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First Build - ~$2500 budget, need help with final component selection!

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March 8, 2012 3:21:17 AM

Hello all,

I've decided to take the plunge and build my first PC! I'm looking to create a monster, capable of handling any game on the market for at least a couple of years (ultra settings at 1080p). The components that I have already chosen are as follows:

Case: CM HAF X 942
CPU: I5 2500k
Aftermarket cooler: Noctua NH-D14
Video Card: EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580
PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 Modular
Mobo: Here is where I run into difficulties. I can't decide whether to buy a z68 chipset or not (p67 has everything I need, but z68 is newer). I want at least one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, in case I decide to upgrade to Ivy Bridge, but I also want a board with a configuration that would allow me to add a second GTX 580 in SLI, and still leave room for PCI/PCIe network and sound cards. USB 3.0 is a must, and preferably (though it's not a deal breaker) I would like a board with front-facing headers. Obviously I'm looking for LGA1155, but I also want a user-friendly BIOS for easy over clocking, as I plan to push the 2500k pretty far. Quality, durability, and stability are more important than aesthetics. These are a couple of boards I've been looking at, although new suggestions are more than welcome:

- ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
- ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0)
- ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3
- ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
- ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3

Should I consider Gigabyte and MSI boards? I don't really know anything about them.

Other considerations:

- I chose the HAF X because I wanted to make sure that I would have enough space for the D14 and the 580, but I would consider a mid-tower if these components will still fit comfortably. I figure less volume + comparable CFMs from the fans = better cooling.
- Is a 850w PSU overkill/not enough if I add a 2nd GPU?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
March 8, 2012 3:26:55 AM

I forgot a couple of things:

Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB 1866
HDD: WD Black WD5002AALX 500GB
SSD: Anyone have any suggestions on 128GB or more SSDs that are relatively cheap and well made?
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March 8, 2012 3:52:50 AM

One last thing: the $2500 budget also includes peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, sound system) and other components (sound card, network card, SSD, optical drive).
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Best solution

March 8, 2012 4:10:33 AM

Quote:
One last thing: the $2500 budget also includes peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, sound system) and other components (sound card, network card, SSD, optical drive).


You don't need a sound card or NIC, get the expensive peripherals later, as far as the monitor goes that can go either way, I will adjust accordingly.

I wouldn't even recommend Z68 on a $2500 build or a 580. The 942 is quite a bit overkill - get a Corsair Carbide 500R - that will be more than enough to house a D14..

As far as GPU goes - the 580 is a good choice but it's getting quite a bit old now and if you're going to pay that kind of money you should get a 7970 or 7950 - those are the latest and greatest. And don't bother with any RAM speed above 1600 as most motherboards that are Z68 will have a hard time recognizing it.

I'd just scrap most of your original build and go X79 - I wouldn't bother with the GENE-Z on such a huge case - the limited expansion will be quite be frustrating. X79 will be far more future proof than Z68 will on a $2500 budget.

Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: Seasonic X1250 Gold - $259.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $329.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $89.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600Mhz 1.7V Quad Channel For X79 - $159.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG Black BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,406.89
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March 8, 2012 4:37:48 AM

Alright I'll go though my thoughts on everything:

Case: I'd go for the HAF you were looking at. I personally like full towers as there is more room and better cable management, which ultimately leads to better airflow.

CPU: Best for gaming, not must else to say haha.

Cooler: Again, not much to say. Although since you're on a $2500 budget, have you consider water cooling? (and no I'm not talking about the Corsair or Antec closed loop kits)

Video Card: I'd go for a 7970 over a 580. They perform better and don't use as much power. Or you could wait and see how the 600 series performs (which is what I'm doing)

Mobo: If you don't need the features of z68, then just get a p67 board. I went with the ASRock z68 Extreme3 Gen3, and have had no problems so far. I'm currently at 4.5GHz easily on my 2600k, and the build quality is great (I've actually dropped it in the case a few inches, but no problems!) The BIOS is great too, in my opinion. So I'm personally going to recommend the ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 since you don't need the z68 features. The ASUS boards are great too, but I don't see why to spend an extra $50-100 on a mobo when you can get great performance for less! And you can consider looking at Gigabyte boards, but I'd avoid MSI boards as there are better options out there.

Memory: It's memory and it works. Not much else to say except maybe just go for 1600Mhz for the same reason g-unit stated.

HDD: If we're looking at the same HDD, that one's $180, right? That's insane for a 500GB drive. Save some money and go with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Alright I've got a bunch of 120GB drives and up.
1) Mushkin Enhanced Chronis 120GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- $130 for a 120GB drive? It's out of stock right now, but this is the best priced drive.
2) Intel 520 120GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- I love Intel drives. They are very reliable and now screaming fast! Plus a 5 year warranty!
3) Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe 120GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- A little of a performance upgrade from the first drive. I wouldn't justify the price difference, however.
4) Kingston HyperX 120GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Not really much to say. It's fast and reliable.
5) Corsair Force Series 3 180GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- This one's only $210 after a mail-in rebate. If you want a little more space go for this.
6) Crucial M4 128GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Crucial makes awesome drives. Can't go wrong with this :) 

You can't go wrong with any of these drives. Personally, I'd get the first Mushkin drive since the price is so low! Otherwise, I'd go for the Intel one due to it's reliability.

Hope this was helpful. Please tell me if I missed anything. It's late for me ;) 
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March 8, 2012 11:58:19 AM

try this build....

