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$1500'ish Gaming Rig

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August 15, 2009 3:40:54 PM

Hiya! Long time lurker, first time poster. First, thank you all so very much, for helping the community have better PC building experiences. Now... I am looking to play the MMO Fallen Earth to start (already in Beta). Its a FPS MMO, and framerates are a MUST. Huge zoneless world is killing my current gaming rig. So, time to upgrade...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I nail down the components. Within the month.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, gaming, and gaming with a backup of wasting time surfing the net.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Cheap and reputable one. I've used Newegg many times in the past.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have been an AMD and Nvidia user exclusively in the past. But, I am willing to branch out for the best options.

OVERCLOCKING: No. Never done it, and unfamiliar. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, if it gives the best option.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I run desktop at 1600x1200. I certainly can't run the game at that now. I would LOVE to be able to.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Here are the games listed recommended specs. I would like to crush these:

Recommended Hardware Requirements

* CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.40 GHz or equivalent
* RAM: 3 GB for XP, 4 GB for Vista
* Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8800GTS/ ATI Radeon 3870
* RAM (dedicated): 512 MB

I thank you all in advance. I am very much looking forward to a new gaming rig.

More about : 1500 ish gaming rig

August 15, 2009 4:52:01 PM

PSU: Corsair 850TX
RAM/HDD: 6GB OCZ Gold 1600 DDR3 + WD Caviar Black 640GB
MOBO/PROC: Asus P6T + i7 920
Video: XFX Radeon HD 4890
Optical: LG 22x DVD

Total: $1200 (this is with shipping to where I live, may vary for you)

Obviously this leaves you with a lot of wiggle room for a nice case, extra hard drives, etc.
I strongly encourage you reconsider overclocking if you decide to go with a build like this. The i7 920 is one of the easiest procs to overclock ever. You could have it running 800MHz faster in a few minutes. Because of this, you will basically never see any of the faster i7s recommended.

At the very least you should consider investing in an aftermarket heatsink and some thermal compound and installing them with your build, so that you will have the option of overclocking later. (You can overclock some with the stock heatsink, but an aftermarket one is so cheap in your budget and offers many times more headroom). This will save you the headache of basically disassembling your entire rig if you decide to install a heatsink later.

Something like the Xigmatek Dark Knight is an excellent performer. For thermal paste, something like Arctic Silver 5 or (my personal choice)MX-2

For a case, unless you have space constraints, I would go with a full tower, as it makes building easier and you don't have to worry about 'will x video card or y heatsink fit in my case?!'. Something like the Cooler Master Haf 932 or Antec 1200 are both excellent choices. Since your budget is so large, you could also consider some cases a step up from these as well, perhaps a Cooler Master ATCS 840, if the style suits you.

On a final note, new core i5 processors are coming from Intel soon (couple of months or so). I personally don't see any particular need to wait around for these, but to each his own.
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August 15, 2009 5:08:11 PM

I am not opposed to overclocking, as long as it gives me reliable speed and power in my gaming. The issue is that I have never done it, in any way, and thus have no idea how. Back in the day, when I looked into it, the negatives of not doing it right scared me away. If its more reliable now, and there is a step by step guide, I'd be open to over clocking. Any advice on where I can find a good step by step guide, and if so, does that change what you recommend for my build?
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August 15, 2009 6:11:42 PM

It's pretty hard to permanently damage parts nowadays. The most dangerous thing is voltage, just make sure you don't put it too high. Still most BIOS will not let you put it high enough to destroy something instantly.

You can check out this guide for overclocking i7s. I'm not changing my recommended build, it's good either overclocked or not.
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August 15, 2009 8:30:38 PM

Ok, so going with your advice, and the $140 Coolmaster Case, I have enough to get a second 4890 ATI card, and my cost would be about $1400, before shipping.

Would getting and linking two be smart? Can the MB handle that? Or is that overkill, or perhaps a bottleneck? I read alot about folks having issues running this game, or other high end graphic games, becuase of bottle necking.

Again, thank you so very much for your help and advice. I'm trying to get as much as I can, out of my money, obviously.
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August 15, 2009 8:36:30 PM

two 4890's is just bout best bang for buck you can do
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August 15, 2009 8:50:16 PM

Two is overkill for your resolution/game I think.
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August 17, 2009 4:19:29 AM

Ok, I logged on Sunday evening to place my order for these items after spending a day or so to review them, and the Ram/HDD deal is gone.

Is it worth it to purchase these item separately? Or, is there another type of mix and match combo that works better? I tried to find these amazing combo's you found, but it appears to be a tad bit harder than I thought.

Also, having run the game in closed beta, and had the chance to speak to some of the folks in the game, they think it would be better to get two GPU's, and link them, as the FPSMMO style game is crushing all but the newest rigs, in frames per second. Without great FPS, this game is almost imposable to stay on top in. So, is there a deal for two of the GPU's, or another type of GPU's that is comparable, or better for comparable cost?

I also do not need the DVD player, as I can salvage the one I have from my current system.


Again, thank you.
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August 17, 2009 6:00:14 AM

Yes I would still buy that RAM and HDD even separately.

If people say one card is not enough (assuming the people are smart and know what they are talking about) then get two I guess. You could either get 2 4890s and crossfire them or you could get a single 4870x2. The 4890 CF will be faster, but 4870x2 offers a better upgrade path. You would probably want a bigger PSU if you went with a 4870x2 with intentions to CF another in the future, though.
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August 17, 2009 6:10:03 AM

True but I would not put that much money into GPUs rite now. I would go with one 4890 and then if you really need another you can get it. Keep in mind though that the 5870 DX11 card will be out in the fall. I am sure the drivers for it will not be completely mature but Winter-early Spring the drivers should start getting pretty solid for DX11.
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August 17, 2009 1:10:08 PM

Sound advice on the GPU's. I'll get one and give it a go. I can always order another down the road, if I need it. Better financial sense to get and try to use only one, first. Hate to spend the cash on a second one I never needed.

Thanks!
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