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Critique my first gaming build?

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November 29, 2010 6:17:49 PM

Hello all,

This is my very first gaming build, and its been a while since I had the money to upgrade. Please help critique my first build, and if there are better/cheaper parts you guys can recommend please let me know!

Mobo+heatsink- Asus formula III, and I7 Heatsink combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU - I7-950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - kingwin 1000w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-121-...

GPU - Sapphire HD 5970 2gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory - 8gb Corsair Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Harddrive - 7200 Seagate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thoughts?

Edit: Sorry, when I meant upgrade I meant as in building a completely new system, "upgrading" from my current set-up, not using any existing parts.

More about : critique gaming build

November 29, 2010 6:24:05 PM

How much cheaper do you want to go? You could bring the price down a bit if you really need to and still get pretty high performance, but IMO that's a sweet machine you've got together, and if you have the dough it should serve you well.

What about an OS? You'll need a 64 bit to take advantage of the 8 gigs of ram but I assume you know that.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 29, 2010 6:30:08 PM

I'm unclear on if this is supposed to be a new build, or if this is an existing build that you are looking to upgrade.

If the former, do you need to buy right now? Intel is releasing a new processor in early January. Additionally, ATI is releasing new 69xx series cards in a couple of weeks. Either or both of these new products could drastically change your build or reduce the prices on the parts you have listed.

A couple of notes in the event you can't wait or are simply upgrading:
* For an i7-950 build, you want 6 or 12 GB of RAM, not 8 GB. This will allow you to run in the i7's desired triple-channel memory configuration.
* Unless you already own it, the 5970 isn't a great deal right now. 2x 6850 or 6870 can be had for less than a 5970 and should offer better performance.
* The Kingwin PSU is ok, but it's overkill for any single or dual-ATI card build. (It might not be overkill for a dual GTX 480 build.) You should be able to do better and/or get a higher efficiency unit even at that price. More power is never truly bad, but you don't need 1000W.
* The Seagate 7200.12 1 TB is a good hard drive, it offers similar performance to the Samsung Spinpoint F3, a hard drive that the Seagate is normally priced the same as. The current sale for $50 is a great deal.
* You could get a less expensive 1366 motherboard, like the Gigabyte UD3R for about $210, but the Rampage III has a lot of interesting features, and the Tuniq Extreme is a well-balanced cooler.
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November 29, 2010 6:32:03 PM

I'm honestly not sure, I tried my best researching the parts and wanted to order them by the end of today, what would you suggest substituting out with the loss of a bit of performance? I plan to crossfire in the future is a 1000w psu good enough, or should I just get a 750w for now and upgrade later when I do plan to crossfire?

I'm getting windows 7 64-bit
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a b 4 Gaming
November 29, 2010 6:33:40 PM

If you could fill out the information requested in the How to Ask for New Build Advice, it would help with recommendations. Particularly important is budget & resolution that you'll be gaming at.
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November 29, 2010 6:40:57 PM

coldsleep said:
I'm unclear on if this is supposed to be a new build, or if this is an existing build that you are looking to upgrade.

If the former, do you need to buy right now? Intel is releasing a new processor in early January. Additionally, ATI is releasing new 69xx series cards in a couple of weeks. Either or both of these new products could drastically change your build or reduce the prices on the parts you have listed.

A couple of notes in the event you can't wait or are simply upgrading:
* For an i7-950 build, you want 6 or 12 GB of RAM, not 8 GB. This will allow you to run in the i7's desired triple-channel memory configuration.
* Unless you already own it, the 5970 isn't a great deal right now. 2x 6850 or 6870 can be had for less than a 5970 and should offer better performance.
* The Kingwin PSU is ok, but it's overkill for any single or dual-ATI card build. (It might not be overkill for a dual GTX 480 build.) You should be able to do better and/or get a higher efficiency unit even at that price. More power is never truly bad, but you don't need 1000W.
* The Seagate 7200.12 1 TB is a good hard drive, it offers similar performance to the Samsung Spinpoint F3, a hard drive that the Seagate is normally priced the same as. The current sale for $50 is a great deal.
* You could get a less expensive 1366 motherboard, like the Gigabyte UD3R for about $210, but the Rampage III has a lot of interesting features, and the Tuniq Extreme is a well-balanced cooler.


Wow thanks for such great input.

However I was reading around, and with 8gb, can't 3-channel still be achieved if I place the ram in DDR3_1, DDR3_2, DDR3_3 and DDR3_5 sockets?

Can I keep my current parts if I were to go to a 2x 6870 build?

Do you have another suggestion in place of that kingwin PSU if I were to 2x 6870? My budget for a PSU is 175$ and under?

Unfortunately I wanted to buy all my parts now as it started with the great deal at my microcenter for a i7-950 and I wanted to build a rig for the upcoming WoW:cataclysm and other fps that come out in the future.

