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$2K Gaming Rig Review

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February 19, 2012 1:16:15 AM

Hey Everyone. I posted a build the other day that was based off an AMD chip and have since scrapped the build and restarted with Intel. Here's all the info. As in the last question, I am completely open to others opinions. Thanks again.

Approximate Purchase Date: March/April

Budget Range: Would like not to go over $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (sorted from most to least important)
Gaming
Watching movies
Surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: Always liked nVidea and ASUS

Overclocking: Most likely

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Uncertain

Additional Comments: Looking for quiet along with consistent LEDs (in this case, all blue)

Parts (w. links on newegg)
  • CPU: Intel i5 2500K
  • Mobo: ASUS Sabertooth P67
  • Case: CM Storm Sniper
  • CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500
  • PSU: XFX Pro850W XXX Edition
  • RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
  • SSD (use for OS): ScanDisk Extreme 120GB SSD
  • HDD (use for storage): WD Caviar Blue 500GB
  • Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (x2)
  • Keyboard: Tt eSPORTS Challenger Ultimate
  • Mouse: RAZER Orochi
  • Optical Drive: LG BD-ROM OEM
  • Wireless Adapter: Roewill RNX-N250PCe
  • RAM Cooler: None

    Current Cost: $1,953.87
  • More about : gaming rig review

    February 19, 2012 1:46:31 AM

    It will certainly work. I would go with a z68 board just for the newer tech. This one is highly rated. I have basically the uATX version of it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Get this 1600 speed ram instead. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The default speed on Intel boards is 1333, so with 1600, you are still ahead of the game. Besides, overclocked ram is really not that big a deal. Tom's did some tests a while back that proved it. 1600 will give you enough overhead when you overclock the i5-2500k.

    The 1866 speed is mainly made for AMD APUs. Testing has shown it to make a difference in these.
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    February 20, 2012 4:40:17 PM

    These would be my suggestions:

    1. Switch your motherboard with this, I do not like the Asus Sabertooth. The plastic covers on everything are really annoying. This would be a better choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    2. Why dual 570's? If I had that kind of budget on a video card, I'd get a single, solid 580 or a 7970. Try one of these:
    - Sapphire 7970: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    - EVGA 580 Classified: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    You'll save about $120 and with that you should put that into getting a larger hard drive, something like the Samsung Ecogreen F4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    3. Sandisk is not a reliable manufacturer for SSDs, go with this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    4. Don't get 1866 RAM - most motherboards won't be able to handle it and you'll have nothing but problems. You must get 1333 or 1600 to be compliant with Intel's RMA guidelines - using RAM that the system will not be able to handle will void your warranty. Try this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    5. Switch your cooler with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    I use this one and really like it as well: www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683528800...

    Alternately this article can give you some alternate suggestions for fans: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/LGA-2011-i7-3960X-A...

    6. I'm not the biggest fan of spending money on expensive peripherals. To me they're not necessary when a $50 Logitech keyboard and mouse will do. I'd invest more in the case or cooling solution. I know case is a lot of personal preference and the CM case you chose is fine but one of these you should look at:
    - Fractal Design Arc MIDI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    - NZXT Phantom: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    - Corsair Carbide 500R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    7. RAM coolers are worthless, you do not need one.
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    February 20, 2012 4:52:30 PM

    looks pretty good to me 'cept the case 'n' maybe the mobo
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    Best solution

    February 20, 2012 5:59:17 PM

    dhcollegedude715 said:
    Hey Everyone. I posted a build the other day that was based off an AMD chip and have since scrapped the build and restarted with Intel. Here's all the info. As in the last question, I am completely open to others opinions. Thanks again.

    Approximate Purchase Date: March/April

    Budget Range: Would like not to go over $2000

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: (sorted from most to least important)
    Gaming
    Watching movies
    Surfing the internet

    Parts Not Required: Monitor

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

    Country: U.S.A.

    Parts Preferences: Always liked nVidea and ASUS

    Overclocking: Most likely

    SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

    Monitor Resolution: Uncertain

    Additional Comments: Looking for quiet along with consistent LEDs (in this case, all blue)

    Parts (w. links on newegg)
  • CPU: Intel i5 2500K
  • Mobo: ASUS Sabertooth P67
  • Case: CM Storm Sniper
  • CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500
  • PSU: XFX Pro850W XXX Edition
  • RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
  • SSD (use for OS): ScanDisk Extreme 120GB SSD
  • HDD (use for storage): WD Caviar Blue 500GB
  • Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (x2)
  • Keyboard: Tt eSPORTS Challenger Ultimate
  • Mouse: RAZER Orochi
  • Optical Drive: LG BD-ROM OEM
  • Wireless Adapter: Roewill RNX-N250PCe
  • RAM Cooler: None

    Current Cost: $1,953.87

  • +1 on that case. That sniper is about as good as it gets for the money. Lots of room, great cooling, fan controler, and you can turn those feet in so it doesn't look like a duck. Love that case.

    There's a obvious glitch I see with that board. It's not a Gen 3 board which means you have zero upgrade path to PCI-E 3.0.

    That case doesn't have front 3.0 USB ports either...which is no big deal, but if you want them then there's two ways to go about that. This piece down below will snap right on the front of that case.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $11.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Biostar CABLEUSB3.0 USB 3.0 Cable Bracket

    Back to the Gen 3 and PCI-E 3.0. Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte, and MSI all have Gen 3 boards out now. Gen 3 + Ivy Bridge + new generation vid cards like AMD's 79xx series cards that just came out and Nvidia's Kepler cards due out in Q2 of this year = PCI-E 3.0 The new 22nm Ivy Bridge cpu's are due out in mid April - early May of this year.

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/overview.html <------- That's a nice quick and easy explanation of PCI-E 3.0 with Ivy Bridge and Gen 3 boards with graphics.

    Down below is a nice solid Gen 3 board that comes with that black 3.0 USB black panel that snaps right on the front of that case. You can see it in the pics on that newegg link.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99
    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P67%20Extre... <------ and you can also see it on there...scroll halfway down that page.

    Here's a nice Asus Gen 3 board that has the front 3.0 USB header, you just need to get that Biostar piece I linked above to hook it up to.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99 FREE SHIPPING
    ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    If you don't want to wait for Nvidia's Kepler cards due out in April-May of this year (about the same time Ivy Bridge is due out) then look at these cards down below. A 750w psu will push two of those cards and when over clocked they run on par with a stock gtx 580. These cards are beast.

    Those reviews down below are worth taking a quick look at.

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-geforce-gtx-560-ti-44... <------ If only they did 1920x1080 on there. That's that MSI gtx 560 ti 448 core (over clocked) vs a gtx 580

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_560_Ti_448_C... <---- there's that MSI card again vs a gtx 580. There's a few more reviews on it also.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $294.99 - $264.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
    MSI N560GTX-Ti 448 Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 448 Cores (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Here's a nice modular psu down below that will push two of those cards in SLI.

    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Perf... $114.49 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply CP-9020003-NA

    or....

    http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Semi-Modular-Energy-Certified... $128.26 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    XFX PRO Series 750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular ATX Energy Star Certified Power Supply 80Plus Silver 750 Watt PSU P1750BNLG9

    Solid RAM for cheap atm and comes with blue heatsinks.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

    This cpu cooler down below was and maybe still is on Frosty Techs top 10 list and it has the blue LED's.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99 - $59.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
    ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED
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    February 26, 2012 1:04:39 AM

    Best answer selected by dhcollegedude715.
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