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3D gaming PC build

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January 24, 2011 12:08:37 AM

Hello everyone, I'm a long time listener first time caller. I plan on building a 3D gaming pc with the help of a friend in the next couple of months and would like some advice from the experienced community. My budget is between $2000-2500 CAD. Eventually I would like to run 3-3D monitors and be able to run GPU demanding games in very high to max settings but right now I'm just concentrating on the immediate build. Here's what I've sourced out so far.

CPU – i7-2600k 3.4GHz $329.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $319.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - EVGA 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked (x 2) $369.97 each
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

RAM - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9 $139.49 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $229.00
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-5...

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB HD OEM $64.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...

PSU - CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-950TX 950W ATX12V v2.3/EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $159.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Cooler - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $29.99 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=35-103-0...

Optical Drive - Plextor PX-B940SA Blu Ray Burner $169.97
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...

Here are my questions so far

1. Is everything Compatible?

2. I plan on running 2 GPU's right now but would like to add a third sometime before the end of the year. Do I need to run a third card to run 3-3D monitors with game settings at very high and high resolution (eg Metro) or will the system bottleneck?

3. Is the PSU adequate for 3 way SLI?

4. Can the CPU be easily overclocked and stable at 5GHz or is 4.5 a reasonable goal?

5. What are some alternative hardware options without sacrificing quality and performance?

6. Am I insane for trying this as my first build? :o 

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....

More about : gaming build

a b B Homebuilt system
January 24, 2011 3:03:13 PM

I'll try to address your questions in order.

1. Everything looks good. I would try to get a lower latency set of RAM, even at 1600MHz, as you'll see a bigger performance increase than you would with 1866MHz vs. 1600MHz.

2. You may need a 3rd GPU, since 3D roughly doubles your GPU usage. My GTX 470s run 1 3d monitor at ~35 fps on very high in Just Cause 2.

3. For 3-way SLI, I'd go with the Corsair 1000HX, since the TX series isn't very good.

4. Dunno, but the Hyper 212+ is a good cooler, and you'll need the bigger PSU for that overclock.

5. You may want to consider going to the X58 chipset, but since you're OCing the i5Ks should work.

6. May as well, right? ;) 
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January 25, 2011 12:54:24 AM

Thanks for your input Boiler1990. I'll look into making those changes you recommended. Anybody else want to weigh in on this?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 3:56:52 AM

Just as an added clarification: 3-way SLI will only work on X58 boards, since they are the only ones with enough PCI-Express bandwidth. The problem is that finding a 3-way SLI board is more expensive than with standard motherboards (~$250).

I have the EVGA FTW3, which is a good board, but it did cost a pretty penny.
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January 25, 2011 9:45:40 AM

This gigabyte board I've listed does support 3-way SLI.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 11:23:25 AM

Sorry, didn't check the link.

Man, that is an expensive board...
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January 25, 2011 8:05:50 PM

Ok here's a slight revision on the build...

CPU – i7-2600k 3.4GHz $329.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $319.99 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

GPU - EVGA 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked (x 2) $369.97 each http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

RAM -

Hard Drive - Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD6000HLHX) 600GB SATA 6Gb/s 10000RPM 32MB $279.99 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=1...

PSU - Antec TPQ-1200 TruePower Quattro 1200W Continuous Power Supply $269.99 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...

Cooler - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $37.99 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Optical Drive - Plextor PX-B940SA Blu Ray Burner $169.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...



I'm leaning towards the Antec PSU because its a little cheaper then the Corsair 1000AX and it does support 3-way SLI according to the Nvidia website
Decided to ditch the SSD for now and go with a 10000rpm HD instead.

Can you suggest some RAM?

Is the SuperClocked EVGA graphics cards kind of a mute point if I'm running 2 of them(and eventually 3)?

I should be able to overclock the CPU to 4.5+ using the Cooler Master 212 right?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 8:17:02 PM

Why get rid of the SSD for the 10k RPM? The SSD will be faster, and IMHO a 10k drive doesn't respond that much faster than a 7200 RPM

I would look for 4 or 8 GB of Cas 7 RAM, at either 1333 or 1600MHz. The lower your Cas Latency, the faster the RAM will respond.

