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Budget + Gaming = i5 2500k + GTX 560 ti = $700.00

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May 7, 2012 11:42:35 PM

Hello!
Through thorough research I have assembled a computer for $764.27 (or 734.27 if near a Microcenter). Please comment, jibe and tear it apart.

PCPartPicker Link to full computer build

Goal: allow fun gaming with the ability to record footage.

Questions
1. Eventually upgrade GPU and buy a PSU cooler to allow me to overlock the i5 2500k to 4.5ghz, or should I just ditch the Sandy Bridge in favor of the Ivy 3570k even though its less reliable overclocking? (The Ivy isn't noticeably faster when gaming from what I have read).

2. Any reason to get the new z77 chipset over the z68 chipset I have selected for my mobo?

3. This PSU calculator says I only need 397/447w. I have selected a 730w PSU to support any future upgrades or additions, but would it be smarter to spend the same amount of money on a 500 or 600w PSU that is of potentially better quality? (Edit: the Raidmax 730w has good reviews too).

4. The brand I chose for the gtx 560 ti (Zotac) seems to be the factory overclocked version, as well as being the cheapest. I was also considering a more well known MSI gtx 560 ti for $30 more, but I would have to learn to overclock it myself to reach the same performance.

This will be the first computer I overclock, if I overclock, but I feel I have a strong enough understanding of overclocking to not mess up. I won't be overclocking until I feel a need to say 6 months down the road. A little research showed that overclocking both my cpu and gpu would only give me a 10% increase in performance.

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CPU Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $199.99
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card $187.55
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $84.79

Memory Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $39.99
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $72.99
Solid State Disk OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" $59.99

Case Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case $52.99
Power Supply Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply $64.99
Optical Drive Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer $20.99
May 8, 2012 12:03:27 AM

Hey there!
2592663,1,1199368 said:

1. Eventually upgrade GPU and buy a PSU cooler to allow me to overlock the i5 2500k to 4.5ghz, or should I just ditch the Sandy Bridge in favor of the Ivy 3570k even though its less reliable overclocking? (The Ivy isn't noticeably faster when gaming from what I have read).

May as well get the Ivy Bridge, I just did, because the price isn't that different. You don't need to OC the Ivy as much to equal a higher OC'd Sandy to be fair.

Quote:
2. Any reason to get the new z77 chipset over the z68 chipset I have selected for my mobo?


Not sure, but I just recently got the z77 AsRock Extreme 4 which wasn't too much more than a Z68 board (and had USB3 front panel connector too and other good features).

Quote:
3. This PSU calculator says I only need 397/447w. I have selected a 730w PSU to support any future upgrades or additions, but would it be smarter to spend the same amount of money on a 500 or 600w PSU that is of potentially better quality? (Edit: the Raidmax 730w has good reviews too).


I would go for a 650 - 750W to give you the space to upgrade (potentially go SLI, etc).

Quote:
4. The brand I chose for the gtx 560 ti (Zotac) seems to be the factory overclocked version, as well as being the cheapest. I was also considering a more well known MSI gtx 560 ti for $30 more, but I would have to learn to overclock it myself to reach the same performance.

This will be the first computer I overclock, if I overclock, but I feel I have a strong enough understanding of overclocking to not mess up. I won't be overclocking until I feel a need to say 6 months down the road. A little research showed that overclocking both my cpu and gpu would only give me a 10% increase in performance.


If I were you I'd go for the Radeon 7850. It has low power consumption and produces less heat, at stock is more powerful than the 560 ti and can be overclocked to a very high degree so it's up there with the premium cards. Also you can get a high clock without upping voltages (the dangerous part usually). The Twin Frozr (3 or 4) MSI version of this card is the best.


It's usually not that expensive either. :) 


Lastly, you might want to consider a 128GB corsair M4 SSD since they're usually not that much more expensive than the 60GB.

Common RAM choice is G.skill or Corsair, but totally up to you.

Good luck!
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Best solution

Anonymous
May 8, 2012 12:12:38 AM

joecaz said:

3. This PSU calculator says I only need 397/447w. I have selected a 730w PSU to support any future upgrades or additions, but would it be smarter to spend the same amount of money on a 500 or 600w PSU that is of potentially better quality? (Edit: the Raidmax 730w has good reviews too).


a quality 650 watts PSU will be much better than an OK 730 watts PSU. it will also suffice for SLI with many cards.
over compensating on a PSU is almost as bad as not getting a large enough one.

seriously, unless you KNOW you are going to SLI in the future a 550 will do for any upgrading.

EDIT:
btw, where did you find a review for that raidmax? i certainly hope your not taking feedback from new egg as gospel :o 
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May 8, 2012 12:33:00 AM

meltigemini said:
Hey there!

May as well get the Ivy Bridge, I just did, because the price isn't that different. You don't need to OC the Ivy as much to equal a higher OC'd Sandy to be fair.

Not sure, but I just recently got the z77 AsRock Extreme 4 which wasn't too much more than a Z68 board (and had USB3 front panel connector too and other good features).

