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Best Gaming Computer Parts for Under $3000?

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March 10, 2011 4:53:56 AM

Hello!

I'm looking to build my first gaming computer, and so I would like to have the best gaming computer possible for under $3000.

So, if someone could link me to the best computer parts of my price range, (CPU, Processor, Case, etc) from NewEgg or TigerDirect, that would be so fantastic, I'm a teenager and I'm really interested in building my own gaming rig, but I really don't know what the best parts would be, so I'm asking the experienced guys!

And also, if anyone knows any good books or guides on how to build a computer for beginners, that would be awesome as well.

I know this is sort of a lot to ask, but I really do appreciate you guys helping me.


Thanks!!
March 10, 2011 7:43:08 AM

Link to building your own computer:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/the-idiots-guide-to-buildi...

Tom's already has a pretty kick ass computer for $2000 grand that runs it all...just look at the benchmarks.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overcloc...

But, since the new tech is the greatest tech and your budget is large, I'd say:

Case: Silverstone Fortress FTO2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: Intel i7-2600k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Fan: Cooler Master V8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: Asus Maximus IV ROG P67
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: 8Gb Corsair Vengence memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: Dual Asus GTX 580's in SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: 1000w Cooler Master Silent Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Main HDD: Plextor PX-M2 Sata3 SSD-128Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Data HDD: Seagate Barracuda Sata6 7200rpm-2Tb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: LG Blu-Ray Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Copy of Windows Home Premium 64
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand Total: $3030 with shipping. Change the SSD from 128 to Corsair Performance Series Sata3-64Gb and drop $105 dollars, putting the whole build within budget.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm sure people will change or complain about my choices, but this is how I'd spend $3k.
BTW, you get two free games with the GPU's and another free HDD with that 2Tb data drive. Maybe it's just me, but I like to order all of my parts from one establishment, it's easier to remember where I got what specific part.
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March 10, 2011 7:50:32 AM

Also, you didn't specify if a monitor, mouse and keyboard were supposed to be included in that budget, because that would change a bunch of things, specifically the dual graphics cards part.
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March 10, 2011 6:19:46 PM

This is what i would build if had 3k

Asus p67 Maximus
I7 2600K
Custom Watercooled
2 GTX 580 SLI
8gigs Gskill Ripjaws 1600
2 Gskill 120gb SSD's in Raid 0
1 TB Western Digital Black
LG DVD Burner
Corsair 1000 modular power supply
Silverstone TJ07 Alluminum Fulltower
Black and Red cables with black and red fans

Not sure how much this will be but im sure it's under 3k...Not including keyboard, monitor and mouse....
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a b B Homebuilt system
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March 10, 2011 6:35:23 PM

Well first off, you should fill out the form in the sticky, link in my sig.

Second, you really don't need to spend $3k for an excellent gaming rig. $1.5k will get you a PC that'll run any game maxed out at 1080p with an SSD boot drive.

Monitor + OS will run you another $300-$400 more so the whole thing will be under $2k.

For gaming, the only reason to go above the $2k mark is if you plan on 3d vision surround or eyefinity.

Decide what your goals for this build are, and then go through the sticky, guide to choosing parts.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257075-31-guide-choos...


As for the part's list, having a large budget doesn't equate to spending money where it's not helping.


Some changes to the above build for ex.
Raven 02-E instead of FT02 saves you $60 for essentially a change to the outside appearance. In fact, unless you want a fancy high end case, you can cool just as well with something like an HAF 922 with side fan which is $115 total.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A Scythe Mugen for $40 is cheaper and performs better than a V8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM wise, for $50 per 4gb kit, you can grab these DDR3 1600 cas 7 G Skills kits. Cheaper and better performing that those corsair dominators.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU wise the CM gold PSU's are very crappy for their cost.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

You're much better off with a good 80+ gold PSU such as a Corsair AX 850. $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Even 2 gtx 580 don't need a 1k W PSU, they max out at 770W system power at the outlet under furmark. Assuming 85% efficiency of the PSU, actual power usage is only 655 watts. In addition, idle power for that setup is only 205 watts, and PSU are most efficient btwn 30% and 80% load. So with a system power curve of 200w-770w fits the efficiency profiled of a 850w PSU best.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4012/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...

