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Gaming System - Newbie needs your help. PLEASE

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November 14, 2009 3:23:42 PM

Hi. I need your help in building a gaming system. My current PC is about 7 years old.

I have been doing some research but I am a bit confused on which is the best way to go in terms of i5 750 or i7 920. I want to get the best bang for buck in terms of what I am going to use it for and get 3-4 years out of it before I start upgrading.

I like the PC to handle the latest FPS (Crysis, Assassins Creed, Fallout 3), RPG (Dragon Age) and simulations (FSX, Silent Hunter 5, Rise of Flight) type of games. I use a CRT and will most likely not go beyond 1600x1200 on the resolution but I do like to have lots of eye candy. I will most likely not be overclocking the CPU.

1. Should I get a better sound card?
2. Should I get a GTX 285 vs. GTX 275? I might get a second video card in the future.
2. Would you recommend a better case? I like to keep the case for all future upgrades.
3. Should I get a raptor HD in addition to the one below?

OPTION A.

Case: HAF 932
CPU: i5 750
Motherboard: EVGA P55 FTW Edition
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Mushkin
PSU: 750W Corsair TX
HD: 1x (500GB Western Digital (16MB Cache) (7200 RPM)
Optical Drive 1: DVD±R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 20x / CD-Writer 48x)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Sound Card: Razer Barracuda AC-1
Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)


OPTION B.

Case: HAF 932
CPU: i7 920
Motherboard: EVGA X58 3X SLI

Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Mushkin - [I have read that 920 does not need anything faster than 1066MHz memory – do I need to change my memory selection here????]

PSU: 750W Corsair TX
HD: 1x (500GB Western Digital (16MB Cache) (7200 RPM)
Optical Drive 1: DVD±R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 20x / CD-Writer 48x)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Sound Card: Razer Barracuda AC-1
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P High Performance Cooler
Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit Edition)

Please feel free to make any other recommendations.

Thank you.

More about : gaming system newbie

November 14, 2009 5:33:56 PM

Option B looks better to me. Faster CPU, better GPU, more upgradable in the future, and probably more expensive. You can use RAM at 1600 with the 920. The faster RAM will be good if you overclock. To answer your questions:

1. I wouldn't bother buying a sound card. The one built into most motherboards are decent. Unless you have a specialty speaker setup or have great ears, that money would be better spent somewhere else.

2.The GTX275 is better than the GTX260, of course. You may also look into the ATI 5xxx series that just came out. The 5770 would give you Direct X 11, and they scale well if you got a second one later.

3. As long as case is large enough for what you do and has decent airflow, I wouldn't worry too much about it. PSU is more important, and you've got a good one.

4. A velociraptor would be a lot faster, but you'd have to justify the cost. Plus SSD drives are getting more moderately priced. I'd suggest just going with a WD Cavier Black or Seagate 7200.12.
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November 14, 2009 5:47:01 PM

Option B is better, but it seems like you are paying for way more motherboard than you need atleast with option A , are you planning to do heavy OCing?

Save money, dont get the sound card, you can always add it in later if you decide you need it.

What resolution will you be playing at? Where are you buying from? If they are an OEM then they may have 5850s in stock which would be better than either option.

Hard to recommend a better case than the HAF932, its about as big as they come and has good airflow, as long as you like the way it looks that is the case i would recommend.

Dont get a 500GB WD drive, if they offer samsung F3 500GB's get that, if not get a 640GB Caviar Black, as the 500GB WD drives are older and slow, the F3 500GB will beat a VRaptor in transfer rate so the VRaptor really isnt worth it.
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November 15, 2009 3:04:31 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I was doing some more research last night and now I am thinking maybe i7 860 is the way to go since I am not going to be overclocking.

What I really want is a system that is going to play all of the current and upcoming games for the next three years. Since it is difficult to predict what future technologies will be and that I might have to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and GPU. I am thinking to go with a fast affordable system today. What are your thoughts??

I was looking to purchase this system from Digital Storm since I have never built a PC and I like for have one build before I start changing out the parts.

What do you think of OPTION C? Anything to change. Do I need to get more RAM? Again, I am running this at a max of 1600x1200.

Case: HAF 932
CPU: i7 860
Motherboard: EVGA P55 FTW Edition
System Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified by mushkin enhanced
PSU: 750W Corsair TX (Dual SLI Compatible)
HD: 1x (500GB Western Digital (16MB Cache) (7200 RPM) (SATA)
Video Card: 1x ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB
Extreme Cooling: AIR: Stage 1: Noctua Dual 120mm Fans High Performance Cooler (Compatible With ONLY i7 Processors)
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