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New Gaming Rig

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January 13, 2010 6:10:49 PM

I know you guys probably have these questions usually once a week with the same questions blah blah.. I know.. Im sorry for this.. lol

Im building my FIRST gaming rig from the ground up. I do NOT need a monitor as i have one already. Everything else is needed. So far i think this is a pretty decent set up for the money but what id like is some suggestions on where to cut the price WITHOUT sacraficing any performance whatsoever. Ive done a little research on all the parts im buying so a few things in my list are a must buy. (Mobo brand, Mouse, Keyboard, So-so on the GPU, PC Case) Other than that im open to suggestions. Please keep in mind that this is a pure gaming rig. Yes i will be surfing the web, Music, Downloading. Usual stuff. Nothing that needs a lot of power outside of the gaming. Also, The PSU i chose, (Generic i know) is in there because it comes as a combo with the case. If i can get a much better PSU that will run everything ive chose AND is in the same price range, Please let me know.

Cash limit: $1500 (without shipping costs or any rebates)
Reason: Wife.. lol
Nvidia fanboy
Want to stick to intel for this build

Would like to play basically ALL current games as high as possible. Crysis included.

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

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA GTX 285:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Razer Lycosa Keyboard

Razer Deathadder Mouse

Artic Silver 5

G.Skill Ripjaw 6GB DDR3:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case, PSU combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU, Mobo Combo: (i5 750/EVGA P55 FTW)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now i know the keyboard has had some bad reviews in a few places or whatever but im a W,A,S,D man myself so i dont see it being a problem. I love that case and the way it looks. I would love to have one with a window to see everything but then again i like the whole "Guess what i have in my box" idea. lol The GPU, I kinda spoiled myself a little on. Seems excessive in my opinion but like i said, I wanna play everything maxed for at least the better half of 2010. I think this is a pretty good build from everything ive read. Again its a strict gaming rig so i dont care about it taking 3 hours to code a video or whatever. As long as it will play whatever i want to throw at it without puking. In MY opinion, Ive gone a little overboard here or there and i dont really want to spend that much, But i cant help wanting quality. xD The price it is now is fine, but if i can get better performance for cheaper than something i chose, Please help me find those areas. lol

Thanks in advance. Ill watch this thread for a few days up to a week to see all suggestions and reply to questions. I have until next week when my student loans come through to make my final choice. I want to order everything by thursday of next week tho. 1/22/10

More about : gaming rig

a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 6:50:38 PM

You don't want to use that triple channel RAM kit with an LGA 1156 system. Those chips use a dual-channel RAM controller. Here's come nice CAS 7 DDR3 1600 RAM:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail $109.99

To bad you're an "Nvidia Fanboy". Nvidia doesn't offer any compelling parts right now IMO. The ATI 58xx series offers much higher performance for less money. They also use a lot less power, run cooler, and offer DX11. I would lose your loyalty to Nvidia and pick up a superior ATI GPU. The 5850 offers amazing price/performance. Here's a combo of a 5850 and 64-bit Windows 7:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $384.98

This combo gives you both a better case and PSU while saving you money:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $149.97 - $40 MIR's (HAF 922 + OCZ StealthXStream 700W PSU combo)

Here's a combo that gives you a more future-proof motherboard that supports SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 and saves you even more money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $364.98 (i5 750 + Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P combo)
January 13, 2010 7:04:43 PM

I agree with shortstuff, right now there are few reasons to pick an Nvidia graphics card. The GTS 250 at the low-end has some merit if 4850s are not available, but beyond that ATI has a better performing DX11 card for the same or lower price. The only other exception is if you play one of the few games that uses PhysX. ATI has far fewer driver issues now that AMD owns them.