I would go for a 650 - 750W to give you the space to upgrade (potentially go SLI, etc).

If I were you I'd go for the Radeon 7850. It has low power consumption and produces less heat, at stock is more powerful than the 560 ti and can be overclocked to a very high degree so it's up there with the premium cards. Also you can get a high clock without upping voltages (the dangerous part usually). The Twin Frozr (3 or 4) MSI version of this card is the best.

Lastly, you might want to consider a 128GB corsair M4 SSD since they're usually not that much more expensive than the 60GB.

Common RAM choice is G.skill or Corsair, but totally up to you.

Good luck!


I have been on the fence about the Ivy/Sandy bridge for a while. Just feel safer overclocking the 2500k since its "tested tried and true".

I believe the z77 boards have the 3.0 usb ports, but everyone seems to say that they won't be used for a long, long time.

It was between the Radeon 7850 and the gtx 560 ti, but I just found a much better deal for an already factory clocked version of the gtx 560 ti (Zotac). I don't plan on overclocking until 6 or so months down the road. I used the gpu benchmarks from passmark software to decide. http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_value.html

Its possible I may end up going with more regular brands with the SSD and RAM, but I just found some good deals and was trying to budget the build down some.
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May 8, 2012 12:36:03 AM

Anonymous said:
a quality 650 watts PSU will be much better than an OK 730 watts PSU. it will also suffice for SLI with many cards.
over compensating on a PSU is almost as bad as not getting a large enough one.

seriously, unless you KNOW you are going to SLI in the future a 550 will do for any upgrading.

EDIT:
btw, where did you find a review for that raidmax? i certainly hope your not taking feedback from new egg as gospel :o 


Oh wow thanks for pointing that out. I am finding reviews now that really hate on the raidmax. I will look for something new and edit it into this post as well as the above thread.
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May 8, 2012 5:45:15 AM

Anonymous said:
a quality 650 watts PSU will be much better than an OK 730 watts PSU. it will also suffice for SLI with many cards.
over compensating on a PSU is almost as bad as not getting a large enough one.

seriously, unless you KNOW you are going to SLI in the future a 550 will do for any upgrading.

EDIT:
btw, where did you find a review for that raidmax? i certainly hope your not taking feedback from new egg as gospel :o 



I have selected a very well rated Antec 550w. Its modular too! Sufficient?
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-bp550pl...

I have also upgraded the case to a recommended Cooler Master that got 2011 Reader Choice Award: Best Chassis.
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Anonymous
May 8, 2012 5:46:54 AM

an excellent choice sir!
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May 8, 2012 5:55:07 PM

I have been considering a larger SSD.

60gb SSD: OS + 1 Game = about 45/60gb used. I could then also add google chrome.

90-120gb SSD: OS + multiple games + multiple utility programs.
(But I really only use the OS + My main game + Chrome.)

Also, some people have recommending using a smaller SSD as cache? I am not quite understanding (but thats not my questions because I can easily research that myself) just wondering if its actually useful and would be useful in my set up. Then I could just get a smaller SSD now and wait for a bigger one later?
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Anonymous
May 8, 2012 6:20:09 PM

i believe that i have read that unlike a platter HD performance is actually better on a larger SSD, garbage collection or the trim command, not exactly sure why because i do not have an SSD ATM.

with that in mind i would suggest getting a 120+ SSD for a main drive and i am assuming you have a platter for data storage. and the caching is with the Z68 and ivy bridge chipsets with intel smart response tech for 64gig or smaller SSDs.
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May 8, 2012 8:18:54 PM

Anonymous said:
i believe that i have read that unlike a platter HD performance is actually better on a larger SSD, garbage collection or the trim command, not exactly sure why because i do not have an SSD ATM.

with that in mind i would suggest getting a 120+ SSD for a main drive and i am assuming you have a platter for data storage. and the caching is with the Z68 and ivy bridge chipsets with intel smart response tech for 64gig or smaller SSDs.


Hmmm, I have done some research and found I am in over my head when it comes to SSDs. A lot has to do with brand and specifications. Like its better for some to have two 60gb drives and others to have 120gb drives. I am going to just completely remove it from my build for now until I get an expert opinion.

Its recommended to use SRT if you have a small SSD (10-20gb), but 64gb drive is landed in that category too by some. If you have a 120gb its better to just install most used programs on it. The only issue I found was some people complaining about the head ache SSDs are, and that they have to be "baby'd" where using SRT is a setup and never have to mess with it again thing.
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Anonymous
May 9, 2012 1:37:25 AM

TBH, i felt that way a few months ago, do SRT caching and leave the driving to that. however with a 120Gb SSD it is not hard to manage. i say that because when i had a 20o Gb platter i went over 50% usage because of media files and documents and such. i had a buttload of games and apps installed; adobe, office, COD MW3, far cry . . . it is not difficult to move the C: /UserFiles over to the platter and be done with it.
though of course if your are not sure just keep an eye on the reviews and ask questions in the appropriate section in the forums.
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May 16, 2012 12:38:37 AM

Best answer selected by joecaz.
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