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Intel/AMD build for a friend -Parts I suggested for him-

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, me again, wondering if I can have a little bit more help again. I've come across another poor fellow, "poor" being subjective at this point since Pell Grants were distributed to people this week, and he wants a computer that'll play most games at highest or close to highest settings for a reasonable budget. Also, he wanted a mATX configuration. I had to change my pants when he told me that. Small computers are my favorite. biggrin.gif Essentially he and I have the same idea of having a small "under-the-radar" PC that has the look of a budget machine but is internally the same as a big badass rig. biggrin.gif (pardon the french. redface.gif)

Since AMD offers the best bang-for-buck with GPUs, and the Radeon 7850/7870 both look so enticing, I opted for them. thumb.gif

Intel has the best CPUs you can get period, at the moment at least. So I opted for these guys as well. (I am hoping AMD will pull things out with the "Piledriver" CPU later this year.) thumb.gif


Here's the build I had in mind, he does have a budget of around $2,500 yet would prefer to stay below that mark. This is a complete rough draft of this build and by no means is the final setup. ANY input is helpful. smile.gif

~~~~~~~~~
Intel Core i5-2550K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Without IGP - $339.99
~~~~~~~~~
ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $189.99
~~~~~~~~~
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $49.99
~~~~~~~~~
(x2) SAPPHIRE 11199-03-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 - $359.99
~~~~~~~~~
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $128.99 (OS/Boot drive)
~~~~~~~~~
(x2) Seagate Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $89.99 (Raid0 for Data)
~~~~~~~~~
SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $139.99
~~~~~~~~~
APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case - $32.99
~~~~~~~~~
Hanns-G HZ281HPB 27.5'' 3ms Full HD 1080P HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor 400cd/m2 X-Contrast 15,000:1(800:1)Built-in Speakers - $279.99 (Says 1080p but it's a 1920x1200 screen.)
~~~~~~~~~
Logitech G19 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - $169.99
~~~~~~~~~
Logitech G9x Black Two modes scroll USB Wired Laser 5700 dpi Gaming Mouse - $67.99
~~~~~~~~~
ASUS Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS - $94.99
~~~~~~~~~
Logitech X-540 5.1 Speakers - $94.99
~~~~~~~~~
COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible - $28.99 (Case can only fit a 92mm fan cooler)
~~~~~~~~~

Total cost before shipping is $2,398.84.


Explanation:

CPU was a toss up. I figured the i5 would be plenty and seemed to place the setup around where the budget needed to be in the end. It's very overclockable as history would show and I don't think it would bottleneck two 7870s for CrossfireX, but please mention a better CPU if this won't cut it. smile.gif

The Motherboard was a given really. I was shooting for some kind of super small form factor build at first, but went ahead with the mATX ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z since it was the best choice out of the bunch that I had in front of me. thumb.gif

The RAM chosen was the, now standardized, Corsair Vengeance set. 8GB is plenty for anything he'll need and if he wants to further expand, he can go for another 8GB set or up it to a 2x8GB set then in the future. I figured that 1600mhz is plenty fast as far as RAM goes. The both of us can't tell the difference anyhow. tongue.gif

This was a hard choice. I started with two 7870s for his setup, he's not a newbie to any kind of multi-GPU machine. Has had both sides before with little to no problems concerning it, so I didn't hesitate with this. He wanted the best performance for the money, so I instantly thought that two 7870s would easily perform to the level he wanted while maintaining a low power draw. Twin 7850s are up in the air too, not sure if those would be the better option here.

The SSD and HDDs chosen were the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos and a pair of 500GB Seagate Spinpoint F3 drives. The SSD will be his boot drive and the HDDs he wants as a raid0 setup. That's what he told me, so that's what I've come up with. thumb.gif

He needed a killer PSU so I grabbed the Seasonic X650. I figured the Gold Certified PSU would keep his power bill low and give him a really high quality PSU at that. Also leaves plenty of room for overclocking on both sides. wink.gif

I've used this case three or four times now and the APEX TX-381-C is exceptionally well built. It offers plenty of space for the PSU, Hard drives and CD/DVD drives, has a few extra fan mounts, has ample room for GPUs, and is very open when you work n it. The handle on top is a very durable and very strong plastic of some sort that seems to be mounted onto the frame of the case itself. It's lightweight, yes, but not flimsy or weak. thumb.gif

The Monitor was the big one. He wanted a 16x10 screen so I opted for a 1920x1200 base resolution instead of the insane 2560x1600 that came after. The Hanns-G line is a rather under-appreciated group in my opinion. I've owned two monitors from them, one being a 21.5" screen @ 1680x1050 and the other being a 17" screen @ 1366x768. Both were amazing with the 17" screen being used for my sibling's computer as I type this out. biggrin.gif

The Mouse and Keyboard were fairly difficult to decide on. He has a G15 and wants the G19, unless otherwise persuaded, while his G9 just died after two and a half years of INSANE use. INSANE use meaning 12+ each day on strategy games ranging from Homeworld 2 to Starcraft Brood War/Starcraft 2 to C&C 3, etc, and FPS games like Unreal Tournament (Classic to 2K4), Tribes Ascend, etc... you get the picture.

