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My 1st Build (Compatibility, Questions & Concerns)

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February 27, 2012 12:05:32 PM

Hello Everyone, first off I would like to thank you for clicking into this thread and having a read, I greatly appreciate it.
I have been a reader of this site for the past month while considering my first build and it has been a great resource, so i would like to thank all those who contribute to this forum, and share some knowledge which i find helpful.
Well like i said, I have began the own PC building adventure and like all new time beginners I have some questions and need some help, so that is where hopefully you could help me out.

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon. Week - 2 months.

Budget Range: $1000 - $1250 Australian Dollars (AUD)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, browsing, movies.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon.com, http://www.msy.com.au/default.jsp

Country: Australia

Parts Preferences: Will list further down post.

Overclocking: Yes (most likely)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Don't know. Just have 24' dell monitor.

Additional Comments:

I'm building this PC primarily for Gaming, and just the remaining basics like web browsing, movies, etc. But like I said the primary purpose of this PC is for gaming. I am not interested in video editing/encoding or any of those complex programs.

Budget: $1000 - $1250 Australian Dollars (AUD).

Restrictions: I live in Australia, therefore I can't buy from newegg as they don't ship outside the US. Amazon ships some items to Australia so I'll be getting those which they do from them. As for the parts they don't I'll be purchasing from a store here in Australia called MSY.

So now i'll basically list the parts I've gotten together, the reasoning behind my choices, and I will cap it off with some questions I have in mind. note: All links below for the components lead to either Amazon or MSY.com.au which is where im getting the part from.

CPU: i5 2500K (Originally i was looking to get the i7 2600K, but then i read that the threads provided by the processor had no impact on game performance, thus not serving my purpose of the build, hence cut it down to the i5 2500K. Also K version for OC, which hopefully you guys can help me out with once i put the build together as I don't know much about it).

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 (Seems like a good GPU and within my budget, cant go for the really high end ones)

PSU: Corsair HX Professional Series 850-Watt (I want a fully modular PSU, and the 850W is for future proof as i may get another 6950 down the track for Crossfire or a new card with high power consumption requirements).

RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blu 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit (originally was going to get the 16GB of the same brand but then read sources that said 8GB is more than enough now, and then again i could upgrade later if needed).

CASE: Coolmaster HAF 922 (Wanted a case that was relatively big, could fit the 6950 and motherboard. Also wanted good airflow case so i could OC once i get the system build, up and running).

MOTHERBOARD: Undecided, is what i need help selecting. I have decided that im going to go with an ASUS motherboard that is a Z68 chipset. Amazon ship no motherboards to Australia and same with newegg, so i'll have to get it from MSY. Now they have varying prices when it comes to their asus Z68 motherboards, and im not sure which to get for my needs. Basically my needs are a gaming rig PC, with possible but highly unlikely crossfire in the future, and I want to OC my CPU and GPU so i want a motherboard that provides the following, mainly the OC feature.

I have narrowed it down to 2 choices but don't know the difference between these two boards and which fits my needs. They are:

ASUS P8Z68-V-LE DDR3 1155pin Motherboard @ $149

ASUS P8Z68-V-Pro GEN3 Z68 USB3 DDR3 Intel 1155pin Motherboard @ $244

Therefore $95 difference. However feel free to look at other motherboards MSY offer and let me know of any others but mainly ASUS. (http://www.msy.com.au/default.jsp?category=215&page=2). I'm tempted to go for the cheaper V-LE motherboard, so let me know what you think.

So that's the basic components that i have put together for a gaming rig within my budget. Now for the questions i have:

1. Am I right with regards to the i7 2600K threads being unhelpful when it comes to games, hence justifies my choice of going with an i5 2500K as i don't do any video editing/encoding or use programs that use multiple threads?

2. Would the 850W PSU be enough to run 2 6950's if i choose to crossfire in the future, with OC of the CPU and GPU?

3. I have heard that using all the RAM dims on the motherboard will result in a lower OC limit than if you used half. Is this correct?

4. With regard to the RAM, is the one i listed a good brand, and is it compatible with the i5 Processor and Motherboards i listed?

5. Whats the difference between the RAM i listed and this one: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-240-Pin-Platfor...

6. Will the HAF 922 case fit the PSU, motherboards and 6950 I listed? I'm 99% sure it will fit the 6950 but just double checking.

I apologize for making this a long post, and if you hung around up til this point and read my post, i just want to thank you, as i greatly appreciate it. Please let me know which motherboard to go with, as well as inform me whether the system components are compatible with each other, and whether dimension wise they would fit into the HAF 922. Feel free to notify me or inform me of any details I'm not aware of, or parts that are better similar to the price ranges i have.

