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5000$ First Build. Advice very much appreciated.

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October 25, 2011 7:20:31 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Exactly 2.5 months from now.


Budget Range: Maximum 5000$. If I can achieve my goals with half that I'd prefer that. :) 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Web Design/Development/Gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard/Mouse. I am looking for a nice computer chair also so if anyone knows a good one please let me know!


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect seems the cheapest for me. (I live in Ireland). Everything in europe is incredibly, incredibly expensive, even when buying online.


Country of Origin: Ireland.

Parts Preferences: Although I have very little to no hardware experience I have grown an affection towards Nvidia products. If anybody has any better ideas I am open to change.


Overclocking: None that I will do myself.


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200. Either or. Looking for 27" mainly.


Additional Comments: Looking to get the best bang for my buck really. I'm not looking to spend more then I have to.

My goal is to be able to play Skyrim across three 27" moniters on highest settings with texture pack mod. I'm not sure if I'll need to spend 4000$ to be able to do that but thats what Ive budgeted for. I'm a web designer and developer so I spend half the day online on the computer as I work from home. It's been a few years since I bought a PC (never built one) so Ive decided to go all out. Ive also been waiting for skyrim for 5 years so I'm going to treat myself.

As I said If I can build a PC for less than 5000 that can achieve my goals I'd rather do that.


Budget includes, OS and 3x 27" moniter.

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Really appreciate all the help!

More about : 5000 build advice appreciated

October 25, 2011 8:17:57 PM

1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
2x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... (if you want more performance you could double these, they are relatively inexpensive)
1x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
3x http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

I chose the full tower case because those cards can get toasty. It may be cheaper to look for a case locally than to pay to ship one across the pond. I would also recommend looking for the chair locally. Let me know if you have any other questions or if your work involves graphics design/video editing because you may want to change a couple of things in that case.
October 25, 2011 9:37:02 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Would it not be better to get the 3gb version of the GTX 580?
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October 25, 2011 9:39:19 PM

Also would it not be more beneficial to get a blu ray player?
October 25, 2011 9:43:32 PM

The 3GB version of the GTX 580 is the way to go certainly.

If you are interested in getting more GPUs for the money, give the GeForce GTX 460 2Win (2GB, 512-Bit) a try. It's one of the few dual GPU video cards out there, and the GTX 460 (GF104) GPU is an excellent overclocker. You can purchase two of them for a true quad sli set up, for less than the cost of two GTX 580 3GB video cards.
October 25, 2011 9:47:28 PM

Also I noticed you didn't pick a sound card. Why is that?

Also noticed you decided against an SSD? Is there a reason for this?


Appreciate the help!
October 25, 2011 9:49:57 PM

AL3ZAY said:
The 3GB version of the GTX 580 is the way to go certainly.

If you are interested in getting more GPUs for the money, give the GeForce GTX 460 2Win (2GB, 512-Bit) a try. It's one of the few dual GPU video cards out there, and the GTX 460 (GF104) GPU is an excellent overclocker. You can purchase two of them for a true quad sli set up, for less than the cost of two GTX 580 3GB video cards.


I'm not sure I plan on doing any overclocking myself. Would the 2x 3gb GTX 580 not be more future proof?
October 25, 2011 9:58:43 PM

The 2x GTX 3GB is def the way to go. Eventually you will hit an architecture bottleneck on those dual 460's. Not all games will be able to take advantage of quad SLI and you'll have allot less headaches with a simple 2 card SLI setup.
October 25, 2011 10:02:27 PM

Great thanks!

About the monitor you picked. Do you know much about it specifically? How does it compare to other monitors?
October 25, 2011 10:14:32 PM

Why Caviar Green when he has $5000 budget?
October 25, 2011 10:24:27 PM

So for playing skryim max settings across 3 moniters the two GPUs will be enough?
October 25, 2011 10:46:24 PM

sean33 said:
So for playing skryim max settings across 3 moniters the two GPUs will be enough?


Dual 580s will handle that without breaking a sweat as long as you don't run over 1080p resolution. Even on those ridiculously high-res Apple displays you'll still never come close to using the full capacity of the 580s across 3 monitors.

This will be one sweet setup and you'll still have $1200 left over:

Case: Corsair Graphite 600T - $159.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950 - $149.99
Motherboard: EVGA Z68 FTW - $299.99
CPU: 3.40GHz Intel Core i7-2600K - $319.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $109.99
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz - $129.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $219.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB - $119.99
Video Card: 2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Superclocked Edition - $499.99 each
Keyboard / Mouse: Microsoft Cordless Desktop 5000 - $59.99
Monitor: 3 x Acer S237HL 27" Widescreen LED Monitor - $299.99 each
OS: Windows 7 Professional - $139.99

Total: $3,867.99
October 25, 2011 10:58:01 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Dual 580s will handle that without breaking a sweat as long as you don't run over 1080p resolution. Even on those ridiculously high-res Apple displays you'll still never come close to using the full capacity of the 580s across 3 monitors.

