Mid/High-End Gaming Build || $1500 range ||

Approximate Purchase Date: Two weeks (two paychecks) :D

Budget Range: ~$1700 including monitor, after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies/TV shows

Parts Not Required: OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, ATI GPU, full tower

Overclocking: Why not

SLI or Crossfire: Possibly in the future

Monitor Resolution:1920x1080

Additional Comments: Everything's from This'll be my first build. I'm a student so I've been an Apple guy for the past few years, looking to change that.

I've missed out on a couple years of quality PC gaming so I'm planning on catching up with this rig. (And, of course, play the new releases too.) I'll also be playing the new Star Wars MMO and I'm hoping this system is optimized for it.

I've done some basic research on the motherboard's compatibility with all the parts and it seems to check out.

I think I might pop another 5870 in there in a few months. I was also considering an SSD, but I'm waiting for the technology to get a little cheaper first.


Case . . . . . . .$150 - Antec Twelve Hundred Full Tower Case
Mobo . . . . . . .$220 - ASUS Rampage III Gene LGA 1366 Intel X58
CPU . . . . . . . $300 - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz
GPU . . . . . . . $360 - XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB
PS . . . . . . . . .$110 - Corsair CMPSU-850TX
RAM . . . . . . . $150 - Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
HDD . . . . . . .$70 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache
Optical #1 . . $65 - Lite-On Blu-Ray Player
Optical #2 . . $20 - Lite-On DVD Burner

Total: ~$1,445


As far as a monitor goes, I'm going with the ASUS VW246H for $230.

I think I'm going to go for Windows XP SP3 for my system's OS. I'm not sure if that's good for this type of hardware, but I've heard bad things about the gaming performance of the latest Windows OS's. What do you think?

Any input on the build would be much appreciated.
32 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about high gaming build 1500 range
  1. I'd hold out on the GPU, AMD just released the 6870 and 6850, so wait for the 5870 equivalent 6000 series card and get that. (the 6870 is not the 5870 anymore, its a re branded 5770 with beefed up tessellation and performance, wait for the 6000 series version of the 5870)

    Other than that, everything looks good. BUT: if you want to save the extra $$$, skip on the core i7 and get a socket 1156 mobo and a Core i5 760, you get all the performance of a i7 (or nearly all) at a fraction of the price and not nearly as good multithreading (which is useless to most people)
  2. Best answer
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
    Intel Core i7-950
    LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer
    LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
    G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 + XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W
    ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms


    2 x SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850


    Also you can go i-5 760 and a 1156 mobo like overlord4142 said.
  3. Wow, the benchmarks for the crossfire 6850 look seriously impressive. Is it going to be impossible to get a pair at this point in its production? And I'm new to PC building, will handling a crossfired system be manageable?

    I think I'll go the i5 route, it doesn't seem that I really need all that the i7 offers. I'll have to check it out and revise my build.

    Thanks a lot for the tips.
  4. Awesome, I can't tell you how helpful this is. I take it 650W is enough to crossfire? And why the Gskill ram, value?
  5. my advice is stick with the i7. Its faster. check out the price between the 3 main components. your spending about 100 more for the i7... in the end the i7 will be easily sellable. esp considering new i5 is coming out in quarter 1 of next year (new i7 sockets are coming out 4th quarter of 2011)


    1156 mobo-$190
    1366 mobo-$199

    ram 2/3 channel:
    6gb 3 channel corsair case 8 -$134
    4 gb 2 channel corsair case 8-$95
  6. Yep, 650W is enough.

    Wait, you made some economies on the cpu/mobo - get that one, it's Seasonic inside and you can use it for your next rigs:

    That RAM has low latencies and it's "Customer Choice Award Winner". Here's a nice vcombo if you like that case:

    If you want a Blu-Ray writer:
  7. jason gran said:
    my advice is stick with the i7. check out the price between the 3 main components. your spending about 100 more for the i7...

    1156 mobo/1366 mobo
    ram 2/3 channel

    That i7 is a great CPU and it's slightly better in gaming but no one who has a mighty 2xHD6850 will ever notice that. Also the 1156 platform is cooler than the 1366 - that counts in a CF setup.
  8. all the more reason to spend 100 and get something that will

    a) sell for more/easier/higher down the line
    b) faster parts all around
    c) 2gb more of ram
    d) i5 socket will be dead in 2 months... i7 in 10 (est)
    e) you'll have fast gpu's all the more reason to have a fast cpu/better mobo to keep up
    f) even more future proof.

