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Gaming build $3000 budget

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January 3, 2012 3:57:34 PM

Ok so i just wanted to get some feed back on this build. Putting a lot of money into it so want to get some second opinions.

Case:

COUGAR Evolution Black SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case with Dual 12cm COUGAR TURBINE HYPER-SPIN Bearing Silent Fans
$94.99

Motherboard:

ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67
$245.99

CPU:

Intel Core i-5 2500k 3.3Ghz (3.7 Ghz Turbo)
$219.99

Video Card:

HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 (Quad CrossfireX)
$1079.96 (269.99 each)

RAM:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
$169.99

Boot Drive:

SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB (2 in RAID0)
$249.98 ($124.99 each)

Storage Drive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 (0f12115) 2TB 7200 RPM
$199.99

PSU:

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply
$149.99


Water Cooling:
Thermaltake CLW0211 Bigwater 760 Plus Dual Bay Drives Water Cooling Core i7 Compliant
$149.99

Blu-ray Drive:
LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback Lightscribe Support
$109.99



So basically i just want second opinions on this build, what would you do different? Deffinitely want to know what you think of the water cooling system, had a lot of good reviews on Newegg.
January 3, 2012 4:03:42 PM

Edit on the Motherboard:

ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$269.99

(Z68 motherboard instead of P67)


Total price: $3,003.84 after taxes and shipping
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January 3, 2012 4:25:50 PM

This build definitely needs a lot of work - especially if you're going to be spending $3K on it:

Quote:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
$169.99


This RAM is quad channel and meant for X79 systems - it won't run on a Z68.

Quote:

ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67
$245.99


That's a workstation board - it's not meant for gaming at all.

Quote:

Water Cooling:
Thermaltake CLW0211 Bigwater 760 Plus Dual Bay Drives Water Cooling Core i7 Compliant
$149.99


Not sure I'd recommend that solution - I'm not a fan of water cooling but if you must the Corsair H100 would be a far better solution and it's a lot less.

Quote:
HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 (Quad CrossfireX)
$1079.96 (269.99 each)


I don't think you'll be able to find any board on the market right now that supports quad Crossfire... most you'll be able to get is tri-SLI and that's even for like the highest-end boards that run - $300 - $400.

Quote:

Boot Drive:

SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB (2 in RAID0)
$249.98 ($124.99 each)

Storage Drive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 (0f12115) 2TB 7200 RPM
$199.99


I would definitely say no to this storage solution. Sandisk SSDs are not the most reliable on the market, nor are Hitachi drives.

This would be a better setup for $3K:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII Ultra 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 - $289.99
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-3930K - $599.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $119.99
RAM: 16GB (4 x 4GB) G.Skill Ripjaw X Quad Channel For X79 1.6V - $89.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $199.99
HD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 - $149.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $59.99
Video Card: 2 x EVGA Geforce GTX 580 1.5GB - $489.99 each ($998.99 total)

Total: $2803

Alternately if you want to stick to Sandy Bridge (1155) instead of X79 (2011) try this:

Motherboard: EVGA Z68 FTW - $259.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K - $319.99
RAM: 16GB (4 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance PC12800 1600MHz 1.5V - $97.99 ($48.99 each)
Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B - $59.99

That drops the price down to $2412.
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January 3, 2012 4:57:54 PM

Cool thanks, and what's the difference between Sandy Bridge and X79 in terms of performance?
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January 3, 2012 5:03:47 PM

Lapez89 said:
Cool thanks, and what's the difference between Sandy Bridge and X79 in terms of performance?


X79 is also Sandy Bridge-E, which is, when you compare it to past Intel platforms like X58, 975, and P55, is basically a glorified Xeon processor. I'd suggest reading these articles - it explains it better than I could:

Motherboards: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p9x79-deluxe-g1-ass...
Performance: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-e-effi...
Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-3960x-x79-s...
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January 3, 2012 5:09:36 PM

Awesome, thanks for the help with this build... i was way outa my depth on this one lol
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January 3, 2012 5:14:21 PM

Lapez89 said:
Awesome, thanks for the help with this build... i was way outa my depth on this one lol


No problem - this is definitely the right place to ask questions, and I definitely suggest doing all the research you can before dropping $3K on a PC.
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January 3, 2012 5:16:46 PM

deffinately... and I'm not buying it for a couple months yet, I'm just figuring out the build right now so i know what i'm getting myself into... and so that hopefully by the time i'm ready to buy I'd have everything figured out :-P i was also wondering if i should wait until Ivy Bridge, since it's supposed to be out in April right?
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January 3, 2012 5:24:35 PM

Lapez89 said:
deffinately... and I'm not buying it for a couple months yet, I'm just figuring out the build right now so i know what i'm getting myself into... and so that hopefully by the time i'm ready to buy I'd have everything figured out :-P i was also wondering if i should wait until Ivy Bridge, since it's supposed to be out in April right?


