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[Need help] $2000 First time GAMING buil plz advise

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July 27, 2011 2:22:32 AM

I know nothing about computers, i just love to play games on them. I want to be able to run most games on full graphics with out any problems. I will need a monitor also with this. Im not sure if AMD is better then Intel so all advise will be appreciated. Again im looking for a killer gaming pc to run most games on FULL graphics, please advise.

* Sorry for not reading the posting format *



Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $2000.00 - $2400.00 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Everything except Keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Doesn't matter

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:CPU and Mobo what's ever is the best for gaming and as for the case, i like the NZXT orange

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: idk, what ever is better for gaming performance

Monitor Resolution: idk.. Looking for the best I can get.

Additional Comments:just want to build a monster gaming computer that runs mostly everything on MAX graphics.
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2011 2:34:23 AM

Read the thread about how to ask for advice
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a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2011 6:48:24 AM

Lunat1c said:
I know nothing about computers, i just love to play games on them. I want to be able to run most games on full graphics with out any problems. I will need a monitor also with this. Im not sure if AMD is better then Intel so all advise will be appreciated. Again im looking for a killer gaming pc to run most games on FULL graphics, please advise.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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July 27, 2011 8:29:56 AM

Ok im sorry for initial post, all help will be appreciated.
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July 27, 2011 11:34:52 AM

Anyone have any good builds?
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July 27, 2011 12:09:32 PM

Lunat1c said:
I know nothing about computers, i just love to play games on them. I want to be able to run most games on full graphics with out any problems. I will need a monitor also with this. Im not sure if AMD is better then Intel so all advise will be appreciated. Again im looking for a killer gaming pc to run most games on FULL graphics, please advise.

* Sorry for not reading the posting format *



Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $2000.00 - $2400.00 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Everything except Keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Doesn't matter

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:CPU and Mobo what's ever is the best for gaming and as for the case, i like the NZXT orange

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: idk, what ever is better for gaming performance

Monitor Resolution: idk.. Looking for the best I can get.

Additional Comments:just want to build a monster gaming computer that runs mostly everything on MAX graphics.


The main issue I have with your post is you state that you know nothing about computers, Yet you're looking for build advice and mention overclocking.

Are you going to be building and overclocking this yourself? If so, I'd say you need to know something about computer before dropping 2K on parts and going at it.

It would be a safer bet to get a custom built gaming machine from a retailer for this kind of money. You might pay a little more up front, but atleast you'll have piece of mind and a 3 Year warranty for the whole system.

http://www.falcon-nw.com/
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/
http://www.alienware.com/

If you're really looking to get into building this yourself I would 1/2 that budget and start small with a lot of room for upgrades. Here's a nice base configuration:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

1x Antec Lanboy air Blue Black / Blue ATX Mid Tower Computer Modular Case (Model:Lanboy air Blue)

1x ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS (Model:p 8Z68-V PRO)

1x Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply (Model:HCG-900)

1x Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K (Model:BX80623I72600K)

2x Corsair Force Series CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT-A 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Model:CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT-A)

1x CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9B (Model:CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9B)

Total $1,129.99


Then I would price out a Nvidia GTX 560 Ti or ATI Radeon HD 6950 Video card and you're all set.
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July 27, 2011 1:24:58 PM

I just mentioned over clocking because I see it all over the forums and though you could buy hardware that is overclocked. I'm looking for a high end PC, I'll check out some of the custom builds but I thought I could get more for my money if I build it. Thank you for you suggestions.
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July 27, 2011 1:45:51 PM

Lunat1c said:
I just mentioned over clocking because I see it all over the forums and though you could buy hardware that is overclocked. I'm looking for a high end PC, I'll check out some of the custom builds but I thought I could get more for my money if I build it. Thank you for you suggestions.


I've been building and overclocking systems for 10+ years now and I still have issues with getting stable systems. It's definitely not something to jump into if you don't know what you're doing. You can get more for your money if you build it yourself but there's absolutely nothing more frustrating than dropping $2,000 on computer parts and not being able to get the system to work.

The single more important skill behind building the system yourself is having the ability to trouble shoot and fix issues. You have no "warranty" outside of the parts themselves and have to be comfortable with narrowing down issues and identify the root cause and fix it.

