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Gaming PC build for around $1,000

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Last response: in Systems
September 14, 2010 12:57:11 AM

Hi, I have built my gaming pc over and over to make sure it lives up to my expectations.. I am looking for a highly upgradable, easily OC'able, reliable PC. I am looking for around a $1,000 PC but I will be buying a GTX470 very soon, maybe 2. Any comments welcome if you think that a different item is better then one I have picked, please share and give a reason why. Thank you!!

Also: The reason I do not have a gaming type keyboard and mouse is because I already have a mouse and I don't really want anything but a simple laptop like keyboard.
I do not have access to a router and my home does not have ethernet outlets, so I got a network adapter.
I already have a copy of Windows 7 x64.

Here it is:

CPU: $315 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

Motherboard & Hard drive: $260 ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Case & Memory: $195 RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

DVD drive & DVD+R's: $29 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 - Bulk - OEM
TDK 4.7GB 16X DVD+R 50 Packs Cake Box Disc Model 48519

Power Supply: $80 XION PowerReal AXP-850R14N 850W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Network Adapter: $25 AZiO AWD102N IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates WPA/WPA2; 64/128-bit WEP; TKIP/AES

(Temporary) Video Card: $60 GIGABYTE GV-R545SC-1GI Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Keyboard: $19 i-rocks RF-6520-BK Black 99 Normal Keys 2.4GHz Wireless Ultra Slim 1.5 AREA Keyboard

Hard drive SATA cable: $6 Nippon Labs 39.4" SATA III Flat Cable with Latch Model SATA3-1M

Thermal Compound: $10 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

Grand Total: $1,025.78
- $40 Mail in Rebate

More about : gaming build 000

a c 223 4 Gaming
September 14, 2010 1:10:53 AM

Your design has a MAJOR FLAW:

A gaming computer is about a BALANCE of parts. For example, the i5-750 (for $220) is about 2x->4x more powerful than an HD5870 needs. You either want a CPU that, on average, is close to 100% or my preference due to price is to have one like the above that can support another HD5870 or FUTURE graphics card.

You have paired a high-end CPU with a low-end graphics card. So your graphics card will max out, your CPU will be under-used and your games won't run that great for all the money you've spent.

Start with the graphics card choice, then purchase the system around that. Shuffle prices so you get what you want. For $1000 I'd get an HD5850 1GB.

something like:

1) 1156 motherboard
2) i5-750 Intel CPU
3) HD5850 1GB
4) 4GB DD3 1600MHz (2x2GB)
5) Windows 7 x64 Premium OEM

- $40 heatsink/fan for CPU for lower noise
- 750W Corsair PSU or similar.
September 14, 2010 1:15:53 AM

You didn't read my post. I will be upgrading to 2x GTX470's.
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a c 223 4 Gaming
September 14, 2010 1:18:17 AM

Sorry, I see that you said "temporary" there.

FYI, when running my i7-860 (about same as i5-750 as hyperthreading provides no gaming benefit yet) I've observed most high-end games max out my HD5870 and use slightly under 50% of my CPU (50% with HT off. HT ON provides incorrect CPU usage as it counts the hyperthread as if it was a core. i.e. 50% with HT disabled shows up as 25% with HT enabled even though HT doesn't add the theoretical extra processing power.)

To summarize:
1) An i5-750 is the best value CPU. The extra $100+ over an i7-920/860 can be put towards the graphics.

2) You only need overclock for gaming if you have something like SLI/Crossfire of an HD5870 or GTX480. There is NOT a single game that will run a CPU near 100% on even one of its cores when paired with an HD5870.

Overclocking only adds heat and noise when not needed but no performance value.

You can use the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) to monitor your CPU usage. Run a game for 5-minutes or more and look at the CPU usage. For accurate results disable Hyperthreading in the BIOS. Since most games don't use Hyperthreading you could probably just DOUBLE the CPU value you get (i.e. 30% is really 60%).
a c 223 4 Gaming
September 14, 2010 1:25:03 AM

Sorry again about only skimming your post.

About overclocking...

If you use SLI 2xGTX470 then you probably will need to overclock. However, I recommend you monitor your games to determine if you need to and then overclock only enough to keep up with the graphics. Ideally a game would have benchmarks so you could see if overclocking adds any value but this can be misleading; if you can already show 60FPS (to match your monitor using VSYNC) then generating more Frames then your monitor can display is useless. I hate screen tearing so if I need to I'll turn down a few values slightly so I can get above 60FPS for VSYNC to properly work.

In general, using Task Manger (look at all cores/threads):

1) No core is at 100% usage in game (overclocking not needed)
2) Only one core is at 100% (probably overclocking not needed; benchmark)
3) Two or more cores at 100% (probably need to overclock)

One easy option is to increase the CPU until your most demanding game shows the most-used core between 90% and 100%.
September 14, 2010 1:31:26 AM

Ok without overclocking, shouldn't I get a i5-760? not 750? I am willing to pay a little more ;p