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$1600 Intel Gaming Build

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October 28, 2010 4:18:01 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: December - I know its a month away and some items might be changed but I wanted to get a general list.


Budget Range: $1600 total ending price after rebates.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies


Parts Not Required: OS, Mouse, Keyboard, Headset, Monitor


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, tigerdirect, or any other good reputable site.


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIA GPU


Overclocking: Probably


SLI or Crossfire: SLI


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 basically maxed out on 1 monitor.


Additional Comments: I have made a list basically, I mostly need help with the PSU because I know nothing about that. This will be my first build ever so please look over and make sure that everything I have selected is compatible and works (the graphics cards can SLI 16x16x on that mobo etc..).
I'm also open to changing parts if you know of any that are better and cheaper or basically the same price.

Whats been selected but not set in stone:

Intel Core i7 950 3.06 GHz - $295

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R - $210 (this does come with SLI bridge correct? if I look at one of the pics and zoom in the bridge says SLI on it)

MSI N460GTX CYCLONE GTX 460 x 2 - $420

CoolerMaster HAF 932 - $90 *thanks to beerhelmet's suggestion*

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $70

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 - $150 *thanks to beerhelmet's suggestion*

Just a basic ASUS DVD burner/drive - $20

Cooler Maser Hyper 212 - $30 Could someone please verify that this will fit on my cpu in the above mention case?

MASSCOOLG751 Shin-Etsu TIM - $5

Here are the two things I need the most help with:

CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W - $200 *thanks to syxxnyne69's suggestion*

Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 60GB(SSD) - $128 *thanks to syxxnyne69's suggestion* Can anyone recommend a better one or more reliable one? Don't know much about SSDs so I'll take your advice :D 

total price = $1618 I believe

Can't wait to hear from everyone! Happy gaming/building!

Best solution

October 28, 2010 8:03:59 PM

I don't know if the board comes with an SLI bridge, but the cards should.
I don't know much about that case, but most recommendations I see at that price range are the HAF 922 @ $90, which is a very nice, large case.
OCZ ram (apparently) has some compatibility issues, instead go for something like these G Skill Pi sticks @ 150. They are a little higher in cas latency, but lower in voltage, price.
I don't recommend a sound card unless you are a serious audiophile, since on board sound these days is pretty decent. Considering you mentioned whether you should get a cheaper one, my suggestions is just don't get one at all.
A lot of people don't like thermaltake PSUs and I am no exception. Unless you are too particularly concerned about the aesthetics of the PSU, I would recommend the XFX 750 @ $130.

Good luck and hope this helps!
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October 28, 2010 8:58:45 PM

+1 to all the comments above, definitely go with the gskill they are known for better compatibility. The haf 922 is an awesome case aswell especially for 90$. Psu options id suggest a corsair or a psu from here Eggxpert Tiered Power Supply List Preferably a Tier 1 or Tier 2
Also if your not an audiophile then save that money to use on an ssd for faster boot time and program access such as this one Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL60GB-DX 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
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October 28, 2010 9:02:17 PM

beerhelmet said:
I don't know if the board comes with an SLI bridge, but the cards should.
I don't know much about that case, but most recommendations I see at that price range are the HAF 922 @ $90, which is a very nice, large case.
OCZ ram (apparently) has some compatibility issues, instead go for something like these G Skill Pi sticks @ 150. They are a little higher in cas latency, but lower in voltage, price.
I don't recommend a sound card unless you are a serious audiophile, since on board sound these days is pretty decent. Considering you mentioned whether you should get a cheaper one, my suggestions is just don't get one at all.
A lot of people don't like thermaltake PSUs and I am no exception. Unless you are too particularly concerned about the aesthetics of the PSU, I would recommend the XFX 750 @ $130.

Good luck and hope this helps!


The case is in the top 5 and editors choice on pcmag.com.
I don't like the Haf series to much, I find them ugly haha. Any other suggest for a case?

Thanks for the RAM suggestion! I like it.

I'm not huge on sound, I just like to be able to wear a headset and be sure to tell which direction the sound is coming from.

