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First Gaming Build - Parts Sanity Check / Opinions

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February 7, 2011 7:32:08 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm planning on building a new system (my first), and I'd appreciate opinions regarding my chosen components. I did a good amount of research (including a lot of helpful information from the forums here), but I'm sure there's probably some room for improvement, or at least constructive feedback. It would also be helpful to know if there was anything I particularly needed to watch out for when I start putting everything together.

As background, I've replaced computer components before (RAM, graphics cards, HDD, etc.), but I've never built one completely from scratch.

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Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month or so.


Budget Range: $1600-$1800 After Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video/Photo Editing, Documents (Microsoft Office, etc.), Programming


Parts Not Required: Operating System, Sound Card, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Most of my chosen parts are from Amazon.com (see links); a few are from Newegg.com.


Country of Origin: U.S.A.


Parts Preferences: My preferred parts are listed. I'm mainly looking for opinions about my chosen build, and possible changes if I could get better performance for the same (or near) price.


Overclocking: I'm not really comfortable doing this on my own, although the graphics cards I chose are factory overclocked.


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Monitor Resolution: Dual Monitor Setup - Two (1920 x 1200)


Additional Comments: I don't really have any special requests. I don't care if the system is quiet. I want a powerful system that will last 3-4 years before I need to upgrade something major (or build a new system). I've been playing new games on an Intel Q6600 with an Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT, usually with medium settings. I expect this new build to be in the same state (still decent) when I'm ready for upgrading again (3-4 years).


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My (as of now) system:

Case: (I already have this)
Cooler Master HAF X - $179.99
Link

Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R - $199.99 After Rebate
Link

CPU:
Intel i7 950 3.06Ghz - $294.99
Link

PSU:
Corsair HX850W - $144.82 After Rebate
Link

RAM:
Crucial 12 GB (4GB x 3) 1333 MHz - $147.79
Link

HDD: 1 SSD for Operating System
OCZ Technology 60 GB Vertex 2 - $104.99 After Rebate
Link

HDD: 2 of these (RAID 0 Configuration)
Samsung F3 1TB - 2 x $62.99 = $125.98
Link

Graphics Cards: 2 of these (SLI)
GeForce GTX 460 1 GB Superclocked 01G-P3-1373-AR - 2 x $154.99 = $309.98 After Rebate
Link

DVD-RW: 2 of these
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD-RW - 2 x $25.99 = $51.98
Link

OS:
Windows 7 Ultimate - $77.57
No link for this, special price through work.

Total After Rebates: $1638.08


I plan on adding these eventually (or similar components depending on price when I want to buy them), but I don't deem them important right now (I have a few older sound cards laying around):

Sound Card:
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Titanium - $99.99
Link

Blu-Ray RW:
Lite-On LightScribe 12X Blu-Ray RW - $99.99
Link


As I said before, I'm looking for opinions about this build. I'm open to changes that fall within my budget, but I'd like to know the intended performance increase for changing a component. Thanks in advance for the help!
February 7, 2011 10:32:07 PM

Hello WTF;

Looking like a good strong build.

If your 'month or so' timeline leans a bit to the 'so' side you'll want to see what the availability of the Core i7-2600K / P67 motherboards is looking like. They're the only possible upgrade I'd suggest.

Have you thought about an aftermarket CPU cooler? FrostyTech Top 5

February 7, 2011 11:51:38 PM

WR2 said:
Hello WTF;

Looking like a good strong build.

If your 'month or so' timeline leans a bit to the 'so' side you'll want to see what the availability of the Core i7-2600K / P67 motherboards is looking like. They're the only possible upgrade I'd suggest.

Have you thought about an aftermarket CPU cooler? FrostyTech Top 5


WR2,

Thanks for the feedback.

I took a look at the Core i7-2600K processor / P67 motherboards, but I think I'd rather go with something that's been out for a little while and proven rather than the latest (especially with the current problems with the P67 motherboards). More than likely I'll start my build closer to the month (or less) timeline rather than the "so" side.

