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1200-1400 gaming build

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May 9, 2008 3:20:56 PM

im am looking at building my first custom computer dont really want to spend more than $1400 on it in total so this is what i have come up with so far


https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7824532&WishListTitle=new+intel+build



what would you change, drop, add.

More about : 1200 1400 gaming build

May 9, 2008 3:48:25 PM

I would go with an EVGA 9800GTX, everything else looks nice, thats a good machine.
May 9, 2008 4:46:09 PM

Looks great.

I think grieve is right; I would also go with a 9800 GTX.

That will be a beautiful machine.
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May 9, 2008 4:56:37 PM

why a 9800 gtx over the 8800 gts i have heard the gtx is nothing more than a overclocked gts
May 9, 2008 5:16:28 PM

for the most part the setup is fine. You have to keep im mind that theres not much room for upgrade due to the motherboard.

other than that, in terms of the GPU, just get the absolute best one u can get in ur budget. a GTS is fine, but the 9 series cards will support the future dirextx10 updates whereas the 8 series will not (this really isnt a big deal, but its just an option) check the component articles and look at the 9800 gtx and GX2's articles. should be all the information you need to make a decision.

also a 5ms 19" monitor? you can do better than that
May 9, 2008 5:16:58 PM

for the most part the setup is fine. You have to keep im mind that theres not much room for upgrade due to the motherboard.

other than that, in terms of the GPU, just get the absolute best one u can get in ur budget. a GTS is fine, but the 9 series cards will support the future dirextx10 updates whereas the 8 series will not (this really isnt a big deal, but its just an option) check the component articles and look at the 9800 gtx and GX2's articles. should be all the information you need to make a decision.

also a 5ms 19" monitor? you can do better than that
May 9, 2008 5:17:09 PM

for the most part the setup is fine. You have to keep im mind that theres not much room for upgrade due to the motherboard.

other than that, in terms of the GPU, just get the absolute best one u can get in ur budget. a GTS is fine, but the 9 series cards will support the future dirextx10 updates whereas the 8 series will not (this really isnt a big deal, but its just an option) check the component articles and look at the 9800 gtx and GX2's articles. should be all the information you need to make a decision.

also a 5ms 19" monitor? you can do better than that
May 9, 2008 5:19:19 PM

so if i were to get a different motherboard what should i get ?
May 9, 2008 5:32:55 PM

stevediaman said:

also a 5ms 19" monitor? you can do better than that


A 5 ms monitor is fine.
May 9, 2008 5:39:27 PM

5ms for a 22" or somethin ide agree, but u can do better w/ a 19"
May 9, 2008 5:52:56 PM

so if i were to get a different motherboard what would you suggest ?
May 9, 2008 6:18:18 PM

Your current motherboard is fine. Other models will get you more SATA ports and firewire, but if you don't need it you are good. You could switch to DDR2 800 RAM and save some money, I hear that 1066 modules are just overclocked 800 modules. Also, you will probably want a larger monitor, like a 22 inch. With the power in that computer it would have no trouble pushing a 22.
May 9, 2008 6:40:32 PM

ok so change the motherboard to ddr2 800 and get a bigger monitour. and if i do that ram will also be a little cheaper. another thing should i bother trying to create a raid with 2 hard drives for extra performance or no ?
May 9, 2008 6:55:17 PM

1) That mobo, P35-DS3L is the very best non SLI mobo in the market. Do NOT change it.

2) RAID is generally an enthusiast's choice...don't bother with it.

3) 9800GTsuX is a cr@p GPU for that price... avoid it like plague. You're much better off with an 8800GTS G92. Moreover i suggest you wait for the Radeon 4870/4850. They're less than a month away.

4) That PSU is wayyyy overkill. You don't need 750W for a single card. You don't need 750W for a dual SLI either. Stick with Corsair 550VX.

5) Tunic Tower is an old girl now...the new bosses out there are the Xigmatek HDT S123 and Sunbeam. Both cost $36. Get one of them instead. Check this.

