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$1400 Gaming Rig Challenge

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January 23, 2010 2:30:28 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this month
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming #1, Movies/Music #2, everything else #3
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: USA - any sites you trust, although I really like Newegg (i have never used ncix)
PARTS PREFERENCES: Amd or Intel, ATI or Nvidia (i like xfx a lot), Republic Of Gamers
OVERCLOCKING: Sli or Crossfire in the future (not quite yet though), I want to learn how to overclock
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080p
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
-I get Windows Professional at a Teacher discount, for $90, so you can use that price.
-I want it to be cold
-I want it to be powerful
-I don't want to HAVE to upgrade for 2 more years.
-I want to be able to play games so well that it'll make your soul shiver with fear!


USE THIS FORMAT for posting your recommendations:
Cpu/cost:
Gpu/cost:
Mobo/cost:
Ram/cost:
HD/cost:
Case/cost:
Heatsink/cost:
PSU/cost:
cd,dvd,blueray/cost:

Reasons why:


Thank you so much everyone... I am just trying to get the best system possible for the price.

Cheers! :D 
January 23, 2010 6:58:31 PM

You're not going to spend 1400 bucks on a system right now and not have to upgrade something in two years. That's if you want to play every game released from today till 2012 on max settings at your resolution.
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January 23, 2010 7:06:25 PM

Also if you live near a microcenter that would help out on the price of the cpu. For example they have the i7 920 for $243 after tax here in michigan, that same cpu is $288 on newegg.
January 23, 2010 7:19:05 PM

Wel I get that I would probably have to add another graphics card (which is why i said SLI or Xfire in the future) and more ram someday...

But right now I am looking for the best possible rig for 1400
January 23, 2010 7:45:11 PM

Cpu+mobo combo: $326 X4 965+MSI 790FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Gpu/cost: $399 XFX 5870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram/cost: $119 4GB Mushkin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD/cost: $199 WD 300GB Raptor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I would pick an SSD but they just aren't there in terms of price to performance, this should work fine for you.
$ 89 Hitachi 1TB for storage http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/cost: $99 CM Scout: picking a case is a matter of personal taste and available room. This one can house two cards easily.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink/cost: Tell you the truth, the X4 965 can be overclocked with the stock heat sink. I've read plenty about people overclocking to 4.0ghz and the load temp is around 55-60C, the new revision of this cpu lets you do this. Just remember to clean off the thermal paste that is on it and use MX-2. I trust this thermal paste more than AS-5 now because there is not cure time, and best of all its non conductive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU/cost: $139 Corsair 850w psu: They make the best for the money, I trust maybe two other names.

cd,dvd,blueray/cost: This is up to you but most people just need a DVD-RW drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Final Cost: $1,417.89
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:00:23 PM
January 23, 2010 8:26:10 PM



I am certainly leaning more towards the Phenom ii x4 965 be... the cost of the components is dramatically lower.

This is what I am lookign at right now
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Plus the 90 dollar Windows 7 Pro through my school... comes to a grand total of

$1400.88

how would you compare the two 965 rigs that you and I posteD?

Best solution

January 23, 2010 8:26:40 PM
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I would agree with the SSD myself if I knew that 64GB of space was enough for my system drive. For me its not since I have about four games always installed on my system drive.

That psu is not to be trusted with crossfire 5870s, considering it would be well over 60% load while playing games and its OEM is FSP, scary..... Not to mention the 50A rail split into two theoretical 25amp rails, which shows how bad FSP is at making power supplies. You want something that has a large single 12v rail, like the corsair I picked. Unless you want to turn your new computer parts into smoked silicon links.
January 23, 2010 8:33:01 PM

macabre215 said:
That psu is not to be trusted with crossfire 5870s, considering it would be well over 60% load while playing games and its OEM is FSP, scary..... Not to mention the 50A rail split into two theoretical 25amp rails, which shows how bad FSP is at making power supplies. You want something that has a large single 12v rail, like the corsair I picked. Unless you want to turn your new computer parts into smoked silicon links.


