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Extreme Gaming PC Build

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January 7, 2009 4:00:07 AM

I am sure this has been asked before, but I want to build a gaming system for my son for his Birthday. I have a limited knowledge of computers but I do know the components and what they do. I know that what my son wants is not available from the main computer companies. I will buy all of the components and then my I.T. guys will put it together for me. They know servers and workstations but they aren't up to date on the gaming stuff.

I will mention what he wants in the system and I hope someone can help me put this together. He is looking for the fastest system possible in all respects. I'm not sure if he will overclock the system but that is a possibility. He does want the system liquid cooled and he mentioned a system from Zalman that is external. He also mentioned a new video card that is coming out soon. I think he said something about 290 or 295. His current system has 2 video cards so I assume he wants multiple cards in this as well.

Basically, I want to spec the ultimate gaming pc in all respects. I don't have a set budget for this system and I have a good idea what it may cost.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jeff

More about : extreme gaming build

January 7, 2009 4:14:09 AM

well

core i7 965
3x gtx 285 with waterblock sli
Gigabyte x58 extreme
3x Zalman Reserator
6gb corsair dominator 1866 mhz
1200w pc power and cooling
abs canyon
2x intel 32gb slc ssd drive in raid 0
2x 1tb cavier black in raid 0
abs canyon case
Asus Xonar Sound Card

have fun :) 
January 7, 2009 4:34:59 AM

oicwutudidthar's basically has it right if $ isn't a issue to you except your son is wanting the GeForce GTX 295 so make sure you don't make that error otherwise I am sure your son will throw a fit and tell you how much he hates you and wishes he was dead. Certainly you don't want him to suffer such embarrassment in front of his friends.

I hope your very spoiled son enjoys his new PC while a child starves to death every six seconds. Hell the electricity used to power that monster could probably equal to feeding one of those kids. But hey your kids gotta have the best right?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 4:38:33 AM

Well, the 295 is going to officially come out at the end of this week. It's a little faster than the current king the 4870X2. Just so you know the 295 is going to cost $499 a card so you're looking at 1k for two of them. As for the rest of the system an i7 based system would be the fastest so you will need a good X58 board and you also have to make sure that is supports SLI as a few of the "cheaper" ones don't and by cheaper I mean less than $250. You should take a look at something like this Gigabyte board

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

You will need DDR3 RAM for it and I would recommend the following 6GB kit from mushkin (although you can get two kits for a total of 12GB)

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

The best i7 CPU would be the 965 EE

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

as for the Hard Drive you could get 4 of these Cavalier 1TB Black

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

and run them in Raid 5. That would give you a 3TB partition with the other 1TB being the parity bits should one of the drives fail thus giving you amazing speed, capacity, and reliability. As for the case I think your son was refering to the Zalman Z-Machine LQ1000. They don't seem to have it at newegg right now so you can google it or look it up on price watch to see who has it. Just so you know the case alone is $800.

You're going to need one heck of a power supply to run all those high end components so you should get something like a FSP Group Everest 1010

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

Or a CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W

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

If you get any other PSU make sure you research it to be sure that it is in the top PSU tier. You're going to spend alot of money on this system and you don't want to risk ruining the whole thing just because you got a cheap Power Supply. Since you are also going to need an optical drive, I suppose you will want an excellent blu ray burner to complement your monster system such as

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



For the operating system you will need to get windows Vista 64-bit and since you're spending all this money you may as well get the retail version

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 4:43:35 AM

I'd just like to add that I salute you for keeping the economy going and I'd go with the FSP Power supply, but yeah I can see nuclear's point there. If you dislike wasteful spending and you didn't vote for Nader then shame on you :D . Anyway after looking at the links I gave you I hope you understand that this setup is going to cost you some serious bucks.
January 7, 2009 1:51:38 PM

Thanks for all the replies. This is exactly what I was looking for.

Has anyone run across DigitalStorm computers? It appears they make high-end custom gaming computers with liquid cooling.

NuclearShadow, I understand your concerns and I appreciate your concern for our humans. Even though I may spend an excessive amount of money for a computer to support our economy, I also do my philanthropic part to help our fellow humans.
January 7, 2009 2:16:00 PM

omalljd said:

Basically, I want to spec the ultimate gaming pc in all respects. I don't have a set budget for this system and I have a good idea what it may cost.


Is there a budget? A fantastic machine can be built for 3k but a killer rig could be more like 6-8k. There must be some type of money limit?

Looking to adopt a 34 yr old Caucasian male? I don’t need much, perhaps a new PC every 2 years?! :) 
January 7, 2009 2:30:26 PM

I don't know if i'd choose the gigabyte boards for this build. I think your better off going with asus or evga since they deal with building the highest end boards out there. gigabyte targets the high preformance area but not the eutheists area.

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

Asus board: (if you plan on doing heavey overclocking)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also suggest you go with a abs 1200w power supply or a pc power and cooling 1200w supply. This may be a bit overkill but the entire rig is overkill really. I'd just rather have a good solid overkill psu instead of something that is just good enough to push everything in your pc.

