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Gaming PC - $1500-1800

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March 7, 2011 12:44:27 AM

[Edited title to reflect budget better]

Hi all. Looking for advice and I admittedly have only skimmed the forums so far, so I apologize in advance if this is similar to a bunch of other requests.

A little background - I last built my own PC in about 2004 and it was with mixed results. I built 2 identical machines, one for myself and one for my wife. Turns out the one that I used worked fine for a couple of years but never seemed to give the performance I had expected in terms of framerates and graphics quality in games. My wife's ended up being a complete bust. Shortly after I built it I got annoyingly loud alarms after a few minutes of playing a game that I could never figure out.

That said, I'm not completely against building my own again, but if there are reputable PC companies that sell customizable builds I would pay a bit more for that (provided it was high quality). I think I understand the pros and cons of building vs premades and I would probably be willing to pay more for quality. I am particularly paranoid of trying to use components that aren't ideal for each other, e.g., motherboard, memory, power supplies, etc. and having my system be bottlenecked somewhere.

Bottom line is I'm looking to build or buy 2 identical rigs, one for me and one for the wife for gaming. I hope I'm not being too generic in my answers, but I have not kept up with the latest gear and hope to leverage off of you guys and your experience.

Thanks in advance!

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Approximate Purchase Date: Within one month. (Should I wait for the new Intel processor?)


Budget Range: $1800 - $2200 (if a little bit more would go a long way I'd be interested!)


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games - Rift, Star Wars mmorpg, Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3; Movies - Netflix streaming


Parts Not Required: Do not need mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, headset, microphone


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg preferred if not a recommended prebuilt.


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: I've been out of the picture on the latest and greatest. I guess I'd prefer Intel and nVidia but I'd be willing to listen to arguments for AMD/Radeon


Overclocking: No, unless it's going to be the best option and is stable.


SLI or Crossfire: Yes, I'd like to have 2 graphics cards if this is the best performing option and offers the most flexibility long term.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200


Additional Comments: My little experience gaming rigs leads me to believe I'd rather opt for lots of cooling rather than less, but don't need a flashy case. Also, I realize gaming PC's will be loud, but if there are quieter options I'd like them.


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More about : gaming 1500 1800

March 7, 2011 1:14:33 AM

Hello Macheras;

If you want to refresh your memory and review what it's like to build your own system:

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.

While you're waiting you can download the online version of the motherboard manual and start getting familiar with it. Same for the other parts you want to order if they have install guides or manuals available.
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March 7, 2011 1:30:21 AM

For a pre-built system you can checkout CyberPowerPC.
They have a section here in the THG forum

I don't think it's an official THG endorsement but they have reviewed CyberPowerPC systems before.
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March 7, 2011 1:36:03 AM

macheras said:

Budget Range: $1800 - $2200 (if a little bit more would go a long way I'd be interested!)


Oh boy... we're going to have fun with this one I can already tell.
Trust me, for that amount of money (and no monitor) we can spec out a pretty incredible gaming system.
Also if you take advantage of some of the research available on Toms and some other sites I'm sure you would find that you would have better success with your own build this time around. I would always advise that way, but particularly if you're doing two systems because the pre-built route would mean that you would eat that overhead twice... and we would much rather use that money getting you choice components. :pt1cable: 

I'm also really looking forward to SWTOR, I haven't had a good game fix since I finally gave up Galaxies.
The games you listed will not be particularly heavy hitters when it comes to graphics, but with the budget you've provided we'll just ignore that fact and probably build you a monster system that will play anything.

** stalks off to mad scientist lab to find his $2200 quiet gaming PC experiment **

be back shortly.
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March 7, 2011 1:41:48 AM

I'm hoping CopaMundial realizes it's TWO $1100 systems and not one monster $2200 build.
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March 7, 2011 1:48:09 AM

Appreciate the quick responses guys and sorry for the confusion on that!

I originally was targetting around $2000 a piece, however after consultation with my better half I better tone that down.

I'd like to shoot for the $1500-$1800 range for each.

@CopaMundial: Yeah, SWG was great before the "changes" hehe. We've been playing WoW but have switched to Rift for now. Really looking forward to the Star Wars universe again though.

I'm actually hoping I can build something that may be overkill for these games but has plenty of horsepower to last a decent amount of time.

Thanks again!
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March 7, 2011 2:12:16 AM

Sweeet! $1500 each is still going to get you a great system.
You'll get a lot for that. Any guidance on the case for the Mrs? Something other than black?
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March 7, 2011 3:09:43 AM

Wow! $1500 computers! Those will be amazing!

Are you willing to add a second graphics card for SLI down the road?

If so, then you may as well do an i7-2600K w/ single GTX580 and 950W PSU.

The only issue...I'm not sure if GTX580's bottleneck on 8x/8x PCI-e lanes. 16x/16x isn't available though. And maybe you should still go i5-2500K, but I dunno. It depends on how these budgets work out.
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March 7, 2011 4:44:18 AM

macheras said:
Appreciate the quick responses guys and sorry for the confusion on that!

I originally was targetting around $2000 a piece, however after consultation with my better half I better tone that down.

I'd like to shoot for the $1500-$1800 range for each.

I'm actually hoping I can build something that may be overkill for these games but has plenty of horsepower to last a decent amount of time.

Thanks again!


