$2,000 gaming/multimedia build with RAID array


BUDGET RANGE: $2,000 Max. Preferably $1,500-1,800 range.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, multimedia, storage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (Win 7 64 Bit) , Mouse, Don't need monitor for now

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg only (preferably)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (e.g.: Core i7 (thinking about the X58 chipset), also prefer Nvidia/ATI unless there is some significant cost advantage

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI down the road, would like to start with 1 nice card and add another later.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently - 1280x1024 - but planning to upgrade to something widescreen soon - eg. 1920x1080, 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: prefer quiet, but don't plan on watercooling. I have planned for a SSD drive as my 'main' boot / application drive & I want to have a RAID 5 array with 4x 1TB disks. I've had bad luck with data loss. As you can see i've specified a hardware RAID card. I would like comments on that vs. doing something like ZFS (can you on win7?). I'm more inclined to go the hardware RAID route and I don't mind spending a little money on that. Preferred brands include Antec. Avoid Zalman.


case : $200
COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

mobo: $210
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

gfx: $240
GIGABYTE GV-R583UD-1GD Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video

psu: $189 ( Think this might be too much power??)
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

cpu: $290
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

ssd: $165
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

ram: $210
G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD

hdd: 4x $85
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

hsf: $30
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...

raid card: $275
3ware 9650SE-4LPML SGL PCI Express x4 Low Profile Ready SATA II Hardware RAID Controller Card, Integrator 1-Pack

adding in some AS5 and a SSD mounting bracket and some cables brings the total to just over $2,000.

I've heard that 3ware is the best brand for raid controller, but it does seem a bit expensive. I am also not opposed to getting a different type of hard disk that may be more reliable (suggestions?). Spending a bit more on graphics would not be bad if there is something better in that cost area. Fire away!

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More about gaming multimedia build raid array
  1. The cooler is light - don't count on a lot of overclock out of a $30 chiller. Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154011&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-CPU+Cooling-_-TUNIQ-_-35154011 or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835109021 I have the later model, and I just OC'd to 4.2GH on my i920.

    You might have a problem getting an i 920 CPU - they don't sell it much anymore and and Intel has gone to the i 930. For some reaon Microcenter sells them (and a bunch of other CPUs for that matter) at a ridiculously low price. Save yourself $80:

    You can save a some serious change on the motherboard too:

    Power supply is a good choice: you will need some extra capacity when you cross fire your GPUs. JohnnyGuru recommended the 950W Corsair model with a 9 plus rating.

    I prefer Samsung Spinpoint or WD Caviar Black hard drives, but the Barracudas you have chosen are good performers at a very decent price. Buy them.

    Reconsider the SSD mounting bracket. I have an extra one if you want it for free, because my coolermaster case (I bought the scout) already included the bracket to fit the 2.5 inch drive. No screws, just snaps in. I really like the cooler master products.

    I am not sure about the Raid card - My EVGA x58 SLI LE board has raid controllers on it - if the Gigabyte does not have it. You could get your second graphics card for that price, a big Intel SSD or your monitor upgrade instead. Will it give you that much? Anyone else have advice on this?

    I know you prefer NewEgg, and they are a good company, but with the savings from above I think I got you down to $1900. There are not an awful lot of stores around - but I have two close to where I live, and that is how I know about them.

    Hope that helps.

  2. ^ The Hyper+ is an excellent cooler.

    You'll be fine with an even better 750W.
    Antec TP-750 -$120-

    I would get a much cheaper case, here's a few
    Antec 902
    Cooler Master HAF 922
    Cooler Master Storm Scout

    You won't need the RAID card, the mobo has support onboard.

    I would also get cheaper RAM
    RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline -$180-

    The 930
    Intel Core i7 930 -$289-

    Finally, with your budget the 5850 is a better value
    Asus Radeon HD 5850 -$320-
  3. Thanks for the replies, I'll definitely check out that other site, and I might PM you about that mounting bracket.

    The reason I went with a dedicated controller was incase the motherboard died, I wouldn't lose all my data. Plus it would unload the processing onto a dedicated ASIC as in the 3ware series. I was hoping for some more feedback related to the RAID issue. I realize that I could easily beef up my graphics capacity with that money or get a monitor, but right now the RAID issue is still a priority, unless I'm convinced otherwise.

    I think I'm going to stick with my case though, more of a personal issue I guess :)

    My previous case is the antec P130 with the really thick doors, I like how it keeps the sound out, but with a new build I need a new case .
  4. Ah, you may want to ask in the storage subforum if you need more input on the RAID controller, as I'm not terribly familiar with it. And there's nothing wrong with your case.
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