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Building a gaming system, need any advice please

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November 5, 2010 2:36:49 PM

well if your reading this thanks :p  iv built a couple of systems for both myself and mates but im just seeking advice


Case: Aerocool Bx500 or Antec 902?

Mobo: asus p6x58d premium

CPU: I7 950

RAM: 6 GB kingston 2000 T1

GPU: i dont know if i should wait for the HD 6000 series later GPU's and i was wondering how much they would cost? im current looking at 2x 6870's CF i was originally going to go with 2x 5850's CF. i like the 6000 series cause they use less power and that means less heat but still i get the better performance from the 6870's... i heard something about the 5950's being better at over clocking but i havent seen anything about 6870's OC'd

HDD: i didnt go with SSD's cause wayyyyyy too expensive. i want to get the seagate 2TB but i hear that there are some issues with 2TB HDD's? any one?

PSU: corsair TX850

CPU cooling: thermal take Frio


i would appreciate any insight, mostly about the GPU, Case and HDD. thanks
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 5:10:09 PM

It would be better if you just gave us a budget and other information.

I'll be honest. I don't like anything you've listed there (Antec 902 excluded, barely). It's all over priced and/or under powered. Without knowing a budget, it's hard to form any recommendations, but I'll try.

CPU: i7-930. No reason to spend more for anything else.
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. Just as good as the Asus, but cheaper.
RAM: Corsair XMS3 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CL 9. Though 2000 mhz RAM is a compete waste of money. You'd do just as good with cheaper 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB or the WD Caviar Black SATA III 1 TB. I prefer the Samsung as it's cheaper.
GPU: I'd go with the 5970. It can be had for the same price as two 6870s or less than two 5870s, and is more powerful than the first and has an upgrade path (dual 5870s doesn't).
PSU: That one's fine. I'd also look at the XFX 850W, as well as any 850W from Antec, SeaSonic, and Silverstone.
Case: HAF 922. Can't be beat (at least not in terms of functionality).
HSF: I prefer the Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B. It's a bit cheaper and similar. If you're going for the absolute best, you can't beat the Noctua NH-D14, but it's pricey at $90.
November 5, 2010 5:31:02 PM


Just a few basic responses here.
If you're willing to spend $119 on the Antec case, I'd suggest spending the extra $20 and getting the CM Storm Sniper case here: CM Storm Sniper
I think this is the best "Mid tower" case out there right now. (MHO obviouosly) Airflow is incredible and it's just the easiest mid tower I've ever worked with. High quality, dust filters on everything, 3 200mm fans (frnt, side, top) and another 120mm on the back at the top. You also have a spot on the inside bottom to drop in another 140mm or screw in a 120mm. If you want a bit smaller, the CM Storm Scout is a little bit closer to a tradidional "mid tower" but still has lots of great features similar to the Sniper. I really like this series. CM also has the CM 690, which has more of hte look like the Aerocool you're looking at. Anyway, it's obvious I like it, but have a look and see what you think.

The two you listed, both seem fine. I like the all black on the 902 and the larger fans, but I like the hdd tray and extra height on the Aerocool. Antec has a pretty good reputation for making good quality stuff. I don't know much about Aerocool, so I can't really comment on that. But, if there's a place to go see them near you, you would benefit greatly by actually seeing the case you're thinking of buying in person; even if you're going to buy online. It's so much better than looking at photos online. You can see the quality of the construction, get a better idea of the dimensions, and see how it really looks.


As for the motherboard, Asus is always a good choice. I've also been really impressed with Gigabyte lately. Either way, just make sure it has the chipset, connectors, form factor, etc. that you'll need for the components...which the one you referenced should be fine. (pricey, but fine)

Ram...I think you're ok with this ram and x58. Not my first choice, but kingston makes decent stuff. I'm using g.skill ripjaws and am very impressed with them. If you can get the turbulance II Ripjaws or Trident sets from G.Skill, I think they run a bit lower voltage than the Kingston. Also, I've had great results with OCZ, Patriot, and to a somewhat lesser degree - Corsair. Lots of users on here don't care for OCZ but I've had great results with them. Just like lots of people are very into the Corsair ram, but I was not exactly impressed with the last ram I bought from them. Sorry, rambling again.

