Help me design a non-budget system I can be proud of ~$2000

Alright, for the past six months I've been eyeing up newegg and tiger direct almost daily and I figured its about time for me to start asking for outside assistance. I was wondering what other people would think is a good way to spend around 2k on a complete system. However I already have a good monitor, decent keyboard and mouse, and the case I have picked out is a nice Lian-Li.

That asside, I pretty much need everything else. I want to know how other people would spend the $2000 on parts, rather I mean a complete system, third party cooling solutions as well. The only actual restriction I can think of is the fact that I don't want a jet engine beside my head. I have some fans that are running around 55 Db in my current case and right now it is all I can do to keep sane. It can run AMD or Intel, ATI or Nvidia, I would rather have a performance system than I would to be dedicated to one and blind to the other.

I dont have any experience with liquid cooling or system overclocking. So unless you believe this would be a good time for me to start learning, or have a very good explanation of what I should do, I would rather steer clear of both. The problem is that I still want a powerful system worthy of high-end gaming.

I'm looking foreward to your suggestions, and if the price goes above $2000 a little for some extra option I may like, go ahead and suggest it, I'm open to it.
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More about help design budget system proud 2000
  1. $2000 is a lot more than you need for high end gaming.

    I would steer clear of overclocking because those warranties can be very valuable if you run out of luck.

    You don't need a water cooling system unless you do overclock, unless you want a really quiet, cool (looking), cool (temperature) system.

    With $2000 I would wait for Conroe because they are "suppose" to have the best price: performance ratio.

    Unless you are someone who takes pride in having an amazing system, I would cut down that budget. I'd bet you could make a gaming rig for under $1k that would play the newest games at high settings at an acceptable fps. I've read an article saying humans can't see more than 25 fps, but of course you want higher than that because the fps can drop significantly in certain situations, like if 20 people are shooting at the same time.
  2. I like doing stuff like this. I checked all these items and prices at newegg.

    AMD Athlon64 X2 4600+ (socket AM2) $585
    Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless $210
    OCZ Platinum 2GB DDR2 800 $210
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
    SATA 3.0Gb/s hard drive $110
    Plextor PX-755SA DVD RW DL x16
    SATA $106
    XFX 7900GT 256MB PCI-E video card
    (x2) $598
    OCZ PowerStream 600w SLI ready
    psu $175
    total $1994

    Granted, you'd pass $2000 with tax and shipping included, and I didn't include any third party cooling stuff, but you'd have one kick ass system.
  3. That system doesn't look that good, the hard disk is at a really stupid price/size point, the two graphics cards are dumb because they're not the absolute best and you should just get a GX2 anyway, that motherboard is pointlessly extravegant and the PSU is too expensive (not for what it is, but you can do with a much cheaper one).

    Anyway, if you're shelling out that much cash it'd be absolutly stupid to not wait a very short while and get the fastest CPU we've ever seen in a desktop system.
  4. Quote:
    Alright, for the past six months I've been eyeing up newegg

    Since you've been patient that long, I recommend you think it over a little longer. If you have not fully researched AM2 vs. Core, dig in now. If you find yourself drifting towards Conroe, decide on a CPU and find out qhat the queues are like as the release date approaches. Personally, I'd be tempted to go with a 300-400 dollar Conroe but am also very happy with my DFI 3200/Opty170.

    the case I have picked out is a nice Lian-Li.

    Good stuff.

    The only actual restriction I can think of is the fact that I don't want a jet engine beside my head. I have some fans that are running around 55 Db in my current case and right now it is all I can do to keep sane.

    SilenX sells 9, 11 and 14dB fans. Not cheap, but they are quiet. The key is to have high surface area of vent space, which Lian Li tends to do well. For a rig costing $2K, I'd recommend a 1900XT GPU and it's fan is fairly loud. You could go with the Sapphire Toxic, which has its own water cooler that is pretty quiet.

