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Need advice on building a $2500 Gaming PC

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August 10, 2009 5:50:30 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: October 2009

BUDGET RANGE: $2500, but if it is worth the extra money in the long run I am willing to go up to $2800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Movies, Web browsing, Listening to music.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS. So basically the hardware for the tower only.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, ZipZoomFly.com, Amazon.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Full tower case (I like the Cooler Master Stacker 830, but I haven't really looked too much at cases), Nvidia graphics card, Intel processor, and at least 2 DVD burners for copying. I am using a 2.1 speaker setup (Logitech Z-2300) and I don't plan on upgrading, so I don't think I need much in the sound card department.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. I have no plans to overclock, but it might be something I might interested in doing in the future.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. I want to do SLI, but I only want one graphics card right now. I will get the other one a few months after I complete the system. Will quad SLI help with games like Crysis, or is dual SLI enough?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Like I stated before, I want to build a $2500 gaming computer. The $2500 will be for the system unit ONLY. My basic goal is to be able to play games like Crysis at high settings at a playable frame rate and have plenty of room to expand in the future. I will be running Linux and I have heard that Nvidia seems to be the most compatible, but if I am wrong I am willing to go to ATI if it is better. $2500 only needs to include 1 video card, as I will be getting another card later (when it is cheaper). I have no idea if I should go with 32 or 64 bit. I am leaning towards a 64bit system because it doesn't feel right to spend $2500 on a computer that will be maxed at 4gb of RAM.

I already have a monitor in mind (24" Asus VW246H for $219 @ Newegg), but I am am willing to take suggestions for monitors in the $200-$250 range (this won't count towards the $2500).

I hope I covered everything and I look forward to all your suggestions!
August 10, 2009 6:27:35 PM

If your not going to overclock you can buy whatever you want with that kind of budget. Especially since your only getting one video card. 2500 is a lot to spend on a computer with one graphics card, no monitor and not buying an OS.

Try putting one together on newegg and then posting it and people will critique it. Quad SLI is a waste, SLI is plenty to run any game right now (two cards).
August 10, 2009 7:50:13 PM

jtmoney528 said:
If your not going to overclock you can buy whatever you want with that kind of budget. Especially since your only getting one video card. 2500 is a lot to spend on a computer with one graphics card, no monitor and not buying an OS.

Try putting one together on newegg and then posting it and people will critique it. Quad SLI is a waste, SLI is plenty to run any game right now (two cards).


I went ahead and made a wish list on Newegg. Let me know what you think.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
Related resources
August 10, 2009 7:53:56 PM

^ you need to make it public for us to see it.

and any reason for preferring Nvidia? ATi are far better Price/performance wise with their 4890 at ~$200 coming close to NVidia's GTX 285 at $300+.

also ATi Stream is catching up to Nvidia's CUDA if that's one of the reasons.
August 10, 2009 8:31:57 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ you need to make it public for us to see it.

and any reason for preferring Nvidia? ATi are far better Price/performance wise with their 4890 at ~$200 coming close to NVidia's GTX 285 at $300+.

also ATi Stream is catching up to Nvidia's CUDA if that's one of the reasons.


I thought I did make it public. I selected it and clicked on "Share". Am I doing something wrong? Maybe it takes awhile?

The only reason why I am going with Nvidia is because I am using Linux and I have read that Nvidia video cards tend to have a higher compatibility with Linux.
August 10, 2009 8:54:51 PM

i7-950 Bloomfield is a waste of money

Go with:

i7-920 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dominitator waste of money:

Go with OCZ Plat:

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

Motherboard - With your kind of budget I would go with EVGA Classified:

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

Or not go with the A1:

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

Zalman CPU Coolers are not that good at all on a 1366 go with Xigmatec DK:

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

Or Sunbeam Core Freezer:

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

1366 Bracket http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like Antec 1200 Cases:

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

Also on your video card, personally I would go with GTX 275 Superclocked SLI'd (2 of them) instead of the 295:

