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Help with a Gaming Rig (2,000-2,500 budget)

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November 20, 2011 9:07:13 PM

Ok, so Im looking to buy a custom desktop in about 2 months. I don't know the best custom desktop companies so I'm asking here for any and all advice. Heres a general outline?:

1. What is your budget?
about $2,000, up to 2,500 dollars (not including mouse/monitor/keyboard [I have those]/shipping)

2. What is the PC being used for?
Mostly for gaming, I want to be able to play Skyrim, BF3, Assassin's Creed on Ultra settings, no lag. I will also most likely be using it daily for random web surfing, programming, very slight engineering.
My monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080

3. Will you be looking at performing future upgrades?
I don't even know what crossfire/sli is so if u explained I wouldn't mind. Doubt I'll upgrade anything except for maybe the videocard. and as for overclocking, i probably won't do it b/c im not super knowledgable on that stuff.

4. What are the full build specs? (randomly made this on ibuypower.com, idk probs sucks, but just wondering)
All suggestions/recommendations/help welcome.

Gamer Paladin F830

1 x Case ( Thermaltake V9 BlacX Edition Gaming Case - Black )
0 x Case Lighting ( Cold Cathode Neon Light - Blue )
0 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
1 x iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( iBUYPOWER Internal USB Expansion System )
1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 980 Processor (6x 3.33GHz/12MB L3 Cache) )
0 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( None )
1 x Processor Cooling ( Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1366] - ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow) )
1 x Memory ( 6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600 - Corsair or Major Brand )
1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 1GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 900MHz - Single Card )
1 x Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by AMD or NVIDIA )
1 x Motherboard ( ASUS Sabertooth X58 )
1 x Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
1 x Power Supply ( 1000 Watt -- Extreme Gaming Series )
1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Dual 1TB Drives (2TB Capacity) - RAID 0 High Performance )
0 x Data Hard Drive ( None )
1 x Optical Drive ( [12X Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive - Black )
0 x 2nd Optical Drive ( None )
1 x Flash Media Reader / Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Black )
0 x Meter Display ( None )
0 x USB Expansion ( None )
1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Professional + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-bit )
1 x Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard )
1 x Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse )
0 x Headset ( None )
0 x Monitor ( None )
0 x 2nd Monitor ( None )
1 x Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
0 x Video Camera ( None )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( iBUYPOWER Specialized Advanced Packaging System - Protect your investment during transportation! )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Achieve exceptional airflow in your chassis )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Basic Pro Wiring )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Advanced - Video Package (Individually Sleeved 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E VGA Power Cabling) )
1 x Advanced Build Options ( Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Advanced - Power Package (Individually Sleeved 24-pin ATX, 8-pin CPU, and SATA Drive Power Cabling) )
1 x Case Engraving Service ( Custom Message - Max 35 characters (including spaces) - [Eleven] )
1 x Warranty ( 3 Year Standard Warranty Service )
0 x Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )
*I already have my monitors/mouse/keyboard
This was exactly 2,400, but I think with your input I could find an equal/better build for just as much, maybe even less? Please rip it apart and make it better, send me to other sites, anything. tyvm!
November 20, 2011 9:12:40 PM

when looking at your build i only looked at 2 things. the cpu and gpu and both are extremely subpar for the money you want to spend. look for a 2500k for the cpu and a gtx 580 for the gpu or even dual 570's.
November 20, 2011 9:27:06 PM

Alright, do you thin I should change the motherboard? maybe from a x58 to a z68/h67/or p67 and then i could get an i7-2600 with an SLI motherboard which would mean 2 video cards? But then what 2 videocards would you recommend?

I checked ibuypower and made 1 for about 2000 that would have these:

1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7-2600K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/8MB L3 Cache) )
1 x Memory ( 8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand )
1 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 - 1.2GB - EVGA Superclocked - Core: 797MHz SLI Mode (Dual Cards) )
1 x Motherboard ( [SLI] ASUS Sabertooth P67 -- Thermal Armor Airflow design )

does that look better? Im also not really sure how much/what kind of ram i should get..
Related resources
November 20, 2011 9:51:05 PM

The rig you list is an albatross. Go witha Sandybridge processor: the i5 2500k, i7 2600K or even the 2700K. If you are not doing video processing the 2500K is the best choice.

