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BestConfigs - High-End Intel Gaming PC

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August 30, 2010 8:09:10 PM

We're updating the Tom's Hardware BestConfigs and are opening the field to user recommendations! Post the best configuration you can put together for the following build category and our editorial team will pick 5 recommendations in each category to put to a public vote. The top-ranking build will go on to become one of Tom's Hardware's BestConfigs, and you'll get the credit for having put together a brilliant build with special notice in the feature article.

Post your entries to this thread for the category of High-End Intel Gaming PC, stay within $2000 and be sure to list the following components-

Processor:
Motherboard:
RAM:
Graphics Card:
Hard Drive:
Case:
Power Supply:
DVD Burner:

Good luck, and may the best builds win!
August 30, 2010 8:30:48 PM

Processor: i7 930
Motherboard: Rampage III Extreme
RAM: 6GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600mhz C7
Graphics Card: GTX 480
Hard Drive: Spinpoint F3
Case: Haf X
Power Supply: AX1200
DVD Burner: Cheap Sata
August 30, 2010 8:31:00 PM

CPU: i7 950

Mobo: ga-x58a-ud3r

RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI rated for 1.5v

GPU: Palit NE5TX470F10DA GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card . Then two of these for sli. 470 sli will perform on par with or above the far more expensive 5870 CF so it really is amazing bang for buck.

Storage solution: OCZ vertex 2 60gb + samsung spinpoint f3 1tb + silverstone HDD boost. Let me briefly clarify: Vertex 2 is extremely fast and more than 60gb is insanely expensive. Spinpoints f3s are quiet, cool and reasonable fast. And HDD boost to merge speed and size into without expinsive adaptech raid controllers and other similarly products.

Case: fractal define r3 because it looks much much better IMO than the price range competition, it's very quiet with the dampening pads and performs better than the competition cases if the pads are replaced with fans.

Power supply: xfx 850w/750w for overclockers/non-overclockers. Good price, modular and very good performance. It also leaves room for upgrades.

DVD burner: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner

CPU cooler: scythe mugen 2

Sound-card: auzentech X-raider(depending on your audio system of course but for this kind of build HD595 headphones or similar quality audio systems are reasonable and for that this card is great)

with newegg pricing ATM that comes to around 1900 without combos and discounts. That's for an allrounder very responsive(SSD) system with no space restrictions on the storage drives(HDD BOOST). It'll handles any games very well and and will probably do so for years to come(470 sli). It performs well in proffesional apps like photoshop(CUDA + i7 930). It looks great while still not drawing to much attention and taking to much space (define R3). It will render and compress very well(i7 930). For the enthousiasts who want to take their system the extra mile it has quite some overclocking potential(i7 930 + 470s). And for the hardcore gamers it will support 3d surround/3d vision/ 2d surround/ physX. The sound card also provides optimal sound for games, movies and music(auzentech x-raider). Also the sound card takes a load of the 930 making it a more effective CPU in games and other apps where sound is playing I presume.

Related resources
August 30, 2010 8:59:47 PM

Not sure if combos count, but at this budget, it doesn't really matter:

CPU: i7-930 $290
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9 $175
GPU: HD 5970 $650
SSD: OCZ Agility 2 120 GB $280 after rebate
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case: HAF 922 $90
PSU: Corsair 850W Modular $150 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $19

Total: $1,929

I opted for the 5970 because of the ease of dropping a second one in later one and getting even better performance. I also included some super fast RAM that will overclock extremely well. I also included a large and very fast SSD. I didn't include a HSF because it wasn't required. If I need to throw one in, I like the Sycthe Mugen 2 Rev. B at $40 and the Noctua NH-D14 at $90, though that one goes a touch over budget.
August 30, 2010 10:24:58 PM

I would go with what I have in my sig....

Processor: i7 930
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
RAM: Mushkin Redline Enhanced DDR 3 1600 6-8-6-24
Graphics Card: XFX 5870
Hard Drive: 2x Samsung 500GB F3's Raid 0 ( or vertex 2 + 1TB samsung F3 )
Case: HAF 922
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
DVD Burner: Asus DRW-22B2S/BLK
August 30, 2010 10:44:11 PM

Id be nearly identical to MadAdmiral other than RAM (I prefer cas7) and maybe an Antec PSU (usually cheaper per watt).
August 30, 2010 11:04:39 PM

This is a gaming rig, so looks are just as important function, and everything here is not only a top quality component, but they look great as well.

