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$1300-$1500 gaming rig

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August 17, 2009 5:27:10 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: $1300-$1500 (preferably closer to $1300)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, video rendering, photoshop, some music making

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, os

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel I7, Nvidia GTX 275

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Yes/maybe (see additional comments)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my very first build, and I need some advice. I want to save as much as I can through combo deals, but I'm have trouble finding the best deals, so I need help on that. I want the price to at least end up at $1300, and what I have so far (without combo deals) end up $1506.07 (excluding the monitor). I want to be able to play Crysis smoothly. I'm wondering whether I should get both GTX 275s now, or get one now and wait later until the price drops to pick up another one? What do you guys think? I'm also not sure which motherboard I should buy. And will I need an 850w power supply if I'm going to run 2 GTX 275s in sli and OC the I7 to 3.6 Ghz, or will a 750w be enough? I'm not factoring the monitor in the price budget, so the final price will be around $1300-$1400 without the monitor. Tell me if any of these parts are incompatible, or if you see something that should be changed.

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

Motherboard: EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard - Retail

RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail

Cooling: Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
UPDATE: I've decided to change it to this:
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
UPDATE: Changed to 1TB:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

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

Graphics Card: 2x MSI N275GTX TwinFrozr OC GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail I'm going to be buying 2 of these in sli, but should I buy both now, or buy 1 and wait for the prices to drop to buy a second?
UPDATE: I've decided to buy 1 of these for now, then buy another when the price drops.

DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM

Case: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail I'm not sure if everything will fit in this case. If it doesn't and you're going to recommend something else, I would prefer a case with a side window.
UPDATE: I've decided to go with:
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Thermal Compound: Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound - Retail

Keyboard: Logitech 967740-0403 Black USB Standard Internet 350 USB Keyboard - OEM

Speakers: Logitech S-220 17 Watts 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System - OEM

Extension Cable: 1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F - Retail

Monitor: Well here's where I'm having a tough choice. I want at least a 24" at 1920x1200. So far I have found 3 nice looking ones:

Acer G24 Orange 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 50000:1 (ACM) - Retail

HannsĀ·G HG-281DPB Black 27.5" 3ms Widescreen LCD HDMI Monitor 500 cd/m2 800:1 Built-in Speakers - Retail

ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers w/ component connector - Retail

Which one do you guys think is the best out of those three? And if you can find any monitors around the same price that are better than these tell me.

UPDATE ON THE MONITOR DILEMMA: I'm going with the Hanns-G as it looks like a good deal for a monitor of that size and resolution, and also has good reviews.

Total price excluding the monitor: $1,517.86 Like I said, I want to save as much money as possible through combo deals.
UPDATE: With the changes I've made so far, the new total price (again excluding the monitor) is $1,325.86.

More about : 1300 1500 gaming rig

August 17, 2009 5:43:21 PM

Personally I'd say a single GTX 275 will provide plenty of graphics performance for Crysis, but I haven't been into FPS games lately, and don't insist that frame rates be as smooth as silk. I'd be inclined to say just buy one, and if you aren't getting the performance you want, then get the second one.

For monitors, I'd go with the Acer out of the 3. I really hate that speakers are built in on so many monitors now, the HannsG and ASUS you selected both have built in speakers. Since you're already buying nice sounding Logitech speakers, why get even more speakers inside the monitor?
August 17, 2009 5:49:56 PM

Thanks for the advice, I'll buy one and get another if Crysis doesn't run as nice as I want it to. But does everything else look good?
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August 17, 2009 6:08:34 PM

yeah, considering your budget, you've pretty much hit the mark. You could go for a 1TB Caviar Black over the 640GB you picked out. It's $25 more, but has a better GB per dollar, and you'll get a tad bit more disk performance out of it.

For PSU, 750 would probably be enough, but 850 definitely gives you more breathing room for possible future upgrades. If you're running into budget constraints, go with the 750.
August 17, 2009 6:27:55 PM

good advice from wathman! +1 ^

For the monitor I would say the Hanns G is actually the way to go. It is massive, but if you have the desk space for it then you would love it.
August 17, 2009 6:45:45 PM

I worked at Best Buy for awhile *dodges knives and various other sharp objects* and the Hannspree's we had there were crap. Dead pixels all the time. I don't know if Hanns G is a higher end version of Hannspree, but I do know that I wouldn't buy one for myself. The Acer I have is running great no dead pixels or anything and I've had it since 2006, basically on 24/7. Just a thought!

