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Compatibility Check and Advice on $1000-1200 Gaming PC

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April 3, 2012 4:10:19 PM

First time builder and I wanted to make sure that all the parts I picked out were compatible with each other. I am not completely sure of the wattage of the power supply that I need and what GPU I should buy, so any advice on these would be much appreciated!


Approximate Purchase Date: Over the next few months (waiting for Kepler and Ivy Bridge to drive prices down)

Budget Range: $1000-1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies,

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, DVD Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: None

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Possibly in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

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Part list so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Corsair Force Series GT 2.5" 90GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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Are all of these parts compatible?
Is 750 W enough for overclocking and possibly Crossfire in the future?
Is the GPU "good enough?"
If you had an extra $200, what would you invest it in?

Thanks for your help!
April 3, 2012 4:16:45 PM

Oops, double post!
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April 3, 2012 4:36:11 PM

Quote:

Are all of these parts compatible?
Is 750 W enough for overclocking and possibly Crossfire in the future?
Is the GPU "good enough?"
If you had an extra $200, what would you invest it in?


1. Yes. You don't need to worry about compatibility - unless you've got say an LGA 1366 CPU on an LGA 1155 motherboard but you don't.

2. It will be enough for overclocking but not if your long term plans include SLI / Crossfire.

3. It's an excellent card but if you can put more into it, you should do so.

4. The GPU hands down - if you can get a 7870, 7950, or GTX 680 - that would be the ultimate. The GPU is the second most important part of any build (PSU is the most) and you don't want to skimp or compromise on anything less. Also add a good CPU cooler for overclocking - there's plenty of good ones available.

Quote:

Get this mobo instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157271


No - stick with the original board, no need to get anything different. The money saved from that will not make a significant dent anywhere else in the build.

Quote:


SSD: Corsair Force Series GT 2.5" 90GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 0GT%2090GB


I'd switch this out with a 64GB Crucial M4 - less likely to give you errors and headaches than a Sandforce drive will.

Quote:
Get 850W instead and get this case instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119233

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139022


That PSU is definitely a better choice but no need to cut corners on the case if the OP has the budget for it.
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April 3, 2012 4:45:40 PM

Thanks for the input, I switched out the PSU in the OP. I'm a first time builder so modular sounded nice to me, but it's probably not worth the additional cost.

What is the difference between the mobo I chose and the one obsama recommended? It does seem like the ASRock mobo gives me everything the Gigabyte one does but at a $40 lower price.

And will a 64 GB SSD be large enough to put a few games as well as the OS on it? And from everything that I read (not that much, grant you), I thought that Sandforce drives were better?

Thanks again for the help!

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April 3, 2012 4:47:10 PM

Alright then get this mobo. Better than the other two.(Still recommend the Extreme 3 tho, since it's cheaper):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, the case doesn't matter much. Don't overspend on the case. Just get one that looks good, and has good cable management. Doesn't matter if you have a good case with bad internals. The build the OP created is great, but if s/he can get a cheaper case, s/he can invest in better parts, like a better GPU. Also, if you're overlclocking get the Hyper 212 Evo. Great for overclocking to 4.5GHz. Any more, and you'll need liquid cooling.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Windows will take up about 20GB, so you still have room for a few games. If they're games like Rage/BF3, then you'll be only be able to fit 2. However, most games are 5-10GB, so you'll be able to fit a few games. However, go with 90GB. ALways get more space than you need. And Sandforce has a high failure rate and has had issues recently. I'd reccommend a Chronos SSD from Mushkin.
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April 3, 2012 4:53:50 PM

Quote:
Alright then get this mobo. Much better than the other two.:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157264


But then you're spending more on the motherboard than necessary. I personally like Gigabyte but that's just me.

Quote:
And will a 64 GB SSD be large enough to put a few games as well as the OS on it? And from everything that I read (not that much, grant you), I thought that Sandforce drives were better?


Not necessarily - Windows doesn't have built in drivers for Sandforce drives which causes the errors and BSODs - you have to manually update the firmware from your manufacturer in order for it to work. As far as games go - you use the 64GB drive for boot only and a few main programs - you load everything else on your secondary mechanical storage.

Quote:
Also, the case doesn't matter much. Don't overspend on the case. Just get one that looks good, and has good cable management. Doesn't matter if you have a good case with bad internals. The build the OP created is great, but if s/he can get a cheaper case, s/he can invest in better parts, like a better GPU. Also, if you're overlclocking get the Hyper 212 Evo. Great for overclocking to 4.5GHz. Any more, and you'll need liquid cooling.


