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Best Gaming Build for the Buck?

Last response: in Systems
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July 16, 2011 9:09:06 PM

Hi. This is my first post. In fact, I created an account so that I could ask this question:

I'm building a new desktop (my third) and I would like to be able to use all of the new technologies that are available today. These include UEFI, Advanced Format, dual Snowleopard and Windows 7 OSs, overclocking, and many other cool features (most of which I don't know about). I will mostly be using it for gaming and music, but I would also like to link my 2 radios to it (which is why I have the 2 9-pin expansion slots; please look at the link below).

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2306...

Below are the components I'm thinking of getting:

Motherboard ASUS P8P67-Pro
Processor Intel Core i7-2600K
Graphics Card XFX AMD Radeon HD 6790 (with dual fans)
Hard Drives (x2) Western Digital WD6402AAEX (640GB, 6GB/s SATA, 64MB cache)
RAM Kingston (1 x 8 GB) KTM-SX310Q8/8G
Power Supply Corsair TX750W
Case Clear Acrylic Mid-Tower B8-1 (w/3 built-in fans)

The total price for this is $950. I chose these components with the intention of later installing a second Radeon 6790 and 3 more DDR3 8GB sticks of RAM. I also intend to replace my components with an Ivy Bridge processor (if it comes out in LGA 1155) and 2 7xxx Series Radeons in the far future. Does anyone know if:

a) everything is compatable?
b) all of these components (including the 9-pin slot) will fit on the motherboard?
c) I could fit a wireless card onto the MoBo as well? What type of connector does the wireless card need to fit onto the Mobo?
d) there are any better components for similar prices, considering my intention of highest-end gaming?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help!

- Patrick

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July 16, 2011 11:05:59 PM

From a value standpoint, the 2500k will be better. The 2600k is clocked to run 3% faster. And it costs about $100 more. Not a good value. I've seen some recommendations to get a cheaper AMD chip based on games not using as much cpu processing power as they do gpu processing power.

I think 8g of RAM is plenty for a gaming system. Anything more than that is going to be a waste unless you're an ultra multi-tasker. If you get 2 4g sticks you'll have dual channel right off the bat. ( 2 4g is faster than 1 8g)

I didn't check compatibility. It's too much work. For the most part, if your motherboard has enough slots for the components that use those slots, they'll be compatible. I never check manufacturer's lists for incompatibilities but you can.

Wireless cards can use various kinds of connectors. I'm sure you'll find one that works.

Some games allow you to turn up settings that don't seem to make much difference in how things look, but they make a fairly big difference in how your hardware can handle it. Your video card is OK, but if you want the "highest-end" gaming, you might want to get something faster.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Have you looked much into dual booting with snow leapard? Apple doesn't really intend for you to make your own machine to use with it. There are no drivers from AMD to use with the video card you mentioned, if you're using it on a mac. You'll have to use some generic driver or one that an enthusiast wrote. More work than I'd be willing to go through. Personally if I wanted to run a mac operating system I'd buy a mac.
July 17, 2011 2:24:00 AM


Thanks so much for your input! I've adjusted and expanded my specs accordingly. They are as follows:

Motherboard ASUS P8P67-Pro
Processor Intel Core i5-2500k
Graphics Card XFX ATI/AMD Radeon HD 6790 (with dual fans)
Hard Drive (Windows) Western Digital WD6402AAEX (640GB, 6GB/s SATA, 64MB cache, 7200rpm)
Hard Drive (Mac) Western Digital WD7500AARX (750GB, 6GB/s SATA, 64MB cache, IntelliPower)
RAM G. Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz F3-10666CL9Q-16GBRL
Power Supply Corsair TX750W
Case Clear Acrylic Mid-Tower UV Orange Accents B8-1 (w/3 built-in fans)
OS Windows 7 Home Premium 32 & 64 Bit
OSX Mac OSX Snow Leopard
Radio Interface 2 9-Pin Serial Port Adapter

This build comes out to $970. I can also add another Radeon 6790 later. I did some research on Lifehacker, and my build should be OSX compatible, which is why I added the extra hard drive for OSX only. I'm also going to need Windows 7 32 bit in addition to 64 bit because my radios only interface with 32 bit, while games are better on 64.

2 things I'm concerned about are the drivers that you talked about and my radio interface. For the first, I just assumed that Snow Leopard would magically make it work, either by using the windows or generic drivers, downloading the needed drivers from the web, or using whatever software and protocols are integrated into the graphics card itself.

For the second, I realized that the cables that connect to the MoBo are unfamiliar to me. They appear to be 10 pin. There are 3 slots in the MoBo that look like they would fit these 2 cables, but I'm not sure. The slots are labelled USB 1314, 1112, and 910, which is throwing me off.

I'm still missing a CD/DVD drive and a wireless card, but I take them from my old computer or order them later. Suggestions for these would be appreciated though, particularly concerning which connector the wireless card should have. I'd also appreciate notifications of any glaring incompatibilities or suggestions for improvements.

Thanks again for all of your help so far. Any and all further comments are welcome!

-Patrick
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July 17, 2011 2:28:06 AM

Why do you have such an expensive computer with such a crappy video card. Buy a cheaper PSU and case and better video card.
July 17, 2011 3:12:43 AM

Good idea! I'll get the Radeon HD 6870, not only for the performance, but also because Tonymacx86 has working OSX drivers for this card.

I'll also get a different case, although I'm keeping the psu. Although I only need 600Watts (according to a psu selection site), I need the TX750's 4 PCIe power cables. I'll start looking for a new case. Does anyone have any suggestions? It has to support micro-ATX MoBos and be large enough for 2 Radeon 6870s, although I'll only be using 1 for the moment. I'm also still looking for a good wireless card with Mac drivers.

The new specs are:

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-Pro
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500k
Graphics Card: XFX AMD Radeon HD 6870 (with dual fans)
Hard Drive (Windows): Western Digital WD6402AAEX (640GB, 6GB/s SATA, 64MB cache, 7200rpm)
Hard Drive (Mac): Western Digital WD7500AARX (750GB, 6GB/s SATA, 64MB cache, IntelliPower)
RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz F3-10666CL9Q-16GBRL
Power Supply: Corsair TX750W
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 32 & 64 Bit
OSX: Mac OSX Snow Leopard
Radio Interface: 2 9-Pin Serial Port Adapter
Case: (???I haven't chosen one yet, although I prefer acrylic.???)
Wireless Card: (???I haven't chosen one yet.???)

Thanks for your input!

-Patrick
!