+/- $2000 gaming desktop

Hello there. I am thinking of upgrading my current desktop based on Tom's hardware's $2000 system builder marathon

and some infos for you guys about my desktop and etc

approximate Purchase Date: within week

Budget Range: around $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, and video/music

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com but I can get all the parts I like from MicroCenter right now

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: SLI yes

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments: first timer building/upgrading custom desktop

my current specs are custom made by someone I knew before but he's gone now... so I don't know what to look out for when buying parts for compatible issue and such.

here are my current specs:
Operating System
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66GHz 36 °C
Yorkfield 45nm Technology

4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 666MHz (9-9-9-24)

ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5Q3 (LGA 775) 42 °C

SyncMaster @ 1280x1024
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570

Hard Drives
488GB Hitachi Hitachi HDP725050GLA360 ATA Device (SATA) 34 °C

Optical Drives

Logitech G35 Headset

and based on THW's $2000 build I want to upgrade parts and use some old parts. And I'm thinking of doing something like this:

motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R

processor: Intel Core i7-950

RAM: same old one

Video card: EVGA Geforce GTX 570 superclocked edition

harddrive 1: A-Data S599 128 GB SSD(I know in THC's marathon guide it used 2x64 but I think having 1 SSD with same space and probably make it easier for me to connect wires since I'm total newb at this)

harddrive 2: my current good old HD(I believe it's 7200RPM)

optical drive: old one

case: old one

power: old one. It has 800 watts. (I want to be SLI ready)

heatsink: old one

CPU fan: old one (I think both heatsink and CPU fan are from thermaltake or something)

cost of upgrade: for now... $1090+tax+if I have to install new OS; $190

I tried my best to research on my own to answer some of questions but I still got some questions and some worries:

I want to get an another opinion if these are compatible. I checked socket size and etc... and when I checked it looked good but I would like to get confirmation from expert(especially heatsink, and heat fans; how do I check if it fits?)
my current ram says it's 666. But the new motherboard says:
Memory Standard: DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800
I found in some forum I should be able to still use my old RAM. is this true or false? and even if it could, would this cause bottleneck? if yes, which RAM do you recommend?
I hear one says I should use SSD for OS+game, and other says just games;so OS would be install in my old harddrive. Which one is better choice?
and other questions I should ask, but too newb at this to even bring up the question

I know I asked lot of questions I will be happy if one can even just answer one question. one answered question is better than none :)
22 answers Last reply
More about 2000 gaming desktop
  1. You cannot run your current ram on a triple channel (i7 950) setup. I would suggest getting an i7 2600k which will be out tomorrow. It will be the new sandy bridge 1155 motherboard. Get new ram, CPU and motherboard and only one gtx570...at 1280x1024 you wouldn't even fully tax a 570...let alone two in sli. But then if you upgrade the monitor to a larger size later you can add another gtx570 later.
  2. thank you for the suggestion. I will check out i7 2600k and find new motherboard,and ram according to fit everything in.

    o man, it's getting complicated for me XD
  3. What brand and model is your PSU? If it is a low quality one even 800W might not be enough!
  4. here's direct link to newegg:

    edited at first page too. And since Japps2 told me 1 GTX 570 enough for my resolution now I have more free money to spend on somewhere else. Which will be RAM and if this powersupply just isn't good in general I can also replace it

    any suggestions?
  5. New power supply would be highly advised. With a $2k budget, I would suggest getting a Corsair, Seasonic, a major PSU. I dealt with a XION before, and it fried everything after a year. Also, that kind of money, you can easily upgrade your monitor as well. I'm too tired, but for $2,000, I could easily build a complete system with that much money.
  6. Have you noticed what resolution your running? At that resolution, you could use a GTX 460 or 6850 and still max out any game. Even the most demanding. If you had a 1680x1080 or like 1920x1080 then the 570 would probably be needed, that or a 6950. But, your only at 1280x1024, even a 150$ GTS 450 or 5770 could max out that resolution.

    Now as for CPU, save some money and go with a i5 2500K. The 2600K in benchmarks performs only equivalent to the 2500K which is cheaper by about 50$. Also another thing the that I may not have mentioned you should upgrade your monitor. Put 200-300$ asside to buy a new monitor. Easy stuff.


    As for PSU upgrades, I agree with runwindows. I do have a recommendation though. An XFX 750 is a great cheap PSU. 80+ Silver certified (meaning great effiency) then the PSU is also Modular.


