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$1000-$1500 new build advice


Mar 3, 2012
Hi all. This is my first post and also my first attempt at building a rig. A bit about me: I am not new to computers. I have a CS degree and have done upgrades in many different desktops and laptops. Though this is my first attempt at building from scratch. Below is the rig I want to build. My goal is to keep the price below $1500. The items listed below are in order of preference based on my own research. I am looking for feedback on the items I have listed or potentially an item I have not listed that you may believe is a better solution for me.

I will be using this machine as a daily computer, plan to play some games and maybe watch movies on. I am not an intense gamer persay. I like Starcraft II and am interested in Diablo II. I have not listed a GPU because I am interested in your input. I would like to stay closer to $250 but if spending $300-$350 is worth it and fits my needs then I am okay with that. I am also curious if buying a "superclocked" GPU is worth the expense or should I overclock myself?

Future potential for this rig: overclock processor, SLI, 2 2TB Caviar Black HDs, DVD/BluRay drive, 2nd monitor

Approximate Purchase Date: within next 2 weeks

Budget Range: $1000-$1500 (of course prefer closer to $1000)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, daily use, video

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS - Win7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, NewEgg

Country: USA - TX

Overclocking: Maybe (processor, GPU & memory)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Long-term solutions are a big goal for me (i.e. Z68/P67 Ivy compatible, PCIe3.0 Mobo, 900-1000w PSU etc.)

Parts Preferences:

AsRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
AsRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
Asus P8Z68-v/Gen3
i7 2600k
i5 2550k
i5 2500k
Processor Cooler:
Antec Kuhler H2O 620
Corsair H60

GPU: GTX 560 ti 1024MB or GTX 560 ti 2048MB or GTX 560 ti 448cores 1280MB or GTX 570 ti 1280MB

Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4x4GB 1.35v
Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4x4GB 1.5v
Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance 80PLUS Silver
Samsung 830 64GB
Crucial M4 64GB
Case: Cooler Master HAF X
You don't need a 1000W PSU for either of those GPUs. One 650W PSU will be able to handle a 560ti and 750W for a 570. However, I would get a Radeon 7950 3GB and a 750W for future Crossfire.

You don't need 16GB of RAM; 8 is plenty for gaming.

Get the i5-2500k with a Hyper 212 EVO as it is more practical than an H60 Cooler.

You don't need a full tower case for your needs, and especially not on your budget. I would drop down to a Corsair Carbide 500R/HAF 912/922 and spend the difference on a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD.


Mar 3, 2012

My goal with a more powerful than needed PSU is to have plenty of room for growth and to not push toe PSU too hard in turn hopefully improving the life of the PSU and generating less heat. Also, can a 750W PSU handle 2 7950s? From my research I am lead to believe that is not a good idea.

Why do I need a $450 GPU?

I want a full tower. If there is a tower you would like to recommend other than the HAF X please do so.

For the price why not the i5 2550k?

Thanks for the input thus far.


IMO the i5-2500K is the better choice because it has an iGPU (useful for trouble shooting if something goes wrong with your dGPU). The 100MHz clock frequency difference doesn't make up for the lack of iGPU because the 2500K is so easily overclockable, is the 2550K more so?

Shows systems with two 7950s and an overclocked i7-3960X (which are much more power hungry than Sandy Bridge CPUs) drawing 448W and 550W, respectively, at the wall. As they were taken at the wall 10-20% can be taken off to get an idea of what their systems actually drew and that would be as good as any a number to work off for a worst case scenario.
So the higher of those numbers gives a ~500W system power draw and such a load would only stress a good 750W PSU to ~66%.
High quality units are designed to deliver 750W of power continuously in ambient temperatures in excess of 40C.
So the only 'problem' you should have with a high quality unit is fan noise, but then there are good options for units which aren't noisy even at 100% load.

Out of those two units the PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK II 950W is more of a known quantity, altho they are both built by the same company (Sirtec/Sirfa/High Power). Having a higher efficiency rating is another plus, so that is the one out of those two that I would choose if I had to, altho a really good 750/850w unit is what I would recommend.

Rosewill Capstone 750W 80Plus Gold $110

NZXT Hale90 750W 80Plus Gold Modular $140

At 1080 you don't need as much power as a 7950, but should last you a long time. So long you will probably be replacing it rather than buying another one.

Full tower is just a name, there are plenty of 'mid towers' which have just as much expandability as so-called full towers. Carbide 500R being a good example of one.


Jan 13, 2012
case: corsair 600t
mobo: asus p8z68-v le
cpu: intel i5 2500k
cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
video card: amd radeon hd 7950
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
hhd: western digital caviar black 2tb
(you can also get a 1.5tb a 1tb or a 500gb)
ssd: crucial m4 64gb
psu: corsair ax850
optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
(sony 24x multi if you dont care about blu-ray)


Mar 3, 2012
Okay, here is where I stand after reading the above replies:

case: CM HAF X
mobo: Asus P8Z68-V Pro Gen3
cpu: i5 2500k
cpu cooler: CM Hyper 212 EVO
gpu: XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black (FX-795A-TNBC)
psu: Rosewill Capstone 750W Gold
ram: Corsair Vengeance 4 x 4GB
ssd: Crucial M4 64GB SSD
TOTAL: ~ $1400 shipped

I will be running Windows 7 @ 1920x1080.
Future purchases: WD Caviar Black HDDs in RAID, LG Black BluRay, 2nd 23in monitor

I never said not to get i5-2500k.. I said get the Hyper 212 EVO WITH the i5-2500k.
Oops, I meant to say Radeon 6970.
I don't get why you want a full tower. Unless you plan to add more than 2 GPUs, I see no need.


Mar 3, 2012

Well after reading info on the 7950 I am kind of sold. Unless you think it is overkill for my application? From what I understand a GTX 560 ti should be able to run a game like Starcraft II with extreme settings on 2 1080p 23in monitors. Please let me know if this is incorrect.

As far as the case, from reading many postings here and on other sites many suggest looks are just as important when choosing a case. I like the look of the HAF X.

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