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$1500-2000 gaming pc need advice

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April 26, 2012 12:42:32 PM

Hey guys, im building a new gaming pc and i'd like a second opinion before i purchase.

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $103.99
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5v - $49.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $142.99
HD: WD 1TB 7200rpm- $139.99
Optical: Dvd drive - $19.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99

My monitor resolution is 1920x1080
Thanks in advance!
a b 4 Gaming
April 26, 2012 1:25:50 PM

You don't need 950W unless you're going 3 way SLI or something. I'd grab 550W for a single 680, 750W if you plan on two of them or 950W if you plan on 3.
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April 26, 2012 2:04:48 PM

jmsellars1 said:
You don't need 950W unless you're going 3 way SLI or something. I'd grab 550W for a single 680, 750W if you plan on two of them or 950W if you plan on 3.

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April 26, 2012 2:12:20 PM

Good point , thanks
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April 26, 2012 3:43:58 PM

That build looks solid. I think you can get away with a cheaper cooler unless you really plan on OCing the hell out of your chip. Throw the extra $70 at a bigger SSD--you'll be happier in the long run with a 180GB or 240GB size. OTOH, if you are really going to push the OC limit, you could also consider an i5-2550k for a few extra bucks; the binning may make the difference.

Also, after the price drops, I continue to think that a Radeon 7950 OCed to more like 7970 clocks is a better value than a 680. Even a more expensive 7950, such as the ones with non-reference cooling that might OC better (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), is going to be at least $80 cheaper than a 680, and the cheapest one is $130 less (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). Obviously it's up to you. But given your price range, you could even consider crossfiring 7950s or 78xx.
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April 26, 2012 4:01:44 PM

motorneuron said:
That build looks solid. I think you can get away with a cheaper cooler unless you really plan on OCing the hell out of your chip. Throw the extra $70 at a bigger SSD--you'll be happier in the long run with a 180GB or 240GB size. OTOH, if you are really going to push the OC limit, you could also consider an i5-2550k for a few extra bucks; the binning may make the difference.

Also, after the price drops, I continue to think that a Radeon 7950 OCed to more like 7970 clocks is a better value than a 680. Even a more expensive 7950, such as the ones with non-reference cooling that might OC better (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), is going to be at least $80 cheaper than a 680, and the cheapest one is $130 less (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). Obviously it's up to you. But given your price range, you could even consider crossfiring 7950s or 78xx.

Well i dont plan on over clocking because ive never done it before,kinda scared to fry the equipment.
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Best solution

April 26, 2012 4:09:14 PM

Do you mean you don't plan on OCing the processor, or the video card, or both? If you're not OCing the processor, you should definitely, definitely not get that $100 cooler (the stock one is fine), and you should also not get a -k series processor. Just go with an i5-2500 (vanilla). That will save you more than $100. OCing the video card is a very simple matter of just installing a tweak utility and messing with some sliders.

As for whether to OC, well, it's pretty hard to do it so badly that you actually fry your equipment. A gentle overclock isn't a big deal. As long as you're not messing too badly with voltage and the temperatures are low, you're not doing anything more to "fry" the processor/video card than you would be by just using it for rigorous applications (e.g. games). I still understand that some people aren't interested in the tweaking aspect or are worried about warranties, but there's not too much to worry about if you do it conservatively. Sandy Bridge also makes it relatively easy. Same goes for the current AMD/nvidia lineups, which are pretty efficient and have a lot of thermal headroom.

edit: I should clarify, there are two kinds of "frying" you could be worried about: immediate short-term catastrophe, and longer-term damage. If you mean fry it like, you change one setting and literally your processor starts smoking, that is very, very hard to do if you read a guide--I'd say if you're competent and careful to build your own PC, it's just very unlikely. If you mean take a few months off the processor's effective life, that is a more realistic side effect. But again, if you read up and especially if you're conservative, there isn't much to worry about there either. And you also have to think about how long you're keeping a system. Processors can last a very long time. What's the point in having a fast car if you can't drive it fast?
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April 26, 2012 4:33:40 PM

