Need help choosing parts for my first gaming desktop

Hey people. I've been wanting to build a good gaming pc for a while and since I actually have the money for it now I might as well give it a try. So here's what I have so far.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible, preferably this week.
Budget Range: About a maximum of 4500 Canadian Dollars (Yes I'm in Canada)
System Usage: Gaming. Lots of gaming. And a bit of internet surfing/watching videos.
Overclocking: Maybe, but preferably not. Might change my mind later though.
SLI or Crossfire: I'm thinking about it.
Additional Comments: I'm basically looking for something that will run any game on max settings without lagging and having a terrible frame rate, and without me having to turn everything else off just to be able to play it. I'd also like to have it stay viable for a while, not have to scrap for something new in just a year or two.

I've got most of the parts down, except for a few I'm sort of leaning between:

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5970 2GB I'm thinking of maybe getting 2 Radeon HD 5970's to Crossfire. Also, is it worth getting the 4GB version? Although to be honest I sort of doubt it.
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield OR Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown I've heard that the Gulftown isn't worth the incredible price, but those specs seem so tempting. Although that is $700 more...
HDD:Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0GB/s Need lots of space. I always seem to be running out on my laptop even though I only have a fraction of my stuff installed.
RAM: Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 12GB (3 x 4GB) I know this is more expensive than getting 6x2GB (for example G.SKILL PI+ Turbulence 12GB (6 x 2GB) ), but I'm thinking this way theres place for potential upgrade to 24 GB since I'm not using all of the RAM slots.
Case:Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Steel ATX Full Tower I'd rather have a Full Tower instead of a smaller case. Don't know how big the difference is though.
Motherboard: I seriously don't know. But as far as I can tell this seems a good choice:GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard or maybe some of the similarly priced ASUS? I'm really not sure.
PSU:Corsair AX850 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Active PFC Power Supply Is 850W enough, even if i went for dual 5970's, or would I need More Power! (sorry for the quote, couldn't help myself)
SSD:Micron RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive Might get this, to put my OS on as well as the programs I use the most. From some of the videos I've seen, it can make quite a difference. (If anyone's curious check this video out. It's sort of cool)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5

As you can see I've done a fair amount of research, but if you guys could tell me which of my maybes (SSD, Crossfire 5970, i7-980x) are good ideas and which probably won't make much difference, I'd be much obliged. Also need major help in the mobo department, as I'm not exactly sure what makes a good motherboard.
Also, would I need a Heatsink and fan, or are the stock ones fine?

Much Thanks in advance,

A first time PC builder (A.K.A. newb).

PS: If the prices seem slightly off to what your used to, remember that this is, not .com, and therefor uses canadian dollars. Sorry for the potential confusion.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Normally I'd recommend a Core i5 750 for gaming but since you're willing to spend $4000+ for max framerates, a multi-GPU configuration would probably be worth having.

    Just go with the Core i7 930 for now. I'd also get GTX 480 3-Way SLI instead with a CM HAF-X case and an Asus P6X58D-E. For three way SLI you'll want a power supply like the EVGA SR-2 Classified PSU. The stock heatsink is fine if you don't plan on overclocking, which I recommend as it will provide a framerate boost.
  2. Best answer
    I would say...

    GPU: I would go with the XFX 5970, they've got a great warranty.
    CPU: I would say go with the i7-930, with 4500$ you could easily get the 980x, but at this point there's not much of a point.
    HDD: I would go with the Spinpoint f4 2TB... or 2 or 3 of them or however many you want! Haha!

    Case: With a 5970 in crossfire or 3 GTX 480's you'll need a huge case. But there's a lot of aesthetics involved in that. Just make sure your case is basically ginormous.
    Ram: If you're already spending 430$+ on ram, then go with GSkill or Corsair if you ask me...


    Motherboard: The recommended Mobo will work just fine...Here's a link

    PSU: I honestly don't know if the 850W could run 5970's in SLI but I think it would be cutting it close. Corsair and Antec seem to be good brands to stick with, here are some higher power options.


    Vertex 2 is the bet you can buy right now. You can get higher capacity ones if you feel the need, but I would strongly recommend the Vertex 2.

    Thermal Compound: Looks fine.

    Unless you have some sort of massive resolution and multiple monitor set up then 1 5970 will obliterate any game you can play right now. Get a higher output PSU so you can throw another one in crossfire later when you find the 5970 isn't cutting it.
  3. Thanks for the responses guys, you've really helped.

    Lmeow: Thanks that motherboard looks pretty good, as does the HAF-X case.

    mgrzTX: Sadly the G.SKILL RAM you linked seems to be out of stock on, but how about this one?G.SKILL Trident+ Turbulence II 12GB (3 x 4GB) Tad more expensive, but has a higher speed and lower CAS latency.
    Wouldn't a HDD at 7200RPM and 6.0GB/s be better than 5400RPM and 3.0GB/s? Seems to me faster would be better.
    And ya, i wasn't really sure about that SSD, yours looks so much better.

    I'm probably going to buy the stuff tomorrow, unless someone points out something else. I still worry that I'm making some huge compatibility mistake and the PC will explode when I plug it in or something :D . I'm a bit paranoid :??: .

    PS. Does Overclocking have a big effect on stuff or is it only a minor increase? Everyone's always saying I should overclock, but I don't know if it's worth the risks.
  4. Don't go with 2000 RAM like your linked G Skill. It is way more expensive with no benefit over 1600 in pretty much all tests i've seen, including on this site.

    Try this Patriot I found on Newegg CA:
  5. rikishi19 said:
    Don't go with 2000 RAM like your linked G Skill. It is way more expensive with no benefit over 1600 in pretty much all tests i've seen, including on this site.

    Try this Patriot I found on Newegg CA:

    Funnily enough, that was my first choice :) . It's in the first post. Guess I'm better at this than I thought ;) .
  6. Funny! Well I had a quick look at all the 1600 12GB(3 x 4GB) kits and that one seems by far the best choice they have.

    I'd also like to add my name in to the hat that would prefer 3 x 480's over 2 x 5970's if I had the choice.


    Also, if you're worried about over clocking, why not go for this EVGA. Its already been over clocked a bit for you and comes with a life time warranty.
  7. ^ Might as well just go with the regular version as the overclock on the SC versions are quite small. You must register within 30 days on a -AR coded GTX 480 for lifetime warranty. You can overclock the card and it won't void the warranty either.
  8. Best answer selected by dsma1991.
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