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Gaming machine questions

Last response: in Systems
July 19, 2010 7:20:41 AM


I'm looking to build a gaming machine, just a couple questions.

Here is the hardware:

Asus Rampage 3 extreme motherboard
Intel i7-960
Corsair 6GB 1333MHZ DDR3 RAM
Seagate 1TB HDD Sata-3GB
Dual Nvidia GTX480's
Probably an Antec case.
Probably an 800W+ PSU
Win7 64bit

I'm not quite sure what case I should use, a machine I had a few years ago was an Antec P190 I think, not exactly sure.
The last Antec case I had was pretty good, so I figured I will get another one.

I'll probably end up adding a couple of extra HDD's, maybe a blu ray drive too, I want a big PSU for future hardware I may add.

Can anyone suggest a good case and PSU for this hardware?

Also, I was wondering what is the AMD equivalent for the Intel i7's? Any suggestions for a motherboard on par with the rampage 3 for AMD?

Is 1333mhz memory enough or should I go faster?

Would the 480GTX's be good? Or should I get another model? I don't mind spending abit more for better video cards.
I've been buying Nvidia for years and always liked them, but I would be willing to look at ATI, I have no idea which ATI I should go for if I decided on this.

Please feel free to give any advise on different hardware than what I have list that you think I should use.

Thanks in advance for the assistance:) 
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 9:41:50 AM

If you will give us a bit more info we could help you better:

There is no equivalent AMD CPU for high end i7s. AMD's fastest quad core CPU is just a tad slower than an i5 750... still plenty if all you are doing is gaming, but will perhaps need replacing a bit sooner than a faster CPU.

a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 5:32:18 PM

As a suggestion for a case, how about the Antec 1200?

It has superb cooling for sli GTX480 and plenty of room for expansion.

850W should be good. The graphics cards are what needs the power. You can add all the peripherals you want without much impact.
I like the XFX psu's. The 850 looks good to me:
Corsair is also similar, but a bit more expensive

AMD does not have a cpu as capable as the current i7-9xx Intel cpu's. On a clock for clock basis, they are a bit slower.

I do not think the couple of extra multipliers on the i7-960 are worth it for the price premium. The i7-930(available at microcenter-walk in for $199) can conservatively be overclocked to 975 speeds and beyond. That is plenty to drive any game well.

Along the same lines, the ASUS rampage 3 extreme is for specialized usage. Support for 4 graphics cards seems a bit much unless you are into folding@home or such.
You should be able to find a perfectly capable X58 motherboard for $100 less.

Ram is OK.
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. That said, there is not much of a price premium for 1600mhz ram which can be good if overclocking.

Dual GTX480 is as good as it gets. I hope you will be using a 2560 x 1600 monitor or two, otherwise such a graphics configuration is overlkill.

Add in a good cpu cooler. Prolimatech megahalems is as good as it gets for air cooling:

I do not recommend liquid cooling.

Related resources
August 4, 2010 11:29:08 AM

Hi, sorry for the very late reply.

Thanks for the advice, Geofelt.

I've listed the HW below, I'm just looking for some advice about possibly changing what I've listed to some better or more cost effective for similiar performance.

For the CPU I'm thinking about the I7 980X, which is what I have listed below. However, I am just not sure if it is worth it or I should go for a lower spec 9xx I7. Would I notice a difference with HD video and HD gaming with a cheaper I7?
If not, should I go for something like an I7 930 or a different CPU?

I picked the Asus rampage extreme III because I want a good reliable motherboard. I've built several systems in the past with Asus motherboards and they have been extremely reliable.
I also looked at the P6T Asus Deluxe motherboard, not really sure if I should go for something like this or get the rampage.
Would there be any majour performance/reliability difference if I used a motherboard like the Asus P6T over the rampage?

For the memory, I just chose 1600MHZ because the price difference to a lower speed memory doesn't really worry me.

For the case, I was hoping I could use a mid tower case like an Antec 900. I like the Antec 1200, that's what I've listed. I was just hoping for a smaller sized case. I read the rampage III is a little larger than a normal motherboard, maybe the Antec 1200 is the best option if I decide to chose this motherboard.

I couldn't find a monitor on new egg that is 2560x1600(I only did a very quick search though), but yes I do want a resolution like this. Any recommendations on monitors? I've bought a few Acer monitors in the past, they seemed pretty good.


ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case


Antec CP-1000 1000W Continuous ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply


Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980X


CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9


Corsair Nova CSSD-V32GB2-BRKT 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) X3 in RAID 0
Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Video Cards:

ZOTAC AMP! ZT-40102-10P GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Two in SLI


Acer G245Hbmid Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor

a b 4 Gaming
August 4, 2010 6:23:30 PM

Questions from the before linked reference :p 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / No / Maybe

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)

August 5, 2010 8:23:04 AM

Sorry. Here it is:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month.

BUDGET RANGE: I'm willing to spend up to $4,500USD(Based on prices from my country, Australia) Ofcourse I would be interested in spending a little as possible, but willing to spend what is required for this kind of machine.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, watching movies, internet


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want a powerful machine that is capable to run any new game and HD movies and no need to upgrade the machine within the first year or two.
a b 4 Gaming
August 5, 2010 6:25:39 PM

Do you have a preferred retailer?

Techbuy good selection?
PC Superstore
PC Case Gear
Mwave Australia
Scorpion Technology
IT Estate

I have a friend who without asking me a few years back bought an $8000 US rig. Triple GTX 280s, QX9650, etc. Now, it's still sort of fast I guess... about as fast as a $2K rig today. The bottom line is he could have spent maybe 2,500 US then, 2,000 US today, and never SEE any difference in performance. He could have then spent the extra 3.5K on a trip to Australia, drank your beer and hit on your women.

Don't pay for top-end gear. It's never worth it because there is ALWAYS diminishing returns on your dollar. If what is important to you is bragging rights, get a very impressive case and make smart purchases that really demonstrate your savvy.

980X is best left to professionals that do extremely intensive work on a deadline. They are the only people that can justify the cost, and indeed the only ones that can visually see a difference outside of benchmarks. An i7 930 will easily overclock to the same speed as the 980X, just a few less cores that you will never use anyway.

Your motherboard choice is fine.
Your case and PSU could be upgraded. Those are two parts that will last through a few builds and not become obsolete. Spend more on them.

Cooler Master RC-840
You can buy a side-window for it separately.

Cooler Master HAF X
It's very well designed if you like the looks.

Lian Li A77F

Antec TPQ-1200

What you chose is actually slow, but I commend you on not spending too much.


Price/performance the best bet on this website...

Don't mess around with RAID 0 on SSDs, especially with drives only big enough to support the OS and nothing else. What is the point? Do you really want to boot up 2 seconds faster? How about shaving seconds off those game loads? Wouldn't that be more worthwhile?

128GB Kingston V+ series

Either get two 5870s (a far more reasonable price and all the power you can use) or wait to see what Nvidia releases in the next month... I think there are some good cards on the way.

Personally I think 30" is too big. That is the size you need if you want 25x16. They tend to have slower response times and can actually hinder competitive FPS gaming because your eyes have to scan more area.
How about this LG?

If not that then this is the 30" of choice:

I'm just using techbuy because they are easy to navigate and such. MSY is the place that usually has the best prices, at least last I checked. They also have many branches where you can walk in.