Second Build. ~2.1k Gaming Rig

Let me begin with a big thanks. I understand it takes time to review these builds and I am most appreciative. That aside I would like to note that I have built my current desktop approximately five years ago, so I should not have any issues building this one. I'd also like to point out that I've been out of the hardware game for a very long time and have assembled this list after reading similar posts, so any type of feedback is appreciated. Are there any bottlenecks or 'wrong!' ideas?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Approximately one month.

BUDGET RANGE: In the ballpark of $2100 USD.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web browsing, listening to sweet, sweet music.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, storage HDDs, headphones, headphone amplifier.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, but I will shop elsewhere for great deals.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No brand loyalty, but prefer quality, trusted brands.

OVERCLOCKING: Have never OC'd before, but on this build I will get into it.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Most likely within a couple of months after build.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200, This is the current standard for widescreen monitors correct?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm pretty dead set on the case as I want to run on air and be able to hear myself think. Also, the processor seems to be set in stone as I can walk to Micro Center and pick it up at the listed price.

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SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT02B-W Black Aluminum / Steel Computer Case = $240

Core i7-930 Processor Boxed = $200

Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler = $35

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = $210

ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 Platinum 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card = $500

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7 = $175

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal SSD = $220

ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers = $190

ASUS Black OEM Optical Drive = $24

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM = $100

Final Notes:

I have not listed a PSU for the following reasons:

I am not sure if I should just spring for a 5970 (It will fit in the case See Photo in remarks section). Regardless, I will most likely be adding a second GPU of whichever I choose when the prices come down just a bit, so I will need a PSU that can handle both. I'd love to have a modular PSU for better cable management, but I understand if it's out of the question.

I also have a question about the cooler? I've read that it blocks som RAM slots on some motherboards. I'm not sure if this is the case with mine or not. Thoughts?

I am considering purchasing the monitor from a big box or a local computer store as I have received monitors from Newegg before that had hot pixels. This is infuriating to me and I'd like to avoid it at all costs, but if the price is right, the egg will win again.


Once again, thank you for your time.
28 answers Last reply
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  1. I'd reccomend the Hyper 212+ cooler... it performs as well as the big dollar coolers, yet only costs 30-40.

    Also, you can get better performance out of two GTX 460's in SLI than you can out of a single 5870 or GTX480 for the same price. And they run cool and consume low power, so you only need a 700watt PSU at most (true 600w will work0
  2. I'll check into the cooler. The one I have picked out though is only $35 as well.
  3. I might actually prefer that Scythe Mugen 2 over the 212+ if you're not getting ram with huge heatsinks.

    And I also think 2 460's is a wiser choice than a 5870.

    The one you have listed though is more expensive than a 480, so IMO it doesn't make any sense, especially because exttra RAM really only helps with large resolutions (multiple monitors) Here's a GTX 480 for $439.99 just for comparison: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127502 Yes, one 480 is outperformed by 2 x 460's, but you have the option of adding another in the future.

    Everything else looks fantastic though. That RAM is unbeatable at that price, I have an Asus 24" and it's the ***, the 930 is an amazing chip, the X25-M is still a great competitor to newer SSD's especially for gaming (it's random access is top notch), the UD3R is a great board, and Silverstone makes solid cases.
  4. What about compared to a 5970? Also, any thoughts on a PSU? I'll be heading to a local Micro Center here to pick up some of the confirmed parts, but nothing that should affect the PSU choice.
  5. CPU: Intel Core i7-930 - $200
    Motherboard: Same Gigabyte X58 - $209.99
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 6GB 2000MHz Kit - $174.99
    Graphics Card: MSI HD 5970 2GB - $679.99
    SSD: Intel Mainstream 80GB - $209.99
    DVD: Cheap LG SATA - $17.99
    Power Supply: Corsair TX750W - $109.99
    Case: Silverstone Fortress - $239.99
    CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-2100 - $34.99
    Monitor: ASUS 23.6" 1080p - $189.99
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $99.99

    Total: $2167.90

    The advantage of this build is that you are getting faster RAM and the 5970, which gives you an upgrade path of putting another 5970 in CrossfireX in the future. I would also recommend that you get the HAF 922 case. It has 20cm fans, which means that they are very quiet and also very very effective at cooling. It's also only $89.98. However, I included that case as you said that you were pretty much settled on the case.

    EDIT: Changed some prices around and included Windows 7 etc.
  6. Thanks for the quick replies. I think I will be bucking up an going for the 5970 so I can add a second one around the holidays. With that said, will that power supply be able to handle two 5970s when I add the second one? Thanks again.
  7. Yeah for sure pick up that 930 at MC.

    IMO, a 5970 is a waste of money... the thing is a whopping $700 ($680 at best), it performs better than the 480, but not in a number of games, and when it does.... the performance difference is NOT worth the $250 price difference.

