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$3000 Gaming Rig

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August 13, 2010 9:35:49 PM

I have spent some time working on a new gaming rig. My price range is around $3000 +- $200-300. The price does not include peripherals, i.e. monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

Below is what I have right now, I want to see if anyone has some recommended changes or additions. Currently I have only been looking at newegg but I would like to get the best price. Also Out of Stock items aren't necessarily an issue as I wont be building this machine for another 2 months.

Case - $279.99 - XCLIO 2000 ATX Full Tower Extreme Cooling Computer Case
CPU - $999.99 - Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition
Motherboard - $309.99 - ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Motherboard
Power Supply - $199.99 - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series 1000W ATX
Video Card - $499.98 - Palit GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Sonic Platinum Overclocking Edition 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
Memory - $159.99 - G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Hard Drive - $189.98 - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb
SSD - $319.98 - Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 60GB SATA II SSD x2 (RAID 0)
DVD Drive - $21.99 - ASUS Black 24X DVD Burner
CPU Cooling - $79.99 - CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series or the H70 version
Memory Cooling - $12.98 - G.SKILL Fan
Fan Controller - $49.99 - Scythe Kaze Master Pro 5.25 Fan Controller
Extra Case Fan - $29.99 - Noctua 140mm Case Fan

Total Price = $3,059.84
Prices are based on current Newegg prices with instant discounts applied.

I have everything above on a public wish list on Newegg here: 3K PC Public Wish List

More about : 3000 gaming rig

a b B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 10:00:33 PM

Why don't you get a nice Lian-Li case. That case is too heavy.
Why do you need the i7-980X? That's way overkill. Only people who do
3D-graphics and video really need that. The i7-950 should be good enough.
It's suppose to get a price cut to around $300.
The Corsair water cooler isn't that great. I have it and it doesn't match up
to my Prolimatech Megahelems.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2010 10:15:27 PM

Interesting. I didn't realize the Mushkin Callisto was using the SandForce controller.

I'll agree that the i7-980X is overkill for gaming. It's better than an i7-920/930, but it's not $700 better. Also, spending double your GPU budget on your CPU for a gaming build is completely backwards. I'd change this to an i7-930 and up your GPU to dual GTX 480s or 5970s.

The WD 1 TB drives can't actually make use of the SATA 6 Gb/s interface (no consumer mechanical hard drive can), so I don't know that there's much point to buying them. A Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 would be just as good and they're less expensive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2010 5:00:44 AM

Maybe the most important comment I'd make is beware of sealed liquid coolers. When an air unit's fan fails, its important enough that BIOS won't allow startup. But a sealed liquid cooler may run its fan, but not its pump. I lost the only cpu I've ever lost that way, and won't buy a sealed liquid unit (even a Corsair) unless fan and pump failure trigger BIOS shutdown. Besides, air still works better, though I haven't seen an H70 review yet.

Cases are a personal matter, up to a point. You apparently like many flashing lights. But you might look at Silverstone Raven or Corsair Obsidian. The Raven takes an interesting approach to motherboard arrangement and cooling.

You haven't mentioned what res you'll be gaming at, but if you need 2560 you MAY want 2xbigger. I love the 460, but if you need 2xbigger at the moment its probably better to go AMD.

If you stay with 2x460, you do not need a 1000W psu, even with all the lights flashing. 2x460 with a980X OC'd to 4GHz draws less than 500W total from the psu.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-sli-geforce-gtx-480,2694.html

Note the power graph shows watts drawn for the whole system, from the wall.

A 980X won't deliver $700 more performance, as others have mentioned the money may be better spent on 2xbigger vid cards, if you are gaming at 2560. But its a great ego trip if you have any friends who would know about it.

The 2TB WD drive is faster than the 1TB, and may be faster than any HD around. But that may not matter given its purpose here.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2010 5:23:55 AM

I agree that your system isn't balanced. In fact, my HD5870 when paired with a non-overclocked i7-860 results in the CPU using about 50% average. It never goes above 60% and sometimes uses only 25%, depending on the game. The point is, that for some modern games, I can actually Crossfire 2xHD5870 without overclocking the CPU.

I build computers. My advice is something like this:

- i7-920 (overclock only as needed)
- 2x GTX480 (investigate cooling carefully; consider HD5870's if PhysX/Cuda isn't critical)

As for the hard drives, I find that a RAID SSD is overkill. I've experimented and found the best price/noise/cost/performance benefit to be:

1) 60GB SSD OCZ Vertex 2 (or similar) *For Windows and applications ONLY
2) 2TB WD (for games, and everything else)

*Optional: 2x60GB RAID0 SSD and install a few games on the SSD

CPU overclocking:
Use the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) to monitor your CPU usage for several minutes in a game. Don't simply overclock to a high number for no reason. Overclock until you see the CPU usage drop below 100%, however note that this is tricky because one or two cores could be at 100% but the CPU still doesn't need to be overclocked. Ideally a benchmark would show you if overclocking made a difference. I'd say running at 3.4GHz would be the maximum you'd need for a high-end dual-card setup.

Biggest mistake:
The biggest mistake is, again, about balance. That $1000 CPU can't do a better job than a $220 i5-750 if there isn't enough graphics power demanding the CPU performance. Since six-core CPU's can't be used for ANY game better than a four-core it's a waste of money. That extra $700 buys another graphics card.
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