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New Gaming Rig Thoughts

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February 6, 2008 2:05:13 AM

It has been a long time since I built and have been wanting to get back into it. Here is my build I came up with after a lot of research and reading so thanks for the help on this forum as well as others. I played with the idea of seeing what Nvidia does with their new card but haven't been impressed with some of the SLI boards out there. Sounds like they have their own set of issues. So with that in mind I looked at going Intel and ATI in hopes of being rock solid and to get on some xCrossfire action. Please let me know if you seen anything wrong or have suggestions. My budget is around 2000ish. I don't mind paying for quality at all. I'm not partial to Nvidia or ATI and have had good luck with both in the past.

I'll be gaming at 1920x1200 and hope to make this system last a few years if possible. Crysis, TF2, WoW, Age of Conan and anything else I have time to fit in. Here is what I got so far...

Case:Cooler Master Stacker 820 Evolution
PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000w
MB: Abit IX38 Quad GT LGA 775 or Asus Maximus Formula LGA 775 X38 (Thoughts??)
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 3870x2 (Hope to add another. Just want to see how the new drivers perform.)
Processor: Intel E8400
Processor Fan: Zalman 9700
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1000
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB
CD: Samsung 20X DVD/Burn
Case Fans: Scythe SFF21E

So any thoughts or comments are welcome. I want to make sure I make the right choices before I drop that much money. Thanks!

More about : gaming rig thoughts

February 6, 2008 8:07:44 AM

looks good... i would go for the maximus, but only because i've heard good comment's about it - as for the abit board, i didn't know it existed till you told me... also, if you OC, try getting the Thermaltake Ultra-120
February 6, 2008 9:13:39 AM

Id get the SE edition of the Maximus. Has a waterblock for any future watercooling ideas you have in the future. Instead of the Ultra 120, I would get a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 heatsink. frostytech.com has a review and comparison of heatsinks and it beats it. It actually beats the extreme version as well.
Related resources
February 6, 2008 9:23:51 AM

^^ that review is fixed

They show distorted results....there was a post about this but I cant find it :( . The TR120 is still the best.

Ill help you out later after school. Few things though.
Change the PSU. Coolermaster PSUs are not very reliable. Get a PC&C or a Corsair PSU. Everything else looks pretty good. Just the Psu chould be changed
February 6, 2008 11:24:28 AM

pretty sick post i would get a 10k rpm hard drive it would run a bit faster when booting windows up and other stuff :) 
February 6, 2008 11:32:59 AM

Get 2 drives 1 for OS & 2 for Games, Data, Video. If you don't plan on getting stupid silly on OC you can go for a ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro, if you plan to rewrite the record books on OC'ing go with the
TU-120, the thermal compound listed should be used in either case.

Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme + Scythe S-Flex SFF21F fan
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS 250GB 7200.10 RPM 16MB Cache

Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache
February 6, 2008 11:35:56 AM

Oh go with this: PSU CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply

It will work for you now and for any other upgrades like your second HD 3870x2 you mentioned you may get at a later time. The PSU is probably one-of-the-most-important items you should "NOT" skimp on.
February 6, 2008 12:06:20 PM

Thanks a lot for this information. It's exactly the kind of feed back I was looking for.

So now I added the ThermalRight Ultra 120 + fan to my list in place of the Zalman.

Question on the PSU. I had originally look at this one, CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX. However I had started reading that the 3870x2 pulls a little more then a 8800 Ultra so figured I needed something more to run two of those. Would the 620 be enough or even the 750 I listed above be able to handle 2 3870x2? I don't want to skimp on the PSU since I have had many bad builds ages ago with cheap ones. I know they go a long ways toward system stability and being problem free. I'm of the opinion you can never have too much power :) .

