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First time build advice or opinions

Last response: in Systems
June 9, 2012 5:27:51 PM

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.
June 9, 2012 6:27:12 PM

If it gets you games, get the 6950.
June 9, 2012 6:38:13 PM

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
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June 9, 2012 7:28:21 PM

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.
June 10, 2012 4:50:38 PM

Anyone else have some suggestions?
June 10, 2012 10:10:42 PM

The difference isn't worth giving up 2 free games.