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Need suggestions for a $2100+ gaming rig.

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August 15, 2008 5:50:00 PM

Hello everyone! I’m a long time reader first time poster… I figured it was about time to ask for some advice on a system I’m planning to build.

No parts have been ordered yet, so every option is fair game at this point.

Ok, first things first I’m building this new rig to not only to be able to run Crysis on High to Very High settings, but also to break some new ground and finally build a future proof system from the ground up for the first time. Here is my goal:

---- To build a multi GPU over clocked beast that will be able to churn out high end games for breakfast, without having to spend over $2200 on just the tower. A sound card would be nice to add later, but a Quad core CPU and high quality Mobo with support for up to 2-3 GPUs using PCI 2.0 is a must. Over clocking is also a big issue here, all the components I’ve pick so far I’ve selected for their quality and over clocking ability. Beyond this, the sky is the limit (as long as it doesn’t break the bank).

Now that I’ve set myself up for this goal, I’d like to open the floor to the list of components that I’ve narrowed down for comments and suggestions.

Case - XCLIO A380BK - $120
Jaw dropping aesthetes seem to make this one a clear winner. However, I’m concerned with the reports of below par documentation. Is this something I should be worried about? A full tower is a must and I’d prefer to stay under 150 here.

PSU - OCZ GameXStream 850-Watt Power Supply - $190
I’m considering modular PSUs, but I can’t justify their price yet. Are there any good reasons to have one other then to increase airflow? Since I’m getting a full tower, internal space / airflow (I’m hoping) shouldn’t be a concern.

MoBo - EVGA nforce 780i SLI Motherboard- $250
I’m badly needing some suggestions here… Is this the best one for the money out there or is it a little overkill?

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor - $190
Was used to break the world over clocking record. Nuff said.

GPU - 2x - BFG GeForce GTX 280 Video Card OC Edition – (385 x 2) - $770
Ya, I know ATI’s 4870 x2 is the new king in town but at $550 for each of those suckers, there is no way I can afford 2 of them. Plus I’ve been with Nvidia for the past few years and I’ve been very pleased with the drivers and scalability of their hardware.

RAM - Corsair Dual Channel 4096MB PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz Memory (2x2048MB) - $180
Not much to say here. This was number #1 in tigers list so I’m rolling with it…

HDD - Maxtor DiamondMax 21 500GB Hard Drive 7200 - $70
I plan on maybe doing a raid setup later down the line. However, I’ve never actually seen something like this in action. Are load time really that much more impressive?

DVD - Pioneer BDC-2202B Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Combo Drive SATA - $180
I might opt for a normal DVD drive here to spare some coin if it comes to that.

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64bit - $190
What can I say…. MS dropped XP and now we’re left dealing with the upgrade. However, according to some articles I’ve read, it is supposedly as stable as XP, now that the service pack 1 is out.

Total as it stands now = $2,210

I’m hoping to have saved the money for this rig by later next month. So by the time I’m ready to start hitting up tigerdirect for the components, prices will hopefully have dropped and maybe other options will be available. Are there any components coming out in the near future I should be looking into?

Thoughts suggestions?
August 15, 2008 6:06:19 PM

RAM - Corsair Dual Channel 4096MB PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz Memory (2x2048MB) - $180
Not much to say here. This was number #1 in tigers list so I’m rolling with it…

Ahm, ur Mobo doesnt have DDR3 lol. Also there is no good reason to go DDR3 now

Get some DDR2 1066 Ram. It will let you overclock however much you want and has very good performance. You wont go over 1600 FSB with your Q6600 so even DDR2 800 will be enough
August 15, 2008 6:13:24 PM

780i motherboards are not great overclockers or nvidia at all. If You plan on going to use nvidia video cards in sli You are better looking at 790i ultra. They are quite a deal more expensive but provide better overclocking. Or You can go ATi and use x48/P45 m/b
Related resources
August 15, 2008 6:13:43 PM

OK...let's start with the OS - do you really need all the feature in Ultimate?

