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Building Gaming Rig First time in 10 years

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Last response: in Systems
January 4, 2012 4:51:41 PM

I have not owned or used a desktop gaming rig in more than 10 years. With the way the gaming market is going and the ease of use compared to console gaming it seems like a good idea. I have researched the parts listed for the past 2 days and need help if there are better available options or things I have overlooked. I am a bargain shopper so I will try to find the best deals, but I am most certainly not willing to sacrifice performance. I need a rig that will allow me to game for the next 2-3 years comfortably as well as plug into my TV and allow me surf the web and watch streaming TV service.

I would like to keep this priced between $2,000 - 3,000k. Lower if I can continue shopping around and getting good deals.

BitFenix Colossus Venom Edition
Corsair Pro Series Gold 1200w PSU
ASUS LGA1155 Z68 P8Z68-V Pro MOBO
Intel Core i7 2700k 3.5GHZ
Noctua NH-D14 Cpu Cooler
Corsair Vengeance Blu 16GB Mem kit
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 x2 (Are 2 necessary?)
OCZ Vertex 2 480Gb SSD
Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB
HP bd340i BluRay Reader/writer
ASUS 24x DVD SATA Burner
Creative Sound Blaster XFi Fatality


I want to hook this up to my Television using that as a monitor really. I still prefer console gaming controls and will more than likely use those so I am not too concerned with gaming mouses or keyboards. I understand cooling and so forth, but I am not really into Liquid Cooling and will probably add fans if needed. I also understand that the PSU maybe overkill but I am trying to plan ahead for the next 5 years with this system. Thanks for the help everyone.

More about : building gaming rig time years

January 4, 2012 5:06:56 PM

You have a ton of overkill in this setup, how much are you wanting to spend? If you're not planning on doing anything but gaming and watching videos you can scale back you CPU to a i5-2500k (are you planning to OC??). Again if that's all your planning on doing you can drop the RAM to only 8GB.

I guess I'm confused when you say your a bargin shopper but list these parts which are on the higher end with overkill for what you are planning on using it for.

Try filling out the template in these forums so everyone can better help you: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice
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a b 4 Gaming
January 4, 2012 5:09:36 PM

Why to buy 2700K when you can buy 2600k and that small overclock you can do by yourself.Its a great build.
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Related resources
January 4, 2012 5:14:45 PM

Lokster1 said:
You have a ton of overkill in this setup, how much are you wanting to spend? If you're not planning on doing anything but gaming and watching videos you can scale back you CPU to a i5-2500k (are you planning to OC??). Again if that's all your planning on doing you can drop the RAM to only 8GB.

I guess I'm confused when you say your a bargin shopper but list these parts which are on the higher end with overkill for what you are planning on using it for.

Try filling out the template in these forums so everyone can better help you: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice


Sorry. I hope this helps Lokster1. I want to future proof this build so I do not have to worry too much about it within the next 2-3 years, 3-5 years preferred. I would like to build it somewhere right around that $2k price mark, but willing to go higher if necessary. I do a bit of video editing and music editing. I may want to get back into some art projects as well, but not sure about it as of yet.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next Month

Budget Range: $2k - 3k

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing net, Watching Blu Ray Movies, Video Editing, Music Editing, Gaming (Video Capture), Streaming Video, Connectivity to HDTV

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speaker, Monitor (Plan on using Television as monitor)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No Preferred sites. Will shop around

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Prefer to stick with the i7 2700k for future proofing

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1280

Additional Comments: Quiet PC with room to upgrade. Rather not skimp on the product now to have to replace within the next year or two
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January 4, 2012 6:03:17 PM

sosofm said:
Why to buy 2700K when you can buy 2600k and that small overclock you can do by yourself.Its a great build.


At the prices I researched it just seemed easier to purchase the 2600k as they were extremely negliglble in purchase price, and extremely negligble in difference. If I could find the i7 2600k at a far better price point then that may be an area I could save on.