I think the consensus on here is that the Samsung Spinpoint F3's are about hte best perfomance HDD's out there right now. Get 2 1TB drives and set 'em in raid 0 :D  . But, you're spending close to $300 on a MB, and $200 on ram, what's the problem with getting 1 relatively small SSD for the OS and a larger drive for storage? Or even go with a Velociraptor for he OS? Just a thought. The only issues with the larger drives I think are with XP. I believe Windows 7 picks them up alright. But I still think the cash would be better spent on a couple good 1TB's instead of finding a single 2TB. Just my preference. The 7200RPM 2TB drives are like $270 and you can get those 2 spinpoint 1TB's for $150. Don't see the benefit of the 2TB drive.

I would say go with the 6800 cards and not worry too much about the overclocking. They seem to have the performance with less $$ and heat. What's the problem? ;) 

That's about it. ~Bubba from Forest Gump
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November 5, 2010 5:31:54 PM

No need to get the i7 930 over the 950 as the price dfference is minimal and the i7 950s are higher binned chips.
For the motherboard the ga-x58-ud3r is great bang for buck so I'm with admral on this.For the ram,I think 2000mhz is beaten by tighter timings so you'd be better o with these .
For the hdd both the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb and the wd caviar black are good but,in my opinion at least,you should get it for sata 2 as sata 3 is not fully used by mechanical drives and you may want to use that sata 3 port for something else in the future like an ssd.
For the gpu you should wait for the new gtx 580 and the 6950 and 6970.Although they may prove worse than their predecessors(in price/performance terms) they will make the older gpus drop a fair bit.
For the rest I think Mad Admiral's right.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 5:48:01 PM

Agree with MadAdmiral on everything except the i7-930...as BeCoolBro mentions, the price difference to the i7-950 is minimal these days. In fact, newegg doesn't even appear to have the 930 in stock.

Timings/clock speed are neutral on Intel, higher speed with looser timings is equivalent to tighter timings & lower speed.

The Samsung Spinpoint F3, the Seagate 7200.12, and the WD Caviar Black all perform about the same, go with whichever is the cheapest. The Seagates are $5 cheaper than the Samsung drives at the moment, while the WD drives are $15-20 more.

Definitely don't go with a Velociraptor, they're just not worth it these days. Give these articles a read:
Anandtech article reviewing new VRs and comparison with SSDs
bit-tech SSD Buyer's Guide - pretty recent, good overview of the various controllers
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 5:56:04 PM

@jmwpom3: The CM Storm series is a very poor suggestion. They're overly expensive, offer only decent airflow (opposed to great airflow) and are really small (comparatively). Off the top of my head, the Coolermaster Centurion, Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster 690 (or 690 II), Antec 900 (or 902) and HAF 922 would all be better at lower prices.

Also, if you're using an Intel CPU, OCZ RAM should be avoided like the plague. OCZ sticks require high voltage (i.e. above 1.65V) to run and Intel chipsets are very particular about the voltages for RAM (i.e. nothing about 1.65V). That's not a good combination. In terms of quality/value, I'd give the following rankings: G.Skill, Corsair, Mushkin, Kingston, Patriot, A.Data and finally OCZ.

As for the HDD, I'd avoid SSDs for now. They're too expensive and offer too little for gamers. VelociRaptors are absolutely worthless. They perform like the 500 GB platter drives (Spinpoint F3, Seagate 7200.12, WD Caviar Black SATA III), yet cost nearly three times as much for nearly half the capacity.

@BeCool: The 6850/6870 are already out. They basically mirror the performance of the 5830 and 5850 respectively, only at higher prices. I'd stick with the 5xxx series.

Fair enough on the 950. I still don't see much point in paying more for it, however little it may be. To me, it's like the X4 955/965. There's basically no difference, so why spend any more than you have to?
November 5, 2010 6:28:01 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Case: HAF 922. Can't be beat (at least not in terms of functionality)..


