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Need Advice on Gaming Build

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November 11, 2010 8:56:41 PM

Hey Guys, Just looking for any insight on a new gaming system build (haven't done one in a few years now and my expertise is not in the hardware area). Looking to start this one in the next month or 2. Budget is around $2000 US. Will be using system for games and software development (might dedicate an alternate boot drive for dev though).

Will be salvaging some components from my old build for this one (PSU & GPU'S) - Waiting for the GPU battle to come before jumping to a higher card(s).

FYI - I live in Houston and cooling is a problem for me - In summer my office ambient temp can get up to 80F+. I haven't Comparison shopped yet (all my pricing is from Amazon) but I think I can get the Rig for ~$2k US Dollars.

Any advice you guys have is welcomed (i.e. is it overkill, waste of money, better options, etc.)

Been looking at a lot of posts and articles and here is what I have come up with so far...

CASE:$200 Haf X (Thought about 932 but attracted to the better cooling and options of the X)

M/B:$300 Asus Rampage III Formula (Thought about R3E but read a lot of articles on why R3F is better)

CPU:$300 Intel i7 950 3.06 GHz (Can't beat the price! Want to OC to 4 GHz)

COOLING:$110 Corsair H70 (Want to put the Rad in the top of Haf X where the Optional Fan goes)

RAM: Corsair CMT12GX3M3A2000C9 $400 - or - Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D x2 $300 (Is 2k worth it? I like the fact that I can use 1/2 the slots and still get 12 GB but $100 could go toward new GPU's)

HD1:$265 128 GB Crucial RealSSD C300 - CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1

HD2:$90 WD Cav Black 1TB

ODD:$100 LF Blu-ray Writer

OS:$160 OEM Win 7 64bit Pro

GPU: GTX260 x2 (Pulled from Old Build - Will want to replace these with a better setup when the prices drop)

PSU: Thermaltake W0133RU 1200W (Pulling from Old Build)

NPU: Killer 2100 (Pulling from Old Build - Is the Gamefirst on the R3F comparable??)

Total: $1825-$1925 - With new GPU Guessing - ($2300/$2600 (1x/2x))

Thanks in advance for your responses!

More about : advice gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
November 11, 2010 9:13:26 PM

A couple of thoughts:

1) 12 GB isn't necessary for gaming. 6 GB is more than enough.
2) At 120-128 GB, the SF-1200 drives are better value than the C300 128 GB.
3) The $90 WD Caviar Black isn't a good value compared to either the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - same

Anandtech article about the C300's value compared to other drives
Anandtech article reviewing new VRs and comparison with SSDs - also indicates that SATA 6.0 Gb/s is completely useless on mechanical hard drives.
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a c 220 4 Gaming
November 12, 2010 12:12:35 AM

Comments on ya selections:

Case - Haven't built yet w/ the HAF-X, but having done many builds w/ the HAF-932 w/ the Antec 1200, my fav case to date is the DF-85. The plug in HD and SSD cages are nice .... my biggest downer with the 932 was all the open grill area.....the 1200 and DF-85 both use inlet filters but in the DF-85, they come out in 2 seconds as compared to 2 minutes per fan with the 1200. Best thing about the DF series tho is it fits the CP-850 CTX form factor PSU....a comparable PSU in ATX form factor is 50- 100% more money

The Rampage Extreme is a pleasure ... done several builds with the 2 and the 3.

Haven't been impressed with the H series from Corsair at all. Check out reviews at benchmarkreviews,com

12 Gig will slow down gaming.

The Crucial is the fastest read, but not so fast on writes (thing swap and temp file usage)


I'll use your $2300 target ($2,243) w/ GPU's. Keep in mind that the listing here doesn't include any savings from newegg combos.


Case - $140 - Antec DF-85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case Fans - $18 - Antec Red 120 mm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $120 - Antec CP850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - $365 - Asus Rampage 3 Extreme
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $295 - Intel i7-950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - $62 - Prolimatech Megahalems
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan - $11 - Scythe
SY1225SL12LM-P http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...

2nd CPU Fan - $11 - Same

Fan Cable - $8 - Akasa PWM AK-CB002
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10350/cab-183/Akasa_P...


RAM - $170 - 3 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 6
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX - $270 - EVGA GTX 470 SC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2nd GFX - $270 - Same

HD - $75 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - $204 - OCZ Vertex 2
3.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Writer / BR Reader - $80 - ASUS BR Model BC-08B1LT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - $139 - Win 7-64 Pro OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alternatives .....

The Seagate 7200.12 is $20 cheaper. I'd take either over the WD.

Built one of the above last weekend.....booted up on 1st try .... not a cable astray on the entire build.






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November 12, 2010 12:21:04 AM

question. Isn't that PSU with 4 rails not as good as a single rail PSU?
I suck at PSU's so sorry if thats a dumb question.
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November 15, 2010 12:09:28 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I have ordered the Hard Drives (OCZ & Samsung - Thanks for that!) and the OS (got it as a bundle at newegg so it was about 100 for Win7).

Is it still worth it to spend an extra 100 on the extreme vs the formula? From what I have read the formula is a great gaming M/B and includes some (for lack of a better word) corrections to the exteme (i.e. extra USB header). I read that the extreme is more geared toward heavy duty tweaking (I want to O/C maybe to 3.8-4 on the 950 but thats about it).

I wanted to use my Thermaltake 1200w W0331RU out of my other rig (Is there any reason why I shouldn't use this PSU and spring for another one??).
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November 18, 2010 11:50:39 PM

Best answer selected by wizardry.
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