Gaming Comp $2000 budget

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February 15, 2012 3:43:04 PM

Hello all,

I've thrown together a computer I think should work pretty well for gaming on dual monitors, but wanted some more opinions on the matter. Here's what I've got so far...

Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 21197-00-40G Radeon HD 7970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Kingston HyperX SH100S3B/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll also be buying a copy of Win7, but without the OS the total cost comes to approximately $2000. I have a couple of concerns which I'll bring up now.

First off, I'm no expert with SSD's, so I'm hoping I've chosen a decent one. However, I don't intend to have anything other than the OS on it, and I'm quite sure I could go for an SSD with less than 120GB of space. I don't know which brand of SSD is the most reliable or has the least issues so hopefully someone here has some experience.

Next, the RAM can probably be decreased to 8GB, and I've read quite a bit about the WD Caviar not lasting very long. However I need a decent amount of storage space, and would prefer a reliable HDD that doesn't break after a year. As for everything else, I can't see any obvious incompatibilities but I've missed them before.

Any suggestions on how to improve this are welcome, but I'd prefer to keep the cost around $2000, at most $2200. Any cheaper is great as well.

Thanks in advance, hoping for some good suggestions.
a b 4 Gaming
February 15, 2012 3:55:09 PM

I did a few changes.
MOBO : ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM : CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD : Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850M 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Do these changes and you budget will be $1,883.90 without rebates.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 15, 2012 3:57:43 PM

Looks pretty good. My thoughts are below.

SSD - The Kingston will perform fine, but I would grab the Corsair M4 for its lower cost and good performance. There is no reason not to put apps on your SSD as long as you maintain 40ish GB free disk space. When an SSD starts to fill up the performance will go with it...
M4 128GB => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEM - No need for overclocking modules as you won't notice a real world difference in speed. Look for DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5v and you will be fine. Skip the tall heat spreaders and get "standard" height modules.
Corsair Vengeance 8GB ($50) => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - The WD Black drives are good drives, but used as secondary storage and apps you won't notice the difference between them and a good 2TB drive. I would suggest going with a single Samsung F4 2TB for much cheaper and call it a day...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 15, 2012 4:09:16 PM

your system looks good - few things:

- may as well go for the i5-2550K (even if you don't overclock - slight speed bump up): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- swap that SSD with this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - the Intel SSD's are WAY more reliable

- you don't need so much power - get the HX650W one instead and save a little: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- as for HDD's - they ALL are unreliable these days - Caviar Blacks more so though - I'd recommend these ones instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and ya - you can lower the RAM to 8GB too...
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February 15, 2012 4:21:58 PM

so here we go:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White: $130

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- CORSAIR Professional Series HX650: $134

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit: $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner 22X: $17

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Intel 520 Series Cherryville 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal (SSD): $240

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 2 x Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6Gb/s: $250

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0: $190

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Intel Core i5-2550K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost): $240

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600: $47

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAPPHIRE 21197-00-40G Radeon HD 7970 3GB: $560

TOTAL: $1,908
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February 15, 2012 4:48:57 PM

add a h100 liquid cooler to that and OVERCLOCK
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February 15, 2012 4:57:40 PM

1 all hhd's have exessive return rates compared to other pc parts
2 most ppl dont post a review but when they have 2 rma they feel the need to post a bad review while the ppl who had a good experience w/it usually dont want to take the time to post a review so theres alot more good reviews than u think thats y im reccomending the highly popular western digital caviar black 1.5tb hhd
3 bye all parts from newegg except xpu cuz its 40$ less on microcenter

cooler master haf x case 200$
asrock z68 extreme3 gen3 mobo 122$
intel i5 2550k cpu 200$
cooler master hyper 212 plus cpu cooler 30$
amd radeon hd 7970 video card 550$
western digital caviar black 1.5tb hhd 170$
laterIcorsair force series 180gb ssd 250$
sony 24x optical drive 22$
corsair ax850w power supply 190$
g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb ram 47$

total price 1781$
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February 16, 2012 10:08:51 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

I'll definitely be swapping out the 16GB GSkill Ripjaw RAM with their 8GB version. I don't think the tall heatsinks should get in the way, but I'll take a closer look before purchasing as I'd rather avoid finding out before finishing that the heatsinks get in the way of something.

The Crucial M4 SSD looks to be a good switch along with the 2 TB harddrive instead of 2 1TB harddrives.

I think I will stick with the i5-2500 for the moment, simply since I've heard more and read more about the 2500 than the 2550. As for overclocking, I will likely be doing fairly little since experimenting with overclocking is just a recipe for disaster.

So this is now my updated list


Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 21197-00-40G Radeon HD 7970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial m4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive: LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm pretty sure this will be the final build if I can't find anything wrong with it after a little more research.
Thanks again all.
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February 16, 2012 10:26:27 AM

Best answer selected by holt100.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 16, 2012 11:06:44 AM

holt100 said:
I think I will stick with the i5-2500 for the moment, simply since I've heard more and read more about the 2500 than the 2550. As for overclocking, I will likely be doing fairly little since experimenting with overclocking is just a recipe for disaster.


Don't underestimate how easy it is to overclock an i5-2500k. There are plenty of overclocking guides out there to follow and there is no reason why you shouldn't expect between 4.0GHz and 4.5GHz on a stable overclock (at a minimum). Check out the Hyper 212 EVO for a good CPU cooler.
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