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Seeking Guidance

Last response: in Systems
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March 13, 2011 5:08:56 AM

Hey all, im planning to buy my first gaming rig from this site but I'm completely lost and need some expert advice.

I would've linked the system I had picked out already, but didn't do so because I'd probly be picking out a system that costs too much, without the proper components (ie PSU too weak, cooling inadequate, better values availabe,etc) or was beyond my power needs.

With this in mind, I've deciced, instead of blundering about in ignorance, I'll list what "goals" I'd aim for. The best system would be one that has great graphics, that'll be future-proofed for a reasonable amount of time (not like 4 years of anything), is upgradeable (perhaps cross-fire/Sli enabled?) and with cost/performance kept in mind. The ability to overclock sounds good (factory OC'd, otherwise I'd be afraid of messing up the desktop badly), but depending on how future-proofed the system is, maybe I'd have enough time to learn more about it . But, above and beyond my price limit (1400$-1500$), I seriously don't need anything that'd fall into the PC "Enthusiast" ball park.

The games I'd intend to play, on a model as such, would be FPS shooters and maybe some WoW on the side. THE game, I can't wait for, and is the sole purpose im buying a gaming rig, is the long awaited Battlefield 3. This game is scheduled for Fall '11, which also makes me wonder whether I should wait till then (hoping for cheaper, better cost/performance components are released) or just pick up a copy of Bad Company 2...hmm

I know this is kind of lot, and thus, I truely, greatly appreciate any advice you have for me. I am of utmost gratitude for any replies you have!

P.S. Here is the model I initially had chosen; not chosen for reasons above. If this would be a good system, what could i up/dowgrade for better cost/performance options? Which components would be beyond my appreciation - a user who has VERY little understanding/intentions of becoming an advanced user? Do have a suggestion for a better suited, complete do over?

Configuration
•CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2600K 3.40 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)•HDD: 2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)•MEMORY: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)•MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX] Asus P8P67-M Intel P67 Chipset DDR3 mATX Mainboard w/ UEFI, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe x1 & 1 PCI [B3 Stepping]•SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO•VIDEO: AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
•*BASE_PRICE: [+1439]
•BLUETOOTH: None
•CAS: CoolerMaster Storm Sniper Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Original Color)
•CASUPGRADE: None
•CD: * Asus BC-08B1LT 8X Blu-Ray Player & DVDRW Combo (BLACK COLOR)
•CD2: None
•CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2600K 3.40 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
•CS_FAN: Default case fans
•FA_HDD: None
•FAN: XtremeGear Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Single Standard 120MM Fan)
•FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
•FREEBIE_CU1: FREE Game - Napoleon: Total War
•GLASSES: None
•HDD: 2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
•HDD2: None
•IEEE_CARD: None
•KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
•MB_ADDON: None
•MEMORY: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)
•MONITOR: None
•MONITOR2: None
•MONITOR3: None
•MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX] Asus P8P67-M Intel P67 Chipset DDR3 mATX Mainboard w/ UEFI, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe x1 & 1 PCI [B3 Stepping]
•MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
•MULTIVIEW: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
•NCSW: None
•NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
•OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
•OVERCLOCK: Extreme OC (Extreme Overclock 20% or more) [+49]
•POWERSUPPLY: 800 Watts - XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready
•RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
•SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
•SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
•SPEAKERS: None
•TEMP: None
•TVRC: None
•USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
•USBFLASH: None
•USBHD: None
•USBX: None
•VC_PHYSX: None
•VIDEO: AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
•VIDEO2: None
•VIDEO3: None
•WNC: None
•_PRICE: (+1488)
•_view_: d

More about : seeking guidance

March 13, 2011 7:31:35 AM

You have designed a decent system, but I think you can get more bang for the buck with a few changes. You have a decent, but not high-end budget so it is very important to maximize value in your new system. With that in mind, here are my suggested revisions:

1. Start with the Power Video XE model (base price $979)
2. Stick with default case or change to one of the larger Azzo cases like the Solano 1000 at +$7 (http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=760&page=1)
3. Upgrade the processor to i5 2500K (+$30). I think provides the best bang for your buck in your system price range (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...)
4. Change the liquid cooling to Asetek 510LC +$0. Asetek has a much better reputation than XtremeGear stuff.
5. The motherboard in this system, GigaByte GA-P67A-UD3-B3, provides exceptional value in your price range.
6. Stick with the default 4 GB RAM. You can upgrade the brand if you wish, but if you need more quantity, buy it from Crucial.com or New Egg for less.
7. Upgrade the video card to the Radeon 6950 (+$206). This provides great bang for the buck in your price range (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphic...)
8. XtremeGear power supplies get horrible reviews. Upgrade to a better one such as the Corsair CMPSU-750TX 80 Plus Power Supply (+$73)
9. Change the default hard drive to the 64 GB A-DATA S599 (+$36). This will get you a very fast SSD boot drive.
10. Add a data hard drive such as the 1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (+$60). Don't pay up for SATA-III as it won't make any difference in performance with standard hard drives.
11. Don't pay for extra packaging (defaut is fine), overclocking or pro wiring.