You may still need that OC on the GPUs, since the 3D is very taxing. You'll still get great performance out of them OCed in SLI. I had my GTX 460s OCed past the 470 speeds, and it was like 1.5 GTX 480s :) 

I've heard people easily get 4GHz on the 212+, so 4.5 shouldn't be that much of an issue.
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January 25, 2011 8:37:09 PM

Hmmm, I posted the original build in Tech Support Forums http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f255/building-a-... and someone suggested I loose the SSD and replace with the VelociRaptor which is ALMOST as fast but much more reliable. Errrr 2 conflicting suggestions...

Can you suggest a specific RAM? I'm not sure exactly what I need...latency of 8? what does 9-9-9-24 mean? Also do I need 1.5volt RAM for this Mobo or will 1.6/1.65 work? Im new to the intricicies of PC building.

Your PC sounds like it kicks ass BTW!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 10:08:50 PM

I looked through, and he recommended the WD Black hard drive, which is different from the VRaptors ;) 

I would keep the SSD though. My SSD is "slow" and still boots W7 in under 45 seconds. I don't even put my PC to sleep anymore since it takes such little time to boot. I would recommend just a 64GB for the OS and a few program you use often (I use Office a lot, and that usually takes a while to load on normal hard drives).

Couple that SSD with a few Samsung F3 1TBs and you're golden. The F3s are faster, cheaper, and just as reliable as the WD Blacks.


This is memory sort of along the lines I was talking about: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Cas Latency is related to the timings (the 9s in the numbers you listed), and you want those as low as possible. It's the time between transfers, so lower is obviously better. I forgot what the last number is (the 24), but I know that you want that to be higher.

1.6/65 V RAM should still work. The only thing is that you may not be able to OC the RAM at those high voltages.
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January 25, 2011 11:17:28 PM

Somebody else in that post recommended the Vraptor. Maybe I'll reconsider the SSD....I really dont need storage cause I have plenty on my media PC so one 500g/1t drive would suit me just fine. The only thing I'm worried about is the apparent buggy nature of the SSDs right now. Or so I hear. What kind do you have and how has it treated you?
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January 25, 2011 11:57:30 PM

Ok how bout this?

CPU – i7-2600k 3.4GHz $329.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $319.99 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

GPU - EVGA 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked (x 2) $369.97 each http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800) 8GB (2x4GB) Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH) $154.99 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...

Hard Drive - Western Digital WD5001AALS Caviar Black Hard Drive $57.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

SSD - Corsair Storage Solutions 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Drive Force Series (SSD) 285MB/s Read 275MB/s Write, w/2.5" to 3.5" bracket (CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT) $199.99 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=1...

PSU – Corsair CMPSU-1200AX 1200-Watt Power Supply $289.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Cooler - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $37.99 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Optical Drive - Plextor PX-B940SA Blu Ray Burner $169.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...

Case - CoolerMaster HAF 932 Full-Tower Case $139.97 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...





SSD back in but Corsair now. I found the memory you recommended and I added a case.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 1:14:30 AM

Yeah, that RAM will work well.

I haven't had any problems with my computer since I put it together. I've heard issues about specific drives like the A-Data S559, but no more than the occasional drive.

I have the Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue (got it on sale), and it's worked well right out of the box. Another good brand to look at besides the Corsair would be OCZ. The important thing is to enable TRIM support for the SSD before you install Windows, since you have to set up some things in your BIOS.

Here's a somewhat recent list of SSDs. With 64bit, you want at least a 60GB.
http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-hard-drive-best...
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January 28, 2011 4:58:40 AM

Any good guides/tutorials out there for first time builders?
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January 31, 2011 7:52:29 PM

OK, I am rethinking the P67 motherboard....can someone suggest a kick ass mobo that will allow me to run a 3-way SLI set up?

Compared to the P67 will I lose fps on the new(as of yet unknown)mobo? If so, how much->fishing for a general idea....keep in mind I want to eventually run 3 displays in 3D...

Whats the deal the Intel chips bug? Is my i7 2600k one of the affected chips?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 31, 2011 8:21:21 PM

I saw that news today. It's a chipset issue with SATA controllers, not a CPU issue. Therefore, nothing would be wrong with your i7, only the motherboard.

I don't think an H67 board (unaffected by the SATA issues as of yet) will support 3-way SLI, so you may need to go with an X58 build. The only problem then is the X58 motherboards are more expensive (~190+), and much more expensive for 3-way SLI.

