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[New Build] Gaming Enthusiast Without a Budget

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Last response: in Systems
July 19, 2010 7:16:40 PM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Beginning-Middle of September 2010.

BUDGET RANGE: No limit.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, multi-tasking, multimedia center, photo/music editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor(s). Currently using the Hanns-G 28" sold on newegg.com.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com.

PARTS PREFERENCES: mATX parts and case. EVGA nvidia for graphics card(s) and Intel for the processor.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but I've never tried it before.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Money is not an issue. I'm aiming at building an mATX computer that is easy to move from place to place with enough storage to not worry about external hard drives. I don't know if choosing an SSD would be better than the raptor. I don't know if DDR3 1600 is going to suffice or if I should switch to DDR3 2000. I want to avoid liquid cooling.

Any and all feedback is welcome. I've had a few other custom computers, but I've never made any attempt at overclocking.

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NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel / Plastic Gaming mATX Computer Case

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI

ABS Majesty series MJ1100-M Continuous 1100W@50°C ATX12V/EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified, Single 12V Rail, Modular Flat Cable

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

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

ASUS Rampage II GENE LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

NZXT FN 200RB 200mm Case Fan

NZXT FN-120RB 120mm Case Fan

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive




More about : build gaming enthusiast budget

July 19, 2010 7:26:28 PM

I hghly recommend not going with mATX and nVidia. The Fermi cards run crazy hot and there just isn't enough space in the smaller cases to disapate that heat.

Ditch the VR. There are drives that are just as fast and a quarter of the price, namely the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. Use them for your storage and pick up a SSD or two for some real speed. I like the Intel X25-M 80 GB.

I'll point out that you don't have the right sets of RAM. You need triple channel kits for the LGA1366. Buy two sets of these G.Skill Trident 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9. They'll be faster.

Here's a more future proof board for less: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. The one you picked isn't USB 3/SATA III.

Here's some cases that would be good: Antec 902, Antec 1200, HAF 922, HAF 932 and Coolermaster Cosmos.

Excluding the nVidia thing (which isn't a great idea given the GPUs run very hot, use crazy amounts of power, under perform and cost a lot), here's what I'd build if money was no issue:

CPU/HSF: i7-980X and Noctua NH-D14 $1,060
Mobo/PSU: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R and PC Power and Cooling 950W $390
RAM: 2x G.Skill Trident 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9 $370
GPU: HD 5970 $680
SSD: 2x Intel X25-M 80 GB $430
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20

Total: $3,115
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July 19, 2010 7:53:27 PM

I'm specifically avoiding the mid-ATX cases because they won't fit inside my box when moving my gear from place to place during deployments. I was also trying to avoid the ATI graphics cards because I've had bad experiences with their software. Is there no alternative to the EVGA's 480 GTX? What about the blocks they advertise on their web page?

EVGA GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper FTW
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July 19, 2010 8:13:59 PM

If you really need mATX, by all means go that route. I'm just offering up my opinions.

As for ATI software problems, they've virtually disappeared in the few years (4 I think) since AMD bought ATI. I really think it's probably time to give them another shot.

As for alternatives tot he 480s, there really aren't.
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July 20, 2010 5:49:08 AM

The products you posted, specifically the motherboard and CPU heatsink, will they fit inside the Vulcan case? I'll take your advice and give ATI another shot. Is there going to be a significant difference between two 5970's as opposed to just one?
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July 20, 2010 12:17:26 PM

Those will not fit in a mATX case. Nor will a 5870 or 480. The larger cards are a good 12" long. That's why I changed the board and case. If you absolutely need mATX, you're going to have to scale down the performance. You should be looking at the HD 5770, 5850 or the GTX 460 (which is a good card).