The CD/DVD drive needed to be BluRay capable. So I figured that since the BluRay burners were maybe $25 more expensive, why bother sticking with a BD-ROM drive? I snagged the Burner for that reason. Low price, drivers are easy to find, and it's a reliable brand.

The speakers are not set in stone but he wants a simple 5.1 setup for this machine. Since it's a full blown computer, why not pull out all the stops. However, I found this to be somewhat... pointless... mainly because there isn't a soundcard with this machine aside from open sound. If anyone here aside from myself can note on the difference between kHz and kHz, please do. It's a significant change in quality. Like going from a 22" 720p screen to a 22" 1080p screen. It's apparent once you set them side by side.

The CPU cooler was honestly the second thing I looked for after the case was found. I knew that the Xigmatek Loki would fit without a problem and this one wasn't much taller if it WAS any taller, and came with two fans at the start. The Loki would keep a 2500K @ 60*C when the CPU was overclocked to around 4.3GHz, according to one review. That in mind, this cooler was said to be better than the Loki, which I've used before this myself, and appeared to be more than capable of managing an equivalent overclock while staying just as small and compact.


Again, I know that's a lot to read, but if there's anything anyone can change or add, please chip in and tell me how it looks! biggrin.gif Just a few pointers though:

~ PSU needs to be partially Modular at least, if not fully modular.
~ CPU cooler cannot be taller than 150mm to fit inside the case.
~ The case is the only thing I want to keep as is.
     
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post #2 of 10
Why the 2550 instead of the 2500? With the 2550 you lose the IGP. The mobo you're getting supports Virtu so you really should get the 2500K. Its usually a little cheaper and the performance will be the same.

You might be cutting it close with that PSU. It might handle two GPUs, but you're not going to leave yourself much headroom at all. A 750W would probably be a better bet, IMO.

Not a big deal, but the Mushkin Ram is cheaper and will perform exactly the same. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226191 That Corsair Ram has really tall heatsinks on it too, might interfere with your CPU cooler...
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post #3 of 10
^ what Lou3824 said. Ditch the 2550K for the 2500K.
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou3824 View Post

Why the 2550 instead of the 2500? With the 2550 you lose the IGP. The mobo you're getting supports Virtu so you really should get the 2500K. Its usually a little cheaper and the performance will be the same.
You might be cutting it close with that PSU. It might handle two GPUs, but you're not going to leave yourself much headroom at all. A 750W would probably be a better bet, IMO.
Not a big deal, but the Mushkin Ram is cheaper and will perform exactly the same. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226191 That Corsair Ram has really tall heatsinks on it too, might interfere with your CPU cooler...

Judging how the 7870 draws 127w for a single GPU. 254w for two in CrossfireX in the worst possible scenario. That plus an overclocked 2500K shouldn't draw very close to 650w now that I think about it. The 2500K pushed to 5GHz @ 1.45v pulls like 175w if I recall correctly. so worst possible scenario would be pulling 500w for everything, overclocking the GPUs as well.


But yeah, the 2500K it is... Unless anyone thinks I should go for the 2600K/2700K?
     
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imglidinhere View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou3824 View Post

Why the 2550 instead of the 2500? With the 2550 you lose the IGP. The mobo you're getting supports Virtu so you really should get the 2500K. Its usually a little cheaper and the performance will be the same.
You might be cutting it close with that PSU. It might handle two GPUs, but you're not going to leave yourself much headroom at all. A 750W would probably be a better bet, IMO.
Not a big deal, but the Mushkin Ram is cheaper and will perform exactly the same. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226191 That Corsair Ram has really tall heatsinks on it too, might interfere with your CPU cooler...