You believe 750watts is enough for gtx 460's sli and i7 950 overclocked?
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October 28, 2010 9:19:41 PM

syxxnyne69 said:
+1 to all the comments above, definitely go with the gskill they are known for better compatibility. The haf 922 is an awesome case aswell especially for 90$. Psu options id suggest a corsair or a psu from here Eggxpert Tiered Power Supply List Preferably a Tier 1 or Tier 2
Also if your not an audiophile then save that money to use on an ssd for faster boot time and program access such as this one Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL60GB-DX 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive


is a SSD worth the $ for the performance boost it gives you?
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October 28, 2010 9:42:40 PM

syxxnyne69 said:
Well ill definitely have to suggest the psu that I have the CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply This is a fully modular psu and it is awesome in every aspect its a little pricier but well worth it for stability and its fully modular design also plus gold is definitely a bonus


Thats an amazing power supply! Heres whats changed:

CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W
Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 60GB(SSD)
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 (its recommended by everyone, couldn't say no.)
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
that brought my total cost up to $1618

still open to other suggestions or ideas! thanks to everyone else thats posted there opinion.
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October 28, 2010 9:57:11 PM

everything else looks good as for the ssd question about price for performance with all the high end components on your build the only bottleneck would be your hdd so the ssd will boost your boot and program access times and the 1tb can be used for storage now, So in not so many words I believe its worth the money.

Did you add this combo Its the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R and 850AX Combo for $35 discount

And the hyper 212+ and i7 950 combo its a $15 discount

The hyper 212+ will definitely fit in the haf 922 its 10.00" wide
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October 28, 2010 10:01:13 PM

syxxnyne69 said:
everything else looks good as for the ssd question about price for performance with all the high end components on your build the only bottleneck would be your hdd so the ssd will boost your boot and program access times and the 1tb can be used for storage now, So in not so many words I believe its worth the money.

Did you add this combo Its the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R and 850AX Combo for $35 discount

And the hyper 212+ and i7 950 combo its a $15 discount

I gotya, So i put the OS and what else on the SDD common used games?

and thanks for finding that for me but by the end of December all bundles will most likely be lost so I will be finding and setting up bundles once its closer to the actual purchase date :D 
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October 28, 2010 10:05:31 PM

Oh hey, you can get two gigabyte gtx 470s for $460 after rebate on newegg right now. I think it would be worth the extra $40 over the pair of 460s.
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October 28, 2010 10:20:25 PM

vindictive said:
I gotya, So i put the OS and what else on the SDD common used games?

and thanks for finding that for me but by the end of December all bundles will most likely be lost so I will be finding and setting up bundles once its closer to the actual purchase date :D 


well pm me if you need help finding some combos im more than willing to help. As for the SSD yes the os and all major programs or games everything else on the 1tb
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October 28, 2010 10:35:14 PM

mortonww said:
Oh hey, you can get two gigabyte gtx 470s for $460 after rebate on newegg right now. I think it would be worth the extra $40 over the pair of 460s.

I don't want to plan on buying something thats set on a certain deal going right now because I wont be buying for another month and a half.
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October 28, 2010 10:38:29 PM

syxxnyne69 said:
Or you can get a pair of ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity and run crossfire save $50 and get the same if not better performance than the 460 sli
you can check this review here on toms AMD Radeon HD 6870 And 6850: Is Barts A Step Forward?


what connector does that need from a PSU?
and would I need a bigger PSU to run them?
I've always been a NVIDIA guy thats why I picked the gtx 460's :D  unless that one is really the better choice.
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October 28, 2010 10:50:40 PM

If you're not buying for another month and a half, you might want to consider at least looking at AMD's new 69xx series GPUs when they come out. There will also be more benchmarks on the 68xx series by that point as well. The 68xx and 69xx series have just been released, so they should be competitive or be better than the most recent generation of nVidia cards, but only time will tell for sure.

Overall, I'd recommend checking benchmarks for the games you play or are interested in, and if nVidia cards perform better on those games, go nVidia. If AMD cards perform better, go AMD. If it's a mix, make the decision based solely on (rather than just paying some attention to) price.

If you don't want to spend quite that much on the PSU, this XFX 850W 80+ Silver PSU is very well-reviewed and is also highly efficient. It frequently has combos with graphics cards as well (XFX, unsurprisingly).

Today, the cheapest good 60 GB SSD is the Corsiar Force. It uses the same technology as the Mushkin SSD, and it's a whole $3 cheaper, $13 after MIR. If you can afford $100 more, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120 GB is the cheapest 120 GB SSD that's worthwhile.

Really, you should come back when you're ready to buy for a final look & help with combos. The setup you have above
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October 28, 2010 10:55:58 PM

vindictive said:
what connector does that need from a PSU?
and would I need a bigger PSU to run them?
I've always been a NVIDIA guy thats why I picked the gtx 460's :D  unless that one is really the better choice.