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel Core i5-2500K - $225

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 - $170

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB CML8GX3M2A1600C9 - $50

hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $30 after rebate

odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LG DVD Burner 24X GH24NS70 - $19

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB - $115

ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Plextor M3 Series PX-128M3 2.5" 128GB - $185

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SILVERSTONE ST1000-P 1000W Modular - $183 after rebate

gpu: wait for nvidia kepler series as it may have impact on current market prices
plus it's so close to launch date...

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill THOR V2 - $130

keyboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 - $47

sound: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ALTEC LANSING Octane 7 2.1 - $64

monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Dell UltraSharp U2412M - $340

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


total: $1658 after rebate excluding shipping...

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March 8, 2012 4:25:49 PM

I like the above build, except for the CPU Cooler suggestions. The Noctua D14 will perform much better.
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March 8, 2012 4:42:05 PM

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 is the board I'd pick. The D14 is solid, good choice. The HX850 is more than enough for 2 580s and overclock. Everything seems solid and almost ready but as earlier suggested, better get a 7970 or wait for kepler. Just skip the video card right now and wait so that you won't have any regrets. Also, tbh keep your expectations realistic. You might not be able to max upcoming games 3 years later with that config. At some point, you will need to upgrade

For SSD, I recommend crucial m4 128GB. Very reliable. The price have gone down a little bit so you should grab one fast
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March 8, 2012 4:44:11 PM

EzioAs said:
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 is the board I'd pick. The D14 is solid, good choice. The HX850 is more than enough for 2 580s and overclock. Everything seems solid and almost ready but as earlier suggested, better get a 7970 or wait for kepler. Just skip the video card right now and wait so that you won't have any regrets. Also, tbh keep your expectations realistic. You might not be able to max upcoming games 3 years later with that config. At some point, you will need to upgrade


That's why I suggested SB-E - it may run a bit more but you won't have to buy the same part twice to get extra features like PCI 3.0. I'd rather pay more now than pay double later.
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March 8, 2012 5:06:05 PM

Quote:
You don't need a sound card or NIC, get the expensive peripherals later, as far as the monitor goes that can go either way

+1

Quote:
wouldn't even recommend Z68 on a $2500 build or a 580. The 942 is quite a bit overkill - get a Corsair Carbide 500R - that will be more than enough to house a D14..


no offence but i think z68 is better for a gaming rig.x79 is for heavily multi threaded apps.you can't upgrade whereas with z68 you can get a ivy bridge,cases are a personal preference.500r is good but nothings wrong with HAF X.BTW i would suggest NZXT Switch.

Quote:
As far as GPU goes - the 580 is a good choice but it's getting quite a bit old now and if you're going to pay that kind of money you should get a 7970 or 7950 - those are the latest and greatest. And don't bother with any RAM speed above 1600 as most motherboards that are Z68 will have a hard time recognizing it.


Quote:
I wouldn't bother with the GENE-Z on such a huge case - the limited expansion will be quite be frustrating.

+1
Quote:
X79 will be far more future proof than Z68 will on a $2500 budget.

How?

Quote:
Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: Seasonic X1250 Gold - $259.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $329.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $89.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600Mhz 1.7V Quad Channel For X79 - $159.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG Black BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,406.89


psu is super overkill.HX850w or AX850 is more than enough.x1250 can run a gtx 580 3-way SLi.
other parts are good.investing now on a 2500k on a z68 mobo is better idea as you can upgrade to ivy bridge in future.
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March 8, 2012 5:11:22 PM

hellfire24 said:


psu is super overkill.HX850w or AX850 is more than enough.x1250 can run a gtx 580 3-way SLi.
other parts are good.investing now on a 2500k on a z68 mobo is better idea as you can upgrade to ivy bridge in future.
[/i]

I ran it through my PSU wattage calculator: http://support.asus.com/PowerSupply.aspx?SLanguage=en

And it suggested 1000W minimum on 6970 (equivalent) and SB-E.

I'm suggesting SB-E so you don't have to upgrade to Ivy to get PCI 3.0 support - like I said I'd rather pay more initially than pay double a year from now, that's just based on my experiences.

Quote:
How?


I've been told that after Ivy that z68 is going to be a dead end and that the generation after Ivy will utilize an entirely new socket - knowing the way Intel does things this doesn't surprise me at all. We had X58 and P55, then P55 went the way of the dodo and Z68 appeared, but X58 is still around even though it's disappearing fast. Now we have Z68 and X79 - after Ivy, Z68 will go away for something new and X79 will still be around.
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March 8, 2012 5:25:26 PM

