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$3000 Gaming PC

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May 8, 2009 2:33:08 AM

Hi guys, first time poster, long time reader. Here are the details, in the format described in the sticky.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible. BUDGET RANGE: US $2500-3000 (maybe 3400)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming, watching videos, programming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
I do not need any peripheral, with the exception of a new LCD Monitor.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com - Indifferent really if the price is right, but newegg has great RMA

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel CPU and Nvidia video card(s) are a must.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2560x1600

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I recently graduated from college with my Computer Engineering degree. The last time I built a computer was more then five years ago, and since then I have somewhat fallen out of the loop in terms of new hardware. My graduation gift is a new computer with the above budget range. Just some additional comments I should add:

1 - The most important thing to me is buying a good 30 inch monitor, while still maintaining a great PC that can support 2560x1600 at somewhat good settings in games. After doing a lot of research, it appears the Dell 3008 WFP is great if you have a ton of extras coming into your monitor, like in my case, a 360 and another PC. The downside to it is its got a much higher ms lag then the Dell 3007WFP-HC due to the scalar it has. The 3007WFP-HC is apparently the best (in terms of lag), if you don't plan on going below 2560x1200 and don't need multiple inputs. One question I had was about the GPU scaling resolutions for the 3007WFP-HC, if I were to buy that. I am unsure of how this process works, and the effects it can have on the image quality, if I were to say run the 3007WFP-HC on a resolution of 1920x1280. What do the drivers do in terms of scaling, and will the difference between the 3008 (which has the ability to run 1920x1280) and the 3007WFP-HC (which can only run 2560x1600 and 1280x800) be noticeable after the drivers have scaled the resolution for the 3007WFP-HC?
Also - I realize buying some of the parts I have listed, as well as the 3008 (brand new) would put me over 3000 by a couple of hundred, which is fine.

2 - I modified a swiftech cooling system for the computer I built ~5 years ago. Since then, I have come to realize that the performance difference between a good air cooling system and a water cooling system isn't all that noticeable (but that was probably due to the fact that I didn't do a great job on the cooling system). Anyways, I am really aiming to have a case with a good air cooling system, that is pretty quiet.

3 - I am really interested in using a somewhat small SSD for my OS and any games, but without having to buy a 32gb OCZ or Intel that costs ~300$, for example.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a list of parts I have selected after doing a bit of research. I am up for any changes you may suggest (that's why I am here!).

  • Hard Drives
    SSD - SUPER TALENT 32 GB: 135$
    SATA II 3.0gb/s - WD 500gb 7200 rpm 32MB Cache: $70

  • Case
    ATX Full Tower - Antec 1200: 180$
    Notes: Very partial to Full Tower for better air flow rate. In terms of design, something simple like Lian Li cases but very well made. Do not want to go over 200$, which is why I didn't chose a Lian Li.

  • CPU
    Intel i7 920 2.6ghz: 280$

  • Motherboard
    Asus P6T Deluxe V2: 290$
    Very open to suggestions here as I have not done much research. I have had great history with Asus though. Keep in mind I am not looking to overclock everything to the extreme, maybe a couple hundred Mhz or so, but nothing crazy.

  • Graphics
    Nvidia Geforce GTX 295. I am pretty partial to this, as it appears to be much better then the ATI 4870x2 for 2560x1600. I want to buy the BFGTech version, but I am not sure what the deal is with them. There arent any on newegg and even stranger, there arent any on bfgstore.com (BFGTech's own store). For this video card, is there much difference between manufacturers? I kind of assumed BFG overclocked it out of the box, but if thats not the case then I am indifferent really. What do you think is best?

  • Memory
    Have not had much of a oppurtunity to research this. Was gonna go off of your guys input mostly. Need something that is triple channel, 2gb per stick and under 300$. I am very partial to OCZ, as I have good history with them.

  • PSU
    Simply skimming over newegg it appears that PSU prices have sky rocketed in the past couple of years. I cant believe that some cost around 400$ and they arent even 1000w PSUs. My main question is, what amount of watts do I need if I were to run something similar to the system with the details above with only one GTX 295? What about two (if I want to go quad-sli down the road)?

  • CPU Cooler
    What do you guys think? Anything under ~80$ is a plus. I am running a Full Tower, so space shouldn't be a issue.




