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$2000 - $3000 Gaming Computer - First Build Ever

Last response: in Systems
January 21, 2010 1:55:45 PM

Hello everyone. Like many people who post, I am very new to all of this. I've spent the past week or so perusing these forums as well as other sites to try to become a bit more knowledgable in this stuff, but I still feel pretty clueless. I've looked at places that build custom rigs for you, then at the kinds of machines people on this forum have built, and the cost vs. performance difference has swayed me to step out of my comfort zone and try to build one instead of having some other guy do it for me.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This is pretty open. At the latest, the end of May (after I get out of college). Since I don't need it right now, I've wondered if I should just wait until the summer starts to try to build this. I don't know if there's any new stuff coming out very soon that I should wait for.

BUDGET RANGE: $2000 - $3000. I'd prefer to stay somewhere in the middle there, but if I can get something that's phenomenal in the upper price range, then so be it


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers. I have a TV that I'm currently using as a monitor, but if anyone can sell me on getting an actual monitor, I'll get it.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Whichever is the cheapest. I'm most familiar with newegg though


PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel processor, AMD graphics card

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, if/when I know more about it SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Again, I'm just using my 19" (I think that's the size) TV monitor currently, so if you have a really good monitor you think I should use instead, then please inform me

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for a very fast machine that can play any game at any setting now, as well as (hopefully) in the near future. I want this computer to last for years to come, only upgrading it occassionally if I absolutely need to. I don't want to sacrifice performance for looks, so I just want a case that will have enough room and keep cool.
January 21, 2010 2:20:46 PM

Um, well you can build a top of the line computer w/ SSD's and a 5970 for less than $2k, so you don't need anywhere near what you've budgeted.

Second, if you won't build till summer, wait till summer to post here. A lot will change by then, couple new processors, mainstreaming of USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 and the big one, Fermi will be out (hopefully).

Anything we suggest now would be outdated long before then.
January 21, 2010 3:03:43 PM

Ok so my choices for the main components would probably be


Antec 1200


Cooler Master HAF 932



Asus P6TD Deluxe



Asus P6X58D

For 10$ more you get usb 3.0 and Sata 6Gb/s


i7 920 D0

Costs a bit extra but over clocks better
Is Available at

Heat Sink

Thermalright Venomous


Prolimatech Megahalem Rev. B


Video Cards

3xXFX 5850



XFX 5970



2xXFX 5870



Corsair XMS3 CL 7-7-7



Mushkin Redline CL 7-6-7



If you go with the Antec 1200 get the CP-850 for sure



Corsair HX-850


Hard Drive

I still like two of these in Raid 0 they offer great performance
Samsung Spinpoint F3


Maybe a Solid state like the Intel x25m g2 for a boot drive and one of those Spinpoints if you want to go that route

Total cost: Around $2400

If you shop around I’m sure you'll find better prices and NCIX matches anyone

Those are my recommendations

This is a bit of a copy and paste, with a few modifications, 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 recommend a i5 750 if you want to go the socket 1156 route

The Intel cpu's are definitely 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 over clocked

No links sorry but you can search them on and for the CPU
Related resources
January 21, 2010 3:11:23 PM

Oh sorry didnt see your waiting until summer to build... yah if your waiting that long come back when your closer to the final build date because technology change fast and we'll hook you up with another build =)
January 21, 2010 6:06:55 PM

Thank you very much for the replies. Is it worth waiting a few months for these new hardware to come out? I'm just worried the increase in performance/stability/speed/whatever might be minimal in regards to a higher price tag. Or would we just have to wait to find out? If we're expecting to get some pretty good stuff in the very near future, I'm perfectly fine with holding out until then. I guess I'll just continue lurking around until that time comes. Again, thank you very much banthracis and Aloid!
January 21, 2010 6:44:59 PM

We pretty much have to wait and see what happens with the new tech and prices. Fermi (nVidia's DirectX 11 cards, think competition to the 5970) is due out in 2 months. SSDs are dropping in price and should be gaining reliability too.

@Aloid: is a Candaian site. They don't use US $, so everything is going to be more "expensive" there, with the exchange rate and all. So it's not really an option for people in the US.
January 21, 2010 9:38:02 PM

Oh sorry forgot about that there is also though bassically same deal as and
January 21, 2010 11:56:23 PM

The only things you might consider buying now is a power supply, case, or maybe a heatsink if it is really a good deal. Otherwise wait until summer to do your build. Prices will drop on major parts SSD's, CPU's, GPU's, and DDR3 memory. Also there will be new stuff out also lowering prices.