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Building a $3000.00 mostly gaming rig, need advice.

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May 25, 2009 7:32:38 AM

Hello, been reading Toms forums for years, but just joined------Hello all-----
Been building my own systems since 1994, but lost my house (and beloved computer) in a fire last July, so bought a box dell, and havent played a game or or kept up with the technology since. Well the house is almost rebuilt, and were moving in soon so its time to build a real computer again!!! But I sure have missed a lot in the past year, and feel like I am starting over! My last build was a little over a year old at the time of the fire, so AMD was still a big dog, but starting to slide, it looks like Intel is now the way to go, anyway sorry to be long winded, but wanted to explain why a non newbie needs EVERYTHING, and is so lost!! Thanks in advance!!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week!

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: GAMING (last games I played b4 the fire were Witcher and Crysis), Internet, Movies, Music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Need everything including Monitor, keyboard, mouse, and z5500 speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg rocks

PARTS PREFERENCES: I know AMD, but if intel is king, then I can bow. always used Nvidia video cards, minimum 24 inch monitor or bigger, I loved my Antec 900. Don't know much about these SSD drives, but they look incredible. are they worth the money?? The OCZ vertex has caught my eye. What would be a good secondary Drive for pics MP3's etc. I am really into sound Z5500's and a soundcard or is the sound card a waste of money?

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe: SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Torn between the MSI N285GTX single card, 2 260 GTX's in SLI any advice???

MONITOR:Lack of knowledge here, I just want a good, big monitor, that will accent the video card and not kill the budget.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have spent the last 6 hours researching, and I don't feel any smarter, I could really use some advice. I am starting from the ground up so I need advice on everything. I can go a little over budget, but would definately like to stay under say $3500 total.

Thanks again,

Rodney


May 25, 2009 9:45:08 AM

You didn't say anything about "Blu-Ray"" or "wireless card" so I left that out of this build. Also I didn't include speakers, mouse, and keyboard for the fact I use a cheap $15 dollar logitech keyboard and $40 Logitech tracball for right handers to game with....so I'm not the best person to give advice on those.

OK..quick run down of this build. I included a D0 Stepping i7 920 cpu for the fact they are new and they run cooler than the older "C0 Stepping i7's". They aren't that easy to find, but I found you one. :)  This case is big, it's durable, and it has great cooling/airflow/ventilation which is exactly what you want for a SLI set up. The psu in this build is plenty powerful enough to push this build and then some. I put in a 1T WD HD Black (they are only a hair slower than the over priced Raptors) for the fact SSD's are way over priced atm. Maybe this time next year they will be worth purchasing, but atm they aren't. The monitor in this build is a quick response monitor for gaming (2ms) not to mention it has gotten great reviews. The RAM is solid, and the mobo is a bloody steal at that price. In fact you can knock off another $20 off it with that promo code...that's before the rebate. :)  These gtx 275's run cool, and they over clock great. This set up will allow you to over clock, run cool, and get great fps in all your games. This rig is a real bargain at this price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 ($109.99 after $50.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KKN1-GP Black ABS Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $99.99 | $69.99 after MIR Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling S75QB Silencer 750W Quad Power Supply (Black) Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P $219.99 | $204.99 after rebate Free Ground Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Use Code: MEMORIAL20 to get an extra $20 off

https://www.antaresdigital.com/customer/product.php?pro..." $ 278.00
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPU D0 Stepping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 Free Shipping*
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $8.99 Free Shipping*
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $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=N82E168... $24.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X 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 Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $179.98
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $269.99 ($249.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS MK241H Black 24" 2ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with 1.3M Pixel Webcam 450 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 3000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
$20 off w/ promo code LCD05ASU, ends 5/25

Total: $1,613.88 | $1,498.88 w/mail in rebates

* Same build as above but with gtx 285's in SLI and 850w Corsair psu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.49 ($114.49 after $20.00 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=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Cryostasis game w/ registration at manufacturer website

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Cryostasis game w/ registration at manufacturer website

Total: $1,838.88 | $1,673.88 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <---Save yourself some money on an o/s and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-275,226... <--- gtx 275, 285 reviews and charts

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of the mobo used in this build.