As you will buy witin the next month, then I didnt consider out of stock status. Also, Yes, you should wait for the new MoBo's so that you can use the new CPU as they are really good.

Case: Lian LI PC-B25FB Blue Ring/Door http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i... roughly $150-$160. currently out of stock.

CPU: i5 2500/k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99/ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229.99 - depends on preference to OC. i5 2500k overclocks really really good and would recommend.

MB: Asus P8P67 Pro LGA 1155 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $250ish- heard/read lots of good with this mobo. price is probably off as its not listed until its back for sale.

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x 4Gb 1600 dual channel http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99

HD: 2x Samsung F3 Spinpoint 1TB 7200rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $64.99. Put two of these in raid 0 for really great performance

SSD: OCZ 128Gb Vertex 2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229 - Try get a 34nm version as the 25nm has reduced space compared to the 34nm version.

FX: Gigabyte SOC GTX-560 Ti 1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $269.99 - performs almost on par with GTX 570 for $100 less. two of these in SLi will be amazing, though one will prolly cover you as well :) 

PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power Certified 80 Plus Bronze http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD/CD reader http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $22.99

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99 - only if you decide to OC, otherwise stock is good enough.
--
OS: Win7 Pro a recommendation in case u need an OS

With OC parts - US$ 1,572.91
Without OC parts - US$ 1,522.92

There are a few ?? since some products are Out of Stock. But am pretty sure the price will be within $50 from above mentioned. This is the system I myself will buy in about a month and I have similar budget as you. If you need the OS as well, its another ~$150 depending on version. Also, the case are very much up for preference. Can probably chose a less pricey one and invest into something you feel is lacking.

Cheers!
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March 7, 2011 4:48:48 AM

macheras said:

I originally was targetting around $2000 a piece, however after consultation with my better half I better tone that down.

I'd like to shoot for the $1500-$1800 range for each.


*sigh*... and here I was trying to figure out how to talk you up just a smidge :) 
Ok, so how about we compromise and build hers @ $1500 and yours at @$2300. I'll leave the sticky mess of explaining that later to you.
"Uh, I don't know what happened honey, must have been a shipping mistake or maybe a loyal customer reward. Oh, by the way, you just died again dear."



Well here's the $2305 monster that could have been.

CPU

Option A:
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K


$330 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Option B:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K


$230 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is $100 price difference between those two CPU’s. Most applications (particularly games) don’t experience $100 difference worth of performance though. By and large the community has been recommending the 2500k as the gaming CPU of choice because that’s the value leader. But given the high end budget for this build let’s put the 2600k in there as a placeholder. If we get to the end of the process and we’re looking to get some money back we might revisit that decision.

Mobo (There was a recall on the LGA1155 socket motherboards that support these CPU’s. They’re just starting to show back up over the last week or two. As a result there are not a lot to choose from yet.)

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (this one is sold out atm, but it's the most likely candidate out of the ones listed on newegg)

$179 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH
(That looks so good, what the hell, lets get two)

2x$150=$300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drive 1 (for OS and your 'main' game... other programs and file storage will be on Drive 2) (This is the first of the next wave of solid state drives to become available on NewEgg. Again, if you can wait a few weeks, at least two competitors will emerge w/ the the new SandForce SF-2200 controller and better (in some reviews) performance @ lower price. Option A would be OCZ Vertex 3 expected to hit the street @ ~$300 for 120GB.)

Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

$314 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One side note. While you're shopping and waiting for all of this stuff to arrive you will want to read up on SSD's and how to get the most out of them. You can start w/ the 'Articles' section of Tom's and the 'Storage - SSD' forum here as well. Terms to become familar with will be AHCI and TRIM. Try to stay disciplined with the use of that drive. Space on there is crazy expensive so it's only for the stuff that needs that sort of speed. SSD's can start to slow down when they get close to being full, so try not to choke it.

Drive 2 for storage and lower priority stuff

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card

SPARKLE Calibre Series X580 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

$569 (after $20 rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seriously, thank you, I've been dreaming of getting this card myself and I haven't been able to find a build in here to fit it into. This card is highly overclocked (I believe it's the fastest air cooled graphics card around). This card comes with the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme cooler. That's a really nice cooler that got great reviews from the folks at www.silentpcreview.com. Obviously any cooler is going to be trying hard to keep such a high end GPU cool, so I can't say it will be quiet, but it will be more quiet than the competition I think.


Case

Option A:
Antec Performance One Series P193 V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case


$190 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Performance One cases from Antec are very quiet. The 183 v3 is more quiet than this one, but this one has better airflow. Two top exhaust fans, one rear exhaust fan, and a side fan... all of them w/ speed select switches. Make sure you get the V3, since it has USB 3.0 ports on front.

Option B:
SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT02B Black Aluminum / Steel Computer Case


These cases are unique b/c the motherboard is mounted rotated 90 degrees. So rather than air attempting to flow front to back, it flows top to bottom (which is more natural so less fan pressure is required, resulting in less noise) . The link below does not have any side window, if you're into bling like that then you can get side window for same price, it's jut a diff't link on NewEgg.