Mobo wise, you don't need a crazy mobo. An Asus p67 pro for $190 for ex is easily sufficient.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In addition, if you don't actually have a need for a blue ray burner, don't bother. Digital distribution is where everything is going. Besides, nothing a blue ray can do an external HD won't do better.

SSD wise, the best bet's are Sandforce and Intel. So think G Skill Phoenix, Intel x25-M and OCZ vertex. I won't recommend OCZ right now due to their many issues w/ vertex 2 (plus the company quality has dropped a ton last few years).

So that leaves Phoenix pro 120gb $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or intel x25-m 120gb $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I personally use intel drives simply for the reliability factor. You may want to wait for the new SF-2000 drives though. They should be out anytime now. So Phoenix II and OCZ vertex 3. Intel Gen 3 SSD are also coming out next few months.

Also, as mentioned earlier, for 1080p gaming don't need 580 sli. A single GTX 580 will run anything, even crysis, maxed out.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...

Going SLI right off the bat for 1080p gaming is a waste of money, since you're not gaining anything (a 60hz monitor will not display more than 60fps).

So yea, figure what you actually want first and then fill out that form.
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a b B Homebuilt system
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March 10, 2011 6:54:48 PM

I'll give you an example of a build with a purpose. I posted this on another thread, but this is how my personal build for this year is looking so far.

My goal is to create an 3 way 3240 x 1920 eyefinity (3 1920x1080p monitors in portrait mode) gaming PC that's effectively silent at idle, and below daytime room ambient while gaming. Total cost est ~$3200

In this case, the usage of the FT02 over the RV-02E is justified due to the slight noise advantage.

Quote:
Case
Silverstone Fortress 2 $250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD's
2tb Spinpoint F4 x4 $90 each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I do a raid 10 with those, but since I doubt you need that much storage, feel free to go with just 1 of them, or even a WD ecogreen EARS 2tb drive, or 2 if you want to raid.

GPU
Asus 6970 2gb and XFX 6970 2gb $385 + $380
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Different cooler types since airflow will be restricted for the top GPU. The Asus CU gpu's are usually pretty quiet, but I may switch it over to Gelid Icy Vision for bottom GPU+ accelero rev 2 for the top GPU if the temps/noise doesn't turn out the way I like.

PSU
Corsair AX 750 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could get an 850, but considering that the build will be under 601 w at full furmark load (601 outlet, so assuming 85% efficiency from anandtech numbers, 510 watts in actuality), 171w at idle, it fits the maximum efficiency curve of a 750W PSU better.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4061/amds-radeon-hd-6970-...

CPU
i7-2600k $330
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF
Megahalem + scythe slipstream $65 + $14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I may end up going CPU passive since the FT02's AP 181 fans can actually push enough air to replace a fan.

Thermal compound
AS MTX $6
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
2 kits of g skill eco DD3 1600 cas 7 $67 each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's $2100 right there.

Add in another $200 for mobo, still waiting to see once they're back out.
$200-$300 for a 120gb SSD. I want to see how the Final G3 Intel ssd's come out before I make my decision, but I really don't see the need for the crazy sustained read/write speeds that companies keep pushing onto us. It's not a storage drive, its a boot drive, I'm not gonna be moving huge files all the time.

I figure it'll be ~$2550 when I'm done, a little more if I end up going with aftermarket GPU cooling.

I don't need an OS, but you can grab win 7 premium home for $100.
Also should throw in an optical if you need 1. Any cheap $20 sata cd/dvd burner will suffice. I personally never use mine.