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id... <--- more pics, specs and reviews of the case used in this build.
May 25, 2009 9:49:17 AM

^ +1 you aren't going to get much better than that unless you swap the two GTX 275's for two GTX 295's and up the PSU to a corsair 1000HX.

and maybe add a second HDD for RAID 0, or 3 more for RAID 10.
Related resources
May 25, 2009 12:32:16 PM

Hi...Welcome to the forums...

Check out the TOM's article...
But there are few things like the mob and the Case that you would have to change...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/micro-atx-sff,2311....

+1 for the Why_Me...

But if you are still willing to spend $3000 for that extra bit of performance, then here goes...

CPU - Same Why_Me's i7, D0 stepping...

Mobo - ASUS ASUS Rampage II Extreme
Has all the options that one would want and it has an excellent onboard sound, which should compliment those Z5500...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

SSD x2 in RAID 0 - Why not ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Case - If you like the Antec 900, then you will like his Big brother Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics - GTX 275 x3 in TRI - SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Corsair 1000HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Keyboard - G11
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse - MX518
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

LCD -
SAMSUNG TOC T260HD Rose Black 25.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 10000:1(1000:1) Build in TV Tuner & Dolby Digital Surround Sound - Retail
HDTV monitor w/ built-in digital TV tuner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler - Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Cooler
http://www.xoxide.com/thermalright-true-black-extreme-c...

Grand Total - $3252 without rebates, combos and without including shipping
$3202 after rebates...
May 25, 2009 12:44:30 PM

^ or he could go with Why_me's build but with an extra 275 and a 30" monitor.
May 25, 2009 1:01:29 PM

^ Yes but he would have to change the mobo, PSU...
Mobo - The UD4P is a decent mobo but sans the premium onboard sound and those PLUS features, which everyone expects from a premium system...
A good 30" monitor would cost him about $1000 and the peripherals comes to around $400 + $180 for the BD...
So going with 30" would either increase his budget or he would have to skimp on few things...
So now you should have understood why I chose such a config...
May 25, 2009 1:15:57 PM

^ actually taking away the 24" monitor frees up $270, $250 of that goes towards another GTX 275 and then $20 and an extra $30 towards an Xclio 1000w PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817189016

so that's still only $1,643 + $1,199 for this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001098 so $157 left for a sound card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006 thats $90 so $67 left for getting a better PSU or whatever.
May 25, 2009 1:26:11 PM

^ :p  Haha even I could keep going like that...

My config was overshot only at 2 points - 1) 2x SSD and 2) That ASUS mobo
So if you replace those with the components such as the UD4P and remove those SSDs from the config, even I could have given 30" option...but there is no point though unless the OP want such a huge monitor and the one that I had given is a 26", which is still good and has HDTV tuner inbuilt...
May 25, 2009 8:21:15 PM

WOW!!! You guys don't play around, not only are you quick with advice, but you actually take the time to shop and provide links!!!! I wish I had just joined the forum before my eyes started crossing from all the researching yesterday. The rigs sound great! So here is what I am thinking so far:
CASE: One area where I am being a rebel, I still favor the Antec 900 (actually thinking 902) I was really impressed with mine. I looked at the 1200 and my mouth watered, until I read the newegg reviews, there must have been 10 guys complaining that the fans caught fire....One house burning down in this lifetime was enough for me!!
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Socket 8MB Cache CPU D0 Stepping, this is the one with out a doubt, did not even know about it but now that I do I like it!!
Power supply: I was set on the antec signature 850, but you guys did not mention it? I had the corsair before the fire and was happy, don't know anything about PC power and cooling. I do believe a solid PSU is very important........any further opinions??
MB: That Asus Rampage 2 looks pretty impressive.......is it worth the extra $$$ my last board was a fatality board.
Cooling: Dark Knight and true black....which runs cooler, and will fit in my case??
Video cards: What a suprise I am confused. Toms most recent guide reccomended 260's in SLI as "a force to be reckoned with"and the 285 as a single card. you guys are looking at 2 275's and 2 285's. I don't mind spending the extra money but don't want to waste it for insignificant gains. are the 2 285's worth it??? are they faster than 1 295???
Memory: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Blue ray:LG Black
Hard drive:Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM.....Looks good but I have 2 questions.....I really am intrigued buy the ocz ssd drive would it be worth getting the 60 gig to boot and run windows off of, and using the wd for everything else?? second is home premium as good as ultimate....was XP pro before....vista home on the dell I am using now don't like it much but then again the whole puter is a box dell, don't know how it will run on a real computer.
Monitor: Really torn here...I like the ASUS name like the SAmsung size. Monitor is really important to me.... A good game is my escape, but I also do a lot of researching and reading (and as I am getting old and the eyes are going) so text is also important. It seems that all the monitors including these 2 have 10 percent or more really bad reviews. I just want a really good well rounded monitor thats not gonna crap out in 6 months...simple huh lol.
Keyboard: Logitech G15....really liked my old one!!
Mouse: Razer copperhead, again really liked my old one...sure did may a lot more for it last time lol.....not set in stone though is there anything about the logitech that makes it better?
Speakers: Ahhh my beloved Z5500's sound to rival most home systems.

