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Building a new gaming/multitasking pc - need help

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May 7, 2009 12:31:07 AM

Hello,

I need help slimming down my parts options to fit my budget. I am not sure whether to sacrifice on cpu or video card.

This is my first gaming/multitasking build and I want it to last 5 years, if possible (though depending on video card choice for the budget, that might get upgraded in 2-3 years)

Purchase date: ASAP or by mid June, as June 2nd is when sims 3 is released

Budget range: US$2200-2500 is goal including tax, etc, but there can be play to 2700 if necessary

System usage:
what I do most is multitasking (word, excel, internet, picture editing, etc at once)
secondary is gaming (mostly will be sims 3 and expansion packs with all setting on max) for hours or days at a time.
third would be watching movies (but using onboard sound). If I can multitask with watching a movie too that would be nice.

Parts not needed:
mouse, keyboard, speakers, sound card (will use onboard sound), also might still use office 2003 instead of 2007 to sacrifice now for particular video card or cpu.

Website for parts: newegg or amazon

Parts preferred:
Intel i7 cpu (looking at 920 2.66 ghz or better if it will fit budget)
evga x58 chipset motherboard (if fits in budget)
Nvidia geforce graphics card, 1GB (looking at gtx 285 unless I don’t need it)
6GB DDR3 memory
SATA DVD+-RW multiformat
SATA2 hard drive 1GB 7200rpm
Antec mid/full atx tower case depending on size and quietness/cooling (unless there is a better option).
Corsair PSU 750w unless there is quieter and better
Vista home premium retail
Do I need a floppy drive still?

120mm and bigger fans will work if they are quiet. I don't know if heatsinks are worth the trouble or how much they block airflow? If the video card is noisy because it needs a fan, I would probably go with a different card if I still get my needs met.

Not overclocking: want best stability I can get and less heat
No SLI or Crossfire to begin with (maybe never)

need 22” widescreen LCD monitor
I haven’t researched brands yet and desired resolution is still unknown
I need an excellent native resolution for text to be easy on the eyes as I read alot, so help with this would be great

Additional comments: I want a quiet enough PC that I forget about it; it can be a low soft sound, just no whining (not even soft whining). It also needs to cool itself enough without me having to babysit fan speeds.

So to sum it up, my difficulties are:
1. which parts mix would be a best fit in an excellent antec case?
2. do I shoot for better quality/not as quiet, or vice versa?
3. and do i sacrifice on cpu or video card if both high end won't fit in the budget, since I will be multitasking more than playing sims 3?

Thanks,

strangequark



More about : building gaming multitasking

May 7, 2009 3:26:24 AM

I would go with a lower budget, personally - you'd probably be able to play Sims 3 at max settings at any resolution with a system about 1/4 expensive as the one you've got budgeted.

If you're going to be gaming hardcore (i.e. Crysis/Warhead and other shader-intensive games), a high-end Core i7 build would be great. Otherwise, ANY quad-core and $100+ graphics card will fit your bill. My configuration (it's listed under the link "Member Config") allows max settings for just about any game (besides Crysis/Warhead... but I can play Assassin's Creed at 1600x1200/max detail/16xQ AA/16x AF and pull down 60 FPS constantly!), as well as stellar multi-tasking - and I bought everything for less than $700 total.
May 7, 2009 4:18:10 AM

Save yourself some money. This build is set up for you to add another gtx 275 for SLI in the future if you so choose.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <---- Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-... $114.99 Price After Rebate(s): $104.99 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R $181.14 | $166.14 after rebate
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $509.98
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
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=N82E168... $36.99 Free Shipping*
Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 ($74.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
Free OCZ 8GB flash drive w/ purchase, while supplies last

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $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/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $154.98
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

Total:$1,368.03 | $1,303 w/mail in rebates
Related resources
May 7, 2009 6:23:57 PM

^ Nice! I'd only change the memory - G. Skill seems to have better quality control than OCZ, from what I've heard.
May 7, 2009 6:35:19 PM

Since you won't be using the rest of your cash... i am taking donations for my new rig...every dollar counts
May 7, 2009 7:41:35 PM

Thank you for the responses! I will take a good look at why_me's build and cpt deadboots configuration and come back with my thoughts and questions.

a few preliminary questions:

What should I be looking at for the G. Skill memory?

I have speakers already for the computer, with separate volume controls and subwoofer. I don't think I need built in speakers on the monitor and apparently they can be kind of crappy, but I haven't done much research on this. What are your thoughts on that?

