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Need Advice on a "Gaming to Enthusiast" New Build

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June 3, 2010 6:39:11 AM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:I'm still waiting for my Tax refund so anywhere around a month or two
BUDGET RANGE:I'm Trying to keep the final shipped to my door price very close to $2000 so my wife will let me buy it. ( I am however going to be buying a component or 2 each payday until I buy the bulk of it but no more than $200 per paycheck ( I get paid weekly so even better)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:I would like to call myself a avid gamer but i don't get to play games as much as i would like due to current computer problems but that's about to change right guys?

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I do not need a Mouse, Keyboard, monitor(that upgrade comes with next years taxes), PSU (will list my current PSU later), Physx card(I will also list my video card that I will be using as a Physx card later), Speakers, or a headset and i think that's it but don't quote me on it please.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I have always bought exclusively from Newegg but if there is a better place with cheaper prices and better support I'm open to it but those are big shoes to fill because Newegg is a damm good site.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have a certain affinity to Intel CPU's and Nvidia GPU's but I'm open to what will be giving me the best bang for my buck and make it "future proof" (I know there is actually no such thing as future proof but at this point in time, at least from what i have been reading while doing my research, we have a case where the hardware far surpasses the software (gaming wise anyways) but we all know that it's never like this for very long.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, I want to get just 1 video card for now but buy another for SLI later.vx2035wm

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 Currently on my
ViewSonic X Series VX2035WM Piano Black-Silver 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My current PSU is:
ABS DARK BERET seriesDB1000-M-BRZ 1000W Continuous @50°C,80 PLUS BRONZE Certified,Modular Cable Design,Single 12V Rail,ATX12V v2.3/ EPS12V v2.92,SLI Ready,CrossFire Ready,Active PFC"Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply



My Current Video Card which i want to use for a Physx card is:
MSI N260GTX Twin Frozr OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card



And finally I have a list of parts i have been looking at but the last "gaming" computer that I built had a Pentium 4 and it was when it was just released so its been a while and i don't know what parts are considered good or bad anymore so any help at all is much appreciated. I don't think I need to put links for most of these parts as they are pretty mainstream but I will put links to the parts that I feel might be a little less known.

CPU: Intel Core i7-930

Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366

CPU Cooler: Corsair H50 which I plan on changing the fan and adding a second fan for a push pull configuration (both fans will be rated for 90 CFM's)

Ram: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7 G



Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 480 Superclocked with my MSI GTX 260 (216 cores) twin frozr as a Physx card and then later down the road SLI with another EVGA GTX480

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 bit OEM

Case: XCLIO 2000 Black &Ttitanium Finish 1.0 mm SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Full Tower Extreme Cooling Computer Case
12pcs HDD Aluminum Coolers




Hard Drives: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ( opted for 2 of these for the SATA 6.0 Gb/s)
I also want to get a SSD for a boot/ game drive so im looking at a 60GB one (well acually2 for a raid config)

Well I think that is pretty much it so please assist in any way that you can. Like I said before, I need to keep it as close to $2000 as possible but I will be able to spend between $100-$200 a week up to the time of the build (build is planned to happen in a month or 2 as soon as i get my tax return back) on little parts here and there so that will make it easier to meet my goal i hope. And if there are better parts at close or even cheaper prices please let me know so I don't make the mistake of buying crappy parts. I don't get to make new gaming computers all that often and I am by no means well off financially so the parts I buy need to last and need to be as future proof as possible anyways. Hopefully my links work fine but if they don' I am sorry =)

June 3, 2010 7:24:52 AM

^ that is a good start for a high-end build...
Some suggestions...

1. Mobo - If only you are planning for extreme overclocking and tweaking, the Rampage is worth it...But for a decent overclock - say even upto 4GHz, the ASUS P6X58D Premium would do...

2. RAM -
Certainly any of these...Just check them out...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. CASE - Any specific reasons for that one ???

4. SSD - I cant think of any and that too if you want RAID as OCZ only supports garbage collection that work with RAID...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Graphics card - GTX 470 would be better IMO...but its your call though...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 3, 2010 5:40:43 PM

Don't need a physx card.

For high end RAM, I'd actually suggest this G SKill Trident kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

See http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-channel-ram-dd...

