Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a Gaming Rig, couple of questions!

Last response: in Systems
Share
May 31, 2010 6:23:56 AM

Hi there,

I've been at a loss as to what parts to buy and such. I am on a $1200-1400 limit currently, but can expand on that later.

I am Canadian, and can only purchase my pieces from ncix.com, unless the prices are cheaper somewhere else and the shipping makes it worth it, which is probably not true. So in any case, my parts are 95%+ of the time coming from NCIX.

Here are some outlines:

Limit: $1000-1500 US.

Purpose: Gaming, and the ability to game smoothly in the future. Currently just WoW, but I want it to run FFXIV, and any other new high-end games on (hopefully) max settings.

Time Frame: I can wait until around christmas for this. I am not in the hugest rush, but if the wait isn't worth it

Monitor/Resolution: Dell2407WFP, 1900x1200

OS: Win7, assuming it is approved of here, haven't read much about it! XP otherwise. I currently have both, so either work. Would prefer to try out Win7 though.

Cooling: I want to try water cooling, but I have read it is not worth the hastle. I am fine with the sound fans make. Would prefer quiet, but loud is alright if it helps performance.

Expansion: Would love to have room for expansion in this build.

Overclocking: Yes. Would like to get as much out of my system as possible.

Required: Pretty much everything inside and including the case aside from a PSU and Sound Card.

Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Headphones, Monitor. Pretty much everything outside of the case, Sound Card, PSU


I have somewhat limited it down to the following build from reading and browsing forums, however these are unknowledgeable and can be changed easily:

CPU - 1090T vs i7-930

RAM - Either GSkillz --> http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42745&vpn=F3...

Or something better. Do I only want 4GB? Or should I get 6,8,12? I am not sure how much is required for what I need.

Case - I have no idea.

Video Card - Can't decide on ATI vs Radeon. Also can't decide how much to splurge, example: 5850 vs 5870?

PSU - Already have a 750W Corsair

HDD - 2TB WD Caviar --> Will get a SDD at a later date, I think, was putting off a SDD until later, is that smart?

Motherboard - I honestly have no idea.


So, any opinions? What would you build?

May 31, 2010 9:28:17 AM

Since no rendering/encoding there is no need to go overboard on chip + board so anywhere in the
AthlonII X3 440 - PhenomII X4 955BE would suffice to be honest ^^ HD 5870 if u can afford it ^^
May 31, 2010 9:54:15 AM

Here's an idea for a futureproof AMD:

Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 AMD890FX
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=52043
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=52067
G.SKILL F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM Ripjaws
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=44261
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB (O.S.)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=36050&promoi...
Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=49262
Samsung SH-S243D/BEBE 24X Black DVD Writer
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=45667
Noctua NH-C12P SE14
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=47091
XFX Radeon HD 5870 HD587XZNFV 1GB
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=52825
Coolermaster Haf 922
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=38996

$1,474.91

Edited for a HD 5870.


Related resources
May 31, 2010 11:29:45 AM

Everything I have read says that the higher end Intel is better, but everywhere I ask they recommend the 1090T, is there a big reason why?

Also, is 4gb enough? should I think about 3x2gb?
May 31, 2010 12:18:26 PM

^ The above suggestions are good, but for gaming I wouldn't suggest the 1090T...
If you will be going with high-end graphic card setup, then better to stick with i7 930...

Here is a config...
Mobo -
ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - Free Shipping from newegg.ca
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Memory - There are not many good kits in ncix at a good price...These should cost you less from newegg.ca...
Corsair
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GSKillz -
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CASE - +1 for the HAF 922 - Very good airflow and is as big as a full tower...
But there is a very good alternative right now at newegg.ca -
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 - As good as the HAF in terms of features and of high quality finish...And this comes with Free Shipping from newegg.ca and would cost less than the HAF 922...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

And HDD, dont get the Seagate 7200.12 as the OS drive...The Samsung F3 1TB would suffice for now...And its cheaper @newegg.ca even including shipping I guess...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CPU Cooler -
IF you want a value for money cooler, then this one - CM Hyper 212+
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=41337&vpn=RR...

Other very good options...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=47758&vpn=SC...

But if you are willing to spend more for that extra bit of performance...
Noctua NH-U12P SE2
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42819&vpn=NH...
May 31, 2010 12:28:10 PM

Thanks =)

A couple notes:

NCIX is CANADIAN pricing, not american, take that into account for pricing =) Also, shipping is essentially free. I can get it shipped in its entirety for $10, or free if I pick it up (which is also an option).... now onto more important things. Again, sorry to bash my head into the wall with the same type of questions ,but I just want to be clear before I make this purchase.

gkay, you are the first to recommend 3x2gb, what is your reasoning? I am happy to see it, but just curious =) Random question ,but will I have room on the mobo for another set of 3x2gb if I ever wanted it in the future?

HDD: People seem to love that Samsung 1TB, I am assuming it's better than the WD/Seagate version? Am I losing speed or anything if I upgrade this to 2TB? Or will it be the same drive, just larger? (1TB isn't enough).