    Yes, it's a "single card" solution, but to begin with, it's already crossfire.. it's consistency is weak.
  8. What do you mean it's already crossfire? Like I said I've been out of the hardware game for awhile, so It looks like I've got some reading to catch up on.

    Also, so if I go the 480 route now, and add another one in a few months, how will that pan out for me? Better idea than springing for the 5970 now?

    I'm not a fanboy of eiter nvidia or ati, so please, continue bringing the good advice.


    EDIT** - Added a second question.
  9. Oh, sorry, the 5970 is a dual chip graphics card... meaning it has two 5870 chips in it clocked down to 5850 specs... so it performs like a 5850x2.
  10. Ok, I understand now. I don't think I edited my last post in time, so I'll follow up.

    I'm not a fanboy of either ati or nvidia, so if I were to go the 480 route now, and add a second card in a few months, how would that play out for me?
  11. 2 480's will run you at the very least $860, but perform much better than a 5970. The price difference here is actually worth the performance, as GTX 400 series cards scale very well (Usually a SLI or crossfire setup will only see 80% or so of the performance from the added card for a total of say.... 180%. The 400 series cards often see almost a near perfect 100% of the cards performance resulting in a total of maybe... 190%.)
  12. CPDawg said:
    Check this out. Repost of a suggestion by MrHosHos. This is the build I am interested in but may not be able to afford it yet.

    Quote:
    here is a build for $1,882.19 before $60 rebates i put some accesories with it

    cpu&mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.437357

    case&psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.440220

    gpu&os: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] 14-150-490

    mouse&keyboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.431025

    ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820167018

    ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231335

    speakers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6836121033

    monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824236059

    hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185

    odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106289

    and get the hyper 212+ off amazon


    The links didn't quite copy correctly.
  13. The neagtives are the power consumption, and heat... so if you're willing to buy a larger PSU and you have good case airflow, the performance is well worth it.. If not.. maybe something else would be better.
  14. redechelon said:
    2 480's will run you at the very least $860, but perform much better than a 5970. The price difference here is actually worth the performance, as GTX 400 series cards scale very well (Usually a SLI or crossfire setup will only see 80% or so of the performance from the added card for a total of say.... 180%. The 400 series cards often see almost a near perfect 100% of the cards performance resulting in a total of maybe... 190%.)


    Again thanks. So I can spring for the original 480, and add a second one in two or three months and still be on the cusp of bleeding edge?

    I'm looking to play the original crysis, upcoming crysis, SC2, and Diablo 3 at the highest settings that I can get away with.
  15. I fixed the links, go ahead and try again.
  16. redechelon said:
    The neagtives are the power consumption, and heat... so if you're willing to buy a larger PSU and you have good case airflow, the performance is well worth it.. If not.. maybe something else would be better.



    Tom's has said it, that Silverstone case is a damn good one. Picking up a larger PSU shouldn't be a problem.
  17. CPDawg said:
    I fixed the links, go ahead and try again.


    Still not working, link me to the original post?
  18. thieveryshoe said:
    Again thanks. So I can spring for the original 480, and add a second one in two or three months and still be on the cusp of bleeding edge?

    I'm looking to play the original crysis, upcoming crysis, SC2, and Diablo 3 at the highest settings that I can get away with.


    Yes sir. If you want to max crysis and such, then it will be a good choice (SC2 isn't very demanding, and most any graphics card you get will run it well). I think I lean towards overkill on this one, a GTX 480 is by no means needed at your resolution, but if you want perfect gameplay at max settings... then it fits your bill. I would prefer someone recommend a future-proof product that will be able to play future games at very good settings for years to come, rather than a product that will get by... but this is just opinion.
  19. Correct. I certainly understand that the world of computer hardware is not future proof, But from what I'm reading going with either a 480 or 5970 right now and adding a second later, is a future proof option. The only catch being that right now, value wise, the 480 is the better value.
  20. Sounds good, well when you decide, have fun building the beast. =]
  21. The only thing left to do is decide is what type of PSU to pickup.
  22. For a single GTX 480, I'd go for a 750W. This would even cover for you if you decided to overclock. To make your PC ready for the second card in the future, you'd need a 1000+W PSU.

    BTW, I hope you knew, but I'm just playing it safe... Combo deals on newegg will safe you hundreds.
  23. I've gotta check into the combo deals. They're not the easiest things in the world to find. Thanks for all the info.
  24. Unfortunately, none of the products you chose have many combo's... you'd have to change brands and stuff.. which is up to you. Like... an Antec case with Antec PSU, or EVGA GTX 480 with an EVGA mobo. All of your choices are rock solid, but if you wanted to change it up, I could give you recommendations.
  25. I just built a $2.1k gaming rig last weekend. I like to think its pretty decent. If you still need suggestions maybe my parts list/the deals I found could help you out. If not, w/e :)

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/290474-31-2000-2200-build-critique#t2150206
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