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

Power Supply is way overkill! Go with Corsair 750



I did not go through and do Combo's for you but if that is the kind of setup let me know and I will do combo's.
August 10, 2009 9:13:14 PM
August 10, 2009 10:15:10 PM

jtmoney528 said:
i7-950 Bloomfield is a waste of money

Go with:

i7-920 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dominitator waste of money:

Go with OCZ Plat:

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

Motherboard - With your kind of budget I would go with EVGA Classified:

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

Or not go with the A1:

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

Zalman CPU Coolers are not that good at all on a 1366 go with Xigmatec DK:

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

Or Sunbeam Core Freezer:

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

1366 Bracket http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like Antec 1200 Cases:

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

Also on your video card, personally I would go with GTX 275 Superclocked SLI'd (2 of them) instead of the 295:

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

Power Supply is way overkill! Go with Corsair 750



I did not go through and do Combo's for you but if that is the kind of setup let me know and I will do combo's.


Those are some great recommendations.

I went with the slower processor, but I might go back to the i7 950 if I see a huge price drop in the next 2 months.

The EVGA Classified looks awesome, so I'll go with that.

Is it best to buy DDR3 in sets of 3? If it is I will probably go with 12GB (4GB x 3), because I would like to put the max in each slot so I would never have to replace it.

I went with the Xigmatec Dark Knight cooler because several reviews for the Sunbeam Core Freezer said that it was very difficult to install and since this will be my first build, I don't want to run into a problem like that. Also, in a few years I might decide to upgrade the processor and it just seems like the task will be easier with the Xigmatec.

The Antec 1200 case looks nice. It seems to be less bulky and have better cooling than the Stacker 830. I think this case already comes with 6 fans, with room for 2 more. So wouldn't I just need 2 (instead of 3) of the 120mm Scythe S-Flex case fans?

As far as the video cards go, the 275 seems like a much better deal than the 295, but if I wait a couple months do you think the 295 will be at a better price that makes buying it a better choice?

The only reason I went with a 1200W power supply is because when I used Newegg's Wattage Calculator, it recommended that I needed a 1200W power supply. Do you think that a 750W PSU is sufficient for the life of my system? I plan on upgrading the ram to the full 24GB in a few years. I am sure I will add more hard drives and more external 5.25 devices in the future.
August 10, 2009 10:23:26 PM

Explosion said:
Those are some great recommendations.

I went with the slower processor, but I might go back to the i7 950 if I see a huge price drop in the next 2 months.

You can overclock and match the higher priced ones

The EVGA Classified looks awesome, so I'll go with that.

Is it best to buy DDR3 in sets of 3? If it is I will probably go with 12GB (4GB x 3), because I would like to put the max in each slot so I would never have to replace it.

Just get two sets of the OCZ Platinum 1600 (3x2 X2). Reviews have shown that computer usually cannot ever even use 6 GB let alone 24. More than 6 is overkill at the moment.

I went with the Xigmatec Dark Knight cooler because several reviews for the Sunbeam Core Freezer said that it was very difficult to install and since this will be my first build, I don't want to run into a problem like that. Also, in a few years I might decide to upgrade the processor and it just seems like the task will be easier with the Xigmatec.

Either one would do fine :D 

The Antec 1200 case looks nice. It seems to be less bulky and have better cooling than the Stacker 830. I think this case already comes with 6 fans, with room for 2 more. So wouldn't I just need 2 (instead of 3) of the 120mm Scythe S-Flex case fans?

The side of the case has a spot and the middle inside has a spot and yes those fans would work just fine. The ventilation in these cases are amazing and yes it comes with 6 fans.

As far as the video cards go, the 275 seems like a much better deal than the 295, but if I wait a couple months do you think the 295 will be at a better price that makes buying it a better choice?

The 295 is overkill right now and so is 2 275's but if that is the way you want to go it is fine. I would personally choose the 275's over the 295. You will also get better performance out of 2 275's than one 295. You can go look at review for that.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-sli,229...