$250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply

Option A:
Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply

(note: The 'CP' series power supplies are a unique 'CPX' form factor that is slightly larger than standard ATX power supplies. This design allows for better component spacing and quieter cooling, but at this point there are only 4 four cases that take this supply... Antec's P183, P193, Twelve-Hundred, and DF-85)

$120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Option B: if you choose to not go w/ any of the Antect cases that accept the CP supply

ENERMAX MODU87+ EMG800EWT 800W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply


$220 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU cooler

Scythe SCRT-1000 120mm Sleeve New High-End Top-Flow CPU Cooler

$45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nothing extreme is required here One note here, prior to installing this, make sure you read the directions and there's also some helpful hints here ( http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appmeth/int/vl/intel_ap... )

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

$100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(or since you're doing 2 systems you could get a 3-pack of the same thing for $278... then just find another pc that needs it)

Optical Drive 1

LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)

$68 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total $2305
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March 7, 2011 4:49:25 AM

Ok, so now we can start chipping away at that $2300 pig that I initially suggested.
Ah... it was nice while it lasted. And we'll always have the memories.

I think I the first things I would back down on would be the video card, SSD, and the case because on those items the price drops faster than the performance when you step down a few notches. I think we can also come down from 16Gb of RAM to 8 gig and still have a great system... plus it's easy enough to do that later.

I left out the commentary on this one, same notes as above apply.
Changes from above are in italics.

CPU

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

(note, I didn't back down on the processor. After reading the other suggestions if there's something else you would like to boost up, the I5 2500k is $100 less and still performs excellent in gaming)

$330 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (this one is sold out atm, but it's the most likely candidate out of the ones listed on newegg)
$179 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drive 1 (for OS and your 'main' game... other programs and file storage will be on Drive 2)

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
(this drive is half the size and a slower model, but still thinks faster than you or me)

$134 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Drive 2 for storage and lower priority stuff

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
(really, with two PC's in the same room they hardly need a 1TB drive each)


$60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card + RAM combo

SPARKLE SXX5801536D5NM GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
**plus**
Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX


$529 (combo deal w/ rebates) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

This is a nice deal, saving us $340 from above with the drop in RAM from 16g to 8 and the combo deal. The memory is the same speed and the video card is the same card as before, but it's not overclocked and it doesn't have the nicer cooler. But it's still crazy fast, and you could overclock it yourself at some point (although you wouldn't need to)... it just wouldn't be as quiet as the other one.

Case + Power Supply

Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
**plus**
Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

(note, this 750w power supply will run your system fine, but if you were to try to put a pair of GTX 580s together in SLI then it would be cutting it close. But chances are you would never do that, so forget I even mentioned it and just smile and nod at the fact that this combo deal saves us $110 over the selections in my prior build)

$200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU cooler

Scythe SCRT-1000 120mm Sleeve New High-End Top-Flow CPU Cooler

$45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

$100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive 1

LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)

$68 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total $1675

You'll notice with your $1800 upper limit I saved you $125, or $250 when you consider both machines.
That should keep gas in your tank for at least two weeks. :o 
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March 7, 2011 5:27:16 AM

I wasn't going to post my build yet because Why_Me will take care of it for me. But hubaba's build forces me to add my two cents:

CPU: i5-2500K $229
Mobo: 1155 8x/8x PCI-e lanes in dual mode (not 16x/4x) $179 (Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI)
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) Kingston 1600CL9 DDR3 included below in combo w/ Graphics
HDD: 1x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB for storage ~$60
SSD: Same OCZ 128GB 34nm or any SandForce SSD $230
Graphics: GTX 580 w/RAM $530 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...)
PSU: Corsair TX-950W $149 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
DVD: $18 Newegg's Cheapest DVD Burner
CPU Cooler: Sandy Bridge CPUs run cool. Wait until you overlock above 4.0GHz to bother with an aftermarket cooler. That said, buy a Hyper 212+ when you do.
Case: Azza Solano 1000/1000R (one blue, one red) or Azza Hurrican 2000/2000R (one blue, one red) $100-$150

Total: $1504 for Solano w/rebate to $1554 for Hurrican 200R w/o rebate

The most important rule: Sacrifice where you can to make room for a better graphics card. (You still need a good PSU and solid CPU).

I chose a 950W PSU so you don't have any hassle when you decide to drop in a second GTX 580 on Black Friday 2012. If you want to, you could throw down another $100 to get the i7-2600K. I would if I was spending as much as you are. The Azza Solano (and I think the Hurrican) has a back panel to hide extra cables in, so a modular PSU is unnecessary. Also, the Solano is a very large mid tower--sometimes listed as a full tower when the requirements are lax.

So you know, the i5-2500K can do everything you'll want a CPU to do for the next few years. But the i7-2600K will be fun overkill. Don't forget to OC :) .
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March 7, 2011 5:37:46 AM

HDD: The Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB keeps up with Western Digital Caviar Black 1TBs and costs much less. It's faster than a WD Black 500GB.

SSD: You can save $100 if you get a 64GB SSD.

Graphics/RAM: CopaMundial had a great combo. I changed my build to include his combo.

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March 7, 2011 6:12:51 AM

dalauder said:
I wasn't going to post my build yet because Why_Me will take care of it for me. But hubaba's build forces me to add my two cents:

[...]

The most important rule: Sacrifice where you can to make room for a better graphics card. (You still need a good PSU and solid CPU).

