Need Help for $2000 Gaming + Workstation PC


I'm planning to build my first rig in a week or so. I have a budget of at most $2000 (for the rig only not the monitor, keyboard, OS, etc.), but would like to see if I can get it down to $1500 or so as I've probably gone overkill with the build I've drafted. I'm located in Australia, so I'll probably be buying at PCCaseGear, MSY, Scorpec, MWave. I will be using this build for mostly two purposes:

Audio Work:
- Recording/Production work in a DAW (Ableton Live).
- Will be hooked up to my audio interface via Firewire.
- Will be running software synthesizers simultaneously as well. They make my CPU cry.
- Because I'm recording, I need the build to be quiet, although not necessarily silent. Just enough so it doesn't bleed into the mic.

- At a resolution of 1920x1080.
- Games I play include the Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Skyrim (with HD mods), Torchlight 2, Metro 2033, Oblivion (with HD mods).

I have a pretty long upgrade cycle (4 years approx) so I'm hoping for a rig that'll keep me on max graphical settings throughout that period, as well as have enough headroom for an upgrade if needed (e.g. throwing in another GPU for SLI).

I also plan on overclock the CPU and GPU.

Here is a build I came up with so far:
CPU: Intel i5 2500k @ ~$230

GPU: Asus GTX670 DCII @ ~$520
Most likely overkill? I'm really worried about not being able to keep up late in my upgrade cycle though. Maybe a GTX570, and then throw in another for SLI down the line?

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 @ ~$90
From what I've read it performs quite well and is quiet.

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 @ ~$160

RAM: A bit stuck on this one. Maybe this?:

Storage: Stumped on this as well. Was thinking something like this:
Intel 330 Series 60GB SSD for OS, startup software
WD Caviar Green 2TB for mass storage
A high performing 2TB HDD for storage of my audio sample library and games/software
I was thinking of a WD Caviar Black 2TB but from what I've read, they are quite noisy. Also, do you think I should ditch the SSD and just throw the OS on the 2nd HDD?

Case: Fractal Design Define R3 @ ~$140

PSU: Not sure. If I want to have space to throw in another GPU in the future for SLI, should I go for something around 850W?

I also need to throw in a PCI card for Firewire, some quiet fans to direct air flow and an Optical Drive with DVD/CD/Bluray read, DVD/CD write.

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  1. Best answer
    The parts that you have selected are very good and would most certianly play your games well. There is one game in particular that is going to be very hard to get good fps with and that's Metro 2033 , the game is an absoute beast on video cards and you need the strongest card that you can aford. I would stay with the GTX 670 it is not overkill and you will need it to play Metro with any kind of decent gameplay.
    The 60gb SSD is a little small for the OS drive and I would ge with a 120gb , if you use the 60gb for the OS drive then you will have to monitor the drive all the time to make sure that you haven't use up too much space and the 120gb will give you a little more room.
    With the psu if you go with the GTX 670 and want to add another later on then a 750w or 850w will power both cards.
    The video card is where it's at with gaming and the better the video card the better the performance so I would stay with the GTX 670 and maybe go with a different brand and save a few dollars even though this one is highly rated;

    The ram is another area where you can save a few dollars because if you don't need a lot of ram for the Audio work then you can cut that amount in half and go with 8gb. In gaming you will not need more than 6gb of ram for any game. You should also get low profile sticks so as to not interfere with the cpu heatsink.

    If you need the full 16gb then consider this set;
  2. Thanks, I guess I'll stick with the 670 and grab those corsair sticks. Any ideas for the hdd? Was thinking hitachi deskstar/wd caviar black but apparently they're quite noisy...
  3. Depending on how much you plan on overclocking that 2500K, it might be more feasible to pick up a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. It's generally regarded as the best budget after-market HSF, and it does a splendid job as well.

    I can't access the sites you've provided for some reason. I'll try again when I get home, as I'm sitting at the office right now, hehe. But the Evo is around $30 here in the States, shouldn't be too different over there, I hope.

    I would recommend going for an HD 7970 because with 3GB of V-RAM it will probably be more future-proof than the 670 or 680. And this is something to consider, since you won't be upgrading for 4 years.
  4. The Caviar Blacks are performance drives so they're best reserved for applications that you can't fit on the SSD. For data storage a Caviar Green/Blue should suffice.
  5. Caviar Black should be reserved for post-flood builds. The prices on them are too high. With an SSD, a Caviar Green is the best idea.
  6. As an option to consider and depending on what your needs are you could get a larger SSD and put everything on it and then you can take your time with looking for a large hdd and also waiting for the prices to come back down some more.
    I have the Samsung 830 256gb SSD with Windows 7 64bit ultimate , Microsoft office , BF3 and MW3 and I still have 100gb of space left. I also have a 600gb WD veloceraptor as a secondary HDD and there's nothing on it , I'm sure that eventually there will be but there is still a lot of space left on the SSD.
    So depending on your needs that could be an option for you to consider.

    Then if you wanted to get a bigger one and not get a regular HDD at all;

    But that would be if you had a bundle of money that you didn't know what to do with.
  7. Best answer selected by jiantl.
  8. Thanks for the help everyone, time to get started on this build!
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