Gaming PC : $1500

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by miles01110, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #1
    I'm building a gaming PC with a budget of approximately $1500 US (not including an operating system and monitor- already have them). Could those knowleadgeable about building such machines offer criticism on the following proposed setup?

    Case: Cooler Master HAF-X ATX Full
    HD: 2x WD Caviar Black 750 GB
    NIC: Bigfoot Killer 2100
    Video card: XFX HD695XZDDC Radeon HD 6950
    Power Supply: Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power
    Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68
    CPU: Core i7-2600k Sandy Bridge 3.4 GHz w/ Turboboost
    CPU Heatsink: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro
    Media: LG Black Super Multi SATA BluRay

    This comes out to $1473.89 . I haven't done this in a while and haven't kept up to speed on graphics cards and desktop CPUs especially, so if anyone has suggestions on alternative components or improvements while remaining reasonably within budget, lets hear them. This machine will be used for checking e-mail, Facebook (Farmville ofc), and listening to music on iTunes.
     
  2. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #2
    Is the NIC necessary, your mobo should come with ethernet... that $70 in savings could then be spent on a better heat sink. Not that the heatsink you chose is bad, but you can find better bang for your buck temperature/noise-wise...

    This heatsink comes highly recommended, and is cheaper than the Arctic Cooling heatsink too:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Other reputable names: Cocage, Prolimatech, Thermalright

    If you wanted to try a closed-loop water system, Corsair is really big in that market now: H50, H60, H70, H80, H100

    EDIT:

    Also, take a gander here for PSU recommendations...
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1624996

    You can even try registering an account there and asking help on your build in the General Hardware forum... there are some really knowledgeable people there.
     
  3. Hellhammer, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    If that is really your usage, then $500 will get you everything you need. I'll list some recommendations anyway.

    RAM: You are overpaying. Get four of these and you save ~$25. Faster RAM makes very small difference like this article shows. If you are gaming, then 8GB should be plenty, even 4GB should suffice.

    Case: You could get along with a cheaper case. Antec Three Hundred is a solid choice if you want to save $. Fractal Design Define R3 is my personal favorite.

    CPU: Do you really need the i7? It only offer HT over the i5 and in fact, HT can decrease the gaming performance in some scenarios. I would save $100 and get i5-2500K and invest on better cooling and OC it. Much better yields in gaming.

    CPU cooler: While not the cheapest, Noctua makes some very good CPU coolers. They are huge but very quiet and effective. Zalman also makes good ones and has models which are more wallet friendly.
     
  4. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #4
    Nobody needs an i7 for a simple Facebook/iTunes rig.

    You'd be just fine on an i3, or even a C2D.


    Now, if you're going to run full games (Crysis, etc), then you might want a good CPU, and a good Graphics card.
     
  5. emiljan macrumors 6502

    emiljan

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    #5
    Most people forget that the PSU one of the most important pieces of a gaming rig. I would switch your PSU to an Corsair PSU.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Corsair nor Antec manufactures the actual PSU, they just rebrand them. The one in Antec CP-850 is manufactured by Delta Electronics, which is a decent brand. Corsair uses CWT is some models which isn't exactly top notch when compared with Delta and Seasonic.

    Personally I prefer Seasonic and they even sell PSUs under their own brand (that way you won't have to do research).
     
  7. miles01110, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #7
    Thanks; the mobo does come with an ethernet port.

    All right, I'll go with that one.

    I thought about liquid cooling, but this is going to be shipped overseas. I wouldn't want it to break in transit.

    Will check that out too.

    It was a joke on what I normally respond to the "Do I need an i5????" threads. As a mod, I'm sure you've gotten some post reports on those ;-)

    Thanks; changed those and I'll just start with 8 GB.

    I chose the Cooler Master because a friend has it and as far as cooling goes it's supposedly one of the best. I also don't think I'd want to put an ATX mobo in a mid tower; aren't you supposed to use full towers?

    No, but that was the kind of advice I was looking for. I'll look into the i5.

    None of the Noctuas seem to overtly fit the LGA 1155 socket; does it matter since it's so similar to the 1156? On the original cooling fan the base didn't actually use the unique pin and it fit both.

    I wouldn't mind paying extra for a good PS; but would 750W be enough? The graphics card alone says it requires up to 500W if I read it right...
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    I figured that much ;)

    Mid-towers and full towers are both designed for ATX mobos. You are probably mixing mid-tower with micro-ATX (mATX). Mid-towers are fine for builds like yours. Full towers offer more drive bays and expansion slots which can be important for some but I don't think they are in your case (mid-towers should provide enough for your needs). Sure, full towers provide better cooling due to more airflow but again, your build doesn't seem too intensive to really benefit from the better cooling.

    LGA 1156 fans are compatible with LGA 1155.

