Upgrade after 5.5 years


Apr 1, 2012
I don't have a computer that will run Diablo 3, so I need to upgrade.

I'm thinking something like this but sub the IB equivalent for the i5-2500k: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=15030554

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks (must be finished before 5/15).

Budget Range: $1500.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 expansions over the next few years, Civ 5), Multimedia, Internet, Excel.

Parts Not Required: Case, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, Storage HDD.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, but I'm going to comparison shop.

Country: US.

Parts Preferences:
1. CPU (Ivy Bridge...but just in case there's a huge run, I'd appreciate an SB option as well).
2. ATX Motherboard (only ever used ASUS, but open to others).
3. CPU Heatsink/Fan + Thermal Compound.
4. RAM (only ever used Corsair, but open to others).
5. OS HDD (leaning towards WD Black, but open to SSD).
6. Graphics Card (only ever used NVIDIA, but open to AMD...will any of the new Kepler cards be out in time?).
7. Power Supply (would like it to be completely modular unless there's a really good reason for permanent cables).
8. DVD/CD Burner (I have one, but it's IDE/PATA...maybe BluRay reader).
9. 80mm Intake Case Fan

Overclocking: Not interested.

SLI or Crossfire: Not interested.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080.

I'd like to keep the case I have now: NZXT LEXA-NP

The case has a top mounted 80mm exhaust fan and an HDD cage at the bottom so there are a couple size restrictions:
1. PSU max length is 7" (top mounted).
2. Graphics Card max length is 10" (10.5" might clear by millimeters).

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks for your help.
2500k should be your only option, IB is not going to be anything better for gaming.

Yea, hey recon, can we come up with a name for ivy bridge, like faildozer? LOL,, Hotty Bridge? Overheating Bridge? ... I'm not that creative, help me out.

I am working on a build recommendation.. Gimme a few minutes OP.
Well, hell, I was working on a build. forget it now.. But I would make a couple changes.

The new chipset:
Mobo-ASUS P8H77-V LGA 1155 Intel H77 $140

And I never heard of a silverstone strider for the PSU? They any good? I was gonna go with a Corsair TX750v2. We picked the same video card.
That Z68 i posted has all the features the OP needs.
Yea the asrock board is pretty good, the only thing I really have a problem with about asrock is how stingy they are on their warranties. Asus, even their cheap boards have a 3 year, and the TUF series like my Sabertooth is 5 year.. A lot of Asrocks have 1 year, 2 year, and their high dollar ones get the 3 year.
I'd take a deep breath and wait to see on IB. It may not be any better, but it's not likely to be any worse. You also will get "real" PCI 3.0, USB 3.0, and a much better iGPU that will pair with Lucid MVP that the mobo makers are including (in some cases it's a really nice FPS boost). Bottom line, there is nothing to lose in waiting.

Easy button is:
- Asus Z77 mobo at $180 price point
- Hyper 212 Evo cooler (your case is big enough)
- Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound
- Corsair RAM is fine (1600Mhz) - they all bunch up price wise at 2 x 4GB price point
- go with a SATA III SSD (Intel, Samsung, or Crucial M4 - whatever is on sale) in the 120GB range so can put some games there plus the OS
- 680 gtx is fast video card but in short supply - check right before you buy and failing that get the 7970 with a free copy of Deus Ex:HE
- Corsair 650W modular PSU
- $25 Asus DVD writer on newegg - no clue on blueray
- no clue on fans

That will rock.
Copy recon, but he said he is not interested in multi-gpu (I'm with him-simply will not do it-is it dense, yes, but there you have it) or overclocking (i'd at least OC a little since it's available and a low OC won't draw much more power).

Therefore, he can get smaller psu, also not OC the 7970 (have nothing against it and I'm getting one in 2-3 weeks if the 680 doesn't ramp up in channel - also not overclocking it), he has a storage drive already, and if he is not overclocking (or only a little) there is no benefit to a more powerful cooler. Also can't see a reason not to get a Z77 - could go with an ASrock Z77 at the same (or similar) price.

Some folks (like me) strive to balance power consumption with performance. Some folks like to keep things at stock (this new build will be my first overclock in the 28 years I've been playing with computers).