Monitor wise I'll be getting a new set of Dell 23" Ultrasharps. A set of 3 is doable for $700 after tax when Dell has it's constant 30% off deals.
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

Another thing to consider is the UPS.
I use this Cyberpower $185, adaptive sine wave rather than pure, but it's better than the cheap PSU's, especially for active PFC PSU's.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, you could go all out and grab this APC
http://www.amazon.com/APC-SUA1500-1500VA-Servers-Networ...

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March 11, 2011 7:27:10 AM

"The CM gold PSU are very crappy for their cost"...? How do you figure, the ripple conversation? He said it was within acceptability and the lowest score was 8/10, the rest was nines and better, IN YOUR LINK. It was a recommended PSU! Was this your first time quoting information? BTW, I have a single 580 and the recommended PSU power is 750, so I bought an 850 for better efficiency because that is how it works. The larger the supply is over the need, the more efficient the power is that is converted, that's why you can't get a 500w Gold, because there isn't any desktop that uses only 100w. I personally would've gone with the Samsung Green Memory,

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/Gr...

but he wants that gamer touch, which means crazy, unnecessary fins on his memory. No memory needs to be more than passively cooled, but you can try to convince me otherwise. Thermal Compound (other than that which is already included in both the CPU and the CPU cooler) is a waste of money.

http://www.dansdata.com/goop.htm

See, I can find quotes that fit my feelings too!

Mostly it seems we are all in agreement, but I agree with the third poster about the case. I would buy that case if I had the money, and so would others, but for less money, and a uglier, albeit very nice case, I'd go with a HAF32. I saw the 22 mentioned and I personally have a 12, but it isn't what I really want, I just don't feel like moving my components, or I'd buy the case I recommended to you in an instant. The dual cards, I agree are a bit much for many games, but there are games which you would wonder why you spent so much money and can't max out, Metro comes to mind, and we don't know what the requirements are for Skyrim, but that much beauty must come at a cost, considering when Oblivion first launched, people struggled to enjoy everything that could be turned on (PC). Thats the thing about the next bunch of awesome games, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Diablo 3, we don't know the stats, but these games have been along time in the making and publishers know they are going to be around for a while before they get replaced, thus they aren't concerned as much with current technology. They know that eventually these games will be playable as a standard, a year after they already launched. If you really are in question, I'd personally buy a single GTX 590 when it launches. I'm going to trade in my 580 with EVGA's trade up option.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 11, 2011 1:01:46 PM

joshyboy82 said:
"The CM gold PSU are very crappy for their cost"...? How do you figure, the ripple conversation? He said it was within acceptability and the lowest score was 8/10, the rest was nines and better, IN YOUR LINK. It was a recommended PSU! Was this your first time quoting information? BTW, I have a single 580 and the recommended PSU power is 750, so I bought an 850 for better efficiency because that is how it works. The larger the supply is over the need, the more efficient the power is that is converted, that's why you can't get a 500w Gold, because there isn't any desktop that uses only 100w.


No it's not my first time quoting and your should do your research first.
300W gold right here.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4069/huntkey-300w-80plus-...
460w gold right here
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Max efficiency is in the 30%-80% load range. With a 500W PSU, that starts at 150W, which believe it or not, is right at idle power for a OC'd i7 system with half of the GPu's on this list, all the way up to a 5970 with 180 w at the outlet, assuming 85% efficiency, actual use of 153 watts. In fact, a 5970 will run on a 500W PSU. 465W load system power at the outlet, meaning w/ 85% efficiency, 395W actual usage under FURMARK.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4209/amds-radeon-hd-6990-...

The reason you have companies recommend way overrated PSU's is thanks to shitty makers like diablotec that bill a 350W PSU as 700W. A GOOD PSU company determines overall wattage but JUST +12v these days. That seasonic 460w gold for ex is 456w+12 at 38A. Another 100w from +3 and +5. Any other company would rate it at 550W, Diablotec, probably 750W.

