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Old August 14, 2011, 01:26 PM
Valamyr Valamyr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 71
Default Affordable Gaming rig, need opinions

A few days ago I was thinking about upgrading my video card and getting more RAM for my current box, but after all the good advice I got here, I realized it might be a much better idea to upgrade all the core components of the system. I couldn't get more of my old memory, and any decent video card upgrade would be partly wasted on my aging system. Money's finite, but good hardware seems cheaper than it used to be and I threw together this system which I'd like your feedback on!

The only thing I do with it that's somewhat demanding is playing games (sometimes modded games) in 1920*1200. Occasionally I re-encode videos for use on my phone. Other uses like surfing and watching videos and listening to music aren't worth mentioning I guess.

ASUS P8P67 Pro REV3.0 ATX P67 LGA1155 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

Just checking, this board is rated well, but how future-proof is it? The 22nm Ivy Bridges CPUs will require new motherboards, right? (Newbie question, I know!)

Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Sandy Bridge 8MB
or Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB
I hesitated between the CPU above and the non-hyperthreading 3.3GHZ one thats almost 100$ cheaper. Advice welcome on whether its worth it. My understanding is that having more cores diminish the value of hyper-threading quite a bit for most applications (especially games) and that 2600K might not be worth it for gamers who don't do alot of encoding, etc.

Coolermaster Hyper TX Series Aluminum 3-HEATPIPE CPU Cooler S1155/1156/775/AM3/AM2/939/940

Cheap cooling I know but I've read a review saying it allowed amazing OCs on Sandybridge CPUs. I assume much better than stock cooling.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

I dont like the timings much but it's rated well, cheap, and it appears the timings I'm used to on DDR2 aren't possible at 1600mhz anyway. Is this brand OK?

Kingston SSDNow V100 Series 64GB 2.5IN SSD SATA Solid State Disk Flash Drive

My first SSD! For the OS and core programs. Maybe I can put a couple of my most-played games on it too.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI DisplayPort Video Card

This card seems fairly kickass. It trashes the 560Ti I think, and I'm not overly impressed by the GTX570 (closest competitor in the price range I think?) and also, it can be flashed to a full-fleged 6970 (!) Havent had a ATI card in a long time, but I'm told drivers have improved. Do they work as well on Intel systems than AMD systems?

Total price $892 or $797 (free shipping, +5% tax). It seems a fairly reasonable price for all that hardware.

As for stuff I already own:

This is my PSU, which I got not long ago and plan to use for this... PSU calculators tells me there's enough juice. I never SLI or anything like that anyhow. Twas my first modular PSU and I'm never looking back.
Review - Cooler Master Silent Pro 700W | bit-tech.net

I also already have a nice Antec full tower, 3 HDDs which would be relegated to storage (2 are Green drives for storage), a DVDrom, DVD writer, Logitech G15 keyboard and a G500 mouse which will go with this setup. Also, two 24-inch monitors, native resolutions 1920*1200 and 1920*1080.

I'd like your thoughts on this upgrade. Anything I should be wary of or wait for? I haven't brought hardware in years though I spent the day researching this a bit, so I really appreciate any input. :)

Edit: I should say I plan to try and flash that GPU to 6970, and also OC the Sandybridge, in case I'm shorter on power than I think.

Last edited by Valamyr; August 14, 2011 at 02:14 PM.
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