New Rig (i-2500k w/ GTX 680 4GB)

Disclaimer: I've only just begun my research in custom PCs, so I apologize for a bit of ignorance and appreciate all your help.

Objective: Build a rig to play Skyrim modded to hell and back on max settings for graphical orgasm. I'm not educated enough (yet) to worry about overclocking so I'd like to have a capable rig at stock speeds.

Budget: $1000 to $2000, the lower the better.

Now, I've gotten the impression that Intel trumps AMD and Nvidia tops ATI for my purposes given the benchmark reports. It seems that the i-2500k is a powerhouse for it's price in the gaming world, and the GTX 680 is a nice if expensive card, worth the money. I was thinking I'd go with 4GB since Skyrim seems to make great use of the additional vRAM.

Do these make a good CPU/GPU pair? Are they overkill, not good enough, good performance for the money, or what? What other parts would I need to make a good rig around this pair? I don't know what makes a good motherboard, power supply, tower, (etc), let alone what would particularly fit well with the CPU/GPU - especially within a budget.

Any advice or build recommendations would be very appreciated.
13 answers Last reply
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  1. Nope. i5-2500k is old tech.
    680 isn't worth the extra $100 over the 670.

    Go with
    CM Hyper Evo
    z77 motherboard
    8gb ram 1600
    GTX 670 (EVGA)
  2. This would do :

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BL 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($87.99 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $1356.85
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    With a psu that supports for another 670 if you want to.
  3. both of these are nice builds, you can save a few buck by getting a good $40 case, not getting an SSD till later and waiting on the cpu cooler till you ddecide to overclock.

    that should nock off $200 plus bucks

    maybe do a gtx660 3 GiG card might fullfill your needs best also

    this would take some $300 off your price

    maybe $900 build
  4. Fun fact in America the i5 3570k is actually $10 or so cheaper than that of the i5 2500k.
  5. Wow, thanks for all the quick and detailed replies!

    My understanding is that SSD improves load times but not FPS, so unless anyone tells me I'm wrong I think I'll take that advice, fkr. However, what kind of difference in functionality/stability/whatever am I looking at between a $40 case and a $100 one in the recommended builds above? Is there any reason I might wanna splurge on the case?

    Also, in terms of neglecting CPU cooling, is there really no consequence as long as I don't OC? I'd rather be safe than sorry unless it's a non-issue.
  6. If you don't want to overclock the cpu drop the i5-3570k, get the i5-3470, same performance at stock, if you want it cheaper :
  7. Thanks, dj. Should I be worried that stock speeds won't get be the graphics and FPS I want? Will I ultimately need to bite the bullet and learn about safely overclocking to juice Skyrim, or will I get by at less than 4GHz?
  8. Not really. You really shouldn't worry.

    OC helps but it doesn't boost the performance TOO MUCH ( i use this word loosely).
  9. Kangleton said:
    Thanks, dj. Should I be worried that stock speeds won't get be the graphics and FPS I want? Will I ultimately need to bite the bullet and learn about safely overclocking to juice Skyrim, or will I get by at less than 4GHz?

    The i5-3470 with turbo boost reaches 3.6 ghz, it's possible to raise it to 4 ghz, by raising the turbo multipliers by 4 bins.
  10. considering that until a month ago Tom's Hardware was still recommending an i3 for gaming I am sure for games you will not see a difference if fps and if you do they will only be increases over 60fps and not noticed for game play. I still like the k series CPUs because they are fun to overclock

    As for the case there may be a few more ports on the front or some additional fans included. I would mostly just expect it to be a little bit quieter, or have more expansion bays for HDD. I use a CM haf 912. It is cheap and functional. I have access to the back of the motherboard. I have 5 fans, including a 200 on top, and it works.
  11. I can't thank you guys enough for making this so much easier, but there's just that last question: if I'm not OCing, how much do I need to worry about/invest in cooling equipment to be safe?
  12. almost none. coolign equipment would only be for your ears as intel stock is loud to some extent.
  13. You don't need to invest in cooling equipment the stock coolers will be fine
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