The above changes bring the total to $1384 so you have $100 or so to play with (if you choose) by adding a larger SSD drive or, alternatively, skipping the SSD drive and going with two graphics cards.

Good luck!
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March 13, 2011 5:34:16 PM

Looks pretty good, good price too! I have 1 question about the dual card option: Is the power supply strong enough to support this? I'm only double checking because I live far away from CA, and it would be somewhat inconvenient to send to it all the way back there in case something goes wrong. Other than that, your build looks really nice, thank you.
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March 13, 2011 7:28:19 PM

Dan2ze said:
Looks pretty good, good price too! I have 1 question about the dual card option: Is the power supply strong enough to support this? I'm only double checking because I live far away from CA, and it would be somewhat inconvenient to send to it all the way back there in case something goes wrong. Other than that, your build looks really nice, thank you.


Regarding the dual graphics cards and power supply requirements, I would do a system evaluation on this site:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Once you find out what you need, you can check recommendations here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278567-28-ranked-list...

In addition, there are some great guides here for other PC parts:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/288241-31-read-postin...

Furthermore, make sure to follow the quarterly PC builds on Toms Hardware:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/How-To,4/Build-Your...

Please look at my suggestion as a way to think about optimizing your system to get the most bang for the buck. Only you can determine the priorities for your system. Make sure to read up on all the latest P67 motherboards, SSD drives, and graphics cards. Also, I suggest that you take advantage of the 5% non-rush rebate and any other rebates.

Finally, don't worry about being far from CA. My Cyberpower system arrived with a DOA motherboard. They paid to ship the system back to CA and replace the defective board.

Good Luck!

Edit (3/15/11): BTW, below are some reviews on P67 motherboards. Some of the Asus boards look pretty sweet. Also note how easy it is to overclock the "K" series chips---no need to pay for overclocking.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-motherboard-rou...

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1179

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March 13, 2011 10:48:05 PM

The cheapest way right now is do the h67 customer build configuator on cyberpower then add a p67 mobo and 2500k trust me i just bought one today
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March 14, 2011 3:42:39 AM

cia24 said:
The cheapest way right now is do the h67 customer build configuator on cyberpower then add a p67 mobo and 2500k trust me i just bought one today


This is an excellent point. One must consider all options and use several configurators when shopping at CyberpowerPC. I researched several options (Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 1155, AMD AM3) before my recently purchasing a super computer for my stock/futures trading business. Specifically, I need a computer to run 3-12 huge (27-inch) monitors for 3000 hours a year for the next 5-10 years so I needed a powerful, future-proof, and durable machine. Surprisingly, I took advantage of the February sales and price reductions of the Core i7 970 processor to purchase a system based on this processor that was virtually the same price (after rebates) as it would have been to purchase a similarly spec'd Sandy Bridge system today. Since Gulftown beats Sandy Bridge in applications that run many threads, I am extremely happy with my choice that gives me the option of adding more memory (than the LGA 1155 platform) and eventually running two Radeon 2GB 6950 cards at full speed (x16, x16); the latter giving my the possibility of running up to 12 monitors using AMD Eyefinity and DisplayPort technology. For reference, a similarly spec'd Phenom II X6 system ran about $300 less in February, but it made sense for me to upgrade to the superior Core i7 970 for my application.