Definitely the GTX 570 or better the GTX 580 for video. If you want top of the line get an AMD 6990 or a Nvidia GTX 590. If you want to SLI you can go with 2 X GTX 560 ti or even 2 X GTX 570 or 2 X GTX 580 (or AMD equivalents in the 6950 or 6970). SLI or Crossfire are using two GPUs in tandem in a system for enhanced performance. Roughly 2 X GTX 560 ti beats a GTX 580 and comes just short of the GTX 590 (a dual GPU on a card).

Get a SSD for a system disk and a smaller HDD. HDDs are now expensive because of floodin of the manufacturing plants in Thailand. I suggest that you try to find a 120 GB + SSD (a 240 GB + even better), and a 1 - 1.5 TB HDD.

The 1000 W PSU is overkill unless you buy a super GPU or use SLI or Xfire. A good 750 W unit will be much more efficient and still let you Xfire/SLI. Unless you plan to use 3 video cards or dual 6990/GTX 590 you won't need more than 850 W.

For $2400 you can build a killer gaming system with surround monitors rather than the ibuypower rig. I'd put more into the GPUs. For surround in Nvidia you need to do two GPUs. For Ifinity in the AMD platform I think you can squeek by with one, but two will improve performance.

For 3D gaming you will need a higher end 120 Hz monitor.

Build it yourself: you'll be much happier.

November 20, 2011 10:14:41 PM

chesteracorgi said:
The rig you list is an albatross. Go witha Sandybridge processor: the i5 2500k, i7 2600K or even the 2700K. If you are not doing video processing the 2500K is the best choice.

Definitely the GTX 570 or better the GTX 580 for video. If you want top of the line get an AMD 6990 or a Nvidia GTX 590. If you want to SLI you can go with 2 X GTX 560 ti or even 2 X GTX 570 or 2 X GTX 580 (or AMD equivalents in the 6950 or 6970). SLI or Crossfire are using two GPUs in tandem in a system for enhanced performance. Roughly 2 X GTX 560 ti beats a GTX 580 and comes just short of the GTX 590 (a dual GPU on a card).

Get a SSD for a system disk and a smaller HDD. HDDs are now expensive because of floodin of the manufacturing plants in Thailand. I suggest that you try to find a 120 GB + SSD (a 240 GB + even better), and a 1 - 1.5 TB HDD.

The 1000 W PSU is overkill unless you buy a super GPU or use SLI or Xfire. A good 750 W unit will be much more efficient and still let you Xfire/SLI. Unless you plan to use 3 video cards or dual 6990/GTX 590 you won't need more than 850 W.

For $2400 you can build a killer gaming system with surround monitors rather than the ibuypower rig. I'd put more into the GPUs. For surround in Nvidia you need to do two GPUs. For Ifinity in the AMD platform I think you can squeek by with one, but two will improve performance.

For 3D gaming you will need a higher end 120 Hz monitor.

Build it yourself: you'll be much happier.


Wow that's a very helpful response, thanks, and I would love to build it myself, but I'm just not sure what parts are compatible with others, how things would fit in a tower, what extra wires/cords I would need..

When you say you recommend getting a 120+ gb ssd for a system disk and then a 1-1.5 tb hdd, how would it work with two?
Also, what do you mean by "for surround in Nvidia.."
Also what the difference between SLI and Crossfire? is SLI like 2 nvidia cards and crossfire 2 amd cards?
Also, why do you say the i5-2500k is my best choice? i mean for aan extra ~80 bucks i cud get an i7-2600 or 2700, wouldnt that be much better for gaming?
Lastly, how much/what kind of ram do you recommend 1333/1600...?
November 20, 2011 10:23:04 PM
November 20, 2011 10:27:11 PM

Thats what I'd do with your budget you can even upgrade a little bit if you really want to spend the extra 700 bucks.

November 20, 2011 10:28:21 PM

balys said:
Wow that's a very helpful response, thanks, and I would love to build it myself, but I'm just not sure what parts are compatible with others, how things would fit in a tower, what extra wires/cords I would need..

When you say you recommend getting a 120+ gb ssd for a system disk and then a 1-1.5 tb hdd, how would it work with two?
Also, what do you mean by "for surround in Nvidia.."
Also what the difference between SLI and Crossfire? is SLI like 2 nvidia cards and crossfire 2 amd cards?
Also, why do you say the i5-2500k is my best choice? i mean for aan extra ~80 bucks i cud get an i7-2600 or 2700, wouldnt that be much better for gaming?
Lastly, how much/what kind of ram do you recommend 1333/1600...?


