Income tax Gaming Rig!!

OK so I'm getting a pretty good refund this year and I've convinced my wife to let me use a good chunk of it to build me a completley new gaming rig. im currently using a shitty 4 year old laptop so I have no parts I can reuse besides my keyboard and mouse. My budget is about 2500 including a new monitor. I will be using it just for gaming. I do plan to try some moderate overclocking after its broken in a little. All the prices I have are from

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600; 316.00

Tuniq Tower 120; 59.99

eVGA 680i SLi
(2 x 1gb)Corsair XMS2 Dominator DDR2 800; Combo price; 523.99

Antec 900 case; 134.99

OCZ GameXStream 600w ;119.99

eVGA 8800GTS; 399.99

WD 10k Raptor 150g ; 219.99

NEC 20x DVD+RW ;29.99

LG 52xCD 16xDVDcombo drive; 17.99

Windows Vista Ultimate 199.99

Total comes out to like 2021.91

Im completley clueless on the monitor. And Im not sure if I will have to buy any extra cables or anything to put this thing together. As I litterly have no current parts at my disposal. If there any glaring weakness here or anyplace I should redistribute the money amybe skimp a little here and add a little there or anything? Is there anything Im forgetting? Any and all opinions or suggestions would be greatley appreciated.
18 answers Last reply
More about income gaming
  1. Screw Vista, driver support sucks hard right now, wait a while until things settle down a bit, im waiting until the first service pack myself. Pick up a tube of Arctic Silver 5 for the hsf, and you might want to get the 700w GamerXStream since you have the budget for it. Dont know much about monitors, so i cant give you much advice there.
  2. Looks to be an awesome gaming rig.

    If you really want to cut corners:

    cpu - e6400 - if it ain't broken, overclock it ;)
    xp home/pro - 100% software compability

    A retail tower case will come with all the accessories needed for installing everything. A retail psu will come with 4 thick-threaded screws & a power cord. A retail mobo will come with all the accessories needed for connecting a floppy drive, an optical drive, IDE hard drive, SATA hard drive & maybe a USB/IEEE bracket. A fancy/deluxe/premium retail mobo will have more brackets & cables & maybe a loud-s chipset fan. A retail monitor will come with a D-SUB cable &/or a DVI cable.

    You wouldn't have to worry about anything extra. Maybe popcorn & a coke. ;) You'd need a few basic hardware tools for the build.
  3. Get a Dell 30" monitor. Will only bring up the cost by 1k or so.
  4. I figured I would jsut go with Vista now and deal with the bugs instead of buying XP then having to upgrade later. Also seriouly I cant afford a grand for a monitor. I read a lot about the e4300 supposedly beiong really awsome is it really better than the e6600? Should I try to skim back on some of the other components and updrade to the 88GTX instead of the GTS?
  5. Any other comments?
  6. I agree that a 30 inch monitor is overkill here.

    Pick 19 or 21 inch, make sure it has a good contrast ratio (e.g. 500:1 or more), good brightness, and low refresh rates (8ms or lower is recommended).
  7. Do you plan on buying a second, identical graphics card in the future and running SLI? If not I would go with a P965 based board. You can get one from a tier 1 motherboard manufacturer for less than the EVGA board. I suggest the Asus P5B Deluxe (Wi-FI Edition if you want or need Wi-Fi).

    Stick with the E6600 since it offers excellent performance at stock speeds and is also a decent overclocker. I would also suggest going with the OCZ 700 Watt power supply. Your RAM and graphics card choices look fine. The Raptor is a great hard drive and it owns in benchmarks, but is saving a couple fo seconds in game load times really worth the premium it costs? It isn't to me, so I would recommend going with a larger hard drive. 400GBs seems to be a great price point right now. I've always had success with Seagate harddrives so I would go with this:

    Your choice for case, DVD drives, and OS are all good. There really is no reason to get XP when you can get Vista. Driver support will get better sooner rather than later. You will also probably need a keyboard and mouse, and since these are personal taste accessories, I will leave that decision to you.

