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$1500-$2000 gaming desktop

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February 27, 2012 6:50:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sooner the better, but no specific rush

Budget Range: $1500-$2000 (Would rather stay on the cheaper side of this)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and web browsing mostly. Also a bit of Photoshop and Flash. Nothing professional though, and not a high priority.

I do a lot of multi-tasking. Multiple tabs in multiple windows and multiple programs running at once.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, other peripherals (mic, webcam, etc), hard drive.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: I'm more familiar with NVidia GPU's and have had good customer support experiences with them in the past. I've heard very mixed opinions about ATI/AMD, and I'm not feeling too adventurous to try something new and see for myself.

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future...

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 (Currently) There is a very high probability that I will run a second monitor eventually.




Additional Comments:
Here's a rough parts-list I threw together myself when planning out my budget.

CPU:
i5 2500K

Mobo:
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL10D-16GBXL

GPU:
MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Or

ASUS ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Cooling:

ZALMAN CNPS12X 120mm Long Life Bearing High Performance Triple Fan CPU Cooler

PSU:
Undecided. I'm expecting to buy somewhere around the 1000W field and expecting to drop around $200 for it.

Other:
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe MKNSSDCR60GB-DX 2.5" 60GB SATA III Synchronous MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Grand Total Approx. $1639.92

With this list in mind, I have a few points that I would specifically like input on...

- The motherboard seems like a waste of money for me. As far as I can tell I would just be paying for additional PCI-e and USB slots that I wont be using. Thinking instead of spending $340 on the board I could go with the $150 Extreme3 Gen3 with no real difference or sacrifice.

- I'm torn between the two GPU's... Leaning slightly towards the ASUS since it seems like it's the cooler and quieter of the two, and it's a little cheaper. From the research I've done, the MSI seems like it would be better suited for SLI, almost purely because it's smaller, but it doesn't seem like it would handle overclocking as well as the ASUS due to cooling limitations. My philosophy has usually been "less parts, less headaches", but any argument for me to go with a card more suited for SLI than a card more suited for overclocking? Any other useful input or considerations?

- I have a bit of future-proofing anxiety when it comes to building new computers. The next technology is always just around the corner, I don't keep up-to-date with new technology, and I always feel like I'm going to wish I'd waited just a few more months. I guess this time I'm lucky that the boards are already designed to support ivy bridge and PCI-e 3.0 in advance... It did occur to me that I might be safer to settle with a cheaper GPU for now, and invest into 2011 socket with plans to upgrade the GPU once PCI-e 3.0 GPU's start coming out. Or is this just a bad idea, and thinking way ahead of things?

Many thanks for your time and help.
February 27, 2012 7:02:20 PM

That MSI gtx 560 ti 448 Core vid card down below runs dead even with a gtx 570, yet runs cooler and uses less juice. When that card is over clocked it runs on par with a gtx 580. It's easily the best over clocking card on the market atm.

FREE SHIPPING FTW

$9.99 Air Shipping - Free Shipping on orders over $50*
Fast delivery with UPS, Fedex, Canada Post & Purolator


http://www.directcanada.com

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC6196&v... $113.56
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Gaming Case ATX 4X5.25 6X3.5INT USB 1394 No PS Black

or....

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC6193&v... $86.52
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower Case ATX 4X5.25 6X3.5INT USB 1394 No PS

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC1911&v... $118.12
XFX 750W PRO750W XXX Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply 80PLUS Silver

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD2247&v... $145.80
ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E SATA3 USB3.0 SLI CrossFireX Motherboard

or...

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD6381&v... $189.69
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 Motherboard Z68 LGA1155 ATX 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI DVI USB3.0 SATA3

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527&v... $209.69
Intel Core I5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC0554&v... $27.58
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366/1155/1156/2011 120MM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC6691&v... $8.05
Coolermaster Blade Master 120 Black 120MM PWM Case Fan 600-2000RPM 21.2-76.8CFM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211&v... $49.69
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530DR5213&v... $19.24
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14120DR5445&v... $99.99
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Sata 6GBPS 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive - Oem

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=30170DR2160&v... $161.76
Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5IN SATA3 Sandforce SF-2281 SSD Solid State Disk Flash Drive

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12980BD7395&v... $316.68 MIR $291.68*
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Twin Frozr III OC Power Edition 750MHZ 1280MB Dual DVI PCI-E Video Card

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12850SW2113&v... $98.70
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 Dvd Oem


http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-... <----- reviews/benchmarks for the MSI gtx 560 ti 448 Core.