If you go with the abs power supply pick up the abs case as well. the abs case is probally the best case out there but just its a hefty price. unreasonbly priced for most.

I would highly reccomend one of the top end monitors for this build as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 7, 2009 2:34:43 PM

NuclearShadow doesn't seem to realize that the time he spent typing out that response could have been used to submit a one-time payment to CMN. Way to go...
January 7, 2009 2:37:43 PM

WOW i would love to have a father like you!!!!. if i want something i have to do it by myself and work hard to get the money.
January 7, 2009 2:44:23 PM

anyway, i think that setup is good but wow way too expensive. hope you have some money to buy all that. by the way, how old is your son, if you dont mind.
January 7, 2009 2:50:23 PM

actually the best motherboard to date is the foxconn blood rage. only 3 memory dim slots and can support up to 2500mhz memory plus. Someone has gotten there dominator modules with fan to 3000mhz on 1.65. but the bloodrage on has room for 2, 2 slot vid cards. so 295 in quad sli or 4870x2 in quadfire is the way to go. Although even the 295 might be a bit better then the 4870x2 in the long run the 4870x2 is still better. most games can't take advantage of that quad pumped gddr5. 4870x2 is a monster and is a year ahead of its time.
a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 3:14:38 PM

For gaming, the most important component is the vga system.
Once you get beyond two vga cards, there is diminishing returns on performance. I would suggest that you modify the requirement from fastest possible to just outstanding.
You might want to read this article on what is realistic with different configurations, and what you need for best possible game play.
http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=vga_charts

The resolution of the display plays a big part in the requirements. For top end games, look at a 2560x1200 30" display. The Samsung 305T is a good one. They are pricey, but the look is stunning.

This week, we should see the announcement of the 55nm GTX285 and GTX295. A pair of either of these will give you the best possible gameplay. Anything else is just for bragging rights.

Currently the best possible cpu is the i7 965. It costs $1000. The i7 920 costs $300, and a mild overclock will make it perform like a 965. Take your pick. Either one will drive the best vga system well.

I am not much in favor of liquid cooling. First, it seems unnecessary today. A well ventilated case, and a good cpu cooler will keep the temperatures under control. Second, there is some care and maintenance involved. Last, there is a risk of damage if there should be a fluid leak. Only if your hobby is record level overclocks would liquid cooling be appropriate.

The top X58 motherboards from asus, gigabyte, or evga will do the job for dual vga cards. Look carefully at the layout if for some reason, you want to try three vga cards.

6gb of DDR3-1600 ram should be fine. I have not tried 12gb, but you might consider it. Vista-64 bit superfetch will use extra ram to cache frequently used programs and files for instant access.

For the OS, look at the Intel 80gb SSD. No other brand does not currently have a random write problem. Better yet, use two of them in raid-0. The SSD does not have an access penalty which hurts a hard drive raid-0 system.
For storage, there is nothing better than the WD velociraptor 300gb. If you need more than 300gb, then look at a 1tb drive instead.

---good luck---
January 7, 2009 4:49:24 PM

Geofelt, your feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm glad you mentioned diminishing returns and what is completely overkill. I am not building this system so he can have bragging rights, but rather to have the best system possible for his gaming.

I know that he wanted liquid cooling but maybe it doesn't really make sense since I don't think he is going to do extreme overclocking. One question I have is will the liquid cooling help the processor last longer by keeping the heat down? The computer will be used primarily for gaming and my understanding is that these newer games really heat up the processor.

I saw another question about budget. I hesitate to even answer that due to some of the negative comments but I am prepared to spend 10K if it makes sense. My son is 18 years old and has a job working for me. I am buying this computer because it is his Birthday but more importantly he will be using it to promote his private foundation. The focus of his foundation is to mentor and provide direction to underprivileged kids. I saw another comment about someone having to work hard to pay for it themselves. My son has worked hard for everything he has achieved and he wants his Birthday present to be used with his foundation.

Enough of that...back to the system. Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
January 7, 2009 4:53:36 PM

omalljd said:
Thanks for all the replies. This is exactly what I was looking for.

Has anyone run across DigitalStorm computers? It appears they make high-end custom gaming computers with liquid cooling.

NuclearShadow, I understand your concerns and I appreciate your concern for our humans. Even though I may spend an excessive amount of money for a computer to support our economy, I also do my philanthropic part to help our fellow humans.


I love how you put that "our humans" as if I am on the outside and not one too. Also your being dishonest your goal isn't to support the economy if you were buying massive amounts of these PCs and then simply giving them away that would be helping but your only buying one and for your son on his birthday so don't give me your supporting the economy crap. I'm sure your many acts of philanthropy that makes Mother Teresa look like a cold hearted bitch and us small peons thank you would you like us to build a altar of you? Perhaps we can make it a sculpture of you and your reaction depicting the scene of a future birthday of your son when he throws a fit and smashs his new Ferrari because its not venetian red like he wanted. Or how about his first drug arrest that will have the charges mysteriously disappear? (if that hasn't already happened) Because you know rich spoiled brats always dive right into them. Hell your probably doing a line of coke off a high class hookers ass once in a while yourself.