While I'll aggree with the statement that that's a great, functional case. At that price range I'd still go with the CM Storm Scout. They're very similar, but I like many of the design points on the Scout better than the HAF. Still, I would reitterate that, if you've got the extra cash, that sniper case is the coolest Mid case out there. (or at the very least, one of the best)
November 5, 2010 10:41:45 PM

Quote:
@jmwpom3: The CM Storm series is a very poor suggestion. They're overly expensive, offer only decent airflow (opposed to great airflow) and are really small (comparatively). Off the top of my head, the Coolermaster Centurion, Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster 690 (or 690 II), Antec 900 (or 902) and HAF 922 would all be better at lower prices.


???? Have you actually used the Storm Sniper Black edition? Only decent airflow? I want some of whatever you've been smoking because that thing's a wind tunnel. 3 X 200mm 110 CFM fans (front, side, top), 1 x 120mm 69 CFM rear top exhaust fan, space for a 140mm or 120mm bottom fan (which I installed for kicks...not even needed really, and dust filtered mesh on entire front bezel, 90% of the side panel, and on the top and bottom fan mounts, plus the rear has slotted expansion card slot covers and more vent holes for exhaust. At full load, the tempurature inside my case increases maybe 2° tops from ambient temps. THe cores and gpu get hotter but the graphics card vents out the back and the 212+ on the cpu is placed perfectly to feed the hot air to that 120mm exhaust. Whatever doesn't get pulled out by that gets dissipated by the top 200mm 110CFM exhaust.

And SMALL!!??? Again, have you seen the Sniper?? It could almost be labled a full tower! Read the reviews as that's what everyone says. It's the size of an Aleinware case, more or less. Larger than all the ones the OP listed:
Sniper: 22.30" x 10.00" x 21.70"
902: 18.60" x 8.60" x 19.40" (Scout beats this one)
BX-500: 22.36" x 8.46" x 18.90"
CM 690: 20.65" x 8.39" x 18.98" version II: 20.80" x 8.40" x 20.10"
300 Illusion: 18.30" x 8.10" x 18.00" (scout even beats this one)
CM Centurion: 18.90" x 7.95" x 17.13" (scout beats this one too)
your Haf 922: 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70" - Still not as big as the Sniper.
So, exactly how is it "really small"???? It's bigger than all of these. And the Scout is bigger than some:
Scout:19.20" x 8.60" x 19.50"


Pricey? A little bit with the Sniper, but not overly so. $79 for the scout is more than competetive with all the cases you've listed; even cheaper than most at the $79 price tag on it right now. I'd happily take the Storm Scout over any of them. The Sniper is more($139), but what you get for that is huge. But to say the airflow is only decent is the understatement of the century. Now, I might buy that statement with the Scout. But it still has decent airflow, especially if you add the 2 x 120mm fans to the side window.

Yes, I'm a bit of a Storm Series fanboy. But, not without reason. The quality of these cases is incredible. I've used all the cases you'v mentioned and the HAF is the only one I'd say is close in quality/durability. Outside of the Lian Li and other really high end cases, I don't see anything that offers what the Sniper does. And the Scout comes in with a huge honorable mention. It has that feel like you could drop it off a building then pick it up and keep going. (exaggeration obviously, but you get the point)

Now, for the ram, I agree with you. As I said, I'm using the G.Skill ripjaws in my system. I just mentioned that I have used OCZ in the past and been happy with it. In fact, that was my recommendation to the OP - find some Trident or Ripjaws. The rest of that was just my past experience.

As for the SSD...Here's the issue. Nowhere in the post did the OP state he's looking for budget build reccomendations. In fact, the parts he selected to begin with suggested just the oposite. You seem to be shooting down my suggestions on pricepoints But even so, my advice here was to get two spinpoints and throw 'em in a raid, which would be cheaper. Then I just happened to muse on why he was willing to spend so much on Ram + MB and over $200 on a 2TB HDD from Seagate, why not use that for a small SSD or high rpm HDD (Velociraptor) for the OS. So, I don't really see what it is you didn't like about that.

