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Gaming PC ~$2,000. First time builder needs advice!

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April 21, 2011 12:35:38 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Essentials within the next month, extras every two weeks afterward.
Budget Range: ~$2000 over time.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 3D Modeling/Editing, Movies, Net, etc..
Parts Not Required: OS, Speakers, Mouse, Keyboard
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Buy.com or Tigerdirect.com I get 5% cash back from either of them.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Liquid cooling for reduced noise and to keep things running smooth when I start Overclocking.
Overclocking: Eventually.
SLI or Crossfire: Eventually.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Something quiet and easy to upgrade a few parts every couple of years to stay current.

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I've done some shopping around but I'm really not sure if the parts I've found will come together into a great system as I've never built my own before. There's a few things I'm just plain unsure about, particularly finding a liquid cooling system that will fit my needs and my case. ANY suggestions or recommendations you might have will be greatly appreciated!

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932, seems to have enough space for everything I want and with easy access.

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M PRO, USB 3.0, Crossfire ready, looks good.

Processor: Unlocked 2nd gen i7

Graphics Card(s):
MSI R6950 TWIN FROZR II on cburke82 recommendation.

Memory:
Unsure. What would be the best type/brand for my build? How Much?

Power Supply: Unsure how much I need for when I'm eventually running Crossfire. 1000w?

Liquid Cooling: Again I'm not sure here, new to Liquid cooling. Something that cools both CPU and GPU for when I'm Overclocked/Crossfire? Needs to fit in the HAF 932 unless you can recommend a better case.

System Storage: Intel 510 Series 120gb SSD

Data Storage: Western Digital Green 3tb, very beefy but I've seen a lot of mixed reviews. Any recommendations?

Blu-DVD-CD: The PLDS iHBS212 seems solid.

Monitor: Samsung BX2231, This is another one I'd really appreciate some input on.


I think that's everything but please tell me if there's anything I missed! Thank you so much for taking the time to help out a first timer!
April 21, 2011 12:57:46 AM

All the benchmarks I've seen on Crossfired 6950s have been very impressive; I think it's a good way to go, with the cards on par with GTX570 performance....
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April 21, 2011 8:47:28 PM

mdd1963 said:
All the benchmarks I've seen on Crossfired 6950s have been very impressive; I think it's a good way to go, with the cards on par with GTX570 performance....



Absolutely! I was worried at first about the size of them but I'm pretty sure the HAF 932 can handle the extended graphics cards.
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April 21, 2011 8:59:33 PM

nickblames said:
Absolutely! I was worried at first about the size of them but I'm pretty sure the HAF 932 can handle the extended graphics cards.

I have a HAF 922 so yes they will fit with tons of room.

If your going for a quiet rig may i make a suggestion...

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

Thats the card I have and let me tell you. From my sig you can see it OC's like a boss and I had a XFX referance 6950 before this card flashed over to a 6970. This card with the OC i have on it scores higher in benchmarks at about 20-25c cooler with fans set to 60% its much much quieter than the other card.

Also when you go to a crossfire setup the shroud on the card is more open so a side case fan will help keep the top card cool wile the sealed shroud on a reference card will prevent a side fan from providing any further cooling.
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April 21, 2011 10:35:51 PM

cburke82 said:
I have a HAF 922 so yes they will fit with tons of room.
Also when you go to a crossfire setup the shroud on the card is more open so a side case fan will help keep the top card cool wile the sealed shroud on a reference card will prevent a side fan from providing any further cooling.



Comparable if not better specs, cheaper, and runs cooler? Sold!

What kind of power supply would you recommend for running two of these in crossfire?
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April 21, 2011 10:44:21 PM

nickblames said:
Comparable if not better specs, cheaper, and runs cooler? Sold!

What kind of power supply would you recommend for running two of these in crossfire?

Per AMD's website you need at least 600w to crossfire this card. So I would say any quality 600+ watt PSU that has at least 4 6 pin connectors.
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April 21, 2011 11:45:11 PM

Okay, RAM next. I'm a little confused by the wording on my Motherboard:

"The motherboard supports DDR3 memory that features data transfer rates of 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1600(O.C.) / 1333 / 1066 MHz."

After reading This Article it seems like DDR3-1600 is the way to go.

Would this Kingston HyperX 8gb be compatible? If not then would anybody recommend a different motherboard?
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April 21, 2011 11:54:35 PM

I would cough up more money on a motherboard and at this point, maybe wait on the Z-68 to come out. Asus is a good brand to go with and for p67-that would be Deluxe or Revolution ; Revolution being preferrable for SLI
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April 22, 2011 12:22:24 AM

jsigur said:
I would cough up more money on a motherboard and at this point, maybe wait on the Z-68 to come out. Asus is a good brand to go with and for p67-that would be Deluxe or Revolution ; Revolution being preferrable for SLI



I like what I'm reading about this... apart from the rumored $409 price tag! But from the looks of it being designed with Sandy-Bridge and SSD caching in mind and the on-board graphics engine to reduce power when doing small tasks... I think I'm sold.
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