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New $2000 Gaming Build, Help Needed!

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October 2, 2011 4:17:35 PM

Hey all, first post and hoping for some help with my purchase. I haven't built a computer in about 10 years and my current system is pretty old (8 years). Time for a new PC, and I want the fun of building before I play. I am looking for some ideas and also might have some REALLY dumb questions, so I appologies first.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month (unless Bulldozer will REALLY effect prices)

Budget Range: $1700-$2200 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Battlefield 3, Rage, Starcraft II, Strongehold 3), Converting Videos, Streamling Content, Surfing Web)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com, newegg.com

Country of Origin: MA, USA

Overclocking: Yes (If I can figure out what the hell I am doing :) )

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, possible 2 monitors at 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Quiet isn't a bad thing, No bling on my case either, even the blue light fans might be a bit much in the one I listed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Parts I am contemplating:

Case ($100): Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock
Motherboard ($246): ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67 / NVIDIA NF200 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
CPU ($315): Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
GPU ($870, $810 after mail-in): 3 x SAPPHIRE Toxic 100312TXSR Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
RAM ($80): G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL
**Updated** SSD ($268): OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
**Updated** PSU ($150): Antec CP-1000 1000W Continuous ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply Exclusively for - Twelve Hundred(1200)/P183/P193/DF-85
Heatsink ($86): Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
Drive ($80): LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Super Multi WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM

COST: $2158, $2098 after mail-in
**Updated** COST: $2195, $2135 after mail-in (includes new SSD and new Power Supply)

I am thinking of the recent $2000 build on Tom's but I noticed a lot of people, including the builders didn't seem to be overjoyed by it. I noticed a few items in the comments which I changed my part ideas with but have a few questions and thoughts from people.

1. 3 ATI cards or 2 NVidia cards? My specs above are for 3. Answered, going for the 3
2. Liquid cooling... Needed? Pointless? Any benefit to it, and if so why don't many people use it on the boards here, or is it just not listed? Answered, all set
3. I plan to stripe 2 SSD drives, does it make more sense to just get 1 128GB one? Will I see speed improvements with the striping? Answered and decided to go with a single SSD.
4. Any real reason to spend money on a good soundcard? I only play games from a 2.1 sound system and don't plan to change that. On board? Answered, Onboard should be fine for my needs.
5. Did I mess any parts up? Does anything not work with anything listed? She I upgrade one thing, downgrade another? I am looking for some help for the smart people on these boards, building a computer now isn't like it was 10 years ago :) 
October 2, 2011 4:44:51 PM

Recommended Change:
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Forgot to answer lol...
1. 3 ATI cards or 2 NVidia cards? My specs above are for 3.
3 is better BUT uses more power so get 1000Watts

2. Liquid cooling... Needed? Pointless? Any benefit to it, and if so why don't many people use it on the boards here, or is it just not listed?
Liquid is not needed, it just to cool videocard and cpu and probably NB but you only needed to cool one component mostly and it's CPU so no it's not worth getting liquid cooling the CPU...

3. I plan to stripe 2 SSD drives, does it make more sense to just get 1 128GB one? Will I see speed improvements with the striping?
2 SSD RAID 0 is faster but i prefer going for a 120GB because one of those SSD can fail and it's hard settings things up for raid and fixing it when your have to do something important...

4. Any real reason to spend money on a good soundcard? I only play games from a 2.1 sound system and don't plan to change that. On board?
No, Soundcard are only good for music people such as DJ and Music maker

5. Did I mess any parts up? Does anything not work with anything listed? She I upgrade one thing, downgrade another? I am looking for some help for the smart people on these boards, building a computer now isn't like it was 10 years ago :) 
Everything is fine but just your CPU and RAM and other parts i listed above the "Edit" part lol... 2500k and 2600k in gaming is literally identical so no need 2600k as it's for Video Editing and Encoding...
October 2, 2011 6:17:13 PM

legendkiller said:
Recommended Change:
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: Forgot to answer lol...
1. 3 ATI cards or 2 NVidia cards? My specs above are for 3.
3 is better BUT uses more power so get 1000Watts

2. Liquid cooling... Needed? Pointless? Any benefit to it, and if so why don't many people use it on the boards here, or is it just not listed?
Liquid is not needed, it just to cool videocard and cpu and probably NB but you only needed to cool one component mostly and it's CPU so no it's not worth getting liquid cooling the CPU...

3. I plan to stripe 2 SSD drives, does it make more sense to just get 1 128GB one? Will I see speed improvements with the striping?
2 SSD RAID 0 is faster but i prefer going for a 120GB because one of those SSD can fail and it's hard settings things up for raid and fixing it when your have to do something important...

