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~3.5K Gaming build help advice

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November 15, 2011 8:11:00 PM

Hi,
wanna buy a new system. I will add parts and will explain why I need it so you guys can understand me easy.

Approximate Purchase Date: this month ....BlackFriday...etc

Budget Range: ~3.5k before...if possible under

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming...Web Browsing...multitasking

Parts Not Required: all required

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com ... I have a Credit Card with them.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia,

Overclocking: Yes

SLI : Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200...etc more better

Additional Comments: Nice high end looking :) 


This is what I have so far in my shopping cart:


Antec DF-85 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case-------------------------------------Want Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129087

SAMSUNG S23A950D Black 23" 2ms Full HD 3D LED BackLight LCD -----------------------Want Nice Glossy Display for Gaming
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001473

SAMSUNG S22A300B High Glossy Black 21.5" 5ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD----------------------Web and Multitasking while Gaming
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001488

SLI MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB x2 -------------- 2 GPU always better
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127589

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSA00-80GAD3-US 1000W ATX ----Need enough power for all this and keep energy bill low
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171056

MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX -----------------Future proof IvyBridge/PCI3/Gen3...etc
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130622

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 ----------------------------Intel...OC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler-----------------------------------------------Liquid for OC ?!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181016

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB-----------------------------------------------------------SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133----------------------Good Ram?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231476

Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1TB USB 3.0 Black External Hard Drive-----------------------------------External Backup
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148659


Cyborg CCB437080002/04/1 Black USB Wired Laser 5600 dpi R.A.T. 7---------Need big heavy mouse with non standard form/design
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826102062


Tt eSPORTS CHALLENGER ULTIMATE Gaming Keyboard Black KB-CHU003US---------------Keyboard w/ fan and lights :D 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823162013



Total with Tax ~ 3700$



Can I get cheaper and better system ?!
Please help!


Don't know how to change the stupid text colors.

More about : gaming build advice

November 15, 2011 8:22:11 PM

well.. you can always go cheaper but you will sacrifice performance (a little)..

For instance, one 580 will do you fine for now. You can always upgrade later (like 4 years) if you need GPU action...

Also, you have a full tower, get rid of the external HDD.

Buy a couple of internal HDD and use sata.. Much faster, and you can do your backups with no problems.. the external will be a hassle.

Besides, you are going to fill up the SSD in a week...

Personal preference, buy a g500 mouse. It may be much more comfortable for hours of play.

Do you honestly want 3D that bad you need to buy the monitor?

If you want a beautiful display, you can always go with Asus' 24".. best none 3d monitor on the market and over $300 less

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

again,, you can always go cheaper ;) 
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November 15, 2011 8:32:35 PM

Couldn't buy all parts cept GPU's and only buy a placer GPU till January (2months away) so you can buy 2 x 28nm GPU's that would blow away a 580 SLI setup? It's just allot of money and not a bad wait for 2 months.
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Related resources
November 15, 2011 8:33:03 PM

Mobo: While MSI is decent, their QC isn't quite as good as other brands IMO. For an expensive build like this I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: While 2133mhz RAM is overkill, it's great for the price, so keep it if you don't mind spending a $50 premium for a very small increase in performance.

Monitor: Since you're going with an Nvidia build, you want a monitor that is 3D Vision ready, that Samsung is likely not.

Good 3D Vision monitors with kits included:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: If I was spending $100 on a keyboard I would get a mechanical one personally, but you may not. This looks like a membrane based keyboard, similar to many of the Razer ones.

Mouse: This is mostly personal choice, as in whatever fits your hand the best. For most people anything over a couple thousand DPI is overkill already, unless you like rediculously high senstivity. I personally use 400dpi on my mx518.

Everything else looks good from here.
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November 15, 2011 9:33:37 PM

bruce555 said:
Couldn't buy all parts cept GPU's and only buy a placer GPU till January (2months away) so you can buy 2 x 28nm GPU's that would blow away a 580 SLI setup? It's just allot of money and not a bad wait for 2 months.


???

Didn't understand what you wrote. U probably type from a phone or something :) 


Rozz:

I didn't see the Asus 24" Glossy yesterday, that's why I selected that Samsung plus it has a nice modern design :D 

Gmcizzle:

No..no ... I wasn't trying to go 3D , as I explained to Rozz it was the Glossy look that I was looking for.
I got a 55" 3D TV Samsung and I saw 3d Movies maybe 5 times, cause after 1-2 hours I tend to forget its 3D plus image is not the same.
If u have a suggestion for 2 monitor setup pls say.

