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Looking for Advice: Gaming System

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January 20, 2010 9:03:16 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking at purchasing a new Gaming machine, and have researched/picked out a few parts and would now like a second opinion.

Approximate Purchase Date: In about a month or under. Basically whenever my previous gaming build is sold.

Intention for Buying: My current build is decent, but I always have to turn certain effects such as shadows down or off. I'd like something that can run Crysis maxed. And also I'd like it to last--somewhere to five years or higher. So something easily upgradeable is important as well.

Price Range: Below $2600.

Preferred Brand: EVGA; the one time I purchased a Radeon video card, it died on me. Ever since I've used the NVIDIA cards and have been quite happy with them.

Now, on to the parts!

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133021&cm_re=thermaltake_armor-_-11-133-021-_-Product
$144

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211
$570

Motherboard: EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED "Overclocker's Pick" 3-Way SLI + PhysX 1366 Intel X58 EATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188048&cm_re=X58_SLI_motherboard-_-13-188-048-_-Product
$394

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D (x2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224&cm_re=dominator_pc3-_-20-145-224-_-Product
$460

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433&cm_re=seagate_1TB_7200-_-22-148-433-_-Product
$100

Optical Drive: LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136162&cm_re=LG_bluray-_-27-136-162-_-Product
$100

Video Card: BFG Tech BFGEGTX2951792BE GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143192&cm_re=geforce_295_nvidia-_-14-143-192-_-Product
$530

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&cm_re=corsair_power_supply-_-17-139-011-_-Product
$170

************

Total: $2468

I mostly just game, so if there's anything in there that makes you think 'why would he need that?' then please, let me know. Is 850W a proper power supply for this build? I may go SLI with dual 295s after some years.

Anywho, thanks for reading and any assistance!

More about : advice gaming system

January 20, 2010 9:10:15 PM

I would stongly recomend a XFX 5970 or 5870 for this build the GTX 295 is oudated and power hungry I havent had any problems with my 5870 it is just a great card. Next I would change the processor out for the i7 920 you'll save money and the overclock to near the same levels. Third I would on go for one 6gb set of Ram 12gb is overkill unless you are an extremely heavy Auto Cad and CS4 user.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2010 9:19:51 PM

At that budget, you should consider an SSD for your boot/applications drive.

This Intel 160 GB X25-M is $500 and a little bit overkill, but you will notice this upgrade more than most of the others with shorter boot times and shorter application load times.

The 80 GB version is $300 and might be a more cost-effective option right now, though that's really up to you.

The Corsair Dominators are probably not worth the extra $60 you could save by getting either these Mushkin Blackline 1333 MHz CAS 7 or G.Skill 1333 HMz CAS 7 6 GB kits.
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January 20, 2010 9:27:22 PM

I agree with Aloid about the 295. Either get the nearly as fast single core GPU 5870 or the much faster dual core 5970. Why spend that much on a graphics card that wont satisfy your DX11 desires in a couple years.

There are bad nvidia card manufacturers out there, dont make the mistake of extrapolating one bad experience to every ATI manufacturer. EVGA is a good manufacturer, but they dont make ATI cards. Try going with an XFX Radeon card. XFX is a good manufacturer that makes both ATI and Nvidia cards and they have the best graphics card warranty (double lifetime).
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January 20, 2010 9:27:59 PM

coldsleep said:
At that budget, you should consider an SSD for your boot/applications drive.

This Intel 160 GB X25-M is $500 and a little bit overkill, but you will notice this upgrade more than most of the others with shorter boot times and shorter application load times.

The 80 GB version is $300 and might be a more cost-effective option right now, though that's really up to you.

The Corsair Dominators are probably not worth the extra $60 you could save by getting either these Mushkin Blackline 1333 MHz CAS 7 or G.Skill 1333 HMz CAS 7 6 GB kits.



That's a good idea with the solid state... I think that would be something I'd do down the road, or if I could find a deal, etc.
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January 20, 2010 9:57:28 PM

dndhatcher said:
I agree with Aloid about the 295. Either get the nearly as fast single core GPU 5870 or the much faster dual core 5970. Why spend that much on a graphics card that wont satisfy your DX11 desires in a couple years.

There are bad nvidia card manufacturers out there, dont make the mistake of extrapolating one bad experience to every ATI manufacturer. EVGA is a good manufacturer, but they dont make ATI cards. Try going with an XFX Radeon card. XFX is a good manufacturer that makes both ATI and Nvidia cards and they have the best graphics card warranty (double lifetime).


