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Sooth Slayer

Seeking advice on a $1500 build

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Hey Forum! I'm working on spec'ing out my next system, and would appreciate some input/feedback/opinions/advice. I'm looking to build an air-cooled Intel-based single video card gaming rig from scratch. I have $1500 available, and while I wouldn't have any problem coming in under budget, I also want to get as much performance as possible out of 1920x1080. I plan on OCing the proc, and probably the GPU. Here's what I got so far. Let me know what you think!

 

The Build:

Component	Model					Retail	Ship/Tax	Sub-total	MIR	Total
CPU:		Intel Core i7-960			$229.99 $19.92 		$249.91 	-	$249.91 
GPU:		MSI N580GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 580	$524.99 $8.50 		$533.49 	$25 	$508.49 
RAM:		Mushkin Enhanced Redline 12GB (3x4GB)	$149.99 -		$149.99 	-	$149.99 
HDD:		Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7,200 RPM		$119.99 $10.39 		$130.38 	-	$130.38 
PSU:		PC Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance	$109.99 -		$109.99 	$20 	$89.99 
DVD:		LG 22x DVD±RW Burner			$18.99 	$1.64 		$20.63 		-	$20.63 
Case:		COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced		$89.99 	$7.99 		$97.98 		$10 	$87.98 
Mobo:		ASUS Sabertooth X58			$199.99 -		$199.99 	-	$199.99 
Cooler:		XIGMATEK Aegir SD128264			$67.99 	-		$67.99 		-	$67.99 
Audio Card:	DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71DDL		$28.99 	$7.68 		$36.67 		-	$36.67

	Total:				$1,540.90	$56.12 		$1,597.02 	$55.00 	$1,542.02

 

The Links:

Intel Core i7-960 | MSI N580GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 580 | Mushkin Enhanced Redline 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 | Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7,200 RPM | PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance Power Supply | LG 22x DVD±RW Burner | COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced | ASUS Sabertooth X58 | XIGMATEK Aegir SD128264 | DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71DDL

 

Motherboards always give me trouble. Moreso than with other components, I feel like the specs aren't telling the full story. Sure I can read the reviews and all that, but I still feel like there's something missing.

 

I read a while back that installing a discrete audio card would help boost the motherboard's performance. If that's BS, I can leave it out, I got nothing against integrated audio, otherwise, it's money well spent, right?

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I am thinking you are a bit of a fool using the older chipset. For the most part most people will see little to know difference with/without a soundcard, leave getting one till later.

 

Move on to sandy bridge :thumbsup:

 

 

My new build suggetion...

 

Mobo - MSI Z68-GD55 178 inc shipping

CPU - i5 2500k in store 179

RAM - Corsair Vengance 8gb 47 free shipping

HDD - Seagate barracuda 1tb if you can deal with a 500gb version until prices on HDDs become sane again do so otherwise this is the best you'll likely find

PSU - TT Black Widow 850watt 106 after rebate shipping inc

Cooler - CM 212 Evo 35 free shipping

Case - CM 690-II 98 inc shipping

 

sub total - 770-780 there abouts, leaving $700 for graphics :biggrin:

 

And I am seeing two of these in your future for 510 after rebate and free shipping leaving money over for monitor upgrade or to flesh some things out maybe consider an ssd

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I am thinking you are a bit of a fool using the older chipset. For the most part most people will see little to know difference with/without a soundcard, leave getting one till later.

 

Move on to sandy bridge :thumbsup:

 

 

My new build suggetion...

 

Mobo - MSI Z68-GD55 178 inc shipping

CPU - i5 2500k in store 179

RAM - Corsair Vengance 8gb 47 free shipping

HDD - Seagate barracuda 1tb if you can deal with a 500gb version until prices on HDDs become sane again do so otherwise this is the best you'll likely find

PSU - TT Black Widow 850watt 106 after rebate shipping inc

Cooler - CM 212 Evo 35 free shipping

Case - CM 690-II 98 inc shipping

 

sub total - 770-780 there abouts, leaving $700 for graphics :biggrin:

 

And I am seeing two of these in your future for 510 after rebate and free shipping leaving money over for monitor upgrade or to flesh some things out maybe consider an ssd

 

 

Yes. Much better overall system. Go nuts with $700 worth of graphical goodness

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Yes. Much better overall system. Go nuts with $700 worth of graphical goodness

+1 YUP.go with the new tech, that way the graphics card will boost it even more.

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Yes. Much better overall system. Go nuts with $700 worth of graphical goodness

 

There is one, and only one reason you would want an older system and that is if you think you can break one of the world records for overclcoking on a specific processor. Since you are going with air cooling it is really a waste.

 

The only thing is I would go with this board. MSI

 

As for the hard drive, do what you need to do, but if you can hurry to a microcenter or something, they still have some WD's for the normal price. However, that would have to be like now.