This will be one sweet setup and you'll still have $1200 left over:

Case: Corsair Graphite 600T - $159.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950 - $149.99
Motherboard: EVGA Z68 FTW - $299.99
CPU: 3.40GHz Intel Core i7-2600K - $319.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $109.99
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz - $129.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $219.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB - $119.99
Video Card: 2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Superclocked Edition - $499.99 each
Keyboard / Mouse: Microsoft Cordless Desktop 5000 - $59.99
Monitor: 3 x Acer S237HL 27" Widescreen LED Monitor - $299.99 each
OS: Windows 7 Professional - $139.99

Total: $3,867.99


Would upgrading to the 3gb MSI versions not be a better idea? Especially for future games?
October 25, 2011 11:19:30 PM

I was mainly trying to keep the price down since it seemed like this would accomplish the goals you mentioned and have a good upgrade capability, if you plan on adding to it in the future. If you want better sound or an SSD that can be easily added. I like this for sound: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... If you want an SSD you may consider using a z68 based board and SSD caching. The ASUS P8Z68 is a very good line of boards.
October 25, 2011 11:23:52 PM

I think the obvious choices are:

i7-2600k
8GB RAM (Corsair Vengeance LP?)
Z68 board with x8/x8 SLI (ASRock Z68 Extreme4?)
~120GB SSD (Crucial M4 128GB?)
Good 850-950W PSU (Corsair AX-850?)

There really isn't much of an argument vs getting all of the above, it's just a matter of choosing HDD, Optical drive, GPUs, Cooler and case. My suggestions would be:

HDD - If you want speed I'd go with a couple of Spinpoint F3's in RAID 0. If you want quietness I would go with a Caviar Green or Spinpoint F4 2TB.

OPT - Not much of a reason not to go with a BD-RW at this budget, most brands are good, doesn't really matter which you choose.

GPU - You are definitely going to need 2 cards or more, 3 cards can run into a lot of cost/heat/power issues though so I would just go with 2 very powerful cards with plenty of memory such as 3GB GTX 580's.

CASE - Personally I'd go with the Coolermaster Cosmos, it looks awesome and really covers all the bases. It is a little expensive though, the Coolermaster HAF 932, NZXT Phantom and Antec Lanboy are other nice choices.

Cooler - I'd get the Noctua NH-D14, yes it's huge and yes it's ugly but the cooling is top notch and it's still pretty quiet.

Another note to make, if you went for a very good quality quiet cooler with the 580's and got the AX-850, Green/F4 drive and the Cosmos it should actually make quite a quiet PC despite the SLI.
October 25, 2011 11:25:44 PM

webbwbb said:
I was mainly trying to keep the price down since it seemed like this would accomplish the goals you mentioned and have a good upgrade capability, if you plan on adding to it in the future. If you want better sound or an SSD that can be easily added. I like this for sound: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... If you want an SSD you may consider using a z68 based board and SSD caching. The ASUS P8Z68 is a very good line of boards.


The point of SSD caching is to get near SSD speed at a low budget, doesn't seem worth it on a 5k budget to be honest.
October 25, 2011 11:28:34 PM

You seem to be missing a few big points... He doesn't want to overclock so he doesn't need an unlocked CPU or third party cooler, he said that he would really prefer to spend half of that budget, and these prices are before shipping and VAT.
October 25, 2011 11:30:10 PM

Well the sole reason I suggested the GTX 460 2Win 2GB quad SLi setup was strictly for the easy overclocking and thus performance capabilities of 4x GF104 GPUs across the three 27 inch (I'm assuming 1080p each one) displays the OP wants to play on. Overclocking these GPUs is really as easy as MSI Afterburner + 800 Core Clock/1600 Shader Clock/2000 Memory Clock settings, applying and forgetting about it (and this is if you want to just simply follow a tutorial that will allow you to set and forget without heat or the lifetime of your components ever becoming a problem). 2GB of VRAM is enough to handle Skyrim when paired with the correct processor, and you have 672 processor cores per card, so 1344 processor cores across 3 displays working together, on a 512-Bit memory bus, compared to the 1024 processor cores and 768-Bit (384 x2) memory bus of the GTX 580 x2, for around $850 vs. approx. $1,500, Quad SLi vs. SLi, with clock speeds and capabilities of an identical nature. Is 1GB extra of VRAM worth $650?

Even to purchase two GTX 580 cards separate would be to have 2 less GPUs, 320 less processor cores (using a 384-Bit memory bus because it is not a dual GPU card, but an SLi setup) and to spend $200+ more.

At the same time, since these are dual GPU video cards, you are still only taking up 4 expansion slots, same as a GTX 580 SLi set up. In SLi, games only have access to the amount of VRAM available on Card 1, meaning even if you have two, three, or four 3GB video cards, a game will still only have access to 3GB of VRAM total. In this regard, I believe the amount of processor cores @ GTX 580+ clock speeds for 3 displays edges out performance gains worthy of the 1GB hit to available VRAM.

I believe for 3 displays, you can save money and earn free performance with the GTX 460 2Win Quad SLi set up, but that is my own opinion. You can then use this same set of displays for other games like Batman Arkham City, with Physx on maximum, with power to spare.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
October 25, 2011 11:32:33 PM

webbwbb said:
You seem to be missing a few big points... He doesn't want to overclock so he doesn't need an unlocked CPU or third party cooler, he said that he would really prefer to spend half of that budget, and these prices are before shipping and VAT.


I'd still get a cooler just for the quietness and low temps, maybe just get a cheaper one if not overclocking. To be honest though I would get the i7-2600k just in case, he can learn to overclock in a year or two and get a huge performance boost.
October 26, 2011 1:03:49 AM

Agreed, even if he doesn't want to overclock, I'd still replace the stock cooler with something like Hyper 212+.
!