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3K primarily gaming system

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March 1, 2010 9:58:13 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week or next

BUDGET RANGE: approx $3000 Before rebates. I'm not crazy about having to juggle a bunch of rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming , 3d modeling / animation / CAD. Mostly gaming and CAD/modelling and animation. I have to assume that a 3000 dollar system for gaming will do the other things well

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ncix.com I prefer this site because my last 2 systems were built by them and they are located in Canada. I would like to get a system assembled rather than trying to do it myself.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am an Nvidia customer, but have to go ATI this time because I cant wait for fermi any longer. SEE COMMENTS BELOW

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. I have not over clocked before. If i could do it safely without damaging equipment I would.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes A second videocard is a good future upgrade. SEE COMMENTS BELOW

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I plan on gaming on 3 1920x1200 lcd panels where possible. 3 x 1024 x 768 beamers for flight sims. some games of course will be on a single 1920x1200.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My computer died about 5 weeks ago and i thought i would wait for fermi. from what i have read the GTX480 will be released on march 26 but not readily available for a while after that and the price will be 700-800 dollars. So here is my plan and this is where i need advice.
I will purchase the Radeon HD5870 for this system (the fastest available, yes?)
But I want the option of upgrading to the GTX480 after the market settles and they are available without the huge premium of buying at the bleeding edge. I may get a second 5870 or dual GTX480's. That is why i have the huge power supply. I really dont want to spend a lot on the case, because it is only a case. I require good cooling (especially with my future videocard upgrades). need advice on the water cooling option.

The operating system and home directory will be on the SSD drive and that will be all. I want the 2 drives redundant so i dont loose all my information like i just did on my old system.

should i bother with a dedicated sound card? i will be gaming, movies and music.... no recording and arranging.

1 x PC Assembly and Testing with 1 Year Limited NCIX System Warranty (PRE-CONFIG WIN. OS If Purchased)
1 x Corsair Storage Solutions Nova Series 64GB Indilinx 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD
1 x LG GH22NS50 Black 22X SATA DVD Writer OEM
2 x Western Digital WD20EADS Caviar Green 2TB SATA 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM
1 x 1 Year Parts & 1 Year Labour Limited Warranty On System Components - Click for Details
1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
1 x Coolit Systems Domino CPU Water Cooling System AUTO-REGULATED & Maintenance Free LGA1366/LGA775/AM2
1 x Antec Truepower Quattro OC 1200W Power Supply ATX V2.2 EPS12V 24PIN Active PFC 80+ Silver 8X PCI-E
1 x Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 ATX 9 Drive Bay No PS Top USB2.0 1394 Audio
1 x ASUS Radeon HD 5870 850MHZ 1GB GDDR5 4.8GHZ 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card
1 x G.SKILL F3-16000CL9T-6GBRH Ripjaws 6GB 3X2GB DDR3-2000 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Triple Channel i7 Memory
1 x EVGA X58 Classified EATX LGA1366 DDR3 4PCIE-16 1PCI SLI SATA2 eSATA Dual GBLAN 1394 Motherboard
1 x Intel Core i7 960 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 3.2GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S OEM
a c 231 4 Gaming
March 2, 2010 12:08:39 AM

Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 PSU (Alternate HAF 932 w/ Corsair HX850
Asus P6X58D MoBo
Intel i7 - 930 (Can OC 930 to 960 and beyond)
Mushkin CAS 6 DDR3-1600 (CAS 9 too slow....use CAS 7 if budget breaker)
Intel 80 GB G2 SSD
(2) Seagate Barracuda XT (ST32000641AS)
Asus 5870 (5970 is fastest but $700)
No need for water cooling...air cooling will easily pass 4 Ghz

However, at your price range and all the new stuff coming out from CES hitting shelves in march, you may be heading for a case of buyer's remorse....new cases, new MoBos, new PSU's gold certified, new SSD's.


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a b 4 Gaming
March 2, 2010 12:29:35 AM

Recommended Changes:
  • 1 x Coolit Systems Domino CPU Water Cooling System AUTO-REGULATED & Maintenance Free LGA1366/LGA775/AM2 You don't need a water cooling unit, specially since you aren't sure you will overclock. I would pick up the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, which will provide great cooling for your CPU.
  • 1 x G.SKILL F3-16000CL9T-6GBRH Ripjaws 6GB 3X2GB DDR3-2000 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Triple Channel i7 Memory You will want better timings than Cas7 RAM at DDR3 1600 over DDR3 2000 at Cas9. I would go with this RAM... OCZ Platinum 6GB( 3x2GB) DDR3 1600
  • 1 x EVGA X58 Classified EATX LGA1366 DDR3 4PCIE-16 1PCI SLI SATA2 eSATA Dual GBLAN 1394 Motherboard Since overclocking is not a priority, I would not pick a board that is designed for the enthusiast overclocker. I would pickup the ASUS P6X58D Premium, which gives you support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 Gb/s going forward.
  • 1 x Intel Core i7 960 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 3.2GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S OEM I would not add additional cost by going with the i7 960 when the new i7 930 will perform (& overclock) equal to it. The cost to performance difference between the two are not great enough to justify the difference.

    Notes:
  • A sound card is not required, as onboard sound will perform great. If for some reason you don't like the onboard sound, I would look at adding a sound card at that point (not at the start of the build).
  • Make sure your SSD supports TRIM right off the bat or with a firmware update. It is a must for SSD's to keep them running at top speeds!
  • The ATI 5970 is the top dog on GPU's, until the release of the new Nvidia cards. I would stick with the 5870 due to the price of the 5970 and your thoughts of upgrading to the GTX 480 when released.
  • [/quotemsg]
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    Related resources
    March 2, 2010 12:44:52 AM

    JackNaylorPE said:
    Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 PSU (Alternate HAF 932 w/ Corsair HX850
    Asus P6X58D MoBo
    Intel i7 - 930 (Can OC 930 to 960 and beyond)
    Mushkin CAS 6 DDR3-1600 (CAS 9 too slow....use CAS 7 if budget breaker)
    Intel 80 GB G2 SSD
    (2) Seagate Barracuda XT (ST32000641AS)
    Asus 5870 (5970 is fastest but $700)
    No need for water cooling...air cooling will easily pass 4 Ghz

    However, at your price range and all the new stuff coming out from CES hitting shelves in march, you may be heading for a case of buyer's remorse....new cases, new MoBos, new PSU's gold certified, new SSD's.



    Thanks for the advice. Can you tell me a little about the CES timing and what will be out? Ive been waiting for weeks, so 2 more is not out of the question. Will I have to wait for CES to be over and then spend weeks reading reviews and benchmarks lol ?
    So far I have bought a new comp every 5 years or so with a few minor upgrades in between. In the past once i made the purchase i stopped looking at prices and hardware for 3 years or so. That way, there is no buyers remorse. There is only the sweet hum of a new gaming machine that is up to the task of years of gaming goodness at high quality and resolution.
    Maybe I will wait for CES to be over. Its a tough decision. gotta pull the trigger at some point and there is always something better coming right around the corner.
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    a c 231 4 Gaming
    March 5, 2010 2:32:40 AM

    Late February / Early March is typically the worse time to buy .... I like to buy around June cause:

    -Intel typically drops prices end of February in anticipation of new CPU's
    -You saw this coming, new CPU's
    -MoBo's follow on the heels of Intel
    -CES is in January..... 2-3 months later, all the en stuff hits
    -GFX card vendors intro new stuff in time for XMas (not this year for the green team) and non reference tweaked designs start hitting in March
    -Nobody buys anything over summer, peeps spending money on vacations, partying :)  so prices drop going in to that period
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