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Gaming System Build Opinions Please

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December 25, 2008 12:10:30 AM

Hey guys and Gals,


First off Merry Christmas.


OK I am doing research right now for a gaming build in Feb.

The sole purpose of this PC is OC for gaming.. Based on what I am looking at I would like some opinions on what I choose for the build for ease of OC and performance.

Here is what I am looking at on a budget of about 1300-1500

MB & CPU combo

XFX nForce 680i LT SLI Motherboard CPU Bundle - OEM, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Processor 2.66GHz OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

XFX nForce 780i 3-Way SLI Motherboard CPU Bundle - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor 2.40GHz OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

???????????????

Video Card

XFX GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition Video Card - 896MB DDR3, PCI Express 2.0 x16, SLI Ready, (dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, VGA Support
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX + Video Card - 512MB DDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, VGA Support
2 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... RUNNING IN SLI

Memory

Corsair Dual Channel XMS2 4096MB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

???????????????????

Power Supply

Apevia ATX-LCD750W Quartz 750W Power Supply - Aluminum
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

Corsair TX750W 750-Watt Power Supply - ATX, 140mm Fan, SLI-Ready, SATA-Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or

????????????????????

Monitor

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
New Arrival - full HD 1080P resolution

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

Went with this Monitor cause of the HDMI plugin and the price.. Has gotten good reviews also.

As far as the rest of the components, they are all easy selects for me. Well if you guys have some thoughts pls let me know.

I will be using XP Pro for this system because Vista is crap and end of 09 windows 7 will be out.
December 25, 2008 12:48:22 AM

please post the actual items that you are considering with the link

Also with regards to vista it is actually now a very solid OS, it just got a bad rep from its launch and those issues, but after the first service pack it is a very solid OS. I would recomend Vista 64 bit
December 25, 2008 1:01:15 AM

OK reedited original post
Related resources
December 25, 2008 1:10:34 AM

budget is about 1600. I have always been a fan of Nvidia I haven't had any issues with them, XFX has always made gr8 products but i will take it into consideration. I am going to look at a review on the 4870 HD here in a sec and repost a reply
December 25, 2008 1:15:53 AM

personally i do like nVidia as well, i much prefer their drivers to the ATI ones (even though im using an ATI card right now...figures)

The best thing you can do if you are looking for performance is just google some benchmarks between the 4870 and the 260 for the games you are interested in playing
December 25, 2008 1:17:37 AM

Also kelfen was right, stay away from the nVidia mobos. If you want to SLI get a x58 mobo with an i7, or if you want to crossfire or just get a single nVidia card then go with a p45 mobo
December 25, 2008 1:27:30 AM

ok checked out a review and the gtx 260 and saphire HD 4870 and about the same but this is a non OC 260

http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_c...


also for really good drivers for ATI and Nvidia check out www.omegadrivers.net I have had the best luck with these guys drivers they do a really nice job. As far as the MB goes could you guts link me a P45 board and why is it better for overclocking?
December 25, 2008 1:44:35 AM

On the GTX 260, you should be looking at the new GTX 260 Core 216.

For good P45 mobos for your purpose, I'd recommend Asus P5Q Deluxe or Maximus II Formula. Both have the 16 phase power for more OC stability.
December 25, 2008 1:56:59 AM

To OC on LGA 775 socket, the best coolers are Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer. Don't forget the Thermalright LGA 775 Bolt-Thru Kit (the backplate).
December 25, 2008 2:04:37 AM

are you going to get the i7? that would mean you be able to upgrade your mobo pretty easly in the future but it might cost a little more.
Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Proccessor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
computer case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers - Retail
power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
100 after rebate 80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
200 after rebate 180


as far as crossfire just wait a couple of mounths and then you can decide to cf or weather it is better just to go with the new video card

total of 1435 after rebate 1395
December 25, 2008 2:19:12 AM

so let me get this straight....ur ordering a computer in 2 months and expect to to build a computer now before AMD releases Phenom II, nvidia releases GTX 295, intel releases new i7's, ATI releases who knows what, AND prices drop? stupid if u ask me...come back in 2 months when it actually matters and when u know for sure that the new tech released in january/february doesnt make anything we pick now useless.
December 25, 2008 2:23:34 AM

dieseldre2k said:
so let me get this straight....ur ordering a computer in 2 months and expect to to build a computer now before AMD releases Phenom II, nvidia releases GTX 295, intel releases new i7's, AMD releases who knows what, AND prices drop? stupid if u ask me...come back in 2 months when it actually matters and when u know for sure that the new tech released in january/february doesnt make anything we pick now useless.

