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$1300 Gaming PC - Would Appreciate Any Opinions

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December 19, 2010 5:27:09 PM

I've been saving up for a custom gaming computer for a while now and plan on using cyberpowerpc to build it. I plan on overclocking (not too much) and playing modern MMO's, RPG's, FPS's, and RTS's (Main focus of MMO's). I also plan on upgrading in about a year to 2 SLI'd NVidia GeForce GTX 460 Palit Sonic Platinums. I have done a lot of research, but I want to be sure of my choices by asking some of you experts of your opinions of what I can change or improve on. My budget is around $1300.

I have also edited my configuration to fit theAnimal's suggested form for pc inquires.

Date: from December 19th to mid-January


Budget Range: $1200-$1300 Before Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the Internet, Watching Movies


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


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences: Intel i7 cpu, Full Tower Case


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200


Additional Comments: I like computers with windows and either red or blue LED. This is not required, just an extra.

Thanks, I appreciate all questions and suggestions!

More about : 1300 gaming opinions

December 19, 2010 5:51:07 PM

Hello,

First, "in a year or 2" the GTX 460 will be discontinued. You won't be able to buy it.
For the case, since you won't do any water-cooling, I'd go with the Coolermaster HAF X (best case ever) or Coolermaster HAF 932 (older generation, less expensive, still very good). I'd go with MegaFlow fans (200mm)
Processor : very good choice. That's the best Core i7 non-Extreme edition in my opinion.
CPU Cooler : Corsair H70 (best) or H50 (good)
Motherboard : Rampage III Formula
Memory : Corsair Dominator GT 6GB (3x2GB)
Boot Drive : a small SSD (OCZ 32GB)
Storage drive : Seagate or Western Digital, 1 or 2 TB.
Sound Card : Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium
Video Card : I'd wait for the GTX 560 to be release in Q1 2011...It will mean a big pricedrop for the 460. You'll be able to get two of them in SLI for a lot less.
Optical drive 1 : Blu-ray reader/writer
Optical drive 2 (it's always usefull) : DVD reader/writer
Power Supply : Corsair 1000w -> TX950 or HX1000
Surge Protection : Monster Power Digital PowerCenter MDP 700

And I'd buy the pieces individually. I don't trust pre-built systems like that. The warranty is often awful, and it's for the entire build, not the individual components.
Anyway, that's my opinion. With a system like that, you'll be okay for at least 2 years without making any major changes.
A case and a sound card are good for life (unless they break). The same goes for your optical drives and ssd boot drive (make sure it is powered by a Sandforce controller and supports TRIM natively), it will last a very long time.
The PSU will be good for 2-3 builds. The same goes for your storage drive.
The motherboard, RAM and CPU will be good for only this build. The next one you do (in 2-3 years) will likely need DDR4, PCIe 3.0 and another CPU socket type.
If you're lucky, you might be able to salvage your RAM.

The build I presented exceeds your budget...but il will last longer. Plus, you'll be able to change the components individually, whereas with cyberpower, you'll have to change the whole PC.

Hope this helped,
al360ex
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a b 4 Gaming
December 19, 2010 6:06:12 PM

My 2 cents:

1) Depending on your gaming resolution, I think you need to spend more on the graphics card, and less elsewhere. It is better to get a great graphics card up front. It is easier to upgrade later without having to pay for sli upgrade preparation up front.
You might do better with a GTX470 or GTX 570 up front if your resolution is 1080P or better.

2) i7-950 is a great cpu, but something cheaper like a i5-760 based pc would be just as good and cheaper. Regardless, with sandy bridge due to launch Jan 5, I would wait. A basic sandy bridge 2400 performed close to a i7-980X. Read about it here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

3) For gaming, how much do you really need a full ATX motherboard with 7 expansion slots and a huge case?
Might not a micro-ATX do as well? You could also use a smaller less expensive case.

4) Liquid cooling is expensive and perhaps risky. A good air cooler will be cheaper and cool well. Only if you are seeking record overclocks would liquid cooling be appropriate. For gaming, once you have two or 3 cores @3.0, the graphics card becomes the limiting factor.

5) I am terribly disappointed with civ 5. It is visually nice, but gameplay is poor. I love civ2 2.42, and civ4 BTS. As a freebieok, but get something else if you get the choice.

6) I don't think extremegear psu is top quality; research it a bit. Quality psu's come from Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, PCP&C, and XFX to nme a few.

7) If you want the best performance option, include a SSD for boot and apps. Keep a larger, cheaper hard drive for storage and backups. Everything feels faster with a ssd.

8) Since you feel comfortable with OC'ing, why don't you build one yourself? It only takes a couple of hours, and it should cost you less.
The experience is priceless.
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December 19, 2010 6:15:06 PM

al360ex said:
Hello,

First, "in a year or 2" the GTX 460 will be discontinued. You won't be able to buy it.
For the case, since you won't do any water-cooling, I'd go with the Coolermaster HAF X (best case ever) or Coolermaster HAF 932 (older generation, less expensive, still very good). I'd go with MegaFlow fans (200mm)
Processor : very good choice. That's the best Core i7 non-Extreme edition in my opinion.
CPU Cooler : Corsair H70 (best) or H50 (good)
Motherboard : Rampage III Formula
Memory : Corsair Dominator GT 6GB (3x2GB)
Boot Drive : a small SSD (OCZ 32GB)
Storage drive : Seagate or Western Digital, 1 or 2 TB.
Sound Card : Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium
Video Card : I'd wait for the GTX 560 to be release in Q1 2011...It will mean a big pricedrop for the 460. You'll be able to get two of them in SLI for a lot less.
Optical drive 1 : Blu-ray reader/writer
Optical drive 2 (it's always usefull) : DVD reader/writer
Power Supply : Corsair 1000w -> TX950 or HX1000
Surge Protection : Monster Power Digital PowerCenter MDP 700