Also sounds like I could find a 10,000 RPM drive and throw my OS on it to take advantage of the faster operation. Then use the Seagate for my games and stuff. I see a WD 10k one out there. Kinda pricey though for only 150GB..
February 6, 2008 12:13:12 PM

I would wait (before you actually order) to see what Silverion77 has to say, he is very knowledgeable. Not saying others can't help just that he is great at making sure all your i;s are dotted & t's are crossed. But don't tell him I said that he already has a big-enough ego :lol:  :lol: 
February 6, 2008 12:15:27 PM

I would stick with the same manufacterer, I think the two drives I listed are priced good and offer great performance:

Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS 250GB 7200.10 RPM 16MB Cache

Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache
February 6, 2008 1:31:25 PM

Silverion77 said:


Change the PSU. Coolermaster PSUs are not very reliable. Get a PC&C or a Corsair PSU. Everything else looks pretty good. Just the Psu chould be changed



systemlord said:
I wouldn't touch a CoolMaster power supply, there rated tier 5 NOT RECOMMENDED! ....

http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon


OK guys, how much research have you done on the subject of CoolerMaster PSUs? I'm curious because I bought this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
on Black Friday. Average of five stars in the review section (yes I know they're Newegg reviewers ;) , overall a great product, just a little on the pricey side right now. My personal opinion is that the tier listings are a little outdated and CoolerMaster should be moved up (at least the Real Power Pro series) to something higher than Tier 5.

"This is taken from the Official XS Tiered PSU Manufacturer Brand Listings and has not been updated here in quite some time. "
Straight from the link.......also 07-22-2006, 08:50 AM is the post date on the listings.

Oh and @Drist, is the PSU in a bundle with the case by any chance? If it is then I would say it's fine, but if not you may as well pick this beast up instead: http://www.buy.com/prod/ocz-silencer-750w-quad-sli-read...
February 6, 2008 1:46:26 PM

mlaporta said:
I would stick with the same manufacterer, I think the two drives I listed are priced good and offer great performance:

Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS 250GB 7200.10 RPM 16MB Cache

Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache


I was hoping someone would squash the Raptor idea before too long. Raptors are generally not worth it anymore (from the reading I've done + looking at Tom's Hard Disk Charts), and the Seagate drives mlaporta posted should serve you well. If you need a little more space and want some more speed too you can get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

@OP: is this the bundle you were looking at by any chance?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If so than I have a suggestion for you: how about you get the 750W Silencer I linked earlier for $140, and get this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for $170 after S/H. Two 250mm side fans, one 120mm rear exhaust fan and one 200mm top exhaust fan for cooling, plus I believe you can add one more 120mm intake in the front. The total for those two part comes to $310, which is $40 less than the bundle after MIR.
February 6, 2008 1:47:07 PM

Yes @Avenger_K. It is part of a bundle so I could save some money. I'm all for the PC Power and Cooling but they are very costly for the 1K ones. I have heard good things about Corsair too and the 750 or 620 look very doable. I know you get what you pay for sometimes though.

EDIT: Saw the case you posted and it's pretty nice. I also am a big fan of this one too http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . However, it doesn't seem to have side fans which could really help with those heat producing MBs I bet. I'm not sure but I seem to be stuck on Coolermaster cases, a lot of people seem to like them and they look like quality cases.

Thanks @mlaporta for the HD info. I am going with your suggestion on this as it sounds solid.

So general consensus on motherboards seems to be the Asus Maximus Formula. Are their any other options that would be better then that currently I should consider?

Appreciate the info so far you guys are the best.
February 6, 2008 3:55:03 PM

Look at the reviews on these mobo's (which are awesome) and see if they fit your needs:

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
February 6, 2008 4:05:58 PM

mlaporta said:
Look at the reviews on these mobo's (which are awesome) and see if they fit your needs:

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard


Of those two I would suggest the ABIT IP35Pro, simply because I heard so many good things about it and it's relatively inexpensive.
February 6, 2008 4:14:46 PM

Agreed on the Abit I went with it...
February 6, 2008 6:18:19 PM

^^ Guys...recall he might want a second X2 so hell need a X38 board

Axe the raptor...waste of money
If X38 get the Maximus Formula (with DDR2 not DDR3)
On the PSU I wouldnt put anything to chance. Get the Corsair 620HX (nice with modular cables) or the PC P&C 610 or 750. They will all support 2 3870x2s.

