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$1800 Gaming PC Build

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October 20, 2011 3:30:26 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Christm@s

Budget Range: $1700-$1900 US.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the Internet.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or TigerDirect

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Wish I could stay AMD, but no. Intell CPU. GPU don't matter.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, probably 6-8 months down the road. Going Tri-monitor at that time.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 for now.

Additional Comments: Pretty new to this. I know the basics, just enough to make myself dangerous and annoying to those of you who know what your doing. :D  My older bro was my goto guy for computers, but I no longer have him to rely on. Reaching out for guidance on a build. Game type will be FPS types and Skyrim... Just got out of 7+ years of FFXI, I know, I know. Looking for some decent graphic ability for the newer games. I'm a noob, but I have been paying attention to the build advice from some of the users here and have noticed that there are a lot here that know what they are talking about. I've always been partial to AMD, simply because untill recently, they were the best bang/buck. Plus I love the underdog... But they shot themselves in the foot with BD. Gonna have to go intel on the CPU. Anyway its time to upgrade from my C-64 and 1541 drive. Ok, so its really an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and Radeon HD 2400PRO... but still a dinosaur.
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My Ideas So Far.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K $219.99

CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Frio $57.99
CPU Cooler: Noctua D14 $85.99

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $124.99

GPU: MSI Lightning Xtreme Edition GTX580 $594.00
Second GPU 6-8 months down the road in SLI with 3X 1920x1080 monitors in landscape mode.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 $49.99

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 1000w $209.99
PSU: CORSAIR Pro Series HX1050 $219.99

SSD: Crucial M4 128GB $197.99

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB $64.99

Optical: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer $22.99

O.S. Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit $99.99

Total: $1692+Shipping.
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Undecided on Case.
I hate the look of the mesh front cases, like the HAF series. Also not wanting a case with a door. I still have to look further into case options. Got to find a case I like that is also big enough to house SLi 580's. I like the interior of the Silverstone RV03 as well as the top mounted slots and wiring, but the front of the case is horrid! Are there any other 90-degree motherboard mounting cases available?

Thanks in advance for your help.
~Brothermist.
[edited spelling errors and missing bracket]

More about : 1800 gaming build

October 20, 2011 3:41:19 PM

Solid build. You dont HAVE to change a thing. I will throw in my 2 cents though:

PSU: Silent Master Pro is their flagship model, but i sent 2 of those exact psu's back DOA. This is totally personal experience, but noting the SP is the only model i would buy from Cooler Master, not worth it to me. Corsair HX1050 is a much better company/quality imo, and will handle a 2nd GTX580.

On that note:GPU

I would recommend the MSI Twin Frozr II GTX580 over the Lightening series. if you are OC'ing, its much better for nice frigid temps, which will help with overall case temperature, and essentially, the CPU temp.

HSF: I recommend the Frio all the time, but if you have any issues with noise, spend the extra $35 and get the Noctua D14. Much quieter, and same performance.
October 20, 2011 3:42:00 PM

Coolermaster sucks.
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October 20, 2011 3:45:08 PM

PS

If christmas is the purchase date, you will want the i5 35xxk. Also, look for bundle/combo deals and massive discounts for Black Friday.

Reason for not buying the xtreme lightening is that 3GB of mem will serve you better through 2 cards SLI'd than 1 card. I think with that, you can get your SLI now.
October 20, 2011 3:45:50 PM

^^ +1

HAHA Cooler Master's PSU's suck. Their HAF X cases rock my ****
October 22, 2011 8:24:52 PM

casualbuilder said:
Corsair HX1050 is a much better company/quality imo, and will handle a 2nd GTX580.

Thanks for the info. Updated my build to include the HX1050. Did some searches and found it is indeed a much better PSU, and only $20 more.

casualbuilder said:
On that note:GPU

I would recommend the MSI Twin Frozr II GTX580 over the Lightening series. if you are OC'ing, its much better for nice frigid temps, which will help with overall case temperature, and essentially, the CPU temp.