Well both.ive read a few guides but i would like this pc to last me 4 years
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April 26, 2012 4:36:27 PM

Well, either OCing or not OCing is a valid decision. So just make sure that you get the best stuff based on your choice. If you are not going to OC, there is literally no point in the expensive cooler or the k-series chip; you're throwing money away. (You could also consider not getting a Z77 motherboard, though that's a bit more complicated.) But I'd encourage you to consider OCing--if the only reason is that you've never done it, I think you'll find that it's fun, and you get generally better performance for your dollar.

edit: just to clarify, the reason not to get the cooler or k-series processor is that the locked i5-2500 runs at the same clock speed as the unlocked 2500k, but at its stock speeds it doesn't need a better cooler to keep it at normal temperatures.
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April 26, 2012 4:58:57 PM

I almost have your exact build but I run a 550 watt PSU. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Personally I think you should get the exact build but with a high quality 550-650 watt PSU. I would OC the CPU if I were you(every component you choose is screaming for the OC from motherboard, CPU, and CPU cooler). Your motherboard will come with EasyTune6 software that you can use to OC(think OCing for dummies as all you do is click a button for level 1, 2, or 3). Select the level 1 OC and call it a day.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1890/14/

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a b 4 Gaming
April 26, 2012 5:23:56 PM

Ian2718 said:
Hey guys, im building a new gaming pc and i'd like a second opinion before i purchase.

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $103.99
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5v - $49.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $142.99
HD: WD 1TB 7200rpm- $139.99
Optical: Dvd drive - $19.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99

My monitor resolution is 1920x1080
Thanks in advance!


If you have room in your budget, I would swap the 2500K for a i7-2600k or wait a couple of weeks for Ivy since the Z77 will support it. I would swap the Crucial M4 for a Samsung 830 - they're less than $20 more expensive and the write speeds are nearly double the M4. They're just as reliable but much faster. I agree that 950 watts is a bit more than you need, you could probably get by with 800W since the 680 is more power efficient that the 500 series.

Other than that, no complaints. I prefer Corsair for RAM but Mushkin is fine. The difference between 8GB & 16GB for ram is pretty miniscule unless you're running lots of apps simultaneously or if you're doing database queries on your system. Good picks, the 680 is a frickin beast
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April 26, 2012 5:37:43 PM

Ian2718 said:
Hey guys, im building a new gaming pc and i'd like a second opinion before i purchase.

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $103.99
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5v - $49.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $142.99
HD: WD 1TB 7200rpm- $139.99
Optical: Dvd drive - $19.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99

My monitor resolution is 1920x1080
Thanks in advance!


great build.for gaming,2500k>2600k.everything is high quality,reliable and compatible :) 
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April 26, 2012 6:03:49 PM

JamesSneed said:
I almost have your exact build but I run a 550 watt PSU. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Personally I think you should get the exact build but with a high quality 550-650 watt PSU. I would OC the CPU if I were you(every component you choose is screaming for the OC from motherboard, CPU, and CPU cooler). Your motherboard will come with EasyTune6 software that you can use to OC(think OCing for dummies as all you do is click a button for level 1, 2, or 3). Select the level 1 OC and call it a day.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1890/14/

Oh okay that sounds easy enough, would it be a good idea to still get the cpu cooler i have listed for the first level of OC ?
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April 26, 2012 6:06:23 PM

game junky said:
If you have room in your budget, I would swap the 2500K for a i7-2600k or wait a couple of weeks for Ivy since the Z77 will support it. I would swap the Crucial M4 for a Samsung 830 - they're less than $20 more expensive and the write speeds are nearly double the M4. They're just as reliable but much faster. I agree that 950 watts is a bit more than you need, you could probably get by with 800W since the 680 is more power efficient that the 500 series.

