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$2500 dollar gaming pc, looking for feedback on my planned build

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June 6, 2012 9:57:17 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: July 1st

Budget Range: $2500 CAD before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: Nvidia Graphics, Intel cpu

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Bad experiences with overheating laptops for years, would like this thing to run as cool as possible.


I have been saving to build a badass gaming pc for a few months now and am almost at my budget. This will be my first time building a pc. I have done lots of reaserch over the past few months but would really appreciate some feedback on the build i have planned out, most importantly I would like to know if my powersupply can handle the parts I have chosen and If im wasting money anywhere. I've used AMD/ATI graphics/processors for years now and would really like to go with an i7 and nvidia graphics card in this build for a change. Here are my specs:

- Gigabyte gtx 670 2gb overclocked (windforce)
- i7 2600k
- OCZ ZX Series 850w modular power supply
- Corsair Vengance 8 or 16gb ddr3 memory
- Asus p8z68-v/gen3 motherboard
- OCZ Agility 3 120gb ssd
- Seagate Barracuda 1tb hdd
- Haf 932 Advanced full tower case
- Lite-on dvd writer
- Corsair h100 liquid cooler
- AeroCool Shark 120mm red led fan (to fit beside the h100)

Please tell me what you think of these specs and If there is any room for improvement such as a better part for around the same price as one listed. As I said above I would really like to know if the power supply should be able to handle all the parts but I appreciate any and all feedback you guys have. I plan on overclocking the cpu a bit. Thank you in advance for your responses!
June 6, 2012 10:39:44 AM

If you want a bad a$$ gaming build then make these changes:

3570K for your cpu

750w psu XFX, Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, or Enermax

Size up on your SSD to a 240GB as it helps when loading levels (maps) in game. Stay away from OCZ SSD's.

Look at the Corsair 500R seeing how it has more features than that CM case and usually runs cheaper.

Look @ Direct Canada (free shipping), and NCIX for better prices than Tiger Direct
June 6, 2012 10:53:30 AM

For gaming, you really only need an i5. Either get an i5 2500k or go with an i5 3570k. If you stick with Sandy Bridge, your MoBo would be fine. If you choose the latter, get a z77 MoBo. I see you don't want to SLI. I would suggest then the Gigabyte z77x-d3h or Asrock z77 Pro 3.

Even with an SLI'd gtx 670, you only really need 750W. Since you don't plan to SLI, 550W should be enough. I would recommend this PSU: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950AC1672&v....

Get an 8 Gb DDR3 1600 1.5V RAM. Anything over that and the performance increase will not warrant the price. Clearance may be an issue due to your cooler though. Get the low profile RAM from Corsair or G-Skill Ares.

With your budget, I would get a Samsung 830 SSD 120 Gb. More reliable with great performance.

Haf 932 will be really big in my opinion. Haf 922 will be big enough. I prefer the Corsair 500R however.

CM Hyper 212 EVO will be enough for your cooling needs. Its cheaper and really, can cool your CPU as capable as that more expensive H100.

As with my link, I would recommend DirectCanada.com and BestDirect.ca. They're reliable and the prices are usually cheap (especially shipping within Canada). Just compare around a bit though.
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June 6, 2012 10:59:06 AM

heisenbergwhite said:
Approximate Purchase Date: July 1st

Budget Range: $2500 CAD before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: Nvidia Graphics, Intel cpu

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Bad experiences with overheating laptops for years, would like this thing to run as cool as possible.


I have been saving to build a badass gaming pc for a few months now and am almost at my budget. This will be my first time building a pc. I have done lots of reaserch over the past few months but would really appreciate some feedback on the build i have planned out, most importantly I would like to know if my powersupply can handle the parts I have chosen and If im wasting money anywhere. I've used AMD/ATI graphics/processors for years now and would really like to go with an i7 and nvidia graphics card in this build for a change. Here are my specs:

- Gigabyte gtx 670 2gb overclocked (windforce)
- i7 2600k
- OCZ ZX Series 850w modular power supply
- Corsair Vengance 8 or 16gb ddr3 memory
- Asus p8z68-v/gen3 motherboard
- OCZ Agility 3 120gb ssd
- Seagate Barracuda 1tb hdd
- Haf 932 Advanced full tower case
- Lite-on dvd writer
- Corsair h100 liquid cooler
- AeroCool Shark 120mm red led fan (to fit beside the h100)

Please tell me what you think of these specs and If there is any room for improvement such as a better part for around the same price as one listed. As I said above I would really like to know if the power supply should be able to handle all the parts but I appreciate any and all feedback you guys have. I plan on overclocking the cpu a bit. Thank you in advance for your responses!


