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$3100 Gaming Rig

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April 20, 2011 10:37:21 AM

I'm in search of the best parts and deals I can find on a PC purely for gaming. My budget is up to $3100 and I need all essential components, as well as a monitor and other accessories including a mouse and headset. Post any advice you have as to better deals or alternative models that perform better or are more cost effective. Here's my rough draft so far:

Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD55 ($159.99)
CPU: i5 2500K 3.3GHz ($224.99)

-CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 ($29.51)
-CPU Paste: Arctic Silver 5 ($6.50)
GPU: EVGA GTX 580 1536MB ($479.99)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB ($104.99)
PSU: Corsair HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ($170.98)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 - MAX IOPS ($309.99)

-OS: Windows 7 Home Premium ($99.99)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD ($156.53)
-Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-AD700 ($91.98)
--Microphone: Labtec LVA-7330 ($9.99)
Casing: Cooler Master HAF 922 ($114.99)
Optical Drive: Lite-On CD/DVD Drive ($21.99)


Mouse: Microsoft Intellimouse Optical ($28.52)
-Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK Mass ($15.99)
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-800G ($14.99)

Monitor: Alienware OptX AW2310 ($335.99)
Webcam: Round Webcam ($9.61)

Desk: Computer Desk ($143.40)


Subtotal: $2530.91
Savings: -$105.00


Total: $2425.91



I may go 2way SLI in the distant future when 580s are cheap. I'm not to interested in 3D gaming. This PC will be used :o ALOT:o , so I'm avoiding anything that may shorten its lifespan such as overclocking. If you know any other good solutions for cooling or increasing the lifespan of a computer let me know. Additionally, if you know a better headset than the one I have listed that is open air post it. I'm not in too much of a hurry to buy and will make edits if I decide on a different item. Looking forward to your feedback.

More about : 3100 gaming rig

April 20, 2011 11:33:27 AM

Any reason for such an expensive monitor if not 3D gaming? Is there a benefit for just using it for regular gaming. Also at your budget you could get a 2560x1440 (I
think that's it at least) monitor to make use of your 580 (or 2 if you go that route).

Do you already have an OS? If not add $100 for a W7 OEM disc. And how about a 2 TB data drive, too.

Otherwise more or less what I would do if building today.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 20, 2011 3:09:48 PM

Stick with the CPU/Mobo. You will be fine with the stock cooler if you're not OCing, but you can always get a good cheap cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ (keeps my CPU at 50C @ 100% load).

I would pass on the Crucial SSD and spend the saved money from the CPU cooler on a new Intel 510 or 320, or the OCZ Vertex 3. They use a better controller, so they have better performance and reliability.

As for monitors, get Dell's U2311H. It's a fantastic monitor and cheaper than that ridiculous Alienware. Dell monitors are superb (have 3 :) )

I'd get a different case, probably more brand name like Cooler Master, Antec, etc, but that's just me.

Any reason for the ridiculously expensive sound card? Even if the onboard chipset isn't enough, there are a lot of $10-50 sound cards that will work perfectly. Most PC sound in games is virtualized anyway; it's nearly impossible to get a real 5.1 headset anywhere (I haven't found one yet, and I've been looking for months).
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April 20, 2011 8:07:39 PM

I saw many others recommending 120Hz monitors saying the image quality was smoother when compared to 60Hz panels even in 2D. The Alienware seemed to be one of the most recommended 120Hz monitors.

I don't download that many files. Usually, I'll just have a few games installed at a time as the only things that take up hard drive space.

OS is there.

I was thinking about those Intel SSDs and will take another look at them later today.

I'm open to suggestions for a different sound card.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 20, 2011 11:56:21 PM

You won't really notice the difference between 120Hz and 60Hz. It's there, but very very subtle (I had a 120Hz 3D monitor from Asus, but I love my new Dells). I'd still recommend the Dell U2311 or the P2311 (U is an IPS display; also $100 more).

I wouldn't consider the Crucial C300 at all. The new Intels and OCZ Vertex are the third generation of SSDs, and will make good use of their SATA III capabilities.

I was using an old Creative Sound Blaster that I bought off of craigslist for $10, and it really amplified the sound well. With a good Asus Xonar or something, you should get good sound virtualization via your headphones.
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April 20, 2011 11:57:06 PM

grimlan said:
I'm in search of the best parts and deals I can find on a PC purely for gaming. My budget is up to $3100 and I need all essential components, as well as a monitor and other accessories including a mouse and headset. Post any advice you have as to better deals or alternative models that perform better or are more cost effective. Here's my rough draft so far:

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth P67 ($220)
CPU: i5 2500K 3.3GHz ($210)

-CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT ($63)
GPU: EVGA GTX 580 1536MB ($500)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1333mhz 2x4GB ($85)
PSU: Corsair 850TX 850W ($146)
SSD: Intel 510 120GB($275)

-OS: Windows 7 Home Premium ($100)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Xense ($206)
-Headset: Audio Technica ATH-AD700 ($94)

Casing: AZZA Hurrican 2000 ($152)

Mouse: Razer Deathadder 3.5G ($48)

-Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK ($10)
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-800G ($15)

Monitor: Alienware OptX AW2310 ($440)

Total: ~$2325



I plan on going 2way SLI in the future if the single 580 isn't enough. I'm not to interested in 3D gaming. This PC will be used :o ALOT:o , so I'm avoiding anything that may shorten its lifespan such as overclocking. If you know any other good solutions for cooling or increasing the lifespan of a computer let me know. Additionally, if you know a better headset than the one I have listed that is open air post it. I'm not in too much of a hurry to buy and will make edits if I decide on a different item. Looking forward to your feedback.



