Gaming rig between $1200 and $1500

Neuroblastoma

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Sep 17, 2011
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Hello all,

I'm a first time poster, but a long time lurker. I have finally decided to build another desktop 3 years after my first one kicked the bucket. It will primarily be used for gaming; however, I do intend to have multiple VM's running from time to time.
I already have a partial build in mind, but I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions so I can get the most bang for my buck.

Build
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Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468

CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&Tpk=hx850

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127594

ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247

COOLER MASTER HAF 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

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I plan on ordering soon (1-2 weeks). The only thing I'm sold on, as of right now, is the CPU. I also intend to go SLI a little bit down the road, and most likely I will decided to overclock (it is a 2500K after all). Also, is SSD a smart choice right now? And, is this an efficient use of the capabilities presented by my mobo & psu?

If I've left out any details, please feel free to ask. And, thank you in advance for your help.
 
Solution
This is all good, but I'd get a Z68 mobo... has better SSD capability, allows IGP and is more future proof. ASRock or Asus...

HDD - more advisable option is Samsung Spinpoint F3, but WD is fine, too.

GTX 560 Ti is a great graphics card, but I'd consider a 6950, too - it tends to be a bot more powerful, though a bit more expensive. However, you won't regret the 560 Ti, it's great and maxes out pretty much everything @ 1080p.

PSU is overkill for single 560 Ti and for SLI'ing, get 750W (modular), it's enough.

Your case is great, but I'd also look at NZXT Phantom - personal preference, I guess :p

Oh yeah, just noticed... 2133 RAM? Forget it! Not needed. 1600 MHz is all you need; higher than that there're no advantages.
drop your hdd to a samsung f3 bcoz it provides more speed at lower prices.
do u really need bluray drive? coz in next few weeks blu rays will come to $50~60
save money on the above parts and get HIS Radeon hd 6950 or evga gtx 570 if you prefer nvidia BTW 6950 is better IMO.as you said you want to overclock your 2500k,
your should equip your 212+(great cooler even with stock fans) with 2x coolermaster Sickflow the will take your 212 to the level of silver arrow,dh-14,frio OCK etc.
your case is superb but make sure you get HAF(high air flow) case fans.
ALL THE BEAST!!!!!!
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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Mar 10, 2011
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This is all good, but I'd get a Z68 mobo... has better SSD capability, allows IGP and is more future proof. ASRock or Asus...

HDD - more advisable option is Samsung Spinpoint F3, but WD is fine, too.

GTX 560 Ti is a great graphics card, but I'd consider a 6950, too - it tends to be a bot more powerful, though a bit more expensive. However, you won't regret the 560 Ti, it's great and maxes out pretty much everything @ 1080p.

PSU is overkill for single 560 Ti and for SLI'ing, get 750W (modular), it's enough.

Your case is great, but I'd also look at NZXT Phantom - personal preference, I guess :p

Oh yeah, just noticed... 2133 RAM? Forget it! Not needed. 1600 MHz is all you need; higher than that there're no advantages.
 
Solution

amk-aka-Phantom

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Yeah, do you really need a Blu-ray drive? Unless you have Blu-ray movies, I'd avoid it.

Also, do you already have a screen?
 

mauler184

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Stay with 1600 ram its save you around 30 bukcs, and with that get 1 more fan for your cpu cooler. Good choice on gpu, arkham city and 2k11 are always welcome :D

Are you planning on sli? if so keep the psu, if not id downgrade to like a 750-800 w to save some cash. and with your budget a modular is a must hvae. and with that money you save you could get a 60gb ssd. But thats just me, great job on selecting the products :D
 

Neuroblastoma

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No, I already have an LG monitor that is not in dire need of replacement. I also went ahead and dropped the blu-ray drive. I already have a PS3 and I guess it would be a little redundant.

Would you recommend the ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157263) as a suitable replacement mobo?

And, if I went the 6950 route, what are the advantages of crossfire over sli?

P.S. Thanks for the tip about the RAM!
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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Crossfire is the same thing as SLI; 6950 is just a bit more powerful card.

That board should be fine, but people normally recommend another ASRock board that costs $150 or so... I don't know much about ASRock boards :)

EDIT: Actually, I think that was the board you linked initially :D
 

Someguyperson

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I would also add an SSD. I would get an OCZ Vertex drive if you aren't sure if you need one or not. They will definitely speed up your system and unless you're doing some really heavy workloads, like lossless x264 encoding, heavy MATLAB simulations, or 3D rendering with tons and tons of elements, you won't see a benefit from much faster drives. Personally, I think a 120GB drive is enough, but that's just me.

Comparing HDD speeds is worthless next to speed gains from SSDs.
 

Neuroblastoma

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Alright, here is what I currently have now for around $1,142:

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

Corsair Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&Tpk=hx850

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157263

COOLER MASTER GX Series RS750-ACAAE3-US 750W ATX12V v2.31 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171053

MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.731452

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I'm not entirely sure about the mobo (it seems a bit much for what I currently need), and do I need anything extra as far as cooling? The case comes with several 120mm fans already, but the last thing I need is a heating nightmare.

I'm also considering buying a 120 GB SSD for the operating system and using the 1tb hd as storage. Unfortunately, most of the OCZ Vertex drives have fairly poor ratings as far as longevity. Is it worth having a SSD yet, and will I see a noticeable, must-buy difference? 128GB is not large when it comes to having both an OS and games installed...

I do plan on buying a second GPU down the road, but the big question is.... Is my system sufficiently future proof? I don't want a $100 savings forcing me to buy a completely new system a year from now.

Also, (Sorry for all the questions) does anyone know of a decent DVD drive to throw into this thing?
 

wrxchris

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Jul 19, 2010
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and yes, imo an SSD is a must, at least for your OS. I have my OS and apps installed on an old 100gb ocz vertex le, and I install my games on a mechanical drive. Windows is MUCH snappier running from an SSD than the wd raptor I upgraded from.