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 11:00:29 PM

Not all of those adjectives can be applied to each Storm case. The Sniper is certainly large enough and has enough airflow. However, it's overpriced. For $40-70 less (depending on the day), you can get the similarly sized, similarly cooled HAF 922. That's not a good deal.

The other ones (the Scout specifically) is all three (overpriced, undersized, under cooled).

Some other cases I'd throw out in terms of quality/performance/price to the HAF would be the Antec 902 (slightly smaller, but looks and performs amazingly), Coolermaster 690, Lian Li PC-K68 (or K58, K7B, K62 K7FN, basically their whole line) to name a few. If you value performance and bang-for-the-buck over looks, the Storm series isn't a great idea.

The reason not to use a small SSD (VRs are complete crap, so I'm ignoring them) is that a decently sized (i.e. 80+ GB ones) still cost a good $200+, and you'd still need the storage drives ($150 for dual Spinpoint F3 1 TB, like I suggested). I'd rather not spend $350 on HDDs alone when they won't help gaming performance.

I like the idea of SSDs. They're fast. Really, really fast. However, they do absolutely nothing for gamers (other than slightly increasing load times) and are crazy expensive. Unless you've already gotten an i7-9xx and HD 5970 in the build already and still have $200-300 to spend, you shouldn't be looking at SSDs.
November 6, 2010 12:19:09 AM

thanks for all responses. the only reason i want the i7 950 cause its only $10 more then the 930.

@mad admiral: my budgets around 2 grand for the system excluding the accessories..

the case thanks for all the details but i probably go with the CM sniper or the Haf 922, the only reason i wanted the AC bx500 because of the all the extra fans. and its got a classic look :S haha

thanks for all the RAM info aswell, this might sound really stupid but would the 4GB kit ddr3 1600 G.Skill-Ripjaws work with the 1366pin G-B X58A-UD3R? other wise il go with the 6G Kit ddr3 1600 G.Skill-NQ..

for the graphic cards, i like the 5970 but its $688 while i can get 2x 6870 for $480
how much does CF or SLI affect min and max FPS? and is a single GPU more stable ?

the hard disks WD probably makes the more reliable HDD so i might spend a little more cash on them.

well thanks all good insight :) 







a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 12:45:04 AM

A 2x2 GB kit would work, but it won't run as fast as it should. Definitely get a triple channel kit.

Two 6870s would perform slightly worse than the 5970. After all, the 6870 is equivalent to a 5850, and the 5970 is two 5870s. So right out of the box it's more powerful. Add in the fact that you can add a second one later, and the 5970 is a lot more upgradeable and powerful in the future.

There isn't a huge difference between a single GPU and Crossfire in most aspects. A Crossfire setup will be more powerful in general. You can typically expect to get a good 60-75% added performance over a single GPU. As far as stability, it really depends on the drivers. I'd say Crossfire is a touch less stable, but it's not that significant.

WD isn't really that much reliable than the Samsung. They're roughly equal, with the Samsung having better performance.
November 6, 2010 12:47:17 AM

I pretty much agree with the second half of that post. But, you're contradicting yourself.

1- you say the Sniper is overpriced. Not a contridiction but it is just opinion. It's worth whatever someone is willing to pay. I happen to not like the way the HAFs look. I like this one. Yes it's $40 more...but for me it's worth it; not just for the looks but also the nuts and bolts of it. It's a solid case. We seem to agree that it has enough airflow & Space. It's a viable option even if it's not your favorite.

2- Here come the contradictions: you say the Scout is Overpriced, yet if you check newegg today it's priced $20 cheaper than any of the other options you mentioned. So, I don't see how it's overpriced.
3- You say the Scout is undersized. Yet, I showed you the dimensions and it's larger than half the cases you listed, including the HAF 922. Those aren't opinions, that's just raw specs off the boxes of each.
4 'You say the Scout is also under cooled. Not sure where you get that notion. It's got great airflow. 140mm intake front low, 140mm exhaust top, 120mm exhaust -rear top, and takes 2 x 120mm intake fans on the side panel. It's kept my older Athlon 64 system cooler than the Alienware case it came in originally.

