Building an i5 Gamer [Advice]


Oct 8, 2011
Hi folks!

I'm a long time builder and overclocker, but it's been 5-6 years since I put my current system together. It's time for a major overhaul and I'll be looking at mostly all new components, including a case because I hate my current one (Thermaltake Tsunami Dream). I'm completely out of the loop on current hardware, I've been doing my research which includes reading several threads/reviews here. I would like some input on components.

I'm buying exclusively from Newegg, for a variety of reasons, so if you make a suggestion on a component that I should consider I would ask that you please link to Newegg only.

I'm set on CPU, I'll be getting an i5 2500K. I will be overclocking.

The rest of my shopping cart so far looks like this:
Arctic Silver AA-1.75G Thermal Compound
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
-I always agonize about cases, and never choose one I'm happy with. I'm pretty sure I want bottom mounted PSU and no side window. Open for suggestions!
Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
- Thank you abekl
-Chosen due to being bundled with the CPU for a decent price (399 USD combo) I'm really not sure if I should get a Z68 board instead, thoughts?
EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
-Most reviews seem to consider this card and the HD 6970 equals. I picked this because I get Arkham City free with it. I'm not upgrading my monitor right now, and I realize this is a bit overkill for 1680x1050, but I'm doing a bit of future proofing here.
COUGAR SX850 COUGAR-SX850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
-I know nothing about Cougar PSUs, people seem to like this one though. Again, chosen due to being bundled with the GPU for a good price (425 USD combo). It's a bit overkill, but I'm thinking in a few years I might be able to double my RAM and SLI with another GTX 570 for a cheap boost. Open for suggestions, preferably modular.

As for budget, it's not a major issue, all this comes in at right around 1000 USD. That seems like a good budget to stick to, and if you guys have some good suggestions that save me enough money I may even double my RAM now, it's a good price on good RAM.

Other details... I'll be running Win7 x64. Keyboard, mouse, opticals and monitor(s) will be re-used. I've been fine with on-board sound this long, just a pair of crappy speakers anyway, so I think I've got everything I need outside of the above shopping list.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Edit: Minor detail I didn't mention. I haven't checked the RAM against the MoBo QVL. I've built systems in the past without 'matching' RAM to MoBo without issue though, so I'm not terribly concerned as it's quality RAM.

Edit 2: I think my biggest hang up on pressing the 'order' button is the motherboard. Still really on the fence about P67 or Z68, and I'm not sure I'm getting the best bang for my buck overall.


I wouldn't go for the Sabertooth just because I think having heat sinks on everything would make upgrading or replacing parts a huge chore - I'd do a bit more research on motherboards, but I'd also suggest Gigabyte's GA-Z68XP-UD3.

And the case you have picked out is an excellent choice, if you want another suggestion I'd recommend Cooler Master's HAF 912.


Oct 8, 2011
Thanks for the input. I'll check out the MoBo and case you mentioned. I also value your opinion on the Sabertooth...

I'm hoping someone will have some detailed info on P67 vs Z68. Right now the only advantage I can see with Z68 is SSD HD caching, but SSDs are so expensive that I think I'm skipping unless you kind folks can help me flesh out a comparable system to what I've listed for around the same price that includes an SSD.
i5 2500k are increasingly just a waste of money for a gamer .

even a middle of the road AMD APU games as well as the 2500K when the resolution is 1920x 1080 and the details are DX11 high .
Any advantage the 2500k has at lower resolutions is justmeaningless since LCD monitors refresh at 60 Hz [ 60 fps] and anything over 60 fps from the monitor makes no difference to what you see on the screen .

Buy an apu or a Phenom/AM3+ rig and save at least $150 which you can use to get a better graphics card