Advice on Intel build using i5 2500K (First time build)


Jul 15, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully this weekend

Budget Range: sub 900 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Graphic Design, Gaming, watching online hockey

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, hard drives (I'll be using the previous ones from my current computer) DVD/CD burner (using previous)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Had originally wanted to go with a Llano build, but am now looking at Intel i5 2500k

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (SLI)

Monitor Resolution: using a HD TV as primary monitor atm

Additional Comments: Just would like some advice on these specs, whether they would work together or not and whether this would be a good investment of my time as a first time build.

Thank you for any ideas you can provide and your constructive criticism in advance!

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68

Case COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower]

Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

GPU Dual ZOTAC ZT-50401-10L GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5

PSU RAIDMAX RX-850AE 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular

CPU Cooling Scythe SCMG-3000 120mm Heat Pipe CPU Cooler
You have a top end processor with a very average gfx card .

For most gaming situations you'd be better off with less cpu and more graphics power .

The RAM is also very ordinary with timings of 9-9-9-24.
Lower numbers are better .
You will only need 4 gig for gaming anyway so buy less but higher quality


Jan 26, 2011
Altough SLI many sound awesome, its better to start with one more powerful card than 2 weaker ones. You will then be able to get another card if you ever need to upgrade. For the price of 2 550s, You could pick up a 560ti or a radeon 6950.

What outlander said about ram is true, but lower timings will not give you very noticable performance gains.


Apr 21, 2011
Here's a build that should help :

CPU & Cooler: $255- i5 2500K & Scythe Mugen (Same , but cheaper with

Motherboard & RAM: $175- Gigabyte GA Z68X UD3 & GSkill RipjawX (2X 4GB)

Case & PSU: $160- CoolerMaster Storm Scout & CM GX 750(PSu has $10 off with promo code)

GPU : $230 -EVGA GTX 560Ti
SLI of GTX 550Ti is good, but if you could save some money for later , you can add another 560Ti and you will see better performance the 550Tis

SLI of GTX 560Ti performance

Total(Excluding rebates) : 820 USD

Rebates: 55 USD

The OP specified dual gtx550ti, which is somewhat equivalent to the GTX580 at half the price.
While I am not fond of sli, it is hard to argue about the choice.

Raidmax does not seem to have a great reputation, but for a gold certified Modular unit, the price is attractive.

I like the 8gb ram kit. To my mind, more ram gives you better performance than faster ra,.
Here is a study on the value of 8gb:

------------------bottom line----------------
Looks good to me.