The connectors are gonna be PCI-E connecter 2 per card and that corsair 850ax will run your system with those two cards perfectly it has 4 pci-e connectors.
Also the 6850 if you looked at the review, it shows that they perform the same if not better than the 460 and you get to keep $50 in your pocket.

Also check out these test results from the 5850

HD 5850 vs HD 6850 vs GTX 470 scaling at 1920x1200

Bad Company 2:::: 72% vs 97% vs 82%
Modern Warefare2: 38% vs 33% vs 69%
Dirt 2::::::::::::::: 59% vs 84% vs 82%
Far Cry 2::::::::::: 76% vs 95% vs 75%
Anno 1404:::::::::: N/A vs 63% vs 86%
Crysis Warhead:::: 63% vs 84% vs 62%
Metro 2033:::::::: 84% vs 100% vs 95%
Average: 65% (HD5850) vs 79% (HD6850) vs 79% (GTX 470)

they speak for themselves

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October 29, 2010 1:40:37 AM

syxxnyne69 said:
The connectors are gonna be PCI-E connecter 2 per card and that corsair 850ax will run your system with those two cards perfectly it has 4 pci-e connectors.
Also the 6850 if you looked at the review, it shows that they perform the same if not better than the 460 and you get to keep $50 in your pocket.

Also check out these test results from the 5850

HD 5850 vs HD 6850 vs GTX 470 scaling at 1920x1200

Bad Company 2:::: 72% vs 97% vs 82%
Modern Warefare2: 38% vs 33% vs 69%
Dirt 2::::::::::::::: 59% vs 84% vs 82%
Far Cry 2::::::::::: 76% vs 95% vs 75%
Anno 1404:::::::::: N/A vs 63% vs 86%
Crysis Warhead:::: 63% vs 84% vs 62%
Metro 2033:::::::: 84% vs 100% vs 95%
Average: 65% (HD5850) vs 79% (HD6850) vs 79% (GTX 470)

they speak for themselves


Beautiful. The only concern I have about Crossfire is in the review all the crossfire models have a much lower minimum fps than SLI.
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October 29, 2010 1:54:36 AM

coldsleep said:
If you're not buying for another month and a half, you might want to consider at least looking at AMD's new 69xx series GPUs when they come out. There will also be more benchmarks on the 68xx series by that point as well. The 68xx and 69xx series have just been released, so they should be competitive or be better than the most recent generation of nVidia cards, but only time will tell for sure.

Overall, I'd recommend checking benchmarks for the games you play or are interested in, and if nVidia cards perform better on those games, go nVidia. If AMD cards perform better, go AMD. If it's a mix, make the decision based solely on (rather than just paying some attention to) price.

If you don't want to spend quite that much on the PSU, this XFX 850W 80+ Silver PSU is very well-reviewed and is also highly efficient. It frequently has combos with graphics cards as well (XFX, unsurprisingly).

Today, the cheapest good 60 GB SSD is the Corsiar Force. It uses the same technology as the Mushkin SSD, and it's a whole $3 cheaper, $13 after MIR. If you can afford $100 more, the G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120 GB is the cheapest 120 GB SSD that's worthwhile.

Really, you should come back when you're ready to buy for a final look & help with combos. The setup you have above


Oh I definitely will be staying up do date with new products that come out between now and when I buy.
I just wanted a general idea and setup.
thats a nice PSU as well, the only thing I don't really like is the small amount of SATA connections. Will def. keep it in mind.

Yea, you guys seem to be good at finding and setting up combos so I'll make sure to come back and ask for help.
This thread has really improved my original setup!
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October 29, 2010 4:11:08 PM

Best answer selected by Vindictive.
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October 30, 2010 1:57:56 AM

vindictive said:

thats a nice PSU as well, the only thing I don't really like is the small amount of SATA connections. Will def. keep it in mind.


Small number of SATA connections? It comes with 4 SATA connections, each of them can power 3 devices. You're going to have more power than you have SATA ports available on the motherboard. Power is the last thing you're going to need to worry about. :) 
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October 30, 2010 3:15:54 AM

coldsleep said:
Small number of SATA connections? It comes with 4 SATA connections, each of them can power 3 devices. You're going to have more power than you have SATA ports available on the motherboard. Power is the last thing you're going to need to worry about. :) 


oeeeeh I'm such a noob with PSU's haha. like I said I know nothing about them, i thought that meant i could just power 4 SATA devices :p  *embarassed* haha
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