4. Any real reason to spend money on a good soundcard? I only play games from a 2.1 sound system and don't plan to change that. On board?
No, Soundcard are only good for music people such as DJ and Music maker

5. Did I mess any parts up? Does anything not work with anything listed? She I upgrade one thing, downgrade another? I am looking for some help for the smart people on these boards, building a computer now isn't like it was 10 years ago :) 
Everything is fine but just your CPU and RAM and other parts i listed above the "Edit" part lol... 2500k and 2600k in gaming is literally identical so no need 2600k as it's for Video Editing and Encoding...


I do plan on doing a lot of video editing (amateur but still a heavily, weekly use for the most part, I think the 2600 will benefit me in that regard). In doing this, would that change any of your other recommendations?

Why the change in the RAM and why the change in the Motherboard? Any specific reason? Also, the case is a bit flashy for me, was there a specific reason you switched to this (airflow etc) or just because you did.
Related resources
October 2, 2011 6:19:47 PM

2000 MHZ ram iss pointless. After 1600 mhz you cant tell the difference. Also YOur gpu is coming as out of stock. And 3 gpu's will really eat at your power. I hope you have enough power with 1000w :D 
October 2, 2011 9:02:39 PM

The RAM is faster(Few years from now, ram ganna be at 2800MHz and/or higher) plus you want to get the Z68 because of SSD(Bug on p67)... Also change your case because it saves you money and have good cooling with looks... Also get two 3 GTx 560(I think it's only 2 way SLI not sure lol) or 2 GTx 570, 3 Weak video card will kill a 850w PSU... Also, if i were you, i'd seriously go for a GTx 580 3GB got around $600... If you have 3 monitors at 1920x1080 than the GTx 580 3GB is my choice or recommended....
Your Option: 3 Gtx 560 1GB(Or 2GB) OR 2 GTx 570 1.2GB(or get 2.5GB) OR 1 GTx 580 1.5GB(or 3GB)...
Note: ATi Radeon isn't my favorite because they cant be OC high and doesn't have a card as faster as a GTx 580 so Nvidia in my opinion is a better....
October 2, 2011 9:42:47 PM

legendkiller said:
The RAM is faster(Few years from now, ram ganna be at 2800MHz and/or higher) plus you want to get the Z68 because of SSD(Bug on p67)... Also change your case because it saves you money and have good cooling with looks... Also get two 3 GTx 560(I think it's only 2 way SLI not sure lol) or 2 GTx 570, 3 Weak video card will kill a 850w PSU... Also, if i were you, i'd seriously go for a GTx 580 3GB got around $600... If you have 3 monitors at 1920x1080 than the GTx 580 3GB is my choice or recommended....
Your Option: 3 Gtx 560 1GB(Or 2GB) OR 2 GTx 570 1.2GB(or get 2.5GB) OR 1 GTx 580 1.5GB(or 3GB)...
Note: ATi Radeon isn't my favorite because they cant be OC high and doesn't have a card as faster as a GTx 580 so Nvidia in my opinion is a better....

RAM above 1600MHz does not produce a noticeable performance increase; sometimes the benchmarks don't even show a difference. There is no bug on the P67 chipset that would prevent him from using an SSD. A 850W PSU can easily handle GTX 570 in SLI. For 3 monitors or even 2, the 6950 and 6970 are far better choices than the GTX 580.

So many things wrong with your post. :non: 
October 2, 2011 9:50:22 PM

Corsair Carbide Series 400R (you can turn off the lights): $99.99 ($94.99 after rebate)

Antec High Current Gamer Series 900W: $114.99

3 x Thermalright TY-140: $14.99 each ($44.97)

ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3: $199.99

Intel Core i5-2500K: $219.99

Thermalright Silver Arrow: $82.99

Akasa Flexa FP5: $9.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 1600MHz C8-8-8-24: $55.99

Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 (top slot): $349.99 ($329.99 after rebate)

Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 (bottom slot): $709.99

Patriot Wildfire 120GB: $254.99 ($214.99 after rebate)

Samsung SpinPoint F3: $59.99

Total: $2,138.86 after rebates

Feel free to ask me questions about the parts. I hope you do overclock, and that you get that second (or a third) 1920 x 1080 monitor, because this build is the best at high resolutions.
October 2, 2011 10:38:28 PM

-Ya PSU won't fit in ya Case and I wouldn't buy anything that says Rosewill on it. The Antec 1200V3 or DF-85 is the way to go here. A CP-850 is all I'd get for twin 560 TI's.

-Triple CF is not something I'd contemplate

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

Quote:
We've been dealing with CrossfireX reviews ever since the beginning and surely a lot has changed over the years. The one recommendation we always gave you guys is to keep it simple at 2 GPUs maximum, as after 2 GPUs in a CrossfireX setup you quickly run into weird anomalies that can be irritating.