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 - $289.99
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme - $379.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600MHz - $191.99
Graphics Card: ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 Platinum 2GB - $519.99
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $74.99
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two - $119.95
Power Supply: Antec TPQ-850 - $149.99
DVD Burner: LG Black DVD Burner - $17.99
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 64GB - $176.00
CPU Heatsink: Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler - $62.99

Total: $1,983.87

Could be cheaper with combo deals.
August 30, 2010 11:10:38 PM

My Recommendations:
CPU: Intel i7-930
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
GPU: Galaxy 70XKH3HS8GUX GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) Sli
SSD: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2R5 80GB
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V
Case: HAF 932
DVD Burner: Asus DRW-22B2S

Savings: Approx $150
Total Around $1,950

August 30, 2010 11:53:47 PM

Processor: i7950 $299.99
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium $294.99
RAM: 6GB Kingston HyperX (3 x 2 1600 CAS7) $166.99
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 460 1GB Superclocked SLI $249.99 x 2 ($499.98)
Hard Drive: WD VelociRaptor 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $279.99
Case: CoolerMaster HAF X $199.99
Power Supply: Corsair HX750 $149.99
DVD Burner: Lite-On $25.99

Total:$1917.91

I haven't included any extra cooling, as the guideline did not ask for any, but have left spare in the budget to accommodate this.
August 31, 2010 1:02:06 AM

Processor: i7 930 $289.99

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard $199.99

RAM: CORSAIR Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) $194.99 (I just have a thing for Corsair RAM...There's lots of RAM that would work)

Graphics: XFX Radeon HD 5870 $389.99 x 2 ($779.98)

Hard Drive: Crucial RealSSD 64GB SATA III MLC $146.00 Pretty slow write speeds for an SSD, but read speeds are insane due to SATA III. 355MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s)

Storage HD: WD Black Caviar 1TB SATA III $89.99 Only like $3 more than SATA II equivalent, and I know it adds nothing to speed, but why not?

Case: Coolar Master HAF 932 $129.98

Power Supply: Enermax Infiniti 720W $149.99 I have used this PSU for a couple years almost and love it. Cool Guard FTW heh (I shut my PC down and let it go to sleep at least daily)

DVD Burner: ASUS DVD Burner $22.99 I would probably buy a blu ray burner as a second drive eventually as well... but not really necessary for a gaming rig.

Total: $2,003.90

not including the $16 it would cost to ship it all to me. You could switch the RAM to something cheaper and maybe even a little faster like the Kingston HyperX 6GB (3 x 2GB) mentioned above. Great find by the way, rikishi19.

This also does not include any extra cooling which I don't think is necessary. I don't think Overclocking any of this rig is necessary either but you can do a little with stock components pretty easily if you want to.

Here is a screenshot of it all: http://i34.tinypic.com/255jpso.jpg
August 31, 2010 1:09:27 AM

CPU: I7 950 299.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R 209.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 6GB DDR3 1600MHz CL7 149.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: 2x Asus GTX 470 in SLi + 2x FREE Mafia 2 589.98$ 40$ MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb 74.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 120Gb Sandforce based. 259.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: CM HAF 932 129.98$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair HX850 169.99$ 20$ MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Lite-On 24x Black SATA 17.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: 1902.89$ (60$ MIR not included)


EDIT: Changed i7 930 to i7 950 because the 950 is only 10$ more expensive
August 31, 2010 1:22:07 AM

Processor: Core i7 950 - With the new price cuts, $300 at Best Buy.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Ga-X58a-ud3r - $210 on Newegg
RAM:12gb (3x4gb) G.skills Ripjaws - $260
Graphics Card: Radeon HD 5970 - $650 (Sapphire, from newegg
Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 60gb - $155 ($135 after rebate)
Case: Lian-Li Lancool K-62 - $100 on Newegg (Special - $140 normally)
Power Supply: Corsair 850HX - $170
DVD Burner: LG Black Blu-ray disc combo (also burns dvds :p ) $90

