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I'm looking for advice on the gaming rig I want to build.

Last response: in Systems
August 26, 2010 5:05:45 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month, but willing to wait longer if something comes up or it's recommended that I can get better deals once something new comes out or whatever.

BUDGET RANGE: Has to be under $1000 before rebates and trying to shoot for $800 or less overall.


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: See components section


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Minnesota, Twin Cities area

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, plan to in future (will probably buy a better PSU when I do)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Two monitors: 1600x900 Primary, 1280 x 720 Secondary. Do not plan to set up games to use both simultaneously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I own a Vostro 1500 laptop for college use that I've been using as a desktop replacement for the past 3 years. It's been very good to me and still games okay but I've been getting tired of it's limitations and now that I've just finished dealing with my tuition for my last year (which starts in a week), and have some money in the bank available for personal use, I want to build a real gaming rig.

Components I plan to purchase/use:

Stuff I already have that will not be factoring into the price: Windows 7 HP 64bit, 1280x720 19" monitor, Logitech LX8 mouse, 160GB external HD (uses two USB 2.0 ports), Headphones, Mic, Thermal paste.

Already bought for this build: Antec 300 and 550W Antec BP550 PSU ($67, $97 before MIR)

CPU: Core i7 930 from Microcenter ($200)

I want longetivity, I want overclockability, this has both. I want to be able to go as long as possible without having to upgrade my CPU or Mobo.

Mobo: Asrock X58 Extreme from a local reseller. ($110) Deal may end soon if someone snatches it

It's an open box one but supposedly was never used and got returned because it was the wrong socket for the buyers CPU. Will be easy to get a refund if something is wrong with it but I can't exchange it for a new one. I know it's kind of risky but I love the expansion slots on this board and all the other LGA 1366 options are much more expensive.

GPU: SAPPHIRE 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD5770 ($130 after MIR, $145 before) Deal ends 8/31

Will eventually buy a second one and set up Crossfire. Might not even need to buy a new PSU when I get the second one because I hear 5770's average like 80-90W under heavy gaming.

RAM: Some 4GB 2x2GB set of 1333 RAM off newegg (~$80)

Will eventually buy a third stick for 6GB triple channel. Could save ~$20 getting combo deal RAM with the video card if I go with the 5770 or most video cards on newegg.

Monitor: Some 19" with 1600x900 res (~$120)

Not picky, willing to wait for deals.

Storage: Some 500GB 7200rpm HD (~$50)

Don't want to go higher capacity because of failure rates. I'll just buy a second if I really need more space.

Optical Drives: A cheap DVD RW drive (~$20)

Keyboard: Some cheap keyboard (~$15)

May get a flashier one if there's a really good deal.

Cooling: Some cheap CPU cooler (~$25)

Final estimated base price: $807 (852 before Rebates) + maybe some more if I need to buy a cable or fans or something.

And maybe I'm thinking about getting something like this HD 5450 deal ($25 after MIR, $40 before, deal ends 8/31) and use the second video card to run the secondary display so I can squeeze more out of the primary card when gaming and multitask better when gaming and having something going on on the secondary. Of course if I end up getting an nvidia card for the primary card I'd look for a cheap nvidia card for the secondary so they can run on the same drivers.
August 26, 2010 5:15:24 AM

^ If it werent for the deals that you had specified, the i7 9xx for your budget is certainly not the best option for gaming...
But how long can you wait ?? I ask this because Q1 2011, Intel plans to launch their newer sockets which will replace both the LGA 1156 as well as LGA 1366...
August 26, 2010 5:41:51 AM

I figure once I do crossfire though and make other upgrades like the RAM, the processor won't be as much overkill. And $200 for a 930 just seems like such a good deal but it does prevent me from saving on the mobo cost, it's still a good mobo though for $110.
August 26, 2010 5:48:13 AM

I would suggest you wait and get a 1080p monitor - would cost ~$30- $40 more, but is better suited for HD 5770(or Crossfire) and above cards...