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High End High Budget Gaming PC Thoughts

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  • Gaming
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March 1, 2010 9:40:10 AM

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of this week BUDGET RANGE: ~$3000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, photoshop, movies, music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Cyberpowerpc COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: Preferably an Antec 1200 case (CoolerMaster would work too), EVGA, Intel core i7, Western Digital

OVERCLOCKING: Not sure, what do you think? SLI: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a large roomy case for larger fans. I'm aiming for extreme cooling and as little noise as possible. What are your thoughts on the noise reduction foam on the side panels? No windows/clear panels are necessary nor are bling LED fans. Just performance.

I'd like to have a 5.1 sound card as well.

I'm thinking an SSD for gaming, Windows 7 Ultimate, and photopshop; and then a TB for everything else. I'd prefer the TB to be WD and 7200 RPM, as far as the SSD, I've never owned one so whatever is reliable.


I would prefer to get it prebuilt from cyberpower as I've never invested this much in a PC before and don't want to eff it up. However, I have done my own builds before (the last about 4 years ago) and could probably recruit a friend to help if push comes to shove.
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More about : high end high budget gaming thoughts

a b 4 Gaming
March 1, 2010 2:25:57 PM

Build a system. It's well worth it. Not only will you save a lot of money but you can also pick high quality parts. Prebuilt systems skimp where they can. I save systems that I could build for $2000 cost at least $3000. It's a lot easier than it looks.

Parts list for a 1366 system:

1) Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD5

2) CPU: Intel i7-920

3) RAM: 6GB DDR3 (example, OCZ Gold OCZ3G1600LV6GK 6GB DDR3) Spend $200 to $300 for 6GB or DDR3

4) Hard drive: WD Velociraptor 300GB (main), optional 1TB WD Green

5) Power Supply: Corsair TX750W

6) CPU cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2

7) Windows 7 64-bit OEM (64bit a must! OEM tied to this system but is much cheaper)

8) Graphics: HD5870 1GB (Sapphire Vapor-X if possible. It runs cooler and quieter)

Optional: a second HD5870 (get one first and see where you are at. They'll only get cheaper)

Other:
1) DVD burner: LG GH24NS50 24X
2) case: Antec P183 (set Tricool fans to lowest speed)
3) Monitor: I think the U2711 is awesome (27" 2650x1440), however I have to recommend waiting for a quality 120Hz/3D monitor to spend a lot of money.

Notes:
- I don't recommend an SSD for at least another year. Bootup isn't much issue as you should Hibernate. The 6GB of RAM means much of your software will sit in RAM with Windows running and games boot nicely from a Velociraptor anyway.

- Acronis True Image is a great program. I made several backups. The first, just after I installed Windows and all the Microsoft Updates. The second after all drivers and a few programs. The third when most of my stuff was installed and tweaked and the fourth is an Image I update automatically.

- You can change many of these components if you wish. There's many ways to save money but this will give you pretty close to the best you can get. A better CPU won't give a better gaming experience. A single HD5870 with these components can max out most games.

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March 1, 2010 2:27:29 PM

Bump the GPU up to a HD5970 instead of 5870.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 1, 2010 2:38:14 PM

- dampening likely won't do much
- good onboard sound will sound about the same as a good audio card. Seriously. On top of that they use more power and use an expansion slot.
- speakers: M-Audio AV-40 stereo http://www.modsynergy.com/review164.html
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a b 4 Gaming
March 1, 2010 2:51:04 PM

re: HD5970

It's better to get two HD5870's IMHO. They are within about the same benchmarks but splitting to two cards splits the cooling. Two slower fans sound much better than a single faster one.

There are very few games that can't run at max settings with a single HD5870. A second one will also add noise.

Before buying, check out the benchmarks. Pay attention also to Anti-Aliasing (AA). It takes a fairly big hit. The higher the resolution chosen, the less AA is required. 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 are just on the verge where AA makes no difference. Some benchmarks use 8xAA which on a 1920x1080 probably looks the same as 4xAA which in turn might not look much different from 2xAA.

It's a trade-off between noise and performance. Here's an example of reasonable noise for a very high-end PC:

- high-end CPU heatsink/fan (like above)
- good graphics cooling (HD5870 with Vapor-X)
- Power Supply with good fan control (above Corsair)
- two low-flow fans (above on low setting or other 120mm low-flow fans)
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March 1, 2010 2:51:44 PM

I've used Nvidia cards (EVGA manufacturer) since I've been into gaming... Is the 5970 really that much better than a comparable Nvidia card? I'm not exactly brand loyal to where I would never switch, but I've never had a single problem from an EVGA card.
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March 1, 2010 3:14:45 PM

I suppose the 5970 is the best choice. Thanks.