Second, that CM PSU had horrendous ripple, it's not minor ripple, it's barely in spec ripple. In addition, it is more expensive than a 850W Corsair. In addition CM PSu's are made by Enhance Electronics, universally regarded as inferior to corsair made by seasonic, which is considered the best in the business. Seasonic's PSU's also features higher efficiency, lower thermal output and a silent design at low speeds.

How about you read the actual reviews first huh? You're essential arguing yea, I'll pay MORE for a worse product, with major ripple issues instead of the clearly better PSU.


As for Metro, at 1200p, max setting, you're getting 42 FPS with a single GTX 580. No one is gonna consider that non playable, in fact, that's above any respected reviewers definition for smooth gameplay. Given 1080p, it'll be even higher FPS. Once again, do your research first.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4209/amds-radeon-hd-6990-...

As for upcoming games, lets see, BF3 and Skyrim are designed around consoles so I seriously doubt they'll stress any modern GPU. They may have some awesome graphics for PC only ( I doubt) but even then, they're due year end. By then the next round of GPU's will be out.

Blizzard games are designed to run smooth on 5yr old hardware, so that's not an issue. Really, no need to SLI 580's off the bat for 1080p gaming.


Now as for thermal compound being a waste of money, read the article you linked?
Quote:
Is fancy thermal goop as good as the manufacturers would like you to believe, and as various Junior Overclockers do believe? Nope.

Is it, therefore, a complete waste of money? Absolutely not.

Just be aware that it's not magic, and don't expect the most expensive stuff to work very much better than generic grease.


A megahalem comes with very low end thermal paste, and since it's not preapplied, you're better off just using your own.

I'm not even sure what you're trying to argue with the RAM. You say Heat spreaders are useless (I agree) but then say he should get RAM with is anyway? huh?

I don't mind others making errors in advising other on these boards, but what pisses me off is when people spout off random "facts" w/o doing their research first. This ends up confusing buyers and spreading disinformation about what people actually need.
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March 11, 2011 4:15:22 PM

It's easy to tear apart my initial post, because everyone has their own beliefs. I was the only one to provide any initial help. If there were already good suggestions, I wouldn't have even posted. This thermal paste converstation is dead. Skyrim and Battlefield 3 are being built for the computer first, the developers have already said. I get the Diablo 3 thing, but Blizzard when talking about their upcoming MMO "Titan" said it was going to "Blow you away" so maybe they want to make something cutting edge. A Corsair PSU is a fine product, it cost more than the CM I recommended (and your source link gave a silver stamp of approval to) and I was trying to keep things in budget. I think the OP has enough info to sort through. I'm done with this thread. If this isn't about a $3k computer, then spend:

Spring Break in Jamica
~$1500

Alienware MX11
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x/pd?refid=alienw...

That leaves you with $900 to spend on hookers and blow. It will be a helluva week.
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March 17, 2011 12:47:30 AM

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

EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-970 Gulftown 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 761345-75024-0 120mm Blue LED Case Fan x2 For Case Addition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

About $2600 Total.
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January 6, 2012 2:26:56 AM

I'd like to see the original question posted in this thread updated to today's current or upcoming hardware and staying within a reasonable budget of $1,500.00. I'll be looking to upgrade from my 3 yr old computer this Spring. So a whole new system designed for gaming is what I'm looking for.

Also, I hear friends of mine talk about "overclocking" in forums on occasion and I have no knowledge or am I even interest in the idea. I do know there is a risk involved so for me...why bother. What I do want is something that provides optimum FPS, a card that will not be considered "old hat" in 16 months, and enough power to launch a rocket. I'm thinking 1200 watts. Also I definitely want an excellent cooling package without breaking the budget.

I do have this monitor atm: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and I guess I'm satisfied with it but if the new build calls for a newer model [doesn't have to be Acer either], then go with 27" and I'am all set with KB & mouse.

Max budget $1,700 - $1,800.00.

Thanks!!


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