Total: $1935

Personally, I would hold off on buying *any* graphics card atm as Southern Islands is coming, but for *this moment* if I had 2k to spend, this is what I would buy.
August 31, 2010 1:28:08 AM

Processor: i7 930 $289.99
Motherboard: EVGA 141-BL-E575-TR SLI LE, X58, ATX $189.99
RAM: 3 x 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 $144.99
Graphics Card: 2 x HD 5870 XFX HD-587X-ZNFC $779.98
Hard Drive 1: 80GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" SATA II MLC $199.99
Hard Drive 2: 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS $87.99
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid-Tower ATX $89.99
Power Supply: Antec 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular $179.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON 24X DVD Burner $25.99

Total: $1988.90 All prices listed on Newegg.com

This system will have all the punch where it's needed most; in the graphics department. The solid cpu/mobo combo allows for over-clocking potential as well as SLI capabilities up to 2x and 3x, running 8x PCI lanes (which shouldn't be a problem as shown in a recent Tom's article on PCI bandwidth.) The SSD should be sufficient for a boot drive and for quite a handful of games as well, and the second drive should allow for plenty of storage.



August 31, 2010 4:04:14 AM

Processor: i7 980x
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SR-2, $599.99
RAM: G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) x6, $1349.94
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100280-4GBB Radeon HD 5970 4GB x3, $3,029.97
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 Pro OCZSSD2 x7, $7,553.00
Case: LIAN LI PC-B71, $299.99
Power Supply: Antec TPQ-1200 1200W Continuous Power, $499.98
DVD Burner: LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner, $109.99
CPU Cooler: Asetek Vapochill Lightspeed, $820
Total:$15,059.68, S&H=$66.82, I don't know about the shipping for the Cpu Cooler

Not my build, just a dream build =D
August 31, 2010 4:33:59 AM

lol didnt see price limit
August 31, 2010 4:39:30 AM

^^Why you guys spamming this thread? Anyone can build these in a 'dream' world. Put that isn't the point in this thread.

Stick to the guidelines.
August 31, 2010 4:40:50 AM

Intel build -

CPU - i7 930
Mobo -
ASUS Ramapage III Formula - Should be a better balance in price/ performance compared to the Extreme...
Or
ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
Or
MSI Big Bang-XPower LGA 1366
Or
Gigbayte X58A-UD5
Or
If overclocking freak, then the Rampage III Extreme

RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998805

CASE - HAF X

PSU - Silverstone OP1000W

Graphics card - 2x GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
- IMO Gigabyte has put in the right ingredients to make the GTX 470 a better choice

SSD - OCZ Agility 2 60GB

HDD - Hitachi 2TB

BD Combo - Samsung BD Combo
August 31, 2010 4:41:26 AM

CPU: i7-875K (OC for sure)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus III Formula
Had to do the combo to come in under 2000$, hope this isn't cheating

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Ram: Corsair Dominator 8 Gb (4x2Gb) DDR3 2200

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

GPU: 2x ASUS Nvidia GTX 460 1Gb

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

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB

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

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2 TB

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

PSU: Corsair 950 W PSU

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

Case: Antec DF-85

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

DVD: LG OEM Dvd burner

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

Total on Newegg.com = 1982.91$
August 31, 2010 5:55:18 AM

Here's the rig I'm about to build.

Processor: Intel - Core i7 930 (ARCTIC COOLING Freezer Xtreme Rev.2)

Motherboard: ASUS - P6T SE

RAM: Corsair 6x2GB DDR3 DDR1600, CAS 9-9-9-24

Graphics Card: ASUS - Nvidia GeForce GTX460 1GB x 2 SLI

Hard Drive: Western Digital Velociraptor 450GB 10K 3.5" & Western Digital 2.0TB 7200RPM Caviar Black

Case: Antec - Ninehundred Two

Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-750HXEU

DVD Burner: LG BH10LS30 Super Multi Blue

Extra gear:
Creative - X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Cham, PCI-E
Samsung 22" 2233RZ 3D
NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision - Wireless 3D Glasses
August 31, 2010 7:56:17 AM