So, to recap your argument: "It's too undersized, under cooled, and over priced. So, buy one of these other cases I like that are smaller, cost more, and have relatively similar cooling at best." I've given you facts, measurements and comparisons to prove what I'm saying. You're just saying your suggestions are better beause you suggested them.

As for your list of Lian Li cases? I already made that suggestion as well. But, generally, Lian Li cases tend to be quite pricey and that's your big beef with the Storm Sniper. (since we ruled out size and cooling) ALso, the k58, et. are nice but not the fill "Lian Li" brand, they're the Lancool brand by Lian Li which is basically their low budget offerings. I'd still consider them in the same category as the Storm Scout, HAF, CM 690, and Antec 902 and really a matter of choice. They're all about the same cost with differnt looks and features. Let him pick what he likes instead of totally discounting my offerings because they're not what you prefer.

As for the dual spinpoint HDD's...I suggested that, not you. You suggested one 1TB drive or 1 WD Black 1TB. I suggested the option to get 2 of them and set them in raid 0. Go back to your first post and then mine. You don't have to take credit for my suggestions. It's a good one, just that it was mine.

Bottom line is that I was just giving suggestions to the OP based on what I've foiund to work well. He never asked for a price/$ comparison and was listing very costly components to begin with. That led me to believe that a few dollars here or there wouldn't bother him if he gained something from it. (yes, even if it's just looks)

I didn't chime in to argue with you over who's favorite case is the bestest one. But, you seemed to feel the need to jump in and start labeling my suggestions as "poor", I believe is how you worded it.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 1:19:23 AM

1.) Overpriced for what you get. You something equivalent to the HAF for more. The HAF is ugly though, no debate there. However, I place primary important on how the part performs rather than how it looks. You can always put the case out of sight...

2.) It's overpriced because it's only $10 less than the HAF and is obviously smaller (see below) and just not that great. Also, the HAF is at a fairly high price right now. It ranges from $60 (combos) to $100. I've seen it as low as $70 without combos. I've never seen the Scout under $90 (with shipping).

3.) How is the Scout bigger? It's 19.20" x 8.60" x 19.50". The HAF is 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70". It's bigger in every dimension. The Scout will not fit the largest GPUs, and the HAF fits them without an issue.

4.) The Scout comes with 1x 120mm and 2x 140 mm. That's it. No mention of the ability to add more fans. The HAF comes with 1x 120mm and 2x 200mm. That's better airflow.

Everything I said above is fact. Those facts above clearly indicate the Scout is a "poor" choice. I think you're looking at the wrong case. Perhaps you're looking at the HAF 912, which definitely isn't as good as the 922. (EDIT: Actually, the HAF 912 is still bigger than the Scout, at least in the dimensions that matter most: length and width, and it's certainly cheaper.)

The Lian Li cases I listed are all under $100. Hell, I've seen a few of them at $50 with combos. You don't have to spend a fortune to get them. I was pointing out specific models instead of an entire line.

The dual F3s was implied. The OP asked for 2 TB of storage, and I suggested a 1 TB drive. I assumed most people could do that simple math...

Asking for advice on a build IS asking for price/performance. To get the best build possible, you have to consider the parts in a certain price range. I also assumed a few bucks isn't a big swing. A few hundred (i.e. for the SSD) is out of the question. Everything I've suggested is entirely based on performance. Price is secondary.
November 6, 2010 1:10:44 PM

after long thoughts and reading.. i came up with the final list, hopefully its approvable

Case - antec 902 ------ $135
motherboard - G-B GA-X58A-UD3R ------ $231
CPU - 17 950 ------ $319
RAM - 6gb kit ddr3 1600 Gskill NQ ------ $140
GPU - 2x ATI 6870 ------ $540
SSD - G.Skill Falcon2 64M Buffer 64G ------ $165
HDD - 2x samsung sata 1TB ------ $110
PSU - corsair TX850 ------ $178
ODD - Pioneer218 ------ $30
CPU cooler - thermal take frio ------ $76

total ------ $1924 in australian dollars

i decided to get a small SSD for the OS, i thought about getting a raptor drive but went with SSD. yeh but thanks heaps for all the information, greatly appreciated :) 
November 6, 2010 11:12:09 PM

Quote:
1.) Overpriced for what you get. You something equivalent to the HAF for more. The HAF is ugly though, no debate there. However, I place primary important on how the part performs rather than how it looks. You can always put the case out of sight...


