I7 gaming build

I'm looking to build a gaming computer on a 1500-2500 budget. Primary use will be WoW (no SLI/Xfire support, CPU intensive but not video card intensive) plus frapsing while playing. 1920x1080 or so resolution, ssd for OS/games, regular HD for fraps output. Don't see any need to overclock. I'd very much appreciate thoughts (including whether I left anything out) on this build:


Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950 - 299.99

HIS H597F2GDGC Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Dual GPU Onboard CrossFire Video Card w/ Eyefinity - 599.99

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - 289.99

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - 249.99

- Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - 119.99
- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 74.99

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7 G - 199.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - 109.99

Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic LED Fan and Fan Controller/Heatsink Rev.1 with TX-3 & 1156 Brackets - 62.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - 99.99

Thanks in advance!
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Cheaper RAM that runs on lower voltage at the same speed and latency:

    The Corsair 800D is really valuable to those doing water cooling setups, but loses some value if you're only doing air-cooling. If you want a case optimized for high-performance air cooling, check out this one on the high end:

    Silverstone Raven RV02-BW ($159)

    Or this more budget-friendly but high performance HAF 922 ($90)

    GPU: A 5970 is decisively and consistently outdone by a pair of GTX 470s ($600), which are the same price. Even cheaper, a pair of GTX 460 1 GB cards (~$420) are also faster.

    Besides that, AMD is announcing the 6xxx cards next week, so prices of the 5 series should go down a bit.

    Motherboard is fine. You could do with a Gigabyte UD3R, Asus Sabertooth, or Asus P6X58D-E, though and put the extra cash into a bigger SSD.

    If you wanted to, you could save $190 on the case (move from 800D to HAF 922), save $60 on the motherboard (P6X58D Premium - P6X58D-E) and get a 120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, which is based on the Sandforce controller, the best SSD controller technology available. Of course, you'd also have the benefit of 56 more GB of space on your SSD for games and programs.

    Then you'd still have enough money left over to get a 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 ($75) drive for storing music and movie files and whatnot.

    For your budget, I would suggest this:

    CPU: Core i7 950 ($300)
    MOBO: ASUS P6X58D-E ($230)
    RAM: G.Skill Pi Series ($160)
    GPU: 2 x GTX 470 ($600)
    HDD: 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 ($75)
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB ($205 after rebate)
    CASE: Raven RV01 -it's a bit bigger than the rv02- ($220)
    PSU: Corsair 850HX ($150)
    CPU Cooler: Same ($63)

    TOTAL: $2003

    This is right between your stated budget of $1500 - $2500

    EDIT: Oh ***, this is just for WoW? No SLI support? Why such a big budget? ***, i just looked at the parts you had selected and thought this was a general high-end gaming/multi-purpose system. Hmmmmm.
  2. I like your choices but I think you can improve them.

    First thing you should do is wait 6 days for AMD to release their new line of 6000 series cards.

    If you are not going to OC you don't need that cooler. Drop it and get a MUCH faster and more useful SSD:

    The 750TX was a great PSU choice for a long time but there are better choices now. Especially with a windowed case.

    AT $600 a 5970 is not a good deal. Not when you already have an expensive SLI capable motherboard.

    Two GTX 470s would cost the same and bury the 5970, for instance. And 5970 IS a dual GPU card. Just like running crossfire.
  3. Hehe you got pretty similar and totally independent recommendations there :)
  4. Thanks a lot, both replies were very helpful. I've done a lot more research, and am now looking at the build below. Any red flags or improvements? Frapsing at high settings is important for me, but I don't think anything here will limit that.

    CPU: $209 - i5-760
    GPU: $245 - Asus GTX 460 (1GB)
    MOBO: $180- Asus P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
    RAM: $135 - G.SKILL PI Series 4GB (3x2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1.6v
    SSD (for OS/games): $225 - OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
    HHD (for fraps output/etc): $60 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200
    Case: $90 - Lian Li PC-K7B ATX Mid Tower
    PSU: $110 - Corsair CMPSU-750TX

    Total: $1245
  5. That Aluminum case is nice, but the cooling options seem limited and it's a bit on the small side. For $90, the HAF 922 is a much better option.


    You'll have more space to work in and hide cables, you'll have more stock cooling and more places to put fans. You can grow into this case with ANY future upgrade and know that all your parts will fit and be adequately cooled.

    I've also worked with the older version of this case and can attest to its excellence:


    Not as much space between HDD cages and back of the case, but I've seen 5970s in CM690s, so I guess it depends on the PCI placement on your motherboard. 5970 is the longest thing rendering these days, though, so it should be fine.

    Motherboard looks good.

    If you're going to spend $250 on a gtx 460, might as well get this "superclocked" one from Gigabyte:


    Or you could save a couple bucks and get a stock one and overclock yourself, but either way is fine.
  6. I don't think the Lian Li case is bad, it does have three 120mm fans. If you are familiar with these type of cases and feel strongly about it, you should go with it.

    I use a Silverstone TJ09 for aesthetic reasons. It's not the best cooled and is limiting in the water cooling area as well, but I'm very partial to the looks and that is important to me.

    I'm running a 750TX right now and it's a good PSU, but not a great one. You can do much better for a very minimal increase in cost.

    Besides the stellar review it's 80Plus Silver... more efficient... and FULLY MODULAR. All for 20 bucks more.

    Antec TruePower New TP-750
    In between the Silverstone and the Corsair you have this Seasonic-built Bronze rated partly modular unit.

    This Seasonic is probably better also
    Seasonic SS-750HT 750W
    I have to go do some research right now on this and a few others I came across while looking for you.
  7. Thanks both of you. I like the Lian Li's looks and don't plan on adding much more to this build and don't plan to overclock, so I'm inclined to stick with it. I'll go with the Silverstone ST75F-P 750W.

    On the GPU, I'm inclined to get the factory-overclocked gigabyte 460 mortonww mentioned, or maybe even the factory-overclocked 470 (not necessary for WoW, but it seems like it would add more flexibility if I wanted to fool around with other games).

    Thanks again, your comments led me down the right research path.
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