Other than that, no complaints. I prefer Corsair for RAM but Mushkin is fine. The difference between 8GB & 16GB for ram is pretty miniscule unless you're running lots of apps simultaneously or if you're doing database queries on your system. Good picks, the 680 is a frickin beast

Well i chose crucial m4 because from what i read people like those better, same thing with 2500k. I chose mushkin over corsair because i dont want the heat sinks to get in the way of anything.
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April 26, 2012 6:07:51 PM

motorneuron said:
Well, either OCing or not OCing is a valid decision. So just make sure that you get the best stuff based on your choice. If you are not going to OC, there is literally no point in the expensive cooler or the k-series chip; you're throwing money away. (You could also consider not getting a Z77 motherboard, though that's a bit more complicated.) But I'd encourage you to consider OCing--if the only reason is that you've never done it, I think you'll find that it's fun, and you get generally better performance for your dollar.

edit: just to clarify, the reason not to get the cooler or k-series processor is that the locked i5-2500 runs at the same clock speed as the unlocked 2500k, but at its stock speeds it doesn't need a better cooler to keep it at normal temperatures.

Ill probably end up over clocking since everyone says its easy
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April 26, 2012 6:09:44 PM

ian,you build a great rig because-
1-case is great and looks good.will fit multi gpu setups without any heat issues.
2-high quality psu with plenty of power to run 680 SLi+overclocking setup.
3-great quality board with a lot of features.
4-best gaming cpu ATM.just overclock it to 4ghz+ and it will eat any thing you throw at it.
5-best air cooler IMO.will easily go above 4.5ghz(not required)
6-enough ram to handle any game.
7-very reliable and fairly fast ssd.put your OS and main games on it.
8-my brother has two of those drives and no complaints.
9-680 will max out any game you throw at it on your resolution.SLi will eat up multi-monitor gaming too.
great build once again and good luck.
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April 26, 2012 6:45:53 PM

hellfire24 said:
ian,you build a great rig because-
1-case is great and looks good.will fit multi gpu setups without any heat issues.
2-high quality psu with plenty of power to run 680 SLi+overclocking setup.
3-great quality board with a lot of features.
4-best gaming cpu ATM.just overclock it to 4ghz+ and it will eat any thing you throw at it.
5-best air cooler IMO.will easily go above 4.5ghz(not required)
6-enough ram to handle any game.
7-very reliable and fairly fast ssd.put your OS and main games on it.
8-my brother has two of those drives and no complaints.
9-680 will max out any game you throw at it on your resolution.SLi will eat up multi-monitor gaming too.
great build once again and good luck.

Thanks!!
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April 26, 2012 6:59:48 PM

Best answer selected by Ian2718.
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April 26, 2012 7:01:08 PM

With a 2k budget I would suggest a 2011 board, 64g of ram, make 40g of your ram a hard disk and install whatever game you want to play on it from your SSD everytime you log on. Load times=gone, the only loading you will have is your graphics cards ram getting filled up from the gpu generating the world.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 26, 2012 7:47:27 PM

Ian2718 said:
Well i chose crucial m4 because from what i read people like those better, same thing with 2500k. I chose mushkin over corsair because i dont want the heat sinks to get in the way of anything.


I use the M4 in laptops that need faster boot times and need to be fairly reliable. I use the Samsung 830s and Intel 520s in my desktop builds because they're equally reliable and much faster.

That i5 isn't a bad chip, just think you're going to get more longevity from the i7.

I use the low profile DIMMs from Corsair - I have 2 sets of these in mine and my CPU cooler fits just fine over them :http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
April 26, 2012 7:50:46 PM

I'd choose Samsung for a laptop if it's a highly portable one, those drives have incredibly low power consumption. Obviously it's only a difference of a few watts so only worth it if it's a system that sips to start with. For example, in an AMD E-450 based laptop I calculated I would get an extra ~40 mins of battery life by upgrading.
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April 26, 2012 8:53:39 PM

Ian2718 said:
Oh okay that sounds easy enough, would it be a good idea to still get the cpu cooler i have listed for the first level of OC ?



Yes that is one of if not the best air coolers out. Is very likely it will even run cool on EasyTune's level 2(4.33 GHz). I run my 2500k at 4.4 GHz and it stays nice an chilly(55c or so under heavy load).


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