Processor:
Intel™ Core™ i7 920 2.66 ghz 8mb 4.8 GTs
Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM:
8Gb DDR3 2000/PC3 16000 G.Skill Trident Dual Channel
F3-16000CL9Q-8GBTD
Graphics Card:
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 470
SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300
HDD: WDC Caviar Green 2tb/64mb (WD20EARS)
Case:
Cooler Master HAF 922 Gamer's Case Mesh Side
Power Supply:
Corsair (HX850) 850watts HX series
DVD Burner:
Generic SATA DVD Burner
August 31, 2010 8:03:39 AM

I think Derbixrace and Gkay's builds are the best(that's if I can't vote on myself :p ).
August 31, 2010 9:16:55 AM

Processor: Intel Core i7 875k
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i
RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Graphics card(s): 2x GIGABYTE GV-N470UD-13I GeForce GTX 470
Hard Drive(s): 2x Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC SSD
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
DVD Burner: Samung 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner

All parts from Newegg.
Total: 1990$
August 31, 2010 12:13:27 PM

Processor: Intel i7-930 $289
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage iii formula $299
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB 1600 MHz $139
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 480 SuperClocked 1536MB SLI $979
Hard Drive: Samsung f3 500GB $54
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 $139
Power Supply: CORSAIR TX Series 950W $139
DVD Burner: LG 22X DVD burner $17

total= $2055 prices from newegg slightly over but not by much.
August 31, 2010 1:58:52 PM

this is my build

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
-200

Motherboard:ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 200

RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 195

Graphics Card: 2 x MSI N460GTX Cyclone 768D5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 200
2x 200-400
Hard Drive:
os/programs - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - (w rebate 200)

storage - Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -180

Case:NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -140

or COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -170

Power Supply:CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -130

DVD Burner:
blu-ray - LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM -110
DVD - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - 23

audio card - creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -150


Total price with atcs 840 - $1958
total price with nzxt phantom - $1928

cooler has not been mentioned any way i will add it
cooler - CoolIT SYSTEMS ECO-R120 Advanced Liquid Cooling (ALC)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -70

all together $2000
August 31, 2010 2:15:52 PM

Processor: Intel i7-930 $199.99 (Micro Center)
Processor Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 $86.92 (Amazon)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-x58A-UD3R $199.99 (Newegg)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6 GB DDR3 1600 CMX6GX3M3C1600C7 $174.99 (Newegg)
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 470 Superclocked 1280 MB $349.99 (Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 $74.99 (Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X $199.99 (Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750HX $139.99 (Amazon)
DVD Burner: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner iHAS124-04 $22.99 (Newegg)

This is from my latest build. All Prices are from period of July 15- July 21 with no rebates.

Total: $1,449.84

Swap out ODD for LG GH22nS40 DVD Burner: $17.99 (Newegg)
Swap out the power supply for a Corsair 1000 HX PSU: $229.99 (Newegg)
And add another EVGA GeForce GTX 470 Superclocked: $349.99 (Newegg)
Add SSD OCZ OCZSSD2-10Nx64G 64 GB $119.99 (Newegg)

New Total: $2004.82

FINAL BUILD:
Processor: Intel i7-930 $199.99 (Micro Center)
Processor Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 $86.92 (Amazon)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-x58A-UD3R $199.99 (Newegg)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6 GB DDR3 1600 CMX6GX3M3C1600C7 $174.99 (Newegg)
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 470 Superclocked 1280 MB $349.99 x2 $699.98 (Newegg)
SSD: OCZ OCZSSD2-10NX64G 64 GB $119.99 (Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $74.99 (Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X $199.99 (Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 1000HX $229.99 (Newegg)
DVD Burner: LG GH22nS40 DVD Burner $17.99 (Newegg)


It's $4.82 over... Sorry... But I'm sure this price will go up or down due to sales and price increases, I've also added cooling for the CPU because If this is a "High End Gaming PC" then I'm sure some overclocking will be done. Also this doesn't account for shipping or taxes. Also money can be saved if you want to switch to a none modular power supply or if you don't plan on overclocking you can then remove the CPU cooler. Other than that I think this is a pretty solid system you get a 64 GB SSD with a Terabyte of storage. You get 2 GTX 470's which should handle any DX11 games just fine. Also the motherboard supports USB3 as well as the case (though it kind of uses a workaround to get the USB3 ports on the front to work). The corsair power supply is also 80 Plus certified. And you get 6 GB of Ram at 7-8-7-20 timings at 1600 Mhz.
August 31, 2010 2:54:15 PM

I'm doing something a bit different. 1156 instead of 1366 to add some bigger GPUs.
(EDITED the build, now better and cheaper!)