If I do go with the Radeon, should I move away from the EVGA motherboard as well? Or would a radeon card have good compatibility with an EVGA motherboard?
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January 20, 2010 10:04:48 PM

For motherboards personally I would go with the p6x58D it is one of the best you will find
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January 20, 2010 10:11:04 PM

Along with what these guys said, I would STRONGLY recommend the Intel SSD. Buying a 950 over 920 is really a waste because the 920 overclocks so well, and there isn't the added benefit of the unlocked multiplier that the 975 EE has. You could buy a 920 and save nearly 300 bucks.

Or you could maybe use that 300 to buy a 5970.

I think there would be an almost concensus opinion on this board that buying an SSD for a boot drive is a much better use of money than a 950 over a 920, or a second set of 6 gb of ram, etc.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2010 10:14:53 PM

I agree with the above suggestions. You can't write off a manufacturer just because you got one lemon. That happens occasionally with all manufacturer's. The ATI 5xxx series offers much higher performance for the money while using considerably less power, running much cooler, and being quieter. I don't see any reason at all to get an Nvidia GPU right now. That may change when they release their new cards, but who knows when that will be.

The Radeon card will work just fine with whatever motherboard you pick. No motherboard manufacturer is dumb enough to cripple their boards to only work with a certain GPU.
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January 20, 2010 10:24:45 PM

EVGA is also a premium motherboard manufacturer. You could save money by going with an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard. With the i7 920 the ASRock x58 extreme is the cheapest good option. I would go with it or any Gigabyte, ASUS or EVGA x58 motherboard that has the features you want and fits your budget.
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January 20, 2010 11:04:56 PM

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan
$144

Processor: Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 -SLBEJ-

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=38881&vpn=BX80601920%20-%20D0&manufacture=Intel
$346

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614&Tpk=p6x58D
$310

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998691

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226050&cm_re=msuhkin_redline-_-20-226-050-_-Product
$250

Hard Drive: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167024
$500

Optical Drive: LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner
$100

Video Card: 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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102863&cm_re=5970-_-14-102-863-_-Product
$650

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$170

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Total: $2470

Two new questions: The 5970 Graphics Card has different versions, and I'm kinda out of the loop with Radeon, is it a good pick? And What about the motherboard--better choice than the EVGA or no?

EDIT: Fixed my links, didn't seem to like me :( 
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January 20, 2010 11:28:56 PM

Sapphire is great... maybe i would go fot the XFX XXX edition.. but i don't know how well it fares against a Sapphire card. About the motherboard: I guess it's better than EVGA. EVGA is like... say mainstream enthusiast products they've got GREAT image and marketing... but that doesn't surpass ASUS in quality
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January 20, 2010 11:46:12 PM

Is AMD out of the question?? because i'm about to build one for a friend at approximately the same cost which seems to rock
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January 20, 2010 11:55:31 PM

An AMD 955/965 system will rock, but with the same graphics card and internals an i7 920 will roll over it.
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January 21, 2010 12:20:13 AM

^+1

An i7 920 system just rocks the competition... now if only it were 32nm
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January 21, 2010 12:21:35 AM

Maybe it could be less expensive...consider the price of the motherboards
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Best solution

January 21, 2010 12:28:01 AM

Ok so my choices for the main components would probibaly be

Case

Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
159.99
or

Cooler Master HAF 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
139.99

Motherboard

Asus P6TD Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
289.99

Or

Asus P6X58D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] Tpk=p6x58d
299.99
For 10$ more you get usb 3.0 and Sata 6Gb/s

CPU

i7 920 D0
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=3888 [...] ture=Intel
346.39
Costs a bit extra but overclocks better

Heat Sink

Thermalright Venomous
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=4826 [...] ermalright
75.99

Video Cards

3xXFX 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
929.97

or

XFX 5970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
669.99

or

2xXFX 5870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
809.98


RAM

Corsair XMS3 CL 7-7-7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
179.99

or

Mushkin Redline CL 7-6-7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
239.99

PSU

If you go with the Antec 1200 get the CP-850 for sure
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] k=CP%20850
139.99

Otherwise

Corsair HX-850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] k=hx%20850
179.99

Hard Drive


I still like two of these in Raid 0 they offer great performance
Samsung Spinpoint F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
2x54.99

Mabye a Solid state like this for a boot drive and one of those Spinpoints if you want to go that route
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product






Total cost: Around $2400
If you shop around i'm sure you'll find better prices and NCIX matches anyone

Those are my recomendations

This is a bit of a copy and paste, with a few modifacations, from a post of mine in another thread I hope it helps

A bit of extra info

The i7 920 is older, more tried and true, and better for Crossfire SLI setups still the best choice for high performance rigs

The i7 860 is newer and performs better at stock but i would recomend a i5 750 if you want to go the socket 1156 route

The intel cpu's are definetly the way to go at this budget, although the AMD's are clocked higher they are outperformed by the intels at stock and even more when overclocked
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January 21, 2010 12:33:23 AM

My applologies the links arent working but you can search the components on newegg yourself =)
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January 21, 2010 12:39:09 AM

What do you say about my second, revised setup, Aloid?