I'd swap out the PSU for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Its better quality and almost $40 cheaper.

For gaming, only 4GB of ram is needed, esp as you indicated all you have on your pc is a couple of games practically - Unless 6 games are open at once and played at the same time... 8GB ain't needed.

If getting 4GB or 8GB, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$45 for 4GB, 90 for 8GB, and its CAS 7, and also from a decent RAM company (Corsair, altho gskill is slightly better at ram, your ram is only 1600mhz / cl9, and only $2 cheaper per 4GB). CL7 means its got tight timings (slightly faster) than CL8/CL9 ram. sound card is exceptionally expensive and not worth it. Just get a decent headset with a soundcard alr in it .. Consider an MX518 mouse, i have it, excellent.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 21, 2011 12:15:20 AM

Corsair's PSUs are top notch. Though I am always skeptical about the TX series vs. the HX series, there isn't really any reason to switch brands other than price. Both the XFX and Corsair are great.

There isn't really a reason not to get 8GB RAM, especially on this budget. It's under $100 now.

Since you mentioned peripherals, I guess I'll touch on those. Both my Razer mice (Naga and DeathAdder) died recently under weird circumstances. I booted up and my Naga wasn't working (tried to fix in so many ways), so I switched to the DeathAdder. 30 minutes later, it was dead too. Don't know why.

I went ahead and bought the Cyborg RAT 5, and I have to say it is an amazing mouse. It has super slick pads on the bottom, and I would heartily recommend a hard mouse mat like my SteelSeries SX; it glides incredibly well. I would recommend the RAT 7 if you want a little more customization; once you find your fit, it's actually very comfortable.
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April 21, 2011 8:12:25 AM

Adjusted the SSD, power supply, and sound card.

The sound card came recommended from the guys over at the head fi forums.

A 850 watt power supply might too low if I decide to go SLI so I upgraded to 1000 watts. A 950w one would suffice but I didn't see a high quality unit among the ones I viewed.
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April 21, 2011 12:15:45 PM

I know it's well within your budget, but I have yet to be disappointed by my onboard audio. That said I only have a $100 speaker system, so if you spring for a nice suround setup, then you might do well with a soundcard. Normally I'd say drop it, though.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 21, 2011 12:44:13 PM

jfby said:
I know it's well within your budget, but I have yet to be disappointed by my onboard audio. That said I only have a $100 speaker system, so if you spring for a nice suround setup, then you might do well with a soundcard. Normally I'd say drop it, though.


That's what I've been trying to touch on. The only reason a good, expensive sound card would be in order is if you game with a mid to high quality 5.1/7.1 setup, at which point I would recommend digital optical output that only comes on more expensive cards. With headphones, you'll be stuck with just 2 speaker sound, so there's no reason to spend over $50 (or $20 for that matter).

Just buy a simple Creative card that has the basic features (most of the features are driver based) and you'll be set.

Quote:
A 850 watt power supply might too low if I decide to go SLI so I upgraded to 1000 watts. A 950w one would suffice but I didn't see a high quality unit among the ones I viewed.


Where are you basing your information from? According to this PSU calculator (http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine), your system will use about 707W (purposely overestimated) with the components you have right not. You'd be safer with a Corsair 850HX or AX than you would be with the Cooler Master PSU. It's all about quality.

Also, where are you getting information about the quality of the components?
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April 21, 2011 1:41:28 PM

$3100 and i5? You could easily get an i7 sandy bridge processor.
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April 21, 2011 8:42:02 PM

Newegg's Calculator
I added a little extra for the sound card, headset, and cooling fans.

Newegg's/Amazon's ratings ofc - always right.

I'm particular about having really good positional audio, and that's what those headphones and sound card are known for.

Also, I still need an optical drive.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 21, 2011 8:56:56 PM

Newegg's calculator doesn't work well, since it generalizes GPU and peripheral device power draw. The one I used is essentially tied to a database of power values for each GPU and CPU available on the market. It's one of the most recommended.

Also, my 707W accounted for 580s in SLI (I could run 2x470s on 650W, so it sounds reasonable).


Any SATA DVD-RW drive will work; they're only like $15-20. Blu-ray readers will read CD/DVD/BD, but won't write to any of them. Blu-ray combo drives can write CD/DVD, but are just as expensive as a bluray reader and DVD-RW (which is the best combo IMO; 2 disc drives are useful).
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April 22, 2011 8:31:29 AM

grimlan said:
Newegg's Calculator
I added a little extra for the sound card, headset, and cooling fans.

Newegg's/Amazon's ratings ofc - always right.

I'm particular about having really good positional audio, and that's what those headphones and sound card are known for.

Also, I still need an optical drive.


A 750W psu can fit SLI 580's on furmark, (Worst case scenario). 850W is fine. Go 1000W, but then might as well go 1200W so you can get 3 of them.. Get a large SSd. Like 250GB SSD.
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April 23, 2011 4:42:46 AM

Pretty sure I got what I need. Any cables or anything that I need to purchase? Any problems with those parts as far as spacing on the mobo/casing?

And I wouldn't mind a refurbished model of that monitor, couldn't find any though.
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May 6, 2011 3:43:16 PM

Already ordered the ram and keyboard, making the full purchase tomorrow or on Sunday. Added a desk to the list.
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