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New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
04-18-2012, 03:29 PM,
New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
This is a wonderful resource and a great community - thank you to Mathieu and everyone else for the the guidance and advice.

After toying with the idea of building my own rig for years, I am finally starting on a (roughly) Tier 5 build. Currently enroute to my front door from New Egg are the Rosewill 550W PSU (Tier 5) and LanCool PC-K9B case (my choice).

My first question is, with the Intel 2500K CPU currently only $9 more than the 2500, I am considering going with the 2500K with the thought that I may want to do some mild overclocking down the road. Would the Tier 5 PSU, CPU cooler and mobo be able to handle some mild OC'ing of the 2500K? The other possibility is that I wait for Ivy Bridge which, by all accounts, should be out by the end of the month. I have read that performance, heat and power levels are all generally impoved with these processors.

Also, regarding the GPU, the recommended Radeon 6950 is unavailable at Amazon, though there is an almost identical card listed for $230:
Specs look the same and the reviews are very positive overall.
04-18-2012, 03:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-18-2012, 03:44 PM by Phyrre56.)
RE: New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
I just built a similar rig this past weekend. Mine is a combination of Tiers 5-6, so same ballpark.

I'm using the Rosewill HIVE 550W. The Xtreme power supply calculator indicated it would have no problem with my build even overclocked to 4.5GHz.

I picked up the i5-2500K for the same reason you mentioned -- for a $10 difference I might as well leave the option open to overclock down the road. I don't need to overclock right now.

I would suggest the Radeon HD 7850 over the 6950. Newer tech, lower power consumption (I think), similar price. I haven't had a chance to really stress it yet, but it's running Starcraft II at 1080p / Ultra settings at 70-100 fps.

Your cooling should be fine. Here is what I'm running:

i5-2500K at stock settings
AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 motherboard
Radeon HD 7850
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
NZXT Phantom 410 with stock fans

My system idles at about 28 C. At 100% load under Prime95, it did not go over 50 C. That leaves plenty of room for a mild overclock. Returned to idle temps in about 8 minutes once the load was reduced. (And that's with the case intake fan malfunctioning -- waiting for a replacement fan in the mail. So my temps might get even a little lower with that fix.)

Your call if you want to wait for IvyBridge. The improvements are marginal. I went with SandyBridge for the peace of mind that it has been rigorously tested. Not that I think Ivy will have problems, but you never know. Bugs happen.

Let me know if you have any other questions since it sounds like we're building almost the same system. Mine went together very easily, and it's awesome. Big Grin
04-18-2012, 04:11 PM,
RE: New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
Wow, great answer and lightning-quick - thanksExclamation

Out of curiosity, which SSD did you go with? I am thinking about bumping up to a 180 or 240, possibly Mushkin or Crucial.
04-18-2012, 04:24 PM,
RE: New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
I got the Mushkin Chronos 120GB. Just a budget decision. Their 180GB and 240GB models are also good deals, I just don't usually keep a lot of applications on my hard drive so I thought I would save a bit there.

Here is a good article from Anandtech where you can compare the Radeon 7850 vs. 6970 on various games.

Bottom line is that they tend to perform similarly, with the 7850 offering advantages in power consumption, temps, and sometimes noise levels.
04-18-2012, 09:57 PM,
RE: New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
I'll have "The Best Video Cards For Your Money" article updated on Friday, hopefully that will help you figure it out Wink
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
04-18-2012, 10:17 PM,
RE: New Tier 5 Build CPU/GPU Question
Thanks Phyrre and Mathieu! I will definitely wait until Friday to pull the trigger on the video card, and I am sure I will have more questions once I start buildingHuh

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