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$3k Gaming Build (please comment)

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January 6, 2011 7:20:47 AM

Hello everyone,

I've been doing some research to build myself a gaming/mid-load server system that totals to about $3k.
My purpose in this build was to make something that was upgradable/flexible/powerful, but not excessively wasteful.
For example, I saw that the Intel i7 980x alone would be $1k. That would be excessive. I noticed that the Sandy Bridge cpus should be coming out soon, so I thought that the intel i7 2600K would be a good choice for me.
If you notice blatant mistakes or have suggestions on better parts for this system, please let me know.
I'm a software professional, so I'm familiar with hardware, but nowhere near an expert and I've never tried building a full computer before.
I have listed the parts that I picked out below with links to newegg.com and amazon.com

Thanks for any comments in advance!
- John


CASE

Athena Power Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
$159.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0017KMI66/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


POWER SUPPLY

Corsair Professional Series™ HX1000 80 Plus Certified Modular Power Supply
$219.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00154QAXQ/


MOTHERBOARD

ASUS LGA 1366 - Intel X58 - Republic of Gamers - ATX Motherboard Rampage III Extreme
$360.00
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003H2AQG6/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU

intel i7 2600K
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52214&processor=i7...
(this is coming very soon)


OPTICAL DRIVE

LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM
$99.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0037FSYQC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004B8VL64/
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gtx-580-us...
$509.99

or ...

DUAL EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0
$374.46 x2
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EHZD5W

HARD DRIVE

Crucial 128 GB
$263.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0039SM0AS/

OR...

Crucial 256 GB (probably this one for primary)
$536.70
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0039SM0B2/

AND... (for secondary)

Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Black SATA 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache
$179.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002MD05SA/

RAM

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH
$159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR ...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP8GX3M2A1600C9
$159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KEYBOARD

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
$111.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003ZJ5B4I/

MOUSE

Razer Mamba Wireless Gaming Laser Mouse 5600 DPI
$111.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001WAKR3W/

SPEAKERS

Logitech Z-2300 THX-Certified 2.1 Speaker System with Subwoofer
$128.48
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002SQ2P2/

MONITOR
(not really sure about this monitor)
- I'm looking for a decent 1080p monitor in $200-300 range

Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 ACM 12,000,000:1 (1000:1)
$189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : gaming build comment

January 6, 2011 10:41:55 AM

A few showstoppers/conflicts jump out at me...

the i7/2600k cpu is socket 1155.....

Can't use an X58/socket 1366 mainboard with it....get the i7/950 socket 1366 cpu.
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January 6, 2011 11:01:56 AM

Case - Great case choice - Not sure wtf they are calling it "Athena Power" - here in the UK it is Antec. You may want to consider the silverstone Raven cases however - very good airflow and , dare I say it, better than the 1200. I have a 1200 and it is great for modding , airflow, cable management etc - only downside is that those stock fans can be quite noisy

CPU: Mdd1963 was right about the mobo incompatibly but wrong, in my opinion, about the choice of CPU - stick with your 2600k - far better than the 950 (and even 980x in most cases) in almost every way. The p67 mobos will be out on the 9th and will be considerably cheaper than that mobo you have listed above.

CPU Cooler: You forgot this - for the 2600k you don't need anything more than the Corsair H50. Get this and you could possibly get 5ghz with the 2600k

GPU: always go for the single card setup where possible - with a 1080p monitor (i advise getting 1900x1200) you will be able to max out anything (except crysis lol) with your 580. cheaper, cooler than the 2 570s and most importantly, NO SLI DRIVER PROBLEMS (admittedly not as bad as ATI xfire but still can be problematic with certain games)

HDDs: get a 30gb (or 60gb if you can't find 30gb) ssd for your boot drive. Get a bigger but not necessarily as fast ssd for your programs (128gb should be plenty). Get 2 big storage drives (samsung spinpoint f4s) in RAID1 (one backing up the other) for your storage and program overflow. As you are familiar with software - you can easily tell windows to move the location of "my documents" to the storage drives so your ssds don't get filled up.
For a guide on this, search for "tjharlow" on youtube and look at his videos - he has a great guide to doing this.

Great choice of mouse

look at Samsung monitors

Great build though - fyi I will also be upgrading my old workhorse (q6600 @ 3.6ghz) to the 2600k when available


Good luck!
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Related resources
January 7, 2011 4:08:27 PM

Thank you for the comments.
I will get the Intel i7 2600K CPU and the appropriate Mobo to go with it.
But where did you find the information about cpu socket being LGA 1155?
Also where can I find information about those motherboards?
Maybe it'll be better to search for these again after Jan 9th.

