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$3000 Build/Battlefield 3 Contest

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August 14, 2011 6:48:34 AM

I posted a couple of days ago about a computer build but after some thinking I've decided to do a little contest instead. To the people who reply to that post I do appreciate the posts and I hope you find your way to this post as well!!

A little background:

So I try and build a new PC about every 2 years. I have done this for about 8 years now so 4 pcs so far. At the end of the 2 years I usually take my old computer and donate it to my local Habitat for Humanities center so that a family less fortunate that I can have something nice to call their own. Knowing that some kid somewhere or some family somewhere will get the use and enjoyment from the computer as I did, makes it more valuable than scap to me.

That being said:

This year I got to thinking. Instead of just donating 1 computer why don't I upgrade the one I have and use the other money I would have spent to make a donation. This way I would be helping multiple families instead of just one. So this year I'm going to donate my computer as usual and the computer i build this year will be the one I start to upgrade.

Now to the contest:

The contest will be for the best system setup within a $3000 price range. The winner will recieve a new copy of Battlefield 3 when it releases! While I know it's not a Huge prize or anything it's still something for basically 20-30 mins of your time creating a build. I will send the game to anywhere that Newegg can ship as that is where I'll be purchasing the game from.

The rules:

As I stated before the budget for this build is $3000 dollars. This will be before any rebates. $2250 will for the computer and OS, and the other $750 for the monitors. The purchase date will be 25 of October the day of the battlefield 3 release. I will declare the winner based on a poll that will start October 1. So that means any build posted after then will not be considered. The poll will consist of the top 3 builds that I feel best meets my vision for the computer and will run until the 20th of October. Once a winner is declared I will pm you to get shipping information.

Now if your still reading this and are interested...

My vision:

As i stated before this computer needs to be fairly future proof for 2 years at which point I will upgrade based on what I need. I would like the computer to be more future proofed in this order processor>mobo>case>video card>etc.
I chose this order because from my experience processors last for a while as do motherboards if you get a quality one. What I means is yes there will be newer mobos and CPU's to come out that are faster and have more features but the old ones still perform just as good since games and programs don't use the new technology right away in most cases. I chose the case third since a well made case can last for years and as long as it's big enough I can fit whatever inside. Video cards are 4th but honestly I could group them into the etc. I have come to terms with the fact that the graphics scene changes every couple months it seems. Every computer I have built I've upgraded to a new video card. So if you feel that there is card that will last a while then throw it in but all I'm shooting for is 2 years. Everything else is easy and fairly cheap to replace so changing or replacing every 2 years won't be that bad.

What I want it to do:

It will be mainly used for gaming but I will also be doing some photoshop and video editing here and there but the main emphasis will be the gaming. I want to run 3 monitors (the 3 need to fit into the $750) at the highest frame rate possible at the best resolution possible. The main games will be Battlefield 3, mw3, wow, and diablo 3. These are not super demanding games no. However
I still will play crysis and metro and others they just wont be the main ones. I still want the system to run those at max as well though. 3D is not important. I plan on Overclocking as much as i can both with the CPU and the video cards. I might mess with the ram some but not sure.

What i would like it to include:

I want the computer to match and look nice meaning same colors throughout. I prefer red/black, blue/black, and green/black with blue being number 1
Choice. I don't want the baby blue either..the dark royal blue. I would also like it to be watercooled as well as I like the look and the quietness. I want the video cards and the CPU to be cooled. If you can show me a build that will look cool and be quiet at high loads on air then that will work as well.

Well thats all I have! Thanks for taking the time to check out the post and I look forward to the builds! Good luck and thanks again!! God bless!!

One last note:

The total cost is $3000 so if you are less than the total required for the sections (the computer or monitors) you can dump the excess to the other part. The total just cannot exceed the $3000. Also if you can do it for less feel free! Like I said the top 3 will be chosen for the poll regardless of how close to the 3000 they get! I don't want you to feel like you need to add something useless just to meet 3000.


August 14, 2011 11:26:17 AM

Hey there! How nice of you. Firstly, I would say you don't need to make a competition of this process. Peeps around here do it for the love / community / discussion / arguments and of course badges :) 
Secondly, $3000 is massive for a build these days. The build below is what I'd do with that budget.