Exactly my point. Have you used the Scout? Aside from whatever you may have read or the lack of listing the extra fan mounts on newegg, it PERFORMS very well. I'm sitting right next to one that does an awesome job, especially for it's size..and looks allot better. (MHO obviously on the looks) It's a tad small, but still manages to have great airflow. Just comparing the number of fans or their size doesn't automatically indicate better airflow. If you don't have the right balance of input/output and the proper ratio of air pressure, or the right path for the air you're moving, having 20 fans would make no difference. I've done builds this year with various cases, including the HAF 922 among many others, and was recently very pleasantly surprised by the Storm series cases. So, I made mention of them. The Scout is smaller than many, but performs like larger cases. It's got a small footprint, but doesn't feel that way inside because of it's design...including having just enough space for the big graphics cards. But, since he appeared to be looking at high dollar parts, I also suggested the Sniper. It's a bit more, but not when compared to many other "gaming" cases out there. I would say go that way if you're doing 2 or 3-way sli or something, just for the extra room.

Quote:
3.) How is the Scout bigger? It's 19.20" x 8.60" x 19.50". The HAF is 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70". It's bigger in every dimension. The Scout will not fit the largest GPUs, and the HAF fits them without an issue.

Sorry, I misread my own post on that one. It's slightly smaller than the HAF but the Sniper IS larger. That was my original post on case sizes and what I meant there. And FYI - I had a 460GTX in it with plenty of space. Here's a vid with a 480GTX in it as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZgCtKmN5So&feature=fvst. There are several others with SLI & Crossfire setups as well.
This one is carrying 2 4890s in it just fine and a v8 cooler.(I"ve seen a v10 stuffed in there even) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBD1ugLUT4Y&feature=rela...
Do a little bit of research before making a statement like that. Becuase you're just plain wrong on that one.

I don't want to waste any more of the OP's thread with our argument, so I"ll end with this. When someone asks for their opinion on a public forum, anyone on that forum has the right to state it. It's my OPINOIN, that if you're looking for something that will fit the space of the traditional mid-tower cases without sacrificing some newer "gamer-style" and function, this is a great little case for a reasonable price. And Your opinion about the HAF doesn't make my suggestion 'poor', just different. So, you could have made your recommendations without taking a shot at mine, especially if you've got no hands on experience with it. I let that statement get to me and I shouldn't have. So, fine, yours is bigger than mine. ;) 

@DMN_pro

Sorry for turning your thread into a minor flame war, bro. That wasn't my intention. My bad.
Good luck with your build. I'd be interested to see how the 2 6870s work out. I haven't had the chance to try that yet.

~Peace and Chicken Grease
November 7, 2010 4:07:18 AM

everyones free of their own opinion :) 

and thanks for all the help, changed my mind heaps haha, il let you know if the system runs fine
November 29, 2010 2:37:52 PM

well i built the system, changed up a couple of things :/  but its performing amazingly..

this are the specs
Case - antec DF85
motherboard - G-B GA-X58A-UD3R
CPU - 17 950
RAM - 6gb tri channel RAM (cant remember the brand)
GPU - 1x asus 5870 (i choose this because of the power consumption and i ran out of cash.. so later on if a game with higher graphic requirement comes out il CF with another 5870 or 5970)
SSD - no solid state
HDD - 2x samsung spinpoint f3 in raid 0.. performing amazingly
PSU - corsair TX850
ODD - got a samsung blur ray multi drive
CPU cooler - thermal-take spinQ vt.. (looks great and has a fan speed control)

i used DEVMODE to check out the performance and FPS of crysis at highest setting and FPS ranged from 40 to 150. and no lag at all

quite happy with the system and thanks for the help :) 
!