Anyways I hope your son loves his new PC and don't forget he wants the GeForce GTX 295 and you should get at least three of them otherwise he will will surely be the laughing stock of the gated community.
January 7, 2009 4:57:39 PM

Ya I also agree that ssd drives are probally the way to go. get Two 80 drives and raid 0 them. Use those as your primary drives. Then pick up another or two 1tb drives depending on the amount of space it would require. I am with geofelt that two gtx 295's would be plenty. If your nervious about ussing ssd's then try the wd raptor 300gb verison. Its slightly slower than the ssd's noted above but will still be a force when dealing with preformance.

I would consider myself a newbie when it comes to water systems. I in general stick with air because I'm always affaird water will leak or something will go wrong with it. If your doing tripple sli, I think this would warrent the liquid cooling due to heat. If its just two then you should be ok, given that you get a good case with maxium air flow.
January 7, 2009 5:03:34 PM

NuclearShadow said:
I love how you put that "our humans" as if I am on the outside and not one too. Also your being dishonest your goal isn't to support the economy if you were buying massive amounts of these PCs and then simply giving them away that would be helping but your only buying one and for your son on his birthday so don't give me your supporting the economy crap. I'm sure your many acts of philanthropy that makes Mother Teresa look like a cold hearted bitch and us small peons thank you would you like us to build a altar of you? Perhaps we can make it a sculpture of you and your reaction depicting the scene of a future birthday of your son when he throws a fit and smashs his new Ferrari because its not venetian red like he wanted. Or how about his first drug arrest that will have the charges mysteriously disappear? (if that hasn't already happened) Because you know rich spoiled brats always dive right into them. Hell your probably doing a line of coke off a high class hookers ass once in a while yourself.

Anyways I hope your son loves his new PC and don't forget he wants the GeForce GTX 295 and you should get at least three of them otherwise he will will surely be the laughing stock of the gated community.


NuclearShadow...why does it bother you so much that I am having this computer made for my son? The "our humans" comment I meant to say "other humans". I won't comment on the rest of your post but I am sorry you feel this way.
January 7, 2009 5:09:27 PM

Ya know I have no problem with someone putting together a rig like this as long as they arn't waisting my time and not really gonna build it.

@nuclear
Life just isn't fair sometimes. Learn to accept that. Yes he's probally waisting some money on this computer, but what's nice about it is that he can. I mean you do you ever go buy tickets to the movies? Could have spent that money on some starving kid. Its the same deal just with a different issue. I mean this is nothing more than a form of entertainment/business. Leave it at that.
a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 5:28:20 PM

I'd waste money on a computer like that if I could. O.k well no I wouldn't even if I was rich, but the idea is nice :) . Anyway I think some of you guys missed the part where his IT guys will be putting it together. That's going to rule out Asus since even though I love Asus boards, I wouldn't recommend them to someone who didn't really know what they are doing because sometimes they can be a real pain in the @$$. EVGA boards are usually just reference, and as for Foxconn even though they can make good products their support is just not there. That pretty much just leaves MSI and Gigabyte, and I think the Gigabyte boards are a little easier to deal with.
January 7, 2009 5:34:00 PM

@megamanx
In general i full heartly agree with what you just said. But if his IT guys are putting it together(meaning they have some ideas) then they should be comfortable working with asus and evga. Gigabyte does make a pretty good board don't get me wrong, its just that for extreme pc's i'd feel more confortable reccomending a asus or evga board.

edit: PS foxconn also makes a great extreme board but I've had less luck with there tech support when compairing it to evga and asus. Plus i think evga and asus Quality control is a little bit better than foxconn. (think foxconn preforms better in benchmarks however? need to read some reviews on the new boards)
January 7, 2009 5:34:11 PM

core i7 965
Dual 4870X2'S on a water loop to keep the noise down.
6GB DDR3, 1600MHZ+ idealy.
Dual SSD's for the 64bit OS in Raid0
A single 1tara Hdd for storage.
January 7, 2009 6:30:49 PM

The diminishing returns comment is something that ought to be weighed very heavily. I'm sure that your son appreciates that you're willing to spend $10k for the best of the best for him, but there's a few things to consider:

- The performance increase you gain for spending $10k on a system over spending $5k will not be 100%, in fact it'll likely be around %10 or less. Even the $5k system will likely perform only slightly better than a $3k system. I understand that you want him to have a really great computer for his gaming fun, but take these diminishing returns into consideration.

- If you spend $10k now, in two years that system will likely be equivalent to a $2k-3k system. I suggest building something that will by all accounts still be considered top of the line today, in the $5k range, and then build another for him two or three years down the line for another $5k. Sure it'll diminish the value of his 18th birthday present, but the overall value will be increased in the long term. Or perhaps build the $5k system for him now and give him another $5k to go spend on something else that he really wants.