You use the SSD as your C: drive, the HDD as D; or E: drive for storage.
NVidia allows you to display a game accross two or three monitors. So does AMD.
SLI is for multiple Nvidia; Crossfire is for multiple AMD.
The 2500K is a better gaming chip. You save on the CPU for other parts. The 2600K and 2700K are better chips for multithreaded video and CAD applications. They are not significantly better for gaming.
The sweet spot for gaming RAM is 8 GB or 4 GB. More RAM may mean more latency in games.
November 20, 2011 10:30:35 PM

All of the components are compatible. You will not need extra cabling. The case is chosen for its good cable management.
November 20, 2011 10:44:31 PM

chesteracorgi said:
You use the SSD as your C: drive, the HDD as D; or E: drive for storage.
NVidia allows you to display a game accross two or three monitors. So does AMD.
SLI is for multiple Nvidia; Crossfire is for multiple AMD.
The 2500K is a better gaming chip. You save on the CPU for other parts. The 2600K and 2700K are better chips for multithreaded video and CAD applications. They are not significantly better for gaming.
The sweet spot for gaming RAM is 8 GB or 4 GB. More RAM may mean more latency in games.


hmm whats that 3rd link? was that the processor and you accidently posted the video card again and if so do you have the link for whatever was supposed to be there??
also, i dont think i would know how to set up a liquid cooling system.. or are there directions included?
whats multithreaded video and can you explain why an i5 2500 would be better for gaming?
lastly, i have limited knowledge with computer setup, like i know most of the ports on a motherboard, but im afraid i wouldnt know what i did wrong when i plug it in and it doesnt work :/ 
November 20, 2011 11:38:04 PM



you linked 3 monitors but if the OP wanted to run 3 monitors hes going to need much more power then 2 560's you linked. notice i said 560's not 560 ti's. theres a huge difference between the two OP and you must remember that when buying. also no need for water cooling since he is not overclocking.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... gpu 500(buy 2 if you want)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... cpu 225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... mobo 185


try some combination of these critical parts. you can choose to buy 2 580s and they will fit in your budget unless you over spend on something else

November 21, 2011 12:52:13 AM

balys said:
hmm whats that 3rd link? was that the processor and you accidently posted the video card again and if so do you have the link for whatever was supposed to be there??
also, i dont think i would know how to set up a liquid cooling system.. or are there directions included?
whats multithreaded video and can you explain why an i5 2500 would be better for gaming?
lastly, i have limited knowledge with computer setup, like i know most of the ports on a motherboard, but im afraid i wouldnt know what i did wrong when i plug it in and it doesnt work :/ 


The CPU cooler is a closed loop cooler. You don't need to deal with the liquid. You attach the support bracket to the mobo and mount the cooler like any air cooler. Then you mount the fan & radiator to the top rear exhaust port. The advantage of closed loop cooling is that it works about as well as the best air cooling and exhausts the heat directly outside the case. Directions are included, but it is not any more complicated than putting in a new air cooler.

The 2500K saves you about $100 and is just as good as either the 2600K or 2700K at games. The difference for games is the native clock speed and over clocking. The 2600K is 100 MHz faster than the 2500K, and the 2700K is 200 MHz faster. The cost/reward of the i7 processors does not merit the extra expense unless you have a specific purpose for the processor outside gaming.

The plugs for most computer parts are pretty idiot proof, and I am the idiot that proved it. If you take good antistatic precaution (grab the case frame before you touch components and never touch any interior components while the computer is connected to the wall) you should be able to put it all together. You can ask questions here, and I am certain that someone here would be willing to walk you through your build. If I have time I'd be willing to help you.





November 21, 2011 2:00:37 AM

chesteracorgi said:
My bad on the video card link and the CPU link.

Here is the video card link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is the CPU link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


chesteracorgi said:
The CPU cooler is a closed loop cooler. You don't need to deal with the liquid. You attach the support bracket to the mobo and mount the cooler like any air cooler. Then you mount the fan & radiator to the top rear exhaust port. The advantage of closed loop cooling is that it works about as well as the best air cooling and exhausts the heat directly outside the case. Directions are included, but it is not any more complicated than putting in a new air cooler.

The 2500K saves you about $100 and is just as good as either the 2600K or 2700K at games. The difference for games is the native clock speed and over clocking. The 2600K is 100 MHz faster than the 2500K, and the 2700K is 200 MHz faster. The cost/reward of the i7 processors does not merit the extra expense unless you have a specific purpose for the processor outside gaming.