Processor: i5 750 $194.99
Heat Sink: Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme $62.99
Motherboard + PSU: Asus P7P55D Pro + Corsair 850HX $299.98 combo + mail in rebate
RAM: Patriot Viper II Sector 5 1600mhz CL8 1.65V $109.99
Graphics Card: MSI GTX 480 $419.99 after current rebates (otherwise $449.99) x2 for SLI
Hard Drive: Kingston 128gb SSD $226.00
Seagate 320gb 7200.12 HDD for storage $44.99
Case: Antec 902 $119.95
DVD Burner: LITE-ON DVD+R $19.99

Total: $1918.86 ($1978.86 if you don't get the GTX 480 discount)

More GPU power than any other build can fit :D 
Plus a fairly large SSD if you want to put games on it, otherwise a decent sized HDD for storage.
HSF included, for OCing to the nuts
August 31, 2010 3:26:44 PM

BUILD 1

CPU : $300 (Newegg) Intel Core i7-950

Mobo : $200 (Newegg) ASUS Sabertooth X58

RAM : $165 (Newegg) CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB)

HDD : $59 (Newegg) SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB

GPU : 1 X $550 (Newegg) HIS Radeon HD 5970

GPU : 1 X $355 (Newegg) HIS Radeon HD 5870

PSU : $165 (Newegg) Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000

ODD: $20 (Newegg) LG SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe Support

HSF : $30 (Newegg) COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus

Case : $90 (Newegg) COOLER MASTER HAF 922

Total = $1934 (Before Rebates)+ $29 Shipping = $1963 Grand-Total

EDIT : Changed the cooler to CM Hyper 212 + from the Noctua NH-D14 & updated Motherboard price to accommodate the i7 950.

EDIT 2 : Changed build from single 5970 to 5970 + 5870 CrossfireX set-up by changing Board & removing SSD.

EDIT 3 : Updated prices.
August 31, 2010 4:01:01 PM

wolfram23 said:
I'm doing something a bit different. 1156 instead of 1366 to add some bigger GPUs.

Processor: i5 750 $194.99
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D Deluxe $169.99
RAM: Patriot Viper II Sector 5 2133mhz CL9 1.65V $189.90
Graphics Card: Sapphire Vapor-X 1GB 5870 $399.99 x2 for Crossfire
Hard Drive: WD 500GB 7200rpm 16mb cache $59.99 x2 for RAID 0
Kingston 64gb SSD $190.00
Case: Antec 902 $119.95
Power Supply: Corsair 850HX $169.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON DVD+R $19.99

Total: $1974.77

Add a heat sink to that CPU, OC it, and this rig will kill any of the above in gaming. Lightning fast RAM, SSD, RAID 0 HDDs, CF 5870s...

Let's say a Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme $62.99 puts you at $2037.76, and now you can OC.
(Alternatively, swap one HDD for the cooler and it's still in budget. The RAID 0s are more for storage and gaming but really, load time doesn't affect in game FPS too much so if we can take OCing into account, I would instead submit this)


I beg to differ my rig and all others here who opted for 470sli or even 480sli will beat this rig in most games. The SSD is small and the raid0 drives aren't as fast in most cases as the 60gb vertex + f3 + hdd boost I mentioned. Your setup has it's advantages but it's certainly not better in games as most other configurations here. Also mine has a sound card which takes the load of the cpu making my 930 more effective than any other here on this thread. You might want to rethink you're 5870 CF it has less features and isn't faster than 470 sli. Not to mention it costs more.
August 31, 2010 4:31:16 PM

I'm actually building this right now:

Processor: i7 930 $199.99 (Micro Center)
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E $214.99 Newegg
RAM: G.SKILL 6GB 1600Mhz $124.99 Newegg
Graphics Card: MSI Cyclone GTX 460 x2 $469.98 TigerDirect
Hard Drive: Crucial RealSSD c300 128GB $249.99 Newegg
Samsung Barracuda 1TB x2 Raid 0 $139.98
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 $89.99 Newegg
Power Supply: XFX 850W Black Edition $115.99 Tiger Direct
DVD Burner: Samsung Blu-ray $69.99 Amazon

Total: $1675.89

Plus beer $324.10.