    More points: Don't buy an SLI or XFire mobo if you aren't going to do SLI/XFire immediately. Don't do SLI/XFire unless you're using high end GPUs (which you really can't do for 2K). So don't get an SLI/XFire mobo. Get a good power supply, like an FSP, an OCZ or my favorite, the mushkin. Shop carefully for RAM after you choose your CPU. A few more bucks can make a difference. I really like what mushkin is producing, and have had great luck with OCZ. And again, you've been patient so consider waiting for Conroe, but if you do and want one soon, you need to be making some calls right away.
  5. Granted, you'd be better off waiting a month for Conroe. Even if you don't decide to get a Conroe, the AMD procs will drop in price when Conroe hits.

    But... this is all about FUN!

    So, I forgot sound! drop one of the two 7900GTs and get an X-Fi. Newegg lists the X-fi Fatal1ty edition (the one with the 64MB of dedicated audio ram) for $199. And you could get a smaller psu, like the OCZ Powerstream 520w. I think that puts you under $200, so you'd even have a few $s for a floppy if you want one.

    And about the hard drive. I really think the Seagate 320GB 7200.10 is worth a second look. From what i've seen, it blows other comparably priced drives away, performance-wise.
  6. I just built a AM2 system for less than $2k

    Add in an x-fi card and you're good to go. The spec of the system is in my sig.
  7. hello,
    ASPIRE ATX-AS600W-RD 600w PSU - $93.00 + $8.69 Three Day Shipping
    Intel Conroe E6600 preorder - $357.99 + S/H
    Intel D975XBXLKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard - $189.99 + S/H
    NOTE: need D27094-304 or higher. One above may not be revision 304.
    2 x Mushkin Enhanced Performance 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) - $183.35 w/ combined shipping (4x512mb)
    REFURBISHED W/ 3 month warranty Western Digital Raptor HDD 10k RPM 74gb 8mb cache - $132.00 + S/H
    XFX GeForce 7950 GX2 520MHz 1GB DDR3 PCI Express x16 XTREME Video Card - PVT71UZDF9 - $539.99
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum 24-bit - 96 kHz - 109 dB SNR - 7.1 - PCI - $171.39 + S/h
    Seagate 500gb 7200RPM Sata/300 16mb Buffer - $189.99 (free shipping)

    I won't waste my time calculating in, and finding a price for, a DVD-RW burner. You can find one new for arond $25 with proper searching or maybe $40 if you are lazy. This should give you a duel-core conroe with VERY nice graphics, x-fi soundblaster, nice ram, and best of all a total of 574gb of space! Use the 74gb raptor to run games your favorite games from, and you could use the 500gb seagate sata to run windows/linux from, and for storage. It would probably make a very nice filesharing harddrive. And all this for only $1866.39.

    The 600w might not be enough to handle this rig. You might have to find something else. Some of these shipping costs can be combined, and they have not been yet. Also has several coupons out right now. I know for a fact that they have coupons active until 7/31/06 for $15 off $200, $10 off $150, and $5 off $10 for new customers. They also have a free shipping coupon active. If one were to apply it to the cheapest item bought from, and they were to get them to bundle the rest--then one might get free shipping from everything bought from Also I think has active coupons out.Ebay might afford you better prices, I just decided to use stores. Finally, the Seagate also has a 10% rebate out if you are alright with that sort of thing. The form is available at

    The intel mobo looked the nicest to me. However Asus, Gigabyte, etc. also have nice mobos out. Also with this you should have a nice monitor with DVI and 8ms response time. If you don't I would suggest the dell 1907fp 19" LCD. For speakers, I like the logitech z5500.

    Post if you need cheap, legit windows xp; a cheap new laser printer and scanner (epson); etc. and I will suggest something

  8. Quote:
    From what i've seen, it blows other comparably priced drives away, performance-wise.

    If ya got Fry's Electronics near ya, get it from them. I got 300GB Seagate 7200 for 90 bucks. What a deal! :D
  9. Oh awesome. Thats alot better of a return than I was expecting. I have a few questions though.

