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$4000 build budget

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Last response: in Systems
May 20, 2010 1:26:37 AM

Hi guys,

This is pretty much my first homebuilt system. I've been gaming on high end alienware laptops past few years. Well as i mentioned this build is primarily for high end gaming (watch movies on the off occasion). The household is full of gamers so it pretty much will be used for most of the day.

So i'm looking for a high end gaming rig with about $4000. A couple of personal requirements to note:
CPU & Graphics card
CPU-wise i'm looking for intel and graphic-wise, Nvidia. I did some looking around and the i7 930 seemed decent, any point in going higher than 930? Also pretty much the best Nvidia out at the moment i assume is the 480's? I will be using SLI

I'd like a Monitor that will support 1920 x 1200 resolution, as that's what i play most of my games on. So preferably 24" screen upwards (not 30" - too big). Oh also it has to be widescreen too. It should have decent spec with a high display colour count - but it should pretty much have gorgeous picture quality.

The rest
Well the remainder is pretty much new territory for me, in terms of actually buying them separately. What's the best mobo i should get for high end gaming? best RAM to go with it? Case? Fans? HDD? Power Supply?(I won't be going down the liquid cooling path), Anything else i'm missing?

As i mentioned i'm pretty new to all this. In the past i've usually just bought the whole system as one :D 

Thanks for the help

More about : 4000 build budget

a b 4 Gaming
May 20, 2010 2:55:53 AM

Welcome to the forum. Here's what I would do with half your budget.

  • Intel Core i7 930 -$289-
  • Asus P6X58D-E -$240-
  • Mushkin Enhanced Blackline -$180-
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 5970 -$700-
  • Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB -$90-
  • Intel X25-M -$215-
  • Silverstone ST85F-P -$150-
  • Antec 902 -$110-
  • Asus -$25-
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus -$27-
  • Windows 7 Home Premium -$100-

    You could always replace the 5970 with the worse performing 480, but with your budget I don't see any reason to.
    a c 474 4 Gaming
    May 20, 2010 3:15:19 AM

    Case / PSU Combo - There's no better deal than the Antec 1200 / CP-850. The HAF-932 w/ Corsair HX-850 would be a performance match but that combo is $80 more and the Antec CP-850 is significantly quieter. This will serve with twin 5850's, twin 5870's or twin 470's.($260 for both). If you no likie the bling, the LED's have OFF switches. for Antec Combo ($260)

    or GAF 932 ($150) Corsair HX850 ($190)

    If you go to twin 480's or twin 5970's, you'll want this Antec Combo ... 1200 case w/ CP-1000 PSU ($284) ....$85 cheaper than other alternative


    Upgrade to the HX 1000 ($220) ...$370 w/ HAF 932

    MoBo / CPU - If you're not a big overclocker .... just wanna OC it, get a good one and leave it alone from then on it
    Asus P6X58D-E w/ i7-930, the P6X58D-E is the single LAN version of the venerable dual LAN P6X58D ($504)

    If you love overclocking and can use the features ... this one has many features you will and some you likely will never use .... such as using your iPhone to change BIOS settings

    Asus Rampage III Extreme w/ i7-930 ($380) ($289)

    RAM - At your budget, CAS 6 DDR3-1600 Mushkin Low Profile Redlines which won't interfere with CPU cooler ($215)

    Hard Drives
    - $85 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB

    SSD - Vertex 2 baby .... 100 GB ($449)

    CPU Cooling - $100

    Heat Sink - For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($65 for the HS, $7 for TIM, $11 each for two PWM fans and $7 for a Y cable splitter).

    GFX - Lotsa choices

    Twin 470's (Use 850 watter) - 2 x Asus ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 ($700)... Comes with free DVD Burner

    Twin 480's (Use 1000 watter) - 2 Asus ENGTX480/2DI/1536MD5 ($1020)

    Twin 5970's ....still at $100 over MSRP so can't recommend on principal.

    Monitor - If accurate color is important, you want a Dell U2410 which has graphics professional quality color ... one of the only monitors suitable for a photography buff and gamer. Look foi deals at and which have it down close to $520 about evry 3 weeks ....