    Thanks a lot for any help in advance,

    Alex
  • More about : 3000 gaming

    May 8, 2009 3:39:29 AM

    Hard drive, I personally don't understand why you want it only 32gb... unless all you want to do is put your OS on it, 32GB is way too small.
    The board is a good one, but if you don't plan on doing any overclocking, why not go for the P6T? You save 100$ and you won't feel much of a difference.
    For the RAM I would recommend OCZ Platinium 6GB kit for i7. It's good ram and you're not planning on overclocking so no need to push the price too high, link :
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    About graphics, it doesn't matter which manufacturer you buy it from, but expect to pay a big premium if they're already OCed, you can do it yourself and achieve better score or not OC such a powerful card.
    For PSU, I think 750W will be enough for your setup if you're not going to SLI, if you think about trowing SLI in it, go for 1000W. Antec make very good PSU's and they're not 400$, the TruePower Quattro 1000 is very good:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    As for cooler, why do you need one? You're not crazily overclocking? Stick with the one you get with your CPU, they're good enough even if you overclock a bit. If you insist, I would recommend you Zalman coolers, they're very good quality and very effective. About your water cooling, it's only effective if you overclock a lot or want your system very quiet.
    For Thermaltake cooler, take a look at the V1 CL-P0401.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    As for cases, more space doesn't necesserly means better airflow... you will need more fans and run them at higher speeds to achieve an airflow as good as one in mid-tower one...
    About the screens, I really don't know which 30" would suit you... I would recommend you read some reviews (like you probably already did) and figure it out since I've never tried to go past 1920x1200... As for the resolutions, if you use DVI-D connectors (the white ones) you should be good for any resolution, I've never seen a monitor that doesn't support any resolution bellow the maximum one... I've even manage to squeeze out (literally) a 1920x1440 resolution out of my 19" screen which takes 1440x900 at max...
    So, good luck, hope I helped.

    Any other questions?

    Phil.
    May 8, 2009 3:57:15 AM

    Shnur said:
    Hard drive, I personally don't understand why you want it only 32gb... unless all you want to do is put your OS on it, 32GB is way too small.


    Yea thats pretty much it. Anything over 32gb seems a bit too pricey for me. I dont want to go over 32gb while staying under 150$ at the risk of performance/reliability/etc


    Shnur said:
    As for cooler, why do you need one? You're not crazily overclocking? Stick with the one you get with your CPU, they're good enough even if you overclock a bit. If you insist, I would recommend you Zalman coolers, they're very good quality and very effective. About your water cooling, it's only effective if you overclock a lot or want your system very quiet.
    For Thermaltake cooler, take a look at the V1 CL-P0401.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    Longer life, I guess. Also, its not like I am absolutely not going to overlock. In the future I just may, but I don't see it being necessary any time soon.

    Shnur said:

    About the screens, I really don't know which 30" would suit you... I would recommend you read some reviews (like you probably already did) and figure it out since I've never tried to go past 1920x1200... As for the resolutions, if you use DVI-D connectors (the white ones) you should be good for any resolution, I've never seen a monitor that doesn't support any resolution bellow the maximum one... I've even manage to squeeze out (literally) a 1920x1440 resolution out of my 19" screen which takes 1440x900 at max...


    Yea the 3007 will work. I probably did not explain this very well, as I just read about it. If you have some free time, read this thread at hardocp.. It goes into great detail the difference between the two and the 'scalar' issue.

    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1261177

    If you don't want to read it, look a post #27 in the thread. That is what I am referring to when I say that the 3007 cannot run a resolution. It can run the resolution, just as long as it has a GPU to do the scaling for it. The problem is, if I were to input a 360 on the vga input of the monitor, it could not run it at 2560x1600 because there is no scalar on the monitor. At least thats what I understand from reading the thread.


    Thank you for the reply!
    Related resources
    May 8, 2009 4:23:38 AM

    if you are going to use windows 7, the OS already cost you 15Gb of space. Some softwares, drivers would cost you another 5Gb minimum. Todays game are like 10Gigs each. how are you gonna fit?
    Just get a HDD. get Raptor or any enterprise-class drive. they are fast(not as fast as SSD though) but you will get lot of storage
    May 8, 2009 4:26:32 AM

    O___O With that big of a budget i'll just let others suggest stuff , there is going to be a lot of arguing.
    May 8, 2009 4:30:08 AM

    The GTX 295 is outta most retailers right now b/c Nvidia is coming out with a single-core PCB. They probably won't pass the savings to consumers but it is definitely supposed to be cheaper to manufacture. You could do the GTX 285 or just wait until the new 295 comes out (supposedly, this May).
    May 8, 2009 4:37:53 AM

    if i were you, i dont want 30inch lcd. i prefer 3 GTX285 with 24inch monitor.. you can play a hell lot of a games. 30inch LCD monitor cost more than 42inch TV.
    May 8, 2009 4:52:16 AM

    Yea I might have to rethink the 30 inch monitor. Starting to think 30 could be too big. What are your guys thoughts on 27.5 inch monitors, like the Dell 2709WFP for example. btw, the majority of the budget is going to the monitor, so its not that high of a budget. No I dont plan on installing Windows 7, but thanks for the heads up. Probably gonna need to look into that for future use.
    May 8, 2009 4:56:48 AM

    for someone who do the programming, you should use windows 7. they maintain a full compatibility with all windows vista, and they support xp too. isnt that great?
    May 8, 2009 3:30:36 PM

    Just a quick update on things I have decided to change.