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
May 9, 2008 7:18:15 PM

I like the 750W PSU it is future proof.... he has a tri SLI MB there.
May 9, 2008 7:20:47 PM

as in basic you mean like single video card no raid stuff of that sort ? and what do you mean a tri sli mb ? i thought this one was very basic ? lol
May 9, 2008 7:30:46 PM

grieve said:
I like the 750W PSU it is future proof.... he has a tri SLI MB there.


One might as well get 2KW of power while he/she/its at it....so that one could Hexa SLI

The point is to get the OP the best hardware parts for the money. So that he doesn't overspend.

Jeff... yeah basic means no bells and whistles aka fancy stuff. Though if you need RAID you ought to get P35-DS3R. TRI SLI means supporting THREE gfx cards.
May 9, 2008 7:32:52 PM

1 more point regarding PSU, newer GPUs mostly use LESS power than the prev gen.
May 9, 2008 7:35:08 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

By basic I mean 4 SATA ports (I'm used to 6), no eSATA, no FireWire, no 4X or 8X PCIe. There's nothing wrong with basic as long as you anticipate your needs won't grow. ...and besides, you can always get add-in cards.

I try not to economize on the mobo (I got burnt in '06 with an economy Gigabyte P965 DS3R). ...but its not wise to overspend either. I'd maybe go $50US higher (if possible) and look at this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...allows for a little more growth, IMO. I tend to like slightly more than I'll need.
May 9, 2008 7:39:47 PM

-I would change the RAM to the 4GB of G.Skill DDR2 100 that you can get for less than $80

-I would change the CPU cooler to the Xigmatek unit ($36 shipped)

-I would get one of the DFI Blood Iron boards over the DS3 line.

Otherwise, great selection!
May 9, 2008 7:41:38 PM

njalterio said:
A 5 ms monitor is fine.



Yeah but thats an acer monitor, Acer tend not to quote the grey to grey time of their monitors (which is what almost every other manufacturer does). If this is the case (it doesn't say) then the actual response time is likely to be 8ms which isnt so good nowadays.
May 9, 2008 8:07:42 PM

halcyon said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

By basic I mean 4 SATA ports (I'm used to 6), no eSATA, no FireWire, no 4X or 8X PCIe. There's nothing wrong with basic as long as you anticipate your needs won't grow. ...and besides, you can always get add-in cards.

I try not to economize on the mobo (I got burnt in '06 with an economy Gigabyte P965 DS3R). ...but its not wise to overspend either. I'd maybe go $50US higher (if possible) and look at this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...allows for a little more growth, IMO. I tend to like slightly more than I'll need.


ok this says it has 2 pci express 16X but one says its only a 4x mechanical or something like that what does that mean exactly ? i have never heard of that. and what g skill memory do you suggest ? along with a monitor ?
a b 4 Gaming
May 9, 2008 8:30:52 PM

Your case and PSU together cost $280 or 20% of your total build cost.
$280 for a nice 22" monitor and $180 for case & PSU would be a better way to spend your money IMO.
Samsung 220WM 22" LCD WS Monitor Corsair 550VX PSU $85 after rebate CM RC-690 $85 or CM Centurion 590 $65 case

A 2nd PCI-e x16 (x4 electrical) means you have the option to run a 2nd ATI PCI-e video card there with reduced bandwidth. Either as a 2nd video card for extra monitors or as the 2nd card in a CrossFire setup. There is a performance penalty over a X38 motherboard where both PCI-e x16 slots run at full x16.


May 9, 2008 8:39:11 PM

jeff1304 said:
ok this says it has 2 pci express 16X but one says its only a 4x mechanical or something like that what does that mean exactly ? i have never heard of that. and what g skill memory do you suggest ? along with a monitor ?



..basically the that 2nd PCIe x16 slot is really a x4 slot, so you can put another graphics card in it but it won't run at x16 speeds, only x4 speed (someone correct me if I've misstated that). Unless you want to run xFire or are planning to get a serious RAID card (or just want the creme-de-le-creme and don't mind paying for it) you don't need an X38/48. Yes, you may get better overclocks out of an X38/48 but at a significant price premium.
May 9, 2008 8:47:03 PM

Current list as of 5/9/2008 4:40PM (Virginia time):

The list looks good. The DS3L is a great OCing motherboard:

If interested in OCing checkout: GUIDE: Overclocking On P35-DS3L v1.1

EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB
DS3L
PP&C 750
E8400
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283
are all solid choices.