My total budget for my entire computer is around 1600-1700$

My resolutions Ill mostly be playing at is 1600x1200, or 1920x1080
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a b 4 Gaming
November 29, 2010 6:50:12 PM

My understanding is that triple channel = 3 or 6 sticks, and decidedly not 1,2,4,5. However, I haven't exhaustively researched it, as I don't have 1366 processor. If you've read something that indicates differently, I'd be interested in reading it.

The Kingwin 1000W is a good price, the thing that concerns me is that it only has an ok review at jonnyguru. I would definitely recommend against it at the full price. At $125, it's a pretty good value. For your proposed configuration, I'd generally shoot for 750-850W, something like this XFX 850W 80+ Silver PSU, but it's more expensive than the current price of the Kingwin.

If you switched to 2x 6870, there's no reason to replace anything else. This link is from a 580 review, but it has both the 5970 and dual 6870s on it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...

You might also consider a dual GTX 470 setup, for about the same price. Tom's ranks the 6870 and GTX 470 as virtually tied, it tends to depend which game is being benchmarked.

I should mention that a 5970 or dual 6870s is still slightly overkill for most games at 1920x1080. If you're gaming at anything less than that, it's extreme overkill. You might want to consider a monitor upgrade if you're gaming at 1680x1050 or less.
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November 29, 2010 7:13:24 PM

coldsleep said:
My understanding is that triple channel = 3 or 6 sticks, and decidedly not 1,2,4,5. However, I haven't exhaustively researched it, as I don't have 1366 processor. If you've read something that indicates differently, I'd be interested in reading it.

The Kingwin 1000W is a good price, the thing that concerns me is that it only has an ok review at jonnyguru. I would definitely recommend against it at the full price. At $125, it's a pretty good value. For your proposed configuration, I'd generally shoot for 750-850W, something like this XFX 850W 80+ Silver PSU, but it's more expensive than the current price of the Kingwin.

If you switched to 2x 6870, there's no reason to replace anything else. This link is from a 580 review, but it has both the 5970 and dual 6870s on it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...

You might also consider a dual GTX 470 setup, for about the same price. Tom's ranks the 6870 and GTX 470 as virtually tied, it tends to depend which game is being benchmarked.

I should mention that a 5970 or dual 6870s is still slightly overkill for most games at 1920x1080. If you're gaming at anything less than that, it's extreme overkill. You might want to consider a monitor upgrade if you're gaming at 1680x1050 or less.


I was just googling around, but the thread I found was this one that explains 3-channeling w/ 4 ram sticks.
http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-devices/109511-i7-9..., should be about the 3rd reply in that thread.

Another thing about crossfiring 2x 6870S. In the forum there is a sticky and in the sticky somewhere it said something about some games not supporting crossfire, so 1 GPU would be better? Or does pretty much every new game out now support crossfired GPU's?

I had no idea bout the johnny guru site, when shopping for PSU's I usually only go by the newegg reviews. But the psu you recommended got great marks by JG, perhaps Ill shell out some more $ for that psu. I just dislike the green its going to give off D:.

I do plan to get another monitor later down the road to game at higher resolutions.

Once again thanks for all the great input!
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a b 4 Gaming
November 29, 2010 7:35:12 PM

Interesting link. It looks the quote was from the motherboard manual, so you might want to check the Rampage III's manual (should be available online).

You could get an A-Data 6 GB kit with similar timings/speed for $90, or a Mushkin 6 GB kit with better timings for about the same price as your 8 GB kit.

CrossFire/SLI is supported in virtually every new game these days, and has been supported in WoW for quite a while now. Older games can be hit or miss, but even then, the new cards are pretty competent when just one of them is used. Generally I recommend going with one big GPU now and add another one later, but at the $400-500 mark right now, you're really better off going with two smaller cards, whether it's 2x 6850, 2x 6870, 2x GTX 460, or 2x GTX 470.

To be clear, the Kingwin PSU is fine at $125. It's just not a good buy at $200+.

The XFX PSU doesn't have LEDs/lights, so it shouldn't give off any green. :)  If you really don't like the color of the fan, there are equivalent units from Seasonic, Silverstone and Corsair.
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November 29, 2010 8:28:26 PM

Best answer selected by allkindsoftime.
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November 29, 2010 8:32:32 PM

Hmm, maybe I should have delved into that thread a bit more.

I'll switch to a 6gb kit set-up for ram, and if I happen to need more(doubt it) I'll get another 6gb kit.

I'm switching over my build to 2x 6870s, and might flip a coin on the PSU's.

Anyways, thanks a bunch for all the great feedback, and your time, just gotta wait till the cheaper asus 6870s get back in stock and I'll order my parts tonight.

EDIT: Do you think a antec 900 mid tower case would fit all this?
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