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~$1500 Gaming Rig

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March 21, 2012 10:15:50 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Two weeks tops

Budget Range: ~1500 before MIR (might be able to get 1600 without the gf killing me)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, software dev (what I do for a living)

Parts Not Required: N/A Passing my old build off to gf.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Love newegg, but if they're trustworthy I'm game.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Nvidia GPUs have served me well in the past so I tend to stick to them. No Samsung HDs (horrible experience last time around). I prefer name brand, just because I know they last longer.

Overclocking: Maybe (no AC at home so summer takes a toll)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (not planning on two cards now, but in the future I'd like that option)

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200. I'm using a 22'' 1680x1050 now, but I'm not sure if upgrading to a 23''/24'' is going to be that much of an improvement. After that you're out of my price range.

Additional Comments: I'm a function over form guy (so pass on the LEDs). I'm also looking for something that is going to last 3-4 years worth of gaming without dire need of replacement/upgrade (new games have fps below 30 on medium quality/resolution). I tend to switch game types quite a bit, but I'm mostly a RPG, FPS and Strategy fan.

What I have so far:
CPU: AMD FX-6200 Zambezi 3.8GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Six-Core Processor. I'm not sure if I went the right direction with this. I want something that will last, but I've seen the reviews for the BD chips and how poorly they perform against the Intel sandy bridge chips. I know at the moment most games are dual threaded at best, but I'm already starting to see some games request mid range Quad cores (Skyrim/MW3). I worry that a quad core is not going to be usable 3 years down the road. Also for about 20 bucks more, newegg has AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Eight-Core Processor. I'd be willing to spring for that.

GPU: MSI N560GTX-Ti GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0.

Case: Antec Nine Hundred ATX Mid Tower Computer Case. Probably aiming for a mid tower over the full. But I'm open to suggestions.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900). I know I want the 8GB, but would 16 be overkill?

MB: ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard. Any thoughts on UEIF vs BIOS?

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 650W ATX Modular. I used a PSU calculator, but I'm never sure if I got the right one. I'd probably be close if I ever decided on SLI. Should I aim for a 750W?

Monitor: Asus VH238H 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor. I want HD (I use my computer as a TV). I don't think I can get that in a 22''?

Total Price (before rebates): $1,575.85 (a few things I didn't list)
Total Price (rebates+ shipping): $1,574.85 - $30 MIR.

I think that's everything important. I'm not sure about a ssd. I know they're fast, but is it going to make that much difference over a large 7200 rpm HHD? What's the lifespan of a ssd (looking for a user estimate not the corporate 20+ year junk)?

This is my second build. I did pretty poor on the first one (didn't do enough research into all the parts, ended up having to replace some within 1 year). I spent a lot more time on this one, but I'd still like some expert opinions.

More about : 1500 gaming rig

March 21, 2012 11:28:48 AM

First english isn't my normal speaking so my grammar and spelling are bad.

For a 1500$ gaming rig I' d reccomand an i5-2500k over AMD (best gamer CPU till ivy bridge are released)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or go for s i7-2600k if you need the hyper trading (Do it only if your job require it because you wont see any gaming improvement): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the GPU going with a 560 ti is going for an outdated card. Would be a good choice for a 1000$ build but for a 1500$ go for a HD 7870 (around 350$) or even bether you could buy a 7950 that will last you for years if you play in 1080p (but tis 450$).

here is some benchmark: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

If you do realy want to go with Nvidia I'd say wait till they release the 600s series in about 1 month.

case: seems like a good one

RAM: 8Gram is what you need for gaming more would be useless. 3D randering and high video editing might require 16G. I just want to warn you that intel do not support CPU damaged by RAM running at over 1333Hz. And for gaming going over 1333 do not improve your performance at all on any released game. But well G.skill is a good brand as well as corsaire.

MB: if you go the intel route I've bought the: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its realy great for the price, OC feature, good for sli,CF well made and only about 140$. If you don't need the USB3.0 that one is only 120$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU. You can't go wrong with corsaire or seasonic. I sugest you might want to double check for the watt and 12v needed here: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp

Monitor: I suggest going for a 24 inch monitor. It can be hard to read for some poeple when your in 1080p on a 23inch monitor. Asus, Dell and Samsung realy make good monitor but sometimes an Acer will be about as good for half the price. If you still having money after you've bought the PC then yes buy a 200$+ monitor, otherwise an acer will get the job done and you prefer to spend the extra money on a good GPU.

HHD: Anything with 7200rpm for gaming

SSD: Wouldn't buy one on a 1500$ budget gaming PC. It will mostly affect loading times (you won't boost your game graphix) and you can't put alot of game on 120gb and it drain 130$+ of your budget


In the end. going with 1333hz ram will save you tons of cash going with acer too and you won't probably notice the difference if you don't see a 200$ monitor right beside yours. I've bought the i5-2500k and the ASrock mobo to my brother for Xmas and he is realy happy with these componement.

Edit: Going with a new generation GPU over an old ones give you the choice to go for sli/CF later on. Going with a 7000s you can always add a second one once they will release the 8000s and lower the price to get a rid of the old stock. Also crossfire beated sli on the ATI 6000 series vs the Nvidia 500 series. Even when 1 Nvidia was performing bether then 1 ATI. The result favored ATI in 2x and 3x CF/sli mode. Personaly if I was you and a fan of Nvidia I,d wait for the 600 to be released to see how they perform.
March 21, 2012 11:52:11 AM

The PSU is fine if you do not SLI. If you decide to it will be very close. If you want the futureproof then go with at least 750watt for sli.

Right now Intel reigns, I'd go with i5 2500k if your wanting something that last's. It blows the doors of any AMD chip atm. Ivybridge is coming out soon thought which is intels next chip.

Everything else is fine, besides maybe using SSD money to get a newer generation gpu. 7870/7970/kepler coming soon/
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March 21, 2012 11:54:47 AM

nowadays cpu architecture becomes more and more complicated than ever... so performance in multi-threaded apps can hardly tell the difference by just looking at how many cores do they have... apparently... one of the area where bulldozer couldn't quite achieve is power efficiency and performance per core... it isn't much faster than sandy bridge in multi-threaded apps... lets alone those utilise four or less... by the time software really catches up... there will be new architecture with newer instruction to handle all those apps... so for the time being better invest in sandy bridge platform...

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel Core i5-2500K - $220

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

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL - $47

hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $25 after rebate

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

ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB - $130

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

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ ZX Series 850W Fully-Modular - $140 after rebate

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Obsidian Series 550D - $120 after rebate

gpu: gtx 680... see benchmarks here...

http://www.ggmania.com/?smsid=32621


total: $938 after rebate excluding gpu and shipping....
March 21, 2012 12:10:01 PM

Don't go for SSD for your budget. They wont improve your gaming experience beside loading (you won,t be able to use bether graphix quality over a HHD.)

4 core will reign for quite some times. It took several years for 4core to beat 2core on gaming because they can't figure how to make a single programe run effiently on multiple core. Even 4core aren,t that great games run 70% on 2core and the remaining 30% on the 2 other ones. Only BF3 achieve to use 6cores only in multiplayer (game run on 4core the multiplayer part on 2 other) and even at that point the i5-2500k was bether then any AMD and the i7-2600k had similar performance.

Nowadays games are more about GPU then CPU. An overclocked i5-2500k will probably be able to run the next generation GPU at cap.
March 21, 2012 2:01:54 PM

yep and venur was right... if you can live without the ssd... you save quite a bit.... and put the money into better gpu...
!