SILVERSTONE RAVEN Series RV03 - $159

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO - $229

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K - $219

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-D14 - $89

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II x 3 Crossfire - $837
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Professional Series HX1050 - $229

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB - $229

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black Internal Blu-ray Combo - $55

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM -$95

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $2239


Screens

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms x 3 $597

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 14, 2011 1:22:18 PM

Allocating $750 to screens in not worth it in my option...i believe you should either go with 1 nice isp 1080p monitor at around 200-300 or go all out with a 1440p or 1600p monitor at around ~$1000. With a 3000 budget, you can spend 2000 on nice hardware that will have enough power to game on 1600p nicely. Anyways here my shot at it:

case: HAF 932
gpus: 580 gtx x2
hdd: Spinpoint f3 1tb
psu: corsair 950w
ram: 8gb g.skill 1600mhz
mobo: Gigabyte mobo z68
cooler: nhd14
ssd: agility 3 60gb
cpu: i7-2600k

total: $2003

monitor: dell ultrasharp 1400p

total: $999

Total total: 3002

One thing i hesitated on it water cooling. All-in-one water coolers are generally on par with mid to high-tier air coolers, so if you get a top of the like nh-d14, your cpu will be nice and cooler. You'll be more likely to hit your multiplier cap on the cpu than a heat cap when overclocking. Also, water blocks for your cpu, 2 gpus, and the all the equipment to run it can put a large $300-400 dent in your budget.

Anyways have fun you rich guy :) 
Related resources
August 14, 2011 1:43:15 PM
August 14, 2011 3:29:05 PM

Case: Silverstone Raven RV03- 140$
http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Mo...
(cools better than the HAF X thanks to its unique design)

CPU: i5 2500k- 220$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3- 200$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (ready for ivy bridge and new gpu's)

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14- 86$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (best air cooler on the market)

SSD: Crucial M4 128gb- 191$
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-Inch-Solid-State-CT12...

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

PSU: OCZ ZX 1000w- 200$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Gskill 8gb 1866mhz- 75$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(8gb's is enough for almost everything you throw at it. 16gb's is not worth it unless the computer is mainly for video editing/photoshop)

GPU'S: Zotac AMP2! GTX 580 3072mb- x2=1100$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (the extra memory will be very helpful at that resolution)

Asus Xonar DS 7.1- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 41$

Total=2367$

Monitors: ASUS VS 23.6" 2ms- x3=570$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium OEM- 100$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Overall Total=2983$
August 14, 2011 5:57:32 PM

Here is my attempt at the contest. Not really in for the game, just wanted to see how well I do. If I do win, then game can be
passed on to person with the 2nd most votes.
As for the game, you may want to send it out via Steam. It's much cheaper, no package and shipping cost. Does Steam have BF3?
Didn't really bother to check...

System Components

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1245 @3.3GHz $279.99
M/B: Asus P8B WS $229.99
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1333 $129.99
GPU: 2x Sapphire HD6950 2GB $529.98 ($264.99 each)
SSD: Intel SSD 510 120GB SATA 6Gb/s $276.99
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB $59.99
ODD: Sony Blu-Ray writer $94.99
SND: Creative X-Fi Titanium PCIe $78.99
HSF: Corsair H60 $69.98
PSU: Corsair HX1050 $229.99
CASE: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue $159.99
MON: 3x Asus VW248TLB 24" LED $689.97 ($229.99 each)
DPA: Sapphire Active DP to DVI adpater $26.99
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64bit w/SP1 OEM $139.99

$2,997.71

Some of the reasons why I selected those parts...

-Select that Xeon E3 1245 because it has the same clock and turbo frequency at a Core i5 2500/K
You also get a larger cache 8MB vs 6MB + HT to give you a total of 8 threads. And it's a lot cheaper than a Core i7 2600/K
And the board goes along with it since I don't want to get into "Microcode errors" when this CPU is installed into a non-Xeon based board.

-Decided to go with 16GB because this system isn't just for game, but for everything that can be thrown at. Working on professional projects and you can thank this system for having 16GB of ram.