Ivy Bridge isn't going to be that huge of an improvement over SB. What AMD proved with the FX series of CPUs is that the newer technology isn't going to always be better than what's out. CPUs have pretty much stabilized over the last couple of years, and having +-.2GHz and a couple of extra cores isn't going to make that much of a difference unless you're doing some incredibly intensive benchmarks. But even then running an SSD you don't want to put a lot of stress on your read / write rates, as an SSD will only be able to handle so much in the course of the drives' lifespan.

Where you'll really see a difference is in the GPUs. The 580s that are out now are amazing for the money, but they'll be easily eclipsed by the Radeon 7970's that will be out in the next couple of weeks. Of course you'll pay a premium for them but if you're running a $3K build you could get them setup in Crossfire and run circles around anything else the competition has... :lol: 
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January 3, 2012 5:43:06 PM

awesome, so stick with SB and wait for the Radeon 7970's lol ok cool thanks you've helped out a ton... :-D I can't wait to build this thing lol It's going to be an amazing computer
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January 3, 2012 5:58:19 PM

Lapez89 said:
awesome, so stick with SB and wait for the Radeon 7970's lol ok cool thanks you've helped out a ton... :-D I can't wait to build this thing lol It's going to be an amazing computer


Yeah that should be... it'll own 3-D Mark. :lol: 
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January 3, 2012 6:02:55 PM

haha I'm excited now :-P
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January 3, 2012 6:33:00 PM

WOW, and i thought my skyrim looked pretty good on low quality, couldnt imagine to see it on highest everything on that computer ^ and my computer is like newborn baby to that machine
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January 7, 2012 1:46:51 AM

I built a $1200 build awhile back for a friend that plays skyrim at the highest settings and it looks amazing
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January 7, 2012 2:26:00 AM

LGA2011 has natural PCI-e 3.0 support and 40x PCI-e lanes vs the 20 of 1155. While you can get around this by choosing a NF200 board like you did with the WS or the Extreme7 at this pricepoint you've eclipsed what can be had on a $215 Extreme3 X79.

Right now the major drawback to X79 is there are only two supported cpus, the 3960X with a 1059.99 pricetag, and the 3930K with a 549.99 pricetag. When compared to SB it doesn't really make a lot of sense.

By the time you're ready to buy however the 3820 will be available for X79 and it'll ship at 289.99. Lets do the math:

Z68 : 2500K $220 + Extreme7 $270 = $490
X79: 3820 $290 + Extreme3 $215 = $505

So, for $15 extra dollars you get native pci-e 3.0 support, 40 native pci-e lanes, and 4+4 hyperthreading processor versus the 4 core only 2500k. Not a huge deal in terms of cpu but with your intent on multiple gpus, the other two make a huge difference.

The 7970 will be a pci-e 3.0 card. Some people will dismiss this as not being a huge deal as we've yet to saturate pci-e 2.0 at typical resolutions. While that's true, if you look at multiple monitor resolutions you can clearly see bottlenecking on x8 lanes.

There's also past history to use as an example. LGA1366 vs LGA775 was in this same boat 4 years ago. While there are still plenty of 920s out there running strong, you don't see a whole lot of their Core 2 counterparts still being touted.

At this budget and your inclination to use multiple gpus, LGA2011 is the obvious choice.
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January 7, 2012 2:34:47 AM

Isn't the 7970 out in 3 days and not a couple of weeks?
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January 7, 2012 2:38:26 AM

January 9th
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January 7, 2012 2:47:30 AM

Quote:

By the time you're ready to buy however the 3820 will be available for X79 and it'll ship at 289.99. Lets do the math:

Z68 : 2500K $220 + Extreme7 $270 = $490
X79: 3820 $290 + Extreme3 $215 = $505


But with X79 you'll have to factor in the price of quad channel RAM is more than triple what standard dual channel costs.

Quote:
There's also past history to use as an example. LGA1366 vs LGA775 was in this same boat 4 years ago. While there are still plenty of 920s out there running strong, you don't see a whole lot of their Core 2 counterparts still being touted.