I also went with the Sycthe Mugen 2 CPU cooler and got my 7 license through a student discount @ $30.

August 31, 2010 4:32:29 PM
August 31, 2010 5:14:26 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I beg to differ my rig and all others here who opted for 470sli or even 480sli will beat this rig in most games. The SSD is small and the raid0 drives aren't as fast in most cases as the 60gb vertex + f3 + hdd boost I mentioned. Your setup has it's advantages but it's certainly not better in games as most other configurations here. Also mine has a sound card which takes the load of the cpu making my 930 more effective than any other here on this thread. You might want to rethink you're 5870 CF it has less features and isn't faster than 470 sli. Not to mention it costs more.


Thanks for the feedback. I was meaning to check it out and you're right the 470s are at least equal to 5870s in CF. I've changed a few things in the build to better reflect this, including SLI 480s and a larger SSD.

I'd like to argue the Soundcard will make little to no difference, however. We're talking a gaming rig, so CPU usage is almost never going to be maxed meaning there's room for sound processing, but on top of that very few recent sound cards actually handle the sound processing. The majority are still software based. I currently use an AuzenTech Bravura 7.1 on my gaming rig.
August 31, 2010 7:11:43 PM

wolfram23 said:
Thanks for the feedback. I was meaning to check it out and you're right the 470s are at least equal to 5870s in CF. I've changed a few things in the build to better reflect this, including SLI 480s and a larger SSD.

I'd like to argue the Soundcard will make little to no difference, however. We're talking a gaming rig, so CPU usage is almost never going to be maxed meaning there's room for sound processing, but on top of that very few recent sound cards actually handle the sound processing. The majority are still software based. I currently use an AuzenTech Bravura 7.1 on my gaming rig.


Yeah you're right about the sound card. It makes little difference in games because the cpu isn't bottlenecking but I just want my config to be technically faster than all the others. Sadly I am now bested by the 480 sli configs :( .

But actually a sound card makes an astonishing amount of difference in cpu usage.

As you see here http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzen-bravura-review/6 and real world gaming performance here http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzen-bravura-review/10 . And that are comparisons between sound cards not even between sound card and no sound card. but this isn't really a reason to buy one it's more of a bonus to the improved audio quality.

BTW: do you like your bravura? I'm thinking of buying one with a pc 360. You think it's a good choice?
August 31, 2010 7:17:38 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Yeah you're right about the sound card. It makes little difference in games because the cpu isn't bottlenecking but I just want my config to be technically faster than all the others. Sadly I am now bested by the 480 sli configs :( .

But actually a sound card makes an astonishing amount of difference in cpu usage.

As you see here http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzen-bravura-review/6 and real world gaming performance here http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzen-bravura-review/10 . And that are comparisons between sound cards not even between sound card and no sound card. but this isn't really a reason to buy one it's more of a bonus to the improved audio quality.

BTW: do you like your bravura? I'm thinking of buying one with a pc 360. You think it's a good choice?


Interesting results.

Yes I really like it. It does have one quirk, you need to mute/disabble the SPDIF out otherwise you'll get a pop/snap sound randomly (like when you open a folder in Explorer and a little sound plays). It's wierd, but once I found the fix it's worked beautifully. Never had issues, full 7.1 surround works in everything I've played. And they updated the drivers with DTS... so yeah it's a good card.
August 31, 2010 7:22:53 PM

wolfram23 said:
Interesting results.

Yes I really like it. It does have one quirk, you need to mute/disabble the SPDIF out otherwise you'll get a pop/snap sound randomly (like when you open a folder in Explorer and a little sound plays). It's wierd, but once I found the fix it's worked beautifully. Never had issues, full 7.1 surround works in everything I've played. And they updated the drivers with DTS... so yeah it's a good card.


