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Old November 9, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Default Budget build recommendations

Hello Hardwarecanucks. I've planned almost all of my pc components but would like a few more recommendations and suggestions on the components before pulling the trigger.
My budget would be 600-700 excluding case & hdd.
I`ll be ordering from Compuland GmbH & Co. KG - Der Grafikkarten und TV-Karten Online-Shop
Main purpose: Gaming.


Build 1 Future CF config with bigger PSU
Processor - Intel i5-2500k (183)
Motherboard - Looking for a mobo that can support sli/xfire setups. So far, I've narrowed down my choice to the Asrock z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 (108)
RAM - Team Group Elite 8GB (30) or G.Skills RipjawsX 8GB (38)
PSU - Super Flower Atlas 780W 80+ Modular (82)
Cooler - Scythe Mugen 2 Rev.B (32)
GPU - Sapphire Radeon 6950 Toxic (252)
TOTAL - 687

Build 2 Non-CF config with small PSU
Processor - Intel i5-2400 (161)
Motherboard - A motherboard just for single GPU setup. Recommendations?
RAM - Team Group Elite 8GB (30) or G.Skills RipjawsX 8GB (38)
PSU - 580W Super Flower Atlas Design Edition 80 + Modular (65)
Cooler - 212+ (25)
GPU - PowerColor Radeon 6950 2GB (cheapest 6950 2GB on the web) (217)
TOTAL - 492 excluding mobo

I can save around maybe 150+ and use that 150+ I saved to invest for my upcoming system? but is it worth it?
Which build would you recommend? The more "future-proof" Build 1 or build 2?
Thanks for reading my post. Sorry for the not-so-good english >.<

Last edited by akazzz; November 10, 2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old November 9, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Personally I would go AMD build and save some money unless of course you are a Hardcore mobile Lan gamer where every little bit counts. but that is just myself.
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Old November 9, 2011, 02:29 PM
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If you aren't overclocking, then don't bother with an aftermarket cooler. I'm running an i5 2500k (at stock for now) with the stock cooler with no issues at all. That should save a few bucks.

As for future proofing: I hear it's not something you can really count on with the fun parts (CPU, GPU). A good case and PSU can be used on future builds though.

Don't cheap out on PSU!! PSU doing something wrong may take other parts with it!
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Old November 9, 2011, 03:17 PM
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This looks like a good setup, you will get more performance form an Intel build by all means, however, you can still get a very fast AMD build and save a few bucks depending on where you are ordering it from.

My choices(I just finished mine)
CPU-AMD Phenom II x4 955BE C3 stepping
CPU Cooler-Coolermaster Hyper 212+ cooler with a second stock fan for push/pull cooling(blademaster 76.8 cfm 120mm/12cm fan)
Motherboard-ASUS M5A99X EVO motherboard(supports crossfire or sli)
Memory-G.Skill RipJawX 8gb 2x4gb 1866Mhz 9,10,9,28 1.5v memory(although they are not "rated" for use on this board, they work fine, just have to "enable it" to get them to run at the rated speed)
GPU-Sapphire Toxic 6950 2gb, XFX 6950 2gb dual fan XXX or 830 core speed, MSI 6950 2gb Twin Frozr III Power edition, or a good 560Ti or GTX570, more Vram the better
Power supply-ones you listed or Antec TP new 650-750 GOLD 750, Corsair HX750
Thermal Paste-Arctic Cooling MX4

You can swap some of these parts if they are 2 pricey, or change them as needed, however, except for the graphics card(I use 6870) these are the same parts I use, and it is very fast, overclocks very well, is stable, and remains quite cool no matter what I am doing.

Also a suggestion, use a SSD drive for you OS, it is a major speed boost if you do not already have one.