I appreciate your help guys.
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November 15, 2011 10:03:31 PM

Besides the 3D support, a 120hz 2ms monitor is the absolute best for gaming. Since you're getting 2x 580's likely you will be exceeding 60fps most of the time in games. A normal monitor with a 60hz refresh rate is capped at displaying 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, all of the LED backlit 120hz monitors on newegg come with 3d glasses so you're going to be paying more for a throw-away basically.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 15, 2011 10:57:11 PM

Hi,
I strongly recommend you stick with the single GTX580. In fact, at this date you should WAIT and get an NVidia GTX600 series.

Micro-stutter is still a huge issue for SLI or Crossfire. There's an article at Tomshardware that discusses this in depth. I'd considered a dual-card setup but not after carefully readying this article (unless they completely change how it works).

There are very few games that can make use of more than a single GTX580. In fact, I'm running 60FPS @1920x1080 4xAA on FULL for most games with the lesser HD5870.

Not to mention that you'll get a lot more HEAT and NOISE, something you do not want.

Other:
I don't think water cooling is a big deal. With a large heatsink the CPU fan is usually incredibly low noise (you still need a water cooling fan). The GTX700 series will be very efficient and quiet too.

I'm not sure water cooling actually makes much difference in noise for most people.

For about $2000 you could carefully choose your parts and get a really kick-ass system. The price can quickly go above this but your computer might not be much better, worse in fact if it's just hotter and noisier but the games can't utilize this.

I don't think 3D is quite worth investing in for PC games.

Summary:
- Wait for the GTX700 series.
- Water cooling worth it?
- Balance noise and performance.
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November 16, 2011 12:22:44 AM

Quote:
I don't think 3D is quite worth investing in for PC games.

i totally agree. I find a high res. setup through amd eyefinity or nvidia surround the way to go. here is a comparison for eyefinity (surround is pretty much same thing)- http://promos.asus.com/US/Eyefinity/index.htm
monitors- x3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 450$

Quote:
Micro-stutter is still a huge issue for SLI or Crossfire. There's an article at Tomshardware that discusses this in depth. I'd considered a dual-card setup but not after carefully readying this article

if you read carefully microstuttering is not a problem for cards more powerful than the gtx 560 ti and the hd 6950.

I agree the h80 is overpriced for its performance. the noctua NH-D14 is a much better option

the vertex 3 is a little buggy like all sanforce ssd's. here is a much more reliable ssd- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

nice choice on case

2133mhz ram is overkill considering 1600mhz ram wont bottleneck anything- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i prefer a quality asus asrock or gigabyte board over msi- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this one also is a 12+4 phase board which give better oc'ing than the msi is a 6+2 phase msi.

save some money get this gpu and oc it yourself- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if you want efficiency check out this psu- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... out of stock right now but it is a great psu.
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November 16, 2011 12:44:08 AM

OK,
so i added and removed all your suggestions :
Here is a pic of newegg shopping cart:




That's 2300$ with tax....even better, rest of money I can save for a Sportbike next year :D 

Any other suggestions?
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November 16, 2011 12:50:49 AM

Maybe Newegg will have some better prices on Blackfriday.

And I don't need overkill system just so it can handle games good at max. I am used to play games at 20-30 fps :) )
Probably gota change the thread header to "Least money more power" :) )
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November 16, 2011 12:57:03 AM

ughh that tax is killing you. try to buy from mostly amazon and tigerdirect.
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November 16, 2011 1:08:01 AM

also if you are only playing at 1080p i suggest you drop down to a gtx 580 1.5gb

but i still recommend you get 3 screens and get 2 of these gtx 580 3gb cards- http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GeForce-Express-mini-HDM...

also that psu is a little on the awful side- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-950TX-950-Watt-Cert... it should be rated silver but corsair tested it in a hotter environment and found it dropped just under the silver rating so they advertise it as bronze. plus it hbas an extremely long 7 yr warranty. 950w is more than enough to run 2 580's.

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a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 4:41:29 AM

Points:

1) I have the Noctua DH-14 and I LOVE IT. The BIOS fan control needs to be set to VOLTAGE (not Auto and not PWM).

2) I have the U2711 monitor which is 2560x1440. Other than some sparkly in the anti-gloss coating it is an awesome monitor (and this isn't noticeable in games). I'm not a fan of multiple monitors because of the bezel issue.

Don't get a 27" monitor with only 1920x1080 as you'll see the gaps between pixels. Even though I run must games at 1920x1080 it's not the same thing.