If anyone has any other suggestions for areas I definitely could save on and get a better bang for my buck then that would be helpful. I just want a system that will be capable fo maxing out graphics in games and capable of outputting to the HDTV and not NEED an upgrade in the next 2-3 years.
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Best solution

a c 472 4 Gaming
January 4, 2012 7:11:18 PM

-I'd drop to an 850 watter with up to two 6870's or two 570's

-You don't need the 2700k and can cut quite a few bucks off ya cost if ya use a 2500k. The 2600k/2700k have Hyperthreading and HT's claim to fame is running mutithreaded apps. Gaming is not a hyperthreading thing .... tho that is now starting to change. The fact is however, a 2600k is fater than a 2500k and a 2700k is faster than a 2600k.

So if ya have the disposable income, there's no reason NOT to get a 2700k/2600k. It won't be much faster but it is faster outta the box. There is the argument that w/ HT on your CPU (2600k / 2700k) it runs hotter and this can limit your OC depending on cooler used. However, it is a very simple matter to save multiple BIOS profiles which deflates that argument completely. I typically make at least two with a 2600k.

24/7 Boot - HT On, 4.6 Ghz .... temps in low - mid 60's
Extreme Gaming Boot - HT Off 4.8 or more GHz ..... temps in low 70's

The question is ..... Is it worth it to you to spend an extra $150 for a 0.2 - 0.3 Ghz improvement (6 - 10%)

-The same argument can be made for GFX. Two 580's will cost ya $1000 and give ya 10% more fps than two 900 Mhz 560 Ti's. Will the box built w/ twin 580's be the better performing box ? Of course, but to mind, the extra $690 for the 580's plus PSU upgrade is too much to pay for just 10% more fps ..... I have no issue with peeps who find that small of a return on investment attractive.

-The DH-14 was my favorite LGA 775 cooler....but it has not been redesigned for 1155/1156/1366 and it has fallen outta the top tier into the 2nd tier on those platforms as you will see here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

For Sandy Bridge, you can see some of the top coolers compared here:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

At $80, I'd go with the Thermalright Silver Arrow
At $50, I'd go with the Hyper 612 PWM or Scythe Mugen 3
At $30, I'd go with a Hyper 212 variant


-For GFX, look at the chart:

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05

The factory OC'd 6950 and 560 Ti above finish pretty evenly in a single card configuration (495 fps for the 560 and 484 fps for the 6950) so call it a wash ..... but in CF / SLI, the 560 takes a huge 103 fps lead. (862 fps to 759). The 560 also has tons of OC headroom .... I have seen some peeps bring it up to 30% over reference speeds ...

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1104/pg19/asus-ge...

As for one or two ..... one will serve you well in 95% of the games out there ..... if Metro 2033 and BF3 are in your line up, then I'd opt for the pair ... you certainly have the budget room ..... neither card will hit 30 fps in Metro 2033 but get close to 50 with SLI / CF.

I note in your other post, you listed video editing as one of your primary uses.....That not only eliminates ATI cards from consideration as you won't be able to use CUDA (a nVidia only thing) but it confirms the choice of the 2700k and the 16GB

-For RAM, make sure it's low profile...and again for the video editing, might wanna gear up on the speed and / or CAS latency.

-The vertex 2 is last generation and is about half as fast as the Vertex 3. Out of the current "Tier 1" products (Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB, Patriot WildFire 240 GB, Samsung 830 SSD 256 GB), the Samsung is about the cheapest newegg special deal apparently ended yesterday .... The Chronos and Wildfire have the fancy smancy premium 3Xnm Toshiba Toggle Mode Flash Memory which the pundits are all jiggey about.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4328/mushkin_chronos_d...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/buy-ssd-recommendat...

-On HD's "Green" is code for "slow"

Barracuda XT is my 1st choice but $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

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

If ya looking for cheaper but fast, this is new:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-I'd want the ability to at least play BR given your setup
DVD Writer - $ 59 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-No reason to buy a sound card when ya have it already on the MoBo.