Case - $180 - LIAN LI PC-B25F
You can pick any case you want, I just like Lian Li's quality and the less conspicuous look. I currently have an HAF922, which is great and does exactly what it is supposed to do. But, I've since grown more and more fond of Lian Li's minimalistic visual appeal.
PSU - $184 - KINGWIN LZP-1000 1000W PSU
I've said it many times before. This is probably the best 1000w unit on the market. I'm not going to go into details, yet again. If you want more information, click here.
CPU - $320 - Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz
This processor should be enough for the foreseeable future.
Mobo - $190 - ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
I've had good luck with ASUS lately. I still recommend staying away from ANY motherboard manufacturer's top board.
HSF - $115 - CORSAIR H100
"But the Noctua bla bla bla will perform 1 degree C better than the H100, bla bla bla." Yep, it probably will. But this is easier to install, looks cleaner, and won't damage your motherboard due to massive weight.
SSD - $169 - Crucial m4 128GB
This SSD speaks for itself. Crucial is making the most reliable, high performance drives out there. Just pay attention to your firmware version and upgrade when necessary.
HDD - $120 - Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB
Storage drive. Whatever.
ODD1 - $16 - SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner
It's a DVD burner. It's 16 dollars. What else can I say?
ODD2 - $80 - LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R
Blu-Ray burner. Certainly not necessary. But, it may prove convenient from time to time. Feel free to nix this from the final build.
RAM - $89 - CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Not much to say about this other than it doesn't have massive unnecessary heatsinks.
Front Panel Hub - $40 - Koutech IO-FPH430 4-Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0
I've used this in a couple of builds. Works great.
Cable for Hub - $5.50 - Nippon Labs Model USB3-6AB 6 ft. USB 3.0 A Male to B Male Cable M-M
Don't forget the cable you need for it!
GFX - $960 - TWO XFX Double D FX-795A-TDFC Radeon HD 7950 3GB
Debatable as to whether two of these are really necessary. If it were me, I would just get one card for now, and get a second once drivers mature and these become a little cheaper. You will be able to play anything you want at 1920x1080 with everything on with just one anyway...
Keyboard - $100 - Logitech G510
Great keyboard. However, it does not work well outside of the Windows environment!!!!!!! (Most of Logitech's higher end keyboards have this very annoying issue)
Mouse - $80 - Logitech G700
I never thought I would be excited about a wireless mouse that only has a few days worth of battery life. BUT, it comes with a special USB cord that turns it into a hardwired mouse. I went from a really nice Razor mouse to this and I do not regret my purchase.
Speakers - $331 - Logitech Z906 500W 5.1 Speakers
The successor to the fantastic Z5500 speakers (which I currently use for my living room :pt1cable:  ) The AMP/SUB has all the hookups you could ever want and the speakers sound fantastic. There is not a set of speakers out there, designed for computers, that sound or perform better. The next step up from here would be a dedicated receiver and a separate home theater speakers.
Monitor - $210 - LG IPS231B-BN Black 23" 5ms IPS Monitor w/Height, Swivel & Tilt Adjustments
Admittedly, I do not know much about LG from a computer monitor standpoint. However, the specs look fantastic on this particular unit. You get all the adjustments (height, tilt, swivel), it is IPS, and it has a 5ms refresh rate. If you want something even better. Go with a Dell Ultrasharp at 1920x1200, but it will cost you...

TOTAL = $3189.50

HOWEVER, if you want to get to your $2500 price, just remove the speakers and the second graphics card. Then your total will come to:

TOTAL (w/o speakers or 2nd gfx) = $2378.50


You can easily pick up a nice headset or a no-so-high-tech set of speakers with the remaining $111.50. Also, dont forget to use the coupon for the PSU, "20% off w/ promo code Kingwin20, ends 3/11."
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March 8, 2012 5:56:08 PM

My recommendation:

Go with SB over 2011..Ivy bridge out performs lga2011 at basic clocks. Yes it is confirmed already. Only reason to go 2011 atm is for future upgrades IB-E. Or, doing some serious editing/rendering/auto cad/ w/e you can think of that needs this performance.

Go with 1600 or 1333 ram for SB. Buy at least 8gb for dual channel.

Go with 7970 or with the new 680 rumored to drop on March 23rd. March 12th be on the lookout for a paper launch or other details.

Go with any case you like. My suggestions would be 500r, silverstone, fractal design, 650D.

Get w/e cooler you want...zalman/noctua are best of air imo. or go with a h100 water cooler.

Get a 128 or 256gb SSD and w/e harddrive you want. Stay with Crucial m4 or Samsung 830. Intel is expensive but very good too.

PSU: stay with seasonic, antec, corsair, xfx (in this order antec/corsair can be flip flopped)
650w = 1 Card
750w = 2 cards (could be borderline if you OC)
850w = 2 cards easily
anything over is overkill for your needs unless you are just going trifire etc.

keyboard - go mechanical imo unless you want features stay then with logitech

Monitor - Im an ips fan, so dell 2411 or 2311h

sound card - unless your going for overkill the asus xfi will be plenty for cheap and includes an amp.

speakers/headphones...look this up ..i would go with sennheisers/audio tech 700's etc.

3.0 pci is a gimmich atm. Its not fully utilized and still won't be with IB. Yes it does help a tad, but very very marginal until games etc catch up to the field. You'll see little improvements. However still get it because its practically on every board anyways.

z68 vs p67 = z68 has dedicated onboard graphics and few more bells and whistles for usb 3.0 etc.

hope this helps. remember these are only suggestions so that you don't buy some 1200watt psu etc that some idiot told you to buy. I have already seen someone tell you to get a 1000watt that is way overkill.

$2500 gives you a lot of headroom and it would be a mistake not to get the best. However, theres no point in spending it all if the performance/price will not be beenficial to you.
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March 8, 2012 6:06:16 PM

Quote:
Get w/e cooler you want...zalman/noctua are best of air imo. or go with a h100 water cooler.


Zalman is not the best air cooler - I'll agree with Noctua, but I also really like my EVGA cooler.

Quote:
sound card - unless your going for overkill the asus xfi will be plenty for cheap and includes an amp.