Also, I have the Scythe cooler and the fan that came with mine was crap. Not too big of a deal but when I built mine I wished I would have went ahead and ordered a better fan so I didn't have to open it up and mess with it again. Plus I cut my finger putting the new fan on:) 

And if you have the extra greenbacks go with the 850, but the 750 should be just fine for two 275's. Upgradability is all you would want the 850 for like wathman said. I bought the TX750 and its a champ.
August 17, 2009 6:50:39 PM

zach538467 said:
I worked at Best Buy for awhile *dodges knives and various other sharp objects* and the Hannspree's we had there were crap. Dead pixels all the time. I don't know if Hanns G is a higher end version of Hannspree, but I do know that I wouldn't buy one for myself. The Acer I have is running great no dead pixels or anything and I've had it since 2006, basically on 24/7. Just a thought!

Also, I have the Scythe cooler and the fan that came with mine was crap. Not too big of a deal but when I built mine I wished I would have went ahead and ordered a better fan so I didn't have to open it up and mess with it again. Plus I cut my finger putting the new fan on:) 

And if you have the extra greenbacks go with the 850, but the 750 should be just fine for two 275's. Upgradability is all you would want the 850 for like wathman said. I bought the TX750 and its a champ.


I am not too sure about Hanns G being higher end either, but all the reviews on newegg for that monitor are excellent. It is one of the best larger screens on newegg, especially considering the price. The monitor really is a personal preference because we all see things differently. One person might think one monitors picture is amazing while another person might think it is crap haha. Good luck though and hope I helped!
August 17, 2009 6:59:03 PM

The "Hanns branding conspiracy" is something I've wondered about for a while, just did a little digging and it does seem that they are indeed from the same company. Judging by various opinions out there, the Haans G models tend to be better. It seems that there are also monitors out there that go under I-inc that are essentially the same parts with yet another badge. Maybe they're just grabbing parts from the same factories, and inventing brands to give the illusion of choice ;) 
August 17, 2009 7:00:22 PM

zach538467 said:
I worked at Best Buy for awhile *dodges knives and various other sharp objects* and the Hannspree's we had there were crap. Dead pixels all the time. I don't know if Hanns G is a higher end version of Hannspree, but I do know that I wouldn't buy one for myself. The Acer I have is running great no dead pixels or anything and I've had it since 2006, basically on 24/7. Just a thought!

Also, I have the Scythe cooler and the fan that came with mine was crap. Not too big of a deal but when I built mine I wished I would have went ahead and ordered a better fan so I didn't have to open it up and mess with it again. Plus I cut my finger putting the new fan on:) 

And if you have the extra greenbacks go with the 850, but the 750 should be just fine for two 275's. Upgradability is all you would want the 850 for like wathman said. I bought the TX750 and its a champ.


The Hanns G seems like a very good deal though, and the reviews look good. I'm probably gonna stick with the 850w, as I will upgrade the build occasionally. And what do you suggest instead of the Scythe cooler?
August 17, 2009 7:03:40 PM

The Xigmatek Dark Knight is a great alternative to the Scythe. Although it is a few dollars more it cools about the same and IMO looks much better if that matters to you at all.
August 17, 2009 7:19:06 PM

Do you see anything else that should be changed? Motherboard? Should everything fit inside the case I've picked, or is there a better case I should buy? And is everything compatible with sli and the I7?
August 17, 2009 7:22:11 PM

+1 on the Dark Knight

Looks cool, and pretty much the same price. Especially if you get a bum fan like mine. I really haven't heard anything negative about the fan on the Dark Knight but I have no personal experience with it.