    Hard Drives:

    SSD - OCZ Vertex 60 gb:219$

    SATA II 3.0 gb/s - WD 640 gb 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache: 75$


    Motherboard:

    Asus P6T:250$ - After reading around a bit, the differences between the three P6T versions are so small that its not worth the extra 50$. Basically, its a SAS controller, another lan port, a better fan/heatsink on the chipset and I think some changes to the bios.


    Memory:

    OCZ Plantinum 118$

    PSU:

    Corsair 850W TX: 150$


    In total we have SSD (219) + HDD(75) + Case(180) + PSU(150) + Memory (118) + Motherboard(250) + CPU(280) = 1272 + shipping on all of that I would round up to ~1350. That leaves roughly 1650 for a monitor and graphics card. As far as the graphics card goes, I would wait for this new GPU being released that kladal mentioned if I knew when it was gonna happen. I don't though, so therefore I am probably going to stick with the GTX 295 and try to buy the 3008WFP from dell outlet (see here for my other post).

    Quote:
    for someone who do the programming, you should use windows 7. they maintain a full compatibility with all windows vista, and they support xp too. isnt that great?
    Technically I shouldnt be programming on any microsoft OS right? At least thats what all my professors told me. :wahoo:  In all honesty though, I will probably switch to it when the final version is released. But, like you pointed out, I do need a bigger SSD.
    May 8, 2009 3:34:17 PM

    Hey, that's not $3000...maybe $2500 and only coz of the monitor...^_^

    May 8, 2009 3:39:06 PM

    Kill@dor said:
    Hey, that's not $3000...maybe $2500 and only coz of the monitor...^_^


    I am assuming the 295 GTX will cost around 530$ depending on which manufacturer I buy from. That puts me at roughly ~1880(1350+530). The 3008WFP costs 1700$ brand new, ~1400-1700 from dell outlet brand new (instant savings from student option), or just 1100 refurbished from dell outlet. Whatever way you look at it, its very close to, if not over 3000. Not sure how you got 2500.
    May 8, 2009 3:50:35 PM

    You can also get x2 GTX275 for about $500...the can match or pass the GTX295 easy. But if you are just looking for 1 card, the GTX295 is fine...

    For RAM...not sure if you are going to OC very high or not...but 6GB DDR3 1600 is reasonable...

    The PSU...you will probably need 850W-1000W. Multi-rail or single...i would recommend Enermax.

    CPU cooling...well for a $3000 budget...i would go water cooling...and i would get Asetek LC...but for air i would recommend either a Noctua or Zalman or Cooler Master V8/V10...
    May 8, 2009 3:59:57 PM

    Kill@dor said:
    You can also get x2 GTX275 for about $500...the can match or pass the GTX295 easy. But if you are just looking for 1 card, the GTX295 is fine...

    For RAM...not sure if you are going to OC very high or not...but 6GB DDR3 1600 is reasonable...

    The PSU...you will probably need 850W-1000W. Multi-rail or single...i would recommend Enermax.

    CPU cooling...well for a $3000 budget...i would go water cooling...and i would get Asetek LC...but for air i would recommend either a Noctua or Zalman or Cooler Master V8/V10...



    For the video cards, I might have to do that. I just spend 10 minutes searching, and I cant find a outlet store anywhere that has a GTX 295 in stock. Preferably BFG or EVGA manufactured. Its strange, to say the least.

    For Ram - I dont plan on OC'ing very much, so thats why I went with that.

    Technically, this isnt a 3000$ budget just because the monitor costs almost half of that 3000$, so I dont really have the option to do water cooling.
    May 8, 2009 4:04:33 PM

    If you've got that big a budget, including that monitor you could get a trio of 4890's in there.

    and ST ssd's are overpriced, get an OCZ or intel instead.
    May 8, 2009 4:08:53 PM

    Helloworld_98 said:
    ST ssd's are overpriced, get an OCZ or intel instead.

    Yea, see updated post above. I took crisisavatar's advice.
    May 8, 2009 4:22:01 PM

    Not too sure about 30" monitors...i really haven't looked at one since i don't have or can't affort it. But what brands were you looking at?

    For RAM...3GBs DDR3 1333 then? That will still OC very well...and its better than having 6GBs. Its on toms reviews for ram too if you need to see... I would go for G. Skill or Corsair...they are well balanced.
    May 8, 2009 4:27:24 PM

    Dell mainly, and I also looked at the Samsun 305t, but really the best of the best appears to be the 3008WFP just because of all the inputs and stuff it has.

