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Want some opinions on this gaming/productivity build

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May 17, 2012 6:07:48 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Realistically, not for a while, months out.

Budget Range: Under 2500... the lower the better, my last build was an epic of wasted money

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, movies, streaming, and general productivity stuff (office apps, minor photoshop usage, encoding sometimes)

Parts Not Required: speakers, monitor, but i'm interesting in upgrading to dual monitors or more (currently have a BenQ 2400W that was 400 bucks when purchased in 2008)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com unless there's anything cheaper (newegg seems to be the best for browsing because it's the most organized)

Country: USA!

Parts Preferences: Will consider AMD, but from the looks of it Intel has a pretty large lead. Full tower. Not sure whether to get a liquid cooler or air cooler. I have no experience yet with liquid cooling.

Overclocking: Hell yeah

SLI or Crossfire: Hoping to in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 and above if possible

Additional Comments: I prefer blue lights although the case i'm looking at has red


I wanna be able to play all games at max settings at 1920x1200 or above, but I also want to get the most bang for the buck... unlike last time when I made the mistake of getting a 9800GX2 for 600 bucks.
I also want the computer to be fast at everything else (real-world applications). For example, I don't encode much, but when I do, I want it to be fast.

Here's a link to the newegg wishlist: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Best solution

May 17, 2012 6:33:37 PM

Going down the list:

Cooler Master is not a good choice for power supplies. It's true that that one got good reviews when it came out 3 years ago, but you can do much better for less.

A 750W would fit GTX 670SLI systems just fine.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-670-2-and-3wa...

Corsair AX750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Crucial M4 is more reliable and still plenty fast
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or get the 256GB version.

Never populate all memory slots in a new build. It's often problematic and never needed. Also, don't bother with very fast memory. It has very little gains but does place extra stress on the memory controller in the CPU.

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

If you are going to lay out that much for the OS, it's wiser to buy one that can be transferred to another system, or will still work if the motherboard changes.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Read up on this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 17, 2012 10:26:47 PM

Proximon, you're the man! Thank you! I got a couple of questions for you though....

I'm a little confused about the OS thing not working with changes... could you elaborate on that?
I will admit that I've always gone for the top tier OS without even probably ever needing it... just afraid i might have wanted some feature one day.

I was looking at faster memory for overclocking headroom. I have DDR2-800 now and just started OCing, and now wishing I had 1066. I was way more ignorant than I thought when I did my first build 4 years ago :) . I also didn't even realize that motherboard didn't support quad-channel... if i went with an X79 then would you have recommended the original RAM I chose? Still not sure about that one... I don't know how much longer 1155 is gonna last and if 2011 will be the new standard for years to come.


I actually was looking at this CPU; I had originally put the wrong one on the list: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Definitely a cool case recommendation!

Out of curiosity, how do you know about the Crucial being more reliable? I guess I had just seen on formus here and there that OCZ was really good, but would like to avoid being misinformed in the future when researching. This was the same reason I thought Cooler Master PSUs were supposed to be good.

P.S. I discovered your guide to choosing parts earlier today, and it's one of the most useful posts I've seen in quite some time. Thanks again!
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May 17, 2012 10:58:33 PM

An OEM Win 7 is tied to one computer. When you validate it MS will take a snapshot of your computer. You can change pretty much everything except the motherboard... if you change that MS will squawk. That's the way the license works, it a license for builders who support the computer they build for someone else... such builders don't want a client changing hardware.

When a person gets a full license, they can transfer it all they want. They also get support direct from MS.

If you have an old, unused copy of XP pro, you can "burn" it with an upgrade copy of Win7. No need to install XP first, you can do what is called a clean install, totally legal as long as you own that unused XP copy. (or Vista).

There is no good argument for LGA 2011 with a gaming system. Stick with the Sandy Bridge processor as it overclocks better than Ivy Bridge. When you said you wanted to OC a lot I figured the i7 2700K was the best choice.

Well, we know from lots of posts and other data. Everyone agrees the best SSDs for reliability are Intel, Samsung and Crucial. The monthly SSD guide mentions this I think.
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May 18, 2012 4:45:14 PM

Thank you so much! So you think the 670 will be sufficient for my needs? Obviously it won't play all games on max settings alone but if it were SLI'd down the line it looks like it would. I just can't seem to figure out whether or not it's smarter and more economical to get two lesser cards and SLI them right now, possibly getting another one down the line for tri-SLI, or getting one 670 now and one later.
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May 18, 2012 8:39:12 PM

I wouldn't get too hung up on that. Most of those settings at the high end are not really noticeable, and only really effect benchmarks. If you are running three monitors or 3D then it may be a bit more important.

My opinion is the GTX 670 is about right for a single modern card, although it is overpriced as are the AMD offerings.

I paid about $330 for my 5870 with full water block a few years ago, and I haven't needed to upgrade yet. Probably by the end of the year.
But, I would have to spend about $400 to get a decent upgrade right now. That's a bit odd for such an old GPU to be holding it's value so long.
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May 18, 2012 9:11:10 PM

Best answer selected by deaf to light.
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May 18, 2012 9:28:07 PM

Your 5870 was already watercooled... did you buy it used? I'm glad to hear it was such a good investment for you.

My E6750 has held it's value for very long, and now even moreso cause I finally started overclocking. Especially considering how ignorant I was to the importance of temperatures till the past year. I never cleaned out the dust and didn't know *** about cooling and the thing was running above 80 for God knows how long! That may be why I can't get above 3.5 GHz with it, and need 1.48V to even hit that ... probably aged a lot due to the prolonged exposure to high temps.

Can't really say the same about the 9800GX2. I opened that thing up and got the temps down but it's still an oven by design. People install waterblocks on thing just to run it at stock :) 
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May 19, 2012 6:21:59 AM

Some GPUs come with water blocks pre-installed. I got a very good deal, on sale at the time:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As I recall the 9800GX2 was popular for a long time. Personally I went from 8800GT to a 4870 to the present 5870, all about $300. That's been a good comfortable price point for me, but these days it's starting to look like an upgrade will cost more.
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