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$1000-$1500 Gaming Build

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December 29, 2010 3:21:37 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid January 2011
Budget Range: $1000-$1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photoshop, surfing the internet
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor (brand new), speakers
Preferred Website for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: No preferences
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Yes (future?)
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Unsure of amt of RAM needed for Photoshop and/or AMD counterparts. Gaming mainly for Starcraft 2/Diablo 3/possibly WoW and beginner to advanced at Photoshop.

I am helping a friend put together a PC as I have been talking up how much better it is to build and I want to make sure I am doing it the best I possibly can. I can't do it without the fine help of my favorite forum site peeps :) . Seriously I come here every chance I get...almost everyday. Here is what I have come up so far.

$1022.00 ($1002.00 with mail-in-rebate & $2.99 s/h) I have these mostly in combo deals from Newegg

Case - LIAN LI Lancool PC-K58W Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Motherboard - ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 998770
GPU - GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
HD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
DVD - HP Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA 24X Multiformat DVD Writer
OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

I am sure he is unable to wait for Sandybridge cpu's.

Thanks for any input/suggestions/advice!
-Rocket

More about : 1000 1500 gaming build

December 29, 2010 4:50:44 PM

Extremely weak on the GPU for a gaming build. I'd definitely step that up to the HD 6870, 6950, 6970 or GTX 580. Don't even think about the GTX 470 or 480, as they aren't worth it. I'd likely go all the way up to the 580 if you can.

I'm not a huge fan of the board and RAM (I'm assuming it's the combo). Instead, I'd check out the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R ($200) paired with either these G.Skill Ripjaws 3x4 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 sticks ($200) or these G.Skill Pi 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks ($110). I don't really see the need for 12 GB of RAM, so either would be fine.

That PSU isn't a bad choice, but the Antec Earthwatts 750W is $20 cheaper, larger and just as high quality.

That case also isn't a bad choice, but I'd check out some others as well. Some good ones in that price range are the Antec 300 Illusion, HAF 912, Coolermaster 690, and HAF 922.

EDIT: Just noticed the games listed. The 460 will be fine for those, but it's kind of unbalanced for the build itself. Have you considered an i5-760 ($205) build instead? Throw in the Asus P7P55D-E Pro ($180) and pair it with a 2x2 GB kit of RAM (either Corsair's XMS3 1600 mhz CL 9 for $40 or G.Skill's Ripjaws 1600 mhz CL 7 for $70) and you'd save a good deal of money without really hurting performance.
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December 29, 2010 5:48:55 PM

Thanks MadAdmiral... I will reconfiguer with your advice and repost when I get time.

I did have the ripjaws in the build but as you already noticed I switched them out for a combo deal. He doesn't know much about computers in general and he has his mind set on an i7, probably because of the hype. You think 4GB would be enough for Photoshop performance? Sorry, I know next to nothing about Photoshop.
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December 29, 2010 6:03:24 PM

If he's not doing a lot of complicated tasks in photoshop, or working with really large files, 4 GB will be fine. Generally, you don't need more than that unless you're doing heavy encoding or rendering.

As for the i7 hype, just point out that the i5 is technically newer...
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December 29, 2010 6:13:04 PM

or you could lie to him and tell him it's an i7 as long as he never checks his specs you're fine JK

Are you going to overclock at all if so get this cooler from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...

Also pick up some thermal paste from your local radioshack arctic silver 5 not from online because then you have to pay shipping
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January 4, 2011 4:18:25 PM

joelmartinez said:
or you could lie to him and tell him it's an i7 as long as he never checks his specs you're fine JK

Are you going to overclock at all if so get this cooler from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...

lol, No OC'ing in this build

New Config as suggested: (+SSD & +GPU)

Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Mobo - ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CPU - Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GPU (x2) - GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
PSU - Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power
HD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal (SSD)
HD(2)- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
DVD - HP 24X Multiformat DVD Burner Black SATA Model 1270i LightScribe Support
OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Without combo deals this price falls into a good price @ $1,334.89, which is a good price for my friend... thanks!