    If you have some freetime, give this a read to get an idea of the diff between the dell 3008 and 3007.
    May 8, 2009 4:30:44 PM

    IMO if you're buying a 30" monitor then you want the one with the highest contrast and lowest ms e.g 5ms.
    May 8, 2009 5:16:16 PM

    What is it with people and Dell...they must have really good advertising or something...i don't know :( 
    May 8, 2009 5:18:09 PM

    ^ I think it's just price.

    Just found out you can get a Full HD 50" plasma for less than one of those monitors in the UK, I dunno about you but I'd get the plasma.
    May 8, 2009 5:20:36 PM

    I have a 50" plasma screen which i game on...XBOX 360 and PC ^_^. Only problem is its 720p...not bad still. And i have a 22" Asus monitor 1920x1080...HDMI. YAY!
    May 8, 2009 6:16:37 PM

    Kill@dor said:
    I have a 50" plasma screen which i game on...XBOX 360 and PC ^_^. Only problem is its 720p...not bad still. And i have a 22" Asus monitor 1920x1080...HDMI. YAY!



    Does it have all those inputs the 3008WFP has?

    Does it support the same resolutions the 3008 can (without a built in scalar because I am assuming it doesn't have one)?

    Quote:
    VESA, 720 x 400 – 31.47 kHz Horizontal, 70.0 Hz Vertical, 28.3 MHz
    VESA, 640 x 480 – 31.47 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 25.2 MHz
    VESA, 640 x 480 – 37.5 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 31.5 MHz
    VESA, 800 x 600 – 37.88 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 49.5 MHz
    VESA, 800 x 600 – 46.88 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 49.5 MHz
    VESA, 1024 x 768 – 48.36 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 65.0 MHz
    VESA, 1024 x 768 – 60.0 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 78.75 MHz
    VESA, 1152 x 864 – 67.5 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 108 MHz
    VESA, 1280 x 800 – 49.7 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 83.5 MHz
    VESA, 1280 x 1024 – 64.0 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 108 MHz
    VESA, 1280 x 1024 – 80.0 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 135 MHz
    VESA, 1600 x 1200 – 75.0 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 162 MHz
    VESA, 1920 x 1200 – 74.6 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 193.5 MHz
    VESA, 2560 x 1600 – 98.71 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 268.5 MHz
    May 8, 2009 10:08:18 PM

    UPDATE:

    Since gtx 295 appears to be at EoL since its pretty much not being sold by anyone except ebay (I dare you, see if you can find it in stock, from a company you would trust) I would like some advice for a replacement. Keep in mind I plan on running this computer on 2560x1600, so it needs to be powerful.

    I would like to keep the price range under or around 500$.

    The question is, what is the best SLI/Crossfire setup?

    Two GTX 280s (cant do 285, too pricey)?

    Two 4870s?

    Two 4890s?

    What?
    May 8, 2009 11:48:47 PM

    For your price range i would look into something like this
    .
    LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM
    $24.99
    . .
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
    $74.99
    . .
    2x Acer H243Hbmid 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
    -$50.00 Instant
    $559.98
    $459.98 for both
    ($229.99each)
    . .
    COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
    $69.99
    . .
    COOLER MASTER RR-ACC-1366-GP LGA 1366 Bracket Set - Retail
    $4.99
    . .
    LG Black 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L - OEM
    -$5.99 Saving
    $169.99
    $164.00
    1 RiDATA 25GB 4X BD-R(Blu-ray) Single Jewel Case Disc - Retail comes free

    . .
    OCZ Apex Series OCZSSD2-1APX120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - $274.00
    . .
    Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified ... - Retail
    Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129043
    Return Policy: Manufacturer Warranty -$65.00 Instant
    -$40.00 Combo
    $464.98
    $359.98
    . .
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
    $154.98 combo
    . .
    EVGA 02G-P3-1185-AR GeForce GTX 285 2GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    -$10.00 Instant
    -$35.00 Combo
    -$49.99 Saving
    $709.98
    $614.99 combo
    1 Nvidia Gift Call of duty - World at war - OEM
    Free

    EVGA 02G-P3-1185-AR GeForce GTX 285 2GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
    -$9.00 Instant
    -$35.00 Combo
    -$49.99 Saving
    $698.98
    $604.99
    1 Nvidia Gift Call of duty - World at war - OEM
    Item #: N82E16800999088
    Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy


    Leave that 30" monitor out and put in two 24's instead. Thats 48 inches of screen and with the two 285 it will look fantastic.
    May 8, 2009 11:55:46 PM

    left out memory throw this in
    G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    great memory and you cant beat it at 90.00 with free shipping.

    That puts the total cost at under 3K
    May 8, 2009 11:57:28 PM

    Wow, you really brought to my attention a lot of combo deals I could take advantage of. I am assuming these are all on newegg?

    I do appreciate the effort very much, but I am tired of running dual monitors, and I just want to stick with one big 30 inch tbh, even if it is costing me alot of performance (as you have just shown).
    !