Gamer's Dream RIG


I haven't built a new PC in about 3 years... I'm a hardcore gamer and tired of the cpu lag and slow load times so its now time to spend my bonus on a new rig. I have around a $5,000 budget but of course I don't need to waste it all. I want something that will last and has upgrade options down the road.

I've been a big fan of Asus motherboards but all the reviews I read so far on newegg are very negative. I've also been a fan of AMD but from recent articles it looks like the new Intel core duo has the performance edge over AMD.

My first ATI card is running in this pc. It is the x850Xt PE 256mb. All my other cards have been NVIDIA. I don't really have any complaints with ATI but it seems like the performance out of this card is not as high as it should be.

With all that said, I'm looking for recommendations on what you would build if you were in my situation. Should I wait a few months or buy now? I play all types of games FPS, RTS, MMO and I prefer playing with max settings. Thanks for taking the time to read and help me out. I need the whole nine yards (motherboard, CPU, RAM, Video card(s), Hard drive, sound card, speakers, case, power supply, DVD ROM)

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  1. I built my rig two months ago - see below. A few things I would do now:

    MB: Unless I was willing to wait for the $299 Asus 590 series in a month or so, I would still get the Intel D975XBXLRK. Intel is NEVER a big pick on this channel, but it is rock solid and works great, and I can't find a single bad thing to say about it.

    GPU: I would still go with the X1900XT or X1900XTX but I wouldn't go Crossfire or SLi until DX10 next year. My X1900XTX works great with everything maxed out (1280 x 1040 on Sony Trinitron CRT). BF2, DDO, WoW, and Oblivion run great. I am the first to spawn in by a long shot on BF2. I take any aircraft or chopper I want... Save $2000 from your budget for the best MB and dual/quad GPU when DX10 is out.

    CPU: Core 2 Duo X6800 - no question. Just like the Intel MB, Intel chips weren't popular here for a long time (Heck, my last three were AMD's) but the C2D's simply fly!

    Cooling: Depeding on your desire to OC, see Wusy's column on OCing the C2D. He has some great recommendations. See the CPU OCing forum sticky's.

    Case: The Gigabyte 3D Aurora Gamer is great. Can't find a bad thing to say.

    PSU: The Ultra has been great. No issues at all. But looking back I should have gotten the OCZ Gamestream 700W or the PC Power and Cooling 750W.

    Hard drives: I have two PC's. I game on one and only use one 74GB 10K Raptor. I keep all my data on the other. It keeps the gaming PC clean and running. I'll let others recommend HD's.

    Memory: Look at the OC Memory forum. There's been a lot of data about PC6400 not performing as well as some of the slower memory. Check there for opinions.

    Otherwise, have fun spending a massive budget!

    My Rig:
    Core 2 Duo X6800 Conroe (Stock Clock for Now)
    Intel D975XBXLRK
    Thermaltake Big Typhoon HSF
    2 GB Corsair Pro PC6400 4-4-4-15
    74GB 10k Raptor
    ATI X1900XTX
    SB Audigy 2 ZS
    NEC DVD OEM Burners (x2)
    Ultra 1.44FD / Card Reader
    Ultra X-Finity 600w SLi Certified PS
    Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case
  2. If you're going to wait, wait for a good while. Initial directx 10 cards won't be half as good as they could be. There's nothing that a top-of-the-line dx9 card won't play in a couple of years. Your X850 will play today's games nicely, but I agree, it's time to change.

    Core2Duo gets rave reviews everywhere but I see so many people on these forums complaining they can't get the low temperatures they read about. Possibly too much of the silver stuff between HSF and CPU if you ask me.

    Both new platforms will receive at least a second wave of CPUs, probably quad core. If AMD doesn't re-think its cores then Intel should keep the lead, but that's just in theory. Neither base will dissatisfy you.

    If you're going to stick with the CPU you are about to buy for the life of the motherboard then go for a high-end C2D, an E6600 is the bang-for-buck sweet-spot. Extreme editions are for the super-rich.

    Corsair are the best for RAM, "Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C4 PRO" is their best but "Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C4" is still excellent and saves you some money.

    Gigabyte's "GA_965P_DS3" is your best bet unless you require more than 2 IDE devices or more than 1 GPU. I see little point in crossfire or SLi in a brand-new system, I see it only as a useful option for people who have an SLi motherboard and a single card that can be SLi'd and no longer cuts it.

    GPU: Radeon X1950. I choose this because sooner or later 512Mb cards are going to become the norm, as is GDDR4. You will already have these! It should eat less power than the nVidia 7950GX2 as well. Don't skimp on your GPU or it'll be wasted money when you upgrade it in a year.

    PSU - Enermax Liberty 620W ELT620AWT would be my choice, I like Enermax. The Akasa Ultra Quiet 650W PowerPlus Active PFC is also good.

    Akasa Mirage 62 Aluminium Case

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS, 3 of them in RAID0.

    So far you should be at about $2500. I'm assuming you could bring a DVD drive from your old machine if you wanted so haven't chosen you one of those.
  3. Spend 1,500$ and get a a great rig that will run anything. Put that other 3.5k into a savings, and in 20 years buy yourself a Holodeck.
  4. get the 1)core 2 extreme X6800 -975$
    2)ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard-240$
    3)Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2K2/2G -354$
    4) POWERCOLOR X1950XTX 512MB GDDR4 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Video Card -480$
    5)Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive-270$
    6)Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - 122$
    7)Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker - $263.99
    8)SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R Burner, LightScribe Technology-34$

    9)CASE : Thermaltake Armor series VA8000BWS black-$150
    10)ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT 620W powersupply- $170
    if you need a good lcd here is one
    ViewSonic VX922 Black/Silver 19" 2ms LCD Monitor 270 cd/m2 650:1 0.294mm Pixel Pitch - $255

    TOTAL: $3133
    since you have a budget of 5000$ save the extra money for a DIRECTX10 card.
    Also i recommended the 620W power supply because the DIRECTX10 card will need all the power it can get.
  5. AMD's architecture will allow for better memory and cache handleings when more cache or ram is present.
  6. if you have 5 grand to blow i wouldn't be getting a measly 19" i'd get like 24 or larger and for that you'll need a more powerful graphics solution
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