The only reason I went with a 1200W power supply is because when I used Newegg's Wattage Calculator, it recommended that I needed a 1200W power supply. Do you think that a 750W PSU is sufficient for the life of my system? I plan on upgrading the ram to the full 24GB in a few years. I am sure I will add more hard drives and more external 5.25 devices in the future.


Stay with a 1200W power supply if you plan on adding more in the future.
August 10, 2009 10:43:55 PM

jtmoney528 said:

The 295 is overkill right now and so is 2 275's but if that is the way you want to go it is fine. I would personally choose the 275's over the 295. You will also get better performance out of 2 275's than one 295.


I agree that 2 275s are better than one 295, but I don't plan on just getting one 295. I plan on getting the other 295 when its price drops significantly. So is it better to get the 2 275s now or get one 295 now and another one later? Or should I just get 2 275s now and then just upgrade to an unreleased card that is better than the 295 when I feel that the 275s aren't good enough anymore.
August 10, 2009 11:06:18 PM

Quote:
Just get two sets of the OCZ Platinum 1600 (3x2 X2). Reviews have shown that computer usually cannot ever even use 6 GB let alone 24. More than 6 is overkill at the moment.


So is it best to get DDR3 in sets of 3? If you think it is best to get 2 sets of the 2GB x3 or should I get 3 4GB sticks so I won't take up all the slots. I understand that more than 6 is overkill, but if I get 3 4GB sticks I can just leave them in there and not worry about ever replacing them (unless they go bad).

Now if it is better to just get the 6 2GB sticks. I will get this. If it is better to get 3 4GB sticks, can you give me a good recommendation?
August 10, 2009 11:20:16 PM

Build looks fairly good, but there are some areas where it can be better and also some areas that you have some problems with it.

Quote:
Full tower case (I like the Cooler Master Stacker 830, but I haven't really looked too much at cases)
It is a nice case, but it will be problem if you use the side door 4 fans mounting system using a 1366 CPU HSF Cooler.

This Case has the best Airflow around, check out this Case/CPU Combo.
1. Antec Twelve Hundred: $169.99

2. Intel BX80601920: $279.99
Free Shipping*

Combo Discount: -$25.00
Combo Price: $424.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Here is a Mobo/PSU Combo you should look at and the PSU is more then enough for what you need.
1. Corsair Memory, Inc. CMPSU-1000HX: $239.99
Free Shipping* plus MIR

2. EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR: $229.99
Free Shipping* plus MIR

Combo Discount: -$20.00
Combo Price: $449.98
$20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card
$20.00 Mail-In Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

You should look at, Ram/HDD Combo.
1. OCZ Technology, Inc. OCZ3P1600LV6GK: $112.99
Free Shipping*

2. Western Digital WD1001FALS: $94.99
Free Shipping*

Combo Discount: -$7.00
Combo Price: $200.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I would get a pair of these and run them in SLI, will be faster then the GTX 295 card.
EVGA 017-P3-1175-AR GeForce GTX 275 1792MB 448-bit DDR3 $299.99 ($279.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is a very good price on a 24" Monitor.
ASUS VH242H 23.6-Inch Wide 16:9 5ms $199.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001LYPII...

Here are some of the best 1366 CPU HSF Coolers' thaat you beed to check out.
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $44.98 Free Shipping*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe MUGEN-2 $36.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme-1366 RT Premium Heatpipe Cooler for Intel LGA1366 $74.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

CoGage True Spirit Heatpipe CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Silent Fan for Intel LGA1366 $37.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Info about Cogage.
Quote:
It seems the Thermalright is wanting to give the mainstream sector a try. They have dominated the gamer, enthusiast and overclocking market when it comes to air-cooling. Coolers like the Ultra-120 line-up has reigned pretty much supreme for over 3 years or so. Now they are wanting to do the seem in the mainstream market. Recently releasing a new brand labeled CoCaGe (Computer Gaming Gear).
http://pro-clockers.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-501....

