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Gaming computer for under $3,500+ dilemma

Last response: in Systems
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December 20, 2010 5:11:45 PM

Hey guys,

I'm looking for a gaming computer for under $4,000.

And I have config1 that I consider

1 CPU Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366 with 3 SLI GX580 1.5 GB with 24 GB RAM

and config2

1 CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-970 3.20 GHz 12M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366 with 2 SLI GX580 1.5 GB with 24 GB RAM

to break it down
1 lesser CPU with 3 SLI
1 better CPU with 2 SLI


I would go with config1 but I'm afraid it will choke the 3 SLI performance, so do you have suggestions?

Thanks!



complete config1 and config2 below

config1
*BASE_PRICE: [+1899]
BLUETOOTH: None
CARE1: Ultra Enhanced Packaging Solution - Protect Your Dream System During Transit [+19]
CARE2: CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance CPU - Thermal Compound Optimized for Thermal Dissipation [+10]
CARE3: Professional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chassis - Minimize Cable Exposure, Maximize Airflow in Your System [+19]
CAS: * Azza Hurrican 2000 Full Tower Gaming Case with 4 Hot Swappable HDD Cage & (4) 230MM Fans
CASUPGRADE: None
CD: None [-65]
CD2: None
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366 [-294]
CS_FAN: Maximum Enermax 120MM Case Cooling Fans for selected case (Maximum Silent Operation) [+29] (1,000 RPM Black Color with No LED Enlobal Magnetic Barometric Bearing 17 dBA)
FA_HDD: None
FAN: Asetek 550LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Advanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) [+18]
FLASHMEDIA: None
FLOPPY: None
GLASSES: None
HDD: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-25] (Single Hard Drive)
HDD2: None [-76]
IEEE_CARD: None
KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
LANSURGE: None
MB_ADDON: None
MEMORY: 24GB (4GBx6) DDR3/1333MHz Triple Channel Memory [+395] (Corsair or Major Brand)
MONITOR: None
MONITOR2: None
MONITOR3: None
MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Dolby Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID, IEEE1394a, 4 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
MULTIVIEW: Xtreme Performance in SLI/CrossFireX Gaming Mode Supports Single Monitor
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
NOISEREDUCE1: Sound Absorbing Foam on Side, Top And Bottom panels [+29]
NOISEREDUCE2: Power Supply Gasket [+5]
NOISEREDUCE3: Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts [+9]
OS: None - FORMAT HARD DRIVE ONLY [-83]
OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
POWERSUPPLY: 1,200 Watts - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 80 Plus Power Supply ( 80 Plus Gold) [+166]
RUSH: Non-Rush 5% Instant Rebate - 3 Weeks Wait Time - Must Enter Coupon Code "NORUSH" during checkout
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
SPEAKERS: None
TEMP: None
TVRC: None
USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
USBFLASH: None
USBHD: None
USBX: None
VC_PHYSX: None
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+176] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO2: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+561] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO3: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+561] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
WNC: None
_PRICE: (+3353)
_view_: d



config2
*BASE_PRICE: [+1899]
BLUETOOTH: None
CARE1: Ultra Enhanced Packaging Solution - Protect Your Dream System During Transit [+19]
CARE2: CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance CPU - Thermal Compound Optimized for Thermal Dissipation [+10]
CARE3: Professional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chassis - Minimize Cable Exposure, Maximize Airflow in Your System [+19]
CAS: * Azza Hurrican 2000 Full Tower Gaming Case with 4 Hot Swappable HDD Cage & (4) 230MM Fans
CASUPGRADE: None
CD: None [-65]
CD2: None
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-970 3.20 GHz 12M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366 [+316]
CS_FAN: Maximum Enermax 120MM Case Cooling Fans for selected case (Maximum Silent Operation) [+29] (1,000 RPM Black Color with No LED Enlobal Magnetic Barometric Bearing 17 dBA)
FA_HDD: None
FAN: Asetek 550LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Advanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) [+18]
FLASHMEDIA: None
FLOPPY: None
GLASSES: None
HDD: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-25] (Single Hard Drive)
HDD2: None [-76]
IEEE_CARD: None
KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
LANSURGE: None
MB_ADDON: None
MEMORY: 24GB (4GBx6) DDR3/1333MHz Triple Channel Memory [+395] (Corsair or Major Brand)
MONITOR: None
MONITOR2: None
MONITOR3: None
MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Dolby Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID, IEEE1394a, 4 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
MULTIVIEW: Xtreme Performance in SLI/CrossFireX Gaming Mode Supports Single Monitor
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
NOISEREDUCE1: Sound Absorbing Foam on Side, Top And Bottom panels [+29]
NOISEREDUCE2: Power Supply Gasket [+5]
NOISEREDUCE3: Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts [+9]
OS: None - FORMAT HARD DRIVE ONLY [-83]
OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
POWERSUPPLY: * 1,000 Watts - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gaming 80 Plus Power Supply [+98]
RUSH: Non-Rush 5% Instant Rebate - 3 Weeks Wait Time - Must Enter Coupon Code "NORUSH" during checkout
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
SPEAKERS: None
TEMP: None
TVRC: None
USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
USBFLASH: None
USBHD: None
USBX: None
VC_PHYSX: None
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+176] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO2: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+561] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO3: None
WNC: None
_PRICE: (+3334)
_view_: d
December 20, 2010 5:17:02 PM

