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Old May 17, 2011, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Default Seeking input on new build

This will be a first time from-scratch build for me.

1. Use: Gaming. My main PC now is plenty capable for daily driver stuff, and will serve as a file/media server, and I've already got a theater set up for movies. I intend this PC to be a secondary, gaming only machine.

2. Budget: ~$2k

3. Country: USA

4. I'm not really a fanboy of any particular brand. Price vs performance is important and from a reputable company is preferred. If there is a product that is a little more pricey (say within another $100 or so), but offers significantly better performance or better features, by all means make the suggestion.

5. Current parts: None. All new.

6. I've been trying to read and research my choices as much as possible.

7. Overclocking: Yes. Nothing extreme like 5Ghz, but probably around 4Ghz.

8. When: Over the next month or so.

9. Initially I plan to use a 23" 1080p monitor, but this will likely be my first upgrade point. Right now I'm looking at going to a triple display set up.


Here's what I'm thinking so far:


Case Silverstone Raven RV02B-EW - Already purchased, arriving tomorrow.
Amazon.com: SilverStone 0.8 mm Steel SSI CEB / ATX Full Tower Computer Case with Side Window RV02B-EW (Matte Black): Electronics

CPU i5 2500k - From everything I've read, this CPU seems like the hands-down best option right now for a gaming rig. I haven't really seen any evidence that supports spending another $100 on the 2600k, but if there is a good reason why I should, please let me know.
Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

Motherboard Here's where I'd really like some input. Originally I was planning on going with the ASRock P67 Extreme4 (Newegg.com - ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard) But now I'm thinking I should be looking more at the Z68 boards, like these ones:
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard)
or the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO (Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard)

GPU 2x XFX HD6950 2GB's. From what I understand, 2x 6950s outperform 2x GTX 560's, as well as a single 6990.
Newegg.com - XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

PSU I'm thinking the Corsair HX850. I really prefer the modular set up. Not sure if I should go with the 750 or the 850, though.
Newegg.com - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Memory Currently thinking Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600, open to suggestion.
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

Storage 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB's, RAID 0 + 60GB SSD (open to suggestion on the SSD)
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CPU Cooling Noctua NH-D14. I was debating between this and the Corsair H70. I figured, especially with my case choice, the Nocua should be more than good enough. My only concern with this is the RAM. Is the Vengeance RAM going to be too tall?
Newegg.com - Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler


And that's about where I'm at right now. Looking forward to your input guys, thanks.

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Old May 17, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Québec, Canada
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CPU: nothing to say rly 2500k great for gaming when its in ur budget!

All three of those motherboard choices are good, I'd add the Sabertooth to the list (personally i don't see much benefit going with z68 for gaming other than if u want to setup an SSD for caching with a traditional HDD, personally think spending the extra money in a higher quality p67 board is wiser)

For GPUs when u want to compare different manufacturers, u must keep in mind what resolution and what game (as some games tend to greatly favor nVidia cards while the extra vram/eyefinity support makes ATI cards better for multi-display) some people may bitch about ATI or nVidia drivers but bottom line is when u go multiGPU there is always a risk of drivers not working the way u want them to. The 6950 is a very solid card especially if u plan on getting 3monitors with the 2gb versions, you could also see if you can find a gtx570 around same price (can get them for 280$ here in canada, and it will be pretty much on par if not better in every game)

that psu is nice but way overpriced, take a look at XFX's offerings imo (both corsair and xfx are made by seasonic) they tend to have much better bang for buck

memory: perfect...ALMOST...too tall for the NH-D14 *sadface* take a look at THIS

if u want a very good bang for buck SSD, take a look at the vertex 2 60gb, can be found under 100$! and as far as HDDs go unless u rly need to get 2tb i'd suggest to get either 2x 1tb WD caviar blacks or if the size isn't as much of a concern as the price then 2x 640gb WD caviar blacks...just better drives in general (more quiet, cooler, faster and more reliable)