    As far as monitors, I would go with this Dell 22" widescreen:

    The total I come out to is roughly $2,300 including shipping.
  8. widescreen monitors are no good for gaming
  9. if you have absolutely no spare parts you may want to buy the computer premade from a company therefore you have support and if one of the components is faulty it will take alot less effort trying to ge a refund or replacement for it,

    as far as monitors go get a 1600x1200 ish monitor with a low ms (8 is a good refresh rate) i've seen such monitors for £250
  10. Are you sure 150 Gb are enough??
    I would recommend another HD for storage, 250 gb or more.
    19 or 21" would be pretty nice (8 ms refresh rate or less), personally I don't like widescreen but that is your choice, so see if you can test it at your local dealer before buying
  11. widescreen monitors are fine for gaming. every game out today supports widescreen.

    ive got the samsung 225bw, 22inch widescreen. i recommend that monitor to everybody and anybody.
  12. There are a few more issues about Vista that would disuade most enthusiasts from jumping ship right away... but it should look cool at least.

    The Samsung 22'' monitor is under $300 right now at Newegg.

    Your decision to use the e4300 vs the e6600 should be made with an understanding that performance will only be apperant if you intend to add stress through overclocking it.

    The e6600 is a solid CPU that you could mildly overclock and achieve great speeds and reliability without excessive cooling measures.

    Your build is stellar by todays standards... one possible performance increase could be attained by using Two (74GB) raptors in RAID 0 vs a single 150 stand alone... essentially doubling throughput speeds.

    The 600W PSU is Plenty for what you have listed, however may limit your options for future upgrades... barring an upgrade would be feasible in 2 years or so - given how quickly the Tech changes.

    You could save money on a case... I personally used the Coolermaster Centurion which as great air flow and enough size to accomodate your components... and it runs for $50 bucks.

    Good luck with your build.
  13. Gaming and not overclocking: I would get a cheap mb, avg memory, avg CPU and an 8800 video card.

    Dual cards are faster, but your single GTS is fast enough. Speedy memory and gynormous overclocking won't do much for your gaming. Neither will a Raptor. The GPU is the single biggest contributor to gaming performance (IMHO, and that's what my testing has shown). So, I would get:

    avg motherboard (DS3, P5B Deluxe, etc...) $180
    avg memory (2x1gb $230)
    avg HDD (1x320 gb $89)

    Keep your other stuff and you will dominate any 3d game out there.

    Now, if you want higher benchmark scores, spend a lot more. If you want good gaming, spend it where it counts. I think the GTS is the best bang for the high end perf buck right now. 3 months it will be the GTX because the new GTNB or whatever will be out.

  14. Quote:
    widescreen monitors are fine for gaming. every game out today supports widescreen.

    ive got the samsung 225bw, 22inch widescreen. i recommend that monitor to everybody and anybody.

    I have the exact same monitor and would also recommend it to anyone. I bought it for around $400 Canadian. Yes, it does work great for any game I have played on it. One note, do some research on which monitors come with DVI cables, which you will want to use, thats about a $50 cable.

    I originally bought a LG 20" for $300 but would have had to buy a $50 DVI cable so instead I spent the extra $50 and got a 22" that came with the cable.
  15. Quote:
    widescreen monitors are no good for gaming

    You have no idea what you're talking about. I've been using a 24" Dell for 2 years with NO issues in games.. and games that only support "standard" resolutions, they're just centered in the middle of the screen with black bars on the left and right side (like watching a letterbox DVD on a standard tv). Nearly all games in the last year or two support widescreen resolutions.

    In fact, friends complain about me in games since I have extra viewable space on the sides of the screen. This wider viewing angle helps especially in 3D shooters like CS:S and in games like WoW where having a wide field of view is a major advantage in PVP.
  16. Stick with the E6600, good price / performance ratio.

    Like someone else said, if you're not planning to go SLI, ditch the 680i motherboard. I know you are going with the combo, but you should be able to get a 965/975 with similar RAM for slightly less. If you are going to do some serious overclocking I would go with the 965, as they seem to tolerate the higher FSB's more.

    As for the Raptor, it's not enough. They're great if you are going to have another drive for storage/apps, but all by itself, you'll be disappointed. Besides if I had one, I'd want two, so I could make a ripping fast RAID setup :twisted: .