Compare the editions here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-...

If not, I'd suggest Home Premium x64 - you can get the OEM for under $90.

www.directdeals.com

It sounds like you'll be sticking with nVidia, but if you were willing to try Intel/Ati, I'd suggest the X38/X48. I personally have the 780i (MSI P7N Diamond and love it, but if I were to purchase today, I would get an Intel/Ati setup).

You said that you can't afford 2 4870x2, but how 'bout one and get one later? I still believe that you'd get good/great performance, with potential for more later. If not, I hear that the 4870 is near the same performance as the GTX 280s.

Is that PSU enough to run those 2 GTX 280s? You need a 6-pin and an 8-pin for each GPU.

About RAID - it's a pain to RAID later, I've heard. You'd have to reinstall, I believe. I hear that the load times are not that much different...a bit, but not ridiculous.

I'd suggest the Western Digital 640 GB hard drive as opposed to that 500 GB - it's a great performer, good on power, and fast - it only has two 320 GB platters.

If you like the XClio, cool - I would suggest you take a look at the Antec 1200 - you can get it for around $150 and it's a full tower as well - similar to the popular Antec 900, but fixed a few of the minor flaws.

Good luck with the build.
August 15, 2008 6:30:58 PM

I would completely start over.

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$330

Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$200

RAM:
Look up the QVL and find RAM on that list, 4 GB.
$100 approx


Video Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$560

Power Supply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$260

Case:
You pick

Hard Drive:
WD6400AAKS
$90


If you absolutely must have multi GPU (I wouldnt recommend for first build) Go with a high end X48 board with an additional 4870 X2.

I know you like Nvidia, but the ATI cards are really crushing right now. If you want the best performance and best value you have to go ATI for now.
August 15, 2008 6:49:29 PM

Shening – “Ahm, ur Mobo doesnt have DDR3 lol. Also there is no good reason to go DDR3 now”

Woops… lol I thought I checked that. Your right though, there is no good reason to go DDR3. I just copy pasted the best in line and assumed the 780i had DDR3 since it’s a newer mobo. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll also narrow my search to just the 1066 RAM.

As far as ATi is concerned I’m open to the options, considering all the problems the Nvidia boards seem to be having, I might start looking into the ATi X38/X48 setup path.

Has anyone found a good Crysis benchmark sporting two 4870 x2’s? I’ve seen some comparing a single 280 with the 4870 x2 and the ATi gpu beats it in most circumstances. It’s just that I can’t imagine spending over $1200 on GPUs for just a single build. 2 280’s are still the most cost effective IMO.
August 15, 2008 6:56:30 PM

1 4870x2 isn't going to be far off from 2X280s and you could still add another down the road. and be ahead. also didn't see what res you are playing at so that would impact

+1 for the wd 640 gb best price per gb and good performance

+1!!!! on not going ddr3. ddr 800 is probably fine, if you must do the 1066.

as far as performance, saving on the ram and your OS are ways you can spend more on your video card and get a boost. will also save on mobo because with 4870x2 you can get the x48 board. if you stick with nvidia i totally agree you need 790i if you really want to overclock and that is quite a bit more $$.

either way you may want to take a hard look at your PSU. 2 x 280 or quadfire 4870x2 you are probably going to want to up the wattage. of course i error on the side of too much. but is that a bad thing?
August 15, 2008 6:59:44 PM

by the way depending on your res (if it is high enough) even 3X280's won't allow you to max everything. crisis will cause you to spend a lot more $$ if that is your goal because nothing does it super. if that is your only goal then huge $$ on graphics is what you have to do. pretty much everything else can be pimped out with one 4870x2 so you are talking 5-600 bucks for graphics.
August 15, 2008 7:02:17 PM

oh you also asked on load time in raid. i assume you are talking raid0. i don't think the performance is that spectacular. i would recomment getting a small dedicated hdd for your OS or getting 8gb ram and allowing your page file cache to feed of that rather than your hdd before doing raid0.
August 15, 2008 7:24:51 PM

Buying 2 GPUs isn't cost effective at all?