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Core i7 970, Asus Sabertooth X58, 6 GB Kingston HyperX (1600 Mhz), one 2 GB Radeon 6950, two 64-GB A-Data S599 SSD drives in Raid 0 (operating system, programs), two 2-TB WD Caviar green drives in Raid 1 (data storage), Samsung Blu-ray drive, flash memory reader, Corsair AX850 850 W power supply, Asetek 570LC liquid CPU cooling, Coolermaster HAF-X case, three 27-inch Asus VE 278Q DisplayPort capable monitors

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March 14, 2011 6:52:15 PM

Hard_Rain said:
This is an excellent point. One must consider all options and use several configurators when shopping at CyberpowerPC. I researched several options (Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 1155, AMD AM3) before my recently purchasing a super computer for my stock/futures trading business. Specifically, I need a computer to run 3-12 huge (27-inch) monitors for 3000 hours a year for the next 5-10 years so I needed a powerful, future-proof, and durable machine. Surprisingly, I took advantage of the February sales and price reductions of the Core i7 970 processor to purchase a system based on this processor that was virtually the same price (after rebates) as it would have been to purchase a similarly spec'd Sandy Bridge system today. Since Gulftown beats Sandy Bridge in applications that run many threads, I am extremely happy with my choice that gives me the option of adding more memory (than the LGA 1155 platform) and eventually running two Radeon 2GB 6950 cards at full speed (x16, x16); the latter giving my the possibility of running up to 12 monitors using AMD Eyefinity and DisplayPort technology. For reference, a similarly spec'd Phenom II X6 system ran about $300 less in February, but it made sense for me to upgrade to the superior Core i7 970 for my application.


That is a very,very nice build sir.
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Core i7 970, Asus Sabertooth X58, 6 GB Kingston HyperX (1600 Mhz), one 2 GB Radeon 6950, two 64-GB A-Data S599 SSD drives in Raid 0 (operating system, programs), two 2-TB WD Caviar green drives in Raid 1 (data storage), Samsung Blu-ray drive, flash memory reader, Corsair AX850 850 W power supply, Asetek 570LC liquid CPU cooling, Coolermaster HAF-X case, three 27-inch Asus VE 278Q DisplayPort capable monitors

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March 14, 2011 7:36:39 PM

Yes, I am very, very happy with this system and the price ($2142 with rebates + $65 shipping); price excludes monitors ($300 each plus shipping). Note that the two 2TB WD storage drives were purchased separately from Amazon.com but included in the above price. :pt1cable: 


That is a very,very nice build sir.
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Core i7 970, Asus Sabertooth X58, 6 GB Kingston HyperX (1600 Mhz), one 2 GB Radeon 6950, two 64-GB A-Data S599 SSD drives in Raid 0 (operating system, programs), two 2-TB WD Caviar green drives in Raid 1 (data storage), Samsung Blu-ray drive, flash memory reader, Corsair AX850 850 W power supply, Asetek 570LC liquid CPU cooling, Coolermaster HAF-X case, three 27-inch Asus VE 278Q DisplayPort capable monitors
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March 15, 2011 11:17:37 AM

If you dont mind me asking how well did they do on the wiring in the case and all of that sort of stuff and how long did it take them to get it shipped to you once you paid them?
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March 15, 2011 3:00:36 PM

cia24 said:
If you dont mind me asking how well did they do on the wiring in the case and all of that sort of stuff and how long did it take them to get it shipped to you once you paid them?


On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the best), I would give give CP an overall score of 4 on the wiring. They would get a 3, however, for the wiring of the 8-pin CPU power on the motherboard. The problem here is that they failed to recognize that the case I ordered has an extension for this connector due to the large number of expansion slots...so they routed the cable around the PCI slots rather than behind the motherboard using the extension cord. In essence, they are not going to spend an extra 5-10 hours setting up a new system perfectly, but then again, they are not charging for it either. I would rather save $400 - $800 with CP and move a few wires myself. I am sure that Pudget Systems and Digital Storm do a better job of setting up a new computer, but is it worth hundreds of dollars? I say NO!

My PC was shipped within two weeks of the order date, so it was definitely worthwhile to order the no-rush option and get the 5% rebate.

Edit: The standard CP packaging is fine unless UPS takes a forklift to your package in which case nothing will survive.

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March 15, 2011 7:41:54 PM

Hard_Rain said:
On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the best), I would give give CP an overall score of 4 on the wiring. They would get a 3, however, for the wiring of the 8-pin CPU power on the motherboard. The problem here is that they failed to recognize that the case I ordered has an extension for this connector due to the large number of expansion slots...so they routed the cable around the PCI slots rather than behind the motherboard using the extension cord. In essence, they are not going to spend an extra 5-10 hours setting up a new system perfectly, but then again, they are not charging for it either. I would rather save $400 - $800 with CP and move a few wires myself. I am sure that Pudget Systems and Digital Storm do a better job of setting up a new computer, but is it worth hundreds of dollars? I say NO!

My PC was shipped within two weeks of the order date, so it was definitely worthwhile to order the no-rush option and get the 5% rebate.