Then with the nice PSU get the CoolerMaster Stacker separately. Other good choices are the Antec 900 (small but great cooling) or the P182 (nice and quiet)

Are you overclocking...if so, get the Thermalright 120 Extreme
February 6, 2008 6:26:04 PM

Silverion77 said:
^^ Guys...recall he might want a second X2 so hell need a X38 board

Axe the raptor...waste of money
If X38 get the Maximus Formula (with DDR2 not DDR3)
On the PSU I wouldnt put anything to chance. Get the Corsair 620HX (nice with modular cables) or the PC P&C 610 or 750. They will all support 2 3870x2s.

Then with the nice PSU get the CoolerMaster Stacker separately. Other good choices are the Antec 900 (small but great cooling) or the P182 (nice and quiet)

Are you overclocking...if so, get the Thermalright 120 Extreme


OK, I agree with most of that. However, the one thing I'm not sure about is this; does he actually need an X38 board? Both the DS-4 and the IP35-Pro have 2 PCI-Express slots, just that they are 16x-4x, rather than 16x-16x. I've heard (can't actually confirm this myself) that having the second slot at 4x doesn't hardly have any performance impact, since much of the data transfer is done via the CrossFire cable.
February 6, 2008 6:31:36 PM

Im not sure about that, but I would still get the X38. He has the budget to get it so I say do it. The Formula is a good board even without the Crossfire, stability and overclocking wise
February 6, 2008 6:33:55 PM

Guess it can't hurt.......yeah go with the X38 then :D 
February 6, 2008 6:36:38 PM

Thats the spirit :) 
February 6, 2008 7:15:32 PM

Alright thanks again. Appreciate the info Silverion77. I do plan to OC some but been out of it for a while so will have to learn a few things.

So here is my final build based on the changes here.

Case:Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution
PSU: PC P&P Silencer 750
MB: Asus Maximus Formula LGA 775 X38
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 3870x2 (Hope to add another. Just want to see how the new drivers perform.)
Processor: Intel E8400
Processor Fan: Thermalright 120 Extreme + Scythe SFF21E
Thermal Compound: ARCTIC COOLING MX-2
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1000
Harddirve1: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB (16 Cache)
Harddrive2: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB (32 Cache)
CD: Samsung 20X DVD/Burn
Case Fans: Scythe SFF21E
OS: Vista-64

Only final question I have is Q6600 vs E8400. I know games are not big users of Quad yet but would I better future proofed by quad? I could OC the Q6600 pretty high by many reports.

My thoughts are by the time it's standard I will be upgrading but doesn't hurt to check. For gaming it sounds like E8400 should be my best bet though.
February 6, 2008 7:18:43 PM

yea, i say stick with the E8400 (another option is to wait till March possible for the new quads...) but if you want it now I say go with the E8400.

Otherwise that system looks really good.
February 6, 2008 7:22:45 PM

Silverion77 said:
yea, i say stick with the E8400 (another option is to wait till March possible for the new quads...) but if you want it now I say go with the E8400.

Otherwise that system looks really good.


Fair enough. Thanks for everything and helping me get this all correct everyone.
February 6, 2008 7:29:09 PM

sure thing....that rig will be awesome..Im jealous...but i was on a budget
February 6, 2008 7:31:56 PM

I'm jealous myself, but I'm also on a budget for this next build :(  ;)  . Good luck with the building, and remember, above all, to have fun with it! :D 
February 6, 2008 8:54:35 PM

Avenger_K said:
I'm jealous myself, but I'm also on a budget for this next build :(  ;)  . Good luck with the building, and remember, above all, to have fun with it! :D 


Bahh Don't be. Always something around the corner thats better. I don't upgrade often so I'm allowed to spend a bit more. However, I do know how addictive this can be. :) 
February 6, 2008 8:56:17 PM

It is....Im already thinking of my next upgrades....maybe a 10series or RV770. And wait till Nehalem for a new proc. or get a Penryn Quad
February 6, 2008 9:13:07 PM

Silverion77 said:
It is....Im already thinking of my next upgrades....maybe a 10series or RV770. And wait till Nehalem for a new proc. or get a Penryn Quad

Dude, same here. I'm thinking how much I want a 10 series, how much good a quad might do me, whether 4GB of RAM is worth the money, etc.......
!