[New build] Sandy bridge 2500k build, ~$1500


Jan 9, 2011
I’m planning on putting together a new build, as my last computer is ancient and I’m getting a nice signing bonus to start my new job. I’d like to put together a pretty powerful rig that will last me for a while, though I’m looking to spend money superfluously on very marginal improvements. My main uses will be internet, office, viewing hd video, some hd video editing, and gaming (ideally at maxed out settings ;) ). My price range is about ~$1500 but if I can get a significantly better rig out of spending more, I’m open to this, or if I can go well under this mark without sacrificing much power, I’m open to this as well. I’m planning on overclocking. In the future, I might buy a second graphics card to run crossfire and I will likely buy a RAID controller to set up a RAID 5. When the next generation of SSD’s come out, I may upgrade my desktop and put the SSD I am buying now into my netbook. Thanks in advance for taking a look at this and I’d appreciate any advice or guidance you might be able to give me!

Case: Corsair 800D, I love everything about this case but the price. I want a full tower than is elegant and simple. This case seems to be the only one that fits the requirement and has a plethora of other awesome features. I’m somewhat willing to make an investment in an awesome case. My only hangup on this case besides the price is that the hotswappable bays do not support SATAIII, though I’ve heard this will be upgradeable in the future. I am open to other cases if people have suggestions. I’m planning on aircooling, does anyone have any experience or reccomendations for doing this with the 800D. ($250 + tax, Microcenter)

Power Supply: Antec 650 W. I already own this, and I think this should be fine to start unless I later choose to do crossfire, watercooling, RAID controller, etc.

CPU: Intel Core i7 2500k, I’m planning on overclocking ($180 + tax, MicroCenter)

Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4, I want to be able to overclock, USB 3.0, SATAIII, and to eventually be able to upgrade to a crossfire configuration. This would run at x8/x8, but I’m not sure it’s worth it to get x16/x16 if I have to buy a $350 motherboard, and I may choose never to upgrade to crossfire (NewEgg $160.50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157217)

Graphics: Radeon HD 6950, awesome card that I plan on flashing BIOS to be 6970 (NewEgg $286 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102914&cm_re=6950-_-14-102-914-_-Product)

RAM: I’m somewhat lost here, not sure if 4GB is enough or if I need 8GB, this is an 8GB I thought looked good: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) ($145 Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233147&cm_re=corsair_vengeance_8gb_(2_x_4gb)_240-pin_ddr3_sdram-_-20-233-147-_-Product) or is the Dominator series worth the extra $15 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145313

SSD: Not sure if I want an SSD with a capacity of around ~60GB or ~120GB. Do people with ~60GB drives find that is enough storage for windows + office + games + misc applications? I’m considering the Crucial SSD’s. They have a relatively slow write speed but amazing read speeds. Any thoughts? (Newegg $245 or $122 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148357)

Mass Storage: I own two 1.5TB drives I’m planning on running in RAID1

Monitor: Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m looking for something in the 22-24 inch range that is VESA mounting compliant and can do 1920x1080 or better. <$200 price range.

Wireless Card: Any suggestions for a card that does b/g/n? I might like to buy a separate antenna as well.

Optical Drive: I’m planning on a standard DVD/CD burner, I’m open to suggestions on this as well, though they all seem to be about the same. ~$20 on newegg.

Fans/Heatsink: I am planning on overclocking, so not sure what I need here.

Thanks in advance for any help!

P.S. Long time lurker, first time poster!

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RC-922M-KKN1-GP-Tower-Black/dp/B0026FCI2U/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1294619944&sr=1-1 $99.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master RC-922M-KKN1-GP HAF 922M ATX Mid Tower Case (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227551 $218.99 $198.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303 $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065 $29.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154003 $6.99 FREE SHIPPING
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118040 $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009255 $189.99 FREE SHIPPING
Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 ACM 12,000,000:1 (1000:1)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320048 $28.00 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS PCE-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64-bit/128-bit WEP, TKIP, and AES WI-Fi alliance WPA, WPA2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127215 $70.54 FREE SHIPPING
D-Link DIR-655 802.11b/g/n Xtreme N Gigabit Wireless Broadband Router up to 300Mbps/ USB port x1/ Intelligent QoS Technology for Gaming

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754 $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM



Jan 9, 2011
Do you thing 4GB will be enough?

Also, why that SSD?

If I decide against a full tower, I might consider the Antec 300 for $55 from Microcenter.

I chose that SSD for the fact OCZ makes about as good as an SSD as it gets, it was on sale, and it allows enough h/d space to not only add the o/s to it but also a few often used proggy's.

The difference these days between "full tower" and "mid tower" is name only. The Antec 300 is a great bargain for a single card set up, but it's small for a dual card set up...and they don't do so well with large h/s.

I'l show ya.

Antec 300: 18.30" x 8.10" x 18.00"

COOLER MASTER HAF 912: 19.50" x 9.10" x 18.90"

COOLER MASTER HAF 922: 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70"

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D: 24.00" x 9.00" x 24.00"
^ For a regular gaming build, I doubt you would need more than 4GB,...
But if you want 8GB, then just get the 1600MHz CAS 9 sets, even they allow for a good overclock and extra $50 IMO is not worth it just for CAS 8
$15 off w/ promo code EMCKJKD27, ends 1/12

CASE - The 800D is a very good option if you want a big, good Full Tower, but you should know that it is not the best air cooled though,... With the stock fans config, it wont have much better performance than other cheaper Full Tower cases,...
Take a look at these cases too,...
Positive air pressure which seems to work, and such well built cases

SSD - Both are good choices IMO, choose any one,...