Time to Upgrade: $1500 Game / Video Edit / Programming Rig


Aug 7, 2011
So first question is, I've made it this long without upgrading, do I wait until Bulldozer / Hexacore SandyBridge E hit the market to see if it drops the price of the CPU I'm looking at? With that kept in mind...

**Edit to let people know what I'm coming from... AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual core 5200+ (2.61 Ghz) **

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP, if things check out based on suggestions to the list I'm prepared to order today.

Budget Range: 1 ~ 1.7K

System Usage: Gaming (FPS, Starcraft 2, WoW, Diablo 3) > Video Editing > Programming

Parts Not Required:
All peripherals
GPU - EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595
Case - Cooler Master CM Stacker RC-830-SSN2-GP Evolution (RC-830-SSN2) All Aluminum ATX/BTX Computer PC Tower Case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg / Tiger Direct / Amazon

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: i7 2600K (I realize the i5 is going to be better for gaming but I do enough editing / coding that I can abuse the i7 and it's an attempt to do some minor future-proofing)

Overclocking: Maybe, will OC as this rig approches end of life to squeak out another year.

SLI or Crossfire: Intend to later.

Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments: Some of my initial parts selection is an attempt to prepare for expansion (ie. PSU - SLI, mobo - Ivy Bridge support, etc.). Also I currently have a Cooler Master Stacker case that I'd like to re-use I guess but can be convinced to go in other directions especially if my ideal cooling solution will not work with it. I could be convinced to pick up another GPU if people think it's worth it.


CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

CPU Cooling: CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler ... I'm thinking this should fit in my old case, pretty sure the H100 won't. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181016

Motherboard: 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

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X + Turbulence II Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231435

Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX) 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified ... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139014

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706

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

DVD: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

Wireless NIC: ASUS PCE-N13 PCI Express Wireless Adapter http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320048

I appreciate any suggestions or anyone's opinions especially if you've worked with any of these components.


Aug 24, 2010
i7 against i5 will not change much in video editing, as 1 - FPU and SSE etc. blocks are not hiperthreaded /only the integer blocks are/ and they are the same number in both procesors, and 2 - these operations load the processor to the limit and don't pose any conditional waiting, so again, HT will not help much.


Sep 30, 2009
The sweet spot for Sandy Bridge is 1600MHz as confirmed by anandtech. Instead of going for higher speed, I would get more RAM as it would be more beneficial.

G.SKILL 16GB (4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz) $125

I would go for the Prolimatech Megahalems. Your case should be fine seating any heatsink 130mm and under. The heatsink will only cost you $70 but you have to buy your own fans. I would go for 2x Yate Yoon 120mmx25mm fans

Instead of going for a Western Digital drive. I would get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 instead. It has better performance. It's only $60.

I'm glad you know the hyperthreading wont' be beneficial and you want to consider it as future-proofing. Intel ivy bridge will release next year to run on lga 1155. A simple bio flash should be able to let you use ivy bridge. I think you will benefit more from the i5-2500k but it's really your choice.


Aug 7, 2011

Taking your advice on the memory, I actually hadn't seen that article on anandtech and it was a good read.

With that in mind I'm switching over to 16GB via 2x: G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231461

Again thinking this will help keep temps down in a slightly older case.

Hearing you on the HDD as well, the WD drive really can't make full use of the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) xfer rate and the only thing that will provide a slight boost would be the larger cache size, not worth the $30 price difference.