Having the aftermarket cool, is not a necassary thing, no, however it does allow you to overclock better, it helps keep cpu cooler, and in the case of using a tower style cooler, it can also reduce temperature of surrounding components such as gpu, ram, motherboard parts. Mostly cause there is now more "directed" airflow so you get cooler air always going by the cpu(if you set it up correctly that is :P)

Beyond that, the parts you picked out look very good, the Asrock motherboard is a solid pick, another one might be ASUS P8Z68-V or V PRO
Memory wise, ddr3 1600 speed ram is fine, it will do well, and can be alot cheaper then faster ram, just make sure to get some with good timings and low voltage such as 8,8,8,24 1.35-1.5v
GPU-if you are going Radeon 6950, make sure it is a 2gb model, much better chance they can be unlocked to a 6970 and in the case of some of them, the saphire toxic, the XFX XXX, or MSI Twin Frozr 3 they tend to overclock better then most even if "unlocking" the shaders does not work
Power-750w or better if you ever plan on using 2 cards. for a single card a 650w is fine but for dual card or high end you want minimum of 62amps on the 12v or more, only reason is "safety", single card 56a or so would be more then enough.
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Old November 9, 2011, 05:02 PM
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If your main purpose is just gaming then I would 100% go with AMD unless your are a professional gamer and require maximum performance. Dragonstongue has recommended a system that is bang on.

I would say that if you are a computer gamer, putting money from the cpu budget into your gpu budget is a good idea for the vast majority of games.

I would also say that an aftermarket cooler, although it will extend the life of your processor, is not needed if you are not a system tweaker, and have no desire to overclock. I would put the money in the budget for your aftermarket cooler into a really really good case budget, or into the budget for a gold series PSU.

I recently had a bout with my old PSU and I think it damaged my video card as I had to apply extra cooling to it after replacing the PSU to get it to work again. PSU usually gets back-burner budget allocation when it seems to me, especially with rising energy costs here in alberta, that a good PSU will save money over time by not killing other components or running with a very low efficiency (low efficiency PSU = lots of wasted money).
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Old November 10, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for those great suggestions guys! I've got a few questions...

Besides overclocking, do I need an aftermarket cooler if I plan to CF my gpu?

The RipJaws-X I chose is 9-9-9-24 timing, is that ok?

I also plan to try out some mild overclocking as I've heard its "free" performance.

Last edited by akazzz; November 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM.
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Old November 10, 2011, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akazzz View Post
Besides overclocking, do I need an aftermarket cooler if I plan to CF my gpu?
Using crossfire on the GPUs should have very little effect on the CPU, so no. Unless the two GPUs somehow really restrict airflow to the CPU (which I can't see happening).



Quote:
Originally Posted by akazzz View Post
I also plan to try out some mild overclocking as I've heard its "free" performance.
Mild overclock should be okay with stock cooler, but if you really do want to experiment in that direction than an aftermarket cooler may be worthwhile, especially if you find it fun to push the computer. :)
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Old November 11, 2011, 04:56 AM
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Thanks for the reply. It really helped me alot!

However a new problem arised for my mobo decision. I am considering whether a p67 mobo is better in terms of $.

P67 has overclocking capabilities and allow dual gpu setups which is what I'm looking for and the z68 has all of those and quicksync (I don't need) and ssd caching (I`ll be getting at least a 60gb ssd, which makes this feature redundant??).

I've checked on some p67 mobos like MSI P67 G45,GD53, G55 and GIGABYTE GA-p67x. What all these mobos have is usb 3.0 header and PCI-E x16 @ x8/x8 at CF setup but from newegg they didn't state that they support Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology and Intel K-Series unlocked CPU. So they don't support i5-2500k?
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Old November 11, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akazzz View Post
P67 has overclocking capabilities and allow dual gpu setups which is what I'm looking for and the z68 has all of those and quicksync (I don't need) and ssd caching (I`ll be getting at least a 60gb ssd, which makes this feature redundant??).
SSD caching is designed to use the SSD you install as a cache for the big hard drive you install. I think it works by writing files to the SSD first before moving them onto or off of the Hard drive, then doing the slower hard drive write, or read at some other time. Basically, you can get some of the speed of an SSD and keep the storage space of a hard drive. So no, that feature is NOT redundant, though you may choose to not use it.

As for the Speed Boost 2.0 technology, I don't know much about it, but I do know that the 2nd gen i3, i5, i7 chips are all use an 1155 socket, and they are the only chips that do. It would therefore surprise me if a mobo that has an 1155 socket can't use some of the features of an 1155 chip. But I'm really no expert there so do your research.

Another feature of Z68 boards you may want to consider is the ability they have of using the on board graphics of your CPU. P67 can't do that, you must have a graphics card installed on a P67 board. This may be a useful feature in terms of troubleshooting a Z68 build in the future.
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