Should I be concerned about dual slot PCIe on this Asus board?
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8 / x8 mode)

the Sabortooth supports -
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual at x16/x16 mode)

Any more advice or suggestions are still welcome (thanks MadAdmiral). Should I take out the SSD and GPU and beef up the GPU?
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January 4, 2011 5:02:40 PM

Looks pretty good. I'd probably actually leave out the SSD for now. 60 GB isn't very much space. You typically need to leave 20% free, leaving only 30 GB or so after the OS. I'd wait until the 120 GB drives get cheaper. Personally, I'm not going to touch them until the 120 GB are around $150.

As for the speed of the PCIe slots, it's nothing to worry about. 8x/8x is only like a 3-4% loss compared to 16x/16x, which is only really important when using dual HD 5970s. The 460s shouldn't have an issue.

I would consider getting a single expensive GPU, as it leaves room for a cheap future upgrade to dual cards. In that same budget range, you're looking at either the GTX 570 or HD 6970.
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January 4, 2011 10:37:20 PM

don't go with the 6970 get the 6950 and unlock it or does that count as overlocking? if it does get the 570 instead

by the way just wondering do you really need such an expensive burner save 5 dollars http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I guess maybe you need lightscribe but if you don't get this
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January 5, 2011 10:11:47 AM

Awesome!! ... thanks guys, this is shaping up great!

few changes to the above setup (listing only the changes):

GPU - EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
DVD - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

-(2x) GTX 460
-(1x) SSD

A few things of note... I had to change out the RAM because it is now "Out of Stock" at Newegg and the new ones in this list also seem to "fit" better anyway. Now that the GPU is beefed up, should I now be worried about the "dual at x8 / x8 mode" with this mobo? Also, just making sure...is the PSU adequate for a second GTX 570 later on?

I see what you are saying MadAdmiral about adding a GPU later (that will be cheaper) and I will convince him that is best. He wanted to have everything upgraded now so that he wouldn't have to deal with it later. But we all know that upgrading is half the fun of building a comp anyway :sol:  .

Price is now $1140.00 (without combo deals) with this configuration, so we could go more expensive if need be (upto $1500)
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January 5, 2011 1:08:54 PM

GPU+RAM+DVD look good x8 / x8 mode won't affect your performance in a noticeable way maybe 4% decreased frame rates at most and that's with a 5970 (eats up lot's of bandwith)

If I had to make this build more expensive I would invest more in the case get the HAF 922 instead of the antec it will be bigger cable management easier and airflow better
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January 5, 2011 2:28:37 PM

Either get 2 x GTX 460 768mb or the GTX 570.
The 570 cranks out almost as much performance as dual 460's @ 768mb, but for $110 more. The 1 gig SLId 460's give around 2-4% more fps than the 768mb version SLI'd but are $100 more, so aren't really a good buy.

Either GTX 570 - slightly worse performance, much more expensive, but dont require SLI board and benefits of single card, or dual 460's with 768mb, slightly more fps, much cheaper and are dual GPU so maybe more complicated.
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January 5, 2011 4:58:20 PM

vibhas said:
Either get 2 x GTX 460 768mb or the GTX 570.
The 570 cranks out almost as much performance as dual 460's @ 768mb, but for $110 more. The 1 gig SLId 460's give around 2-4% more fps than the 768mb version SLI'd but are $100 more, so aren't really a good buy.

Either GTX 570 - slightly worse performance, much more expensive, but dont require SLI board and benefits of single card, or dual 460's with 768mb, slightly more fps, much cheaper and are dual GPU so maybe more complicated.

Thanks for the info... is this just a pro's & con's of the dual-460's vs. the single 570 cards? Sorry, it's hard for me to follow this.

That 6850 looks like a nice card too for half the price of the GTX 570! Somthing to consider...thanks feifles (fireflies?)
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January 5, 2011 5:27:42 PM

Id also get the ssd as an upgrade, when ssds become more mainstream they will be a lot cheaper
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January 7, 2011 1:47:25 PM

When does Sandybridge come out anyway? P67 chipset? New socket as well right? When will newegg have them for sale?
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January 7, 2011 7:24:26 PM

Supposedly January 9th. Some of the P67 boards have already been detailed. No one really knows for sure when various retailers will have them in stock and ready for sale.
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January 7, 2011 8:56:05 PM

Thanks... I am making him wait a week to see what happens with the new cpu's.

I can flash the HD 6950 for him and the later on he can get a 2nd HD 6970. But I am now wondering if an i5 would bottleneck the 2 GPU's.
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!