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$2400 Gaming PC

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December 9, 2009 9:35:15 PM

I'm looking for some advice and recommendations on a new gaming PC I would like to build this month. The last time I built a PC was approximately 2-3 years ago and have been doing some research and have a build idea in mind that I will list below. Thanks in advance if you are able to help with this.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: December 2009
BUDGET RANGE: $2300-$2400 before rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 90% Gaming (World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Call of Duty - Modern Warfare, and many others) and 10% Watching Movies and Video/Photo Editing (HD Quality)- I run dual monitors and like to watch movies/surf the net while gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Currently have keyboard, mouse, 2 monitors and stereo w/ usb connection I will be using from current computer. I also do not require an OS - will be running Windows 7.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Currently restricted to NewEgg (preferred account)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Looking for good quality parts that I won't run into issues with like my current PC.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - I would like to OC, but unfamiliar with anything beyond what I read.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe - Does a Radeon 5970 count?
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 24" Gateway (really nice) and 28" HG or something (horrible to watch movies on or game on anythign where you need to distinguish dark colors) both running 1920x1200 (I believe this is the correct resolution).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Current PC: Homebuilt - Intel C2D E4600@2.4GHz, 2GB memory, 2x500GB HDD (no raid due to EVGA MB with issues), 2xNvidia 8800 GTS 640MB - SLI.

Proposed build:
Cooler Master HAF 932 $140
Corasir 850HX 850W Modular PSU $180
Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz $289 **I plan to attempt to overclock this as long as I can stay stable being on for multiple days at a time**
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU cooler with Artic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $87
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard $290
Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 $180 **this is one I'm really unsure about-don't quite understand memory timings, voltages, etc.**
ASUS Radeon HD 5970 2GB $630 **Brand chosen due to same manufacturer as motherboard - at this point I would buy any one that is available**
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM 16MB SATA drive $110 for 2 **RAID 0 system drive is the plan**
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 32MB SATA drive $90 **Mainly for local video and photo storage**
Lite-On 24X DVD Burner - Retail $32 **I need the rtail version for burning software, or do I?**

The above build puts me right around $2100 including shipping from Newegg. I'm hoping something like this will be a huge noticable improvement from my current PC. Any recommendations on changes to parts or parts I may have missed are greatly appreciated. I have approximately $300 more to work with using the specs above.

A few things that came to mind were:
12GB of memory instead of 6GB
Lower end graphics card
Different cooler/memory
Hard drive choice (these look to have very fast read/write speeds)




More about : 2400 gaming

December 9, 2009 10:15:21 PM

Ok soo it looks pretty good but mabye a few adjustments, for hard drives go for some samsung spinpoint f3's theyre 500gb platters are much faster, second 12gb of ram shows little to no improvementin gaming and is only useful if you are a heavy CS4 user, Next graphics card is up to you but at this point with your budget I would stick with a 5970 or 5870, the noctua cooler is pretty good if you want better you could get a prolimatech megahalem, finnally for the mother board unless your getting a good deal on the p6t v2 I would go with a P6TD or P6X58D.
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December 9, 2009 10:17:50 PM

The Seagate 7200.12 500GB is only an OK drive. The Samsung F3 is more consistently fast for the same price. The F3 comes in both 500GB and 1TB models. Im not sure if Raid 0 makes much sense as it will at best halve load times and gives greater chances of HDD failure. Might just stick with one good drive and get an SSD later.

12GB wont give you any benefit for gaming.

You should be near maxing out almost anything but Crysis with a 5870 at 1920x1200 single monitor. Multiple monitors or 2560x1600 is where the 5970 might make more sense.
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December 9, 2009 11:16:58 PM

What Aloid said. You can dramatically lower the price of your system without losing any performance.
I guess a 5870 will be fine, you can still add another one later on.
As dndhatcher said, think about getting an SSD instead, you will love it.

Just a short question, do you really like that case? Because in that price range you can get a beauty like the SILVERSTONE RAVEN RV02. Review.
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December 9, 2009 11:35:02 PM

Beauty is subjective.
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December 10, 2009 12:01:25 AM

Bit off topic here but i've never really liked the red LED fans in the HAF's I just seem to like cases with blue LED fans more, just a personal opinion. But back on topic for the RAM I would be looking for mabye some CAS 7 memory but CAS 8 is just fine and if you want to save a few bucks mabye go with the OCZ gold

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Although I would say for memory Corssair and Mushkin are the best at this point OCZ is currently making some very good memory for x58 motherboards.
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December 10, 2009 12:17:43 AM

By saying 'beauty' I didn't mean to judge the cases solely on its exterior - I am not that shallow :na:  - though I do indeed perceive it as ugly, I rather meant the whole concept of the RAVEN outclasses the HAF. The design is just a plus and I am not a fan of red either, it looks cheapish.
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December 10, 2009 12:29:13 AM

The Raven is unique with its bottom-top airflow. Some reviewers had minor problems because PC components arent designed for that motherboard alignment. Saying it outclasses the HAF is pretty hard to justify as the HAF is almost universally considered one of the best case values available.

The HAF reminds me of LEGOs and I prefer the more streamlined design and cool blue LEDs of Antec cases. My feeling is the airflow on the Antec cases is a bit better but the cable management is easier in the HAFs.
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December 10, 2009 1:37:11 AM

Judging by the reviews it does indeed seem as if the RAVEN outclasses the HAF. Both are excellent though and yet both have some minor flaws. The biggest advantage lies in the airflow though, especially when you plan on ocing.
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December 10, 2009 2:08:28 AM

I feel compelled to reply because I have a thread on building two machines and mine is pretty close to your build. Received a lot of great advice on Building 2 PCs/2K Each - Review/Advice.