    Even 750W may be too much unless you will be doing heavy OCing. The load power consumption for AMD 6950 system is 320W. That is with overclocked 130W Intel i7-920 - default i7-2600K is 95W. A quick math gives me roughly 321W for your system and adding 20% for safety measures (under full load the TDP can be surpassed) is still below 400W.

    I would say unless you plan to OC, 520W will be plenty. If you OC, then getting 620W instead would be wise. PSUs are the most efficient when under 60-70% load so it's actually not good to get too big PSU. If you want great efficiency, then this should be a great deal. It's modular and has 80+ Gold certificate. Efficiency costs extra though so if you don't really want to pay extra for that take a look at this and this. This is actually on sale - 650W with 80+ Gold certificate for 140$. That is hell of a deal.
     
  9. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #10
    I'll second the recommendation for a modular PSU... they can help make your cabling a lot neater and easier.

    Your case is fine... if your friend has one, and you like the look and function of it, go for it. Doesn't hurt that the HAF has gotten decent reviews too.

    With the money saved so far, you could even consider an SSD as your boot/programs/games drive and off load your music and documents to a platter drive.
     
  10. miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #11
    rgr.

    If I went with the Define R3 case you mentioned earlier, would I have to buy additional fans?

    Ah k.

    Sounds good. I'll probably OC at some point.

    I thought about it, but I'm still not convinced SSDs are worth the price at this point.

    Any comments on the graphics card?
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    Not really. The standard two fans are enough for a setup like yours. Here is a review of the Define R3 and tests of its cooling performance. Fans can always be added so if you feel you need more airflow, just grab a couple of fans and put them in, there is space for 5 extra fans.

    It's a great GPU for the price. It can also be turned into 6970 via firmware unlock.
     
  12. wordoflife, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #13
    As others mentioned, I would get a decent PSU. Getting something cheap may cause a component to die. It's not about the wattage, but it has something to do with the power "rails" (I can't remember the specifics - built my PC back in Jan 2010) but this might explain it: http://www.techimo.com/forum/general-tech-discussion/217768-what-do-rails-psu-do.html *edit* just saw the PSU - it looks fine.

    I have two computers. One has an Antec 900 two and other has an Antec 300. The Antec 300 is okay but feels a little cheap. The airflow isn't that great (or maybe I am comparing it to my Antec 900 two?). The 900 two is nice and feels more solid. I enjoy how the fans bring air right through the hard drives. I have a friend who wants to go from his Antec 1200 to the case you picked, so I'm inclined to think that it is a very well ventilated case. Basically, I would keep the case you already picked.

    I guess what I posted is relatively useless since you already seemed to figure it out, but good luck with your build
     
  13. MasterTick macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #14
    My build is very similar to yours, you don't really need the CPU heatsink, my i5 2500k runs around 55-60C on full load

    Rest of it looks good, I'd personally get the GTX 570 over the ATI card, but that's just personal preference.
     
  14. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    CA
    #15
    Why are you getting a 6950? You don't even need a discrete card for farmville.

    Also, why are you getting a huge full tower ATX case 1 house 2 hard drives, 1 OD and 1 graphics card? That case is designed to move tons of air and is many times overkill for your needs. The rig as you've spec'ed it now would be fine with a 500W supply.
     
  15. miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    Thought about the GTX 570, but anandtech seemed to give the nod to the 6950.

    The original build was updated later in the thread.
     
  16. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    #17
    What exactly will this computer be used for. first you said it is gaming but then you said facebook/music/email. Which is it? if no heavy pc games (crysis, metro 2033, skyrim) are going to be played on it, not even a 2500k cpu is needed. a simple i5 is more than enough. save some cash and upgrade to a small ssd. it will make your computer seem much more faster than the 2500k would make it seem.
     
  17. miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #18
    Heavy PC games.
     
  18. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    #19
    i see. i got confused when you said the computer would be used for FB and music and just figured it would be overkill. in that case, yeah. this system should do just fine for gaming. PSU looks fine. all is good. all that is left is to build it. oh yeah, what speakers are you gonna use? you said u had os and monitor. what good are games if you don't crap your pants a little when that grenade goes off?
     
  19. miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #20
    That was a reference to an oft-used line by me; it's explained up a little in the thread.

    I use headphones. Never really liked speakers.
     
  20. miles01110 thread starter macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #21
    A big thanks to everyone that contributed. I got all the parts and assembled it the other day; it's running Shogun 2 on "High" settings like a champ.

    The one thing that's not working right is the HDMI port off the graphics card; DVI works, but HDMI has "no signal."
     
  21. cube macrumors G5

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    #22
    Why do you say Delta is just "decent"? Delta is THE source for professional gear.
     
  22. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    #23
    i think 2 things need to happen. check if your monitor is HDCP compliant. tha and you might need to install some drivers or something to get hdmi out working on your GFX
     

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