Judging how the 7870 draws 127w for a single GPU. 254w for two in CrossfireX in the worst possible scenario. That plus an overclocked 2500K shouldn't draw very close to 650w now that I think about it. The 2500K pushed to 5GHz @ 1.45v pulls like 175w if I recall correctly. so worst possible scenario would be pulling 500w for everything, overclocking the GPUs as well.


But yeah, the 2500K it is... Unless anyone thinks I should go for the 2600K/2700K?

I ran it through Phadreus' calculator and with the 2500K OCd, the two GPUs OCd and overvolted, you're coming in at 640W. With just the CPU OCd, and the two GPUs at stock, you're coming in at 550W. You make it, but not by a whole lot really. That's why I said you "might" want to upgrade the PSU.
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post #6 of 10
Your RAM could give you problems with your cooler. Go with G.Skill Ares or something without ridiculous heatspreaders.
No, you should not get an i7-2600k. Hyperthreading provides zero benefit to games - only applicable for your friend's use if he does 3D art, serious architecture or scientific CAD-like stuff, or produces a stream.

Seems like an incredible waste of money on a keyboard, but whatever floats your boat. If I were him I'd consider dumping the keyboard, saving on CPU & motherboard (i5-2500k is $200 @us.ncix.com & gigabyte below), dumping the blue ray burner for a DVD burner unless he actually has a blue ray collection and no PS3 or something, and either enjoy the extra money or buy a 3-monitor eyefinity setup with all the savings. Oh, he could also dump the HDD combo for a single 1TB for significantly cheaper (check HDD prices at us.ncix.com) if the RAID 0 was just for ****s and giggles and not serious stuffs.

SLI is ridiculous overkill for a single screen. Maybe bump up to a 7870, but only get one card.

Phaedrus' PSU calculator takes into account headroom. So if it says you're good @650w overclocking and overvolting everything, then you're plenty fine, not barely making it. So don't sweat it smile.gif. Edit: The Rosewill Capstone series is very well reviewed for quality, and both the 650w and 750w version would be significantly cheaper than the PSU you're looking at now. Not modular, though.

As for motherboard, I'd recommend this Gigabyte board instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128495

The Gigabyte seems to only have one fan header (instead of three for the ASUS Rog), some USB headers & 2 SATA ports might be in an inconvenient spot depending on how long the 2nd video card is, and it may not be capable of as high an overclock as the ASUS Rog. But given your cooler, you'll probably be going for a standard 4.5ish overclock anyway. And the Gigabyte has two major advantages over the ASUS board. The first is better PCI-E slot spacing. There is only a single space between the graphics card slots on the ASUS ROG board, while there are two on the Gigabyte. That means in a Crossfire configuration, your primary video card will have far better access to air and won't be as hard to cool. This could be a pretty big deal if you plan to overclock your video cards (and you should, though perhaps without additional voltage). So even though you can't ridiculously push your CPU on the Gigabyte board, it's better for your GPUs in some ways. Also, could theoretically fit 2 of the HIS custom-blower 7870 cards if you wanted to exhaust air that way. Second, the Gigabyte is considerably cheaper.
Edited by MisterFred - 3/28/12 at 8:39am
    
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post #7 of 10
Here's my thoughts,

- I dont think I would opt for crossfire or sli on an mATX board, there is almost no gap between the cards on a Gene-Z. I think I would opt for a single faster GPU, athough that would probably cost more.
- You are spending alot more than I would on the PSU, is 80+ GOLD that important to you? A decent 650w PSU usually can be found for $80.
- That case looks really cheap to me, is the handle a selling point? I think personally on a budget id go with something like: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352009
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post #8 of 10
Here's a $2000 sim~build for 2500K + asus z68 + gtx 680 + 750W, sli capable psu&mobo, if you cant wait for ivy bridge 3570K + z77 motherboard, totally revamped your choices.....