I chose a 950W PSU so you don't have any hassle when you decide to drop in a second GTX 580 on Black Friday 2012. If you want to, you could throw down another $100 to get the i7-2600K. I would if I was spending as much as you are. The Azza Solano (and I think the Hurrican) has a back panel to hide extra cables in, so a modular PSU is unnecessary. Also, the Solano is a very large mid tower--sometimes listed as a full tower when the requirements are lax.

So you know, the i5-2500K can do everything you'll want a CPU to do for the next few years. But the i7-2600K will be fun overkill. Don't forget to OC :) .



agreed, its a great combo with the memory, but if you pair up the 580 you might as well go with the i7-2600k just to make sure that the cpu wont bottle neck the gpu. Value for money -> 560 if you ask me. 580 is a monster of course, but I sincerely doubt ull be running out of performance with 2x SOC 560 in SLI. This will also save you $$$. Also considering that if you get the 580 and want to run in SLi later on, then you will maybe have to upgrade your mobo as well as SLi on p67 only runs at 8x/8x and not 16x/16x. If the Z68 gets released within this month it could be a good thing to wait for a review so that you can make sure they are offering a better deal than the p67 do today.
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March 7, 2011 12:14:20 PM

Ok, good feedback. Let’s try to get to the best of all of these (well before Why Me and WR2 sweep in and demolish all of our builds).

First thing that I think we should admit to ourselves is that the games listed are MMO type games that typically don’t benefit from the ‘flagship’ card as much as a shooter might.

macheras said:

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games - Rift, Star Wars mmorpg, Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3; Movies - Netflix streaming


No Crysis 2… no Battlefield 3.
So we should let go of the beautiful dream that was our brief love affair w/ the GTX 580.
I think the community generally agrees that if you’re backing down from the GTX 580 your best bet is to go for an overclocked GTX 560Ti as it offers better value, with less heat and noise, than a GTX 570. As mentioned by Hubaba that also relieves us of the worry of trying to support a hypothetical future dual 580 solution in terms of power and PCI lanes, so we can save on Motherboard and PSU as well. If they do decide to use a pair of 560 Ti's in SLI later in a year or two, then it will surely have dropped in price by then.

Having said that, I would also add that those same games make me want the 2600k even more.
Granted, the 2500k sticks right there very close w/ the 2600k in most games. But MMO’s typically rely on CPU more than GPU… and while the games themselves may not be multi-threaded MMO gamers are more likely to be multi-threaded themselves, meaning they run their game and do other stuff at the same time. A shooter gamer will close every other program, dim the lights, turn off their phone, and have at it… just them and the game. Meanwhile next door the MMO gamer will have two instances of his game running simultaneously (hopping back and forth leveling two toons), plus excel for their resource tracking sheet, web browsing to look up a walkthrough, and probably some porn tossed in on top of it all (well, not in this case… since the wife is probably in the room). Anyway, porn aside you get my point… the 2600k stays. There is no way you can build a $1500 MMO gaming rig (w/ no monitor cost) and somehow sacrifice on the CPU.

Let’s see how this comes out.
Slight change in the formatting, I’m going to represent the price of two PC’s here.

CPU
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

2x$330=$660 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
2X$179=$358 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drive 1 (for OS and your 'main' game... other programs and file storage will be on Drive 2)

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

2X$209=$418 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Drive 2 for storage and lower priority stuff

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

2X$50=$100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card + RAM combo

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
**plus**
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7Q-16GBXH

1X$565 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

In this combo deal we’re getting the RAM for both PC’s (16Gb total, so split it in half and take 8 each), then pick up another of the same card, for $250.

1X$250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case + Power Supply

Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
**plus**
Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply[/i]

2x$200=400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

(If you want the cases to be different then we can accomplish that as well, but don't go too cheap because you will pay in terms of noise)

CPU 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
(I would still get the aftermarket cooler, because it's easier to install before the system is in the case and it will help reduce the noise of the system, which was also one of the build considerations)

2x$30 =$60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

2x$100=$200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive 1

LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)

2x$68=$136 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total for 2 PC’s = $3147, or $1573.50 each
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March 7, 2011 12:48:22 PM

Omg why the 2600k? the 2500k is a much better value anyway, it's the op's choice.

Also i recommend that you wait till the sandforce sata III ssd's come out same with the new p67 motherboards.
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March 7, 2011 12:53:20 PM

How will they be able to tell which computer is theirs if the cases are identical?



Do you suppose having different size cases could cause marital discord? If so don't click on that picture to be taken to the full tower red NZXT Phantom case.
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March 7, 2011 1:06:49 PM

I had to dig really deep to find anything to nit-pick.
CopaMundial did an exellent job finding great stuff & good deals.
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March 7, 2011 1:32:19 PM

mrhoshos96 said:
Omg why the 2600k? the 2500k is a much better value anyway, it's the op's choice.


Obviously it's his choice.
My comment was lighthearted, but I listed my reasons. When I expressed that I wouldn't be flexible on the selection of CPU I wasn't aiming that at the OP. I was talking to the other build advisors who I was sure would take up torches and array themselves against me in an attempt to overwhelm my well reasoned argument.

I agree that the 2500k does almost any ONE thing as well as the 2600k.
But when doing SEVERAL things at once it's not as good (as evidenced by the advantage 2600k offers in multi-threaded benchmarks). He wouldn't choose that list of games... let alone for him and his wife... unless he were a serious MMORPG gamer. As such, I'm sure he will relate to what I'm talking about when I suggest that type of gamer is likely to demand multiple tasks from their CPU simultaneously.