I do agree with that might as well wait 2 mounths for the better price and and option for better tech
December 25, 2008 2:41:14 AM

Basically I am gathering information so i do not have to worry about it in Jan/Feb, and if i need to adjust my picks in jan/feb i will do it accordingly. And thx for being a PEN IS right off the bat thats what i was hoping to get here..

I bet you know where the PEN IS.

Anyway thx for the info Kelfen I will take that build into consideration along with the others people i hope will post here in the future.
December 25, 2008 2:58:30 AM

You should definitely be aiming for an i7 system on that budget.
December 25, 2008 3:00:10 AM

lol u dont get it do u? EVERYTHING could change and it might be more than just an "adjustment." u can choose a high end LGA775 socket-based computer now, and end up switching to phenom II/i7. that means u'd have to change ur CPU, ur mobo to the new socket, ur RAM from ddr2 to ddr3 and then those price changes might let u afford a better video card, which might or might not need a less or more poweful PSU. and yea, sure u can try to build an i7 build now, but u dont even know if phenom II will be a better bang for ur buck. heck, even a sale by newegg can totally throw everything off. not being a "PEN IS," just stating the truth without sugar-coating it. if u want to go ahead and waste ur time now, by all means, go ahead. it seems i've wasted my time warning u though.
December 25, 2008 2:41:09 PM

Lets say everything does change. By me getting information now does a few things. 1. Helps me better understand where Amd and Intel sits as we speak as far as the comparison goes. 2. Having a jump on things and not having to research past and present setus and builds. 3. Gives me a better understanding from where we are now to where we will be when the time comes. I can setup an build on my wishlist on tigerdirect (cheaper than newegg on most things) and with a click i can change everything. I understand where you are coming from but its not like i am purchasing everything now, that would be an oxymoron on my part. Probably will go with an i7 build because prices will drop come jan/feb. But how versatile is the i7 to OC. See i know ZIP on the i7's so instead of me going into it in late jan/feb knowing nothing about the i7's i now atleast will have a working knowlegdge on it. Yeah i can read reviews but its always better to get it from the CONSUMER than biast reviews... Not saying all reviews are biast but the consumer will not BS someone if they have issues that need to be heard by the next guy looking to build 1.
December 26, 2008 4:05:30 AM

You're both right but this forum is meant to help. From what I've seen so far, I think a few broad conclusions can be sketched out.

1. Go with i7 architecture. Exact details depend on pricing at time of purchase. There's a lot to figure out here on this alone, so +1 to theother0 for advance planning.

2. LGA 1366 heatsinks. There are basically only 2 good ones right now, so unless a better one comes out in the next two months, you can make this decision already.

3. RAM. Just go with 2x2GB configuration of DDR3 on the i7 platform. 3x2GB doesn't really add anything for your purposes, so you're probably wasting your money on the extra stick.

4. Gaming benchmarks. If you've always wanted to SLI nVidia GPUs on an Intel chipset, here's your chance on the i7.


Chill... it's Christmas.
December 26, 2008 4:51:13 AM

i7 boards are triple channel memory. 3 x 2gb is the way to go
December 26, 2008 5:02:16 AM

-jyjjy is correct. 2x2GB is a huge mistake. You need triple channel. And make sure you get at least 1333mhz RAM.
-Also, there are no new core i7s set for release within the next two months besides server chips. Prices, however, will go down.
-The GTX 295 is out of the option. There's no room for a .5k gpu in a 1.6k build. A 55nm 216 core 260 is fine.
-Good 1366 heatsinks are limited. Expect to pay 60 for one. And trust me, you'll need one.
-Core i7 would be a good investment. I have one, and its blazing fast for hpc at least.
-To answer your question, core i7s overclock very well. Expect to be able to clock a 920 over 3ghz very easily just on air cooling.
My advice is: learn about every you need to know. Then come February, you'll be able to pick out your parts fairly easily. THEN post here. There's far better information spread out on the net in articles and the such than you'll find by posting in a forum.
December 26, 2008 5:10:24 AM

yeah, theres been conflicting reviews ( :non:  thg reviewers..) on whether triple channel ram has an advantage over dual channel... i say go triple channel anyway, since that's what the controller was designed for.

on a building note, i notice there you've put a monitor.. is that included in the $1600? do you need a new keyboard/mouse/speakers as well? that will cut into your budget quite a bit...

whether the phenom II is good or not, i would advise against getting it for this budget... either get a core 2 duo, or a core i7. core 2 quad/phenom/phenom II ftw AT THE MOMENT...

are you ordering purely from tigerdirect, or is newegg k as well? i was going to put together a tigerdirect list, but tbh newegg is cheaper (sometimes) and has a bigger stock list so..
December 26, 2008 6:44:24 AM