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11830BD3894&v... $458.27
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 Windforce 900MHZ 3GB 5GHZ GDDR5 DVI HDMI 2XDP PCI-E Video Card

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-over... <----- 7950 vs gtx 580
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February 27, 2012 7:49:13 PM

So I'll probably go with the ASRock Extreme3 board then...

Good advice on that GPU, thanks! I think that was one I was looking at before and then couldn't find again.

I'm a little surprised about your CPU cooler recommendation though. I would have thought that would be a little lacking for overclocking purposes?



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February 27, 2012 7:58:43 PM

phluffeh said:
So I'll probably go with the ASRock Extreme3 board then...

Good advice on that GPU, thanks! I think that was one I was looking at before and then couldn't find again.

I'm a little surprised about your CPU cooler recommendation though. I would have thought that would be a little lacking for overclocking purposes?

That CM cooler is a decent one. It's good to 4.5 - 4.6Ghz depending on your case cooling/airflow also. I added that fan to that build for the fact that cooler comes with a clip to add a second fan for a "push - pull" effect to bring the temps down even more. Toms has a review on that cooler along with a lot of other sites. It's the upgraded version of the CM 212+ that was a hot item not so long ago.

Here's the key with Sandy Bridge cpu's. Anything past 4.4Ghz is for bragging rights only. From stock to a slight bump in the voltage to 4.4Ghz you get a nice gain. Anything past 4.4Ghz nets you little to nothing. It's all in the reviews/benchmarks. It's another reason why a lot of us on here chuckle when we see peeps spending close to $100 on a cpu cooler like those hybrid water cpu coolers.
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Best solution

February 27, 2012 8:17:23 PM

Personally, don't see what the $340 MoBo does for ya .... note that all the other asrock boards only offer a 2 year warranty.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The MSI 570's have been problematic because of the reference VRM design....and the 560-448 which is simply a 570 with disabled SM shares the same design limitation. Many manufacturer's beefed up the design but some didn't (like MSI and EVGA) .... note the MSI Lighning and Hawk do have upgraded VRM's.

http://www.overclock.net/t/929152/have-you-killed-a-570...

Quote:
Gigabyte 570 OC Windorce 3x and MSI 570 TwinFrozr II both use the reference PCB design with 6 phase VRM (4 for GPU and 2 for memory). They simply put a custom cooler on top. MSI cards have similar incidents reported.....

Asus GTX570 DirectCU II also has 8 phase VRMs (6 GPU and 2 memory)


So if ya do the 570, and Id advise against it, get the Asus. The same is true for the 560 Ti designs whereby Asus, Gigabyte, etc. provided more VRM phases in their designs than MSI did. I'd put twin 900 Mhz 560 Ti's (7 or more phase VRM design) in there and get 862 fps (Guru3D test suite) as opposed to the 570's 524 fps.

these 560's crank .... how many other cards in the 5xx or 6xxx series cards ya seen that hit +30% OC's ?.... I haven't seen any.

Arkham City in 3D at 120Hz w/ glasses is a kick. Son No. 3 has em OC's to 980 Mhz and running inder 80C in SLI under OCCT GPU test w/ all case fans on minimum rpm.... 1020 MHz takes em to 82C

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

Cooler has an interesting concept that comes up short in the testing

PH-TC14PE or Silver Arrow in the $80 category
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/phanteks_ph_tc14pe...

Scythe Mugen 3 or Hyper 212 PWM in the $50 category
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

PSU - 850 watter good for up to twin 570's
First Choices (10.0 jonnyguru performance rating):

Antec CP-850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$115 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec SG-850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair HX850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$160 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Black Edition
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Second Choices (9.5 jonnyguru performance rating):

Antec TPQ-850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$130 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec HCG-900
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$140 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair TX V2
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$125 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsai AX-850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$170 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Core Edition 850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic MD12 850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...


