$2500 gaming build - Neep opinions.

Looking to build a desktop, almost exclusively for hardware intensive gaming. Also for internet, video/music playback, light office apps and home theatre PC.

I'm not really too limited by cash, however I really do not want to spend over $3000, ideally trying to keep it around $2500. This includes every single part (currently using a laptop).

I'm looking for opinions on better combinations and general compatibility between parts. I would prefer to spend a little extra for quality parts.

CPU: i5 2500K (will overclock probably to < 4.5)
CPU cooler: NZXT Havik 140
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V-GEN3 (not interested in ASRock)
RAM/Memory: 16GB DDR3-1600 G Skill (I realize I probably do not need 16GB, but its cheap, also assuming 1600 MHZ won't bottleneck the system?)

Power Supply: Corsair HX-850 (to support SLI GTX570's in future)
Case: Coolermaster HAF932 (I like the size, plenty of internal space/good airflow capacity, also looks good without being too flashy)

Hard Drive #1: Crucial C400 64GB M4 series
Hard Drive #2: Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black
Graphics Card:ASUS or eVGA GTX570 (will get a second one in a few months)
Moniter: 23inch Samsung 23A750D (120 HZ)
Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit

Any mouse and keyboard recommendations would be appreciated.
Other than the fast boot time, do SSD's actually provide any gaming advantages?
Will be building myself – Any other obscure components I need to complete the build, cables etc? (don't want to spend all day building and not be able to get it running!)

Can anyone recommend a decent TV tuner?

Also sound card? (although I thought the onboard sound on this mobo is OK anyway?)

Although theoretically there is enough slots on the P8Z68-V-GEN3 for two GTX570's, TV tuner and sound card, I was wondering if anyone can tell me if it's possible to actually fit them all on? (as the 2 x GTX570's are quite big, may obstruct the other slots?).

Any extra fans to purchase for the case? (can probably do this at a later date depending on temperatures)

Fan controller recommendation?

Hoping to get this built within the next month, will probably start tracking down best prices soon. Feedback is appreciated.
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  1. You really want to go 128gb on the SSD. The 60-64gb sizes are a pain to maintain. Every program you install to the hard drive will still dump stuff in the Windows directory. That is the way Windows is designed. As to the SSD advantage, it is mainly boot times, game(initial and between levels) and general program load times.

    Basically with an SSD/HDD setup, you want to get the machine fully operational with the SSD and then plug in the hard drive. You can then use this procedure to set that up. http://www.pcworld.com/article/237496/the_best_of_both_worlds_an_ssd_and_a_hdd.html

    For mouse and keyboard, I am partial to wired Logitech, especially G-series mice. Wireless is not good for gaming. I would go to a store and see what fits your hands best. You can always check for best price online.

    Hauppage for TV tuners. Your best bet would be to get one of the x1 slot cards and mount it in the first slot before the first video card. You might wish to get the machine built first and see if the slots line up properly, then order it. You could go with an older PCI mounted between the 570's but heat may be an issue there.

    16gb and 1600 speed will be fine on ram although it will be a while before more than 8gb becomes necessary for gaming, if at all. If you were doing something like 3D or CAD or heavy video editing, then 16gb would be more appropriate.

    Onboard sound also fine.

    Case is fine and plenty of fans. No real need for a controller.

    I am not really familiar with that CPU cooler, but it may have an issue with the ASUS heat sink near the CPU due to the 140mm fans. Ram clearance may also be a slight issue unless you get the standard low profile stuff. Here is a recent Tom's article on coolers. May be a better choice in here somewhere. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/LGA-2011-i7-3960X-Air-Overclocking,3130.html
  2. it's better to start with a 120gb ssd and above... 60 just ain't gonna cut it.... you can even get a 1kw model psu with such a huge budget.... don't buy a sound card first... try the build's onboard sound... haf 932 is a good case no doubt about it... but without proper dust filter... the case will be a pain to clean in the long run... this case is what i recommend...


    i know the look is a little bit... but this provides good cooling... and quiet operation as well....

    since this is your new build i recommend you to go for hd 7950....
  3. case: cooler master haf x
    mobo: asus maximus III
    cpu: intel i5 2500k
    cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
    video card: amd radeon hd 7970
    ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb 1600
    psu: corsair ax850w
    hhd: western digital caviar black 1.5tb
    ssd corsair force series 3 120gb
    optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
  4. You will have plenty of cash to spare with that budget.

    I would base the rig on a 2600k, and a gtx 580. The gtx 580 is cheaper, and better by most benchmarks than the 7970 I would say. Sli with some slightly cheaper cards (or even gtx 580s really, this is a $2500 budget after all) is definitely also an option.

    $200 will get you a nice board (msi and gigabyte are always good) - board is really a personal preference.


    still have $1500 to spend on all the little things ~100 ram, ~100psu, ~100 case, ~200-300ssd (might as well get a big one, no, it wont affect fps, but quick loading times are fun, and you can already afford the best proc and gfx cards worth paying for in my opinion) you're in good shape, may even be able to get a second gtx 580 depending on what else you can think to spend money on.

    edit: 570s instead of 580s would be a perfectly reasonable option too.
  5. ^are you ...........
    no way 580 is better than 7970.you can't SLi two different cards.
  6. nobody is talking about sli'ing 2 different cards, "570s" instead of "580s"

    also, you're right, the 7970 is probably better in most cases, I misspoke, I saw a poorly controlled comparison previously. I dont know how it scales versus the 580 with multiple cards, which the poster will probably use. Lots to compare.
  7. ^ no problems,7970 is a newer card and outperforms gtx 580 is almost every benchmark.soon nvidia is going to release kepler to face off with these cards.
  8. ahhh fail, massive double post, I kept posting it and the site kept saying "The site is temporarily unavailable.
    Please come back soon." so I kept trying it ha ha.

    Thanks for the feedback, I posted this on other forums and got pretty much the same replies.

    Am going with GTX570 for now, will either swoop and get another GTX570 on the cheap when kepler comes out, or upgrade CPU and GPU if the new generation warrants it. Am building this beast on the weekend :D
  9. here is a killer comp with high end parts

    build 1

    i5 2500k
    asus maximus iv gene
    g skill 2x4 gb 1600mhz
    noctua nh-d14
    evga 570 super overclock
    corsair 600t white edition
    corsair hx 750w
    wd carvier black 1tb
    crutial m4 128gb
  10. here is a killer comp with high end parts

    build 1

    i5 2500k
    asus maximus iv gene
    g skill 2x4 gb 1600mhz
    noctua nh-d14
    evga 570 super overclock
    corsair 600t white edition
    corsair hx 750w
    wd carvier black 1tb
    crutial m4 128gb
  11. ^mobo is m-atx.570 is not a big thing(still good but not high end)
    that's a good psu but you need at least a 850w with 80+ GOLD or Platinum ratings for a 'high end unit'
    a full tower like 800D or lian li armoursuit is worth of 'high end tag' IMO.
  12. build 2

    intel i7 2700k
    asus maximus iv extreme
    corsair h100
    2x4gb corsair vengence 1600mhz
    xfx 7950 dd black edition
    seasonic xseries 850w gold
    wd carvier black 1.5tb
    crutial m4 240gb
    haf x

    build 3

    intel i7 3820
    asus rampage iv gene
    corsair 4x4gb vengence
    corsair h100
    xfx 7970 dd be cfx
    seasonic 1050 w 80+plus platinum
    intel 520 240gb
    carvier black 2tb
    cosmos ii
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