By the end of March, Nvidia's 300 series will be officially announced and maybe at that point they will have a contender that is not overpriced, but I wouldnt hold my breath.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 7:08:53 PM

I second all of shortstuff's suggestions, with two additions. First, the Hydro series isn't worth it. Grab a Coolermaster Hyper 212 for $50 less for better cooling. Second, you can save $15 by grabbing this Samsung DVD burner. It's only $23 shipped vs. the $38 for the Sony.

And now for my railing against nVidia and fanboy-dom in general. Nothing nVidia has out will be able to play Crysis on max. Only the HD 5870 and 5970 do that.

If there was ever a time to mention a sinking ship, it's right no about nVidia. Not only are their buttocks being handed to them now, but the parent company (Intel) is more focused on CPUs and integrated CPU/GPU solutions. They've all but given up on the high end discrete GPU market.

Fermi, supposedly due out mid-March, has all the indications of being weaker than the 5xxx series. The main report is that it runs a lot hotter than the ATI offerings. They even had to team up with Thermaltake to make a case specifically for multiple card machines. If that doesn't scream overheating, then nothing does. This report indicates to me that they had to massively overclock the cards in the factory to even compete. ATI's 5970, which is two 5870s in one, was actually downclocked.

Though, being a fanboy, you should be used to paying more for less by now.

Mid-March is going to be a sad time for you fanboys. Have fun playing all those old games, while us open minded people play the new ones for you...
January 13, 2010 7:20:31 PM

MadAdmiral said:
First, the Hydro series isn't worth it. Grab a Coolermaster Hyper 212 for $50 less for better cooling.
THe Hyper 212 isnt better than the H50, just almost as good for far cheaper.

MadAdmiral said:
If there was ever a time to mention a sinking ship, it's right no about nVidia. Not only are their buttocks being handed to them now, but the parent company (Intel) is more focused on CPUs and integrated CPU/GPU solutions. They've all but given up on the high end discrete GPU market.
Intel is not nvidia's parent company. Nvidia and intel hate each other probably more than AMD and intel hate each other. It is true that Nvidia has chosen to focus on GPGPU architecture instead of dedicated graphics cards. They have even stated their intention for the early Fermi release to be focused on their GPU supercomputers and not gaming graphics cards.
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 7:26:46 PM

Another thing about the Hydro is that it's pump makes a noticeable noise, and therefore only really worth getting if you can put it into a case that dampens the noise and you want to overclock your CPU pretty hard. Once you do that in a gaming system the cooling solution for the video card will be reduced, altho with a 5000 series ATI card it won't matter as much as they run cooler.
I agree about getting the HAF 922, it has been shown to be the best cooling case, and it's interior design is quite superior to the Xclio case. If you want to stick with a modular PSU, you could get the modular version of the PSU in short_stuff's combo, the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W, which is $90, free shipping and has a $20 rebate. You might not be saving much money, but they are generally better components.
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 7:31:55 PM

I'm not sure where that comment about Intel being Nvidia's parent company came from. Like dndhatcher said, the two companies are certainly not affiliated in any way.

Either way, being a fanboy just limits your possibilities for absolutely no good reason. Being open to what's best at the time, regardless of what company makes the product is a much better way to look at the computer market in general. I have no preference between any company, I just buy the best components that my money can buy at the time. That means I've bought components from Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and ATI.
January 13, 2010 7:31:56 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Nothing nVidia has out will be able to play Crysis on max.


My gtx 295 does pretty well :p 

/troll

I agree that ATI currently pwns the market and is absolutely the better choice today.
January 13, 2010 7:36:02 PM

what ya waiting for take it
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 7:36:34 PM

meh. Sure it's cheap, but it's not 80+ certified, doesn't have any 8-pin PCI-E connectors, and has pretty low amps on the 12v rail. I guess if money is really tight it's not a bad PSU, but I wouldn't use it. At least it has active PFC, so it would do in a pinch.
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 7:42:13 PM

I can't, the site is blocked by my work internet filters. I'm just saying I'm not tripping over myself stocking up on them.
January 13, 2010 7:44:14 PM

yeah ok but hey its $50 off

here is a sample of the review

So now let's take a look at the scoring....

