Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$2,600 USD - 2560x1600 Gaming Build (Monitor included in budget)

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 5, 2010 9:07:39 PM

Hello everyone!

I am going to be putting together a new gaming PC in the next 2 weeks and I am looking for some expert advice! This is something I haven't done in about 3 years so I have really been out of the loop on all of the new hardware, deals, etc... I have done my best to throw a buy list together based on the information I have researched in the past few days. Please let me know what you think and what you would recommend that I do if it were your new PC.

Time Line: The next week or so. I can wait until the end of December if there is a significant reason to do so.
Budget Range: I am looking to purchase a 2560x1600 LCD in addition to my new rig. Over all I don't plan on spending any more than $2,600 USD shipped.
System Usage: 2560x1600 - 1920x1080 gaming, encoding, streaming to my HTPC, internet browsing, ect.
Parts Not Required: Buying all new.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I am open to all legitimate US sources. I don't want refurb or shady dealers, though.
Country of Origin: United States
Parts Preferences: Intel. I am partial to the i7-950. Open on everything else.
Overclocking: Absolutely! I plan to OC the CPU to around 4.0 on air, and would prefer to have stock OC'ed GPU(s).
SLI or Crossfire: I would like to purchase 1 GPU capable of handling 2560x1600 gaming w/ the option of installing a duplicate GPU in 3-6 months.
Monitor Resolution: 2560x1600 - 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I would like to focus I the "sweet spot" in terms of price/performance. If extreme enthusiast parts are required to achieve a suitable OC I will consider them. Is the heatsink I chose sufficient for a good OC? Is there any reason to get the Professional version of Windows 7 64-bit?

Build:
CPU: $299.99 Intel Core i7-950
HEATSINK: $ 29.99 COOLER MASTER Hyper 212+ + $9.99 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
MOBO: $229.99 ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58
GPU: Undecided. I want to purchase 1 GPU capable of handling 2560x1600 gaming w/ the option of installing a duplicate GPU in 3-6 months.
RAM: Undecided. Open to suggestions.
SSD: $240.00 OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G
HDD: $199.99 Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB SATA 6.0Gb/s
PSU: $229.99 CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
CASE: $149.98 COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Blue RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
DVD: $21.99 LITE-ON Black
OS: $99.99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Monitor: $1,179.99 HP ZR30w Black 30" 2560 x 1600 7ms

Thanks everyone!
October 5, 2010 9:35:49 PM

Well, there is no single GPU capable of intense 2560 gaming, but I would say wait if you can wait. 6K series and maybe SB will be out.
m
0
l
October 5, 2010 9:56:25 PM

PLEASE wait until Sandy Bridge comes out or at least until the ATI 6xxx comes out. Spending $1400 on a new PC now is not a very good idea as the new tech is just around the corner.

You can buy the LCD now however as they don't usually change prices much. But waiting for Black Friday/Cyber Monday may be a good idea for the LCD imo.

And currently, you WILL have to CrossFire/SLI for running new games at 2560 * 1600.
m
0
l
Related resources
October 6, 2010 5:18:06 AM

I'll take a look at Sandy Bridge, but I really want to jump in right now.

I plan on OCing my memory w/ the CPU. What should I be looking for memory wise for a good OC? (I want to get 12 gigs)
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 5:34:31 AM

dcschess05 said:
I'll take a look at Sandy Bridge, but I really want to jump in right now.

I plan on OCing my memory w/ the CPU. What should I be looking for memory wise for a good OC? (I want to get 12 gigs)

IMO, Sandy Bridge won't be quite as important as the new GPUs, which are slated to launch in about 2 weeks (for the mid range cards) if the rumors are to be believed. Rumors suggest that the higher end models may be released in mid-November.

Currently, the only configurations that would have a prayer of running games on max at your resolution would be a HD 5970, a pair pf GTX 470s, or a pair of GTX 480s. The 5970 and the 470s would set you back about $600, the 480s would be around $1k. The 5970 could potentially be crossfired at a later date as well.

For memory OC, the things to look for are low voltage (Intel can handle a max of 1.65v iirc; you'll want lower for ocing purposes) and low CAS latency.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:00:37 AM

coleam45 said:
IMO, Sandy Bridge won't be quite as important as the new GPUs, which are slated to launch in about 2 weeks (for the mid range cards) if the rumors are to be believed. Rumors suggest that the higher end models may be released in mid-November.

Currently, the only configurations that would have a prayer of running games on max at your resolution would be a HD 5970, a pair pf GTX 470s, or a pair of GTX 480s. The 5970 and the 470s would set you back about $600, the 480s would be around $1k. The 5970 could potentially be crossfired at a later date as well.