Thank you.
February 27, 2012 1:47:40 PM

looks like you did some research but there are a few minor changes i have in mind so ill just list all the parts

case: cooler master haf 922
popular and good for the budget
mobo: asus p8z68-v-pro
very well known and pretty highly reviewed
cpu: intel i5 2500k
its sick fast unlocked for oc'ing and not even 250$!!!
cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
of your going to oc (especially on a high-end cpu like the 2500k) than you will need a cpu cooler and this one is very popular, fairly quiet and will handle a 2500k oc'd to like 4.6!!!
video card: amd radeon hd 6970
personally id try to get it since its only a little bit more than the 6950 and its a pretty fast card
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
it looks cool and ive heard its shorter than corsair vengeance
hhd: western digital caviar black 1tb
its very reliable and well known and you can get 500gb or 1.5 or 2tb if you dont want or need 1tb of space
ssd: corsair force series 3 60gb
i highly recommend that you get an ssd and if you do this is probably the one to get
psu: corsair ax850
personally id get this over the hx
optical drive: sony 24x multi
if blu-ray is a must than get the lg black 12x

Best solution

February 27, 2012 3:18:37 PM
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msy site is down atm for maintenance, so I'l use pccasegear and you can match them on msy site when it's back up and running. A 750w psu is more than enough to push dual 6950's or even dual 560 ti 448's like this one down below. That 560 ti 448 down below runs on par with a stock gtx 570 and when over clocked it comes close to matching a gtx 580.

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-N560GTX-Ti-448-III-PE/dp/B006... $309.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
MSI N560GTX-Ti 448 Twin Frozer III PE/OC - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (448 Cores) PCI-E 16X Graphics Card

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $199.00
ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 Motherboard

or.....

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $129.00
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <----- a better look at that board

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Perf... $113.99 & 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

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $55.00
G.Skill Ares F3-1600C9D-8GAO 8GB (2x4GB)

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $39.00
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler

or...

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $55.00
G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $109.00
CoolerMaster HAF 912 Advanced

or...

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $99.00
CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer

or....

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... $119.00
CoolerMaster HAF 922 Case

Related resources
February 27, 2012 11:46:06 PM

Thanks for the response guys. I see that both of you recommended going for the higher priced Asus p8z68-v-pro Gen 3 (Why Me without the pro at the end) over the p8z68-v-LE, so i'll probably go with the pro. But whats the reason for you recommending this board over the LE, that benefits does it provide?

Also both of you recommend cards other than the Sapphire 6950 2gb that i listed, the first being a 6970 2gb and the second a 560ti 448 cuda cores.

Originally i was trying to decide between the 560ti 448 and the 6950 2gb but didn't really find helpful information to decide between the two, so which do you think is the better of the two (6950 or 560ti 448)? I decided to go with the 6950 over the 560 ti 448 for 2 reasons, the first is the difference in Vram 2gb to 1.2gb, and the second is the double bios that the 6950 has that could possibly upgrade it to the 6970.
However i don't think that the double bios will work anymore so I might go with the 6970 for the extra $50.

So the questions I have now (some recapping from above):
1. Why the p8z68-v-pro over the LE, what benefits, features does it have that the other doesn't?

2. 6950 2GB or 560ti 448 cores which is better, and why?

3. If you chose 560ti 448 cores in questions 2, then which is better 560ti 448 or 6970 2GB?

4. Also you both recommended G.skill ripjaws rams over the corsair I had, why it that exactly? Is it because it is smaller so less likely to interfere in the way of the heatsink, and are they better performance wise than the corsair vengeance?

Also I see that we are agreed on with the HAF 922 case, so will it fit the 6950, the p8z68-v-pro motherboard, the evo heat sink and the corsair HX850W PSU (I will just stick with this PSU, don't want to pay extra for the AX, and I want an 850W as well as a fully modular PSU. The TX is semi modular)?

Don't need a bluray drive, nor HDD as I have 2 TB at the moment (slower ofcourse) but will buy a faster HDD or SSD later down the road, as I know it has a high impact on gaming experience and overall performance of the PC.

Once again thanks for the help guys.
February 28, 2012 12:26:51 AM

Here is a nice comparison of the 6970 2GB to the 560 Ti 448. Radeon 6970 2GB vs. GTX 560 Ti 448
As you can see, they are about equal. The 6970 may win at one game, but the 560 wins at another, so on an so forth. It's really a matter of preference.
Also, you will find many people (including myself) who support G.Skill. Mainly because they manufacture high quality parts, but also because they are a smaller company with wonderful customer support. You are also correct in that the RAM is low profile and plays nice with aftermarket heatsinks.
February 28, 2012 1:39:52 AM

-Naz- said:
Thanks for the response guys. I see that both of you recommended going for the higher priced Asus p8z68-v-pro Gen 3 (Why Me without the pro at the end) over the p8z68-v-LE, so i'll probably go with the pro. But whats the reason for you recommending this board over the LE, that benefits does it provide?