I think I am set on Intel here, I have never not used AMD, and am really interested in trying Intel out =)

Is now a good time to buy? I just sold some things around the house (I love eBay), and am now $1000 richer. I can expand my budget another $200-600 if it's worth it, or wait for the next wave of technology to come out, hmm =)

May 31, 2010 12:38:10 PM

^ Well I dont see any new tech coming out before the year-end or by 2011...And was not aware of the newegg.ca pricing...

And as for the suggestion of 6GB, the i7 9xx CPUs have Tri-Channel memory controller...So to take advantage of those, we suggest either 3GB/ 6GB/ 9GB or 12GB...and for gaming, 6GB hits the sweet spot...

And as for the HDD, its your call...If you need 2TB, then its fine you stick with the WD...And the 2TB Black is slightly faster than the F3...
May 31, 2010 12:40:51 PM

If gaming is the main priority, then i'd go with the Intel i7 930 over the AMD 1090. Usually the longer you can put off buying components, the better off you are since new products show up, prices drop and you have more time for research. Here's a good site for case reviews.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/case/15/2

Of the 2 builds, i like Gkay09 the most, a very good place to start your research.

Here's a good site to compare performance of different CPUs
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/47?vs=146

Good site to compare aftermarket heatsinks and fans.
www.frostytech.com

and of course all the articles here at Toms.
May 31, 2010 7:13:56 PM

Thank you!

I honestly didn't even notice newegg it was newegg.CA, I apologize... However I can't find anywhere on the site that says what currency it's in =(

Thank you so much for your opinions, feel free for people to keep chiming in, reassurance is a great feeling =)

Two things of 3x2gb is possible on this MoBo, right? And like I said, I ran into a little extra money, would splurging a bit more make a huge difference? If so, what piece?
May 31, 2010 8:27:16 PM

12 GB vs. 6 GB makes almost zero difference for most users. As for splurging, I would spend it getting the 5870 rather than the 5850. If you have money left over, spend it on a top HSF because the the i7-930 OCs to 4.0+ GHz so easily.
June 1, 2010 2:37:46 AM

One last post before I order this. I am planning on ordering from NCIX.com and price matching some pieces on newegg.ca.

Here is the build, opinions welcome. My biggest concern is SSD+HDD. I want 2TB storage space, but do not necessarily need. I definitely need at least 1TB, and would prefer 2TB, but the drives seem much slower at 2TB and everyone keeps pointing me to the Samsung 1TB.

Another question is the memory. There is a bundle, saving a huge deal on the corsair ram in the list below, is it worth the 50$ extra for the increase in speed?

Here it is:

Samsung SH-S243D/BEBE 24X Black DVD Writer SATA OEM --> $32

Coolermaster Haf 922 Mid Tower ATX Case Black 5X5.25 5X3.5INT Front Audio USB eSATA No PSU --> 129.99 PM'd to 109.99

Noctua NH-U12P SE2 LGA775/1156/1366 AM2/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ 2XNH-P12 120MM Fans --> 79.99

Intel Core i7 930 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.8GHZ 8MB L3 Cache 130W 45NM Retail Box --> 313.99 PM'd to 298.99

Corsair XMS3 Dominator 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 7-8-7-20 Core i7 Triple Channel Memory Kit --> 259.99 in a bundle with the CPU

Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB SATA2 3GBPS 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM --> 125.99

ASUS P6X58D-E X58 ATX LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI CrossFire SLI USB3.0 SATA 6GB/S Motherboard --> 267.90 PM'd to 249.99

XFX Radeon HD 5870 HD587XZNFC 850MHZ 1GB GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card --> 439.99 PM'd to 423.99

OCZ Vertex 60GB 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD --> 217.42 PM'd to 184.99

Total: $1990, including taxes and shipping.
June 1, 2010 2:47:05 AM

I'd would go down to the 45nm i5 750. You can really get some good performance for the buck with systems built around them. Just a thought.
June 1, 2010 3:52:46 AM

^ Not a bad idea, but for a very powerful graphic subsystem, the i7 9x + X58 is the way to go...
June 1, 2010 4:22:21 AM

Thank you so much again for the info!

My last question is the one lingering since the beginning:

Which HDD+SSD do I get? Do I need a SSD?

If I had a SSD, I would have: WoW, my OS, and probably another game that I would install/uninstall every now and then depending on what I was playing.

I would like a 2TB storage drive, but 1TB will do, I will get the Samsung if I get 1TB, but what should I get if I get a 2TB?

Also, if I do not get a SSD, what should I use for my OS drive?
June 1, 2010 4:28:17 AM

^ If you dont get a SSD, then get the Samsung F3 1TB as boot drive...
Or just get the WD Black 2TB, if you want space and speed...