Why the hell are you going to spend $700 on GPUs? Damn that's way too much money for an extra 5-10 fps in Crysis.
August 15, 2008 11:45:18 PM

Ya, raid0 is looking to be kind of ridiculous as far a the price v. performance is concerned.

As for vista… I’d rather spend the extra for the full ultimate. After all, I'll have to live with it for the next few years and it will probably be carried over though the next several rebuilds like this ancient copy of XP home I’m working off of. I will also be using it partially for business so I like the idea of having the full functionality of ultimate.

Entertaining the thought of going back to ATi…
With the 4870 x2’s there seems to be a resounding opinion that they run too hot and that owners are using any means necessary to keep them cool. Does anyone have some direct experience with one of these yet and is there a particular brand I should look into? So far the SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 for $560 is looking like the best deal so far on newegg or any ware else.

As far as a mobo goes the ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 is looking good.
August 16, 2008 2:16:42 AM

I don't get you... You want to be able to upgrade hardware in the future and also you want a multi gpu rig plus best Crysis playability performance or high resolution (assuming you want high res with the blue-ray drive) and you stick with to 2x gtx280 ??? ... the answer to void your nvidia fanatism is clearly the 4870X2 !! why ?? you can upgrade to another in the future (for it will be cheaper) and satisfy your gpu hunger to quad configuration! Plus the 4870X2 beats every gfx card as High Crysis resolution concern!!

If you still haven't get it: you want to upgrade in the future from 2x gtx280 to what ?? 3x gtx 280 ?? one more 280 to the party wont give you the performance that a quad 4870 gpu will... Plus you want pocket proof? 3-way SLI (gtx280)= 1100$ VS 2x 4870X2 (quad-gpu config)= 1100$

SO this comparison is STILL supported by your GPU hunger as the ATI cards offer 4 GPUs... So may this comparison rule for the rest of the thread :) 

As i'm inspired at this time of the speech... i'll help your build a bit.

Asusp5e Deluxe x48 230$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Why? because it gives you your beloved 8 chan audio quality, Plus two pci-e 2.0 for your gpu madness!

Intel C2Q Q9300 or Q9400 or either Q9450 280$~
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Why? its a 2100$ build! it deserves a bit more horse power!

GS 4gb 2x1gb 1066mhz RAM 110$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Why? great pair of dimms for OC purposes.

Corsair 1000w PSU 230$ after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
why? your OCed harware will need it.

2x WD 640gb HDD 170$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
why? both disk in raid0 offers great speed/performance.

Antec 1200 200$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
why? because it will give you enough room for a water cooling system. Yes that's right! As you pointed, you want to OC the crap out of your rig, so you do need it!

Your Optical Drive as you pointed 180$

Our Champion 4870X2 560$

Windows Vista Ultimate 64b 190$

TOTAL = 2150 $ !!

So as you see, i feel envy! :( 
August 16, 2008 2:51:38 AM

razor117 said:
Hello everyone! I’m a long time reader first time poster… I figured it was about time to ask for some advice on a system I’m planning to build.

No parts have been ordered yet, so every option is fair game at this point.

Ok, first things first I’m building this new rig to not only to be able to run Crysis on High to Very High settings, but also to break some new ground and finally build a future proof system from the ground up for the first time. Here is my goal:

---- To build a multi GPU over clocked beast that will be able to churn out high end games for breakfast, without having to spend over $2200 on just the tower. A sound card would be nice to add later, but a Quad core CPU and high quality Mobo with support for up to 2-3 GPUs using PCI 2.0 is a must. Over clocking is also a big issue here, all the components I’ve pick so far I’ve selected for their quality and over clocking ability. Beyond this, the sky is the limit (as long as it doesn’t break the bank).

Now that I’ve set myself up for this goal, I’d like to open the floor to the list of components that I’ve narrowed down for comments and suggestions.