And I'd buy the pieces individually. I don't trust pre-built systems like that. The warranty is often awful, and it's for the entire build, not the individual components.
Anyway, that's my opinion. With a system like that, you'll be okay for at least 2 years without making any major changes.
A case and a sound card are good for life (unless they break). The same goes for your optical drives and ssd boot drive (make sure it is powered by a Sandforce controller and supports TRIM natively), it will last a very long time.
The PSU will be good for 2-3 builds. The same goes for your storage drive.
The motherboard, RAM and CPU will be good for only this build. The next one you do (in 2-3 years) will likely need DDR4, PCIe 3.0 and another CPU socket type.
If you're lucky, you might be able to salvage your RAM.

The build I presented exceeds your budget...but il will last longer. Plus, you'll be able to change the components individually, whereas with cyberpower, you'll have to change the whole PC.

Hope this helped,
al360ex


Thanks al360ex, this really helps. Ill try to find a way to incorporate your ideas into the build, although I wont be able to change too much due to my limited budget. I also may decide to just wait, like you said, for better deals. Just depends on what other feedback I may get.
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December 19, 2010 6:19:29 PM

What, no persuasive argument to make a convert to the homebuild crowd? Where is bobthebuilder when you need him?

kiro331, do you know you can have SLI right now if you build this thing yourself? If you fill out this simple form, I am almost positive that batuchka will cipher up a build for you that will blow the socks off that cyberpower config.

Building is really easy, and once you do it, you will be pleased with the results. There is a step by step guide that walks you through the entire process, and we are here to help if you get stuck.

I'm telling you, there is nothing else like Tom's on the internet. Even bobthebuilder might assist if you take the plunge.
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December 19, 2010 6:53:57 PM

To geofelt:

Thanks! Great article, after reading this I may wait afterall for the SB CPU's and price drops for other video cards.

To eloric:

I'll definitely check out that form. The reason I was attracted to having a comp made for me is because i thought it would be easier to upgrade and less of a hassle, but if what everyone is saying is true and it'll save me money, count me in.
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December 19, 2010 7:07:41 PM

Don't forget one thing...the Sandy Brige CPU that will be release in Q1'2011 are not meant to replace the 1366 socket. They're meant as a replacment for the LGA1156 "Clarkdale" and "Lynfield" (i3 and i5, respectively), and will have only 1155 pins. It will be a mainstream socket.
The replacment for the 1366 socket will come in limited editions at the end of Q4'2011 and beginning of Q1'2012. It will be a Sandy Bridge CPU, with a LGA 2011 "Patsburg" socket. So if you wait, you'll wait for a VERY long time. And don't forget, these CPUs will be extremely expensive (think how much a i7 920 cost when it was released, and double that price).
True, when the Patsburgs will be released, the Bloomfield (quad-core i7) and Gulftown (hexa-core i7) will have become a lot less expensive, but are you ready to wait that long before changing your computer ? And don't forget, the 1366 socket will receive no new updates, which means no new motherboards, compatible RAM and etc.

Here's my source : http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/04/21/intel-...
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December 19, 2010 7:08:59 PM

Cut whatever corners you must (the socket 1156 mainboards and cpus over 1366 boads/cpus alone would be cheap enough more than fund it!), skip the DVD or BlueRay, and try hard to swing the 2nd GTX 460 for SLI....; the 460's are priced right, and, will be hard to get in a year or two....
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December 19, 2010 7:22:15 PM

al360ex said:
Don't forget one thing...the Sandy Brige CPU that will be release in Q1'2011 are not meant to replace the 1366 socket. They're meant as a replacment for the LGA1156 "Clarkdale" and "Lynfield" (i3 and i5, respectively), and will have only 1155 pins. It will be a mainstream socket.
The replacment for the 1366 socket will come in limited editions at the end of Q4'2011 and beginning of Q1'2012. It will be a Sandy Bridge CPU, with a LGA 2011 "Patsburg" socket. So if you wait, you'll wait for a VERY long time. And don't forget, these CPUs will be extremely expensive (think how much a i7 920 cost when it was released, and double that price).
True, when the Patsburgs will be released, the Bloomfield (quad-core i7) and Gulftown (hexa-core i7) will have become a lot less expensive, but are you ready to wait that long before changing your computer ? And don't forget, the 1366 socket will receive no new updates, which means no new motherboards, compatible RAM and etc.

Here's my source : http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/04/21/intel-...


Good point, I'll probably continue with my original plan to buy around late December to mid January. I want a drop in price, but I'm definitely not going to wait until Q4 2012.
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Best solution

December 20, 2010 9:17:59 PM

Seriously consider getting a lesser processor like i5-760/i7-870, since games are not CPU intensive. Going with the 1156 socket (or the new Sandybridge 1155 in January) will save you money that you can reallocate to better graphics. The i7-950 runs about $150 more for chip, mobo and memory.
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December 21, 2010 2:03:45 AM

eloric said:
Seriously consider getting a lesser processor like i5-760/i7-870, since games are not CPU intensive. Going with the 1156 socket (or the new Sandybridge 1155 in January) will save you money that you can reallocate to better graphics. The i7-950 runs about $150 more for chip, mobo and memory.


I've done a bit more research and I agree that the extra money for an i7 could be better spent on an improvement on GPU. I think I'll wait till the release of SB and see general prices before my final decision. Thanks for the response :D 
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December 21, 2010 2:05:13 AM

Best answer selected by kiro331.
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