-A sound card is added because of BF3. If I remember correctly, BF2 for the PC can go up to 64 players. The X-Fi sound card won't break a sweat since it can support up to 128 voices and with its gaming mode + EAX 5.0, gaming experience is taken to another level. One cool feature is the ability to turn ordinary headphone into surround sound and it actually does work. With the sound card, audio chores are assigned to the card itself so the CPU can work on more important task. The card can be installed to the last PCIe x16 slot.

-For Eyefinity to work at least one connector must be display port. DP monitors are rare and expensive so a active adapter is added to the list.

-These Asus monitors are LED and have the option to pivot so users can setup Eyefinity in either horizontal or portrait mode.

-Most SNB boards supports up to 32GB or ram. Windows 7 Pro will have no problems as 64bit can go all the way up to 192GB.

-Lastly, notice the parts put into this build, to go with the "blue" theme. :D 
e.g. Sapphire is a blue gemstone, the ripjaw has a blue heatsink, Intel's are blue, Win7 Pro is blue, etc...
October 1, 2011 6:29:37 AM

This "entry" is a couple hours late. I had planned on posting this build around 10pm last night after work. However, I unexpectedly had to work until close (1am). :??:  I had a blue/black rig centered around two MSI GTX 580 Lightnings. However, I didn't feel like that build was getting the most out of your money. So, I changed it and based it around what I think is a fairly "future proof" motherboard. Here's the build....

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 $279.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $219.99
Cooler: CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler $119.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) x2 $119.98
SSD: Crucial M4 2.5" 128GB SATA III SSD $196.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s $79.99
GPU: MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III PE/OC x2 $739.98
PSU: NZXT HALE90 750W80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $139.99
ODD: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader $64.99
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R $139.99
Display: ASUS VE258Q Black 25" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Display Port & Speakers x3 $ 776.97
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99

Total: $2,978.84 (before shipping/tax/rebates)

That's somewhat of a black/grey color theme. The motherboard has a PCIe 3.0 slot and an NF200 chip. You could also upgrade to an Ivy Bridge cpu when the time comes. I was trying to break from the current norm of black cases and PSUs. I don't think that picture does the 500R justice. It looks much better in this video (jump to the 3:15 mark.) There's no i7 2600K because your rig (as you said) is mostly for gaming. Maybe if you seriously get into photoshop and video editing, then you could add higher capacity memory or upgrade to an Ivy Bridge cpu (if and only if the i5 and 2000Mhz of memory isn't getting the job done). Those MSI 570s and i5 (coupled with the H100) should overclock well. Then you could probably lower the latency some on the 2000MHz memory. Basically, I think most of the parts you can tweak for a bit more performance.

I can understand if you don't accept this build since it is late, but no love lost.
October 1, 2011 6:38:58 AM

is this closed
October 1, 2011 7:32:49 AM
October 1, 2011 7:35:00 AM

can you please let my build in i only saw this today.
October 1, 2011 5:14:29 PM

Don't know if this is still active, but here's my shot at it.

Processor: i5 2500k - $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $133 (including shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 570 ti (x2) - $660
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Internal 7200 RPM - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master Full Tower with 4 fans (1 x 140mm fan, 2x 200mm fan, 1 x 230mm fan) - $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Corsair 1200W 80 Plus Certified, Modular, SLI+ Crossfire ready - $286 (including shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD Writer, CD Drive, etc etc - $21 (including shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blu-Ray Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray Drive, LightScribe Support, 3D playback support - $111 (including shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OEM - $100

Optional:
Water Cooling: Corsair H100 Extreme Performance (compatible with LGA 1155) - $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: 7.1 Channels Sound Card w/ Headphones - $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total before monitor without water cooling and sound card: $1971
Total before monitor with water cooling and sound card: $2391
Total before monitor with water cooling and no sound card: $2091
Total before monitor with sound card and no water cooling: $2271

Monitor: Hanns-G 27.5" 3ms HD 1080P - $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total after monitor: Range of $2241- $2661

With the money you save, you could change the dual GTX 570's to dual GTX 580's, add an SSD, get a bigger hard drive, etc. Or a combination of them. Hope you like whatever you choose as the best!

!