Not needed - sound cards are a waste of money anymore when the built in audio is fine.

Quote:
speakers/headphones...look this up ..i would go with sennheisers/audio tech 700's etc.


Don't include headphones in your budget - you can always get the speakers later.

Quote:
3.0 pci is a gimmich atm. Its not fully utilized and still won't be with IB. Yes it does help a tad, but very very marginal until games etc catch up to the field. You'll see little improvements. However still get it because its practically on every board anyways.


That is true but it's always better to be prepared for it than to have to buy the same part twice.

Quote:

PSU: stay with seasonic, antec, corsair, xfx (in this order antec/corsair can be flip flopped)
650w = 1 Card
750w = 2 cards (could be borderline if you OC)
850w = 2 cards easily
anything over is overkill for your needs unless you are just going trifire etc.


I agree with brand choices but wattage will vary, this is the most accurate PSU calculator I've ever used - it's usually right on the money: http://support.asus.com/PowerSupply.aspx?SLanguage=en

Quote:
Go with 7970 or with the new 680 rumored to drop on March 23rd. March 12th be on the lookout for a paper launch or other details.


I don't recommend any new hardware until I see some actual numbers - most of Radeon's 7XXX series have already proven to be top performers, whether the NVIDIA 6XX series will or not remains to be seen.
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March 8, 2012 6:21:06 PM

Some zalman's perform quite well. They can be louder yes. It's preference. Price/performance is not the greatest but it does perform well. Nocuta is best/quietest.

I reccomended 680 only because it'll be top notch (suppose to be). However Im sorry I did not imply to read reviews. This is a no brainer imo.

If a budget is $2500 for everything he list then why wouldn't you include headphones? ...I recommended them anyways.

Yes that is a pretty good Psu calculater. However like many calculater's it still gives you headroom. I built a system on it that I knew could run on a 500watt and sure enough it recommends a 700watt...That is why calculators are good and bad. They help you not make bad choices but also cost you more money to. two edge sword.

If your experienced you can easily pick something out that will suffice which is why I suggest my recommendations.

I suggested 2 in a 750 (but this might not apply to a sli 580 which would draw a lot more power then a sli 460/560 system..hence why i said borderline.
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March 8, 2012 7:25:56 PM

Quote:
If a budget is $2500 for everything he list then why wouldn't you include headphones? ...I recommended them anyways.


I don't include anything that's not essential to the build - headphones definitely aren't.

I try to focus on the key areas and get the most for the money - case, PSU, motherboard, CPU, RAM, storage (optical, SSD, HD(s) ), video card, and monitor are the most important - PSU and GPU are to me, the most important parts of any build. Then motherboard/CPU/RAM, then storage, then everything else. OS is pretty much an after thought since it's Win 7 all the way, unless you're using Linux - most users don't but there's definitely exceptions.

To me, peripherals - and especially expensive keyboards, mice, headsets - are always an after thought as well since it's relatively easy to add those, it's not easy to add a new motherboard. I'll never recommend a $200 keyboard / mouse setup - to me that's really pointless to waste that kind of money when you could put it into getting the best GPU or CPU setup you can get. If you have $2500 to spend on a build I'd rather it go toward the most top-notch hardware you can get for the price rather than waste it on those things. Accessories as well like cable hubs, front panel LCDs, LED lights, static wrist straps, things like that are absolute junk and you're pretty much throwing your money away - I will never include that stuff on a build as it puts a dent in what hardware you're able to buy, and you can always get that stuff later.

Quote:
Some zalman's perform quite well. They can be louder yes. It's preference. Price/performance is not the greatest but it does perform well. Nocuta is best/quietest.


I really like Noctua fans and I also like my EVGA cooler - that's worked out quite well. I've used plenty of fans - I've had the best luck with the Hyper 212 and the EVGA cooler, I've had the worst luck with the Xigmatek Gaia (too many loose parts and cheap thermal compound) and the Thermalright Silver Arrow.

Quote:
I reccomended 680 only because it'll be top notch (suppose to be). However Im sorry I did not imply to read reviews. This is a no brainer imo.


That's just speculation though - you can read all the PR you want, but after the fiasco with the overhype surrounding AMD's FX line, I always take a wait and see attitude toward new hardware - especially CPUs and GPUs. To me that's one of the most important parts of any build, and I don't want to trust it to hype - I want to trust it to what I see.

Quote:

TOTAL = $3189.50

HOWEVER, if you want to get to your $2500 price, just remove the speakers and the second graphics card. Then your total will come to:


You're going over the budget by like $700 there. 2 x 7950s are quite overkill (nice to have... :lol:  ), get one now, get the second when you can afford it.
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March 8, 2012 7:33:34 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:

You're going over the budget by like $700 there. 2 x 7950s are quite overkill (nice to have... :lol:  ), get one now, get the second when you can afford it.
Quote:


It stands to reason that there may be more money to play with (if justified) than the $2500 budget. Poor people don't drop 2.5g's on a gaming computer :p . I don't think it is that big of a deal especially when acknowledging the fact that the speakers and the second graphics card are the most expendable pieces of this build and are easily omitted. I have my reasoning explained under each individual item which includes the "questionableness" of a second HD7950 at this very moment.
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March 8, 2012 7:40:00 PM

Quote:
It stands to reason that there may be more money to play with (if justified) than the $2500 budget. Poor people don't drop 2.5g's on a gaming computer


Definitely not going to argue there. :lol: 

Quote:
I don't think it is that big of a deal especially when acknowledging the fact that the speakers and the second graphics card are the most expendable pieces of this build and are easily omitted. I have my reasoning explained under each individual item which includes the "questionableness" of a second HD7950 at this very moment.