GET THE H70 OUT OF YOUR HEAD ! ! ! ! lol...srsly unless u want to build a custom water loop, there is no way to beat the NH-D14's performance. the H70 is both way louder and WAY less powerful...only problem ur ram won't fit with the NH-D14 without moving the first fan up (yes u actually can change the positioning of the fan to get it to fit but I'd suggest getting a different type of ram just to take maximum advantage of the components and having a cleaner build)

Edit: seams like newegg prices are quite high on GTX 570s and PSU's so pretty much for a modular 850W the best deal is the HX850 you chose and not much too choose from in the GTX 570s...so basically only changes would be to take a look at the different ram I linked you and HDDs

Last edited by BrutalGreen; May 17, 2011 at 07:32 PM.
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Old May 17, 2011, 07:35 PM
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I would check out ncix as well. They have those things on sale right now, until tomorrow night, for example the cpu cooler, its on sale for 60 bucks, pretty sick huh. And check out the below bundle for the cpu and mobo, pretty good price!

NCIX.com - Buy NCIX Gaming Bundle Deal ASUS P8P67 Pro B3 SLI Motherboard & Intel Core i5 2500K Unlocked Processor - Bundle Deals - 2500K-p8p67proB3 - in Canada


and the cpu is below:
NCIX.com - Buy Noctua NH-D14 LGA1155/1156/1366/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P14 140MM & NF-P12 120MM Fan - Noctua - NH-D14 - in Canada

Here is some great RAM as well

NCIX.com - Buy Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit - Corsair - CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 - in Canada


And personally I am a fanboy for nvidia cards, I would go with two of these bad boys:

NCIX.com - Buy MSI GeForce GTX 570 OC Fermi 786MHZ 1280MB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E DirectX 11 Video Card - MSI/MicroStar - N570GTX-M2D12D5/OC - in Canada


I just picked up one of them and it should be coming soon!


Anyways you have the budget to spend and many choices and good luck!
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Old May 17, 2011, 09:02 PM
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overall looks good.

cooling...hmm..hr-02? :)

case is a personal preference,and since your budget allows it? ok.



edit welcome!
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Old May 17, 2011, 10:00 PM
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a few things

amd is bringing out some new chips in june / july
for both cpu and gpu if sources are correct , but if you wish to buy now
then ya the i5 is your best bet. the i7 is not worth the extra money. imo

also i went with x-fire for my system, and of course the game i want to work better
it doesn't work better in, heres a current review of games using sli / xfire

GeForce GTX 580 SLI vs. GeForce GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990. Page 7 - X-bit labs

and i would go with air cooling as well. the enclosed water systems don't seem to do that well actually
to get good water cooling you have to go all out or go home ! ;)
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Old May 18, 2011, 01:20 AM
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So far you chose the best air flow case and cooler. The vengeance won't fit with the cooler so I recommend Kingston HyperX or G.Skill Sniper.
I would go for the Asus P8Z68-V Pro. It's either that or the next X79 LGA2011
For smooth frame rates @ 5760x1080, 6950 tri-fire is the minimum requirement. I would get one 6950 for now, which will play 90% of the games out there @1920x1080 in full detail and smooth frame rates, and save money for the next generation of cards coming in less than 6 months.
If you consider tri-fire for the future, upgrade the mobo to WS Revolution.

Good luck with your build!
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:39 PM
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Looks pretty good. I would consider either the 850w Gold or the HX1000 for sli or xfire setup which allows possible further upgrade.

Any lifetime warranty memory will be fine. G Skills, Mushkin, and Patriot r 3 more and r usually less expensive than Corsair, but your preference is fine.

SSD, well I like the new Vertex 3 and would recommend getting 1 a bit bigger, say 90/100gb.

Any of the choices you've made r fine, though with a few small changes could make it that much better.

Good luck and enjoy the build and resulting system.
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