I would change the CPU to the Ivy Bridge one. i5 3570k if you don't do video encoding, i7 3770k if you need the extra 4 threads for video encoding. Gaming wise there is no differnce between the i5 3570k and i7 3770k. Ivy Bridge is 10% faster than the equivalent clock Sandy Bridge and supports PCI-E 3.0. Also don't worry about the heat too much regarding Ivy Bridge overclocking if you stay below 4.5 Ghz since you got the best closed loop watercool on the market (Corsair H100). Most people dont even need to go over 4.2 Ghz for the Ivy Bridge CPU since a 4.2 Ghz Ivy Bridge (3770k) = 4.5 Ghz Sandybridge (2600k)

For mainboard, change it to Asus P8Z77 V instead of P8Z68-V/gen 3. Z77 is a newer chipset than Z68.

For SSD, you should get a toggle nand one like Muskin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe 120 GB or get a sync NAND one like the Kingston Hyperx 120 GB. Agility 3 is asyn NAND SSD and is slowest of the 3.
Toggle NAND > Sync NAND > Async NAND for SSD performance

Everything else looks good. If you got the money and want the best quality PSU, get Seasonic X 750W or Corsair AX 750W (both are virtually idential since Corsair AX is a rebranded Seasonic X series). Otherwise, the PSU you listed OCZ ZX 850W Gold is also very high quality PSU since its made by PC Power and Cooling and received almost perfect score on various professional reviews sites.


Edit: Just noticed that you said you don't want to do SLI, anything over 650W is overkilled for that system. Get a quality 650W PSU like Corsair AX 650W and you are good.

Best solution

June 6, 2012 11:06:02 AM
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Free Shipping on orders over $50

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC6196&v... $113.56
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Gaming Case ATX 4X5.25 6X3.5INT USB 1394 No PS Black

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC1911&v... $120.44
XFX 750W PRO750W XXX Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply 80PLUS Silver

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD6646&v... $187.77
ASUS P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Z77 DDR3 SLI 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA3 DisplayPort USB3.0 Motherboard

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD0768&v... $234.79
Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC1714&v... $41.98
Coolermaster Hyper 612 PWM 6 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA775/1366/1155/1156/2011 120MM Fan

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211&v... $51.86
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14120DR5445&v... $87.79
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA 6Gbps 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12410DR9638&v... $312.46
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB 2.5IN SATA3 SF-2281 SSD Drive R/555MB/S W/510MB/S With Upgrade Bundle Kit

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD1092&v... $419.79
ASUS GeForce GTX 670 OC 980MHZ 2GB 6GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530DR5213&v... $19.24
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black

Total: $1,589.68


http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12850SW2113&v... $95.33
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530MN6442&v... $155.41 MIR $145.41
ASUS ML228H 21.5IN Widescreen LED Backlit LCD Monitor Black 1920X1080 2MS 10M:1 HDMI DVI-D VGA

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC8823&v... $67.87
Corsair Vengeance 1300 Gaming Headset 50MM Driver Circumaural Earcup Analog

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC8815&v... $128.80
Coolermaster HAF XM ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 8X3.5INT Red LED Light *No PSU*
June 6, 2012 11:31:06 AM

WOW! Thank you so much everyone! I'll be able to order all the parts today if I make these changes. I initially was going to get an ivy bridge cpu but after reading about the heat issues i decided to stick with sandy bridge. Will the hyper 612 be good enough to keep the 3570k at a reasonable temp @ 4.2?
June 6, 2012 11:34:42 AM

heisenbergwhite said:
WOW! Thank you so much everyone! I'll be able to order all the parts today if I make these changes. I initially was going to get an ivy bridge cpu but after reading about the heat issues i decided to stick with sandy bridge. Will the hyper 612 be good enough to keep the 3570k at a reasonable temp @ 4.2?


yes :) 
June 6, 2012 11:38:30 AM

Yes, because the IB heat problems really begin at frequencies over 4.2 and especially over 4.4 GHz. But 4.2 is very safe and achievable. Note however that if you're definitely only going for 4.2, you could get a 3550, not -k, which can be OCed up to 4.1 GHz anyway (4 bins higher than its max turbo, which was 3.7) and is slightly cheaper.