Am I missing anything? I know I deviated from your advice a on some things, but some old habits die hard. This build is not yet set in stone, but I am itching to build now so I will probably start ordering the definates like the processor now. Please feel free to point out any errors or talk me into something different, I am a somewhat blank canvas!


Oh and really guys THANK YOU!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!




May 25, 2009 8:33:15 PM

1) are dual 285's worth it? if you're skimping on the PSU then yes, but for just a bit more you can get a trio of 275's or 4890's.

2) people generally recommend 60GB for an SSD because thats your OS, your Apps, and maybe your favourite game or 2.

3) The only reason to get ultimate for a gaming PC is if you have more than 16GB of ram as ultimate supports 192GB and home premium supports 16GB.

4) if text is an issue then try one of the 1920x1080 22" monitors or for a bit bigger monitor there are a few 23" 2048x1152 (still 16:9) screens out there. Or if you want bigger then the 30" screens will be about the same when it comes to on screen quality but will cost a good bit more.
May 26, 2009 4:18:05 AM

^+1
The Antec signature that you were saying about is also a very good PSU...
So we can answer 2 of your concerns here...
1. Stick with Antec 850 and you would have to get 2 GTX 275/GTX 285 and not 3...
2. If you are getting the monitor which has 1920X1200 resolution, then the 2x GTX 275 is more than suffice and can play all of the games with the highest settings at that resolution...And 2 GTX 275 will perform better than the GTX 295 and would cost nearly the same and 2 GTX 285 for that resolution is not worth it...So stick with 2 GTX 275 as I said before they would cost the same as the GTX 295 and would offer slightly better performance...

The Rampage II board is as you would have guessed is an enthusiast board...So if you are kind of person who wants to squeeze out every bit of performance from your h/w, then it is worth the extra $$$ and as I said before, with its premium onboard sound, you could do away with external sound and it would compliment the Z5500 very well...And most of all with a D0 stepping i7 920 and the TRUE CPU cooler, if you get the settings right, then you can atleast hit 3.6 to 3.8GHz stable...
And both the Dark knight and the TRUE would fit the case...
But TRUE is better than the Dark knight...

And as for the case fans of the 1200, you can replace them with Scythe fans and they are one of the silent high performance fans...And the reason 1200 was given as an option mainly because it is a Full tower with lots of space...
But even the 900 and 902 are solid...

The SSDs as we all know are very fast and 2 in RAID 0 would offer incredible performance...But there is an alternative of having regular drives in RAID 0, though they offer good performance, but they cant match the SSDs and regular drives means more heat and sound than the SSDs and SSDs don't have any moving parts, hence they are silent and dissipate less heat...

And as for the OS, nearly everyone would recommend the WIN 7 RC1...If you check out its reviews and in forums, you can see that in the RC stage itself they are very stable and are as good or better than Vista...And they are also optimized to utilize the potential of the SSD speeds...So you can stick with the WIN 7 RC1 for now and when it comes out, you can buy that...

As for the keyboard, why not wait for the new one ? Logitech G19...
And as for the mouse, even the DeathAdder from Razer and the Logitech G5 are a very good ones...
But it would depend more on what you are comfortable with...As some of my friends dint like such huge mouse...

As for the monitor, you can get the 24" ASUS...even there is a 25.5" one too...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
!