    Disregard the first part btw since you guys already covered that.

    Oh another thing to think about is a bigger case if you plan to keep this build for awhile. I'll tell you right now, your build at most only has to spend 1000-1300$ w/o the monitor. Since really you don't have to buy one of the most expensive parts of a computer, the GPU.
  7. yeah my monitor is like 5 years old so I guess it's a good time to upgrade my monitor and what you recommended isn't expansive or anything so it's perfect.

    I hope the new 2500k or 2600k is about same price as 950 I was thinking of
  8. The 2500K is only 217$ and the 2600K is the price of a 950. The thing is, the 2500K is SO close of a performance to a 2600K that I don't think spending 60 more dollars on the i7 is worth it. You should spend the 60$ on a nice heatsink. If you plan to OC the 2500K is perfect. Intel says the SB K series can get to 4.9ghz on a high end air cooling. With 60$ you could get a nice Megahalems. Sadly no fans included so... You'll have to get them by yourself.

    Or get a hyper 212+ which is a great heatsink for its price. You get two fans if I'm correct.

  9. Check your email :D I have a great offer for you!!
  10. O snap awesome! if those 2500k are even cheaper that's perfect since I did check intel site and compare 950 with 2600 and 2600k offered more!

    wow good thing I didn't just went to Micro center and bought bunch of stuff

    and @slyrunner. Sorry man I really want to build one by myself to teach myself how to build computer so as time goes on I'll be able to save even more money by just buying parts myself
  11. If you don't know how to connect some things. Check some Youtube videos out, thats how I learned to build my first computer and cable management.

    Oh by the way check out the stickies if you have problems. You should really try learning to overclock. Really brings the max performance out of your system! It does reduce your chips life, but not even by much.
  12. yeah I been reading 'step-by-step guide to build a PC' which is one of the stickied guide and it's great. has pictures and goes through step in order which I should also follow.

    I think it's the best guide out of all of them!
  13. Nice, just be prepared to wait, since a lot of people are probably going to buy SB chips the day they come out.
  14. Yeah I'm getting SSD with 128 GB size. I been waiting for Sandy Bridge since many told me wait for the new CPU before I get 950
  15. O.O they're out already sir.... get them before they run out at newgg. And 128gb is way to big for a computer, your really only need like 60gbs of SSD. How many things would you need to store on an SSD to buy a 200$+ drive?
  16. Haha it's doing fine, boots pretty fast, I don't see anything to be sad about. Boots in about meh.... 1-2 minutes from turning on the computer. Meaning not including me typing in my password. I have no complaints 'cept boy has technology gotten cheaper haha. Half the price now when I bought mine I believe.

    If I could do it all over, I would've gotten a cheapo 600$ build and built my SB this year hah. What a year will do to computers huh.
  17. DABNABIT I'm browsing my brain to sell this PC... But I'd only sell it for like 900$ since the tech is so old now haha. Maybe even just like 1000$ at the most.
  18. @malmental

    yeah I was hoping for 950 to go on sale or something XD didn't happen :(

    I'm still searching if installing OS in SSD is better or worse compare to hdd
  19. Haha, yeah I agree with that. No real reason for me to upgrade as my build performs what I really want. BCBF2 and CS5. But I dunno, just knowing I'd have that i5 2500K clocked to 4.9ghz on air cooling. And just knowing that I could clock it that high, would make me feel so... Powerful BWAHAHAHHAHA. Also knowing that I could make a 1500$ computer better than most people who think like 2000$+ is needed for an actual computer. I used to think that before reading THG forum. I think smarter now haha.
  20. BTW just saw your post jgskpx, an SSD average will have about a 20 second boot time compared to a spinpoint f3's like 2-3 minute boot times. This is based off my Laptop's Kingston SSD and dads OCZ Vertex Turbo both running stock Win7 with the exception of Avast Internet Security.

    More like 30-40 seconds. My Velcioraptor boots in 1-2 minutes. So you get how a 10K RPM HDD compares to a SSD. You sacrifice size for boot times. If you want both, Check out the Seagate Momentus HDD SSD Hybrid. It's like a mix of both, but not cheap either. And I hear a lot of problems as it is fairly new.
  21. Haha I don't have an F3, I'm just guessing numbers compared to my VelcioRaptor. I guess it's faster than I thought.
  22. Ahhh lol saw that spelling error ahaha. Yeah I should fix that.
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