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Gaming Rig $1,500 - Need final review of components

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June 10, 2010 10:27:46 PM

BUDGET: Around $1,500

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sooner the better. I wouldn't mind finding some good deals online but it isn't absolutely necessary.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (getting back into higher end games), Movies, Surfing Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, and Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com; I also have a Microcenter and Frys next to my house. I am really open to anything.

PARTS PREFERENCES: [bNone[/b]

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes / No / Maybe later - or would now be better?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Depends on the monitor I get but would like one with 1900 x 1200

PARTS PICKED OUT:

CPU - I7 930
Already purchased at MicroCenter. Debated this over 875k but went with 1366 socket

MOBO - GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEMORY - CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heat Sink - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120m
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : gaming rig 500 final review components

June 10, 2010 10:33:49 PM

Please see my post here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/287840-31-building-co...

Quote:
CPU
Leaning towards 930 since 875k is the same price. I know there isn't much difference in performance but over the long run the 1366 board seems more viable. But what do I know.

Memory
Prob going to run dual channel (2x2GB) for now


Those two statements are contradictory. The 1366 is a 3 x 2GB board

I'd recommend the 1156 based system in the thread mentioned and add a 1920 x 1200 monitor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 10, 2010 10:51:03 PM

They are sold in matched sets
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June 10, 2010 10:51:54 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Please see my post here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/287840-31-building-co...

Quote:
CPU
Leaning towards 930 since 875k is the same price. I know there isn't much difference in performance but over the long run the 1366 board seems more viable. But what do I know.

Memory
Prob going to run dual channel (2x2GB) for now


Those two statements are contradictory. The 1366 is a 3 x 2GB board

I'd recommend the 1156 based system in the thread mentioned and add a 1920 x 1200 monitor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I thought I could just run dual channel with a 1366 board. I've seen benchmarks where the dual channel actually outperforms the tri channel in most everyday task. Regardless, I was thinking that I could do dual channel now and then later add a third stick once I felt I needed it.
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June 10, 2010 10:53:03 PM

So couldn't I just buy a dual channel set and install it? I didn't know I had to install memory in each channel. Am I wrong?
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June 10, 2010 11:40:02 PM

1st don't forget about Amazon and tigerdirect=both no sales tax and free shipping
2nd 1156(875k) is more efficent then the 1366(930)
3rd go ATI 5850 or 5870= less heat and less power then Nvidia ...plus runs great 0on games
4th PSU should be at least 750 ...go higher( 850 or 1050) if you plan on SLi or crossfire later
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June 10, 2010 11:45:09 PM

Dual Channel= 1156(875k) trple Channel= 1136
can't fit dual in triple Motherboard and visa versa motherborads won't let you
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June 10, 2010 11:53:58 PM

For gaming , start with the graphics card. At 1920 x 1200 resolution, you will get exceptional performance with 5850 that should cost about $310. If your budget permits, the 5870 or GTX470 are also good. By the time you need/want more, then you have options. Either sell your 5850 and get the next best single card, or get another 5850 for crossfire. Only if you can get a 2560 x 1600 monitor would you need more. If you think you might ever crossfire, then I would favor the 1336 socket

Either cpu will drive the strongest graphics configuration out there today. Great buy on both at $199.
You can probably market the 875K for a bit more than the 930 because it is newer. Neither is "future proof" The next generation from Intel(sandy bridge 32nm) will use a different socket. But what you build should serve you well past sandy bridge. Do not worry about that.

For a hard drive, see if you can find the newly announced Seagate momentus XT hybrid drive. It will be about $130 for a 500gb drive that has some MLC cache to improve performance. I like using a SSD for the OS and frequently used apps. You could get a Kingston 64gb for $150 or so, or an Intel 80gb for $210. Add a cheap storage drive. But... if you wait until fall, expect the prices to drop.

Get a good psu. If you plan on crossfire, get one with 4 6 or 6/8 pin connectors. I like the Corsair 650HX for $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a quiet case, it is hard to beat the Antec SOLO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $95. If you want to use larger graphics cards than 10", then you will have to mod the hard drive bay. Google to see how. A good alternative for larger cards is the Antec 300 illusion model: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60

Motherboards now are shipping with 6gb sata and usb 3.0 Consider if you will use those features. 6gb sata may come into play with newer and faster SSD's. usb3.0 may be useful for fast external backup. On a new system today, I think I would look for those features. If you do only one thing at a time, like gaming, then 4gb is fine. If you will multitask, then more ram is better; 6gb or 8gb. Windows-7 will try to make use of all the ram you give it, and ram is relatively cheap.

You can get 1080p(1920 x 1080) monitors cheaper than 1920 x 1200. But, I think I would pay the extra for a very good monitor. It is more future proof than the rest of your system.

I see that samsung has a bluray combo drive for $70. If you will want to play bluray, that looks good to me. I have liked their dvd drives. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For any ram you are considering, do your own homework.
Go to the ram vendor's web site, and access their configurator.
Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, OCZ and others have them.
Their compatibility list is more current than the motherboard vendor's QVL lists which rarely get updated.
Enter your mobo or PC, and get a list of compatible ram sticks.

Here are a few links:

http://www.crucial.com/index.aspx

http://www.corsair.com/configurator/default.aspx

http://kingston.com/

http://conf.ocztechnology.com/index.php?c=1

http://www.patriotmemory.com/configurator/index.jsp

Cpu performance is not very sensitive to ram speeds.
If you look at real application and game benchmarks(vs. synthetic tests),
you will see negligible difference in performance between the slowest DDR2 and the fastest DDR3 ram.
Perhaps 1-2%. Not worth it to me.
Don't pay extra for faster ram or better timings unless you are a maximum overclocker.

---good luck---
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June 11, 2010 1:07:57 AM

if you want fast storage for load times then go with SSD they are little more but they run fast and then you can get a 500g or higher hdd for storage. SSD i would go for intel x25m 80gb...they are the best in SSD but of course it is more expandsive. If u don't want to spend much then i would look into OCZ agility 2 or vertex 2 but price is not that much of a difference. HDD i would go for samsung spinpoint f3 has the best performance...is not then Western Digital black or Seagate 7200

PSU i would go for Corsair, Seasonic or Antec and 750w is enough if you are going to overclock...if not....650w is fine...even if you crossfire

Ram i would suggest Gskill ram...better price and good ram

Case i would go for the Antec 300 illusion....i think is only sold at newegg and is better then the antec 300...more fans

you haven't mentioned anything about you GPU yet but i'll suggest radeon 5850 or 5870 will be able to run at that resolution

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June 11, 2010 2:05:06 AM

archetype said:
So couldn't I just buy a dual channel set and install it? I didn't know I had to install memory in each channel. Am I wrong?


You can install any number of sticks up to the motherboard's max. Ram is not single/dual/triple channel by itself. To get dual channel, you need even numbers of sticks on each channel. To get triple channel, you need three sets of sticks. Some motherboards can do dual channel with unbalanced sticks. In truth, the nehalem memory controllers are so good that they can keep the cpu fed with ram data fast enough so that there is minimal impact on real application performance or FPS. Think on the order of 1-2%.

It is more important to get sufficient ram. One extra stick will get you more performance than faster speed or better timings. I think that 6gb is the sweet spot for most of us; that implies a 1366 motherboard for triple channel.
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June 11, 2010 5:37:47 PM

one last review
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!