The plugs for most computer parts are pretty idiot proof, and I am the idiot that proved it. If you take good antistatic precaution (grab the case frame before you touch components and never touch any interior components while the computer is connected to the wall) you should be able to put it all together. You can ask questions here, and I am certain that someone here would be willing to walk you through your build. If I have time I'd be willing to help you.



why do you keep recommending a 200 dollar gpu when the guys got 2500 dollars to spend and not to mention a 560ti wont max out skyrim and bf3 at 1080p let alone at 5760x1080p like you linked.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-... skyrim(a 460 gtx is comparable to a 560ti... a little slower but a good gage.)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph... bf3

OP the parts i linked you earlier will max out any game you want to. the rest of the parts have a small impact on the gaming performance. do not listen to the advice to get a 560ti that is just stupid advice with the amount of money you have to spend.
November 21, 2011 7:51:20 AM

cbrunnem said:
why do you keep recommending a 200 dollar gpu when the guys got 2500 dollars to spend and not to mention a 560ti wont max out skyrim and bf3 at 1080p let alone at 5760x1080p like you linked.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-... skyrim(a 460 gtx is comparable to a 560ti... a little slower but a good gage.)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph... bf3

OP the parts i linked you earlier will max out any game you want to. the rest of the parts have a small impact on the gaming performance. do not listen to the advice to get a 560ti that is just stupid advice with the amount of money you have to spend.


cb, didn't you know that you can't do surround unless you have 2 Nvidia GPUs; so your suggestion of the GTX 580 not only underperforms the dusl GTX 560 ti's , it also will make 3 monitors redundant. Just won't work without at least 2. Now as to the price: can't you add? With the components that I recommend he has sapce to buff up select components that he deems criticall like 2 GTX 570s instead of the 2 GTX 560 ti's. He also has room to buy an OS, and some peripherals. It's sooooooo easy to spend other people's money!!!! This is to give the guy a chance to see if he wants to build a maxed out monster gamer instead of buy an ipower albatross. Why not suggest that he go with sual GTX 590's, or even dual Mars II's while you're at it? The dual Mars II's will out perform almost any machine on the planet. Oh, I forgot he only has $2500.
November 21, 2011 12:16:27 PM

balys said:

1. What is your budget?
about $2,000, up to 2,500 dollars (not including mouse/monitor/keyboard [I have those]/shipping)



2443948,15,868531 said:
cb, didn't you know that you can't do surround unless you have 2 Nvidia GPUs; so your suggestion of the GTX 580 not only underperforms the dusl GTX 560 ti's , it also will make 3 monitors redundant. Just won't work without at least 2. Now as to the price: can't you add? With the components that I recommend he has sapce to buff up select components that he deems criticall like 2 GTX 570s instead of the 2 GTX 560 ti's. He also has room to buy an OS, and some peripherals. It's sooooooo easy to spend other people's money!!!! This is to give the guy a chance to see if he wants to build a maxed out monster gamer instead of buy an ipower albatross. Why not suggest that he go with sual GTX 590's, or even dual Mars II's while you're at it? The dual Mars II's will out perform almost any machine on the planet. Oh, I forgot he only has $2500.
said:


he doesnt want surround
November 21, 2011 3:21:10 PM

wow thanks for all the discussion, i love reading this, but it's true, I'll probably only be using just one monitor for gaming, I dont really like surround bc of the black spaces between the monitors :D 

I was thinking like most of you suggested to get sumthing like this:

z68 mobo
2 x GTX 570
I5 2500 CPU
don't really know about the ram (probs like 2 x 4gb, 2 x 8 gb or 4 x 4gb?)
Also, am I going to need to buy some type of pci audio card?

is overclocking difficult to do or can i learn from online resources, bc if i can, i would like to do it, i just dont know ho right now.
Also, how do you set it up so the ssd is used as your c:/ drive and the hdd is used as your data drive?
November 21, 2011 4:41:29 PM

it is extremely easy to get a mild overclock in the neighborhood of 4.2. if you are doing any overclocking and with the money you have i recommend this heatsink. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
its the best air cooler out there.

also the rest of the parts are fine.

regarding your hard drive question, just install your hdd and ssd like any other drive but install windows on your ssd then your other drive will work essentially like a flash drive.
!