The Hanns G is a pretty good deal. I don't want to knock a brand esp. when my experience is with a sister brand. But the Acer you listed has a better contrast ratio which matters to some, not to others. Pretty subjective like waynec121 said! If money were no object I would go with a Samsung! Newegg doesn't have a great monitor selection for Samsung, and a lot of the manufacturers are switching from the old 19" 22" 24" scheme to 20" 23" monitors. Only because the aspect ratio on 24" is 16:10 and 23 is 16:9 like tv's. Big woop if you ask me but the newer monitors have a better picture imo.
August 17, 2009 7:23:23 PM

Everything looks good! I say go for it! Haha

Yeah the monitor is your call but since you are going for a gtx 275 I wouldn't go with a resolution lower then 1080p.
August 17, 2009 7:26:15 PM

Yeah any x58 should be sli compatible. As far as the case I don't know about the coolermaster, I went with the good old Antec 900, its massive and lots of airflow. the 902 is even bigger but more money.
August 17, 2009 7:45:00 PM

I'm liking the way that Antec 900 looks... is the 902 worth the extra money over the 900?
August 17, 2009 7:50:10 PM

The 902 is basically the same thing with an extra bay on the top. If you're going with a single hard drive the 900 should be fine, heck even three or four. Or if you are putting a lot of card readers and the like in the bays. I have a single hard drive right now and a cd/dvd drive with plenty of room for three more hdd's and two free bays on top of that. But it also affects airflow because the fans are inside of the cages. All that may not make sense with seeing one though lol
August 17, 2009 8:01:53 PM

Oh and don't forget that the 902 has an all black interior over the 900 which doesn't. That alone makes it worth paying the extra dough over the 900 IMO.
August 17, 2009 8:13:21 PM

Waynec121 likes black apparently lol jk with you waynec. I personally like the silver. All subjective:) 
August 17, 2009 8:15:22 PM

haha nice, yup as you said it is all subjective. I think the all black gives the interior of the case a much cleaner look since it matches the outside of the case.

To each there own though. : )
August 17, 2009 8:21:46 PM

I personally like the black, the white stands out a bit too much, and if I need to clean the case, the dust puld be harder to see on the white imo.

I'm still a bit sceptical on the motherboard since I just randomly choose it and didn't look into the others, but I think it will be fine.
August 17, 2009 8:25:52 PM

Most people are going with the P6t Deluxe but its a little more expensive. Not much difference as far as specs go though. I don't have any personal experience with the bios on either one though. I got the Intel board because it was a deal through their retail reward site. Mobo/i7/full vista ultimate for 289:)  If I were choosing for myself I've always been a bit of an ASUS fan...
August 17, 2009 9:04:10 PM

I'm leaning towards the P6Ts now, but is there a big enough difference to justify the extra cost of the P6T Deluxe over the standard P6T? Both look good since they can run both cards at 16x while in sli.
August 17, 2009 9:18:34 PM

Like the build Stony. Almost identical to the one I recently posted. Mine's a bit lower end though. Can I make a suggestion?

This DVD burner Sony Optiarc Black 24X. I know It's not such a big deal but it's spec'd higher than a samsung of the same price. It's also only $4 more.
August 17, 2009 10:08:30 PM

The evga board is one of the best. EVGA is a great brand and I have the board that you first were looking at. It is a great high quality board! A good alternative is the ASUS P6T. IMO though I would stick with the EVGA board.
August 17, 2009 10:13:27 PM

Is there an EVGA motherboard that runs sli in 16x/16x/x8?

Edit: I found two:

EVGA E758-TR 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Although I was going for the ASUS, I wanted to stick with EVGA as I like their customer support and community, but I didn't see these two until now, which seems to be the EVGA equivalents of the ASUS P6T. Which one of these EVGA motherboards should I buy? They seem identical.
August 18, 2009 12:13:28 AM

After doing a bit of research, the TR has a 2 year warrenty, and the A1 has a lifetime warrenty. I'm going to buy the TR since it's a bit cheaper, and in 2 years I'll probably be upgrading anyways. Thanks for the help everyone, you guys have helped me alot. I think I'm set to order then! Everything looks good to me.
August 18, 2009 1:43:10 AM

Glad to hear that good luck with the build! Please post pics once you get it together!!!!
August 18, 2009 2:18:35 AM

Yeah man, def post some pics!!
!