Edit: The standard CP packaging is fine unless UPS takes a forklift to your package in which case nothing will survive.



i paid extra for cable managment, i also paid for the extra shipping protection lol and i did the 5% rebate thing to lets hope it doesnt take 2 weeks ne way how did they ship it 3 day select or ground?
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March 16, 2011 4:31:13 PM

Mine was shipped by UPS ground. You might report on how you like/dislike the pro wiring option after you receive your system.
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March 17, 2011 3:24:32 AM

Hard_Rain said:
Mine was shipped by UPS ground. You might report on how you like/dislike the pro wiring option after you receive your system.



I am going to post around some HD pictures or a video so people know what they are going to get when the buy with cyberpower. I will have my dad run the camera as i unbox everything so people can see. I think this is the Systems-Cyberpower section is going to help people get a better idea and they will not just see half of the story i will unblock hook up and run, i plan on running some benchmarks and stablity test to prove there overclock is stable since i paid 99$ for that.

And its pretty simple if i open it up and i can clearly see anything wrong with it physical its getting rma'd back to them the same day lol. I spend alot i expect alot.
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March 17, 2011 4:11:40 AM

cia24 said:
I am going to post around some HD pictures or a video so people know what they are going to get when the buy with cyberpower. I will have my dad run the camera as i unbox everything so people can see. I think this is the Systems-Cyberpower section is going to help people get a better idea and they will not just see half of the story i will unblock hook up and run, i plan on running some benchmarks and stablity test to prove there overclock is stable since i paid 99$ for that.

And its pretty simple if i open it up and i can clearly see anything wrong with it physical its getting rma'd back to them the same day lol. I spend alot i expect alot.


As mentioned above, my system arrived with a DOA motherboard. The system was just returned today with a new motherboard and everything checks out OK so far!! Furthermore, they took care of the following problem as well.

"Regarding the wiring of the CPU 8-pin power connection, please note that the HAF-X case contains an extension cord to help system builders wire-in this connection. Hence, there is no need to run the power cord around the PCI slots; instead it can be routed in the space behind the motherboard."

Now I've got lots of checks to do. I'll probably buy the PassMark BurninTest 6.0:

http://www.passmark.com/products/index.htm

just to make sure everything is completely stable. Eventually, I may overclock this beast, although that remains to be determined if that is even necessary.

Overall, I have to say I am pleased with the CP customer service. Sure, nobody likes to get a DOA motherboard (LOL), but this happens at New Egg too so what customers really need is good service, and CP took care of all my issues.
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March 17, 2011 5:21:52 PM

Hard_Rain said:
As mentioned above, my system arrived with a DOA motherboard. The system was just returned today with a new motherboard and everything checks out OK so far!! Furthermore, they took care of the following problem as well.

"Regarding the wiring of the CPU 8-pin power connection, please note that the HAF-X case contains an extension cord to help system builders wire-in this connection. Hence, there is no need to run the power cord around the PCI slots; instead it can be routed in the space behind the motherboard."

Now I've got lots of checks to do. I'll probably buy the PassMark BurninTest 6.0:

http://www.passmark.com/products/index.htm

just to make sure everything is completely stable. Eventually, I may overclock this beast, although that remains to be determined if that is even necessary.

Overall, I have to say I am pleased with the CP customer service. Sure, nobody likes to get a DOA motherboard (LOL), but this happens at New Egg too so what customers really need is good service, and CP took care of all my issues.



Yeah when all is said and done and is stable you should post in the cp fourms about your experiance so people know they do take care of there customers.
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March 22, 2011 5:37:24 AM

cia24 said:
Yeah when all is said and done and is stable you should post in the cp fourms about your experiance so people know they do take care of there customers.


My machine is still running well after 5 days. Everything is running perfectly from the factory, so I am starting to stress test the system. I have tortured the machine several times with Prime95, and everything checks out OK. I need to get a few 4-pin case fans with PWM (power management) so I can hook them up to my motherboard; then I can use CPU temperature to control fan speed, and have a quieter system when not pushing it hard.

Has your machine arrived yet? Good luck!
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March 22, 2011 11:21:02 AM

Hard_Rain said:
My machine is still running well after 5 days. Everything is running perfectly from the factory, so I am starting to stress test the system. I have tortured the machine several times with Prime95, and everything checks out OK. I need to get a few 4-pin case fans with PWM (power management) so I can hook them up to my motherboard; then I can use CPU temperature to control fan speed, and have a quieter system when not pushing it hard.

Has your machine arrived yet? Good luck!



According to CP i will have it monday so 1 week from yesterday lol, they did not have the fan controller i wanted in stock so i removed it
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!