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First time builder seeks advice for ~$1600 Gaming Rig Build

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December 21, 2010 12:00:28 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This month/Early January
Budget Range: Around $1,600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW, Dragon Age, SC2, KOTOR2, Civ3 etc..), Internet Surfing, MS Office.

Parts Not Required: Looking to buy everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, Tigerdirect.com. My links are for Newegg.

Country of Origin: United States of America

Parts Preferences: Intel I7, Nividia SLI capable Video Card, HD Widescreen monitor.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: SLI would be a great option. May not use it now, but would like the option to add another SLI capable card later.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 is what I run on my Normal Desktop.

Part Links

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

OR
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...

CPU
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM (8gb)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BlueRay Player
LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Additional Comments: First time building a computer from scratch. Trying to find a good case and motherboard that lets me use both video card slots without taking away a slot I may need to have now/later for additional hardware pieces. I'm not 100% positive that everything is compatible and will all fit inside a good case. I am also not sure about a good power supply. Case can be pretty generic, bonus points if its blue. I'm mainly wanting to be able to put everything I want inside the case, and not have to spend an hour to open the case and get dust out every few weeks.

If I need any additional items that I am missing, please let me know that as well.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time!
December 21, 2010 12:06:37 AM

`If you are buying an I7 you can either have 3 or 6 GB of ram not 8 i believe - Tri channel.
Anyways, secondly, 4GB is enough for gaming and 6 is PLENTY.

Don't buy blu-ray drive.. seriously, its hopeless. Unless you want to rent/buy Blu-ray DVDs from a shop and then chuck them on to a small LCD screen..You'd be better off putting it into your Ps3 & TV or DVD player > TV.

Secondly, you'll need a 750W power supply at least - Either get 2 x GTX 460 @ 768MB ($120 on newegg each) as these perform as well as an HD 5970.
Or just buy a single GTX 570.

The power supply i recommend is a truepower 750W by antec - $85 after MIR.
This is better quality than the TX series by corsair.

The thing is, that most mid - end hi end psu's need more pci-e connectors from the power supply.
So most 650W psu's cant power sLi gtx 460's due to lack of connectors, so if u want SLI option u gotta check how many PCI connectors.
December 21, 2010 12:16:46 AM

vibhas said:
If you are buying an I7 you can either have 3 or 6 GB of ram not 8 i believe - Tri channel.
Anyways, secondly, 4GB is enough for gaming and 6 is PLENTY.

Don't buy blu-ray drive.. seriously, its hopeless. Unless you want to rent/buy Blu-ray DVDs from a shop and then chuck them on to a small LCD screen..You'd be better off putting it into your Ps3 & TV or DVD player > TV.

Secondly, you'll need a 750W power supply at least - Either get 2 x GTX 460 @ 768MB ($120 on newegg each) as these perform as well as an HD 5970.
Or just buy a single GTX 570.

The power supply i recommend is a truepower 750W by antec - $85 after MIR.
This is better quality than the TX series by corsair.


Thanks for the input. I was unaware of the I7 being stuck with only 3 or 6gb of ram. I'll probably drop down to 6gb then.

I'm thinking to go with a GTX 570 video card wise based on reading that the games I play now do not support SLI (or they do..but have to enable extra settings). As newer games come out, I may grab a 2nd GTX 570 when the price goes down.

Also thanks for the input on a power supply. I know Antec and Corsair both are great, but was not sure exactly what wattage I needed.

I did forget to mention a Hard Drive in my original post. Looking to grab a good SATA drive (not SSD). I've had a lot of issues with Hard Drives, so I am unsure which brand to start with.
Related resources
December 21, 2010 12:25:43 AM

nuhhea said:
Thanks for the input. I was unaware of the I7 being stuck with only 3 or 6gb of ram. I'll probably drop down to 6gb then.

I'm thinking to go with a GTX 570 video card wise based on reading that the games I play now do not support SLI (or they do..but have to enable extra settings). As newer games come out, I may grab a 2nd GTX 570 when the price goes down.

Also thanks for the input on a power supply. I know Antec and Corsair both are great, but was not sure exactly what wattage I needed.

I did forget to mention a Hard Drive in my original post. Looking to grab a good SATA drive (not SSD). I've had a lot of issues with Hard Drives, so I am unsure which brand to start with.


spinpoint f3/f4 = best thats not sSd, cheaper than other competition too.
December 21, 2010 9:18:03 AM

Would anyone have any suggestions for a good computer case? Also not sure on which Motherboard to go with out of the two I am considering so far, or if someone has a better suggestion.
December 21, 2010 9:43:16 AM

if you can live with 500gb get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's a hybrid drive which means it's part ssd part hdd. you simply store stuff on it like with a regular hdd. The firmware it uses will rank the importance(how much you use it) of the file and place it on cache, ssd or hdd accordingly. As a result you get something that is almost as fast as an ssd without the cost per gb disadvantages. If you want 1tb I suggest you get 2 of them in raid0 which will give you a 1tb partition and be much much faster.
December 21, 2010 9:46:55 AM

I would go for the Cooler Master Storm Sniper case.
December 21, 2010 9:51:09 AM

motherboard: sabertooth x58 is a no-braner IMO

case: some I like: Cooler master cosmos, atcs 840, scout sniper
silverstone: ft02, rv02(both very good but pricy
corsair: 700d,800d and 600t
NZXT: phantom
Lian li: they are ALL good
fractal: define XL, define r3

Go with one you like the looks of. With increased price you'll also get lower nice, higher quality parts, easier use and all that good stuff. Seeing as cases can last you many years this is a good place to invest in.
December 21, 2010 12:57:28 PM

I was happily surprised to see the computer parts you had listed on your upcoming build because I am currently in the process of putting together a list that is almost identical to yours. By the way, it will be my first build as well and I hope to have all of the parts purchased by sometime in January.

Current list includes:

CPU: Core I7-950
Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Formula
Memory: 6 GB Corsair Dominator.
Video Cards: GTX 570 (two of them in SLI)
(Not sure of the monitor yet)

The case is my stumbling point. I really like the video reviews I’ve seen on the BitFenix case, but apparently I can’t buy it here in the States. I want a big case that has a unique look. The case I’ve had for the last 4 years is the Blackbird 002 but I was thinking of something with a window on the side.

I would be curious to hear any suggestions or to know what you decide on getting.

Good Luck!
December 21, 2010 1:14:36 PM

<quote> Don't buy blu-ray drive.. seriously, its hopeless. Unless you want to rent/buy Blu-ray DVDs from a shop and then chuck them on to a small LCD screen..You'd be better off putting it into your Ps3 & TV or DVD player > TV.
</quote>

Maybe he is planning on ripping bluray, or using it for storage, or running HDMI to his monstor giganto HDTV? Seriously, there are other uses than watching on a "small LCD Screen" (BTW, define "small").

The "small LCD Screen" I look at is 26", and it is just as easy to hook up to the 55" set in my living room as anything else.

I have a bluray for rip/burn and storage purposes rather than any regular movie-watching.
!