From performance increase and economic perspectives, it is exceptionally difficult to justify spending $10k on a system. Happy birthday to your son! I hope he enjoys his gift :) 
January 7, 2009 6:39:10 PM

below is a killer water cooling loop for dual 4870x2's --> CND $'s and a canadian store as i dont know where in USA to get this stuff.

$139.99
You want a fesser one rad or a Thermochill they are the best, no comparisons.
Feser One X-360 TFC Xchanger Triple 120MM Water Cooling Radiator
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=28901&vpn=42...


$6.49
Need barbs for the rad
Swiftech 1/2IN OD Chrome Plated G1/4
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=22451&vpn=BS...

$102.43
a good industrial pump
Swiftech MCP655 12V
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=19862&vpn=MC...

$30.73
If you want a res, this is the best one. Swifteck microres, but a T line is fine.
Swiftech MCRES-MICRO REV2
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34401&vpn=MC...

$14.23
This tubing is cheaper and is more flexible then Tygon. The 7/16 inside diameter makes a tight fit on ½ OD barbs, perfect for your/our needs
Masterkleer Pvc Tubing 7/16IN ID 5/9IN OD 10 Feet http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=21318&vpn=TU...

$366.68 --> for two
TWO - Danger Den DD-4870-X2 Full Cover X-FIRE Ready Video Card Water Block for Radeon 4870 X2 1/2IN Barbs
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33184&vpn=GP...

$19.99
Swiftech MCB-120 Radbox Revision 2 Black
http://www.ncix.com/products/index [...] e=Swiftech

$10 go to your local hardware store and get some Metal hose-clamps, these will never leak there like a buck 50 each.

TOTAL: $ 690.18 cnd = $4.30 AMERICAN :)  j/k
a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 6:42:02 PM

Heat does have an effect on cpu longevity, but the time frame is decades. The cpu will slow down to protect itself if it gets too hot. The i7 is particularly good at this.
Overclocking to high levels can reduce the lifespan of a cpu, but the cpu will be obsolete in five years, long before it fails.
With your budget, and without the need for overclocking, look at the i7-965. It will run anything out there, and it can be overclocked easier and to higher levels if it is ever needed.

The biggest heat generator will be the vga cards. They are designed to run hot, and they do. It would be good to put this in a case with very good airflow.
The best case I think would be the Antec 1200.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The onboard HD sound is very good these days, so I would not bother with a sound card. The cpu savings would be insignificant. Some sound cards seem to have driver problems.
For sound, add a good quality 5.1 speaker system. My criteria would be to look at the size of the subwoofer speaker. That determines how low the sound can go. Any good system will have enough power to shake the building. No doubt there are many here who can offer some good suggestions on speakers.
January 7, 2009 6:55:01 PM

If i were you... a "non" builder... i would purchase a top-end Falcon Northwest system.
http://www.falcon-nw.com/

I looked they have the newest extreme i7 with dual 4870x2 water cooled systems.

**edit**
or even an alienware(dell)...
http://www.alienware.com/
January 7, 2009 7:03:40 PM

robert27 said:
The diminishing returns comment is something that ought to be weighed very heavily. I'm sure that your son appreciates that you're willing to spend $10k for the best of the best for him, but there's a few things to consider:

- The performance increase you gain for spending $10k on a system over spending $5k will not be 100%, in fact it'll likely be around %10 or less. Even the $5k system will likely perform only slightly better than a $3k system. I understand that you want him to have a really great computer for his gaming fun, but take these diminishing returns into consideration.

- If you spend $10k now, in two years that system will likely be equivalent to a $2k-3k system. I suggest building something that will by all accounts still be considered top of the line today, in the $5k range, and then build another for him two or three years down the line for another $5k. Sure it'll diminish the value of his 18th birthday present, but the overall value will be increased in the long term. Or perhaps build the $5k system for him now and give him another $5k to go spend on something else that he really wants.

From performance increase and economic perspectives, it is exceptionally difficult to justify spending $10k on a system. Happy birthday to your son! I hope he enjoys his gift :) 


+1
I would say spending more than 3k is unnecessary and over 5k is grotesque. unless you have a 50" HDTV hooked up to your pc it doesn't make much sense to spend +5k for 5% performance increase. 3k will buy you a computer that will play every game out and every game to come out in the next year at max settings at very high resolutions.
January 7, 2009 7:18:30 PM

$1k for monitor
$1k for cpu
$1k for dual graphics cards
$1-2k on software and interal guts and assecories. (ram, case, psu, cooling solution, sound system...ect)

I could see someone spending 5k for a top of the line machince if they are starting from scratch. I just don't forsee someone going over that.
January 7, 2009 7:23:17 PM

Robert 127, great comments on diminishing returns. It is the same way in high-end audio. Definitely a lot to think about. I am putting together a list of items from NewEgg based on the above recommendations and will post as soon as I am done. I am hoping to get the order placed tomorrow but may have to wait on the video cards until they are available.