I don't think even the previous gen i5/7 has 3-way SLI, due to the limit on PCI-E lanes. Heck, it had trouble with lanes with only 2 PCI-Ex16 slots.
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February 1, 2011 7:14:18 PM

Ok, let me ask you this....I was planning to use the 2 sata 6gs connections on the motherboard for the harddrive and the ssd. From what I understand the the sata 3gs connections are the ones with the problem. Would I be unaffected by the defect if I only used the 2 sata 6gs slots?

Thanks again for all the help and advice you've given me over the past 2 weeks. I really appreciate it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2011 8:09:31 PM

It's still developing, and at the moment you can't buy ANY 1155 CPUs/mobos anywhere. I checked Newegg today and they've been taken down. Unfortunately, I doubt this will clear up until March at the earliest, so you may have to go another route. To get the 3-way SLI, you'd have to go X58 (a great chipset, I may add).
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February 1, 2011 8:21:42 PM

I'll check it out, thanks B!
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February 3, 2011 4:35:42 PM

I think I'm just gonna wait till the new batch of P67 mobos come out...thanks for all your help B!
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2011 5:18:01 PM

Not a problem. That P67 thing screwed a lot of people over. My friend just sent back his mobo today (he's slowly accumulating parts over the next few months), so he won't get a mobo until they fix the problem. Supposedly there will be some new 1155 chipsets out in a few months, so maybe the P67 thing won't really matter.
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February 5, 2011 7:44:15 AM

Here is my build and it is similar to what you are attempting. The only difference is I am waiting for the new SSD's coming out around May that are 512MBps Read and right so my raptors will do for now. Also go for a 1000watt just for that extra insurance since your going for an SLI setup.

* Cooler Master HAF X (AMAZING CASE)
* GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7 (Nice but needs stronger Bios)
* 1 x COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI
* G.SKILL Ripjaws X + Turbulence II Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
* COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W (completely silent)
* EVGA 570GTX Super Clock (1 atm but a 2nd soon)
* Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B with a push/pull setup using Cooler Master 120mm Green LED Case Fan - (R4-L2R-20CG-GP 90CFM. (This is an AMAZING cooler and beats my brothers H70 water cooling setup and is completely silent at 18DB)
* WD 150Gb Raptors in raid 0 (too slow for this setup =bottleneck) scores only a 5.9 in Windows 7


To answer your question about overclocking the 2600K... It is extremely easy to get 4.2-4.5ghz (with proper airflow of course)... You literally type in 45 in multiplier... save and reboot. Done! Now you have one of the fastest processors in world. Anything over 4.5 you will have to do the classic style more or less... Enter 46, reboot, if it enters windows run intel benchmark, not prime 95 unless they patched it (failed every time regardless of OC), If it works and temps are reasonable for you, type in 47, reboot... Does not reboot. Than adjust the GA-P67A-UD7's setting to level 1 Vcore increase(slightly adjust higher than recommended), reboot, windows?...No?... than set to Level 2 increase (moderate)... reboot... Windows?... Yes... test.... No... Than set back to Auto Level control and manually start to adjust vcore voltage. Google the specifics on exact voltages to start at. For me I safely got to 4.6Ghz at 4core Turbo and 4.9Ghz at 1 core Turbo. I did not understand this till I saw it in action. The CPU is smart enough to know if the program just needs 1 core active, 2, 4... and multi threading, etc. According to Sandra my 4.6 Ghz is the 271st fastest CPU recorded ever by their software! From a $300 processor.... Freaking nuts! I could go on and on about it so if their is anything specific you want to know let me know but in my opinion wait till Intel fixes the chipset and get it. My brother has a 1333 I7 setup and a 1156 I5 and this blows both way out of the water and includes all the extra coding for programming.


BTW- This case setup and CPU cooler is awesome. Core Temp- Idle is 20-26C and 55-60C @4.6Ghz!!!!! AMAZING!



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February 14, 2011 11:49:23 PM

Best answer selected by DiamondDanno.
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May 10, 2012 12:25:30 PM

I would say 2 things.
You will prob be stable at 4.5, after that you are in uncharted territory and "here there may be dragons."
Ditch the Seagate and go with WD Caviar Black(s). Best drives for the money.
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