Certainly true. It'll be a while before something comes along that will really replace Z68. X58 didn't replace 775, and P55 was somewhat of a replacement but X58 was clearly superior. It's just some things are better than others.
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January 7, 2012 3:04:56 AM

g-unit1111 said:


But with X79 you'll have to factor in the price of quad channel RAM is more than triple what standard dual channel costs.


That's not true at all. You can find quad channel kits for under $50 like these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For $74 you can get 4x4 kits. It's all just a matter of what you want.

Quote:

Certainly true. It'll be a while before something comes along that will really replace Z68. X58 didn't replace 775, and P55 was somewhat of a replacement but X58 was clearly superior. It's just some things are better than others.


I never suggested 1366 was a replacement for 775. Just like today 2011 isn't a replacement for 1155. They both represent the enthusiast class of sockets that support higher bandwidth pci-e lanes.

1366 wasn't superior to 1156 as the ondie memory and pci-e lanes of 1156 clearly were more efficient and effective than the northbridge of 1366. So much so that it was adopted for both 1155 and the current 2011 standard. This wasn't to say that 1156 was a replacement, it was much more of a precursor for 1155. The only difference between 1156 and 1155 is the die shrink of SB and its IGP.
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January 7, 2012 3:37:19 AM

Lapez89 said:
Ok so i just wanted to get some feed back on this build. Putting a lot of money into it so want to get some second opinions.

Case:

COUGAR Evolution Black SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case with Dual 12cm COUGAR TURBINE HYPER-SPIN Bearing Silent Fans
$94.99

Motherboard:

ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67
$245.99

CPU:

Intel Core i-5 2500k 3.3Ghz (3.7 Ghz Turbo)
$219.99

Video Card:

HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 (Quad CrossfireX)
$1079.96 (269.99 each)

RAM:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
$169.99

Boot Drive:

SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB (2 in RAID0)
$249.98 ($124.99 each)

Storage Drive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 (0f12115) 2TB 7200 RPM
$199.99

PSU:

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply
$149.99


Water Cooling:
Thermaltake CLW0211 Bigwater 760 Plus Dual Bay Drives Water Cooling Core i7 Compliant
$149.99

Blu-ray Drive:
LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback Lightscribe Support
$109.99



So basically i just want second opinions on this build, what would you do different? Deffinitely want to know what you think of the water cooling system, had a lot of good reviews on Newegg.

what resolution will you be playing at?
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January 7, 2012 3:47:05 AM

atleast 1920x1080... more then likely with a multiple screen setup. Which i believe g-unit1111's build will work just fine... except i'll probably end up going for the HD Radeon 7xxx
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January 7, 2012 2:17:17 PM

with a multiple monitor setup you want to run both 7970's (you are getting 2 right? it would be around 1100$ or so.) at x16. for larger resolutions it will make a significant difference.

ASRock Z68 Extreme7 (270$) + i5 2500k (220$) + Long Crossfire Bridge (~10$)- it has to go from the 1st pcie slot to the 4th so that the cards actually run at x16 = 500$

ASRock X79 Extreme3 (215$) + i7 3820 (285$) no need for long crossfire bridge here. I don't even know if the one posted above will be long enough = 500$

you have to wait a little while until the 3820 comes out and you will have to wait if you go with the 7950's (you didnt specify which 7xxx series card) . both should be out in early February.

even though the cpu multiplier on the 3820 only goes to 43x it can still be overclocked way past 4.3ghz as shown in this article- http://www.anandtech.com/show/5276/intel-core-i7-3820-r...

So lets recap. at the same price you can get an z68 x16/x16 solution as you can a X79 x16/x16 solution. The X79 solution also comes with a more powerful processor. For X79 you need quad channel ram but since you think you will go with g-unit1111's build it lookss like it doesnt matter because it includes quad channel ram. Seems like the only downfall to the x79 solution is that the i7 3820 is coming out in February. a4mula is not crazy. ;) 


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January 7, 2012 10:29:58 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
with a multiple monitor setup you want to run both 7970's (you are getting 2 right? it would be around 1100$ or so.) at x16. for larger resolutions it will make a significant difference.

