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Gaming system build <$2,000 Advice

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April 23, 2010 10:01:17 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible unless some amazing and reasonably priced new tech. comes out soon.

BUDGET RANGE: I prefer less than $2,000 (after rebates) although that's not absolutely strict. The cheaper the better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, general usage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I need everything. I have a couple older external hard drives I could use though. I also need to purchase an OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, microphone, monitor, and webcam, but I won't consider them part of the $2,000. Recommendations are appreciated.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Which ever is cheapest. I prefer getting all parts from one site, but that's not absolutely necessary if the price is significantly less including shipping from several.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA(Colorado)

PARTS PREFERENCES: core i7 920 processor (1366 chipset), HAF 932 case or other full/mid case if I like it's features and looks. I don't like the Antec 1200.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but I'd be willing to forfeit it to drastically reduce price.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. I would like to be able to upgrade in the future, but I'll probably just get one GPU initially.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: As many pixels as possible. I'm thinking I would like about a 24” monitor, but I'm not set. Thoughts on gaming monitors?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
This will by my first system build, but I have replaced and added parts to my laptop in the past and have been reading and watching a lot about this on the internet. I prefer the 1366 chipset because I prefer Intel, its (possibly marginal) performance lead over 1156, and upgradeability (I would like to get hexa-core or more in a year or two or three...). I prefer the i7 920 because it is the “best bang for the buck” and I can significantly overclock it. I would like to eventually upgrade to water cooling and more GPUs when necessary. I would like decent sound (5.1 or 7.1) so I may get a sound card if I don't like the onboard quality. USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps and a SSD would be nice, but they may not be worth the price. I can upgrade to a SSD in the future. I would prefer to spend more on an overkill PSU now than buy one that just meets my current requirements and have to buy a better one when I upgrade. I don't care about Blue Ray right now. I can buy a drive in the future if I do.

I am most unsure about the motherboard. There are a lot of similar candidates in the same and different price ranges. I would appreciate a lot of advice on which motherboard to choose. I picked RAM with a CAS latency of 6 which is the fastest I could find and may not be the best choice considering price and performance. I've chosen a 5870 GPU although 2 5770 are a bit cheaper and offer similar performance, but less upgradeability. Thoughts? Below is the current parts list I'm considering. I haven't included an OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, microphone, monitor, or webcam.

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD

Thank you all for your insight!
April 23, 2010 11:13:11 PM

solid build there but i would chang the cpu. go for a core i7 930

gpu? why not a ati hd 5850

so thats pretty much it.
April 23, 2010 11:19:30 PM

Why would I buy the 930 over the 920 if I'm going to overclock the 920 and they will likely overclock to the same level?

The 5870 is a bit faster and has more stream processing units. Is it not worth the extra ~$100?
April 23, 2010 11:30:59 PM

930 and 920 differnce is so small. and 920 are now likely 'phase out' i would prefer the 930. 2.6-2.8 and if you overclock 930 it would be easier to get to 4ghz. if your aiming for it.

right now, 5850 would eat all games at max. so 5870 would crush them right now.. and with your budget. i could stick in a 5970 in there. and get get a i5 750 route it would be better for gaming
!