For memory OC, the things to look for are low voltage (Intel can handle a max of 1.65v iirc; you'll want lower for ocing purposes) and low CAS latency.


Thanks for the great info! I will take a look at the new GPU's. Will they really affect the price points for the current top end units?
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:05:39 AM

dcschess05 said:
Thanks for the great info! I will take a look at the new GPU's. Will they really affect the price points for the current top end units?

No idea yet. As it is, the release date is still just a rumor. It would make good business sense for there to be price drops in the HD 5xxx line, but companies don't always think like that. Look at nVidia's GTX 2xx series...
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:15:00 AM

coleam45 said:
No idea yet. As it is, the release date is still just a rumor. It would make good business sense for there to be price drops in the HD 5xxx line, but companies don't always think like that. Look at nVidia's GTX 2xx series...

Valid points, thanks

I am a bit confused on the SSD. Does it use the new "SATA6Gbps" ports or the old "SATA3Gbps/SATAII" ports to connect to the Mobo?
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:17:17 AM

I have little faith in the new ati GPUs. Without a new manufacturing procces there will be nothing game changing IMO.

Sandy bridge will also only release mainstrem products this year high end will come month/years later. I don't know what intel means by mainstrem though but I'm thinking it'll be less than an i7. Sandy bridge does bring a nice feature set with it like lightpeak and native 6gbps but it's to early to say wether you would need one above a 950.

Nvidia on the other hand was supposed to release some very intresting stuff not long ago. the 490gtx for example or the ASUS MARS II. http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-400/geforce-490gtx

I would reconsider your option about going with a 30inch though. GAming is much nicer on an eyefinity setup and I can't imgaine for what other reason why you'd need that kind of resolution.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:19:24 AM

dcschess05 said:
I am a bit confused on the SSD. Does it use the new "SATA6Gbps" ports or the old "SATA3Gbps/SATAII" ports to connect to the Mobo?


Almost all SSDs still use SATA II. The only ones listed on newegg as SATA III are the new Crucial RealSSD models. Those are also backwards compatible with SATA II.



Somebody_007 said:
I have little faith in the new ati GPUs. Without a new manufacturing procces there will be nothing game changing IMO.

I would reconsider your option about going with a 30inch though. GAming is much nicer on an eyefinity setup and I can't imgaine for what other reason why you'd need that kind of resolution.

I agree that it probably won't be much of a gamechanger, but it may at least drop the prices on the 5xxx series.

Agreed on the monitor; as I said before, you'll need to bump the budget way up in order to get playable framerates on high settings. If you can't use high settings, then there's no real point to buying such a huge monitor unless you need the screen real estate for programming or something. You can wait to see if the 6xxx launch drops prices significantly, but I doubt it will drop them enough to make the cards you need fit in your budget.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:24:47 AM

Somebody_007 said:
I have little faith in the new ati GPUs. Without a new manufacturing procces there will be nothing game changing IMO.

Sandy bridge will also only release mainstrem products this year high end will come month/years later. I don't know what intel means by mainstrem though but I'm thinking it'll be less than an i7. Sandy bridge does bring a nice feature set with it like lightpeak and native 6gbps but it's to early to say wether you would need one above a 950.

Nvidia on the other hand was supposed to release some very intresting stuff not long ago. the 490gtx for example or the ASUS MARS II. http://videocardz.com/nvidia/geforce-400/geforce-490gtx

I would reconsider your option about going with a 30inch though. GAming is much nicer on an eyefinity setup and I can't imgaine for what other reason why you'd need that kind of resolution.


I have been mulling the 30 inch around for awhile (year and a half) and sort of just sprang into really wanting one this past month. I currently use a 47 inch 1080p TV as a monitor and I am sort of sick of it. I honestly haven't looked into Eyefinity like I should. Can you tell me your opinion on it? Does it seem like a fad? What types of games is it good for?
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:26:10 AM

coleam45 said:
Almost all SSDs still use SATA II. The only ones listed on newegg as SATA III are the new Crucial RealSSD models. Those are also backwards compatible with SATA II.


Interesting. Are there any real-world performance gains that you are aware of while using the SATAIII connectors?
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:34:56 AM

dcschess05 said:
Interesting. Are there any real-world performance gains that you are aware of while using the SATAIII connectors?

SSDs do get a speed boost (up to 150% read speed, though a little slower on sustained writes) with SATA III (source: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/crucial_c300_2... ). SATA III gives absolutely no benefit to mechanical drives though.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 6:35:37 AM

Eyefinity/2d surround is bassically good for any games. Nvidia and ati are working hard to get every game working properly and they are definately succeeding.

