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$2500 Gaming Build

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April 6, 2012 9:54:35 PM

- Approximate Purchase Date:Two to three weeks
- Budget Range: $2500 - $3000
- System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
- Parts Not Required: Accessories, Optical Drive, HDD, Display, Speakers
- Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None, except shady looking random stores
- Country: United States
- Parts Preferences: Quality over economy. Kensington or Corsair? Corsair. Duralast or Moog? Moog. You get the idea.
- Overclocking: Yes, in the future
- SLI or Crossfire: Yes, in the future
- Monitor Resolution: 46" 1920 x 1080p
- Additional Comments:

I'm pretty set with the monitor. It is also my 360/TV so I'd like to keep the trio all in one. I won't be adding more displays either. I have no specific brand preferences for parts, but I prefer what's reputed to be the higher end stuff. Similarly, not stuck on any one site. I'll shop if they have good feedback.

My two goals with the build are to play games on the best settings my display can render, and not buy another computer for years while maintaining that. I want to play videogames at their best for as long as I can. This is why I chose the CPU - assuming games will eventually make use of it. Overclocking and Crossfire/SLi will be used to keep up with software in the future.

So I'd like some feedback and critiques of what I've got. Anything worth waiting for not too far outside my time frame, or something that will likely work better for my goals. Also a case, if there's a cheaper, decent quality E-ATX case than what I have, that would be cool.

CPU: Intel i7 3930K ($570)
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme ($400)
Video: Sapphire Radeon HD7970 ($540)
RAM: Corsair Dominator 16GB 2133 MHz ($240)
PSU: Antec High-Current Pro 850W ($170)
Case: Lian Li A70F ($180)
Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 ($80) (Water cooled when I overclock and find a touchscreen to fit in two drive bays)
SSD: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB ($170)

This, taxed and shipped (midwest), is less than $2500.

More about : 2500 gaming build

Best solution

April 6, 2012 10:32:31 PM

The benefit of the i7-3930k over the i5-2500k is quite small for the price. In games it would be maybe 10% better for well over double the price.

Same problem with the RAM. 8GB of 1333Mhz stuff would perform so similarly in games that you wouldn't even notice the difference.

It's also fairly widely accepted that Intel are the most reliable for SSD's, they are quite expensive though.

I would probably go with Seasonic for the PSU too, the reason that most buy Antec/Corsair PSU's is because they are rebranded Seasonics. I just buy direct from them personally.

This would give better gaming performance for less money (better quality SSD and PSU too):

i5-2500k
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600Mhz
Nvidia GTX 680
Intel 520 Series 120GB
Seasonic Platinum 860W
Lian Li A70F
Noctua NH-D14

Total - ~$1600 on Newegg

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April 6, 2012 10:42:27 PM

This looks very solid - since you won't be buying for 3 weeks - look at the new cpus & z77 mobos. With that PSU you can add another GPU later (or right now) and still be under budget with insane gaming capability.
-Bruce
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April 7, 2012 5:43:48 AM

jmsellars1 said:
The benefit of the i7-3930k over the i5-2500k is quite small for the price. In games it would be maybe 10% better for well over double the price.

Same problem with the RAM. 8GB of 1333Mhz stuff would perform so similarly in games that you wouldn't even notice the difference.

It's also fairly widely accepted that Intel are the most reliable for SSD's, they are quite expensive though.

I would probably go with Seasonic for the PSU too, the reason that most buy Antec/Corsair PSU's is because they are rebranded Seasonics. I just buy direct from them personally.

This would give better gaming performance for less money (better quality SSD and PSU too):

i5-2500k
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600Mhz
Nvidia GTX 680
Intel 520 Series 120GB
Seasonic Platinum 860W
Lian Li A70F
Noctua NH-D14

Total - ~$1600 on Newegg


This person has read my mind. Make him a "best answer"
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April 7, 2012 6:14:39 AM

Ivy Bridge is due out April 29th.

http://pcper.com/news/Processors/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-Proce... <----- Here's a price run down of the Ivy Bridge cpu's in $USD

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa... <----- Z77 boards already for sale in Australia. In the past few years the Aussies have been getting the goodies a month ahead of the US and Canada including Sandy Bridge and the 1155 boards. The Aussies have already pulled some of the 1155 Cougar Point boards (H61/H67/P67/Z68) from their site. In fact a lot of those boards are no longer for sale on that site compared to last month.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview <----- Line-up of Ivy Bridge desktop cpu's to date.

Z77/Z75 motherboards (Panther Point chipset w/native USB 3.0) and PCI-E 3.0

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/overview.html <----- Quick and brief rundown of Ivy Bridge, PCI-E 3.0 cards and the new gen boards.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=1155 <---- Asrocks Z77 and Z75 boards to date. They all get released with Ivy Bridge.

http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Inte... <---- Asus Z77 board lineup to date.

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=2&p=... <----- Gigabyte Z77 board lineup to date.

http://us.msi.com/product/mb/#/?sk=Socket%201155%20(Intel%20i3/i5/i7) <----- MSI Z77 board lineup to date.


http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c... <---- Ivy Bridge cpu review with benchmarks



http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-overclock... <----- Overclocking the gtx 680 w/benchmarks




http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $118.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

This XFX psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are all XFX psu's and the mid and upper tier Corsair psu's.

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-850-Power-Supply/dp/B0050... $122.75 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply

http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7... $250+ would be my guess
ASUS P8Z77 WS (4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 dual x16 or x16, x8, x8 or quad x8)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5166/ivy-bridge-overview $332
Intel i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU 3.5Ghz

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.64 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

Add this fan down below to that CM 212 EVO cpu h/s for a "push - pull" effect to help bring the cpu temps down even more.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-BladeMaster-Silent-... $11.99 Free Standard Shipping (3-5 days)
Cooler Master BladeMaster 120mm PWM High Air Flow Silent Case Fan R4-BMBS-20PK-R0

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10D-16GAO

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR240GB 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $109.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-Serial-Intern... $19.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Asus 24xDVD±RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $499.99
ASUS GTX680-2GD5 GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $499.99
ASUS GTX680-2GD5 GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Total: $2,100.30 *not including motherboard


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD


http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <---- a better look at that case
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April 7, 2012 12:27:36 PM

+1 to why_me build

you should whait for ive bridge




for gaming the above built is overkill. but at that budget it makes sence.

Also ive bridge e is gonna release after ive bridge.

And it will be supported on lga 2011

for your budget i7 3820 is more than enough. afterwards upgrade the cpu to i7 4000 series cpu.

Also hd 7970 is 50 usd costly than gtx 680 while it underperform in games.

Also gtx 680 has phyx , cuda , and txaa which are awesome and worth conside.

3d surroundring vision is worth having in your budget.

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April 11, 2012 9:54:20 PM

Best answer selected by sectrix.
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