$2000-$2500 Gaming Build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: end of January / early February

BUDGET RANGE: $2000-$2500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Pretty much solely for competitive gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: need everything

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: best site I know of is newegg / willing to go anywhere, however, if quality, service, and price are good

PARTS PREFERENCES: none / looking for best performance for my money

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, absolutely

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, prolly will stick with one ATI 5970, though, as crossfire with this board is probably not needed with any current or near future games

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 or >

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Willing to spend $2500 and possibly a little more if significant gains could be had for it. Looking to run graphic intensive games at max resolution and get the best possible performance from my system as a whole. This is, by the way, my first ever attempt to build a system.



Monitor: 28" Hans-G $309.99

I have heard a lot of good things about this monitor and for the price it seems like a good buy.

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor $279.99

I plan to overclock this CPU as much as possible while remaining stable.

MOBO Asus P7P55D-E Pro $189.99

Went will this MOBO/CPU combo as I have heard that it will preform just as well as a I7 920 system. The only thing it lacks in is if you were going to crossfire graphics cards which I don't plan to do in the foreseeable future. Does this sound right?

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 2x 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $219.98

8 GB RAM total

SAPPHIRE 100280OCSR Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Dual GPU Onboard CrossFire Video Card w/ Eyefinity $649.99

Can you overclock one of these and is it valuable to do so?

SSD X25-M 80 gb $269.99

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99

Case HAF 922 $79 after MIR

Bay Converter $7.99 [...] -_-Product

For the SSD

PSU Corsair 850 TX $139.99 $10 MIR

I hear that the 850 TX is more than enough to power my one graphics card

Optical Drive Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R $25.99

OS Win 7 Professional $64.95

Cooler master hyper 212 plus combo with 860 $29.99

Is this the best cooler for my money in this build?


This build currently puts me just over $2300 which leaves my room for a gaming mouse and keyboard.
Any help/suggestions/comments are greatly appreicated
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Ok. Problem #1. Either build with the i5-750 or the i7-920. The 860 is not a good gaming CPU.

    #2: You don't need 8 GB of RAM in a gaming build. Take that extra $100+ and get the i7-920.

    Cheaper Items:

    Combo: HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $100 (after rebates). 700W is by far more than you'll need to Crossfire. OCZ is also a high quality PSU manufacturer, and quite a bit cheaper. (Saves $120)

    Changes to build:

    CPU: i7-920 $289 ($10 increase)

    Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $300 ($110 increase)

    RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 CAS Latency 7 $165 (savings of $55)

    Savings of $55 after rebates, and gets a better gaming system.
  2. I'd look into a i5 750 especially if overclocking. The 860 adds HT, but that's only adding to your heat load for gaming and will more than likely be disabled to raise your oc anyways. They'll both reach 4ghz.

    I'd stick with 4gb of ram over 8gb. The more ram you add the more you're going to run into issues.

    Power Consumption Calculator
    850w is fine unless you do plan on adding a 2nd card for trifire/quadfire. I haven't seen benchmarks of the 5970 running on an 8x slot yet, but I wouldn't think it'd be pretty. The 5870's are pretty much saturating the 8x as it is. So yeah, p55 = Great for single card, ok for dual cards (98pct), and probably really wretched with 3x or more (5970 counts as quasi-2).

    I'd suggest looking into Eyefinity before dropping the cash on the 28" monitor. You might be able to find a setup that keeps you in your budget running 3x smaller monitors with a better overall resolution.
  3. I don't think there's even a reason to look at an i5 with the massive budget.

    On the P55 Crossfire, most benchmarks show that the 8x/8x only comes into play once you use 5970s. That said, it's not a noticeable difference. In addition, you shouldn't be using more than 2 cards in Crossfire anyway. The gains are very small, and not worth the huge price. Thus, everything is horrible for that.

    The 5970 isn't treated as Crossfired by itself. That's it's advantage over the two HD 5870s. It doesn't lose anything to Crossfire.
  4. There's plenty of reason to look at i5, less power consumption, heat and performance that rivals/exceeds x-58 at prices that are substantially lower. Bang for Buck.

    That's exactly what I said.

    The 5970 is dual gpus treated as a single pcb. That being said it's only been tested at 16x bandwidth. No matter how you slice it if you crossfirex two 5970's at 8x a pop it's going to take a massive hit in performance.

    While the 5970 might only be one card, it's still 2 gpus. When you run 2x 5970 it becomes crossfireX and you're looking a a quadfire setup. If you run 1x 5970 and 1x 5870 it's 3 gpus hence the trifire setup. These have been run in x-58 boards, but I've yet to see a benchmark on a p55, and there is good reason for that. We've already seen a single 5870 gobble up the 8x.
  5. So based on replies here is an updated build. I have a few remaining questions if anyone could help?

