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High end gaming build. Don't know where to start.

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September 14, 2011 12:58:39 PM

Hi. I'm lookking for some advice on building a new gaming machine. Budget is about £1000 ($1200 approx), but that could vary.

Sorry I don't have specific products in mind, I honestly have no clue what to get really.

Basically I'm thinking along these lines:

Processor

Intel Core i7 2600K Processor LGA1155 3.4GHz CPU

Graphics

Radeon HD5850 (eventually want 2 or 3 of these)

Hard Drive

120gb SSD (boot drive)

1TB SATA 7200RPM

Memory

8gb DDR3 RAM

Creative Soundblaster

Also would like:

Blu Ray drive
USB 3.0

Don't really have any clue what motherboards i should be looking at. Though Crossfire/SLI and intel chipsets are my preference.

I'm not sure if I need an i7 or if an i5 will do.

I wasn't sure whether SLI or Crossfire is the correct way to go. I'm looking to buy 1 card and then add others later. Preferably would like 3.
If there are better cards than the 5850 please point me in that direction.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. My old machine is dying (it's lasted 5 years) so I'm looking to build something that will last me at least 3 years.

Also would need to be able to do dual monitor config with ease. Thanks
September 14, 2011 1:20:08 PM

Please start by filling out the form linked in my signature so we have all the information necessary to help you.
September 14, 2011 1:26:47 PM

i5-2500k £160
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...
ATI 6970 £268
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-sapphire-hd-6970-pci...(x16)-5500mhz-gddr5-gpu-880mhz-1536cores-2x-minidp-hdmi-dvi
Gigabyte Z68-UD3H-B3 £127
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud3h-b3...(x16)-vga-on-board-a
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HDD £42
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spin...
Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler £22
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-p...
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600MHz RAM £45
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v
XFX 850w Modular PSU £96
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/850w-psu-xfx-pro-p1-850b...
Crucial M4 128GB SSD £140
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/crucial-realssd-128gb-m4...
Samsung Blu-Ray £41
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/samsung-sh-b123l-bsbp-12...


£941 without a case. There's also no real need for a sound card, nothing wrong with the motherboard audio, its 7.1 surround. The build fits budget and has a nice upgrade option of adding another 6970 GPU in the future. 850w is enough to handle 2 cards, and the motherboard is CrossFire ready :) 


CoolerMaster CM 690 II £58
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-cm-690-ii-l...

-------

Comparison here for 5850 vs 6970 http://www.hwcompare.com/6354/radeon-hd-5850-vs-radeon-...

Related resources
September 14, 2011 1:37:05 PM

AdrianPerry said:
i5-2500k £160
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...
ATI 6970 £268
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-sapphire-hd-6970-pci...(x16)-5500mhz-gddr5-gpu-880mhz-1536cores-2x-minidp-hdmi-dvi
Gigabyte Z68-UD3H-B3 £127
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud3h-b3...(x16)-vga-on-board-a
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HDD £42
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spin...
Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler £22
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-p...
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600MHz RAM £45
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v
XFX 850w Modular PSU £96
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/850w-psu-xfx-pro-p1-850b...
Crucial M4 128GB SSD £140
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/crucial-realssd-128gb-m4...
Samsung Blu-Ray £41
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/samsung-sh-b123l-bsbp-12...


£941 without a case. There's also no real need for a sound card, nothing wrong with the motherboard audio, its 7.1 surround. The build fits budget and has a nice upgrade option of adding another 6970 GPU in the future. 850w is enough to handle 2 cards, and the motherboard is CrossFire ready :) 


CoolerMaster CM 690 II £58
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-cm-690-ii-l...

-------

Comparison here for 5850 vs 6970 http://www.hwcompare.com/6354/radeon-hd-5850-vs-radeon-...


This guy nailed it perfectly.
September 14, 2011 1:49:44 PM

that's awesome thanks a lot.
Is there no need for the i7 processors then? I wasn't sure what I'd require.
Also are there motherboards available for x3 crossfire and is the 7000 series coming out anytime soon? would it be worth waiting to get them?
September 14, 2011 2:01:40 PM

TheFallenOne said:
that's awesome thanks a lot.
Is there no need for the i7 processors then? I wasn't sure what I'd require.
Also are there motherboards available for x3 crossfire and is the 7000 series coming out anytime soon? would it be worth waiting to get them?


For gaming, the $100 difference between an i5-2500 and an i7-2600 is better spent elsewhere (like a graphics card, or SSD drive). Games don't use more than 4 threads, so there is no benefit with the i7. Maybe in the future they will, but we've been saying that for a long time now.