*FYI, I've only seen a few games that would look better at resolutions higher than 1920x1080 even if you could support it. It's best to use 1920x1080 and the highest AA you can support and still maintain a solid 60FPS VSYNC.

(Some games don't properly scale the User Interface, which gets SMALLER as the resolution gets larger.)

Having this 27" is awesome due to the size.

3) I buy mostly at NCIX, but I'm from Canada and haven't compared prices outside of Canada much.

4) Keyboard. I have a basic Logitech (600?) and I like it. FYI, I had to pull off the keys and clean them and below them due to sticking then it worked great again.

5) Mouse. I've had the Logitech 518 mouse for a few years now. It's still available and possibly the best mouse around. I can't speak for Razer etc.

6) Game Controllers.
- Logitech F710 vibration is completely wrong. Don't get it.
- Razer onza Tournament. Mixed opinions. Some love, some don't. Possible quality issues.
- XBox 360 wireless. Wireless USB receiver prone to failure. Can't buy separately!
- XBox 360 WIRED version. After my wireless version failed, and the Logitech was returned I got this. I prefer wireless but at least I don't deal with recharging or another failed receiver.

7) OCZ Vertex 3. I believe most of the issues are sorted out in firmware. Get the latest firmware update. Recommended setup:
- Drive #1: 120GB OCZ Vertex (or Agility 3), for Windows, programs etc
- Drive #2: 2TB Western Digital Green (for Games including Steam, Internet Downloads, C-Drive Windows Images, Movies etc.)

*Did you know that game loading time is most affected by the CPU and Graphics card, not the hard drive? An extensive review showed that the OCZ Vertex 3 was only used about 10% of the time during game loading. A worst case scenario showed the OCZ Vertex 3 being accessed for 2 out of 100 seconds. Some of this may also be small trailers which can't be disabled.

(the point is stick with hard drives for games if you have a lot of them. I can confirm little difference in loading times between my RAID SSD setup and my hard drive.)

8) Antec 100 case. I love this case. You can't use the side fan with a large heatsink like the Noctua DH14, but I don't want to anyway. You should always BLOCK unused fan holes in cases (I used thin cardboard and packing tape). Holes screw up the air flow causing the fans to work harder to move the same amount of air.

9) Always create an IMAGE backup. If you have a Western Digital or Seagate drive you can use their free version of Acronis True Image which works great (Seagate has a different name for theirs). The backup might be about 50% of the original size but it varies a lot.

*I always have THREE backups. I create a basic backup after installing Windows driver, programs etc. I then create a second backup after installing everything else. Every month I create a new backup. I like to have two large backups in case I screw something up or don't notice an issue. So I keep that original untouched and keep changing the two newest ones. (I've restored about four times so far due to viruses or other issues and it's really saved my a lot of time.)

10) Power Supplies:
Let me sort out the confusion...

The power listed (i.e. 950W) is the TOTAL that could theoretically be delivered if ALL of the voltage outputs were delivering their maximum power.

Graphics cards use the +12V for power. Your power supply will specify how much it can deliver in Amperage, not Watts. You need to find out how many Amps your graphics card requires and how much your Power Supply delivers. Let me give an example:

Buying a PSU for a 2xSLI setup, cards use Max 250 Watts at 50 Amps (made values up):
1. Start with 400Watts (A good system with no graphics cards)
2. Add on the graphics cards (2x250Watts)
3. The total is 900Watts for the PSU.

Not the whole picture. It must also deliver at least 2x50Amps on the +12V rail.

Now let's round up a bit to be safe, so in this case I'd say look for a PSU with the following specs:

- 1000Watts
- 115Amps on the +12V Rail*

*You can't add up "combined rails"; if you see four rails you can't just add their Amps. You must find the "combined rail" value which is almost always LOWER.

11) Audio card. I love my Auzentech Forte. I notice a big difference over the onboard Realtek HD (with good speakers).

12) M-Audio AV40. I love these speakers. They are the best ones for delivering bass without a subwoofer. Subwoofers really carry the vibration so I couldn't do that in my house. If that's not an issue, there are some great 2.1 systems (the ".1" means the Subwoofer).

Spend time reading reviews for speakers.

**If you get 2xSLI (don't recommend it) you need to be careful to ensure you have enough PCIe slots.

***Also, note that in some motherboards if you occupy certain PCIe slots you may affect the bandwidth.

Example:
Motherboard A has three large PCIe slots for graphics cards:
PCIe slot #1 can handle x16
PCIe slot #2 can handle x16
PCIe slot #3 can handle x8

If you put a high-end card in PCIe slot #1 you can get up to x16. If your card uses more than x8 of the bandwidth you need to be careful with the other slots!

