First time builder for a gaming rig, need some help

Hi All!

I am looking at building a gaming PC and I have scouted for some things over at and the message boards and I have come up with a tentative list of specs which I hope those more knowledgeable than me can comment on (which may account for just about everybody hehehe :) If anybody has any suggestions please feel free to comment. As a background however, I have approximately a $2,000 to max $2,200 budget and I am not really an overclocker (but am willing to experiment) and I will use this rig strictly for gaming. All other uses will be handled by my trusty laptop. Am looking also to make sure this build can at least play Crysis on HIGH to VERY HIGH.

CPU - Intel E8400 3Ghz - $169
GPU - Sapphire HD 4870x2 Ati Radeon - $560
Mobo - ASUS Maximus II formula P45 - $269
- - - I am not sure if I should get the P45 or the X38/X48 mobo. Any suggestions? If an X38/X48 board, which would be a good board? The ASUS Rampage Formula, or maybe a Gigabyte GA-X48T? I am not really looking to do a crossfire/SLI config yet but will wait for Nehalem to do that maybe 2 to 3 years down the road.
RAM - 4 x 2GB Corsair Dominator 240 pin DDR2 1066 with cooling fan -$298
PSU - Corsair 620HX 620W (or would the 1000HX be better?) - $155
HD - 2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 7200RPM SATA 32mb cache -$160
Sound Card - Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty -$136
Casing - CoolerMaster Stacker 830 Evolution SC-830-KNN3 -$200
Cooling system - Any suggestions? I initially am looking at:
Thermalright Ultra 120 - $60
Zalman 9700 fans - $80 (not sure how many i would need, would appreciate an idea)
OS - Home Premium 64 bit - $110

This currently comes out to something like $2,197. Any other ideas on what to put in or take out? Where else will I be able to save? Thanks in advance for all your valuable inputs!
3 answers Last reply
More about first time builder gaming help
  1. Your case has enough slots for 6 120mm fans.
    I'd go for this one tho:
    $200, $100 less if you buy an Antec PSU (uses 5 120mm Fans, that are included)

    MB Suggestion:
    $280 (Gigabyte X48, GA-X48-DQ6)
    $230 (2 sets of 4GB)(OC's well with a volt bump)
    $50 (Tuniq tower 120mm) (Need at least 1 120mm fan)
    $9 Ea (68.5 CFM, 24 dBA)(120mm, check clearance of the Tuniq before adding any of the 4 available to the sides)(if you use the Stacker)
  2. Heya,

    For $560, you could get crossfire 4850's and have money left over and get the same performance in Crysis as the 4870x2 at 1900x1200 Very High settings. Then again, two 8800gt's in SLI at 1900x1200 at High Quality/Very High Quality Shaders runs a 2 FPS slower than the 4870x2. For like $250 less money.

    Never base a rig on Crysis. Two year old tech (8800gt) in SLI will simply beat most "new" kids on the block for the cost/performance ratio in Crysis. A single card solution is fine and all, but for the massive money you're looking to drop on that one card, you could get a dual card setup that spanks it or at least matches it.

    Very best,
  3. Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and get the bolt-on kit. $36 + $7 (MiR -$10)

    You can save a lot on the motherboard by going with a P31/P35 chipset or a less costly P45. For the budget, this can be a personal preference because performance difference is negligable. P5Q Pro for $140. This still future-proofs the system with the ability to upgrade the processor later if you feel the dual-core is no longer enough. If you don't want to XF, then you can find a sub-$100 motherboard that will work just fine.

    Video is the best at this time. Excellent choice for a $2k system. Should last 2 years at least - and with CF it may last longer, and we'll know more when the reviews test the CF configuration.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Gaming Systems Product