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Building a Gaming Rig - Countdown: 1.5 months

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June 12, 2009 9:16:08 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware Fans!

I'm looking to build a new gaming computer and I would like whatever advise you have to throw at me. I have included some items that I have been looking at for a week or two. I will be purchasing the items on July 31st. Whoot!

Budget: >1500 incl. shipping

CD ROM: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM - $26.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD(s): 2x Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - $99.98 / $49.99 each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR: ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail - $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail - $135.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible ... - Retail - $137.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SPEAKERS: Creative Inspire T3100 2.1 2-way Speakers - Retail - $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KEYBOARD AND MOUSE: Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard and Mouse - OEM - $21.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 2x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail - 109.98 / $54.99 each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $145.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail - $167.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $35.10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

USB FLOPPY DRIVE AND 19-IN-1 CARD READER - $36.98

TOTAL: $1,374.83


I really wanted to make sure that my parts were all compatible with one another. Like I said, If anyone has any critiques or changes please let me know.

I am unsure about the case, I really was going for something that would be both efficient in cooling and simplistic. Something minimalistic.
June 12, 2009 9:35:25 PM

Your case choice is excellent.

I own an E8400, overclocked, and it's a great CPU today. It won't be by next year, and I'll be switching to a quad.

That, and the price difference, is what makes us recommend the AMD X3 720BE so much, or the X4 940.

Next up, it's a bad chipset, really. The only SLI rigs I currently recommend are X58, out of your budget.


So save some money on the processor and board, and move to crossfire instead of SLI. A couple 4870 1GBs will be quite affordable.

Asus board and X3 720 combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Oh, and 8GB gives no benefit in gaming. tested right here at TH

4870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 12, 2009 9:44:45 PM

Please tell me your reasoning on getting a quad. I was just curious because I have read a couple articles saying that dual is best for gaming, Intel that is. That could be wrong?

I was going to choose an intel cpu because I have heard that they run cooler than the AMD's.

I wasn't really looking to do SLI or Crossfire, I wanted one card thats good to keep down on the heat/power consumption. I don't know if I am thinking wisely, advise?

For some reason I had my heart setup on a INTEL CPU and a NVIDIA based card, bah. I am no fanboy though, I want something that is going to be cool and awesome. I am sure you have heard that 10000000000000000 times :/ 
Related resources
June 12, 2009 9:51:43 PM

Cyclohexane123 said:
Please tell me your reasoning on getting a quad. I was just curious because I have read a couple articles saying that dual is best for gaming, Intel that is. That could be wrong?

I was going to choose an intel cpu because I have heard that they run cooler than the AMD's.

I wasn't really looking to do SLI or Crossfire, I wanted one card thats good to keep down on the heat/power consumption. I don't know if I am thinking wisely, advise?

For some reason I had my heart setup on a INTEL CPU and a NVIDIA based card, bah. I am no fanboy though, I want something that is going to be cool and awesome. I am sure you have heard that 10000000000000000 times :/ 


That used to be true about the phenom 1 line but the phenom 2's run cool and over clock very well, in your case just get the 720 BE and the 4890 and all games you play will be conquered,also get a bigger set of hard drives for a gaming rig you wanna have more storage than 320 gbs there are good drives with more cache that sell for cheap on newegg.
June 12, 2009 10:16:00 PM

It was very clear 4 months ago that dual core was the best, AT THAT TIME, for gaming. Every month that goes by has seen more games optimized for quad cores. Even WoW has been optimized.

Quad core gaming is coming. More and more titles will make use of it. The more cores you get now the better. As to Intel vs. AMD, certainly Intel makes the fastest dual cores and the fastest quads.

Most of AMDs line up is old. If you look at the newest processors, they will run cool and are very competitive. AMD has one dual core CPU priced about the same as the E7400 and similar in speed, but that is all they have in dual core that's worthwhile. They have two very worthwhile quads, the DDR2 X4 940 and the DDR3 X4 955.

The X3 720 is a different animal though. It overclocks well and gives that extra core. It's very much a compromise between the speed of the Intel dual cores and the value of the AMD quads.

You can get an E8400, push it up to 3.8Ghz and be happy with it for a year or so. If you really want to do that, get a P45 board for the stability factor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This board also comes in a DDR3 flavor for a bit more. DDR3 is coming down in price while DDR2 rises. Probably not quite worthwhile yet on Intel builds but an option.

Let's look at some benchmarks....
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-cpu-overclock,2...
Look where the overclocked X3 comes in on those benchmarks, and that's with a couple 4870s. That means even less difference with a slower single GPU.

Then a game known to support quad cores
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-cpu-overclock,2...

Here's some more stock speed comparisons with the E8500
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/socket-am3-phenom,2...

Oh, and AMD boards are inexpensive because they have no memory controller. you can even get by with a 770 board that would leave you even more cash for the GPU ;) 

Heh ooops I just caught that. You have a very slow GPU listed. That version only has 192 processors. You want a 216 if you use a GTX 260.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 12, 2009 10:31:25 PM

Id go with the reccomendation of a better GPU as well, with the VERY recent ati price drops you could look at the 4870 or 4890
June 12, 2009 10:38:27 PM

I would like to know how you came up with $135 for that vid card, or $35 for the DK heat sink ? Your numbers are skewed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($79.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R $178.99 | $163.99 after rebate
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $271.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing 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... $174.99 ($154.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv4 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$7.00 Combo Price: $167.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99 Free Shipping*
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 ($149.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor Built in Speakers 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR20000:1) w/ SPDIF out - Retail

Total: $1,215.88 | $1,120.88 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s until March 2010 and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

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