Here's a $2,217 build

Case - $ 120 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Why ? $190 case, discounted to $150 w/ $15 MIR and $15 off w/ promo code EMCKJKG38, ends 1/9 You did mention quiet and I can tell you that the Case / PSU combo runs extremely quiet and very cool..... Finally, the Hot Swap 2.5" drive bay is a superb way for you to transfer movies / videos. I don't go for the LED's personally so tun them off if ya no likie.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

Case Fans - $ 15 - Antec Red 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
10.0 performance rated PSU per jonnyguru..... CPX form factor allows for unusualy quiet and cool operation.

MoBo - $ 200 - ASUS P8Z68-V Pro /GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $ 370 - Intel Core i5-2700K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
It comes close to topping the field but unique in that it does so quietly .... Son No. 3 has the same case and PSU w/ the arrow and you don't hear anything overclocked to 4.8Ghz

TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It matches As5's thermal properties but doesn't have AS5's curing problems.

RAM - $ 160 - (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Redline CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CAS 7 and 16GB will help that video editing

GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 (900MHz) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Same


HD - $ 230 - Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Covered this alreday
SSD - $ 400 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 59 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Covered the above 3 already
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January 4, 2012 11:12:19 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
-Here's a $2,217 build

Case - $ 120 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Why ? $190 case, discounted to $150 w/ $15 MIR and $15 off w/ promo code EMCKJKG38, ends 1/9 You did mention quiet and I can tell you that the Case / PSU combo runs extremely quiet and very cool..... Finally, the Hot Swap 2.5" drive bay is a superb way for you to transfer movies / videos. I don't go for the LED's personally so tun them off if ya no likie.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

Case Fans - $ 15 - Antec Red 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
10.0 performance rated PSU per jonnyguru..... CPX form factor allows for unusualy quiet and cool operation.

MoBo - $ 200 - ASUS P8Z68-V Pro /GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $ 370 - Intel Core i5-2700K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
It comes close to topping the field but unique in that it does so quietly .... Son No. 3 has the same case and PSU w/ the arrow and you don't hear anything overclocked to 4.8Ghz

TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It matches As5's thermal properties but doesn't have AS5's curing problems.

RAM - $ 160 - (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Redline CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CAS 7 and 16GB will help that video editing

GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 (900MHz) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Same


HD - $ 230 - Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Covered this alreday
SSD - $ 400 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 59 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Covered the above 3 already


I really like your suggestions Jack. I did not know about the differences in generation with the SSDs. I did some research on CUDA and understand the benefits now. My only major concern with this Build is I definitely do not like the look of the Antec Case, especially since this unit will be sitting in my family room serving as the hub to entertainment, which is why I chose the Bitfenix case. The two GFX cards definitely look like a good deal, my primary concern being the reliability of SLI and NVidia graphics cards. I chose the AMDs because of familiarity. Overall I like the system. I included the HP bd340i BluRay Burner/Reader.
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January 5, 2012 12:40:22 AM

You said you don't plan on buying for a month, correct? If so then start looking a week before you plan on buying. Although AMD doesn't have Cuda their 7xxx series and 7970 card should be available before you plan on buying. There should be articles on CF by then to see how it scales. In terms of cases I personally like the Haf series.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
In terms of getting the best deal this is a good website. You put in your build and it tells you where the parts are cheapest.
http://pcpartpicker.com/
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January 5, 2012 12:36:05 PM

andrewcarr said:
You said you don't plan on buying for a month, correct? If so then start looking a week before you plan on buying. Although AMD doesn't have Cuda their 7xxx series and 7970 card should be available before you plan on buying. There should be articles on CF by then to see how it scales. In terms of cases I personally like the Haf series.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
In terms of getting the best deal this is a good website. You put in your build and it tells you where the parts are cheapest.
http://pcpartpicker.com/


Thanks for the information on the AMDs and great site. I added to my faves.
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January 5, 2012 4:11:24 PM

Best answer selected by varonecl.
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