Advice on Gaming build (first build) for end of summer


Jun 20, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: End of Summer, late August

Budget Range: up to $1500, would prefer up to $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, Web, Animation

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any at all

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Leaning towards Intel CPU, otherwise no preference

Overclocking: Probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Monitor Resolution: Unknown (have yet to purchase or choose one)

Additional Comments: I am a Game Design and Development student, so I am into gaming, and will need my computer to perform well
when playing some of the more recent games, as well as allowing good performance when compiling code and programming. This is my first build.
I would like to have a small (40-60gb) SSD combined with a larger (1-2TB) HDD.

This is what i've come up with thus far. You may notice that this is mostly based off of

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

Asus P8P67 B3 LE Intel P67 1155 Motherboard

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT

PowerColor AX6950 1GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 Video Card - 1GB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.1 (x16), Dual-DVI, HDMI, 2x Mini DisplayPort, DirectX 11, Dual-Slot, Eyefinity, CrossFireX Ready

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Any and all advice is welcome, I need help rounding these choices out to make a full, some-what balanced desktop;
or if there are other selections you think superior, please chime in with your reasoning.

EDIT: Will probably be using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
As you probably know that game you are going to develop will be a 32 bit program , with all the RAM usage limits of all the other 32 bit programs .

That means you can cut the RAM to 4 gig , and get some decent 1600 MHz low latency [ cl7 or 8 ] and low voltage modules and save a bit of cash doing so .
Use the money you save here to get the 2 gig version of the 6950 [ or buy the HIS version which is only $5 more than the one you have selected ]

The samsung F3 1 tb drive is the fastest available

and for the rig as it stands a 650 watt psu will be ideal . The Corsair 650 TX is a good unit with a lot of admirers . If you want to add a second card later then maybe a 750 watt unit .

There are advantages in rendering in using a z68 motherboard rather than the P67 .

And if you are not OCing then you might as well get the 2500 cpu . Its the exact same performance but the muiltiplier is locked so you cant easily OC it



Jun 20, 2011
While the games that I hope to be developing in the future will most likely be 32-bit, I will be using a 64-bit OS. I've added this to my original post.
I will need to keep the extra RAM in order to run Virtual Machines on my computer.

Could you explain more about the motherboard advantages?

Yes if you are using a 64 bit OS and running a VM or two then the 8 gig of RAM will definitely be a benefit . I'd still recommend higher quality with tighter timings [and probably 1600MHz esp if you buy a K cpu]

Originally Intel released H67 chipsets that let you run the graphics chip built in to the processor which can be used by the chip to help rendering tasks, and P67 that switched off the graphics but let you overclock .

The Z68 does both those things , so you get the best of gaming and the rendering advantages [ which may or may not work with the programs you are using ].


The discrete 6950 will be better than the integrated at gpu acceleration and as far as I know a single program can't use 2 gpus not in sli/cf. Z68's virtu can switch between the 2 or use both for different programs but not both on one.

You can actually see z68 vs p67 in the current $2k SBM for a number of programs. There is no difference except in video encoding with a program that can utilize quicksync.,2961.html

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