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~$1500 Gaming PC build... thoughts?

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April 7, 2011 10:26:07 PM

Hi all, first time poster and first time builder. I've been sitting on this list of parts for awhile now, occasionally tweaking, but I think I'm ready to pull the trigger soon. I tried to do some research to find good components that were compatible with each other, but I'm by no means an expert, so I would prefer to have a second opinion before I commit to anything. Here's what I've got:

Processor
Intel Core i7-950
279.99

Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth X58
204.99

GPU
EVGA GTX 560 Ti
249.99

RAM
G.SKILL 6GB 1600
69.99

Boot Drive
Intel X25-M 80GB
174.49

Data Drives
2 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM
64.99 each

Optical Drive
ASUS Black DVD R/W CD R/
20.99

Case
Antec Twelve Hundred V3 ATX Full Tower
159.99

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
109.99

CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
29.98

All of this, with some minor peripherals, comes to about $1500

Not really sure about the choice of SSD's, I've heard a lot of different opinions on brands/sizes.

Any suggestions for this first timer?
a b B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2011 10:54:12 PM

The X58/i7-950 is a very capable rig, but, given the price/performance and overclockability of the P67/i2500k, I suspect few who have studied gaming benchmarks would still choose the former over the latter these days.

I'd personally skip the SSD and one of your Samsung F3s, and devote the extra $240 saved into springing for a GTX580 initially, as the video card is fully 80-90% of the performance equation at 1920x1200 or above....

Another alternative is a pair of GTX560s. which give awesome SLI performance, usually exceeding that of a single GTX580
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April 7, 2011 11:28:25 PM

Thanks for the reply! I have been reading a lot about that combo recently but never made the switch; I suppose that's a testament to how long I've been brooding over that list. Do you have any suggestions as to a particular P67 board? According to Newegg, this one has a "Tom's Hardware Choice for Enthusiast PC" credit:

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3)

However, it seems to be out of stock at the moment... Rats.


I was also debating on sacrificing something to spring for a more time-proof GPU like the GTX580. To be honest, I'm terrified of trying an SLI off the bat haha, paranoid about cooling issues and whatnot, so I'll likely stick with a single card initially.
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April 7, 2011 11:49:12 PM

Keep in mind the 1200 is a HUGE case. Don't plan on ever moving this thing, it stands right around 2 feet tall, 2 feet deep and 9 inches wide. Most people find the 300 works just fine for them.
Ditch running two data drives, Its more cost effective to install a single 2TB drive unless you want a mirror for parity.

Depending on the resolutions you plan on gaming at, or if you are going to be using 3d or not, you may want to invest in a better video card. If most of your gaming is on a single screen non 3d 1920x1080 then you will be fine.

If you swap out the board, cpu, ram, and SSD for the ones below you will thank yourself for it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $135
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April 8, 2011 12:20:07 AM

take a look at the lanboy air cases!! :) 
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April 8, 2011 12:35:04 AM

dalethepcman said:
Keep in mind the 1200 is a HUGE case. Don't plan on ever moving this thing, it stands right around 2 feet tall, 2 feet deep and 9 inches wide. Most people find the 300 works just fine for them.
Ditch running two data drives, Its more cost effective to install a single 2TB drive unless you want a mirror for parity.

Depending on the resolutions you plan on gaming at, or if you are going to be using 3d or not, you may want to invest in a better video card. If most of your gaming is on a single screen non 3d 1920x1080 then you will be fine.

If you swap out the board, cpu, ram, and SSD for the ones below you will thank yourself for it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $135


Man, those are some tall heatsinks on that RAM, they look good though. Do you think I'd have trouble fitting everything in if I went with the 300 case instead of the 1200?

I'll only be gaming in 2D on one screen, but I think I may end up springing for that higher-end GPU anyways. The longer I can go without upgrading the better.


brianb23 said:
take a look at the lanboy air cases!! :) 


Haha man, those are crazy looking. All that customizability, it's intimidating! But I do like me lots of airflow...
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April 8, 2011 1:08:29 AM

The antec 300 is 18 inches long, you need to subtract 7-8 inches for the bottom drive bays and case. As long as your video card is 10 or less inches in length then the 300 will be fine. The gtx 560 you selected is 9 inches long. If your want more space then that I would upgrade to the 900, as the HDD bay's are removable and can accommodate the largest cards around.

Also you would be better off using 2x 4gb sticks or 4x 2gb sticks for your memory. This system uses double channel memory, not triple channel, so for the best performance install ram in pairs.
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April 8, 2011 3:53:00 AM

The Antec 300 is way underkill for the budget you've laid out. If you are going to get a 580 or dual 560's, then I recommend the NZXT Phantom. Best cooling, crazy good looks (kinda star wars, darth vader-ish), and it can fit ANYTHING. It's, in my opinion, the best mid-tower on the market.
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April 8, 2011 3:35:46 PM

Bbpsword said:
The Antec 300 is way underkill for the budget you've laid out. If you are going to get a 580 or dual 560's, then I recommend the NZXT Phantom. Best cooling, crazy good looks (kinda star wars, darth vader-ish), and it can fit ANYTHING. It's, in my opinion, the best mid-tower on the market.


You do realize that a case just holds the contents of the computer right? An Antec 300 will easily hold all of these components, but you can use any case.you want. I recommended the 300 instead of the 1200 as the 1200 is just to big for most people. You could use a 2X4 and it would function just as good, as long as you like the look and size of a certain case, and it can fit all of your components, then go for it.
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