With regard to the SATAIII SSD's, you're right, they are faster and they're more expensive.
I included one in my initial recommendations (along w/ a note that recommended waiting for Vertex 3) so if the OP feels that the bottom line is such that he can bump up that component then it's there to choose.
It's roughly a $100 price bump, which you could cancel out by going to the I5 CPU if you don't believe my argument about multi tasking benefits of the I7.
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March 7, 2011 2:08:28 PM

Wow, thanks for the responses all :) . Just got a chance to check back after posting last night.

WR2 said:
Any guidance on the case for the Mrs? Something other than black?

WR2 said:
Do you suppose having different size cases could cause marital discord? If so don't click on that picture to be taken to the full tower red NZXT Phantom case.

Great idea actually hehe. Had a hard time telling out 2 computers apart in the past when we moved, plus I know she thinks some cases are particularly ugly. Best I let her choose :) 
Quote:
dalauder: Are you willing to add a second graphics card for SLI down the road?

Definitely will consider SLI. Skimming through the recommendations so far looks like I can start with one SLI-ready card and add one later as needed?
Quote:
CopaMundial: Ok, so how about we compromise and build hers @ $1500 and yours at @$2300. I'll leave the sticky mess of explaining that later to you.

That's not a bad idea :) . But I better make them identical to avoid issues. It's for my own benefit because if mine turned out to be better it would eventually end up being hers haha. We've been gaming on laptops lately and that's exactly how it ends up!
Quote:
CopaMundial: No Crysis 2… no Battlefield 3

Yeah I think this is true. I hate to admit on a PC forum, but I've lately started to play most other games on my XBox 360, particularly shooters like Black Ops. I will likely get Battlefied 3 and Homefront on that as well. I finally got used to the controls after years of resistance and there's something to be said about sitting on the recliner while playing haha.

Your take on MMO players is spot on. Always have at minimum a browser open and play in windowed mode often, sometimes with spreadsheets open :) .

Again, thank you all a ton, can't tell you how much this helps. A lot of information to digest and I'll post back and let you know what I end up with!

~Mach
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March 7, 2011 2:46:29 PM

Quote:
CopaMundial: Ok, so how about we compromise and build hers @ $1500 and yours at @$2300. I'll leave the sticky mess of explaining that later to you.


That's not a bad idea :) . But I better make them identical to avoid issues. It's for my own benefit because if mine turned out to be better it would eventually end up being hers haha. We've been gaming on laptops lately and that's exactly how it ends up!



AHAHA - I play more hours than him on the computer, and I pvp more, and I also complain more, so eventually I'd end up with the better one. So fine with me! lol

:bounce: 

Quote:
Do you suppose having different size cases could cause marital discord? If so don't click on that picture to be taken to the full tower red NZXT Phantom case.


As for the cases, I like stuff that lights up in colors such as blue or green, and he would probably want steel gray or orange =).

:hello: 

- the Wifey
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March 7, 2011 6:45:48 PM

Slip something like this into his build list when he's not looking.
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March 7, 2011 9:41:17 PM

I'm not sure if Z68 has two 16x lanes. I think we'll have to wait a few more months for that. But 4x/4x benchmarks just fine with GTX 480's: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/25/gtx_480_sli_p...

I doubt GTX 580's will bottleneck appreciably at 8x/8x--which is why it's crucial not to get a mobo that runs dual at 16x/4x.

My build included red/blue options for identical cases with different colors--which is kinda cool if you're into that wearing the same shirt thing that some couples like (Azza Solano/Hurrican).

I was under the impression that price was not an issue--which is why I went for the big dog--the GTX580. My build was intending for this machine to play most games at very high settings 4 years from now and all at max for a year or two.

HDD/SSD debate: Yhe Vertex 3 review on Toms Hardware shows that it doesn't have much improvement of the Vertex 2. So if you're more worried about reinstalling Windows on a new SSD than the $40 you save by waiting a couple months to buy, then get the Vertex 2 34nm now.

Optical: I don't think blu-ray's worth much (same viewpoint as Microsoft) and I'm betting your connections are good enough to stream digital HD video anyhow.

RAM: CopaMundial's first GTX 580/RAM combo was great. The second one has you paying $150 for each set of 8GB of DDR3. I know it's CL7, but will you really nitpick your RAM timings enough to notice? I will...but I don't know if it's worth $120 total to get CL7 instead of CL9.

I figure if you were thinking of spending $2200 on your builds, you may as well spend $1700 to get the GTX 580 and i7-2600K (includes Windows) like in my build instead of $1500 (almost the same as $1700) to have a significantly less mind-blowing graphics card.

That GTX 580/RAM combo is still live and will save you at least $50. I think you should bite on it ASAP.

I have a GTX 470, which gets GTX 560 performance. And you know what? It can't do EVERYTHING at absolute maxed graphics. And forget about playing Just Cause 2 at max graphics in 3D. Okay, that's nitpicking, but at your price range you shouldn't have to settle for 3rd best.
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March 7, 2011 10:42:51 PM

dalauder said:
I'm not sure if Z68 has two 16x lanes. I think we'll have to wait a few more months for that. But 4x/4x benchmarks just fine with GTX 480's: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/25/gtx_480_sli_p...