There's countless threads and YouTube videos on how to build a proper PC, I would start there and see if building your own is right for you. If not, look to getting a pre-built machine as an alternative.

Hopefully this helps.

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July 27, 2011 2:37:23 PM

I should clerify, I'm out of date with today's technology. I tinkered around with PC upgrades about 10 years ago, but with today's tech. I'm just out if the loop on the new products. With YouTube tutorial I will be fine putting a PC together. Trouble shooting may be a different issue, but I'm willing to give it a go. So if anyone has a high end gaming build please share.
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July 27, 2011 3:25:05 PM

http://www.hardware-revolution.com/high-end-gaming-pc-q...
That should satisfy you!
Like the previous people said, look for guides!
Let me add, one week ago, I didn't know SH*T about PC's!
NOW, I know about every danger of overclocking/tweaking with BIOS.
I know how to install a gaming PC, etc!
In 1 week I figured all that out. HOW?
I looked around for "gaming pc builds", read reviews of certain items, benchmarks, you name it, countless guides!
Just be a little bit patient! You're gonna do just fine!
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July 27, 2011 4:11:20 PM

Thank you for the great link.
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July 28, 2011 12:18:50 AM
July 28, 2011 12:33:25 AM

Seems good but I just want one monitor (24" + and good quality) also are those video cards on the high quality? I have to research them. Main focus is epic graphics and frame rate. Appreciate your time and post, I will look into this build.
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July 28, 2011 2:48:16 PM

Lunat1c said:
Seems good but I just want one monitor (24" + and good quality) also are those video cards on the high quality? I have to research them. Main focus is epic graphics and frame rate. Appreciate your time and post, I will look into this build.

if you just want 1 monitor you only need 1 gtx 580. i would definitely go with 3 monitors if i were you. pc's are the only thing that can. ive tried it and its amazing.
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July 28, 2011 2:56:00 PM

There's no point in spending that much money if you aren't gaming across multiple monitors. The example below will give you "epic graphics and frame rate" for less.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
MOBO: MSI Z68A-GD65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$369.99 ($20 MIR available), free shipping

CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$24.99, free shipping

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping

GPU: 2x MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) in SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$489.98 ($20 MIR available), free shipping

SSD: Corsair Nova Series 2 60GB SATA II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99, free shipping

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99, free shipping

Optical: Lite-On 24x SATA DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$19.99, free shipping

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 750w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 ($25 MIR available), free shipping

Case: NZXT Phantom (Black w/ Orange Trim)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99, $2.99 shipping

Monitor: ASUS VE258Q Black 25" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Display Port & Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$259.99 ($10 off w/ promo code EMCKCHD23, ends 8/1), free shipping

Total: $1632.88 shipped before promo code and rebates, $1557.88 after

*Not sure if you need an OS, but the OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is $99.99.
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July 28, 2011 3:34:24 PM

Very nice, it has mist components that I have been reading about and like. Quick question, do you think it better to go multiple monitors, I mean I like the idea but never tried it in gaming? I'm guessing 3 monitors is better then 2, so what revisions would you recommend with say 3 monitors?
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July 28, 2011 3:41:55 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
if you just want 1 monitor you only need 1 gtx 580. i would definitely go with 3 monitors if i were you. pc's are the only thing that can. ive tried it and its amazing.


Sorry I didn't see your responce, well I would love to try 3 monitors. Just need to tweak the above build to suit that, unless someone has better ideas.
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July 28, 2011 5:07:26 PM

Lunat1c said:
Very nice, it has mist components that I have been reading about and like. Quick question, do you think it better to go multiple monitors, I mean I like the idea but never tried it in gaming? I'm guessing 3 monitors is better then 2, so what revisions would you recommend with say 3 monitors?


For 3 monitors, I would change the GPUs to 2 HD 6950 2GB. The 4GB (total) of VRAM will help with the high resolution. Also, drop the monitors to 22" or 23" models. Everything else would stay the same.
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July 28, 2011 5:22:29 PM

6950's would be the best choice there?
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July 28, 2011 7:43:51 PM

I just bought the parts for this system:





SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT01-B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Uni-body Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163120

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128499
Manual: http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_ga-z68x-ud7-b3_e.pdf

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

(Boot Drive): Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167042

(2x in RAID 0): Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

[1x--may SLI later]: GIGABYTE GV-N580UD-15I GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125364

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144

CORSAIR Professional Series HX1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139034

[2x] Wallmounted: SAMSUNG S27A350H ToC Rose Black 27" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001481

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181016

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992

SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo SATA Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151232

Pioneer Black Blu-ray Burner SATA BDR-206DBKS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129066
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July 28, 2011 8:17:30 PM

Lunat1c said:
6950's would be the best choice there?


