Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New i7 Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
Share
March 22, 2009 2:41:59 AM

I'm a first time builder and have been a Mac user for many years. I've played WoW for far too long and am starting to itch for all those PC games I've missed up until now. I originally planned on spending $2500 to $3000 for a "gaming" notebook but ultimately decided I really didn't need any portability and I can get a lot more out of a desktop. I have spent the last 2 weeks looking through other builds and researching what it takes to build these things and think I'm finally ready to go for it.

I will be experimenting with overclocking the i7 (probably the 3.5-3.8 GHz range) and I have decided on a PSU with some realistic expandability without going overboard. I already have an Antec 900 case that I got from my brother and plan on using it. I need EVERYTHING else though.

I'll look for combos on Newegg before I order and I'm not in a huge rush, but here's what I have for now:

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail -- $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I was originally looking at the 940 until I saw how well the 920 is overclocking.

COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail -- $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Alright, I know next to nothing about after market cooling systems. I thought briefly about water cooling but think it's a little out of my comfort zone and I'm not sure I really need it. I like this one because, well, it's a freakin' V8. I'm pretty flexible here.

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM -- $8.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Do I need it or will it come with the heatsink? Is this even the best thermal compund for what I'm looking at doing?

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail -- $289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've found myself drifting back towards this motherboard when looking around for alternatives. I'm open to suggestions here though.

Antec Signature SG850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail -- $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
After reading some reviews on this PSU I'm pretty happy with my choice. I originally looked at the Enermax Revolution85+ 1050W but thought it might be too much for what I need.

SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail -- $399.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've been going back and forth between this and a GTX 295 and ultimately picked the 4870x2 for the $100 price difference. I want a really good GPU and am willing to pay for it but I'm also thinking of adding another in SLI or Crossfire when I actually need it down the road as opposed to now when they are still so expensive. I welcome any and all recommendations or suggestions on this.

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail -- $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I see this recommended a lot.

2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM -- $159.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I see this recommended even more.

LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20LK - OEM -- $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BenQ G2400WD Black 24" 5ms, 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail -- $359.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seems to be a pretty good gaming monitor. I have a 24" Cinema HD that I'll be keeping hooked up to my Mac. I like 1920x1200.

Logitech G15 USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail -- $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech G9 Black 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Retail -- $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM -- $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total -- $2278.86

I look forward to seeing your comments and suggestions on my build. Thanks.

More about : gaming build

March 22, 2009 4:49:25 PM

Looks good.

The Xigmatech Dark Knight cools as well for $40. Or if you want something quieter, then the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366.

I would change the TIM to Arctic Cooling MX-2 or OCZ Freeze, or you can use the one that comes with the cooler. Will only make a couple of degrees difference.
March 23, 2009 1:41:40 PM

Thanks theAnimal. I will take another look at the Xigmatech Dark Knight and the Arctic Cooling MX-2.
Related resources
March 23, 2009 1:49:14 PM

Nice build there blueman, quite impressed. Loving the psu choice aswell. You will probably be pressured about getting a single rail but, alot of people have there opinions and ill give you mine.

IMO: 12v railing should always be looked at when getting a computer. Main concern is which to get?

Alot of people look at 18a's as crappy amperage even though there 4 12vrails. Thats in actuality, alot. 1 gpu will not power a full 18a of railing.

Its a better oc/nice for gaming etc. Your showing 22a+ on each rail which is great.
Sure as time goes by capacity kicks in and and wattage burns out reducing some amps probably but, thats why alot of people would rather get single railing or like to suck up an electricity bill :) . All in all, should last you a great amount of time.
Have fun.



March 23, 2009 2:06:12 PM

Very nice build.

+1 for the Xigmatek and MX-2.

Frankly, I wouldn't pay $90+$80 for mouse and keyboard, but if you like them why not :) 
March 23, 2009 2:26:34 PM

i've got a 2500dpi ocz mouse and theres an eXtreme button on it, its like a bind button, instead of shooting 1 bullet out of a pistol or sniper rifle it will double shoot :) . and on semi automatics it shoots faster and double the bullets come out :D 
March 23, 2009 2:31:01 PM

LOL, that's a smart mouse indeed :)  Well, until you run out of ammo, I guess.

March 23, 2009 2:33:03 PM

Sick build OP. I am going to throw in a suggestion for the 295 over the 4870x2. I am not an nvidia fanboy (having owned AMD cards my entire life until I made my recent system build). IMO, if you're going to be gaming, you will be doing yourself a favor by spending the extra $100...especially if you're into single card, dual-GPU configurations.

The 295 will outperform the 4870x2 in almost every game at 1920x1200 (sometimes by a very significant margin)...the 4870x2 gains a slight advantage in some games at resolutions higher resolutions because it sports more memory.

In terms of driver support, I am extremely satisfied with nvida. They have already released multiple drivers significantly improving the 295s performance and are continuing to develop them. Given that the 295 is so much earlier in its lifecycle than the 4870, I think it is incredible that its driver support has already caught up to and maybe surpassed the 4870.

I also believe that the cooling solution on the 295 reference model is better than the 4870x2.

Just my $.02
March 23, 2009 3:06:55 PM

I'm satisfied with nVidia's drivers too. I used to get blue screens of death several times a day, until they released some new drivers in November 2007 and I installed those. Not a crash since then :) 

If you go with the GTX 295 idea, here's the official list of certified PSUs for two GTX 295 cards.
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html
Three PSUs on it so far, all rated 1200W. The best one is the PC Power & Cooling TurboCool, IMO.

Which games are you playing? Your monitor's refresh rate is 60Hz, which means you don't have to care if a card gets 18000 fps and another gets 65 fps - you'd still see exactly 60 frames on the monitor. Same thing for the second card - you don't need Crossfire or SLI if a single card can deliver 60 fps or more in your favorite games.
!