True - but if you drop the accessories and expensive peripherals, I'd agree with most of those choices. I'm not a fan of Lian Li though - the cases are well built, I'll give 'em that, but they're overpriced for what you get vs. the competition, I'd be more inclined to suggest the Azza Hurricane 2000 after reading this article today: http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/586-switch-810...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I always say focus on the build and the best hardware you can get first - get the expensive peripherals and accessories last.
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March 9, 2012 2:27:00 AM

Thank you g-unit for the solid advice. While that X79 system would be an absolute beast, unfortunately it's just too much for me to handle financially. I've decided to forgo the sound and network cards, at least for the time being, and the 7970 definitely interests me as a GPU option. Also, the Carbide 500r is a beautiful case, and I'm torn between it and the HAF X, although the HAF is still very tempting, mainly due its appearance, and the fact that it has some neat features pertaining to GPUs (cooling, and bracket for extra support for heavy cards). I'm going to post an updated list of my components.
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March 9, 2012 3:04:42 AM

Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me out, I feel like I'm almost ready to go out and pick up some parts. This is my updated and revised list:


CPU: 2500k

Cooler: Noctua NH-D14

Mobo: either ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen3 OR ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev3.0). I figure I don't need integrated graphics, so I can save a bit by going with P67 over Z68. ASRock has PCIe 3.0, but ASUS seems like the better board.

Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage (1.25) 2x4GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 (both motherboards above are on the qualified motherboard list on the G.Skill site. Also, they are low profile enough to be cleared by the NH D-14). Decent latencies, and I think low voltage is better for overclocking.

Case: HAF X 942 or MAYBE Corsair Carbide 500r

Video Card: Radeon 7970 Sapphire (so tempted to wait for Kepler)

Optical: something cheap, I can upgrade to blu-ray later

SSD: Crucial M4 128GB (so many recommendations, seems like a good buy)

PSU: Either Antec HCP-850 or Corsair AX850 or Seasonic X-850 ...I want something rock steady, and these seem to be three good choices.

Monitor: ASUS VE278Q 27" LED backlit. Saw this in a store and fell in love.

HDD: just found a pair of SATA II 500GB WD Caviar Blues lying around, should serve for the time being.

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate

Mouse: Razer Lachesis 5600


Again, thanks for all of the info, I still need to make a few more decisions, but I'm close! Feel free to offer any other suggestions.
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March 9, 2012 3:05:27 AM

Quote:
While that X79 system would be an absolute beast, unfortunately it's just too much for me to handle financially. I've decided to forgo the sound and network cards, at least for the time being, and the 7970 definitely interests me as a GPU option


Yeah it usually is for most people - I want to upgrade my system to X79 but $300 for a CPU, $300 for a motherboard, and $150 for RAM certainly isn't cheap.

I generally recommend the Carbide because it's a sleek case that doesn't compromise on features, is very solidly built, and has enough interior room that will handle the largest coolers, video cards, PSUs, you name it.

Maybe try this for a <=$2500 deal:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $169.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $224.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $89.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $44.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG BD-R Burner - $74.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $99.99
Monitor: Asus 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor - $199.99
Speakers: Klipsch Promedia 2.1 - $149.99

Total: $2,218.87

You can use the difference to get whatever other peripherals you might need (keyboard, mouse, etc).
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March 9, 2012 3:39:37 AM

Glocktypus said:
Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me out, I feel like I'm almost ready to go out and pick up some parts. This is my updated and revised list:


CPU: 2500k

Cooler: Noctua NH-D14

Mobo: either ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen3 OR ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev3.0). I figure I don't need integrated graphics, so I can save a bit by going with P67 over Z68. ASRock has PCIe 3.0, but ASUS seems like the better board.

Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage (1.25) 2x4GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 (both motherboards above are on the qualified motherboard list on the G.Skill site. Also, they are low profile enough to be cleared by the NH D-14). Decent latencies, and I think low voltage is better for overclocking.

Case: HAF X 942 or MAYBE Corsair Carbide 500r

Video Card: Radeon 7970 Sapphire (so tempted to wait for Kepler)

Optical: something cheap, I can upgrade to blu-ray later

SSD: Crucial M4 128GB (so many recommendations, seems like a good buy)

PSU: Either Antec HCP-850 or Corsair AX850 or Seasonic X-850 ...I want something rock steady, and these seem to be three good choices.

Monitor: 27" LED backlit. Saw this in a store and fell in love.

HDD: just found a pair of SATA II 500GB WD Caviar Blues lying around, should serve for the time being.

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate

Mouse: Razer Lachesis 5600


Again, thanks for all of the info, I still need to make a few more decisions, but I'm close! Feel free to offer any other suggestions.


FYI, the Corsair AX850 and the Seasonic X-850 are the same PSU made by Seasonic, so pick whatever is cheaper if that is what you want to go with. I still would recommend the Kingwin LZP-1000 over anything else in this price range. It is cheaper (out the door) than any of the three units you mentioned. It is also on a current platform. The Antec is almost a 2 year old design, and the Seasonic/Corsair (once again, they are the same thing) is last year's model. Plus, that particular Seasonic design is known for coil whine. Here is a link to the review at Jonny Guru dot com for the LZP-1000.