Well 6970s would be better...let's see if your budget can handle it.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
MOBO: MSI Z68A-GD65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$369.99 ($20 MIR available), free shipping

-----

CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$24.99, free shipping

-----

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99, free shipping

-----

GPUs: 2x XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB in Crossfire
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$679.98 ($20 MIR available), free shipping

-----

SSD: Corsair Nova Series 2 60GB SATA II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99, free shipping

-----

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99, free shipping

-----

Optical: Lite-On 24x SATA DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$19.99, free shipping

-----

PSU: XFX 850w XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$154.99 ($15 MIR available), $11.83

-----

Case: NZXT Phantom (Black w/ Orange Trim)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99, $2.99 shipping

Fan: NZXT FS-200RB 200mm Case Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$20.17, $2.99 shipping

-----

Monitors: 3x ASUS VH238H 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$569.97 ($10 MIR available), free shipping

Adapter: PowerColor Video Adapter ACTIVE MDP TO SL DVI-D ADAPTER-C Mini DisplayPort to DVI Interface
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$24.99, $2.99 shipping

-----

Total: $2255.83 shipped before rebates, $2190.83 after

Some notes....

1. Eyefinity requires a signal out through a Mini DisplayPort....

2. I added a case fan to help with cooling...

3. I upped the PSU. 750 watts will be enough. However, the one above is 80+ Silver. It will also give you more headroom for overclocking the CPU and GPUs, and it's semi-modular which translates to better airflow inside the case.
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July 28, 2011 8:51:53 PM

Looks great, I can go up to about $2700.00 so if there's minor upgrades let me know.
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July 28, 2011 11:04:46 PM

Lunat1c said:
Sorry I didn't see your responce, well I would love to try 3 monitors. Just need to tweak the above build to suit that, unless someone has better ideas.

look at my build i posted 2 580's should do the job...
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July 29, 2011 12:17:46 AM

So what's better 2 580's or 2 6970's?
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July 29, 2011 5:11:27 AM

Lunat1c said:
So what's better 2 580's or 2 6970's?

2 580's
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July 29, 2011 8:46:18 AM

Ok great, I thank you guys fir all your help. I'll revise when I get home so you can see final build and comment, btw what's eyefinity?
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July 29, 2011 1:29:45 PM

Lunat1c said:
Ok great, I thank you guys fir all your help. I'll revise when I get home so you can see final build and comment, btw what's eyefinity?


"Eyefinity" is what AMD (ATI) calls their multi-monitor setup. nVidia calls theirs "Surround"
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July 29, 2011 1:53:36 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
2 580's


I'm not arguing that when it comes to fps, 580 SLI beats 6970 CF. Btw, have you seen any articles regarding HD 6970 CF vs GTX 580 SLI running 5760x1080 resolution? (I haven't...just wondering if you could post some links if you have.) I would think the 4GB of the CF'd cards (vs 3GB for SLI) would close the gap, making the $300 price premium for two 580s very hard to justify...especially when you can get three 6970s for a just a little more $$ that will beat the crap out of two 580s in SLI.
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July 29, 2011 2:19:59 PM

Lol so wait, you think 3 6970's is better for almost the same price?
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July 29, 2011 2:23:53 PM

Lol so wait, you think 3 6970's is better for almost the same price? I'm also going with 3 27" monitors as mentioned above in Stok3d's post =)
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July 29, 2011 5:57:55 PM

so you are going over budget?
here is a review of tri crossfired 6970's- http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1084/pg18/xfx-rad...
here is a quality asus 27" 2ms monitor for less- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 330$x3=990$

here is a good combo on the i5 2500k and the p8p67 ws revolution to start you out- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 460$

XFX 6970- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 340$x3=1020$

Noctua nh-d14 cpu cooler- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 90$

Vertex 3 120gb ssd- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 250$

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 60$

G.skill 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 65$

NZXT Phantom- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 140$

200mm fan for side panel (can only use nzxt)- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 15$