As for the changes above, they all look good to me. If your budget is $2500, though, you could really consider a 680. It's not like you NEED a 680 over a 670, since the performance gain isn't huge, but if you're committed to a single card and have that budget, why not?
June 6, 2012 11:42:47 AM

Best answer selected by heisenbergwhite.
June 6, 2012 11:46:38 AM

motorneuron said:
Yes, because the IB heat problems really begin at frequencies over 4.2 and especially over 4.4 GHz. But 4.2 is very safe and achievable. Note however that if you're definitely only going for 4.2, you could get a 3550, not -k, which can be OCed up to 4.1 GHz anyway (4 bins higher than its max turbo, which was 3.7) and is slightly cheaper.

As for the changes above, they all look good to me. If your budget is $2500, though, you could really consider a 680. It's not like you NEED a 680 over a 670, since the performance gain isn't huge, but if you're committed to a single card and have that budget, why not?


Thats a good point, It seems to be out of stock on canadadirect but I wont be ordering today anyways. Gtx 680 would make my friends hate me, totally worth it :p . I dont know much about the 500r case, I was going with the haf 932 because it was a monster and i knew i wouldnt run into any clearance problems. All these parts will for sure fit into the 500r?
June 6, 2012 11:54:55 AM

One important thing though, can i get waranties on the parts with directcanada? with tiger direct it gave me the option to get warranties with the more expensive parts which is really important to me and i dont see that option here when adding items to my cart.
June 6, 2012 7:35:56 PM

heisenbergwhite said:
Thats a good point, It seems to be out of stock on canadadirect but I wont be ordering today anyways. Gtx 680 would make my friends hate me, totally worth it :p . I dont know much about the 500r case, I was going with the haf 932 because it was a monster and i knew i wouldnt run into any clearance problems. All these parts will for sure fit into the 500r?

The 500R is big. Most manufactures would call it a full tower, Corsair chooses to call it a mid tower. Another case to have a look at is this one down below. It was released a little over two months ago and Cooler Master put all the latest goodies in this case.

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC8815&v... $128.80
Coolermaster HAF XM ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 8X3.5INT Red LED Light *No PSU*

http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6821 <----- another look at that case

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=coolermas... <----- reviews of that case

Optional side fan for that Cooler Master case linked up above.

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC4737&v... $12.08
Coolermaster Megaflow 200MM Red LED Case Fan 700RPM for HAF932 922 Cosmos S Atcs 840 Storm Sniper

As far as waiting for the gtx 680's to come back in stock...that Asus 670 I posted is factory over clocked and beats the stock 680's in more games than naught.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670... <----- Here's a review of that card w/benchmarks

Call Direct Canada about the warranties. I know they honor the manufacture warranty but I would give them a call anyways so you know the entire scoop.
June 6, 2012 10:54:59 PM

heisenbergwhite said:
WOW! Thank you so much everyone! I'll be able to order all the parts today if I make these changes. I initially was going to get an ivy bridge cpu but after reading about the heat issues i decided to stick with sandy bridge. Will the hyper 612 be good enough to keep the 3570k at a reasonable temp @ 4.2?


I would get the Corsair H100 since the Hyper 612 is only a mediocre air cooler. Although it would do a fine job at 4.2 Ghz for Ivy, but I doubt it can go any higher than that without risking too much heat. Corsair H100 is the ideal cooler for the Ivy because it will be able to handle Ivy even at 4.5 Ghz and only get beaten by a fully custom water cooling which costs 300 bucks easily.

I agree with Whyme regarding the video card, the Asus TOP GTX 670 performance is already higher than the reference GTX 680 because ASUS pin the GPU and with the boost clock of 1200 Mhz+ it can easily surpass the performance of GTX 680. Not to mention the card can be overclocked further and most people can go over 1300+ Mhz boost when they just simply overclock it via EVGA precision or MSI Afterburner.

