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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.