About your build :I'd get a cheaper case and get a 500gb f3 because that one is just sad lol. Also the psu will cause constraints under ful load after a bit of aging and definately under OCs. But anyways it's your build so let me stop meddling :p .

Thanks for the feedback btw :D 
August 31, 2010 7:37:32 PM

Well there's always something else, isn't there? Actually, I could probably throw on another 320gb HDD with the room that's left (if the 480 discount is taken) but strictly speaking, this is a gaming rig and even with 20 games at 10gb each, you're only at 200gb and that's pushing it. It's all the audio and video files that require bloated HDD room (my real rig I'm using two 500gb HDDs in RAID 0 :D ). The 850HX should hold out alright, but yeah... 600W for SLI 480s alone is pretty sketchy.
August 31, 2010 7:55:07 PM

Hey Wolfram, not to nitpick or anything but is the 902 even capable of holding 2 GTX 480's? I don't see any of the reviewers of the case mentioning the card.
August 31, 2010 8:09:16 PM

incazteca said:
Hey Wolfram, not to nitpick or anything but is the 902 even capable of holding 2 GTX 480's? I don't see any of the reviewers of the case mentioning the card.


Yes, they're only 1" longer than my 5850s and with the side mounted power connectors it'll fit. As it happens even if they were longer they could stick into the middle rack, so HDD/SSD in the bottom rack, DVD in the top and leave the mid one empty. I own a 902, and I was able to stick a middle mounted fan blowing on the back of my 5850s, and that's with the PCIe connectors sticking out the backs + the fan itself actually protruded out a bit. So yeah... I think the reason a lot of people wouldn't bother with the 902 (even tho it has GREAT air flow) is simply that at this price point, it's not that much more for a 1200 or other full sized case. Plus, a lot of these people will also add water cooling which is nice to have all internal and there's just not the room for that in a 902.
August 31, 2010 9:40:43 PM

So the listed systems are all fine and good, with the exceptions of Power Supply, CPU Heat Sinks, Case Fans, Lighting (If desired), consumables as in Cooling Fluid, and lets not forget the Keyboard and Mouse. Maybe ya'll can re-think your costs and outfitting? This is a gaming box, wouldn't a AMD T1090, RAID 0 SSD, 6Gb of fast ram, (2x2Gb) 4G SLI/Crossfire configuration, Raptor HD, and not so over featured MOBO make better since? There are not to many games out there that can load a i7 730....let alone a 750. Besides wouldn't a i5 be better suited for gaming?
August 31, 2010 9:51:29 PM

hurleypc said:
So the listed systems are all fine and good, with the exceptions of Power Supply, CPU Heat Sinks, Case Fans, Lighting (If desired), consumables as in Cooling Fluid, and lets not forget the Keyboard and Mouse. Maybe ya'll can re-think your costs and outfitting? This is a gaming box, wouldn't a AMD T1090, RAID 0 SSD, 6Gb of fast ram, (2x2Gb) 4G SLI/Crossfire configuration, Raptor HD, and not so over featured MOBO make better since? There are not to many games out there that can load a i7 730....let alone a 750. Besides wouldn't a i5 be better suited for gaming?


This is just for the "PC" part of it, ie: case and components. Monitor, speakers, etc are considered extra to this budget... if you could fit watercooling into the price tag then by all means go for it, but that's highly unlikely. As for CPU and mobo... I agree, which is why mine has the i5 750. But the X58 platform has great features so there's pros and cons either way. Why don't you try putting one together and see what you come up with?
August 31, 2010 10:25:07 PM

You could fit 480s even in an Antec 300. It will hold up to 10.5 inch video cards.
August 31, 2010 10:39:06 PM

this is exactly what i'd build with a 2k ceiling, some much flaunted waste in M/B, Memory, 2 dvd burners, and the case to shave off $100, but why? :D  oh, stayed a lil under for shipping and to possibly change out some fans.

Intel® - Core™ i7-950 Processor $299.99 thx 4 tip Chromethus +1
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Intel%26%23174%3B+-+Core%26...

