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~$1000 Upgradeable Gaming Rig

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Last response: in Systems
October 22, 2010 8:19:12 AM

Hello all,

I'm looking to build a new PC to game on, as the last one I build is now about 6 years old and can barely handle Vista. :non: 

I live near a Microcenter, and the following bundle just came up:

Processor: i7-950
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D
Price: $455

I'm looking to build this pretty slowly, as I won't have enough money to buy everything at once, but I felt like I should pounce on this deal. So please help me find RAM, PSU, etc. I do NOT need speakers, keyboard, mouse, or monitor, and I could probably reuse my case and wait to change HDD's as well. But RAM, PSU, GPU, cooling are all unrecyclable.


More about : 1000 upgradeable gaming rig

October 22, 2010 10:07:14 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Over time, within the next month. I plan on getting the CPU/Mobo bundle this week, though.

Budget Range: $1000-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, streaming to TV, internet, other light usage.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers. I COULD reuse case and monitor, but I'd rather not.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Microcenter

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Pretty much set on the following deal from Microcenter: i7-950 and ASUS P6X58D Premium

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but not immediately. Probably will get one top-end GPU now, and buy the 2nd later.

Monitor Resolution: Not sure, but the one I have now runs at 1680x1050, but I'd like to upgrade.

Additional Comments: The price for the bundle is $455. Probably looking to only get one GPU right now. I'd like an SSD, and I could reuse one of my current harddrives for larger storage if I can't afford a better one immediately.

Parts decided on:

Intel i7-950

ASUS P6X58D Premium

(these two together are $455)
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 10:55:32 PM

That's a great deal on the i7-950; I got my i7-930 3 months ago for $200 from Microcenter.

RAM: You'll want 3x2GB @ 1333MHz or 1600MHz with a Cas Latency of 7 or 8 (lower is better). I have the Patriot Viper II Sector 7 1600MHz CL8 RAM, and it's gotten about $30 cheaper since this summer (plus a MIR, which would only make it $115):

SSD: The OCZ Vertex and the Crucial C300 are the two fastest boot drives, but are a little expensive per GB. I have the WD SiliconEdge, which is a "slow" SSD, and I still boot in 30s.

GPU: I would recommend the EVGA GTX 460s:
The OCed version is the same price, but it's easy to OC the stock ones. If you plan on needing more performance, go with the GTX 470.

PSU: You'll need a 650W Continuous power (750W max power) for SLIed 460s, and a 750W continuous (850W max) for 2 SLIed GTX 470s (more for 3 SLIed 470s). I'd go with a Corsair, Antec, or Seasonic. XFX's Black Edition is OEMed by Seasonic, which is the best PSU maker out there.

Case: The high end GPUs are going to get hot, so you'll need a case with good airflow. I have the Raven RV02 full tower, and it only has 4 fans, which are really efficient and extremely quiet (it's almost soothing). Plus, you'll be able to wire the cables behind the motherboard to improve airflow.

If you can find any combo deals, you may be able to save a bit here and there, but don't expect to be saving $100s at a time.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 12:38:55 AM

Well, get some memory . . . and maybe you can install it, depending on what kind of OS disk you have :) 

Actually, for top memory in your rig I'd recommend 1600 CL7 from Mushkin for $110 after MIR:

Since the cheapest you could get away with is $100:
it seems the good stuff is a no-brainer.

Next up might be the cooler - either excellent cooling on a budget:

or quite likely the best air available: Thermalright Silver Arrow

SSD? Last thing to llok at on a budget.

Gaming at 1680? With future plans for 1920? AMD 6850 or this faster OC'd Gigabyte 460 both at $180:

PSU? Minimum 650, 750W max:

650W Seasonic $60

750W Corsair $90 after MIR

Case: Hard to argue with Silverstone Raven 2 - so cool it makes cpu/gpu fans run slower, quieter. But expensive. Cooler Master HAF 912 would be my budget choice.