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New Build - Gaming/Programming [1500-2000]

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May 6, 2011 1:31:00 PM

Hey all,

Currently running a core 2 duo and looking to do a full system upgrade. I don't plan on re-using any parts as I am hoping I can turn the core 2 duo into a media server.

Approximate Purchase Date: Likely within the next month


Budget Range: 1500-2000 Before Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming (Visual Studio), Web Development, Light Photoshop use


Parts Not Required: Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Processor (i7 940, 1366 chipset)


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Amazon


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences: None


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Additional Comments:

I am in the market for a new case as well, not opposed to a full tower and would want plenty of cooling.

I am looking to run Dual Monitors (23' or 24') 1080 full HD Backlit LED

I got the processor new and in box for $100, so not looking to switch it out for a Sandybridge... would rather utilize the cost savings and spend it on GPU or storage.

I am leaning towards running crossfire 6950's or 6970's.

Would like to be able to view blu-ray media, a burner is not required.

OS will be Windows 7 not sure which version to purchase though?

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Current Parts:

CPU

i7 940
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115201

GPU

Crossfire 6950's or 6970's

Open to suggestion on manufacturer also would be willing to switch to Nvidia if case is compelling.

Thanks,

Looking forward to the suggestions!
May 6, 2011 5:59:51 PM

Have not specified a 1366 build in awhile. Here goes:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 for $185 after rebate. Nothing fancy here, will handle crossfire, overclocks OK.

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 for $70. Standard selection - slightly faster at 1600, with a good price.

Video 2 X SAPPHIRE 100312-2SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB for $515. Take these and unlock them to 6970. Note that the price reflects that you only get a single rebate on the two items. Let me know if you need the instructions for unlocking.

Power supply: XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W for $116 after rebate. Maybe a little low on the power - you could bump another 50 to 100 watts if you want an agressive overclock. If you keep it to a mild everyday OC, then you should be fine with this unit.

Blu Ray: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X for $68

Case: Ant3c Twelve Hundred V3 for $136 after rebate and promo code. This is a very nice case with lots of features and a decent price - must purchase by 5/9 to get the promo code.

8 pin extension cable for $7. This helps you with cable management, and lets you easily route the auxillary power cable behind the motherboard.

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $70

Heat Sink: Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler for $43

Thermal Interface paste: MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu for $7. This is the best stuff around, although alot of people might argue about that claim.

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit for $100. this is all you will probalby need for an operating system. You can pay a lot more but generally for features that you probably not use.

Last but not least, monitors. Two choices here, one for a 23 inch and one for a 24 inch, both 1080P:

23 inch: 2 X A$US VH232H Glossy Black 23" 5ms for $328 after rebate. Note that Asus allows rebates on both items.

24 inch: 2 X A$us VE248H Black 24" 1920X1080 2ms for $390.

Total: $1645 or $1770 depending on your monitor selection. These prices include shipping. If you want to spend the rest of your budget, consider adding an 80GB to 120GB solid state drive.


edited to correct hyper-links



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May 9, 2011 4:58:12 PM

It was a very busy weekend so haven't had a chance to reply...

Had some thoughts on the PC and maybe you or anyone else can give some additional input.

I currently have a 21' monitor, I think in the interest of temporarily saving some cash I would go for the 23' ASUS and only order one and use my current monitor as a second until I decide to order a second. The savings will translate to upgrading the power supply and more RAM.

I believe all the 6950's that can be unlocked are currently on back-order on Newegg. If this is still the case when I decide to order the parts I was thinking of ordering two of these (I may just order one and add the 2nd down the line depending on how much I want to shell out in the next few weeks):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127562

I don't see myself needing to unlock or overclock the video card, in the future I will just add a 3rd or order a new set if I feel it warrants the performance upgrade.

If I use the extra cash saved from the 2nd monitor for the PSU and RAM which would you recommend? Was hoping to have 8-12 gig's of RAM and have been looking at the Corsair power supplies but am open to any suggestions.

Also does the Scythe outperform the Hyper 212? I am just curious as I see both recommended quite a bit.

Thanks for the input.
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May 9, 2011 5:20:56 PM

Not sure why you want to go 1366. An i7-2600k will outperform even a $1,000 6 core 12 thread i7-980X by a significant margin.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

If you're only running a single monitor, a 6950 1gb is as far as you'll need to go to run any game at 1080p. You can also consider going Nvdia for CUDA if you plan on more workstation oriented tasks in the future.

Scythe mugen performs much better than a hyper 212+, on par with a megahalem.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
It's the best price/performance cooler out there.

However, you really don't need much cooling for SB since it runs very cool. You can pull 4.5ghz on the stock cooler without issue.

Also, why do people keep posting these, you need a HUGE PSU post's?

Xfire 6970's under furmark only use 601W at the outlet. With 85% efficiency, that's only 510W actual usage. You could run them on a good 550W PSU...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4061/amds-radeon-hd-6970-...

Ideally for max efficiency, you want a PC's idle to be around 30% of PSU rating, max load to be around 80%.

That translates into a 650W PSU for a dual 6970 setup (171 idle, 601 load) . However, for overclocking, we usually recommend a 750 to keep your overclocked power usage in this max efficiency range.

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May 9, 2011 6:03:47 PM

banthracis said:
Not sure why you want to go 1366. An i7-2600k will outperform even a $1,000 6 core 12 thread i7-980X by a significant margin.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

If you're only running a single monitor, a 6950 1gb is as far as you'll need to go to run any game at 1080p. You can also consider going Nvdia for CUDA if you plan on more workstation oriented tasks in the future.



I picked up the CPU before Sandybridge came out for $100, hence the decision to go with 1366... if I didn't already have the CPU I would go with the new tech for sure.

I will still be running dual monitors, I was planning on purchasing two new 23' monitors to replace the 21' I have but decided on just purchasing one and getting a second at a later time... will use the existing 21' I have for the time being until I purchase the second 23'.

I had planned on two video cards more for future purposes than current necessity, I am hoping to avoid upgrade costs for at least 2 years. I am also tossing around the possibility of 3 23' monitors.

Thanks for the input! Will definitely purchase the Scythe and may move to the Corsair 750w PSU as I am more familiar with that brand.
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May 9, 2011 6:53:55 PM

Ok that makes more sense.

Are you planning to game on eyefinity? If not, then you could just stick with 1 6950 for now and pick up a second when you grab second monitor. It's not like the price for 6950's is gonna go up over next few months. In fact, rumor mill has the 7xxx GPU's for end of Q3 or early Q4 this year, so if you're not buying second monitor till then, you'll see a nice price drop.
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May 9, 2011 7:49:57 PM

banthracis said:
Ok that makes more sense.

Are you planning to game on eyefinity? If not, then you could just stick with 1 6950 for now and pick up a second when you grab second monitor. It's not like the price for 6950's is gonna go up over next few months. In fact, rumor mill has the 7xxx GPU's for end of Q3 or early Q4 this year, so if you're not buying second monitor till then, you'll see a nice price drop.


I will be running the 23' and the 21' but to be honest I am more than fine with just gaming on the 23'. I really only need the second monitor more for development tasks and more window space, your probably right I could just stick with one for now and just game on the 23' and then upgrade down the road.
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May 9, 2011 8:04:03 PM

I would recommend the Lian Li 7FN - mid tower, lots of space, very quiet, good cooling, very good quality.. .
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