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Dream Machine for Gaming Gal

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November 17, 2009 6:25:39 AM

Well I came into a few thousand dollars and after making a HUGE mistake on buying a first gen tablet PC in 2006, being that I mainly just do gaming, I want to finally get a desktop gaming rig. I want to TRY and spend under 2K, but MAY be able to spend a little more if it would mean a huge difference in what I'm going to be getting... That's in US dollars (I live in Canada so any of the Canadian sites would be easiest for delivery of parts, but I CAN get them shipped to a friend in the USA if needed). I need every part...monitor, case, keyboard...everything. So I'm looking for a list of everything that would make MMO gaming better like a G19 Keyboard or a certain type of screen.

I'm a newbette when it comes to building my own rig, but I know the basics. I'm looking for a system that will last me a long time, though I currently play Age of Conan and Aion. I want to finally be able to play AoC with more than the 10 FPS I get on this crappy tablet pc. My goal is to turn on a game and get the highest FPS possible for a computer made today with a bigger budget (like I said 2K, but may spend more if it really makes a difference.)

Thanks SO Much in advance for the help!

*Huggles*
Zehar'im
November 17, 2009 7:40:08 AM

Your budget is fine, depending on the monitor size you choose. I don't have time tonight to select specific parts, but I'll give you an outline now . . . and one or two small tasks to do . . . and come back with a specific parts list tomorrow.

You do not sound like an overclocker, so the cpu I'd recommend is an i7 860. This quad will overclock itself when less than 4 cores are heavily used, ie, when gaming.

The motherboard should support both sli & crossfire so you can use 2 vid cards from either manufacturer if/when it becomes necessary/desirable.

Similarly, the power supply should be a high-quality brand like a Corsair 750W or 850W that can drive a 2-vidcard PC.

Assuming you will game at a 1920 resolution or higher, a single HD 5870 would be ideal. This card and its less powerful siblings are very fast and support DX11 so they are ready for next generation gaming. You can add a second one next year or later, when they become cheaper, if new games should require it. However these are in short supply - Newegg US is out. Check some Canadian sites and see.

Your monitor should be 22" to 27" and have a native resolution of 1920. Dell makes some very good 24" monitors in that size/res. Let me know what size you are thinking about.

The case should be good sized for proper air flow. There are many good cases . . . bling and no bling, sleek and utilitarian. Please select one or more cases you like the look of from your Newegg site and give a link here. We can then pick a case that matches that look and has the necessary air flow.

The ideal main hard drive would be a 120GB SSD if we can fit that into the budget. Combined with Win7, it would give you a very, very responsive booting and gaming system. We'd add a second conventional hard drive for bulk data storage.

Above all, enjoy the process.
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November 17, 2009 9:28:36 AM

I've put together a very nice list for you. I agree with just about everything Twoboxer has written. The only thing I feel is not really necessary is the SSD. They are extremely expensive for what you are getting but if you want top performance you can swap out my preferred HDD for an SSD. As said before ATi's 5800 series cards are scarce and I couldn't find them. I selected two 4890's for you but if you can wait or find a 5800 series card I suggest you do that.

On the plus, I've selected the latest and greatest in motherboards. The motherboard I selected is using brand new technologies like 6.0GB SATA and USB 3.0 which will give you top performance in the motherboard sector. Since you want this to be a Dream PC I went and put performance over price while being reasonable with your budget. Anyways, here are all the links using NeweggCA. Take a peek!

Price: $2,169.86

(The monitor can be switched to 1080p and the case can be switched to a mid tower to become under $2,000. Also i5's are great for gaming if you want to save even more cash.)

CPU: Core i7 860
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD4P
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Video Card: 2x Sapphire 4890 1GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM: Mushkin Blackline 1600 4GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

HSF: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

PSU: Corsair 750HX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1TB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Optic: Sony 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Monitor: Asus 25.5 2ms 1920x1200
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

OS: Windows 7 64 bit OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Keyboard: Logitech G15
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Mouse: Logitech MX518
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
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November 17, 2009 11:08:06 AM

i'm your dream machine!

(sorry i couldn't resist)

however, your budget will easily get what you ask, but ultimately it depends on whether you would prefer to save a lot of that $ for better value gear, with great satisfaction. remember that top-of-the-line stuff is expensive right now, but a few months fown the line it'll no be 'the best pc in the city' to justify your investment.

value at the moment would be:

i5 750
4890 or gtx275 (or if you want to have at least one 'luxury' piece, i won't advice against getting a 5850)
p55 mobo ddr3 (dual channel)
4 gb ddr3 ram

framerate in games will come down to resolution, which will depend on your personal preference of monitor size. a 21-22 inch is perfect for me, with a native 1680x1050 resolution the radeon 4890 can destroy anything. any higher and you may want to consider the 5850 or crossfire.

for tips on building up, the instructions are pretty easy to follow - and if there are any "WTF" moments - ask the almighty google for help. easier than making a post on a forum and having to wait for a reply.
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November 17, 2009 9:37:04 PM

My recommendations:

i7 920

ASUS P6T Deluxe v2 or P6T SE or P6T WS. Which ever one you want depending on price,etc.

3*2GB DDR3 1600

Corsair 650TX (750TX if planing to CrossFire)

1x Samsung F3 or WD Black 640GB.

