Jul 5, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: (Next two weeks)

Budget Range: ($2000) After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Parts Not Required: (mouse, speakers)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (

Country of Origin: (USA)

Parts Preferences: (I would like to use an Intel CPU and a full tower case)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: (1920x1200)

Additional Comments: This is actually the second time that I will be posting in this section of the forums. Some things came up and I never got around to actually building my previous machine. However now that things have calmed down a bit I have decided to finally purchase and go through with my build before the colder weather begins to set in.

Here's my list of parts as of now:

SILVERSTONE RAVEN RV02-BW Matte black 0.8mm Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $179.99

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K - $314.99

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $139.99

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8- $74.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $59.99

EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $489.99

CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX750 (CMPSU-750AX) 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $169.99

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler - $85.87

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM - $59.99

In total this brings me out to about $1575

Looking mainly for advice on the quality of this build. I'm not too sure about the motherboard or the PSU at this point. Newegg tells me that I only require 599w, but I'm not too sure about that things accuracy. This tells me that I could run the 580 in SLI and only require a 750w PSU (HOW?).

I'm trying to take into consideration that down the road I may want to add a second video card. In fact I've considered swapping out the 580 for 2 570s. But I'm not going to be running any more than a single monitor so I question if that would be entirely necessary.

I'm also looking for advice on a monitor. Does one need to purchase a sound card? How necessary is it to include a SSD? I see a ton of builds that include them, but the prices are still a bit steep for the capacities that I'm looking for (120gb). I'm not that worried about speakers at the moment.

Thanks in advance to anyone who answers. Any advice/criticism is welcome.
If gaming is the most demanding thing you will be doing with this computer then it is a good idea to save some money by getting the i5-2500K, as gaming does not benefit from hyperthreading or the tiny amount of extra cache that the i7 has.

A 750W PSU is well above the minimum power supply wattage that could be used in a build with a single GTX 580.
750W would be plenty for a build with two GTX 570s.

If you don't mind the heat/noise/power consumption of the GTX 580 then it'd be better to get just one now and then double up on them/replace it when it does not satisfy your gaming needs.
However if you are seriously considering the option of adding a second GTX 580 to the build then you will want an 850W unit as a minimum, but with a pair of such power hungry cards I think more is better and 900/1000W would be what I would recommend.
Even something like a GTX 560 Ti would have plenty of horse power for a 1920x1200 res screen.

I would recommend trying the onboard sound out first, before deciding on a sound card, as you may be perfectly satisfied with the onboard sound.

Seems like you have plenty of room left within your budget. So you could easily afford one. Personally I don't think its a necessity at all.

The Noctua NH-D14 webpage states that it is compatible with DIMM modules up to 44mm in height, which I'm fairly sure the Vengeance exceeds. So either get the low profile Vengeance sets or one of the G.Skill Ripjaws X sets, which is under that height restriction.


Jul 5, 2011
Now here's the thing I don't get, and I apologize that I'm still so new to this.

If I use the calculator on newegg to construct a build with sli 570, it recommends 843w. How exactly are power calculations done, because it seems like I'm definitely missing something. (843 > 750?)

Also, do you have a particular preference to ram (corsair v. g.skill)?

I realize I still have some room left in my budget. I was planning on using it for the monitor and a new keyboard. I quite enjoy my logitec mouse so I'll be sticking with that for now.

Also, how's the motherboard? I was also looking at this board.
1. 2600k provides HT which games really don't take advantage of....unless doing video editing, CAD or something that uses HT, I'd get a 2500k which will run cooler clock for clock.....$95 savings

2. Why Z68 ? Cause its the latest and greatest ? Are you doing anything that benefit from Z68 ?

Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?

The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.

Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.

Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.

If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.

3. That 580 (616 fps in Guru 3D's game test suite) that costs ya $490 gets its butt kicked by two 900MHz 560 Ti's (862 fps) and for $50 less. The twin 570's get only 11 fps more than the twin 900Mhz 560's and the latter save ya $200. The twin 6970's get close but they $280 more. I like the Asus 900Mhz ard as I have had great success overclocking it to 1000Mhz w/o needing any voltage tweaks 90% of the time.

Hers' how they stack up on Guru 3D using the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 240.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.50 - $ 0.64
$ 260.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.54 - $ 0.69
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 360.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.68 - $ 0.87
$ 220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
$ 320.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.61 - $ 0.73
$ 480.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.78 - $ 1.01

$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.79 - $ 1.43

4. Dump the Vengeance and its fancy smancy looking tall heat sinks.....they "look cool" but they don't do anything except perhaps interfere with your CPU Heat Sink. Savings $20 ..... Look at these

5. PSU .... depends on GFX ... if you're overclocking

....750 watter is fine for for twin 560's
....850 watter is fine for for twin 570's
....1000 watter is fine for for twin 580's

Id suggest the XFX Core Edition at 750 watts as they are very inexpensive and get 9.5 performance ratings on jonnyguru .... savings $85

use this

will teach ya a lot about sizing PSU's....with the very good ones, use 15% capacitor aging which will decrease the rating .... crappy PSU's can do much much worse.

6. The DH-14 does really well when tested on LGA 775 platform (see frostytech) .... not so much when tested on 1155 socket CPUs (see bmr site). I'd wait for the Hyper 612 to hit the shelves or use the Silver Arrow which is super quiet. My son's box running 2600k at 4.8 Ghz and is under 70C with the Silver Arrow (w/ HT off .... 74 w/ HT on) and twin 560's running at 1000MHz.

7. On board sound will be just fine.

8. With all those savings ($250+), you can easily afford a 120 GB SSD such as the Crucial M4 or Vertex 3

9. What kinda monitor ..... photo / video editing will push ya to a Dell IPS model like the U2410/11 $500ish. For your stated usage, the 120Hz models from Asus / Acer are the rave at $350

and they let ya use these:

Down from that, here's new IPS model which I havent had a chance to look at

But I buy a lot of these:


May 30, 2004
i5 2500k
4gb gskill 1600 6-8-6-24
Corsair HX850
2X 6970 xfire
Silverstone RV02-E
Intel 510 SSD
1TB samsung spinpoint HDD
Samsung PX2370 monitor

A lot less than $2000



The calculations are done with a large safety margin in mind. For example, if you were to overclock your system to the absolute max (CPU overvolted out of what I expect would be your comfort range, same with both GPUs), then you'd be looking at ~850w with every component in your system running at 100%. Add to that the fact that you won't ever have your system running at max by accident, i.e. heavy gaming. The only way that would ever happen is if you started up Prime95, RAM and HDD benchmarks, and then ran a Crysis timedemo with Vsync off. So for the average user or gamer, 750w will be plenty for SLI 570s.

Edit: I had this up in another window, and though it doesn't explicitly show SLI 570s, we can infer a ton of headroom before hitting 750w.