    If you are building this in the near term, I would consider either ditching Vista for now, or getting at least XP Home in a dual boot situation. Crysis / DX10 is a ways off, and besides nVidia's driver for Vista is not ready, and the leaked one BSODS (read -very unstable). If you are planning the build a month from now, maybe things will have smoothed out a little. I know it seems backwards to have a bleeding edge system, but then not use a bleeding edge OS. It's one thing to get Rev 1.0 / stepping A0 hardware, but never get Ver. 1.0 software including OS's. Good rule of thumb, wait for the first Service Pack. You want to use this system now, you don't want to be pulling your hair out for two months because nothing works properly.

    As for the power supply, it should be sufficient for this build (just), but since you are building new (ie not carring any hardware over), give yourself a little more headroom to upgrade later. Sure this graphics card only uses X amount of current, but your next one may use 50% more. It really sucks when your upgrading your graphics card costing you $400 dollars, and have to buy a $150-$200 PSU. I've got nothing against OCZ, but there are more reputable PSU manufacturers.

    As for the case, I have one (for the kids system). I liked it, but the system that's in it is slightly dated (P4C800-E Deluxe, 3.2GHz P4E, 7600GT AGP, blah blah) so I had no issues with the case. Later I was reading on a forum somewhere that this case had a design flaw making it impossible to mount PCI-E cards. Before anyone flames me, I didn't have this experience with the case myself, it's something I read somewhere. It seems to me that if this problem did exist, it probably has been fixed with a revision, but it's something to consider. Wouldn't want to start assembly and find out you couldn't mount that nice 8800GTS, that would suck.

    As for monitor, not sure. I have a big a$$ 19" CRT, I like it, but LCD's have come a long way in nullifying some of there problems with games. I know LG has some nice models in the 19" widescreens, very high contrasts, good response times. I don't have much experience with LCD's when it comes to gaming. I have one on my wifes computer (Acer 19" widescreen) with a good published response time of 5mS, but she doesn't game. Maybe some of the guys here could give you some realistic advice (ie no 30" Dells too expensive for his budget), something that fits your budget. Also it doesn't hurt to hit the net and read some reviews, especially gamecentric sites. Since this machine is being built to game (otherwise why would you want an 8800GTS), besides the video card, the next most important component is the monitor. Put some research into this part of your purchase. Also monitors are a personal thing, if you've got a few computer shops where you live, go down to them and check out a few models. You probably won't buy from them, but at least you can see first hand what you'll be getting. It also doesn't hurt to buy locally on this item. This way if you get it home and it has stuck/dead pixels, you don't have to go through the hassle of shipping it back to wherever it is that you are getting this stuff. Most stores have a 14 day no questions asked return/exchange policy, so if you get it home and don't like it, take it back and get something else. Of course check this with the store you are considering buying from if you go this route.

    Well have fun building this system. I assume this is your first build, so take it slow. Double check everything twice when putting it together before plugging it in. Most builds I have done boot on the first time, if it doesn't chances are you have forgotten to hook something up or something isn't seated quite right. Be sure that if you are removing / reseating anything to disconnect power and let the PSU discharge for 30 seconds before removing any hardware. You don't want to make a small problem into a big one. It's much nicer to have an RMA free build.
  17. Just my two cents; I'd stick with the e6600 since with mild overclock you can hit 3ghz and the extra cache will help more in the future. 22 inch widescreen monitors are below $300 now. If possilbe go with duel boot system while they fix the drivers for vista. for the price of the raptor you can get two 300 plus gig sata 2 drives put in raid 0 array giving similiar or better performance with 4 times the storage space. the gigabyte ds3 is on newegg for around $139 and is solid overclocker. Ugrade the power supply for future protection and with all this money saved get the 8800gtx. You will have no need for sli with this setup and remain well within budget if anything go with 4 gigs of ram since that would be your next logical upgrade anyway. I like my systems to stay fairly quiet so the money saved can get you a fairly quiet power supply at 700 watts or so.
  18. for a monitor I would recommend the following

    ViewSonic VX922 19-inch LCD Monitor

    link leads to compusa its where i picked mine up from, but I am sure new egg would have one. its about $300
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Gaming Systems Product