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Final Final Build! Can I Cut Costs Anywhere?

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Last response: in Systems
March 17, 2012 9:23:11 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: I would think that I would purchase this in a month at the least (yes, at the least). May is when I think it would really be purchased (or so...)

Budget Range: Well... I was really hoping to keep this under 700, but... I guess not :??: 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (FPS mostly, like Battlefield and Call of Duty), programming (nothing too intensive), surfing. The last two are interchangeable.

Parts Not Required: Monitor (1680x1050), keyboard, mouse, Hard Drive (Crucial 256GB SSD), OS (Win7 Ultimate), Disk Drive (USB connected).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Doesn't matter

Country: I'm in the US (Indiana). For assembly, I guess it would be better to have no China-made stuff, but that's impossible nowadays :( 

Parts Preferences: None whatsoever in brand.

Overclocking: Yes... but later. Instead of upgrading, I'll overclock for a year or so and THEN upgrade.

SLI or Crossfire: Hmmm... I don't think so. It's not high-quality enough.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 for now.

Additional Comments: Looks DON'T MATTER AT ALL. I'm looking for performance more than graphics quality, but I want this build to last a while, so... good GPU. I'm completely new to hardware (and OCing for that matter), and won't be overclocking for the first few years (probably). I would prefer for the parts to be relatively simple to put together, seeing as how this is my first time.

Hello,

So after posting multiple times and doing a lot of research, I've finally hammered out my "final" build! This started out as a budget build, but I sacrificed price for quality, and picked overclockable parts. I would like to know if it's possible (and practical) to overclock my GPU. Obviously, I want to know if the parts are compatible. Also, can my PSU handle overclocking? Also, please look over this and tell me if I can cut costs anywhere. Here's the build:

CPU: i5-2500k - $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: HAF 912 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire Radeon 6870 1 Gig - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec 550W Continuous power - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 8GB PNY Optima DDR3 - $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $122
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan: Hyper 212 - $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now, total, this comes out to $725 (with $18 S&H and a cheap wrist strap, and before $20 in rebates and a $10 gift card with the CPU). That's.... kind of expensive for my taste. But it looks so good! :love:  The fact is that I don't know where to cut costs. I did notice a few of the items rise in price slightly since like a week ago (or is it just me?), so if there's a specific time to buy (I've heard Mondays are good), when is it? I have no idea where to cut costs, but I want the GPU to stay. Also, is there such a thing as an external GPU fan like a CPU fan for overclocking?

Thanks to sosofm for helping me out a lot with this build :hello:  !

EDIT: By the way, I think this will be bought about May. By May, I mean really really early May, so probably late April is when I'll order parts? Some of the deals (like the $10 gift card on the i5) I'll take advantage of now and buy them now, but most of the parts will probably be bought late April unless you guys say otherwise! (I don't know about deals in the hardware world much)

EDIT2: here's the updated list:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

More about : final final build cut costs

March 17, 2012 9:38:23 PM

by the time you bought a gpu aftermarket hsf it would be cheaper to by a significantly faster gpu, other than that it all looks ok i wouldnt bother waiting to much unless its on the gpu side waiting to see if nvidia causes amd to drop prices but i wouldnt think they would drop much maybe 10-20 bucks. amd isnt gonna catch intel anytime soon unfortunately and ivy bridge isnt really supposed to be much quicker. buy it and enjoy the battlefield 3 goodness!
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March 17, 2012 9:58:14 PM

So would you recommend waiting for the NVidia to come out (and check if it's a better GPU)? Seriously, the earliest I'll be able to buy is like mid-April. Also, is NVidia Intel? I couldn't really ever figure that out... I know Radeon is AMD, but is NVidia Intel?

Thanks, by the way. Other opinions are still valued, too!
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March 17, 2012 10:00:32 PM

You could skip the aftermarket fan. I mean even if you had two 6870's, you won't need to overclock the cpu.

At some point when you NEED to overclock the cpu in the future, you can get a cooling fan then.
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March 17, 2012 10:47:21 PM

This will be great for COD:MW3, for Battlefield 3 however you will meet the minimum requirements but not the recommended requirements. They recommend a 6950 or higher. And as far as overclocking the GPU, I have an XFX 6870 that i bumped up to 975 core/1175 memory. I wouldn't go much higher than that because you'll have to increase the core voltage and theres not as much leeway as a CPU core. My 6870 runs pretty cool, its a dual fan model, they run a little cooler but much quieter, look into those, MSI and XFX make pretty good dual fan models.
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March 17, 2012 10:50:06 PM

Nvidia is GeForce.
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March 17, 2012 11:38:06 PM

to be completely honest i would be doing my $ research no sooner than a week before you buy alot can happen in a month especially when nvidia's new cards are just around the corner, and if waiting its to see if they offer better price performance or cause the raedon video cards to drop in price btw nvidia does the geforce cards /amd does cpu's and raedon video cards which used to be branded under ati /and intel does cpu's under the context in which we are talking!
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March 17, 2012 11:40:02 PM

stickg1 said:
This will be great for COD:MW3, for Battlefield 3 however you will meet the minimum requirements but not the recommended requirements. They recommend a 6950 or higher. And as far as overclocking the GPU, I have an XFX 6870 that i bumped up to 975 core/1175 memory. I wouldn't go much higher than that because you'll have to increase the core voltage and theres not as much leeway as a CPU core. My 6870 runs pretty cool, its a dual fan model, they run a little cooler but much quieter, look into those, MSI and XFX make pretty good dual fan models.