what do you think of this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 23, 2010 8:39:02 PM

oldsoulrevival said:
what do you think of this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I wouldn't go with that psu for crossfire either. Assuming your system is going to be pulling 450w while playing a game, even though that's being generous, 450/650=69% load. For your sake, meaning that you want the psu to last, you want to be between 40-60% of the full load of the psu. I read this from experts who review these types of parts jonnyguru and hardocp. Not to mention guys from corsair themselves saying the same on their forums. Pick out a power supply that you can do crossfire with, since you wanted to in the future.
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:40:14 PM

first off, if you need to crossfire a 5870, then you have some performance problem...and that ocz is highly respected,...
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:41:16 PM

ooo and to oldsoulrevival, lol sorry, but my build beats yours in just about every part... :kaola: 
a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 8:41:28 PM

thats a good PSU, but probably not quite enough for crossfire. a 750w would give you enough headroom to be sure you can crossfire. (650 probably would be enough, but its better to be safe than sorry imo)
January 23, 2010 8:42:20 PM

macabre215 said:
I wouldn't go with that psu for crossfire either. Assuming your system is going to be pulling 450w while playing a game, even though that's being generous, 450/650=69% load. For your sake, meaning that you want the psu to last, you want to be between 40-60% of the full load of the psu. I read this from experts who review these types of parts jonnyguru and hardocp. Not to mention guys from corsair themselves saying the same on their forums. Pick out a power supply that you can do crossfire with, since you wanted to in the future.



Oh I am not even worried about crossfire for awhile... I figure when I crossfire, I will get a new PSU as well. that is a year or two away though
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:45:25 PM

right, and a ssd, and all around better parts is better in my opinion.
January 23, 2010 8:47:01 PM

ares1214 said:
ooo and to oldsoulrevival, lol sorry, but my build beats yours in just about every part... :kaola: 


How do you figure? lol

I put better ram, better MOBO, and a GPU I like more (xfx>sapphire imo... apparently people are having some troubles with sapphire cards these days)

The only thing I see you have me beat on is the HD situation lol
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:52:20 PM

errr lets see, my cpu cooler is better, my mobo is better, and has sata 6 and usb 3, my ram is 1.35 volts 1600 MHz 7-8-7-24, yours is 1.65 volts, 1333 MHz, 7-7-7-24, psus are about even, both cases are very good, vid cards are the same, my hdd is far superior, i have an ssd, that said, i would say mine wins... pretty considerably actually...
January 23, 2010 8:54:27 PM

ares1214 said:
errr lets see, my cpu cooler is better, my mobo is better, and has sata 6 and usb 3, my ram is 1.35 volts 1600 MHz 7-8-7-24, yours is 1.65 volts, 1333 MHz, 7-7-7-24, psus are about even, both cases are very good, vid cards are the same, my hdd is far superior, i have an ssd, that said, i would say mine wins... pretty considerably actually...


touche salesman hahaha. Is your Mobo better for overclocking the CPU and 5870(if need be)?

What about the ram situation? are we really only varying on brand preference?
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 8:59:40 PM

well the mobo can probably do just as well, or better with a decent cooler, and the 5870 should be good, but oc it if you want...with the ram, lower voltage means less heat and power consumption, meaning a much higher oc...mine could make it to 1900 MHz at 1.6 volts, whereas yours could make it to 1650 Mhz at like 1.8 volts, therfore mine is better...and haha im not trying to be mean, i just love to argue...a lot :lol: 
January 23, 2010 8:59:41 PM

oldsoulrevival said:
How do you figure? lol

I put better ram, better MOBO, and a GPU I like more (xfx>sapphire imo... apparently people are having some troubles with sapphire cards these days)

The only thing I see you have me beat on is the HD situation lol


I noticed the ram you picked out in your list was the black Crucial Tracer over these, which are very ugly turquoise.

