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Sub-1500 Gaming PC, please help and review. Suggestions Welcome!

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December 12, 2010 6:12:20 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Variable (Dependant on a check), but within two-three weeks.

Budget Range: <1500 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, everyday computing,

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, Dvd/CD drive.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com/Microcenter (there is one a few hours away so discount must be justified by gas cost heh) I am open to other sites too. Help me find the cheapest pc/best performance please!

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, AMD video cards (I've used Nvidia for all my past builds, from recent news, AMD seems better)

Overclocking: Yes to a degree

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, Crossfire definitely. I know people say buy a good single card to upgrade to two, and this might be an option with the 69xx's, so I won't toss it out. But, by the time I will need to upgrade I will be building a new pc (2-3 yrs)

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080 (My current monitor is 1680x1050, but I am purchasing three ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P or better come Jan/Feb)

Additional Comments: I honestly really like the case I picked out, The other parts are interchangeable to me. The mobo might be expensive, but if, and this is a big if, I do need to upgrade graphics, it can handle more. same with usb 3.0 and sata 6.

All prices shown are before mail-in-rebates, though I will type the rebate beside it.

From Newegg

AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99 30.00 rebate

XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 239.99 each 2x = 479.98 10.00 rebate each

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 129.99 10.00 rebate

ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 299.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 52.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 9.99

Sub-Total: 1,192.92

Shipping: 16.99

Total after Shipping: 1,209.91

Rebates: 60.00

From MicroCenter

Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... 59.99

Core i7-950 3.06GHz Boxed Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... 199.99

Sub-Total: 259.98

Tax: 13.00

Total after Tax: 272.98


Full Total (From both sites): 1482.89
-60.00
1422.89


Also: 11.5 gallons of gas for round-trip, so about 40 bucks for gas.

Thanks in advance and to the people who helped me before and motivated me to make a better, more easily understood post.
December 12, 2010 6:31:31 PM

Quote:
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, everyday computing


Given simple games + 24/7 i would suggest a humbler set up with more teeth in the GPU dept hehe

Items off Egg $543 (since u have ODD)


Items off Microcenter $170 (965BE + MSI 785G-E53)
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...
$713 Total

Optionals

60GB Sandforce based SSD $99AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe SCMG-2100 MUGEN-2 Rev.B 5 Heat Pipes CPU Cooler $29 with promo code
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-MUGENB&tit...
December 12, 2010 6:39:05 PM

Perhaps I should have clarified, these aren't going to be simple games, I should have said intense gaming probably. And be able to play games for the next couple of years.

Thanks though, I dont really want Nvidia GPU.
Related resources
December 12, 2010 8:40:51 PM

Another mobo possibility is this:

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
234.99

I'm liking this one. saves me some money too.

What do you guys think?

Microcenter is cheaper for this board

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

229.99

they also have two open boxes for the product at my store. Should I check them out? 45 dollars cheaper at 183.96?
December 13, 2010 2:13:59 AM

bump, I could really use the input. Thanks guys.
December 13, 2010 12:16:12 PM

bump again, please help.
December 13, 2010 8:27:44 PM

bump again, no responses. at least give me a cursory review please.
December 13, 2010 9:32:44 PM

batuchka's card is faster than a 6870 but the day after tomorrow AMD will launch the new HD 6950/6970, so it's worth waiting.
December 13, 2010 10:21:39 PM

I didn't see that you were going to buy two of them. Get a single HD 6970 then. :) 
And you can get a cheaper mobo and PSU.
December 13, 2010 10:46:09 PM

Any suggestions for the cheaper mobo and psu?

I trust corsair and I will be overclocking the cpu and gpu's so the 850 gives me the headroom to do that safely in my opinion. But I am open to suggestions.

P6X58D-E LGA 1366 X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
229.99 - new
183.96 - open box/refurbished

This mobo the one I've kinda settled on, plenty of room for a cpu cooler and the ram modules run off of a 212121 set-up rather than 121212 so that way if the cpu cooler covers the first ram slot I am still good to go.

Also has plenty of room in the pci-e x16 slots so the cfx'd cards aren't too close and having the main card from picking up external heat from the 2nd card.

I was going to check over their refurbished one to see how it looks cause that isn't a bad discount and since this is in-store I can and will be able to check it over.

Anything I should look for on the refurbished one?

I am open to suggestions just give me more than "I can do this" please. I researched it pretty intensely and I would like some good help since I haven't built in a while.

And honestly. It depends on the price of the 6970's. Two 6870's are great now and can only get better with future tweaking/driver updates. They will last me for a long long time to come. But you know how it is, the newer, the better, so I am waiting for 6970's to come out.
December 13, 2010 10:57:44 PM

The D-E is nice. For the PSU 750W is more than enough.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
semi-modular:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
modular, Seasonic inside (but not cheaper)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I assumed a 300W TDP for the HD 6970, it will be lower but even with that 750W is plenty.

LE go to the Asus mobo page and see what RAM did they test with that mobo.

LE That Zalman cooler doesn't look like it's good for 1366 sockets. You can get the Cooler Master Hyper 212+.

LE if you can see the open box (not refurbished) mobo it's fine. Check to see if anything is missing. See here the last small pic:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



December 14, 2010 12:27:59 AM

Ok, so they do have an open box (not refurbished), should i just print a picture of the mobo and check it against it? heh

I mean, with the cpu cooler I was going by the case reviews where one person gave the max height that would fit and I think the cooler master is too tall.