Let's see... gaming only on XP Pro... unless you get the 64 bit version, that 3rd stick of DDR3 can't be seen by the OS anyways. Not to mention the 896 MB of video memory eating into the 4GB limit if our friend ultimately decides to go with the GTX 260 Core 216. Hypothetically, of course! :kaola: 
December 26, 2008 6:45:58 AM

vista 64 premium,..
December 26, 2008 8:01:28 AM

Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! :na: 
December 26, 2008 1:02:39 PM

ok Yes the monitor is included in that. I will be going with an i7 with 3x2g ram 1333 and Vista ultimate 64 and upgrading the HS to a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 . I will be comparing prices from newegg and tigerdirect if they have the same exact item ofcourse i will go with the cheaper of the 2 to maximize money and the monitor from Newegg is only $209 comes with HDMI so i can run my 360 also.. And please feel free to post lists from both sites or a combination of both as I will be doing the same..
December 26, 2008 1:05:25 PM

The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 won't work for core i7 unless you've got a special mounting bracket. I got a Vigor Monsoon III, took my temperatures down by 20 degrees celcius. I hear the Noctua NH-U12P is good too.
December 26, 2008 1:07:23 PM

And btw, Vista is a pos for gaming, but meh. Crapsoft is planning to ditch support for XP.
December 26, 2008 1:11:22 PM

I've been talking with roadrunner197069 about runnind 1 or 2 SSD drives for the os
December 26, 2008 1:16:05 PM

well being that windows 7 is going to coming out late 09 and will support SSD drives i am sure i will get that too. and yes i agree with you on vista and games but being that i am geting MS certs in Vista and server i will have the upper hand on Vista and be able to help others out when it comes to getting vist to run better for gaming in the future
December 26, 2008 1:29:19 PM

SSDs are far too expensive now unless you're really desperate for that extra performance. I'd say the Velociraptor drives are the way to go. But if you've got the money, SSD IS the future.
December 26, 2008 4:07:23 PM

Vista games just fine as long as you have the ram for it. When it first came out it was really unstable and not a great OS by any means, but now after many updates and the first service pack it is a very solid OS.

Don't listen to all the vista haters, at this point it is a reliable OS (just as long as you have the ram for it). Go get your 64bit version and game away
December 26, 2008 4:12:20 PM

Vista has plenty of problems.
You seem to be a normal user though, so you should be fine as long as you don't hurt yourself trying to do anything more advanced...
December 26, 2008 4:53:59 PM

bleh, resorting to personal attackts now eh?

I am an advanced user thank you very much, and have had no problems with vista in terms of stability in games or anything else. You may not prefer the layout of vista, or some of the hoops that you have to jump through, but it is a solid OS. If you dont like the layout then thats your problem, but vista is secure (much more so then xp) and a reliable os (i haven't had a BSOD sense the first service pack).

Not to mention if you are gaming and want real dx10 (instead of a 3rd party knock off) you will need vista
December 26, 2008 5:04:01 PM

Hardcore Vista fan, lol.
December 26, 2008 6:20:12 PM

Seeing as you want to spend big coin and want to know a little about servers, maybe instead of jumping into SSD drives, you could look into getting an Asus workstation type mobo for the i7 and set up SAS mechanical drives instead. Just a thought, since you're still so far ahead in planning.

And for i7 heatsinks, it's Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme 1366RT or Noctua NH-U12P SE1366, with Thermalright's 1366 backplate.
January 3, 2009 4:56:16 PM

ok well the time has come way b4 Feb for me to build a gaming system, so good timing on my part by researching things out a bit.. So some suggestions on what processor to go with would be big help.. If i was going to choose between a Q66 or a Q67 which should i go with?
January 3, 2009 9:23:39 PM

ok this is what I have decided to go with so far:

TigerDirect on the MB and CPU COMBO because its 299.99 for the combo and newegg can't beat it.


XFX nForce 680i LT SLI Motherboard CPU Bundle - OEM, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Processor 2.66GHz OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

NEWEGG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

OS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 4, 2009 3:00:39 AM

dont get a 680i... drop the bundle and grab a P45 and e8400 or something
January 4, 2009 6:38:47 AM

Dont give up on I7, comments like "wait for the Phenom II LMFAO" it might be close to old core 2 but I7 Bitchslaps everything hardcore and when Oc'd POW, right in amd Nads....
January 9, 2009 6:30:36 AM

+1 to Venom.

If you want to OC, then go with a Duo: E8500/8400. Or if you want to save a little budget, then the E7400 (R0 stepping). Duos OC higher than quads. However, if you've done your homework and determined that you want a quad, then by all means get the Q6700 if you can afford the incremental cost over the Q6600.

You'll need to finalize your platform (LGA 775 or Phenom II), chipset, intended video solution and OS before you can proceed. If LGA 775, then you should decide on Quad vs. Duo.