 

What I would do is go ahead and get an SSD for the boot drive, and then just get a laptop hard drive from bestbuy with enough storage to keep you happy for a couple of months. Then when the HDD market declines, go get a regular hard drive and give one of your family members or friends a hard drive upgrade for their laptop for Christmas. Maybe that way you can justify the cost with giving it more than one purpose?...........The upside to this mess is that it may force the SSD revolution into overdrive considering SSDs went from being about 22 times more expensive than HDDs to 8 times more expensive. This might drive SSD production into overdrive. Even though it was off topic, I hope I gave you something to keep you happy when you start seeing HDD prices.

 

Ram...it is always the ram. You chose good ram, stoner chose better ram, but I will chose the best ram. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226245

 

Since you were already planning on spending a but load on ram any ways, why not go all out? This will support a great overclock, or you could underclock the ram and get awesome timings. I would not be surprised at all if you were able to get 1600mhz at 7-7-7-20 1t.

 

For the PSU, I do not agree with stoner. I took that recommendation and tried it out. It was really loud and hot. I did a couple of things with it to try and fix it, and nothing worked. I took it to geek squad and they said no that is the way it is supposed to operate. I ended up going with a corsair PSU and I will never look back. Do yourself a favor and go with corsair at any wattage you desire above about 800W.

 

If you are going to be air cooling an overclock, go with a Noctua Nh-D14. Best air cooler on the market and it is now 80 bucks! How can you go wrong?

 

I would do something else about the case. I think this build deserves a much nicer one for about the same price. Try this website for some inspiration http://www.xoxide.com/ .

 

Now for some final comments. I would do two things for this build. One would be to find the cheapest processor you can live with for 4 months and then upgrade to ivy bridge. Two would be to go with a gtx 560 with a rebate or something and wait for the new AMD or Nvidia cards comming out soon and then upgrade to those. That way you will be much more future proof.

 

If and only if you can get your hard drive and your processor at microcenter would your computer fall far enough under budget that you could do a decent job of upgrading in the near future.

 

I hope this helps

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Thanks, everyone! I had an unfortunate fixation with the 1366 socket, which you have cured. Now I'm thinking the 2600k is the way to go. I was surprised to see you recommend the i5. Is it really not worth the $100 premium?

 

I would love to get an SSD. I originally spec'ed one in there, but wound up dropping it in the end. I'll have to see if I can work it back in to my re-build. As a sidebar, what's all this talk I hear about HDD prices? I must have missed something, because this is the first I'm hearing about it.

 

That's a compelling argument for ivy bridge, I'll definitely keep this in mind. I'll go ahead and spec out a system with the 2600k, but I could always drop in a 2500k instead.

 

I do like Corsair's PSUs. I threw the P&C in there because it seems like a better value. If I do go with a dual-card solution, I'll probably look for something in the 850W range.

 

As far as coolers go, I'm happy with the Xigmatek. It's not that far behind the NH-D14, and with the option of installing a second fan, it has some room to grow. There's a good review of it at frostytech with a comparison to many different coolers. Sadly, they do not have the 212 Evo just yet.

 

I'll also have to take a look at those cases, thanks for the link!

 

Thank you again for the very helpful feedback!

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@Sooth Slayer, I agree with the points Stoner and others have said.

Get a Z68 MOBO and an i5-2500 and save some bux and get all the performance you will need.

As far as the other equipment, its more subjective. Especially your Case. That CM690 2 is a beautiful and efficient case. If you like it then go with it. Its on the OCC recommended list.

PC Power and Cooling PSUs are still one of the best you can buy.

As far as your choice of GTX580, I think at this stage in the game you are paying alot of money for only a moderate OC, even though you are saving a little. Plus the card exhausts inside the case.

You can pay about $100 less for a GTX580 with a Mild OC and a two slot solution that exhausts out of the case. It wont be all that long before you will see the New Nvidia GPUs and Hence a price drop of the current line-up. You could get a second card in a few months for cheap.

I dont know exactly where you live but I would definately shop Amazon, Tiger Direct, Micro Center, and any others you can think of for priciing. I saved $10 on base price plus free shipping and no tax on my Case thru Amazon vs Newegg for a total of over $50 saving just on my case. I paid $399 for my Zotac AMP GTX 580 at Micro Center.

Just Sayin. Ultimately you will choose what you choose, just trying to help out.

Oh and Welcome to the Boards Friend. :cheers:

 

 

Edit: add content

Edited by Kwok

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I agree with the others, use the money you saved to add a nice 120 gig SSD and switch the cooling to something like an H60 or 620 and maybe up the case a bit and you are cherry!

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With $1500 to spend, I would first cram three of these and at least an HD6970 in the budget. :)

 

That's if the rig is intended for gaming, of course.

 

Now me I would get a nice 24" monitor a 6950 and then drop 2 of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139599 into the system to hold all my games and OS.

 

BTW was just looking at the original post DUMP the Diamond sound card, intergrate sound will do you just as well.

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Personnally I would much prefer an Eyefinity setup over faster loading times...

 

Still that's what a community is for; sharing different opinions on a given subject. :) The SSD route is great nonetheless.

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