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Need advice on first gaming build, ~$1500

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June 20, 2010 8:55:51 PM

Hello all,

I am seeking advice on a current build I am working on. This will be my first build, and as such I am in need of assistance. Here are the relevant details.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~ $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, microsoft office suite, surf the web, movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Core i7; am willing to spend a litte more for quality parts

OVERCLOCKING: No; I want to keep the system very stable and prolong its life as much as possible.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Its currently 1920x1080


This is my build so far:

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $69.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: 2 (in crossfire configuration) - XFX HD-585X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 - $284.99 each (total $569.98)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $119.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998805, 6 CAS latency - $214.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock X58 Extreme 3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - $289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FAN: Scythe DFS123812-3000 "ULTRA KAZE" 120 x 38 mm Case Fan, Air Flow 133.60 CFM - $9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $ = 1539.91


Question 1
I currently have a Dell STB 2210 22" 1920x1080 monitor, but am thinking of getting a smaller one (the 22" is really more than I need). How important is the resolution of my monitor when trying to keep FPS as high as possible? Can dual HD 5850's handle a 1920x1080 resolution while still keeping video game performance settings on extra super high with AA etc., or would it help having a lower native resolution?

Question 2 (Related to Question 1)
Does the monitor screen size (e.g. 22") affect Frames Per Second as well? Like I said, a 22" monitor is really too large for me.
I believe that LCD's with standard resolutions and screen sizes are better because they're more compatible with Graphics Cards. What monitor screen size below 22" and what native resolution would you recommend to maximize FPS and avoid image stretching?

Question 3
When I first install the OS, which will be Windows 7 32 bit, possiblly upgrading to 64 bit later, can I boot and install from a USB drive? I do not want to purchase an optical drive and am not sure how I will install the OS for the first time.


Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks for your time!
June 20, 2010 9:09:13 PM

1 At 1080 those cards will perform perfectly with any title. I don't know why you'd want to downsize, but better frame rates is not an issue here.

2 again, don't know why you're downsizing but that's your business. downsizing is not going to affect performance, it will just make everything smaller. A single HD4850 is all you need to drive a 22" monitor.

3 Why don't you want an optical drive? Why don't you just get a netbook?
Related resources
June 20, 2010 11:33:55 PM

@ buzznut
Thanks for your input. I'm just used to a much smaller monitor, so the 22" seems huge. If it won't cause any performance issues than I'll just stick with it.
I already have an older computer that has an optical drive, so I didn't want to buy another one.

@Davcon
Thanks for the link. I didn't realize that the KKN1 was an older model. I also found a CM KKN2, which is the advanced version of the KKN3 you recommended, at a MicroCenter's website for $79.99 after rebate. Might go with that one.
June 20, 2010 11:48:18 PM

Hey Drew,

Antec 750W PSU + Antec 900 Case $190 - $25 mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

i7 930 + 6GB cas 8 RAM $440 - $30 mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

5870 + X58A-UD3R motherboard $580
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair H50 $60
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2086386

or Hyper 212 Plus $30 at ncix.com

Total: $1350 - $55 in mail-in rebates = $1295

Motherboard is one of the best, recommended buy for 2010 here at Tom's Hardware. Has USB 3.0, sata6, dual pci-e 16x/16x, triple channel & dual channel, theres a comparison between 3 others here at Tom's Hardware. This mobo comes out on top.

I had a similar system with a 5850,4gb ram, 650w psu for a similar price without combos. Combo deals at newegg pretty good right now.
June 21, 2010 2:33:19 AM

Drew1123 said:
@ buzznut
Thanks for your input. I'm just used to a much smaller monitor, so the 22" seems huge. If it won't cause any performance issues than I'll just stick with it.
I already have an older computer that has an optical drive, so I didn't want to buy another one.

@Davcon
Thanks for the link. I didn't realize that the KKN1 was an older model. I also found a CM KKN2, which is the advanced version of the KKN3 you recommended, at a MicroCenter's website for $79.99 after rebate. Might go with that one.

That's a great price for the Advanced the new 690II's are really nice i have the Basic for my i3 530rig.
The Advanced has some nice features you'll like it.
!