    I'm just throwing my 2 cents in the picture. if 100 wont hurt his wallet too much then its well worth it.
  9. Yep, you have a point, I was just speaking my mind here like everybody else. He can do that alright but he doesn't have an upgrade path on either platform. Both are quads at about 3 GHz. On 1366 there's the 6 core Extreme but those will always be very expensive (the high-end 775 quads cost the same as the i7 now).

    So, basically he will throw away (or sell) the mobo/cpu/ram anyway whichever way he goes, 1156 or 1366 when they won't be able to perform (and that's around the same time).

    I thought that either way is good so he can get the cheaper platform.

    He can also get this and call it a day. Six cores, best AMD out there, black edition (unlocked multiplier - a breeze to overclock), dual x16 mobo, the works.

    Overclock that and it's just as good in gaming as the i7. More futureproof too.
  10. You make a pretty good point, at least insofar as the resale and the socket bits.

    What do you think mosox? I actually sold my PS3 and TV to help fund this build, so I'm still eager to put the money to work and get the most bang for my buck. You've saved me about $300 and I wouldn't investing it right back into the system.

    I was also wondering why I couldn't go for 6GB's? Here's what I've got so far:

  11. i am in no way attacking you mosox. sorry if it seemed that way. Im letting him think about his options. giving him tips/pointers. most ppl get help on this forum and buy the parts. later realising there was 5 different routes they could have gone.

    also the 1156 work in dual channel for optimal performance that is why i said 2/3 channel ram

    you can save on the 1200 antec case and put that money towards the i7 ud spend maybe 50-70 bucks vs the i5

    antec 1200-$159
    antec 900-109

    thats another 50 towards the better setup..
  12. For what it's worth, jason, I appreciate your input haha. Here's a build I made with your suggestions in mind:

    Case (Coolermaster). CPU (i7-950). Mobo (x58)

    GPU (2x 6850).

    RAM (Gskill 6gb 3x2). Power Supply (XFX 750W).

    HDD (Samsung F3).

    Optical (LG BD)

    This build (i7/6GB) is $1,354.

    The last build (i5/4GB) is $1,168.

    Granted I may have not worked it out so it was the best possible value, but it's close enough. So for +2GB and upgrading from i5 to i7 (and switching the mobo, of course) I'm paying $200.

    I did say I wanted to spend my saved money--do you think this is a good way to do it?

    EDIT: fixed links
  13. No game uses 6G so you don't need that unless you go 1366 - that's a triple channel CPU/board and you either get 3G or 6G so you get 6. For anything else 4G is plenty - and you can add more later.

    That motherboard you got in the combo doesn't have two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, you need one that has two working at x8 x8.

    Here's another nice one, I like that the two PCIex16 slots are farther apart ->better cooling in CF:

    That case is nice but kinda small for two video cards. You can revert to XFX 650W (good enough, power to spare) and get this combo:

    case review:

    Other very good case (two variants)


    and get the XFX 650 or 750, whatever.
  14. Make two complete builds, one for 1156 and one for 1366 and let's see what you got.
  15. @mosox. 4gb is correct but if the os uses to get 6gb?

    @benefit your orginal post stated 1500/1700 with screen. both builds are under. im sure you could build an i7 930950 for $1200ish if you tried.

    Im showing you options. in the end it's your decision. ive given you the tools/arguements/stats. either way goodluck and enjoy your build
  16. Give or take a few adjustments, here are two prospective builds:



    Funny, their total prices are awfully similar to their socket types :kaola:

    It's definitely going to take me a few days to perfect the compatibility and combo deals and whatnot, but it's roughly a $200 between the benefits of an i7 (triple channel/6gb, slightly more future-resistant) and the i5.

    Would the $200 pay off over the course of the next year, maybe two? I.e. would spending it now leave me more able to upgrade in the future and/or handle slight advancements in gaming technology?

    EDIT: fixed links
  17. do you multi task much? if so then yes i7 would be worth it.

    Id say when you go to sell it youll retain more of your value.