ASRock Z68 Extreme7 (270$) + i5 2500k (220$) + Long Crossfire Bridge (~10$)- it has to go from the 1st pcie slot to the 4th so that the cards actually run at x16 = 500$

ASRock X79 Extreme3 (215$) + i7 3820 (285$) no need for long crossfire bridge here. I don't even know if the one posted above will be long enough = 500$

you have to wait a little while until the 3820 comes out and you will have to wait if you go with the 7950's (you didnt specify which 7xxx series card) . both should be out in early February.

even though the cpu multiplier on the 3820 only goes to 43x it can still be overclocked way past 4.3ghz as shown in this article- http://www.anandtech.com/show/5276/intel-core-i7-3820-r...

So lets recap. at the same price you can get an z68 x16/x16 solution as you can a X79 x16/x16 solution. The X79 solution also comes with a more powerful processor. For X79 you need quad channel ram but since you think you will go with g-unit1111's build it lookss like it doesnt matter because it includes quad channel ram. Seems like the only downfall to the x79 solution is that the i7 3820 is coming out in February. a4mula is not crazy. ;) 



I probably won't be building this untill late February, early March anyways... So that would work out very well, and i was aiming for the 7970, unless it's not worth the price jump from the 7950... by the time i build this both cards should be out so time isn't an issue
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January 7, 2012 11:05:56 PM

Lapez89 said:
I probably won't be building this untill late February, early March anyways... So that would work out very well, and i was aiming for the 7970, unless it's not worth the price jump from the 7950... by the time i build this both cards should be out so time isn't an issue


The 7970 has been destroying 3-D Mark records left and right... it makes more sense to have one of those than Quad Crossfire does. I don't know what the 7950 will bring, but I'm sure the numbers will be pretty comparable.

Quote:
atleast 1920x1080... more then likely with a multiple screen setup. Which i believe g-unit1111's build will work just fine... except i'll probably end up going for the HD Radeon 7xxx


I really prefer Eyefinity for multiple monitor setups - AMD's control panel is way easier to work with than the NVIDIA one.

Quote:
you have to wait a little while until the 3820 comes out and you will have to wait if you go with the 7950's (you didnt specify which 7xxx series card) . both should be out in early February.


The 3820 isn't a K processor which means it can't be overclocked. The ones that are out now (3930K and 3960K) can be.

Quote:
1366 wasn't superior to 1156 as the ondie memory and pci-e lanes of 1156 clearly were more efficient and effective than the northbridge of 1366. So much so that it was adopted for both 1155 and the current 2011 standard. This wasn't to say that 1156 was a replacement, it was much more of a precursor for 1155. The only difference between 1156 and 1155 is the die shrink of SB and its IGP.


Ah, I guess I'm not that adept as to what CPU designs are and how they handle use of other hardware. I should probably read up more on this.
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January 8, 2012 3:56:51 AM

Quote:
The 3820 isn't a K processor which means it can't be overclocked.

not true. its clock multipler can go up to 43x which means that it can be overclocked to 4.3ghz without even touching the BCLK. once you increase that you can get it above 4.5ghz. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5276/intel-core-i7-3820-r...
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January 8, 2012 4:00:46 AM

Lapez89 said:
I probably won't be building this untill late February, early March anyways... So that would work out very well, and i was aiming for the 7970, unless it's not worth the price jump from the 7950... by the time i build this both cards should be out so time isn't an issue

i would definitely opt for the 7970 cf with your budget. they should max almost every game out at 5760x1080. and because they are 3gb cards they will not be bottlenecked by lack of VRAM.
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January 8, 2012 4:48:57 PM

Personally I'm going to hold judgement on the 79xx series until I know one way or another if AFR/micro-stutter issues have been resolved.

You can see some indication that this is the case from the Hardwareheaven 7970 Crossfire Review. The FPS graphs don't have the same spikey max/min signature that's been associated with micro-stutter, but at the same time they make no mention of the issue one way or another.

The other thing, is while the 7970 crossfire will probably outperform 3x 6950 2GB, it's going to be within 10-20pct and the cost difference is significant you can grab 3x 6950 2GB for $720. That's a pretty big price difference compared to $1100 for 7970x2.

While it's difficult to extrapolate the differences in benchmarks from the 7970x2 @ 5760x1080 compared to the 3x 6950 2GB review @ 2560x1600 we can at least get a feeling for how the two stack up.

The reviews only share one similar game and that's F1 2011. The 7970x2 did 6.2Mpixels (5760x1080) at 72 average fps. The 3x6950 @ 4.1 Mpixels (2560x1600) averaged 110fps.

6.2M * 72 = 447,897,600 pixels per second
4.1M * 110 = 450,560,000 pixels per second

Now, I don't pretend that this is the way things really work, and I'm not trying to say that 6950x3 is superior to 7970x2. The test systems were different, the settings during gameplay might have been different. The 7970 doesn't have nearly as mature drivers as the 6950. But this should illustrate that they're going to be close in performance.