When you have 2 video cards, do they link together and run 1 monitor for gaming? I have a computer that I use for currency trading that has 3 video cards, but it runs 6 monitors for my charts. Does 2 cards double the speed and memory then. I did take a look at the video card site from above and it appears that you can run 1-4 cards if your motherboard supports it.

Thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
January 7, 2009 7:55:16 PM

omalljd said:
Robert 127, great comments on diminishing returns. It is the same way in high-end audio. Definitely a lot to think about. I am putting together a list of items from NewEgg based on the above recommendations and will post as soon as I am done. I am hoping to get the order placed tomorrow but may have to wait on the video cards until they are available.

When you have 2 video cards, do they link together and run 1 monitor for gaming? I have a computer that I use for currency trading that has 3 video cards, but it runs 6 monitors for my charts. Does 2 cards double the speed and memory then. I did take a look at the video card site from above and it appears that you can run 1-4 cards if your motherboard supports it.

Thanks.


SLI(scalable link interface) AKA crossfire for radeon cards, connects two or more vga cards to increase the speed of the video system. Until recently, only one monitor could be connected. I think this may have changed with the latest release of drivers, but I am no expert on that. The main purpose is to increase the frames per second displayed on the monitor. Over 60 frames per second is enough to make the action on the display look very fluid. This is particularly good for fast action games like racing or shooter type games.
When the display is larger, there are more pixels to render, so more vga power is needed. In addition, if more details and other visual effects are desired, the vga system has more work to do. I am a big fan of multiple monitors, but most games do not use them. X58 motherboards for the i7 may have video slots(pci-e) for three or 4 video cards, but they may not fit that many of the larger, more powerful cards. I suppose you could always add a lesser non-sli card to run a second or third monitor.

In your case, I think a system with two GTX285 cards would be outstanding. The GTX280 is a known commodity, and two of them will run everything well. I expect the 55nm GTX285 to do perhaps 10% better, and run cooler. I would want to see what the GTX295 will do, particularly for a 2540x1600 display. Sometimes multi gpu cards do not scale well, so they may not be much stronger than the two GTX285 system. Have a bit of patience there to see what the benchmarks are. If patience is in short supply, then get some interim cards from EVGA. They have a "step-up" program where you can trade in your vga card, and get credit for your purchase price on a new card that is priced higher. It is good for 90 days. EVGA has good support also.

January 7, 2009 8:20:06 PM

well like other user stated before. it is way better to build a system of 3-5K now and in a one or two year upgrade it, it will actually help you to be update in all matters, compare to build something of 10K now and in one year it will be a little outdated. plus you save some money by doing it. just my opinion
January 7, 2009 8:25:07 PM

Ok...here is the list so far. I will take into consideration waiting to see how the GTX295 cards benchmark before making that purchase.

Case: ABS Canyon 695 $600
Power Supply: ABS BZ1300 $500
Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Extreme $400
CPU: Intel I7 Extreme 965 $1013
Video Card: 2X GTX295 (?) ~$1000
Ram: 6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3/1860 $409
Hard Drive: 2X Intel LX25-M 80GB SSD $1040
Hard Drive: 2X WD RE3 1TB $380

Will I need to purchase a raid card for these or has technology change?

I am still not sure about water cooling, but am thinking about it for the video cards.

Liquid Cooling: Zalman Reserator XT $420

Will all these components work together? Also, what Blu-Ray player do you recommend as well as a DVD Burner?

Thanks.
January 7, 2009 8:40:13 PM

10K on a computer? If my dad had 10K to spend on my 18 birthday present and he bought me a computer, I would have to kick his ass.

2 words, booze and hookers. topshelf liquor and talent all the way.

you want to make his birthday special, get him laid.

yeah, I said it. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking it.

January 7, 2009 10:02:10 PM

LOL
January 7, 2009 10:40:34 PM

You can skip the SSD since its new technology and aren't that fast.

If take a I7 MB with 3*16xPCI-E you take the first 2 for the 295 in quad SLI and you take the 3rd to install a good raid card like the Areca 1210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and use 4*WD black 640Gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... in RAID 5, so you have speed and fault tolerance. The controler will make the disk work faster in raid 5 than the MB raid controller.
January 8, 2009 2:15:46 PM

grieve said:
Raid 5 does not offer any speed advantages.


