My First Intell System In 10 Years

JeffC

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1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Gaming (RIFT mainly, EQII/Global Agenda/SWTOR/WoW?/DAO/DA2/Witcher 2/Divinity II - Dragon Knight Saga/GQ2, also hoping to run future games at decent settings), Web Design, Graphic Arts/Photoshop (Photo restoration, banner/ebook/WP theme/header creation)
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
Budget is about $1,500 to $2,000, tax and shipping included (though not much of a concern as I will be buying from Newegg & Amazon Prime)
3) Where do you live?
Las Vegas, NV
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
Case/PSU/CPU/Motherboard/RAM/HDD/Video card/HSF/Monitor/DVD Burner/Monitor/Gaming Keyboard/Speakers
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
Mouse
6) Will you be overclocking?
Yes, in as much as you can OC Sandy Bridge
7) What size monitor do you have and/or plan to have?
Looking to get a 27" to 32"
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within the next 2 weeks (Dependent on release of SB Mobos)
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video? etc.
USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 (will be adding SSDs latter this year), Stabillity
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
Already have Win 7 Ultimate 64bit

After putting together a nice AMD Phenom II X6 1055T system, based off reccomenations from here, for my wife I am looking to build a new Sandy Bridge system for myself. I have used AMD for the past 10+ years so this will be new grounds for me.

I would love to go with an i7 2600K but am not sure that I need it for the above specs. I am fighting putting together the Ultimat system for my budget simply to have it. So I am looking for a system that meets my needs with some extra power for the future but not going way overboard just for bragging rights.

This is what I am thinking so far (am open to all suggestions)


$230 to $330 i5-2500k or i7 2600k
$350 to $400 Radeon HD 6970 Need help picking also open to NVida cards

~$190 Cooler Master HAF X
Or
~$180 SilverStone Raven 2 Evo RV02B-EW

~$27 Cooler Master 212+
~$22 DVD ASUS DRW-24B3LT
~$135 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
~$190 - Corsair Professional Series GOLD AX850
~$63 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
~$28 - DVD ASUS DRW-24B3LT
~$300 - PLANAR PX2710MW Black 27" 2ms Full HD HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers 300 Cd/m2 1200:1


I could use some recommendations on PSU, Vid Card, Case, RAM and HDD. I would love to be able to throw a Crucial 64gb SSD in there if the budget allows for it, but it's not important.

Thanks,
Jeff

Edit: Any advice yet on a good LG 1155 mobo?
 
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HardwareGuru

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Another Rift gamer I see..

Damn, the MSI P67A-GD65 mobo had to be sold out on NewEgg
 

Dangman

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- Go with the i5 2500K CPU

- Go with the HD 6950 2GB for now but if you have room in the budget after all the other parts are chosen, go for the HD 6970 2GB

- Case wise, I'd go with the Silverstone

- RAM wise, it's slightly cheaper per 4GB stick by getting two of this 8GB RAM set:
$85 - G.Skill Ripjaws F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

- PSU wise, that Corsair is a good choice albeit a tad pricey.

- HDD wise, just stick with the Samsung F3 you chose.
 

HardwareGuru

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Hmmm.. after doing some calculations here. A Core i5-2500K CPU, COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus HEATSINK, 8GB RAM, MSI P67A-GD65 MOBO, 1TB Samsung F3 HDD, Crucial C300 128GB SSD, Radeon HD 6950/Geforce GTX 560Ti GRAPHICS, Corsair 750TX PSU, Silverstone Raven CASE, ASUS 24x DVD BURNER, PLANAR or ASUS 27" MONITOR. Look for the Samsung P2770H at your local Costco. They may sell it for $299.99. You should have about $300 left for a nice pair of speakers and keyboard
 

JeffC

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- Go with the i5 2500K CPU

- Go with the HD 6950 2GB for now but if you have room in the budget after all the other parts are chosen, go for the HD 6970 2GB

- Case wise, I'd go with the Silverstone

- RAM wise, it's slightly cheaper per 4GB stick by getting two of this 8GB RAM set:
$85 - G.Skill Ripjaws F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

- PSU wise, that Corsair is a good choice albeit a tad pricey.

- HDD wise, just stick with the Samsung F3 you chose.

How does the NZXT HALE90-850-M 850W stand up to the Corsair Professional Series GOLD AX850?

Also would love some input on which HD 6950 or HD 6970 to go with.

Could use the most help on the best mobo for this system. I know they don't seem to be available yet.

Jeff
 

HardwareGuru

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I don't see why you need a 850 watt PSU when a 750Watt is already plenty. If you looking at a 80 plus gold psu that's modular, should take advantage of this CPU + PSU combo
 

Dangman

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How does the NZXT HALE90-850-M 850W stand up to the Corsair Professional Series GOLD AX850?