I really like the cool master case suggestion. I don't like the blue led front fan, so I can just replace that with a fan that doesn't have a light, right? Do you know how well the power buttons hold up?

Is the GeForce GTX 275 chosen for the option of SLI later, rather than picking the GeForce 9800 GX2, which I am guessing doesn't have SLI option? I don't know enough about the GX2.
May 7, 2009 7:47:46 PM

^
Yeah $2200-$2500 is alot for a new system anymore. $1600 will get you EVERYTHING you need for an nice i7 920 system. If you want you can OC the thing pretty well. I'd stick with the GTX 285 if your budget allows. I'd get a 24 or 26" monitor though to get that 1920x1200 resolution. You will be much happier with that. I also notice you stated Vista 64 Retail. Why do you need retail? just get OEM unless you have some reason which you will need to move it from one PC to another. OEM stays with the system but is vastly cheaper.

I agree with the G.Skill comment. I've used them several times and never had an issue and from comments on Newegg, neither has anyone else.

^
Hi boyfriend, quit mooching money! HAHA
May 7, 2009 7:51:16 PM

strangequark said:

Is the GeForce GTX 275 chosen for the option of SLI later, rather than picking the GeForce 9800 GX2, which I am guessing doesn't have SLI option? I don't know enough about the GX2.

The 9800 GX2 can be SLI'ed. It is 2 physical videocards laced together to create one. However if you are looking at this option you will want to look at the GTX 295 which is the BIG DADDY, Nvidia dual card solution. The 9800GX2 is an older card. The GTX 275 is a nice card as well, but if you can get the 285, go for that. You can SLI an of the nvidia GTX cards, well in matching pairs that is.
May 8, 2009 2:57:09 AM

strangequark said:
Thank you for the responses! I will take a good look at why_me's build and cpt deadboots configuration and come back with my thoughts and questions.

a few preliminary questions:

What should I be looking at for the G. Skill memory?

I have speakers already for the computer, with separate volume controls and subwoofer. I don't think I need built in speakers on the monitor and apparently they can be kind of crappy, but I haven't done much research on this. What are your thoughts on that?

I really like the cool master case suggestion. I don't like the blue led front fan, so I can just replace that with a fan that doesn't have a light, right? Do you know how well the power buttons hold up?

Is the GeForce GTX 275 chosen for the option of SLI later, rather than picking the GeForce 9800 GX2, which I am guessing doesn't have SLI option? I don't know enough about the GX2.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-275,226... <--- gtx 275 benchmarks
May 11, 2009 5:47:35 AM

Thanks again for respones! I have been doing some more research and have decided on a few more items. So far I have:

core i7 290 2.66
no overclocking for stability purposes

asus p6t deluxe v2
sounds like this has more/better features than the evga x58 sli and is more stable/reliable; though I will have to deal with their poor customer service if something is wrong. If I am wrong on this asus being better than the evga, please expand on how the evga x58 sli is better.

nvidia geforce gtx 285
i have read about their squealing problem at high frame rates. hopefully I will get a good card. while the 275 is a better value for its price, I will likely not upgrade within 5 years unless necessary, so I will just go with this for now.

g. skill 6GB DDR3 RAM

On the monitor: I will likely be getting 24" instead of 22" but that is all I know right now.



Questions I still have:

Case:
The biggest is that I am still not sure what case to get. I've done more research on the antec and cooler master cases, but I am not sure what I should be looking for, for my needs. Having everything be as quiet as possible is priority, but not more important than having the components cooled without me babysitting the temperatures.

After my research, I am still leaning toward the CM 690, but will this case achieve the best balance of quietness and cooling I want? Are there any more quiet cases than this out there with the same cooling potential? It seems like all the quiet antec cases will just run too hot for this system.

I am only looking at the case itself and the inherent airflow, not which fans or psu might be included, as I will replace those as necessary for more quietness.

hard drive:
On the hard drive is the WD Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive the most quiet I can get before going to an SSD? I really want as quiet as I can get.

dvdrw:
Same question with the 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. Is this the quietest I can get for the speeds?

thanks




May 11, 2009 2:33:04 PM

^
Most good Antec, Coolermaster, thermalright cases will do you well. I have a Thermalright Elements case and I LOVE it. Came with a front, rear, and top fan. No need to buy my own.
!