Looks like the OP did his/her research well (+ help from Forums) :) .


May 9, 2008 8:49:06 PM

will the heatsink i have in my list fit on the mb and processor and still fit in the case ? and how is the airflow in those cases ? as for the psu why go as low as a 550W psu isnt that a lil low or not really ?
May 9, 2008 9:06:58 PM

^ A quality 550W is more than enough to power your system. (ie. a Corsair 550VX/520HX). But you are getting the PP&C 750 at quite a good deal/price.
May 9, 2008 9:09:43 PM

Just a comment. Maybe you would think about a quad core processor? They should be compatable with that board the options from Newegg are probably :

- Q6600 +$20, 65nm, 2.4GHz, 1066MHz bus
- Q6700 +$80, 65nm, 2.66Ghz, 1066MHz
- Q9300 +$90, 45nm, 2.5GHz, 1333MHz

All of these are within budget. As far as I know, even with slower clock speeds, these can go through far more calculations in the same time. Equally the Q6600 is reportedly good and stable for overclocking if you feel drawn to that.
May 9, 2008 9:13:38 PM

well mostly the reason i dont want quad core is because most games dont seem to make use all the cores where as i know that with dual core it is but i also dont know too much on quad cores as well. i have also read that the q6600 with a good heat sink can be oced to 3ghz.


as for ram what do you suggest? since the ocz reapers i was going to use are out of stock
a b 4 Gaming
May 9, 2008 9:16:59 PM



I don't think 550W PSU is too low. A 450W would have been about right - but I allowed that you might upgrade your system over time. New video card, more HDDs, etc.
The HDT-S1283 HSF will fit in any of the cases mentioned so far. Air flow in the cases will be fine. Adding extra case fans to the RC-690 and C-590 is always an option.
May 9, 2008 9:28:10 PM

ok so what ram would all of you suggest ?
May 9, 2008 10:16:39 PM

jeff1304 said:
ok so what ram would all of you suggest ?


I've learned that is kind of a loaded question. My recommendation would be to check the mobo manufacturer's QVL. You want to get highly overclockable DDR2 800 as opposed to DDR2 1066. Corsair, GSkill, Geil, and of course OCZ seems to be favorites. If I was buying RAM right now for my Rampage Formula I'd be wanting this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

2 X this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 9, 2008 10:20:08 PM

what is a QVL ?
May 9, 2008 10:30:20 PM

My apologies, QVL = Qualified Vendors List, it is a list by the motherboard manufacturer of RAM that they've tested on their motherboards. Here's an example: http://www.asus.com/999/download/products/2070/2070_10....

It is not an all inclusive guide but a safety net if you want to KNOW what should work on your board.
May 9, 2008 10:51:40 PM

but technically shouldn't any ram work on any mother board assuming its the right socket and speed ?
May 9, 2008 10:54:07 PM

Sorry, back on the quad core dicussion.

It rather depends on whether you are prepared to overclock. 4 cores overclocked to 3GHz should beat 2 cores at stock 3GHz.

Also a note I read today suggested this:
That maybe a dual core will beat a quad in the gaming benchmarks. But the benchmarks don't include the antivirus program, torrent downloads and other background tasks that your home computer will be running.
This is when the quad core will come into it's own. Letting you play whilst the other cores take care of everything else.

If you don't want to invest in quad core now you could wait and keep an eye on Intel's prices as they are releasing a new model of processor at the end of the year. The current models will fall in price after that, you could pick up a qaud more cheaply then. Hopefully by that point developers will have started utilising all the cores for gaming too.

I hope that is helpful. You do have a healthy budget for upgrading the processor. I'm afraid I don't feel I know enough to comment on memory. Sorry.
May 9, 2008 10:54:35 PM

jeff1304 said:
but technically shouldn't any ram work on any mother board assuming its the right socket and speed ?