I doubt GTX 580's will bottleneck appreciably at 8x/8x--which is why it's crucial not to get a mobo that runs dual at 16x/4x.

My build included red/blue options for identical cases with different colors--which is kinda cool if you're into that wearing the same shirt thing that some couples like (Azza Solano/Hurrican).

I was under the impression that price was not an issue--which is why I went for the big dog--the GTX580. My build was intending for this machine to play most games at very high settings 4 years from now and all at max for a year or two.

HDD/SSD debate: Yhe Vertex 3 review on Toms Hardware shows that it doesn't have much improvement of the Vertex 2. So if you're more worried about reinstalling Windows on a new SSD than the $40 you save by waiting a couple months to buy, then get the Vertex 2 34nm now.

Optical: I don't think blu-ray's worth much (same viewpoint as Microsoft) and I'm betting your connections are good enough to stream digital HD video anyhow.

RAM: CopaMundial's first GTX 580/RAM combo was great. The second one has you paying $150 for each set of 8GB of DDR3. I know it's CL7, but will you really nitpick your RAM timings enough to notice? I will...but I don't know if it's worth $120 total to get CL7 instead of CL9.

I figure if you were thinking of spending $2200 on your builds, you may as well spend $1700 to get the GTX 580 and i7-2600K (includes Windows) like in my build instead of $1500 (almost the same as $1700) to have a significantly less mind-blowing graphics card.

That GTX 580/RAM combo is still live and will save you at least $50. I think you should bite on it ASAP.

I have a GTX 470, which gets GTX 560 performance. And you know what? It can't do EVERYTHING at absolute maxed graphics. And forget about playing Just Cause 2 at max graphics in 3D. Okay, that's nitpicking, but at your price range you shouldn't have to settle for 3rd best.


Just because you have money doesnt mean you should waste it. right now he can buy two brilliant computers for roughly ~$1600. this saves him some $1000 which he can spend on a trip with his wife to somewhere ^^ (brownie points i heard is worth more than money)

As CopaMundial breaks it down, MMORPG's arent that intensive on the cards, at least not so intesive to warrant a gtx580.

I would still recommend the i5-2500k simply because of value for money. by the time this system wont be able to play games on 'high' settings, you can just add the next gpu in SLi and get another 2-3 years out of the computer.

suggestions: check out the benchmarks for the 'disputed' parts and then make the choice. www.Anandtech.com has a great suite of bench results ready for you to compare everything you would ever want + more :p 
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March 7, 2011 11:05:48 PM

@ hubaba;
It's not necessary to quote a whole post if you want to make a comment.
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March 7, 2011 11:11:14 PM

hubaba said:
Just because you have money doesnt mean you should waste it.

Waste it? By no means am I suggesting he waste money. I'm not the one saying he should include Blu-Ray if you want to argue what's a waste between that and graphics. I merely mean that if you're spending $1600 on your builds, you should instead spend $1700 on mine--then at least your GPU and CPU are balanced with eachother.

But you're completely right about a GTX 580 being overkill. But if you want to get into that arguement, we should talk about how anything over an i5-2500K is overkill and how he should be doing a $950 build.

By the way, we got all excited about a high-end build. OP, would you be happy with a $950 build that meets all of your needs? Or do you want to spend $1500+ for super high-end overkill?

Because you can get i5-2500K and GTX 560 Ti for under $1000. We're just busy wasting your money on fancy stuff.
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March 8, 2011 2:00:31 AM

dalauder said:

By the way, we got all excited about a high-end build. OP, would you be happy with a $950 build that meets all of your needs? Or do you want to spend $1500+ for super high-end overkill?


To be honest I'm leaning toward the overkill option :) . I don't mind overkill, in my mind it prolongs the life of the PC before needing to upgrade again.

Definitely appreciate everyone's advice even though a lot of it is over my head haha!
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March 8, 2011 4:18:19 AM

That was bait on my part. I thought you wanted overkill. In which case, go with my $1700 w/ GTX 580 build instead of the GTX 560 build for $1600.
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March 8, 2011 4:22:09 AM

You'd actually have a better computer more of the time if you built twice as often at half the price. But then you'd never have top of the line. ($800 build today, $150 upgrade in 1 year and rebuild in 2 years vs. $1600 today, $250 upgrade in 1 1/2 years and rebuild in 4 years). You also get an extra decent computer sitting around with twice the builds.
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March 10, 2011 6:27:33 PM

Haven't pulled the trigger yet, but soon! :) 

Bottom line is I think I'm leaning towards i7-2600k, GTX 580 based system. But if you don't mind, I need a few more clarifications/explanations please.

I will probably cut some corners on the SSD - is 64GB sufficient space for the OS and one game? (how about 2 games?)

Is 8 GB of RAM sufficient to start and how critical are the exact specs of it? There are sooo many variations of what seems to be similar to me that it's hard to make sense out of it. I don't want to bottleneck the system but I don't also want to get more than I need on this aspect.

I may tweak my options on the optical drive and hard drive to save a few dollars, but both components are fairly cheap by themselves. I guess it all adds up.