Why would you think that? Raid 5 definitely offers speed improvements over a single drive, just as raid 0 does.
January 8, 2009 8:37:12 PM

Water cooling is risky. Sure it looks cool, but if a tube leaks or something goes wrong you can short out your very expensive computer. Plus you have to maintain a water cooling system. I would say just go with a good air cooling setup. Does your son happen to like old American muscle cars? Get a coolermaster v8 for your cpu, Its super sexy. Then get some fans to blow on your gpus and you should be fine. If your son really really doesn't like the air cooling you can get a liquid cooling system installed later. Water cooling is really only necessary if you are going to do extreme overclocking.
January 8, 2009 8:56:43 PM

omalljd said:
...Hard Drive: 2X WD RE3 1TB $380
Will I need to purchase a raid card for these or has technology change?...
Don't use enterprise drives like the RE3 without an expensive controller card which has error correction capability built in. These drives are better suited for servers.
Consider an Adaptec 5405 Raid controller. I would still use 4 drives in RAID 10 (1+0) such as WD6401AALS 640GB drives or the WD 1TB Black drives. These are the fastest desktop drives around and use double platter bearings for long term reliability.
January 8, 2009 8:58:51 PM

robert27 said:
Why would you think that? Raid 5 definitely offers speed improvements over a single drive, just as raid 0 does.


Because Raid 5 is not for speed it is for redundancy. Sure you have minimal speed gains over a single disk but Raid5 in a gaming PC is silly...no one would do this for speed.

In a gaming PC raid0 is the way to go.

read up...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_indepen...

January 8, 2009 9:14:55 PM

xthekidx said:
Water cooling is risky. Sure it looks cool, but if a tube leaks or something goes wrong you can short out your very expensive computer. Plus you have to maintain a water cooling system.


Water cooling is not risky if you build it proper!

Does your sink drip on the floor? Does your toilet spill everywhere? When was the last time you saw failed plumbing? In North America we live without water leaks. LOL

Maintaining a water loop consists of adding water every… I dunno, two-three months?? Maybe every six months change the water.

With a proper water loop(s) a person may spend two hours a year maintaining. (I must mention, some people enjoy tinkering with their systems.)

In my personal opinion adding a “proper” water cooling system is a great idea. I have a single 4870x2 and the noise is killing me. The second I have an extra $500 I am putting it towards water cooling…. I want my silence back.

I can only imagine what dual 4870x2’s would sound like….A 747 perhaps.

January 8, 2009 10:14:05 PM

Hopefully you haven't ordered everything yet because if you did I just wasted a lot of time. Either way it was fun. Everything listed below has a justification (whether you agree or not) byt it.

Case - $600 you picked it but an Antec 1200 (-$400) would do an exceptional job.
ABS Canyon 695 4 x140mm Fan Multiple Heat Zones Full Aluminum Super Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $500 again you picked it
ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ1300 1300W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

UPS - $449 again, this is one of those luxury items that most of us cannot afford but with this type of system it can prevent major problems. Basically, if you lose power it will give your son enough time to shut down properly. There is nothing more frustrating then having to reload software because it was corrupted from a power surge/failure.
CyberPower Professional PP2200SW 2200VA 1500W 6 NEMA 5-15R, 2 NEMA 5-20R Outlets UPS - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO - $400
I chose the Asus as well. I have an Asus and a Gigabyte and I prefer the Asus and I think it is easier to OC with it. A painful lesson I learned is that even if you think OC'ing is not that important or not something you will do a lot of, it is important to be prepared. The Asus will offer the most flexibility and OC'ing is kinda like doing crack. At first you think "I'll just do a mild OC" and the next thing you know you have spent the entire weekend raising the cpu frequency by .5 mhz.
ASUS Rampage II Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $550 Here is where we must seperate. The i7940 is more then enopugh for any gaming system you are putting together. Besides, in 6-12 months intel will release the next gen i7's that will crush these. This thing can easily OC past 4ghz on air. If you decide to switch back to the i7 965 add another $500 to the build.
Intel Core i7 940 Nehalem 2.93GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink and bracket. $65 + $10 This heatsink and fan is a beast and will cool down the desert if it is not monitored.
ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ZALMAN ZM-CS4A Socket 1366 Clip Support Kit for CNPS9500/9700 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


RAM - $391 When I was building this I made the assumption that it would be used for gaming, work and multi-media so I would recommend teh 12gb of DDR3 1600mhz. I always chose OCZ because I have never had a problem with it and there customer service is excellent; ok that is based on what you normally get from this industry.
OCZ XMP Ready Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD #1 - $230 again we seperate. The performance gain from the SSD's is minimal to the point where there is no noticeable difference for the user. 2nd part of that, drive 1, IMHO, should be used for OS and commonly used apps. ie: vista 64, 1-3 games that are frequently played, Adobe Suite etc. An 80gb SSD hard drive does not offer enough capacity to load all those apps so you effectively lose the benefit of additional speed when the SSD has to read from the standard HDD. With that said there is no stnadard HDD that even comes close to the velociraptor in regards to performance. 1 is enough, raid 0 would be a waste.
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD #2 - $120 this is strictly a drive for back up and data storage. You could add a 3rd HDD for additioanl back up but the 1.5TB is enough to store every app, photograph, file, video etc that you and I have ever created or viewed.
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*if you want speed and ultimate reliability buy 4 of the 1.5TB HDD's and run in raid 0+1. The Asus mobo natively supports it.