As for using two 5970s, there's a huge difference. You'd nearly double the performance. You'd be able to play every game ever made on anything up to the maximum of six monitors with all the details turned up. Of course, that'd cost you a good $1,400 just for the GPUs.
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Best solution

July 20, 2010 12:30:14 PM

2 5970s give almost 70percent better performance than 1. So if no budget really means no budget then I'd go with the following

NZXT vulcan(fits full length cards btw)

5970 and another if you need performance. Or if the Mars II is out when you buy your system I'd get one of those. It will have insane cooling so I doubt heat will be a major concern.

c300 crucial ssd however many GBs you need

spinpoint f3s or 2tb drives again however many GBs you need

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

a psu from silverstone, corsair or XFX depending on which GPU you chose

A bit faster ram cl 8 or 7 unless you may need 16gb in the future than 2X4gb is probably best

the rest of the components you mentioned are good
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July 20, 2010 1:02:27 PM

Somebody_007 said:
2 5970s give almost 70percent better performance than 1. So if no budget really means no budget then I'd go with the following

NZXT vulcan(fits full length cards btw)

5970 and another if you need performance. Or if the Mars II is out when you buy your system I'd get one of those. It will have insane cooling so I doubt heat will be a major concern.

c300 crucial ssd however many GBs you need

spinpoint f3s or 2tb drives again however many GBs you need

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

a psu from silverstone, corsair or XFX depending on which GPU you chose

A bit faster ram cl 8 or 7 unless you may need 16gb in the future than 2X4gb is probably best

the rest of the components you mentioned are good


Yea I saw the reviews regarding the NZXT Vulcan case and how it can hold TWO full size graphics cards. That's why I want to attempt this build. I have a mid-tower computer already, but something more compact with higher capabilities would be nice. Would this be a better choice for RAM? It costs a little more than the one MadAdmiral posted.

G.SKILL PI + Turbulence II 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL6T-6GBPID

somebody_007, why do you recommend a different power supply than the ABS Majestic that I chose? Is that PSU too large to fit in the Vulcan case?
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July 20, 2010 1:13:34 PM

I'm not really familiar with small case all I know is the vulcan is good I hardly know of any others so sorry can't help you there.

Yes the ram you posted is jokingly fast. If you don't mind paying that much It's very very fast. You need 6gb, 12 or 24 for x58 btw 8 is not possible.

here is a cheaper alternative:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and I'm familiar with ABS psu's and can't find reviews.Newegg reviews are good but that shouldn't be trusted too much. You could find yourself very satisfied.... or not.
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July 20, 2010 1:28:12 PM

I don't think the case will hold two 5970s. After looking at the pictures, the first one fits in the gap between the top (optical, etc.) cage and the bottom (HDDs) cage. However, the second card would run into the HDD cage. Given that the case is 16" long, the HDD cage likely takes 4" of that (3.5" for the HDD, add .5" for the fan and the cage itself). That leaves about 12" for the second GPU and the power cables. The 5970 is 12.16" long. That means it won't fit without some modifications.

Obviously, you could just remove the HDD cage, but then you'd need to squeeze all of the HDDs/SSDs/opticals into the top external bays. There's only four, which won't leave a lot of room for expansion.

I'd just go with a single 5970. It's more than powerful enough for a long, long time.

Those would probably be the best sticks on the market.

sombody recommends a different PSU because AMS isn't exactly high quality. If you were going to get dual 5970s, I'd get this Silverstone 1000W 80+ Silver unit. It's got enough power that you could add a third 5970, not that you'd ever need to.
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July 20, 2010 1:40:29 PM

you can add a third 5970?

if the mars II comes out anytime soon it's worth taking a look at though. But with the current products a 5970 is a no-brainer and as Madadmiral said I'd get one and add a second later. And maybe a third although I don't think that's possible and either way your mobo doesn't allow it anyways.
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July 20, 2010 1:43:05 PM

I was thinking more with the UD3R, but somebody's right. The mATX board won't allow it. I guess if you replace the board and case with ATX versions once you stop moving, you could just move everything over...
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July 20, 2010 2:08:21 PM

I'll take your advice and roll with 1 5970 for now and the Silverstone PSU. The majority of components will be moved over into a larger case after my next deployment. I don't think I'll be moving around nearly as much at that point.

Is the Samsung HD not a good choice? I'd like to run 2 HD's in RAID 0 rather than going with SSD's. No budget means no budget with everything EXCEPT SSD's. The Army doesn't pay me THAT much. :p 

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

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July 20, 2010 2:22:58 PM

You don't need the 1000W Silverstone. You could just go wth an 850W from Corsair, Silverstone, Antec or SeaSonic.
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July 20, 2010 3:07:51 PM

yeah a 850w for dual 5970 and 1250w for dual mars II is what I reccomend.
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July 21, 2010 5:23:33 PM

Best answer selected by dennisfyfe.
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