HSF- You be better off with big air than cheap water. CM Hyper 212 Plus $30 on amazon, if you're on a budget. If you want the best, Megehalem if you want the best.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Doesn't' come with fans, so grab some nice scythe ones.
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June 3, 2010 6:06:32 PM

Ok I have a few questions about the parts you linked. Is it better to go with the:
P6X58D Premium



... Or the P6X58D-E



...And if you could explain why please because I like to learn about stuff especially electronics or more specifically computer components (I have a degree in Computers and Electronic Engineering but it was a long time ago and i haven't worked in the field so that is why I am asking the questions because I just don't know which components are good or bad anymore). One other Motherboard I was looking in to was EVGA's new board :

EVGA X58 FTW3 132-GT-E768-KR LGA 1366 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Have you heard anything about it and would it be worth my money to get it? Is it even a good board? The reason that I have mostly been looking into Asus boards is that I have used them in the past and they have been very reliable for me, not to mention the abilities in the bios(asus boards have always givien me more options in bios than I needed and I would rather have too many options than not enough)

As for the Ram I think that i will take your advice on getting the Mushkin, Those timings (6-8-6-24) are unreal for DDR3-1600 ram. But like I said I have been out of the field for almost 10 years now so I have forgotten a lot of what I learned, with that said I have a question about the timings of ram. I understand the CAS latency and that but why is it so important to some people to get a 1T or 2T in there timings and please refresh me on what it means ( again of course if you wouldn't mind). Another question I had about ram was 6 GB or 12 GB. I don't plan on only gaming on this computer, I also plan on doing a bit of photo and video editing which is a memory intensive task. Im not going to be doing Professional stuff just some home movies and photo album stuff but a lot of it so I don't absolutely "HAVE TO HAVE IT" but would it be beneficial to get it or not? I have heard of cases where have too much ram can slow certain aspects of your computer down rather than speeding it up. Another question, Is it better to have lower (or tighter) timings or faster speeds? It seems with this Mushkin that its got the best of both though.

As for the case I chose it ( and let me tell you, I have been researching parts for this computer for almost a year now(since i got the go ahead from the wife =)) because of it's Huge size which gives me ample room to upgrade down the road and its airflow design. If you look at how the fans are positioned and whether they are blowing out or in then you see that the fans from the front blow air in and the fans from the side blow it towards the motherboard and from what I understand it creates a sort of cyclone effect inside the case which is then sucked out of the case, when it has heated up from the components, from the top of the computer( which is heats natural exit point seeing that heat rises) And I'm not going to lie and tell you that all of the LED fans don't look cool too. The only problem I see that i could run into with this case is the fact that my 1 1/2 year old son takes after me and is somehow drawn towards electronics and he already goes and tries to play on my computer now and it doesn't have any lights in it so if I get this case then I can see him (as one reviewer put it his "kids we're drawn to it like a moth to light"). I mean if you know of a certain case that is "The Best" at cooling then by all means please let me know. I am not using a Air CPU cooler btw, I am going to be using the Corsair H50 in a push pull configuration but in stead of using the supplied fan I am going to be replacing it and adding a second fan (for the push/pull configuration I referred to) with a airflow of 90 CFM but only a sound rating of only 19 DBA.

Here's a link to it:


I'm not completely set on getting that case though. I was also looking at the corsair 800D but I have only just started to look at it so I don't know as much about it as i would like to. I dont know how good it is at heat dissipation but from what I hear it too is a beast in size with plenty of room to expand.

Now as for the SSD, you cant normally raid them? What I wanted to do was get 2 SSD's( 50-60GB) and stripe them for better performance as my boot/game drive and then get 2 1TB WD caviar Black SATA 6GB/s HDD's in a separate raid configuration also stripped for better performance on them. Is this even possible to do? And if so then the drives to get are the OCZ ones that you linked?

And last but certainly not least is the Graphics card or cards. The reason that I chose the GTX 480 is I was always taught that for a gaming computer the one component that you will see the highest gains from in games is the graphics card. Now with that said do you think that I would see that much of a difference going with the GTX 480 over the GTX 470 or even the new GTX 465's that just came out? And on the subject of the GTX 465's I know that how Nvidia does it is that they unlock less and less of the cores the lower the card that you get. The GTX 480 doesn't even take advantage of all the cores available in the Fermi cards, it only uses 480 out of 512 core available where the GTX 470 uses 448 cores and the GTX 465 uses 352 cores. So my question is will I be able to play the latest and greatest games with 2 GTX 470's in SLI or even with 2 GTX 465's in SLI and don't forget that I'm going to use my MSI GeForce GTX 260 Twin Frozr (216 core version)? Another question is should I get the Superclocked version or the normal one and overclock it myself? And is there cards from other brands than EVGA that are better to get?

I would have liked to have put my whole system on a water cooling set-up but I'm not confident enough to do it and not screw it up and also it can get quite pricey. If I was to do it though I would put 2 separate radiators and put my CPU, GPU's, Ram, and possibly my Chipset's on the system. I saw the Ram cooler that Corsair has and it is one mean piece of equipment (The link to it is below). Being able to keep my ram sub ambient temperature would defiantly be beneficial.

CWCDHXTEC - Corsair Cooling™ Ice Series T30 sub-ambient cooling subsystem for Dominator®


So let me know what you think and if there is anymore incite please do share.





