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[Help!] New Gaming Build

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March 8, 2010 3:20:13 PM

I've made a thread before, but had to wait it out and my budget thus grew a little.
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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of March
BUDGET RANGE: $1,500 - $2,000 Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, HTPC, Photoshop, general computer usage (web+word)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI, Intel
OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, would like to add a card in the future when games get more demanding,
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1360 x 768
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Following are the parts I configured. Would definitely want recommendations on what to keep/change, etc. Future-proofing is key, which is why some of this stuff is overkill for my resolution.

Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 ATX Intel Motherboard $289.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Desktop Processor $294.99
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $74.99
GPU: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870 100281VX-2SR Video Card $478.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $269.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W Power Supply $139.99
Optical: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support $31.99
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $89.99
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window $159.98

Total (w/ shipping): $1,831.90

Your help is really appreciated! Thanks in advance :-)

More about : gaming build

March 8, 2010 3:24:20 PM

Here's a build that would have better gaming performance for a little more.

CPU: i7-930 $295
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
RAM: Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $230 after rebate
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
GPU: HD 5970 $700
PSU: Corsair 750W 80+ $110
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF (only if overclocking): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $1,885.

If you wanted a really efficient PSU, grab the OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold for $200 (total build for $1,975.
March 8, 2010 4:26:04 PM

Are you planning on upgrading your monitor anytime soon? If not, the 5870 is more than enough and the 5970 is absolute overkill for your resolution.
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March 8, 2010 5:18:24 PM

Would I notice that big a difference with the different monitor? Right now my 32 LCD TV serves as my monitor, and I would rather hook up the new rig to my TV so I can watch HD on it rather than set it up in a different room.
March 8, 2010 5:21:58 PM

I'm sorry for my double post, for some reason I cant edit my previous post.
Let me clarify on that question: Will the better resolution be that big a difference? Right now my computer is hooked up via a VGA cord... my 360 that is connected to the same TV has pretty good image quality, and I planned on connecting my new rig via HDMI to the TV to get better image quality / resolution. My TV accepts up to 1080i.
March 8, 2010 5:25:00 PM

If the resolution of the TV is listed above, there is a difference in how clear the picture is.

That said, there are also slight differences between monitors and TVs. Viewing text on a TV makes it a little blurry compared to a monitor. In addition, monitors have better contrast ratios and generally support more colors.

EDIT: Since you have a Xbox, you can stream content from your PC to your TV easily. This way you can get the best quality for gaming and your work tasks with still getting comfortable viewing of your movies or whatever.
March 11, 2010 5:18:30 AM

A couple of quick questions:

1. I will definitely want to overclock, and have never done so before. When looking the market for CPU coolers, the place I was forwarded to most often was Frosty Tech - however, their "best CPU cooler" list for LGA 1366 is not out yet, and I would definitely want the most recent information. I've looked at reviews for the Hyper 212 Plus, and I know many people praise it, but I fail to see why? The temps, compared to other coolers, aren't that good - sometimes double. Of course, its completely feasible that I'm talking out my ass and have no idea what I'm saying. That's why I'm here, after all :-)

2. When shopping around for RAM, I got confused by the ridiculous amount of options. Say, for example - when looking on Newegg I came across 3 options of Corsair Dominator RAM - they were all DDR3 2x3 1600, but for some reason their prices were either a) drastically different or b) like $10 apart. Why?

3. I'm debating between the HAF932 and 922 cases. I'm leaning more towards the 932, simply because my current PC is always getting hot and it sort of made me OCD regarding cooling (if I want to run anything even remotely taxing, I have to open my case and put a huge home-fan blowing on it at max speed). Any recommendations?

Regarding the monitor, I changed my setup a bit due to your input. I now have my current computer hooked up to the TV and to a fullHD LG monitor. Does that change anything in your setup?
March 11, 2010 7:10:53 AM

1. Largely depends on where you got your info and benchmarks from. Most reviews use a different testing methodology, which can account for a variety of different temps from different sites. However, the hyper 212+ has been tested enough, and by a plethora of reviewers; of which most agree on the fact that its one of the best, if not the best, price to performance heatsink currently available. If you do find yourself wanting to spend more, there's the Titan Fenrir at the $50-55 price range and Venomous X at the ~$65 range.

2. It's probably due to the timings. Lower timings equates to better performance and an extra premium to spend, where 7-7-7-1x/2x would be on the lower end ("better performing") of the spectrum and 9-9-9-2x on the higher end. If you have extra budget, allotting it to a better GPU, CPU to a lesser extent, would net you better real game benefits over getting RAM with tighter timings. But that's not to say that you shouldn't pick up tighter timings if the price is right and you're not extremely budget limited.

3. Well, the haf 932 will obviously give you better cooling potential but not enough to warrant the extra money, IMO. The haf 922 won't give you any cooling problems. I will say that as someone who has built on both cases, the extra space/height is noticeable between the two. However, IIRC they should be equal in width (or one slightly longer), which is where the cable management is usually routed; behind the motherboard tray. As long as you put some effort into cable management, I highly doubt you'll experience any cooling problems.

Regarding your last statement/question, a monitor with a higher resolution needs more GPU power if you want to play on max/higher details. However, the card you intend to purchase, 5870, will run well on the high resolution monitors1980x1020 (1200)
March 11, 2010 8:22:10 AM

Thanks a lot. Two more questions... one is rather silly, one is rather speculative.

1. Seeing as this is intended mainly for gaming, how will it perform?
2. I figured, in regard to the future, that I will just crossfire with another 5870 when I start needing it. How long though will this setup, as it is, will last?
March 11, 2010 12:08:02 PM

1.) Extremely well. If you took the 5870 and the monitor I added, it will play every game out there at max details, and that includes Crysis.