Granted that GTX 680 can also be overclocked but the GPU won't be able to go as high as the pin GTX 670 from ASUS TOP and thus the performance difference between the 2 is very minimal.

June 8, 2012 1:06:26 PM

Great, thanks for the added info! I will be sticking with the asus 670 and i think I will go with the h100 just to be safe in case i want to overclock further in the future. You guys have been a great help and I'm really looking foreward to ordering this new setup next week. The website offers free shipping on orders under a certain weight and with the monitor I am exceeding this weight. Would i be able to split my order in to 2 to get the free shipping or is there something preventing that from working in my favour?
June 8, 2012 3:26:38 PM

Dude for $2500 PC I wouldn't settle for anything less than SLI GTX 670, I mean if you are just trying to maximize gaming performance/per dollar you could build an SLI GTX 680 system with a 2500k for like $1800, so while a $2500 PC with a single GTX 670 might be well balanced it definitely isn't the best gaming system for the money.
June 8, 2012 4:49:00 PM

The 2500 includes the monitor, OS, razer naga mouse, keyboard plus tax and shipping though. With this new setup the total is roughly $2300 and allows me to get a headset and a office chair as well which i would of gotten later. A gtx 670 or 680 in sli would put me over the cap and i wouldnt feel comfortable downgrading the other parts just to reach unnesssecary framerates. I'll probably go sli down the road when i start seeing a noticable drop in performance with more demanding games that will come out in the future but for now this setup will be more than enough to handle any game on ultra with great framerates
June 9, 2012 3:36:07 PM

I'm confused, the link that why_me posted now sends me to what looks like a non-overclocked vesrion of the gtx 670 and more importantly went up in price from $420 to $469 unless I am missing something. Would the EVGA GTX 670 FTW be a good alternative?

ASUS GeForce GTX 670 980MHZ 2GB 6GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD1092&v... $469.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 1006MHZ 2GB 6.2GHZ GDDR5 SLI 2xDVI HDMI DP HDCP PCI-E DirectX 11 Video Card http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD2660&v... $424.82
June 9, 2012 6:32:59 PM

heisenbergwhite said:
I'm confused, the link that why_me posted now sends me to what looks like a non-overclocked vesrion of the gtx 670 and more importantly went up in price from $420 to $469 unless I am missing something. Would the EVGA GTX 670 FTW be a good alternative?

ASUS GeForce GTX 670 980MHZ 2GB 6GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD1092&v... $469.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 1006MHZ 2GB 6.2GHZ GDDR5 SLI 2xDVI HDMI DP HDCP PCI-E DirectX 11 Video Card http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD2660&v... $424.82

http://www.directcanada.com/search/?kw=gtx%20670
June 9, 2012 7:24:43 PM




Okay so i see ASUS GTX670 directcu ii top for $490 out of stock and a non-top for $470. From what I've read the EVGA GTX670 FTW has a bit better performance than the non-top version but the top version is even in some games, outpreforms a bit in others, and has better cooling/power consumption. I geuss I'll wait to see if the gtx directcu ii top comes back in stock next week and goes back down to $420 and if not I'll grab the gtx ftw.
June 17, 2012 4:20:15 PM

Hey guys, I just wanted to post an update. I went ahead and ordered my system from canadadirect last wednesday and it showed up friday morning which blew me away! All parts were in tact and my first build went very smoothly. I'll be picking up battlefield 3 today to really test it out but so far it has run portal 2 and civ v on max settings at very low temperatures. I overclocked it today to 4.2 and its is stable and still staying very cool. Here are the final specs that i went with:

I5 3570K
EVGA GTX 670 FTW
XFX PRO 750W xxx edition power supply
Corsair h100 cooler
corsair carbide 500r case
g.skill ripjaws 8gb ddr3 1600 RAM
kingston hyper x 240gb ssd
seagate barracuda 1tb hdd
asus p8z77-v motherboard
asus dvd writer
asus 21.5 monitor

A big thanks to all those who contributed to this thread and a special mention to why_me who picked out most of these parts for me.
!