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


January 23, 2010 9:01:28 PM

ares1214 said:
well the mobo can probably do just as well, or better with a decent cooler, and the 5870 should be good, but oc it if you want...with the ram, lower voltage means less heat and power consumption, meaning a much higher oc...mine could make it to 1900 MHz at 1.6 volts, whereas yours could make it to 1650 Mhz at like 1.8 volts, therfore mine is better...and haha im not trying to be mean, i just love to argue...a lot :lol: 


He's probably not going to be overclocking the ram at all, having an unlocked cpu multiplier.
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 9:03:27 PM

even better, 1600 MHz>1333 MHz, and if he wants to, then it will be much easier.
January 23, 2010 9:06:43 PM

ares1214 said:
even better, 1600 MHz>1333 MHz, and if he wants to, then it will be much easier.


Look up ram speed vs latency, performance difference is trivial in games, but latency would affect it most with DDR3 not speed.
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 9:10:00 PM

woo hoo, yes i know...that doesnt make my build worse though, since the ram could be downclocked a little to get better latency, and my build has an ssd in it, putting it way ahead of the rest.
January 23, 2010 9:19:47 PM

ares1214 said:
even better, 1600 MHz>1333 MHz, and if he wants to, then it will be much easier.



I am not even considering it arguing haha, I really appreciate the veracity with which you are attacking the challenge. I am building the best rig I can this month, so all of this is helpful. :) 
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 9:24:36 PM

lol good, i think that the 5870 and ssd alone in a 1400$ rig are pretty good... and not to be mean, or gloat, but my build has been the best hands down so far, even without the ssd...
January 23, 2010 10:02:18 PM

ares1214 said:
lol good, i think that the 5870 and ssd alone in a 1400$ rig are pretty good... and not to be mean, or gloat, but my build has been the best hands down so far, even without the ssd...


If you could, you want to build an i5/i7 machine for the same price and then compare them?

I am really trying to pick the best AMD and put it up against the best Intel that I can and then make my choice.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 10:05:03 PM

if you go intel, you will have to spend more cash on the processor and sacrifice something else in the rig.

IMO, AMD are a better buy since you get a similarly performing CPU but save money to get a better GPU. while you do have the budget to go intel, the money would be better spent on a GPU or SSD.
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 10:11:39 PM
January 23, 2010 10:32:26 PM

ares1214 said:
lol good, i think that the 5870 and ssd alone in a 1400$ rig are pretty good... and not to be mean, or gloat, but my build has been the best hands down so far, even without the ssd...


I changed the ram and the case... tell me what you think of this

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

$1407.00
January 23, 2010 10:33:40 PM

Also, in the case of the SSD... what exactly is it used for? I mean do you only put your OS on it? Or is that what I should put games on too?

Also, is setting it up the same way? If not, is there a guide on here for building with an SSD and a regular HD?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 10:35:41 PM

an SSD works just like a HDD, except its lightning fast and silent. you put your OS on there for faster boot times, and your most heavily used programs and games for faster load times. because of the lower size of SSDs though you still need a HDD for the rest of your data.
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 10:37:50 PM

haha i found the same ram vid card combo, but i would say thats about as good as it gets, but does that price include the os?
January 23, 2010 10:40:48 PM

ares1214 said:
haha i found the same ram vid card combo, but i would say thats about as good as it gets, but does that price include the os?


Nah, but I can get professional for 80 or 90 bucks. I really wanted the HAF case, apparently it really is a phenomenal case.

So all in all, how would you rank that set up on a scale of 1 (BLEGH!) to 10(I think I just wet myself)?
a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2010 11:01:46 PM

lolol i would give it a 9.476940274938375493759739574/10, if it was core i7, then it would be way up there.
January 23, 2010 11:05:56 PM

ares1214 said:
lolol i would give it a 9.476940274938375493759739574/10, if it was core i7, then it would be way up there.



Voondaful! LET THE BUILDING BEGIN!

Also, could you reply about the SSD question I posted a few posts back?
a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2010 12:03:26 AM

depending on the size, an ssd is meant for the os, and the most important and demanding files, then the hdd is meant for everything else. also, have you seen the blue HAF:

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

it has a few improvements and the difference in color...
January 30, 2010 11:59:05 PM

Best answer selected by oldsoulrevival.
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