I'm assuming that onboard, integrated sound is perfectly adequate in this day and age and that there are all of the appropriate connections for a surround sound speaker system? I never see mentions of any type of SoundBlaster card that I always seemed to have to get 6 or 8 years ago.

Graphics card(s) - how do two GTX 560Ti's in SLI compare to ONE GTX 580? I guess I'm asking because if I could get one 560Ti today and have it be pretty darn good, and then later get another GTX 560Ti for SLI and have it be comparable or maybe even better than the GTX 580, I may opt for the 560Ti today. If two GTX560Ti's in SLI are not as good as a single 580, I will probably get the 580 (and a second one down the road if desired would presumably be cheaper by then!).

Look forward to more comments and hope to be building soon! (Although it seems like the P67A motherboards are still sold out :(  )
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March 10, 2011 7:15:37 PM

4GB is a fully sufficient amount of RAM. 8GB is a very generous amount of RAM. The RAM specs are not critical. If you were going to pursue some extreme overclocking adventures it could change my opinion. RAM is almost never the bottleneck in gaming or general purpose computing. 1600/CL9 is fine.

After you format the 64GB SSD it will have about 60GB in free space. If you tweak your OS for SSD optimization it uses about 12-16GB.
And if you want to get really aggressive you can remove files like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Natural language, Tablet, & Speech. My laptop Win7 Pro install size is about 8GB.

Onboard sound is something we always recommend trying first. If it's not up to your personal expectations it's an easy upgrade. Often it's more about the quality of the speakers that makes the big difference.

If most cases 2x GTX 560 outperform a single 580. And in most cases 2x HD 6850 outperform 2x GTX 560s for about the same cost.
GTX 560 SLI Review. The difference is close enough that it would not make a practical difference in choosing GTX 560 or HD 6950. THG: Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011

Just as you're leaning toward the GTX 560 Ti (vs GTX 580) maybe it's a good option to lean toward the i5 2500K to save a bit extra there.
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March 10, 2011 7:49:09 PM

I guess I should weigh in since I was the one pushing for the 2600k so much.
I will concede that the difference in performance is not as great as the difference in price.

Another way to look at it, (which I failed to do in my earlier recommendation, but dalauder did) is in terms of longevity.
Some combination of years and technical advances will eventually make you want to upgrade. At that point the difference between having a 2500k and a 2600k is going too seem very small. Meaning by the time you would be sick of the 2500k, you would also be sick of the 2600k. So that money doesn't get you any appreciable longevity.

The difference between the video cards, however, is appreciable. Whatever configuration you consider (one 580, one 560 + another later, or two 560's now) the fact remains that you get more longevity out of the single 580. Because where you might consider that second 560 (or 6950) in the relatively short term, you could delay that second card purchase longer if you were waiting longer to add a 2nd 580. You would need to go w/ one of the larger power supplies to allow that second card option though.

So I guess what I'm saying is, ignore what I said, and follow the wise advice of the others in the thread that told you to go w/ the 2500. Taking that money out of the CPU line item may make your GPU decision an easier call.

Sorry for the indecision, hope it's not confusing you.
Best of luck.
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March 10, 2011 9:04:43 PM

CopaMundial said:
So I guess what I'm saying is, ignore what I said, and follow the wise advice of the others in the thread that told you to go w/ the 2500. Taking that money out of the CPU line item may make your GPU decision an easier call.

Sorry for the indecision, hope it's not confusing you.
Best of luck.


Don't be sorry :) . I definitely appreciate every bit of advice and debates you guys have given me. Helps tremendously and I'm seeing many different sides of everything!

One final clarifcation though - so the i5-2500k would work fine with the GTX 580 (and potentially 2 down the road in SLI?)

Hopefully my next post will be my final build just to make sure I'm not missing anything.

~Mach
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Best solution

March 10, 2011 11:18:48 PM

Ok, I thought I would take one more go at this to remove even some of my own confusion by this point.
I did this build sized to allow for the eventual addition of more memory and a second video card as a mid-stream upgrade. I would imagine that's gotta be two years down the road, at least.
I don't think it will make a difference to your decision really, but in the interest of full disclosure I need to note that an air-cooled system with dual GTX 580s is not going to be quiet. And his and hers dual SLI 580 systems in the same room... well you might consider gaming w/ headsets as an option. I have done my best to minimize this exposure by selecting quality cases and power supply as well as using a non-overclocked version of the video card itself. If the video card still turns out to be too loud then as an option you can still look into that aftermarket GPU cooler that I mentioned in the first build (Arctic Cooling's Accelero xtreme or whatever).

Again, I scraped a few bucks off of this build by going down to 500g hard drives. You'll have 1TB between the two PC's. If you need more than that then you should be looking at a NAS anyway so that you can both access the storage. It's not saving you a ton of money, so if you would prefer the TB drives then they're easy enough to substitute in there.

I also left the SSD entirely out of his version of the build. Once you examine the bottom line you can decide if you want to add it back in (and at what size).

CPU
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K[/i]
**plus**
Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
$251 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(Sold out atm, this card has been in and out of stock at least 4 times this week alone, I’m sure it will be back in stock within a day or two. There is another P67 board on NewEgg that looks similar for a little less money, but it doesn't look as good or SLI so I would wait for this board or another P67 board w/ 16x / 16x or at least 8x / 8x on the graphics slots)

RAM+ Video card
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 
**plus**
SPARKLE SXX5801536D5NM GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$545 (after rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

(don't miss the $25 rebate on that deal... valid for purchases through 03/01/2011-03/15/2011)

Drive 1
No SSD atm, can decide if you want this when you see how much $ is left

Drive 2
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case Two different cases here, same price but different appearance and slightly different features. Just to give you something fun to fight over when you're opening the boxes from NewEgg.