GPU's - $1,020 you have the money so...
2 X EVGA 017-P3-1292-AR GeForce GTX 295 Plus 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card - $200 why spend this kind of money and use onboard audio. I added this so he can happily use this as an HTPC as well.
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers - $303 since you are spending this kind of money (I am happy for you that you can do it and it is nothing to be ashamed of) an external sound system would add to either the gaming experince, music or theater.
Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blueray Player - $250 as you can guess, excellent for HD playback
LG Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Model GGW-H20L - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD - never hurts to have an additonal drive.
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Media Card Reader - hopefully his girlfriend will bring him a disk with pictures on it. All G rated of course.
SIIG JU-91RW12-S4 9-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Write + Floppy - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Misc items - these are meant to prevent the "oh **** I forgot to get the batteries" feeling but each is a top of the line item in its respective category. You might want to just plan on a quick shopping trip so he can pick this stuff out on his own since each persons preferences are unique.

Keyboard - $90
RAZER Tarantula RZ03-00070100 Black 104 Normal Keys 20 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse - $80
RAZER Lachesis RZ01-00170100-R3M1 Banshee Blue 9 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Laser 4000 dpi Gaming Mouse - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Headset - $120, this is a must for any gamer and it makes it so you don't have to listen to his gaming. Remeber, when you here him in his roon (or wherever the comp will be) talking to himself he is probably gaming and talking to ppl online. Nothing to worry about unless the comp is off.
RAZER Barracuda HP-1 Razer HD-DAI(High Definition-Dedicated Audio Interface) Connector Circumaural Gaming Headphones
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total price $5500 not including shipping and mail-in-rebates.



Now, for the most important part. The monitor! This is the one thing he will use for years without needing an upgrade. Do not skimp on this.
DELL ULTRASHARP 3008WFP
30-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr...

Dell makes exceptional monitors but you pay a lot for them this one is $2k

Final total price before shipping and mail-in-rebates = $7,500. Use the remainder for a 46" 120mhz TV to complete the gaming/home theater PC.
January 9, 2009 5:24:27 AM

Consider this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALIENWARE-i7-ALX-FULLY-UPGRADED...

Performing maybe 5% less than the above quoted computer. Plus, brand name counts for something, especially if your son decides to sell this in 2 years and build a new ultimate computer, and no other brand is as highly regarded as Alienware. Then buy that dell 30" ultrasharp. you could even have money left over and buy those gtx 295's and replace the 2 4870X2's and sell those to someone else for $350-$400 each
February 5, 2009 9:06:47 AM

So everyone here is informed, OMALLJD (AKA Jeff O'Malley) is a well known scammer here in the Phoenix/Tucson, AZ area. He has pulled the "private foundation" line with many others, usually it is HIS private foundation but now it appears to be his "18 year old son!" He must also own a time machine because if you Google OMALLJD, you will find a thread from 2006 that says (these are his words)...

"I will tell you what we are looking for and maybe you can give us an idea of what you would recommend. My wife and I have 3 children ages 6, 19 months, and 2 months, so education is important to us. We would be relocating from Cleveland, OH and one of the things that looks attractive about NW Washington is the mild weather and the abundance of outdoor activities. We are looking for a small town atmosphere, with low crime rate but still has some of the 21st century conveniences. Employment is not a major concern for us because I run a small trucking company and I can be based anywhere. It would be nice to be close enough to Seattle or Vancouver, BC when we want to visit, etc."

Somehow his kids that were all under 3 years of age have now grown up and one is even 18 years old, all in a 2-3 year time span. His stories get better with tales of cash-outs from his businesses, a dying wife, multiple airplanes, Lamborghini's, and other assorted toys of the rich and famous. He's fishing for something with the people on this forum just by the fact that he is mentioning his "private foundation", money is no object attitude, and his knowledge of high-end audio. Just beware...the guy is a phony and a liar.

~ Posted By: A Burned Real Estate Agent (in Tucson)
July 10, 2009 11:00:42 PM

omalljd-buster said:
So everyone here is informed, OMALLJD (AKA Jeff O'Malley) is a well known scammer here in the Phoenix/Tucson, AZ area. He has pulled the "private foundation" line with many others, usually it is HIS private foundation but now it appears to be his "18 year old son!" He must also own a time machine because if you Google OMALLJD, you will find a thread from 2006 that says (these are his words)...

"I will tell you what we are looking for and maybe you can give us an idea of what you would recommend. My wife and I have 3 children ages 6, 19 months, and 2 months, so education is important to us. We would be relocating from Cleveland, OH and one of the things that looks attractive about NW Washington is the mild weather and the abundance of outdoor activities. We are looking for a small town atmosphere, with low crime rate but still has some of the 21st century conveniences. Employment is not a major concern for us because I run a small trucking company and I can be based anywhere. It would be nice to be close enough to Seattle or Vancouver, BC when we want to visit, etc."