EDIT: With the d0 CPU, rather than the regular. (which is now updated)
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January 21, 2010 12:48:44 AM

Oh my bad I didnt see the revised version yah thats perfect man pretty much all the same stuff I recomended, Have fun man.
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January 21, 2010 1:40:30 AM

Best answer selected by Dark-Tide.
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January 21, 2010 3:58:44 PM

With the solid state drive, should I decrease the power supply to, say, 750W?
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January 21, 2010 4:02:51 PM

Yah that shud be fine you only need 850 if you are crossfiring the 5970s which is totally pointless so yah 750w should be fine.
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January 23, 2010 10:48:05 PM

Hey, kinda bringing this thread back up from the dead. I have a revised parts list, got another (local) opinion, and would like to run this by everyone; see what you all think.

Gigabyte P55-UD3 S1156 4 DDR 3 RAID

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128412&cm_re=gigabyte_p55_ud3-_-13-128-412-_-Product

Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHZ LGA-1156

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214&Tpk=Intel%20Core%20i7%20860%202.8GHZ%20LGA-1156

Crucial 2GB DDR3 1333MHZ (x4)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148149

Western Digital 1TB SATAII 32MB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136469&cm_re=western_digital_1tb-_-22-136-469-_-Product

LG BLU-RAY 8x Combo DVDRW Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136162&cm_re=lg_blu_ray-_-27-136-162-_-Product

Asus ATI EAH 5970/G/2Dis/2G

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121357&cm_re=Asus_5970-_-14-121-357-_-Product

Cooler Master Real Power 850WATT

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171048&Tpk=cooler%20master%20850w

********

Note: If the link doesn't show exactly what I've described, it's because I'm purchasing locally, and may not have found the right newegg link.

My major concern with this build is the dual channel RAM. I will upgrade to a SATA 3 SSD when they release them, but can someone please explain dual channel vs. triple channel to me? And, for gaming, is the 860 just as good (now and for the future) as the 920? Or should I go 950, even? I want this rig to last. Please help!

PS: The price was $2200 CAD
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2010 2:03:15 AM

Your CPU has a dual channel RAM controller, so that's what you want for this build. The triple channel RAM kits are for the LGA 1366 chips. I wouldn't get that RAM, though. They come to $58 shipped each. You can get a CAS 7 DDR3 1333 or DDR3 1600 kit for cheaper.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail $114.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail $114.99
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January 24, 2010 3:37:28 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Your CPU has a dual channel RAM controller, so that's what you want for this build. The triple channel RAM kits are for the LGA 1366 chips. I wouldn't get that RAM, though. They come to $58 shipped each. You can get a CAS 7 DDR3 1333 or DDR3 1600 kit for cheaper.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail $114.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail $114.99


I would be purchasing it locally, so the shipping isn't a problem. I also just added the links (rather quickly) for added info.

I'm mostly curious whether it's worth going to triple channel RAM, or if the performance of double is alright as well. Should I go with 6 Gigs of 3-channel, or 8 of 2?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2010 3:42:43 AM

No, your CPU does not support triple channel RAM. That's what I tried to tell you in the previous post. You want dual channel RAM for LGA 1156 systems because those chips have a dual channel RAM controller. The triple channel kits are ONLY for LGA 1366 chips.
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January 24, 2010 6:02:54 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
No, your CPU does not support triple channel RAM. That's what I tried to tell you in the previous post. You want dual channel RAM for LGA 1156 systems because those chips have a dual channel RAM controller. The triple channel kits are ONLY for LGA 1366 chips.


I'll try and be more clear :)  I'm trying to ask if it's worth going to a triple channel kit AND 1366 chip instead of a 1156/dual channel. I could choose either path, but I like the idea of having a SATA III ready chip.
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January 24, 2010 6:23:14 AM

The only reason to go 1366 is if you want to xfire 2 of those 5970s someday. The decision has nothing to do with RAM.
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January 24, 2010 6:34:40 AM

dndhatcher said:
The only reason to go 1366 is if you want to xfire 2 of those 5970s someday. The decision has nothing to do with RAM.


Okay cool. The final build is $200 cheaper, so really I could just sell the 5970 down the road and upgrade it instead of going with xfire.

Thanks.
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