Jun 4, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: In a week or two. Needs to be built by end of August for college and I don't want to take a chance on something not working.

Budget Range: If possible could you give me advise for two budgets? keep one under $1000 and one under $900. I'm curious how much of a drop in performance $100 is. Use bundles and deals please.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: I'm going to start college in the fall and my major might be Management Computer Systems. I've emailed the department to ask what programs I would be using and should hear back soon. Other than that I would use it for HD video editing, gaming(no need for ultra settings), surfing, movies through Netflix.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS. If you know of quality mice or keyboards that are cheap let me know though. Otherwise I'm thinking of waiting until black friday/cyber monday to buy a new monitor and keyboard/mouse, good idea or?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anywhere that has a good rep. I've heard Newegg is very good.

Country of Origin: Wisconsin, USA

Parts Preferences: I've been told to go Intel and the i5 2500k seems to be the best bet right now. I'm lost when it comes to motherboards. I would like multiple usb 3.0 ports and SATA revision3 to be able to fully use a ssd later on when I get one. Also I heard that z68 motherboards allow ssd caching which is good I know but why and how important? also Quicksync is not allowed on p67 but is on h67 but on h67 you can't overclock and on p67 there is overclock but no quicksync and with z68 you get both overclock ability and quicksync (confusing myself but I think I got it right?)
As for brand of motherboard I see alot of advertisements for Gigabyte boards and thats about all I know :/

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but later on. does buying the second card on black friday/cyber monday seem like a good idea?

Monitor Resolution: I would like to be able to hook this up to my tv to watch netflix which is 1080p meaning 1920x1080 I believe.
Also I have two old monitors that are both 19 inches that I would like to set up as I have never had a dual monitor setup and would be very helpful editing in Sony Vegas.

Additional Comments: Its going in a dorm so the airflow needs to be good as there will be multiple tvs game consoles and laptops going so it may get a little warm in there. I think the hyper 212 is the standard to recommend correct?


CPU+Mobo Combo:i5 2500k + MSI Z68A-GD65 $364.98 ( before $20 rebate )
Memory: GSkill ripjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $59.99
GPU: Asus 6870 DirectCU $179.99 ( before $20 rebate )
Case: Antec 300 Illusion $69.99
PSU: Corsair TX750 V2 $99.99 ( with cc before $15 rebate )
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $49.99 ( with cc )
DVD: Sony 24x DVD+/-RW $18.99
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212+ from amazon ~$30 with free shipping

Comes to about $875 before rebates. ( $820 or so after )

The so with the $100 going up to a $1000 you could get:
An SSD: Crucial M4 64Gb SSD ~$116 bucks. With the $180 that is left after rebates possibly a 120Gb SataIII SSD on sale.
Faster Graphics card: GTX 560Ti, 6950, GTX570 obviously going for the $180 you could get a 2nd 6870 for crossfire.
CPU: Possibly i7 2600k if it provides some tangible benefits in your use cases, this is pretty much the least likely place to spend the money.
Case: Bigger case, or one with 'cooler' design whatever candy. Antec 300 illusion is just a very solid case.

Those are pretty much the options as everything else is already there



Jan 16, 2009
Do you have a reliable laptop already? The one thing about a desktop is that it requires that you do all your work in one place. This means you can't squeeze in 30 minutes of work, etc. between classes or while waiting.

I currently have a desktop and a netbook combination that I've been using for two years in graduate school. I just had a much more powerful laptop throughout college and miss the flexibility that it offered.

Secondarily, I would not recommend cross firing. There are all kinds of compatibility issues (e.g. Fallout New Vegas) that make it a pain. Definitely spend the money on better card at the outset.