    1. Is the " XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler " the best CPU cooler I can have for my system or are there other, better, options? (I want to cool with air and not water)

    2. Will the combination of this CPU and MOBO allow me to overclock substantially?

    3. Any thoughts on the monitor?

    4. Any other advice?

    Thanks. By the way this build puts me around $2300 so I have a couple hundred more dollars of wiggle room if you have any suggestions.


    Monitor: 28" Hans-G $309.99

    Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor $288.99

    ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $309.99

    G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $164.99

    SAPPHIRE 100280OCSR Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Dual GPU Onboard CrossFire Video Card w/ Eyefinity $649.99

    SSD X25-M 80 gb $269.99

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99

    Case HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W Power Supply Combo $99.97 after MiR

    Bay Converter $7.99 [...] -_-Product

    Optical Drive Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R $25.99

    OS Win 7 Professional $64.95

    XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler $44.96
  6. 1) A better CPU cooler is the Coolermaster Hyper 212 for $30. It fits every current socket, and its an amazing cooler.

    2) The CPU/mobo will be fine.

    As far as extras, you really have got everything you will need in that build. Depending on the home network configuration, you may want to stick in a wireless receiver. Or pick up a gaming keyboard/mouse and really nice headphones.
  7. Here is the best CPU Cooler out right now that I have seen. Pricey, but I plan on getting one for my new build.
  8. Thanks, yeah if thats the best I don't mind paying the extra 50 $ to keep my system cool. From the reviews it says its fairly easy to install too compared to other options I have looked at.

    The memory I chose is G Skill, my brother however, told me that he heard OCZ or Corsair? were the best. Is the G Skill memory good quality and the best option out there I can buy for my money?

    Thanks again, for all the money I'm investing in this I just want to get a quality system that will not give me headaches/problems.
  9. g skill is good ram at a good price

    and the noctua d14 weighs almost 3lbs did you know that
  10. If you're looking for the best 1366 cooler and don't mind spending the money then there is really only one choice:
    Prolimatech Megahalems
    The do not come with fans, so you'll also need 2x:
    Scythe GentleTyphoons

    It'll run you right at 100 dollars, but nothing else matches it and very few come close.

    The G.Skill ram you've selected defaults to 2T CPC. I have no idea if it'll allow you to change it back to 1T in the bios, but if it's locked into the slower command rate you might look elsewhere.

    The monitor is a TN as are 95pct of all LCD's. If you ever plan on upgrading to Eyefinity down the road you may look for a IPS or PVA, preferably with displayport support. These tend to get rather pricey. You're definitely not going to find one anywhere near the size of the Hans-G without toppling the 1k pricepoint.

    The only one that comes to mind that would stay in the same price range would be the LP HP2275w it's 349.99 but supports everything you need for Eyefinity.

    There's also a 23" NEC ea231wmi. It runs about the same, supports a little higher resolution (1920x1080). It's not available @ newegg.

    If you want to move into the 24" realm and resolutions of 1920x1200 the most affordable option with displayport is a Dell 2408wfp. Again not at Newegg and it'll set you back roughly 450.
  11. Will the Prolimatech Megahalems fit in my HAF 922 case? I hear it is rather large.
  12. In addition to the cooler question above I have one other.

    I'm looking at my memory.

    Currently I had planned on: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

    The timings on this memory are 7-8-7-24-2N

    I'm now looking at: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK

    The timings on this memory are 7-7-7-24

    In addition the OCZ memory is 1.65 Volts and the G Skill is 1.5

    Would all this mean that for $20 more the OCZ will out perform the G Skill?

    Is the OCZ memory the best option for my build? Thanks
  13. I can't speak from personal experience, but I'm in the process of putting together the framework for a similar build, and currently looking at monitors. The Hanns-G 28" is one of the ones I've considered, but I'm starting to have my doubts.

    The Hanns-G 28" (and the i-Inc branded 28", the same monitor) seems to get generally good reviews (most common pro is cost for the size), but a lot of people have complaints about fairly severe backlight bleed and color shifting issues. Sounds like plenty of people don't have the backlight bleed issues, but the frequency of the negative reviews has made me nervous enough to stop considering that particular monitor in favor of 24" or 26" LCDs at about the same price point (Samsung, ASUS, etc.).

    Cheers, and good luck with the rest of your build.
  14. Couple good 24 inch monitor deals on Logic Buy right now, Dell and Acer at 185 and 170. Both HDMI, seems like a couple good deals on monitors
  15. Best answer selected by presse1.
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