There have been some recent red flags with regard to Razer and their fulfillment of warranties. I loved my Razer Copperhead (that still works by the way). I loved it so much I purchased new teflon feet for it since I wore the old ones completely out. But, the troublesome warranty issues people have been having drove me back to Logitech. Who is fine as long as you never expect to see any money from a mail-in-rebate.

Don't bother overclocking your RAM, you probably won't even see an additional 1FPS in performance from it.

I would also encourage you to forget about Kepler for the moment. It's looking more and more like a paper launch with no definitive date on when product will be "in the channel". TSMC supposedly has stopped all 28nm production at the moment for unknown reasons. Also, supposedly yields are terrible on Kepler as well. So, who knows...
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March 9, 2012 3:50:26 AM

iknowhowtofixit said:
FYI, the Corsair AX850 and the Seasonic X-850 are the same PSU made by Seasonic, so pick whatever is cheaper if that is what you want to go with. I still would recommend the Kingwin LZP-1000 over anything else in this price range. It is cheaper (out the door) than any of the three units you mentioned. It is also on a current platform. The Antec is almost a 2 year old design, and the Seasonic/Corsair (once again, they are the same thing) is last year's model. Plus, that particular Seasonic design is known for coil whine. Here is a link to the review at Jonny Guru dot com for the LZP-1000.


you don't need a 1000w 80+platinum psu to run cfx.7xxx cards are every power efficient.even 7970 cfx runs fine on a high quality 750w.i would suggest 850w for more headroom.xfx xxx 850w 80+ silver psu is more than enough.it's beats in it's league(they are also made by seasonic).price is very attractive.


Quote:
Don't bother overclocking your RAM, you probably won't even see an additional 1FPS in performance from it.


+1

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March 9, 2012 3:59:21 AM

hellfire24 said:
you don't need a 1000w 80+platinum psu to run cfx.7xxx cards are every power efficient.even 7970 cfx runs fine on a high quality 750w.i would suggest 850w for more headroom.xfx xxx 850w 80+ silver psu is more than enough.it's beats in it's league(they are also made by seasonic).price is very attractive.


Kingwin has a full range of platinum PSUs from 500 to 1000 watts. Take your pick.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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March 9, 2012 4:05:51 AM

^so you think spending $200+ on a 850w psu just for a 80+platinum thing is worth it?
HELL NO!
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March 9, 2012 4:23:09 AM

hellfire24 said:
^so you think spending $200+ on a 850w psu just for a 80+platinum thing is worth it?
HELL NO!


Go read a review. HardOCP or JonnyGuru are a couple of examples. It is a PSU with, not good, not great, but excellent ripple suppression and voltage regulation. It being a 80plus Platinum rated is just a plus. If you want an equally stable gold rated PSU, look at the Rosewill CAPSTONE series. Great PSUs for the money, but not modular. Also, none of the Kingwin Platinum series PSUs are $200.

LZP-1000 - $186
LZP-850 - $168
LZP-750 - $160
LZP-650 - $136
LZP-550 - $128

They are on sale, see the green text that says "20% off w/ promo code Kingwin20, ends 3/11" above each Kingwin PSU?
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March 9, 2012 4:25:29 AM

hellfire24 said:
^so you think spending $200+ on a 850w psu just for a 80+platinum thing is worth it?
HELL NO!


I completely agree there.

Quote:
Don't bother overclocking your RAM, you probably won't even see an additional 1FPS in performance from it.


I also completely agree there - not only that OC'ing your RAM has dangerous consequences and can fry your whole build if you're not careful.

Quote:
I would also encourage you to forget about Kepler for the moment. It's looking more and more like a paper launch with no definitive date on when product will be "in the channel". TSMC supposedly has stopped all 28nm production at the moment for unknown reasons. Also, supposedly yields are terrible on Kepler as well. So, who knows...


Not only that, I'm really tired of the "wait for Keppler / wait for Ivy" crowd. Right now - it's all Apple-esque PR noise and people are falling for it. I think that the people who are waiting for Keppler / Ivy are going to be really disappointed. Until there's actual numbers - I'm not buying it after the fiasco we learned with the AMD FX series - sometimes the insane overhype is just not going to be worth it. Especially when you take into account that a $275 GPU (Radeon 7870) is beating a $500 one (GTX 580), and a $70 CPU (Intel Pentium G620) is outperforming a $250 one (AMD FX-8150), it's pretty much things are changing and changing rapidly. Until I see the numbers, I'm not buying the hype.
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March 9, 2012 4:32:55 AM

hellfire24 said:
^so you think spending $200+ on a 850w psu just for a 80+platinum thing is worth it?
HELL NO!


g-unit1111 said:
I completely agree there.