    The i5 is powerful but it does have to compete with new i5s and i7s/new i7s in a year. making it loose alot of its value. the i7s only have to compete with the new i7s which some people might not care for onboard and it may not be that big of an upgrade (only real difference is onboard)

    In the end more people will be inclined to buy the i7 computer and it will be more future proof being faster (Faster computers stay in rotation longer).

    FYI ive been reading newegg's black friday starts nov 1st
  18. You can also get this CPU:
    This mobo

    And the rest of the parts from the 1156 system. The CPU is about just as fast in gaming as the i7 but much cheaper.

    With the video cards it's $1055.

    Now wait for more opinions.

    LE Forgot to say to get Win7/64 with windows XP you can't use more than 3.5G of RAM.
  19. So if thats the AMD equivalent for i5, might the AMD equivalent for the i7 be:


    CPU / Mobo.

    RAM (Gskill 6gb 3x2). Power Supply (XFX 750W).

    $150 (or some other case, maybe)





    At a total of $1,249.

    My budget is more around the $1,400 to $1,500 range than the $1,000 range. As much as I appreciate a powerful budget/value PC, I do have some more money to invest. I was hoping that the extra money could make a solid difference in performance
  20. The i7 still out performs the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz in about every benchmark
  21. Bumpty dumpty!

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the i7 build. The i5 may perform at the same level, but the i7 will be slightly more future proof and I've got the money to spend. Here's what I'm looking at (same as it's been for a while, but after a good deal of experimenting with combo deals its the best I could find)

    Case . . Cooler Master HAF-X Full Tower
    CPU . . . i7-950
    Mobo . . Sabertooth X58 1366

    RAM . . . G.Skill 3x2GB 1600
    PS . . . . XFX Black Edition 750W

    GPU . . . 2x Sapphire 6850

    HDD. . . Samsung F3 1TB

    Optical. . . LG Blah blah blah

    Total: $1,355

    Seems like a good build to me. Anyone got some input?

    If I wanted to Crossfire 6870's, it'd be a little more than $100 on top for what seems to be about a 10% performance gain. But I think I'll just stick with the 6850's.
  22. Looks good IMO.
  23. The 6850 is on Newegg right now. Do you think I should grab it, or wait for the 6870. My personal preference would be to wait for the 6870 (CF) and shell out the extra $140. I just don't know if it might be a bad decision, for whatever reason.
  24. IMO if you don't get the 6850 wait a little more for the non-reference (custom cooled) HD 6870 (the 6850 has custom cooling).

    IMO that 6850 CF is so powerful you shouldn't bother with more you're set for a long time. Also you will be able to overclock those 6850 past the 6870 stock performance if needed.
  25. Case . . Antec 900
    Mobo . . ASUS p6x58

    CPU. . . . i7-950
    Cooling. . some fan thing

    RAM . . . G.Skill 3x2GB 1600
    PS . . . . XFX Black Edition 750W

    GPU . . . 2x Sapphire 6870

    HDD. . . Samsung F3 1TB

    Optical. . . LG Blah blah blah

    Total: $1,455

    Gains: 6870CF instead of 6850CF
    Better mobo

    Loss: Smaller case

    Sorry to keep using this thread as a way to think outloud about my build, but I actually just realized I'll be able to purchase the computer earlier than I expected so I've gone into cram mode.

    I looked at the benchmarks and I feel that i'd like to pay the $100 extra for the 6870 setup, does this make sense to yall?
  26. may i ask why you think the p6x85 is better than the sabertooth?
  27. Well I guess my logic is silly, but it looked comparable, had good reviews, and was slightly more expensive. I suppose that's not enough to judge though
  28. It was also Customer Choice Award Winner, wouldn't it be a good mobo to pick up?
  29. reason i asked was because i myself am buying an i7 950/x58 mobo. im stuck on which mobo to get. originally was going to buy the sabertooth. but after talking with a few ppl and research im going with EVGA X58 FTW3 132-GT-E768-KR

    other boards i considered.
    ASUS P6X58D-E
    ASUS P6X58D Premium
    ASUS sabertooth.
  30. That Asus is good, here's a combo you can use instead of that one if you want a bigger case:

    And get Win 7/64 if you want to use all the 6G of RAM.
  31. Best answer selected by benefit.
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