Now, we put the AUDIO CARD in PCIe slot #2 causing BOTH #1 and #2 PCIe slots to operate at x8. Again, if the graphics card uses more than x8 you've just throttled it.

However, if we put the AUDIO CARD in PCIe slot #3 everything's okay.

(a theoretical setup but all motherboards have issues like this.)

Final note:
I strongly suggest you get a PCIe version 3 motherboard and read reviews to make sure it's working properly.

You will have this computer for a long time and PCIe v2 will likely become a bottleneck in future graphics cards.

I still think you should WAIT and build your system when a suitable GTX600 series card is available. This also gives PCIe v3 motherboards a while to mature since they are new and SSD's a chance to drop a little bit in price.

Alternatively you could obviously just wait and replace the GTX580. It's quite powerful anyway. The GTX600 will be much quieter but it's MAIN technological advantages such as improved Tessellation won't be realized until games support this better.

(Tessellation, multi-threading and post-Anti-Aliasing are probably the three biggest improvements which will affect games. Very interesting stuff.)
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a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 4:59:01 AM

PCIe SSD's will become increasingly popular.

Most motherboards can't boot from PCIe, although it's likely they'll create a version that also connects to a SATA slot just for the boot-up process.

The newest SSD's have maximum read/write's up to 560MB/second. SATA3 is fairly new and maxes out at 600MB/second.

By simply using RAID they can easily 2x, 4x or higher SSD speeds (that's why Vertex 3 is 2x faster than Vertex 2). So SSD's are going to go much faster than the SATA3 can handle.

(Smaller files are accessed slower due to latencies. I confirmed a noticeable difference when using an older laptop with SATA1 which is 150MB/second and comparing an SSD with about 150MB/second max and the latest of about 560MB/second.)

PCIe v3 16x:
It's roughly 1GB/second (1024MB/second) for each lane. I think the new format allows for up to 20% more information as well so we'll say up to 1.2GB/second.

That means a PCIe SSD would need to operate at over 19GB/second. To account for small files, it would need to be closer to 50GB/second!!! (although the CPU might not be fast enough).

Sorry to get side-tracked.

Basically I'm pushing PCIe v3, but for the graphics cards. SSD speeds could be theoretically so fast on PCIe that v3 vs v2 really doesn't matter much but it definitely will be the way to go instead of SATA, provided you don't end up throttling your graphics card bandwidth.

Yah, it gets confusing.
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November 16, 2011 7:30:52 AM

Took a while to write this I guess :) )

Very useful info.
Any prediction when Nvidia 600 and Ivy Bridge coming out?
Also even 600 series will they use PCI 3.0 does that mean it will perform better?
I was thinking that bandwidth is not a problem on video cards and audio and rest that use PCI?! Just maybe for SSD unless there is a new SATA 9 or something coming out. What is bottlenecking what?!
A bit confusing...that's why I hate to buy something and afterwards in like a month something new is coming out with better specs etc. Then get frustrated why I didn't wait a bit... So what now should I wait till like 2012 March or something?

Maybe I will just buy a GTX570 in SLI with my GTX260 and my 6 core Thuban.
What do u guys think?
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November 16, 2011 8:15:06 AM

You can't SLI a GTX 570 and a GTX 260.
I really think you need to do some more research before spending $3500, of course it's your money. You can build a BF3 Ultra ready setup for half that $$$.
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November 16, 2011 8:30:15 AM

I just finished reading about SLI :)  now I know.

Whats the system u suggest for BF3 Ultra ?
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November 16, 2011 1:29:55 PM

Rissen1k said:
Took a while to write this I guess :) )

Very useful info.
Any prediction when Nvidia 600 and Ivy Bridge coming out?
Also even 600 series will they use PCI 3.0 does that mean it will perform better?
I was thinking that bandwidth is not a problem on video cards and audio and rest that use PCI?! Just maybe for SSD unless there is a new SATA 9 or something coming out. What is bottlenecking what?!
A bit confusing...that's why I hate to buy something and afterwards in like a month something new is coming out with better specs etc. Then get frustrated why I didn't wait a bit... So what now should I wait till like 2012 March or something?