Performance (weight of 40%): Once again, an Etasis built unit almost gets a perfect 10. The voltage regulation was good, ripple and noise minimal, no unexpected changes in the hot box, active power factor correction, acoustic noise was what would be expected from a unit this capable. But with efficiency consistently under 80% instead of typically over get the ET850 a 9.5 in performance.

Aesthetics (weight of 10%) is 7.5. It's getting better. The gray is a nice change and the blue and black sleeving is really nice. But twisted wires does nothing for me. Just as an FYI: the CURRENT version of the Zeus ST85ZF would score an extra point in this category because they now sleeve all of the cables. If this is important to you, make sure you check out both units. And it's really too bad that the "Etasis" logo doesn't face out when the PSU is installed. That would look very cool and might have been worth another point.

Value (weight of 30%): When I reviewed the ST85ZF, it's price was just over $300 and I gave it a 9 for value. That price has since dropped to $229 so if reviewed today it would definitely score higher. At SundialMicro, the ET850 reviewed today costs $4 less at $225. It's not much of a price difference, but with the different housing color, different colors on the sleeved cables and different connector count it opens up another option for those needing an 8800GTX SLI certified power supply. So for value, I'm giving the ET850 a 9.5.

Now for the functionality score (weight of 20%) Of course, it's not modular, external or does any thing that really sets itself apart from any other power supply. But the cables are plenty long enough, the unit isn't over sized despite being able to put out 850W, it comes with four PCI-e connectors, plenty of drive power connectors, both Molex and SATA, but unlike the Silverstone Zeus, the connectors are not labeled as to what 12V rail they're on. In fact, not even the manual can help here. For this category, the ET850 gets an 8.5.
Performance 9.5
Aesthetics 7.5
Value 9.5
Functionality 8.5
Total Score 9
January 13, 2010 10:31:22 PM

Shortstuff and Dndhatcher, I have a few question for you guys if you dont mind answering them.
1. I really wanted to get more than 4GB of RAM, Thats why i went with the set i chose. I did not however know that they werent compatible as thats one area that i dont know a lot about PC's. What options do i have for 6GB?

2. Like i said im a nvidia fanboy. Not a hardcore Nvidia, Not so much as to where i wont buy anything else. Its just that i like their products. As i said tho, I want the best i can get. Plus i dont know if this is just hype or fanboyism but ive heard that a lot of games arent compatible with certain ATI cards. Any truth to that?

3. If i were to choose an ATI card, Which one should i go with? Im looking for top end cards here. I dont want to mess with a smaller card and have to buy another in 6 months. Hence the reason i went with the GTX 285.

4. Is there anything significantly wrong with the case i chose? From the reviews ive read, They say they are pretty reliable and are excellent for cooling. The case you linked is so- so for me. Im going strictly by looks. Id like to get one with a clear door on the side so that i can see the inside, But i cant see myself paying $100 more just for the view. I also dont know very much about cases so i didnt want to pick one with a view and get robbed for the cooling.

5. Overclocking is a must for this system. I basically know zero about OC'ing, But i fully intend to try to get the most i can out of this system. Is there any truth to what
MadAdmiral says about the Corsair cooling i picked up? I dont want to push this system to its max, as i want it to last me for a few years, But i definatly want to OC pretty much everything pretty high.

6. Would that Gigabyte board support SLI or the ATI equivelent of SLI? If so, would i be better off buying one big ATI card or two cards for the same price of the big one and running them in SLI?

I greatly appreciate all the help. Like i said, Im open to suggestions all day, I just dont want to buy something that will have to be replaced in 6 months due to being weak. Im joining the Army in a few months and i will need something that will last me at least 2 or 3 years until i can save up enough to go all out and spend 2 or 3k on a gaming PC. Until then tho, I need something that will kill everything i throw at it.

