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Please check my $2000+ gaming system build

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June 11, 2010 2:30:56 PM

Good day all,

I have been lurking on these forums for quite a long time, and I find its inhabitants to be the most tech-savvy on the net. With that being said, it is only logical that I turn to you all for advice when building my new beast. I know you guys get a nauseating amount of these requests, but since I am dropping a lot of money (for me), I felt I had to do it.

Here are the specs:

Processor:
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-930 2.80GHz 8 MB LGA1366 CPU

Motherboard:
ASUS P6X58D Premium - LGA 1366 - X58 - DDR3 - USB 3.0 SATA 6 Gb/s - ATX Motherboard

Video Card:
XFX HD-597A-CNB9 Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5

RAM:
Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D Dominator 6 GB PC3-12800 1600 MHz 240-pin Triple Channel Core i7 DDR3 Memory Kit

Disk Drive:
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)

Main Drive:
Intel 80 GB X25M Mainstream SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD)

Storage Drives:
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM

Case:
Antec Twelve Hundred ATX 12 Drive Bays 2xUSB 2.0 eSATA Audio Full Tower Case

PSU:
Corsair CMPSU-1000HX 1000-Watt HX Professional Series

This computer will be used for gaming, audio and video editing, graphic design, desktop publishing, and streaming movies onto my plasma TV. These are all of equal importance to me.

The area of this build I am most ambivalent about is the graphics card. For a long time I toyed with doing 2x 5870 cards in crossfire, but have now leaned toward getting one 5970 card, and then getting another once prices come down a bit. As far as the brand goes, the XFX BE seemed like it had the most impressive perks.

Thanks so much for all of your time!
June 11, 2010 2:39:47 PM

Overall, it's a good build, but there are a few minor things that would make it a little better and a bit cheaper.

I would switch the RAM to these G.Skill Pi 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7. They'll be just as good but a lot cheaper.

I would switch the case to the HAF 922. The 1200 is a decent case (it's overpriced IMO), but the 5970 will be a tight fit. The card will fit perfectly in the HAF, and you'd save some money. If you don't like the looks of the HAF (most people find it kind of ugly), the Coolermaster Cosmos (there's a black version too) is a great case, but a tad expensive.

A 1kW PSU isn't need at all. An 850W unit will easily power two 5970s with overclocking. I'd go with the Cosair 850W Modular 80+ Silver.
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June 11, 2010 2:57:09 PM

^ +1

Confirming that 5970 easily fits in HAF 922, and the case is pretty sweet for managing wiring.

Agreed that a 1k is overkill. I'm planning on doing a similar crossfire setup in the future (waiting for 5970s to come down a bit before buying another) and I'm running an 850.

I really should put this in my signature: If you live near a Fry's Electronics or MicroCenter, the i7 930 is $199.99. You could also check your local computer hardware store, as they may have similar deals (I've seen similar deals in some small shops around here in Huntington Beach).
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June 11, 2010 3:52:24 PM

Thanks so much for your quick and thorough responses. I will address each issue separately.

RAM:
I've seen some mention about G.Skill, but I have this ridiculous brand loyalty to Corsair. I've bought their products since my first computer, and something about them makes me feel secure about the purchase. I haven't really heard much about G.Skill, although I see their RAM used quite frequently in different builds.

Case:
What appeals to me about the Antec case is the massive amount of fans. It seems to have better air cooling than the HAF 922. I don't know that I will do any water cooling in the future. Is it necessary? Also, isn't the 922 a midtower? I can't understand why it fits a 5970 better. Is it longer?

The reason I picked a 1k PSU was to try to anticipate any future power demands due to upgrades. I admittedly don't have a clear understanding of what could actually exceed the limits of an 850w PSU. Many crossfire setups of 5970s have 1000w PSUs so I figured it was the standard.

@Omniblivion - Unfortunately, I live in NJ. No Fry's around here. I notice that you have a somewhat similar setup as the one I am going for. How does it run?
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June 11, 2010 4:07:36 PM

Bummer, AND you have to pay tax on newegg purchases! (Same thing here in california :( )

The 922 fits the 5970 very well because the 5970 is literally a foot long (I first took it out of the box and was astonished). The 922 has very well spaced drive bays that allow for the card to have some room to breathe.

My computer runs amazing, I love it. Only downfall is that it can't run GTA IV at max settings (because GTA IV's programming is garbage). My system benchmarks at 2180 on Heaven 2.1 (4x AF, no tess, max settings)- that's 80 fps avg with 59 minimum fps on benchmark software at "max settings". I could go higher on AF, but don't notice a difference in quality.

Haf 922 has space for an additional large fan if you wanted- I get plenty of airflow as it is.

Push/Pull just means that I bought the standard Hyper 212 HSF, and threw on another 120mm fan to increase cfm, which cools down the processor even more- for $6 extra, why not!

In terms of Ram, it's a matter of preference at this point- if you are more comfortable with Corsair, then the few extra $$ is worth it. In terms of performance, you won't notice the difference while gaming.
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June 11, 2010 5:59:37 PM

I will point out that the HAF 922 is actually the size of a full tower. Compare the physical size of the case to other "full towers" and you'll find that it's mislabeled. The 922 is larger than many true full towers, despite it's classification as a mid-tower.

Also, at my last price check on the Dominators shows that they're about $100 more than G.Skill's 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks. Is your loyalty really worth that?
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June 11, 2010 6:00:48 PM

If you like the 932 colors/extra features over the 922, then by all means go for it.

One thing I would do would be to compare the specs of the cases you are debating, figure out which one is best for you (beyond just looks). The 932 may be better for dual 5970s due to the increased airflow and (extra space? i think it's only a little bit bigger).
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June 11, 2010 6:07:03 PM

Haha yea it is more about the airflow than the colors, although I am a sucker for blue :p .
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June 11, 2010 9:10:35 PM

Well, if you're a sucker for blue, consider the CM Storm Sniper too lol. It's essentially a better version of the HAF 922 with dust filters and blue LEDs. Airflow is on par with the stock 922 due to the extra side fan.
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June 11, 2010 9:16:49 PM

The Storm series is too small for the 5970. Not to mention completely overpriced. And it's certainly not better than the HAF. The HAF is easily the best case made right now. It comes with dust filters, offers more room for components and expansion, excellent cooling and most importantly a great price tag.
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June 11, 2010 9:17:20 PM

The Storm Sniper is NOT too small for a 5970. It's the same exact interior as a HAF 922. You might be thinking of a Storm Scout.
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June 11, 2010 9:41:56 PM

The Storm Sniper is about 2" taller than the HAF 922, other dimensions are the same. I would assume that the sniper would fit the 5970, but it is hard to tell without being able to see the internal drive setup.

In the 922, the internal drive bays are set up along the inside of the front of the case perpendicular to the case (so if you look through the front fan you'll see the side of the drives... if that makes sense).

If the sniper series is built the same, it will fit. If the drives on the sniper series are running parallel to the case, then the 5970 won't fit. (IE: if you looked through the front fan you'd see the front of the drive).
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June 11, 2010 10:07:13 PM

Wow, I really liked how the Storm Sniper looks.....

This choice just got harder.
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June 11, 2010 10:10:04 PM

Yes, the Storm Sniper is bad ass, and the drive configuration is the same as the HAF 922. It absolutely does fit the 5970, but if you don't want to take my word for it, there are videos on YouTube that prove it.
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