Are you serious?! :o  Those are really high requirements! I didn't expect that for a mainstream game! So what card would you suggest? The 6950 is sold out at newegg, and maybe other manufacturers? Thanks for the advice.

geekapprovec: Thanks! I didn't know that the GPU was the major bottleneck here! So you're saying I will never need to overclock because my GPU will never need that much?
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March 18, 2012 12:04:34 AM

Are you anywhere near a microcenter? You can cut the cost on that cpu by buying it instore for 40 dollars. Check the dropdown on their website and see if one is reasonably close to you. There might be more savings as well...
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March 18, 2012 12:16:17 AM

ddan49 said:
Are you serious?! :o  Those are really high requirements! I didn't expect that for a mainstream game! So what card would you suggest? The 6950 is sold out at newegg, and maybe other manufacturers? Thanks for the advice.

geekapprovec: Thanks! I didn't know that the GPU was the major bottleneck here! So you're saying I will never need to overclock because my GPU will never need that much?


it'll run fine on a 6870 you just might have to lower some settings or play a lower resolution. it just wont run on high settings with a 6870.
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Best solution

March 18, 2012 12:25:23 AM

Something to think about is a different CPU provider.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Core i5 2550K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Boxed Processor still $20 cheaper for a faster still over clockable I5 sandybridge cpu. Their warehouse is in Ohio so being in Indiana you should have your cpu withing 3 days of ordering.

I'd go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard for a motherboard instead. Most of the same features save $16
$104.99

For non-bundled cpu's microcenter typically beats new-egg on price by 10% to 20% , its not always so do check. When you go to make your purchase look at new-egg for bundles that include more than one part of your build. You should also look for similar equipment for slightly less when you do your final price check motherboard makers will often have a special on one motherboard in a family and not another so the one with a built in dvi port and no vga will be on sale, while the one with the vga won't be. Not that it really matters since you'll be using hdmi off the motherboard so check on that, or two slightly different audio between the two boards.
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March 18, 2012 12:27:32 AM

Okay, so here's what I've got now. Since geekapprovec said it would be useless to OC my CPU, I downgraded to an i5-2400 (-$30), taken away the CPU fan (-$30), and I'm downgrading my motherboard to something under 100 (possibly ASROCK here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). So...

what GPU would you suggest :) ? I guess the Sapphire 6870 is weak, but I did see the XFX 6870 (which was like $60 more) with 2GB cache. I looked at tomshardware's overviews, but the GeForce GTX 560 Ti didn't look worth it from the reviews. What would you suggest?

EDIT: Oh, and Maxor. Microcenter may have a warehouse in Indiana, but the deal is store-only, and the closest one is in Chicago (which is possible theoretically, but I don't want to drive over there that much... maybe?). I did see the Pro3 Gen3, but someone said to get the Extreme3 because it was worth it... I guess it doesn't make that much of a difference.

EDIT2: By the way, could someone also verify that the CPU doesn't NEED to be overclocked? It's not that I don't trust geelapprovec, it's just I never thought my GPU was that much slower than my CPU. I don't want to constantly have to keep replacing my GPU, so if anyone could suggest something... I can't both overclock CPU AND get a nice GPU, so I think that I will stick with a non-overclocked CPU and look around for a better GPU.
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March 18, 2012 12:36:42 AM

the 2gb is only beneficial if you're gaming on really high resolutions, multiple displays, or using 3D. Other than that I don't think its worth the $60 because the performance will be about the same. BTW, that XFX 2GB has one fan and it is crazy loud, my neighbor has one he has to set it manually below 50% rpm or it sounds like hes mowing the lawn.
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March 18, 2012 12:40:12 AM

Ah. I did hear that the XFX was loud (literally. One reviewer was in Toronto, and I could hear his fan working). I might just stick with the 6870 (Sapphire) now that I think of it, since I'll be saving money and it's a nice GPU that'll do what I ask. Still open to suggestions, though :) 

By the way, thanks to all of you. This really helps, and is probably saving me hundreds.
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March 18, 2012 1:25:54 AM

By the way newegg usually offers good CPU/motherboard combos sometimes RAM in the combo too for a considerable price markdown ($60 or more in some cases). I did this in a recent build and saved over a hundred dollars. Good luck man, new builds are exciting!
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March 18, 2012 1:27:12 PM

The Asrock Extreme 3 gen 3 is a great inexpensive motheboard.
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March 18, 2012 7:21:36 PM

Best answer selected by ddan49.
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March 18, 2012 7:27:44 PM

Uhh i think the recommended settings for BF3 are a little high, with a 6870 and an i5 2400 you should get a steady 40 fps in multiplayer at 1680x1050 on high settings.
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March 19, 2012 12:56:45 PM

ddan49 said:
Is it practical to get a Z68 motherboard if I'm not going to overclock, though?

EDIT: Okay, here's an updated version of what I'm going to buy:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...


No. You could go with a $59 H61, but you said you WERE overclocking, AND you picked out an unlocked processor. :whistle: 
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