I agree with the concept as well, if a platinum rating was the only thing brought to the table by that series of PSUs. If it is being turned off by the Kingwin brand name (despite Super Flower being the OEM for the PSU), maybe people would feel more comfortable with NZXT's Hale90 series (also Super Flower OEM):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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March 9, 2012 4:35:32 AM

I am not either. They need to realize not everyone wants to wait for the next big thing - they want what it best for now and worry about upgrading later. If you really want someone to get Kepler, atleast let them get a GPU to survive till then, then get the GPU. I am going to end up laughing if all those proponents of Kepler and IB end up being disappointed. I mean, what is the point of assuming one will be better than something else when it is not even released? That is ridiculous in my eyes. How can you be so sure Kepler will be amazing? Just because NVIDIA is saying so? Isn't it possible that they are just trying to boast how good they are just to scare? It's stupid to keep suggesting something that is still in the factory and doesn't even have benchmarks released. /rant
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March 9, 2012 4:38:48 AM

iknowhowtofixit said:
Go read a review. HardOCP or JonnyGuru are a couple of examples. It is a PSU with, not good, not great, but excellent ripple suppression and voltage regulation. It being a 80plus Platinum rated is just a plus. If you want an equally stable gold rated PSU, look at the Rosewill CAPSTONE series. Great PSUs for the money, but not modular. Also, none of the Kingwin Platinum series PSUs are $200.

LZP-1000 - $186
LZP-850 - $168
LZP-750 - $160
LZP-650 - $136
LZP-550 - $128

They are on sale, see the green text that says "20% off w/ promo code Kingwin20, ends 3/11" above each Kingwin PSU?



you don't try to teach me about reviews okay!
and where the hell is your LZP 850w for $168 dude?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
IT"S $210 before rebates.i only trust,enermax,corsair,seasonic,xfx MIRs.
let's say i agree lzp 850w is $168 but xfx 850w is $135-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it's a better deal unless you are getting stubborn to keep the psu with a "platinum certified" tag.
'modular' is just another word to gain popularity.it hardly(yeah hardly) makes any difference :kaola:  .
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March 9, 2012 4:48:40 AM

hellfire24 said:



you don't try to teach me about reviews okay!
and where the hell is your LZP 850w for $168 dude?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
IT"S $210 before rebates.i only trust,enermax,corsair,seasonic,xfx MIRs.
let's say i agree lzp 850w is $168 but xfx 850w is $135-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it's a better deal unless you are getting stubborn to keep the psu with a "platinum certified" tag.
'modular' is just another word to gain popularity.it hardly(yeah hardly) makes any difference :kaola:  .


Obviously a coupon code doesn't mean mail-in-rebate. It means instant discount, as in a "sale." Corsair, Seasonic, and XFX are all using Seasonic PSUs. Corsair and XFX DO NOT MAKE POWER SUPPLIES. They contract an OEM, like Seasonic, to make them.

Rosewill CAPSTONE 750w 80plus Gold - $120 + FS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke about the word "modular" or if you do not understand what "modular" means. :heink: 
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March 9, 2012 4:51:33 AM

I do suggest people to wait for ivy/kepler now but not buy them at the time of release. I agree, we do need numbers and if kepler somehow manage to pull off and outperforms radeon 7000, the wait is probably worth it but if it doesn't, get the radeon 7000 series, it's that simple. Not everyone read reviews before buying but I thought that's why there are forums where people who know more share their thoughts and opinions about something.

(Note: Ivy is a good upgrade for people who skip sandy because the prices are going to be the same, otherwise not worth it. Anandtech has a preview on the 3770K I believe, check it out)
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March 9, 2012 7:10:08 AM

iknowhowtofixit said:
Obviously a coupon code doesn't mean mail-in-rebate. It means instant discount, as in a "sale." Corsair, Seasonic, and XFX are all using Seasonic PSUs. Corsair and XFX DO NOT MAKE POWER SUPPLIES. They contract an OEM, like Seasonic, to make them.

Rosewill CAPSTONE 750w 80plus Gold - $120 + FS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke about the word "modular" or if you do not understand what "modular" means. :heink: 



dude do what ever you want just stay away from me
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March 9, 2012 7:15:51 AM

Are you mental right now Hellfire? You're acting crazy! :o 
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March 9, 2012 7:18:22 AM

i don't know what's happening but i think i have gone mad.sorry about it.
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March 9, 2012 7:26:47 AM

Lol, I don't mind, but the OP might, so you might want to apologize to him and the guy you got mad at. :b
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March 9, 2012 8:14:24 AM

i don't know how do i control my anger!
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March 9, 2012 10:10:53 AM

hotthree said:
My recommendation:

Go with SB over 2011..Ivy bridge out performs lga2011 at basic clocks. Yes it is confirmed already. Only reason to go 2011 atm is for future upgrades IB-E. Or, doing some serious editing/rendering/auto cad/ w/e you can think of that needs this performance.

Go with 1600 or 1333 ram for SB. Buy at least 8gb for dual channel.

Go with 7970 or with the new 680 rumored to drop on March 23rd. March 12th be on the lookout for a paper launch or other details.

Go with any case you like. My suggestions would be 500r, silverstone, fractal design, 650D.

Get w/e cooler you want...zalman/noctua are best of air imo. or go with a h100 water cooler.

Get a 128 or 256gb SSD and w/e harddrive you want. Stay with Crucial m4 or Samsung 830. Intel is expensive but very good too.

PSU: stay with seasonic, antec, corsair, xfx (in this order antec/corsair can be flip flopped)
650w = 1 Card
750w = 2 cards (could be borderline if you OC)
850w = 2 cards easily
anything over is overkill for your needs unless you are just going trifire etc.

keyboard - go mechanical imo unless you want features stay then with logitech

Monitor - Im an ips fan, so dell 2411 or 2311h

sound card - unless your going for overkill the asus xfi will be plenty for cheap and includes an amp.

speakers/headphones...look this up ..i would go with sennheisers/audio tech 700's etc.

