First time build advice or opinions

I was recently looking into upgrading my current HP PC with a graphics card and power supply, but have decided I'd like to go on with my first build now. If all goes well I will be making these purchases by the end of tomorrow.

I'd like to keep my budget under $1100 and may go to $1200 if absolutely necessary.

I will be using this system mostly for gaming.

I do not need a mouse, keyboard, monitor or speakers.

I'll be purchasing the parts off newegg, unless tigerdirect has everything at a more competitive price. I want to get everything off one site.

I want to stick with an Intel processor but I'm having trouble deciding on a motherboard.

Mostly I'll be using 1920x1080 for my resolution, I'd like to take advantage of SLI or Crossfire in the future depending on what card I get, and I may also overclock in the future.

With that said, here is what I'm set on for my build, but advice is welcome.

Windows 7

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB

SeaSonic M12II 620W Bronze

SAMSUNG 1TB Hard drive


Here are the 3 parts I need help with.

I've been having a hard time trying to decide on a graphics card. Here are the 2 I'm currently looking at.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950
EVGA Superclocked GeForce GTX 560 ti

I'd like to stay at the $250 mark with the graphics card. From what I have read about so far, both of these have great pluses to them, its a hard choice. Since they seem to be the same performance wise, I was leaning towards the 6950 for the 2 free game coupons.

The motherboard has probably been the hardest choice, they all seem to have a good amount of negative reviews. If I go with the 6950, I would like a good one that supports SLI for the future.


Finally the case, I'm not too worried about this, I just want a decent one under $100.


With all that said, what is your advice for my build. Will these parts be compatible? For gaming I will mostly be playing Counter Strike: GO, Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3. Thanks to those who stick through my thread and provide any help.
5 answers Last reply
More about first time build advice opinions
  1. If it gets you games, get the 6950.
  2. Get the low profile models of RAM|20-233-186^20-233-186-TS%2C20-233-196^20-233-196-TS%2C20-233-199^20-233-199-TS

    More power, same price, comparable quality .... and unlike the 620 watt model, able to handle two cards in SLI.

    Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

    $ 200.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.42 - $ 0.53
    $ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
    $ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
    $ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
    $ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49

    As you can see, there's a small win for the $210 900 Mhz 560 Ti in single card configuration and a rather whopping victory in SLI. The Asus and Gigabyte models have a 7 phase VRM. The EVGA SC only ahs 4 phases severely limniting its ability to hit higher OC's.


    The motherboard has probably been the hardest choice, they all seem to have a good amount of negative reviews. If I go with the 6950, I would like a good one that supports SLI for the future.

    SLI is for nVidia cards, Crossfire for AMD. Given 100+ fps difference in the numbers above, 862 fpf for SLI's 560's and 759 fps for CF 6950's, I guess we talking SLI.

    I'm down on the case as a case w/o USB 3 just shouldn't be on the market

    Here's ya $100 case, Antec 900 w/ USB 3

    Tho, I'd try and swing another $30 fo the 500R
  3. Thanks for pointing that out, I do know the difference between SLI and Crossfire, I just got my mords wixed typing out the thread so quickly. :p

    The only reason I'm leaning more towards the 6950 is because it will get me Battlefield 3 and Dirt 3, two games I'm interested in, for $250. If I'm not overclocking the card right away, is the performance difference really that significant with the 560 ti? The SLI performance looks great, but I won't be upgrading for some time so I just need consistent FPS on the games I named with 1 card for now.

    I don't plan on adding a second graphics card for another year, so I will most likely stick with the seasonic power supply because it doesn't require a rebate.

    The cases and RAM you show look nice, I'll factor these in along with the graphics card in my decision. Thanks for the help.
  4. Anyone else have some suggestions?
  5. The difference isn't worth giving up 2 free games.
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