Maybe I will just buy a GTX570 in SLI with my GTX260 and my 6 core Thuban.
What do u guys think?

the 600 series will preform better because they are on a smaller die size (28nm) which should show a significant gain in performance. That is why they need the gen3 pci because gen2 might not be fast enough.
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November 16, 2011 1:33:52 PM

Quote:
By simply using RAID they can easily 2x, 4x or higher SSD speeds (that's why Vertex 3 is 2x faster than Vertex 2). So SSD's are going to go much faster than the SATA3 can handle.

not true. vertex 3 uses a different chip (sandforce sf-2000) than the vertex 2 (sandforce sf-1200). that is why it is faster. raiding ssd's is not simple it is actually very complicated. i wouldnt recommend it to anyone.
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November 16, 2011 1:37:20 PM

PCIe 3.0 isn't necessarily for the 600/7000 series GPUs, it's for the next-next generation. PCIe 2.0 8x is still enough for even the fastest GPUs of this generation. Even if the upcoming GPUs were twice as fast, which I highly doubt, PCIe 2.0 16x will still be enough. But, if you have a PCIe 3.0 interface that only works 8x/8x in SLI/CF that's equivalent to PCIe 2.0 16x/16x which is great for LGA 1155. For an X79 setup a PCIe 3.0 16x/16x SLI/CF config will be fast enough for quite some time.
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Best solution

November 16, 2011 2:15:18 PM

Rissen1k said:
???

Didn't understand what you wrote. U probably type from a phone or something :) 





No I wasn't writing on a phone, I was just at work and I'm kinda dislexic.

What I was getting at is what if you built now but held back on spending that much money on your GPU's till Southern Islands or Kepler comes out (AMD 7000 or Nvidia 600 series). And for the mean time just buy a cheaper vid card as something to use till the 28nm vid cards come out.
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November 16, 2011 6:02:35 PM

bruce555 said:
No I wasn't writing on a phone, I was just at work and I'm kinda dislexic.

What I was getting at is what if you built now but held back on spending that much money on your GPU's till Southern Islands or Kepler comes out (AMD 7000 or Nvidia 600 series). And for the mean time just buy a cheaper vid card as something to use till the 28nm vid cards come out.



Yeaa...I am gonna buy just a GTX570 probably and wait for the next year to see what is coming out. Don't wanna buy and know that it is obsolete after 6 months :) 

Thanks guys. I guess my search stops here. Have a great day. Only if my Frys Electronics would have a gtx570 :)  in stock.

Edit: I would "Best answer" everyone but they only give one selection, everyone was great thanks.
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November 16, 2011 6:02:53 PM

Best answer selected by Rissen1k.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2011 2:07:04 AM

Quick update:

The GTX570 will be a great card for a while. Many game will run at FULL or close to full on those settings.

When you finally decide to upgrade, simply upgrade the graphics card. There's likely NO NEED to overclock your present CPU now but I would with a significantly faster card. You can do future research but you'll probably be looking for something scoring between 2x and 3x the FPS in benchmarks.

A good, large heatsink really becomes important for stability and NOISE when overclocking the CPU. The Noctua DH14 as mentioned is a pretty good heatsink.

***Overclocking the CPU:
My Gigabyte overclocking CPU software did not work properly. It modified the core clock which is ALSO overclocking my RAM. For example, my RAM was hitting over 2000MHz and it's rated as 1600MHz. Needless to say I had problems.

I solved this by MANUALLY overclocking instead of using the Windows Gigabyte utility. Here's the STEPS to overclock the CPU properly; this may be different between motherboards but here are the key concepts:

1. Boot to the BIOS (DEL key usually)
2. Increase the core clock speed (i.e. 133MHz to 160MHz)
3. Possibly modify the CPU multiplier if needed
4. Modify the RAM multiplier so the speed is the PROPER speed

I modified my RAM clock multiplier to 10x so that it was now 10x160MHz or 1600MHz which is where it was supposed to be by default, however my CPU was now about 3.2GHz instead of 2.79GHz.

Other:
run MEMTEST for at least two hours to ensure RAM stability, then run a CPU diagnostics for multi-core CPU's when you boot up such as the multi-core Prime 95 version.
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November 21, 2011 4:28:43 PM

photonboy said:

2. Increase the core clock speed (i.e. 133MHz to 160MHz)
3. Possibly modify the CPU multiplier if needed




Sandy only overclocks by adjusting the CPU multiplier.

The base clock with LGA 1155 platforms can be adjusted by maybe 5 Mhz tops so might as well not even be touched unless you are trying to get a maxed out overclock.
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