What's my opinion? I would get 3X 24inch over a 30inch any day.

Most people buy 30inches for photo work or for using 3 of them in eyefinity/2d surround :p .
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 3:47:49 PM

^ The problem is, I there are no good 24" IPS based LCDs. I'm assuming OP is doing work where color accuracy,etc is important where an IPS will make a difference.

Quote:
I don't know what intel means by mainstrem though but I'm thinking it'll be less than an i7. Sandy bridge does bring a nice feature set with it like lightpeak and native 6gbps but it's to early to say wether you would need one above a 950.

The "main stream" Sandy Bridge beats a i7 920/930 and it keeps up with the 980X: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
And that's with an ES. Final Si should be about the same or better. Now imagine what the higher end SB CPUs can do, esp. with OCing. If you want the true "high end" (replacement for X58 CPUs) then you will need until the LGA2011 CPUs are released in ~Q2/Q3.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
October 6, 2010 4:04:11 PM

I like the build.

1) I like the 30"monitor. I have two of them. One is for gaming, using a 5870, and the other holds static stuff, attached to a nvidia 7800GS.

Realize that they have about twice the number of pixels, so your graphics card needs to be relatively strong. Mine works OK, but a GTX480 would have been a bit better, had it been available when I first built. I am waiting to see what develops in the next few months before I find it worthwhile to change. Using dual or triple 1080P monitors will also require a similarly strong graphics card.

I would suggest using a single GTX480 from EVGA if you build now. You will then have several options if you feel the need to upgrade.
a) Add a second GTX480 in sli.
b) Use the EVGA "step up "program to trade it in for the next best thing within 90 days.
c) The GTX480 is very marketable if you should need to sell it in favor of something else.

2) I saw some specs for the gen3 Intel SSD, and was a bit disappointed. It will be only slightly faster, particularly in writes, and probably much cheaper per GB. Not enough to change out from a good current SSD if you buy now. 6gb sata will not help that much. Current SSD's can't saturate the current 3gb sata. In time, that may change.

3) I think "sandy bridge" will be a blockbuster from a cpu point of view. 32nm, starting at 3.1ghz should overclock to the moon. What I am concerned about is the pci-e x16 capability. I think the X58 chipset will still be the strongest until the next generation high end chipset. That is a good reason not to worry too much about your build.

---good luck---
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
October 6, 2010 4:15:44 PM

dcschess05 said:
I'll take a look at Sandy Bridge, but I really want to jump in right now.

I plan on OCing my memory w/ the CPU. What should I be looking for memory wise for a good OC? (I want to get 12 gigs)


I would suggest a 3 x 4gb kit. That preserves your option to go to 24gb. Note that you will need windows-7 pro to access >16gb. There is also a Intel restriction that limits XMP1600 dimms to one per channel. Do not spend much extra on faster ram or fancy heat spreaders. The nehalem cpu memory controllers are very good at keeping the cpu fed with ram data. The difference between the fastest ram with great latencies and the slowest will show up as a 1-3% hit in real application perrformance(vs. synthetic benchmarks). Whatever ram you pick, check that it is on the motherboard QVL ram list, or that it is supported by the ram vendor's configurator. If you ever have a problem, you want to have support from at least one side. I think I might go with a DDR3-1333 kit.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 5:45:00 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ The problem is, I there are no good 24" IPS based LCDs. I'm assuming OP is doing work where color accuracy,etc is important where an IPS will make a difference.

Quote:
I don't know what intel means by mainstrem though but I'm thinking it'll be less than an i7. Sandy bridge does bring a nice feature set with it like lightpeak and native 6gbps but it's to early to say wether you would need one above a 950.

The "main stream" Sandy Bridge beats a i7 920/930 and it keeps up with the 980X: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
And that's with an ES. Final Si should be about the same or better. Now imagine what the higher end SB CPUs can do, esp. with OCing. If you want the true "high end" (replacement for X58 CPUs) then you will need until the LGA2011 CPUs are released in ~Q2/Q3.


I don't think he needs a good display I might of misunderstood but I thought he means he just wants the quality for gaming. And btw do you think the dell U 24inches are bad?

And thanks for showing me those benchmarks it really clears up a lot I really didn't expect that much from them. I find the naming kind of lame though. Those benchmarks make you wonder though how amazing those 22nm 8-cores will be.
m
0
l
October 6, 2010 8:29:57 PM

Quote:
And btw do you think the dell U 24inches are bad?

Which one?
m
0
l
!