Last note: I have a win 7 64 bit home premium disk already so i dont really need that. I just need all the components listed unless theres something i left out. The list i posted in the first place is my ENTIRE cart. lol Im pretty sure its all i need but then again, This is the first time i will actually be building my own rig from the ground up.

EDIT: Is there something wrong with the mobo i chose? I kinda like its look tbh. Im not so worried about the future SATA6 and the USB 3. No offence but to my novice eyes, It appears that thats all the board has to offer really. I liked the EVGA board cuz of the reviews and the OC potential everyone said it had. Also the Nvidia fanboy side kicked in and got excited about it. lol Seriously tho, I like the black on grey look. Kinda simple but at the same time with great features.
January 13, 2010 10:39:12 PM

first of all, thank you for your future service.

1. Dual channel kits come in 4gb sets usually...so 8gb of dual channel ram is a good option.

2. No games are only compatible with only nvidia or only AMD

3. the best single GPU ATI card available is the 5870:

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

AMD also has a dual GPU single card similar to nvidia's GTX 295 (HD 5970...very hard to find still). Do some research on this topic.

4. I see nothing wrong with your case if you're buying for looks. I am not sure about your PSU though and have not seen any reviews on it. Others know more than me here.

5. OC is largely temperature dependent, but RAM temps generally don't become an issue (maybe with a fully populated mobo running 8 gigs). You shouldn't be throttled by a good set of 1600 RAM.

6. ATI equivalent of SLI is called crossfire (or xfire). You'll have to look at the individual specifications for each board and determine which they support.
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 11:52:32 PM

I was completely wrong about the Intel/nVidia thing. What I was looking at was an article that some analysts expect Intel to buy nVidia. Sorry for any confusion there...

On the Etasis PSU, that review as for the ET850 not the ET750. While it might seem to be relevant, it really isn't. There are a lot of brands that have really good large (or small) wattage units, but make horrible units in other sizes. I also don't buy using looks to score something almost no one looks at. I also don't see how a $225 850W PSU from an unknown company can be considered a 9.5 in value.
January 14, 2010 12:10:58 AM

1> Get 4*2GB sticks for 8GB total or 2*4GB. Im not sure about current 4GB stick prices.

2> Used to be somewhat true a couple years ago, but now its a fairly level playing field.

3> Both the ATI 5850 and 5870 are faster than the 285. The 5870 is the best you can buy if you have the $400 budget for it.

4> I dont see anything that looks bad about the case, but I have no idea if the power supply is even safe. Could be that xclio contracted with seasonic and its a top quality PSU or maybe its a cheap piece of junk that will someday spike and destroy some of your other internals. Have to google for professional reviews. My tastes run more streamlined like the Antec 1200 and 900.

5> I responded to MadAd already. The hyper 212 is a great cooler for the price and will let you overclock an i5 750 to around the 4GHz range. Its unlikely upgrading to the H50 will get you more than a 200MHz over than that. There are other aircoolers like the Xigmatek Dark Knight the fall between in both price and performance.

The thing is overclocking that higher will give you huge power and heat increases (and consequently more risk of wear) for smaller returns in performance. You might be able to overclock to a nice 3.6GHZ without raising voltages and get most of the speed benefit with a fraction of the power and heat increases. You really should go through the CPU articles over the past year and see what overclocking does in power and heat vs performance and try to find a nice efficient middle ground.
<toms already did most of the work for you - 3.2GHz with turbo boost on seems a good way to go>
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-750-efficie...

EVGA is a top end motherboard manufacturer. If they were around the same price I would choose them over any other manufacturer. DFI also makes good motherboards (what I am running now) but they tend to be more expensive also. Generally Gigabyte and sometimes ASUS have the best price/feature/reliability ratios so they are what I most often end up recommending.