Somehow his kids that were all under 3 years of age have now grown up and one is even 18 years old, all in a 2-3 year time span. His stories get better with tales of cash-outs from his businesses, a dying wife, multiple airplanes, Lamborghini's, and other assorted toys of the rich and famous. He's fishing for something with the people on this forum just by the fact that he is mentioning his "private foundation", money is no object attitude, and his knowledge of high-end audio. Just beware...the guy is a phony and a liar.

~ Posted By: A Burned Real Estate Agent (in Tucson)


How do I get in contact with you? I think we have some stories to share... I PMed you and I'm awaiting your reply.
July 15, 2009 7:43:25 PM

Anyone considering a purchase from ABS Computers or NewEgg (same owners) consider this warranty issue:


Summary:

My $3,952.68 unit was purchased in 2006. Included,a 3-yr-onsite-warranty. I have had many issues: spontaneous reboots, reinstalling the OS several times, not successfully booting up or shutting down. My liquid cooling unit recommended for this game machines and still sold at ABS has stopped. Support claims this is the root of my problem even though I had the other issues when the cooling unit was working.

They now not only want me to have this $150 part replaced with a $30-40 air-cooled substitute but also want me to front the cost of replacement/repair! They also tell me that the liquid cooled is no longer sold, yet they are building them into their configured systems still today. I am furious today and a call placed a couple months ago was met with rudeness and laughing at me for purchasing this computer. I couldn't believe it myself but a good friend made the call with me and heard it for himself. He and I are former on-site technicians!

Buyer beware here or at least don't waste your money on the on-site-warranty. Always keep copies of your paperwork because you will be challenged. They told me that I was out of warranty but my purchase was 10/17/2006 which meant that as of today I still have 3 months. It may just be whomever they currently have handling warranties. But I don't recommend paying for your own parts/repair and expecting them to reimburse you later. This is just way too fishy. So much so, it stinks!

Pros:

Fast system, well designed and configured, clean and accessible room inside the case. When it is running its a sweet machine.


Cons:

Spontaneous reboots, failed liquid cooler (pump issue), sometimes turns on but won't boot. Sometimes it won't shut down. On-site-warranty at this time, an iffy proposition.


Updated on Jul 15, 2009
I should note that this is my second computer purchase from ABS. The 1st was a $1,900 gaming rig. At that time I had no warranty issues. Now with nearly $4,000 on the line, the warrant service should be golden but they are treating it like a fly-by-night warranty business that wants you to pay their costs up front.
If I was going to do that, I'd have saved the money on the warranty and done the repairs myself !

Updated on Jul 24, 2009
Sent back the unit RMA. Company would not send a shipping box container nor do a pick-up. Never before has a company not sent a container and scheduled a pick-up. IBM, Toshiba, Acer, HP, all previous purchases in the past have done this under warranty (depot service). IBM even did a same day box drop off and later day pick-up with a replacement turn-around of two days. Even when I was doing computer technical services for 20 years, my clients got the same quick turnaround service when under warranty. Why not in this case?

So it cost me $87 for me to ship to ABS Computer. My 3 yr On-site Warranty had been suddenly changed to Depot Warranty and they're not even covering the cost of p/up. They sent me an email that they would cross-ship a replacement if I would choose to give them a credit card, OR/ provide a tracking number as proof my defective unit was on the way. I sent them a confirmation with the tracking information and they ignored it. So I suspected either correctly or incorrectly that they would attempt a repair. I light of that possibility, I sent a whole list of issues should they decide to repair/not replace the unit as promised. Instead they repeated the same info as before. Again, I re-sent them the confirmation with tracking info again. There has been no response & I don't know what the status is. They received it yesterday morning.

I have kept all correspondence threads in-tack, so that they too can see the two-way communication and lack of proper responses.
July 28, 2009 9:58:38 AM


3x gtx 285 with waterblock sli
Gigabyte x58 extreme
3x Zalman Reserator
6gb corsair dominator 1866 mhz


___________________________________________________
Blu ray DVD Burner
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
October 29, 2009 5:32:25 PM

omalljd said:
NuclearShadow...why does it bother you so much that I am having this computer made for my son? The "our humans" comment I meant to say "other humans". I won't comment on the rest of your post but I am sorry you feel this way.

I wouldn't even bother replying to this idiot----his name "NuclearShadow" says it all. It doesn't take much to see where his mindset is----what a loser!
January 13, 2010 1:01:25 PM

NuclearShadow said:
oicwutudidthar's basically has it right if $ isn't a issue to you except your son is wanting the GeForce GTX 295 so make sure you don't make that error otherwise I am sure your son will throw a fit and tell you how much he hates you and wishes he was dead. Certainly you don't want him to suffer such embarrassment in front of his friends.

I hope your very spoiled son enjoys his new PC while a child starves to death every six seconds. Hell the electricity used to power that monster could probably equal to feeding one of those kids. But hey your kids gotta have the best right?


You are a real freakin idiot...
June 30, 2010 3:38:56 AM

boy ive never seen a forum disscusion page so angry lol i wouldnt really support this because this site is for questions and (good) advice not for arguring :) 
!