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First Gaming Build - $2100 Budget Need Help

Last response: in Systems
April 12, 2010 9:54:59 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 Months (Gathering parts nowish)

BUDGET RANGE: $2100ish after Taxes/Shipping


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard and Mouse


PARTS PREFERENCES: Typically anything would work. But I do have a preference for Asus or Sapphire.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, Mildly. CROSSFIRE/SLI: Yes, in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'd like anything in the 24-28 inch range with 1080p and at least one DVI/HDMI port.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm currently trying to gather parts that's cheap, but also very high end as possible. I guess the phrase, "bang for buck" could be used here. I'd prefer Intel over AMD as HyperThreading sounds very good to me and the performance charts of i7's dominate AMD from what I've seen. I'm also on the fence about graphics card right now because the Sapphire 5870 Toxic 2gb has not been released yet as it was supposed to, and I'm also awaiting the Asus Matrix 5870. I'm a little open to Fermi but the door is nearly closing shut due to all the negativity about it. For now, in my parts list I'm just going to list the Sapphire Vapor-X 5870 until I decide.. Also, I'd like a case with a black interior, with room for big cards such as a 5970. I would also like a window. Not an Antec case because I've worked with one before and I do not like them. So for my parts..

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 $289.99

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium $309.99

Graphics: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 5870 $449.99

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB $194.99

PSU: CORSAIR 850HX $174.99

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s $79.99

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V $44.96

Case: Cooler Master Storm Sniper $149.99 (Probably will buy window separate.)

OS: Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium $99.99

Optical Drive: Asus CD/DVD Sata Burner $21.99

Monitor: Samsung 27" Monitor 2ms $349.99

Total - $2176.86 before Taxes/Shipping.

Additional note: Not sure how long the sale is gonna be there but I do have a Microcenter 30 minutes away to potentially get the i7-930 for $199.99.
April 12, 2010 12:14:23 PM has a nice combo that includes the same motherboard and cpu you have and a thermaltake powersupply 850W...saves you about 100 bucks

Im building the exact same computer you have...but im using corsair dominator ram instead..and im on a 1800 budget so i ahd to leave out my monitor and use my hdtv instead =P
April 12, 2010 12:28:16 PM

^ Frankly spending that much money and not getting a SSD as a boot drive makes a high-end PC incomplete...
Some options to reduce cost...
1. RAM - Check these good and cheaper...

2. Mobo - Why not the trimmed down Gigabyte X58A-UD3R - would save about $100 easy ?
See if you will be using the so called premium features of the ASUS board and then decide...

3. PSU - Even a 750W PSU would do for HD 5870 crossfire...Some very good modular PSU options...
Silverstone 750
XFX 750W

4. SSD options -

5. Graphics card -
Check out the ASUS HD 5870 RED...though not factory overclocked, but can easily cross 900MHz
Or Factory overclocked Powercolor HD 5870
Related resources
April 12, 2010 4:29:47 PM

These are answers/reasonings, and also sort of questions for anyone who can expand on my reasons. Thanks for the good responses.

1. On the RAM, I was actually thinking about getting the G.Skill ones, but I feared for the tall Heat Spreaders and G.Skill's reputation for not being reliable.

2. I was on the fence between the Asus P6X58D Premium and the EVGA 3-Way SLI board for a while. The main reason were the brands and the crossfire capabilities, (2 slots at x16), instead of 1 at x8 which the Gigabyte one I BELIEVE is. Although, I'm not quite too sure, because the explanation is slightly confusing. I went with Asus because of the future technology (Sata 6.0 and USB 3.0). Perhaps I might trim down to the EVGA 3-Way SLI board.

3. I was also going for 750W HX Corsair before I bumped up to 850W mainly for two reasons.. 850 is 80 plus silver and I was worried about having good effiency with an overclocked CPU and 2 5870's on a 750W unit. I thought it'd be pushing the limitations on full load.

4. If I could get the price down to below to 1900 in order to add an SSD. I will for sure do it. It's just not in my budget range and it has no effect on gaming performance. I do realize the loading/boot/system times are amazing, it's just not worth it for gaming just yet if it's not in my budget.

5. I don't want to overclock any graphics cards really. So factory overclock is a thing I'm looking for. Plus, the Vapor-X cooler from Sapphire is great from what I've read. Also, the self-overclocking Matrix 5870 that can increase performance really intrigues me. Both should be about 450 dollars initially so that's the route I'm going.
April 13, 2010 7:43:35 AM

1. AFAIK GSKillz are one of the high quality RAM manufacturers...I have not seen any grave issues related to them...
And as for the tall heat-spreaders, it depends on the CPU cooler that you will be using...

2. All the X58 boards offer 2 slots running @ x16 - even the Gigabyte...And also even they sport SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0

3. 750W would suffice and also the ones that I had listed are also 80+ Silver and cheaper than the Corsair but equally good IMO...

4. With the changes that I had suggested, I think you can get the SSD in your budget...
And I dint suggest the SSD w.r.t gaming performance...but day-to-day activities - PC boot up, apps loading, level loading in games...I dont think you will be gaming 24X7 right ?

5. Well if you check the ATI's CCC, they provide you with the slider, just by using them, it overclocks the card to 900MHz without any issues. It is as simple as that.
April 13, 2010 1:59:40 PM

Going down to the XFX 750W PSU, G.Skill RAM, and Lancool PC-K62 ( ) case instead of the Sniper brings me down to around 1880ish (not counting the Hard Drive price cause I'm getting it somewhere else through a different means). This allowed me to grab an Intel 80GB X25-M SSD to bring me up to 2100ish. So specs are:

Intel i7-930
Asus P6X58D Mobo
Asus 5870 Matrix 2GB (whenever it comes out)
G.Skill 6GB 1600 MHz CAS 7
Intel 80G SSD
WD 1 Terabyte HD
Asus Optical Drive
Xigmatek Dark Knight CPU Cooler
Lian Li Lancool Dragonlord PC-K62 Case
Windows 7
Samsung 24" Monitor

Total comes out to be $2110ish before Tax/Shipping.

Does that sound good? Opinions?
April 13, 2010 11:59:19 PM

Anyone? Any bottlenecking going on or something?
April 14, 2010 4:49:25 AM

Major thing that I dislike about it is it is not a black interior. It just doesn't look good enough to me.
April 14, 2010 4:56:45 AM

^ Ya...the black interiors would have made it better...Stick with that cant go wrong with that one...

Here is another case but not sure if you would like it though...
Its a real value for money if you consider the Mail-In-Rebates...
It was also used in the SBM Dec 2009 and it turned out to be pretty good...