Critique my ~$1200 gaming system

Greetings TH forums! It has been a long time sinve I've posted here, but the time has come to retire my E7200 rig :). After a pretty through research this is what I've come up with;

Hardware not needed: HDD's, keyboard, mouse, headphones
Intended use: Gaming. (mostly skyrim & diablo 3)
Sli: NO
Overclocking: Yes
Parts pref: Intel, gpu: AMD or Nvidia
Resolution: 1920x1080
Pref vendors:, Amazon(have a $50 giftcard), Bestbuy (also have a $50 giftcard).

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - $220
HS/F: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - $30
Thermal Paste: Artic silver 5 - $12
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $120
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - $50
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 2GB - $250
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W - $70
Optical drive: ASUS DVD Burner Black SATA Model DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS - $22
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R - $80
Monitor: SAMSUNG B350 Series S22B350H Transparent Red 21.5" 2ms - $190
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $100

Subtotal: ~$1,143.89

My questions;
1. (CPU) I like the savings of staying w/ the i5-2500k CPU, from everything I've read it just isn't worth the extra ~$60 to go with ivybridge right now. I don't really use USB drives, I'm not going to buy a $1000 GPU anytime in the future... am I missing anything?

2. (GPU) I was really leaning to a GTX 670, but I have a feeling it will be overkill (even in the future) for 1920x1080 gaming, any other recommendations?

3. (PSU) I was also looking at the SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W for $90. I have read a lot of good about the brand and would love a modular PSU for that extra clean look, I have never used a modular psu, but is that all I am paying for? I know corsair to be a great brand also.

4. (MONITORY) I really don't know a lot about what makes a monitor a good deal or not. I'm a little confined for the size I can fit in my "desk", so ~22" is a conservative guess for now. ASUS seems to have some fantastic deals with 5ms response time, any recommendations in this area?

A final note, it is important that this build works directly out of the box. So no BIOS updates to run ivy bridge chips on older mobo's etc. I'm active duty military & having to return items to the vendors will be a PITA.

Thanks for your time,
4 answers Last reply
More about critique 1200 gaming system
  1. Your build looks good to me good job i ditch that psu and get the SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W for $90. Although a xfx 550watt would be fine also you want this cpu cooler ;)
  2. Thanks for the response,
    I was leaning toward the SeaSonic PSU, but will consider dropping to a 550w since I have no plans to run SLI/Xfire. I checked out that cooler, but couldn't see any differences except for a higher CFM fan? I'll take your word for it though.

    Any other input would be great. I'm mostly wondering about jumping up to Ivy Bridge, a more powerful GPU and could use some advice on the monitor.

  3. About the heatsinks besides added support for socket 2011, from Maximum PC's review of the EVO:

    "In short, the Evo is identical to its predecessor in every aspect but one: Where the 212 Plus’s heat pipes meet the cooler’s contact plate, small gaps reduce the surface area that is in direct contact with the CPU’s own heat spreader. The bottoms of the Evo’s heat pipes are so flat that these gaps are entirely eliminated."
  4. As far as ivy bridge or sandy bridge goes the better choice is more a matter of your personal intended uses for the cpu. As has been said numerous times if you have a serious interest in aggressive overclocking (4.8+ GHz), then you are probably better off going for SB unless you have a robust liquid cooling option. If your not that serious about overclocking to a high rate the advantage of PCI 3.0 and ability to fall back on a better integrated gfx solution if something happens to your discrete card is a nice luxury at the same price. At the end of the day there is no clear winner or answer that will be correct for every individual. Switching gears...As for monitor i will quote a great article manufacturers measure response time from gray to gray, but technically it should be the time it takes for a pixel to go from black to white and then back to black. On any computer monitor this is measured in ms or milliseconds. The faster the response time the less blurring and ghosting users will experience during action packed sequences. A good gaming, entertainment, or video editing monitor usually will have a response time under 5ms. Recently many people have challenged whether having a response time between 1-6ms is really all that noticeable and instead have measured for input lag which on certain LCD monitors has measured as high as 68ms! Input lag is simply the difference between the time a signal is given to the display and when it is displayed.

    Refresh Rate

    While various gamers experience different levels of eye strain while using their computer for long periods of time, one thing known to relieve some of the problem is by having a monitor with a high refresh rate. The refresh rate on a monitor is basically the amount of times that the hardware draws information from a source. Even low end computer monitors have a higher refresh rate, then many of the better monitors in years past. PC monitors go as high as 120hz while some newer HDTVs go up to 240hz. A good 3D-ready monitor will have a 120hz refresh rate.

    HD 1920 x 1080p and TN Vs. IPS Panels

    While it's important to purchase a monitor that is high definition. Most new release monitors today 22 inches and above are full 1920x1080p resolution. While the resolution can certainly go above this for some IPS monitors you are still better off with a TN or twisted nematic panel as they do much better with video and generally have lower response times. That being said IPS monitor response times have come down in recent years and their color reproduction is much more accurate.

    Contrast Ratio

    Contrast ratio measures the darkest color that a monitor can produce (blackest black) vs. the lightest color (whitest white). In general the higher the contrast ratio, the better the color. Because various manufacturer's define how they label their contrast ratio differently (static vs. dynamic etc...), we recommend you read consumer reviews in order to get a better understanding of your monitors color output.

    LED Vs. LCD

    There are some pretty complicated descriptions and definitions of the difference between an LED and LCD monitor. The only real difference is in the type of back lighting and energy they use. LED monitors use LED (light emitting diode) technology for back lighting which consumes up to 40% less energy. Gaming and entertainment viewing tend to be less strenuous on the eyes with an LED monitor. In addition, LED monitors do not emit mercury like CCFL lit displays. Since LED monitors are newer, thinner, have more options, use less power, and are less strenuous on your eyes than LCD monitors I recommend you go with an LED monitor if you can afford it.

    Signal Input

    Consider what type of signal input you want to use with your computer before purchasing your monitor. The most common inputs are DVI-D, HDMI, and VGA. DisplayPort connectors are also seen on more expensive monitors.

    3D Capability

    Wikipedia defines 3D Capability as "any display device capable of conveying a stereoscopic perception of 3-D depth to the viewer". While technically many monitors could produce a 3D image, various monitors have been built specifically for 3-D viewing and gaming. Any monitor built for 3D viewing can also be viewed in normal 2D format. See below for top 5 3d monitors for 2011.

    Other Things to Consider:

    Consider the horizontal and vertical viewing angle as well as the power consumption of your monitor when making your purchase. Similarly sized computer monitors can use as little as 28 watts all the way up to 70+ watts. In the long-term you'll be better off sticking with a monitor that consumes less power. Horizontal/vertical viewing angles will always be better on IPS panel monitors and up to 180 degrees; however, if you purchase a TN panel monitor look for one that has an extended viewing angle so that your picture doesn't distort easily when tilting or swiveling it.
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