~$2500 Gaming Build

Approximate purchase date: Probably by the end of this month (Jan. '10)

Budget range: ~2500 USD not taking into account rebates

System usage: Nothing but gaming. Might run several applications at once or recording / live streaming gameplay.

Parts not required: I'll need everything; monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. but those wont come from the budget I've mentioned.

Preferred website for parts: I'll probably be buying locally since I'm in Taiwan.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Sometime in the future, maybe after a year or two.

Monitor resolution: 1920x1200 or 1920x1080

Additional comments: Noise isnt an important factor for me, looking for highest performance and lowest temps.

Heres a list of parts I've put together so far --

Mobo - P6T Deluxe

CPU - i7 960 3.2GHz

Memory - Corsair Dominator 6GB Kit DDR3-1600

Video Card - Sapphire HD 5970

Sound - (Onboard)

Hard Drive - 1TB WD Caviar Black

Case - Cooler Master HAF 932

PSU - Probably any of the 650-850W Corsairs

CPU Cooling - Prolimatech Mega Shadow

Thermal Paste - Arctic Silver 5

OS - Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit

My main concern is, would the Mega Shadow get in the way of the Corsair Dominators? Also, if anyone is using an identical, or slightly similar setup could you please post a pic or two so I can get an idea of what it looks like altogether (=

Would 120 x 25 fans be ideal for this heatsink too? probably in a north/south

I'm going to use this computer primarily for gaming so I was looking at the i7's or Phenom II x4's but it seems the i7 pulls ahead. Because I lack experience in OC'ing I chose the i7 960 for a higher clock speed, the 975 is too pricey.

Temperatures are probably going to be a bigger problem for me than anything else. I'm in Taiwan where its about mid 30's celcius for more than half the year. I'll be in a room with AC while playing sometimes but not all the time. WC is also where I lack experience in so I'm going to stay with air for a while.

If you guys could spare you $0.02 I'd much appreciate the help ^_^
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 2500 gaming build
  1. Looks like you are planning on building a monster, my friend. There are a few things you should change since they seem unnecessary. You won't need the i7 960. Just select the i7 920 and OC the hell out of it. A fair share of them hit 4GHz on air so there is really no reason to pay more for the i7 960. Overclocking isn't hard at all. Just do an hour of reading and some Youtube tutorials and you will have enough knowledge to overclock safely.

    The Megashadow. I'm about 90% sure they will conflict with your Dominator RAM. I would be 100% sure if it was any other platform you were building on. I'm sure some of the guys here on Tom's will know for sure. If you get pick up a pair of Mushkin Enhanced Redline modules they will not conflict with installing the Megashadow, that is a fact. Just adjust the fan placement a bit North on the side crossing your RAM modules.

    5970 with Crossfire in mind? Really, do you want to spend that much for a little performance boost with Quadfire? I would just get the single 5970 if I was ever to get one of those monsters and a P55 platform since their processors are better performers. The Dominators are pretty solid overclocking modules but you won't need to overclock if you grab the Mushkin Enhanced Redlines. They have the best timings I've ever seen for DDR3. I have a pair myself for my AM3 build, they're great. Also you will want a 750W power supply since you are working with the Beast, I mean 5970.

    Other than that you are looking good. [:bohleyk:1]

    Best cooler out right now I think... and it looks really good. It just was announced so it'll take a week or two before you can buy it, but who knows... by the time you're ready to order it may be an option.

    Also, I'd seriously consider BohleyK's advice... a 920 will overclock EASILY to speeds that far exceed that 960... and with that $300 you save, drop it on a good SSD drive for your boot drive. SSD for boot drive + mechanical HD for data/games = WIN.
  3. This is what I would do given your budget and your intended system usage.

    CPU: Intel i7 860 $280
    MOBO: Asrock P55 Extreme $140
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CAS 7 Vol 1.6V $110
    PSU: Corsair HX 850W Modular 80+ Silver $180
    CASE: Cooler Master HAF 932 $140
    SSD: Crucial CT128M225 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC $430
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB $55
    GPU: Which ever 5970 $700
    DVD Drive: Bog standard SATA Burner $30
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V10 $125 One of the best air coolers, cools ram as well. If it doesn't fit in the HAF 932 (which it should) nor the Asrock Extreme, then these would have to be changed. I'm pretty confident it will fit in the case, but not so sure about the mobo, someone else or a google search will have to answer this.
    Corsair H50 $80 Better than the majority of air coolers, simple enough to install. With the HAF 932 case nothing will impede the noise of the pump, so up to you if you are prepared to put up with that kind of noise.