The bottom line is until we have a better idea of how the 7970 in crossfire will perform, and if it resolves micro-stuttering, it's just too early to make an informed decision. We know 3x 6950 resolves micro-stuttering though, and if I had to buy today and I had my choice, I'd lean that way.
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January 8, 2012 5:21:54 PM

Quote:
The bottom line is until we have a better idea of how the 7970 in crossfire will perform, and if it resolves micro-stuttering, it's just too early to make an informed decision. We know 3x 6950 resolves micro-stuttering though, and if I had to buy today and I had my choice, I'd lean that way.


What is micro stuttering first of all?

And second I don't think your average gamer is really going to notice that unless you're running some crazy benchmarks or using like a 50" monitor to play games on.
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January 8, 2012 6:09:10 PM

January 9th is for a soft launch only, but should be mass released in next three weeks or so. go for a nice 27 inch monitor if you don't have one. also go for 2x7970s when released.
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January 8, 2012 6:50:26 PM

Drunkenmunkey said:
January 9th is for a soft launch only, but should be mass released in next three weeks or so. go for a nice 27 inch monitor if you don't have one. also go for 2x7970s when released.


I think 27" is kind of overkill for a desk monitor, although I'm using a 42" so I can't really say much. :lol: 

Dual 7970's would be insane to say the least... you could destroy the competition with that. :lol: 
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January 8, 2012 8:47:10 PM

a4mula said:
Personally I'm going to hold judgement on the 79xx series until I know one way or another if AFR/micro-stutter issues have been resolved.

You can see some indication that this is the case from the Hardwareheaven 7970 Crossfire Review. The FPS graphs don't have the same spikey max/min signature that's been associated with micro-stutter, but at the same time they make no mention of the issue one way or another.

The other thing, is while the 7970 crossfire will probably outperform 3x 6950 2GB, it's going to be within 10-20pct and the cost difference is significant you can grab 3x 6950 2GB for $720. That's a pretty big price difference compared to $1100 for 7970x2.

While it's difficult to extrapolate the differences in benchmarks from the 7970x2 @ 5760x1080 compared to the 3x 6950 2GB review @ 2560x1600 we can at least get a feeling for how the two stack up.

The reviews only share one similar game and that's F1 2011. The 7970x2 did 6.2Mpixels (5760x1080) at 72 average fps. The 3x6950 @ 4.1 Mpixels (2560x1600) averaged 110fps.

6.2M * 72 = 447,897,600 pixels per second
4.1M * 110 = 450,560,000 pixels per second

Now, I don't pretend that this is the way things really work, and I'm not trying to say that 6950x3 is superior to 7970x2. The test systems were different, the settings during gameplay might have been different. The 7970 doesn't have nearly as mature drivers as the 6950. But this should illustrate that they're going to be close in performance.

The bottom line is until we have a better idea of how the 7970 in crossfire will perform, and if it resolves micro-stuttering, it's just too early to make an informed decision. We know 3x 6950 resolves micro-stuttering though, and if I had to buy today and I had my choice, I'd lean that way.

i do agree with you the only thing is that you would need a higher priced motherboard to hold the 3 6950's. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . but that really isnt a problem with the money you saved going with the 3 6950's. heat will be the main problem. ive read of some guy complaining about his temps and he had 3 msi 6950 twin frozr II cards. microstutter is a problem and tri cf does solve it. i would also wait until you see the crossfire benchmarks. hopefully they include eyefinity articles.
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January 8, 2012 8:53:07 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
The bottom line is until we have a better idea of how the 7970 in crossfire will perform, and if it resolves micro-stuttering, it's just too early to make an informed decision. We know 3x 6950 resolves micro-stuttering though, and if I had to buy today and I had my choice, I'd lean that way.


What is micro stuttering first of all?

And second I don't think your average gamer is really going to notice that unless you're running some crazy benchmarks or using like a 50" monitor to play games on.

micro stuttering: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

your average gamer does notice it. the huge fluctuations of fps is very noticeable. there are no 50" monitors the biggest monitor is 30" and its resolution is 2560x1600. the OP wants a multi monitor setup powered by most likely amd's eyefinity. and im guessing he will play with 3 1080p monitors which will create a resolution of 5760x1080p. that is a pretty huge resolution and microstutter will be even more noticeable at that resolution.
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