And it might be a good idea to hold back your SSD purchase as new SSDs with SandForce controllers are in the market...So in a few days/ months time, you can expect even cheaper and faster drives...And also Intel has made a transition from 32NM to 28NM for the memory chip manufacturing...So they would also launch newer drives in few months time...
June 1, 2010 4:52:11 AM

Thanks, just going to go with the 1TB Samsung.

64bit Win7 eh?
June 1, 2010 4:57:38 AM

^Yes...64 bit if you want the OS to utilize the whole 6GB RAM + 1GB vRAM...
June 1, 2010 5:23:18 AM

I did read most of it, but I honestly don't understand all of it. In the WDBlack page, it was said that it was the fastest drive aside from the Velociraptor I think it was, but it was also dated October 2009, just wanted to make sure!
June 1, 2010 5:45:15 AM

^ AFAIK there are no new drives that came out after that one, that made headlines...

And also why I suggested the Black is because it only about $30 more if you compare say 2x 1TB F3s...
But if you store lots of important stuffs on the drive, then going with smaller drives might be a good idea as you wont loose all the stuffs just in case the HDD crashes...
But if you have a backup for that, the get the Black...
June 1, 2010 7:28:04 AM

^ That is a good info mosox...AFAIK and till what I had seen about the "Bulldozer"(long time ago), there was an article which said AMD will launch a new platform for that...But turns out it might not be right after all...
Here is some more...
a pdf files from AMD site itself...
http://sites.amd.com/us/Documents/FAD_2009_Platform_and...
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/4/15/amds-nex...

But again you can say how much better the Bulldozer would be when compared to the Nehalems too...
June 1, 2010 9:30:57 AM

I honestly dont plan on upgrading the main parts of this computer for 2-3 years, at least until the current games are running as badly as the ones on my current comp are now =)

Is something like that going to matter at all for me? I mean, by the time I upgrade this computer, wont the AMD/Intel CPUs be however many generations ahead of what I would have prepared myself for, and I would need a different mobo/etc anyway?
June 1, 2010 9:39:46 AM

That is why we dun launch a missile to swat a fly and if you are building a rendering/encoding machine *and* time = $$ then fair enuff - splash a lot on chip+ board but fortunately and with chipset longevity/progression/technology factored in a 955BE +870+ HD 5850/5870 is all u need for games. Hell our very own forums did a $70+ AthlonII X3 vs i7 purely games and suffice to say i would have no issues pairing that little chip with a HD 5870 with the AA/AF turned up on Full HD Save the rest for the next generation bang for buck gaming related hardware whicever camp that is ^^ You may also read up on Moore's Law and how our so called high end/expensive hardware now becomes rapidly obsolete
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law#Obsolescence
June 1, 2010 9:40:45 AM

Honestly I don't care anymore what CPU gives me 5-10% more in this or that application. I just want to keep it cool and quiet (while having a decent performance) and to not have tho change my platform every time I want to upgrade the CPU. There's been a few years since I've run a benchmark, I don't care anymore and IMO today's mid-range CPU's are already overkill for the usual applications.

From my limited experience I'd say it's better to buy a mid-range platform and upgrade it than to buy a high-end platform. You buy a high end CPU or video card, and 1 year later you see that you can get the same performance for half the price. The thing is, if you didn't use your high-end CPU/GPU at full potential during this time you've thrown your money out the window.

What's the use of getting, say, a Q9400 in late 2008, use it at 30% of its potential and when you finally feel that you need that power, you see that you can get a better and cheaper CPU for much less ? Only one year after the Q9400 the i5 750 and the Phenom II X4 showed up.
June 1, 2010 10:39:47 AM

^ People who had got say Q9400/ Q9550 are still happy with their purchase and still can wait for the next gen for a good upgrade...
So the point is that even though you will be getting a slightly expensive PC now, it would have a longer lifespan compared to a Mid-end PC...
Only major things that you would have to change then is your graphics card...
Though I wont say that this build is the only way to go for the OP's intended usage, but am sure it will last him long before he would want to upgrade his PC...

But if the OP is not in a hurry, then waiting might be a good idea as the info given my mosox does open up a new option...
More solid details would be available by the year-end of AMD as well as Intel's camp...
June 1, 2010 10:06:42 PM

Sorry to bump this again! Big purchases require certainty! So far everything is in place, but the memory and the HDD, here are two questions:

The choices I have seem to be:

2x Samsung 1TB in a RAID

vs

2x WD Black 1TB in a RAID

vs

1x WD Black 2TB


Price isn't really that much of a difference, Samsung is the cheapest, then WD Black 1TB, then WD Black 2TB.

Pricing aside, which of the three above would perform the best?

And:

What memory should I get?

I can get

3x2gb Corsair 1366 --> http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40135&vpn=TR3X6G...

or

3x2gb Corsair 1600 Dominators --> http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34802&vpn=TR3X6G...

or

3x2gb Gskillz --> http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34719&vpn=F3-128...


I can Price Match them down a little bit, and I should be able to get the Corsair Dominators for $259. How is the performance on all of them? Which should I get for this system?
!