HDs: Definitely go for the Samsung's... Lot's of recommendations and great reviews. I'm seriously thinking about getting a 80GB Intel X25 SSD for my OS/apps (mostly games). The thread saved me money to spend elsewhere. ;) 

Mobo: I'm leaning towards the ASUS P6X58D Premium Only $30 more than the deluxe and has technologies you can't use yet. :D 

GPU: I'm going for the 5970 also. I also plan on getting another to CrossFire in a year or so which is why I am getting a Corsair HX1000W PS. Should be able to handle another 5970. Food for thought...

Off topic... How do you like your USB Speakers? I have a set and they sound awesome, but the software kind of crashes during WoW on my current setup. Basically get an annoying pop up stating that "The Resource cou...." I have to kill the process and start the software again. Hopefully will not have this problem with my new set up.
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a c 204 4 Gaming
December 10, 2009 2:09:27 AM

The Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12 are both 500 GB platter drives. the 7200.12 runs much cooler and quieter tho it does get outperformed by the F3 in most benchmarks....however the 7200.12 is better in the gaming benchmark than the F3 (14.6 to 13.9) and multimedia (143.8 to 107.50) ... so it would be wise to consider what you are gonna do with that HD an dthen pick the one that performs the best under your primary conditions.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on∏[2770]=on

The corsair memory is ridiculously overpriced for CAS 9 even w/ the rebate


Here's some CAS 8 for $144

Quote:
Brand chosen due to same manufacturer as motherboard - at this point I would buy any one that is available**


Turns out to be good choice when you call TS and each wants to blame the other for the problem .... BTDT.

The Lite On burner really doesn't fit in that system w/ all those other hi end components. I see you more in a Plextor 320SA

Quote:
I would like to OC, but unfamiliar with anything beyond what I read.


This should provide you w/ the guidance you need.

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&id=...
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December 10, 2009 3:33:17 PM

Thanks for all of the info.

To answer the quest about the USB speaker system. It's a few year old Phillips stereo with a USB connection available. I haven't really had issues with it and in the wirse instances I generall just have to restart the software pushing the audio if I decide to turn it on instead of using my headphones.

I'll definately be going with the new P6X58D motherboard for sort of future proofing (can eventually upgrade to SATA 6GB Hard Drives and add an i9 CPU later down the road if needed).

I'll be swapping to the Plextor drive that was recommended.

I'll probably be sticking with the HAF due to the cable management (which I fail at horribly - current system is in an Antec 900) and really not interested in the look of the case. I just read someone fitting a 5970 into a HAF case and after researching the case it seemed to have good airflow, cable management, and lots of room.

How important would an SSD be to a setup like this? I don't think I have the budget to fit in an expensive one and would a cheap one be worth it, or would I be better off with 2 normal drives in a RAID 0 config and eventually look at SSD when they start coming out for SATA 6GB?

If this thing is stable I doubt I will turn it off much except to blow it out with compressed air from time to time.
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December 10, 2009 3:37:39 PM

On the memory subject also...

What should I be looking for?

I see things like 8-8-8-24.. I've tried researching this online and just confuses me even more.

1600, 2000 rated memory?

I've had bad luck with G.Skill in my old PC, so was looking to stay clear from that brand unless it was a fluke.

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December 10, 2009 4:45:38 PM

There are only a few good SSDs, many are junk so if you do get one make sure its one of the good models.

8-8-8-8-24 is CAS 8. The first number matters the most (lower is better). You wont get much benefit going past 1600 speed RAM (bigger number is better). For price/performance 1333 or 1600 probably make the most sense right now unless you fidn a bargain.
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Best solution

December 10, 2009 6:29:10 PM

I just priced out my system last night and it is almost exactly to what you are building and it came out to $2500. Right now I have a 80GB Intel X25 SSD in my build. The SSD is really only used during boot up for the OS and application. You will notice it in games, but probably not anywhere else like photo editing.

The only other difference is I am going for a Corsair HX1000W PSU so I can get another 5970 card in the future. I also went for the Dark Knight for a cooling unit after comparing reviews, etc. with the Noctua. Great reviews and half the price. Still getting the silver compound though. Research the Noctua, I went to their site and they said that they have a kit for the i7 processor. It's free to order from their site. I'm not sure if it now come with the cooling unit. You don't want to be surprised during your build to find out you need a kit. Maybe someone here knows more about it.

Yea... Memory was pretty hard to decide. I'm sticking with Kingston because although you pay more, I have never come across problems with my builds. Everyone I know buys Kingston for the quality and reliability. I have used others before in builds and have had problems. Someone on my thread recommended G.Skill, but you had problems. This is the problem I see to moving to another brand. You actually find people that had problems it. I was also recommended 1333 and nothing higher than 1600. There are three Kingston 1600 6GB kits. Prices are $174.99, $179.99, and $184.99. The lowest priced one actually has a lower CAS. The other two have the same CAS and are higher than the first. The higher priced is higher profile. To dissipate heat, which actually makes no sense since the DDR3 chips run at a lower voltage and less heat. It's a marketing thing.

Good luck with your build! I'm hoping I have time tonight to order everything. Last night somethings like the Samsung drives were out of stock. Personally I can't wait to play WoW with a higher fps than 3-8. Yes you read correctly, I currently only get 2 - 8fps.
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