$1800 budget build, need help

First and foremost thank you for taking the time to read the posting of a lowly noob with none to little pc building experience (I figure if I degrade myself you'll feel more empathetic to my cause). As the thread title says I want to build a gaming pc for $1800 and I could use all the help I can get. I have in mind a number of components I'd like and rather then worrying about complete compatability on my own, I figured I'd ask for help. Keep in mind this will be a full build, everything from the case down to the thermal paste. Now the items I'd like to see as part of this build:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 ($150)

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 @2.66ghz ($289)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master v8 or your choice of Zalman ($70 for the v8)

Keyboard: Logitech G-15 ($73)

Total: $582. This leaves you with $1218 (or more if you find a cheaper CPU cooler) for the rest of the build. So this is where I enlist the help of the generous members of the forum. Other than the Case, CPU and Keyboard, you have free reign over all the other components with some small guidelines.

MoBo - I'd like the room to upgrade to Crossfire or SLI and add a sound card, keep this in mind when choosing (Asus, MSI or EVGA prefered).

Memory - I'd like to take advantage of triple channel memory so other than multiples of three the brand is your decision.

GPU - One able to play games like Farcry 2, Crysis, Crysis:Warhead with high settings. Medium is acceptable if your budget deems necessary as I'll be playing WoW most of the time.

Monitor - 1680 x 1050 or higher. I prefer that the monitor is HDMI capable for plugging in my 360 and PS3 although it's not necessary to have them both plugged in at once (1 HDMI slot).

Mouse - Looking for suggestions from anyone who uses their mouse for extended periods of time. Whether it be editing, gaming, browsing or business. For the most part the mouse will be used for gaming but I'm open for anything.

PSU - No preference here other than make it as modular as possible. Obviously I know going 100% modular will burn quite a bit of the budget (Ultra X-3) but, the more the better. Keep in mind too that I'll be upgrading to SLI or CF later so I'll need the extra wattage and connections now.

Now for a couple more questions. If I were to upgrade to dual displays, are there drivers that support dual displays in SLI or CF? Would I need to use a USB 2.0 adapter if not? Also, anything that I failed to mention as far as connection extensions, thermal paste, extra cooling, etc. feel free to dictate what would be best. Remember this is a full build so other than the components I've already selected and the $1800 budget, the rest is up to you!

*I'll be building (or attempting to build) the system myself. If you guys have any tips or links to tutorials about this I'd appreciate it.
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More about 1800 budget build help
  1. A great monitor is the HP w2228h, which is 22", at 1680 x 1050 and has HDMI. In fact, if you're willing to use DVI for your computer instead, you can just keep the PS3 plugged in the HDMi slot.

    http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/pl/25-1132511/Monitors/HP-w2228h-Black-Compare-Prices
  2. With that budget I would get a 24 inch @ 1900x1200. Check out my wishlist $1850 i7, prices changed since I made it (Its my soon to be build :D, it has everything.). There are 2 GTX 260s so if you order one for now it will keep you under budget and you can SLi them later. You can also bump up the PSU to an 850w Corsair to give you more power for an upgrade in the future, but the 750w will be plenty for the 260s in SLi.

    Its ~$1767(with shipping) with one GTX260 & 850w Corsair or $1737(with shipping) with the 750w Corsair, $1800 if you really want the V8 & G15. Plus $60 in rebates.
    Don't forget about combo deals, i7 920 + GTX260

    Forgot to add the OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - $99.99 Which should bring it to about $1800!(after rebates)

    If you really want an EVGA mobo this combo is $35 more
  3. Just change out / add on the hardware you prefer. This is a good start though for what your looking for. This build is set up to over clock, and all you have to do is add another gtx 260 in the future for SLI.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 $149.99
    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 $149.99 ($139.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359 $239.99 Free Shipping*
    ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    3-Way SLI & Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
    Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185093 $31.99
    Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154003 $4.99
    Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130475 $249.99
    EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231247 $89.99 Free Shipping*
    G.SKILL 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=N82E16822136319 $74.99 Free Shipping*
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $24.99 Free Shipping*
    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 - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 $99.99 Free Shipping*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    Total: $1,387.89 *not including shipping/taxes and rebates
  4. ^+1 Nice but I would suggest to change few things...
    1. Case to this one...Has free shipping and though not a full tower, would fit all the components with ease...And is one of the best cases out there...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

    2. Money saved on that put to a better cooler ...
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8444/cpu-tri-57/Thermalright_Ultra-120_eXtreme-1366_RT_CPU_Heatsink_Socket_LGA_1336_Preorder.html
  5. I'd highly recommend the logitech MX518 for your mouse: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104178&Tpk=mx518

    It's got a 5 extra buttons in addition to left, right and middle. I've had mine for about 4 years now I think and I used it back when I played WoW. Binding the thumb buttons with combos of shift, ctrl and alt was amazing.
  6. Wow! Thanks for all the help so far guys I'm really enjoying some of the suggestions so far. I Like Why_me's build but let's take advantage of the full $1800 shall we. Anyone have a suggestion for a better GPU (ATI or nVidia) and a decent 22" - 24" monitor?
  7. daidalas said:


    Ok good choice on that vid card. But that means the psu has to be upped to a 850w. So lets figure out the total price before this gets out of hand.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130475 $249.99
    EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 $149.99 ($139.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail


    Ok, I changed that build up top with those two items, but a monitor, and whatever else still has to be added to this build. Right now the total is up to: $1,387.89
  8. Why_Me said:
    Ok good choice on that vid card. But that means the psu has to be upped to a 850w. So lets figure out the total price before this gets out of hand.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130475 $249.99
    EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009 $149.99 ($139.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail


    Ok, I changed that build up top with those two items, but a monitor, and whatever else still has to be added to this build. Right now the total is up to: $1,387.89


    Quick question. Will I still be able to SLI later on with 2* 275s on an 850 PSU?
  9. Smokedatoke said:
    Quick question. Will I still be able to SLI later on with 2* 275s on an 850 PSU?



    LOL...with mass juice to spare. You can SLI gtx 285's with this psu and still have a crap load of juice left over.
  10. With the current build being roughly around $1400 now (without a monitor) I think I would like to go with dual displays. I need something in the 22" (1680x1050 or higher) range to support HDMI. I'd like to plug my PS3 in one and 360 in the other I noticed that monitors with 1 HDMI slot are cheaper. I was browsing Newegg and noticed that Acer and Asus have been receiving decent reviews on their 22" monitors. Depending on the model prices vary from $170-$190,getting two at the high end would put me just under $1800. Any thoughts?

    Also I've read that some people have had issues with their cords not being long enough. Considering the monster size of this case, what extension (if any) would I need to complete the wiring?
  11. That case (CM HAF) allows for top or bottom mount of the psu, so cord length shouldn't be an issue. If you look at the pics on newegg, take a look at the back of that case and you will see where it's set up to mount the psu at the top if you so choose.
  12. Why_Me said:
    That case (CM HAF) allows for top or bottom mount of the psu, so cord length shouldn't be an issue. If you look at the pics on newegg, take a look at the back of that case and you will see where it's set up to mount the psu at the top if you so choose.


    This is true but I would like to keep it at the bottom of the case. If you mount it at the top you have to remove the top mounted 230mm exhaust fan. Also I could replace the fan with a reservoir after upgrades if cooling ever becomes an issue.
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