    In the case of the video cards, what would be the downsides of the sli/crossfire options or the 7950 in relative to each other. I've been wondering this for a while and I want to know what other people think of it.

    Also, hard drive wise, i know i was planning on getting a baracuda for my OS drive, but for my storage, I was thinking of getting two 250 gig drives, good/bad?

    As of right now I have no real big need for an audio card because of a lack of speaker power in my room. As of right now, on board audio is good enough for me.

    Next question is, if I have the option, is it a brainless idea to get 4 1gig sticks of ram instead of 4 half gig sitcks? I'm asking for both short and long run right now.

    Now, I am willing to wait for conroe to come out, (I need to actually wait a little to get the cash for it, moving into a new place from 6 roomates to 2 made for some new furniture/kitchen things expenses that I need to recover from). A question I have about this is, I know that dual core excels when it comes to multitasking. quite frankly I multitask alot. Alt-Tab is like a lover to me. However, I remember hearing that single core processors tend to do better for games than dual core processors do. I also remember hearing that there will some day be some software that will make dual core processors act as a single core, any clue on when this will happen?

    Ah, also, I'll show the monitor I have, and the case I plan on getting to give an example of what I will end up with.


  10. Are you willing to build a Conroe system? If so then I'll share you my suggestions.

    CPU: Intel Conroe E6600 $350
    Mobo: Intel 975x $230
    Ram: 2x1Gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2 667 $200
    GPU: BFG 7950GX2 $580
    HD: 250Gb Caviar SE $150

    Case: $120
    PSU: 500watts $80-100
    Media: DVD-CD/R $20-30
  11. good video card=good gaming pc
  12. I'll remember that next time I put a 7950 in my 486 system.....
  13. :lol: classic. :)
  14. Nah, the 7950 would bottleneck the 386. Make sure you get at least a KB of RAM to go with that CPU.
  15. Quote:
    I'll remember that next time I put a 7950 in my 486 system.....

    And cut the pins on the bottom so that it fits into the PCI slot, just like that other idiot.
  16. fine...
    bad video card=bad gaming system
    happy now?

    oh and ps exactly do you plan on getting a "good" video card in your 486?
  17. Quote:
    bad video card=bad gaming system
    happy now?

    oh and ps exactly do you plan on getting a "good" video card in your 486?

    It requires a monkey wrench, a team of trained professionals, and a gypsy.
  18. Hammer and some gaffer tape.

    But everyone knows that....
  19. Gaffer's tape FTW!
  20. Really? I would expect it would take the assistance of at LEAST three 8th rank wizards working for roughly 29 years around mercury fumes.
  21. 29 years = 1 bank holiday
  22. I suppose it'll be the envy of all strongbadia...
  23. hello,
    Looking at my recommendations I cant believe I recommended that ram (the trouble with not sleeping is sometimes you suggest retarded things). You can replace the suggestion I made above with OCZ DDR2 800 2x1gb kits which generally retail for around $180/$140 after rebates on sites such as This is better for the configuration. Also you might be able to get a larger 700W psu for the price of the one above which is definately recommended if you add on extra cards such as sound cards or dbs pci type cards.

    I am not sure I would get the monitor you are getting. For that price it seems smarter to get a 2ms gray-to-gray 19" viewsonic. Or possibly a nice samsung or dell. The dell 2007fp is awesome. I am currently using a 19" 1907fp w/ dvi and am every impressed.

    The conroe benchmarks in games and multitasking are amazing. Generally I think it could be agreed upon that intel's cash cow have been low-budget workstations. Since intel could generally charge less $ per chip and give better performance for multitasking, intel had a great little cash cow. However AMD also had a cashcow, amd had video gamers who were willing to spend more for more performance. Intel now is releasing VERY cheap chips in the conroe series which offer better performance than AMD's top of the line. Undoubtedly AMD will respond with something better and cheaper, but for today's market the conroe is just the powerhouse.

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