Lite On DVD Burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 20$

OCZ ZX 1250w PSU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 240$

Windows 7 Home Premium oem- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 95$

Corsair SP2500 (best gaming speakers on the market)- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 230$ the bass is amazing and gigantic. forget the logitech 5.1's they have a weak bass compared to these

TOTAL=3675$ not including mail in rebates and shipping
haha maybe that is a little much
you dont need the ssd it wont help you in gaming
maybe get 23" 2ms screens- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 188$x3=564$
for the cpu cooler the corsair h60 will be fine- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 70$
and a quality headset will do- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CA-HS1ANA-Gaming-Analog-H... 78$
that should put you under 3k
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July 29, 2011 6:14:52 PM

Lunat1c said:
Lol so wait, you think 3 6970's is better for almost the same price? I'm also going with 3 27" monitors as mentioned above in Stok3d's post =)


I am going to start off by saying...you need to set a limit. I've seen your budget go from $2000, to $2400, and now to $2700. Monitors aside, I don't recommend going any higher than my last post where I mocked up a build for you. Anything more and you are paying a lot of a little increase in performance. Now with all that being said...yes, three HD 6970s will give you better performance than two GTX 580s. The 6970s will cost about $100 more, but keep in mind, you will need a more powerful PSU and a case with more room (better cooling) in addition to a motherboard that will support more than two video cards.

Size isn't important...resolution is. It makes no difference if the monitors are 24" with 1920x1080 or 27" with 1920x1080. However, the larger screens may be a little more pixelated. I don't know, the largest screen I've spent any time with is 23".

Three HD 6970s would cost $1019.97 whether you go with the MSI or XFX brand listed below. Both offer a $20 rebate, which will be good for one card only.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For illustration purposes, the least expensive option for GTX 580 SLI I see would be $939.98. There is a $20 rebate, which would be good for one card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now on to the motherboard. You need one with an NF200 chip. The list is short, the cost is high.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Gigabyte Z68X-UD7 $349.99, $9.48 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Gigabyte P67A-UD7 $289.99 ($20 MIR), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution $259.99, $8.50 shipping

Power supply. High quality 900w+ with enough PCI-E connections
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--OCZ ZX 1000w $199.99 ($20 MIR), $2.99 shipping (I'm not a fan of OCZ but JohnnyGuru gave it a good score...)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair TX 950w $154.99 ($10 MIR), $5.99 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair HX 1000w $229.99 ($20 MIR, $15 promo code), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair HX 1050w (newer version of above) $229.99 ($10 MIR), $5.99 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair AX 1200w $279.99 ($20 MIR), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Antec High Current Pro 1200w $254.99 ($35), free shipping

That Phantom might be ok. You would definitely need the 200mm fan added to the side of the case though. I would suggest either a Coolermaster HAF X or HAF 932 Advanced. Lian Li and Antec also make good cases that would house this build.

The least-expensive options would add $939.62 to the build that I mocked up. This takes the following into account:

3x HD 6970
Swapping the i5/MSI motherboard combo for an i5/Asus WS revolution motherboard combo
swapping XFX PSU for Corsair TX 950w PSU
Swapping 3x ASUS monitors for 3x Samsung 27" monitors
Keeping Phantom case and everything else the same

This comes to a total of $3195.45 (shipped) before any applicable rebates. Like I said earlier, while this would improve gaming performance, I do not recommend it.
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July 29, 2011 6:33:17 PM

nd_hunter said:
I am going to start off by saying...you need to set a limit. I've seen your budget go from $2000, to $2400, and now to $2700. Monitors aside, I don't recommend going any higher than my last post where I mocked up a build for you. Anything more and you are paying a lot of a little increase in performance. Now with all that being said...yes, three HD 6970s will give you better performance than two GTX 580s. The 6970s will cost about $100 more, but keep in mind, you will need a more powerful PSU and a case with more room (better cooling) in addition to a motherboard that will support more than two video cards.

Size isn't important...resolution is. It makes no difference if the monitors are 24" with 1920x1080 or 27" with 1920x1080. However, the larger screens may be a little more pixelated. I don't know, the largest screen I've spent any time with is 23".