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June 3, 2010 6:13:47 PM

Oh and I forgot to I forgot to say that I'm not set on getting the Core i7-930 CPU. I am considering getting something less powerful on the Intel side or even going with the 6 core AMD chips. So if you guys feel that I might get good performance with a huge difference in price going with a difference Socket then please do list a set of parts to go with the new CPU choice.
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June 3, 2010 6:27:05 PM

i dont like the new nvidia cards they take up wayy to much power and push out way too much ehat youll have yo have a 4 pci slot mobo to xfire them
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June 3, 2010 6:40:08 PM

Asus an Gigabyte are both quality MOBO makers.

RAM wise, timings generally better than more speed. More speed is only used if you actually overclock to take advantage of it. DDR3 1600 should be fine for everything cept the most extreme overclocks.

Now that said, often higher speed RAM can be down clocked to give much tighter timings. This is the case with the tridents, which was able to hit CAS 6 at 1600.

Cheap water cooling is always worse than good air.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/coolit-domino-cogag...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-h50-fort120...

case wise a HAF 922 or Element G would be better airflow for less money.

Exactly how high are you planning to overclock?

You can take a i70930 up to 4.2 ghz or so on a $30 CM Hyper 212 Plus fine w/o water cooling, RAM or chipset cooling.


If all you care about is gaming performance, even with a 1920x1080 monitor, a $1200 Phenom II x4, 5970 build will be more than enough to last you until next gen consoles come out, 2014 earliest.


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June 4, 2010 6:59:20 AM

@lawrencendlw as for your questions about the 1T vs 2T, check out these threads...though pretty old, but concept remains the same...
http://www.overclock.net/amd-memory/32605-1t-vs-2t-comm...
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=1585125&pa...

And that GSKillz Trident which banthracis linked is also a good option...

As for the difference between those 2 ASUS boards,
1. No eSATA on the non-premium version
2. No Dual-Gigabit LAN on the non-premium version
Apart from these I dont think there is any other major difference...

And as for EVGA mobos, they are also one of the best mobo manufacturers of Intel boards...And they are known for their overclocking friendly nature - which implies extensive BIOS options...
And that board is a revision of their earlier boards which has SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0...the only major issue that you would face with that board is the VRM heatsink that might block large CPU air coolers...But with the H50, you wouldnt have any issue...

CASE - The Corsair 800D is a very good option if you want a high-end case...
But check out even these options...
Lian-Li...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HAF 922 is a very good case, if you are OK with Mid-Tower...but you should know that this case is pretty bigger than others though...

And the reason why I suggested the GTX 470 is because it is the best value among the current Fermi cards w.r.t price/ performance...GTX 465 is a no no...Its not worth its price...
And GTX 470 SLI would be a very powerful setup if you plan to do so...and the latest games would easily max out @1080p with such a setup...And EVGA are one of the best for Nvidia cards...

As for ATI cards, if you are not very much attached to Nvidia cards, then certainly HD 5850/ HD 5870...
You can get stock cards and overclock them IMO...and many cards especially the ATI cards come with aftermarket coolers, that are very good...

If you are planning for a high-end graphic setup, then X58 would be my choice...It will better suit if you want to expand into Eyefinity or multiple monitor setup...
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June 4, 2010 7:20:11 AM

lawrencendlw said:


Now as for the SSD, you cant normally raid them? What I wanted to do was get 2 SSD's( 50-60GB) and stripe them for better performance as my boot/game drive and then get 2 1TB WD caviar Black SATA 6GB/s HDD's in a separate raid configuration also stripped for better performance on them. Is this even possible to do? And if so then the drives to get are the OCZ ones that you linked?

Just a heads up, you cannot set those WD Caviar Black HDs in a raid array. They have TLer disabled so it'll just keep dying on you. Also the 6 GB/s is kind of a gimmick as mechanical drives don't even hit the speeds to cap SATA 3GB/s. The only reason to get those HDs would be for the 64 cache or if they were on sale. I quickly purchased 2 them the night before a sale ended hoping to set them in a raid 0 configuration but sadly after having it break down on me over and over I researched a bit and found out that they could not be raided.

I'd suggest you go for the F3 1Gb Samsung Spinpoints for a raid 0. Not only are they cheaper but they perform better too.

Edit: Also the WD Blacks get pretty loud for a few seconds when they're reading off the cache. I don't mean to bash on WD as I've used many of their HDs in the past, but their recent products just aren't "the best" anymore.
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June 4, 2010 7:27:00 AM

^ +1 forgot about that...
Only the WD RE drives have that TLER(Time-Limited Error Recovery), which is a feature required for RAID drives...

And +1 for Samsung F3...

As for your question on RAID, like I said you can RAID the OCZ SSDs as they have a garbage collection software that also works on RAID SSDs, unlike TRIM, which doesn't have RAID support...this feature is very important for SSDs as the performance degradations occurs to a huge extent on the SSDs...Even the 1st gen Vertex drives can be used in RAID configs...
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