    $513 at Amazon and

    Auxillary fans - Buy the two optional fans for the 1200 w/ twin 480's Antec 120 mm FAn ($16 x 2)

    Card Reader - AFT ($34)

    Blue Ray Writer - Hey, you got the budget why note, get the fastest on the planet :) 
    Plextor BX940-SA ($240)

    $3642 if I did my math right

    Related resources
    May 20, 2010 3:17:46 AM

    With that budget, you could with an eyefinity set up.

    3 of these. ASUS 24" 1920x1080

    And with your budget, why not go for a full tower case like a HAF 932, Antec 1200, or Silverstone Raven RV01.

    And if you're planning on doing a moderate overclock I'd also go with the cooler recommended above. Unless you plan on pushing 4.0ghz+, I'd wanna get something like this.
    May 20, 2010 4:23:45 PM

    Thanks for the replies guys

    Ok, so CPU is sorted as i7 930 so we can put that out of the picture.

    In terms of mobo:
    A couple of you mentioned ASUS P6X58D-E

    While browsing i found the ASUS P6X58D Premium

    What's the difference between the two? Is the Premium version much better, or is it just extra cash for insignificant difference?

    Also just want to make sure, will i be able to connect multiple monitors using these mobos (which ever one i get). At the moment i will just be connecting up to the LCD monitor but in future i may purchase an LED tv to connect it to. Will it be possible using these mobos?

    In terms of RAM the recommendations i got from the helpful people here was

    1 : CAS 6 DDR3-1600 Mushkin Low Profile Redlines

    2: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline

    I also did some browsing around the forums here and newegg and found

    3: G.SKILL PI Series

    and also


    out of the 4, which would you guys recommend,and that's compatible with the mobo above?

    Once again thanks for the help. Also if there's anything else better anyone can recommended it would truelly be appreciated.
    May 20, 2010 4:55:42 PM

    Those are all good ram sets

    The question is simply how much you want to spend on ram. With this budget I'd drop the mushkin blacklines in any case. these are also good you could give the extra stick away since you don't need it. I don't know whether you can use the 4th stick without affecting performance you'll have to ask someone. also very good a bit slower and cheaper than the dominators you mentioned.

    Also dominators may seem overpriced looking at their stats but like intel cpu's they can OC a lot whereas for example the mushkins are stock clocked a lot closer to their potential like amd cpus

    May 20, 2010 5:00:58 PM

    Ram: CAS 6 DDR3-1600 Mushkin Low Profile Redlines...

    Why???....they have the tightest timings...which will equate to faster

    MOBO - ASUS P6X58D-E

    About your question with regards to hooking up multiple monitors with the motherboard...

    The motherboard really plays no role in determining how many monitors you can hook up...this is all on the graphics card you choose..
    May 20, 2010 5:34:56 PM

    Adding onto what Jack said in his post, the Dell U2410 is currently $100 off for a price tag of $499. The deal has been active since about this time last week, so I'm assuming it will end soon.
    May 20, 2010 5:35:21 PM

    Indeed mobo doesn't really have anything to do with it. And the version has far worse cooling which matters for extreme OC and doesn't have onboard switches for the rest they are identical. The mushkins arent faster than the dominators GT or the tridents.

    Since the tridents and dominators can really be OC'd whereas the mushkins not as much.
    May 20, 2010 11:28:13 PM

    After reading this thread about motherboards:

    where the ASUS P6X58D Premium was mentioned and also another motherboard which seemed to be favoured in that thread, EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED

    So my question is, is the Premium not worth getting? Most here have mention the -E version.

    Also what are your thoughts on the EVGA E760 CLASSIFIED.

    I should have probably mentioned this at the start but i will most likely overclock to around 4Ghz, so i think that will effect what mobo i get.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    May 21, 2010 4:56:44 AM

    Yes at 4ghz you need a good mobo. And a good cooler. The noctua d14 is the only cooler on the market who comes ready made(with all components) and can hit 4gnz stable OC. Although with a very good mobo you could do better.
    May 21, 2010 4:34:57 PM

    ^ Hell, with a $4k budget, you probably should be looking at water cooling. Not air cooling.