Building a gaming rig, need some advice


BUDGET RANGE: Budget isn't a huge restricting factor for me at this time. I'm not ready to go crazy and spend like 2000, but anything between 1000-1500 for the parts I need would likely be reasonable.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I specifically want a system that will be able to run Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 at maximum settings without any lag, as this is what I am building for. I realize that these games are far off their release, but the graphics engines and etc. are already done, so I would imagine that current top-notch technology should be ok to play those games. I won't restrict myself to just this though.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Does not matter, as long as it all comes from one website preferably, but if there is a significant discount on specific parts from other sites, I'm all for it.


These are the parts that I need immediately:


For this, I am definitely planning to go with a Core i7 x58 setup, with 6 GB of the maximum supported frequency of RAM. I was looking at these parts specifically at this time:

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

CORSAIR XMS 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3A1333C9

Overclocking is a maybe for me, and I'm almost certainly going to go with SLI one day. That being said, I'm not completely dead set on these products, if there is something better then by all means, I'll take a look at it. I got the first two components from a guide on this website, and I'm partial to Corsair RAM. Like I said, however, I'll look at anything that is potentially better. As far as overclocking, the motherboard that I listed supports up to 2000 MHz OC I believe. I don't think I'd go that high, but probably a notch below that, if that helps at all. I'll provide more details if necessary.

These parts are a maybe:
Video Card
Hard Drive

These are the parts I currently have:

ATI Radeon x1650

WD Caviar Blue 250 GB, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16 MB Cache, 7200 RPM

I can't remember the exact model number, but it's a 21" Samsung LCD SyncMaster with a 2000:1 contrast ratio and I think 8ms response time.

I know that my video card is crap, and I eventually want to move to SLI/Crossfire, but I'm wondering if it's worth it at this point, or if I could wait a while longer and get something better down the road.

I eventually want to get a WD Caviar Black HDD, but I'm not too concerned about it right now. SSD isn't going to do much for me I don't think, so I'm not too interested in that. I do plan to get a TB Caviar Green for storage at some point as well.

As for my monitor - the main thing is that it doesn't support HD at all. Is this going to be truly important for gaming? How much of a difference does it make from standard DVI? I've seen the difference on actual TV, and it's quite significant, but I'm just wondering if it's worth it to shell out the extra money for an HD monitor, and/or if it's worth going to non-HD SLI. Some input here would be fantastic.

Things I'm interested in:

I'm pretty much dead set on the i7. With that being said, and with my particular needs in mind, would I need an aftermarket cooler for the CPU, RAM, or anything else? Like I said, I do plan to try out overclocking at some point, so if I would require some thermal paste, an aftermarket fan or anything of the sort that would help with my computer's heat, I will take any and all input into consideration.

Also, I do plan on buying a gaming keyboard at some point, and I'm wondering what some of the better ones out there are. I went to Tigerdirect and saw a couple that looked really nice, specially the Logitech G13 I think it was. It looked quite impressive to me, but if there are better options out there, I'm more than happy to listen.

As far as power goes:

This is my current PSU:

Ultra Products XVS Modular 600W ATX Power Supply

I'm thinking about upgrading to this:

CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

My biggest concern with my current PSU is the 78% efficiency rating it has at idle. I'm wondering if the parts I plan to get will make upgrading my PSU a necessity, and of course, as with anything, any alternatives and any other input is highly appreciated.

As for my case, and I'm probably not going to change it:

Ultra E-Torque ATX Mid-Tower Case

The moment I set my eyes on this case, I wanted it badly. It has served me very well since. I'm wondering if I would even need an upgrade on this case. As always, any and all input is greatly appreciated. However, I will not settle for anything less than all the features that my case currently has. Somehow I anticipate that this one is worth keeping, but I'm not 100% sure either.

Alright, sorry for the long read. I hope wrapping the sections in quote tags doesn't make this too ugly, but I thought it might be easier to follow that way. That pretty much covers everything I'm looking at right now in any event. Hope to get some input soon, as I want to purchase this ASAP. :)
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More about building gaming advice
  1. that gpu will bottleneck your cpu... e.g. you need an new gpu
    depending on the resolution you want to use
  2. daggs said:
    that gpu will bottleneck your cpu... e.g. you need an new gpu
    depending on the resolution you want to use

    Ah, ok. I'm running my monitor at 1920x1200 and that's more or less good enough for me. I'm going to need to find out the exact model of my monitor (obviously I'm not at home right now) to find out the max resolution it supports.
  3. Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW - LCD display - TFT - 24"

    My monitor.

    The maximum supported resolution is 1920x1200. I'm guessing this is a pretty good monitor, so obviously I'd like to keep this one.

    EDIT: And a little research shows me that HDMI and DVI, image wise, are the exact same thing. So yeah, the max resolution I'll be working in is 1920x1200.
  4. Alright, these are pretty much the major parts I believe will work best for me:

    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

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

    CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1333C7 G - Retail

    XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

    As far as the case, I like this one:

    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    However, I'm still not sure if that's the one I really should get. Here were the other ones I was looking at:

    AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Thermaltake ArmorPlus(Armor+) VH6000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    APEVIA X-JUPITER G-Type X-JUPITERG-BK Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    I'm pretty sure I want the Coolermaster, but I'd like to hear what you guys think with my particular setup. I'm also not sure about the GPU I want. I'm leaning towards the GTX 295, but I'm not planning on doing any high end gaming right at this very moment, so I'm willing to wait the month or two for the DX11 GTX 300s to come out. I checked some benchmarks, and the NVidia cards always seemed to trump the Radeon HDs with the Core i7, and I see no reason why this trend shouldn't continue. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And as usual, I'd like to hear opinions about this setup in general.

    Also note that I do plan to eventually run with at least a dual SLI setup and I'll be doing some moderate overclocking as well with at least the RAM. I'm just looking for a high end gaming PC that will last me for a good while. It seems in the end I'll be spending more than I originally thought, but after some research I realized this will be necessary. I'm good with it though. Thanks in advance!
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