2.) I would guess that without an upgrade, it can easily last four years. If you add a second 5870, that will add another year or two, depending on how fast gaming tech changes. It could very last longer...
March 11, 2010 9:36:58 PM

I've decided on the following build. Any further suggestions?

CPU: i7-930
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB
GPU: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870 100281VX-2SR
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
Case: HAF 932

Only things I'm still unsure about are the HSF and RAM, but I figure if I stick to well-known vendors and just put it another day's worth of research I should be able to reach a conclusion and be done with it. I have no preferance with these parts, so I would love recommendations (and I'd love to know why as well!)

Anything to add/subtract/modify?

PS - I know its silly to start with, but I went ahead and ordered my DiNovo Edge and Razer Mamba.. which means I've officially started getting this build together. Big grin! :-)
March 11, 2010 11:40:29 PM

Switch the case to the HAF 922. It's almost as big, much cheaper and has additional features such as better cable management, dust filters and the ability to turn off the LEDs.
March 14, 2010 5:39:25 PM

I promise I'll stop posting about this build eventually =]

So, right now I've my build configured so:

CPU: i7-930
HSF: Cooler Master 212+
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX2
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium
RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB DDR3
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB
GPU: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870 100281VX-2SR
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
Case: HAF 922
Optical: Cheap-o DVD Burner

I think I've got it set, but I also think I'm falling into hype and overshooting my needs. I do want to be able to rip apart modern games at my resolution... I think the 5870 is more than enough, but I'm leaning towards the 5970... which will mean I go out of my budget. Is it worth it?

Also, what are some good fans to go along with the 212? I don't really mind noise at all, as long as it doesn't sound like theres a jet taking off in my room.
March 14, 2010 5:48:09 PM

the 5970 is two 5870's in one card. It's the best video card out today. You will always get better price to perfomance when getting a lower end card. Your paying top dollar for some thing that's not all that much better, but because it's the best they can charge a lot.

5870 will be able to max every thing out, in a few years if you don't think it's doing well you can always add another 5870 and CF and you'll be set for a few more years.
March 14, 2010 7:53:28 PM

-I'd get something cheaper then that overpriced corsair dominator...
-Moreover on your resolution a 5870 isn't even going to sweat while maxing out every game...so no need for a 5970 unless you you will play on resolutions way above 1080p. I'd also sacrifice some things in that build to be able to fit in a small SSD like an intel X25-V 40GB for the OS.
March 14, 2010 8:00:05 PM

@Blackhawk - What RAM would you suggest? What would you sacrifice for a SSD?
March 15, 2010 12:15:53 AM

Get a G.Skill, ocz, mushkin, or corsair xms3 at 1600mhz at cas 7-9...it will be cheaper. And i'd even sacrifice my GPU for an SSD. SSD makes huge difference.
March 15, 2010 12:26:08 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Get a G.Skill, ocz, mushkin, or corsair xms3 at 1600mhz at cas 7-9...it will be cheaper. And i'd even sacrifice my GPU for an SSD. SSD makes huge difference.


I'm not too familar with the ssd's how and why would this make an impact on a gaming machine?
March 15, 2010 2:21:59 AM

The only thing they help with is boot time and level load time. They have absolutely no effect on FPS. I don't think they're worth it for a gaming system. "Sacrificing the GPU for an SSD" on a gaming system is silly.
March 15, 2010 11:17:45 AM

I'm with shortstuff. I wouldn't sacrifice anything for a SSD. The only time you should start considering a SSD is if you literally have nothing else to spend your money on.
March 15, 2010 6:44:01 PM

I know an SSD doesn't affect gaming at all, but i'd sacrifice GPU power for an SSD IMO :)  Its just so good.
You games and maps will load almost instantly, everything is smoother, faster when working on the machine...! Everything overall is just faster and better to work with.
March 15, 2010 6:50:27 PM

Why? The GPU ACTUALLY helps gaming. You'd be sacrificing a critical part for something frivolous. That's especially dumb since SSDs will likely be at half their current price within a year...
March 15, 2010 7:00:27 PM

I'm with everyone else. Sacrificing on the GPU which is the main driving force behind all of your games, for a half second faster load time on the occasional map or a shorter boot time just isn't worth it.

With a little searching you can easily find comparisons in speed between SSD and normal Hard Disks and see whether it's worth it for you. Either way you'll be taking on a lot more cost for very little performance change ... and that cost will likely come out of your GPU budget ... which again, just isn't worth it.
March 15, 2010 7:17:59 PM

Well i guess i can only understand your point if i was a gamer...since i am not, it just seems like an SSD would be better, but i guess you're right, if you are into hardcore gaming the GPU is more important...MY BAD lol! Sorry.
March 15, 2010 10:21:26 PM

Okay, well, when it comes to SSD... I know it makes everything that much faster, but honestly? I don't have a problem with the speed things are running at now (and that's running a (probably) pretty screwy hard drive, considering it came from a Dell build 5-6 years ago), so I think I'll just hold out until they become cheaper. Definitely wont be sacrificing the GPU for it.

So... that's the best I can do with a $2000 budget?

EDIT: Also, will I be able to overclock to 3.5ish with the Hyper 212+? I think I'll want to get two fans for it for a push-pull config... which fans would you guys recommend?
March 15, 2010 10:30:14 PM

The best you can do is the first build I posted (i7-930/HD 5970). The second option (5870 w/ monitor) is because you will need a better monitor to make use of an awesome GPU.

You will definitely be able to get to 3.5 with the Hyper. It's one of the best HSFs out there.
March 15, 2010 10:40:57 PM

There are two reasons I'm not going with the 5970:
First, I do think its a little bit of an overkill for my resolution.. no?
Second, more importantly, its completely sold out everywhere I've looked. Do you know a place where they have it in stock?
!