    Total: $2065
    (+$130 for V10
    +$70 for H50)

    As you can see this will be quite a bit cheaper and it is just as good as the x58 setup. If you really want the best CPU without overclocking then the best option above the i7 860 is the i7 870, no other CPU above these really justify the cost for gaming, and these are pretty much overkill already.
    The Asrock does allow for crossfiring in case you ever do need it, which is unlikely. You might want to look at another board if you want to avoid a foxconn socket, but as you aren't overclocking it probably won't be an issue.
    Fast, low latency, low voltage RAM from a very good RAM manufacturer.
    Very good PSU, powerful enough for this system as is.
    The second best cooling case. Pretty large, should be large enough to house everything.
    A pretty fast and large SSD. Same for HDD for storage.
    Most powerful GPU around atm.
  4. @ BohleyK:

    I think I'll give overclocking a shot, I've heard how easy the i7 920's (or just the i7's in general) were to overclock. I've skimmed over a guide about it but it still seems rather complicated. Maybe I should just be more patient, sit down with a hazelnut latte and give it another read (=

    i7 920 it is then XD

    As for the memory, I'll take a look at the Mushkin Enhance Redline you mentioned ^^ Just on a side note, I heard using DDR3 above 1333 requires entering BIOS manually and .. changing someting?.. otherwise it functions at the default 1333 even if DDR3-1600's are installed? >_< Sorry I guess I'll need to look into that myself as well :P

    @ rodney_ws:

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, I know least of heatsink (and fans to use with it) and memory when selecting the better brand and make. I originally chose the CM V8, but was given test results showing the thermalright ultra 120 was better, then someone else suggested the megahalems/megashadow before I posted this XD

    @ Silvune

    When I first read what you suggested I was considering taking the easy way and getting a i7 860 and not have to OC. But I guess theres a first time for everything (= the experience should prove helpful later on when I upgrade or build new systems anyhow ^_^ But nonetheless, thanks for your pick on the PSU. I only knew Corsair/Seasonic, Antec, OCZ seem to be the top choices, but didnt have an exact brand and make in mind (=
  5. I've been very busy lately and finally found time to finalize my build so heres the updated list:

    i7 920
    P6TD v2
    Mushkin Redline 6GB DDR3-1600
    Radeon HD 5970 (or 5870 til I eventually get one)
    Samsung Spinpoint f1 1TB
    CM HAF 932
    OCZ StealthXstream 700W OR Corsair CMPSU 750HX
    Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
    Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit

    I switched out the WD Caviar Black for the Samsung Spinpoint f1 because I've read in several other posts about the Samsung being the better hard drive of the two. What is the difference between f1 and f3 anyways? >_>

    As for the size of the PSU, would a ~700W be sufficient? Assuming I'm going to OC the i7 920 to probly 3.4-3.6 and a single 5970 at stock. I've always used Corsair but I heard the OCZ StealthXstream was just as good, and its slightly cheaper than the Corsair 750HX. Not that I'm trying to skimp on the most vital part of the computer of course XD Would the OCZ psu cables be long enough for me to run them behind the MB? Lastly, what is a modular or continuous PSU?
  6. Best answer
    You have an excellent build there.

    Get the F3, not F1. The difference is age and the F3 is new so its obviously faster. I would stick with the Corsair PSU. It has more power, longer warranty, and I know the cables are long enough. OCZ is a good brand but you mine as well get the Corsair since you have a powerful GPU and an excellent motherboard. They both have enough power to run your system so no worries either way.

    Modular PSU's have cable attachments. Which means that you can put in the cables you want and take out the ones you don't need leaving you with a less cluttered chassis with better airflow. Almost all PSU's now a days are continuous power which means they give the rated power constantly at certain efficiency. 80+ Bronze efficiency rating and above is what you should be looking for.
  7. Thanks again for the respones, BohleyK (:

    Going to order the parts and put them together when they arrive
  8. You're welcome!

    If this is your first build check out the sticky on how to build one here in the Tom's forums. Its very straight forward.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product