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
$160 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Antec DF-85 Black Computer Case (DF stands for 'Dark Fleet'... so I imagine the Sith in the family will go for this one, leaving the blue to the sentimental Jedi type)
$160 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Power Supply
Antec CP-1000 1000W Continuous ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply Exclusively for - Twelve Hundred(1200)/P183/P193/DF-85
$150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive 1
LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)
$68 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total for one system after rebates $1404(without SSD)

The topic of SSD has been pretty extensively discussed. If you feel that you have the money, that would be the only big speed boost left to take advantage of because, quite frankly, this system as build will simply f*ing rock.
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March 11, 2011 12:43:50 AM

Thanks so much for the effort CopaMundial! Going to select your last post as the best answer but definitely very much appreciate everyone else's help as well!

~Mach
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March 11, 2011 12:44:09 AM

Best answer selected by Macheras.
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March 11, 2011 1:40:58 PM

Wow good job CopaMundial I really like your build and, good luck on the builds Macheras.
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March 16, 2011 7:49:32 PM

I was delighted to stumble on this thread as I am planning on building a new PC (for the first time) imminently and my requirements are almost identical to Macheras (apart from, thankfully, only having one rig to build!). I shall be using almost exactly the final build suggested here with diffences in sourcing due to being in the UK. So thank you very much!

I have one question if I may be so bold as to add it into this thread. Due to financial constraints I plan to stick with the GTX 285 from my current system for the first couple of months until I have the cash to buy a GTX 580 and another monitor. At this point I plan to have both GPUs in the machine. The GTX 580 will power the central widescreen gaming monitor and the GTX 285 will power two side monitors for browsing and other document display. I'm assuming this will work and that I'm looking for one of the slightly pricier motherboards with at least 8x/8x for the PCIE interfaces?

Many thanks in advance for your help.
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March 29, 2011 4:37:23 PM

This seems like a good deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will I be able to take 2x4GB in each of my computers or do I need to run all 4 at a time since it is referred to as "quad channel"?

Just an update, I was sort of on hold since the motherboards recommended were not in stock. I am now in the process of getting my order ready to place, but I saw this memory deal that seems pretty good. Would end up being $75/computer for 8GB of RAM!

~Mach
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March 29, 2011 11:37:00 PM

macheras said:
Will I be able to take 2x4GB in each of my computers or do I need to run all 4 at a time since it is referred to as "quad channel"?


As long as you separate them early in life they will not miss their siblings.
So you could put a pair in each machine. Just keep the paperwork, in case they want to reunite later in life when they're older and better able to understand the situation.
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April 4, 2011 3:51:57 PM

Well after a lot of deliberation, finally placed on order for my build. Decided to post it and provide some rationale for decisions I made that might have been different than any of your excellent recommendations! Crossing my fingers though, hoping I didn't make any grave errors!! :cry: 

Note that I didn't get a CPU cooler yet. I'm going to stick with the stock cooler for now, but when I get around to OC'ing, I will probably add one later. The mobo tray has a cutout on the back to hopefully allow for installation without removing everything.

Also decided against the SSD for now. Thanks to all that helped!! [:fisshy:7]
(FAIL on the links, sorry! What do I need to add to make them work?)

ETA: Total was $1404 on this build.

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Case was one of the harder decisions, to be honest. Agonized over this a lot and went with probably a very mainstream choice, but I think it will be good.

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Was trying for the ASRock Extreme but was always out of stock, then it seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. MSI was recommended in this thread and went with it.

EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ...
Well, went with the GTX 570 after a lot of deliberation. It didn’t seem to be really much hotter or noiser than a GTX 560Ti based on the reviews I saw and actually performed better. Thought it was a decent compromise between the 560Ti and the 580.

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE ...
Again, a lot of research on this from the jonnyguru site and elsewhere. This particular model wasn’t reviewed there, but found some things that said it would be ok. Also seemed like some probability of getting a “lemon” with any brand that I saw reviews for.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

This was about the only no-brainer.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
Had to go with the CL8. Well, didn’t have to, but the CL9 was out of stock by the time I got around to placing the order. Ended up costing me an extra $30, but no harm.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Settled on the 500GB rather than the 1TB for similar reason as the memory. Out of stock. /sigh a lot of stuff goes out of stock on newegg. I guess I could have ordered it from somewhere else, but 500GB is all I think I need and seems simple to add another later. Plus saved $15. Was really just laziness as to why I didn't look at other brands or other vendors I guess.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Pretty much got the cheapest.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Didn’t see a need for anything other than Home Premium and didn’t think I really needed a retail box.

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April 4, 2011 4:11:01 PM

Yes we finally placed our order - can't wait to build our new gaming machines!

As for the case - I chose the Nvidia edition of the COOLER MASTER HAF X, hehe (it's green, and grippy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYFcY-1LNzw), which we had to order from Nvidia, since newegg only offers it as a combo package.



- Macheras's wife
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!