Case - XCLIO A380BK - $120
Jaw dropping aesthetes seem to make this one a clear winner. However, I’m concerned with the reports of below par documentation. Is this something I should be worried about? A full tower is a must and I’d prefer to stay under 150 here.

PSU - OCZ GameXStream 850-Watt Power Supply - $190
I’m considering modular PSUs, but I can’t justify their price yet. Are there any good reasons to have one other then to increase airflow? Since I’m getting a full tower, internal space / airflow (I’m hoping) shouldn’t be a concern.

MoBo - EVGA nforce 780i SLI Motherboard- $250
I’m badly needing some suggestions here… Is this the best one for the money out there or is it a little overkill?

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor - $190
Was used to break the world over clocking record. Nuff said.

GPU - 2x - BFG GeForce GTX 280 Video Card OC Edition – (385 x 2) - $770
Ya, I know ATI’s 4870 x2 is the new king in town but at $550 for each of those suckers, there is no way I can afford 2 of them. Plus I’ve been with Nvidia for the past few years and I’ve been very pleased with the drivers and scalability of their hardware.

RAM - Corsair Dual Channel 4096MB PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz Memory (2x2048MB) - $180
Not much to say here. This was number #1 in tigers list so I’m rolling with it…

HDD - Maxtor DiamondMax 21 500GB Hard Drive 7200 - $70
I plan on maybe doing a raid setup later down the line. However, I’ve never actually seen something like this in action. Are load time really that much more impressive?

DVD - Pioneer BDC-2202B Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Combo Drive SATA - $180
I might opt for a normal DVD drive here to spare some coin if it comes to that.

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64bit - $190
What can I say…. MS dropped XP and now we’re left dealing with the upgrade. However, according to some articles I’ve read, it is supposedly as stable as XP, now that the service pack 1 is out.

Total as it stands now = $2,210

I’m hoping to have saved the money for this rig by later next month. So by the time I’m ready to start hitting up tigerdirect for the components, prices will hopefully have dropped and maybe other options will be available. Are there any components coming out in the near future I should be looking into?

Thoughts suggestions?


Q9550-$330
Asus X48 Rampage Extreme-$400
4GB of OCZ Reaper DDR3 1600-$220
4870x2-$570
Corsair PSU HX1000-$230
Raptor 300GB-$290
Vista 64bit Home Premium-$100
Sunbeam Core Contact CPU-$40
Antec 900/1200 case (what I would choose) or something else

(All priced through newegg)
August 16, 2008 4:08:22 AM

OP i'm a little confused:

"As for vista… I’d rather spend the extra for the full ultimate. After all, I'll have to live with it for the next few years and it will probably be carried over though the next several rebuilds like this ancient copy of XP home"

I just want to make sure you understand that Home premium and ultimate are both vista? it is simply the features that make the price difference. so both are going to provide the same level of use for the next few year. I strongly suggest researching the added benefits of ultimate. none of them are things that are more benficial 2 years down the road vs home premium. and most of them are for business type use. it is your $$ but there are so many other ways to spend $$ on a great gaming rig. just food for thought. maybe you have researched it and are sure and that is cool but if you haven't please do.
October 19, 2008 7:51:33 AM

the seagate 640gb has 32mb of cache for just $5 more. antec 900 has better air flow than the antec 1200. asus rampage formula is a good x48 motherboard, the rampage extreme is a bit extreme... diamond has a 4870x2 with a $50 mir so u could get it for $499. you really dont need vista ultimate, it's just more bells and whistles that you dont need.
October 19, 2008 8:59:24 AM

And then you realize you'll only spend < 10 hours on Crysis, < 8 on warhead, and that every other game on the planet has much less demands than one Sub-par game.

You really ought to give more consideration to the longevity of your system. You're spending over 2 THOUSAND dollars on a computer that has nearly NO upgrade path for the future. LGA 775 is reaching EOL...

You're spending a lot of money on this computer, and I'm sure you've waited some time to do this upgrade, but Core i7 launches next month for certain. You really ought to see how that, X58 mobos and DDR3 in Triple Channel scale with today's gaming demands.
!