IMO, you should go for P45 / Duo plus single video card for now. Take the money you save from not using the i7 and put it towards the GPU instead.

As for your selections, a few general comments.

Case: Thermaltake Armor--nice case.

RAM: I would take this G.Skill Pi Black over your OCZ, although the OCZ has a great price at $35.

Video card: I would go with a newer 55nm Core 216 over the XFX Black. If you decide on a Crossfire mobo, then go with a 4870 1GB card to leave open the option of Crossfire. By your choices on previous posts though, I would guess that you have a preference for nVidia. That being the case, you could probably even fit a GTX 280 into your budget if you'd like, given current prices. However, you might also want to wait for the GTX 285 ($400) on January 15 if that suits your fancy.

HDD: Given some of Seagate's recent problems, switch to the WD Caviar Black drive, with a preference towards the 640GB over the 500GB for a little bit more speed (due to platter density).

OS: If you've decided to go with Vista, then unless you really have a need for Ultimate, Home Premium would suffice, at $100: here.
January 9, 2009 7:39:03 AM

HDD: not to mention the WD's generally run quieter and/or cooler.
January 9, 2009 6:35:04 PM

Get an i7. They outperform core 2 extreme processors in some benchmarks and can overclock like crazy, they even have mild overclocking abilities built in. Software is becoming increasingly multi-threaded and you will want the 4 extra processing threads in a year or less, I guarantee it. With your $1600 budget you should definitely be looking at an i7.

edit:
by 4 extra I meant 4 more than q6600 or q6700. 6 more threads than e8400/8500
January 9, 2009 10:48:13 PM

^proven fact that i7's are no faster than core 2's on a single GPU setup. on multi gpu extreme setups where a core 2 would bottleneck them, fair enough. for GAMING, i7 is not an option at the moment. think, you could get an i7 920+4850 for the same money as a E8400+4870 or GTX 280, give or take a few factors.

btw, i7 is actually 8 threads with HT turned on. Sure software might become multithreaded, a lot of it is already, but GAMES? not a chance. halfway through 2010 maybe the majority of new games but for now... no.
January 10, 2009 1:09:05 AM

^well who says he is just going to stick with one gpu? maybe he gets an extra $300 down the road and decides to go sli. plus, dual cores will probably phase out and quads will become standard for gaming computers, and if he decides that he wants to upgrade and he doesn't want to start over from scratch again in 2-3 years, he may be able to expand on an x58 mobo, whereas a socket 775 will be very old news. Plus your FPS will have less variation with quad core vs. dual core

So you can go with older technology now and get a better bang for your buck, or get the newer and slightly more expensive (~$150-200) and get something that will last longer, and save you money later on.
January 10, 2009 1:24:47 AM

that's not necessarily true. he could get a 4850 now and crossfire it with another 4850 or a 4870 or a dual GPU card later on without any cpu bottlenecking. and in 2-3 years i would say X58 will be out of date. i mean theres ANOTHER new socket for core i5 (lynnfield, LGA 1166/1160 or something)... so really you have no idea whether socket 1366 will still be upgradeable, and whether that upgrade would even be of any use.
January 10, 2009 2:17:31 AM

1366 won't be the new thing in 2-3 years, but it will still have an upgrade path from an i7-920; the new processors that intel is currently developing (westmere-32 nm architecture) will fit an lga 1366 socket, and supposed to come out late 2009 to mid 2010. so maybe 1366 will be in the same position that 775 is currently in when he decides to upgrade. I'm not saying it will still be the most recent technology, but it will most likely still be relevant. lga 775 will definately not be.
January 10, 2009 4:40:46 AM

so what? 32nm dieshrink. maybe a bit more cache, maybe a bit more mhz, but nothing NEW. nothing like the improvement of Pentium 4>Core 2
January 10, 2009 3:31:58 PM

so what? it will be better than the current processors out right now and will provide an upgrade path from the i7, that's what. AND it will have 6 cores with 12 processing threads. maybe the performance difference from nehalem to westmere won't be as dramatic from Pentium 4 to core 2 duo, but I'd be willing to bet it will be as dramatic as the difference between core 2 duo and westmere. 2 cores/2 threads vs 6 cores/12 threads...

Venom, all I'm saying is that lga-1366 will have the room to expand upon in the future, that's it. Yes, they are more expensive and will cut into the budget of someone building a new computer. If the builder is planning on only using for a year then ditching it, then Core 2 is a better option for them. Going with the i7 will give a person a more future proof computer, as well as the option to reuse some of the parts when it comes time to upgrade.
January 10, 2009 4:18:48 PM

I wonder if theother0 has been reading any of this discussion or if he already built his pc and we are just arguing for the sake of argument...lol.
!