I am still leaning on a SSD. I've read a few other threads with similar budgets and most people seem to think SSD is the best choice for performance.
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March 1, 2010 3:17:13 PM

Personally I still think SSD's are way over priced. However if you have the money to spend on one an 80 gb boot drive is a nice addition. Just remember that SSD's need a certain amount of free space. 20% I believe before they start to drop in performance.
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March 2, 2010 5:22:43 AM

Right now I am thinking...

CPU: Core i7-920 $289.00
GPU: HD 5970 $700.00
Case: HF 932 $180.00
RAM: 6 GB Mushkin $250.00
PSU: Corsair 850W Modular $189.00
Mobo: EVGA E-758-A1 X58 Mobo $300.00
SSD: Corsair 128 GB SSD $375.00
HDD: WB Caviar Black 1TB 6.0 GB/s $120.00
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 OEM $180.00

Total: ~$2583


PSU: I'm not sure if the specs on the PSU are what I need. I liked the fact that it was modular and 80+ Silver rated. Is one +12v rail enough?
SSD: Is this really the best way to go as far as performance goes (ignoring price).
Mobo: Suggestions are way welcome, please. I'm really unsure about the mobo.
How about this mobo? $310.00
HDD: I looked at the spec sheet and could not find whether the platters are 500GB or not. I've read that larger platters are better, and that 500GB is the largest platter size.

I am also really unsure about the cooling as well. What kind of after market cooling do I need?
Thanks for all the help photon, OSU, and obsidian.
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March 2, 2010 8:01:37 AM

That PSU is great and has plenty of power for your needs...
SSD is the fastest thing as far as HDD's are concerned. Frankly shaving off less than half a minute during boot and a couple of secs in normal use isn't worth extra 200$ but that's just me...
That mobo is also great and it supports the new U3S6 features which gives you some future proofing. Plus you will need those if you intend to buy that new WD HDD, either that or an add-on card...
From what I've read the new Caviar Black has the 500GB platters...

For aftermarket cooling buy a CM Hyper 212+ or a Scythe Mugen-2, great coolers for the price.
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March 2, 2010 1:15:25 PM

the 2TB one has 500gb platters have not read anything about any smaller then that having 500gb platters (As far as the carver Black goes)


For coolers it all depends on how much you want to OC.... Just moderate OCing then the Hyper 212 is great. If you are going to go crazy with OCing then maybe a Megahalems. You will need to get a fan with the mega though

Here are some of the best coolers around just pick one that meets your need and fits in your case.

Froty Tech Top Coolers

Also Not sure why you are picking the HAF932. IMHO it is over priced and really is not any different then the HAF922.
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March 3, 2010 1:24:15 AM

Thanks a lot guys... I'm probably going to push the cpu to close to 4.0GHz and I've read a lot of good things about the Megahalems. Besides researching more about the HDD I think I have everything I need.
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March 3, 2010 11:48:32 AM

As far as HDD's go thats a simple choice.

For smaller drives pick the Seagate 7200.12 or Spinpoint F3 series. WD 2TB drive (which you can get 3 1tb spinpoints for the same price as 1 2 tb wd) also has the the larger 500gb platter providing better performance.

So really Just stick with either the 500GB or the 1tb Samsung Spinpoints.
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March 4, 2010 12:41:53 PM

Alright I think I have everything I need. I was actually able to pick up the Case and CPU at a Fry's, and spent about 15 bucks less than I would have at Newegg. I grabbed the i7-930 instead of the 920 though as they didn't have the 920 in stock and I was advised the 930 was a better choice anyways with just a slight price increase. I'm still shopping around trying to find the availability of some of the parts, mainly the GPU and mobo.

Just a side thought... when this is all said and done, I should be able to do Eyefinity pretty easily if I decided I wanted to purchases additional monitors in the future?
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March 4, 2010 2:59:22 PM

I talked to Western Digital's support team, and according to the gentlemen I talked to, the new WD Caviar Black 1TB 6.0 GB/s does in fact have two 500GB platters so I am going to grab that over the Spinpoint. Thanks for the help everyone!
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