Maybe I'm wrong?

Best solution

December 14, 2010 1:38:27 AM
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No, I mean the package contains the mobo and some other stuff you can see in that pic. Some of it might be missing. You can't really check the mobo unless you test it but I suppose they will take it back if not working (ask them).

- Rear I/O shield - you need that they better have it.
- SATA cables - no big problem, you can buy some cheap.
- Crossfire bridge - You get one with any AMD video card
- SLI bridge - you don't need that
- Manual and CD with drivers - can be found and downloaded online, no problem.

The HSF won't work unless it says it's for 1366 socket. Very good wider cheaper cases
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSe657KCJWM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4XCT9yibwQ
December 14, 2010 1:48:59 AM

I was going for max cooling, I mean, I could get a wider case, but everyone has their preferences you know?

As for the cpu cooler, I just realized I posted the wrong one hahaha, I switched it after I posted it because I realized the same thing.

ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
64.99

Slightly more expensive, but I like the reviews and the looks. What about that one?
December 14, 2010 2:06:21 AM

Since the forums won't let me edit the original post for some reason, here is the new, updated and edited build.


From Newegg

AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99 30.00 rebate

XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 239.99 each 2x = 479.98 10.00 rebate each

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 129.99 10.00 rebate

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99

ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler [EDIT]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835118046 64.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 9.99

Sub-Total: 904.93

Shipping: 22.80

Total after Shipping: 927.73

Rebates: 60.00

From MicroCenter

Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... 59.99

Core i7-950 3.06GHz Boxed Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... 199.99

P6X58D-E LGA 1366 X58 ATX Intel Motherboard [EDIT]
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... 229.99

Sub-Total: 489.97

Tax: 24.50

Total after Tax: 514.47


Full Total (From both sites): 1442.20
-60.00
1382.20
December 14, 2010 3:44:29 AM

Looks good but that HSF seems to be bigger than the CM Hyper 212.
December 14, 2010 3:06:31 PM

On newegg they just give dimensions for the fan, the heat sink dimensions are:

Dimension
120 x 79.7 x 158.5 mm (L x W x H)

+ Fan dimensions are 120 x 25 x 120 mm (L x W x H)

so total dimensions would be

120 x 104.7 x 158.5 mm (L x W x H)

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/coolermaster_hy...

The Zalman cooler total dimensions are:


94(L) x 131(W) x 152(H) mm

http://www.pro-clockers.com/cooling/176-zalman-cnps9900...

So while it is slightly wider, it is shorter and slightly less long.

I'm not too worried about the width, but with the case I picked out, they said that the Height is a big problem because you would have to remove the side panel fan (which I don't want)

Here are the reviews:

AMAZING...except for onr little thing...
Pros: This case must have been designed by someone who has gone through ALL of the headaches of putting a system together. It is so TECH / USER friendly! I actually enjoyed putting my system together! Everthing about this case, from the removable hard drive bays, to the extra room given for longer video cards, to the bottom power supply location, to the super easy to figure out wiring, to the heavy duty and robust construction, to the 3 front USB ports, to all the cooling options, etc, etc, etc, is just perfect. Except for one, minor thing...

Cons: Ok, here it is...
If you happen to have a very tall cpu cooler fan( I have the Corsair A50), you are going to have to live without the big side cooling fan. Unfortunately, becaused of the height of the cpu fan and the depth of the side panel fan, you need to remove the side panel fan in order to close the side panel. No biggie... but obviously I would prefer to be running the fan.

Other Thoughts: I dont care about having to remove the side panel fan... the case is awesome and I wouldnt trade it for ANY other.


KC
12/5/2010 10:48:01 AM
Tech Level:
Ownership:
Verified Owner
low clearance for CPU cooler
Pros: Lots of cooling capability. I especially like the 140mm fans for the two quad-hard-drive cages.

Cons: One big problem for me is that I installed a 159mm tall CPU heat sink (with 120mm fan). After I put everything together, I could not close the lid.... :-(
The gigantic 230mm fan on the lid has a 30mm thickness and there isn't room with the CPU heat sink. I will need to replace the CPU heat sink that is no taller than 141mm height.




So after reading that, I don't even know if the cooler I picked out is good enough.
December 14, 2010 4:16:07 PM

Looks nice. That's a new cooler, you probably had the Kabuto.
December 14, 2010 8:29:33 PM

I meant the build I came up with before this one haha, but yeah, seems alright. Thing is I plan on overclocking, but with this and the 230mm fan on the side case blowing right on top of the cpu I think I should be good on temperature.

What do you think?
Anonymous
December 15, 2010 7:59:37 AM
December 16, 2010 12:26:27 PM

Best answer selected by RightHandMan.
December 16, 2010 12:30:53 PM

Thanks for the input guys, After careful deliberation and reading more reviews. (and finding out I had an extra 600 bucks to play with) I decided to go with

2x evga 570 gtx

Kingwin mach 1 1000w psu

and the Msi big bang-xpower mobo.

With the new mobo I chose the video cards are farther away so less heat/more airflow.

The psu is just a precaution so I don't burn my house down. and it is modular and 90 bucks off

The video cards are chose are going to be limited by my cpu, I realize this, but they will also be good for a long long time to come, So when I upgrade my cpu with one of the last production 1366 sockets next q4 I will be good.

Thanks a lot guys and take care.
!