Not trying to argue here - just saying how I see it and the nice thing is everyone gets to see things differently.
I said *I* am dense, not multi-gpu. I refuse to deal with even the possibility of stutter, drivers, or the extra power draw. Won't OC the GPU either because of power draw (unless this new crop power gates really well and draws no more at idle)

A budget is a limit, not necessarily a target. I think we've given the OP options and that's a good thing. Who doesn't want to save a little money?

The Virtu MVP on Z77 is promising and again, what is there to lose? Z77s are roughly equal price to Z68 since the manufacturer doesn't have to have as many 3rd party controllers on board. They trick there is the Z68s may get a reseller price drop to move them out of inventory so might be worth it if you get a good deal.

Same goes for IB - if you can't wait and see and you find a SB on sale, get it!
I would recommend you to OC you CPU if you go for a "K" 2500.
The 2500k can hit 4.2 - 4.5 on stock voltages.

Yea, theres no reason to not OC these days. Especially with Intel you can pay 20 bucks and get a one time replacement if you fry a 2500k.. Not that theres very much risk of that.


Jan 10, 2010
The only problem that I can see with your current case is that you need to make sure that your new video card will fit. (make sure to measure before deciding on your video card)
drwho1 is all over the card length thing. Quick check of newegg doesn't show any 7970s less than 10.8" (tho many don't even list that...).

The phantom 680s look to be 10" for the reference boards (not custom cooling).

Any chance your drive cage is removable? A drill and tin snips can do wonders...
The drive cage is fixed in those. That case reminds me of a Star Wars Tie fighter lol. looking at internal shots of the case from newegg.. It doesn't look like cutting that case up would be a hot idea, I think it would affect its structural integrity.

Yea.. not with that case anyway.. I was an auto wrencher before I started tinkering with computers, so maybe I'm a little conservative when it comes to modifications that can compromise structure. But based on the case design, depending on how heavy it is, seems like cutting any part of the hard drive/cd rom caging area would put extra pressure on it making it easier to bow down the middle. The PSU bay is also a Top mount, so I don't think that would help matters.

How much compromise it would be I cannot say. Me personally, if I were going to take a dremel tool to it, and depending on exactly how much cutting I'd have to do, I would plan on finding some method of bracing it.

You'd probably lose 2 or 3 bays of hard drive space, but then again, does anyone really need more than 2 hard drives? Unless you plan on going super hard core with RAID arrays.

Really, it depends on OPs skills as an artisan I suppose. It may be less hassle to get something like an NZXT Phantom, which will hold any friggin thing you could think of and call it a day.


Jan 10, 2010
I suggest a new case to go with the shiny new parts:
not a bad choice, but ultimately I would make the decision on the case until after he has made a final decision on the video card.


Jun 8, 2011
Why would you suggest 2500k over locked Ivy Bridge if OP clearly stated that he's not interested in overclocking? And you're wrong about IB not being better for gaming over SB since it has higher IPC performance straight out of the box.

I'd get some Z75 board and 3550 or 3570 IB. 2500k is an overclock monster, judging by leaked info even better than 3570k (higher temps due to smaller die size which diminishes cooling power when you push the chip to the limit), but IB wins straight out of the box, and being 1 generation ahead with features is never a bad thing in the long run.

Because 6 percent increase (which is what the preliminary numbers show is the advantage that IB brings to the table) is absolutely nothing considering the 2500k already puts out FPS rates on average that generally substantially exceeds the refresh rate of a computer monitor. Ergo, there is no difference, and no point.

Ultimately its the OP who has to be happy with his computer, not us. We merely provide points of reference to aid a person in choosing what suits their needs.
Since he said no crossfire or SLI, I'd really say just go ahead with one of these power supplies and save a buttload of money by not overkilling:


As for not being interested in overclocking - I don't really think that applies anymore, now that they have the i5-2500k. If you have any brains at all, eventually you'll come to the conclusion that hey, I might as well overclock this CPU, because it takes literally 4 minutes now, and even an idiot can do it with no danger of messing anything up.

So I just assume that anyone who says they're not interested in overclocking will actually end up being interested in overclocking, it just depends on how soon they find out how easy they made it with this generation of CPUs.

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