IIRC, the Hale is a little lower quality than the AX750.
Also would love some input on which HD 6950 or HD 6970 to go with.
$290 - XFX HD-695A-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB PCI-E Video Card
$375 - XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB PCI-E Video Card

Could use the most help on the best mobo for this system. I know they don't seem to be available yet.

Yeah really can't make any recommendations if the mobos are sold out and/or not available.
 

JeffC

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I don't see why you need a 850 watt PSU when a 750Watt is already plenty. If you looking at a 80 plus gold psu that's modular, should take advantage of this CPU + PSU combo

Thanks for pointing out that combo. I have always tended to get to low of a PSU and then have to replace them when I want to upgrade my graphics card or such so I tended to go on the higher side this time. But if you feel a 750w is enough I'll take your word for it.

Jeff
 

HardwareGuru

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That Corsair 750 watt has 62A on the +12V which is more than enough for your needs. I don't see you doing any crossfire configuration either. Also, graphics cards power consumption these days have improved and gotten lower as well as the cpu also.
 

JeffC

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Thanks. That is one of the main reasons I left my AMD builds to do a Sandy Bridge system. The power consumption on it is insanely low. I'll most likely order that combo over the next couple of days.
 

HardwareGuru

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This Sandy Bridge cpu is tempting. I still have my Acer Aspire M5630 Quad 6600 at 2.4ghz with 2GB. Geez. All this configuration building on hardforum but yet, I don't even build myself a nice pc build. LoL
 

JeffC

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:eek: Man you need to update that rig lol :D

I am really excited about this build. Just wish the fixed LGA 1155 boards would start shipping.

Jeff
 
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JeffC

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Does anyone have some input on these 2 boards:

~$190 - MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67
~$150 - GIGABYTE GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155

I know the MSI is sold out on Newegg but it seems to be available on Tiger.

Jeff
 

Dangman

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The H67 chipset doesn't allow for overclocking IIRC. So that rules out the Gigabyte.

That MSI mobo is ok.
 

HardwareGuru

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You should just get that MSI P67A-GD65 at Tigerdirect. It's a very good P67 mobo for the price. See HardOCP review on it.
 

HardwareGuru

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Yeah no need. the 2500K (K indicates unlocked multiplier) has an unlocked multiplier setting so.. you'll be adjusting the multiplier settings when o/c the cpu.
 

JeffC

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After waiting for almost a month to see where things stand with the new LGA1155 mobos I think I have just about narrowed down my new build. This is how it is currently looking:

$159.99 - Silverstone Raven RV02-BW Matte black 0.8mm Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
$149.99 - XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W PSU
$179.99 - MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$224.99 - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
GPU - see below
$84.99 - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
$64.99 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - Might need to look at other HDD as this is out of stock currently
$22.99 - LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer
$28.43 - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
$64.99 - Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard
Or
$69.99 - Microsoft SideWinder X6 Black Keyboard
$88.99 - Logitech X-540 70 watts 5.1 Speakers
$329.99 - Samsung P2770FH ToC Rose Black 27" Monitor

I am also thinking of getting the Thermaltake Level 10 GT Case instead of the Raven but just don't know if it is worth $256.

For a GPU I am most likely going with:
$244.99 - XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB

Unless one of these offer a significant performance increase:

$274.99 - XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB
$364.99 - XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB

As always any input would be greatly appreciated.

Tanks,
Jeff

PS Is it true you can unlock shaders in the 6950 making it a 6970? If so how much of a risk is there in damaging your GPU?
 

Dangman

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Stick with the Raven as it's a better value than Thermaltake Level 10 GT IMO. Also since you're buying the Raven from Amazon.com, you can get that Samsung drive from there as well.

GPU wise, I recommend spending th extra $30 for the HD 6950 2GB since it's really not that much more and would help extend the life of your rig by a little bit. Yes it is true that you can unlock the HD 6950 2GB into a 6970 2GB but it's not guaranteed and only occur with certain braids IIRC. So if this unlocking is of interest, you're gonna have to do your own footwork on that. No damage AFAIK.

Keyboard wise, I highly recommend going to your nearest electronics store and see if you can try those keyboards in person.
 

JeffC

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Thanks Danny. I will stick with the Raven and start researching the unlocking of the 6950.

Thanks for the advice on the keyboards. It is so logical and yet I never would have thought of it.

I'll post back after I order. BTW is there any word on when the new SSDs are going to start appearing?

Jeff
 

Dangman

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Well Intel's 510 series are already in stores. Crucial's C400/m4 series are supposedly coming out on Monday but early reviews are showing that those particular SSDs aren't that much better than Crucial's C300 SSDs. No idea when Intel's 310 series comes out.
 

JeffC

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So if I was to get one it sounds like for the time being I would be better off going with a C300?
 
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