EVGA is pretty much an Nvidia shop and they dont list crossfire on that board, only SLI. Then again you will see they dont list crossfire on any of their motherboards but I beleive they will do it. Best bet is to email EVGA support and ask them before you buy. (And post the answer here please!)
January 14, 2010 12:50:18 AM

Well after reading all the comments on this thread ive made a few changes. Hopefully for the better. I lost the RAM, the PSU, DVD Drive, and the H50. Ive swapped them all out with these:

G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

The Samsung DVD Drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hyper 212:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now comes another few questions.

1. Does the name brand on the GPU matter when it comes to the 5870? If so, Which one should i go with? Im looking for the 1GB $400 range cards. Best of the Best.

2. The ATI card, Will it comply with the EVGA board? No xfire, Just by itself? As in, I wont have problems with the board not wanting to recognize the card or run the card properly? The 5870 by itself.

I cant think of any of questions at the minute, you guys pretty much covered everything for me. (Thanks a lot! :)  ) About the case, Ive read a few reviews on it. Most of em were from the '07 '08 time frame but they all gave good reviews nontheless. I like the look of the case. Its sorta hidden, sleek looking, and kinda stealthish in my opinion. Plus all the reviews said that its an excellent cooler due to the fans on the side. I also like the temp gauge/probe. Im curious as to whether or not i can put the probe literally ON the CPU and have it just monitor the temp on it without melting or corrupting the probe in any way shape or form. I guess that would be a question for somebody that has the case tho. As far as OC'ing goes, I want to do it, But not to an extreme competition deal. Just enough to keep everything safe and get the most out of everything.
a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2010 12:55:17 AM

1.) No. A lot of people like XFX's double lifetime warranty, which allows you to sell it once with a lifetime warranty intact.

2.) Yes.
January 14, 2010 1:26:00 AM

Sapphire 5870:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A lot of good reviews on the card so ill go with it. :) 

Last question. The PSU i chose, Will it be enough to run everything and then some? I know a lot of PSU and GPU's are pretty selective when it comes to being able to run at full power. So i guess my question would be, Will this PSU allow the 5870 to run at its peak performance?

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

EDIT: Fixed the link for the PSU
a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2010 10:29:05 AM

The link doesn't work. The newer cards aren't as much of energy hogs as they used to. I'm assuming that's the 700W though. If that's the case, it will be more than enough to run everything. It might have some trouble if you Crossfire, but you should still be alright.
January 14, 2010 1:15:22 PM

Alright well i guess ive got everything i need for this build. :)  Hopefully this thing will be a monster when it comes to games. Ill still monitor this thread for a few days to see about extra things i might wanna put in there for accessories and what not. If anyone has any suggestions on that id be much appreciative! :)  I dont need any webcams or mic's or anything like that. Just when it comes to OC'ing or gaming. Little things to make it more convinent.

Thanks to everyone that helped me! Im glad i signed up for TomsHardware! :) 
January 14, 2010 5:05:09 PM

Definitely post back once its built, with some pictures even would be cool.
January 15, 2010 12:58:58 AM

Can do. Like i said, Itll be next week sometime before i can actually order it all. Week after next im hoping to have it finished. I changed the case out for a Storm Sniper. That case looks so nasty. lol Plus i half ass pushed the wife into letting me spend more and have got some extra fans for the case and some LED's and a fan controller. All in all its gonna run me about $1700 lol $1900 after shipping. Ill definatly come back here with THAT pc and post some pics of it. I have a feeling this thing is going to be crazy looking. Kinda wish i had the extra cash laying around to do some professional water cooling in it tho. Oh well. Still a solid build in my book! :) 

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

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

Storm Sniper Side Panel:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CM 120MM Fan: (To replace the hyper 212 fan)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Delta 150CFM 120MM Bottom Intake Fan: (For the case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LOGISYS 12" DUAL COLD CATHODE KIT: (To make the side panel view better xD )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this is going to be a killer build. Ill definatly come back to post pics for everyone! Thanks again for all the help! Very much appreciated! :) 
!