First time build (Gaming Pc) 2000$ Budget


I'm kinda new to tom's, I've read a few articles here and there and have posted maybe once before. I'm looking to build a new PC for gaming and some (workstation virtualization for school).It is also my first build ever, I've done a few upgrade and such on previous computers but I want this to be a balanced, and stable machine that will last quite a while. I don't really Have a budget however I would like to stay under 2000$. I'm an Intel fan, so I'll defiantly be looking for an Intel Proc. I'll be running at games at 1920×1080 (Starcraft II, WoW, MW2 etc...). I Hope to not have to upgrade any parts until about 2 years from now, so if I need to OC to squeeze some more longevity of it I will.

this is what I'm looking at so far...

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Motherboard: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance
Gaming Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
Graphics Card: ASUS 5870 EYEFINITY 6/6S/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Eyefinity 6 Edition Video Card
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB
Power Supply: CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
DVD Burner: Salvageable from Previous
O.S. Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)

I'm still not sure of the difference between the i5 and i7, and I'm still not sure about my GPU either whether to go x1 or x2 or ati or nvidia.

Any suggestion, information or opinion, or even if you think It would be more beneficial to go AMD Proc I'm open to suggestions as long as there is some reasoning behind it.

Thanks in advance
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  1. The i7 950 is the top of the line sensible CPU right now.

    The ASUS P6T is an old motherboard. You want a newer model that has USB3 and SATA3 like the ASUS Sabertooth x58

    For RAM you want a 6GB (3x2GB) kit of DR3-1600 cas 7 that is rated at 1.5V (no higher than 1.65V). If you get ram rated above 1.5V you have to set the voltage manually in bios.

    Caviar black 640 is a bit older and slower than the new 500GB platter drives like the caviar black 1TB "FAEX" (not "FALS") or the Samsung F3 1TB.

    At your price point you should be considering an SSD for boot and primary applications. Something like an OCZ Vertex 2 120GB. It will make booting and jumping from screen to screen very fast.

    Your graphics card choice dictates the PSU you need. If you are getting a 480 and want to add a second later then 850W might be warranted. If you go with a 5870 then a 750W anything you need. There are lots of good Seasonic, Corsair, Antec and XfX PSUs between 650W and 850W so check them all out for best price when you order.

    I dont see a CPU cooler or a case listed.
  2. I haven't decided on a case yet however I was looking at the coolmaster cases, I was also looking at maybe going liquid cooling. as for the sabertooth I was looking 5 days ago on newegg and never saw it, I will defiantly grab one.

    I was Looking at the 850w so that later I can always upgrade to crossfire. I also heard from a friend that ATI was releasing their 6xxx series of cards soon, is there any validity to that? and if so should I wait for them to come out and get one of them, or get 2 5870s for cheaper or get a 6xxx series?

    And as for SSD, I was going to wait, a friend told me that right now it isn't worth it, i've also read around it a lot of people have said it isn't that noticeable. are there any benchmarks that someone could link me to so I could make a more informed desicion?
  3. Wait for the AMD Radeon 6XXX
  4. Case has some impact on PSU choice. In addition to cosmetic reasons, if you get an Antec 1200 or P183 case you can get a great bargain with the Antec CP850 PSU. Its a bit taller than most PSU and only fits in a few Antec cases. They sell it cheap and its very good for its wattage. Its certified to run 3 high end (470) graphics cards.

    There is no reasonable reason to do liquid cooling anymore. Aircoolers are much safer and give ample cooling.

    I used to be one of the people that said SSDs are not worth it yet. Generally the people who say that are people that havent got one. I have yet to see a single person who installed a good SSD say it wasnt a waste of money. Most say it was the best upgrade they ever made. I still havent got one myself, I am hoping to pick a couple up during thanksgiving-new years sales.

    Benchmarks dont explain what SSDs do. Boot up from power switch to password in under 10 seconds (instead of maybe 30 seconds). Flipping between windows without the half second delay. It makes the system feel more responsive. It doesnt have much impact on FPS during gameplay, but switching between the game and a web page will jump instantly.

    Good 120GB SSDs are down to below $250, which is getting quite resonable. Six months ago SSDs that were much slower and only 40GB were that price.

    If you can wait 6 month to build a few things will have happened. Intel and Amd will have their next-gen CPUs out. ATI will have 6000 series cards out. I suspect there will be a set of SATA3 SSDs out that may drive todays good SATA2 SSD prices down even further. The net effect will likely be a 10-20% savings (or a 10-20% faster computer). Is it worth waiting 6 months for that possibility?
  5. After your first post I decided to look more into SSDs and as you said in your last post, that no one dislikes it after installing it. I was looking around and found a decently priced one from corsair for 120$.

    I also read the Water Vs Air Articles on Toms and decided to go with air. As for case I think I've decided to go with COOLER MASTER HAF 932, just because I like the look out it, there should be more then enough room and my friend recommended getting a cool master.

    Everything will be purchased by December, so I'm hoping some prices will drop by then currently at 1500$ without a GPU, and apparently AMD is announcing 6xxx series in October, so I'll wait till then to pick a Gpu.

    Also thank you for your posts, they helped me a lot.

    The only question I can think of right now is whether I should ditch the ram I'm looking at right now and maybe go with more for less as opposed to looking at clock speeds.
  6. Best answer
    If you get an SSD that small, you can only install the OS on it. If you get a larger one, you can install your most used apps on it and get a greater benefit, like having the loading screen flash by when changing from zone to zone or map to map in a game. For twice that price you can get an SSD 3 times that size. Right now it seems to me the 90-120GB SSDs are the best value. I am expecting to pick a couple up myself (around or below $200) between the thanksgiving-new years sales. Thats my thinking on the SSD subject, for what its worth.

    Unless you know you need more than 6GB RAM, you should stick with that size. You should be able to get that for round $150 at cas 6 or 7 DDR3-1600. The higher speed you go above 1333, the less benefit so 1600 seems a good price/performance choice.
  7. Best answer selected by P3ppy.
  8. The 90GB Vertex 2 is already down to $190 or 170 after $20 MIR.
  9. Yeah, I was going to use the SSD just for the OS, and wait a while once some cheaper sata 3 SSDs come out pick up 2. But it’s still a few months before I even buy this thing.

    And as for the Ram I currently have 4x2Gb DDR2 800Mhz sticks and I never use more then 4 gigs. but My friend told me that toms did a article on Cheap ram vs Expensive ram, he said that in the end, more cheap ram was better, than less more expensive ram. I haven't looked at the article myself but If I'm not using more than 4 gigs I don’t know, I guess I should look for that article.

    Again thanks for the reply, info and opinion, it's very much appreciated
  10. Have your friend read these Tom's articles. I must not be reading the same Toms website he is.,2325.html
    The results are obvious: going from one memory speed to the next, e.g. from DDR3-1066 to 1333, does not provide major benefits. Even the replacement of slow DDR3-800 RAM by DDR3-1600 memory will mostly yield disappointing results. While the performance advantage is measurable, it is never noticeable.,2264.html
    Not much has changed since 4 GB of RAM became the “sweet spot” for performance and price in the enthusiast market. While 32-bit operating systems previously limited those 4 GB configurations to around 3 GB of useful memory space, today's test shows that 3 GB is still usually enough.
  11. Alright thanks for the clarification. It's what I originally thought.

    thanks again mate, also very timely replies must be busy at work like me >.<.
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