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Gaming/Multipurpose Build for Skyrim, D3, SC2; $700 Budget

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March 26, 2012 10:02:33 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Month or two.

Budget Range: $700 after rebates.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, workstation.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, PSU, RAM

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon or Tiger Direct.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None specifically.

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900 for now.

Additional Comments:

Hi all,

I posted my ideas last November for a 2500K/Z68 build and appreciate any of you that may have responded to that thread. Unfortunately, I had a financial hiccup and my build was put on the backburner until now. I've also decreased my budget somewhat and have decided that overclocking just isn't necessary for my purposes.

So far, I've come up with this 2400 build and wanted to pass it in front of you guys before pushing the button.

CPU: Intel i5-2400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO: ASRock H61 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (question below)
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX750W (already own)
RAM: G-Skill Sniper 16GB (already own)
HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: CM HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS: Windows 7 Home

Right now, excluding the PSU and RAM that I already own, I'm looking at a little over $650.

My main question is about the motherboard. I don't need the capabilities of a P67 or Z68, but I'm not really liking the failure and DOA rates of the H61 boards I'm seeing reviews of on Newegg. Is there any particular H61 that you guys have experience with and would recommend over this one? Would it be better just to go with a more (seemingly) "reliable" P67 or Z68, instead? Are these boards better made in general, or am I completely off-base here? It wouldn't be the first time :sarcastic: 

Any other input on the build is appreciated, too. Oh, and I'll actually remember to choose a "best answer" this time :) 
March 26, 2012 10:34:37 PM

obsama1 said:
Never ever get micro atx. Very limiting. This mobo is more expensive, but whould fit your needs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yes, I completely agree with that. mATX is never a good idea on any build unless it's say an HTPC. But on a full desktop build you want a full desktop board, anything less you might as well get a laptop.

Here's a $700 build I typically recommend:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair CX600 V2 - $69.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - $149.99 ($15.00 MIR)

Total: $741.92 - $45.00 MIR = $696.92
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March 26, 2012 10:46:49 PM

Quote:
Yes, I completely agree with that. mATX is never a good idea on any build unless it's say an HTPC. But on a full desktop build you want a full desktop board, anything less you might as well get a laptop.

Here's a $700 build I typically recommend:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair CX600 V2 - $69.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - $149.99 ($15.00 MIR)

Total: $741.92 - $45.00 MIR = $696.92


Since he already has a psu and ram do that subtraction (and MIR) and he's got himself a $600 computer. $100 under your budget
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March 26, 2012 10:50:45 PM

Hello.
obsama1 said:
Never ever get micro atx. Very limiting. This mobo is more expensive, but whould fit your needs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

+2 :p 
g-unit1111 said:
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - $149.99 ($15.00 MIR)


Or he can use HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
or SPARKLE GeForce GTX 460 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
both for $139.99 without MIRs. ^^

edit:
For $100 more you can change 2 parts from g-unit1111's offer, for superior performance:
Change CPU to: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Change GPU to: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 26, 2012 10:56:19 PM

If you can get nVidia, I'd say go for it. If you can get an EVGA card (AR model number), then you can step up to Kepler in a couple of weeks/months, or you can step up to one of the current models which may actually be cheaper and net you money back depending on how prices of current cards change when the full line of Kepler GPUs releases.

Also, if you can wait or pull out some more money, you can potentially get way more than a 25-40% increase in system potential out of putting $250 more into the build by getting the i5-2500k and a graphics card at a significantly higher "tier." I know it's not always an option, but if it is, I'd highly recommend investing just that little bit more to take your system over the hump, because the gains to be made in performance going from a 650 dollar build to a 950 dollar build are just huge.
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March 26, 2012 11:33:09 PM

Thanks for the replies, all. Guess it turns out to be worth it to just go with the Z68 anyway, yea?

Mattacus and others: Sorry, that much just really isn't reasonable for me right now. Number one reason is pure budget constraints. Number two is because this is my first upgrade in a good while. I haven't even used any of the new(ish) CPUs or even low to mid-range discrete GPUs lately, so I'm sure I'd be very happy for a good while with a modest system like this. It's all pretty new to me. If it turns out that it's not quite what I'd imagined, I can always upgrade from there as time and money allows.

Thanks again for the advice, and any more is certainly welcomed!


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March 27, 2012 7:45:24 AM

Allen84 said:
Thanks for the replies, all. Guess it turns out to be worth it to just go with the Z68 anyway, yea?

Mattacus and others: Sorry, that much just really isn't reasonable for me right now. Number one reason is pure budget constraints. Number two is because this is my first upgrade in a good while. I haven't even used any of the new(ish) CPUs or even low to mid-range discrete GPUs lately, so I'm sure I'd be very happy for a good while with a modest system like this. It's all pretty new to me. If it turns out that it's not quite what I'd imagined, I can always upgrade from there as time and money allows.

Thanks again for the advice, and any more is certainly welcomed!


Since you need maximum $700 build and you dont need psu nor ram, here is a more proper build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $209.99 (since you don't need o/c, although this can go up to 4,1Ghz, but for $10 more you can get the "K" version)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 $104.99 (it is the same as Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 but it has no SLI since you said you dont need it.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X $17.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: EVGA 012-P3-2066-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 448 Cores FTW 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 $259.99 ($239.99 after mail-in rebate card) (same performance as HD6970/GTX570)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $717,94 and after MIR: $697,94

This setup will play all games at your resolution at MAX visual settings. Even with buying a new monitor with 1080p (1920x1080) later, it will play again everything in max settings except a few titles (like metro 2033).

edit: Oh and about the H61 vs Z68:
Its not only about the difference in chipsets. There are other things also that mostly (or only) coming with z68. Take for example the ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 that I suggested. It has PCI-Ex 3.0, 2x USB 3.0, 2x SATA3, RAM Slots x4 with speeds 1600 / 1333 / 1066, greater room for upgrade (ivybridge, more ram slots and new gen GPUs with the pci express 3.0) and generally more other things that you cant find on H61 mobos which you need them and you will need the rest, in the future. And all this for a few bucks more...
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March 27, 2012 4:39:31 PM

Memnarchon said:
Hello.

+2 :p 


Or he can use HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
or SPARKLE GeForce GTX 460 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
both for $139.99 without MIRs. ^^

edit:
For $100 more you can change 2 parts from g-unit1111's offer, for superior performance:
Change CPU to: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Change GPU to: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I wouldn't recommend a 460 at this point, and I would recommend the 2500K in half a second but not on a less than $700 budget. I didn't catch that OP already had PSU - but knowing the RAM would help to determine if it could be reused or not.
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!