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Gaming rig 1000-1500 (Need CUDA) First Build

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July 9, 2010 1:39:31 AM

Hello everyone,
This is my first post on Toms Hardware but I've always been a big fan of reading reviews and forums. I'd like to build a new system for gaming, photoshop, occasional 3D modeling and programming and would love to get some feedback on the parts I've chosen so far. I'm particularly unsure about my choices for the memory, PSU, case and cpu cooling. I would like this computer to last me for several years as I'm only a student and will not be upgrading my rig every few months.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month
BUDGET RANGE: $1000-1500 CAD
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, photoshop, programming, occasional 3D modeling, the regular movies, internet etc.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (currently have Samsung 226BW 1680x1050, considering upgrade), speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Canadian sites unless crazy savings (read: Microcenter for the CPU :p )
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer Intel and Nvidia (need CUDA for school)
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 currently, considering upgrade to 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

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Build So Far:

Core i7-930 - $200 USD -> $209 CAD
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

ASUS ENGTX470 - $340 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45103...

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R - $220 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45052...

OCZ 6G (3 x 2G) DDR3 PC3-10666 (OCZ3G1333LV6GK) - $155 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=43724...

Corsair TX CMPSU-650TX - $115 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=44522...

Antec 300 - $50 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=35316...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1 TB - $66 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=44508...

LG GH24NS50 SATA 24X DVD-RW - $23 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45009...

Scythe Mugen-2 Rev.B - $50 CAD
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=8...

Total: $1,228 CAD
w/ Tax: $1,388 CAD

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I'm considering upgrading my 22" 1680x1050 monitor and noticed the recent Samsung P2770H (27" 1920x1080) for $410 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45123...

I was wondering if you guys think upgrading from my current monitor is worth it and also if the above build would be capable of running upcoming games for a year or so on max settings at that resolution.

I was considering beefing up the build to be able to really handle higher resolutions using the following changes:
GPU 1: ASUS ENGTX470 - $340 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45103...

GPU 2: ASUS ENGTX470 - $340 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45103...

PSU: Corsair TX CMPSU-850TX - $155 CAD
http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=44522...

What do you think of the SLI 470 vs. a single 480 for this new monitor? Do you think it is mad overkill?

I'm really not sure about the case. The CM HAF X (http://infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=45179...) seems really sick but blowing on $190 CAD on a case is crazy when I could put that toward GPU or SSD. Is there a quality case with awesome airflow, plenty of space, a good view of the insides, looks good, has sweet cable management and is cheaper than this beast that you'd recommend?

Finally, just to throw a wrench into all of this, do you think I'm completely off the mark on going 1366-X58 and should have gone with something like the i5-750 and a P55 mobo? The i7-930 seems to be a very impressive CPU and if I'm going to go the SLI route, X58 seems to be where it's at. Also I really like 6GB ram, 4GB seems too little to me given that I want this to be my system for the next few years and 8GB sounds overkill and is too expensive.

Sorry for the long post and if I made any noob mistakes, this is my first system build.

Thank you in advance
July 11, 2010 1:20:08 PM

Overall.. I'd say stick with the X58+930 route, since when CUDA is needed, usually Hyperthreading is useful too, but you could save a bit if you go with 1156 instead, depends on whether your programs are well threaded or not.

I'd stick with a single 470 for now, maybe you can SLI the other one in when you need to.

Not sure about the monitor, since you won't be gaining all that much from $400.
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