New System build with 3K budget


I am looking to build a new system with a budget of $3,000. The following is a list of the components I would like to include in my this rig. I will be gaming at 1680x1050 and doing video and photo editing. I do not wish to overclock at all. What do you guys think? Any suggestions or feedback will be appreciated... All items are from

OKGEAR 24" SATA II cable with metal latch,Silver Model GC24ATASM12 - Retail
Item #: N82E16812123114 (for dvd-r in full tower case)

Sony NEC Optiarc 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7220S - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118023

Thermaltake ArmorPlus(Armor+) VH6000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811133056

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136260

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148337

BFG Tech BFGEGTX2801024OCXE GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814143145

Thermaltake Toughpower W0172RU 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145224
$538.00 (total of 12GB)
($269.00 each)

COOLMAX ThumbScrew SILV 10PK Thumb Screw (10 screws in a bag), SILVER Anodized - Retail
Item #: N82E16800881303
$3.18 (for mounting hard drives and dvd-r)
($1.59 each)

ASUS Rampage II Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131352
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

Intel Core i7 940 Nehalem 2.93GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601940 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115201

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116488

Total with tax and shipping is $3,025
9 answers Last reply
More about system build budget
  1. Does that really add up to $3025? That seems like a rather modest build for that amount of $$$. That is crazy expensive memory and you didn't list a monitor.
  2. Do you plan on running the stock CPU cooler? I wouldn't in a rig like that.

    Also, you're going to need 3 SATA cables since OEM doesn't include them.
  3. To rodney_ws i already have a 22" samsung monitor,keyboard and mouse so i wont be needing any of that. Yes, $3025 is what it comes to, tax and shipping is $250 of that.

    To eck, what cpu cooler would you recommend for me?
  4. Also, eck, doesnt the motherboard come with a few sata cables?
  5. Nice rig, you will not be dissapointed. I would reconsider the Rampage II extreme though. I have one, its a gigantic board and unless you are doing hardcore overclocking, meaning sitting it outside a case on a bench with LN2 stacked on top of it, you dont need all those features. The P6T has a more mature bios, Slashtop OS, and is a dimensionally smaller board. The bigger boards are more susceptible to flex damage than the smaller boards so you have to be more careful when installing it. If i could i would return my rampage for a P6T, It also will save you 100 bucks.

    Thats a big case too, i used a Thermaltake Armor once, i wasn't impressed, I use a mid tower its great for LANs because its small, however if you pick the right one you can fit just as much as a full tower. Take a look at the Cooler Master NV690 or CM690 depending on if you want the fancy NVIDIA decals, its a nice case, and its cheap, but good build quality.

    Do yourself a favor and pick up an after market heat sink like Thermalright Ultra 120 with the 1366 brackets. The i7 is a hot chip on the stock cooler, plus a better heat sink will give you some head room in case you want to play with overclocking in the future.
  6. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS SHIPPING?!? For that kind of money you could buy it a plane ticket!
  7. If you are not planning on overclocking at all, the 1600MHz RAM is overkill because Intel doesn't officially support RAM speeds over 1066MHz, but many people haven't had any problems with higher clock speeds.

    There is a lot of RAM that is almost half the price of what you are currently look at, so you may want to consider that there is little impact on performance between the different speeds of RAM (1066, 1333, 1600). Here is a quote from an Anandtech article about Core i7.

    The real world performance benefit from going to DDR3-1066 to 1600, despite having to lower memory timings slightly, is around 3%. The raw increase in memory bandwidth amounts to about 30% and in a completely memory bandwidth bound test like the WinRAR benchmark you're looking at a 12% boost in performance, but that's going to be very rare in most real world scenarios. The reduction in latency is particularly impressive when you jump up to DDR3-1600, it only takes 33.5ns to access main memory.

    If you do want the absolute best performance out of your Nehalem system you're going to want a three-channel DDR3-1600 kit, but you'll only be giving up a couple of percent if you opt for the entry level 1066MHz modules at like timings. Although not shown, in this article anyway, reducing the memory timings to 7-7-7-20 at DDR3-1066 will close the slight performance gap quickly in most instances.
  8. I'd reconsider the case. You're obviously fond of certain brands and went Thermaltake for both case and power supply. There are better and cheaper alternatives like the Antec Twelve Hundred. The Antec has better ventilation, air flow, air filters, and designed cable routing behind the motherboard tray. Ever think of Lian Li, Antec, Silverstone, etc...

    As for the power supply anything 850W + that will have the connectors you need for SLI and Crossfire. There are good solutions form Corsair, Hiper, Antec, Silverstone, etc... Don't be too hung up on Thermaltake.

    Like everyone else said. Your RAM is overkill. First off your not overclocking. Secondly if you want 12GB why not consider 4GB sticks as opposed to 2GB sticks and maxing out your board which may be unstable. Also I've read that Vista can be unstable with 8GB+. Why not just go with a simple 4GB dual channel kit which should be plenty and save you $400.

    Also I don't see the need to go I7 CPU and the X58 board if your not overclocking. Why not save $600 and go for a P45 board and dual core CPU overcloked to 4GHz+. Something like an E8400 or E8600. Those will reach 4GHz+ with ease on a cheaper board like an Asus P5Q Pro.

    With the savings in RAM, CPU, Board there is $1000+ and a new 42" LCD for you or a nice set of speakers. Your expensive system is only going to be worth nothing in a year anyways once the DDR3 becomes mainstream. Save the $1000, build the DDR3 system next year and you have 2 systems for the same price. I bet there would be no noticeable performance between your system and one with an E8400 clocked to 4GHZ with 6GB DDR2 and a Radeon 4870X2 on a P45 board. I bet the P45 system might even beat yours in gaming and costs $1000 less.

    As for the heatsink I'd recommend the sunbeam core contact cooler. It's massive, not too loud, and cools really good. I also have no issues with it's goes on easy and is secure. It comes with the heatsink compound so you don't really need to buy the Artic Silver. The included compound will work just as good. It's obvious you stuck to certain brands by automatically going for Thermaltake case, Corsair RAM, Artic Silver, and Asus board.

    A real geek would have went DFI, OCZ, Antec, Lian Li, or something similar. Your build is nice but just needs a slight tweak.

    Also the video card is nice but you could consider an ATI 4870 x2. Your board is Crossfire by the way so why not give yourself that option.

    I like your video cards. You could always use the Raptor for primary, and get 2 Seagates for a RAID so you don't loose any of your 1.5TB of backups.

    Also you can get a Blueray reader for around the $100 mark now. That could be considered.

    Just a few considerations. For better stability, and possibility of better performance with an easy overclock, or no noticable loss in performance, you could be saving yourself $1000. That $1000 could be used in a years time to upgrade the system to the then current norm. Or you could spend the $1000 onj a 42" LCD, or a high end set of speakers and a wicked nice keyboard/mouse combo like the new Microsoft 8000.

    One last note. There is no mention of a soundcard. I'd recommend the Asus cards. They emulate EAX 5 and have the least amount of driver issues compared with Creative, Auzen, etc...
  9. As far as RAM goes, since you're not overclocking, I'd recommend DDR3-1066 RAM like Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 since like everyone else said, DDR3-1600 is hardly an improvement at all without overclocking. You won't notice any difference between 6 or 12 GB of RAM so just get 6 and maybe with the money you saved you could get a Radeon 4870x2 which is the fastest single card on the market right now.
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