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Advice for a $1000 gaming build

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March 30, 2012 10:08:22 PM

Hey guys,

For my first attempt, I am thinking of making a $1000 budget gaming pc. Here is what I was thinking:

Case:

Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS W/ Fan Controller & Temp Display

Power supply:
OCZ ZT Series 750W ATX12V 20/24PIN Modular 80+ Bronze Active PFC Power Supply 140MM Fan 5 Year Wrty

Motherboard:
ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E SATA3 USB3.0 SLI CrossFireX Motherboard

CPU:
Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

Memory:
G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL Ripjaws 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN DIMM Memory

Video Card:
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Fermi 850MHZ 1024MB Superclocked GDDR5 PCI-E 2.0 2xDVI Mini-HDMI Video Card

Hard Drive:
WESTERN DIGITAL BLUE 1000GB 1TB SATA3 6GB/S 7200RPM 32MB CACHE

Optical Drive
ASUS BC-12B1ST Internal 12X Blu-Ray Reader & 16X DVD Writer Combo Drive OEM

What do you guys think of this build? I would mostly be playing Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3 (when it comes out) in it. Also, here are more specific questions I had in mind:

1. Is the PSU overkill with this build? Should I opt for 650W instead?

2. Zalman cases, as stated in their advertisement, have quite a few fans already built in. Should I add more/replace them? Do aftermarket fans have dust filters in them or do I have to buy them separately?

3. I plan on overclocking too and will add an aftermarket heatsink. Is that thermal compound included in the heatsink or is it separate?

4. Are there any changes you guys think I should make that would significantly improve my build while taking in to consideration my build?

Thanks for the help.

More about : advice 1000 gaming build

March 30, 2012 10:19:45 PM

Quote:
1. Is the PSU overkill with this build? Should I opt for 650W instead?


750 will be plenty especially if you plan to SLI or Crossfire your build later on.

Quote:
2. Zalman cases, as stated in their advertisement, have quite a few fans already built in. Should I add more/replace them? Do aftermarket fans have dust filters in them or do I have to buy them separately?


No - the fans included are for the most part fine. The only way you'd need extra is if you get the build set up and find that your system temps aren't matching what you want out of it. I'd recommend reading this about setting up good air flow in your case: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...

Quote:
3. I plan on overclocking too and will add an aftermarket heatsink. Is that thermal compound included in the heatsink or is it separate?


Some heat sinks include really good thermal compound - Cooler Master, EVGA, Noctua, and Thermalright all do. Xigamtek does not include good thermal paste, and a few others include the stuff I like to call "plaster grade" but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

Quote:
4. Are there any changes you guys think I should make that would significantly improve my build while taking in to consideration my build?


Here's what I generally recommend on a $1K build:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 - $89.99
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 1333MHz 1.5V - $42.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 - $359.99

Total: $1,032.91

You could also drop the 7870 to a 7850 and invest the difference in purchasing a nice 64GB SSD as your boot drive.
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March 30, 2012 10:40:59 PM

Quote:

Here's what I generally recommend on a $1K build:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 - $89.99
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 1333MHz 1.5V - $42.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 - $359.99

Total: $1,032.91

You could also drop the 7870 to a 7850 and invest the difference in purchasing a nice 64GB SSD as your boot drive.


Hmm.. So it would be much better if I invest in a really good video card and lower the performance of the rest of the components. If I do Crossfire with another 7870 card in the future, will that PSU be able to handle it?
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March 30, 2012 11:56:29 PM

l0v3rboi said:
Hmm.. So it would be much better if I invest in a really good video card and lower the performance of the rest of the components. If I do Crossfire with another 7870 card in the future, will that PSU be able to handle it?


No it wouldn't - you do not want to get a motherboard that won't be able to handle the GPU (such as H67 or H61), that's one time where I wouldn't recommend skimping on the motherboard or the CPU. A good GPU is only as good as the hardware that accompanies it and you don't want to compromise the performance of a 7870 by watering down the rest of the build to save a few bucks.

As far as the PSU goes the 78XX and 79XX, along with the GTX 6XX series are far more energy efficient than previous generations. The 7870 requires about 300W of power with 50 (?) amps so in order to run Crossfire in the future you'll need to double that. A 650 will be fine - maybe 750 just to be on the safe side.
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March 31, 2012 6:00:36 AM

Ah... I see what you mean. Thank you for the advice. I'll keep that in mind when revamping my build. :wahoo: 
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