As for the 7000 series graphics cards, they are slated for "this fall" and for waiting that totally depends on when you want this build. If you want to game now, then the 6970 is more than capable.

For motherboards, I'm not expert and don't really know the answer, but I was under the impression that any Crossfire capable motherboard could combine a x2 GPU and a regular GPU to get a x3 crossfire.
September 14, 2011 2:02:25 PM

Also if overclocking the processor would I need a different fan/heatsink?
September 14, 2011 2:02:37 PM

Im not sure about 7xxx series, i believe it was planned for Q4 2011 but that may have changed.

i7-2600k and i5-2500k, the only real difference is the Hyper Threading technology of the i7. Games dont make use of this and it only has its advantages for things such as video rendering/encoding. You can check this link for a direct comparison: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288
September 14, 2011 2:04:10 PM

TheFallenOne said:
Also if overclocking the processor would I need a different fan/heatsink?


I listed the Hyper 212+ as a CPU cooler.
Its very affordable with great cooling performance. Should easily be able to hit up to 4.7-4.8GHz on your i5 without seeing any alarming temps :D 
September 14, 2011 2:10:27 PM

Yeah listen to what AP says.
September 14, 2011 2:12:38 PM

nordlead said:
For motherboards, I'm not expert and don't really know the answer, but I was under the impression that any Crossfire capable motherboard could combine a x2 GPU and a regular GPU to get a x3 crossfire.


Sorry I was slightly vague. I meant are there motherboards that allow crossfire with 3 seperate graphics cards. Also didnt realise you could get multicore radeons. Thought that was nvidias thing.
September 14, 2011 2:14:42 PM

TheFallenOne said:
Sorry I was slightly vague. I meant are there motherboards that allow crossfire with 3 seperate graphics cards. Also didnt realise you could get multicore radeons. Thought that was nvidias thing.


That would be the worst idea ever. There are problems with dual gpu set ups, can you imagine how much more if you insert 3. The radeon 7000 will be out by this year. So it would be better to save your money and just use a single card THEN buy a better 7000HD series when your card feels obsolete.
September 14, 2011 2:25:03 PM

AdrianPerry said:
I think by the time x2 6970's start letting you down performance wise, you'll be looking at a whole new build all together :) 

Something more like this will support x3-way crossfire though:
£275 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud7-b3-...(x16)-atx


O_O Don't encourage him.
September 14, 2011 2:25:43 PM

ervinelim said:
That would be the worst idea ever. There are problems with dual gpu set ups, can you imagine how much more if you insert 3. The radeon 7000 will be out by this year. So it would be better to save your money and just use a single card THEN buy a better 7000HD series when your card feels obsolete.


Didn't realise they cause problems. Figured they would have worked out the kinks in Crossfire etc. by now. I'll just do what you say and get the single card and see how that goes. Is there any issues with overheating when using two GPU's over a long time period, my current card is an X850XT PE and when gaming for a while I have to take the side off my PC it gets so hot.
September 14, 2011 2:26:54 PM

TheFallenOne said:
Didn't realise they cause problems. Figured they would have worked out the kinks in Crossfire etc. by now. I'll just do what you say and get the single card and see how that goes. Is there any issues with overheating when using two GPU's over a long time period, my current card is an X850XT PE and when gaming for a while I have to take the side off my PC it gets so hot.


Yeah, it's better that way. A good cooler will always help on heat issues.
September 14, 2011 2:30:55 PM

ervinelim said:
O_O Don't encourage him.


Eh. If I had the money to burn, I would :D  Haha.

Your right thought, its really very unnecessary and with the huge extra costs for PSU, Motherboard, more GPU's you'd have more fun just buying a whole new updated build in a few years time. Crossfire 6970's shouldn't struggle with ANY game over the next 2years at least unless something crazy happens like Metro 2033 x 2!! :p  And even then, it would more than likely still run it on multiple monitors with a smooth 40+ fps :D 
September 14, 2011 2:33:21 PM

If I had money, I would buy the cheap build I made in my sig and upgrade my monitor to 1600 x 900 but yeah :( .
September 14, 2011 2:36:48 PM

One of the few good things I have to say about console gaming - It's cheap in comparison to the crazy amount of money PC Enthusiasts spend on the latest "tech". But my god do new games look GOOD on PC :D 
September 14, 2011 3:05:26 PM

Thanks for all your help guys. Really appreciate it.
September 14, 2011 3:11:08 PM

Quick question on dual GPU set up. When I install my second GPU, will that mean potentially losing access to one of my PCI slots because of the size of the GPU, taking up two bays on the back of the computer? Hope that made sense.
September 14, 2011 3:20:43 PM

Yes, more than likely you will lose alot of your slots due to the size of the cards.
!