cpu Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 ~ $220 free shipping

hsf Enermax ETS-T40 T.B.SILENCE CPU Cooler(Side Flow) With PWM Twister Bearing Fan ~ $34 free shipping

pcb ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS ~ $180 free shipping

ram Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Model 996995 ~ $45 free shipping

ssd Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III ~ $129 free shipping

hdd Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" ~ $85 free shipping

odd LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA 12X Super Multi Blue with 3D Playback & M-DISC Support WH12LS39 LightScribe Support - OEM ~ $80 free shipping

psu FSP Group AURUM GOLD 750W (AU-750M) ATX12V/EPS12V Modular Flat Cable, 80 PLUS GOLD ~ $130-$10MIR = $120 free shipping

case NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ~ $40+$8 = $48 shipped

mon SAMSUNG P2770FH ToC Rose Black 27" 1ms Full HD HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70,000:1 ~ $300+$9 = $309 shipped

kbd Logitech G510 Black 18 Function Keys USB Wired Gaming Keyboard ~ $100 free shipping

mse RAZER DeathAdder Precision Optical Gaming Mouse - 3.5G Infrared Sensor ~ $60+$5= $65 shipped

spk ALTEC LANSING Octane 7 2.1 Speakers ~ $64+$5= $69 shipped

gpu EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card ~ $500+$8= $508 shipped


Total ~ $1,992.00
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AMD Athlon x4 860K 3.7~4.0 Ghz 95W FM2+ Processor  Asus A68HM-PLUS Socket FM2+ Zotac ZT-90603-10M GTX 950 AMP ED. 2GB 128bit ... Mushkin Blackline 997164F 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 213... 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Patriot Torch LE 240GB SATA 3 2.5" Internal SSD Silverstone SS-AR06 Tek Low-Profile CPU Cooler ... Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Benq VW2235 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Team Wolf ZHUQUE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 87 ... Corsair CS Series CS550M 550W Modular Power Sup... Jonsbo C2 ITX/uATX Case James Donkey112 2000dpi USB Wired Optical Gamin... 
Mouse PadAudio
Perixx DX-3000M Gaming Aluminum Mousepad [Silver] Circle Attitude Multimedia Speaker 2.1 Wireless... 
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simple sandy
(19 items)
 
BaGnI
(12 items)
 
Snow Blood Kaveri
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K AsRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 EVGA GTX 560 TI 448 Cores Classified Edition Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (Dual) DDR3 1600... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD102UJ 1TB/16MB Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB SSD Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB/64MB LG GH22NS70 DVDRW SATA (Black) OEM 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm Red LED Fan  Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1  Philips 32PFL 3605/98 LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W 80+ Silver Cooler Master Elite RC-311 Razer DeathAdder 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Goliathus Control DIGITUS 5.1 Surround Home Theater System - DA-1... 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD Phenom II X4 840  Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H  Kingston Value RAM DDR3 1333 (2x2GB)  Samsung Spinpoint 3 HD103SJ 1TB/32MB  
Optical DriveCoolingMonitorMonitor
Lite-On iHBS112-29 12X 3D Internal Blu-Ray Writer  3R System Iceage 120 Boss II  LG Series LH70 32" (32LH70YR) Full HD LCD TV Asus 18.5" VH197D LED  
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Genius Keyboard Spillproof  FSP Supersonic 550W  Aopen Nagas G3  Edifier Speaker Aurora 2.1 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon x4 860K 3.7~4.0 Ghz 95W FM2+ Processor  Asus A68HM-PLUS Socket FM2+ Zotac ZT-90603-10M GTX 950 AMP ED. 2GB 128bit ... Mushkin Blackline 997164F 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 213... 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Patriot Torch LE 240GB SATA 3 2.5" Internal SSD Silverstone SS-AR06 Tek Low-Profile CPU Cooler ... Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Benq VW2235 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Team Wolf ZHUQUE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 87 ... Corsair CS Series CS550M 550W Modular Power Sup... Jonsbo C2 ITX/uATX Case James Donkey112 2000dpi USB Wired Optical Gamin... 
Mouse PadAudio
Perixx DX-3000M Gaming Aluminum Mousepad [Silver] Circle Attitude Multimedia Speaker 2.1 Wireless... 
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post #9 of 10
2400$ rig then
Part list permalink
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT 93.7 CFM CPU Cooler ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.95 @ Newegg)
Solid State Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($152.99 @ Adorama)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($97.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($499.99 @ Dell)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($499.99 @ Dell)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.31 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Silverstone 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($131.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Hannspree HZ281HPB 27.5" Monitor ($272.65 @ Mac Connection)
Keyboard: Logitech G510 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($94.34 @ B&H)
Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($65.25 @ B&H)

Total: $2390.26 Shipped and after MIR $2350.26

Hope you like it thumb.gif
post #10 of 10
Ops Double Post doh.gif
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