Thermaltake Frio CPU Air Cooler $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA X58FTW3 $269.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill PI Series 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA GeForce GTX 470 SuperClocked 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 $349.99 x2 (for SLI)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SATA III $146.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 900 $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KingWin 1050W ATX $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe $17.99 x2 =35.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Damage: $1966.89 add $21.66 newegg shipping best buy shipping ? (plenty change left for it)
September 1, 2010 12:37:19 AM

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz (dropping under 300.00 in the next day or two.)
Motherboard: MSI Big Bang-XPower LGA 1366 Intel X58 299.99
RAM: A-DATA Plus Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 149.99
Graphics Card: Palit NE5X460HF1102 GeForce GTX 460 x 2 479.98
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Blue RC-932-KKN3 159.98
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 79.99
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SATA III $146.00
Power Supply: KINGWIN Lazer LZ-1000 1000W Modular 159.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 25.99

NOTE: I chose the Nvidia GTX 460's in SLI since they outperform a 5970 or 5870 x2 in CF. I feel this is the sweet spot for getting the most out of your dollar. I considered going with GTX 480 x2 but I feel the heat this cards let off, the size of the cards, and the price would not justify spending the money. This leaves the total at $1801.91. I know the limit is 2k but I dont feel there is a need to spend the money for very little gain. The only other thing I would consider doing is adding another 6 gigs of RAM for 149.99
September 1, 2010 1:21:19 AM

Processor: Core i7 930
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD4P
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1600 OCZ
Graphics Card: 2 x ATI Radeon 5870
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
Case: Antec 900 or HAF 922
Power Supply: Corsair TX 750
DVD Burner: 24x Sony SATA
September 1, 2010 2:10:30 AM

With a budget of $2000 looks like most of the builds are identical. Here's my doodad

CPU: Core i7 950 @ 3.06GHz
m/b: Asus P6X58D-E
ram: G.Skill 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600
It's red!
gpu: HIS HD5970
Red also...
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 600GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
SSD: Crucial RealSSD 64GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
case: Cooler Master HAF 922 (red)
Picked red as a final salute to the Red team before they turn green with their next card.
psu: Corsair 750w
odd: LG writer (SATA)

Grand total: 1955.68

Note: Them storage drives are SATA 6Gb/s so make sure you plugged it to the right SATA ports if you want performance.
They won't get fried if you plugged them to the ports label SATA 3Gb/s.
Also not sure what type of cable Asus provides into their motherboard packages, but I've got a SATA 6Gb/s expansion card which is from Asus as well, and the SATA cables provided says (SATA 6Gb/s). Not sure if that is a marketing gimmick or there are actual differences in the design of those cables.

If the cables provided are not SATA 6GB/s, you get them for $6 bucks each.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 1, 2010 5:26:25 AM
September 1, 2010 4:45:12 PM

SYSTEM 1: X58

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: i7 950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: 2 EVGA GTX470s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec TPQ-1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: AZZA Solano 1000R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD burner: LITE-ON Black 24X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1,958.71 before rebates/ $1898.71 after rebates



SYSTEM 2: P55

Motherboard: EVGA P55 FTW 200 SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-875K
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: 2 EVGA GTX470s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec TPQ-1200 1200W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: AZZA Solano 1000R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Corsair Nova Series 64GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD burner: Sony Optiarc Black 24X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1962.64 before rebates/ $1882.64 after rebates

I know that I didnt include any SSDs but I didnt shop around except for the i7 875k from microcenter.
September 1, 2010 6:19:23 PM

Going a slightly different route than most for fun here:

Processor: Intel Core i7 875K ($315)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P ($180)
RAM: 4gb G.Skill PI 2200mhz 7-10-10-28 ($180)
Graphics Card: 2x EVGA GTX 480s ($950)
Hard Drive: Corsair NOVA 32gb SSD ($50 after rebates) + 1tb Seagate 7200.12 ($65)
Case: Antec Dark Fleet DF-35 ($100)
Power Supply: Corsair 950w ($140)
DVD Burner: Samsung 24x w/ lightscribe ($20)

$2000

This will destroy any system with a 5970 or SLI 470s. Fun to overclock. Not a HAF case. Sexy RAM. Will keep you warm in the winter.
September 1, 2010 6:28:07 PM

^That board won't let you do both USB 3/SATA III and SLI at the same time. Adding the second card will disable the higher speeds.

Also, you're not going to be doing much overclocking with two 480s in there with only a 950W PSU...
!