Again, I'm noob as hell, but everything I have read seems to point that for multiple monitors at 5760 x 1080, you really need as much GPU memory as possible to play at very high/max settings. Also the MSI Twin Frozr II card you suggested, is it simply for the cooling? The Lightening card states it has "Twin Frozr III". Is the II better, or is the added GPU memory just that much more of a heat source?

casualbuilder said:
HSF: I recommend the Frio all the time, but if you have any issues with noise, spend the extra $35 and get the Noctua D14. Much quieter, and same performance.

Again, thanks much for the input. Did some more searching and yeah, it is much quieter than the Frio unit. Adding that to the build as well.


October 22, 2011 8:34:56 PM

casualbuilder said:
PS
If christmas is the purchase date, you will want the i5 35xxk. Also, look for bundle/combo deals and massive discounts for Black Friday.

Reason for not buying the xtreme lightening is that 3GB of mem will serve you better through 2 cards SLI'd than 1 card. I think with that, you can get your SLI now.

I will be looking for combos and such around purchase time. I will also be watching for the new 35xxK offerings. As for SLI now, it dosent make much sense to me, as I'll not see any real benefit on a single 1920X1080 monitor with that much GPU power. I wont be going tri-monitor for a ways off yet, need the new monitors and I'm building a desk for them as well. My plan was to get the 3GB GPU at time of build, and a second 3GB GPU to SLI with at the time I purchase the new monitors. For running that much rez wouldnt the 3+3 GB GPU's greatly out perform 2X 1.5GB?

Thanks in advance for all the help.
~Brothermist

Best solution

October 24, 2011 10:19:35 AM
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did some more research on your Lightening cards this weekend. They are legit and quality cards. IMO, any card in that series, sticking with EVGA, PNY, ASUS, MSI will give you great performance. It truly is a matter of cooling preference. And, as you have pointed out, the memory. This is a useful added bonus to the Lightening series cards, so i would back you on that choice. Best of luck!

Also, Buy the highest card possibly that you can afford in this build. SLI is always better added on in the future when needed.
October 29, 2011 8:19:12 AM

Best answer selected by brothermist.
October 29, 2011 3:06:09 PM

What card did you go with then?
October 29, 2011 4:28:36 PM

The cooling for your cpu is an absolute overkill. The i5 2500k will never need such a beast cooling it. Xigmatek Aegir (even this is an overkill)/Zalman x10 performa/Corsair a70
For the rest i concur.
October 31, 2011 5:56:53 PM

Well, to be honest, I had settled on the MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition, but then just a few days ago I came across this review. Now I am again unsure. I do know that I will not be purchasing that card. I'm not sure yet where to go with GPU. I do know that memory will end up being my bottleneck when I go tri-monitor, so looking at 1MB cards isnt really an option. I may just go 6990, as there is only about $100 difference between the 6990 and the 580 Lightning Extreme, and I'd get another 1MB per card to push 5760X1080.But then we get into scaling and drivers of Nvidia vs. Ati... I think the area of my homework now is 6990 vs. 590. As it will be more than likely I'll be getting one of those two cards, then when I complete my 5760x1080 setup, getting a second card.

On the cooling front for the CPU, yes the D14 may indeed be overkill on the Sandy Bridge CPU's. They are quite efficient chips. Cooling is however on of the areas where I refuse to cut corners to save money, and I'd rather have a cooling solution that may outweigh my needs, if it affords me a little peace of mind. The D14 may also be a little more forgiving to a novice when it comes to the possibility of poor choices in other aspects of cooling in a noob build. I'd rather over engineer key aspects within the build of anything then hope I dont push the limits of those key systems from other aspects of the build. Its just the way I do things. Overbuilt > adequate.

I may not always need 1ton axles and 140:1 gearing in my Jeep, but its nice to know the strength and power is there when I make other choices that rely on the performance of those parts. If I break crap I know its because I screwed up, not because of a limitation of the quality of the components I've chosen. :D 
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