From what I've read, the Core i7-950 is extremely good for overclocking (if I feel it is necessary in a year or so). I'm not that comfortable with overclocking, but there seems to be plenty of documentation and help out there for the i7-950. So, in case I get unsatisfied with the build as it stands, I could take the overclocking route to squeeze out some more performance, hopefully. Know anything about the overclocking ability of the i7-950?

As to the aftermarket CPU cooler... I thought about it before, but I was hoping to be able to control the temperature of my system adequately with the Cooler Master HAF X. I think there are extra spots to add a few additional fans, and I thought I'd monitor it and see if those were needed. What do you think? Do you think the system as it stands above would require additional cooling?

Thanks again for the response. I appreciate any advice you can give.
Related resources
February 8, 2011 12:09:42 AM

the windows 7 ultimate os is alright but unless you need extra languages or the bit-locker than I would suggest Pro 64 bit. On the 460s the EVGA SSC+ also refered as FTW, is 199 on Newegg you could probably find it cheaper on amazon but it is the best 460 I've found.

On the p67 front I here ya new tech doesn't have the best reputation.

EDIT: I was reading a review that said that the FTW was rebranded as SSC+ that is not the case but is still a higher overclock than the "superclock" version. This isn't as good as a deal as I thought so the effects might not be as much as you like.

take a look
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Graphics-Backplate-0...

be sure to compare the speeds
February 8, 2011 12:10:09 AM

No problems sticking with the X-58 if that's what you want.

You'll be limited in what the stock HSF can support in the way of overclock CPU temp control. Having the HAF X won't compensate for a relatively weak CPU cooler, no matter how many fans you put in.

The 2600K IS that much better.
While you're waiting take another look around.
The P67 motherboard fault sounds more alarming than it really is IMO and the CPU doesnt have any problems. And the K models can overclock easily with that unlocked multiplier.
February 8, 2011 12:34:22 AM

zepfan_75 said:
the windows 7 ultimate os is alright but unless you need extra languages or the bit-locker than I would suggest Pro 64 bit. On the 460s the EVGA SSC+ also refered as FTW, is 199 on Newegg you could probably find it cheaper on amazon but it is the best 460 I've found.

On the p67 front I here ya new tech doesn't have the best reputation.

EDIT: I was reading a review that said that the FTW was rebranded as SSC+ that is not the case but is still a higher overclock than the "superclock" version. This isn't as good as a deal as I thought so the effects might not be as much as you like.

take a look
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Graphics-Backplate-0...

be sure to compare the speeds


zepfan_75,

Hmm... I looked at the differences between Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate again. I thought there were more (important) differences... Seeing as how I can get Windows 7 Pro for free (through work) and Ultimate for $77... I think I may just stick with Pro and save some money. Thanks for drawing my attention to that.

Regarding graphics cards... I was originally going for the standard clocked version of the EVGA 460, but I saw the superclocked version for cheaper after rebates. The card you linked is about $200 / card, while the superclocked version is around $150 / card (after rebates). With two of these cards, do you think there would be that much of a difference between 2 "superclocked" and 2 overclocked (from your link)? I feel like it might not be worth the extra $100. I could just add in a third "superclocked" 460 in the future if I really need more performance. What do you think?
February 8, 2011 12:41:15 AM

I would say the difference would be minimal, I would stick with the ones you stated since I am not 100% sure its worth your time.

*searches for graphs*
February 8, 2011 12:47:49 AM

WR2 said:
No problems sticking with the X-58 if that's what you want.

You'll be limited in what the stock HSF can support in the way of overclock CPU temp control. Having the HAF X won't compensate for a relatively weak CPU cooler, no matter how many fans you put in.

The 2600K IS that much better.
While you're waiting take another look around.
The P67 motherboard fault sounds more alarming than it really is IMO and the CPU doesnt have any problems. And the K models can overclock easily with that unlocked multiplier.



