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$2500 gaming build - opinions please

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April 30, 2012 4:00:40 AM

I want to build a computer designed for gaming, which could obviously handle the every day stuff too such as word processing, some photo and video, stereo audio playback and blu-rays.

I'm looking at around $2500 but can go up to $2700. This is getting ordered this week so any input would be lovely.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2550K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Without IGP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: x2 SLI EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Solid State HD: Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
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 with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optic Drive: LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA 12X Super Multi Blue with 3D Playback & M-DISC Support WH12LS39 LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Xonar DG Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless Adapter: TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Wireless N Dual Band Adapter IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n PCI Express x1 Up to 450Mbps Wireless Data Rates Support 64/128 bit WEP, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, 802.1x
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 (1000:1) Built-in Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: Logitech G400 Black 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 3600 dpi Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan controller: Scythe KQ01-BK-3.5 "KAZE Q" Fan Controller
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With Windows Home 7 Premium it comes out to..

Subtotal: $2,103.84

Questions:

1.) should I go with a water cooler on the CPU to maximize the overclocking? If so which one.

2.) is 8gb of ram enough or should I just go ahead and spend the extra $50 for the full capacity 16gb?

3.) anything else?

Thanks for your help

Best solution

April 30, 2012 4:44:09 AM

Here's a case that come with a built in multi channel fan controller among a bunch of other extra's.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $114.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <---- another look at that case

That RAM you have up there is fast yet it's 1.6v RAM, and these 1155 boards get nasty after 1.5v. Take a look at either one of these 1,5v sets down below. btw 8GB of RAM is more than enough for a gaming build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model 997015

Take advantage of PCI-E 3.0, native 3.0 USB, Thunderbolt, etc... with a Z77 board + Ivy Bridge cpu + new generation vid card (AMD 7xxx or Nvidia gtx 6xx series card).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX806237I53570K


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $369.99 - $349.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 5% off w/ promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card

http://www.overclockers.com/msi-r7870-twin-frozr <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99
GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-radeon-hd-7870-o... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Gigabyte 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Asus 7870

Here's the newer version of that Seagate drive you have up there.

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $99.99 & 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

This CM h/s is new on the market but it's already on Frosty Techs Top 5 list.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99
Cooler Master TPC 812 RR-T812-24PK-R1 120mm Sleeve with Dual Vertical Vapor Chamber TPC 812 CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

add this fan down below to that cooler up above for a "push - pull effect" to help bring cpu temps down even more.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-BladeMaster-Silent-... $10.81 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Cooler Master BladeMaster 120mm PWM High Air Flow Silent Case Fan R4-BMBS-20PK-R0

And to take advantage of that network card you have up there.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $173.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router, DD-WRT Open Source support, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/3u/3ab

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 30, 2012 4:56:22 AM

Is the 5.1 sound card worth it? It's a two year old sound card vs the onboard audio which is 7.1 Realtek ALC892 built into the ASRock Z68 Extreme3.

I'm not an audophile but I was under the impression that these days you only see (hear?) noticeable difference on sound cards over $100.
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April 30, 2012 11:33:41 AM

I appreciate the replies, that's exactly what I needed Why_Me. The case is a definite, although I'm going to need some LEDs somewhere (;

it seems like you're not a fan of nividia gpus seeing as you recommended pretty much everything but. Would you say crossfire or sli is overkill at this point? (since these are double the size of the previously selected gpu)

Also about the processor, is there any unlocked version of it that doesn't come with the hd integrated graphics or does that not matter?

Im taking your advice on the updated hdd, the cooler, mobo and ram for sure.

As far as the router, I already have a wireless router but is there a signal repeater or something similar for a two story house?

And you probably have a point there LickTheEnvelope I haven't looked too far into audio cards, was just going off newegg reviews
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April 30, 2012 11:55:26 AM

Currently the K's all have GPU onboard and that's a good thing. You should be able to make use of the Virtu MVP that come with the motherboard (like a mini-sli but it may need time to mature).

Also, if your main card craps out you can still use the PC while you wait on the RMA.
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April 30, 2012 3:50:00 PM

larry_burrd said:
I appreciate the replies, that's exactly what I needed Why_Me. The case is a definite, although I'm going to need some LEDs somewhere (;

it seems like you're not a fan of nividia gpus seeing as you recommended pretty much everything but. Would you say crossfire or sli is overkill at this point? (since these are double the size of the previously selected gpu)

Also about the processor, is there any unlocked version of it that doesn't come with the hd integrated graphics or does that not matter?

Im taking your advice on the updated hdd, the cooler, mobo and ram for sure.

As far as the router, I already have a wireless router but is there a signal repeater or something similar for a two story house?

And you probably have a point there LickTheEnvelope I haven't looked too far into audio cards, was just going off newegg reviews

I'm a big time Nvidia fan, it's just that Nvidia doesn't have any new generation cards out atm other than the gtx 680's and those haven't been in stock for ages now. Z77 board + Ivy Bridge cpu + new generation vid card = PCI-E 3.0. Get one card now, and one later on.


http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=wireless... <----- booster ?
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April 30, 2012 11:49:02 PM

Best answer selected by Larry_burrd.
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