NZXT Hale90
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
$180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Third Choices (9.0 jonnyguru performance rating)

Antec HCP-850
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Enermax Revolution 85+
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Others

Toughpower XT 850 (8.5)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

OCZ Z Series 850 (8.5)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Silverstone Element ST85EF (6.0)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Case - The Corsair 500R has it all over the competition in this price range
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=EN...


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February 27, 2012 9:24:18 PM

Ok, getting somewhere...

So you would recommend dual 560 Ti's OC'd (not the 448 core MSI one though)...

Makes sense and I understand your reasons for this, and with this information feel differently about the 570's.

Immediately I've noticed that JackNaylorPE, you've recommended minimum 850W PSU whereas Why_Me was recommending 750W. I'm assuming this difference is because you're recommending a PSU assuming I'm running SLI, and allowing a little more headroom for future upgrades.

I've also noticed Jack, that you recommended higher priced coolers.

Comparing both the 212 EVO recommended by Why_Me and the more expensive 612 PWM (which is what your link took me to, not the "212 PWM"). There seemed to be negligible difference in the performance of these two fans, talking maybe a few C difference, so I'm still siding with the EVO.

Both of you seem to agree on the Corsair 500R. I have no specific comment. My current tower is mid-ATX. Little more space "would be nice", but I can't complain at all.
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February 27, 2012 9:59:26 PM

phluffeh said:
Ok, getting somewhere...

So you would recommend dual 560 Ti's OC'd (not the 448 core MSI one though)...

Makes sense and I understand your reasons for this, and with this information feel differently about the 570's.

Immediately I've noticed that JackNaylorPE, you've recommended minimum 850W PSU whereas Why_Me was recommending 750W. I'm assuming this difference is because you're recommending a PSU assuming I'm running SLI, and allowing a little more headroom for future upgrades.

I've also noticed Jack, that you recommended higher priced coolers.

Comparing both the 212 EVO recommended by Why_Me and the more expensive 612 PWM (which is what your link took me to, not the "212 PWM"). There seemed to be negligible difference in the performance of these two fans, talking maybe a few C difference, so I'm still siding with the EVO.

Both of you seem to agree on the Corsair 500R. I have no specific comment. My current tower is mid-ATX. Little more space "would be nice", but I can't complain at all.

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/msi_gtx560_448_ti_... <---- page 9 of that review. That card smoked when over clocked. The cranked it up to 1050Mhz on the core clock. Temps...go back to that link I posted in my first post on here, read some reviews on that card. Temps...that card runs cool as ice.

As far as wattage / psu's go, 750w is a safe bet for these cards in SLI, 850w gives you some more headroom to play with. There is from least to most: 560, 560 ti, and 560 ti 448 Core.

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC8651&v... <----if you want more headroom then these XFX psu's are a bargain for that price. XFX psu's are manufactured by Seasonic as are the mid and upper tier Corsair psu's.

As far as the Corsair 500R goes...it's fairly new on the market, it's roomy, has multiple fan controllers, dust filters, excellent air flow, front 3.0 USB ports...it has it all and for cheap. Like Jack pointed out...that case owns in that price range.

Also figure out your shipping cost @ newegg canada. For what they hose you on shipping you get a free SSD at Direct Canada when you add it all up.
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February 27, 2012 10:35:22 PM

Haha, so the tearing issue... The GPU.

So accord to page 6 of MSI GTX560 Ti 448 'Power Edition' Review this card has 6+1 VRM, and therefore, shouldn't be subject to the defects of the other 570's that were 4+2.

Given this, I'm leaning back towards the MSI card. Gives me good value/performance, and I can always run another in SLI in the future.

Also, thanks for steering me to DirectCanada.

EDIT: Well, after looking into things more, I've decided to give AMD a go, and I've decided on Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC 900MHZ 3GB 5.0GBPS GDDR5 DL-DVI HDMI 2XMINIDP PCI-E Video Card

Adds a bit to the overall cost of the build, but it would be less than running two of the MSI 560's, and would give me more options for the future.

I'll hold off for a day before placing the order just to see if anyone has any final input, and I would like to thank both Why_Me and Jack for your help :) 
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March 12, 2012 2:07:28 PM

Best answer selected by phluffeh.
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