Gaming setup for < $2000, new builder





PARTS PREFERENCES: no preferences


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: sli at a future date

MONITOR RESOLUTION: widescreen, high resolution


I'm new at building my own rig. I picked out a potential list of parts but I'm not entirely sure they're all compatible. I am completely open to suggestions on any of the components. I'd like to spend a little less than the current price but still have a really nice comp for gaming. Also, I'm confused about the memory thing. I' was thinking 4gb because I was planning to go with 32 bit vista (anything over 4gb and I have to use 64 bit right?) Are there support issues in going to 64 bit? Also, why are there so many 2gb x 3 packages, I thought memory was best done in pairs? Sorry if these are stupid questions. Thanks in advance for the help.

EVGA 132-YW-E178-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

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

SILVERSTONE ST85F 850W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.0GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9650 - Retail

XCLIO A380BK Fully Black SECC 1.0mm thickness ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-8500C5 - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32-bit for System Builders - OEM

ASUS VK246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM
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  1. 1. If you are spending that much on a computer don't go with a 775 platform as its a dead end socket. Get either AM3 or LGA 1366 (I recommend the latter)

    2. The only reason not to go with 64-bit is because a small (very small) portion of software isn't compatible with 64-bit architecture. 99% of mainstream software and games work in 64-bit so I highly recommend you get that instead of 32-bit due to the well known memory limit.

    3. The reason DDR3 memory is in kits of 3x1GB and 3x2GB is because on the new Intel Core i7 (LGA 1366) platforms have a triple channel memory controller which works best with 3 channels of DDR3 memory. 2x2GB kits are typically found in older LGA 775 platforms where the motherboards use dual channel kits of either DDR2 or DDR3 (typically DDR2 in this case).

    4. For the processor, motherboard, and memory I suggest you go with these:

    5. That video card is VERY overpriced for what you get over the GTX 275 ($150 more expensive for 5% higher framerate). Even though it has 2GB of Vram it still isnt worth it. (just a note, if you end up going with a 32bit OS and this graphics card you will be left with less than 2GB of system memory)

    Instead of that GTX 285 get either a GTX 275 vanilla for about $250 which is almost as powerful or get 2 GTX 275's in SLI which will blow the GTX 285 out of the water ($500).

    6. For the PSU I recommend a Corsair TX750W/850W powersupply. They are cheaper and just as reliable.

    7. For the hardrive... instead of that veloci raptor which is way overpriced get either a single or dual 500GB hardrives in RAID-0 which will be 90% as fast and much much cheaper.

    8. The case is mostly just a matter of personal preference but if you haven't already you should take a look at the Antec 900/1200 series as they are very well designed and provide excellent airflow.
  2. thanks for the great advice! is the 850 watts appropriate? considering i may go to dual sli in the future?
  3. Sorry for the late reply,

    Both the 750 and 850 PSU's will power dual SLI GTX 275/85's. If you want to be safe for more powerful DX11 cards in the future you should consider getting the 850w.
  4. Maybe I haven't done my homework, but I'm not convinced RAID is actually effective in real world applications (Greg Monkiewicz
    ). The Velociraptor is a good drive, get it for your OS, you won't regret it.

    The GTX 285 is a good card, and if you buy a second one in the future it scales with SLI very well. (Tom's)

    Here's a build to consider (notice items are grouped into combos, that were live at time of posting):

    LIAN LI PC-A17B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    -$45.50 Instant
    -$40.00 Combo
    -$20.00 Mail-in Rebate

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
    -$20.00 Combo

    EVGA 02G-P3-1185-AR GeForce GTX 285 2GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Nvidia Gift Call of duty - World at war - OEM
    -$7.00 Instant
    -$35.00 Combo
    -$49.99 Saving

    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
    OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
    OCZ Diesel 4GB Single Channel Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model OCZUSBDSL4G - Retail
    -$40.00 Instant
    -$12.00 Combo
    -$12.99 Saving
    -$20.00 Mail-in Rebate

    HP 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model 1170i - Retail

    COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
    -$30.00 Main-in Rebate


  5. Wow... I couldn't agree more with ehanger if I wanted to. Everything he said/suggested I support 100%. lol

    I've spent the past few months doing constant research and asking questions in forums and gaining knowledge about the latest and greatest gaming hardware because I was due for an upgrade.

    Here's what my PC now looks like:

    Intel Core i7 920
    ASUS P6T Deluxe
    3x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333
    WD Caviar Blue 500GB, 2x WD Caviar Black 500GB
    Corsair 850TX
    EVGA GTX 275
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro

    It's a very upgradeable/overclockable platform that will last for years. I spent around $1,500 on it, but that included a 24" widescreen monitor, a case, and a few other assorted parts I didn't list. I'm very happy with what I bought, and I recommend a similar setup to anyone looking for a gaming PC in this price range. (I use my blue HDD for my OS, and my 2 blacks in RAID 0 to install games to. This keeps the OS nice and fast, while still giving me increased performance for games. As a bonus, I can reformat my game drive and not have to reinstall Windows or drivers.)

    In answer to the question about having to go with 64-bit Vista for over 4GB of RAM, this is true. A 32-bit OS (example: XP) will NOT use anything past approximately 4GB of RAM. In reality, it's even less. You'll usually only get about 3GB to use in a 32-bit OS, so for modern gaming, a 64-bit OS is all but required. Click Here for additional information on the problem. I experimented with 64-bit XP, (yes, it exists) but found it's driver support lacking, and it became clear to me that it was never intended for games. Your only REAL option (at least until Windows 7 is released) is to go with 64-bit Vista.

    Your very old games (released in the days of Windows 9x or before) will either NOT function in a 64-bit OS, or will have major problems. There are a few that somehow manage to function properly, but most won't. This can easily be solved by dual booting with a 32-bit OS or using a virtual machine. (Google for walkthroughs and info) These oldies obviously won't need to take full advantage of your space-age future technology to run flawlessly in glorious 640x480 resolution with 256 colors and sound. Sorry I've gotten off topic...
  6. well I'm happy to update you guys that i ended up going with the

    Intel Core i7 920
    ASUS P6T Deluxe
    EVGA GTX 275
    Corsair 750TX
    3x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600
    xclio a380

    ordered it last night and it couldn't arrive soon enough, thanks for the suggestion ehanger
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