Also both of you recommend cards other than the Sapphire 6950 2gb that i listed, the first being a 6970 2gb and the second a 560ti 448 cuda cores.

Originally i was trying to decide between the 560ti 448 and the 6950 2gb but didn't really find helpful information to decide between the two, so which do you think is the better of the two (6950 or 560ti 448)? I decided to go with the 6950 over the 560 ti 448 for 2 reasons, the first is the difference in Vram 2gb to 1.2gb, and the second is the double bios that the 6950 has that could possibly upgrade it to the 6970.
However i don't think that the double bios will work anymore so I might go with the 6970 for the extra $50.

So the questions I have now (some recapping from above):
1. Why the p8z68-v-pro over the LE, what benefits, features does it have that the other doesn't?

2. 6950 2GB or 560ti 448 cores which is better, and why?

3. If you chose 560ti 448 cores in questions 2, then which is better 560ti 448 or 6970 2GB?

4. Also you both recommended G.skill ripjaws rams over the corsair I had, why it that exactly? Is it because it is smaller so less likely to interfere in the way of the heatsink, and are they better performance wise than the corsair vengeance?

Also I see that we are agreed on with the HAF 922 case, so will it fit the 6950, the p8z68-v-pro motherboard, the evo heat sink and the corsair HX850W PSU (I will just stick with this PSU, don't want to pay extra for the AX, and I want an 850W as well as a fully modular PSU. The TX is semi modular)?

Don't need a bluray drive, nor HDD as I have 2 TB at the moment (slower ofcourse) but will buy a faster HDD or SSD later down the road, as I know it has a high impact on gaming experience and overall performance of the PC.

Once again thanks for the help guys.

Before you spend the extra $$ on the Asus Pro, ask why they recommended that board.

First off that LE board is meant for a single card (it runs dual cards @ x4), and secondly it's not a Gen 3 board which means there is no chance to upgrade later on to PCIE-3.0. But between the other two boards...there is little or no difference whatsoever. People say "Pro" just because they see it a lot. Both boards have the same phases, both run dual vid cards @ x8, and both boards have a front 3.0 USB header for front 3.0 USB ports. Good luck if you can find a difference between those two boards, because Iv'e looked before and couldn't.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...
P8Z68-V/GEN3

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...
P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3

http://promos.asus.com/US/Z68Gen3/ <---- a quick explanation of Gen3. Ivy Bridge + Gen3 board + new generation vid card = PCI-E 3.0

As far as the 6950 2GB vs the MSI gtx 560 ti 448 core...both have their advantages. The 6950 2GB has the extra vRAM which is great for a dual monitor set up, and it uses less juice than the Nvidia card. That MSI card on the other hand over clocks way better to where it comes close to running on par with a stock gtx 580.

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/msi_gtx560_448_ti_... <----- review and benchmarks of that MSI card.
February 28, 2012 4:19:01 AM

Thanks LtDan, the link you provided is great, and will be using it from now on to compare cards. Also I will probably go with G.skill as they seem to be great RAMs and people seem to like their quality so I'l probably go with them. Also I will probably go with a 6970 due to the larger vRAM.

Why_Me thank you very much for your help throughout this thread, your posts have been really great and insightful. Thanks for pointing out the x4 PCIe dual GPU information regarding the v-LE, never knew that. Also there indeed appears to be no difference between the v/gen3 and the v pro/gen3. However MSY my local store doesn't sell the v/gen3 and to ship it from pccasegear is $12 ontop of the $200 price, while i could get the v pro/gen3 from MSY for $229. However I don't really want to pay $200+ for a motherboard. So i looked into the other board you mentioned, the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 which is for $125 on MSY.

Correct me if I am wrong, it is a Gen3 so it has PCIe 3.0 and supports dual GPUs at x8. And it seems to have similar features as the v/gen3. I personally wanted to get an ASUS motherboard at first but seeing this board and its price/value features, I'm willing to try it out for my first build. The thing I want to know is the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 capable of OCing the CPU and GPU as much as the ASUS v/gen3 board?, and does it have the one button OC sort of thing ASUS motherboards have? I'm sorry to ask so much but I really lack the knowledge when it comes down to Motherboards in particular.

That way I could put the $100 i save to upgrade the GPU from a 6950 2GB to a 6970 2GB, as I want to be future proof with the 2GB vRAM, even though I use a single monitor. I don't feel comfortable getting the 1.2GB 560ti 448 due to the vRAM as I think games will be fairly demanding in the upcoming year/s.
February 29, 2012 12:14:38 AM

Best answer selected by -Naz-.
!