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Advice on possible $2000 gaming build

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July 17, 2011 1:46:16 AM

Hello everyone, I'm new here, but I've always been interested in computer builds. I've come by some money and now I'm looking to build my own gaming rig. Here is a set of components that I pretty much adapted from a post by user flong in the High End Intel Build thread.

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA115 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131703

Processor: Intel i5 2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

Processor Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018

Case Cooling: Cooler Master R4-C2R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103061

Solid State Drive: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8G (2x4GB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231455

PSU: Corsair 1200AX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139014

Storage Drive: Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1T 7200 RPM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

Video Cards: MSI R6970 x2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127554

Sound Card: Asus Xonar DX 7.1 Channels http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006

Bluray Burner: ASUS Black Blu-ray Burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135252

Case: Cooler Master RC-692 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216

Total Cost: $2108 before mail in rebates (about $2000 after)

Here are some considerations. I understand that the 6970's in crossfire allows support for up to 6 monitors, but really I'm only looking to game on my TV, which runs at a resolution of 1920x1080. This begs the question, is that kind of GPU output necessary for a 42 inch 1920x1080 TV? I'd be willing to downgrade video cards if it meant saving money. I'll mostly be playing FPS's and RPG's (looking forward to playing Oblivion and Crysis without garbage framerates). This computer will double as a media station, playing movies on the TV as well, which explains the 7.1 surround sound card (a very important piece of equipment to me). If anyone could say whether or not the card is good/bad can be better that would be great too.

Also, I know the 1200 Watt PSU isn't necessary, but I don't want loud whirring noises as I watch movies. If you think I can get away with an 850 please let me know.

Also also, I'm not unwilling to go AMD if it means comparable performance for a lower cost.

I plan on purchasing in the next two weeks, so if anyone knows of any impending architectural upgrades that would quickly depreciate the value of my build please let me know.

Thanks and I look forward to the advice.

More about : advice 2000 gaming build

July 17, 2011 2:26:52 AM

You can easily drop down to the 850w power supply if you want.

Also If you're just doing single monitor 1920x1080 you could easily drop to 2x 6950's (and still have to possibility of unlocking them back to 6970's for free)

You may want to get a retail as opposed to OEM Blue-Ray drive so that you'll actually get software with it to play Blue-Ray movies.
July 17, 2011 2:36:12 AM

Ahhhhh ok, awesome. Thanks. I wasn't sure what the retail/OEM distinction meant in regards to the optical drives.
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July 17, 2011 2:40:52 AM

Yargnit said:
You can easily drop down to the 850w power supply if you want.

Also If you're just doing single monitor 1920x1080 you could easily drop to 2x 6950's (and still have to possibility of unlocking them back to 6970's for free)


You may want to get a retail as opposed to OEM Blue-Ray drive so that you'll actually get software with it to play Blue-Ray movies.

For a single 1920x1080 monitor a single 6950 would be more than sufficient.

Consider a pair of these in SLi:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GTX 560 non-Ti for $170 shipped plus $20 rebate.

$340 shipped before rebates for a pair of these that will outperform a GTX 580, much less a 6970.

Get rid of the sound card, it's a waste of money. The onboard does 7.1.

The Noctua is really overpriced. Compared to other HDT coolers the Noctua performs a little better but costs a lot more. Unless you're trying to get the maximum overclock you can I'd get a cheaper cooler. Try this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 17, 2011 3:01:26 AM

Thank you, this is great advice. I wasn't aware the motherboard included a sound card, and I had a feeling that two 6970s was overkill for a single monitor. I think I might downgrade to an 850W PSU as well and shave some of the cost off there.

Another quick question, how different is the loading time between an SSD and a regular spin drive? Specifically for RPGs, are we talking huge load time cuts?

*Edit: Implementing those changes brings the cost down to $1479 before rebates. Wonderful.
July 17, 2011 3:33:34 AM

Hmm that has me thinking about dropping the SSD then. I haven't ever really sat there and said "This is taking too long." If I dropped the SSD, do you think I'd be better off going with a 10,000 RPM HDD? Faster speeds on the HDD would be great for movies and TV shows I think.
July 17, 2011 3:37:38 AM

No, the 10,000 RPMs is faster but not by much. Mechanical hard drives are still an order of magnitude slower than SSDs.

The only thing hard drive speed affects is loading times and file transfers.
July 17, 2011 3:44:11 AM

browsingtheworld said:
No, the 10,000 RPMs is faster but not by much. Mechanical hard drives are still an order of magnitude slower than SSDs.

The only thing hard drive speed affects is loading times and file transfers.


Ok. Well thanks so much for all of the advice so far. I guess I'm probably going to drop the SSD and get myself a nice new sound system with the rest of the money I had budgeted out.
July 17, 2011 4:15:01 AM

With your budget an SSD at least for the OS makes sense really.

You could always go with a single 6970 now as well and add another one in a year when games are more demanding and they are cheaper. (If you go with the 560 someone mentioned though, I'd go with the TI version not the regular)

I actually don't think the dedicated sound card for a home theater system is a bad idea though. I've always been a fan of using a dedicated sound card if you are going to be using a 5.1/7.1 speaker system. And the nice thing is sound cards don't need to be replaced as often as the rest of your system. A good sound card can easily move from one PC to the next because even if you continue to use your old PC as a backup system, you'll only have the good one hooked up to a quality sound system.

While you certainly don't need to spend the full $2k, don't let people talk you down too far either. You won't notice going from Xfire 6970's to 6950's, but the difference between what you'd planned for, and SLI 560's (non TI) w/o an SSD will be noticeable for sure.
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