1x Velociraptor or a Intel X25-M G2 (or the equivalent Kingston M series drive) if possible/needed.

ATI 5850 or 5870

Antec 900 or Antec 1200 or HAF 932 or HAF 922.

Core Contact Freezer with LGA1366 bracket or similar/better heatsink esp. if OCing.

As for buying stuff, check out Newegg Canada.
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a c 205 4 Gaming
November 17, 2009 10:25:59 PM

Antec 1200 - $160

Antec CP-850 - $120 (Get TP 650 if you'll never use twin GFX cards) CP is a super PSU and a great bargain

ASUS P6T Deluxe v2 - $290

Intel i7 920 - $280

3*2GB DDR3 1600
.....CAS 6 will cost ya $200+
.....CAS 7 will cost ya $170+
.....CAS 6 will cost ya $150+

HD - Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $85

Heat Sink - Prolimatech Megahalems w/ IC Diamond karat 7 Thermal grease - $72

Optical - Plextor 320SA - $135

Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse $35 hot deal
http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/Logitech-G9-Laser-Gaming-...

Logitech G15 - $90

Asus ASUS VW246H Black 24" - $220

If my math is right, that leaves you with $313 for GFX cards and there's a 3 way tie here
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

My thinking is:

If you think you'll upgrade GFX by XMas 2011 get the twin 260's
If not, get the twin 5770's

If you are into PhysX, the 1st choice works. If you want the 5770's and still want PhysX, set aside an extra $100 for a dedicated PhysX card and do this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-ATI-physx-patch...

If ya don't know what PhysX does, read these:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/batman-arkham-asylu...

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/batman_arkham_asylu...

Leaves you with $3 to spare :) 

Oops...left out a fan for the HS.....pick one (or 2) off here at the bottom:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
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November 17, 2009 11:01:04 PM

^Over kill on the heatsink man. As for PhysX, dose it benefit the games OP listed?
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November 18, 2009 8:58:28 AM

for some reason i can't edit my original post... i just wanted to edit to make it legible.


i'm your dream machine!

(sorry i couldn't resist)

your budget will easily get what you ask, but ultimately it depends on whether you would prefer to save a lot of that $ for excellent value gear, with great satisfaction (i'd feel a bit deflated after spending an extra $500 on potential i'd never use). remember that top-of-the-line stuff is over-priced right now, and a few months down the line it won't be 'the best pc possible'.

value at the moment would be:

i5 750
2x2gb ddr3
asus p55 ddr3 mobo
radeon 4890 or gtx275 (or if you want to have at least one 'luxury' piece, i recommend the new 5850)
antec 300 case
550w psu (get a bigger psu if you plan on upgrading down the line, crossfire etc)

you should think really hard before choosing to buy best-of-the-best stuff (i7 socket 1366, radeon 5870) because unless you are an absolute extremist - you will not notice any difference. as you consider yourself a noobette, i would advise against it. maybe i'm acting out of place, just FYI i'm a game fiend having recently built the above system for myself. through extensive testing i'm very happy with my choice.

framerate in games will come down to resolution, which will depend on your personal preference of monitor size. a 21-22 inch is perfect for me, with a native 1680x1050 resolution the radeon 4890 can destroy anything. any higher and you may want to consider the 5850 or crossfire. if your current monitor is smaller than 21 inch, then i'd go for the 21 inch - because the step up will already be jawdropping without the need to get an extra few inches for an extra few hundred $.

for tips on building up, the instructions are pretty easy to follow - and if there are any "WTF" moments - ask the almighty google for help. easier than making a post on a forum and having to wait for a reply.
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November 18, 2009 12:51:35 PM

And here I was thinking that something with glitter and ponies was the right thing to suggest!

On a serious note... this is the monitor that I bought...

http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-vw224u-22-widescreen-lcd-m...

And for $139, I really don't think you're going to beat it. It absolutely blows away my 20.1 inch laptop screen. If you don't need above 1680 X 1050 resolution this is a good way to go. Mine had zero dead pixels and Asus has already mailed me my rebate card. Just a suggestion!
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November 18, 2009 2:24:40 PM

I would go the 920 route for a better upgrading path in the future, 860 is a good way to go too, but really not that much difference in price <200 for what I would do.

This is pretty close to the build I will be looking at doing in February. Can always change a few things around for lower price, etc.

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6TD Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7D G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don't really need an aftermarket cooler if you don't plan on Overclocking, I am and will be getting a Prolimatech Mega Shadow Deluxe Edition with a couple of Enermax Fans.

Comes out to about $1750 US, can be lower if you combo some of them together. And I remembered after I finished that you needed newegg.ca but parts should be the same :p  Add in another 150ish for mouse/keyboard.

I am still undecided what mouse/keyboard I want to get but I am looking at either logitech or razer for both.
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November 18, 2009 2:32:55 PM

Since I am bored at work, this would be my 860 build :p 

Same Case, HD, Monitor, Vid Card, only changes I would make would be cpu/ram/mobo.

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with NF200 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMG4GX3M2A1600C7 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo might be a bit overboard but has a ton of features for future upgrading and plenty of room for anything. And only 10 more then the p7p55 deluxe and 30ish more then the Maxiumus Gene. So worth the extra money imo.

Price difference of $105 US with those parts. Could add in an SSD as well, but still fairly expensive.
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