-Stick w/ the 2600k if doing video editing

-I don't see anything that you are doing that benefits from Z68. Look here and see if you see anything:

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Also, 1) the WS does twin GFX at x16 x16 .... the Z68 board listed drops that to x8 x8 and 2) Asrock boards don't offer industry standard 3 year warrantees.

- Striping the SSD"s will do little that you'd notice in booting or gaming. Adding an SSD drops 5.6 seconds off ya boot time (15.6 vs 21.2) w/ a decent HD.... big wow. RAID will help w/ the video editing and twin striped fast large capacity HD's will have very noticeable impact.

Case - $ 160 - Antec 1200 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 245 - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 315 - Intel Core i5-2600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 95 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - Later Same
GFX - $ 230 - Asus 900MHz GTX 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX $ 230 Same If needed
HD - $ 140 - Seagate XT SATA III 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - Later - Same
SSD - $ 190 - Vertex 3 2.5" 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $ 40 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 110 - Plextor 320SA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1958

Set up the BIOS profiles to have the following:

4.6 GHz w/ for HT enabled apps (HT enabled)
4.8 GHz w/ for Gaming (HT disabled)

Upgrade to twin 580's would take ya gaming fps from 862 fps in Guru3D's gaming test suite (1920 x 1200) to 953 fps. Is $535 worth the extra 91 fps ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 3, 2011 3:35:11 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
-Ya PSU won't fit in ya Case and I wouldn't buy anything that says Rosewill on it. The Antec 1200V3 or DF-85 is the way to go here. A CP-850 is all I'd get for twin 560 TI's.

-Triple CF is not something I'd contemplate

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

Quote:
We've been dealing with CrossfireX reviews ever since the beginning and surely a lot has changed over the years. The one recommendation we always gave you guys is to keep it simple at 2 GPUs maximum, as after 2 GPUs in a CrossfireX setup you quickly run into weird anomalies that can be irritating.


-Stick w/ the 2600k if doing video editing

-I don't see anything that you are doing that benefits from Z68. Look here and see if you see anything:

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Also, 1) the WS does twin GFX at x16 x16 .... the Z68 board listed drops that to x8 x8 and 2) Asrock boards don't offer industry standard 3 year warrantees.

- Striping the SSD"s will do little that you'd notice in booting or gaming. Adding an SSD drops 5.6 seconds off ya boot time (15.6 vs 21.2) w/ a decent HD.... big wow. RAID will help w/ the video editing and twin striped fast large capacity HD's will have very noticeable impact.

Case - $ 160 - Antec 1200 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 245 - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 315 - Intel Core i5-2600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 95 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - Later Same
GFX - $ 230 - Asus 900MHz GTX 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX $ 230 Same If needed
HD - $ 140 - Seagate XT SATA III 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - Later - Same
SSD - $ 190 - Vertex 3 2.5" 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $ 40 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 110 - Plextor 320SA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1958

Set up the BIOS profiles to have the following:

4.6 GHz w/ for HT enabled apps (HT enabled)
4.8 GHz w/ for Gaming (HT disabled)

Upgrade to twin 580's would take ya gaming fps from 862 fps in Guru3D's gaming test suite (1920 x 1200) to 953 fps. Is $535 worth the extra 91 fps ?

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

the p8p67 ws revolution has reliabilty problems as you can clearly see from its reviews.

the cp 850/1000 is trash efficiency wise. not worth it at all if all you get is 80 plus out of them. btw you need an antec case to hold the cp850/1000 OP

thermalright is notorious for having unflat bases. that is why the noctua nh-d14 (the real ultimate air cpu cooler) beats it when a processor is oc'd higher. the thermalright cannot transfer enough heat over.

the seagate xt is a waste of money. it is for people who cant afford an ssd but want fast boot times.

OP- the max iops version is not worth it. neither is any sandforce 3 ssd except for the corsair force gt (because it has corsair's great customer service to back up the buggy sandforce ssd). overall the crucial m4 128gb is a way better deal because it is much more reliable

Jack- stop with the gaming suite. put down real games. that is where you will see a performance difference because from 30 to 50 fps is a big jump even though it is only 20fps.
October 3, 2011 5:24:22 AM

The latency is too much on the ram you chose. I'd recommend you another model that runs @ a lower speed & better timings because, as the latest TH articles proved, 1866MHz might not be faster than 1600MHz if the 1600MHz memory runs at faster timings. Also, you begin to run into diminishing returns after 1600MHz

Take a look at these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 3, 2011 5:32:56 AM

youssef 2010 said:
The latency is too much on the ram you chose. I'd recommend you another model that runs @ a lower speed & better timings because, as the latest TH articles proved, 1866MHz might not be faster than 1600MHz if the 1600MHz memory runs at faster timings. Also, you begin to run into diminishing returns after 1600MHz

Take a look at these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$119 :lol:  . I suggested 1600MHz C8-8-8-24 RAM for $56.
!