Items you will need.
Thermal Compound and Thermal Cleaner.
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound - Retail $9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will need this 8-pin Power Extension Cable for most Cases that has Bottom Mounted PSU.
1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F - Retail $8.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6812706004

Now to the Operating System. My suggestion would be to download Windows 7RC and then buy the full version when it comes out. You should get the 64-bit version, but if that is too much of a chore, then go with Vista Prem. 64-bit.

Download Link for Windows 7 RC
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/download...

Your choices on Blu-Ray and DVD Burner are good.
LG Blu-Ray = $124.99 Free Shipping*
LG DVD Burner = 27.99

Subtotal without CPU Cooler choice, shipping costs and MIR's deducted.
$2047.87 and that is with 2 Evga GTX 275's
$60.00 in MIR's, could be another $20.00 if Evga allows double rebate.

*note: Do not forget to get one of those CPU Cooler.

Hope this helps you out some.
August 11, 2009 3:52:33 PM

Explosion said:
I agree that 2 275s are better than one 295, but I don't plan on just getting one 295. I plan on getting the other 295 when its price drops significantly. So is it better to get the 2 275s now or get one 295 now and another one later? Or should I just get 2 275s now and then just upgrade to an unreleased card that is better than the 295 when I feel that the 275s aren't good enough anymore.


I do not think anything in the near future that you will require anything more than 2 275's to run any game out there on max settings. If you need to upgrade in the future they have a step it up program. 2 295's would just be so overkill it would be ridiculous.

Explosion said:
Quote:
Just get two sets of the OCZ Platinum 1600 (3x2 X2). Reviews have shown that computer usually cannot ever even use 6 GB let alone 24. More than 6 is overkill at the moment.


So is it best to get DDR3 in sets of 3? If you think it is best to get 2 sets of the 2GB x3 or should I get 3 4GB sticks so I won't take up all the slots. I understand that more than 6 is overkill, but if I get 3 4GB sticks I can just leave them in there and not worry about ever replacing them (unless they go bad).

Now if it is better to just get the 6 2GB sticks. I will get this. If it is better to get 3 4GB sticks, can you give me a good recommendation?


I am using the 3X2 for 6 GB of ram and that is plenty for me.

August 11, 2009 4:00:25 PM

jtmoney528 said:
I do not think anything in the near future that you will require anything more than 2 275's to run any game out there on max settings. If you need to upgrade in the future they have a step it up program. 2 295's would just be so overkill it would be ridiculous.


OK, I will go with 2 275s. Now which one should I get?

EVGA GTX 275 Superclocked (Faster Core, Shader, & Memory clock)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

EVGA 017-P3-1175-AR GeForce GTX 275 (More memory - 1792MB vs 896MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 11, 2009 4:14:06 PM
August 11, 2009 4:19:04 PM

Quote:
$2500 w/no monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse or OS?? LOL

You could get anything you want. Now your going with 2 measly 275's? ROFL, thats what you would put in a $1000 system.

Why not 2- GTX295's ?

Funny post.


I am just trying to be reasonable when it comes to what he will get out of the system. There is no reason to go 2 295's at all right now.
August 11, 2009 4:20:23 PM
August 11, 2009 7:59:59 PM

If I do end up going with a E-ATX motherboard, what would be the best case for that?
August 11, 2009 10:49:51 PM


Either will do, it is what case you like the most. Here is the 840 that has a window, but it is $100 more.

Cooler Master ATCS 840 Full Tower Classic Case w/ Custom Bolt-On Full Window - Black (RC-840-KKN1-GP) $299.99
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8495/cst-850/Cooler_M...

August 13, 2009 1:20:51 AM

Both those cases look pretty nice. I like a window, but $100 extra for it? That's ridiculous.

Are there any advantages to getting steel vs aluminum and visa versa? I know my computer is going to be staying in one spot all the time, so I am not too concerned about weight.
August 13, 2009 1:34:08 AM

I'm a fan of the 840, myself. I don't really like the looks of the HAF932 but it has one of the best air flows for a case. For your uses, there is no difference between the two constructions. It really comes down to a personal perference on which one you like.
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