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High end gaming Build $2000++

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October 6, 2010 8:22:39 AM

Time Line: Within a month or two

Budget Range: Under $3000

System Usage: Gaming, encoding video, htpc

Parts Not Required: Monitor (uding 40 inch sony v4500 1080p television)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I ususally use newegg but don't care

Country of Origin: United States

Overclocking: Yes I will go north of 3.8 on air, hence the cooler

SLI or Crossfire: Definately but not necessarily at first

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (television)

Additional Comments: I want to build a monster computer without paying $5000 for the best of everything, I want a high performer with room to grow. I was thinking one gtx480 for now and adding another in the future or getting two totally new cards if something much better comes out in the next year or two. I know the power supply I chose is overkill before anyone points it out but as I said I want ALOT of room to grow and the better power supply will help with overclocking and general system stability. I considered AMD 6 core but seems worse than the 950 to my mind. Things I am iffy on are if the memory is a good choice for this config, also if there are any better cases or motherboards out there in the same ballpark. I am not afraid to spend a little more if it will have a tangible benefit. Also from my research the noctua nh-d14 seems like the best air cooler by far. I am by no means an expert so if anyone notices any incompatibilities or has any better suggestions for parts please speak your mind I am not married to any of these parts this was just the best config I came up with for what I am looking for. Under each part is my reasoning behind it.





Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

$159.99

This seems like it has a large amount of room and great cooling which are my 2 most important criteria for a case


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$119.99

Basic storage - good price/capacity


ZOTAC AMP! ZT-40102-10P GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


$519.99

Best single gpu, may sli later on. These cards run hot and the after market cooling on this looks well worth it



CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D

$179.99

Don't know a lot about memory compared to everything else to be honest this seemed stable with decent timings and good for overclocking based on the reviews....any suggestions here for better memory would be appreciated


Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy


$299.99

Seems like the best performance for my dollar and highly overclockable to levels of much more expensive processors


Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler


$89.99


best air cooler based on my research, compatible with the mobo I have chosen



Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

$268.00


Me want faaaast....why have sata 6 and not use it. This will be for os and some programs/games



CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active ...

$309.99

Gold certified so highly efficient, the extra money I spend will cut down on electric bill (I realize only slightly) and a power supply is usually the most neglected yet to my mind one of the most important parts. I can see not having to upgrade this for the foreseeable future




ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

$299.99

I want usb 3 and sata 6....Also want the option of sli in the future, great overclocking ability, design, and temperature management. This seems to fit the bill and people seem to have a better experience with this as opposed to the extreme.

Subtotal: $2,381.8



Questions? Comments? Am I making any mistakes here?
October 6, 2010 9:00:08 AM

Some other cases to look at: Silverstone Raven, Cooler Master HAF X, Corsair Obsidian Series, Cooler Master Cosmos (not sure about this one; the description says it has 4 140mm fans, but the features list says it only has 1 120mm fan; this version looks like it might come with more) They're all good cooling cases, and I think they all look pretty cool as well.

The Dominators tend to be a bit overpriced; you can usually get a better kit from Mushkin or G.Skill for less. Look for CL6 or CL7.

For motherboards, you should also look at the ASUS Sabertooth. It's $100 less and still keeps 2 x16 pci-e slots for sli. The Rampage appears to be maybe a bit more overclocker-friendly though.

Other than that, don't forget the DVD drive.
October 6, 2010 6:23:59 PM

I have a 1200 myself, just be prepared if you want to clean the fan filters, or add in hard drives you need to remove both side panels, then remove 8 screws to remove one of the front fan units, just to pull it foward to remove the filter. IMO its a paint in the ass but otherwise the case is awesome.
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October 6, 2010 6:36:31 PM

I have a very similar rig. The Antec Quattro 1200 PSU is amazing and a little cheaper. I love it. but the main thing I would change (and I did) is to go with the GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470. It's $180 cheaper and very very overclocked with an amazing after-market cooling solution. I was going to go with the Zotac as well (actually 2x 480's) but really disliked how it takes up 3 slots. So instead I went with 3 of the 470's for the same price. Even for a single-GPU solution your going to see a 2-3FPS difference between the SOC 470 and stock 480 and not much more with the Zotac OC 480. I chose the Xclio 1000 Case because I wanted to have 12x hard drives and I love the case (its beyond massive) and I havent had any fans die on me which is a complaint some people have had.
October 6, 2010 6:47:50 PM

Oh and go with the Rampage III extreme IF you can get it open box ($290 vs $370) and right now there is one available on newegg, I did that and even though I will never use a majority of the amazing features, there are more power phases for better overclocking and more physical lanes for future-proofing compared to the Formula.
October 6, 2010 9:12:55 PM

Ok guys thanks for all the replies I have been researching and reading reviews and looking at your suggestions all day and here is what I came up with. I found a decent combo deal that saved me some $$$ and changed the 480 to 2x 470's. Let me know if this power supply is good and if this case seems adequate.


Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950


ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP6GX3M3A1600C8


ABS Majesty series MJ900 Continuous 900W@50°C ATX12V/EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Core i7 Ready, ...


NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case


Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler



2x GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready ...




also going to get a cheap oem blu ray but did not include here because i don't really need any advice on that


Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions so far on this one I downgraded to a 900w power supply because of a combo deal do you guys think this build will have any trouble. Does anyone have any experience with this case never really heard of it. Also how does the sabertooth stack up to the rampage models am I loosing anything important. I will never do tri or quad sli because I feel once you get that many cards you get diminishing returns for your$$ so keep in mind most I will be running off this power supply is 2 high end cards and extra hard drives, maybe a sound card in the future.
!