I'll have to look more into the CPU cooler. Do you have a recommendation that would work well with the build I'm working on (I think I still want to stick to the original CPU/Mobo.)

The 2600K does look that much better, but I think:
1. I don't really want to wait until April (or so) for the corrected P67's to come out (and, at what price?)
2. I feel like the i7-950 will be plenty for the lifetime of the build (for me, at least).
3. I might be tempted to get the latest and greatest of other components and go past my price range. :) 

I really do appreciate the conversation about the 2600K, though. You're starting to make me doubt myself and my thoughts about my original build. ;) 

Thanks again.
February 8, 2011 12:53:48 AM

Yeah I'm having trouble finding graphs for the ssc+ so go with what you said, sorry about that.

....can anybody else compare these two...
February 8, 2011 1:08:19 AM

No real reason to wait if you don't want a SB. Like, maybe spending less on the CPU/MB.

And you have enough time to think things through. It's not like one option is bad and the other is good. Either option is good great!

Any of the choices under discussion will do the #2 goal just fine.
February 8, 2011 1:09:37 AM

your title above your gfx cards and your link aren't the same
the link you gave wasn't the over clocked one you picked out

:??:  I'm confused
February 8, 2011 1:15:38 AM

zepfan_75 said:
... oh something to watch out for your gfx cards price is out dated with rebates is 179.99 not 154.99 I am getting the prices from your link to amazon is this the link that you ment to put?

this is what I found
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-PCI-Express-Graphics-Lifetim...


Sigh... Those things change quickly. Yesterday it was a $50 rebate. Thanks for letting me know.
February 8, 2011 1:17:47 AM

Yeah I know I had a price for a amd board spike 20 up and back down in 24 hours whats up with these guys ?

...before building I would check all your prices because they don't stay the same.

P.S I hope I havn't made you doubt your original build :( 
February 8, 2011 1:25:44 AM

zepfan_75 said:
Yeah I know I had a price for a amd board spike 20 up and back down in 24 hours whats up with these guys ?

...before building I would check all your prices because they don't stay the same.

P.S I hope I havn't made you doubt your original build :( 


No, no. That hasn't made me doubt my original build. I had an SB build in the back of my mind, but I had dismissed it. WR2 has been bringing it back. I guess I just want a great computer, not a greater computer.

Yeah, the price changes are crazy. More than likely, I'll be looking around when I finally decide to order everything to make sure I've got the best prices around.
February 8, 2011 1:27:20 AM

zepfan_75 said:
your title above your gfx cards and your link aren't the same
the link you gave wasn't the over clocked one you picked out

:??:  I'm confused


This is the one I was intending to link: Link
February 8, 2011 1:37:56 AM

OK I thought that's what you meant and it's 5 bucks cheaper than your old link :D 

Your build looks awesome if you want to overclock which isn't needed with such a great CPU than you can pick up a after market heat sink later for ~30 bucks, your PSU is more than sufficient, case is awesome.

....Since you replaced parts before a tutorial isn't needed I gather, but if you want too you could watch some vids about the building process.
February 8, 2011 1:45:32 AM

zepfan_75 said:
OK I thought that's what you meant and it's 5 bucks cheaper than your old link :D 

Your build looks awesome if you want to overclock which isn't needed with such a great CPU than you can pick up a after market heat sink later for ~30 bucks, your PSU is more than sufficient, case is awesome.

....Since you replaced parts before a tutorial isn't needed I gather, but if you want too you could watch some vids about the building process.


Thanks for the feedback. A big reason I wanted to post the build in here was to make sure I wasn't doing something stupid. I'm glad to find out everything looks good, and I am excited to build it.

Thanks again for the responses (both from you and WR2).
February 8, 2011 2:03:27 AM

I understand fully I'll make up my mind of whats best post it on here also, and your welcome. :) 
!