Three HD 6970s would cost $1019.97 whether you go with the MSI or XFX brand listed below. Both offer a $20 rebate, which will be good for one card only.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For illustration purposes, the least expensive option for GTX 580 SLI I see would be $939.98. There is a $20 rebate, which would be good for one card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now on to the motherboard. You need one with an NF200 chip. The list is short, the cost is high.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Gigabyte Z68X-UD7 $349.99, $9.48 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Gigabyte P67A-UD7 $289.99 ($20 MIR), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution $259.99, $8.50 shipping

Power supply. High quality 900w+ with enough PCI-E connections
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--OCZ ZX 1000w $199.99 ($20 MIR), $2.99 shipping (I'm not a fan of OCZ but JohnnyGuru gave it a good score...)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair TX 950w $154.99 ($10 MIR), $5.99 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair HX 1000w $229.99 ($20 MIR, $15 promo code), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair HX 1050w (newer version of above) $229.99 ($10 MIR), $5.99 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair AX 1200w $279.99 ($20 MIR), free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Antec High Current Pro 1200w $254.99 ($35), free shipping

That Phantom might be ok. You would definitely need the 200mm fan added to the side of the case though. I would suggest either a Coolermaster HAF X or HAF 932 Advanced. Lian Li and Antec also make good cases that would house this build.

The least-expensive options would add $939.62 to the build that I mocked up. This takes the following into account:

3x HD 6970
Swapping the i5/MSI motherboard combo for an i5/Asus WS revolution motherboard combo
swapping XFX PSU for Corsair TX 950w PSU
Swapping 3x ASUS monitors for 3x Samsung 27" monitors
Keeping Phantom case and everything else the same

This comes to a total of $3195.45 (shipped) before any applicable rebates. Like I said earlier, while this would improve gaming performance, I do not recommend it.

if you want 850w for 6970 cf wouldnt you want at least 1000w of power? why are you not a fan of the ocz zx series? the 1000w psu scored a 9.5/10 on jonny guru and that is the same score the ax 1200 got!
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July 29, 2011 6:37:10 PM

Wow ok.. I'm just tired of gaming on junk. I'll keek the 3 24" monitors I quess and the 2 video cards so I don't have to upgrade everything else. Now I'm more lost then when I started lol. I want to thank you all for the informative replies!
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July 29, 2011 6:37:32 PM

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/28/nvidia_geforc...

I found this review. The pricing is a little off. The AMD cards are a 6990 and a 6970. It pits them against 2-way and 3-way GTX 580 SLI, but I was looking into the cost more than the number of GPUs, so I think it illustrates the point I was making earlier. Keep in mind, a 6990 is made up of two underclocked 6970s. When different-spec'd GPUs are combined, all GPUs run with the lowest specs. So we have underclocked tri-fired 6970s against two- and three-way SLI'd GTX 580s. The AMD GPUs scale better and it shows, beating the two-way SLI 580s handily and slightly edging out the three-way SLI cards. Add, I don't know, maybe a 10-15% performance increase for three reference-clocked 6970s and the win would be even more pronounced.
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July 29, 2011 6:42:49 PM

Lunat1c said:
Wow ok.. I'm just tired of gaming on junk. I'll keek the 3 24" monitors I quess and the 2 video cards so I don't have to upgrade everything else. Now I'm more lost then when I started lol. I want to thank you all for the informative replies!

well you can go to 3 6950's which also beat up on 2 gtx 580's.- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... they cost less than 2 580's. and should get you down to around 2500$ if you look back at my last 6970 tri cf post
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July 29, 2011 6:44:52 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
if you want 850w for 6970 cf wouldnt you want at least 1000w of power? why are you not a fan of the ocz zx series? the 1000w psu scored a 9.5/10 on jonny guru and that is the same score the ax 1200 got!


I'm just not a fan of OCZ in general, but I did list that ZX 1000w PSU because it is quality unit...if I didn't think it was a good unit, I wouldn't have listed it in the first place. I'm not a fan of Honda in general, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend an Accord to someone looking for a reliable family car.

EDIT: And you are correct on the wattage...950 would be cutting it a little close for comfort (only about 100-120 watts of headroom). A 1000w unit would be better.
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July 29, 2011 8:41:45 PM

PM sent to you nd_hunter
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July 29, 2011 8:55:27 PM

Lunat1c said:
PM sent to you nd_hunter


Reply sent
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!