For the SSD and HDD, I'm planning to keep my choice of 256GB ssd and 2TB HDD because it's the most upgradable option. I understand that the option that fruees suggested will be cheaper, but I like to keep the option of making this machine beastly one day.

I do need to find a fan and CPU cooler. I also need to find a good monitor (I will check out Samsung) I will update my build after Jan 9th and ask for more opinions.
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January 8, 2011 8:24:17 AM

Search any Sandy Bridge review: The newer core i5/i7 are LGA 1555 (P67/H67 chipset).

Your biggest problem with the SB will be that it only supports x8x8 in SLI/CF, so if you buy a 580 and want to SLI it 1-2 years later,you could run into a bottleneck(but that wont be THAT hard,just a mild - 5-8%). So either you buy a good mobo (ex Asus P8P67 deluxe) or you wait for mobos with an extra nforce 200 IC, which will allow you to SLI with x16/x8 or x16/x16.
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January 8, 2011 12:55:34 PM

Godhatesusall said:

Your biggest problem with the SB will be that it only supports x8x8 in SLI/CF, so if you buy a 580 and want to SLI it 1-2 years later,you could run into a bottleneck(but that wont be THAT hard,just a mild - 5-8%). So either you buy a good mobo (ex Asus P8P67 deluxe) or you wait for mobos with an extra nforce 200 IC, which will allow you to SLI with x16/x8 or x16/x16.


That was one reason I forked out the extra and got the superclocked EVGA GTX 580. I figure if in the future I go SLI, two superclocked 580's running at x8/x8 on the p8p67 deluxe won't be too bad. What I lose in bus speed I hopefully make up for somewhat with the extra clocks. In the meantime, the single card at 16x should work pretty well.

And to OP, I put quite a bit of time into researching this build, which came in at $ 2,520 shipped. Full thread here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/296722-28-2600k-build...

There might be some info there worth a look.
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January 10, 2011 7:48:37 AM

With the new CPU and Motherboards, I updated my build ...
Any comments would be appreciated.

CPU (decided)
Intel i7 2600K
$338.86
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52214&processor=i7...
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EBUXSA/

MOTHERBOARD (open to other options)
ASUS LGA 1155 P8P67 Deluxe
$250.80
http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=FpufhQASBFHNvccl&...
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EFYI4Q/

CASE (open to other options)
Antec Twelve Hundred ATX 12 Drive Bays 2xUSB 2.0 eSATA Audio Full Tower Case
$159.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0017KMI66/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWER SUPPLY (open to other options)
Corsair Professional Series™ HX1000 80 Plus Certified Modular Power Supply
$219.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00154QAXQ/

or...

COOLER MASTER 1000W Silent Pro Gold Series
$199.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003O8J12I/

CPU COOLER (open to other options)
Zalman CNPS9700LED
$64.43
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001P1B7B4/

THERMAL COMPOUND (pretty standard...)
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5g
$3.48
http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Silver-Thermal-Compound-3-...

OPTICAL DRIVE (open to other options)
LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM
$99.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0037FSYQC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU (pretty sure on geforce gtx 580)
EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$509.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004B8VL64/
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gtx-580-us...

HARD DRIVE (pretty much decided)
Crucial 256 GB
$489.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0039SM0B2/

and...

Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Black SATA 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache
$178.41
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002MD05SA/

RAM (not sure yet, but want 2 x 4 GB)
http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=FpufhQASBFHNvccl
Under Memory Support List, I couldn’t find any memory that seemed good.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH
$159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or …

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP8GX3M2A1600C9
$159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR (pretty much decided)
Samsung PX2370
$278.00
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003HFG6S0/
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January 20, 2011 7:03:08 AM

^ Good choice for motherboard. That one is better than Asus Pro or Evo series.
However you could consider a better Cooler like the Thermalright Silver Arrow or the Noctua NH-D14... as of date Thermalright Silver Arrow has been proven to be better than Noctua.
You could try some of the new generation of cases that has PSU's and cooling fans on the top of the case and mesh's on the botton, maybe you can check out silverstone FT02
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_contents.php?p...
This new concept is prooving to be a great idea.
Would highly recommend you to consider PSU to Corsiar AX professional series instead of HX.

I have researched a lot on various forums, and must have spent atleast 500 hrs on reading through various threads.

I am on a quest to build my desktop and here are my specs.

CPU i7 2600K
Motherboard Asus LGA 1155 P8P67 Deluxe
PSU Corsiar Professional AX850W
Cooler Thermalright Silver Arrow
GPU EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 ( I dont do gaming on PC, instead prefer an Xbox and PS3)
Case Still to decide between silverstone FT02 or some decent lian li cases.
Ram G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (with cas latency 7)
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!