New Core I7 Gaming Build - $2000

I am looking to build a new PC based on the Core I7 Platform. I have compiled a list of components that will be used in my new build. I am still not 100% sure that they are going to be the final parts in my build so I am asking you for suggestions and to see if you think my parts will be suitable for what I am going to be doing with this computer.

-BUDGET: $2000 USD
-PURPOSE: Gaming, Photo Editing, Video Editing and General Use
-PREFERRED STORES OF PURCHASE: Newegg, but I am open to other suggestions
-PARTS THAT ARE NOT NEEDED: Operating System, Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard

Ok now I will lay out the parts that I have chosen:

-CASE: - COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $199.99

-MOTHERBOARD: - GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - $328.99

-CPU: - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor -$279.99

-RAM: - OCZ Platinum 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory - $174.00

-GPU(1): - BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $249.99

-GPU(2): - BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $249.99

-SOLID STATE DRIVE(OS): - Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - $314.00


-HARD DRIVE(DATA AND BACKUP): - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - $94.99

-OPTICAL DRIVE: - LG 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 IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - $23.99


- LG Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Model GGW-H20L - $159.99

-PSU: - CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - $139.99


-CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - $229.99

-THERMAL COMPOUND: - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $6.99 - ?(Unsure about this product)?

Ok there is the list of parts that I am considering, now to tell you a few additional details.

You have probably recognized that I have not included a CPU fan in my list of components and therefore come to the conclusion that I will be using the stock cooler. You are probably thinking to yourself "Why is he getting a Core I7 CPU and not getting a better fan for overclocking?" This is because I will not be overclocking the processor itself for a while, but I will get a more adequate watercooling solution later on. Once I have set up a decent watercooling setup I will overclock my parts.

Now a brief summary for each of the parts I have selected:

CASE: I have selected the Cooler Master ATCS 840 as my space to hold my components because it has a sturdy build and a nice and simple design. It is also a great case to add water cooling to later on; a 3x120mm fan radiator can be mounted on the top. It is also a very big full tower case so it will hold my parts securely and I will have room for future upgrades.

MOTHERBOARD: The GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME seems like a great motherboard because it has a nice layout and will do a great job in overclocking. I have also selected this motherboard because it is SLI compatible and it has a built in chipset waterblock which will aid me later once I have added water cooling into the mix.

CPU: The core I7 920 will do the job for me. It has great overvclocking capabilities and for its performance to price ratio it saves you a lot of money. It is currently being used by gamers who are building new pc's at the moment because of its excellent performance. I personally do not think the Core I7 940 or 965 Extreme are worth the extra money compared to the 920.

RAM: I love this DDR3 RAM. The price cannot be beaten for what you get, with timings of 7-7-7-24. Overall I think with 12GB of this my future computer will be very responsive.

GPU: I have decided to go with Nvidia, I will take two BFG overclocked cards and put them in SLI. I have decided to do this simply because it is a great "bang for the buck' choice. If you read the Best Graphics Cards For The Money: June '09 on this website they have even suggested that two GTX 275's will be a great set of cards to introduce to your computer. There is also one other reason that I have selected these cards, I only own a 24 inch monitor so there is no point in getting any more power. It would be overkill for my monitor. The two cards will utilize the max resolution supported by my screen.

SOLID STATE DRIVE: This Intel X25-M SSD will contain my operating system, games and most programs/applications. The superfast read speed on this drive will make everything feel snappier and more responsive. Yes it may be a bit on the expensive side for 80GB but I believe in the long run it will be worth it. The only problem about this drive is that it has a form factor of 2.5 inches. My case does not have any slots that support the 2.5 inch form factor. I will explain the solution to this problem in the next section labeled as SOLID STATE DRIVE ACCESSORY.

SOLID STATE DRIVE ACCESSORY: This part will fix the SSD's form factor problem. This rack can be mounted into a 3.5 inch slot and it will divide it into two 2.5 inch slots. Therefore my SSD will be safe and secure. This will also be excellent for future upgrades as it provides me with an extra slot for possibly another SSD or 2.5 inch drive.

OPTICAL DRIVE: Now I need your suggestions, I do not know whether to go with a regular CD/DVD Burner or a Blu-Ray Burner. I have heard great things about Blu-Ray and how it can hold 50GB on a double sided disc, but I do not know if I actually need it or not.

PSU: I also need you input here. I do not know what power supply I should go with the 850 watt or the 1000 watt. I know if I got the 850 watt I would be okay and it could handle my system with ease, but I am worried about expandability and if it is going to be "future proof". Remember I will be adding a watercooling system later on so I need the power to support that and I would like enough power so I can upgrade my components later on with out buying a new PSU.

THERMAL COMPOUND: I have one last question to ask you and that is "What thermal compound should I use?" I know Arctic Silver 5 is supposed to be a great compound but I wonder if there is a better brand or type.

Ok that is my analysis on my new pc, but please suggest any improvements. Thank you for reading my lengthy post and if you skipped some of my summaries on the parts please go back and read them as they are vital to my questions.
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More about core gaming build 2000
  1. You've certainly done a decent amount of research. Some people will say the SSD isn't worth it, but if it's what you want then do it. You've picked an excellent SSD.

    PSU- the 850 will do you just fine the 1000W would be overkill.

    Thermal compound, the MX-2 cools a little better than the AS5 a degree or two usually.
  2. Nice setup...
    And as for the PSU, like astro said 850W would do fine...but keeping in mind your future requirements, I would say get this PSU...
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS910 910W New Ultra-Efficient PCP&C Silencer (up to 2 x GTX295)
    It can handle anything you throw at it and is one of the most efficient PSUs out there...

    And EVGA with free shipping...
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