I personally have certain things I look for in a case - the HAF 912 is good, don't get me wrong, but on a higher budget, why not include a case that's in the $100 range like the NZXT Phantom, Fractal Design Arc MIDI, or Corsair Carbide 400R?
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April 3, 2012 5:16:39 PM

Thanks for the help once again g-unit and obsama. I will most likely switch the case at this point (I wanted the 932 for the large fans for OCing but I'll just buy the Hyper 212 Evo with the savings). I'm going to switch to a non-Sandforce SSD as well, a 90 GB if I can find a good one or the 64 Crucial M4 if I can't.

I don't know the differences between the different mobos listed, so maybe I should research this area more. I want to make sure I'm not getting a mobo that is overkill for my purposes.

I'll also upgrade the GPU, either the 6870 or the 6950 depending on how much the prices drop when Kepler arrives.

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April 3, 2012 5:27:09 PM



That's certainly true - but you also want to make sure you get a good one and not a brand that's flat out crap like Ultra, Apevia, Xion, Xclio, Raidmax etc. The Thor is quite a bit excessive though - you only need the Thor if you're building a system based around an XL-ATX board like the Classified SR-X or Rampage IV Extreme.

Here's my case recommendations:

Antec 1100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Fractal Design Arc MIDI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Carbide 400R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Phantom: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
I don't know the differences between the different mobos listed, so maybe I should research this area more. I want to make sure I'm not getting a mobo that is overkill for my purposes.


I'd recommend sticking with the original board - I have the Z68-UD3P and it's a great board, I can't imagine the UD3H is any different.
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April 3, 2012 5:32:32 PM

Get the Extreme3. Same features and reliable. ASRock is part of ASUS, so it's quality. The mobo has been reccommended many times over and has gotten great reviews. It OCs well, SLIs, Crossfires, USB3.0, PCIE 3.0, etc., etc. You're not losing anything.
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April 3, 2012 5:33:13 PM

Except for the fact that SB does not fully make use of PCIe 3.0.
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April 3, 2012 5:46:10 PM

Well, if s/he decides to go Ivy Bridge, then they will be fully used.
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April 3, 2012 6:43:08 PM

limepotential said:

Approximate Purchase Date: Over the next few months
Budget Range: $1000-1200
It's generally a bad idea to spread your purchase over a long period. That way, if somethings turns out defective, you'll not be able to RMA. Once you have the monyz, make your mind up and pull the trigger.

Also, since you're not in a tearing hurry anyways, you should be waiting a few more days for the IB to drop and check out the benchmarks before deciding one way or another. It'll be a crying shame for a much more powerful line to come out within weeks of your purchase (which will be the case if the chatter is anything to go by).


Also check out the newer 6xx series cards before arriving at a final decision for gaming alone.
limepotential said:
(waiting for Kepler and Ivy Bridge to drive prices down)

IB will not lower the cost of the current gen, but it'll deliver much better performance at the ~current prices if the chatter is anything to go by.
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April 3, 2012 7:59:32 PM

I saw that the IB doesn't overclock as well as the SB, so the i2500k seemed to me to be the best "bang for buck." It's still probably worth waiting for the official release, so I guess I'll hold off until then.
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April 3, 2012 9:32:39 PM

Quote:
It's generally a bad idea to spread your purchase over a long period. That way, if somethings turns out defective, you'll not be able to RMA. Once you have the monyz, make your mind up and pull the trigger.


I agree with this 150%. You never want to spread purchasing a build out over any sort of extended period of time. And the reason being is the warranties - some manufacturers only allow up to 60 days for returns and if you get a product and keep it that long you're SOL.

But then again the RMAs are the reason I'm never a fan of jumping a build around multiple stores. If you buy all your components at the same store (like Newegg) they'll be able to check against your receipts to make sure that the warranties stand. And if you get an RMA - having everything taken care of through the same store instead of multiples means you're less likely to have to fight to get a replacement product.

Quote:
I saw that the IB doesn't overclock as well as the SB, so the i2500k seemed to me to be the best "bang for buck." It's still probably worth waiting for the official release, so I guess I'll hold off until then.


Right now it's all speculation and hype - the fanboys and fansites can say whatever they want to - until the actual product is out and benched, there's no guaranteeing any of the claims that are being made. The benchmarks say it all and that's the reason why I never recommend building builds around hardware that doesn't exist yet.
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