What games/programs are you wanting to use that 3x would be a large improvement over 2x?

And that would cause the processor to "choke" on the 3x?
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December 20, 2010 5:18:53 PM

There is no game out where you need 3 GTX580, so it would be better to just buy 1 or 2 and buy another when they are half price.

Secondly, cpu choice doesn't matter because you'll have to overclock past 4ghz to fully use those cards. I doubt your cpu at 4ghz could even hold up against 3 GTX580.

24gb of ram? 6gb is enough for ANY gaming.


I'd go with config. 2 with 12gb of ram at the most.
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Related resources
December 20, 2010 5:33:20 PM

I want to do 3D stuff too. And I thought the CPU and GPU have to sorta match speed, to avoid bottlenecking. will the bottlenecking be CPU to GPU or GPU to CPU? either way, "an army marches at the speed of the slowest unit", so if 1 3.06 CPU will be able to keep up with 3 SLI, then all is good. I just want to see some numeric relation. Like http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47933 shows what the CPU can do. But I don't know the equivalent in 3 SLI to compare the numbers :) 
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December 20, 2010 5:34:32 PM

plus I want to buy something that I can use for the next 5 years :) 
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December 20, 2010 5:45:55 PM

I'm not sure a 4ghz cpu will keep up with 3 GTX580...

From Tom's article:
"Intel’s Core i7-980X is the most powerful CPU in our arsenal, yet even it isn’t strong enough to provide optimal gaming results when paired with more than a single GTX 480. We thus ditched its powerful boxed cooler and used an even larger unit as we clocked it to 4.00 GHz."
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December 20, 2010 6:00:57 PM

geekapproved said:
A 4ghz cpu won't keep up with 3 GTX580...


Why? What is the limitation in CPU that will choke the 3 GTX580? There is a numeric value that is the CPU limit and there is a numeric value that is the 3 GTX580 limit. and these values can/should be compared "apples to apples". Where can I find such numbers?

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Anonymous
December 20, 2010 8:46:05 PM

Just grab a 930, a GTX 465, and 6 gig of ram and you'll be flying for years
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December 20, 2010 8:53:15 PM

465 is crap. I hope you meant either a 570 or a 460 1 GB
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December 20, 2010 9:10:41 PM

Don't wast your money on extreme performance you ain't gonna use. Instead of trying to get extreme fps which are far too high for the human eye try going fr great peripherals and such which actually do improve both your gameplay and intensify the experience. With 4k here's what I would do:

corsair 700d and get a powdercoat on it: 700usd max
decent LC: 600
3X dell 22": 800

thats around 2k now for the rest:

intel i7 2600K(coming out on 5th of jan): 300
p67 mobo: not a clue
8/16gb of ram: 150-300
psu: xfx 850: 130
GPU: X2 570gtx
Storage: 4x momentus xt 250gb/500gb running of a raid card.: 400

Periphs:
razer lycosa: 70
razer deathadder: 50
razer destructor: 40
xonar sense + pc 350 bundle: 200-300

I don't have a clue what that adds up to but that's the most exclusive build I can think of. If the price is too high there are numerous cutbacks to make. In terms of performance there's better, but in terms of best possible gaming experience this is the best there is.
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December 21, 2010 12:09:03 PM

What is the resolution of the display?

Is it a 30" with a resolution of 2560 x 1600?
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