3.0 pci is a gimmich atm. Its not fully utilized and still won't be with IB. Yes it does help a tad, but very very marginal until games etc catch up to the field. You'll see little improvements. However still get it because its practically on every board anyways.

z68 vs p67 = z68 has dedicated onboard graphics and few more bells and whistles for usb 3.0 etc.

hope this helps. remember these are only suggestions so that you don't buy some 1200watt psu etc that some idiot told you to buy. I have already seen someone tell you to get a 1000watt that is way overkill.

$2500 gives you a lot of headroom and it would be a mistake not to get the best. However, theres no point in spending it all if the performance/price will not be beenficial to you.



i never thought that recommending a 1kw plus psu will be labelled as "idiot"... it is just like.... calling people who buy a sportscar to drive in a speed limit area an idiot as well.... buying a larger wattage psu gives you more flexibility for what you want to do with your pc i the future... who knows he might want to try out tri-sli or tri-xfire? or he might try watercooling setup in the future? who knows? if we keep only buy "just enough" stuff.... why recommend a hd 7970 while hd 7950 can be purchased for less? if one isn't enough... hd 7950 xfire should last many years... so why go for hd 7970? why recommend a h100 cooler while a70 can be purchased for less? yes everybody knows that h100 is way better than a70... but do you really need that cooling power of h100 for cooling SB?
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March 9, 2012 1:42:48 PM

^nothing is future proof okay!tech. changes rapidly.
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March 9, 2012 1:51:42 PM

^I agree but there are a few parts that are future proof such as case, cooler(to a certain extent) and psu(also to a certain extent). I also agree that in most dual gpu config(SLI, Crossfire or cards with dual gpu), 850W is more than enough. You don't want to cheap out on the psu, that's the basics but you also don't need to waste money on a psu that you're probably not going to max out at all. 850W is enough for 2 cards, cpu overclock and custom watercooling. I know this from a guy who has such build and it's been running for more than 3 years
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March 9, 2012 2:02:57 PM

^yeah that's what is say.
quality 850w>average 1000w
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March 9, 2012 2:32:31 PM

hellfire24 said:
^yeah that's what is say.
quality 850w>average 1000w


I guess you are implying that the XFX 850w you recommended is much better than the LZP-1000 is what you are referring to. You are comparing apples to oranges. The quality of a PSU is not dictated by price or by the capacity of the unit. I feel like I'm completely wasting my time here. It is hard to have a productive thread when people who obviously have no knowledge about PSUs have to chime in and give their two cents.
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March 9, 2012 2:39:02 PM

^so you are trying to say is that you are the big daddy of knowledge on toms and other are a bunch of crap!
i am not saying that xfx 850w is betteri am just saying that it has better value.1000kw platinum is totally unnecessary and wastage of money.putting those $$ in a better gpu or cpu or any other important component(i know psu is one of the most important part but hey xfx 850w is good)like a faster gpu or cpu is better option.
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March 9, 2012 3:03:33 PM

it's a good one!
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March 9, 2012 3:13:40 PM

azeem40 said:
I am not either. They need to realize not everyone wants to wait for the next big thing - they want what it best for now and worry about upgrading later. If you really want someone to get Kepler, atleast let them get a GPU to survive till then, then get the GPU. I am going to end up laughing if all those proponents of Kepler and IB end up being disappointed. I mean, what is the point of assuming one will be better than something else when it is not even released? That is ridiculous in my eyes. How can you be so sure Kepler will be amazing? Just because NVIDIA is saying so? Isn't it possible that they are just trying to boast how good they are just to scare? It's stupid to keep suggesting something that is still in the factory and doesn't even have benchmarks released. /rant


Exactly! Get a GPU first, then the system owner can decide whether they want to upgrade or not, it's their system, not yours. Like I said it's all pre-release PR noise right now, even the hardcore "wait for Ivy" crowd is only admitting that the 3770K is going to offer a 10% increase in performance vs. the 2500K - if you put that in decimal numbers, that's 0.1! Not a whole lot of difference if you ask me, I take Maximum PC's advice where they say that if you keep waiting, you're never going to be satisfied with anything that's out - it's best to be satisfied with what you have now, ask questions later.

What we learned from the AMD fiasco is that CPUs have pretty much bottomed out and there's no true alternative to the 2500K, even the 2600K is not really worth it unless you need the extra threads for CS5/Revit/what have you. And the 2700K is pretty much a moot point since the 2600K can be clocked to match or in some cases beat the advertised speeds. Intel and NVIDIA are learning to play the Apple PR noise machine, and they're doing it quite well, until there's actual numbers, I'm not buying it.
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March 9, 2012 3:29:42 PM

I probably won't buy it at all since I like AMD's multi-monitor setup better. :p 
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March 9, 2012 3:40:59 PM

azeem40 said:
I probably won't buy it at all since I like AMD's multi-monitor setup better. :p 


Yeah I really want to get a 7870.
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March 9, 2012 3:50:23 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah I really want to get a 7870.

I am getting the Radeon 7950.
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March 9, 2012 4:03:08 PM

azeem40 said:
I am getting the Radeon 7950.


I can't exactly afford the 7970 or the 7950, the 7870 will meet my needs for now. I'll probably get a second one later this year and Crossfire it.
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!