Welcome to our world. You'd think it'd work that way, but it don't. Some motherboards are spoiled brats (like my daughter) and only want specific RAM. It can be a nightmare to get what you think is good RAM, install it, only to have your rig hiss and wheeze at you and not boot.
May 9, 2008 11:02:59 PM

jpdykes said:
Sorry, back on the quad core dicussion.

It rather depends on whether you are prepared to overclock. 4 cores overclocked to 3GHz should beat 2 cores at stock 3GHz.

Also a note I read today suggested this:
That maybe a dual core will beat a quad in the gaming benchmarks. But the benchmarks don't include the antivirus program, torrent downloads and other background tasks that your home computer will be running.
This is when the quad core will come into it's own. Letting you play whilst the other cores take care of everything else.

If you don't want to invest in quad core now you could wait and keep an eye on Intel's prices as they are releasing a new model of processor at the end of the year. The current models will fall in price after that, you could pick up a qaud more cheaply then. Hopefully by that point developers will have started utilising all the cores for gaming too.

I hope that is helpful. You do have a healthy budget for upgrading the processor. I'm afraid I don't feel I know enough to comment on memory. Sorry.


+1

Run VMWare on a quad, with Vista64 and 8GB of RAM and you'll have plenty of clarity. ...and you'll likely question no more. 4 VMWare virtual machines running simultaneously while the host takes no discernable hit at all. ...that's just one example outside of video editing where Quads are the now. I was skeptical and I still love my E6850 for its raw dual-core speed, but everyday I use VMWare and I'm glad I invested in the Q9450.
May 9, 2008 11:20:41 PM

well looking at the list of memory they tested they didnt test much and it wasnt with higher quality stuff for the most part from what i can tell :S
May 9, 2008 11:24:34 PM

Jeff, I got lucky, with the Corsair I use now. Its not the fastest and it doesn't overclock like a beast (~430Mhz) but its been quite compatible on the 4 boards its been installed in so it kind of balances out. I'd say pick your motherboard and ask around these forums what others are using.
May 9, 2008 11:30:24 PM

Having looked at your wishlist at a bit more length I see these as things you may wish to discuss a bit more:

- Processor - Quad vs Dual core

- Screen - Try finding a 22" you definately won't regret it.

- Memory/Motherboard - There seems to be a ongoing discussion already!

- PSU - I think that PSU is probably overkill, I expect others do as well. It would only be worth downgrading if you can make a significant saving.

I hope that is helpful for you.
Jeremy
May 9, 2008 11:37:05 PM

well as for processors is there a list somewhere listing advantages and disadvantages ?
May 9, 2008 11:43:09 PM

jeff1304 said:
well as for processors is there a list somewhere listing advantages and disadvantages ?


Jeff, if depends on how you use your rig. Are you a straight gamer, gaming exclusively looking for the very highest gaming performance today, as opposed to tomorrow? If so, get a dual-core today.

If you're looking for more longevity or have more of a mixed use for your rig I think a Quad would be a better investment.
May 9, 2008 11:49:41 PM

i have been looking at the p35 boards in general and none of them have pci express 2.0 or a second pci express x16 running at x16 for the sake of options what else would you suggest ?
May 9, 2008 11:52:26 PM

jeff1304 said:
i have been looking at the p35 boards in general and none of them have pci express 2.0 or a second pci express x16 running at x16 for the sake of options what else would you suggest ?


At the moment I'm liking the X38/48. I like Asus but they tend to cost more. A nice X38 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

May 10, 2008 12:19:27 AM

The x38 has firewire too, and at 6 sata ports, it's just 2 less. For only $50 less, the p35 isn't exactly the best value. It makes more sense when it's $100+ less. :p 
May 10, 2008 12:20:48 AM

only difference between them i saw is the one you suggest has firewire but i have never had to use firewire for anythingand the one i posted had ddr3 but is there really that much of a diffrence between ddr3 and ddr2 ?
!